Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Secret Admirer by Patricia MacDonald

Children's book author Laura Reed lives an idyllic life with her husband Jimmy in his childhood hometown of Cape Christian, New Jersey; that is, until, an intruder breaks into her house and murders Jimmy in his sleep. When it becomes evident that Laura is set to inherit half a million in life insurance, the police and town residents look at Jimmy's wife as having enough motive to commit murder, although they do not have enough evidence to arrest her at this time.

While adjusting to widowhood and trying to shield her son from their town's watchful eye, Ian Turner, a man from Laura's past who she hasn't seen since childhood, mysteriously appears in her life. Like Laura, Ian lost a spouse, only his was killed in an arson-related fire. Connected by their mutual grief, the much needed friendship blossoms to a romance in which Laura agrees to marry Ian. However, the marriage only adds fuel to the fire as another motive for Laura to kill Jimmy. In fact, the police start to investigate Ian's wife's death and question whether the two were in on it together.

Especially hurt by the abrupt marriage is Laura and Jimmy's close friend, Gary, who has been wheelchair bound since high school and who may have secretly coveted Jimmy's wife. Furthermore, Dolores, Jimmy's mother who has never really cared for her daughter-in-law, is less than pleased in with the knowledge of Laura's quick remarriage.

When an unsuspecting witness comes forward with new information, police arrest Laura for murder in the first degree. Readers can only hope that Laura, who protests her innocence, will be pardoned before her life is irrevocably destroyed forever and Jimmy's real killer walks free.

Secret Admirer is one of MacDonald's earlier and stronger suspense novels. The author sets up so many suspects from the beginning and with a few twists along the way, readers will be left guessing until the very end. MacDonald is a supberb suspense writer, and I wish that she could get the readership she deserves. Mary Higgins Clark fans should really give MacDonald a chance, as they won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Fiction Released the Week of 12/29/2009

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch
Altar of Eden by James Rollins
Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler
The Bone Chamber by Robin Burcell
Crawlspace by Sarah Graves
Crimson & Steam by Liz Maverick
Days of Gold by Jude Deveraux
Deeper than Dead by Tami Hoag
Eternal Hunter by Cynthia Eden
Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz
Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
Heard it All Before by Michele Grant
Honor of Spies by W.E.B. Griffin
Hunting Julian by Jacquelyn Frank
I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter
Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford
A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh
Nice Girls Don't Live Forever by Molly Harper
The Red Door by Charles Todd
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
Sizzle by Julie Garwood
Spellbent by Lucy Snyder
Turned by Julie Kenner

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tainted by Brooke Morgan

Holly Barrett is a single mother who has met the perfect man. Jack Dane is handsome, charming, and has a British accent. Everything is going great on their first date until Jack finds out Holly has a 5 year old daughter, Katy. He tells her it isn't going to work and leaves. Holly is devastated. She is only 23 and this was the first guy who really showed an interest in her. Katy's father, Billy, was a one time encounter and when he found out Holly was pregnant he couldn't be bothered.

Now Henry, Holly's grandfather and only other family, sees how miserable Holly is and sets out to make things right. He casually meets Jack and invites him fishing. Jack accepts not knowing this is Holly's grandfather. When they go back to Henry's for coffee he finds out the connection. He is glad for the second chance because he really likes Holly.

Things are going well and after three weeks, Jack is moving in with Holly and Katy. Everyone is pleased except Billy. Billy has come back and is trying to get to know his daughter. He regrets everything that has happened and now wants to be apart of Katy's life. But Jack is in the way. Katy adores him and thinks that he is her father. But sometimes Jack gets mad about absurd things like Katy crying and will leave. Holly is upset about this but is always happy when he returns.

They get married and everything is great until Billy starts poking around in Jack's past. The past he won't talk about. And when someone close to Holly is murdered, everything is discovered. Is Jack a bad guy or just misunderstood? Or is Billy just trying to cause problems?

This was a good book. I liked how it went back and forth between the characters and the reader got to know what they were thinking. I will definitely read Brooke Morgan's next book.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

Late night Denver DJ/covert werewolf Kitty Norville's life takes a dramatic turn when she starts counseling vampire and werewolf callers. The hike in ratings prompts her producer to create the radio talk show, "Kitty and the Midnight Hour," but not everyone is as enthusiastic as Kitty. Kitty's alpha Carl and the resident master Vampire Arturo want Kitty to quit the show for fear of the unwanted exposure it is bringing to the city's supernaturals.

