Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Neope's War by Tod Langley


In this third and concluding novel of the Erinia Saga, things are grim for the world.  The evil monarch, Ferral, has gained even more power over his neighbors, using his Deathmarch Army to conquer the lands around him.  His demon, who used to be the beautiful priestess Neope, has taken control of the Army and is determined to totally annihilate everyone she encounters.  Ferral has discovered the location of even more ancient scrolls that will allow him to totally subjugate the world or even destroy it in its present form.

A few brave leaders still oppose him.  King Kristian has managed to rescue his betrothed princess, Allisia.  Together they rally the few survivors of their land, Erinia, to fight the evil.  Cairn, an ancient swordmaster, vows revenge on Ferral for his treatment of his former lover.  Mikhal has some connection to the demon woman he cannot deny although he doesn't understand it.  He vows to discover the nature of his connection and use it to destroy her.  Can the overnumbered and outmaneuvered allies bring down the most powerful ruler the world has seen?

Tod Langley has written a satisfying conclusion to the Erinia Saga.  This third book is the strongest in the trilogy and the growth of Langley as an author is evident throughout.  Langley's own background makes the action believable.  He served in the Army with several assignments in support of the War On Terror, and has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, both as an infantryman and a security consultant.  His knowledge makes the battle scenes very believable with strategy and insights not normally found.  The book will leave the reader wishing there was more about King Kristian and Queen Allisia, and eager for Langley's next novel.  This book is recommended for fantasy readers.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fatal Impressions by Reba White Williams

Be careful what you wish for.  Dinah Greene, owner and operator of Greene's Art Galley in Manhattan, was thrilled when her proposal for hanging art in the corporate offices of megafirm DDD&W.  But her excitement is short-lived.  As soon as she arrived to start work, things started to go awry.  Although the company has no art hanging on its walls, there is a woman with the job title of art curator, and she is adamantly opposed to Dinah and her work.  She yells at Dinah repeatedly and makes threats to get her fired.  Dinah overhears two women having a physical altercation in the restroom over a man.  She witnesses an act of almost unimaginable crudeness.  Everyone is out to get everyone else, and there is no trust or civility to be found.

Things get worse.  Determined to get done with the job as quickly as possible, Dinah goes in early to the offices to hang prints.  She sees an open office door and investigating, discovers the body of a woman.  Bad enough, but it soon becomes clear that as the person who discovered the body, Dinah is a suspect in the woman's murder.  DDD&W is more than happy to try to throw Dinah under the bus and direct the police away from their employees and corporate actions.

Dinah and her family and friends go into high gear to try to clear her.  She has a formidable team.  Her husband is the product of a very rich, very connected family.  Her cousin, Coleman, is a one-woman dynamo.  Coleman has made her art magazine very successful and just started a second magazine.  She knows everyone in the city.  Rob is a former policeman who is now a consultant on art crimes throughout the world.  Can this team find the murderer before Dinah is falsely arrested?

This is the second Coleman and Dinah Greene mystery.  Reba White Williams is very familiar with the art world she writes about.  She and her husband created what is considered the finest American art print collection of American artists, and then they split it into smaller collections that they loaned out to museums.  Her female creations are interesting characters, and the reader gets a glimpse into how the art world and the world of interlocked Manhattan connections work.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hangman by Stephan Talty

Five years ago, Buffalo was terrorized by the serial killer the papers dubbed 'The Hangman'.  Marcus Flynn kidnapped four teenage girls.  Three were found, all hung in trees.  The fourth was never found, as Flynn was discovered in a motel room with a gunshot wound to the head and was left with significant brain damage, unable or unwilling to tell police where the last victim was.

Now Buffalo is on terror alert again.   While being transported to another location, the Hangman has escaped.  The top priority is finding him before he can get away or worse, start claiming new victims.  Every police resource is thrown at the case, including the talents of star detective, Abbie Kearny.  Kearny, who is the daughter of a respected former detective, was not in Buffalo at the time of the original murders and can provide a fresh eye.

One is soon needed.  A new teenage victim is found within a day.  Soon other disappearances start to occur and the tension is racketed up hour by hour.  Abbie is desperate to find a clue that might help her discover Flynn's hideout.  She turns to the Network, the informal collaboration of police and city employees that work behind the scenes and keep things running, playing outside the rules.

Stephan Talty has written a taut, compelling novel.  The Hangman is a memorable villain and Kearny's investigation is full of surprises and twists.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Hassan Haji starts life in Mumbia, India.  His family runs a modest restaurant there.  When prejudice results in a family tragedy, the family moves to London, but the damp, cloudy city is not a good fit.  While on a family vacation in France, the family discovers the French region near the Alps and purchases a home there.  It is directly across from a gourmet French restaurant run by Madame Mallory.

Madame Mallory is the terror of the town.  She gets first choice at the farmers market and the butchers, and a meal in her restaurant is formal and follows specific rules.  She is appalled when the Haji family decides to open an informal, loud, spicy Indian restaurant across the street.  However, when she goes there and actually eats, she realizes that Hassan is that rare find, a natural chef.

She extends an offer to the Haji family to take Hassan in and train him.  He makes the hundred-foot journey over to her world, and his life journey is set.  Hassan learns all he can from Madame Mallory, then strikes out on his own in Paris. 

