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.

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

Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich, read by Leslie, on 01/12/2014

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New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in–not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because “just Stephanie’s luck” the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.

I love the way her books make me laugh, I get disappointed if Stephanie Plum doesn’t blow up or mangle at least one vehicle.  This is one of her typical Plum books, full of missteps and bungling, not to mention Joe and Ranger.  I don’t know if this is the last in the series, it ended in such a way to make that a possibility.

31. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Judy, Mystery

Larceny and Old Lace by Tamar Myers, read by Judy, on 01/31/2014

As owner of the Den of Antiquity, recently divorced (but never bitter!) Abigail Timberlake is accustomed to delving into the past, searching for lost treasurers and navigating the cutthroat world of rival dealers at flea markets and auctions.     Still, she never thought she’d be putting her expertise in mayhem and detection to other use until crotchety “junque” dealer, Abbey’s Aunt Eulonia Wiggins, was found murdered!

Although Abigail is puzzled by the instrument of death, an exquisite antique bell pull that Aunt Eulonia never would have had the taste to acquire, she’s willing to let the authorities find the culprit.      But now, Auntie’s priceless lace collection is missing, and somebody’s threatened Abby’s most priceless possession:  her son, Charlie.   It’s up to Abby to put the murdered “on the block”.

This is a great murder mystery with a little southern humor throughout the book.

31. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

A Necessary End by Peter Robinson, read by Lisa, on 01/20/2014

In the usually peaceful town of Eastvale, a simmering tension has now reached breaking point. An anti-nuclear demonstration has ended in violence, leaving one policeman stabbed to death. Fired by professional outrage, Superintendent ‘Dirty Dick’ Burgess descends with vengeful fury on the inhabitants of ‘Maggie’s Farm’, an isolated house high on the daleside. Inspector Banks is uneasy about Burgess’s handling of the investigation. But he has been warned off the case. Soon Banks realises that the only way he can salvage his career is by beating Burgess to the killer.

31. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

Below by Meg McKinlay, read by Lisa, on 01/03/2014

Secrets have a way of floating to the surface. . . . Mystery, compelling characters, and an abandoned town beneath a lake make for a must-read adventure.

On the day Cassie was born, they drowned her town. The mayor flipped a lever and everyone cheered as Old Lower Grange was submerged beneath five thousand swimming pools’ worth of water. Now, twelve years later, Cassie feels drawn to the manmade lake and the mysteries it hides — and she’s not the only one. Her classmate Liam, who wears oversized swim trunks to cover the scars on his legs, joins Cassie in her daily swims across the off-limits side of the lake. As the summer heats up, the water drops lower and lower, offering them glimpses of the ghostly town and uncovering secrets one prominent town figure seems anxious to keep submerged. But like a swimmer who ventures too far from shore, Cassie realizes she can’t turn back. Can she bring their suspicions to light before it’s too late — and does she dare?

30. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Books can be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay, read by Tammy, on 01/18/2014

books can be deceivingLindsey is finally adjusting to her new job as the director of the Brian Creek Public Library and her new life as a single woman. Her college friend and children’s librarian Beth has written and illustrated her first children’s book and wants to find out if it’s good enough to be published. But Beth’s boyfriend an award-winning children’s book author keeps getting in the way. Then a New York City book editor visits town and a friend arranges for the editor, Beth and Lindsey to met. But things go wrong rapidly and Beth’s chance at becoming a published author lands here as the chief suspect in her boyfriend’s murder. Can Lindsey solve the mystery fast enough to find the real murderer?

A light cozy mystery.

29. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner, read by Jane, on 01/28/2014

My name is Dr. Adeline Glen. Due to a genetic condition, I can’t feel pain. I never have. I never will.

The last thing Boston Detective D.D. Warren remembers is walking the crime scene after dark. Then, a creaking floorboard, a low voice crooning in her ear… She is later told she managed to discharge her weapon three times. All she knows is that she is seriously injured, unable to move her left arm, unable to return to work.

My sister is Shana Day, a notorious murderer who first killed at fourteen. Incarcerated for thirty years, she has now murdered more people while in prison than she did as a free woman.

Six weeks later, a second woman is discovered murdered in her own bed, her room containing the same calling cards from the first: a bottle of champagne and a single red rose. The only person who may have seen the killer: Detective D.D. Warren, who still can’t lift her child, load her gun, or recall a single detail from the night that may have cost her everything.

