Monthly Archives: July 2011

Scavenger hunt!

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It’s time for a scavenger hunt! Your first clue is somewhere on my blog. Let’s just say the place where it is found is appropriate. The winner gets… fame and glory! Sorry, no prizes, I feel creepy asking for home addresses. If you have an idea for a prize that doesn’t require me to get your address, please post it in a comment. If I find one I like, not only will the winner get the prize, the commenter with the idea will, too! So start looking. The competition begins… NOW!  I will post a series of password protected blogs; the answer to the previous riddle will be the password. Only lowercase letters.

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Protected: 4th clue!

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The Scarlet Pimpernel

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Set during the French revolution, The Scarlet Pimpernel tells the story of a brave band of men who rescue French aristocrats out of the revolutionaries’ clutches. These seemingly impossibly escapes make the man whose code name is the Scarlet Pimpernel an English legend and a thorn in France’s side. M. Chauvelin, an agent of the French government, arrives in an English pub in the opening scene of the book. He discovers information about the band and the activities of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Among this information is an incriminating letter showing Armand St. Just to be working with the Scarlet Pimpernel. Chauvelin shows this letter to his sister, Marguerite Blakeney, “the cleverest woman in Europe” and the leader of fashion and society in England. In exchange for information about the Scarlet Pimpernel, he will turn over the letter to her, and her brother will not be harmed. Through his spying at the pub, Chauvelin knows that the Scarlet Pimpernel will be visiting a party that Marguerite will be at. She finds out that the Scarlet Pimpernel will be in the dining room at one, information that she passes on to Chauvelin. In a twist of events, she regrets her decision to inform on the Scarlet Pimpernel and begins a mad chase in France trying to prevent his seemingly inevitably capture.

While I enjoyed this exciting story very much, I did anticipate all of the plot twists, which was kind of disappointing. However, this story is still entertaining, and in some places, more enjoyable, if you know something the other characters don’t. The ending did leave me with many questions as to the future of the characters now that their identities were exposed and a few other loose ends were never quite tied up. All in all, though, it was an entertaining, quick read.

The Spellman Files

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The Spellman Files is the first book in a wonderful, hilarious set of four books written by Lisa Lutz. The star of the book is Izzy Spellman, the stubborn daughter of private investigator parents. The entire family, quirky father Albert, beautiful mother Olivia, Izzy, lawyer David, sugar addict Rae, and alcoholic Uncle Ray, are an extremely dysfunctional family, but not in the way you might think. They think nothing of spying on each other to discover secrets, and one family member in particular is no stranger to blackmail. Isabel narrates the book through smooth storytelling and lists from her files. She documents her former boyfriends with the same care she would a  suspect, and in the end, she inevitably scares them off. She quits working for the family business when she finds out her family has been paying Rae to tail her, but when Rae goes missing, will it bring them all together again?

Just as a warning, there is alcohol and drug use and brief strong language used in the books. Some of the subplots revolve around these issues. Also, when you read this book on a Kindle, some of the humor is lost because the footnotes are placed at the end of the e-book. However you can download them from http://lisalutz.com/spellman-files to reference when reading the book. I wish I knew this before I read the books.  It’s not billed as a “teen” book, but I’m sure it’s something all teens can enjoy.