Richard Morais has written an entertaining tale that will delight foodies and those readers interested in family sagas.  The book is full of stories about food and all that goes into running a successful restaurant.  The food is lovingly described, and the reader feels full and satisfied after reading this volume.  This book is recommended for readers who enjoy food and reading about it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Booksie's Shelf, April 17, 2014


I just got back from a week in my favorite city, New York, where I went to Broadway plays and spent hours in art museums.  So good for the soul!  I had my birthday while I was there, so I celebrated when I returned by buying a stack of books this week.  I love chunksters so that's mainly what I got.  Here's what came through the door recently:

1.  Back to Blood, Tom Wolfe, literary fiction, purchased
2. Towers Of Midnight, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, fantasy, purchased
3.  The Last Stand, Nathaniel Philbrick, non-fiction, purchased
4.  The Hunter, John Lescroart, mystery, purchased
5.  Rome, Robert Hughes, non-fiction, purchased
6.  The Pearl That Broke It's Shell, Nadia Hashimi, literary fiction, sent by publisher
7.  White Coat And Sneakers, Hillary Chollet, memoir, sent by author
8.  The Drummer's Widow, Joanna Fitzpatrick, literary fiction, sent by publisher
9.  Hollow Ground, Natalie Harnett, historical fiction, sent by publisher

Here's what I'm working on reading:

1.  The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton, reading on Kindle
2.  The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner, reading on Kindle Fire
3.  The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson, hardback
4.  Neope's War, Tod Langley, paperback
5.  A March Of Folly, Barbara Tuchman, hardback
6.  A Necessary End, Peter Robinson, paperback
7.  Small Hand And Dolly, Susan Hill, paperback
8.  Cold Granite, Stuart MacBride, reading on Kindle Fire

Here's a hope for great reading for all!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Incendiary Girls by Kodi Scheer


The eleven stories in Incendiary Girls challenge the reader to explore parts of the human brain and human emotions they rarely think of.  The stories contain fantastical elements; a lover who changes into a camel, a man who unknowingly contained male and female anatomies and is now pregnant, a Death Angel who is pleased to wrongly predict an early death.  The stories also contain references to medical knowledge.  Many of the narrators either are studying medicine or interact with medical surroundings.

What the reader experiences is an exploration of how humans react in extraordinary circumstances.  Even in extremis, we tend to reach out and search for connection with those around us who can help us weather difficulties.  Most of the characters reach resolution in some way, either by overcoming the circumstances they encounter or by accepting that their lives have changed and things will be different from the norms they have lived with.

Kodi Scheer teaches writing at the University of Michigan.  Her stories have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Iowa Review and other publications.  She has won the Dzanc Prize for Excellence in Literary Fiction and Community Service.  Readers who read these stories will be challenged and enriched by human experiences not commonly encountered but that explore human limits.  This book is recommended for anthology readers and those interested in the human experience. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah

The Murder Wall is the wall in the police common room where the pictures of murder victims hang until their case is solved or relegated to the cold case files.  Detective Kate Daniels sees the pictures of the two murder victims she discovered a year ago every day at work, and it continues to dig at her that she never found their killer.

Then another murder is reported, and Kate is given the opportunity to be the officer in charge.  This is her first chance to be the lead investigator and she is determined to do everything correctly this time.  The problem is that she recognizes the victim and then hides that fact from her commanding officer.  Unfortunately, that's not the end of the bad news.  As the days pass, more bodies are discovered and it becomes apparent that there is a serial killer on the loose, who has now progressed to a spree killer.  All the murder victims seem to be unrelated, although there is a religious theme running through the murders. 

As Kate tries to put the pieces together, she also struggles with her private life.  She has concentrated exclusively on her career and she doesn't have anyone to share her life with.  Can she carve out time for a love interest and still be effective?  What is more important to her?

Mari Hannah has written a compelling police procedural murder mystery.  Kate is ambitious and driven, but is starting to realize the price she is paying for that ambition.  The killer is clever and there is a drumbeat of suspense as the bodies start to add up.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

Above All Men by Eric Shonkwiler

Life is different in America after the wars.  Infrastructures fell and were not able to be replaced.  For example, when a hurricane knocks out oil refineries there is no more gasoline after what is available is used up.  The country reverts to life as it was a hundred years ago, in the 1930's, a more rural, slow life. 

David Parrish is a war veteran who has returned home.  He tries to maintain a family life with his wife Helene and their son, Samuel.  It eats at him that Samuel, who is very bright, will never know life as he did, with all the technological advances that brought the world to anyone's doorstep.  Instead, they farm as best they can, rediscovering the old methods of intensive farming that used to be the norm.   There are rumors about scavengers who roam aimlessly, trying to steal what they can regardless of who it belongs to.

David does what he can to help those around him.  This sometimes creates tension with Helene, but it is the only way he knows to live.  If someone needs help with a roof or fields, David is there.  He takes in a family to help on the farm, who were in danger of starvation, and finds a true friend in the father.

Then, everything changes.  A child in the community is murdered, gunned down for no reason.  People draw back into their own enclaves, fearful of those around them.  David is determined to discover who would do such a horrendous act, and bring those responsible to justice.

Eric Shonkwiler received his MFA from The University of California Riverside.  His work has appeared in publications such as The Los Angles Review Of Books, The Millions, Fiddleblack Magazine and Midwestern Gothic.  This is his debut novel and the writing is so strong and clear that its power cannot be denied.  The book questions what a man should do to save his family, and how far we should go to be good neighbors.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and is a strong contender for the best book I've read this year.  Eric Shonkiwiler is an author to watch.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guest Article by Christopher Yates

I was lucky enough to receive this guest post from the author of Black Chalk, which I reviewed yesterday.  Christopher Yates writes about alcohol, which plays a large role in the story.  Here's his post:


Boozing and Musings, One Writer’s View

My debut novel, Black Chalk, features an unreliable narrator—unreliable for several reasons, which I hope you’ll want to unearth for yourselves. But one of the major reasons for the narrator’s unreliability is whisky. 

Whisky is the drink of choice of my apparent narrator who, being a hermit, orders all his liquor online. 

And of course there has long been much made of writers and their not infrequent reliance on addictive substances, with alcohol being by far the most popular choice. 

In Black Chalk, one of my characters lends a book of Raymond Carver short stories to a friend and then proceeds to say: “He was an alcoholic. All of the best American writers were. Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck. Hemingway, obviously. Hemingway was king of the writer drunks. Cheever and Carver. Truman Capote. You go back a bit further and you’ve got Poe and Melville.”

Why is this? Well, speaking from my own perspective (I am a writer and British, which gives me two reasons to enjoy a drink), I consider alcohol my reset button at the end of the day. And the boozing patterns of most drinking writers tend to be remarkably similar— 

You don’t drink while you write. Never drink while you write. (Hemingway refuted the idea that he drank while he wrote. He said Faulkner drank sometimes while he wrote: “I can tell right in the middle of a page when he’s had his first one”.) But you wake up early, sometimes a little foggy, you slide into the new day, your dreams still half-alive in your head, the previous night’s alcohol still jiggling the ideas in your head, and that’s when you start to write. 

