Friday, February 12, 2016

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley


They should be fabulously happy.  Clio, Sarah and Tate all live in New York City and have found professional success.  Yet each is stumbling in life, their professional success not mirrored in their personal lives.

Clio was the scholarship girl in an Ivy League university.  Her middle-class parents didn't bode well for her fitting in with her classmates from fabulous, wealthy families.  Clio also has childhood secrets that she wanted to hide and that even in her mid-thirties keep her from forming a committed relationship.  She has been seeing Henry, a charming Irish man who has just opened a successful hotel in midtown Manhattan.  He's ready for commitment but Clio just can't make the leap.

Sarah comes from old money.  She lives in an apartment right off Central Park, a college graduation gift from her parents, who live in the same building, as does her sister.  Clio was her college roommate and still lives with her, each hesitant to live on their own.  Sarah's younger sister is getting married in a week, a fact that fills her with envy.  She thought she had met the love of her life, but he crushed her by leaving her before their marriage.  Sarah has created her own business, but the fact that she had to get the money to do so from her father still gnaws at her.

Tate, with a college friend, created an app that they sold for millions.  At the same time, his marriage imploded and he is left without work or love.  He thinks he would like to pursue his lifelong fascination with photography.  He meets Sarah at a Yale alumni game, and although they weren't friends in college, they have an immediate connection.

Aidan Rowley knows the subject area she is writing about.  She lives in New York with her family.  She is a graduate of Yale and Columbia Law School.  She understands the difficulty in finding one's way in both personal and professional arenas, and how one must make a conscious decision to be happy.  Readers will be invested in all three character's lives and decision points, although they may question why these difficulties weren't resolved before the characters' mid-thirties.  This book is recommended for readers interested in relationships and life struggles.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Blood Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff


FBI Special Agent Mathew Roarke is on a manhunt for a killer who has escaped the best efforts of law enforcement for years; in fact, no one even suspected the killer until recently.  One of the main reasons is that this killer is a woman, a rarity most law enforcement specialists never see.  Cara Lindstrom is a survivor.  As a small child, she survived a brutal attack that killed her entire family.  The killer cut Cara's throat, but she survived, the only witness to his wanton destruction.  Sent to the social services mill, she disappeared when she became an adult, but she didn't leave to live a quiet life.  Instead, the hunted has become the huntress, killing men who use and hurt women.  Roarke is drawn to her, each encounter he has with her leaving him more confused.  He knows she is a killer but can't help but have some sympathy for her.

Now Roarke is on the hunt to put Cara behind bars.  He comes up with the idea of pretending that the killer who destroyed her family is back at work and has his staff find a recent family massacre.  The problem is that when they go to the most recent example, it appears that it is indeed the work of the man who destroyed Cara's family twenty-five years ago.  Can that be true?  Can someone that sick, that depraved, just stop killing for several decades?

As the FBI becomes more certain that the original killer is indeed back at work, Roarke and his team switch focus to track down this man who has destroyed multiple families.  In the process, Roarke knows that he is also getting closer to Cara.  Will he be able to put her behind bars?

Alexandra Sokoloff is writing some of the best suspense done today.  Her plotting is intricate and involved, drawing the reader in further and further into the world of psychotic killers and that of the law enforcement personnel who dedicate their lives to tracking and putting away such killers.  The interplay of emotions between Roarke and Cara as each is in turn, the hunted and the hunter, is mesmerizing.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Road To Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson


Bill Bryson is known for his travel books.  Probably the one that most people remember is Notes From A Small Island, which was his impressions of his adopted homeland, Great Britain.  It was released in 2001.  Twenty-five years later, his family is grown and he is a famous author.  He still lives in England and decided to revisit places he saw then and visit new ones to get a sense of what has changed.

He visits the entirety of the island, from the big cities to the small villages, from the remote north to the little coastal towns to the more populous southern areas.  What he finds is that many things have remained the same while overall the country has gotten poorer, less well-educated and has less interest in the historical places that surround them.  Many of the former tourist areas are now struggling as people can just as inexpensively visit overseas.  Much of the industry has also closed, fleeing for cheaper areas in which to operate.  The population has changed with more immigrants than when he arrived, himself an immigrant as he points out.

What bothers him?  The historical areas that don't get the attention they should or the funding to remain available to the public.  The trashing of the common areas as common politeness seems to diminish.  The areas that are harder rather than easier to travel to as train and bus lines close due to lack of profits.  The closing of village shops as large superstores move in, often to move out again a few years later, leaving the area destitute of shopping choices.  The towns that now feel dangerous at night as gangs have taken over.

What does he like?  The absolute natural beauty of the land.  The amazing number of historical places that England and the other areas have, many of which are forgotten and unvisited.  The amazing higher education system, where England has 1% of the world's population and 11% of the world's most highly ranked universities.  The sheer fortitude and perseverance of the British people, pleased with what they have and disinclined to grumble about what life hands them.

Bryson has written about many places over the years.  He and Paul Theroux are my two favorite travel writers and I've read almost everything they have written.  Both are revisiting places as they get older, Bryson with Britain and Theroux with Africa.  Both seem discouraged at how their favorite places have changed, and how the world seems poorer and more difficult than it did years ago.  The interesting thing is how much of this is due to natural aging and the loss of optimism the young have, and how much is verifiable fact.  Bryson fans will enjoy this book and those new to him will probably seek out his other books as he is addictive.  This book is recommended to readers of travel writing and those interested in visiting England.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Booksie's Shelves, February 6, 2016


Already February!  We've had our annual snow here in North Carolina and we're all done with winter and ready for spring.  My eyes are getting a little better and I've been reading more.  Our daughter is down to the time of choosing a college.  She applied to five colleges and got accepted at all five, now to make the big decision.  Outside of all that, books continue to show up.  Here's what's come through the door lately:

