Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kill Me Again by Maggie Shayne

Being the stupid idiot that I am, I mistakenly picked up the second book in Maggie Shayne's romantic suspense trilogy. I lucked out, however, since each book is about a different character and can be read as a standalone.

In Kill Me Again, professor Olivia Dupree is anxiously awaiting the arrival of reclusive author, Aaron Westhaven, who has never before made a public appearance. Having read all his books, Olivia feels as though he through his characters, he is the only one who understands her. She has even gone as far as writing him letters on how she feels.

Shortly before Aaron is scheduled to arrive, Olivia is called to the hospital to talk with a man who was shot in the head and left for dead. Fortunatey, his wound was not fatal due to the metal plate in his head, but he has amnesia and doesn't know who he is. There was nothing in his possession when he was found except a pocket watch and Olivia's business card.

The man Olivia believes to be Westhaven, sneaks out of the hospital, goes to Olivia's in hopes of learning more about her and why he had her card in his wallet, and walks in on an intruder attempting to kill her. He scares the intruder off and now Aaron, Olivia, and her dog Freddy are on the lam and are bonded by the fact that both are running from their killers. Could the man who tried to kill Aaron and now her have any connection to Olivia's past?

I was pretty impressed with Shayne, who mostly publishes in paranormal romance, and her ability to write an engrossing plot line with decent sex scenes. I hope at some point to read the other books in the series.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French

Fifty years ago, Dr. Wilson Spriggs gave Marylou Ahearn a radioactive cocktail. And now, she's going to kill him.

The cocktail was part of a secret governmental study, and it was given to Marylou and many others, without their consent. They were told that it was a vitamin drink, and that it was good for them. Unfortunately, there were some tragic results.

Marylou has never forgiven Dr. Spriggs, who has now retired to Florida. Once Marylou finds out where he and his family live, she changes her name, moves down to Tallahassee, and begins to insinuate herself into the family's life. Her plan is more complicated to execute than she'd thought it would be, and things don't turn out quite the way she'd planned.

Full of dark humor, this one will definitely make you laugh, and probably tug at a few heart-strings too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 4/26/11

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.

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
Bel Air Dead
by Stuart Woods
Beneath a Starlet Sky
by Amanda Goldberg
Born of Shadows
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Born to Die
by Lisa Jackson
The Bride's House
by Sandra Dallas
by Roddy Doyle
The Druggist of Auschwitz
by Dieter Schlesak
The Fallen Angel
by David Hewson
The Gods of Greenwich
by Norb Vonnegut
The Great Night
by Chris Adrian
In Zanesville
by Jo Ann Beard
The Katyn Order
by Douglas Jacobson
by Sarah Graves
My New American Life by Francine Prose
The Preacher
by Camilla Lackberg
The President's Vampire
by Christopher Farnsworth
The Sisters Brothers
by Patrick Dewitt
The Sly Company of People Who Care
by Rahul Bhattacarva
Southern Comfort
by Fern Michaels
A Turn in the Road
by Debbie Macomber
The Watery Part of the World
by Michael Parker

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Andrea Kane

Sally Montgomery agrees to take a weekend getaway with Frederick Pierson, the owner of the stable were she boards of her horses. While she returns from a morning walk, she discovers Frederick dead and then suffers a blow to her head. She eventually wakes and manages to escape moments before the cabin is completely incinerated.

Knowing that a killer is on the loose and had intended for her to perish in that fire, Sally's ex-husband and P.I. "Monty" advises her to hide-out until he can track down the killer. Meanwhile, Monty is hired by the Edward Pierson, the elder who is CEO of a successful food service business, Pierson & Co, which is mostly run by his family members, including his son Frederick. Although he is posing as security detail for the company, his main objective is to find out who there hated Frederick enough to want him dead.

Monty also enlists the help of their daughter Devon, a veterinarian, who is being courted by both James and Blake Montgomery, Frederick's nephews who also work for Pierson & Co., when she goes to pay her respects. Both men are sexy and charming in different ways, but could Devon be getting involved with the man who tried to kill her mother?