For the first time Kitty is doing something in her life that is her very own, so she refuses to abandon her new found career success and offers Carl a cut of her profits. During one of her shows, bounty hunter Cormac, loaded with silver bullets, arrives intent on taking Kitty down. When it becomes unclear to Cormac and Kitty who hired him and what is the motive, the two decide to pool information for their own protection. Additionally, the entire showdown was caught on the air, revealing Kitty's true identity to the world.

To complicate matters further, a rash of animal-related maulings resulting in death have been occurring throughout the city. Detective Hardin enlists Kitty's help in order to solve the crimes and catch the killer. Kitty knows that the deaths were brought on by a werewolf, but is it a rogue or someone from her own pack? She questions who she can trust anymore and turns to a certain paranormal hunter for protection.

The multiple plot threads, including a mysterious religious zealot who claims to offer a cure for the lycanthrope disease and a potential government coverup report from the NIH on the study of the paranormal, make for an entertaining read. Although I do have to confess that Kitty's referral of her wolf self in the third person can grate on the nerves, Kitty and The Midnight Hour, the first book in the Kitty Norville series, still makes for a fast-paced urban fantasy. Fans of Patrica Briggs' Mercy Thompson series will eat this one up.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tasting Fear by Shannon McKenna

Tasting Fear is three stories in one book. They are the stories about three foster sisters, Nancy, Nell, and ViVi, whose mother, Lucia, has died under unusual circumstances. The day of the funeral the girls are mourning their lose when a package is delivered. It contains three pendent necklaces bearing the first initials of the girls and surrounded by jewels.

The first story, Outside the Limits, is about Nancy. It is the day after her mother's funeral when she meets Liam, a carpenter hired by Lucia to make renovations to the house. It is instant attraction for both of them. Even though Nancy is weary of relationships and Liam is looking for the exact opposite of workaholic Nancy. Soon they discover that Lucia had been murdered and that Lucia had secrets that she never told the girls. When the house is robbed again Liam instances that Nancy stay with him. And when Nancy is almost kidnapped, Liam realizes Nancy is the only one for him.

The second story, Ask for More, is Nell's story. She is a student working on her PhD, teaching classes, and waitressing. It is while waitressing that she develops a crush on a mysterious customer. When she answers an ad about a job the mysterious customer turns out to be the boss. Duncan knows he shouldn't mix business with pleasure but he can't get Nell out of his head. When he sees her being abducted he rescues her and makes himself part of her business. The sisters still don't have a clue about what is happening but are getting close. And when Nell is kidnapped for real, Duncan will do anything to get her back.

The third story, Ready or Not, is ViVi's story. ViVi is an artist who travels the craft fair circuit. She longs to put down roots and open a store to sell her art and others. She finally gets the chance when Duncan convinces her to hide out at his friend Jack's place. Jack will keep her safe from the danger and she can work on her art. Sparks fly immediately but Jack is weary because he thinks she will eventually leave him. ViVi tries and tries to convince him that she is here to stay. They end up having a big fight and ViVi leaves the protection of his house. This of course leads to her being kidnapped. Jack rescues her and eventually they figure out the mystery of Lucia.

The mystery surrounding their mom is secondary to the love stories of the sisters. It was a great book that I couldn't put down. Just a warning there is very explicit love scenes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Fiction Released the Week of 12/22/2009

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Flagship by Mike Resnick
The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble
Hidden Empire by Orson Scott Card
The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark
Rich Again by Anna Maxted
Suicide Kings by George R.R. Martin
Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
Then Came the Evening by Brian Hart

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones

It's not easy to cook for one; they just don't make recipes for one person. Finally, here's a beautifully crafted cookbook designed for those solo meals.

While you may not immediately recognize the name Judith Jones, she is responsible for the publishing of some of the most renowned cookbooks in the world, including the Julia Child classic, cookbooks by James Beard, Marion Cunningham, Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey and many more.

Ms. Jones is senior editor and vice president of Alfred A. Knopf and has published many cookbooks of her own as well as her beautiful memoir, The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food. Her newest cookbook, borne out of necessity after her beloved husband passed celebrates the beauty of food and how even the simplest meal for one should be cherished and enjoyed.