1.  Imagine That, Mark Fins, literary fiction, sent by publisher
2.  The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro, literary fiction, published
3.  Blood Of Innocents, Mitchell Hogan, fantasy, sent by publisher
4.  13 Ways Of Looking At A Fat Girl, Mona Awad, literary fiction, sent by publisher
5.  Why They Run The Way They Do, Susan Perabo, anthology, sent by publisher
6.  Why We Snap, R. Douglas Fields, nonfiction, sent by publisher
7.  The Passentger, Lisa Lutz, mystery, sent by publisher
8.  Welcome Thieves, Sean Beaudoin, anthology, sent by publisher
9.  The Arrangement, Ashley Warlick, literary fiction, sent by publisher
10.  River Road, Carol Goodman, mystery, sent by publisher
11.  The Daylight Marriage, Heidi Pitlor, literary fiction, sent by publisher

Here's what I'm reading:

1.  Blood Moon, Alexandra Sokoloff, paperback
2.  The Path Of The Storm, James Maxwell, Kindle Fire
3.  The Kindness, Polly Sampson, paperback
4.  The Empty Chair, Jeffrey Deaver, Kindle
5.  Shockwave, John Sandford, paperback
6.  Lexicon, Max Barry, hardback
7.  Thorn Jack, Katherine Harbour, audio
8.  The Maid's Version, Daniel Woodrell, Kindle Fire

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee


Living in Hong Kong as an expatriate is living a charmed life.  The husbands (and it's mostly husbands who work) are given lots of enticements to uproot their families and move abroad for a stint away from the mainland.  Travel allowances for the family to go back to America in business class twice a year, a housing allowance that means no housing costs, a membership to the country club, schooling allowances for the children.  Everyone has servants, a driver, a nanny, a maid.  The wives don't usually work but live a life of shopping, visiting with friends and going to the club.  It is an artificial life at times, with your friends the other people you see and the endless round of socializing.  It is reminiscent of a summer camp or college days, times when one is surrounded only by those in the same general life situation.  You share intimate things with them, but once their time is over and they disappear, they also disappear from your life.

Three women's lives are twisted together in the latest round of expatriates.  Margaret had it all, a loving husband, three beautiful children until the family went abroad for a family vacation and met a horrific family tragedy.  Hiliary and her husband are trying for a child but it isn't going well and they are looking into adoption.  At least until her husband leaves her, alone and adrift.  Mercy is the youngest, a graduate from Columbia University who can't quite seem to make a go of it after college.  Everyone knows everyone in Hong Kong, at least in the expatriate community, so all three woman know, or at least are aware of, each other.  How their lives entwine in the disasters and reincarnation of each life is the life exploration Lee displays.

Lee knows what she is writing about.  She and her husband spent ten years in Hong Kong in the expatriate community.  She was born and raised in Hong Kong so is very familiar with the area as well as the expatriate community.  Her ability to deftly dig into the lives of these women and show how they adjust to an unfamiliar world is stellar.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and those interested in exploring how people's lives mesh and how one moves on from life tragedies.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson


It's a routine extended space flight.  The astronauts on the space station are ready for an extended work assignment of a year or more.  But when an event causes the moon to explode, everything known becomes unknown.  Astronomers quickly realise that the debris from the moon explosion will inevitably cause the destruction of the Earth's atmosphere and thus the destruction of all life on Earth.

The expected time frame is two years and the best and brightest minds try to come up with a plan for the human race to continue.  Obviously, the best hope is space and soon every spaceship available is put into service taking up supplies, scientific knowledge and those lucky few deemed important to the human race's continued existence.  The inevitable happens and all those on Earth's surface are soon gone.  There are several thousand inhabitants in space, surely enough to continue.  However, the human characteristics of power attainment and subterfuge create a situation in which after several years, only a handful of humans survive.

Five thousand years later, those humans have survived and thrived with a sophisticated technological society and several billion inhabitants in space.  Plans are moving ahead to solve the problems of the Earth after the land destruction and new plants and animals are stocked there once the atmosphere is stable.  This is to support the eventual return of humans to Earth.  But as the plans progress, it becomes clear that there are surprises in store on Earth and that the story has other chapters yet to be written.

Neal Stephenson writes novels which explore large ideas and Seveneves is no different.  The reader is forced to consider what would be essential in a worldwide disaster and what characteristics would allow the human race to survive.  The ability to cooperate in order to survive and even thrive is explored as is the need for flexibility to handle whatever situations may evolve.  This book is recommended for readers of science fiction and those interested in survival thinking.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Avenue Of Mysteries by John Irving


Juan Diego is a famous writer, now in his fifties, living, writing and teaching in Iowa.  But that's not where he started.  Juan and his sister, Lupe, were 'dump kids' in Oaxacan, Mexico.  Their mother was a prostitute/cleaning lady for the local priests.  They lived at the dump with the dump boss, who was probably not their father.  Their friends were the dump dogs, feral animals that tended to die early.  Juan and Lupe scavenged the dump.  Juan saved every book he found, and taught himself to read.  This brought him to the attention of the priests.  Lupe could read minds; she knew everything about a person's past although she wasn't as good at knowing the future.  Neither of the children were particularly religious; they didn't feel that the Virgin Mary had come through on her promises.

Avenue Of Mysteries is the story of Juan taking a trip to the Philippines but spending his time remembering his past and all that occurred.  He and Lupe had lived at the dump, at the church's orphanage and at a circus.  All three places left their mark on him.  He eventually left Mexico with his adoptive parents.  Eduardo was a man who wanted to become a priest but fell in love with Flor, who was a transvestite.  Together they left Mexico and took Juan with them to live in Iowa.

In his most recent trip. Juan Diego meets a mysterious mother and daughter pair.  Each is a fan of his work and each is determined to arrange his life and take control of his days.  He goes along with their plans but in reality is consumed with remembering his days with Lupe and what it all meant.

John Irving is an author whom readers either love or dislike intensely.  I'm on the love side of the equation.  Fans will recognize many of his recurring themes; the meaning of love, the inevitability of the future doing what it will with you and the need to understand and validate the lives of those most unlike you.  The typical Irving devices are there; the geographic location of Iowa, transvestite, circus animals and reading.  No one hits the same chords in a reader as Irving and this novel hits those chords again.  This book is recommended for readers interested in the human condition and how our choices affect our lives.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Half In Love With Death by Emily Ross


Jess Galvin has gone missing, another teenage girl who has disappeared.  Some say she ran away while others think something much more sinister has occurred.  Her sister, Carolina, just a year younger and who shares a room with Jess, was the last to see her.  Jess said she was sneaking out for a while and for Caroline to cover for her.  By the time Caroline gets worried the next day and tells her parents, hours have gone by since Jess left.  There is no sign of her.

