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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.

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The Woman Who Walked into the Sea by Mark Douglas-Home.

Series: The Sea Detective (Book 2)
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Penguin UK (November 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 140592358X

 

Amazon Review:

Cal McGill is a unique investigator and oceanographer who uses his expertise to locate things—and sometimes people—lost or missing at sea. His expertise could unravel the haunting mystery of why, 26 years ago on a remote Scottish beach, Megan Bates strode out into the cold ocean and let the waves wash her away. Megan’s daughter, Violet Wells, was abandoned as a baby on the steps of a local hospital just hours before. As McGill is drawn into Violet’s search for the truth, he encounters a coastal community divided by obsession and grief, and united only by a conviction that its secrets should stay buried.

Having read the first book called, The Sea Detective, and having enjoyed it, I thought I’d gve book 2 a shot.

I was about 130 pages into this one when things were beginning to sound awfully familiar… I read on 50 more pages.  Now I felt sure I either read this before OR there are other books with a bunch of similarities .  So I donned my detective cowboy hat and dug into my blog… and low and behold ! I HAD read this book 1 12 yrs ago!..and I enjoyed it!  Of course that should surprise me since when I read the review from back then .. I enjoyed it!  duh.

So knowing I read this I contemplated …  do I read it again?  Or do I put it down and begin another book?

When suddenly I realized, I didn’t remember how this book ended!  GAH!  So I “re-read” the entire book…  and enjoyed it.  *snort*

Both the books by Mark Douglas-Home are well written and very enjoyable.. This goes on the recommended list, and no I am not saying more for a review than Amazon did!.

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The Sea Detective

 

The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home.

Series: The Sea Detective (Book 1)
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Penguin UK; UK ed. edition (November 5, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1405923563

 

 

The first mystery in a truly unique crime series. ‘There comes a time when a novel raises the bar for a particular genre, and The Sea Detective does just that for Scottish crime fiction’ (Scotsman)

Cal McGill is an Edinburgh-based oceanographer, environmentalist and one-of-a-kind investigator.

Using his knowledge of the waves – ocean currents, prevailing winds, shipping records – McGill can track where objects have come from, or where they’ve gone. It’s a unique skill that can help solve all sorts of mysteries.

Such as when two severed feet wash up miles apart on two different islands off the coast of Scotland. Most strangely, forensic tests reveal that the feet belong to the same body.

As Cal McGill investigates, he unravels a web of corruption, exploitation and violence, which threatens many lives across the globe – very soon including his own…

 

I liked this book quite a bit! Interesting, different, numerous good characters with good stories to them.  Once I hit about half way thru the book it got even better!  I spent most of the day (I am not a fast reader) and read the second half of the book all in a few hours.

I also liked that most of the characters are flawed in one way or another and that it took place in Scotland with mention of the Islands off of the coast. Some are real, some are not. The main island in this book is fictitious.

There is a second book by Douglas-Home using the same main character of Cal McGill called The Woman Who Walked into the Sea.  That one is next to read.

I would definitely say to anyone who likes mysteries that this is a good one.  Fairly short chapters and easy reading.

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The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend :  Bob Dury & Tom Clavin.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster;(September 2, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1451654685

 

Amazon Review

An acclaimed New York Times bestseller, selected by Salon as a best book of the year, the astonishing untold story of the life and times of Sioux warrior Red Cloud: “a page-turner with remarkable immediacy…and the narrative sweep of a great Western” (The Boston Globe).

Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to sue for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud’s powers the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. But the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to the rediscovery of a lost autobiography, and painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the nineteenth century’s most powerful and successful Indian warrior can finally be told.

In The Heart of Everything That Is, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin restore Red Cloud to his rightful place in American history in a sweeping and dramatic narrative based on years of primary research. As they trace the events leading to Red Cloud’s War, they provide intimate portraits of the many lives Red Cloud touched—mountain men such as Jim Bridger; US generals like William Tecumseh Sherman, who were charged with annihilating the Sioux; fearless explorers, such as the dashing John Bozeman; and the memorable warriors whom Red Cloud groomed, like the legendary Crazy Horse. And at the center of the story is Red Cloud, fighting for the very existence of the Indian way of life.

“Unabashed, unbiased, and disturbingly honest, leaving no razor-sharp arrowhead unturned, no rifle trigger unpulled….a compelling and fiery narrative” (USA TODAY), this is the definitive chronicle of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way.

There is not a lot I can say about this book.  Red Cloud, who it is about, is a true Hero for his people, the Oglala Sioux.  Being adopted made life hard for Red Cloud.  But in the end he won. 

