Book Review: Ashley's War, The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

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Ashley's War:  The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a non-fiction book published in April 2015.  The story follows several women and their quest to become the first women to be in combat along the Green Berets and Army Rangers. This is a book that was selected in my workplace for discussion between women and/or veterans.  The book discussion was broken into three parts much like how the story was broken up.  It garnered great conversations. Some of the things that happened in the book didn't surprise me, such as how physically demanding the tryouts were to be part of the special operations.  It's a demanding job that requires people to be not only physically strong but mentally strong.     What did shock me was that it took the military so long to allow women to fight along men on the battlefield.  Another thing that astonished me were how accepting most of the men in the Army Rangers were of the women fight

Book Review: Valentine Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #5) by Leslie Meier

book review valentine murder leslie meier

Valentine Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #5) by Leslie Meier is the fifth book in the Lucy Stone Mystery book series. Lucy Stone attends her first board meeting for the renovated library in Tinker's Cove, Maine. She is in for a surprise when she finds Bitsy Howell in the basement . . . dead from a gunshot wound. 

Not sure what to expect as this was my first time reading a novel by Leslie Meier, I was pleasantly surprised by this cozy mystery. It has everything I expect in this genre . . . good writing, an interesting storyline, characters that are both likable and unlikable, and some believability. And, of course, it doesn't hurt that the murder takes place in a library since it ties in books, and I love reading. 

One of the things that was extremely believable was the dynamic of the board members and how they acted with each other and that there were cliques within the board members. I've definitely seen this happen in the work place. Another convincing part of the plot was the way Hayden and his partner Ralph are treated by the townspeople. And, Lucy getting frustrated with her children was realistic as well. Raising children isn't always easy.

There were a few things that were inconsistent in the storyline that bothered me. The first thing was that the ten year old daughter was in third grade. Seeing as I haven't read the four books that came before Valentine Murder, I'm not sure if she flunked a couple of grades, or if it was a combination of the daughter being held back a year due to where her birthday fell and flunking a grade. Children in the third grade are typically eight years old when they start the school year.

Another issue was that Lucy made a phone call from a pay phone, but a few chapters later, she pulls out a cell phone that she keeps with her for emergencies. So, I don't understand the need for the character to use a pay phone. Towards the end of the book, the town loses electricity, but the front porch light is still on at Lucy's house despite them needing to use candles. Lastly, the book was published in 1999, but the characters act like personal computers and the internet are brand new things. (My family had two computers and internet in 1986.)

Because of the inconsistencies, I had to give Valentine Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #5) by Leslie Meier four out of five stars. If you enjoyed this book, I'd recommend Death of a Kitchen Diva (Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery, #1) by Lee Hollis.

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