The family attempts to go on.  The girls' father makes a trip to California since Jess talked about going there to become a movie star.  Caroline and her brother go back to school where no one is sure how to act around them.  Her mother cleans incessantly and tries to convince the world all is fine.

The biggest secret Caroline kept for Jess was Jess's relationship with Tony.  Tony is the local bad boy, handsome and charming but the word is he's not to be trusted.  After Jess disappears, Tony starts to hang around with Caroline.  She knows her parents wouldn't approve but who else but she and Tony are willing to look for Jess?  They have the best chance of getting other teenagers to talk.  But soon the secrets that surround Tony start to scare Caroline.  When she is away from him, the discrepancies and rumors about him worry and scare her.  But whenever she is with him, he quickly wins her back to his side with his charisma.  Can the two find Jess or are the rumors about Tony more than gossip?

Emily Ross writes this novel in first person and the reader is transported inside the mind of a typical teenage girl.  There are school rivalries and posturing for popularity.  There are tentative first steps at romance with whatever guy seems interested.  Anyone who has been a teenager will recognize the thought processes of Caroline and how her naivete is easily used to manipulate her.  The teenager disdain of the adults around them and the surety that they are feeling emotions that no one has felt before and that no adult can understand is captured successfully.  This book is recommended for mystery readers and readers interested in family relationships.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wait For Signs by Craig Johnson


Fans of the TV series Longmire will be delighted to find this anthology of twelve stories about Sheriff Walt Longmire, sheriff of Absaroka Country, Wyoming.  Readers will find other familiar characters from the series such as Cady, Walt's daughter, Henry Standing Bear, his best friend and Vic Moretti, his undersheriff.  There are divergences from the series also as some main characters in the TV series are not found in these stories.  All of the stories occur after the death of Walt's wife, Martha.

The stories display everyday details about a sheriff's life.  Walt deals with everything from a robbery in progress to an owl trapped in a Porta-Potty.  He deals with animals from a wild rodeo horse to a mama bear with cubs to a queen sheep who rustles other sheep to the dismay of the ranchers in the area.  In all of the stories, Walt's desire to be kind to those around him while upholding the law shines through and the reader is struck over and over again with how such a tough, silent man has an inner core of kindness and love for his fellow creatures.  My personal favorite was a story called Thankstaking, where Walt and Henry reach beyond themselves to discover the true meaning of the holiday.  This book is recommended for fans of the Longmire series and for any reader interested in stories of the West and how law enforcement is really done on a daily basis.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Booksie's Shelves, January 13, 2016


2016 has been a disappointing reading year for me so far.  Not that the books I'm reading are bad, but that it is almost impossible for me to read right now.  I'm going through a major flareup of dry eyes and reading even 10 pages is sometimes challenging.  If you've been wondering why there haven't been as many posts, that's the reason.  I'm undergoing treatment so hopefully something will work soon.  Here's what's come through the door:

1.  The Infidel Stain, M.J. Carter, historical fiction/adventure, Vine review book
2.  Cold Moon, Alexandra Sokoloff, mystery, sent by publisher
3.  The Portable Vblen, Elizabeth McKenzie, literary fiction, Vine review book
4.  We That Are Left, Clare Clark, historical fiction, Vine review book
5.  Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, Bonnie Jo Campbell, anthology, Vine review book
6.  Free Men, Katy Simpson Smith, suspense, Vine review book
7.  Five Star Billionaire, Tash Aw, literary fiction, purchased
8.  Where It Hurts, Reed Farrell Coleman, suspense, sent by publisher
9.  The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth, historical fiction, purchased

When I can read, here's what I'm reading:

1.  The Maid's Version, Daniel Woodrell, Kindle Fire
2.  The Path Of The Storm, James Maxwell, Kindle Fire
3.  Avenue Of Mysteries, John Irving, hardback
4.  Seveneves, Neal Stevenson, hardback
5.  Wait For Signs, Craig Johnson, paperback
6.  The Empty Chair, Jeffrey Deaver, Kindle
7.  Throne Jack, Katherine Harbour, audio
8.  Mystery Walk, Robert McCammon, Kindle Fire
9.  The Road To Little Dribbling, Bill Bryson, Kindle Fire
10.  Lexicon, Max Barry, hardback

Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Brave Man Seven Stories Tall by Will Chancellor


Things are moving along satisfactorily in Big Sur for Owen Burr and his professor father, Joseph.  Owen is an athlete at his prime, six foot eight and expected to have a place on the Olympic water polo team.  Joseph has been a professor for many years and while he isn't famous, he has carved out a good life for his son.

Then tragedy strikes.  Owen is injured in a game and loses an eye.  He can no longer play the sport that has defined him.  After hospital and rehab stays, rather than finding a new focus, he withdraws all his money and disappears.  His father is frantic and has no idea where he is.

Where he is is Berlin.  Owen has decided that perhaps he should become an artist and that Germany is the place that serious modern art is being done.  He falls in with a group of other artists including one of the most famous modern artists and thinks things are coming together.  Unfortunately, the tribe he has moved in with are monsters and their only interest in Owen is to use him to make profit off his suffering.

After a bloody showdown with this group, Owen and a female DJ he has met, take off.  In the meantime, Joseph has gotten wind that Owen is somewhere in Europe and comes to find him.  In the process, he becomes famous, but not in a way he had ever anticipated.  The two careen around Europe, missing each other for months.  Will they be reunited and will Owen find his way in life?

This is a debut novel by Will Chancellor and it is a towering accomplishment.  Owen is a striking character who will remain in readers' minds long after the novel is finished.  His journey to find himself and where he fits in the world is a compelling one and readers will want to accompany him as he attempts to find himself.  The love between Owen and Joseph is deep and fuels the novel.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and for those interested in personal journeys of exploration.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert


Graham and Lindsey meet in Northern Ireland.  Lindsey lives there, sixteen and discontent with her life living with her father who ignores her.  Graham is there with an Orange March band where he plays the drum.  It is a Protestant custom meant to show the Protestant strength in Ireland to the Catholics, although Graham is not political, he just likes playing the drum and the uniforms.

