I just finished two books and both are highly recommended summer reads.
Vicious Circle by C.J. Box takes the reader on a vicarious trip to the Wyoming and the life of Game Warden Joe Pickett. Joe is in a battle to save his life and the lives of his family. Rodeo star Dallas Cates is out of jail and he wants revenge. Nate Romanowski, Joe’s falconer friend, gets pulled into the drama and trouble always seems to find Joe and Nate. Box’s novels are known for their fast pace, memorable characters and strong sense of place. The reader will be kept on the edge of their seat in this page-turner. I listened to the book and David Chandler’s narration is excellent.
Jacqueline Winspear’s new book in the Maisie Dobbs series, In This Grave Hour, is also a page-turner. Maisie Dobbs is a trained psychologist and personal investigator. England is once again at War, Scotland Yard is overwhelmed, and Maisie is called in to investigate the murders of Belgian refugees from the first World War. The title is foreboding and comes from a quote from King George VI on September 3, 1939: “In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in our history….for the second time in our lives for most of us, we are at war.”
If you are looking for a great book to kick off your summer, consider these two novels or stop by the Library or Bookmobile. We’re always happy to help you find a great read!
From the author of Warning: Do Not Open this Book, Please, Open this Book, and Chicken in Space comes a brand new adventure! I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt, illustrated by Scott Magoon, is a delight and perfect for this late-onset autumn. It has everything you could possibly want as the days get shorter: mystery, suspense, chase scenes and happy endings (maybe?).
The dark color palette hints at the story’s capacity for equally colored humor and continually builds suspense concerning who our not-so-hungry protagonist might be. It is only when the stakes are highest that the true identity of the creature in the cave is revealed. For more fun hints as to the identity of this stranger, check out the book trailer below, or better yet, the book!
Summer is here and for me that means time for reading and relaxation. At the Help Desk our patrons often ask, “What have you read recently that you really liked?” I love these questions because it helps me think about books and why I liked them. I thought I’d share my recent list in case you are looking for a good book for your relaxing summer reading.
I also discovered there’s a new name for one of my favorite genres: Biographical Fiction. I’ve always thought of these books as “Historical Fiction” but recently I’ve been seeing the term “Biographic Fiction” more and it makes sense. These are books with stories based on real people, but often the dialogue and other details are created by the author to move the story. Melanie Benjamin includes an interesting commentary about how she approaches writing Biographical Fiction in the Author’s Note at the end of The Swans of Fifth Avenue.
Okay, I’m using the term “read” here liberally as I’m really listening to her audiobooks. But the sentiment is the same: after a long aversion to mainstream romance and mystery, what do Janet Evanovich’s stories have for me?
Caving in to one of OverDrive’s auto-generated recommendation that I should try out Wicked Business, I listened to a sample of the book and discovered a familiar voice. Lorelei King, talented performer of my beloved Mercy Thompson series, reads Evanovich’s Wicked books too. I have really enjoyed King’s tender interpretation of the Mercy Thompson books–she has whisked me up in wistfulness before–so I was tickled to find that her voice narrates more stories in our collection. (You never think to search by reader, do you?)Read the rest of this entry »
OK … I’m ready to forgive C.J. Box. I thoroughly enjoy his Joe Pickett series and enjoyed The Highway, (awesome book, set in Yellowstone, scared the bejeebers out of me) Hoyt is conquering his demons and mentoring a new Sheriff’s Detective, Cassie Dewell. But something goes wrong and suddenly readers are left hanging.
I was mad at C.J. Box after that book. I loved Cody Hoyt and I didn’t like how the book ended. For me, C.J. Box has redeemed himself in his new book, The Badlands. Cassie Dewell emerges as a strong protagonist who can hold her own. I guess maybe Box had to give her a chance and needed a couple good novels to write his way there. Time for me to move on …
In The Badlands, Detective Cassie Dewell takes a new job in Grimstad, the petroleum capitol of North Dakota. Life is tough there. The economy is booming but crime follows money and Cassie is tasked by the Sheriff to do some internal investigating. She is also haunted by her past and the criminal who got away and is still lurking “out there.” She’s also drawn to a young boy who may be invisible, but knows a lot more than the world is willing to acknowledge. The book is fast paced, the characters are great, and readers are left wanting more from this new protagonist. I think we have a lot to look forward to from C.J. Box and his Joe Pickett and Cassie Dewell series!
Jaqueline Winspear’s latest Maisie Dobbs novel is an intriguing mystery sure to engage readers even if not familiar with the popular series. The title comes from a quote by Albert Einstein, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Set in 1937 at the precipice of World War II, the psychologist/private investigator’s life has been turned upside down with the untimely death of her husband and subsequent miscarriage four years earlier. After a trip to India to find solace, Maisie is still grieving and just not ready to return to London and her concerned father and stepmother. She disembarks in Gibraltar where the Spanish civil war is happening just across the border. There she comes across the body of a man, Sebastian Babayoff, while out walking one night. He was a photographer and Sephardic Jew, and the circumstances surrounding his murder cause Maisie to want to find out the truth about his death. Having something meaningful to sink her teeth into helps lift Maisie out of her depression and suicidal thoughts. She begins her investigation in the British garrison town full of refugees trying to piece together the bits of information she gathers from Babayoff’s family and the Jewish community. Complications arise when she herself comes under scrutiny and she finds herself being investigated by the British Secret Service. The period detail is descriptive and accurate about life and times on “the Rock.” This novel will be appealing to readers of historical fiction and followers of the intrepid protagonist.
Librarian Ashley Weaver’s debut novel is the kind of cozy mystery I really enjoy. Set in 1930’s England, wealthy Amory and Milo Ames have been married five years and Amory’s charming playboy husband is still acting like he’s a bachelor. He’s just returned from the French Riviera when her old fiance, Gil Trent, looks Amory up and asks her to join him at a seaside resort to hopefully dissuade his sister, Emmeline, from marrying a cad, Rupert Howe. On the second day at the posh Brightwell Hotel, Emory finds Howe’s body, apparently pushed over a railing onto a terrace below. Lots of friends and acquaintances staying for the week are possible suspects, but Gil is the primary target of the investigation. Then Milo appears on the scene and things get complicated as Amory wants to clear Gil’s name and figure out if her marriage to Milo is worth saving. Another murder takes place and the group of secondary characters each have their own secrets and reasons not to be trusted. Red herrings abound and Milo’s reluctant assistance in helping Amory find the killer keeps the readers’ interest. The sarcastic repartee between Amory and Milo is amusing and the the reader will keep wondering who Amory will end up with, Milo or Gil. The clues start adding up for the detective, but will the mystery be solved before another murder is committed? The romance aspect of the story adds to a fun light read set in a lavish location and time period. I recommend this engaging mystery to fans of Agatha Christie’s books. This first novel would make a great series with Amory Ames as the amateur sleuth.