Marti xx


American ex-pat living in the central highlands of Mexico. Retired with plenty of time to read, and enjoy life.

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Smashwords book reviews by Marti xx

  • Tortilla Press on April 01, 2011
    star star star star star
    What a wonderfully written book, with converging story lines that keeps the action moving. Getting inside the head of the various characters gives insight into their actions and decision-making. A fine example of how we all do the best with what we've got, and a lot of what we've got depends on what we start off with in life. Believable and sympathetic characters, and a storyline that keeps moving, all keep the reader cheering for the characters and hoping for the best for them, while at the same time fearing the worst.
  • Death and Taxes (The Accidental Acquittal) on April 30, 2011
    (no rating)
    An interesting short story with a not-very-surprising ending. Good writing, but a bit disappointing in the story line.
  • Maceration on May 13, 2011
    (no rating)
    A delightful short detective mystery. It left me wishing it was novel-length. Sympathetic characters, crisp writing. All in all, a good read.
  • Bubba and the Dead Woman on May 26, 2011
    (no rating)
    What a fun read. What's not to like about a good ole boy from Texas with an old pickup truck and a beagle named Precious, a decaying pre-civil war mansion and a mother who runs a quasi-secret illegal floating poker game for the gals in town? Oh yeah, and a body in his front yard. Now I got to get me the other title, Bubba and the Twelve Deadly Days of Christmas.
  • Of Mice and Murderers - Book 1 in The Z-Detective Series on July 28, 2011
    (no rating)
    Great story, great writing. The only nagging annoyance was the constant flamboyant and unnecessary use of quotation marks throughout the book. One suspects that either he had no editor, or that his editor could not dissuade him from this annoying use, and I found that it distracted me from fully enjoying an otherwise excellent book.
  • The Teacher's Guide To Spying on Feb. 27, 2014
    star star star star star
    This book was a hoot! It was a really fun take on the spying industry, and a charming look at teaching school and taking care of an autistic brother ... all the while reluctantly spying for the government. Gus Fox likes his life teaching school, and is a caring guy for his autistic brother, and even though the chick he has googoo eyes for is in a relationship with someone else, they are still good friends.... and without any benefits. He is pressed into service against his will to spy on a Russian gangster and .... well, you'll see all the cool stuff when you read it. Well written, although the narrative flow is somewhat interrupted by being chopped up into number segments, but so what. That isn't going to diminish the 5 stars it gets from me. It's a fun read. Khorosho moi druz'ya.
  • The Gray Ghost Inn on March 20, 2014
    star star star star star
    If you are a mystery fan, you will probably have read Agatha Christie. This is Agatha Christie without the solemnity. Sort of Agatha Christie. DEFINITELY without the solemnity. Our hero, a P.I., his menza-intelligent-but-somewhat-ditzy partner, and his long-time mentor arrive at a B&B for which they have reservations. At the B&B are an elderly Jewish couple, and the two owners, BFFs from college, and the brother of one of the owners. And then it storms. And then there is a body hanging from the rafters in the library. That would be the body of a person whom nobody actually likes very much. But the police can't come immediately because of the raging storm and their other emergencies, so the folks in the place are instructed to not touch anything and just sit tight and wait for them. So, since they have nothing to do while awaiting the gendarmes, our P.I. decides to investigate the death, even going so far as to have a seance. See? I told you -- not solemn. This is a fun -- and funny -- read. Delightful enough to make us ignore the knee-deep holes in the plot, because really, who cares. The books seems to exist as a vehicle to carry the wit of the author, and mighty indeed and charming is that wit! Our P.I. hero is, charming, handsome, a deep-dish liar, with a 'patented Lady Killer 9000™ " smile, guaranteed to turn all females into mush. Whatta guy! I loved him. The whole time I was reading, I kept picturing him as Tony DiNozzo from the NCIS TV series. dinozzo You just know the author loves these characters in this book, the third in a four volume series. But in spite of numerous and ongoing references to the events in the prior volumes, it is a stand alone, and a delightful one at that.
  • Homesick: A Time in Yellowstone Story on March 30, 2014
    star star star star star
    A truly delightful story, one of a series, about Yellowstone National Park in the time of World War II, when most of the Park staff were off fighting the war, and there were few visitors because there was no gas for traveling. Ranger Will McManis is the guy in charge of the Upper Geyser Basin. He and his wife have had the care of their now five-year-old grandson since his birth, due to the death of his mother and his father's despair. But after this summer, he will be moving to Denver to live with his father and to go to school. A beautiful story full of loving details of the countryside, the relationship with the three family members, and a ghost. Oops! Didn't mean to tell you about the ghost. This is a gentle story with just a smidge of paranormal. Just a smidge. Definitely a warm-your-heart work.
  • Alone on April 06, 2014
    star star star star star
    Some guy in a hospital waiting room empties a vial of powder in front of the air vent, and from then on, people start dying in vast numbers, not from a virus as such, but from exacerbated effects of any injury or illness they already have. This continues with such speed that it isn’t long before the planet’s entire population is wiped out, with the except of a handful of apparently immune people. Our protagonist, aptly named Eve, is one of the handful of survivors in her town in a southern state. She, and her sister’s baby, who was born on the day her sister died, seem to be the only ones who survived, until a knock at her door turns out to be a cleaning crew, small teams that are going around cleaning out the dead bodies in the houses and neighborhoods, burning trash, and turning off the utilities in the empty houses. The book is about how gradually a few other people find her, and create a small enclave of survivors, and how they managed and their community grew. I don’t usually read post-apocalyptic books because I like my world to be PollyAnna bright and cheery and post apocalyptic stories are usually dire, dismal and dismaying, but the idea of being entirely alone in the world hooked me, and I was interested to see what the author would do with this idea. Of course, if Eve and her baby nephew survived, there have to be others as well, so there is scope for an interesting story line. What I liked about this book was that it was about survival and adjusting to being first alone, and then with only a small number of people. It wasn’t all about how nasty bands roamed the country creating murder, havoc and destruction and how the country became terribly dangerous to live in, as so many other post apocalyptic books seem to be about. All in all, I enjoyed it quite a bit. From the promotional blurb, I thought it was going to be about some kind of Boadicea type of chick, leading the remnants of society into battle, but it was really just about a young woman doing her best to survive and take care of her young nephew in the face of horrific events.