And I find writing mentally quite exhausting. I start at around 10 in the morning and only very rarely can I keep going beyond 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Does that sometimes feel indulgent or lazy? Of course—because this is writing, it’s not coal-mining or construction work. But the truth is, once I’ve written about 500 words, the drop-off in quality is rapid and extreme. 

So once I’m done writing, I run errands—walking the dog, laundry, grocery shopping, emailing my editor/agent/publicity people/mother, writing blog pieces like this one, washing last night’s dishes, compiling puzzles (my other job, but that’s another story)… 

And then comes the evening. The evening is for cooking (something I love), accompanied by my first beer, and then eating, drinking some wine, chatting with my wife, maybe a night-cap. All of this helps me relax after the arduous mental strain of 500 words, that peculiarly strange task of making stuff up. As I said, alcohol is my reset button at the end of the day. 

None of this is to say that you have to drink to be a writer. Often I wish I didn’t. Am I going to stop? No. Writing is something exceptionally fragile, you can lose your ability to do it so easily that I intend to stick to my routine. And alcohol is part of my groove, for better or worse. (For better.) 

I will leave you with another line from the “king of the writer drunks”, Hemingway. It’s something he wrote in a letter to a Russian translator and critic, Ivan Kashkin, that makes complete sense to me. 

“When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day what else can change your ideas and make them run on a different plane like whisky?”
Cheers, Papa.

 

 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Black Chalk by Christopher Yates

In Oxford, six friends have joined together as freshmen.  There are four males and two females.  One is American, five are English.  Jolyon is the cornerstone.  Charming and magnetic, he is the person everyone wants to be around.  Chad has come over from America for a year of study abroad.  He is intense and finding his way in life.  Mark is a scientific whiz.  Emilia is the psychologist and the most empathetic member of the group.  Jack is the comedian although it is unclear if his jokes are hiding something under the sarcasm.  Dee is a writer and seems fragile.

On club day, the group meets a club that seems intriguing.  The club is meant to promote games, mainly role-playing ones.  Chad and Jolyon come up with a game that the club agrees to sponsor.  It is an offshoot of Truth or Dare.  There will be a round once a week.  The person who loses will choose a challenge, or set of challenges if the loss is a big one.  The challenges are things that have been specifically chosen by the group for that person, based on their personality.  Who knows better than friends what will be difficult for someone to do?  Everyone puts in a thousand pounds.  If a player refuses a challenge they are out of the game and lose their stake.  The last person wins all the money plus an additional ten thousand pounds put up by the supervising club.

At first the game is mild with challenges like standing up at supper and singing.  Mildly embarrassing but nothing earthshattering.  That changes as the weeks go by and the group dynamic starts to change.  Close-knit friends start to look at each other with suspicion.  As the challenges get harder and more humiliating, they lead to consequences that no one in the group anticipated before the game started.

Christopher Yates has written a compelling, dark mystery that will have the reader constantly on edge.  There are twists and countertwists.  Alliances are formed and broken and the game follows the group in ways no one could have anticipated.  This book is recommended highly for mystery lovers and those interested in psychological suspense. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Waiting For Wednesday by Nicci French

Dr. Freida Klein, London psychotherapist, is not working at present.  After the events that occurred after her last time helping the police, she is left battered in body and spirit and needs time to recuperate.  She questions if she should ever help the police again, and they also wonder if the association was wise as Freida is not the kind of person who is bound by rules and regulations.

But sometimes things seem to be meant to be.  A woman in Freida's neighborhood, Ruth Lennox, is found murdered in her home.  The police first believe it is a routine robbery gone bad, but as they investigate, a layer of lies and secrets begins to emerge.  The woman's children are acquaintances of Freida's niece, and she brings them to Freida as they grapple with their grief and disbelief. 

Then Freida starts another quest.  She hears a story that she can't just put away.  It tickles at the edges of her mind, and she tries to find the girl the story originates with.  Soon, with an unlikely ally, she realizes that there could be a serial killer who has operated without discovery for years.  Can Freida solve the various murders or should she turn her back on crime and focus on her own recovery?

This is the third mystery in the Freida Klein series by Nicci French, and readers who read the first two have been eagerly anticipating this one.  Klein is very different from the normal detective, brought into cases against her will by her drive to help others and her ability to see beyond the apparent to the hidden.  The pace is slow at first, but soon the reader realizes that the slow pace just increases the tension that creeps in on every page.  It leads to a stunning conclusion that won't be soon forgotten.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Booksie's Shelf, April 2, 2014


March has been a good reading month.  I've read some great mysteries this month and now fantasy and historical fiction are calling my name.  Here's what's come through the door recently:

1.  China Dolls, Lisa See, historical fiction, won in contest
2.  Fallout, Sadie Jones, historical fiction, sent for book tour
3.  That Summer, Lauren Willig, literary fiction, won in contest
4.  The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison, fantasy, sent by publisher
5.  Monday, Monday, Elizabeth Crook, contempory fiction, sent by publisher
6.  Send Off For A Snitch, KM Rockwood, mystery, sent by author
7.  Shoggoths In Bloom, Elizabeth Bear, won in Worldbuilders raffle
8.  Running With The Pack, edited by Ekaterina Sedia, anthology, won in Worldbuilders raffle
9.  My Accidental Jihad, Krista Bremer, memoir, sent by publisher
10.  In Accord, Kristin Chambers, contemporary fiction, sent by publisher

Here's what I'm reading:

1.  The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton, reading on Kindle
2.  The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner, reading on Kindle Fire
3.  The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson, hardback
4.  Rivers, Michael Farris Smith, hardback
5.  A March Of Folly, Barbara Tuchman, hardback
6.  A Necessary End, Peter Robinson, paperback
7.  Waiting For Wednesday, Nicci French, hardback
8.  The Murder Wall, Mari  Hannah, reading on Kindle Fire
9.  The Silent Wife, A.S.A. Harrison, paperback
10.  The Hundred-Foot Journey, Richard Morais, paperback

Good reading to all till the next time!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Forest Unseen by David Gerge Haskell

The Forest Unseen is a fascinating nonfiction book that examines life on a one square meter of old growth forest owned by the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.  Haskell is a biology professor at the university and spent a year observing the same small meter of land in the forest, observing the changes that each season brings to the land.

