The TruthThe Truth by Michael Palin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Keith Mabbut has made a living as a writer but hasn’t had any real literary success.  That’s why he’s surprised when he is hired to write a book about Hamish Melville, a secretive environmental activist.  Melville does not grant interviews so finding him will be Keith’s first problem.  Deciding who to trust and whose stories to believe will be the next.

This book brings up the thorny issue of deciding what part of a person’s life are you going to put in a biography.  If you like him do you leave out the less than savory parts.  How do you know who is pushing their own agenda when you interview them?  Keith needs to make these decisions after witnessing Melville at work in rural India where he is trying to save a mountain tribe from having their land stolen by a mining company.

Ella Minnow PeaElla Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ella Minnow Pea is a teenager living on the island of Nollop off the coast of North Carolina.  The island is dedicated to the memory of the man who came up with the sentence, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”  It uses all 26 letters with only a few repeats.  When the tiles from the sentence on a statue of Nollop start to fall off, the island’s government decides that it is a sign from Nollop that those letters can’t be used anymore.

As tiles keep falling the island falls into chaos.  People are fleeing for their lives and soon Ella is left as one of the only people trying to figure out a shorter sentence that uses all 26 letters to prove that Nollop was not all knowing.

The cute thing about this story is that as the letters fall they are taken out of the story.
Bad MonkeyBad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Andrew Yancy was fired by the Miami police department and now he’s been demoted by the sheriff in Key West to restaurant inspector.  His girlfriend is testifying against him for assaulting her husband with a vacuum.  His neighbor is building a huge house that blocks his view and now a fishing charter reeled in a human arm.  

Yancy decides to solve the case of the missing body to prove to the sheriff that he belongs back on the force.  It isn’t going to be easy in a case that involves the deceased widow and stepdaughter, the Bahamanian man whose house the victim tore down, a voodoo queen, a pathologist in Miami, and an ex-movie star monkey. 

I love Carl Hiaasen books for pure fun.  He makes great, weird characters that you are glad to follow along on their wild ride.