Friday 29 September 2017

Book ~ "B is for Burglar" (1985) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ Although business has been slow lately for P.I. Kinsey Millhone, she's reluctant to take on the case of locating Beverly Danziger's sister, Elaine Boldt. It's a small matter that Beverly should be able to handle herself. So why is she enlisting Kinsey's services? Beverly claims she needs Elaine's signature on some documents so that she can collect a small inheritance. But the whole affair doesn't sit well with Kinsey. And if there's something she's learned in her line of work, it's to always follow your instincts.

Kinsey's hunch proves true when she begins her inquiries into Elaine's whereabouts and discovers that the attractive widow was last seen in a flashy lynx coat boarding a plane for Boca Raton. But the more Kinsey searches for Elaine, the more questions she encounters. Is Elaine's disappearance tied in to the brutal murder several months ago of one of her bridge partners? And what happened to Elaine's Persian cat who seems to have also vanished? 

Things take a turn for the worse when a stranger vandalizes the home of one of Elaine's neighbors and another neighbor turns up murdered. With her reputation and career on the line, Kinsey risks all to find a missing woman and a killer who's waiting in the shadows to strike again.

Kinsey Millhone is in her 30s and a private detective in Santa Teresa, CA.  She is hired by Beverly to find her missing sister, Elaine, whose name is needed on some paperwork regarding an inheritance.  Elaine was last seen getting into a cab and heading to Boca Raton, FL, where she spends her winters.  Kinsey can't find Elaine in Florida, though she does find a woman called Pat Usher, who claims Elaine agreed to let her sublet her Boca Raton apartment because Elaine is off travelling.

Kinsey suspects there is a link between Elaine's disappearance and the death of Elaine's Santa Teresa neighbour, Marty, who was apparently killed by burglars, who then set fire to her home a week before Elaine left.  Did Elaine see something and went into hiding?

In the meantime, Kinsey becomes friends with a cop named Jonah who is recently separated from his wife and children.  He shows her documentation regarding Marty's death that she wouldn't otherwise have access to.

This is the second in the "alphabet series" featuring Kinsey Millhone.  I discovered this series in the mid-1990s and have been a fan since and have read them all.  Since the series will soon come to an end, I am starting at the beginning and rereading them.  They are all set in the 1980s before everyone had a computer, cell phone, etc.

I thought this book was good.  It's been about 20 years since I'd read it but I kind of remembered where Elaine went.   I liked the writing style and thought it flowed well.  It is written in first person perspective in Kinsey's voice.  It still held up for me considering I read it about 20 years ago and it was published more 30 years ago.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

Ramada, Trenton, ON

I spent last night at the Ramada in Trenton.  It's right off the 401.

Here was my room ...

Thursday 28 September 2017

Oscar's Lounge, Trenton, ON

I had supper this evening at Oscar's Lounge.

I ordered Chicken Parmesan.  A couple other people had ordered food before I'd gotten there but had sent it back because it was cold.  Mine arrived hot hot hot.  The pasta, though not linguine, was okay and there was a lot of it.  I suspect the chicken was the chicken they use in a chicken sandwich/burger.  It was a bit overdone so a bit chewy.

The big bun was an odd addition

St. Louis Bar and Grill, Mississauga, ON

I had lunch today at St. Louis in Mississauga.  I've been to this location in the past and enjoyed it.  I got there early and just before the lunch rush.

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Pork & Pickle Grill et Pub, Dorval, QC

I had lunch today at the Pork & Pickle at the Montreal airport before catching my flight home to Toronto.

I ordered a Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich and fries.  It was just okay.  The bread was a bit dry and hard like it had been sitting out for a while.  It would have been nice to have more mustard (or a bottle of mustard on the table).

W Hotel, Montreal, QC

My home away from home in Montreal since Sunday was W Hotel.  Apparently Lady Gaga stayed here a couple weeks ago during her stop in her tour in Montreal (which was cancelled).

Here was the lobby ...

Here was my room ...

Monday 25 September 2017

Trattoria Gio, Montreal, QC

I had supper this evening at Trattoria Gio.

It was really warm but nice so I sat on the patio and I wasn't the only one with the same idea.

There was entertainment on the square just outside the restaurant.

I ordered lasagna.  It was hearty and just okay.

Sunday 24 September 2017

Book ~ "The Secret" (2016) Rhonda Byrne

From Goodreads ~ Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.

In this book, you'll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life - money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You'll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that's within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life. 

