Nine books on the December read list: three 3.5's; two 2.5's and four 3.0's.
Anne Hillerman has taken up where her father left off. And while I appreciate her keeping Tony's characters alive, I do not feel she is the writer he was. Spider Woman's Daughter is her first Joe Leaphorn, Bernie and Chee book. This is one of the 2.5's.
The other is Elizabeth Adler's Please Don't Tell. I like Adler's books and usually rate them higher. This one was not her usual 'beach book' - somewhat darker. A serial killer in the San Francisco area has sisters in his sights.
Chris Bohjalian has become one of my favorite novelists. Idyll Banter is a collection of his essays about the small Vermont town where he lives. I've given it a 3.0. This book was a gift purchased for me by a friend who died before he could give it to me. His wife brought it to me this summer.
I feel I should have enjoyed The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini more that I did. It had all the right ingredients - a loyal unionist living in Richmond during the Civil War AND based on a real woman. I think more details about her espionage exploits would have helped - 3.0.
Adriana Trigiani has been one of my favorite authors for a long time. I always look forward to her latest book release. The Supreme Macaroni Company is the continuation of Valentine Roncalli's life. She expands the shoe company, marries Gianluca, has a daughter, stresses over whether to live in New York or Italy. Still giving it a 3.0 even though I didn't think it was as good as her books usually are.
Lisa Wingate is one author of Christian books that I can read. Her writing is uplifting without being preachy. I thoroughly enjoyed The Prayer Box - having it set on the Outer Banks added to my pleasure - 3.0.
Of all the books I read this month, my favorite was Gail Godwin's Flora. Godwin is another of my long time favorite authors and Flora was my great-grandmother Duncan's name. Set during WWII, ten-year-old Helen is left in the care of her mother's cousin, Flora, for the summer while her father works on a secret weapon at Oak Ridge. Helen is precocious and controlling. What happens during the two and a half months with Flora haunts Helen's life forever - 3.5.
A Question of Honor is the fifth book in the Bess Crawford series by mother/son writing team of Charles Todd. I love these mysteries set during WWI. This one was no exception. A solid 3.5.
And finally, another 3.5 for Rhys Bowen's Heirs and Graces - A Royal Spyness Mystery. Bowen is a fun mystery writer. I think this is the first Lady Georgina Rannoch book I've read, but will watch for more. I'm a fan of her Constable Evans mysteries and especially her Molly Murphy series.