Many of the Indian Chiefs that I have read about can be nothing but admired.  The didn’t have to be “drafted” to go to war for their families.. they were constant volunteers. 

It is so sad how the Immigrants from Europe treated the Native American, who, by the way, was willing to share a lot of land, until the realized that all the promises were lies.  I wonder how todays Americans would feel if others took everything we had away from us how we would act.  Like Animals?  Like Killers?  Like protectors of our own?..    I swear, in another life, I must have been an Indian.

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The Rules of Murder

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering.

Series: A Drew Farthering Mystery
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (August 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0764210955

 

Amazon:

It’s 1931. Young Drew Fartherington and his friend Nick Dennison arrive at Drew’s home in Fartherington St. John to find his mother and stepfather throwing a house party that’s in full swing. He’s incensed to find his own room occupied, and occupied, no less, by David Lincoln, the man rumored to have had an affair with his mother. The only bright spot is the arrival of his stepfather’s American niece, Madeline Parker, whom Drew finds himself immediately drawn to.
Before the weekend is out, David Lincoln is found murdered in the greenhouse, and Drew’s mother has apparently committed suicide. But something seems wrong about both deaths, and Drew begins his own investigation, with the help of Nick and Madeline.

A very easy read.  I enjoyed this book. There was a good mystery to the murder(s) and along the way good introductions to the characters and their development. I would read another with the same characters.

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The Journey

Moriarty:  The Journey by Annelie Wendeberg.

Series: Kronberg Crimes (Book 3)
Paperback: 310 pages
ISBN-10: 1497392284

 

With her darkest nightmare come true and an assassin following her every step, Anna Kronberg must hurry to find the true motivation behind Moriarty’s plan to use disease as a weapon. Bit by bit, she and Sherlock Holmes unravel a spiderweb of crime, espionage, and bioterrorism that spreads across continents. 

Below is a review posted on Amazon and I liked it so much I thought I’d use it so you get a total look at this Trilogy.  I enjoyed this very much. Easy reading and yet intriguing. A bit of Sherlock with a very interesting Anna Kronberg.

Annalie Wendeberg has created just such an intriguing character in her Sherlockian series, the Anna Kronberg thrillers. Anna Kronberg has taken on the disguise of a man in order to attend medical school, complete her training, and practice medicine. She remains undiscovered until she is called to perform an examination on the corpse of a cholera victim. Her secret is quickly discarded by the detective evaluating the case, the great Sherlock Holmes. So begins Wendeberg’s continuing series about Dr. Kronberg, as she helps Holmes unravel the mystery of the cholera patient and a threat of biological warfare, becomes a prisoner of Holmes’ archenemy Moriarity, and has to flee for her life from Moriarity’s murderous henchmen.
Kronberg is a wonderful character, prickly, independent, analytical, intelligent, and often unreasonable, but grounded in altruism and a deep love for her father, who always encouraged her and never constrained her ambitions. Holmes is presented as a brilliant but flawed individual, damaged by the psychological torments of his childhood, and with a mildly autistic inability to respond with appropriate human reactions to emotional situations. Much like the Mary Russell books by Laurie King, the Kronberg stories show Holmes drawing emotionally closer to his distaff companion. The male masquerade aspect of the stories is handled deftly, with a great deal of insight into what care someone like Anna must take in maintaining the illusion of masculinity, and the stresses it induces. It would best serve the reader to begin with the first book in the series, as this third volume stands alone only with some difficulty.

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Moriarty

Moriarty by Annelie Wendeberg.

Series: Anna Kronberg Thriller
Paperback: 824 pages (that’s all 3 books)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform;(August 27, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1517080223

 

 

Eluding Scotland Yard and Sherlock Holmes, Anna Kronberg leads aninconspicuous life far from London. Until the day she wakes up to a gun pressed against her temple. With her father held hostage and no help insight, Anna finds only one way out – to take her captor for a dance along the razor’s edge while delving into Britain’s tentative beginnings of espionage and systematic biological warfare.

This is the second book in the trilogy…

Anna gets abducted by the one and on Moriarty. What happens during her abduction is a bit surprising.  Having read  “reviews” on Amazon that said it wasn’t enjoyable, I disagreed. I had no problem with how the story was panning out.  It is not a typical Sherlock story, and Sherlock is not the main character.  However, her writing leads to easy reading and I wondered enough what was going to happen to read it quickly.

Today I will begin book 3 and hope it all comes to a grand conclusion!

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