I read this novel in about 3 1/2 hours this morning. James Patterson knows how to entertain readers with his mysteries or in this case: Chick Lit. It...moreI read this novel in about 3 1/2 hours this morning. James Patterson knows how to entertain readers with his mysteries or in this case: Chick Lit. It was an easy, saccharine read. And it was hilarious in places. We all need to read a bit of fluffy brain candy every once in awhile, and The Christmas Wedding filled the bill.
Widowed Gaby Summerhill is now seizing life. She sends a video to each of her 4 adult children telling them she expects them home for Christmas. They haven't been together since their died 3 years ago, she says. And she is getting married on Christmas Day. Who is the groom? She won't say - 3 men have asked her to marry. Only she knows whom the lucky man is.
Read and find out whom she chose. (Not the one I'd have chosen and was rooting for.) (less)
I finished this novel late last night and it is still on my mind. Elle Newmark has filled my mind and heart with beautiful images and sounds...more3.5 Stars
I finished this novel late last night and it is still on my mind. Elle Newmark has filled my mind and heart with beautiful images and sounds of India, circa 1947 and 1857. The Sandalwood Tree. is really two stories - one within a story. In 1947 Evie and Martin Mitchell arrive in India so Martin can document the end of the British Raj. Their marriage is crumbling because of Martin's War experiences - he is withdrawn and full of guilt and is suffering PTSD. Evie copes by cleaning and taking care of their five year old son. It is on a cleaning binge that she discovers hidden behind a loose brick in the kitchen letters between two very unconventional Victorian young ladies.
One is and Indian born Englishwoman, the other is her "sister in joy." Felicity Chadwick was sent to England for her education and Adela Winfield's family fostered her years there. They both will never marry, but for very different reasons. Reasons in the Victorian Age that were so scandalous that it was best for the young women to flee to India. Evie becomes obsessed with Felicity and Adela's story and searches for more clues about them. All we have is our stories, writes Adela.
While discovering the girls' stories, Evie discovers the joy of the moment in a land that is undergoing tumult - partitioning the Muslims and the Hindu and the Sihk. And in this troubled land the past will join the present and Evie will find answers she needs to heal her troubled marriage. It is there for the seeking.
I really enjoyed this novel. I loved that Elle Newmark used letters, poems, and journals to tell Felicity and Adela's stories after the first 20% of the novel. I was as obsessed as Evie to find out what happened to the two fascinating women. I wasn't really enamored by Evie's character at first, but I loved her in the end. The writing is mostly magical - especially that is in the letters and journal. I came to know why the Sandalwood Tree is most auspicious to the native people. And it was my good fortune to have read this book.(less)
I received an unedited readers copy/galley for an honest review.
My copy said A Wuthering Heights Novel so I had very high expectations for this novel....moreI received an unedited readers copy/galley for an honest review.
My copy said A Wuthering Heights Novel so I had very high expectations for this novel. Wuthering Heights happens to be one of my 10 most favorite novels of all time and if this was supposed to be a retelling of the original story - it didn't quite measure up to the original. That being said, I did like Solsbury Hill: A Novel.
Eleanor Sutton Abbott travels to England to see her dying Aunt after she catches her life long boyfriend in bed with another woman. She discovers the Estate and its moors are the basis for Emily Bronte's masterpiece, Wuthering Heights. She is also shocked that her late mother had wanted Eleanor to visit Trent Hall with her. She starts seeing a young couple and a young woman while she walks the moors. She's even seen the young woman in her room. Yes, the ghosts of the real Catherine, Heathcliff, and Emily are present and have a message for Eleanor. And Eleanor may find out what she thought she knew about her late parents and her own life is in fact a lie.
At Trent Hall there is Mead - her Aunt's "surrogate" son. His name even means Heath and Cliff. He's handsome, intelligent, and wealthy in his own right. And Eleanor finds herself drawn to him, but there is the long time boyfriend. He's also traveled to England. He wants Eleanor back. But the most interesting story line is the ghost of Emily. She needs Eleanor to break the curse that has followed her family into the present day. And the ghosts of Catherine and Heathcliff play a role in the storyline.