While for me, some of the recipes are too "French" (liver pate, veal tongue, a cassoulet with duck fat and lamb), many more of the recipes are simple, healthy and delicious.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Evidence of Murder by Lisa Black

I saw this book on the Library's new book shelves and picked it up because I always wanted to try a Lisa Unger, but didn't realize until later that this was a book by Lisa Black! No matter, as I was extremely happy to have stumbled upon this intriguing, page-turning medical thriller.

The protagonist in Evidence of Murder is Theresa MacLean, a forensic scientist for the Cleveland medical examiner's office, who is working the case of Jillian Perry. Jillian was discovered by some joggers in a wooded park near the lake. At first glance, it appears that she froze to death; however, the tell-tale signs of death of this nature are absent. The police want to close this case as a suicide, but Theresa refuses to give up that easily.

She starts investigating, with the occasional guidance of her detective cousin Frank, what she believes to be a case of murder and focuses in on Evan, Jillian's husband of three weeks who has money to inherit by getting custody of Jillian's baby daughter. Meanwhile two more bodies, in which the victims are found frozen, are brought into the Cleveland ME's office, leading the media to speculate a serial killer at work. Also added to the mix is Jillian's obsessed friend, Drew, who seems to have plenty of motive for her murder, even given the unlikelihood that he could commit the crime.

Readers who enjoy Michael Palmer and Daniel Kalla will make an easy transition to Black. This is the second book in the Theresa Maclean series, and they do not need to be read in order. However, Takeover is the first book for those wanting to start at the beginning.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Julia and Valentina Poole are 20 year old American sisters who have an intense attachment to one another. At loose ends, not interested in college or getting jobs, they are intrigued when they recieve a letter from a London solicitor informing them that their English aunt has died of cancer and left them her flat - with the stipulation that they live in it for a year before they sell it, and that their parents do not enter it. Julia and Valentina are twins, and so were their mother, Edie and their Aunt Elspeth, whom they had never met.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat in London, which borders on the Highgate Cemetary, final resting place to George Eliot, Karl Marx, and Christina Rossetti. Also living in their apartment building are Robert, Elspeth's lover, who is a scholar of the cemetary, Martin, a crossword puzzle setter, who is crippled by his obsessive compulsive disorder, Martin's wife, Marijke, and their Aunt Elspeth's ghost, who is finding it difficult to move on.

As the girls come to know their neighbors, they also become tangled up in their lives, and long held secrets come into the open.

Highgate Cemetary provides the perfect background for this unusual ghost story, and Elspeth Noblin makes an unforgettable ghost. Even if you don't usually read "ghost stories", give this one a try. Audrey Niffenegger is quite good at writing a multi-dimentional love story, and this haunting tale does not disappoint.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Fiction Released the Week of 12/15/2009

A very quiet week in publishing. Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
A sequel to The Nanny Diaries finds Nan returning to New York after 10 years abroad and getting approached by a drunken 16-year-old Grayer X, who describes his parents' brutal divorce and prompts her re-entry into child care for the elite.

Ticket to Ride by Ed Gorman
Struggling with his father's illness and the end of a relationship, small-town Iowa lawyer Sam McCain witnesses the return of his community's first Vietnam casualty while reuniting with old friends at a Labor Day party that is shattered by a double murder.

Too Much Money by Dominick Dunne
Writer Gus Bailey witnesses the disappearance of the old-money society that once occupied him and investigates the murder of one of the world's wealthiest men, an effort that is sabotaged by the man's calculating wife and schemers within Gus's own set.

Friday, December 11, 2009

One Touch of Topaz by Iris Johansen

Samantha Barton has been living in fear for 6 years on the island of St. Pierre. She has been hiding from rebels and during her part to help the revolution. Now it looks like the fighting is over and the rebels have won. Fletcher Bronson, billionaire businessman, happens to be in the area and is helping to get Samantha and her people out. But during the rescue Fletch and Samantha are left behind. They need to hide out for 24 hours until the helicopter can come back. During that time, Samantha gives herself to Fletch because she thinks that this is her last chance at happiness. She plans on staying behind to try and rescue a friend.

Fletch cannot believe that this strong, gentle woman is stupid enough to try and stay behind. He will do anything to get her on that helicopter. When the time comes, they are ambushed by the rebels and Samantha takes a bullet for Fletch. Fletch gets her on the helicopter and flies her to his private island. While there he makes her a proposition. They get married and he will send a rescue team to save her friend. She agrees because she is in love with him and hopes he will someday fall in love with her. After some miscommunication, there is a happy ending.