I love Andrea Kane's books. They are easy, page-turning reads, with engaging plots and lively sex scenes. Wrong Place, Wrong Time is another winner. If you like romantic suspense, she is definitely worth trying.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

Andie Miller is ready to move on with her life. It has been 10 years since her divorce and she is thinking of getting married again. But first she has to return the monthly checks her ex-husband keeps sending her. When she shows up at his law office she is not prepared to still have feelings for him. When he asks her to do a favor for him she says no.

North Archer never got over Andie and still wonders what happened. They married 13 hours after meeting and the marriage lasted a little over a year. He thought they were happy. But now she is back and he sees an opportunity. His cousin has died and he is the legal guardian of his two children. He has sent three nannies but they claim there are ghosts and the kids won't leave and come live with him. So he wants to send Andie.

Andie gives in and goes to the kids. But she finds their is mayhem and ghosts! It takes Andie awhile but the kids finally open up to her but they are scared to leave because one of ghosts won't let them. With a medium, a nosy reporter, an ex-brother-in-law, Andie's mom, a non believer, a not quite fiancee and North, Andie has her hands full. Now all she has to do is get rid of some ghosts and figure out her love life!
I couldn't put this book down! It was fantastic. I eagerly await Jennifer Crusie's next book.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 4/19/2011

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 Body in the Gazebo
by Katherine Hall Page
The Coffins of Little Hope
by Timothy Schaffert
by Iris Johansen
Guilt by Association
by Marcia Clark
Leaving Van Gogh
by Carol Wallace
Now You See Her
by Joy Fielding
The Priest's Graveyard
by Ted Dekker
by Amanda Quick
The Sixth Man
by David Baldacci
Stolen Lives
by Jassy Mackenzie
The Tragedy of Arthur
by Arthur Phillips

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dead Wrong by Mariah Stewart

In Stewart's first of her lackluster FBI series, Mara Douglas has been on edge since two women in her quiet college town have been murdered. The connection to the two murders is that both victims were named Mary Douglas. Authorities wonder if the killer made a mistake with the first Mary Douglas and the second Mary Douglas was really the intended target.

Even though the intended victim is still unknown, it does not sit well with Mara's sister and FBI psychologist, Annie. She enlists the protection of Aiden Shields, an FBI agent who is been on leave since the death of his brother Dylan died during an undercover operation that went wrong. Battling his own demons, Aiden agrees to take on the assignment as a favor to Annie, but little does he know the attraction that blossoms.

Meanwhile, a third M. Douglas is murdered. This victim just happens to work at the courthouse with Mara. As the killer seems to be closing in on Mara, she considers that it could be the work of parent who lost custody of his children when she was their court advocate.

Although Dead Wrong had such a good plot and premise, it could really have been a stellar novel if Stewart had gone into more detail about the killings and Aiden's and Mara's developing relationship; these elements seemed glossed over. We romantic suspense readers need a little hot sex in our books! Overall, this is a solid series starter, and I would definitely recommend it to others.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dirty Secret by Jessie Scholl

Jessie, a New York City writer, must return home to Minneapolis when her mother is diagnosed with cancer. While she's there, she must confront the truth that her mother is a compulsive hoarder.

In preparation for her mom's surgery, Jessie tries to help her mom by cleaning up the house and getting her to own up to the problem, but, like many who suffer from this disorder, Jessie's mom doesn't see the problem. As Jessie struggles with caring for her mom, she also struggles with her own perceptions about hoarding, and tries to figure out how and why the problem started. Immersing herself in research about the disorder, Jessie connects with an online community made up of families and loved ones of hoarders, and for the first time in her life, she doesn't feel alone.

This story is told with compassion and gives the reader an insider's look into the disorder without being exploitative.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 4/12/11

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.

