Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

I guarantee you will have a blast as you tear through Wicked Appetite. Evanovich has said that she will no longer be writing the Stephanie Plum in-between-the-numbers books, but will come out with a Diesel book every September. This first one was so good I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next year!

In Wicked Appetite, Lizzie Tucker is a pastry chef with a specialty in cupcakes who recently moved from NYC to Marblehead, Mass., when she inherited her aunt Ophelia's old home. Lizzie works at a bakery called Dazzles with a fiery redhead of a boss, Clara, and the eccentric counter gal, Glo. While working in the shop, Lizzie receives a visit from a mysterious man named Wulf who burns her hand and says he will be back. Then later, she receives a second visit from another odd guy, Diesel.

The strong and sexy Diesel is a an unmentionable who has been commissioned by the BUM to stop Wulf from collecting a series of charms that create the stone for one of the deadly sins, gluttony. If Wulf gets his hands on all 7 stones, which represent all 7 of the deadly sins, he will have the ultimate power and all hell will break loose.

Diesel needs Lizzie's help in identifying the charms because little does she know, she is an unmentionable with special powers. Along for the ride are a one-eyed cat and a return from Carl the monkey who made his debut appearance in Plum Spooky. I know the plot may seem far fetched, but trust me if you like the humorous, fun style of Evanovich, then this is for you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Fiction Released the Week of 9/28/10

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.

Adam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund
Bound by Antonya Nelson
Bryant and May Off the Rails by Christopher Fowler
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell
The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson
Don't Blink by James Patterson
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
The Fort by Bernard Cornwell
Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker
Legacy by Danielle Steel
Me, Myself, and Why by MaryJanice Davidson
Naked Heat by Richard Castle
On the Line by S.J. Rozan
Out of the Dark by David Weber
Power Down by Ben Coes
Priceless by Nicole Richie
The Wilding by Benjamin Percy
To Fetch a Thief by Spencer Quinn

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

Lippman's (bestselling author of the Tess Monaghan series) newest standalone took me two whole weeks to read; it wasn't bad, but it just didn't grab me and I wasn't excited to keep picking it up.

In I'd Know You Anywhere, Eliza Benedict is now a happily married stay-at-home mom, but harbors a dark secret from her past. As a teenager, Eliza was kidnapped by a deranged young man named Walter Bowman. She was not his first victim, but she was the only one who survived. Walter kept Eliza for months, threatening to murder her and her family if she tried to escape, until he was eventually caught.

Now over twenty years later, Eliza receives a letter from Walter, who is scheduled to receive the death penalty in Virgina for the murder of one of his young victims, Holly Tackett. The letter, written by a third party, requests that Bowman speak to her before he dies. Wanting closure, Eliza eventually relents, but only allows communication on her terms. Is Walter really trying to redeem himself pending his imminent death, or does he have an ulterior motive?

This book wasn't bad, but definitely not one of Lippman's best. The last beginning and end were engrossing, but the middle of the story really dragged on for quite some time, lacking any sort of suspense for me. I was irritated with Eliza that she even entertains speaking to Walter, knowing he couldn't be trusted, and I saw her as a weak character that was difficult to root for. Although I was disappointed in Lippman's latest offering, I know that she has it in her to give us a good story, so I would read her again.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Fiction Released the Week of 9/21/10

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.

Bad Blood by John Sandford
The End of the Land by David Grossman
The Fall by Guillermo del Toro
Heaven's Fury by Stephen Frey
Mini-Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
A Nose for Justice by Rita Mae Brown
Santa Fe Edge by Stuart Woods
The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. Rosenberg

Saturday, September 18, 2010

An Ideal Wife by Gemma Townley

Jessica Wild Wainwright is happily married to Max. The only thing that Jessica worries about is Max finding out about her kissing Hugh right before her wedding and the fact that Hugh is blackmailing her. So Jessica concocts a plan to become an ideal wife. She starts by taking cooking lessons which is a disaster from the get go and then she plans on seducing Max. That ends with Max breaking his leg.

Now Max is laid up in the hospital for a week and it is a crucial time at their business, Milton Advertising. Jess has agreed to oversee the ethical audit that is planned. But of course nothing can go smoothly. First there is the pretty nurse who is spending alot of time with Max. Then there is her mom who is acting stranger than usual and Chester, her mom's fiancee and Milton Advertising's biggest client, who is the one making them get the audit. And let's not forget Ivana, the Russian escort who is now a mom and her asking Jess to hide a trunk for her; no questions asked.

