11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Mystery

Getting off : a novel of sex and violence by Lawrence Block, Jill Emerson, read by Helen, on 02/28/2012

SO THIS GIRL WALKS INTO A BAR…

…and when she walks out there’s a man with her. She goes to bed with him, and she likes that part. Then she kills him, and she likes that even better. On her way out, she cleans out his wallet. She keeps moving, and has a new name for each change of address. She’s been doing this for a while, and she’s good at it.

And then a chance remark gets her thinking of the men who got away, the lucky ones who survived a night with her. She starts writing down names. And now she’s a girl with a mission. Picking up their trails. Hunting them down. Crossing them off her list…

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley, read by Lisa, on 02/28/2013

  When the tomb of St. Tancred is opened at a village church in Bishop’s Lacey, its shocking contents lead to another case for Flavia de Luce, where greed, pride and murder result in old secrets coming to light, along with a forgotten flower that hasn’t been seen for half a thousand years.
11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson, read by Jane, on 02/28/2013

  Detective Alex Cross arrests renowned plastic surgeon Elijah Creem for sleeping with teenage girls. Now, his life ruined, Creem is out of jail, and he has made sure that no one will recognize him by giving himself a new face. A young woman is found hanging from a sixth floor window, and Alex is called to the scene. The victim recently gave birth, but the baby is nowhere to be found. Before Alex can begin searching for the missing newborn and killer, he is called to investigate a second crime. All of Washington, D.C. is in a panic, and when a third body is discovered, rumours of three serial killers send the city into an all out frenzy. Alex’s investigations are going nowhere, and he is too focused on the cases to notice that someone has been watching him and will stop at nothing until he is dead.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

Low Pressure by Sandra Brown, read by Jane, on 02/28/2013

 Basing her bestselling novel on the night her older sister Susan was murdered on a stormy Memorial Day eighteen years earlier, Bellamy Lyston Price, writing under a pseudonym, becomes the target of an unnamed assailant who either wants the truth about Susan’s murder to remain unknown or, even more threatening, is determined to get vengeance for a man wrongfully accused and punished.
11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Joyce, Mystery · Tags:

Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham, read by Joyce, on 01/30/2013

 In the small city of Strattenburg there are many lawyers, and thirteen-year-old Theo Boone thinks he is one of them, but his inside knowledge of the justice system means trouble when a cold-blooded killer is about to go free and only Theo can stop him.
11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie, read by Lisa, on 01/30/2013

In this delightful new series, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid of Scotland Yard takes a holiday at his lovely Yorkshire time share. But before the stress of crime-solving begins to disappear, a body washes up in the whirlpool bath. Kincaid won’t be able to relax until the killer is sent packing.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

Judgment Call by JA Jance, read by Jane, on 01/30/2013

When her daughter, Jenny, stumbles across the dead body of her high school principal, Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady’s personal and professional worlds collide, putting her in the difficult middle ground between being an officer of the law and a mother. While investigating murders means discovering unpleasant facts, Joanna is not prepared for the knowledge she is about to uncover. Though she has tried to protect her children from the dangers of the grown-up world, the search for justice leads straight to her own door and forces her to face the possibility that her beloved daughter may be less perfect than she seems, especially when a photo from the crime scene ends up on Facebook. A photo only one person close to the crime scene could have taken. For Joanna, the line between justice and family has never been so blurred, and never so close.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

Rattlesnake Crossing by JA Jance, read by Jane, on 01/30/2013

The militia movement has invaded Arizona’s Cochise County. And, after a local gun dealer dies unnaturally and his stock of high-powered weapons is cleaned out, it’s up to Sheriff Joanna Brady to stem the ensuing tide of murder and mayhem.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

Dead Wrong by JA Jance, read by Jane, on 01/30/2013

Juggling a family and a career is never easy-and it’s becoming a real challenge for Sheriff Joanna Brady. Coping with the impending delivery of her second child as well as a staff shortage, the last things Joanna needs are two serious crimes. First, the body of an unidentified man is found in the desert, all of his fingers savagely severed. Following the scant clues, Joanna learns that the victim was an ex-con who had served twenty years in prison after confessing to the murder of his pregnant wife. During his last days he was seen following and photographing a young woman. Then one of Joanna’s officers is brutally attacked and left for dead while on an unauthorized stakeout. Because the officer is one of its own, the department throws its resources into finding her attacker. But the murder haunts Joanna. Being a sheriff is no longer an empty position she wants to hold-somehow it has become what she is. Her job is to avenge man’s inhumanity toward man, and finding out who the victim was and why he is dead is what she has been summoned to do with her life. Strapping on a bulletproof vest, she’ll risk everything to see that justice is done.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Hard Twisted by C. Joseph Greaves, read by Helen, on 01/30/2013

In May 1934, outside of Hugo, Oklahoma, a homeless man and his thirteen-year-old daughter are befriended by a charismatic drifter, newly released from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. The drifter, Clint Palmer, lures father and daughter to Texas, where the father, Dillard Garrett, mysteriously disappears, and where his daughter, Lucile, begins a one-year ordeal as Palmer’s captive on a crime spree–culminating in the notorious Greenville, Texas, “skeleton murder” trial of 1935.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Mystery

Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach, read by Helen, on 01/30/2013

At seventeen, David “Lizard” Hochmeyer is nearly seven feet tall, a star quarterback, and Princeton-bound. His future seems all but assured until his parents are mysteriously murdered, leaving Lizard and his older sister, Kate, adrift and alone. Sylphide, the world’s greatest ballerina, lives across the pond from their Connecticut home, in a mansion the size of a museum, and it turns out that her rock star husband’s own disasters have intersected with Lizard’s—and Kate’s—in the most intimate and surprising ways.

