Psych: A Fatal Frame Of Mind By William Rabkin [Book Review]

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Book Review: Psych A Fatal Frame of Mind by Willaim Rabkin | Fiction | Mystery | Humor | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book on my Kindle.

Summary:

When the Santa Barbara art museum unveils its newest acquisition, the long-lost masterpiece by Dante Gabriel Rossetti isn’t the only surprise behind the red curtain-so is the museum’s curator. Dead. The case has everything Shawn likes: it’s bizarre, it’s baffling, and there’s a snack bar at the crime scene. But the investigation gets a lot less fun as he and Gus begin to realize that the clues are leading them towards a centuries-old cabal desperate to hide a terrible secret-and more than willing to kill the two detectives who are trying to reveal it.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover hasn’t changed from 3 previous books or the season covers from the TV show. They’re all similar with Shawn and Gus posing. It works but doesn’t really convey what the book may be about.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I loved the TV show and when I discovered the books, I had to give them a try. It’s been a while since I’ve read the first 3 books, but it’s easy to pick up where I left off.Plot | RachelPoli.com

Shawn and Gus find themselves in their usual pickle when they take on a case bigger than they think. This plot is filled with a lot of twists and turns with the characters – and yourself – changing your mind about who did it and who didn’t.

The plot itself wasn’t bad and it was well executed. The wrap up felt abrupt, but that’s mostly because of the POV choice, which I’ll get to in a moment.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

When a book is based off a TV series, it’s hard not to compare the book to the show. So, that’s what I’m doing. The characters all stayed true to themselves as they are in the show. I could hear all their voices in my head down to the correct tone.

My biggest problem was that three of the six main characters were barely in the book. Detective O’Hara, Chief Vick, and Henry, Shawn’s dad, barely had any parts. Even Lassie didn’t have many though a few chapters were in his POV. I missed them and wished I could have seen more of the whole team.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The book flowed well and the plot was executed at a nice pace. Nothing was too fast or slow and everything was easy to read and clear to follow. I just didn’t care for the POV.

The POV followed Gus’s thoughts, which is actually fine by me. I don’t mind seeing it through his eyes, but Shawn is the psychic. Shawn is the main one who solves the mysteries based on his hyper-observant skills. Being in Gus’s mind, there wasn’t much “psychic” going on that I saw because I wasn’t inside Shawn’s head. That’s the major premise of Psych so it was a little disappointing to miss out on that.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

Overall, this wasn’t a bad book and it was a quick read. It’s just not my favorite.

Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind (Psych 4) by William Rabkin gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Can you say that in English?” Shawn said.
“That was English,” Gus said. “In fact, it was more than English. It was specifically a point of English grammar, so you don’t get much more English that that.” –William Rabkin, Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind (Psych 4)

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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The Call of the Mild by William Rabkin

Psych

Title: The Call of the Mild (Psych #3)
Author: William Rabkin
Genre: Mystery
How I got the book: I bought it on my Kindle

Summary (from Amazon):

Shawn Spencer has always hated the wilderness-by which he means anything outside the delivery radius of his favorite pizza place. But Psych has been hired to solve a baffling case of industrial espionage, and the only way to catch the spy is to join their client’s bonding retreat-a grueling seven day backpacking mountain trek.

But when one of the campers turns up with a bullet in the head, Shawn and Gus soon realize that sheer cliffs, rampaging bears, and freeze- dried pineapple aren’t the greatest threats they face.

My Review:

I love the TV show Psych and considering that the author of the book series helped write the show, I thought the book would be great as well.

Call of the Mild is the third book in the five-book series and while the first two were pretty good, this one was my least favorite.

The case took a long time to figure out and then everything fell into place all at once in the last twenty pages of the novel. I don’t even understand how Shawn Spencer, the protagonist, came across the conclusion anyway.

Shawn and his friend, Gus, get stuck on a retreat lost in the wilderness with a bunch of lawyers who work together in a firm. They all hate and distrust each other making the journey hostile and not fun at all. The lawyers start to be picked off one by one and they realize the killer is among them.

The premise of the book was interesting, but I just don’t think it was tied together very well. The case was introduced in a very different way in the beginning of the novel where a new character was introduced, but he was barely in the book. A few chapters were based around him, but that was it.

Plus, two of the secondary characters, Carlton Lassiter and Juliet O’Hara, were barely in the novel as well. I wish they had a bigger part because Shawn and Gus barely interacted with them.

This book did have less typos in it than the other two, but plot-wise I would have to say that this book was the least well-written.

The Call of the Mild by William Rabkin gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“He’d read enough Greek tragedies and seen enough Twilight Zone episodes to know that trying to avoid your fate only brought you to it faster.” –William Rabkin, Call of the Mild

How I Began Writing Mystery

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

There’s something about mystery that tends to draw people in. The suspense and thrill of it all is very enticing. Yet, I never imagined myself wanting to write mystery novels.

