This is it. The VERY LAST BOOK in the Popsugar Book Challenge. Whew. I’m so glad I did the challenge, as I am every year, but it’s also nice to be finished. The last category I needed to fill was a tough one for me. I needed a book with a fruit or vegetable in the title. I tried a couple (tomato, lemon) but neither book was interesting enough to keep going. So, I search my thousands of titles on my Kindle cloud (yes, really. Thousands. Most of them I got for free) for apple. Nope. Banana. Nothing. Orange. One title, but sounded boring. Lime. Ding, ding.

Judging by the premise and the pretty good reviews, I went ahead and started this one. During the 1880s, Penny Green was a unique woman. She was mid-30s, single, a newspaper reporter, trailblazing her way around town. She learns of the mysterious murder of actress Lizzie Dixie, who was presumed to be dead 5 years ago. She and a police inspector make it their mission to solve the crime. Which time did Lizzie really die? And who was behind it?

This was a quick read, and Penny is a fun character who has to use good old-fashioned thinking to solve the murder. I have several of these books on my Kindle and am looking forward to reading more about this delightful series.


Mycroft Holmes

I have been a fan of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s since I was a kid. Some of my formative years were spent in front of the tv with my dad cheering for the Lakers. Magic was my favorite, and Kareem was my dad’s. But as I got older, I grew to appreciate KAJ for the intelligent, thoughtful, humanitarian that he is. I’ve been following his essays for awhile now. You can find many of them here in Time Magazine. When I heard he had published this book, I thought I would give it a try. Let me preface that I have read a sum total of one Sherlock Holmes book, so reading this little off shoot was a shot in the dark.

I’ve been told that Mycroft is Sherlock’s older brother and much more likeable of a character. And while Sherlock is in this book very briefly, I can say that I did think Mycroft was a great character. Very insightful and thorough, but with a good heart and nowhere near as eccentric as his brother. The story follows 23 year old Mycroft and a friend, Cyrus Douglas, who is from Trinidad. Douglas tells Mycroft about certain supernatural mysteries that are happening on the island and the two travel there to solve said mysteries. There is also a pretty clear political element going on with the setting in Trinidad. Douglas is a black man and Mycroft is his white friend, but they work together to free some slaves. The politics aren’t in your face, but definitely not ones to be ignored.

The book was a quick reader and kept me guessing. Some of the people involved were clearly playing a double role, and they were fairly easy to spot, but the story was still engaging. I appreciated all the historical details that seemed to be well researched. Overall, this was a really fun read that kept me guessing, but wasn’t too far fetched.