For a debut novel Solsbury Hill: A Novel is worth reading. It's enjoyable and will keep the reader's interest. I'll admit that the writing is shaky in a couple of places and some of the dialogue was off. It just didn't read right in places and I was left scratching my head. But I did receive an unedited copy, so hopefully these minor problems will be corrected when the novel is actually released in April of this year (2014). The story lines intrigued me and when Susan M. Wyler was on her game - the writing was wonderful. I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to read this book by the publisher's publicity department. (less)
I really liked this novel a lot. And if I hadn't been sick this weekend, I would have finished it in 2 days. Jeffery Deaver has cre...more3.5 Stars
I really liked this novel a lot. And if I hadn't been sick this weekend, I would have finished it in 2 days. Jeffery Deaver has created a great new character - Corte - that I would really enjoy seeing again; maybe as sequel or a new series. He's a complicated guy who doesn't smile, takes his job seriously, and does what it takes to protect his charges. He's very secretive and loves board games, and he uses game strategy to outsmart the lifters and hitters that want to kill or extract information from his "sheep" or as he calls them his principals. They can be whistle blowers, valuable witnesses in a criminal case, anybody that his ultra secret government agency is asked to protect. There is always someone - the primary - who wants information from them or their elimination.
As always, there are delicious twists that only Deaver can deliver without stretching the reader's belief in the storyline. His pacing was good, the building of suspense was good, but it was the board game talk and talk that led me to deduct a half of a star. With less of the board game references it would have been a really good novel.
Behind the well-known U.S. security organizations-- the FBI and CIA among them--lies a heavily guarded, anonymous government agency dedicated to intelligence surveillance and to a highly specialized brand of citizen protection. Shock waves of alarm ripple through the clandestine agency when Washington, D.C., police detective Ryan Kessler inexplicably becomes the target of Henry Loving, a seasoned, ruthless "lifter" hired to obtain information using whatever means necessary. While Loving is deft at torture, his expertise lies in getting an "edge" on his victim--leverage--usually by kidnapping or threatening family until the "primary" caves under pressure.
The job of keeping the Kessler family alive falls to a man named Corte, a senior federal protection officer known as a "shepherd." Uncompromising, relentlessly devoted to protecting those in his care and a passionate board game aficionado, he applies brilliant gaming strategy to his work. For Corte, the reappearance of Loving--the man who, six years earlier, had tortured and killed someone close to him--is also an opportunity to avenge his friend's death. The assignment soon escalates into a fast-paced duel between Corte and Loving, a dangerous volley of wits and calculated risks.
As he shepherds the Kesslers to a concealed safe house, Corte must anticipate Loving's every step as the lifter moves in on his prey, and with the help of razor-sharp investigator Claire DuBois and his longtime ally, FBI agent Paul Fredericks, pinpoint which of Kessler's seemingly insignificant cases has triggered Loving's return. As the team digs deeper, each of the Kesslers comes under close scrutiny, and in captivity their family bonds are stretched to the breaking point--as the lifter draws near, Corte must ultimately choose between protecting his charges and exposing them to a killer in the name of long-awaited revenge.(less)
What a sweet book! Told from Ella's perspectiveMichael Zadoorian captures the spunky 80 year old. She is snarky, tender, strong, and funny all wrapped...moreWhat a sweet book! Told from Ella's perspectiveMichael Zadoorian captures the spunky 80 year old. She is snarky, tender, strong, and funny all wrapped up in one. She also has cancer and it is rapidly spreading. Her husband, John, has Alzheimer's. We do see glimpses of the man Ella married long ago.
Against the demands of their doctors, Ella and John set out in their Leisure Seeker for a vacation to Disneyland via Route 66. Some of the old iconic road is gone, paved over, but some of it is intact. They drive leisurely, taking in the sights of the road while we readers glimpse inside of their life together. They watch old family slides at night while having a cocktail. This may be the last vacation they ever take.
I got the feeling of how the novel would end, and I was right. Ella was right - this isn't our story, it is John and Ella Robina's. As I read the book, I found myself nodding in agreement with Ella, chuckling to myself, and tearing up. A truly wonderful and sweet read. (less)
I am a fan of the TV show Castle and I was disappointed with the novel.
Let's pretend that the fictional writer really authored Heat Wave, then my que...moreI am a fan of the TV show Castle and I was disappointed with the novel.
