Sunday, August 19, 2018

Book Review: The Chairman's Toys by Graham Reed


Book Synopsis:    Vancouver, British Columbia - land of psychotically expensive real estate, high-grade cannabis, and Jake Constable. A man adrift.

After Jake quits the drug business, his realtor/ex-wife, Nina, gets him a job as a house sitter for her wealthy clients. Jake celebrates by throwing a party in the mansion he was hired to look after. Unfortunately, the guest list gets out of hand, leaving Jake to contend with a hallucinogenic-vitamin-dispensing yogi, a dead guy in the bathroom, and The Norwegian - a criminal force of nature with a grudge against Jake.

When the owner of the multimillion-dollar crime scene returns home prematurely, only Jake's inadvertent discovery of the man's politically incorrect business history saves him from having to clean up after the party. But he still has to come clean with his ex-wife. The situation threatens to turn into an international incident when Nina’s power broker uncle and some Chinese government agents show up to turn the screws on Jake. Soon after that his friends start disappearing. With the Chinese government leaning on him and The Norwegian out to settle an old score, Jake comes up with a desperate plan to dupe a pair of secret agents, save his friends, and (why not?) solve the murder.


My Review:   Through Mr. Reed's amusing, witty and entertaining writing style, we are introduced to  the main character, Jake Constable, who is trying to turn his life around, and get out of the drug business for good. But because of his history and some old acquaintances from his previous life, he seems to run into trouble at every turn.  The characters develop at just the right pace and with enough depth that you are right there, in the story with them.  A lot happens in just a few pages, and before you know it, you are witness to a good old-fashioned murder.  The story itself, is never predictable.  Mr. Reed  takes you on a dizzying rollercoaster ride as you try to figure out the answers to the plot.  It includes the discovery of a body to kidnapping, encountering secret agents, and dueling with a very sizable (and somewhat scary) villain named "The Norwegian".  The plot is anything but simple, but there are no loose ends to leave you pondering either.  Every part of the story is meticulously told to you with cleverness (and sometimes laugh out loud humour) which is a staple throughout this book.  The writing style is unique and an absolute delight to read. Through Jake Constable, Mr. Reed pays homage to the gumshoe tradition of characters like Columbo, but in a contemporary Vancouver setting.  I knew after only a couple of pages, that I was in for a treat and Mr. Reed did not disappoint.  I loved this book and I for one, can't wait for the next installment featuring Jake Constable to be written.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 Screenshot at 2018-04-07 21-39-31Screenshot at 2018-04-07 21-39-31Screenshot at 2018-04-07 21-39-31Screenshot at 2018-04-07 21-39-31 owls.

About The Author:  Graham Reed is an award-winning author of crime fiction. He lives on a small island in the Salish Sea with his wife and two children.


Monday, August 6, 2018

High Summer Readathon Wrap-up Post #HSreadathon

What an amazing summer it has been so far.  Weather has been gorgeous, family time was plenty, and reading time was at its maximum.  Not to say that all I did was read all summer (although that sounds plenty good to me) but I did read more than usual, and I absolutely loved the time I spent with my Kobo.

This is my Wrap Up Post for the month-long High Summer Readathon.  I actually could not remember the reading I had done because of the overlapping thons that were happening in July.  It was a very busy time.  I will be writing reviews to all of these books in future posts, but in the meantime, here is my list of books completed and almost completed, (calling it complete) :)

I made huge progress on The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner.  What a fun read they were!   Completed:

  • The Scorch Trials

  • The Death Cure

  • The Kill OrderMaze Runner Series

  • The Chairman's Toys by Graham Reed   CompletedChairmansToys_Website-350x525_Border

  • The Deep by Nick Cutter   Completedheadline-the-deep-180882980

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson   Christmas in July Entry   Completed.ChristmasJoyRide

Stay tuned for my reviews on all of these books in future blogs...



It was a summer to remember but it is not yet over. The months ahead will find me going back to work, setting up sports schedules for my son, checking out the new fall lineup of television shows, and of course, reading to fill in the spot between now and autumn.  :)    I have two books that  I have on my agenda.  With all of the blockbuster movies out there I wanted to get into the swing of things, and picked up a copy of Meg by Steve Alten.  This is the first book in the primary series of 6 books, and a prequel called Origins.  I am looking forward to this book as a wind down to the summer reading.


The second book I want to read is "A is for Alibi" by Sue Grafton.  I have been wanting to read this series for a long time, but I was never in the mood to take the step to reading a sleuthing mystery.  I received an ARC from Partners in Crime Publishing and to be honest, it was so good, it rekindled my love that I thought I had lost for a good mystery.   Therefore, I grabbed a copy of the first Kinsey Millhone Mystery Series and am settling in to what I hope will be long and fun relationship with the late Sue Grafton.Alibi

I know it is a little early to be thinking about fall but.... last year's FrightFall was one month-long for the first time ever, and it was awesome.

frightfall 2017

I am now eyeing the FrightFall Readathon happening in October 2018 and..... Wait!  What's This?........

I just flipped over to the Seasons of Reading Blog and it seems Michelle is working on changing things up a bit this year.  See the following excerpt from her Blog...

"Looking forward, of course we have the month long FrightFall Readathon in October, but I'm also working on adding some extra fun (since we do love our scary...a good bit of us anyway). Every year I host two events at my horror blog, Castle Macabre. Gothic September and Season of the Witch in October. Well, the wheels are turning and I'm trying to come up with an all encompassing event that will take Castle Macabre and Seasons of Reading through a spooky autumn. Stay tuned!"

Well this sounds very exciting and I can hardly wait until this event is released!  In between reading and life, I will catch up on my book reviews, so stay tuned to this blog for some interesting reviews coming your way,  Until then, keep reading!