The book is divided into chapters that correspond to his visits to the patch.  He examines everything he sees and hears.  The reader learns about songbirds, mushrooms, how plants reproduce, why certain plants bloom in the spring, ticks, microscopic animals, trees, fungi and how the climate changes throughout the year structures the life available for observation.  The reader will pick up tidbits of knowledge in each chapter as well as an overarching view of the entire interrelated ecosystem.  For example, half of all songbirds who do not migrate will die in the winter due to the inability to find enough food to convert into heat.  That is one observation that stuck with me, but every chapter will provide new insights into the world that surrounds us.

The book has been recognized as one of the best in this genre.  It was a Finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction.  It was the Winner of the 2013 Reed Environmental Writing Award, and the Winner of the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for National Historical Literature.  Readers will find the book fascinating and a microscope into the workings of the world mostly unknown to the average person.  This book is recommended for readers of nonfiction and those interested in the natural world.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wolf by Mo Hayder


The Anchor-Ferrers have come to their country home to relax and for Oliver, the husband to recuperate after heart surgery.  The couple is accompanied by their daughter and the family dog.  They barely get settled when they are captured by two men who move into the house to hold them hostage.   The dog runs away, leaving the family in the custody of the kidnappers.

Inspector Jack Caffery is in the area, taking a break from his police work after a case he just can't forget.  As always, thoughts of his brother who disappeared when they were just children won't leave him alone.  He realizes that a local tramp, known as the Walking Man, may have a clue to the disappearance and what happened and decides to approach him one more time.  He finds the Walking Man with a dog that he has found.  The dog has a note attached to his collar, 'Help us'.  The man says his price for telling Jack what he knows about his brother is for Jack to find the dog's family and discover what is going on with them.

As Jack starts his investigation, things are tense and getting worse at the house.  Although it first appears that ransom is the reason for the kidnapping, as time goes on it becomes clear that there is some personal motive behind the crime.  The kidnappers seem more interested in terrifying and humiliating the family than in any ransom.  Can Jack find them before a tragedy occurs?

Readers of Mo Hayder will be thrilled to find this seventh Jack Caffery novel.  No one writes like Hayder or leaves the reader so breathless and frightened.  Although the violence isn't that graphic, the tension builds so strongly that the reader may have to take breaks in order to read on. There is a twist that most readers won't see coming.  Wolf is a compelling page-turner.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ripper by Isabel Allende

A serial killer is stalking the streets of San Francisco.  Bob Martin, the policeman in charge of the cases, searches everywhere for a connection between the victims who seem totally random.  However, this one may hit home for him.  There are indications that his ex-wife, Indiana, may be a target for the killer.  Then there is Amanda, their daughter.  She and a cadre of kids from all over the globe are involved in playing an online detecting game they call Ripper.  They look at real cases and try to solve them before the police do.

Indiana is the original earth mother.  She works as a massage therapist, and takes in wounded and lonely people under her wing as naturally as a mother bird protects her fledglings.  There are two men in her life.  Alan is a wealthy, cultured man who has been her lover for four years.  He can't imagine giving her up, but also can't imagine marrying her as she is not the typical woman in his social circles.  Ryan is an ex-Seal who loves Indiana fiercely, but is haunted by demons from his time in the service and the missions he has participated in. 

Against this background, the murders continue to pile up.  Often they are couples, both savagely killed.  All the victims have post-mortem injuries that the police know must mean something, but the meaning eludes them. Then Indiana goes missing.  Does the Ripper have her and can she be found and saved before she is also brutally killed?

This novel is a definite departure for South American author Isabel Allende.  Better known for her historical novels featuring South American history and culture, Allende refuses to be pigeonholed as an author.  She recently wrote Zorro, a book in the popular heroes category and has also written memoirs and children's books.  Her novelist background shows through in this mystery which gives extensive background for all the characters and the locations where the events occur.  Readers will be interested in this book both for the mystery itself and the departure from her normal subjects.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman

In the 1870's, the wealthy were godlike in their ability to do as they chose.  This was the time of the Robber Barons, men like Rockefeller and Vanderbilt amassing legendary fortunes from natural resources.  To those names, add the Delegates, rich beyond belief from their silver mine holdings.  Fredrick Delegate, or Freddy as he preferred to be known, was the family patriarch.  He had two sons, Hugo and Nicky. 

When one is so wealthy, it is easy to become bored.  Wealthy men often seek out the bizarre and uncommon.  Thus it was with Freddy.  His interests ran to human oddities, and the family retinue contained a Chinese woman who had been a concubine and a Native American transgender.  But Freddy's real interest was in what was known as feral children; those humans said to be separated by tragedy from their families and raised by animals.  While visiting their silver mines in Nevada, the family comes across a young woman known as Savage Girl.  She is said to have been raised by wolves and is imprisoned in a sideshow, titillating the desires of men who came to her shows.

The Delegates rescue Savage Girl from the man who keeps her in the show making money from exhibiting her.  Freddy and wife decide that this is the perfect project, turning this feral girl into a New York debutante and proving that nurture overcomes nature.  As the weeks go by, it becomes clear that the girl was captured by Indians in a raid and lived with them for some time; she knows some Comanche language.  Slowly she begins to learn English and tells them her name, Bronwyn.  Hugo is fascinated and repelled in equal parts by Bronwyn.  She is beautiful but there is an air of remoteness about her that keeps people distant. The mysteries surrounding her life seem impenetrable, making her more appealing.   She has secrets that she doesn't share with anyone.  Soon Hugo notices that gruesome murders seem to follow the family as they make their way back to New York.  Are they connected to Bronwyn?  Could she be the murderer?

