Saturday, April 30, 2016

2016 Edgar Awards

Here is a partial list of winners:

Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy (Penguin Random House – Dutton)

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (HarperCollin Publishers – William Morrow)

by Allen Kurzweil (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins Publishers-HarperCollins)

“Obits” – Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)

Footer Davis Probably is Crazy by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins Publishers – Katherine Tegen Books)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Highly Recommended Reading: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

Are you a fan of Gone Girl, Girl on a Train or Luckiest Girl Alive? Then you'll like The Passenger by Lisa Lutz.

The novel begins with Tanya Dubois' husband dead at the bottom of the stairs. She didn't kill him, but must nonetheless take off because her identity can't withstand close scrutiny by the cops. The rest of the exciting book is about her life on the run, and the slow reveal of the reason she initially had to hide her identity.

The Passenger is an exciting and entertaining read. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Clever Plot in The Promise by Robert Crais

In The Promise, private detective Elvis Cole is hired to find a missing woman who allegedly embezzled money from her employer. As he delves into the job, he finds that the missing woman is involved with bad guys and may be selling plastic explosives to terrorists. Cole also finds that nothing is what it seems to be, except for his regular crew: Joe Pike and Jon Stone.

Is this the greatest Robert Crais book ever? No. It's fun to read, but a little thin. A number of chapters are told from the perspective of a police dog, who is a key character in the story along with her human partner. Additionally, lots of information about what makes dogs so effective in military and police work is woven into the book. This is an entertaining plot element, but it is not one rich in story, language or humor. Still, I enjoyed The Promise. The plot has many intriguing twists and turns. If you are putting together books for a vacation read, add this to the stack.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Casting about for a book to read?

Here is an interesting list of 80 books. Published at Esquire and selected by eight well-known writers, these are titles that the writers suggest that everyone should read.

If you are looking for something to read today, why not start with Louise Erdrich's novel The Round House? In the Esquire list The Round House is suggested by Roxanne Gay; and it is highly recommended reading by me. The book also won the National Book Award for Fiction. Check it out!

Here's hoping you have a good book to read on this chilly Sunday in January.

The Hallelujah Saguaro
by Amy S Dixon

Friday, January 8, 2016

Short Takes: Trapeze by Simon Mawer.

In Trapeze, a young woman is recruited by the British to act as a spy in France during World War II. After a long build-up - during which she undergoes spy training, has a love affair, and begins to worry about the bomb - she finally parachutes into German occupied France and begins her missions. This part of the novel, where the protagonist is operating in France, is quite suspenseful. And the ending of the book was quite a surprise.

Much like I imagine the times themselves were, Trapeze is dark and tense. It is an interesting novel.


Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 New Year's Resolutions

How are you doing with your resolutions for 2016? I'm doing well with mine. Although my resolutions, move more and eat right, are fairly ordinary and don't demand an extreme effort. For something more substantive, I've looked to Maria Popova's article at Brain Pickings, 16 Elevating Resolutions by Some of Humanity's Greatest Minds.

The 16 resolutions on Popova's list are inspiring and the explanation for each is good reading. Check it out for a rich and fruitful year.

Sunrise over the mountains.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Books for Mystery Fans: The Ellie Stone Series by James Ziskin

Looking for a great mystery series? Then check out James Ziskin's excellent books featuring Ellie Stone: 1) Styx and Stone, 2) No Stone Unturned, and 3) Stone Cold Dead. I just finished tearing through all three and think they are terrific.

The books are set at the start of the1960s. The protagonist is single, in her early 20s, and working for a small town newspaper in New York. The stories are a bit gritty: People are bashed on the head; they live hidden lives; Ellie consumes more scotch than seems prudent. All together, the noir-style novels are suspenseful and entertaining.

 Ziskin has a fourth book coming out in June and I'm really looking forward to reading it!