Jorge Luis Borges

Sunday, September 25, 2011

“Two Little Girls in Blue”
        By Mary Higgins Clark

Two Little Girls in Blue2011 Book Review #123

Publishers Weekly Review

Bestseller Clark is at her best when writing of crimes against children, as shown in this chilling tale of kidnapping, murder and telepathy.

Before leaving for a black-tie affair in New York City, Margaret and Steve Frawley celebrate the third birthday of their twin girls, Kathy and Kelly, with a party at their new home in Ridgefield, Conn.

Later that night, when Margaret can't reach the babysitter, she contacts the Ridgefield police. The frantic couple return home to find the children missing and a ransom note demanding $8 million.

Though the Frawleys meet all the conditions, only Kelly turns up in a car along with a dead driver and a suicide note saying that Kathy has died. But Kelly's telepathic messages from her sister keep telling her differently, and Margaret won't give up hope.

Even the most skeptical law enforcement officers and the FBI, who pursue suspects from New York to Cape Cod, begin to believe Kelly is on to something. Clues from ordinary people lead to a riveting conclusion. Rivaling Clark's debut-Where Are the Children?-this suspense thriller is certain to send terror into the heart of any parent. 

My Thoughts: Clark’s books are always action packed with interesting plots and characters.  This book is no different.  I couldn’t put it down!
“The Tail of the Tip-Off”   
 By Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie
        A Corgi and Felines Mystery

2011 Book Review #122

The Tail of the Tip-Off (Mrs. Murphy Series #11)BookList Review

Brown's eleventh Mrs. Murphy mystery finds Mary Minor ("Harry") Haristeen... who is postmistress in the small town of Crozet, Virginia, and also runs a farm... insinuating herself into a murder investigation...again!

When H. H. Donaldson, head of a local construction firm, is murdered in the parking lot of a sports arena, Harry and her fellow four-footed amateur detectives--tiger cat Mrs. Murphy; the fat gray Pewter; and corgi, Tee Tucker--try to figure out how and why he was murdered.

 Suddenly, Harry is looking at her longtime friends and neighbors with an uneasy suspicion and getting an inkling of the level of corruption in the construction industry. Meanwhile, the animals have their own agendas, as they amuse themselves by raiding the supply closet of the local Lutheran church and offer wry running commentary (set off in italics) on the foibles of humans.

The politics of small-town life and the building trade are seamlessly woven into this lighthearted, facile tale that will appeal to loyal fans of the series. Others may find the anthropomorphic aspects of the story difficult to take, but it's hard to dislike Harry's giggle-prone, furry brood.

My Thoughts:  Whenever I want something light and fun to read, I read this series.  The plots are very mysterious and the antics of the animals are fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

“Irish Love”  By Andrew M. Greeley
A Nuala Anne McGrail and Dermot Michael Coyne Novel

Irish Love (Nuala Anne McGrail Series)2011 Book Review #121

Book List Review

In yet another work of fiction from the prolific priest, Greeley revisits his popular mystery series featuring Nuala Anne McGrail and her husband, Dermot Coyne, continuing the exploits of the crime-solving duo.

This time, we find them back in Ireland on vacation, where they are drawn into a complex murder mystery. Nuala, who, as faithful readers will recall, has the ability to see both the past and the future, divines that these modern crimes are somehow related to a mass murder that took place in the area, back in the 1880s.

That crime (based on an actual event, in which an entire family was murdered and an innocent local peasant was arrested, tried, and executed for the crime) provides clues for solving the contemporary crime. Despite several attempts on their lives, the plucky two-some piece together the answers to both mysteries and save the day in the nick of time.

Greeley has hordes of fans who devour his books as fast as he can write them; librarians should stock up.

My Thoughts:  I love Nuala Anne and Dermot Michael Coyne stories.  This one is no exception!!!  I'm Irish and love reading about Ireland too!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

“MYSTERY”  By Jonathan Kellerman
         An Alex Delaware Novel  (New 2011)

Mystery (Alex Delaware Series #26)2011 Book Review #121

Publisher’s Journal Review

When Lt. Milo Sturgis of LAPD homicide asks psychologist Alex Delaware to view the faceless corpse of a young woman, Alex is shocked to recognize the gunshot victim as someone he and wife, Robin, saw the night before in a restaurant bar.