Jean Zimmerman has written a historical fiction novel that pulls the reader in and gives them a view of the Gilded Age and the wealthy families that ruled the country.  Along the way, the views of Darwin and the strict structures of society are explored.  There is a love story, a crime story, there is something for everyone.  This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction and for mystery lovers alike. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Booksie's Shelf, March 20, 2014


North Carolina had another ice storm this week, but today the sun is shining and spring flowers are blooming.  My backyard is full of robins and I hope spring is here to stay.  This week I've been in the 1800's with a feral girl adopted by a rich family, with an art model being stalked by a killer, with an Indian chef who has moved from India to England to Switzerland, and out west on a rural farm.  Here are the new books or portals to other worlds that have shown up since my last post:

1.  The Code Of The Hills, Nancy Allen, mystery, sent by publisher
2.  Almost Royalty, Courtney Hamilton, chick-lit, sent by publisher
3.  Bittersweet, Miranda Whittemore, literary fiction, won in contest
4.  Far To Go, Alison Pick, literary fiction, Paperbackswap
5.  Chop Chop, Simon Wroe, literary fiction, won in contest
6.  Swimming Home, Deborah Levy, literary fiction, Paperbackswap
7.  Acts Of God, Ellen Gilchrist, anthology, sent by publisher
8.  A Dangerous Age, Ellen Gilchrist, literary fiction, sent by publisher
9.  The Promise, Ann Weisberger, historical fiction, sent for book tour
10.  Airstreaming, Tom Schabarum, literary fiction, sent by publisher
11.  Waiting For Wednesday, Nicci French, mystery, sent by publisher
12.  Incendiary Girls, Kodi Scheer, anthology, sent for book tour
13.  Savage Harvest, Carl Hoffman, nonfiction, sent by publisher

What I'm currently reading:

1.  The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton, reading on Kindle
2.  The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner, reading on Kindle Fire
3.  The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson, hardback
4.  Rivers, Michael Farris Smith, hardback
5.  A March Of Folly, Barbara Tuchman, hardback
6.  A Necessary End, Peter Robinson, paperback
7.  Ripper, Isabel Allende, hardback
8.  The Murder Wall, Mari  Hannah, reading on Kindle Fire
9.  The Forest Unseen, David Haskell, reading on Kindle
10.  The Silent Wife, A.S.A. Harrison, paperback
11.  The Hundred-Foot Journey, Richard Morais, paperback
12.  Wolf, Mo Hayder, paperback

Have a great spring beginning this week!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Over My Live Body by Susan Israel

Things are not going great for artist Delilah Price.  Although she is about to have an exhibition of her sculptures, that's the only good thing she has going.  She is having to work long hours to pay her way so that she can create her art.  To make money and keep the flexible hours she needs, she puts in long hours as an artist's model, usually nude.  That has her boyfriend, Ivan, up in arms and he's gotten so jealous that Delilah has decided to break up with him.  If that's not enough, she has picked up a stalker, one that evidently has seen her in her modeling sessions.

Things get worse.  After she locks Ivan out, he won't give up and continues to call and show up wherever Delilah goes.  It's hard to tell who is more threatening, he or her stalker, who advances to in-person meetings wherever Delilah goes.  Then the bodies start piling up, including the partner of her best friend, Morgan.  Delilah goes to the police and finds that she needs to file paperwork and restraining orders before they can do anything.  Meanwhile the threat level continues to racket up.  Detective Patrick Quick seems aloof one day then interested the next.  Can he solve the murders and protect Delilah?

Susan Israel has created an offbeat heroine, a strong woman intent on her career and determined to make it on her own regardless of what it takes to do so.  This is the novel in a series about Delilah and Detective Quick, and the tension between them fuels the action.  Readers will be interested in solving the mystery while finding out about the life of an independent artist and what it takes to pursue a career in the field.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives edited by Sarah Weinman


Mystery lovers are in for a treat with the publication of Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, which is edited by Sarah Weinman.  This anthology features stories by some of the grande dames and early female writers in the mystery genre.  These women paved the way for the successful female crime writers of today, women such as Tana French, Denise Mina, Val McDermid and Laurie King. 

The stories are set in the years between the 1940's to the 1970's.  There are writers everyone has heard of, women such as Patricia Highsmith, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Shirley Jackson and Celia Fremlin.  But there are also literary gems by writers most have never heard of or have forgotten.  These are women such as Nedra Tyre, Miriam Deford, Joyce Harrington and Helen Nielsen.  Regardless of whether the reader is familiar with the authors or not, the experience of reading these stories is fulfilling. 

Sarah Weinman's main job is as the news editor for Publishers Marketplace.  She also writes a monthly newsletter, the Crimewave for the National Post.  Her own short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcok Mystery Magazine and in the anthologies Long Island Noir, Dublin Noir and Baltimore Noir.  Her love of these early women authors and their contributions to the world of mystery writing is evident in this highly readable anthology.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fortunate Son by David Marlett

The year is 1727 and the place is Ireland.  James Annesley is thirteen, the son of The Earl of Annesley, one of the richest peerages in England and Ireland, with extensive land holdings in both countries.  The current Earl is killed in a street accident, which makes James the seventh Lord Annesley.  That is, until his wicked uncle rides into town the day of the funeral, beating James in the street and sending him into hiding while he claims the title for himself.

Richard, the wicked uncle, claims that James was not the legitimate child of his father, but born of an alliance with the woman who was James' wet nurse.  This woman, Juggy, was in love with Flynn, the stableman who was James' emotional father and the father of his best friend, Sean.  Flynn and Sean try to protect James from Richard, but it is soon evident that he wants to have him killed to remove the threat he represents.  He doesn't manage to have James killed, but instead James is kidnapped and sent as an indentured servant to the Colonies. 

James is given a seven year sentence and when he attempts to escape, a further nine.  When James is twenty-seven, he returns to England where he plans to mount a case against Richard and reclaim his inheritance.  The trial is the biggest trial in English/Irish history, and everyone knew the story.  The most amazing thing about this novel is that it is based on a true story.

