A fine story with roots in From Here to Eternity and a refreshing change of scene from Vietnam to Korea. I zipped right through it. An interesting notA fine story with roots in From Here to Eternity and a refreshing change of scene from Vietnam to Korea. I zipped right through it. An interesting note: The main character has the same name as the author. The book is clearly taken from the author's life but with a cleverly woven plot superimposed....more
Wow. I gobbled down this book in no time. It has so much that I love in a novel. It takes place in 1914 and 1964, in New York, Oxford, and Berlin andWow. I gobbled down this book in no time. It has so much that I love in a novel. It takes place in 1914 and 1964, in New York, Oxford, and Berlin and switches back and forth between times and places. It has a couple of love stories, a lot of interesting (if not very complex) characters. There's wit, charm, and a plot that's a lot like a road up a mountain with all it's U-turns and surprises around the corners.
I like "meet cute" stories (I have a couple of my own) and the one between Vivian (our main character) and Dr Paul (her would-be lover) is as cute as they come. She gets a card from the post office to pick up a parcel. There are only 20 minutes before the post office closes so Vivian hustles from her ratty fifth floor apartment on Christopher St (the Village) to the post office and gets in line. Behind a very handsome guy in scrubs who has apparently fallen asleep standing up. Vivian attracts his attention by putting on a stand up comedy routine that is better than most you see on TV. This is a witty and incredibly charming girl. She does slip just under the wire and get her package but it's large and heavy and so the kind, if somewhat somnambuliant, guy in the scrubs (Dr Paul) offers to carry it home for her.
She discovers in the package a suitcase that belonged to her great-aunt, Violet Grant. It has been sitting in a moldy warehouse in Zurich since 1914. She asks around her bizarre but close and loving family and discovers Aunt Violet was disowned when she shot and killed her husband in Berlin in 1914 and disappeared with her lover.
How could a budding magazine writer resist such a story? Certainly Vivian can't and she takes off on a research project that she hopes will make her reputation as a writer. Will she succeed? Did Aunt Violet really murder her husband? Was there a lover and did she run off with him? Will Vivian find true love with her doctor despite discovering that he is . . .
Well, to tell you more would be a spoiler. I gave the book five stars not because it's in a class with War and Peace but because as popular fiction goes it's as good as it gets....more
What we have in The Monogram Murders is a new Poirot novel written not by Agatha Christie but by Sophie Hannah. And she does a good job. The plot is,What we have in The Monogram Murders is a new Poirot novel written not by Agatha Christie but by Sophie Hannah. And she does a good job. The plot is, I think, a little more convoluted than it would have been in a Christie mystery and the Scotland Yard detective whom Poirot assists (or rather who assists Poirot) is a little more complicated than the usual cop in a Golden Age detective story.
When the story begins Poirot has decided to rest his "little grey cells" and has gone on a vacation - to a boarding house across the park from his apartment, which he can see out of the window of his room. Is that quintessential Poirot or what!
Locked room mystery, gathering of all the suspects for a denouement as is usual in a Poirot story, and a murderer it's pretty hard to guess....more
I couldn't put it down. People say that all the time about books they really liked, but in this case it was almost true. Although I did put it down onI couldn't put it down. People say that all the time about books they really liked, but in this case it was almost true. Although I did put it down on occasion, I never needed a bookmark.
Gemini is the third novel by Carol Cassella and it's the sort of novel one should read slowly. (Sorry, I just didn't have the self-discipline to saunter through it rather than dash.) Alternate chapters tell the stories of two women. First is Charlotte Reese, an ICU doctor who is struggling to save the life of a "Jane Doe" who was the victim of a hit and run accident in a rural area of Washington State. The second is Raney, a girl who grew up in a town on the Olympic Peninsula.
Slowly, as Dr Reese deals with Jane's various medical crises, the police, the hospital administration, and Charlotte's boyfriend, Eric Bryson, attempt to discover who she is and who might have injured her. And in the alternate chapters we watch Raney grow up and bond with Bo, a summer visitor to her small town.
This book isn't filled with suspense and gasps of shock, but there is one gasp on page 97 that caught me unawares. I should have seen it coming but I was so enjoying the slowly evolving friendship of the children and the quick thinking as Charlotte and her partner decide whether to treat Jane with dialysis or to take her off the machine that is breathing for her, or to do another test to determine if she was technically brain dead. The medical information that helps to explain what is happening to various characters is so interesting that it does not feel imposed on the story but rather seems to evolve from it....more
Love story cleverly hinging on the problems of a man with mild Aspergers. He engages Rosie to help him find the perfect woman (he has a checklist) andLove story cleverly hinging on the problems of a man with mild Aspergers. He engages Rosie to help him find the perfect woman (he has a checklist) and she does, indeed, help him find what he needs if not what he thinks he wants.
I gave it 3.5 stars. It has charm and is easy to read....more