How will Jess every become the ideal wife that Max deserves with all these distractions? Find out by reading An Ideal Wife the final book in Gemma Townley's trilogy. The first two books of this fantastic trilogy are The Importance of Being Married and A Wild Affair.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

The Game of Kings is the first of six novels in the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. From the first words "Lymond is back," the reader is enveloped in mid-16th century Scotland, and the story of a Scottish rogue named Francis Crawford of Lymond. Lymond's return to Scotland is noteworthy because years ago he was tried and condemned in absentia as a traitor. Consequently, he cannot move openly in Scottish society, but runs a band of outlaws to further his own ends. What his goals and reasons for returning to Scotland are, remains a mystery for a good portion of the novel, as does his personal character. You can be forgiven for wondering if these goals simply revolve around making his family and former acquaintances as unhappy as possible, since Lymond frequently antagonizes those around him.

Dunnett has set these books during a fascinating period: the time of Mary Queen of Scotland, Suleiman the Magnificent, and Russia's Ivan the Terrible. The Game of Kings takes place shortly after Henry VIII's death, as England tries to seize Scotland's throne by forcing young Mary into a betrothal with Henry's son Edward. The Scots are trying to keep Mary out of English hands, and hoping for a betrothal with Henri II's son instead. Consequently, there is plenty of tension between the Scots and English, and Lymond appears to be playing both sides. He is also hunted by both sides, as well as by his brother who feels personally insulted by Lymond's actions against the family name.

There are many reasons to enjoy this story, but Lymond is the primary one. In Lymond, a scholar, soldier, and musician, Dunnett has created a character so willful, intelligent, vivid, talented, and frustrating, that many people have called him the ultimate anti-hero. It is impossible not to have a reaction to him, whether positive or negative, or both.

These books are also wonderful historical fiction, full of plot twists, intrigue, and action. Dunnett's research is impeccable, her characters are three dimensional, and the mysteries and final resolution satisfying. She is often mentioned in the same breath as Patrick O'Brian, and is considered one of the best writers of historical fiction. However, she doesn't cater to her readers. She throws you into a dense story, and allows you to sink or swim. There are many characters, and her main one is a polyglot who frequently quotes in other languages, without the benefit of translation. Many readers struggle through the first chapters of this novel, only to fall in love with the characters and story. After struggling through the first hundred or so pages myself, I proceeded to race through the rest of the books, mourned reaching the final page, and then promptly started rereading The Game of Kings.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Fiction Released the Week of 9/14/2010

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.

And Thereby Hangs a Tale
by Jeffrey Archer
Antiphon by Ken Scholes
The Bells by Richard Harvell
Bleed a River Deep by Brian McGilloway
The Detroit Electric Scheme by D.E. Johnson
Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers
Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason
Man in the Woods by Scott Spencer
Murder in Caleb's Landing by D.L. Nelson
The Network by Jason Elliot
My Lost Daughter by Mary Taylor Rosenberg
Room by Emma Donoghue
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez
A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay
Some Sing, Some Cry by Ntozake Shange
Sourland by Joyce Carol Oates
The Vaults by Toby Ball
Waking Up in Dixie by Haywood Smith
Warlord by Ted Bell
Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tough Customer by Sandra Brown

Dodge Hanley (Smash Cut) cannot believe the phone call he just received. The only woman he has ever loved and hasn't seen or talked to in 30 years just called for help. Actually help for their daughter, Berry Malone. The daughter he doesn't know. She is being stalked by a former coworker, Oren Starks and it just took a turn for the worse. Berry's colleague, Ben Lofland, has been shot and Oren vows to kill Berry.

Deputy sheriff Ski Nyland is investigating the shooting. He thinks there is something suspicious about Berry's story and he will get to the bottom of it without letting his growing feelings for her get in the way. But then Oren takes them on a chase. He starts killing people and if he isn't stopped soon Berry will be his last victim.

Tough Customer has suspense, romance and a nice little twist at the end. I enjoyed this book. It wasn't my absolute favorite by Sandra Brown but it was definitely worth reading.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Debut author Steven's novel begins with a young woman in her thirties, Annie O'Sullivan, talking to her therapist about her recent abduction. The chapters alternate talking place between present day and during the time she was missing.

