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Cold Earth

Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books;(April 18, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1250107385

Amazon Review

In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main road and sweeps down to the sea.

At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and water smash through a house in its path. Everyone thinks the home is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. Perez soon becomes obsessed with tracing her identity and realizes he must find out who she was and how she died.

This sounded like a book I would enjoy so I sent for it…. and I did enjoy it! I am not sure that I’ve read many murder mysteries by women, but it seems that Ann Cleeves is quite prolific about this!  I found out she has several books at Shetland with Jimmy Perez and several more books of another series. I do think I will try another from this series at some time or another!

You might want to check her out on Amazon and see if she’s written anything that might interest you!

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The Magpie Murders

The Magpie Murders by M.Z. Gaston.

Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform(January 8, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1505918960

Amazon Review

In the small town of Branfield, Georgia, the residents are shocked by a heinous, unspeakable crime against a mute, bedridden patient at the local medical center. The only person who might hold the key to the identity of her assailant has Alzheimer’s, and her life is a tangled web of secrets and mystery. It becomes the job of the “outsider” and new sheriff, Al Thompkins, a man haunted his own memories of personal guilt and tragedy, to unravel the terrible knowledge of the past buried deep inside the lives of two generations of families. Along the way he discovers the price paid for that knowledge, and the dangerous lengths the enemy will pursue to keep him from learning the truth about the crimes.

I enjoyed this book.  It reads fast, and I enjoyed how the author put the mystery together. 

You learn about the character of Al Thompkins throughout the entire book, so by the end you feel you know him well.

The story takes place in Georgia, which is “different” for me . I generally like the books to take place in England, Scotland or Ireland, during the 1800’s. But, like I said.. this is well written and was an enjoyable read. I believe he has a second book using the same character, which I will have to check out!

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Paperback: 337 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press;(May 5, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1476738025

 

Amazon Review

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).

 

Fredrik Backman is a fantastic writer. And, I would have had this finished a while ago but I had company for a week

I loved “My Grandmother told me to Say She’s Sorry” and “Britt Marie Was Here”.  This one still had plenty of humor… excellent characters as well as excellent writing…. but it was a bit sadder along with the humor.  It’s a very thoughtful book, along with his others.  It’s definitely a different sort of story.  I find his books really good for a “change” from the normal.

Reading any of them.  … when you need a change.

Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by Chris Matthews.

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster;October 31, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1501111868

Amazon Review

With his bestselling biography Jack Kennedy, Chris Matthews shared a new look of one of America’s most beloved Presidents and the patriotic spirit that defined him. Now, with Bobby Kennedy, Matthews returns with a gripping, in-depth, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the great figures of the American twentieth century.

Overlooked by his father, and overshadowed by his war-hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians—both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who could inspire millions.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Matthews pulls back the curtain on the public and private worlds of Robert Francis Kennedy. He shines a light on all the important moments of his life, from his early years and his start in politics to his crucial role as attorney general in his brother’s administration and his tragic run for president. This definitive book brings Bobby Kennedy to life like never before and is destined to become a political classic.

 

 

All I can say is:  I loved JFK and I thought I loved Bobby.  After reading this book….

I KNOW I love Bobby.

The book is not a biography where it is a “tell all” book about his personal life.. But rather about his public life.  Much in this book, I did not know.  I was broken hearted when he was assassinated.. but until now I didn’t realize just how much.

For me, this was a great book.  If he is on your list of people you admired… it is a must read.

Indian Days of the Long Ago

Indian Days of the Long Ago by Edward S. Curtis.

Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Forgotten Books (February 9, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1332437591

 

Excerpt from Indian Days of the Long Ago
The camp of Lone Pine, chief of the Salish, or Flatheads, was onithe banks of the Red Willow River, ‘a beautiful stream flowing through the forests of the Bitterroot Mountains, in what we now call western Montana. Its cold, trans lucent waters come from the springs and snows far up among the mountain crags.

Beautiful lodges or tepees made from the dressed Skins of buffalo and elk were scattered everywhere among the pines.

The village was like the camps of hundreds of other Indian chiefs or head men, which stood beside the forest stream, by the quiet brook of the open plain, by the lake in the mountains, or on the grassy bank of the prairie lake.

About the Publisher
Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at
www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

 

What a great little book.   Above the title it says “Indian Life and Indian Lore”.. and that’s exactly what it was.

Most of the book is “stories” told by a visiting Indian about life in other tribes that they had never heard of.  And the Lore that goes with their beliefs back then.  It is a small part of children coming of age and how they learned to understand the beliefs of their tribe, and some of what life is like “in other parts of the country”. 

Like I said, it is a small book, a quick read, and a little more understanding of what it was like to live back “in the time” before white man destroyed their way of life.

Revenge in a Cold River

Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books(August 22, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1101886374

 

 

When Commander Monk of the Thames River Police is called to investigate the drowning of an escaped prisoner, he’s forced to contend with customs officer McNab, who clearly bears a bitter grudge against him. But the reason is a mystery in itself. Monk’s memory loss—a secret he guards closely—leaves him vulnerable to repercussions from his missing past, especially his exploits overseas in the tumultuous Gold Rush days of San Francisco. And now McNab, as icy and unfathomable as the steel-gray Thames itself, appears intent on using whatever damning facts he can find to his advantage to ruin Monk’s future as an officer of the law.
As Monk explores the possibility of a conspiracy, McNab’s game of cat and mouse escalates, with veiled threats and cryptic insinuations. Snared in an unforeseen trap, a desperate Monk must turn to his wife, Hester, and friend and attorney Oliver Rathbone for help, as his life literally hangs in the balance.

 

As many books as Anne Perry has written, this is the first one I have read.

As most know, Iike books that take place in Victorian England, so it fills the bill in that respect.

I thought the beginning was a little slow, but.. once it picked up it really moved right along!  I did enjoy the book enough so that I have put another of her books on my wish list.

I liked the main character of Monk and the twist she has on him of having a loss of memory, so that he doesn’t realize why McNab seems to hate him so much.   The book has twists and turns and things you think you know …you don’t really know.  It kept me reading for sure.

A good read.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

 

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Scribner;(January 9, 2018)
ISBN-10: 150111685

 

 

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this “intriguingly dark, twisty” (Kirkus Reviews) debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left. “Both charming and challenging” (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review), Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a “multi-generational tale of abandonment, desperation, and betrayal…inventive and intricately plotted”

I was excited about this book since the review sounded so good to me.

The first half of the book was slow and although it was setting things up I almost let it go.  But I am glad I did not! The second half of the book flew by!   It was very good!  (Albeit somewhat sad)  Some small parts reminded me of myself.. not knowing my father etc.  Sort of a sad ending, but it did tie up all the loose ends.  It’s hard for me to say if you would like it or not.