Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Secret Place, by Tana French

Tana French changes things up so completely you can never know what to expect from her.  The Secret Place is part police procedural, part coming of age (?) story.  A young man is bludgeoned to death on the grounds of a fancy girls' school.  A year later, one of the boarders at the school instigates a reopening of the case in a day-long investigation conducted by Antoinette Conway and Stephen Moran of Chris Harper's death.  Intermittently, flashbacks explore the friendship between Holly, Becca, Julia and Selena, and the threat to that friendship posed by Chris Harper.

Georgette Heyer

I think I've read Georgette Heyer's books three times now over the years.  As old familiar friends, light and undemanding, they were perfect trauma reading in the car, in print and on the e-reader this fall.  I read:

These Old Shades (1926)
The Masqueraders (1928)
Devil’s Cub (1932)
Why Shoot a Butler? (1933)
The Convenient Marriage (1934)
Death in the Stocks (1935)
Regency Buck (1935)
The Talisman Ring (1936)
The Corinthian (1940)
Faro’s Daughter (1941)
Envious Casca (1941)
Friday’s Child (1944)
The Reluctant Widow (1946)
The Foundling (1948)
Arabella (1949)
The Grand Sophy (1950)
The Quiet Gentleman (1951)
Cotillion (1953)
The Toll-Gate (1954)
Bath Tangle (1955)
Sprig Muslin (1956)
April Lady (1957)
Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle (1957)
Venetia (1958)
The Unknown Ajax (1959)
The Nonesuch (1962)
False Colours (1963)
Frederica (1965)
Charity Girl (1970)
Lady of Quality (1972)
And I still have a few mysteries to finish.  I admit to not remembering which were my favorites.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith

I still like Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin (the main characters in this series) and I found the solution to the mystery very clever, but I truly disliked this nasty, self-indulgent, under-edited book.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith

I enjoyed this book and will follow the series. It features Cormoran Strike, a former military police officer who left the Special Investigation Branch after losing part of a leg, and Robin, his trusty secretary and initiative-taking sidekick who has always dreamed of being a detective.  Cormoran's sister Lucy and Robin's fiance Matthew hover in the background, but don't have too much to do but grouse.  In the first book of the series, Strike is homeless, deeply in debt, and with only one client when he is asked to investigate the death of supermodel Lula Landry by Lula's brother, who does not believe her death was a suicide.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Flight, by M. R. Hall

Poor Jenny Cooper.  She's facing her demons and her ability to cope without resorting to drugs is improving, but every other part of her work and personal life is falling to pieces.  An airbus goes down and all passengers are killed, but the bodies of a child on the doomed flight and a sailor whose yacht was sunk by the plane wind up in her jurisdiction, putting her at odds with the government agencies that want the disaster to go away as quickly and quietly as possible.  I feel fairly certain that researching and writing this book in no way improved Mr. Hall's fear of flying.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Accused, by Lisa Scottoline

I enjoy the Bennie Rosato books, even when Bennie herself isn't the center.  Mary DiNunzio, new partner in the firm, is hired by Allegra Gardner, the 13-year old sister of a murdered girl, to prove the innocence of the man convicted of killing her. The girls' parents object, vehemently; and even Judy, Mary's best friend and usual partner in crime solving, thinks that Allegra has a screw loose and that Mary is too emotionally involved.  Meanwhile, Mary gets engaged to Anthony, and that doesn't run too smoothly either.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bone Dust White, by Karen Salvalaggio

Pretty much every character in this book has a messy life, from Macy Freely, the very pregnant police detective sent to Collier, Montana, to investigate the murder of Leanne Adams; to Jared, the two-timing paramedic with a compulsion to take care of people; to Hayley, one of Jared's lovers and the wife of an abusive truck driver; to 18-year old Grace, the heart-transplant survivor who watches the mother who abandoned her murdered.  And the minor characters have equally complicated lives.  I liked the book, but found it a little grim and maybe a bit overwritten.