Let's pretend that the fictional writer really authored Heat Wave, then my question is why he made Rook so inept and dumb? The other characters are thinly veiled to their television counters - almost caricatures of them. Really, the Roach squad? And Heat and Rook bedding right off?
The mystery was predictable, the writing and dialogue was so, so, and I'm glad it's finished. (less)
A good, fast, and entertaining read about a ship full of hashish, murder, and the attempt assassination of a Supreme Court Justice to keep th...more3.5 Stars
A good, fast, and entertaining read about a ship full of hashish, murder, and the attempt assassination of a Supreme Court Justice to keep the details of a rogue covert CIA op from becoming public. Dennis Masterson has no qualms in what he is doing and so be it if an innocent woman, a former cop, is put to death for a murder she did not commit. The Woodruff cert must be denied at ALL costs. He has the power to go to great lengths to keep the events of the China Sea buried and will bury ANYONE who gets in the way. Justice Moss, Brad Miller, Dana Cutler, and Ginny Skinner are as determined to get to the truth as Masterson is to bury it. Miller, Cutler, and Skinner brought down the former President after all.
As I said, Supreme Justice is fast-paced and very entertaining. The writing style is easy. The last twist of the novel blew me away! (less)
What a sweet story, if not somewhat predictable. For this reader the miracle of Jack Armstrong's survival a lethal terminal illness was not h...more3.5 Stars
What a sweet story, if not somewhat predictable. For this reader the miracle of Jack Armstrong's survival a lethal terminal illness was not hard to believe. I do believe in miracles, especially those that occur at Christmas.
Jack Armstrong is dying. No way around it. He just wants to spend one more Christmas with his wife, Lizzie, and their three kids. But on Christmas Eve, Lizzie is killed in an automobile accident. She had gone to the drugstore to get Jack his pain meds. Her mother, Bonnie, is angry and secretly blames Jack. She carts him off to Hospice and the children go their separate ways to live with Lizzie's older sisters, while Bonnie and Fred take Mikki. But Jack doesn't die. He gets better, and soon there is evidence of his unnamed illness - a true miracle. With the help of his friend, Sammy, Jack gets stronger. And he goes and gets his kids.
Lizzie's grandmother dies shortly and leaves the Palace to Jack - the family's old homestead. Bonnie and Fred show up soon in North Carolina "for the childrens' sake." Bonnie is sure that Jack is going to get sick again or worse. Jack meets a nice lady who is still a lawyer and who runs a popular restaurant. Jack will need Jenna more than he first knows but at least Cee's brother, Charlie, is on his side. The Summer at the Palace and fixing up the place as well as Lizzie's Lighthouse is what Jack needs, but is it what his children need? (less)
Transfer of Power is an example of why Vince Flynn is my all time favorite Thriller author. The late writer's style is easy almost conversational. I can hear the author's voice in my head - breathlessly whispering, frantic at times. Flynn knew how to pace his story, and utilizing suspense at all times. I started the Mitch Rapp Series in the middle, so I am going back and read the entire series. I'm finding that I love the earlier Mitch Rapp books much better and the 2 prequels he wrote seem fitting as the first two books of the series. Flynn knew how to take headline news and turn a what if scenario in the War on Terror into an electrical ride for his readers. I read this in just two sittings. Food and sleep were forgotten.
Dr. Irene Kennedy and her Counter-terrorism Division snatch one of Hezbollah's spiritual leaders. The information that Mitch and a psychologist gets from him is stark and stunning. Saddam Husein has funded a terrorist attack right in the heart of America - Washington, D.C., the White House to be exact. When? Today!!!!!
