Joyland is a whodunit noir crime novel and a haunting ghost story set in the world of an amusement park. It tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a ‘carny’ in small-town North Carolina and has to confront the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the way both will change his life forever. It is also a wonderful coming-of-age novel about friendship, loss, and your first heartbreak. Who dares enter the funhouse of fear?
Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinarylife, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.
It’s Denton, 1981. Britain is in recession, the IRA is becoming increasingly active and the country’s on alert for an outbreak of rabies. Detective Sergeant Jack Frost is working under his mentor and inspiration DI Bert Williams, and coping badly with his increasingly strained marriage. Probably not helped by the fact that he never goes home.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
More than a year has passed since Marjan, Bahar, and Layla, the beautiful Iranian Aminpour sisters, sought refuge in the quaint Irish town of Ballinacroagh. Opening the beguiling Babylon Café, they charmed the locals with their warm hearts and delectable Persian cuisine, bringing a saffron-scented spice to the once-sleepy village.
But when a young woman with a dark secret literally washes up on Clew Bay Beach, the sisters’ world is once again turned upside down. With pale skin and webbed hands, the girl is otherworldly, but her wounds tell a more earthly (and graver) story–one that sends the strict Catholic town into an uproar. The Aminpours rally around the newcomer, but each sister must also contend with her own transformation–Marjan tests her feelings for love with a dashing writer, Bahar takes on a new spiritual commitment with the help of Father Mahoney, and Layla matures into a young woman when she and her boyfriend, Malachy, step up their hot and heavy relationship.
Filled with mouthwatering recipes and enchanting details of life in Ireland, Rosewater and Soda Bread is infused with a lyrical warmth that radiates from the Aminpour family and their big-hearted Italian landlady, Estelle, to the whole of Ballinacroagh–and the world beyond.
Beneath the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, in damp and lovely County Mayo, sits the small, sheltered village of Ballinacroagh. To the exotic Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. It has been seven years since Marjan Aminpour fled Iran with her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla, and she hopes that in Ballinacroagh, a land of “crazed sheep and dizzying roads,” they might finally find a home.
From the kitchen of an old pastry shop on Main Mall, the sisters set about creating a Persian oasis. Soon sensuous wafts of cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron float through the streets–an exotic aroma that announces the opening of the Babylon Café, and a shock to a town that generally subsists on boiled cabbage and Guinness served at the local tavern. And it is an affront to the senses of Ballinacroagh’s uncrowned king, Thomas McGuire. After trying to buy the old pastry shop for years and failing, Thomas is enraged to find it occupied–and by foreigners, no less.
But the mysterious, spicy fragrances work their magic on the townsfolk, and soon, business is booming. Marjan is thrilled with the demand for her red lentil soup, abgusht stew, and rosewater baklava–and with the transformation in her sisters. Young Layla finds first love, and even tense, haunted Bahar seems to be less nervous.
And in the stand-up-comedian-turned-priest Father Fergal Mahoney, the gentle, lonely widow Estelle Delmonico, and the headstrong hairdresser Fiona Athey, the sisters find a merry band of supporters against the close-minded opposition of less welcoming villagers stuck in their ways. But the idyll is soon broken when the past rushes back to threaten the Amnipours once more, and the lives they left behind in revolution-era Iran bleed into the present.
Infused with the textures and scents, trials and triumph,s of two distinct cultures, Pomegranate Soup is an infectious novel of magical realism. This richly detailed story, highlighted with delicious recipes, is a delectable journey into the heart of Persian cooking and Irish living.
This is the second novel with Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith of Scotland Yards Murder Squad. It’s 1889 and the pair are sent to a coal mining town to find some missing villagers. Although I don’t really like murder mysteries that involve children I guess there are good and bad children out there. I do like all the main characters in this series including the forensics doctor
Bernard Kingsley. If you like Martha Grimes books you might like these. Alex Grecian has a good way of presenting the characters good and bad.
It’s the early 60′s in rural North Carolina. Two teenage boys, Dwayne is white Larry is black, have the same passion for music. Larry plays the piano and Dwayne wants to perform like James Brown. It’s a short story about how music brings everyone together whether it’s in church, on tv or a local bar.
It’s just society that tries to keep people apart.
