Thursday, September 19, 2013

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton

Kinsey is puzzled when she gets a call from the coroner's office asking if she could come and identify a male body that had her name and phone number in his pocket. After she sees the deceased, Kinsey is even more perplexed, because she's never met the man, who was homeless. Not having any current cases, she decides to determine the man's identity. Soon, she finds out his name was Terrence Dace and realizes that several months ago someone had called her office asking about him. What is Terrence's connection with Kinsey? Kinsey also finds herself pulled into an investigation of the dealings of shady fellow private investigator Pete Wolinsky after his murder. In W is for Wasted, Grafton has presented the reader with an interesting puzzle, along with some introspection on Kinsey's part--which makes perfect sense, since there are only a few books left in the series.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Reverend Clare Fergusson, pregnant and newly married, is taking an overdue honeymoon with her husband (Miller's Kill police chief Russ Van Alstyne) at a cabin on Lake Iverary. Despite getting away, they are caught up in the investigation into the arson deaths of a couple who were fostering a young girl named Mikayla Johnson. Mikayla is missing and recently had a liver transplant. The authorities are in a race against time to find Mikayla, who will die if she isn't taking her medication. Clare and Russ are also weathering problems in their personal and professional lives--Russ isn't sure about becoming a father while Clare wants to keep the baby. Clare has to decide whether to resign her position with the church because she became pregnant while not yet married--or possibly be let go and not be able to get another position. Russ faces the dissolution of the Miller's Kill police department and a takeover by the state police. When a terrible winter storm hits the area, Clare and Russ are stranded at the cabin while Russ's officers, Hadley Knox and Kevin Flynn (who have a complicated personal relationship of their own) take charge of investigating Mikayla's disappearance themselves. While I enjoyed catching up with the personal lives of the characters and Spencer-Fleming has a real knack for the dialogue of their interpersonal relationships, the mystery aspect of the book was too leisurely-paced for me.  It will be published in November.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Never Laugh as a Hearse Goes By by Elizabeth J. Duncan

Penny accompanies her friend, DCI Gareth Davies to a conference at Gladstone's Library for the clergy of the Church in Wales.  When the secretary to the bishop, Minty Russell, discovers the secrets of some of the attendees and begins to blackmail them, it's no surprise that she ends up murdered. Allergic to shellfish, Minty is exposed to fish and her EpiPen has mysteriously disappeared from her purse when she needs it most. When another person is murdered, the police investigation goes into high gear.  Penny, aided with information from Davies, attempts to solve both crimes.  In this fifth book in the Penny Brannigan series, Duncan writes another cozy, enjoyable book. It will be published next month.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Don Tillman is a genetics professor in Melbourne who has Asperger's Syndrome.  He decides to embark on what he calls the Wife Project, a questionnaire to give women that will help him find a mate.  Then he meets a woman named Rosie, who's totally unsuitable according to the survey. However, she enlists Don to help her collect the DNA from men who possibly could be her father--and he finds that he enjoys her company. Being with Rosie allows Don to break rules, deviate from his very structured schedule, and have fun in ways he never imagined.  Can Don and Rosie overcome the complications in their relationship to find love?  The Rosie Project will be published next month.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Never Go Back by Lee Child

Reacher hitchhikes to Washington D.C. to meet Major Susan Turner, the person who helped him in 61 Hours. When he arrives, he discovers that Turner has been arrested on what Reacher knows is a bogus charge.  Her replacement, Lt. Colonel Morgan, informs him that he's being recalled into the army and that he's facing charges of his own. Wondering what's really going on, Reacher decides to break both himself and Turner out of jail in order to clear their names. With unknown people on their trail, Reacher and Turner try to stay one step ahead.  Never Go Back was a pretty average book in the series--the first 80 pages kind of dragged because I have no interest in the different army ranks or the internal politics. However, when Reacher teamed up with Turner, the book's pacing picked up and became more like the Lee Child novels that everyone loves.