There is not a lot to report aside from the fact that the whole family now has head colds from the flip-flopping weather here in Texas. Ugh. We’ve been couch potatoes most of the week.
My friend Pat had mentioned the Nero Wolfe Mysteries with Timothy Hutton around Christmas, and we binged watched them on youtube a couple of weeks ago. (If you’ve not seen them, I recommend them. The two-season series is unusual in its own right, as all the secondary characters (the ones you only see one episode and then are gone) are played by the same group of actors! So you will see them episode after episode, playing different people! Weird but awesome!)
The series is based on books by Rex Stout from the ’30s and ’40s. I got the kindle version of the first book, called Fer-de-Lance. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it. The stories are from the perspective of Archie Goodwin, Nero’s assistant. Nero is a weird eccentric and a genius. (He does not consider himself a detective, but an artist—as he paints in the details of the crime.) He never leaves his home, and certain times of the day are reserved for his orchids, and nothing is to disturb that. An odd but fascinating man.
I got derailed last week when someone mention that I should make the cover for the reader magnet “Elixir of Life” look more like a typical Urban Fantasy cover. So I did! (Book covers are custom by artists, but for a short story, it’s DIY.)
What do you think? Better, right?
Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:
1) Two info swaps from StoryOrigin.
2) It’s January—Cozy Up with a Mystery Giveaway
3) Ring in the New Year with Mystery Books
4) Strong Women—Strange Worlds and their first virtual reading for 2022!
More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊
Story Origin Swap 1
Ranger of Kings by C.J.R. Isely
Training to be a knight isn’t fun… if you die
Living as a lowly village boy, Will finds himself thrown into a world he could only dream of when he meets the mischievous son of an influential Lord and a calculating last heir of a powerful Count. Brought to Alamore castle, he can not believe his luck when he is invited to join his two new friends in training to become knights of the realm.
But training isn’t all the grandeur and chivalry he imagined.
After he and his friends stumble upon a secret set of tunnels beneath the castle that hide a clan of traitors to the crown, they are plunged into new dangers. Their lives are at risk from new threats beneath the fortress while, beyond Alamore’s walls, alliances crumble and the uneasy peace begins to fracture.
When fate twists again, Will must face the reality that more than good fortune brought him to Alamore. There are secrets he must uncover, truths he has to find, in order to help keep Alamore from falling into war.
But the only person who holds the answers that might keep Alamore from falling, that will help him to discover who he is, is a man more dangerous than the tunnels themselves. A man known only as the Ranger of Kings.
Mini Movie Reviews 🎥
★ – Why did I go see this? Why?!
★★ – Showed promise but on execution, crashed
★★★ – Enjoyable, just don’t look under the hood too closely
★★★★ – A great film, totally worth seeing!
★★★★★ – 🤯 Too fabulous for words!
This was not one of the better Marvel films, but it’s still worth watching for the special effects and flashes of historical places. (Though I will say, both the alien tech and historical spots looked a lot like what you see in the Assassin’s Creed games!) The plot was uninspired, with minimal surprises. The lead-in narration for the film gave too much away. The movie did have a lot of amusing moments and the Bollywood dance scene was awesome. The fact one of the Eternals was a teenager whose body never matured after 7,000 years, made no sense (especially later in the film after one of the reveals.) But the music was good, the special effects excellent, and the acting was decent, so worth a watch. As they normally do, there is a clip after all the credits are done.
Rating: ★★★.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)
The Matrix Resurrections
A lot of nostalgia with snippets from the previous films and returning actors/actresses infuse the movie. All the special effects/CGI were great. There were some decent twists and turns. Yet, there was something missing. Hubby and I have tried to pin it down, but haven’t had success. I loved the growth they gave Trinity, but Neo being emasculated to do so, I did not. The whole Matrix as a PC Game angle was amusing, especially the meetings. LOL.
Rating: ★★★.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission )
Spider-man No Way Home
I’d been a little worried after seeing some of the trailers, but I was happily shown they were baseless. The film was a lot of fun! What they did with the multi-verse as a means to bring homage and cool interactions with all the previous spiderman films was genius. (There was even a nod sent to Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse.)
Willem Dafoe is still scary as heck—that man is amazing! Loved them bringing in Matt Murdock as Peter’s attorney. I don’t want to say much more and spoil the million surprises in store. 😁
The only nitpick was with Sandman. (Not the actor, just what they did with the character.) He’s going one way for most of the film, then does a 180, which made little sense.
As always, stay until the credits are done for the last sneak peek!
Rating: ★★★★.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission to see Again!)
Plundering innocent worlds; that is Doc Roberts’ job and he is good at it. He is awarded a Letter of Marque and a territory to hunt in exchange for his service to the Alliance and of course, a cut of his take.
The Alliance government can’t openly operate in Coalition territory without starting another war, so they use privateers like Captain Roberts to destabilize governments and cause unease among the people, in hopes that they will ask for Alliance protection.
Cheating and treachery cause Captain Roberts to reevaluate his loyalty. He can live with a little pilfering, but not outright stealing from him and trespassing on his planet. The Alliance has gone too far. It is time to teach them that there is a price to pay for stealing from him.
The Alliance sends a snobbish young captain, Captain Thornton, to assassinate Doc’s wife. Her death is the start of outright war, at least for Captain Roberts. Now, he is both a pirate and a rebel, with people on both sides of the border who either love him, or want him killed. After fighting a duel with the Alliance’s promising new captain, torturing him, and leaving him for dead, he has made powerful enemies in the Alliance hegemony. The Alliance military leaders want to make Captain Roberts suffer like he has made their rising star suffer.
One man can only do so much, and Doc is getting tired. It is time to pass the reins of command to his son. But first, he must crush his son’s dreams and teach him what it means to be an Alliance citizen.
Slide into the Void – super cool music video based on the PC Game Control. Quite impressive! Not only does he have scenes from the game, he’s also recreated one or more of the rooms and taken the place of a couple of the characters.