Monday, April 16, 2018

Go Ask Fannie by Elisabeth Hyde

The grown Blaire siblings are convening at their father Murray's home in New Hampshire for the weekend. There's eldest Ruth (a high-powered lawyer in Washington D.C. and a control freak), George, (a nurse who never married) and youngest Lizzie (a professor of literature who lives closest to Murray). The weekend gets off to a bad start when Lizzie confesses that her ex-lover, Gavin, ruined their mother, Lillian's cookbook. Lillian died over thirty years ago and the cookbook was extremely special to the family, with years' worth of handwritten comments and marginalia. To make matters worse, Lizzie was so mad at Gavin that she poured hot water over his laptop and, in the process, burned his hand. Now, he is threatening to sue her. Amidst the drama, the family also reflects on their relationships with each other and the two family members who are absent. As in her excellent last book, In the Heart of the Canyon, Hyde again treats the reader to a novel that's perfect for people who love to explore a variety of relationships.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

For the past seven years, Lynn and her family have lived an isolated existence in the wilds of the Yukon. World order broke down years ago, with nuclear war and a bird flu wiping out most of the population and any semblance of organization. Lynn has become a quite adept hunter, but her memories of life before the chaos when her father was still alive are still very vivid. When a man named Jax arrives at their camp, he brings with him unknown danger that threatens the lives of Lynn and those close to her. The Wolves of Winter is a fast-paced read for readers who enjoy books with strong female protagonists and plenty of action.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Wildwood by Elinor Florence

Unable to find work after losing her job as an accountant in Arizona, Molly decides to move with her young non-verbal daughter, Bridget, to a farm in northern Alberta that has been bequeathed to her by her great aunt Mary. The only condition of the will is that she live there for one year, after which she can put it up for sale. Knowing that she can sell the property for more than $1.5 million is the biggest incentive to make the move, but the house, built in the 1920's, has no electricity or plumbing--although it is in extremely good shape--and the closest "neighbor" is eight miles away. Wildwood follows Molly and Bridget on their year-long journey, with Molly guided and inspired by Mary's diary that she finds. With lots of detail of daily life from Mary's time and in the present, this is an engaging, cozy read. Perfect for readers of Sandra Dallas.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch

In 1956, newlyweds Scottie and Michael Messina move to Siena when Michael gets a job with Ford selling tractors to the locals. In reality, the job is a cover created by the CIA, and Michael's assignment is to prevent the Communist mayor from being re-elected. Scottie knows nothing of Michael's ruse and spends her days learning Italian, eating good food and immersing herself in the local community. Of course, Scottie is also keeping secrets of her own--and Michael, in turn, is hiding even more  about himself. Will their marriage survive all the life changes and duplicity? The Italian Party is a novel with a great sense of place and an interesting story.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman

When Sally, one of their childhood friends, commits suicide, "The Gunners" reunite at her funeral. Mikey, Jimmy, Sam, Alice, and Lynn all grew up on the same street outside of Buffalo and had an abandoned house  (with "The Gunners" on the mailbox) that they hung out in when they were young. Now in their early thirties and having been apart for over ten years, they have a chance to catch up and reflect on their pasts together and question why Sally took her own life. The Gunners is a unforgettable novel about memories and the bonds of friendship.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Stay Hidden by Paul Doiron

In his new job as a warden investigator with the Maine Warden Service, Mike Bowditch is the only officer available to travel to the island of Maquoit to determine if someone should be charged in the death of journalist Ariel Evans. Ariel is not a local resident and it appears that she might have mistaken her for deer and shot. Ariel also might have been working on a story--about either a hermit who lives near Maquoit or some local neo-Nazis. As Mike pieces together information about Ariel's time on the island, it becomes clear to him that she was murdered. Surrounded by residents who would like the truth to stay buried, will he be able to discover what really happened? Stay Hidden is another thoroughly enjoyable mystery in the Mike Bowditch series. It will be published in July.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Crimson Lake by Candace Fox

Ted Conkaffey has left Sydney, hoping to find anonymity in far north Queensland after being accused of kidnapping a girl (he was released due to a lack of evidence). Isolated from his family and friends, and with the loss of his job as a cop in the city, Ted, on the advice of his lawyer, decides to partner with local private investigator Amanda Pharrell. Amanda has her own demons, the biggest being having served eight years in prison for murder. Together, they are trying to discover what happened to best-selling writer Jake Scully. With a descriptive sense of place and interesting characters, Fox is off to a promising start with this first book in the series. Perfect for fans of Jane Harper's The Dry.