 "The Secret" contains wisdom from modern-day teachers - men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

I read The Secret around the time it came out in 2006.  While I didn't buy into all of it, I liked a lot of the principles like positive thinking, being in control of your future, etc.  Gord's reading it now so I thought I'd reread it.

The premise of the book is about the laws of attraction and that thinking about certain things will make them happen in your life. According to the author, all you have to do is ask for what you want, believe and be open to receive.  The author stresses the importance of gratitude and visualization in achieving your desires, along with examples. Later chapters describe how to improve your prosperity, relationships and health.

As when I read the book originally, I took somethings away that I found useful.  Rereading the book was a good reminder.

Le Vieux Dublin Pub & Restaurant, Montreal, QC

I had supper this evening at Le Vieux Dublin Pub & Restaurant.  Apparently it's been around for about forty years and is one of Montreal's oldest pubs.

The outside conflicts with the inside

Mount Royal, Montreal, QC

I climbed to the top of Mount Royal this afternoon (I've done it a few times in the past).

The jewel of Montreal’s city parks is, without question, Mount Royal. This 200-hectare park occupies part of the mountain that lies in the midst of Montreal island, and includes the highest spot in the city (234m). In the 1860s, mass cutting of trees on the mountain for firewood outraged the populace and led to the area’s designation as a park in 1876. It was originally landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted, perhaps best known for New York City’s Central Park, although not all his proposed plans for Mount Royal were eventually carried out.

The lookout facing over downtown towards the river was first built in 1906 and is now officially known as the Belvédère Kondiaronk, named for the Huron chief who signed a major peace accord with the French regime in 1701. 

Mount Royal is where Montrealers go to get a breath of air on a hot day, to cross-country ski without leaving the city, to walk off a hangover or a bad mood, to picnic, to jog, to ice skate, to look out over the city, rest their eyes on the horizon and dream.

The stairs are at the top of Peel Avenue.  It's not an easy climb up!

To avoid the 400 steps to the top, you can take the windy path ... I didn't

Saturday 23 September 2017

The Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail, Toronto, ON

The Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail opened a couple months ago.  I walk there and back on a regular basis (about a 20 minute walk from home).  Gord hadn't been yet so we headed there today.

We parked near Coronation Park and walked through it.

The Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail is the province's new landmark park.

Previously a parking lot, the park and trail is 7.5 acres of public green space on a spectacular part of Toronto’s waterfront.

The design is inspired by Ontario landscapes and is the culmination of discussions with people from across Ontario, including the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. As a result of public consultation, key features are included in the final design, including a pavilion and washroom facilities.

The Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail is a first step in transforming Ontario Place into a vibrant, year-round waterfront destination.
  1. William G. Davis Trail 
  2. The Ravine with Moccasin Identifier 
  3. The Pavilion 
  4. Romantic Garden 
  5. Fire Pit 
  6. Bluff
  7. Summit

It's a lovely park and the trail is about 1.3km, which loops back.  We did the loop and the turned around and did it the other way.

Friday 22 September 2017

Book ~ "Say Nothing" (2017) Brad Parks

From Goodreads ~ Judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life but the evidence is clear: A prestigious job. A loving marriage. A pair of healthy children. Then a phone call begins every parent’s most chilling nightmare. Scott’s six-year-old twins, Sam and Emma, have been taken. The judge must rule exactly as instructed in a drug case he is about to hear. If he refuses, the consequences for the children will be dire. 

For Scott and his wife Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror. Through it all, they will stop at nothing to get their children back, no matter the cost to themselves ... or to each other.

Scott and Alison seem to have it all ... great jobs, a nice farmhouse and six-year-old twins.  But that all suddenly comes to an end.  Just before Scott is to preside over a case, their children are kidnapped.  If Scott rules the way he is told, the twins will be returned to them.  Scott does as he's told, against his better judgement and to everyone's surprise, but the kidnappers renege on their promise and Scott finds out the real reason his children were kidnapped.

I liked storyline of this book.  There were lots of possible "whodunnits" and we don't find out who is behind it all until the end.  I enjoyed the writing style ... at times it was funny and sarcastic.  It is written in first person perspective in Scott's voice but also in third person perspective from the kidnappers' point of view.

I found at times, though, there was too much information ... the details of the court cases was too much, especially the last one.  There were a lot of characters involved in this case that I started losing track of who they were.  Plus it got too political at times (as a Canadian, I didn't understand the American system).

I saw the ending coming and had hoped it wasn't going to go that way.  I wasn't crazy about the ending.

I've read all of Brad Parks' books in the Carter Ross series and liked them.  This was a stand alone book.