Monday, February 28, 2011

The Dead Man: Face of Evil – Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin

© 2011 Adventures in Television, Inc.

When I found out that noted author Lee Goldberg had produced another idea that he intended to work on with other great writers, and then that he was offering a limited number of prepublishing ebooks for review, I made contact. What I received was an eARC (?) for the new THE DEAD MAN series debut.

Matthew Cahill, or rather his frozen body, is discovered beneath tons of avalanche—the victim of a snow-skiing tragedy. When the ME starts to do an autopsy, the lumber mill sawyer begins to bleed. This impossibility after three months of burial under a mountain of snow leads to a variety of twists and turns.

Cahill learns to live again, romance again, and even fight again. This adventure story has engaging characters, elements of finely tuned horror stories, and some fun thrown in for good measure. I’m looking forward to future installments to see where Cahill’s adventures take him. This for several reasons—not the least of which is the reasonably priced packaging in ebook format (which this gem of a story is available in from Kindle to Nook to every ereader in between). You’ll want to get a copy today because the story is fast-paced, enjoyable, and short enough to read in a single afternoon or two. What else can I give this made for electronic age adventure story (and series, I expect) but five reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Road Kill – Kinky Friedman

©1997, Simon & Schuster, New York

In this latest foray into the world of amateur detection, erstwhile country singer (and later Texas politician), Kinky Friedman takes an oddly new twisting road. Again the author plays the starring role in a mystery.

Waking up to find himself halfway to crazy-ville, Kinky has a discussion with a gypsy in the bathroom mirror that leads his friends to send him on a sabbatical trip with long-time friend Willie Nelson on the Honeysuckle Rose (Willie’s tour bus). The trip, while restoring some of Friedman’s sanity (if indeed there is any) drops a new case in our sleuth’s lap—one involving Indians (of the Native American variety), roadies, curses, and pot-shots.

In the end, Friedman and friends find themselves investigating age-old Indian legends and Willie’s ex-wives.

Kinky is his usual irreverent self in reporting this tale of music-world travel and murder. If you’re a fan, you’ll still be one. Three out of five reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter, February 27, 2011

Escape from Church, Inc. – E. Glenn Wagner

© 1999 Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids

Writing with Steve Halliday, Glenn Wagner presents a book that calls pastors to be, well, pastors. The root of the word pastor hails us back to the idea that the pastor is a shepherd. He is not THE Shepherd, but a shepherd who works as an extension of The Good Shepherd (Jesus Christ). The premise of the book is that the biblical model for the pastoral position is one of a shepherd—not the modern trend to corporate-style leadership.

Through the course of the bank, the author guides us to biblical evidence of a shepherd’s model for the pastor. Shepherds are relational, while other leadership models focus on bottom-line equations. He deals with the needs of the flock as well as the call of the pastor.

Overall, the book is a healthy look at the church and the position of her leader. Toward the end of the book is a chapter I expected to be extremely helpful—interviews with several pastors about their shepherd-style leadership approach. I found their responses less than helpful, but the bulk of the book is well worth the reading. The audience for this book is limited indeed. Church members in general will find the book informative and interesting, but not addressing their personal lives. On the other hand, this is a book that I would recommend for any pastor or church minister. Because of the excellent advice within its covers, I give the book 4 and one-half out of five reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How Good Is Good Enough? – Andy Stanley

© 2003 Multnomah Publishers, Sisters, OR

I had been wanting to read several of Andy Stanley’s books—particularly this one for several years. So when I found a copy of it on a ‘giveaway’ table at a pastor’s conference, I jumped at getting a copy. Stanley is the author of such books as Visioneering and Choosing to Cheat. He is an excellent communicator, and this little book is evidence of that fact. Consequently, I am glad I found the copy.

Stanley handily addresses the popular philosophy of ‘good people go to heaven.’ Without being preach-y or condescending, the author opens the reader’s eyes to questions about eternity, fairness, and truth. That I espouse the same ideology as Stanley may certainly make me biased in my opinion of his conclusions, but this little book is one that is well worth the couple of hours of your time it will take to read it.

Who should read this book? Anyone who wants to get a handle on what heaven and eternity are all about. Anyone who has questions about his or her final destination. Pick up a copy, you’ll be glad you did. Five reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter, February 5, 2011

The Affair of the Wooden Boy – Ian Doyle

© 2011 [eBook by Mel Odom] New Pulp Press

Occasionally, as an amateur reviewer who posts his opinions in the blogosphere, I get the chance to cybermeet new authors and even read their stuff. Such is the case with this short eNovel. I was fortunate enough to get one of a few review copies in my email inbox. One of the pleasant things about such situations is that I get to sample new authors and even different genres than I normally read.

James Stark is also known as Lord Gallatin and offers his services to the local constabulary when they are unable to solve mysteries in their line of duty. At times he works privately when clients are not inclined to involve the police. His wife, Mina, narrates the tale and is heavily involved in helping her husband solve the mysteries.

It took me a couple of chapters to realize that this was more than a historical story set in England, more than another Holmesian journey into investigative techniques. As the story developed I found glimpses of Gothic and Historical Romance coupled with Sleuthing and magic. In this particular tale, Simon (a little wooden boy) shows up on the Stark doorstep. We discover that he has been bewitched, and the only thing that saved him is the love of his little wooden puppet (who now held his life-force while some enemy was in his body).

I found that this genre is not my cup of tea, but suspect if one likes gothic-style fantasy, and puzzle stories you will enjoy this outing with the Starks, and you will also enjoy the fact that Mina is more than just a trophy wife. Another thing you’ll like is the more affordable price that accompanies electronic books and stories. As always click on the cover art to order the book. Three and one-half reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter, February 5, 2011

Popular Posts