Saturday, December 31, 2005
Jack Tobin's youth on the streets of New York likely gave him a real advantage when he made his mark (and his fortune) as a trial lawyer in Miami. Fighting for a young man he feels wrongly convicted of murder bring back the reality of the debt he owes a childhood friend--the one who dubbed him "mayor of Lexington Avenue." If you're looking for a book that goes the extra mile, weaving deftly between crime fiction and nostalgia, this fine debut novel is worth a few hours of your time. I'm looking forward to renewing my acquaintence with the world of james Sheehan!
Police reporter Annie Seymour's life is in flux. She's nearly forty and being single doesn't bother her, but the quality of the journalists at her paper make her wonder why she's stayed in the job nearly 15 years. She's tired of being rousted in the middle of the night to cover a murder--but then being sent on a story about fiberglass cows dotting the landscape of New Haven, CT. Her cop boyfriend is stonewalling her about the murder and she's being shadowed by an overeager cub reporter. No wonder she's feeling jaded, right? As Annie follows the leads from these seemingly unrelated cases, she uncovers more than she bargained for. And like all good mysteries, Sacred Cows delivers the goods: great entertainment, likeable characters, and a jolly good resolution!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Things are tough for LA card shop owner Wollie Shelley. Her bid to upgrade her shop is being reviewed by a fusty, by-the-book man; her part-time job of going on blind dates for a radio talk show's research project is turning up duds; her brother is having a psychotic episode; she's just discovered a body; and she's been kidnapped by a pseudo doctor at the psychiatric hospital. Needless to say, it takes a while to work out all these problems, even if the path were direct. Screwball comedy, however, never takes a direct path, so this one will keep you laughing for a while. It's a good outing for this first-time author. Enjoy the ride!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
I had the pleasure of hosting Marcia Talley and Kate Charles as they brought their "Saints and Sinners" tour through North Carolina. The two drove from Richmond to my home in Apex, arriving late on Tuesday night (Nov. 18). We all had to sleep fast because the two had an 8:00 brunch appearance at the Carolina Club in Chapel Hill. They talked to a small, but enthusiastic crowd, signed copies of their books, and returned home with me.
I quickly shewed them out the door to tour Apex's historic downtown, while I pulled together a luncheon in their honor. Mutual friends, including local mystery authors, joined us for a talk-filled meal. Wednesday evening was given to an appearance at our lovely Eva Perry Library, where members of my monthly mystery group swelled the crowd of other mystery readers to listen and ask questions of the two.
On Thursday, we drove to Pinehurst where Kate and Marcia spoke to the combined book clubs of the area. Not only did we enjoy a lovely luncheon at the Resort at Pinehurst, we were also treated to a showing of great new books by the Country Bookshop. We all left with scribbled notes on their handouts. Books make great gifts, don't you thinkÂ—they're so easy to wrap!
Thursday afternoon and evening was given to rest, relaxation, and getting ready for Friday's departure. Until, that is, the two authors discovered we all had similar tastes in music, and they fell on my CD collection. Kate spent time on-line with her web cam, and I got to meet her mother via cyberspace. Marcia had ordered a new digital camera to be delivered to my house, and she was fervent in memorizing the instruction book before she left.
Friday morning began before daybreak. We gathered bags, lunches, and authors and fled for the airport's rental car return, just missing the early morning traffic. By the time they were in the air headed for Houston, I was back home asleep.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Once I started PANICt, I was done for the day--and part of the night. It's an exciting look at a young man whose life is turned upside down when he learns that his parents were not who he thought, nor what he thought. His search for truth leads him through an inter-continental, cross-country chase that leaves murder and mayhem behind. PANIC gives new definition to the terms "suspense" and "thriller"!
Summer cop Danny Boyle (who doesn't even carry a gun!) is paired with Iraq veteran MP John Ceepak policing the resort community of Sea Haven. Danny's main job is driving Ceepak, a "Dudley Doright" Eagle Scout. Summer's idyllic part-time job takes a real spin when Danny and Ceepak encounter a young blood-soaked teen who just saw her father shot to death on the Tilt-A-Whirl at the not-yet-open-for-business amusement park. When the girl is subsequently kidnapped, the investigation really kicks into high gear. The grisly story is told with a light voice (Danny's), possibly because Grabenstein is a former comedy writer. Enjoy your ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl!
Perhaps Hannah Ives wouldn't have been so willing to help stage a Naval Academy production of Sweeny Todd had she known she'd soon be suspected of murder. Fortunately, for Talley's readers, Hannah thought she would just be helping yet another woman struggling with breast cancer. This fast-paced novel gives a backstage look at the Academy, the Pentagon, the cancer survivor community—and murder. Hands down, this is the best Hannah Ives yet!
Carly Stone leaves her power suits behind in New York when she returns to Charleston, S.C. without her adulterous husband. Home is great, except Carly finds that the family hardware store will soon become prey to a super-sized building supply store right across the street. Legal battles, zany family members, and sniffs of mama's cooking park this squarely in the aisles with Stephanie Plum, the Blackbird sisters, and Bubbles Yablonski. Part chick-lit, part cozy, call it what you will—but be sure to call, ya hear?
This is the first in the flower shop series featuring law-school dropout (ok, she flunked out, but who cares?) Abby Knight. Abby's just bought a small florist shop in her home town. Going to work one morning, she's the victim of a hit-and-run accident that damages her beloved 1960 Corvette. Looking for justice leads her straight into a murder, her ex-fiance, a wife beater, and a new man—all in a few days. Saying I've ordered the next two in the series should give you the idea I think the series is worth pursuing!