Six weeks later, when Graham has returned to Glasgow, Lindsey shows up on his mom's doorstep, pregnant.  The two get married and in due course, Stevie is born.  Lindsey is fiercely independent and determined to get her little family ahead.  This is the world of working poor, where everyone lives in government housing and the jobs are cleaning houses, driving taxis and construction.  Lindsey wants her family to do better and for Stevie to have a better life.

But things go awry when Graham goes back to the life in the band.  Lindsey's discontent with her father was rooted in his activities with the Catholic IRA and the constant tension and fighting that politics meant there.  Although Graham doesn't see his actions as political, she can't stand to be reminded of that time.  The constant fighting breaks up the family and sets Stevie astray.  He runs away and is lost to the family.

The story is told in two parts.  The first part is the story of Lindsey and Graham, starting when they meet and moving forward.  The second part is Stevie's story when he returns to Glasgow after several years on his own.  As the two stories move towards each other in time, the reader is drawn into contemplation about whether the family can also move back together and be reconciled.

Rachel Seiffer is considered one of the best current novelists.  Her first novel, The Dark Room, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.  Her second, Afterwards, was longlisted for the Orange Prize, and a collection of short stories, Field Study, received an award from PEN International.  This novel, her third, was longlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Literature, formerly the Orange Prize.  This book is recommended for those interested in Irish history and those interested in how families can support each other and how easily they can be torn apart.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Tears Of Dark Water by Corban Addison


Daniel and his teenage son, Quentin, are sailing around the world.  Daniel and his wife, Vanessa, are having issues in their marriage, and Quentin is aimless, heading towards trouble.  Daniel decides that a sailing trip for father and son will be the cure for all the problems the family is having.  Halfway through the trip, Daniel's plan seems to be working; Quentin is back to his own self and focused on completing.  Then disaster strikes.

The sailboat is attacked and taken over by a band of Somali pirates.  They are led by a young fighter, Ismail, who has taken up the life of a pirate after the wars and corruption of Somali have ripped his family apart.

Paul Derrick is the FBI's top hostage negotiator.  He is called in to broker the release of Daniel and Quentin, backed up by a huge navel presence and an elite SEAL team.  This will be a difficult negotiation as it is so bound by time.  Usually, Paul has days if not weeks to wear down a hostage taker but the boat is only four days off the coast.  The government is determined that the pirates will never make landfall where the hostages can disappear with no chance of rescue.

Derrick is making progress when Ismail goes off the record.  He finds a way to contact Vanessa and the family left behind directly and demands a ransom for their release.  Daniel's father is wealthy and well-connected and the government agrees to try the ransom.  But disaster occurs and all the participants are left to face the fallout from what happens.

Corban Addison has written a compelling page-turner.  The story is told through the viewpoints of Daniel, Vanessa, Paul, Ismail's lawyer, Megan, Ismail and his sister Yasmin.  All sides of the complicated issue are explored in depth and the reader is pulled into the controversy and left to wonder how they would handle such a volatile situation.  This book is recommended for readers of thrillers and those interested in current events.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Booksie's Shelves, December 30, 2015

Here's the last Booksie's Shelves for 2015!  Since it is after Christmas, it's a huge list.  I ask for books, people give me books, then I'm shopping for books for other people and see ones I can't live without.  All in all, it's always a Booksie Christmas.  Here's the recent additions:

1.  Island Of Wings, Karin Altenberg, literary fiction, purchased
2.  Skin, Mo Hayder, mystery, purchased
3.  Gone, Mo Hayder, mystery, purchased
4.  The Dogs Of Littlefield, Suzanne Berne, literary fiction, sent by publisher
5.  If I Run, Terri Blackstock, mystery, sent by publisher
6.  The Treatment, Mo Hayder, mystery, purchased
7.  Reasons She Goes To The Woods, Deborah Kay Davies, literary fiction, purchased
8.  A Drop In The Ocean, Jenni Ogden, literary fiction, sent by publisher
9.  Atlantic, Simon Winchester, nonfiction, purchased
10.  What She Left, T.R. Richmond, mystery, sent by publisher
11.  Be Frank With Me, Julia Claiborne Johnson, literary fiction, sent by publisher
12.  Incarnations, Susan Barker, literary fiction, purchased
13.  The Expatriates, Janice Y.K. Lee, literary fiction, sent by publisher
14.  May We Be Forgiven, A.M. Homes, literary fiction, purchased
15.  The Blue Book, A.L. Kennedy, literary fiction, purchased
16.  Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, Salman Rushdie, literary fiction, gift
17.  City On Fire, Garth Hallberg, literary fiction, gift
18.  The Borrower, Rebecca Makkai, literary fiction, Paperbackswap
19.  My Fat Dad, Dawn Lerman, memoir, sent by author
20.  A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, Eimear McBride, literary fiction, purchased
21.  Desert City Diva, Cory Fayman, mystery, sent by publisher
22.  The Red Book, Deborah Kogan, literary fiction, purchased
23.  The Seas, Samantha Hunt, literary fiction, purchased

Here's what I'm reading:

1.  The Maid's Version, Daniel Woodrell, Kindle Fire
2.  The Path Of The Storm, James Maxwell, Kindle Fire
3.  A Brave Man Seven Stories Tall, Will Chancellor, Kindle
4.  Mystery Walk, Robert McCammon, Kindle Fire
5.  Seveneves, Neal Stephenson, hardback
6.  The Tears Of Dark Water, Corban Addison, paperback
7.  Thorn Jack, Katherine Harbour, audio
8.  The Road To Little Dribbling, Bill Bryson, Kindle Fire

Here's to a great reading 2016!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian


It's 1890 in London and the Scotland Yard Murder Squad is still finding its way.  Their consulting physician is excited about a way to identify criminals by the marks their fingers leave behind and he also has ideas about how to keep a crime scene untouched until he can get there.

