Friday, November 27, 2015

The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro

Danielle Abrams has always wondered what happened to her great-aunt Alizee, a painter who disappeared in 1940. Alizee worked for the WPA and was friends with the famous artists Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, and Jackson Pollock. While working at Christie's one day, Danielle finds three canvases that she believes belong to Alizee on the backs of several artworks.  This discovery leads Danielle on a journey to find what happened to Alizee. Interspersed with Danielle's story is that of Alizee's, starting in 1939. Alizee is living in New York and is desperate to get her family out of France before they come to harm, since they are Jewish. However, some in the U.S. government are trying to keep the Jews fleeing from Europe out of the country. What can Alizee do to help her family? The Muralist is an interesting story providing insight into the beginnings of the Abstract Expression movement and the plight of the people trying to survive Hitler's persecution.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Crucifixion Creek by Barry Maitland

Afghan war vet Harry Belltree is a Sydney homicide detective, convinced that the car accident that killed his parents and blinded his wife, Jenny, was a criminal act. After his brother-in-law, Greg March, is murdered and two other violent acts happen in close succession, Harry goes beyond the law when the trail leads to a motorcycle gang called the Crows and possible government corruption. He is aided in his quest by Jenny and newspaper reporter Kelly Pool. Crucifixion Creek is the first book in a trilogy by Maitland, author of the long-running Brock and Kolla police procedural series set in London.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Promise by Robert Crais

Private detective Elvis Cole is hired by Meryl Lawrence to help find a woman named Amy Breslyn, who has disappeared with almost a half a million dollars of their employer's money. Amy's son Jacob, a journalist, died in a terrorist bombing in Nigeria about a year ago. Since then, Amy, a chemical engineer, has been different. As Cole is working on the case, he crosses paths with cop Scott James and his dog, Maggie, plus the rest of the LAPD. The police are very interested in what Cole is doing and are having him followed. Scott, himself, is in danger, because he can ID someone wanted by the authorities that has a connection to Amy and is probably involved in bomb-making. Cole and Scott secretly team up because they realize that, by sharing information with each other, they might be able to get the results they need. The Promise, at first, takes a bit of time to set up the plot, but soon Crais' series characters Cole, Scott, Maggie, Joe Pike, and even Jon Stone move to the forefront and the reader is treated to another great read.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Untimely Death by Elizabeth J. Duncan

British costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has called the Catskills home for the last ten years, working for a Shakespeare festival at the Jacobs Grand Hotel.  This summer, Charlotte has Aaron, a young intern, helping her out for the season. When Lauren, the theater company's Juliet, is poisoned, and Brian Prentice, the big name star, shows up drunk every day to rehearsals, Charlotte finds herself helping her boyfriend, Chief of Police Ray Nicholson, investigate a murder. This is the debut of a new series by Elizabeth J. Duncan, author of the long running Penny Brannigan mysteries.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith

With urging from her husband and Mma Matkutsi, Mma Ramotswe decides to take some time off from the detective agency. Soon, however, spending time cleaning out her pantry has lost its allure and she finds herself visiting the office, secretly drawn into a case that Mr. Polopetsi, the agency's part time employee and friend, says has Mma Matkutsi in over her head. Of course, the reader is immersed into the interpersonal lives of all the characters and the African setting. Another enjoyable entry in the series.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Crossing by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch, getting bored in his retirement from the LAPD, reluctantly decides to cross over to the "other side" to work for his half-brother, Mickey Haller, the defense attorney for reformed gang member, Da'Quan Foster. Haller believes that Foster is innocent of the murder of Lexi Parks. With his background, Bosch is able to secretly get information about the case and also view the investigation through the prosecution's and police department's eyes. However, someone is watching Bosch's and Haller's every move--making their actions even more dangerous. The Crossing is another hard-to-put-down adventure featuring Harry Bosch.