I’ve been writing since I was ten-years-old. The first novel I ever wrote was a young adult high school drama. The second was fantasy with superheroes.

I always enjoyed X-Men, Justice League, Batman, etc. I loved the idea of people with superpowers. Most of my novel ideas surrounded around that. I always thought that was going to be my forte.

Yet I’ve always enjoyed playing video games as well. My favorite being The Legend of Zelda series. The timeline for that series is absolutely amazing. The puzzles are great and the mystery behind the Hero of Time is fantastic. I always had a will to write as great as that.

Of course there are TV shows, as well. I enjoyed watching Burn Notice and Chuck, both shows about spies. My favorite is Psych which is about a “psychic” detective. I always enjoy watching shows like this and try to figure out the ending before the hour is up.

Then I discovered the video game series Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney with my sister, Kris. You play as a defense lawyer where you investigate crime scenes, talk to witnesses, then go to court and clear your client with a not guilty verdict.

This video game was the final push I needed to start writing George Florence, my mystery series. I began writing without knowing too much about the mystery genre. I sort of made stuff up as I went along.

I started reading more novels in the mystery genre when I started writing mystery. For example, I read the Psych series and the alphabet mystery series by Sue Grafton.

There have so many inspirations for my beginning and interest in the mystery genre. However, I look back at old novel ideas that I still plan on writing someday and each one has some sort of mystery or suspense aspect to it.

I guess I always enjoyed mystery, but just didn’t realize it right away.

You Are the Protagonist

“Every lie is built upon a kernel of truth.” –Henry Spencer, Psych

Fiction is a lie. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no Hogwarts, no Narnia, and no Shire. We all wish they exist (especially the men), but alas they don’t. We’re stuck on Earth with seven billion other people–95% of those other people don’t even know you exist.

Without these fictional places and characters, life would be pretty boring. There would be no imagination, no creativity, and no pretending. Such a sad life.

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

However, if fiction doesn’t exist… where does it come from?

Surely J.K. Rowling didn’t actually attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a past life and of course C.S. Lewis didn’t discover a new world in his wardrobe when he was a child.

They created and imagined it. So, where does that creation come from? I’m going to point you back to the top of this post and look at a quote from my TV Dad, Henry Spencer (from Psych) who once said, “Every lie is built upon a kernel of truth.”

Fiction is the same way–authors put a little of themselves into their writing. It is from there that inspiration sparks an idea. An idea becomes a novel.

I’m sure if you knew your favorite author personally, you would be able to pick up small truths here and there in their fiction. For example, YA author Sarah Dessen is coming out with a new book this May. As her husband read the novel, she tweeted:

Writers have a way of taking reality and playing around with it until it’s something no one has ever imagined. However, they’re still sane enough to throw in a few bits of real life.

To me, that shows readers what the authors are into; things they like, things they don’t like. Often, when writers add themselves into a story, they get added in as a character. For me, I’m usually the protagonist. My protagonists tend to either have a similar personality, looks, age, or sometimes a mixture.

It doesn’t have to be a character, though. It can be anything like an object, a setting, a plot, or even an occupation. I tend to have a character who writes or teaches for a living because those are two of my passions.

I think that makes writing all the more fun and reading all the more like a puzzle. The questions will never be answered unless you talk to the author personally, but I’m sure there are some novels out there that would be easy to try to guess. Some truths are easier than others.

Further Reading:

7 Authors Who Wrote Themselves into Their Work
What’s Your Opinion?
Six Real Life Authors Who Made Themselves Into Fictional Characters

Friday Morning

It’s six o’clock in the morning and I did not write today. I could have gotten pretty ahead on my word count for NaNo, but now I’m behind yet again.

My psych professor always opens our weekly quiz on Thursday, so I usually take it Thursday morning before work… it’s timed for an hour, but it’s only five questions. It takes me 15 minutes to do. Of course I forgot about it because I finished my homework so early this week. I remembered it last night when I went to bed. So I took it this morning. No big deal.

Now I have to start getting ready for work soon so I’m not going to be able to get any writing. This blog post is going to be as close to writing this morning as I’m going to get.

I’m going to my friend’s house after work today to help her prepare for her baby shower this Sunday. Depending on how early I get home tonight, I will try to write before I go to bed. It’s Friday so I feel no obligation to go to bed early because I don’t have work tomorrow… if I can stay up that long.

Tomorrow I am going to Barnes and Noble with my sister for a big writing day. I hope to really catch up on my word count and go above and beyond.

We just need to see if I’m focused enough between the people coming and going and the Starbucks in my system.

First Day Of School

Homework

I started school today. I have five classes. I have about a billion assignments to do already. But… can I really complain?

Yes and no.