David Marlett has written a fascinating tale of noble skulduggery, of a time when nobles were truly lords of all they surveyed, and they were able to commit heinous acts without fear of punishment.  The case was so well known that it echoes in books based on the story.  Some of these include Robert Lewis Stevenson's Kidnapped, Sir Walter Scott's Guy Mannering, and Tobias Smollett's novels, The Adventures Of Peregrine Pickle and The Adventures Of Roderick Random.  The reader will be treated to a fast-paced story with unbelievable twists and turns, a famous tale that fell into obscurity over the years and is now rediscovered.  This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Kill Room by Jeffrey Deaver

NIOS has a rogue administrator.  The National Intelligence and Operations Service handles top-secret missions such as using drones to target terrorists.  But what if the targets selected are not really terrorists but just enemies of the man who runs the organization?  That's the fear when Robert Moreno, an outspoken critic of the United States, is assassinated in his hotel room.  Other members of the federal government are afraid the NIOS is out of compliance but needs a quiet investigation to determine if there is something wrong.

That's when Lincoln Rhyme and his team is called in.  Rhyme is the foremost forensic expert the New York Police Department has, even though he has been a quadralepic for many years.  He has collected a team of skilled investigators to be his hands and legs and can get to the truth if anyone can.  First and foremost is Amelia Sachs, one of the force's top detectives and Rhyme's love.  But there are many others; computer investigators, electronic surveillance, document verification and access to government files.  A new player on the team is ADA Nance Laurel, a buttoned-down, rigid lawyer who isn't quite sure what to make of the informal group she now must work with.

Although the team believes a sniper has committed the murder it soon appears that this is instead a refinement of the drone program which is supposed to avoid the collateral deaths that dropping huge explosive payloads provide.  Although the investigation is secret, it is soon clear that someone in NIOS knows what is going on.  Witnesses start to be eliminated before the team can get to them to interrogate.  The team starts to suspect that things may be even more complicated than it first appeared.  Can they unravel the mystery in time to stop the next target from being killed?

This is the tenth entry in the popular Lincoln Rhyme series.  Deaver has created a character that is memorable.  His plotting manages to balance on a tightrope; intricate but compelling.  He creates a page-turner that has plenty of twists and turns to keep even the most experienced mystery reader satisfied.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers and those who are unsure if all our government agencies can be trusted. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Booksie's Shelf, March 9, 2014

It's been a strange week in North Carolina.  Although the daffodils are blooming, we had a major ice storm yesterday, resulting in thousands losing power.  We were lucky and only were out of power for about four hours.  That just translates into reading time!  Here's what came through the door this week:

1.  Providence Rag, Bruce DeSilva, mystery, sent by publisher
2.  The Devil's Workshop, Alex Grecian, mystery, Amazon Vine review book
3.  Rules For Becoming A Legend, Timothy Lane, literary fiction, sent by publisher
4.  The Tropic Of Serpents, Marie Brennan, fantasy, sent by publisher
5.  Hangman, Stephan Talty, mystery, Amazon Vine review book
6.  The Plover, Brian Doyle, historical fiction, Amazon Vine review book
7.  How To Succeed In Business Without Really Crying, Carol Leifer, memoir, sent by publisher
8.  Tales From The Eternal CafĂ©, Janet Hamill, anthology, sent by publisher
9.  Swimming Home, Deborah Levy, literary fiction, Paperbackswap book
10.  Savage Girl, Jean Zimmerman, historical fiction, sent by publisher
11. Acid Row, Minette Walters, mystery, Paperbackswap book
12.  The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry, historical, sent by publisher
13. Wolf, Mo Hayder, mystery, Amazon Vine review book
14.  An Unsuitable Princess, Jane Rosenberg LaForge, memoir, sent by publisher
15.  The Rise & Fall Of Great Powers, Tom Rachman, literary fiction, contest win

What I'm currently reading:

1.  The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton, reading on Kindle
2.  The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner, reading on Kindle Fire
3.  The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson, hardback
4.  Rivers, Michael Farris Smith, hardback
5.  A March Of Folly, Barbara Tuchman, hardback
6.  A Necessary End, Peter Robinson, paperback
7.  The Time Regulation Institute, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, paperback
8.  The Murder Wall, Mari  Hannah, reading on Kindle Fire
9.  Tilted World, Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Tennelly, paperback
10.  The Silent Wife, A.S.A. Harrison, paperback
11.  Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, edited by Sarah Weinman, paperback
12.  After I'm Gone, Laura Lippman, paperback
13.  The Small Hand and Dolly, Susan Hill, paperback

Have a great reading week!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Moth And Spark by Anne Leonard

Caithen is a small country caught between two larger ones, great powers that are rivals.  They are under the protection of one of these, vassels to the Emperor.  The Empire bases its strength on the protection of its band of dragons.  The dragons were originally from Caithen, but were stolen away centuries ago and forced to be slaves to the Emperor.

Prince Corin of Caithen is caught up in the intrigue needed to save his country during this time of war and destruction.  While the Emperor is charged with protecting the country, he has recently made moves that put that protection in question.  In fact, it appears that he is betraying Caithen, willing to sacrifice it to the other power for some reason.  That reason is Prince Corin.

Corin was selected by the dragons years ago to be their savior, then given a forgetfulness enchantment that left him unaware of his part to play in the power struggle.  Now the time has come to fight for the dragons and he has become aware of what fate has chosen him to do.  The problem is that he has no idea how to go about freeing the dragons, although he knows that he must in order to save his country.

As he is struggling with the issue, he meets a woman he never expected to find.  Tam Warin is a commoner, a doctor's daughter who has come to court with her royal sister in law.  Corin and Tam are instantly attracted to each other, although it is clear to both that their love can have no legitimate ending.  A prince cannot marry outside of the royal class.  But neither can resist the other, and as their love affair progresses, they discover that it is meant to be.  Tam is a Seer and her skills along with the powers the dragons have given Corin may give the two the edge to free the dragons and save Caiten.

Anne Leonard has written a fantasy sure to please dragon lovers and those interested in political intrigue and magic as a solution to problems.  The love affair is written well with the problems the lovers encounter brought front and center.  The interaction with the dragons is well done, as is the political maneuvering found at royal courts.  This book is recommended for fantasy readers.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Death Bed by Leigh Russell

Someone is stalking women on the streets of London.  Two women have gone missing with their bodies showing up days later, battered and mutilated.  The killer is taking teeth and amputating limbs post-mortem, to what purpose no one knows.  The police pull out all the stops in their investigation, but are not getting anywhere fast.  Public sentiment is rising since the two victims who have been found are both minorities and there is a question of police prejudice.  Even worse, the evidence recovered with the bodies suggest that there could still be other victims who have not been found.