Life has also moved on for the detectives in the Squad.  Walter Day is still recovering from the search for Jack the Ripper that almost killed him and left him with a significant injury.  His wife, Claire, has had twin girls and his in-laws have moved in to supervise, bringing a staff.  He doesn't have a moment's peace.  His sergent, Nevile Hammersmith, has even more problems.  A pure policeman who can see what needs to be done and who doesn't worry about the rules and procedures, he has also been left injured and also dismissed from the force.  He is bereft without his work as a policeman as it is what he was born to do.

Of course, crime never stops.  There is a new serial killer, nicknamed The Harvest Man, stalking the streets.  He breaks into houses and kills married couples by slicing off their faces.  There is a Ripper copycat prowling the nights.  The real Jack is still in the shadows although the official word is that he is dead.  He is very much alive and totally focused on Inspector Day, the only man to ever prove a challenge to him.

This is the fourth book in this delightful Victorian series.  Grecian has spun a complex tale that resolves satisfactorily.  Even more, his cast of characters is one that the reader comes to care about and wait eagerly for the next installment in their lives.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Music For Wartime by Rebecca Makkai


The short story is one of the most challenging formats.  In a novel, an author can sprawl a bit, can even get lost for a while before coming back to their main point.  In a short story, every word is essential and the structuring must be tight.  Rebecca Makkai is a master of the short story, with entries in four consecutive editions of The Best American Short Stories.  In Music For Wartime, she brings together seventeen stories written over thirteen years in her debut anthology.

Each story explores a person facing an event that will change them.  In one, a traveling circus dies in a small town and the struggle to get it buried tests the faith of the town's pastor.  In another, a renowned cellist returns home to find a memorial to a traffic accident has taken over her lawn, as she herself is working through her own attempts to make her life memorable.  A woman finds her fiance has a double life when he is killed with his other lover and in her struggle to understand, she finds another couple whose love is unimaginable.  A young boy plays a duet in his family's apartment with a famous pianist who has been imprisoned for years by a totalitarian government.

Each story is luminous and each is a perfect gem.  The stories vary in length from a page or two to more than thirty pages, yet each seems the correct length.  Makkai has written two acclaimed novels, The Borrowers and The Hundred Year House.  But she got her start in short fiction and this collection demonstrates to the reader the range and mastery she brings to it.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and those interested in the short story.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis


Emily has left her home.  She had a perfect life, a handsome husband who loved her madly, a gorgeous toddler, a dream house, even a new puppy. What could have forced her from this haven?  Emily had always been the good twin; her sister Caroline a chaotic individual who stumbled from crisis to crisis.  Now Emily has disappeared and no one can imagine where she has gone.

As it turns out, it is amazingly easy to disappear.  Emily goes to London and before a week is out, she has a new place to live, courtesy of the newspaper ads  and a new job, courtesy of a temp agency.  Her only disguise is going by her first rather than her middle name.  Since her maiden name was common, she can even use her passport as identification so there is no problem setting up a bank account, etc.

Her husband, Ben, is desolate.  Why did she go?  Where did she go?  It turns out the police are not very interested in helping a husband locate a wife who decides to disappear.  Ben searches as best he can then with the help of his parents, moves on with taking care of the house and those left behind.  Will these two ever find their way back to each other?

Tina Seskis has written a suspenseful novel that slowly and tantalizingly reveals the mystery behind Emily and Ben's life.  I must admit my heart sank when I realised it was a good twin, evil twin plot line, but this one has been well-done, the inevitable comparisons done deftly.  The reader is caught up in Emily's successful escape and left wondering if they could ever do the same.  This novel is recommended for readers of thrillers.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Handless Maiden by Dorothy Black Crow

Joanna Joe, a Lakota woman, has been killed, her body dumped in a ditch on the reservation and its hands chopped off.  Worse, before the men can retrieve the body to arrange proper burial, it is taken off by the federal and local law enforcement authorities and buried in a pauper's grave.  To rest, the body must be buried on Indian land and reunited with its hands.

Alex Turning Hawk is a medicine man in training.  He is newly married to Tate, an Indian woman who was raised in the white world and is struggling to learn and obey the tribal ways.  They decide that they must find out who murdered Joanna and retrieve her to give her final honors.  In order to do so, Alex leaves to go undercover in town, leaving Tate to protect their homestead on the reservation.

As they each attempt to find the truth in their separate ways, they encounter many other players.  There are the AIM warriors, determined to bring back the honor of Indian ways.  There are the federal authorities, who often seem to be at cross-purposes from those of the Lakota, even active enemies at times.  Alex goes undercover as one of the Indian stereotypes; the drunken Indian wino and lives among those unfortunates in town.  He learns the lessons they have to teach while moving his investigation forward.  Tate works on the reservation, finding that all of her Lakota friends may not be friends after all.  There are rumors of a federal informer; a spy, and if true, this person may be tied to the murder.  Who can Tate trust?  Can the two find the truth of what happened to Joanna Joe?

Dorothy Black Crow has written a murder mystery steeped in the lore and traditions of the Lakota tribe.  Readers will learn more about the Lakota from this novel than from many history books, written by outsiders.  Each page draws the reader deeper and deeper into another world, where living close to the land and giving honor to each individual is key. The Handless Maiden is the first in a series of books about Alex Turning Hawk and his wife, Tate.   This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Booksie's Shelves, December 11, 2015


It's December, two weeks from Christmas.  With all the hustle and bustle of getting ready, reading has been taking a back seat.  A huge dry eye flareup has also impacted my ability to read.  But I have new medications and hope for that and after the holiday, I hope 2016 is a major reading year!  In our family, everyone gives and gets books, so there will be a long list of books that have joined my library after the holiday.  In the meantime, here's what's come through the door lately:

