Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dying for Christmas by Tammy Cohen

While out Christmas shopping, Jessica meets a handsome man named Dominic Lacey and impulsively goes home with him. Soon after arriving, she realizes her mistake--she is trapped by a madman. Dominic intends to keep Jessica prisoner, giving her a disturbing gift every day that lends insight into his past and the plans he has for her. Interspersed with Jessica's story is that of a policewoman named Kim who has been assigned Jessica's missing person's case and is trying to find out what happened to her. Dying for Christmas is a suspenseful tale similar to No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary and Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris.

Friday, November 25, 2016

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

In this novella by best-selling author Backman, a grandfather and his grandson, Noah, spend time together as the grandfather falls deeper into dementia. Both share a passion for math, which bonds them together. Noah's dad, Ted, however, is more interested in the arts, so Ted and his father aren't as close. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is a poignant story of love, memories, and loss.

What's Left Behind by Gail Bowen

Joanne's son Peter's wedding is overshadowed by the appearance of the maid of honor Lee's ex-boyfriend, Simon. Simon is still obsessed with Lee and has checked himself out of the psychiatric hospital against his doctor's orders.  Lee, with her organization Citizens for Planned Growth has been fighting against corporations that want to take over farmland and are more concerned with making money than responsible development. When Lee is found murdered soon after the wedding, the authorities' prime suspect is Simon, but Joanne and others believe that Lee's work with her group or possibly personal relationships in her past will be the key to finding her killer.  As usual in this long-running series, the reader is contentedly immersed in Joanne's world of family, friendships, and politics.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

In 1951 in Brighton, DI Edgar Stephens heads the case of two missing children--Annie and Mark. Soon, Edgar's worst fears are confirmed when they are found dead in the woods. Annie was the leader of a group of children who put on plays with gruesome fairy tale overtones for friends and family. Edgar and his colleagues, sergeants Emma Holmes and Bob Willis, delve into the children's lives both in and out of school to try to uncover who was responsible. Could the murders have some connection to the killing forty years ago of a girl playing the female Babe in a "Babes in the Woods" pantomime? Edgar's friend, magician and actor Max Mephisto, provides assistance and support to help unmask the killer. This second book in the Magic Men series continues to develop the relationships of Edgar and Max and those around them.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith

Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutski find themselves busy juggling three cases, one official and two personal.  A Canadian named Susan has come to the agency to find the woman who looked after her when she lived in Botswana when she was young, and Fanwell, who works for Mma Ramotswe's husband at the automotive repair shop next to the detective agency, finds himself in possession of a stray dog that he is unable to care for. Mr. Polopetsi, meanwhile, has become involved in a pyramid scheme and has gotten several friends to invest their money.  It is up to Mma Ramotswe to extricate Mr. Polopetsi from the situation and get everyone's savings back.  As usual in this long-running series, the focus is on the interpersonal relationships of the characters rather than the mystery.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Fall Guy by James Lasdun

Although cousins, Matthew and Charlie were as close as brothers when they were teens. As adults they have drifted apart, but still have a bond. Charlie has done very well financially. He and his wife, Chloe, have a second home in the Catskills, and he invites Matthew to spend the summer. Matthew has not been that successful in his business endeavors and is struggling with what to do next. He also nurses an unrequited affection for Chloe. When Matthew discovers that Chloe is cheating on Charlie, he faces a dilemma: should he tell Charlie or keep quiet?  As the summer progresses, Matthew's knowledge almost becomes an obsession. There's not any way this can end well...

Friday, October 28, 2016

Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes

This collection by best-selling author Moyes features a novella and eight short stories that explore the relationships between women and men. In the title story, Nell is excited to spend a weekend in Paris with her boyfriend, Pete, but when he fails to show up, she has to decide whether to be adventurous and enjoy Paris on her own or head back to her predictable life back home. The other stories feature a famous man accused of adultery, a woman who finds that an expensive pair of shoes can really change your day, and a woman who yearns for a midnight blue coat, even though her family can't afford it.  While the book is a quick read, I really enjoyed the glimpses into the characters' lives and situations.