Kennedy barely hangs up with a senior Secret Service agent before all hell breaks out at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He and 9 other agents just save President Hayes from a notorious terrorist named Aziz and whisk him to his new bunker. The bunker can withstand bombs and other nefarious things but it wasn't designed to withstand a drill. And that is what Aziz has planned - he needs Hayes by his side when he delivers his final demand. The White House is rigged with explosives and communications have been jammed by the terrorists. The Joint Chiefs, the Cabinet members, and all of the Alphabet soup people have lost all contact with President Hayes. Transfer of Power to Vice President Baxter is made and plans are made to end the hostage situation. But someone does not want the President rescued and uses the situation to his or her advantage. Under the guise of reconnaissance granted by VP Baxter, it is up to Mitch Rapp, AKA Iron Man and an elderly civilian to save the President and the rest of the hostages. The two men will become the hunter and the hunted as the Power struggle in the nation's capital rages. (less)
I found this novel by accident and squealed in delight as I read the book which is very easy to read. Erika Robuck has done her homework on Hemingway,...moreI found this novel by accident and squealed in delight as I read the book which is very easy to read. Erika Robuck has done her homework on Hemingway, Key West, and the Great Hurricane of 1935 in which 1000 veterans lost their lives while building the road that ties the Keys to the Florida mainland. She even has the great author's scathing essay "Who Killed the Vets" that appeared in The New Yorker. Full disclosure here: Ernest Hemingway is without a doubt my favorite author, and I've always been half in love with him ever since I read my first book by him. I can't ever get enough of Hem.
The storyline is bracketed by the days shortly after Hemingway took his own life and the writing technique works beautifully. We readers flash back to 1935 Key West when Hemingway was at the top of his game as a writer and when he was in his prime as a man. Yes, he is a womanizer, a functional drunk, an accomplished fisherman and sailor - he can't get enough of his beloved Pilar. His marriage to Pauline is starting to crumble and he is beginning to loathe the lifestyle and affluence of the very rich. He fights and referees fights. It is here that he first sees our heroine - Mariella Bennett.
Mariella is just 19 in 1935. And she is beautiful and half Cuban half American. Her father has recently died; her mother is spirling into a deep depression of grief. She is worried for her two sisters: Estelle hasn't spoken much since Hal Bennett's death and Lulu is constantly sick with a mysterious fever. She needs money and goes to the fight that "Papa" is calling. She bets on a soldier and wins. She also finds herself attracted to both the soldier and the famous writer. She soon gets a job in the Hemingway household where she struggles with her attraction to Hemingway and by doing the right thing. And there is Gavin - the soldier that she also feels something for. Gavin and "Papa" are jealous of each other, and they both have something that Mariella needs.
The use of "Papa" Hemingway may not be accurate to 1935, but Robuck uses the moniker to advance the story. It is true that Hemingway always wanted a daughter and used the term "daughter" when addressing young women - hence the name of the novel, Hemingway's Girl. And yet Mariella may have been his girl. And Jake may be the famous writer's son. (Read the book to find out!)(less)
What a wonderful series. I really wish Cape Light, Massachusetts existed - I'd live there in a heartbeat!
In this installment the election is over and...moreWhat a wonderful series. I really wish Cape Light, Massachusetts existed - I'd live there in a heartbeat!
In this installment the election is over and Emily realizes she is smitten and maybe in love with Dan Forbes who seems more determined than ever to get on with his trip. He leaves the Messenger in his son's hands, but can't quite let go of his beloved paper. Wyatt isn't sure if he really wants the paper and asks his sister, Lindsay, to help him. Dan's little house is full - too full with Wyatt, Lindsay, and his son in law. Lindsay has her own dreams about the paper and doubts about Wyatt. Does she voice them? Will Emily finally find love again?
Lucy has had it with Charlie and takes the children with her to her mother's. Luke McAllister and Sara Franklin are also at a crossroad. Could her new boss have anything to do with that? Reverend Ben is also at a crossroad of sorts and what happens to his beloved wife, Carolyn, may change everything for the Lewis family. Digger Hegman gets lost again and is facing some health problems. But it is the Thanksgiving and Christmas Seasons - miracles are needed and it seems like everyone in Cape light will need a gathering place. (less)
Has all of my favorite stories in it: The Nightingale, The Snow Queen, The Flying Trunk, Aunt Toothache, The Emperor Has No Clothes, The Ugly Duckling...moreHas all of my favorite stories in it: The Nightingale, The Snow Queen, The Flying Trunk, Aunt Toothache, The Emperor Has No Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Pixie and the Gardener's Wife just to name a few.
I love that Andersen always has a little moral to his tales - a Christian one too! I never did pick up on those Christian values when I was a kid.