If you are in the mood for a quick read, then One Touch of Topaz is the love story for you. One Touch of Topaz is actually a reissue originally from 1988.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Fiction Released the Week of 12/8/2009

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Alone by Loren D. Estleman
Burning Desire by Aaron Relentless
Burning Shadows by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn
The Disciple by Stephen Coonts
Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton
Faces of the Gone by Brad Parks
Final Exam by Maggie Barbieri
The Good Son by Russel Mclean
La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith

Monday, December 7, 2009

Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

While walking through the quad of the University of Chicago campus, graduate student Merit is attacked by one vampire set on killing her, but is rescued by another. The next thing she remembers is finding herself in the back of a limo being returned to the townhouse she shares with roommate Mallory.

The vampire who saved her is none other than the sexy Ethan Sullivan, head vampire of the Cadogan House. As the one who turned her, Ethan believes that Merit belongs to him and must serve the house as he sees fit. However, feisty Merit is resistant to belong to anyone but soon learns that she can not return to her life as a human. She has but a few days to decide whether to pledge her loyalties to the Cadogan House or to live as a rogue vampire on the fringes of the Windy City society.

Merit seeks solace in her grandfather, a former CPD detective who, once she confesses she is now a vampire, tells her that he is no longer retired. It turns out her grandfather covertly works as an ombud for the mayor, whose office is in charge of being the liaison for the supernaturals to the city. His employees include Jeff, a shapeshifter, and fourth grade sorcerer Catcher Bell, who promises to help train Merit as the fighter she now needs to be in order to stay alive in the vampire world.

Meanwhile, two more women, both similar looking to Merit, turn up dead with bite marks on their neck that suggest the killer is a vampire. Although Ethan dismisses the crimes as being done by rogue vampires, Merit can't help but wonder if the Cadogan house is somehow involved in the murders.

This book will appeal to romance readers new to the vampire genre, as the fantasy elements take a backseat to the potential love story between Ethan and Merit. The Chicago setting is also an added plus for readers of this area. Some Girls Bite is the first in the Chicagoland Vampires series. The next book is Friday Night Bites and Twice Bitten, the third book, is scheduled for publication in July of 2010.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ice by Linda Howard

Lorelei "Lolly" Helton is back home in Wilson Creek, Maine to sell her family home. Unbeknown to her a big ice storm is headed her way. While at the local mom and pop store the owner warns her of the upcoming storm and offers for Lolly to stay with her since Lolly's home is so isolated. Lolly accepts her offer and heads home to pick up some items before the storm hits. Unaware that she is being observed, Lolly is followed home by two drug addicts, Nikki and Darwin.

Gabe McQueen just returned home from North Carolina. He is on leave from his military job and eager to see his son. While there his dad, the sheriff, asks Gabe to go check on Lolly. Remembering Lolly from high school as stuck up, Gabe isn't too excited about the reunion. But he agrees to help his dad and wouldn't wish for anyone to be stuck in an ice storm. Halfway up the mountain, Gabe's truck gets stuck. When he finally reaches the house on foot the storm has started. He also notices Lolly has company. But as he investigates further he realizes it is company Lolly would rather not have.

Lolly cannot believe she is being held hostage in her own home. The two drug addicts have her locked up in her bedroom. But Lolly will not stay put. She starts planning how to escape through her second floor window. As she tries to open the window she hears a thump and then sees a face in the window. Gabe McQueen is staring back at her. He is the last person she ever expected to see. With his help she escapes.

Now the two are fighting through an ice storm and running from Nikki and Darwin. Just when they think they are safe the storm takes a turn for the worse and so do the two killers. This was a very quick read by Linda Howard. It is a good book to read while waiting for her next full length book to be released. Also a good read is her last novel Burn.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Fiction Released the Week of 12/01/2009

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Bone Chamber
by Robin Burcell
Cobra Alliance by Timothy Zahn
Desert Lost by Betty Webb
The Farmer's Daughter by Jim Harrison
Full of Money by Bill James
Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword of Avalon by Diana Paxson
The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry
Too Many Murders by Colleen McCollough
Trial by Fire by J.A. Jance
U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
Village of Ghost Bears by Stan Jones

Friday, November 27, 2009

From Cradle to Grave by Patricia MacDonald

As the godmother to her best friend's new baby, Morgan Adair visits Long Island, New York for Drew's baptism. What was supposed to be a day of celebration turns into one of sadness, as Claire is still in the throws of her postpartum depression. Furthermore, Eden, Guy's child from a previous marriage, which he neglected to tell his wife about, picks this day to make her presence known when she shows up at the luncheon to meet her new brother.