1.  The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus, L. Frank Baum, children's book, sent by publisher
2.  Descent, Tim Johnston, thriller, sent by publisher
3.  In The Company Of Sherlock Holmes, edited by Laurie King, anthology, sent by publisher
4.  The Penguin Lessons, Tom Mitchell, memoir, sent by publisher
5.  The Bone Labyrinth, James Rollins, thriller, sent by publisher
6.  The Jericho River, David Tollen, historical fiction, sent by publisher
7.  One Step Too Far, Tina Seskis, mystery, sent for book tour
8.  Perfectly Broken, Robert Burke Warren, mystery, sent by publisher
9.  Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Ed Tarkington, literary fiction, sent by publisher
10.  The Dead Student, John Katzenback, mystery, sent by Curled Up With A Good Book
11.  The Small Backs Of Children, Lidia Yuknavitch, literary fiction, sent by Curled Up
12.  Genghis Khan, Frank McLynn, nonfiction, sent by Curled Up
13.  The Cellar, Minette Walters, mystery, sent by Curled Up
14.  Wolf In White Van, John Darnielle, literary fiction, sent by Curled Up
15.  The Day Of Atonement, David Liss, historical fiction, sent by Curled Up
16.  The Murderer's Daughter, Jonathan Kellerman, sent by Curled Up
17.  The Sleeping King, Cindy Dees, fantasy, sent by Curled Up

Here's what I'm reading:

1.  The Maid's Version, Daniel Woodrell, Kindle Fire
2.  The Path Of The Storm, James Maxwell, Kindle Fire
3.  A Brave Man Seven Stories Tall, Will Chancellor, Kindle
4.  Mystery Walk, Robert McCammon, Kindle Fire
5.  The Handless Maiden, Dorothy Black Crow, paperback
6.  Music For Wartime, Rebecca Makkai, hardback
7.  Thorn Jack, Katherine Harbour, audio

Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Church Of Marvels by Leslie Parry


In the New York City of 1895, life was not easy for anyone, and especially for women on their own.  But some women found a way to handle the strictures society placed on them.  One of these women was Friendship Willingbird Church.  She created and ran a Coney Island sideshow called The Church Of Marvels.  She and her acts, some gymnasts and stage assistants like her twins, others sideshow acts, created a world of marvels for the viewers.  When it caught fire and burned to the ground, killing Friendship in the process, a quilt of interconnected events started that brought many other individuals together.

The first event was the separation of the Church twins, Belle and Odile.  After the fire, Belle had gone into a depression and then left, leaving no word of where she could be found.  At first, Odile accepted Belle's departure but as the months went by, she resolved to find her.  At a time when going from the Island to the city was a major trip, this was a momentous decision.

In the city, other events were occurring.  Sylvan, a young man who cleaned night soil from privies, had a life-changing occurrence happen when he discovered a baby in one of the outhouses he was cleaning.  Although the rest of the gang told him to just leave her there, he took the baby home and decided to raise her.

Another young woman, Alphie, awakes to find herself in a nightmare.  She has gone afoul of her mother in law, and has been shipped off to an insane asylum where there is no hope of kindness or even basic care.  There is no one who will listen to her explanations of how she got there or to believe anything she said.  All that was desired was instant obedience to any command, and any deviation led to abuse.  Alphie and another inmate plot to escape and manage to do so, heading back to the city.

With all the players in place, the reader starts to make the connections that prove all of these individuals are bonded in various ways, and that each of them plays a part in the others' lives.  This unfolding of a complex plot that once revealed, seems inevitable, is one of the things that makes this novel such a successful debut novel.

Leslie Parry is a graduate of the famous Iowa Writers' Workshop.  Her short stories have appeared in publications such as The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Missouri and Cincinnati Reviews, and The Pen/O'Henry Prize Stories.  This debut novel has received much praise from the literary world and can be found on many Best of 2015 lists.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and anyone willing to be amazed.


Monday, December 7, 2015

The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad


Frank Rath lives a quiet life in rural Vermont, and that's fine with him.  Years ago he was a police inspector.  That life ended when his sister and brother-in-law were killed by a serial killer, leaving him to raise his infant niece.  He gave up the police force and became a private investigator with its better hours and safer daily work.

But seventeen years later, things are changing.  His daughter, Rachel, is now grown and off at college, where he can't provide a daily shield of protection.  His days now are lonely as he lives by himself and adjusts to a new way of living.  He gets word that the killer, Preacher as he is known in the press, is unimaginably up for parole despite the crimes he committed.  And girls are starting to disappear.

The local police chief comes to Rath when a beautiful girl disappears after her shift at work, her car found abandoned on the side of the road.  He needs Rath's expertise as his officers don't have the knowledge or experience to handle a case that quickly grows larger.  As the investigation proceeds, other lost girls in this small area come to light.  Is there another serial killer among them?

Eric Rickstad has penned a haunting crime fiction, one that proves that gritty crime writing doesn't only belong in a city setting.  Rath is a man tied to the past and one who tries fruitlessly to protect his daughter from the dangerous world as she fights to stand alone.  What is the line between protecting someone and scaring them needlessly?  His expertise and determination move the investigation forward so that the people of rural Vermont can know the truth about their daughters and what has happened.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Precious One by Marisa De Los Santos

At seventeen, Wilson Cleary had the ability to devastate his daughter, Taisy.  He was never a warm man and she spent a lot of time working for his approval.  But at seventeen, when their family broke up, he cut her, her mother and her brother completely out of his life.  There was one visit; for them to meet the new baby he had with his new wife but outside of that, not a word, not a visit, not a card or phone call.

Until now.  Wilson has had a heart attack and in the aftermath, he calls Taisy.  She is now thirty-five and has a career as a ghostwriter.  He asks her to come to his house and when there, he asks if he can hire her to write his intellectual life story.  Although this prospect is not appealing, something keeps Taisy there.  Her baby half-sister, Willow, is now the same age that Taisy was when everything went askew.  There is unfinished business with her old love, Ben, who is also back in town.  Maybe it's time to finally put the ghosts to rest and to reclaim her life.

Marisa de los Santos has written a lovely book, a book that makes the reader a better person.  It is told by Taisy and Willow in alternating chapters.  As the book unfolds, the reader sees the glacial moving together that changes the sisters from implacable enemies into loving supportive family.  Many families have schisms and grudges that result in remoteness.  In this season, it is heartwarming to read a tale in which the participants fight the odds to reclaim the closeness that is a family's due.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and for those interested in relationships.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Identity by Ingrid Thoft


Fina Ludlow is an unexpected private investigator.  Most investigators are male and few have a family background of a wealthy law firm.  But Fina is good at her job and is willing to take the risks inherent in the profession.