Reading these tales brought my mom back to life, sitting on my twin, and reading me these stories before I fell asleep! (less)
What a beautiful, heartwarming story about a grandmother and her secret love and her granddaughter, Jennifer, who has experienced so much loss in a sh...moreWhat a beautiful, heartwarming story about a grandmother and her secret love and her granddaughter, Jennifer, who has experienced so much loss in a short period of time. Sam's letters to Jennifer had me in tears and smiles as I read Sam's story. Yes, Love never dies.(less)
I have fallen in love with the small village of Cape Light! Jessica Warwick and Sam Morgan are planning their wedding - Lillian will not attend nor se...moreI have fallen in love with the small village of Cape Light! Jessica Warwick and Sam Morgan are planning their wedding - Lillian will not attend nor see her daughter. There is tension between the happy couple.
Sara Franklin is almost ready to tell Emily Warwick who she really is, and finds the politics of Mayor Warwick lacking. She has to rethink her decision to tell Emily and stay in Cape Light - Emily's pedestal isn't as shiny and big as it was before Luke's big plans for the Cranberry Cottages. Plans that threaten to divide the small village. And is romance in the air?
Lillian Warwick is being more difficult than usual - no one can get through to her. Charlie Bates is running for Mayor and is being obnoxious as usual. His wife, Lucy, doesn't know what to do. Gus Potter is sick and Sophie may be forced to sell her beloved orchard. And Reverend Ben is worried that he won't be able to help his troubled flock, especially since he can't seem to mend his own family.
Kinkade and Spenser write truly uplifting stories, and you'll just have to see how everyone's troubles are sorted out. I was not a big fan of Christian Fiction, but this series has made me one! (less)
On August 15th 1939, at the brink of World War II, an English plane crashed and sunk in Danish waters. Five deaths were reported: two Stan...moreBook Blurb:
On August 15th 1939, at the brink of World War II, an English plane crashed and sunk in Danish waters. Five deaths were reported: two Standard Oil of New Jersey employees, a German Corporate Lawyer, an English member of Parliament, and a crew member for the airline. Here is a conceivable version of the events.
This so called novel really is not historical fiction, but rather a historical event with fictional characters. M.C.V. Egan has a personal connection to this plane crash - her grandfather was on the doomed plane. She places herself in the book as a middle aged Florida woman who has been researching the crash for 17 years (same as Egan) and it shows. The novel is about the research. Did I have to know each book with its title, author, publisher information and the author's notes while she decides what book to keep or trash when it looks like she won't be able to pursue her obsessive project? No!!!!!!!!!!! My eye balls bled.
The fictional couple Bill and Maggie, who are really the plane's pilot and wife, were interesting especially during the past life regression sessions. But they too chronicle their own research of the crash, but for Bill's peace of mind and to find the "her" his guide told him to "tell her the story." I think if the story unfolded from Bill's past life as the pilot then the couple's search for "her" would have made a good novel. Even the beginning of the novel that the granddaughter began at the end would have been another good story line. Since these approaches were not employed we have a story about research of an event with some political postulations written very stiltedly.
A Jordanian Spy master approaches a CIA operative whom is coming back to the States in an airport. There is information of a terrorist plot r...more4.5 Stars
A Jordanian Spy master approaches a CIA operative whom is coming back to the States in an airport. There is information of a terrorist plot regarding America, but he wants to trade information; Why is the U.S, government sponsoring the Arab Spring? And is the kingdom of Jordan next? He has pictures of deep Black Ops meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and every Arab country that fell during that time of destabilization and chaos. Lidia Ryan is stunned and takes it to her boss. Almost immediately after that meeting, she and another trusted friend/mentor are almost killed. What is going on? Ryan is determined to find out what her old team is up to.
Meanwhile in the United States, 5 people are kidnapped on the same night. These people are not random victims; they are the names on the short list to become the next Fed Chairman. And the body of one of those people has been found on Jeckyl Island Island - the birthplace of the Federal Reserve System. Harvarth is swiftly flown from Somalia to the States by the "Old Man's" new client - The Federal Reserve. Who would want to target the Fed and why?
