Aimee Leduc's life is a fast paced mystery at every turn. From her love life to her detective agency there is no time for sleep when a stranger appearAimee Leduc's life is a fast paced mystery at every turn. From her love life to her detective agency there is no time for sleep when a stranger appears at her door and tells her she must follow him to find out a secret regarding her father's murder.
Without giving to much away let me state that this book is a whirlwind read. There are ups and down and surprises around each corner. I was not familiar with Cara Black's work until I was given this book to read from Soho Crime. The book jacket description made me agree to read the book but it was the first scene that kept me glued to the book reading late into the night.
Black's characters are believable and well crafted. Her scene setting is superb. The plot moves quickly and subtle hints and clues are left like baguette crumbs throughout.
My only compliant is that there is a bit of a stall, in an otherwise thrilling book, towards the end (about the last 60 pages). With her daughter just threatened Aimee takes her to a safe house then heads to a friend's and we sit for too long considering the big reveal is just moments away. The brief pause is not enough to effect my overall enjoyment of the book. I will be locating the earlier books in the series and eagerly awaiting new additions to what I can only imagine is a fantastic series based on the latest offering from the Aimee Leduc Investigation series.
Readers looking for a good crime novel, mystery or a Parisian novel should read this book.
Note: I was given this book by the publisher to read and review. In no way did that effect the opinions listed here. ...more
Dark and intriguing. All the stories that simultaneously run through this novel are fascinating and the way they all come together at the end really dDark and intriguing. All the stories that simultaneously run through this novel are fascinating and the way they all come together at the end really did surprise me. I did not expect a few of the twists that happened.
My favorite part of the novel though is the many elegant references to reading and the life of the reader. It is like a love letter to us (the reader) from the book itself for brining it life with our reading.
The only thing I both appreciated but also disliked was the wrap up at the end. I became a little exhausted hearing how everyone had faired. Sometimes to be left with a mystery at the end is not a bad thing....more
Dover Thrift Editions never disappoint and this version is no exception. Comprehensive and concise. I always encourage readers to turn to the Dover ThDover Thrift Editions never disappoint and this version is no exception. Comprehensive and concise. I always encourage readers to turn to the Dover Thrift Editions first for any project they may have or if they want a portable, comprehensive, and affordable overview of an author....more
Process by Sarah Stodola is an interesting collections of mini biographies on famous writers such as Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway.Process by Sarah Stodola is an interesting collections of mini biographies on famous writers such as Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway. If you are looking for small snippets about various authors pick up this book. The narratives on each author are enjoyable but at the same time the reader gets the feeling that they are incomplete, which of course is a problem with such a book.
Note: I received this book to read and review from the publisher. In no way did that effect my opinions stated here....more
Lucky Alan and Other Stories is a collection of short stories in which Lethem explores the mundane and their often times self-defeating pursuits. AlthLucky Alan and Other Stories is a collection of short stories in which Lethem explores the mundane and their often times self-defeating pursuits. Although all the stories seem to share the same tone and I suppose you can say theme (tragically mundane lives of people who inhabit Lethem’s world) they are all slightly different in structure. Their mere presence on the page can be intrigue the reader, even if they never really read the words written. Each story has an ending that will confuse the reader and sometimes shock them. Many lack in their beginnings. More often than not they do not have strong beginnings that draw the reader in, which is critical in a short story, because unlike a novel you have to win the reader right-away, else they might abandon the narrative sooner than they might a novel.
Rather than go into detail about each of the stories found in this collection I will simply give you a brief outline of one of the better stories in the collection. “Traveler Home” the third story in the collection is about a man who, during a snowstorm, walks his dog out into the woods to discover seven wolves who deliver to him a basket inside which lies a baby boy. Taking the boy home, they make it through the night planning on setting out in the morning once the roads have been plowed for supplies. When morning comes Traveler finds that the roads are plowed so with baby in tow sets out only to encounter a road block of seven women, the daughter of the Plowman. Rifle in hand they question him and eventually take the baby. Traveler seems undisturbed by the encounter; although at some point we do sense slight disappointment that he lost the baby. The most interesting point in the story is when Traveler asks one of the women if the find was “Wolf’s wrong delivery” and she states that yes you could say that. The structure was interesting in this story with its short, abrupt sentences. There are no names ever mentioned or any in depth descriptions of anyone or anyplace. The oddness of it makes it feel like this could be any small town with any people while at the same time not really.
The whole collection was just a little to, for lack of a better word, odd. It was not as compelling as I hoped it would be based on the jacket and advance praise. I do have to say this, if a reader wanted to dissect a story or the whole collection they would more than likely have a great time doing so. From structure to illusions and metaphors I am sure an erudite reader would be able to produce an excellent study. For this reader though, it was too much and yet not enough.
Note: I received this book from the publisher. In no way did that fact effect my opinions stated in this review. ...more
Fans of Matthew Pearl "The Last Dickens" will be fond of his latest book "The Last BookaneerBookaneer" set to come out from Penguin Press April 28 201Fans of Matthew Pearl "The Last Dickens" will be fond of his latest book "The Last BookaneerBookaneer" set to come out from Penguin Press April 28 2015. Briefly, in The Last Dickens we are introduced to a mysterious group of folks called bookaneers. These literary pirates risk life and fortune for the glory of capturing a prized manuscript from the most sought after authors. In the latest from award-winning Matthew Pearl, we see the last of the bookaneers battle it out in Samoa over the greatest treasure they have ever sought, the last novel from dying Robert Louis Stevenson.