Renata Sanchez comes to the law firm with a potential lawsuit.  Seventeen years ago, Renata chose artificial insemination as her method for becoming a mother.  Now as her child becomes an adult she wants to know who her donor was for medical reasons.  She signed confidentiality agreements at the time but now wants to put those aside and find out who the man was.  Fina's father agrees to take on the case and Fina is given the job of finding the donor.

Her search is successful and the donor turns out to be a wealthy man who is one of Boston's most prominent philantrophists.  It also turns out that he was the donor for other babies and suddenly Renata's daughter has half brothers and sisters she never knew about.  Before anything can move forward though, the donor is brutally murdered.  Fina is hired by the donor's son and heir to see what she can find out.

As the case unfolds, Fina is targeted and meets with physical violence.  Her niece is threatened as well.  This makes Fina more determined than ever to find the culprit.  In the midst of handling the investigation, she is also working through a family issue and helping out a friend with a side issue.  But her focus is on finding the murderer regardless of where the investigation leads.

Mystery readers will love Fina with her mix of bravery and independence.  ABC has commissioned the series as a new TV series, and Fina will play well on television.  The background of family entanglements and Fina's determination when she has a case make her an engaging character.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Heroes Reborn Ebook Series


eBook and Audiobook Series Based on Heroes Reborn
OFFICIAL EBOOK & AUDIOBOOK SERIES EXPANDS UNIVERSE OF NBC HIT SHOW HEROES and NEW EVENT SERIES,
HEROES REBORN

Filling in gaps between the wildly popular NBC series Heroes and successful reboot of the franchise, Heroes Reborn, German publisher Bastei Lübbe AG, in a joint multi-platform venture with Imperative Entertainment, is releasing the entire eBook and audiobook series based on Heroes Reborn on November 20, 2015. This series answers many of the burning questions in the Heroes universe and gives fans the unique opportunity to stay connected to Heroes Reborn during the show¹s brief hiatus after the November 19 midseason finale. 

To celebrate the release of the entire eBook and audiobook series and the midseason finale of the Heroes Reborn TV series, the first eBook in the series, Brave New World, by former editor of the UK comic 2000AD David Bishop, will be made available as a free eBook download on Amazon.com on November 19th and 20th. Brave New World, is a novelization of Tim Kring¹s original draft script of the first episode of Heroes Reborn.

The other books in the series include A Matter of Trust by New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn, which focuses on Father Mauricio, a priest who befriends a teenager with a secret and devastating power. Stephen Blackmoore¹s Dirty Deeds is an action-packed tale of police corruption, featuring a young Captain James Dearing, a canny and cruel survivor who exploits the social upheaval surrounding Evolved Humans. Duane Swierczynski contributes Catch and Kill, a classic cat-and-mouse thriller about Luke and Joanne Collins, the lethal husband and wife killing team, who meet their match. Keith DeCandido¹s Save The Cheerleader, Destroy The World tells the full story of what has happened to everybody¹s favorite cheerleader, Claire Bennet, and answers many of the burning questions fans have. A Long Way From Home is an original tale by New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson and Peter J. Wacks set at Camp Hale, the first ³Temporary Assessment Camp² for Evolved Humans with non-threatening powers, where a motley crew of misfits join forces to pool their supposedly Œtrivial¹ abilities.

Released as eBooks and audiobooks, the six thrillers address many previously unanswered questions about the overall story, offer new information about the characters, and treat readers to a deeper examination of the Heroes universe.

 Heroes Reborn creator Tim Kring explains, ³What you see on TV is just a piece of the Heroes universe we've created. These stories give existing and new fans a chance to learn the fates of some of their favorite characters, and to dive deeper into the rich Heroes mythology. Plus they're a lot fun to read."

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Banquet Of Consequences by Elizabeth George


When the renowned feminist author, Clare Abbott, is found dead in her hotel room, the first thought was that it was a heart attack.  After further investigation it was determined that instead she had been poisoned with a deadly compound.  Who would want Clare dead?  Was it her editor, Rory, whose friendship with Clare had had its ups and downs.  Was it her assistant, Caroline Goldacre, who had wormed her way further and further into Clare's life until she was impossible to remove?  Was it even possible that Caroline was the real target, opening up further suspects such as her husband and the woman he was having an affair with or the woman who had lived with Caroline's son and who blamed Caroline for that son's death?

Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers start the investigation.  Both have outside issues that complicate their work.  Lynley is attempting to find an easy working relationship with his new superior officer, and also to see if what he feels for the new woman in his life is serious.  The new officer has an intense dislike of Havers and her propensity to play fast and loose with the Scotland Yard procedural rules and this case is supposed to convince her not to transfer Barbara.  As always, there are lots of threads floating around to be tied up.

Elizabeth George fans will be glad to read this twentieth novel about this detective pair.  This novel is closer to the early ones on which George's reputation was created.  Lynley is working to put his personal tragedy behind him and Barbara is back to work, determined to get back in everyone's good graces.  The interplay between the two is one of the series appeals and this novel does not disappoint.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Booksie's shelves, November 24, 2015


Thanksgiving has rolled around.  Everyone on Facebook is writing this month about all the things they are thankful for.  I have a lot to add to this list.  I have a wonderful family, with a husband who has stuck with me through thick and thin for forty-two years and a beautiful daughter in her senior year.  My son and his lovely wife have four gorgeous children, my grandchildren.  We are all healthy.  I also have the luxury of being retired and doing as I please.  That means lots of reading which has been my favorite activity since I was a child.  Publishers and authors help me feed my habit and I'm thankful for them also.  Here's what's come through the door lately:

1.  The Fox And The Star, Coralie Bickford-Smith, children's book, sent by publisher
2.  Written On My Heart, Morgan Callan Rogers, literary fiction, sent by publisher
3.  The Song Of Hartgrove Hall, Natasha Solomons, historical fiction, sent by publisher
4.  A Dictionary Of Mutual Understanding, Jackie Copleton, historical fiction, sent by publisher
5.  Year Of Yes, Shonda Rhimes, memoir, sent by publisher
6.  Boston Harbor Murders, James Mullen, mystery, sent by author
7.  If You're Lucky, Yvonne Prinz, Young Adult, sent by publisher
8.  The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club, historical fiction, sent by publisher
9.  The Precious Ones, Marisa De Los Santos, literary fiction, sent for book tour
10.  Food Whore, Jessica Tom, literary fiction, sent by publisher
11.  The Muralist, B.A. Shapiro, literary fiction, sent by publisher
12.  The Last Witness, Denzil Meyrick, mystery, sent by publisher
13.  The Ramblers, Aidan Rowley, literary fiction, sent by publisher