Our father was Harry Day, an infamous serial killer who buried young women beneath the floor of our home. He has been dead for forty years. Except the Rose Killer knows things about my father he shouldn’t. My sister claims she can help catch him. I think just because I can’t feel pain, doesn’t mean my family can’t hurt me.

D.D. may not be back on the job, but she is back on the hunt. Because the Rose Killer isn’t just targeting lone women; he is targeting D.D. And D.D. knows there is only one way to take him down:

Fear nothing.

29. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake, read by Angie, on 01/28/2014

It is 1871 and the year the pigeons came to town. They descend on Placid and nest nearby. It is also the year that Georgie’s sister Agatha disappears. The sheriff brings back a body wearing Agatha’s dress, but Georgie is positive it isn’t Agatha. She sets off on a quest to learn the truth. Billy, Agatha’s beau, goes with her. Together they travel the same path as Agatha and try to discover what happened to her. There are cougars and counterfeiters and kidnappers along the way, but they do eventually learn some if not all of Agatha’s story before they return to Placid.

Georgie is an outstanding narrator. She is sure of herself and her abilities even though she is just a little girl. I like the fact that she ends up saving the day and Billy and solving most of the mystery. I am not sure how much appeal this will have to kids as it did get a little bogged down. The kids reading this might appreciate the ending and how everything was neatly tied up, but I thought it was a little too neat. Everything gets explained and Agatha’s story is brought to light, but I think it would have been better to leave a bit of mystery. I didn’t buy that Georgie would never shoot a gun again even though she is a sharpshooter. I thought that was out of character and didn’t make a lot of since. I got a little bored with all the information on the pigeons, but it is a fascinating part of our history so I appreciated the information.

2014 Newbery Honor Book.

21. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Mystery, Romance

Her last chance by Toni Anderson, read by Melody, on 01/19/2014

Eighteen years ago the Blade Hunter found his first victim on the streets of New York City.

As a child Josephine Maxwell was attacked and left for dead. She learned the hard way that life is a constant struggle for survival. She can’t waste time pining over a man she can’t have. Now the killer has returned, and the only person who can save her is the FBI agent she deceived and betrayed six months ago.

Now he’s back to finish the job.

Special Agent-in-Charge Marshall Hayes has made it his life’s work to fight on the side of law and order, even though it cost him the only woman he ever loved. The return of a serial killer gives him the excuse he needs to force his way back into her life. But in order to catch the killer and safeguard Josie’s life, he has to break all the rules and risk losing his heart again.

21. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Mystery, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Dark Waters by Toni Anderson, read by Melody, on 01/18/2014

Danger once again laps at the shores of Barkley Sound, the Graveyard of the Pacific…

Since her rocky childhood and its abrupt, brutal ending, schoolteacher Anna Silver hasn’t given her trust easily. But when her estranged father gets in over his head—again—and winds up dead, his last message to Anna is as clear as it is insistent: she’s in danger and Brent Carver, the man with whom he shared a prison cell for five years, is the only person she should turn to for help. With nowhere else to go and with her father’s killer on her trail, Anna flees to what she hopes is safety.

​Tucked into the west coast of Vancouver Island, Brent Carver’s isolated home hasn’t seen many visitors. And his friend’s daughter is the last person he ever expected to grace his doorstep. She’s in trouble, and he can’t deny her protection…just as he can’t deny his attraction to the independent beauty. As their passion sparks into flame, the perfect storm brews off the coast of his island home, bringing with it a sadistic killer hunting Anna and the secrets she’s come close to uncovering.

21. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

From Doon with Death by Ruth Rendell, read by Tracy, on 01/14/2014

There is nothing extraordinary about Margaret Parsons, a timid housewife in the quiet town of Kingsmarkham, a woman devoted to her garden, her kitchen, her husband. Except that Margaret Parsons is dead… Who would kill someone with nothing to hide? Inspector Wexford, the formidable chief of police, is baffled – until he discovers Margaret’s dark secret: a trove of rare books, each volume inscribed by a passionate lover identified only as Doon… the case builds with relentless momentum to a shocking finale as clever as it is unexpected.