Into this environment comes Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel.  Steel has been in the police force for years, but has been posted in a more rural area.  Now she has been transferred to London, and this case is her first opportunity to either shine or fail.  She has a new sargent, Sam Haley, a vivacious woman who keeps Geraldine in the know about the local team and its gossip.  She also has a new supervisor, one that she's not sure she trusts.  She feels he will take the credit if the investigation is successful and use Geraldine's London inexperience as the scapegoat if it fails.

The victims seem to not have much in common.  Jessica Palmer is a child of the streets, poor and working in a massage parlor.  Donna Henry is wealthy and cultured.  Yet both have fallen prey to the killer.  Steel determines that the common factor is that both were taken outside pubs after a night of too much indulgence, snatched off the street while making their way home.  Can she find the killer before more women go missing?

This is the fourth novel in the Geraldine Steel series, although the first where she strikes out on her own rather than being paired with her prior partner, Ian Peterson.  Readers will find the novel interesting in its inside view of a police investigation and how the personalities of those investigating a crime impact the success of the job.  This book is recommended for mystery readers. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Free by Willy Vlautin


Leroy Kervin is a former soldier.  Badly wounded, he has spent eight years in a group home and despairs of ever regaining his health. His days are full of confusion and his nights full of horrific dreams in which he and his girlfriend are pursued by a group that wants to harm them.   Pauline Hawkins is a night nurse at the home and Leroy is one of her charges.  Pauline was raised by her father when her mother left them and now the roles have reversed and she takes care of her father.  Freddie McCall is the night manager at the home.  Crushed by medical debts, he works two jobs trying to stave off losing his home.

These are the protagonists of Willy Vlautin's fourth novel, The Free.  Each has been crushed by life, by circumstances beyond their control.  Yet each refuses to give up.  By small acts, they reach out to others, helping where they can and just providing friendship and support where they can't.  They are the backbone of America, those who will never be famous or rich but who plod on daily to do what they can to carve out a life a little less bleak than it would have been.  They never lose hope that doing what they know is the right thing will eventually make life better for those around them.  Whether that is being kind daily to the clerk in a donut shop or rescuing a young person from the streets, they do what is in front of them to do. 

Although the subject matter seems bleak, the reader will finish this novel with a renewed sense of hope and a belief that most people will try to do what is best whenever they can make that choice.  The characters could easily give up but refuse to do so.  While they may skirt the law in their choices, those choices are ultimately in the service of morality.  One can't help but get involved with Pauline and Freddie and cheer them on in their battles.  Willy Vlautin has been praised as a novelist to watch, and this book strengthens that recommendation.  This book is recommended for readers who want to know that our choices matter and that when we refuse to give up it will make a difference in the lives around us.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Thieves' Quarry by D.B. Jackson

Times are difficult in pre-Revolutionary Boston.  The British navy has just brought in a fleet of ships to show force and transport the soldiers that will be occupying the town while the wayward colonists are brought to heel.  While still in the harbor, a tragedy occurs.  All the men on one ship, one hundred in all, are found mysteriously dead. There are no wounds or blood to be found, just scores of men who dropped wherever they were.  What could have caused such an event?

Ethan Kaille may be the answer.  A former convict who served time in Barbados as a convicted mutineer, he now works as a thieftaker in Boston.  Thieftaking is not a particularly lucrative occupation, but one for which Ethan is uniquely suited.  For Ethan is a conjurer.  Some call conjurers witches, and they are as feared and scorned as one might imagine, that is, unless you need their talents.  The Crown is in such a situation and they hire Ethan to discover what has occurred.

Ethan quickly realizes that the deaths are the work of magic.  He thought he knew all the conjurers in Boston, but someone this powerful is more than he has ever encountered.  He starts searching for the answers, but he has some powerful enemies.  Sephira Pyrce is the city's most successful thieftaker, and Ethan's sworn enemy.  She is also searching and it is a race to see who can locate the responsible individual first.  Although hired by the government, that doesn't mean everyone in power is willing to help Ethan.  Sheriff Greenleaf is a long-time declared enemy of Ethan's, and does everything in his power to thwart his investigation.  The lieutenant governor, Thomas Hutchinson, is an even more formidable enemy.  He hates all conjurers and witchcraft, and gives Ethan a deadline to solve the mystery.  If he fails, Hutchinson vows to hang every conjurer in the city.  Can Ethan fight his enemies off long enough to solve the mystery?

Thieves' Quarry is the second novel in the Thieftaker Chronicles.  While reading the first is recommended, it is not necessary for enjoyment of this new entry into the historical urban fantasy genre.  D.B. Jackson is the pen name of an established author, who has planned at least two more books in this fascinating series.  Fantasy readers will be excited to discover this author, and will wait eagerly for the next installments. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bark by Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore is acknowledged in the literary world as one of the masters of the short story genre.  In this new collection, she gives the reader eight stories that explore the human condition and our need for connection.

In the first story, "Debarking" the protagonist has recently gone through a divorce.  He deals with the loss of his marriage and constant time with his children.  In time, he starts to reach out and establishes a new relationship with a woman who has a teenage son.  The story follows the difficulties of starting anew with someone else and having to adjust to their personalities and needs. 

In "Wings" the author explores the end of life and how for many people all loving relationships have fallen away due to time and death, leaving them alone for the last journey.  They are especially susceptible to manipulation by others as they try to not be alone at the end.  It also explores the death of long-term relationships that may have been held together by nothing more than inertia after the first blush of lust has dried up.

Moore is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English, a post she accepted after almost three decades at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker and the Paris Review.  Stories have been included in anthologies such as the 1998 edition of The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Short Stories of The Century and Children Playing Before A Statue Of Hercules.  Readers will find much to ponder after reading these stories about the nature of love and our never ending need for others to share our lives with.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and those who enjoy the short story genre.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Heads Above Water by Stephanie Dagg


Stephanie and Chris Dagg are adventurous.  In their 40's, they decided to move to France, taking their three children.  Their plan was to purchase a fishing farm where they would rent to fisherman on vacation.  They located a farm with three large lakes and purchased it.  Then came the adjustment.

