Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 2013 Reads

Tom Wright's What Dies In Summer is purportedly a coming of age, loss of innocence novel. Two young cousins find the body of a murdered girl in 1970's Texas. There were just too many bad things happening in this debut novel to make it believable. I gave it a 2.5.

Two Ian Rutledge mysteries from the mother/son writing team of Charles Todd this month - A Matter of Justice and A Pale Horse. Scotland Yard Inspector Rutledge, still haunted by his service in 'The Great War', solves murders in 1920 England. I don't know how these two writers collaborate - one in Delaware the other in North Carolina - but they turn out some great mysteries. I rated both of these 3.5.

William Kent Krueger is a new author for me. His protagonist is Cork O'Conner, part Ojibwe, part Irish, sometime northern Minnesota reservation sheriff. Mercy Falls is number six in the series. I really like reading books that involve native lore and practices. What I didn't like was the cliff-hanger in this book - I didn't realize it was continued in the next book in the series - which our library doesn't have - but I read enough of that book online to understand what happened.
Trickster's Point is number 12 in the Cork O'Conner series and the only other of Krueger's novels our library has. I gave both these books a 3.5. I would read more of the series if it was available.

Dana Stabenow, Dana Stabenow, Dana Stabenow. I am so sorry to come to the end of the Kate Shugak series available in our library. This native Alaskan has become one of my favorite detectives. I'm so glad a friend recommended the series. I never thought I would enjoy reading about our 49th state as much as I have. Stabenow really makes it come alive and her writing and plot lines are great. I'm giving A Deeper Sleep and A Night Too Dark both 4.0 and A Taint In The Blood as well as Though Not Dead both 4.5's. Why they rate slightly higher, I'm not sure - maybe it is the subject matter or maybe I thought the mysteries were a little harder to solve. Maybe they were just slightly better written. Though Not Dead is the 18th Kate Shugak novel, my favorite one so far.

Habits of the House by Fay Weldon is one of those "If you like Downton Abbey....." books. Written by a well known British playwright, author and essayist, this book just didn't do it for me. It is set in 1900 England at a time when changes in the big houses were beginning to occur. The subject matter was interesting for me; I think it was the writing style that made it objectionable. This is the first book in a trilogy. I gave it a 2.0. I don't plan to read books two and three even if our library does get them.

See that little blue book on the top of the pile? It is a 5.0 read. Alan Bradley's fifth Flavia de Luce novel is Speaking From Among The Bones. I love the delightful little chemist/detective so much that Bradley is now one of my "Adopt an Author(s)" at the library. After purchasing and reading the first four books in this series, I asked the library if they would like to have them. They said yes and when number five came out, the acquisitions librarian called me to see if I would like to buy it for the library. I said yes.

When you get an opportunity, say yes to Flavia, too. I don't think you'll be disappointed.


  1. I recently discovered Robert B Parker, so I've been reading the Jesse Stone series in order. I read it in about a day, then pass it to my husband and he reads it. This is the kind of winter when a person needs a good book at hand!

  2. Donna - I just checked and our library does have quite a number of Parker's books. I'll give him a try.
    I don't need any excuse to spend time reading (it's what I always said I was going to do when I retired), but winter weather does help quell any guilt feelings!