Wednesday, April 6, 2011
AUNT DIMITY AND THE FAMILY TREE by Nancy Atherton (3.5/5 Mystery Scale)
"If one lives in Finch, one learns to expect the unexpected." So says the Epilogue in this latest installment of the Aunt Dimity series from Nancy Atherton. This was a playful village romp with all of the usual Aunt Dimity characters (with one mysterious stranger thrown into the mix) who, as usual, fall prey to that most tittilating talk--gossip. Quibble: A book put out by Viking and they don't catch "accomodate"?
WATER BOUND by Christine Feehan (2.5/5 Romance Scale)
This was the March selection for the B&N (Burlington, MA) romance readers group. A heroine with a special gift to control the element of water; a broken hero who cannot remember who he is or what he was. An intriguing romance somewhat spoiled by the author's unwillingness to trust her readers to recognize the basis of the heroine's problems. The repetition of character development in the first 200 pages was unnecessary, resulting in the low rating.
AND FURTHERMORE by Dame Judi Dench (3.5/5 Non-fiction Scale)
As an avid fan of As Time Goes By and the movie Mrs. Brown, I happily read the story behind the actress, Dame Judi Dench, as a follow-up to James Miller's Scenes from My Life, which I read last year.
THE NOMINATION by William G. Tapply (4/5 Fiction Scale)
This fast-paced suspense novel weaves together the lives, history, and fates of many people after Thomas Larrigan is nominated to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. The Nomination (not part of Tapply's Brady Coyne series) was the last novel from this popular New England author who sadly passed away in July 2009.
A KILLER PLOT by Ellery Adams (3/5 Mystery Scale)
This is the first in the Books by the Bay mystery series. It was a good first installment given that I definitely want to learn more about Olivia Limoges (a kinder, gentler Agatha Raisin) and her dog, Captain Haviland. Despite a few "huh?" moments in story inconsistencies (mostly descriptions that didn't match up), the mystery held true. And, as always, I didn't guess whodunit.
THE PARIS WIFE by Paula McLain (4.5/5 Fiction Scale)
You know going in how this book ends, but you go in anyway. Then you leave, angry at the hubris of this literary giant and breathless with the strength of his Paris wife. In the end, I cried for these incredibly fascinating lovers who were "beautifully blurred and happy."
TO HAVE AND TO KILL by Mary Jane Clark (3/5 Mystery Scale)
First in a new series/new direction for Mary Jane Clark, author of the KEY News mystery series. It fell somewhere between a cozy cozy and a cozy crime mystery, and I wasn't sure which direction the author really wanted to take me. Will read 2nd in series when it comes out just to see if Piper Donovan, her family, and friends are taking me somewhere I want to go.
THE PEACH KEEPER by Sarah Addison Allen (3/5 Fiction Scale)
Perhaps I'm missing something. I've read all of SAA's books, and she does write a good story; but it's just that for me--a good story. She's a library request author for me; not at all (IMHO) in a league with Alice Hoffman, an author with whom she is often compared. The theme that did resonate for me in The Peach Keeper was the aspects of friendship--how it begins, how it changes, and how it renews.