Not sure what more she can do for her friend, Morgan continues on with her plans to travel to England for a research assignment with a potential lover. While at the airport, Morgan receives a frantic phone call from Claire, stating that Drew and Guy are dead and that she has been arrested for their murders. What is the most disturbing of all is Claire's confession to the killing of her husband and newborn son.

Morgan returns to West Briar in attempt to help Claire, who has been like a sister to her. Despite Claire's confession to the police, Morgan is baffled that her friend could possibly commit this heinous crime. As the only one on Claire's side, Morgan is determined to get to the bottom of her friend's case. What she uncovers is that the police not only lied to her but also coerced Claire into a confession; what's more is the long list of people who Morgan discovers have motive for the murders.

MacDonald offers up plenty of suspects right from the beginning and knowing that Claire couldn't be guilty, I was eagerly turning the pages to find out who the killer was. However, the ending was both rushed and forced, and overall I was a bit disappointed in this latest offering from a seasoned suspense writer. The set-up was so good and it is unfortunate that MacDonald couldn't deliver!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Fiction Released the Week of 11/24/2009

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Breathless by Dean Koontz
Bryant & May on the Loose by Christopher Fowler
A Catered Birthday Party by Isis Crawford
Deadly Deals by Fern Michaels
Delilah by India Edghill
Divorced, Desperate and Deceived by Christie Craig
First Lord's Fury by Jim Butcher
A Good Fall by Ha Jin
Hollywood Moon by Joseph Wambaugh
London Boulevard by Ken Bruen
The Morning Show Murders by Al Roker
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
The Red Velvet Turnshoe by Cassandra Clark

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

Emma Grant loves flowers. She also believes in true love. It is a good thing she runs a wedding business with her three best friends called Vows. She has a wonderful career and a fantastic family. What would make her complete is to find her one true love. She has dated many men but there has always been one man who has made her heart beat fast, Jack Cooke.

Jack Cooke is an architect and doesn't believe in happily ever after. But he has always had a thing for Emma. They give it a chance and Emma falls head over heels even though she knows Jack isn't the forever kind of guy. But Jack just might surprise Emma because he is falling for her too.

This is the second book in the Bride Quartet series. The first book is Vision in White which was Mackensie's story. Book three is Savor the Moment and will tell Laurel's story. This is a great series. It tells the life long friendship of four friends, their successful wedding business, and their journey in finding love.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Fiction Released the Week of 11/17/2009

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Original of Laura (Dying is Fun) by Vladimir Nabokov
A landmark publication of the literary master's unfinished final work is a fragmented draft as hand-written on 138 index cards, originally slated for destruction, that have been released by his son, in a volume that features removable facsimile reproductions.

The Poisoning of the Pub by Simon Brett
"Business at the venerable Crown and Anchor pub is outbreak of food poisoning, with attendant bad press, temporarily shuts down the establishment. Then the grand reopening is spoiled by a rowdy biker gang and the brutal stabbing death of a beloved, mentally challenged kitchen helper. Before you can say “plowman's lunch,” plucky Carole Seddon and her friend, Jude, are on the case." - Publishers Weekly

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
Nine new short works by the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Love of a Good Woman include the stories of a grieving mother who is aided by a surprising source, a woman's response to a humiliating seduction and a 19th-century Russian émigré's winter journey to the Riviera.

Torch of Freedom by David Weber
As the slave masters of Mesa plot against the Star Empire of Manticore and the newly liberated slave planet of Torch, secret agent Anton Zilwicki investigates a wave of mysterious assassinations.

Wrecker by Clive Cussler
Investigating a series of attacks on the Southern Pacific Railroad's Cascades express lines, Detective Bell learns of the existence of an elusive saboteur who recruits and murders his own accomplices while engineering schemes of maximum havoc.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

Since a serial killer stopped terrorizing local citizens in the 1990's, nothing much happens in the rural burg of Painters Mill, Ohio, which is just how Chief Kate Burkholder likes it. After years of experience in the more urban setting of Columbus, Ohio, she jumped at the chance to become the police chief of her hometown. Her past as a member of the local Amish community has given her a unique perspective and ability to act as a go-between between the private Amish community and the "English."