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

The Bookseller by Mark Pryor, read by Tracy, on 01/09/2014

Max—an elderly Paris bookstall owner—is abducted at gunpoint. His friend, Hugo Marston, head of security at the US embassy, looks on helplessly, powerless to do anything to stop the kidnapper. Marston launches a search, enlisting the help of semiretired CIA agent Tom Green. Their investigation reveals that Max was a Holocaust survivor and later became a Nazi hunter. Is his disappearance somehow tied to his grim history, or even to the mysterious old books he sold?

On the streets of Paris, tensions are rising as rival drug gangs engage in violent turf wars. Before long, other booksellers start to disappear, their bodies found floating in the Seine. Though the police are not interested in his opinion, Marston is convinced the hostilities have something to do with the murders of these bouquinistes.

Then he himself becomes a target of the unknown assassins.

With Tom by his side, Marston finally puts the pieces of the puzzle together, connecting the past with the present and leading the two men, quite literally, to the enemy’s lair.

Just as the killer intended.

21. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce, read by Angie, on 01/20/2014

This is the second in the Beka Cooper series. Beka is now a full dog and having problems finding a partner she can work with. She ends up with a scent hound named Achoo. There are riots in the city because the grain crops have been bad and someone is counterfeiting the silver money. Cooper and Goodwin are assigned to Port Caynne to find out who is the colemonger. Beka becomes involved with a new guy named Dale who is a bit of a rascal, but no Rosto. They have run-ins with Pearl Skinner the Rogue of Port Caynne, who is a nasty piece of work. Beka ends up on the run from both Pearl and the dogs by the end of the book. She has to solve the mystery before she gets caught and hope her backup arrives in time.

I thoroughly enjoy Tamora Pierce’s works. The Beka Cooper books are a lot more detailed and expansive than her earlier works. I like the fact that she has added more story, but this one felt a little too long. There was tons of stuff going on from the bread riots to Beka’s lack of partners to new friends to the colemongers. Listening to a book instead of reading it also highlights all the things that you can skip over when reading. There is a lot of extraneous detail about Beka’s every move and thought in the book that got a bit tedious. I also think the journal format didn’t work quite as well as it does in other books. There were a couple of times where Beka is telling her story and she just decides she is tired so she quits and starts again another day. It was pretty annoying to have the narrative interrupted like that.

My other problems were with the narrative itself. In the first book, the ghosts who are carried on pigeons can barely communicate. They speak in fragments, can’t tell their stories and don’t identify themselves. In this book, the dead can have complete conversations with Beka and tell her all kinds of things she needs to know. There is no explanation for the difference. The ghosts give Beka the information she needs to solve the case, which means she couldn’t have found it anywhere else. I think it is a weakness in the storytelling to have to rely on that kind of information.

I think one of Pierce’s strengths is the diversity of characters that she writes about. There are a wide range of people in her books and she almost always includes some kind of homosexual character. In this book it is a transgender character named Ocha and a gay man named Nestor. I think it is important to show these characters in books and to make the reader realize that there is nothing wrong with them or their sexuality or lifestyle. Pierce does a great job of incorporating these characters into her stories and I applaud her for that.

I do wish I liked this book better. I just thought the story dragged a lot and there was a heavy reliance on supernatural information instead of police work. I think it was good for Beka to have a relationship with Dale, but he is no Rosto. I am not sure the relationship was necessary for the story though it did give Beka a chance to struggle with her feelings for Dale and her investigation. Overall this book wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my favorite.

16. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Mystery · Tags:

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner, read by Angie, on 01/15/2014

The original flag that inspired “The Star Spangled Banner” is stolen from the Smithsonian after a gala event. Anna, Jose and Henry were all at the gala where the restored flag was displayed and where it was later stolen. They are also all snowed in at the airport waiting on a flight to Vermont. Anna, who dreams of being a news reporter, is determined to solve the mystery and she convinces Jose, Henry and their new friend Sinan to help her. She is convinced the flag is somewhere in the airport and the thieves are in the groups of passengers snowed in with them. They pursue their suspects throughout the airport and into the baggage area below.The three also learn that they have something else in common; they are all descendants of famous artists and their parents are part of a secret society that protects works of art around the world. This makes them even more determined than ever to find the flag and return it to the Smithsonian. They must work together, find their way out of dangerous situations, and corral one overactive dog named Hammurabi, to have any chance of saving the day. Will they be able to find the real thieves and solve the mystery before the storm lets up and flights resume?

