Good (although sad) until the end, where there wasn't any. The storyline drops abruptly, with no resolution for any of the characters. It's a shame, bGood (although sad) until the end, where there wasn't any. The storyline drops abruptly, with no resolution for any of the characters. It's a shame, because the book is well-written and the characters are well-drawn....more
I really enjoyed Caroline Taylor's latest P.J. Smythe mystery, Jewelry from a Grave. Written with familiar hard-boiled "whodunit" panache by Taylor, tI really enjoyed Caroline Taylor's latest P.J. Smythe mystery, Jewelry from a Grave. Written with familiar hard-boiled "whodunit" panache by Taylor, this second P.J. Smythe adventure is a must-read for mystery lovers who crave compelling drama and enjoy following the actions of a gutsy female detective.
Suspenseful and quickly-paced, Jewelry from a Grave takes readers on a breath-taking journey while P.J. tries to uncover the truth about her missing roommate. In her attempts to locate Yolanda, P.J. exposes a jewelry-fencing operation involving several former Chatham employees and perhaps some current ones, as well. One of them might be P.J.'s boyfriend, or even her boss. The fast-paced storyline includes a phony narc, some stolen jewelry, and one or more Chatham insiders.
Great storytelling that is similar to Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys female detective novels. ...more
I read an early version of The Anvil of Navarre and ended up losing an entire day of work because I could not put it down. It's wonderful; I love theI read an early version of The Anvil of Navarre and ended up losing an entire day of work because I could not put it down. It's wonderful; I love the voices, the characters, and the magical atmosphere that Craig English creates with the story's setting.
The thematic questions of what makes a man a man and what makes a woman a woman form the basis of the story and are nicely threaded through the chorus and prologues that precede each act. The dialogue is another highlight of this novel; English manages to make his characters' speech both interesting and, at times, extremely funny (my favorite scene is the one where the Baron explains to Tristan why he tortured him -- amazingly written, and truly memorable and creepy).
The Anvil of Navarre contains plenty of gender-bending intrigue and swashbuckling heroism to entertain all types of readers, especially those who enjoy GLBT fiction, romantic history, and Elizabethan drama. A fine debut with some truly lovely writing, The Anvil of Navarre is a delightful treat for fiction-lovers of all stripes. ...more
A dark horse, a black cavalry soldier, and a young Indian girl ... so begins John Van Roekel's Braver Deeds, a sweeping historical novel with all theA dark horse, a black cavalry soldier, and a young Indian girl ... so begins John Van Roekel's Braver Deeds, a sweeping historical novel with all the action, adventure, and romance that characterizes a classic western epic. The story takes place in two different times -- at the beginning of the 1890's, where a young Buffalo soldier, Matt Davys, rescues a Lakota Sioux girl named Comes Running, who is injured during the famous massacre at Wounded Knee. The two young people connect in a way that is heartwarming and tender (Comes Running refers to Matt's curly hair as "tatanka," comparing it with the hide of the buffalo) and Matt develops a strong bond with her before helping her return to her people.
The second half of the novel begins eight years later, when Matt is a sergeant in Troop K of the Ninth Calvary Regiment. Struggling over whether he should marry his girlfriend, Jeanie, he reconnects with Comes Running and learns that she is leaving an abusive relationship with a member of her tribe to carve out a new life as an entertainer with Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show. Matt dodges the decision about marriage when he is sent to Cuba during the Spanish-American war and meets up with Carlos Estrada-Palma, a young Cuban photojournalist from New York, who is covering the war for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World. There the two men meet Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, along with novelist Stephen Crane. During that time, Matt corresponds with Jeanie and Comes Running, and struggles with his mixed feelings for both women before returning home to America.
The author weaves fascinating historical details into the stories of the three young characters, whose paths cross over multiple miles and major historical milestones in our country's history. The themes of family, destiny, and moral courage are played out over the pages of Braver Deeds, and readers who enjoy historical fiction will treasure the panoramic story lines and heroic actions that draw these memorable characters together. ...more
This is a wonderful debut novel set amid the seedy motels of Hollywood, California. Black Crow White Lie tells the story of Carson Calley, a young boyThis is a wonderful debut novel set amid the seedy motels of Hollywood, California. Black Crow White Lie tells the story of Carson Calley, a young boy who grows up living a transient lifestyle with his fortune-telling mother, Juliette Bravo, an alcoholic full of stories about their former lives together. Believing his mother's tales about his special powers, Carson becomes a healer, with the people of Hollywood waiting in long lines to see him. Carson secretly saves the money he earns from healing in the hopes of visiting his war-hero father's grave in Washington, DC. But before he goes, Carson discovers that there is more to his mother's stories than he realizes.
I liked how Black Crow White Lie explores the power of family relationships and illustrates how easy it is to fall prey to the fantasies of those who love us. The novel builds around a number of intriguing characters who exist on the fringes of Hollywood and interact with Carson, who is a lonely and questioning boy. Carson must deal with the changes brought on by adolescence as he tries to come to terms with his mother's addictive lifestyle, his fascination with a teenage classmate, Rose, and his own powers.
In Black Crow White Lie, Sary has created a story notable for its realistic portrayal of life with an alcoholic parent and a teenager's attempts to decipher his family history as he struggles to develop his own identity in the world. A mesmerizing and powerful read, Black Crow White Lie is a book that will touch the hearts of both adult and teen readers. ...more