Monday, April 18, 2011

The Traitor's Wife

This is the first historical fiction I've read in a while, and I really enjoyed it. Set in the reigns of England's Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III, the story centers on the granddaughter of Edward I married to the son of a courtier who rises under the reign of the second Edward only to overreach himself and later fall. All the characters male and female alike are well rounded, and the period of history is one I'm less familiar with, but enjoyed, especially having been to Scotland and learning more about Robert the Bruce. I'm not sure I want to continue on with the sequel, but maybe I'll come back to it later. The fact that these characters were all real and that the author did lots of research for setting her story made me enjoy the book all the more.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

April's Book Club selection. What a great book. This is a great melding of a human interest story with a science story with morality and ethics and economics mixed in. Science is not my thing, but I loved this story of Henrietta, her cells and her family. Well researched and well-written. Definitely a book I'll recommend and look forward to discussing.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I'm not sure why this is written in the form of letters and journal entries, but it's a really, really good read, if a little long. I especially liked the first part at Dracula's castle. There's a reason this has endured all these years.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I hated this book. Treacly, predictable. Is it supposed to be simplistic because the dog tells the story? If so, there's a reason dogs aren't authors. The "hero" Denny is an unsympathetic ninny who can't run his own life much less the life of a daughter and dog. Yuck!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Billy Boyle:A World War II Mystery

Another free Amazon book. It started a little slow mainly because I found the main character a Southie Boston cop who has benefitted from nepotism hard to relate to. But the secondary characters were very enjoyable and the twists and turns of the mystery on top of the history of WWII England pre D-Day made the pace I wanted to read at speed up. I don't know that I'll read any more of these, but it is a unique setting for a mystery series.


Scott's first Scottish novel, credited with saving the old ways in Scotland after their culture had been essentially banned after the battle of Culloden Waverley was a very enjoying read. Scott's characters are very well rounded; character definitely dominates plot. And of course since we all know going in what will happen to the biggest character I guess that makes the sense. It makes me want to go back to Scotland.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Justice Game

Another Kindle find. A very good, fast-paced legal thriller set around issues of gun control. Engaging lawyers, both sympathetic and villainous clients, shadow juries and their minders, pasts that haunt. Definitely a fun read.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Murder Room

This is our second book club pick. I hope it doesn't kill the club.

This is the true story of a group of professionals from the ranks of profilers, forensic experts, and basic police work dedicated to looking into cold cases in the hopes of achieving justice for forgotten victims and their families. In a way it's CSI in written form bebopping from case to case and mostly focused on the three men who are the "founders" of the group. It was hard to get through the first part of this book which introduced us to our three protagonists pre-group. The writing was inconsistent, often gruesome, repetitive and about 200 pages too long.

I guess if I needed help solving a murder I would consider seeking out these people, but other than that I don't want to spend any more time with them.

England, England

The basic premise of this novel, putting everything tourists would want to see in England in one convenient location seemed to me to have a lot of promise. Unfortunately that promise went awry in my opinion. The problem was the people executing this premise. For some reason the main character was a woman whose dad had left when she was young and therefore had a stunted love life. Huh? Exactly. I would not recommend the book, and I especially hated the Kindle version because it was full of typos and lacked proper spacing. I finished this a month ago and am just now blogging it. That pretty much says it all.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Imperfectionists

I'm finally going to be in another book club, and this is our first book. I finished it two weeks before our meeting. I hope I remember it.

Rachman tells the tale of an international newspaper in a very unique way. Each chapter focuses on one person who works at the paper in the present day and tangentially their area of expertise. Then each chapter finishes with a flashback that tells how the paper was started and how it changed over the years. The paper is essentially the main character, but it's the paper as it is revealed by those who touch and are touched by it. None of the human characters, nor the paper either for that matter, is particularly sympathetic, yet the story was a delightful read, in large part because of its European setting which always adds glamor. This is definitely a book I'd recommend, and I can't wait to talk about it.

Field of Blood

For some reason I just couldn't get into this one. Set back in the 1980s where men were men and women weren't, maybe that was the problem. Mina did a good job of telling the main and separate tale, but wee Paddy Meehan and not as wee Paddy Meehan just didn't drive me forward through this thriller.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

A strange novel set first in Venice in the heat of a Bienneale week where the "hero" lives life in the most hectic way possible segueing into a trip to Varanasi in India where the pace of life changes dramatically. I enjoyed the book because I love all things Venice. And the India parts were strangely affecting as well, particularly given that as was reading it as one year died and another began.

The Black Book

The next Rebus. Good as always. Not much more to say except I wish John could find a woman that would understand him and his work. I guess it leads to the question, can certain people ever be happy?

To The Power of Three

Another wonderful read by Laura Lippman. Despite the fact that it was Christmas week I flew through this novel. A great stand alone book despite a couple of characters that played a minor role in a previous book. I can't wait to read more Laura Lippman. I'm dreading catching up to her current publishing schedule.