I’ve been looking forward to all my classes. I’m taking Creative Writing: Fiction, Writing About Place, Selected Authors: J.K. Rowling & J.R.R. Tolkien, Learning & Behavior, and Spanish. English, psychology, and Spanish. We all know I love English and creative writing, I’ve always had an interest for psychology, and I enjoy learning Spanish (regardless of whether or not I’m good at it).

The teachers (as far as I can tell) are pretty good, as well. My Selected Authors professor is 100% a nerd, which is awesome. She’s been doing a lot of fan-girling for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. The professor for my Writing about Place class is nice as I’ve had her for another class. She knows her stuff. My professors for Fiction and my psych class seem to be good, as well. Spanish… I think she’s nice, but I can’t tell because everything is written is Spanish, so who knows?

All of my classes are online, so I don’t have to deal with people. That’s a plus. I’ve done the discussion boards for every class so far and my classmates seem interesting, engaged in the classes, and nice. I’m still happy I don’t have to see them in person, but if I did it wouldn’t be a bad thing. We all know how anti-social I am. I do much better over the Internet. I suppose that’s probably a bad thing, though.

Anyway, I’m listing all pros, aren’t I? Oops, I’m sorry. I forgot to mention all the homework.

To put it simply: I’m going to drown in homework this semester.

It’s a lot of reading and a lot of writing. Would you expect any less from an English degree? No, of course not. However, the weeks are always Monday-Sunday. We get our assignments on Monday, they’re due the following Sunday, and repeat for the next week. It’s Wednesday which means we have two less days. It’s always like that at the beginning of the semester, but my professors have always taken that into account. They always give us just a small icebreaker discussion board, give us a chance to get our textbooks or if we already have the book we can start reading to get ahead. They give us a quick assignment due by the end of the week, but also more assignments which are due to the following week. It’s almost as if we get two weeks for the first week… does that make sense?

Not these professors, though. They’re all treating it like a normal week saying, “Careful! We’re already two days behind, so make sure you get everything in on time.” Yeah, thanks…

My psych professor is a different story. He wants us to call this “Week 0.” He gave us a discussion board and called it a day. We’ll get into the real class starting on Monday. Needless to say, I got all my psych homework done for the week.

I only edited ten pages of Detective Florence today because of school. I hope to alternate between school and writing tomorrow and for the rest of the days to come. Do a bit of homework, edit… do a bit of homework, edit… so on and so forth.

Just wait for work to get added into the mix on Monday. That will be super fun!

11 Out Of 50 Squares Complete

It’s been a long time, but I have actually been keeping up with my reading! I usually don’t, so this is a pretty big accomplishment for myself.

I don’t know if any of you remember, but at the beginning of 2014 I found two Reading Bingo charts. I completely forgot about it for a while, but when I found the charts the other day I looked through my “Read” shelf on GoodReads and filled in a few of the boxes.

Three of the boxes you all ready know about… I read Coming Clean and The Hobbit, and I, Robot. I’m going to explain the other seven books I’ve read whether you’re interested or not. These are all the books I read on the general bingo card:

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

For the square “a book with more than 500 pages” I read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I had to read this book for my Science Fiction & Fantasy class last semester. I know people rave about this series and the TV show, but…it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I was very glad I was able to get through it. I will admit that it was interesting and I liked it to some certain extent, but it wasn’t good enough for me to run to Barnes & Noble and buy the rest of the series.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

I read Psych: A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read by William Rabkin for the square “a funny book.” I’ve watched and re-watched the TV show and absolutely love it! When I saw there were books based off of the show, I had to give it a shot. I must say, the author did it justice. The books are just as good as the show and I could hear the characters’ voices in my head as I read. It was written exactly like the show. Plus, it made for a good laugh.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

For the square “a book published this year” I read The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel. I was at Barnes & Noble one day and while waiting for my parents, I picked up the book and started reading it. I got through the first 50 pages and then decided I might as well buy it. The reviews rave about how funny the book is, but I didn’t find too many “hilarious” moments. Overall, it was a good book and a quick read.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

I downloaded A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton onto my Kindle for the square “a book with a mystery.” This is the first book of an “alphabet series.” The second book is called B is for Burglar and so on. I have yet to read the next book, even though I have it downloaded on my Kindle all ready. I read it because I started writing my own mystery series (Detective Florence) and wanted to read a bit in that genre. I look forward to finishing the series as the first book was very good. However, while the ending was satisfying, it was a bit abrupt which caused me to be a bit disappointed. I hope the other books don’t end like that.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

For the young adult bingo card, I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman for the square “a book with music.” It was an interesting story line and the book is short, so it should have been a quick read. Yet, it took me a while to get into it. It made me cry, so there’s a plus for the book. As weird as it sounds, I love it when a good makes me cry–it shows the author did their job and I feel for the characters. I look forward to reading the sequel, but at the same time, I’m in no rush to go out and buy it anytime soon.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I began reading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I read The Socerer’s Stone for the square “the first book in a series,” The Chamber of Secrets for “a book that became a movie,” and just yesterday I finished reading Prisoner of Azkaban for “a book with magic.” Starting in September I’m taking a class called Selected Authors: Tolkien & Rowling. I’m going to have to read books one, three, and seven of the Harry Potter series and since I’ve never read the books before I didn’t want to read them out of order, so I’m reading the entire series now. I don’t think I have to say much more to say on the matter… I’ve always loved Harry Potter and I know most of the rest of the world does, too.

