If you speak German, then you know the meaning of the word “urstoff”. You might also quarrel with the definition I list. I understand  urstoff as the primary stuff of the universe. Stuff that has persisted and undergone change.

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Short Reviews: No Dragons, No Justice, But Plenty of Witnesses

February is usually a good month in NH for reading. This year was “not my best” as is often said on American Idol. Yea, I admit, I watch Idol. Susan and I have watched it for years. What you ask does that have to do with books? It keeps me from them. This is okay because most nights by 8 PM I am too tired to read.

I am still going through books I inherited from my friend Peggy after she died. “No One Noticed the Cat” is a simple little mystery written by Anne McCaffrey, the author who has written much about dragons. It was just okay. I don’t recommend unless like me you inherit the book. I vote that Ms. McCaffrey stick to dragons. This is a good thing for next to cats and dogs, I love dragons, and she writes about them very imaginatively. As to cats? So many others have written better stories and even better mysteries.

Another inheritance from Peggy was “Injustice for Us All” by J.A Vance. This is my second book by this author. Each have been quick and easy reads, entertaining me just enough. I would categorize them as airplane or beach reads. This, the second of her books about the detective that has bad luck with women, I started at 30,000 feet.

My third book for February was one I had to read for a class called Politics and the Pulpit. The book is “Reclaiming Prophetic Witness” by Paul Rasor. It speaks to churches and pastors taking a more active role in the issues of the day. It is academic in nature, but if you think churches should play more a role in US decision making or defending the poor, then I suggest you read it. When done, you will be either for or against its message, but in either case better informed.

Comments about J.P.Beaumont mystery by J.A.Jance, Until Proven Guilty

A friend of mine died last year. A friend who left lots of books behind. Knowing that I am a reader, those who were responsible for dispersing her belongings asked if I would be interested in taking some of her books. No never crossed my mind.

She was a minister. I am a pastor. A fine line that may have nothing to do with what I chose. The thing is I passed up on all her religious books and went straight to her mysteries, sy-fy, and thriller books, most of which I had not heard of before or heard of only remotely. This last is the case with J.A. Jance.

From her website I learned that J.A. stands for Judith Ann. “Jance was born October 27, 1944 in South Dakota and raised in Bisbee, Arizona. She was the first in her family to attend a four-year college. She graduated with a degree in English and Secondary Education. She also went on to receive her M.Ed. in Library Science. She briefly taught high school before becoming a K-12 librarian. Throughout college she wanted to be a writer, but was thwarted by a provincial professor who frowned upon female writers.

Her first husband, an alcoholic writer, also dismissed her desire to write. After his death, she began writing again in the wee hours of the morning before the demands of single motherhood began for the day. In 1985, her first Detective Beaumont book was published. Since then she has remarried a wonderful and supportive man and become a successful author.”

Jance has written over a dozen J.P.Beaumont mysteries. Beaumont is a man and this first mystery with him as the main character was entertaining. It was the last book I read in 2012. It is a good mystery.

As with Dexter, the serial killer portrayed on TV, the bad guy is actually likable. Problem is likable or not, they still kill people. Who would think we would struggle over this, but in Until Proven Guilty I did.

This is not a deep book. It is a fast read. It is what I call a filler. After having read The Absolutionist, it was the perfect read.

Next up: How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet