Thursday, April 29, 2010

Silent Auction by Jane K. Cleland

When Josie Prescott arrives at the Whitestones' lighthouse to do an appraisal, she is shocked to discover the body of Frankie Winterelli, the caretaker of the property and her best friend Zoe's nephew. Wondering who could have brutally killed Frankie, Josie agrees to assist the local police because they believe that his death might be connected to antiques that the Whitestones owned, specifically some scrimshaw items. The area of Rocky Point, New Hampshire is filled with antique shops and art galleries and the police have a long list of suspects. Will Josie's expertise help find justice for Frankie? Silent Auction is the fifth book in the Josie Prescott series and contains lots of interesting information about antiques, especially the art of scrimshaw. The mystery also nicely features Josie and her circle of friends and employees.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Other Family by Joanna Trollope

When once-popular pianist Richie Rossiter unexpectedly dies, he leaves his family behind to pick up the pieces. Chrissie, his partner of 23 years, feels sorrow that Richie never married her and wonders how she'll support their daughters, Tamsin, Dilly, and Amy, since she was his manager. Richie also never divorced his wife, Margaret, even though he had no contact with her or their son, Scott, after leaving Margaret for Chrissie. Soon, the two families are forced to confront their emotions towards each other when Richie's will is read. How will everyone learn to put the past behind them and move forward?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs is hired by the parents of American Michael Clifton to find the British nurse that he fell in love with while working as a cartographer for the British army during World War I. As it's 1932, Michael's remains have recently been recovered in France and it's obvious to Maisie and Michael's father from the postmortem that he was murdered, so that becomes part of Maisie's task as well. When the Cliftons are violently attacked and Maisie is mugged and her document case stolen, it becomes clear that someone is trying to impede the investigation. The mystery, along with the progression of Maisie's personal life, makes the book an enjoyable solid read.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas

It's 1920 and the mining town of Swandyke, Colorado will be forever changed by an avalanche that buries nine local schoolchildren. In the novel, the reader is introduced to the parents and caregivers. There are sisters Lucy and Dolly (who haven't spoken in years), Joe Cobb (the only African-American resident of Swandyke, having fled prejudice and injustice in Alabama), Grace (lonely wife of the mine manager), Civil War veteran and grandfather Minder Evans and, lastly, prostitute Essie Snowball (who watches over her daughter, Sophie, being cared for by her friend, Martha). Four children will survive the horrible tragedy in this novel that explores the lives of both men and women and the choices they make when faced with disappointment, society's rules, and forgiveness.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Get Lucky by Katherine Center

After Sarah Harper is fired from her advertising job in New York City, she moves back home to Houston. Her older sister, Mackie, is thrilled to have her back. Mackie has been trying to have a baby with her husband, Clive, for six years. At loose ends, Sarah figures she can acts as a surrogate for them. Living with Mackie and Clive for nine months might be a little too close for comfort, though. Sarah's life is also complicated by the reappearance of Everett Thompson (the high school boyfriend she dumped but who is now gorgeous). Will Sarah be able to get her life back on track and can the sisters relationship survive Sarah's generous act?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

61 Hours by Lee Child

Jack Reacher is on a bus travelling through South Dakota when it crashes to avoid a car coming into its lane. Reacher and his fellow passengers are taken to the small town of Bolton until another bus arrives for them. Soon it becomes clear that the town of Bolton has some problems. A meth lab started by some bikers has set up outside of town and, at times, there are skirmishes between them and the local police and residents. There is also a recently-built prison near the town. Reacher, of course, wants to help and uses his resources, brains, and brawn to come out on top. But with 61 hours until something ominous happens, will he succeed? The book will be published in May.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith

The women of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency are busy with several cases in this latest book in the series. They are hired by the estate of an American woman to locate the guide who had been extra kind to her on trip to the Okavango Delta in Botswana a few years earlier. The woman, Mrs. Grant, has left the guide some money in her will. In another investigation, a man named Mr. Kereleng has been duped out of the ownership of his home by the scheming Violet Sephoto, whom regular readers of the series will remember as an enemy of Precious Ramotswe's assistant Grace Makutsi. Will the ladies be able to right this wrong? Also, Mma Ramotswe is asked by a friend, Mma Mateleke, to find out if her husband is having an affair, which proves to be uncomfortable, since her husband confides to Mma Ramotswe that his wife seems distant. On a more personal level, Grace is being kept from taking care of her fiancee Phuti Radiphuti whose foot has been crushed by a truck. Phuti's aunt believes that she should be nursing him back to health, not Grace. The Double Comfort Safari Club is a cozy, enjoyable read and belongs in the category of one of the best books in the series. It will be published later this month.