Annie, a Realtor near Vancouver, had been just packing up at a recent open house when a friendly man approached her about seeing the house. Alone in the backyard, the man, who called himself Dave (who she refers to as The Freak), puts a gun to her back and forces her into a van. After being shot with a needle, the next thing she remembers is waking up in a cabin.

In the cabin, every single cabinet is locked and the windows are boarded up, so Annie never knows if it is day or night. There is no way to escape. The Freak is very strict on routine and baths and shaves her every night. She is only allowed to use the bathroom at certain points in the day and her chores must be completed to perfection. Any deviation results in physical violence. What's more is the nightly rape which eventually impregnates her.

Annie is such a well-developed, strong character, so you feel compelled to continue on this harrowing journey with her because you know she must eventually triumph. As far as I am concerned, the more graphic scenes in my suspense/thrillers, the better. However, in this case, some of what Annie was going through was so hard to read. Typically, I am usually so detached from the characters that this doesn't phase me, but in this case I was so emotionally taken-in by this character that it was difficult to read about her abduction.

That being said, this is a testament to Steven's writing. I can't wait to see what she creates for her readers next.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Fiction Released the Week of 9/7/2010

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.

Ape House by Sara Gruen
C by Tom McCarthy
The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia by Mary Helen Stefaniak
A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell
Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay
The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago
Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan
Healer by Carol Cassella
Loco Motive by Mary Daheim
Mullah's Storm by Thomas W. Young
No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman
Portobello by Ruth Rendell
Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen
Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
The Spider's Web by Margaret Coel
The Tale of Oat Cake Crag by Susan Wittig Albert
Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer
The Thorn by Beverly Lewis
Trail of Blood by Lisa Black
The Truth of Valor by Tanya Huff
Vermilion Drift by William Kent Krueger
What Distant Deeps by David Drake
The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass
The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler
Zero History by William Gibson

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Postcard Killers by James Patterson

I miss old school James Patterson! The Postcard Killers was another disappointing thriller from the prolific Patterson and new co-writer Liza Marklund.

There are killers on the loose who are terrorizing young tourist couples in Europe. Their M.O. is to send the press a postcard with a cryptic message about the intended killings. Then, they drug their victims, slash their throats in the most gruesome of manners, and position the bodies on the bed as to taunt the authorities with whatever message they are trying to communicate.

The most recent postcard has been sent to Dessie Larsson, a crime reporter who specializes in burglary stories, at a paper in Stockholm. Larsson is joined by American homicide detective Jacob Kanon who's daughter was murdered by these same killers. Kanon is completely driven to stop these killers and avenge his daughter's death, and although Dessie knows that Kanon may be completely off his rocker, she can't help but be intrigued by the attractive cop.

You know I love my Jimmy Patty, but this just felt like a cheap knockoff of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Although the premise has the making of a blockbuster thriller, it wasn't executed well. The ending felt a bit unbelievable and totally rushed. Plus the climax of the story took place at an IKEA. Could this be any more cliched?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Veil of Night by Linda Howard

Jaclyn Wilde is an event planner. She owns a business with her mom called Premier. They are in the middle of a crazy week. Six events in five days. The last thing Jaclyn wants to deal with is a bridezilla. Unfortunately she she has one named Carrie Edwards. After a long day of dealing with going to the courthouse to pay a speeding ticket and having to deal with Bridezilla, Jaclyn could use a drink. She stops at bar that she hasn't been to before and runs into the man that she had literally ran into early that day at the courthouse. After throwing caution to the wind, Jaclyn has a one night stand with him.

Detective Eric Wilder can't believe his luck. After spending the night with a gorgeous, intelligent woman he ends up in the middle of robbery at the the local gas station. After he saves the day, Eric is called for a homicide at a reception hall. Carrie Edwards is the victim and Jaclyn is the number one suspect. Right away Eric believes in her innocence but he can't let on until she is 100% cleared. With a list of suspects a mile long, Eric shouldn't have any trouble clearing Jaclyn's name. But what he doesn't predict is someone is out to kill Jaclyn. He must solve this case before the woman he loves becomes the next victim.
I love Linda Howard. She can do no wrong in my eyes (expect Death Angel). I loved Veil of Night. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. I cannot wait until her next romantic suspense novel comes out!