Over the decades that follow, Lizard and Kate are obsessed with uncovering the motives behind the deaths, returning time and again to their father’s missing briefcase, his shady business dealings and shaky finances, and to Sylphide, who has threaded her way into Lizard’s and Kate’s lives much more deeply than either had ever realized. From the football fields of Princeton to a stint with the NFL, from elaborate dances at the mansion to the seductions lying in wait for Lizard, and ultimately to the upscale restaurant he opens in his hometown, it only takes Lizard a lifetime to piece it all together.

A wildly entertaining novel of murder, seduction, and revenge—rich in incident, in expansiveness of character, and in lavishness of setting—it’s a Gatsby-esque adventure, a larger-than-life quest for answers that reveals how sometimes the greatest mystery lies in knowing one’s own heart.

06. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Claudia, Fiction, Mystery

Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh, read by Claudia, on 01/07/2014

For fans of Gillian Flynn and Daniel Woodrell, a dark, gripping debut novel of literary suspense about two mysterious disappearances, a generation apart, and the meaning of family-the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

The Dane family’s roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn’t keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy’s few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri’s necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri’s death could be linked to her mother’s disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie.

06. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Madeline, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin, read by Madeline, on 01/21/2014

Tom Franklin’s narrative power and flair for characterization have been compared to the likes of Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Elmore Leonard, and Cormac McCarthy.

Now the Edgar Award-winning author returns with his most accomplished and resonant novel so far; an atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas “32″ Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county— and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.

More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they’ve buried and ignored for decades.

06. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Madeline, Mystery

Crooked Numbers by Tim O'Mara, read by Madeline, on 01/10/2014

When  one of Raymond Donne’s former students is found stabbed to death under the Williamsburg Bridge, Ray draws on his past as a cop to find the truth in Tim O’Mara’s second New York mystery.

Raymond Donne’s former student Douglas Lee had everything going for him thanks to a scholarship to an exclusive private school in Manhattan, but all of that falls apart when his body is found below the Williamsburg Bridge with a dozen knife wounds in it. That kind of violence would normally get some serious attention from the police and media except when it’s accompanied by signs that it could be gang related. When that’s the case, the story dies and the police are happy to settle for the straightforward explanation. Dougie’s mom isn’t having any of that and asks Ray, who had been a cop before an accident cut his career short, to look into it, unofficially. He does what he can, asking questions, doling out information to the press, and filling in some holes in the investigation, but he doesn’t get far before one of Dougie’s private school friends is killed and another is put in the hospital.

What kind of trouble could a couple of sheltered kids get into that would end like that? And what does is have to do with Dougie’s death? None of it adds up, but there’s no way Ray can just wait around for something to happen.

Following on the heels of his acclaimed debut, Tim O’Mara’s Crooked Numbers is another outstanding mystery that brings the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan to life and further solidifies O’Mara’s place among the most talented new crime fiction writers working today.

06. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Mystery

Playing with Fire by Bruce Hale, read by Angie, on 02/06/2014

Max is an orphan who has been shuttled around to seven different foster homes in the last six years. When his latest home burns down he is sent to The Merry Sunshine Orphanage. The orphanage run by Hanti Annie is more than a home for orphans though it is a spy school. Max receives coded messages that indicate his father is alive. A covert mission gives him the perfect chance to see if he can find and rescue his father from the evil LOTUS group. Max must decide if his only blood relative is his family or if the group at the orphanage has become his family. Loyalties will be tested.

This book was a little over the top even though it is about orphans being trained as spies. I didn’t feel like we go to know any of the characters enough to really care about them one way or the other. I also thought the storyline with Max’s father was fairly predictable and not nearly as inventive as the plot suggested. I liked the fact that there was a very multicultural cast of characters though I thought it was a missed opportunity to have Hanti Annie speak pidgin and not understand English that well when she was an accomplished spy who spoke seven languages. I think some kids will enjoy this book, but there are better spy stories out there.

06. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tammy · Tags: , , ,

Due or Die: Library Lover's Series Book 2 by Jenn McKinlay, read by Tammy, on 01/18/2014

due or die Lindsey Norris is happy with her life in the small town of Briar Creek, Connecticut where she works as the town’s library director. Things are going smoothly until a conflict among the Friends of the Library group leads to threatening phone calls and messages. But could a disagreement among the Friends really have caused the murder of the new president’s husband? Just as police start to investigate a major snow storm hits. Will Lindsey find out who the killer is before the spring thaw?

03. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Mystery

The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward, read by Angie, on 01/31/2014

Arthur Whipple doesn’t fit in his family. Everyone else has the same birthday and breaks world records every day. Arthur was born a day early and has failed at every record he has attempted to break. Even the people who work for the Whipples are record holders. Arthur tries everything to make his family see and appreciate him but they never do. Then a mysterious dwarf and giant ruin the big birthday bash and a family from Mr. Whipple’s past comes back and beats the Whipples at everything. The family cook is blamed for all their troubles, but Arthur knows he isn’t the real culprit. He has to find out who is behind everything and convince the others of the truth.

Ugh! I almost didn’t get through this one. It had so much going for it, but really didn’t live up to its potential. For one thing it was WAY too long. 400 pages is a lot of story especially for a book as convoluted as this one. The world record stuff was interesting at first, but quickly became a crutch for the story. It was way too unbelievable and clunky a device. The last thing that really bothered me was the fact that there wasn’t really any conclusion or moral or lesson to be learned from this book. We don’t know who ruined the birthday party; we don’t know who really hired the dwarf and giant; we don’t know why the cook was blamed; we don’t know what is up with the Goldwins; and Arthur’s family never appreciates him. I really wanted more from this book and didn’t get it.

03. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

No Mans Nightingale by Ruth Rendell, read by Tracy, on 01/24/2014

A female vicar named Sarah Hussein is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who discovers her body, happens to also be in the employ of retired Chief Inspector Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, detective inspector Mike Burden, Wexford, intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, leaps at the chance to tag along with the investigators.

A single mother to a teenage girl, Hussein was a woman working in a male-dominated profession. Moreover, she was of mixed race and working to modernize the church. Could racism or sexism have played a factor in her murder?

As Wexford searches the Vicar’s house, he sees a book on her bedside table. Inside the book is a letter serving as a bookmark. Without thinking much, Wexford puts it into his pocket. Wexford soon realizes he has made a grave error in removing a piece of valuable evidence from the scene without telling anybody. Yet what he finds inside begins to illuminate the murky past of Hussein. Is there more to her than meets the eye?

03. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Classics, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Tracy, on 01/17/2014

We owe The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) to Arthur Conan Doyle’s good friend Fletcher “Bobbles” Robinson, who took him to visit some scary English moors and prehistoric ruins, and told him marvelous local legends about escaped prisoners and a 17th-century aristocrat who fell afoul of the family dog. Doyle transmogrified the legend: generations ago, a hound of hell tore out the throat of devilish Hugo Baskerville on the moonlit moor. Poor, accursed Baskerville Hall now has another mysterious death: that of Sir Charles Baskerville. Could the culprit somehow be mixed up with secretive servant Barrymore, history-obsessed Dr. Frankland, butterfly-chasing Stapleton, or Selden, the Notting Hill murderer at large? Someone’s been signaling with candles from the mansion’s windows. Nor can supernatural forces be ruled out. Can Dr. Watson–left alone by Sherlock Holmes to sleuth in fear for much of the novel–save the next Baskerville, Sir Henry, from the hound’s fangs?

Many Holmes fans prefer Doyle’s complete short stories, but their clockwork logic doesn’t match the author’s boast about this novel: it’s “a real Creeper!” What distinguishes this particular Hound is its fulfillment of Doyle’s great debt to Edgar Allan Poe–it’s full of ancient woe, low moans, a Grimpen Mire that sucks ponies to Dostoyevskian deaths, and locals digging up Neolithic skulls without next-of-kins’ consent. “The longer one stays here the more does the spirit of the moor sink into one’s soul,” Watson realizes. “Rank reeds and lush, slimy water-plants sent an odour of decay … while a false step plunged us more than once thigh-deep into the dark, quivering mire, which shook for yards in soft undulations around our feet … it was as if some malignant hand was tugging us down into those obscene depths.” Read on–but, reader, watch your step!

01. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Leslie, Mystery

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton, read by Leslie, on 01/26/2014

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“Two dead bodies changed the course of my life that fall” October 1988 Santa Teresa California narrates PI Kinsey Milhone 38. One is shady PI Pete Wolinsky, shot and robbed. Second is homeless alcoholic Terrence Dace from kidney and liver failure. He rejected children, bequeathed fortune to Kinsey. Pete’s gun shows up in Kinsey’s car, dropped by Felix, killed after he retrieved friend Dace’s stolen stuff.

Another great Kinsey Milhone mystery.  I hate to think that Z is right around the corner!  Although it has taken her awhile to get through the alphabet, Grafton has not rushed through them just to get to the end.  Her characters have remained constant, especially Kinsey.  I would imagine it is hard to maintain that the date is still in the late 80s, but she does a great job.  Each book has been different in the mystery it presents but her main characters are constant and I’m glad to see them each time.