Friday, September 28, 2012

Hiss and Hers by M.C. Beaton

Agatha has fallen hard for her gardener, George Marston.  So much so that she's going around trying to create work for him so that she can be around him more.  When she finds him dead the night of the charity ball in his own compost heap, she discovers that he's been romancing a lot of women in the village, which irks her even more, knowing that he didn't include her.  Agatha is then hired by George's sister to find out who murdered him.  With her employees at her detective agency and friends Charles and Roy, she humorously navigates her way to find George's killer, despite putting herself and her colleagues in danger.  Hiss and Hers is the latest book in the Agatha Raisin series and, despite all the books being very similar, I thoroughly enjoy spending a bit of time in Agatha's hometown of Carsely once a year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Wanted Man by Lee Child

Jack Reacher is hitchhiking to Virginia when he's picked up by two men and one woman dressed in similar clothes.  After they go through two police roadblocks and display some unsettling behavior, Reacher realizes that they haven't been truthful with him about who they are and where they've been. The reader knows that Reacher's companions are connected to a man who was murdered in a concrete bunker in rural Nebraska.  The local county sheriff, Victor Goodman, is working alongside FBI agent Julia Sorenson and, as inquiries come in from the CIA, they begin to understand that they are dealing with a possible terrorism situation and that the case might be taken away from them at any moment.  At what point will Reacher and his cohorts collide with the authorities?  The Wanted Man is the latest book in the long-running Jack Reacher series and was an okay read--there's not quite as much action as we're used to in the novels and it feels like a retread of previous plots.  It made me long for the fabulousness of Running Blind and Gone Tomorrow.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

With her young daughter, Millie, Grace has returned to a small town in Yorkshire where her husband, Adam disappeared a year ago. Grace and Adam had moved to the cottage that Adam's grandparents left to him when they died. Not long after arriving from London, Adam went missing while out with Millie.  Millie, unharmed in her stroller, was left at their front door.  Grace has returned to clean the house of Adam's family's possessions, then rent it out. While there, Grace is constantly haunted by thoughts of Adam and what might have happened to him. Between a creepy house, a neighbor that she doesn't entirely trust, and discovering that Adam might have been keeping things from her, Grace can't wait to leave for good.  But is she in danger herself?  Beneath the Shadows is a page turner in the tradition of Serena Mackesy's Hold My Hand and Sophie Hannah.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Beth and Olivia are two women who live on Nantucket, but don't yet know how their lives will become entwined. Beth is in shock, picking up the pieces of her life after discovering that her husband has been having an affair. Olivia, meanwhile, has moved to Nantucket to try to escape the memories and pain of her young and profoundly autistic son Anthony's death and the resulting breakup of her own marriage. The reader gets to know Anthony through Olivia's journal entries about him and feels her grief in wondering what Anthony's life's purpose was.  Surprisingly, Olivia's answer comes from where she least expects it.  In Love Anthony, Genova has written a novel about a mother's encounter with autism that is honest and heartbreaking. For people who enjoy Elin Hilderbrand and Jennifer Weiner.  It will be published later this month.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos

Will has been friends with Jeffrey, Nolan and Evan since college and they get together annually for a guys' weekend.  This year, Will is having them over to his house and they plan to catch up and spend time golfing. But things take a terrible turn when Jeffrey kidnaps a teenage girl from a local convenience store and somehow includes both Will and Nolan in his crime.  Being just normal guys, this act puts them totally out of their element and over their heads regarding what to do next.  Wondering if they should let her go, but knowing that doing that will probably ruin their lives has put them in an almost impossible bind.  Over three days, friendships will be tested and lives will definitely be changed....  Several critics have compared the novel to Scott Smith's unforgettable (yes, even after having read it almost twenty years ago) A Simple Plan.  The Three-Day Affair is not as descriptive, but by the end definitely packs the emotional punch of Smith's novel, so it would be a good read-alike.  Also, give it to people who liked Gone Girl and enjoy a story that is more straightforward.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

In Boston, a teenage boy named Teddy Clock is the only survivor when his foster family is murdered in their home. Detective Jane Rizzoli is called to the site. As she delves into Teddy's background, she discovers that he was also the only one left alive two years ago when his family's yacht blew up in St. Thomas. Teddy is not suspected in the crimes, but it gets Jane wondering about Teddy's past. With medical examiner Maura Isles' help, Jane discovers two other kids, Claire Ward and Will Yablonski who have backgrounds similar to Teddy's. Claire and Will live at a school called Evensong, secure and isolated, in Maine. Interspersed throughout the book are scenes set in Italy about a character named Icarus, who an anonymous narrator is trying to capture. What is the connection between Icarus and the teens and how will Jane and Maura keep the kids safe since it seems someone might be after them?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Fine Color of Rust by P.A. O'Reilly

Loretta Boskovic lives in the small outback town of Gunapan with her two children, Melissa and Jake. Her husband, Tony, left years ago. Loretta spends her time working at Neighbourhood House, chatting with her close friend, Norm, trying to save the local school, and thinking about the town's new mechanic, Merv Bull. But when it looks like a luxury resort will be built outside of town, taking recently-discovered local water from the drought-stricken area, Loretta finds herself with a new cause. Filled with Australian slang and touches of humor, The Fine Color of Rust is a real treat. For readers who enjoyed The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club and books by Katie Fforde.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Stranger in the Room by Amanda Kyle Williams

It's summer in Atlanta and private detective Keye Street and her assistant Neil are investigating why an urn given to a family was filled with cement mix and chicken feed rather than their mother's remains. Keye's cousin, Miki, has also asked Keye for help.  She is afraid that someone is stalking her and wants Keye to find out who it might be.  It appears that the person who has targeted Miki is more disturbed and dangerous than either woman could ever imagine...  Stranger in the Room is the second book in the Keye Street series and reminds me of an edgier Kinsey Millhone, the private investigator created by Sue Grafton.