Thor gives a good history of the secretive Fed. They act independently and are not accountable to anyone or oversight. They are not part of the U.S. Government as so many people believe. I personally believe the Fed's Charter needs shredding, and too big too fail or jail is passe. Even bankers can go straight to jail without having to pass go. That is a good thing. Of course anyone with sense knows if the monetary system is controlled, so is the government. How Thor ties these two plot lines together and Harvarth's investigation into the Fed and the high profiled kidnap victims is wonderful. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I wish I could have read this in one setting but could not since I'm getting ready to travel back home to Illinois for Christmas. Brad Thor is no Vince Flynn, but I'm definitely going to give him another look and read another of his novels. (less)
J.A. Jance is a fine mystery writer who knows how to build suspense whilst dropping a few small clues here and there. And that is very surprising to m...moreJ.A. Jance is a fine mystery writer who knows how to build suspense whilst dropping a few small clues here and there. And that is very surprising to me because she has authored several stand alone books and 4 series, staring 4 distinct protagonists; each with his or her individual voice/narration or if you will, flavor. Of those series, the Joanna Brady Series is my favorite.
Early one morning Jenny Brady is riding her horse and stumbles onto a body. She has found her missing school principal. The woman wasn't popular with some of the high schoolers and their parennts. Even Sheriff Joanna Brady had a slight run-in with the very private principal. Brady scrambles out of bed to the crime scene that is close to her ranch. Always protective of her children, Joanna sends Jenny home. Soon a reporter drives toward the crime scene already knowing the identity of the victim - a picture of the body has been uploaded to Facebook. Brady is dismayed; only one person could have taken that picture: her daughter.
While trying to locate the woman's next of kin, Brady and her detectives make another startling discovery; the principal isn't who she is. She had been using a fake identity. Witness protection? Identity theft? A domestic violence victim or someone with a more sinister past? Solving the murder won't be easy, and the links lead to another killing and to other death cases: D.H. Lanthop - Joanna Brady's father and a young miner, Sheriff Lanthop's last case. (less)
What a sweet story and an unexpected departure from thriller writer, David Baldacci! I want to travel cross country with these characters on their fic...moreWhat a sweet story and an unexpected departure from thriller writer, David Baldacci! I want to travel cross country with these characters on their fictional trains: The Capitol Express and the Southwest Chief.
Tom is a wanderer. He is a journalist traveling to Los Angeles from Washington, D.C. to spend Christmas with his on and off girlfriend. He plans to write a story about train travel while he's on board. He tells himself that he taking the train as he promised his father he would in honor of Samuel Clemons - a distant relative. But the truth is that he has been banned from flying, at least within the lower forty-eight. And he runs into the one that got away - the only woman he truly ever loved.
Eleanor is on the train because a well known director wants to do a film centering around a train. A wedding? A murder? A Thief? She is to write the script. The director runs into Tom and decides Eleanor needs a co-writer. A thief is also on board both trains as well as two young people who plan to marry on the Southwest Chief against the pair's parents. A winter storm is brewing, too. But it is Christmas time and magic always happens.
A fitting end to a career of writing wonderful stories about strong women and of Ireland. A Week in Winter is the story of Chickie Starr, an old spins...moreA fitting end to a career of writing wonderful stories about strong women and of Ireland. A Week in Winter is the story of Chickie Starr, an old spinster lady, and members of Chickie's family renovating an old family home to be a small hotel in western Ireland. Chickie hopes that Stone House and Stoneybridge will bring her guests some peace and quiet healing of what ails them. And most guests do experience a lifting of their spirits as well as Chickie and her family members.