Like all of Pearl's work, The Last Bookaneer, is a literary thrill. From the first page to last I was riveted by the tale our narrators Mr. Fergins and Mr. Clover spun for the readers. We are taken to exotic places, meet influential authors and of course are given loving descriptions of literature and its effect on readers. Our characters are clever and well read. The plot has twists and turns that can surprise even the most rigorous of readers. And one can only imagine the amount of research that went into this novel. Every chapter is not only entertaining but also a lesson in literary and publishing history.
This novel is a must read for several types of readers; fans of Pearl, literary fiction, publishing history, Stevenson and the novel Frankenstein to name just a few. For this reader it is a volume that will be read many times and treasured as if it was the last manuscript seized by the last bookaneer.
Note: I received this book from the publisher to read and review. In no way did that effect the opinions in this review....more
Gilt by Association by Karen R Smith is the third book in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging series. Caprice, our protagonist is a home stager, puppy trGilt by Association by Karen R Smith is the third book in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging series. Caprice, our protagonist is a home stager, puppy trainer, babysitter, vintage dress finder and crime solver. In her third adventure she finds that her frozen February becomes more chilling when her client is found dead. And like any great murder mystery the killer will be revealed one detail at a time.
What I like about cozy mystery series is that many of them give you enough background information to read the books as a stand alone or out of order. Gilt by Association is just such a book. This book is my introduction to the series and I have to say, I enjoy the characters. It is a quick read and while I think the killer was a bit of a stretch it was not implausible. It kept me interested throughout the only thing that gave this book an okay rating was the home staging part. Not that interesting to me, but is not something that would turn most readers off. I recommend it as well as the series to any cozy mystery fan.
The publisher gave me this book to read and review. In no way did this effect my review....more
Elenanor Park by Rainbow Rowell is a novel about two teenagers who feel out of place and alone until they meet each other. Over the course of a schoolElenanor Park by Rainbow Rowell is a novel about two teenagers who feel out of place and alone until they meet each other. Over the course of a school year they come to realize how important they are to each other. Even though they both know that their love probably will not last they desperately hang onto the idea that ... It is possible.
This book is devastatingly beautiful. Rowell really knows how to create characters you feel for, those you just want to have happy endings because they deserved it. But they never seem to get the happy ending you hope. Their ending is real, somewhat satisfying to the reader but always the characters come out better in the end. Read this book, but be warned emotional turmoil lies in these pages. Once you start this book you will not want to say goodbye, not even with those last three words....more
Criminal Confections by Colette London is the first book in a new Cozy Mystery series. Our crime solver is Hayden Mundy Moore. She just turned thirtyCriminal Confections by Colette London is the first book in a new Cozy Mystery series. Our crime solver is Hayden Mundy Moore. She just turned thirty is heir to a large fortune and a globe trotter. This self proclaimed chocolate whisperer has the life. Nothing has been able to stump her in her travels until she becomes a guest at an exclusive all chocolate resort and finds herself in the midst of murder. Determined to figure out who killed her friend and whether or not she might have been the real target, Hayden enlists the help of her long time friend, streetwise Danny the security expert. Together the discover that people of the chocolate world all have secrets, some more sinister than others.
The novel started off strong. Interesting open, quirky main character with two potential love interests, all the makings of a good cozy mystery series starter. While two murders and one disappearance happen in the book there is a lack of action towards the middle of the book. It stalls and a less dedicated reader may have quit during the middle of the book. Also the killer becomes obvious to everyone but Hayden early on and she (Hayden) does seem to become a little dizzier as the book progresses. Perhaps she has had too much chocolate or one two many bumps on the head but she does not come off as quick witted as she led us to believe early on.
Those faults up front now i cannot say that it was a bad book. The chocolate information is abundant and interesting. Overall, I think this will be an interesting series with murder, chocolate and a love triangle how could a series go wrong.
The publisher gave me vthis book to read and review. In no way does that effect the content of this review....more
West of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan is a fictional biography of the last three years of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life. Early on we see Fitzgerald struggle toWest of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan is a fictional biography of the last three years of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life. Early on we see Fitzgerald struggle to maintain hope and loyalty to Zelda as she struggles to maintain her sanity. All action in this novel revolves around Fitzgerald's attempts to stay relevant, stay in love, and stay sober.
While I have read most of Fitzgerald's work (Tender is the Night is my favorite of his novels), I have to admit that I knew little of his life. Reading biographies (even fictional ones) has been somewhat of a let down in the past so I tend to shy away. Knowing too much about my favorite authors can sometimes taint my view of their works that is why I was surprised at how enthralling I found West of Sunset. I felt as if I was there often dreaming of the characters after a long night of reading. Drunken fights, Hollywood stars, sorted affairs and stunning prose, this novel has it all. If you read one fictional biography this year, make West of Sunset the book.
I received this novel from the publisher to review. In no way did that influence the opinions expressed in this review....more