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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Currently Reading: Novels, Mysteries and Short Stories

So much has happened in the world since my last post. I don't know about you, but for me it has been tough to find time for reading when there is so much going on with respect to the future of our country. In fact, the fly on VP Mike Pence's head at this past week's debate had a greater attention span than I have had for books recently.

Nonetheless, in tough times a good book provides a welcome space for relaxation, escape, and entertainment, so I have been doing some reading. Below is a quick look at a few of the books I've read in the past few weeks and months. Let me know in the comments if there are any particular books you recommend.

Yee Haw! The Recently-Read Round-Up 

Deep Dive (Sam Acquillo Mysteries Book 9) by  Chris Knopf 
Snap Review: Love it.

I'm a huge fan of Chris Knopf and his series featuring Sam Acquillo is my favorite. In this episode, a suspicious death occurs at the home of Sam's wealthy friend Burton Lewis. When it looks like the police are looking to put Lewis in the frame for the death, Sam steps in to investigate. His investigation takes him to Puerto Rico and a stealth look at the maybe shady charity that employed the deceased. 

There are lots of twists in this entertaining read, accompanied by the dry humor author Chris Knopf always provides. Highly recommend all Knopf's books.

Pizza Girl  by Jean Kyoung Frazier 
Snap Review: It was okay.

After reading a write-up about this book in the New York Times, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Kyoung Frazier does a great job of putting down on paper a portrait of young woman. Let's tick off the some of the demographics: the protagonist is 18, pregnant, finished with school, has a wee bit of a drinking problem, and is working as a pizza delivery driver. She misses her dead dad and is living with her mom and her boyfriend, the expectant father. Boyfriend has given up dreams of college in order to support his new family. 

Our protagonist doesn't seem to have any plans beyond those which circumstances have thrust upon her. Then, Pizza Girl becomes obsessed with one of her customers, Jenny. And from there the tale develops. 

The book is successful in bringing forth fresh characters and a memorable plot. So why didn't I love it? Maybe there was just too much going on for this character; and maybe that was the point as this book is a loud shout about youth. If that interests you, give it a read and let me know what you think.

The Mist by Ragnar Jonasson
Snap Review: Scandinavian mystery. Strange stuff, but interesting.

This is book three in a series. I jumped in without reading the two earlier books and had no trouble with the plot. The story is set in Iceland. There is a double murder at a remote farmhouse. There is a snowstorm. And our investigating detective has shattering developments in her private life. 

All together, everything is a bit creepy, making this one of those undemanding, interesting mysteries that take your mind off the world. 

The Shooting at Chateau Rock  by Martin Walker
Snap Review: I love reading all things Martin Walker, including this book.

This is another entry in the series by Martin Walker featuring Bruno, the police chief of a small village in France. After there is a suspicious death in the village - suspicious because the deceased disinherited his children in favor of purchasing continuing care at a retirement home -- Bruno investigates as only he can do. In addition to shady insurance companies, there are Russians, rock stars, all of Bruno's friends and, of course, food. 

I love this series and being inside this world created by Martin Walker. 

Dear Life by Alice Munro
Snap Review: I loved it.

Dear Life won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013 and, not that the Nobel people need me to say it, rightly so! These stories about the relationships and brief encounters of ordinary folks are burning, quiet, and spare. I loved it. Check it out. 

As always, links to Amazon are provided for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small commission if, after clicking a link, you subsequently make a purchase. Muchas gracias, amigos. 

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