Saturday, July 30, 2011

How to Host a Killer Party by Penny Warner

Presley Parker is trying to be an event planner. So it is a big deal when she is asked to plan the surprise wedding for the Mayor. The location is Alcatraz and the theme is ball and chain and Presley is ready and nervous. While everyone is waiting for the bride to arrive for her surprise wedding, Presley helps herself to the champagne. But when the bride arrives she is less than thrilled. She dashes out of the party and simply disappears. And to make matters worse Presley was overheard saying she could kill the bride.

The next day the bride's body is found and Presley is suspect number one. Brad Matthews is a crime scene cleaner and is the one who overheard Presley. It doesn't help that Brad has moved into the office across from Presley and isn't hard on the eyes. Now Presley is out to prove she isn't a killer. But as her investigation starts another body is found and it is her party event planner rival. Presley needs to found the killer now more than never. Because her life is now in danger.

I really enjoyed this book. It is the first one in the series, Party-Planning mysteries. I cannot wait to start the next one!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

Steven's second book is another palm-sweating, emotionally intense psychological thriller. Never Knowing tells the story of Sara Gallagher, who is the only adopted child in her family. After her adoption, her parents were able to conceive her two younger sisters naturally. Dad always treated Sara as an outsider, so it is no surprise that now in her thirties, she hopes to find her biological parents. She just never anticipated the horror of her own lineage.

Her mother is living under a different name, the only surviving victim of the serial killer and rapist, dubbed the campsite killer, who was never apprehended. Sara was the product of that rape, which means her father is a murderer and is still at large. Julia wants nothing to do with Sara, and is angry she has been found. When the media leaks the news that Sara is the daughter of the campsite killer, all hell breaks loose.

The killer, who calls himself John, has now found Sara and wants to get to know her. He claims that she is the only one who can keep him for killing again. Sara is working with the police to try to capture John, but he is too clever to catch, and he keeps upping the anty. He now sends her homemade dolls; dolls whose hair is made from the real hair of his victims. In addition to having to keep the case under wraps from her family and putting her daughter and fiance at risk, how far will Sara have to go to get to know her father in order for him to be caught?

You better set aside a weekend for this book, because I guarantee you won't be able to put it down once you get started. Her first book, Still Missing, was equally as good, so I know that this is an author worth following.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Fiction for 7/26/11

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.

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
Bannon Brothers: Trust by Janet Dailey
Close Your Eyes by Amanda Eyre Ward
The Eternal Engagement by Mary B. Morrison
Full Black by Brad Thor
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
Killing Kate by Julie Kramer
Pampered to Death by Laura Levine
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
A Slepying Hound to Wake by Vincent Mccaffrey
Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong
Thick as Thieves by Peter Spiegelman
The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Ringed Castle by Dorothy Dunnett

The Ringed Castle is the fifth book in The Lymond Chronicles. Still reeling from the events of Pawn in Frankincense, Francis Crawford of Lymond has traveled to Russia, where he becomes the head of Ivan the Terrible's army. He also does his best to cut all softer emotions out of himself, leaving the men from St. Mary's who have followed him, mystified. He has no intention of ever returning to Scotland, but is eventually forced to travel to England, on behalf of the Ivan the Terrible.

Meanwhile, Philippa is back in England, nagivating the treacherous waters of Queen Mary's court. Her attempts to contact Lymond on behalf of his mother go unheeded, but when he returns to England they come into contact again. She continues to grow and deepen in character, knowledge, and savoir-faire, while Lymond increases his military acumen. In many ways the two characters are on two opposing paths: Philippa's compassion and awareness of human weakness and foibles increases, while he seeks to distance himself from all human ties. Philippa is also determined for many reasons to prevent Lymond from returning to Russia, while he is equally determined to go back there for good.

Once again, Dunnett's prose and her depictions of Queen Mary's England and Ivan the Terrible's Russia are stunning. She also introduces some wonderful new characters, while continuing to allow her older characters to develop and mature. While it isn't as emotionally powerful as the previous book, Pawn in Frankincense, The Ringed Castle is a still a rich, evocative and compelling historical novel

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bait by Karen Robards

While in her hotel room trying to fall asleep, advertising exec Maddie Fitzgerald realizes that someone is in the room with her. She was able to escape before almost being shot. She knows it is him coming back to take care of what he didn't finish.

Despite almost dying, Maddie's main concern is her presentation with a potential million dollar account that would save her failing agency, but pesky federal agent Sam McCabe just won't let her be. It turns out another woman with the same name was murdered in the same hotel last night, but the last thing Maddie needs is for the killer to see the feds are involved, which will only put her at risk. What Maddie doesn't know is that there have been a string of killings throughout the country with a similar M.O., and Maddie being the only survivor is key to solving the case.

After nearly missing a sniper shot, Maddie finally relents and allows Sam and fellow agents, Wynne and Gardner, to stand guard. While staying in her apartment on the night shift, Maddie can't help but notice as irritating as he is, Sam is sexy if you like that muscular type with dimples that will make you melt type, even if he is a fed. By working together so closely, it is no surprise that they fall, and fall hard, for each other. But will Maddie's past destroy what they have started?

Robards is a master at making your palms sweat and needing to take a cold shower all at the same time. If you like Linda Howard, Karen Robards will be an easy transition. Her books are not part of a series, so you can pick up any one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Fiction for 7/19/11

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.

Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison
A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul by Shamini Flint
The Bourne Dominion by Eric Lustbader
Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel
The Inverted Forest by John Dalton
Justice by Karen Robards
Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill
Out of the Waters by David Drake
Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva
The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews
Split Second by Catherine Coulter
Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot by Jodi Compton
The Traitor's Emblem by Juan Gomez-Jurado

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Go the F**K to Sleep by Adam Mansbach

Receiving lots of Internet buzz, especially because the audio is narrated Samuel L. Jackson, Go the F**k to Sleep is a tribute to parents who tuck their kids into bed every night, read them a story, and the kid still won't go the f**k to sleep.

Although the format looks like a child's picture book, this is definitely meant for adults. Each page is accompanied by an illustration which is really nothing spectacular. It is the story that will tickle your funny bone.

The parent's voice soothingly tells the child that the cats are asleep, the seeds in the earth are asleep, and giant pandas are asleep. However, the kids wants water or milk or to go to the bathroom. On each page, you can see the parent's increasing aggravation as nothing he says puts the child to sleep. When the kid finally falls asleep, the parent inadvertently wakes him up!

Does this little story live up to the hype? Not really, in my opinion, but is worth the 80 seconds it takes to read it on the chance that it will make you smile. I am sure many parents can relate. This is also available as an eBook from MyMediaMall.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gone With a Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West

Teeny Templeton has just caught her fiance, Bing Jackson, playing naked badminton with two woman. So she does what any sensible girl would do. She climbs a tree and starts throwing peaches at them! Apparently you can get arrested for doing that so off to jail Teeny goes. After being released she is put up at one of Bing's family homes by his stepmother, Miss Dora. Trying to figure out what to do with her life, she gets a text from Bing asking her to come and see him. But when she goes to his house she finds him dead.

Now a suspect Teeny turns to her first love and lawyer, Cooper O'Malley. He broke her heart years ago but she still has feelings and he seems to feel the same. But before they can think about themselves the evidence starts mounting up against Teeny. It doesn't help that another murder takes place and Teeny is suspect number one. To make matters worse, Cooper's estranged wife shows up. Teeny does the only thing she can do: she bakes!

I really enjoyed this book and didn't see that ending coming. I hope Michael Lee West writes another book with Teeny as the star!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 7/12/11

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.

A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
The Devil All the Time by Donald Pollock
Eyes Wide Open by Andrew Gross
Dreams of the Dead by Perri O'Shaughnessy
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
Hotwire by Alex Kava
Iron House by John Hart
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
Quinn by Iris Johansen
The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh
Shut Your Eyes by John Verdon
Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
This Burns by Heart by Samuel Park
We All Fall Down by Michael Harvey

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In Silence by Erica Spindler

Avery Chauvin is brought back to the small town of Cypress Springs, LA, the town she couldn't wait to leave after high school, upon her father's untimely death. The chief of police and longtime family friend Buddy Stevens thoroughly investigated his death and assures Avery that it is not surprising that given his depression her father committed suicide. Avery can't let go of the idea that her father, a physician who valued life, would resort to death by lighting himself on fire.

The support offered by the close-knit community, including that of high school boyfriend Matt Stevens and his sister Cherry, has really made Avery feel at home. The only one not offering her comfort is Hunter Stevens, Matt's twin brother, who once had also vied for her affections and now has become and outcast to himself from his family, Avery, and the rest of town.

When Avery happens upon a box of newspaper clippings relating to an old murder, one that shook this idyllic town to the core, among her fathers things and no one is giving her answers that make any sense, Avery questions the nicety of the small town she once called home. She discovers that a vigilante group called "The Severn" formed to keep things in order and rid Cypress Springs of social ills, which including taking the law into their own hands. What was her father's involvement, and did it contribute to his death?

In this early romantic suspense novel from Spindler, there is a great twist near the end but it will take some commitment from the reader to get there. I liked this book, but felt that her talent has really shined in more recent offerings.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Fiction Released the Week of 7/5/11

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.

A Death in Summer by Benjamin Black
The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies by Susan Wittig Albert
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
Escape by Barbara Delinsky
A Game of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell
A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano
House Divided by Mike Lawson
The Kid by Sapphire
A Monument to Murder by Margaret Truman
Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens
One Dog Night by David Rosenfelt
Pacific Heights by Paul Harper
Rule 34 by Charles Stross
The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen
Turn of Mind by Alice Laplante
Undead and Undermined by MaryJanice Davidson
Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan
You're Friendly Neighborhood Criminal by Michael Van Rooy
You're Next by Gregg Hurwitz