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

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel

The art of letter-writing is lost, so they say. When you read this novel, told almost entirely through letters and emails spanning forty years, you will remember why it's called an art.

It is amazing how fully you can relate to the main characters and their lives simply through letters. And how easily we, as the reader, can fill in all that is unsaid in the lives of these two remarkable women.

Every woman who has had a deep friendship severed will relate to the struggles that Lily and Val go through, as you grow up with them through their letters. Tying it all together with recipes that I cannot wait to try was the right way to go--food, family and friends will forever be intertwined.

A lovely story with equally lovely illustrations.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Love You to Death by Shannon Butcher

Elise McBride is trying to break into her sister's house. She hasn't heard from her sister in a couple of days and that causes enough of an alarm for her to hop on a plane from Tokyo to Haven, Illinois and find out where her sister is. Now it is really late at night and Elise is trying to get inside Ashley's house. She finally finds a key hidden in plain sight and lets herself in. It is pitch black and the lights won't turn on. She stumbles around and is all of a sudden thrust up against the wall by a big unmovable man. Is this the person who did something to Ashley?

Trent Brady can't sleep. Nothing new there. It has been two years since the incident. Two years since he quit the job he loved with the Chicago PD. He is up again trying to decide if he should take a worthless sleeping pill when he looks outside and sees someone breaking into his flighty neighbor Ashley's house. Without really thinking about it, Trent calls the cops and heads over. Once he gets there he sees the intruder and slams him against the wall. While holding the intruder, Trent realizes it is a woman. After letting her go, Trent finds out it is Ashley's sister and she isn't too happy.

Together, Trent and Elise will try and find Ashley. Along the way, they will found similar cases of missing women and when the bodies are found parts are missing. This just makes Elise work even harder to find her sister. Even if it means offering herself as bait, Elise will do anything to find her sister before it is too late.

Another terrific romantic suspense book by Shannon Butcher. Her previous three are No Regrets, No Control, and No Escape.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Books Released the Week of 11/3/2009

Here is a sampling of new books out this week. Click on the title to place your name on hold.

A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor
Ford County by John Grisham
Haiku by Andrew Vachss
Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle
Kindred in Death by J.D. Robb
Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
Maitland's Reply by James Patrick Hunt
No Less Than Victory by Jeff Shaara
A Quilter's Holiday by Jennifer Chiaverini
Rainwater by Sandra Brown
Time Traveler's Never Die by Jack McDevitt
A Wish for Christmas by Thomas Kinkade

Monday, November 2, 2009

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake, a mortal whose chosen profession as an animator (a.k.a. "The Executioner" to the vampire community), requires her to not only raise the dead but also to slay vampires. After a long work day, Anita agrees to be the designated driver to her friend's bachelorettte party at Guilty Pleasures, a vampire strip club.

However, things at the club get a bit out of hand when her friend Catherine is seduced by a vampire with with sinister plans to make her his servant. The only way he will remove his spell is if Anita agrees to accept a contract with master vampire, Nikolaos. It turns out that Nikolaos believes that Anita is the only one with the chops to solve the murder of four vampires.

With very few allies she can trust, Anita looks to her friend Ronnie for any info she can find. Are the murders a hate crime instituted by the HAV (humans against vampires) organization? Or did the murderer kill the vampires in a manner to make it look like was done by a human, and if so, what kind of creature is strong enough to take out four vampires?

Anita is a bad-ass vampire slayer who doesn't take herself too seriously, even when faced with wererats and a pissed off vampire set on vengeance. Guilty Pleasures is the first in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series and is a mix of urban fantasy and mystery with enough gore to keep readers satisfied. I can't wait to read the next book!