Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bad Wolf by Nele Neuhaus

When an unidentified teenager is found dead outside Frankfurt, the police are stumped about her identity, even weeks after the discovery of her body. Then, Chief Detective Superintendent Pia Kirchhoff and her colleagues find themselves investigating the brutal beating of television host Hanna Herzmann, who was left for dead in the trunk of a car. Could the two cases possibly be related? In this the sixth book of the Kirchhoff/Bodenstein series (but second to be published in the U.S.), Neuhaus writes a police procedural that is similar to the mysteries of Camilla Lackberg and Helene Tursten.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kill Fee by Owen Laukkanen

FBI agent Carla Windermere and Minnesota state policeman Kirk Stevens find themselves reunited when people start dying around the country from what seem like contract hits.  A man named Parkerson is recruiting young veterans who are scarred by war and melding them into emotionless killers. Stevens and Windermere are trying to piece together who's behind the crimes, but always seem to be one step behind. Will the duo be able to thwart Parkerson's horrible plans?  This third book in the Stevens/Windermere series is fast-paced and very similar to the novels of Thomas Perry.  It will be published in March.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

Lawyer Sophie Diehl is asked to meet with Mia Durkheim, whose doctor husband is divorcing her.  Sophie's specialty is criminal defense, but no one at the firm is available to see Mia, so she's asked to oversee the initial meeting. Mia, however, loves Sophie and the fresh take she'll bring to the divorce proceedings and gets her to agree to be her lawyer throughout the divorce. The Divorce Papers lets the reader follow the whole process through legal documents, letters, etc. while also exploring Sophie's professional and personal life.  While author Rieger has an interesting idea for a plot, the books is way too long at almost 500 pages, especially since the epistolary format doesn't allow for much character development.  It will be published in March.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Accident by Chris Pavone

Literary agent Isabel Reed has no idea that the manuscript she's reading (called "The Accident") could get her killed. Sent to her anonymously, it seems to be written by someone close to media mogul Charlie Wolfe and contains secrets that some people will commit murder to keep hidden. When Isabel realizes the gravity of the situation, she goes on the run with her friend, literary editor Jeffrey Fielder, because she's determined to get the book published. Will she be able to stay ahead of and be smarter than those who are pursuing her?  The Accident will be published in March.

My Favorite Books of 2013

My list includes the latest book in three different mysteries series that I adore, and two women's-lives-and-relationships novels.

In alphabetical order by author:

Massacre Pond by Paul Doiron

This fourth book in the Mike Bowditch series combines a great sense of place in rural Maine with an always-interesting main character.

Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths

I immensely enjoy catching up with Ruth and her circle of friends in each book. Being set on the Norfolk coast of England and featuring forensic archaeology doesn't hurt either.

Second Watch by J.A. Jance

Despite the fact that the series is almost thirty years old, Jance continues to keep me intrigued with the character of J.P. Beaumont and whatever case he's involved in.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Yes, this book lives up to the hype. A group of well-drawn characters, a puzzle featuring intersecting storylines and an emotional wallop of an ending combine to make a book that's hard to forget.

The Mouse-Proof Kitchen by Saira Shah

This book was such a fabulous surprise. Wonderful descriptions of food, with motherhood and marriage issues thoughtfully explored in a French countryside setting.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rosemary and Crime by Gail Oust

After a recent divorce, Piper Prescott decides to follow a dream and open a spice store in the small southern town of Brandywine Creek, Georgia. The evening before the opening of Spice It Up!, Piper discovers chef Mario Barrone stabbed in his restaurant and herself named as the prime suspect in his murder. With the new police chief, Wyatt McBride, suspicious of her and her new store in danger of closing because of the lack of business, Piper and her best friend, Reba Mae, decide to try and uncover Mario's killer themselves. Will stakeouts that are more like picnics and using a chocolate pie to discover someone's shoe size lead them to a murderer? Rosemary and Crime is a new cozy mystery series that will appeal to readers who enjoy Rett MacPherson, Kathy Hogan Trocheck, and Anne George.

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

In 1960, a woman named Jennifer wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she is after a car accident. She goes home with her wealthy, successful husband, Laurence, but doesn't feel close to him emotionally. What Jennifer discovers is that she had become involved with a man that she loved passionately in the months leading up to her injury--but who is the man and why hasn't he tried to contact Jennifer after her accident? In contemporary London, journalist Ellie is having her own romantic issues because of her involvement with a married writer. When she comes across several old love letters at the newspaper where she works, she decides that she must try and find out who wrote them. In this love story spanning forty years, Moyes creates a emotional tale with such likable characters that you will be quickly turning the pages to find out how it ends and yes, probably even shed a few tears.