This Reacher novel goes back to when Jack was still an MP in the army. He is sent to a small town in Mississippi where several women have been murdered. He teams up with the local female sheriff in more ways than one. It’s a small town where the train goes by once a day at midnight and the local bars and business get their money from a nearby Army base. A one train town and everyone knows when it goes by.
Mary Higgins Clark is a very popular author and I can see why after reading this thriller. Carolyn’s brother Mack disappeared ten years ago. He calls every Mother’s day to say he is fine. Carolyn is determined to find him and learn why he did this selfish thing. A real page turner and I didn’t figure out who-done-it.
This is my favorite kind of murder mystery. Scotland Yard in the early days just after Jack the Ripper disappears. The Yard has a new murder squad and a doctor who started his own morgue after seeing the horrible treatment that victims were given. Dr. Bernard Kingsley is the coroner and treats the dead with respect and also realizes they hold most of the clues of their murders. Detective Inspector Day is a new member of the Yard and he proves to his fellow Bobbies that he can do the job. There are several cases going on at the same time so this book keeps you thinking. I am happy to find a new author that I will follow.
This is Fay Weldon’s second book in this trilogy. It’s a fun series about the clueless rich families in 1900 England. Queen Victoria has died and her son Bertie is next in line. Invitations have been sent to the Coronation. Lord Robert and Lady Isobel have overcome their money problems when their son marries Minnie the daughter of an American millionaire. Isobel fears her husband Robert is having an affair but she is going through the change so she maybe overreacting. Bertie is have health issues with his overdoing everything, mostly rich food. Long Live the King!
This book was really hard to finish. I was hoping things would get better for Candido and Americo the young Mexican couple who come to America for a better life. The other couple in this story are Delaney and Kyra, Americans who live in an upscale gated community in Topanga Canyon California. They have everything they could need and more but aren’t happy. All the Mexican couple want is an apartment and steady work to raise the baby Americo is having. Kyra is a realtor who hates the illegals hanging around looking for work. It brings property values down. Delaney is torn between wanting to live in an ungated neighborhood but also is angry with the illegals for trespassing. It’s a problem that gets everyone angry and violent. Sad story.
Archaeologist Verity Grey is working at a site in Scotland when she hears what sounds like horses galloping outside her window. Since there aren’t any horses in the area she isn’t surprised when she feels that someone is watching her at the dig site. It’s an ancient Roman campsite that has it’s own Sentinel ghost protecting it. There are other strange things happening that involve paranormal activity and romance. I enjoyed the Scottish slang used by the locals and Verity has to buy a Scottish book to help her translate.
This is the newest of the Aunt Dimity cozy mystery series. Lori Shepherd takes her twin sons and a friend, Bree Prym, to Skeaping Manor. It’s a museum full of curiosities. Lori meets a young girl named Daisy who tells some interesting stories. When Daisy and her mother disappear suddenly Lori is determined to find out why. As usual Aunt Dimity, who is a ghost, helps Lori solve the mystery. I never get tired of reading these books, they are a nice break from the usual murder mysteries.
I’ve been reading a lot of books set in France with vineyards and wine as the theme. Maybe I should visit one day. This is the third in the Verlaque and Bonnet series. Three women have been murdered and there is a wine thief on the loose. As usual there is a lot of wine and food sampled and an interesting part about the Citroen automobile. A nice summer read.
Most of Jack Reacher’s travels bring him to a small town with some bad guys. This town has some exceptionally evil men. The Duncan’s are four men who control a small farming town in Wisconsin. Jack hasn’t figured out what they are dealing in but it involves some tough guys from Las Vegas. Also the Duncan’s hire ex football players as body guards. A lot of noses are broken including Jacks. He tells everyone he is on his way to Virgina but there is also a mystery involving a lost child. Another quality thriller by Lee Child. Haven’t read a bad one yet.
Gabriel is an art restorer by trade and an under cover spy on the side. Both jobs require a lot of detail work.This is the first book in Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series. Gabriel has given up on the spy business since it ruined his family. But when he gets the change for revenge he can’t help but return and team up with a former partner a beautiful model. He doesn’t know that she is in love with him and that love eventually helps save his life. I hope the rest of the series is as good and easy to follow.
I was never interested in history in school. But if I had read this book it would have made more sense to me. It’s a fiction book but the reality of World War II is very real. The characters are American, British, German and Russian. They all lived through the tragedies and horrors of war. It is part two of a trilogy. Ken Follett kept my interest during the whole book. Can’t wait for the next part.