A link turns out to exist between the dead woman and a sinister-looking man Alex and Robin observed outside the bar that night.

An anonymous tip leads to an online service that matches "sugar daddies" with "star-quality sweeties." The victim, who called herself "Mystery," had a "daddy," Markham McReynolds, whose wealthy, anything-goes family offers plenty of suspects, including McReynolds's wife, two sons, and two daughters-in-law.

Kellerman's bantering detectives make it look almost too easy as they put together the clues and possible scenarios, despite the unusual solution to the crime. 

My Thoughts:  I am a huge fan of Jonathan Kellerman and his wife, Faye.  This is his 26th Alex Delware/Milo Sturgis Novel.  It was just as good as all the others!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

“Devil’s Food Cake Murder”  
       By Joanne Fluke
A Hannah Swensen Mystery With Recipes!!
Devil's Food Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Series #14) 
2011 Book Review #120

Book List Review

When Matthew Walters returns to Lake Eden, Minnesota, to fill in for the Reverend Bob Knudson, who will soon be leaving on his honeymoon, Grandma Knudson suspects that Walters is not the same person who summered with her as a teen while his parents were doing missionary work.

She asks Hannah Swensen, owner of the Cookie Jar bakery, to verify Walters' identity. Hannah determines Walters is who he says he is, but shortly thereafter, he's murdered and another Matthew Walters shows up in town!  Hannah and her family, along with her dentist boyfriend, Norman, work to solve the crime.  But Hannah's life is further complicated by Norman's former fiancee relocating to Lake Eden to join his dental practice.

Series readers will enjoy plot twists, the small-town winter setting, and the bakery backdrop, but the main pleasure here remains the opportunity to get reacquainted with Hannah, her family, and the other Lake Eden residents.

Fans will be eagerly awaiting the next installment, thanks especially to a bombshell Norman drops at the end of the story. As always, delicious, easy-to-follow recipes are sprinkled throughout the text.

My Thoughts:  I like the plot and the characters but, the recipes make me hungry!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

“Moonlight Becomes You”  
          By Mary Higgins Clark

Moonlight Becomes You2011 Book Review  #119

Book List Review

Professional photographer, Maggie Holloway, revisits the best part of her childhood after she runs into her former stepmother, Nuala Moore, at a Manhattan party. Nuala seems edgy, but Maggie never finds out why, for only days into their reunion, she finds her beloved Nuala murdered.

Maggie is the unexpected inheritor of Nuala's Newport home, for which Maggie receives curiously generous, even overpriced, offers from several parties. Nuala had, at one time, planned on selling the property in order to move into a ritzy retirement home but, had suddenly and without explanation changed her mind only days before her death.

When Maggie also decides not to sell the property, she becomes the one squeaky cog in an otherwise well-oiled machine of fraud, murder, and deception. At Maggie's side are two suitors: the wealthy Liam, who suddenly begins paying more attention to her after Nuala's death, and the seemingly indifferent Neil, a kindhearted investment banker.

Clark has written a clever story with interesting characters, particularly Liam's macabre, death-obsessed cousin, Earl.

My Thoughts:  Another action packed plot with interesting characters! Loved it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

“Society”   By Michael Palmer
 Written in 2004....
The Society
2011 Book Review  #118

Book List Review

Moral outrage over how managed-care companies make medical decisions based on the bottom line rather than on patient need is the central issue in the latest medical thriller from popular physician-author Palmer.

No one knows the restraints managed care has put on the medical industry better than Dr. Will Grant. An extremely gifted doctor, Will is also an extremely vocal advocate for patients' rights; though admirable, this trait has caused him endless friction with the doctors with whom he works.

His dedication to medicine has also led to divorce and countless other personal woes. Worse, zealots who take extreme measures to keep the HMOs in line seek Will out as an ally. Should he align himself with these self-righteous activists? Probably not.  Especially when highly paid executives from some of the wealthiest HMOs begin to turn up dead.

On the case is rookie detective Patty Moriarty (well, she's second chair after almost screwing up the investigation completely), who reluctantly gets Will on her side. His knowledge of the issues is unsurpassed, but she fears her working relationship with him may put her in the killer's sites.

Relevant, gripping reading with a provocative moral dilemma at its center. 

My Thought:  I liked this book!  It is fictionally based on a potentially serious subject!