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Sunday, January 2, 2022

Back to the Books!

 Stephen Puleo is a Boston-based author whose books have been celebrated in many local school districts and 'town-wide' reads for several years now. He has been a guest author at our local library, and will be returning this Spring to talk about his latest historical piece, VOYAGE OF MERCY.

This book tells the story of the compassionate response of the United States to the great famine in Ireland mid-nineteenth century. As with all his books, Puleo tells the story from the individuals' point of view ... the ship captain who talked the government into freeing ships from war duty (the Mexican War) to  a humanitarian purpose ... the Irish priest who visited and provided as best he could for his sick parishioners, bringing food and warmth and faith door to door at his own expense ... the British leaders who struggled with balancing the great need of the Irish,their own consciences and the public will of their consituents ... and the host cities on the east coast of North America who received, with varying sentiments, the starving ill immigrants who flooded their streets.

As Dickens might have observed once again, it was "the best of times, the worst of times." People on this side of the ocean reaching out to help those 'across the pond' who needed both food and encouragement. People on that side of the ocean willing to see the beggars flee their continent to come to ours. It is a story of humanity ... the good and the bad ... the rich and the poor and the middle folk trying to make the best of what could be.

Stephen Puleo's writings never fail to inspire the best in us, and acknowledge the weaknesses that accompany humanity. Once again, I give his writing five stars. 

Friday, December 31, 2021


     This blog will now host a new-again venture, on a new page. You will find a link at the top of the right margin to the new page, titled STARTING OVER AGAIN, and I invite you to take a look. I will try to update it once or twice a week for the first few weeks, and later as needed. Thanks for your patience. 

Oh ~ and with the retail shop's closure, I may have more time now to continue reviewing books!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


I met the author, F.H.Belfus Bennett, at the New England Author Expo in Danvers, Massachusetts during the summer of 2018, and happily exchanged my book for hers. In this first novel, she has written a compelling story set in the neighborhoods of Boston, Cambridge, Allston and Brighton. The characters are of a wide assortment of ethnic backgrounds and their families and friends interact in a believable way.  Socioeconomic disparity in the urban setting is accurately described; the villain (poor young Eastern European man) murders the victims (wealthy privileged college students) for a paying  sponsor (southern gentleman from a childhood of emotional abuse.) Drugs play a significant role in the evil of this novel.  The authorities carry out their investigation with credible diligence and attentiont to detail. The book is well planned, written, edited and proofed which makes it an enjoyable read. The author shows promise!

Friday, January 18, 2019


Dr. Paul Janson has again created believable characters with depth and personalities that are memorable. With these characters, he has created two distinctly different murder mysteries. The first, titled THE MANUSCRIPT, introduces the characters gradually, bringing them together in unusual circumstances, and following them on a trail filled with suspenseful twists and turns.  What does a locomotive, a privatized prison, and a course in writing query letters have to do with nuclear terrorism? (And, to pique your interest, can an old drawbridge ever be jumped?)  Frank and Joan wil grow into their friendship gradually, and will exit this first book safely enough to reappear, surprisingly, in its sequel, ADVANCED DIRECTIVE.  I enjoyed both titles, and highly recommend that you purchase both!

In the sequel, Advanced Directive, Dr. Janson writes of the dilemma an out-of-pratice-nurse-suddenly-needing-work faces when the first job she can secure is in a nursing home, where the care is not what she is used to practicing in hospital settings. Joan, of the first book, is not the nurse in question, nor does she appear until the story of April's new position is well underway ... in fact, her entrance into April's story is like a warm, welcoming recognition for the reader. Before reacquainting with Joan and Frank, the reader is introduced to April's recently-dead husband's family; the link that joins these three main characters is an elderly aunt who resides at the home. The excitement picks up when the elderly aunt's unexpectedly sudden demise catches Frank's attention, and brings him into contact with distant relatives of his own ... relatives who chose a career path on the other side of the law ... relatives who somewhat tolerate Frank's defection to the uniformed side of the law. And once again, Dr. Janson's clever twists and turns unite  other family units with the potential of additional stories ahead... 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Murder Undone, a collection of short stories by Paul Janson, MD

Murder Undone

Dr. Janson has collected some earlier writings he had compiled during his long practice of emergency physician, and they are not limited to medical settings.

Each one is a different setting, with new characters and unique dilemmas, but all have, as Paul tells in his book description, something in common.

Dr. Janson's writing is fluid, intelligent and engaging. His characters 'come to life' within a mere paragraph, and the story progresses smoothly.

It is always a pleasure to read his books, and to review them and recommend them for my readers' choices ahead.

Scroll down a few posts to read more revies of Dr. Janson's books.