This is a fast-paced, fun mystery. The mystery has enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I did think there was a bit of stereotyping with the kids however. Anna is the dogged reporter determined to be useful and solve the mystery. Jose is obsessed with Harry Potter and books and has a quotation for every situation. Henry is always sticking his face in a video game and relating every situation to some game he has played. Sinan draws every figure of speech he hears. I liked the secret society aspect of the mystery and thought it was a good setup for a new series.

14. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

Zoo by James Patterson, read by Pamela, on 01/10/2014

zooAnimals are planning and systematically attacking humans all over the globe. The theory - HAC, Human Animal Conflct.  Jackson Oz has been pushng this theory for years.  Now that it’s happening and thousands are dying, it’s up to Oz and other scientists to figure out what’s causing it and stop it.

You won’t believe the solution to the world wide problem.

But, you will believe that when the U.S. government gets involved, there’s no way the solution will work.

What will happen to society if no one adheres to the solution, especially our government officials?

Instead of man against man, it’s man against nature. This book is a little out of the norm for Patterson, but interesting none the less.

13. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Mystery, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz , read by Melody, on 01/13/2014

It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue.

Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.

A lot has changed in thirteen years. Lucy now works for a private investigation firm as a forensic genealogist, while Mason has quit the police force to run a successful security firm with his brother—though he still knows his way around a wrench when he fills in at his uncle’s local hardware store. Even Summer River has changed, from a sleepy farm town into a trendy upscale spot in California’s wine country. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue .

08. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman, read by Courtney, on 12/29/2013

Violent Cases marks the beginning of many astonishing and award-winning collaborations between author Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean. It is now offered in a hardcover format with an expanded art section and introductions by Alan Moore, Paul Gravett, and Neil Gaiman! A narrator remembers his childhood encounters with an old osteopath who claims to have treated Al Capone. Gradually, the England of the 1960s and the Chicago of the 1920s begin to merge into a beautifully drawn and hauntingly written tale of memory and evil.

08. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Courtney, Fiction, Mystery, Steam-punk

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff, read by Courtney, on 12/07/2013

12-year-old Mila has a knack for noticing the things that others do not. This particular talent will come in handy as a series of events play out. She and her father had been planning to visit her father’s old friend in the United States for quite some time, but recently this friend has gone missing and no one has any idea what has happened to him. Mila and her father decide to make the trip overseas anyway. If her father’s friend, Matthew, isn’t back by the time they show up, they can spend some of their vacation trying to track him down. As soon as Mila and her father arrive at the home owned by Matthew and his wife, Mila notices quickly that this is not a happy house. The wife, Suzanne, appears stressed out but not overly upset. Their baby, Gabriel, has no idea that anything is wrong and charms everyone who comes in contact with him. The family dog, Honey, appears adrift with her master missing. Mila has a lot of theories, but the pieces have yet to fall into place. It will take some time, but she’s fairly confident that she and her father can track down his best friend. When the search takes them further into upstate New York, Mila finds more than she bargained for.
This is a novel about families, friendship and love. But it’s not a sappy novel at all. There is pain; there is humor; there is hope. Mila is one of those characters who is a very different person by the time the book is over, and while she’s not initially the easiest character to understand, she becomes a person that most of us can identify with on some level. I’m consistently impressed with the variety of Meg Rosoff’s work and this is just one more excellent novel in an already illustrious YA career.

03. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Leslie, Mystery

Justice by Faye Kellerman, read by Leslie, on 12/05/2013

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Called to investigate the shocking murder of a high-school student, Detective Sergeant Pete Decker finds himself face to face with a world of casual drunkenness, sex and, it seems, violence – the world of suburban Los Angeles’s affluent, rootless teenagers. And, as the father of a nineteen year old daughter, Decker must deal not only with the brutality of the killing but with his own parental terror.

I just really enjoy reading her Decker series, plenty of twists and turns without being terrifying to read.  Plenty of suspense in this one, while we can seem as sure as his friend is that he is not guilty of the murder, you do have to wonder if the main character really did it.

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

Kiss the Girls by James Patterson, read by Pamela, on 12/30/2013

girlsIn Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. In Washington D.C. Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever pattern killers are collaborating, cooperating, competing–and they are working coast to coast.