Each chapter is told from a family member or guest POV. And their stories move the book along, seamlessly one vignette ends another starts as we learn of Stone House's first week in business. Maeve Bichy had a strong sense of her characters and that sense is strongly displayed here. These characters will stay with me for a while. I'm saddened that there will not be any more heartfelt and warm stories from Binchy, since she died last year. (less)
I had forgotten how well Ernest Hemingway wrote short fiction. I loved the two Big-hearted River stories. I'll have to dust off my copy of his The Nic...moreI had forgotten how well Ernest Hemingway wrote short fiction. I loved the two Big-hearted River stories. I'll have to dust off my copy of his The Nick Adams Stories. Nick Adams is always good to read. Another story that broke my heart was the one with the old jockey and his son.(less)
Dead Run really creeped me out - Key West, a missing Pastor, Keystone cop types, grisly murders, possible serial killer, Demons, hurricanes,...more3.5 Stars
Dead Run really creeped me out - Key West, a missing Pastor, Keystone cop types, grisly murders, possible serial killer, Demons, hurricanes, wild hedonistic teen cult. Maybe a little too much going on in the novel. But Erica Spindler knows how to write a page turner. Recommended.(less)
Renowned Art Restorer and sometimes Israeli Agent and Assassin is in Venice restoring a Benini Altarpiece when word comes to him that his friend and f...moreRenowned Art Restorer and sometimes Israeli Agent and Assassin is in Venice restoring a Benini Altarpiece when word comes to him that his friend and fellow Office Agent has been murdered in Munich, Germany. Beni is also the son of Gabriel Allon's boss, Ari Shamron. His mission is to sanitize Stern's apartment and find his killer. The killer is The Leopard - a man with no face, a mercenary for hire, a myth to most countries' Intelligence Services. He works for a super secret group within the Catholic Church - the Crux Vera - who is more powerful than the Pope, and their mission is to protect the universal Church from all of its enemies within and with out the Church, even the Pope himself. A few religious have already disappeared - 2 elderly priests and an elderly woman who left a cloistered Order after WWII. Something happened at that convent in Brenzone on the shores of Lake Garda, Italy that could destroy the Church. The Pope is going to Jewish Synagogue in Rome in a few days to announce that the Vatican Records of Pope Pius XII will be made open to scholars and to a Commission that will include high ranking Catholic and Jewish Prelates that will report to the world and Pope Paul VII its findings. Crux Vera can't let that happen, even if they have to sacrifice the newly elected Pope Paul VII. Allon must race all over Italy with a few side trips to France, London, and Munich to stop The Leopard and silence Crux Vera which one reporter has dubbed the KGB of the Vatican. But will he after he learns the Church's dark and shameful secret?
For decades the controversy of Pope Pius II silence on the Holocaust during WWII has raged on these 70 years. Besides the 6 Million Jews whom were killed by the Nazis, 3 Million Catholics were also executed - including both priests and nuns. Pius XII silence is quite deafening to say the least, and unfortunately there were Antisemitic Catholics living in Germany and Nazi occupied countries at that time in history. I've read books both supporting and denouncing Pope Pius XII. May be that is why he has not been Canonized and probably will never be in my life time. As both a Statesman and leader of a religion that has billions all over the in its flock, I can understand the Pontiff wanting to stay silent, but the morality of that silence is against the vary teachings of the Church. I don't know what to believe about this controversy like the historians who have researched this subject. Probably the truth died with Pius XII and only he and God know the truth. But it does make a good political conspiracy novel. Job well done Daniel Silva.(less)
Health Inspector and former Chef Poppy Markham is on lite duty at the Austin Health Department. She is still recovering from an i...moreA Solid 3.5 Cozy Read
Health Inspector and former Chef Poppy Markham is on lite duty at the Austin Health Department. She is still recovering from an injury that she sustained while solving the case of a murdered chef. Her stepsister Ursula was the police's prime suspect. Poppy proved her innocence of course. So on Memorial Day weekend, Poppy finds herself at the construction site of a new restaurant - Capital punishment. Their planned cuisine is to be the last meals of infamous death row killers. To her surprise, Poppy knows the owners: Todd and Troy Sharpe. Good looking and athletic the twin brothers were part of the in crowd in high school.
What should be a routine permit inspection, proves troublesome. Sinks, water, fans, electricity don't work, and there is the body of Troy Sharpe hanging from the catwalk the day after "green" protestors stormed the construction site. Everything points to suicide or accident in Troy Sharpe's death, but Poppy believes it is murder. Also piled onto plate is her relationship with food writer, Jamie Sherwood. Poppy believes they are on a slow mend until she comes face to face with her ex-fiancee, Drew Cooper.
I haven't laughed so hard as I did when reading a mystery! Robin Allen's sophomoric installment is easy to read and quite funny. I'll have to read the first and the next installment in the Poppy Markham Culinary Police Series. I recommend Stick a Fork In It to anyone who enjoys a cozy mystery. (less)