Here's what I'm reading:

1.  The Path Of The Storm, James Maxwell, Kindle Fire
2.  A Brave Man Seven Stories Tall, Will Chancellor, Kindle
3.  A Banquet Of Consequences, Elizabeth George, hardback
4.  Mystery Walk, Robert McCammon, Kindle Fire
5.  The Silent Girls, Eric Rickstad, Kindle Fire
6.  Identity, Ingrid Thoft, paperback
7.  Thorn Jack, Katherine Harbour, audio

Happy Reading!




Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Fox And The Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith


If you are looking for an absolutely charming picture book for a toddler or younger child, look no further.  The Fox And The Star tells the story of a scared, lonely little fox who is terrified of the forest he lives in and who has no friends.  At least, no friends except one.  When he looks up at night, he has one friend, a star that shines brilliantly and gives him the courage to navigate his environment.

When the star disappears, the fox is distraught.  After mourning, he finds the courage to go looking for his friend.  The story of his search and the wonderful ending he finds are wonderful fare for little ones to hear.

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous and readers will enjoy each page.  They are mostly black and white with wonderful vibrant orange and red to make the pictures pop.  This is a book that young readers will reach for again and again and it is highly recommended.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Our Times, The Age Of Elizabeth II by A.N. Wilson


A.N. Wilson is an English writer and commentator.  He has written a series of books explaining Britain's history, memorable biographies as well as a series of fiction novels.  This book, Our Times, covers the time period from the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 to the present.  While it is set during her reign, this is not a biography of the Queen and in fact she is not even a main focus of the book.

The focus is a wide survey of all that makes up Britain.  Each political faction and leader is portrayed, with their rise to fame and their accomplishments and shortcomings explored.  The book also covers other areas of British life.  Britain's role on the world stage is covered as well as its waning influence in world affairs.  The economic life of the country is explored with a realization that the country is currently in better shape than the years after the World Wars when Britain was brought to poverty by the enormous amount of money and lives that it took to be victorious.  The loss of the colonies and the end of the British Empire has occurred.

There are chapters that explore the Irish rebellion and the world of the IRA.  Unions and the breaking of the coal miners strike is a topic covered in depth.  There are chapters on literature, the rise of rock music, the changing sexual mores and women's liberation.  The changes that have occurred with the rise of immigrants from Middle Eastern and Asian countries is covered.  The book ends with a highly relevant look at the rise of militant Islam and how it will affect all our lives going forward.  Although the book is focused on the period of Queen Elizabeth's reign, the royal family is not a main focus, although there is a chapter on the story of Princess Charles and Princess Diana.

As an American, it is interesting to see how the English view their world and the world around them.  The focus is not on America, but the inevitable influence of the American culture is discussed in depth.  We don't come off that well, but then again, A.N. Wilson seems to not think that well of anyone.  His sharp, witty exposure of various persons and their motivations for their actions on the world stage is cutting and sometimes malicious.

A.N. Wilson was educated at Oxford.  Although he was originally focused on joining the religious life, he later became an atheist and spent thirty years mocking religion.  In his later years he has returned to religion and now uses his sharp pen to jab those who are against religion.  His writing has won accolades.  In 1988, he won the Whitbread Award for best biography and has written biographies on C.S. Lewis, Walter Scott, Hilaire Bellloc, Tolstoy and Iris Murdoch.  This book is part of a three part history of Britain.  The others in the trilogy are The Victorians and After The Victorians.  This book is recommended for history readers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Life And Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagan


Don't get in a comparison match with Libby Miller for the worst day ever.  Libby visits her doctor and finds out that the tumor she just had removed was not benign as he expected, but instead is a fast-growing aggressive cancer.  He estimates that she has six months.  When she goes home to be comforted by her husband, Tom, whom she has loved since high school, he blurts out the news that he is in therapy because he is pretty sure he is gay. 

Reeling from the news, Libby is not sure what to do.  Her mother died of cancer when she and her twin brother, Paul, were ten, and she is determined not to put her brother and father through that misery again.  She decides she will not do treatment, but will instead live for as long as she feels healthy, then end things before they get bad.  She divorces Tom, sells her furniture and apartment, then flies off to Puerto Rico after her father tells her that he and her mother visited there and it was the happiest time of their lives.

While in the Caribbean, she meets several people who start to change her mind.  Her landlord, Milagros, is a vibrant woman in her sixties with a unique view on life.  Shiloh, the pilot who flew her charter to the island, becomes a lover and friend.  Each encourages her to fight for her life and when Paul flies down, he makes the third person who is determined to change Libby's mind.  Will she give up to spare her friends and family the agony of watching her fight, or do her best to beat the cancer?

Camille Pagan has created a heroine in Libby whom readers will not soon forget.  As a cancer survivor, I was very hesitant to read this book, but it is utterly positive and charming and leaves the reader with much to think about.  What do we owe those who surround us and are we ever better to be self-centered?  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and those interested in relationships.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Great news for Deborah Harkness fans!  On Tuesday, November 17th, Penguin is releasing a free, e-book only, richly illustrated real-time reading guide  that brings to life the world created by Deborah Harkness in A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, retracing the events of these two bestselling novels with illuminating behind-the-scenes details and real-life events that figure into the books. It’s available for pre-order now.

The All Souls Trilogy began with A Discovery of Witches and continued with Shadow of Night. Now, as The Book of Life has brought Deborah Harkness’s #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy to its conclusion, re-immerse yourself in the enchanting fantasy world she has created and enrich your experience of the heart-stopping finale.

Deborah's next novel is coming in 2017 and is also set in the All Souls Universe.  It's called The Serpent's Mirror.  You can read about it here  Lots of excitement in the All Souls world!