Thursday, April 4, 2013

Book Review: Three Books For One

(1) Poems For A Platypus by me! Okay. This is self-serving, but I never had a book that I could claim is the #1 best-seller in a paid market (Australian/Oceanian) or #12 in the paid U.S market for 20th Century poetry books (even though we are in the 21st century). Platypi must be very happy about the poems in my book along with some of the human purchasers. But how do you rate a poetry book? I never really thought much about it. With 171 poems, do you have to like all of them? Half of them? One-quarter of them? Or, if just one poem moves you to tears or joy or happiness, is that enough to give it a high rating? I never thought about me being a poet. I just like writing my thoughts down that way on occasion. What's next? Poet Laureate of Chatham County? Surely, I jest. I do, well, you never know.

(2) The Bustacious Bunny by Andrew Peters is not a novella for everyone. The Private Investigator (PI) Otis talks to himself, good guys, bad guys, and the reader. That will certainly be off-putting for some, but I liked the off-beat PI from Wales living in Memphis, Tennessee, trying to solve low-hung fruit crimes, but who gets drawn into one that he openly admits is out of his league. Yet, he soldiers on, and like any good writer, Peters convincing puts Otis into a corner wherein the reluctant hero must take up the case.

There is a fair amount of funny asides and situational humor worthy of a few chuckles and pleasant harrumphs as the overmatched Otis goes about his business, his own bacon being saved again and again by his modicum of insight, and dealing with a flotilla of really big guys (good and bad) to spice up the story. Though the opening was somewhat confusing and the plot not too deep, the PI (and author) moved the story right along. I want to give it a five-star rating, and I will...barely.

(3) Cop Shot by David DeLee is a police procedural short story with strong, clear writing. It was too short for the mystery at hand and where he wanted to take it. For the depth that the reader is supposed to feel, this story needed much more of everything (mood, storyline, feelings, angst, clues, push-back, back-story, etc.). It brushed many topics lightly, and though it had several potential suspects, the twists were still a bit thin (basically one and done). What we are supposed to believe at the ending is sad, but again without any additional depth, the emotional appeal wasn't quite there for this reader. Now, you might be thinking I didn't like the story. I liked it. He held back information until needed, and tried to supply a gritty atmosphere. It's good, not great. It's a 4-rated story you won't regret spending time with.

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