Archive for May, 2009

Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

Another fine entry in the Maisie Dobbs series. The mystery was a bit lost on me, but I enjoy Maisie and this book continued her character development.

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May 31, 2009 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

Classic Crave: In the Company of Liars by David Ellis

A woman accused of murder is caught in a tortuous psychological maze that leaves her only one escape–suicide. Or does it? Told in reverse chronological order, from its enigmatic end to its brilliant beginning.

An excellent book. A little hard to get into at first, but the tight plotting, especially as what you thought you knew begins to unravel, it’s gripping. Almost had to re-read back to front.

May 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear

I just really enjoy Maisie Dobbs. This novel moved her story along (so much that now I can’t wait to read the next) and also provided another intriguing glimpse into the 1930s and aftermath of World War Two.

In this episode she is asked to confirm the death of Ralph Lawton, which neccitates a trip to France, where Maisie hasn’t been since the dark days of the war. Upon hearing of her latest job, her friend Priscilla asks her to inquire after her brother Peter, who’s mysterious death has haunted her.

May 26, 2009 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

I like Laura Lippman, and this stand alone mystery was intriguing. The ending wrapped up a little too neatly for me, but I enjoyed reading it.

Here’s the summary:

Author Cassandra Fallows has achieved remarkable success by baring her life on the page. Her two widely popular memoirs continue to sell briskly, acclaimed for their brutal, unexpurgated candor about friends, family, lovers—and herself. But now, after a singularly unsuccessful stab at fiction, Cassandra believes she may have found the story that will enable her triumphant return to nonfiction.

When Cassandra was a girl, growing up in a racially diverse middle-class neighborhood in Baltimore, her best friends were all black: elegant, privileged Donna; sharp, shrewd Tisha; wild and worldly Fatima. A fifth girl orbited their world—a shy, quiet, unobtrusive child named Calliope Jenkins—who, years later, would be accused of killing her infant son. Yet the boy’s body was never found and Calliope’s unrelenting silence on the subject forced a judge to jail her for contempt. For seven years, Calliope refused to speak and the court was finally forced to let her go. Cassandra believes this still unsolved real-life mystery, largely unknown outside Baltimore, could be her next bestseller.

But her homecoming and latest journey into the past will not be welcomed by everyone, especially by her former friends, who are unimpressed with Cassandra’s success—and are insistent on their own version of their shared history. And by delving too deeply into Calliope’s dark secrets, Cassandra may inadvertently unearth a few of her own—forcing her to reexamine the memories she holds most precious, as the stark light of truth illuminates a mother’s pain, a father’s betrayal . . . and what really transpired on a terrible day that changed not only a family but an entire country.

May 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

Classic Crave: Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

When Arlene Fleet headed off to college in Chicago, she made three promises to God: She would never again lie, never fornicate outside marriage, and never, ever go back to her tiny hometown of Possett, Alabama. All God had to do in exchange was to make sure the body of high school quarterback Jim Beverly was never found. Ten years later, Arlene has kept her promises, but an old schoolmate has recently turned up asking questions. And now Arlene’s African American beau has given her a tough ultimatum: introduce him to her family, or he’s gone. As she prepares to confront guilt, discrimination, and a decade of deception, Arlene is about to discover just how far she will go to find redemption and love.
Very good. Quick. Good plot – not too many twists, but enough to keep you interested. Nice resolution and believable characters.

Classic Crave brings back reviews of some of my favorite books, read before 2008.

May 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Set in 1909 Wisconsin, businessman Ralph Truitt wants for a train bringing him his new wife, but she is not who he thought she was.

I don’t know what to say about this. It was different than I expected. It was dark, yet hopeful. By the end I felt sympathy for Catherine. The ending surprised me. I think this is what a friend of mine would call Big L Literature.
The  obsession part threw me off a bit, and I’m not sure if I can recommend it to some of the ladies who come to the library, but I am glad I’ve read it since it seems to be generating lots of buzz.
NPR has an interesting interview with the author. Check it out.

May 19, 2009 at 7:13 am Leave a comment

Bringing Elizabeth Home by Ed & Lois Smart

Subtitled: a Journey of Hope and Faith

This was the “true crime” pick for book group. We didn’t find it to be very much true crime. No details about what happened to Elizabeth were revealed, as they want to give her the option to tell her own story.

Also, it assumed prior knowledge about the case.

I didn’t enjoy this at all.

May 18, 2009 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

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