When one of her officers responds to a "loose cattle" call and instead finds the nude body of a young woman in the snow, Kate's peaceful existence comes to an abrupt halt. Not only is the murder reminiscent of the serial killings that took place in the '90's, but it brings Kate's history crashing back to her, including a secret that she, her brother and sister have kept all these years. When the town calls in outside help, Kate is resistant, fearing her secret will be exposed after 16 years, but as bodies continue to turn up, she must face her fear in order to solve the gruesome crimes.

John Tomasetti has been to hell, and does not seem to want to leave. Since losing his partner and family a few years earlier, his life has continued in a downward spiral, thanks to his steady diet of booze and painkillers. When he is assigned to work on the Painters Mill murders, he knows it is his last chance. Can Kate overcome her fear and mistrust to work with Tomasetti?

This is the first book in a promising new series featuring Chief Kate Burkholder, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of John Tomasetti as well. Despite the Amish connection, this is definitely NOT a cozy mystery - the grisly details, salty language and sexual situations and references are not for the faint of heart. Kate is a great heroine - strong yet vulnerable, principled yet hesitant, and damaged yet hopeful. I look forward to seeing more from this series. Fans of this book may also like Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series or Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle

For francophiles like me, if you haven't read one of Peter Mayle's books, be it one of is true-life Brit living in Provence books or one of his charming mysteries that take place mostly in the South of France, you're missing out. Mr. Mayle's stories are always light and entertaining.

In this caper, a mega-rich Hollywood entertainment lawyer, Danny Roth, has a wine cellar of which any true oeniphile would be envious. Bored and looking to bring himself even more notoriety, he lands a profile of his cellar in a splashy Los Angeles Times article and soon finds himself the victim of a world-class wine heist. That's when wine connoisseur and crime expert, Sam Levitt is hired by Roth's insurance company to investigate and recover the wine in order to avoid a multi-million dollar pay-out. Sam naturally needs to investigate this crime in beautiful Bordeaux and then Marseille, France.

The complexity of the theft is eventually unraveled by Sam with the help of a beautiful woman and a tenacious reporter. While I kept waiting for the big twist at the end that never came, I nonetheless found this tale to be the perfect divertissement.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Auto mechanic Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson, who also happens to be the only werecoyote in the Tri-Cities area, meets Mac when he is loitering around her shop looking for a job. Her senses tell her that that he may be homeless, so Mercy gives him a chance and offers him a job.

Mac's employment seems to be working out okay until Mercy forgets her purse, returns to the shop one evening to collect it, and inadvertently happens upon Mac, who is being confronted by two nasty werewolves. In order to protect Mac, Mercy shapeshifts into a coyote and takes out one of the wolves. Not knowing what to do with Mac, she contacts her sexy neighbor, Adam, who is the Alpha for the area's pack.

Adam agrees to take in Mac and help him deal with being a new werewolf. Little does Adam know the trouble that follows Mac that eventually gets his human daughter, Jesse, kidnapped and almost gets Adam killed. Mercy must now return to the Montana werewolf pack who raised her in order to receive the assistance of head wolf Bran and doctor and former flame Samuel, who was the reason for Mercy's leaving.

Mercy is a no nonsense character with heart, and readers will easily root for her in this fast-paced urban fantasy. Moon Called is the first book in the Mercy Thompson series, followed by Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, and Bone Crossed. Readers who like the mystery of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series and the mix of characters in the Rachel Morgen series should definitely relish Patrica Briggs books, which contain plenty of vampires, gremlins, fae, and werewolves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Books Released the Week of 11/10/2009

A Blue and Gray Christmas by Joan Medlicott
Broken Jewel by David Robbins
Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe
The Crisis by David Poyer
Destroyer of Worlds by Larry Niven
The Fleet Street Murders by Charles Finch
A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein
Generation A by Douglas Coupland
Ice by Linda Howard
Mariposa by Greg Bear
The Mirror and the Mask by Ellen Hart
The Murdered House by Pierre Magnan
New York by Edward Rutherfurd
The Ragged End of Nowhere by Roy Chaney
Under the Dome by Stephen King
Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb