Saturday, December 31, 2011

Silent Killer by Beverly Barton

For the first time I experienced not finishing an eBook prior to the due date and had it disappear on me. I am so peeved since I was all up in my book. I will check out Silent Killer again to finish it, but I was pretty far along, so I can tell you what I thought of this so far.

Cathy Cantrell has returned to her small Alabama town after spending a year in a mental rehabilitation center following the death of her husband. Mark Cantrell was a preacher who, when he answered his door, was doused with an accelerant and lit on fire. Cathy is finally feeling mentally strong after this substantial lost and hopes to gain back custody of her sixteen year-old son, Seth.

Also back in town is Jack Perdue, a former military man and Cathy's first love. After being injured in the service, he has returned as the new deputy sheriff whose first first assignment is reviewing the county's cold cases. As he starts investigating Mark's unsolved murder, other reverends in the area are murdered in the same manner as Mark, making him suspect that killer has a personal vendetta with men of cloth.

All the murdered victims seem to be honorable, upstanding citizens with no enemies, but as Jack starts digging into their past, he uncovers something much more sinister. Cathy and Jack must work together to solve Mark's murder and stop the killer before another preacher falls prey to a killer who has taken on the role of God.

I haven't been disappointed in a Barton book yet, and this one was just as satisfying. Barton is adept at balancing page-turning suspense and romance to make readers so engrossed in the story, they don't pay attention to the due date! The talented Barton passed away this year, so I am sad that we won't get any new material from her. Fortunately, she is a prolific author with plenty of back list offerings.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

I saw this book on Angel’s Classics Revisited fiction display in the Reference & Readers Services Department a few weeks ago and it seemed like an interesting read. Turns out, this book is every former-English-major’s greatest fantasy!

Set in a parallel, futuristic universe, the novel portrays England as a place where literature is taken very, very seriously. Readers can (quite literally) get lost in a story. Literary questions are debated so hotly that they sometimes inspire violence. Plagiarism is the highest punishable offense.

In the middle of this world we find Thursday Next, a literary detective living in London with her pet dodo, Pickwick. As the story begins, Thursday is asked to investigate the theft of the original manuscript of Charles Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit. She comes close to capturing the thief, Acheron Hades, during a stakeout.

Thursday is badly injured during the stakeout, but is saved by a copy of Jane Eyre that stops Hades' bullet. A mysterious stranger aids her until the paramedics arrive, leaving behind only a monogrammed handkerchief. Next recognizes the handkerchief as belonging to Rochester, a character from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

While recovering in the hospital, Thursday is instructed by her future self to visit her Uncle Mycroft in her home town of Swindon. There she discovers that he has invented the Prose Portal, a device which allows people to physically enter works of fiction.

Unfortunately, Hades follows Thursday to Swindon and manages to kidnap the Prose Portal and uses it to blackmail the literary world. Thursday chases Hades into the original text of Jane Eyre, where she finally succeeds in killing him.

As a result of her showdown with Hades, Thursday inadvertently changes to the ending to Jane Eyre. Thornfield Hall is burned, Rochester's mad wife Bertha falls to her death, and Rochester himself is grievously injured. In other words, she alters it to match the actual ending to Jane Eyre.

The novel ends with Thursday facing an uncertain future; public reaction to the new ending is positive, but there are other consequences, which set the stage for the next book in the series.

This may be the best book I have read this year. In fact, I don’t think I have ever read anything quite like it. It is unique and delightfully imaginative; a must-read for any lover of literary fiction.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Fiction 12/27/11

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.

77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz
1222 by Anne Holt
Dark Revelations by Anthony Zuiker
Death Benefit by Robin Cook
The Demi-Monde by Rod Rees
Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag
The Innocent by Taylor Stevens
The Retribution by Val McDermid
Sleepwalker by Karen Robards
A Vine in the Blood by Leighton Gage

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Werewolf in the North Woods by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Abby Maddox is out to prove her grandpa is not a loon. He swears he saw Bigfoot and his mate in the woods behind his house in Oregon. But his neighbor, Cameron, has called in a professor, Roark Wallace, to investigate and pretty much make Grandpa Earl look like a fool. Abby ends up blackmailing Roark when she witnesses him turning into a wolf! He agrees to let her come with him to find Bigfoot.

Roark cannot believe he got caught turning. He needs to find the Bigfoot and his mate and now he has to take Abby with him. He is very attracted to her but he doesn't want his mate to be human like his brother's. But that doesn't stop him from wanting her. Along the way they give into their desire. They also pick up another hiker looking for Bigfoot. They take him with to try and throw him off the scent. But Roark doesn't realize that Cameron has another agenda in mind until he kidnaps Abby. Now Roark will do anything to get her back.

This is the second book in the Wild About You series. And it is another winner. I really enjoy Vicki Lewis Thompson's books. Also try her Nerd series!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

As a former Sweet Valley High reader I was thrilled to hear that Francine Pascal was going to give us a glimpse at what life was like for the Wakefield twins ten years after high school. Sweet Valley Confidential is by no means a literary masterpiece but for fans of the Sweet Valley series it was just what we needed after such a long absence.

At 27 years old, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are living on other sides of the country and haven’t spoken in eight months. Jessica is still in Sweet Valley, Elizabeth has fled to New York City and it isn’t too hard to figure out exactly what happened to cause the rift. The novel is told from the perspectives of both girls in the present day as well as through flashbacks from high school and college.

Liz is now writing for an online magazine that reviews Off-Broadway shows and trying to get on with her life in New York. When she gets a phone call from her mother to come home for her grandmother’s eightieth birthday she is at first hesitant, but decides to go so she can seek revenge on Jessica in the form of her date, a bartender named Liam. Of course things don’t go quite as she planned but Elizabeth goes back to New York and realizes that she is finally able to get on with her life. Shortly after returning though she discovers Jessica waiting outside her apartment door and it seems that after everything the girls are ready to put the past behind them and move on. The girls both head back to Sweet Valley for Jessica’s wedding and Elizabeth discovers a love that she didn’t even know was there all along.

These are not exactly the same Wakefields that we all remember. They drink, swear and have grown up relationships. Yes, there are some inaccuracies with supporting characters and events that happened in previous books, but overall everything seemed so familiar. I don't know that I would recommend this book to anyone new to the Sweet Valley series, or even to those fans that will be able to spot everything that is wrong with this book, but as someone who has fond memories of times spent with these characters this book is a must read.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Fiction 12/20/11

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.

Covert Warriors
by W.E.B. Griffin
The Devil's Elixir by Raymond Khoury
D.C. Dead by Stuart Woods
Perlmann's Silence by Pascal Mercier

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Killing Me Softly by Maggie Shayne

This is the first of Shayne's Secret of Shadow Falls trilogy. I had read the second one, Kill Me Again, and really enjoyed it, but was surprised to learn that this one, although marketed as romantic suspense, had some elements of paranormal. Fortunately, the supernatural parts were pretty low key, so I plunged ahead and am glad I did, as I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Five years ago, Dawn Jones left Shadow Falls and her first love behind, running away from the ghosts that have haunted her. Her "gift," or more like "curse," was inherited by her father, a now deceased murderer who heard the voices of ghosts that prompted him to kill.

Now, Bryan Kendall needs her back and more than ever. After a night of partying, he awoke to find his lover murdered in his bed. The evidence points to Bryan, a cop, as the main suspect. Even though his captain and mentor, Nick de Marco, believe he is innocent, they can't ignore the law, especially since this killer's M.O. is an exact copycat of the Night Strangler, a closed case from sixteen years ago in which the killer was captured and died in prison.

Now Bryan and Dawn are on the lam, evading arrest while they figure out the truth. Their digging brings them to a college professor who had ties to all the Night Strangler's victims. Working together to save him won't be easy, especially when their previous passions and emotions rears their ugly heads.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Take a Chance On Me by Jill Mansell

Cleo thinks she has finally found the perfect boyfriend in Will. And she can't wait to rub Johnny LaVenture's nose in it. Of course it is in poor taste to do at his father's wake but Johnny has been Cleo's nemesis since they were kids. But to Cleo's disappoint Will is not the man she thought he was. Now single again, Cleo is off men or so she thinks. Because Johnny is back to stay and he is suddenly not looking so bad.

Abbie is Cleo's older sister. She has the perfect marriage or so she thought. Her husband, Tom, has been acting strange and Cleo is imaging the worse. But when Abbie finds out the truth it is even worse than she thought. And then to makes matters worse, Abbie turns to her boss for comfort. Now these two sisters need to find a way to make their lives the ones they want.

Another winner by Jill Mansell. And the secondary characters are just as good as the main characters!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Fiction 12/13/11

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.

Dark Men by Derek Haas
Kill Switch by Jonathan Greene
The Leopard by Jo Nesbo
Locked On by Tom Clancy
Silence by Jan Costin Wagner

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Killing Floor by Lee Child

Jack Reacher has been drifting for the last six months. He has just left the Army and is finally free to do what he wants. But his first day in Margrave, Georgia he is accused of murder. But he has an alibi but it cannot be checked out until Monday. In the meantime he is sent to the local prison where he is supposed to be in a secure location. But an error occurs and he and another man Hubble are put in the worst cell block. Just trying to lay low, Jack soon realizes that it was no accident they are in this cell block. And a hit has been ordered on them. Jack must use all his training to protect himself and Hubble.

Now free Jack wants to move on. But he is drawn into the investigation when the identity of the victim is revealed. Jack will do anything to find the killers and end the corruption in this small town with the help of Detective Finlay and Officer Roscoe, his only allies.

This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series and I am hooked. It has been reported that Tom Cruise is going to play Jack Reacher in the movie. Let's just say I do not picture Tom Cruise when I picture Jack Reacher!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

This newest Stephanie Plum novel isn't one of her best. It wasn't as funny as some of the others, and the ongoing love triangle between Stephanie, Morelli, and Ranger gets old. Still, series fans will want to pick this up to find out the what happened in Hawaii (just don't expect any big revelations here).

In Explosive Eighteen, Stephanie has returned from Hawaii and once home discovers an envelope containing a photograph in her messenger bag, which she believes the person sitting next to her in the airport accidentally slipped into her bag. Seeing that it is no importance, it gets pitched in the trash.

Unfortunately, this person from the airport has ended up dead, and she has several people hounding her about the photograph, including his ex-fiance, the fake FBI, the real FBI, and Razzle Dazzle. None of them believe she no longer possess the photograph and won't leave her along until she hands it over.

Meanwhile, Lula, Connie and Stephanie are operating out of a coffee shop since the bonds bus was blown up thanks to an altercation Vinnie had with DeAngelo. Stephanie and Lula go out on their usual hunts for FTAs, but Stephanie's bad juju is bad luck. Grandma thinks it is her love life, and her bowling partner gives Stephanie a love potion. Too bad Lula got to it first and is now in love with one of their most undesirable FTAs.

I have to say I will keep reading these books because Lula is my favorite character and I can't get enough of her. Plus, I am always craving fried chicken after reading a Stephanie Plum book!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Fiction 12/6/11

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 Angel Makers by Jessica Gregson
The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai
Collateral Damage by Terrell Griffin
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Egypt by Nick Drake
The Forgotten Affairs of Youth by Alexander McCall Smith
I Am Gold by Bill James
Murder in Mount Holly by Paul Theroux
Murder Season by Robert Ellis
Mr. Kill Martin Limon
Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell
Slash and Burn by Colin Cotterill
Soft Target by Stephen Hunter
Storm Damage by Ed Kovacs
Supervolcano by Harry Turtledove
The Talk Show Murders by Al Roker
The Thirteen Hallows by Michael Scott
Vigilante by Stephen Cannell

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard

This quick and exciting read from popular author Howard is a winner! I can't wait to read another one of her books.

Most everyone assumes Bailey Wingate is a gold-digger. How else do you explain the marriage of a thirty-something woman to an elderly business tycoon who dies after only a year of marriage? No one knows the agreement Bailey and Jim came to before he passed, that Bailey would manage the trusts of his two irresponsible and spiteful adult children in exchange for a lifetime of financial security.

Planning a trip to Denver for white-water rafting, Bailey books a flight with the private plane service of the Wingate corporation. At the last minute, Bailey's usual pilot is too ill to fly, meaning she will be flown by his business partner, sourpuss Cam Justice. Cam is none to happy either, annoyed he has to escort the frosty Mrs. Wingate to her destination.

Something goes terribly wrong mid-flight, and the engine abruptly stops. Fortunately for them both, Cam is one of the best pilots out there, and he is able to land them into a tree bank. Although they survived, they sustained terrible injuries. Now stuck on a cold, snowy mountain with no rescue in sight, their only hope of getting out alive depends on trusting each other.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Cam and Bailey, two characters who started out hating each other but eventually fall in love. Additionally, the reader learns what happened to their plane is not what it originally seemed, and Howard throws in an unexpected curve ball towards the end that really made for unpredictable and satisfying read.