After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn
All the Lives He Led by Frederik Pohl
The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen
Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
Deadly Threads by Jane Cleland
Field Gray by Philip Kerr
A Hard Death by Jonathan Hayes
Hiss of Death by Rita Mae Brown
A Kingdom Besieged by Raymond Feist
The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
Minding Ben by Victoria Brown
Nightshade by P.C. Doherty
One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
Save Me by Lisa Scottoline
Slugfest by Rosemary Harris
Toxicology by Jessica Hagedorn

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pawn in Frankincense by Dorothy Dunnett

Pawn in Frankincense is the fourth book in The Lymond Chronicles. After the finding out that his son is hidden somewhere in Africa, Lymond goes in search of him as well as his arch-nemesis, while on an ambassadorial mission from the King of France to Suleiman the Magnificent. Further complicating matters is the fact that there are two boys, similar in color and age, that have been hidden, and no one is certain which one is Lymond's son and which his enemy's.

Eventually, Lymond's party splits up, and each group goes after one of the boys. They travel through the Mediterranean region and Northern Africa, eventually reconnecting in Stamboul, the seat of the Ottoman empire. There Lymond has to face his demons and make a choice with horrific repercussions.

This book is intricately plotted, and full of vivid characters and scenes. The last 150 pages plummet forward, and don't be surprised if you find that you can't stop reading until the end.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen has discovered a formula that works, and I am glad she is is continuing the element of magic realism that has made her warm and entertaining stories so popular.

In The Peach Keeper, the Madam, the old mansion being restored by Paxton Osgood and her women's society, is almost complete and she is planning for the gala opening. The madam used to belong to Georgie Jackson and her family, but that was before the the town's declining logging industry that forced them into foreclosure. Ever since she left the madam, Georgie would never talk about that part of her history with her son or granddaughter, Willa, who went to high school with Paxton and now owns a sporting goods store in town.

Home to help with the removal of an old peach tree on the property is Paxton's twin brother, Colin, a landscape architect who left Walls of Water after high school in hopes of doing something other than what everyone expected of him. While digging deep in the earth to remove the tree, they discover a skull and suitcase that supposedly belongs to Tucker Devlin, a man who could be just a myth and that one is really sure ever existed. Despite their differences in high school, Willa and Paxton are bonded by their families and need to figure out what happened between their grandmothers all those years ago.

Allen's stories are such a nice treat for me because they offer something a little bit unique and different, and I enjoy the departure from the graphic thrillers I usually read. Readers who have read Allen will also enjoy a surprise drop-in from a character from one of her previous novels...I'm not going to tell you who. You'll have to read it to find out!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 4/5/11

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.

44 Charles Street by Danielle Steel
Drawing Conclusions by Donna Leon
Elizabeth I by Margaret George
The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly
Friendship Bread by Darien Gee
Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz
I'll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark
The Love of My Youth by Mary Gordon
Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans
Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle by Ann B. Ross
Mobbed by Carol Higgins Clark
Mourning Gloria by Susan Wittig Albert
Once Upon a Time There Was You by Elizabeth Berg
Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin
Red on Red by Edward Conlon
Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman
The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice
Swim Back to Me by Ann Packer
Treason at Lisson Grove by Anne Perry
The Uncoupling by Meg Wolizter
The Wedding Promise by Thomas Kinkade

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This dystopian first in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy is a totally crazy concept but immensely readable nonetheless.

The United States has been divided into twelve districts controlled by the capitol. Living in District 12, one of the poorest districts, is Katniss Everdeen, who has to break the law by going past the boundaries in order to hunt for food so that her sister and mother don't die of starvation.

Every year, each child gets entered in the reaping, where they pick two names in every district to fight in the hunger games. The fight is to the death, and there can only be one winner whose district gets enough food and grain for an entire year. Katniss's worst nightmare happens when her younger sister prim gets selected for the games, but Katniss volunteers to take her place instead.

Also selected from District 12 is Peeta, the baker's son who intentionally burnt some bread once so that Katniss could get feed the discards to her family. Although Katniss hasn't forgotten his kindness, she knows that either she will be killed or she'll have to kill, but here is no way both of them will come out of the games alive.

I have to admit that this book was a little slow going at first, and I had to question what all the hype was about, but once it got into the games, there was no putting it down. This book really has a little of something for everyone: romance, adventure, and action. I look forwarding to reading the next in the trilogy.