The farm had two houses close together, neither of which were actually habitable.  The family spent months cleaning and renovating the houses, dealing with French contractors to get heat, electricity and running water.  In the meantime, they had to get the children started in school.  Actually opening for business took quite a bit of time, as there was enormous amounts of work to do and forms to fill out in order to be legal.

Heads Above Water is Stephanie's account of their first years after the move to France.  She describes the work needed to get the farm into shape to function as a business.  The family had to be resourceful and thrifty, growing food as well as foraging for it.  They bought lots of animals, and started a side business revolving around llamas.  Other animals such as guinea fowl were not successful, or like the stray cats, quickly overran the place.  The Daggs handled all the animals and their issues with their normal aplomb. 

This book is recommended for readers who enjoy travel adventures, as well as those interested in families who have the bravery to live out their dreams.  The writing is breezy and informative, and the reader quickly starts to cheer for the family in their misadventures with French bearucracy.  Readers can find out more at thiis link.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Contractors by Harry Hunsicker

Government runs on the services of contractors.  They are easy to hire, and when the time comes, easy to get rid of.  Most people have heard of military contractors like the Blackwater company.  A less widely known fact is that other government agencies like the DEA use contractors also in their war on drugs and the drug cartels.

Jon Cantrell fits the profile of a DEA contractor.  He's a former disgraced cop and he and his girlfriend, Piper, work for a company that hires out expertise for catching drug runners and the higher ups in the organizations.  While Jon doesn't work for the police anymore, he still has the ideals that caused him to join law enforcement in the first place.  He wants to make the world safer while also making a living.

Jon and Piper's newest assignment may make the world safer, but not their world.  They are charged with getting the hottest witness against the drug cartels to safety where the trial will occur.  She can testify against the number two man in the cartel.  He happens to be her husband.  There are many groups that want to keep Jon and Piper from fulfilling their mission.  There are competing drug cartels, each determined to kill the witness before she can testify.  There are opposing contractor groups who want the mission themselves, or at least to prevent Cantrell's group from being successful.  There are shadowy alliances of current and former police and drug agents, each with their own agendas.  Against these odds, there seems little chance of Jon and Piper being successful.

Harry Hunsicker has written a fast-paced thriller that grabs the reader and drags them along on a frantic ride along a path with ever changing loyalties and plans.  Betrayals and counter-betrayals are common, and the path to success is cunningly hidden.  Hunsicker is a former executive vice president of the Mystery Writers of America and his book flies toward an exciting conclusion.  This book is recommended for thriller readers.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Snug Life Somewhere by Jan Shapin




Penny Joe Cooper grew up in Washington during the early 1900's.  Her father was part of union politics there, as the Seattle and Everett cities were early union strongholds.  When Penny is in her early twenties, he is sent to prison on manslaughter charges when a fire set during a union protest turned deadly.  Penny's only brother, Horace, also gets caught up in union politics and is killed in what is known as the Everett Massacre.

Penny is left adrift to find her way in the world.  She is in love with a young violinist called Marcel but that relationship is unlikely to last.  She ends up falling in with a union organizer, Gabe,  who uses Penny as a token in his union speeches, the sister of a martyr.  When the law starts to make noises about arresting all the union men, Gabe decides to flee to Mexico and forces Penny to accompany him.

In Mexico, they live with other Communist sympathizers who are working to bring communism to all lands.  After a couple of years, Gabe and Penny come back to America and Penny manages to escape from him.  She moves from town to town, doing whatever is needed to support herself and searching for a snug life, a life where she can be herself and not be troubled with other people's issues.  She is drawn to education and works to find a way to take classes and train for a profession.  Penny ends up back in the West, where she has a small farm to grow wildflower seeds for sale, an occupation that provides the relaxing life she has searched for.

Jan Shapin has written an interesting novel about the early union years and how it worked in tandem with the Socialist and Communist organizations.  Along the way, Penny meets famous people of the age and is involved in many plots in a peripheral way.  She strives to make a life for herself, and the reader cannot help but cheer for someone so determined to get an education and live a life that is free on conflict.   This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Booksie's Shelf, February 23, 2014



Spring is thinking about putting in an appearance in North Carolina.  We've been in the high 60's this week, flirting several days with the 70's.  While the temperatures are supposed to cool off again this week, you sense that the weather's heart isn't into cold anymore, and that things are ready to move into warmth and growth.  Capping off a great week, my beloved Tarheels beat their archrivals, Duke, on Thursday night, always a cause for massive celebration.  Another cause are the books that made their way through the door this week:

1.  Her Unwelcome Inheritance, J. Aleksandr Wootton, fantasy, sent by author
2.  Fortunate Son, David Marlett, mystery, sent by publisher
3.  Over My Live Body, Susan Israel, mystery, sent by publisher
4.  Fatal Impressions, Reba White Williams, mystery, sent by publisher
5.  Lovely Assistant, Geoph Essex, fantasy, sent by author
6.  Harem Midwife, Roberta Rich, historical fiction, sent by publisher
7.  Not Without You, Harriet Evans, literary fiction, sent by publisher
8.  The Bombers And The Bombed, nonfiction, sent by publisher

What I'm currently reading:

1.  The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton, reading on Kindle
2.  The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner, reading on Kindle Fire
3.  The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson, hardback
4.  Rivers, Michael Farris Smith, hardback
5.  A March Of Folly, Barbara Tuchman, hardback
6.  A Necessary End, Peter Robinson, paperback
7.  The Time Regulation Institute, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, paperback
8.  Black Chalk, Christopher Yates, reading on Kindle
9.  Tilted World, Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Tennelly, paperback
10.  The Silent Wife, A.S.A. Harrison, paperback
11.  Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, edited by Sarah Weinman, paperback
12.  After I'm Gone, Laura Lippman, paperback
13.  The Small Hand and Dolly, Susan Hill, paperback
14.  Thieves Quarry, D.B. Jackson, hardback
15.  The Contractors, Harry Hunsicker, hardback
16.  Heads Above Water, Stephanie Dagg, reading on Kindle