And that’s that! I’m going to continue working through through the young adult bingo card as I’m currently reading through the whole Harry Potter series. I’m hoping I can finish the series in the next month. It took me about two weeks to get through the first three books, so here’s to hoping!

Before Camp NaNo

Camp NaNo is about a week away. I plan on writing the sequel to Detective Florence which is the novel l wrote for NaNo back in November.

I don’t know why, but l’ve been in a “mystery” mood. So l’m spending June editing the first novel so l can attempt to get my facts straight and remember what actually happened in the first novel.

I’ve been coming up with ideas for the sequel, so hopefully outlining will come easy. I hope to finish editing by this Sunday (if l edit at least 20 pages a day that is) and then l will have a week to plan and outline the sequel.

In addition to editing, l’ve been playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, reading murder mysteries, and watching Psych. Again, l don’t know what put me in the mood, but…it’s been keeping me motivated and on track.

How are you planning for Camp NaNo?

Inspiration Station

“You may not want to be a writer and that’s fine. But by the end of this class, you are going to know exactly what a writer does and all the blood, sweat, and tears that get mixed in with the ink.” –Athena Beech

 

Today was a rough day. Kris was home all day because she’s doing the over-night at her work tonight. I also had to go to work because the other teacher and I have been stripping the classrooms. We finished today, thank God. I can’t stand seeing the classrooms so bare. Anyway, because of those two factors I was not able to start writing early in the morning like I have been and with Kris there all I want to do is play video games with her. She got Sonic: Lost World for the Wii U for Christmas and we just started playing it the other day. It’s a great game and I bother her to play it at any moment I get.

So, I came home from work and said, “Wanna play Sonic?!” Kris said something to me that I regret mentioning to her…you see, the other day I wanted to do absolutely nothing. I had a cup of coffee in hand and all I wanted to do was put my feet up and watch Psych. I have been watching that a lot lately, I don’t know why. But season eight starts tomorrow night!

Even though I wanted to do everything humanly possible that did not involve me writing my 5,000 word count, I repeated to myself: Work first, play later. I told Kris this. So, what do you think she said when I asked her to play Sonic? Yes, “Work first, play later.” Thus, we wrote.

Kris wrote a little and then decided to edit her novel (yay!) while I continued to write in order to hit my 5,000 daily word goal. Since I finished Detective Florence I had to write something else. I looked at my To Do List and looked at all the novels from there. I couldn’t choose which one to write, so Kris put them in a randomizer thing on the internet and it told me to write Hunter & Comet.

Well, I wrote an even 2,000 words for that. However, I wasn’t in the mood to write it so I decided to stop because it was turning out kind of crappy…even for the first draft.

I decided to write Inspiration Station instead. This was a story idea I came up with on a whim one night (pretty recently) when I wasn’t sure what to write. At the time I still wasn’t in the mood to finish Detective Florence, I had no idea what to write so I decided to write about writing. I’m pretty sure I’ve explained this novel before, but I’m going to explain it again…

Inspiration Station is about a writer, Athena Beech, who is not yet published because she’s stuck on her writing. As her day job she starts her first semester teaching a creative writing course at a local community college. She has a class full of interesting students. Some are taking the class because they want to write for a living and others are taking it because they believe it to be an “easy A.” Athena takes this as a challenge and comes up with the “Inspiration Station” which is basically a bunch of writing prompts. She hopes to give inspiration to all her students as well as herself.

So, as you probably figured out, the quote up top is from the main character, the teacher, in the story. She said to her class right as they were being dismissed because most of them aren’t too into the class at the moment.

I’m having fun with it. As a teacher, I think it’s fun to write lesson plans and since I’m not a teacher anymore I don’t write lesson plans anymore. So, yes, I am writing actual lesson plans for Athena’s classes. They’re not fully thought-out, mostly just an outline to help me plan the novel, but it’s a lot of fun. I think some of that stuff would be cool to do in a real classroom.

I wrote 3,358 words for the story. Adding that to the 2,000 I wrote for Hunter & Comet, I have 5,358 for today. This also leaves me at 6,500-something total for Inspiration Station so far. I already had about 3,300-something words already written for the story.

I think Inspiration Station is going to be the next novel I complete. I think it’s going to be a good one. I have high hopes for it, anyway.