Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Glory Be

The second book in JD Robb's fantastic IN DEATH series is GLORY IN DEATH (Berkley Books, c1995, ISBN 0-425-15098-4) and I enjoyed it as much as the first, Naked in Death.

The year is 2058 in New York and Lieutenant Eve Dallas is on the trail of a murderer. Cicely Towers, a prominent prosecuting attorney, is found in a seedy part of town with her throat slashed. Then an upcoming actress is found murdered, same MO. The only problem Eve is having is that both victims link to her love interest, Roarke, and that is never a good thing.

Eventually the killer is revealed and it had kind of a Scooby Doo moment for me (A-ha! So you're the killer! Wink! Wink!) but I enjoyed the book nonetheless.

I think my favorite aspect of these books is Eve Dallas. She is one tough character, although Roarke continues to try, and sometimes succeeds, to bring out her softer side. I like that she is cold and indifferent but she goes to bat 100% for her victims, a quality I find very endearing in a futuristic cop. I'll be reading the rest of this series.

It starts:

The dead were her business.

Next up for me are an older book by Tess Gerritsen, UNDER THE KNIFE and Jodi Picoult's PERFECT MATCH.
Stay tuned...

The Hunt

THE HUNT by Allison Brennan(Ballantine Books, c2006, ISBN 0-345-48024-4) is the second book in her fast-paced trilogy.

In this book, set in Gallatin County and Bozeman, Montana, Miranda Moore must come face to face with her bogeyman. Twelve years earlier Miranda survived the attack of the Bozeman Butcher, serial killer. She has spent the past decade doing search and rescue work, especially for victims of the Butcher, always hoping to come face to face with her long-time tormentor.

When another woman goes missing, the FBI comes in. The lead investigator, Quinn Peterson, was once Miranda's love but he broke her heart. Can she let bygones be bygones or will Quinn break her heart again and will the Butcher finish off the one woman he couldn't kill?

First sentence:

"I don't want to die."

Saturday, May 20, 2006


What happens when your mouth runs faster than your brain?

Well, in David Lubar's book, PUNISHED (c2006, Darby Creek Publishing, ISBN 1-58196-042-5) Logan, the main character finds out it's not always good.

This was another book written in first person that I didn't mind. Logan and his best friend Benedict are engaged in a game of tag in the library when Logan runs smack into a mysterious man. When he doesn't show enough remorse, the man "punishes" him by causing him to speak only in puns. Only by finding seven examples each of oxymorons, anagrams and palindromes in the time frame allotted will fix the curse.

The book starts:

"This is a terrible idea," I told Benedict as we walked up the stone steps toward the huge wooden door.

This is a cute book for kids ages 9 and up, appealing strongly to my love for the English language.

Open and Shut

This is the book I finished last weekend. Written by David Rosenfelt,(c2002, Warner Books, ISBN 0-89296-748-X), it was a wonderful debut book and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to read it!

Set in Paterson, New Jersey, Andy Carpenter is a defense attorney who takes on an appeals case for Willie Miller, the man Andy's father put in prison seven years earlier. After his father dies abruptly, Andy finds out about some dirty little secrets that make his father's past and Andy's present collide in a maelstrom of dirty money, death threats, attempts and resolutions.

The first sentence:

The Lincoln Tunnel is a scary place.

One of the things I particularly enjoyed about this book was that I liked the majority of his chapters' first sentences. And although written in first person, which I typically avoid, this book was refreshingly different. Andy Carpenter is a sarcastic attorney in an affable sort of way. He's quick witted with one liners that had me chuckling, sometimes snorting with guffaws.
OPEN AND SHUT was a quick read and I'm looking forward to more of David Rosenfelt's work.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Totally Joe

This past Friday, I finished reading TOTALLY JOE by James Howe (c2005, Ginee Seo Books, ISBN 0-689-83957-X), a wonderful book for young adults.
For Joe Bunch, growing up in Paintbrush Falls, New York can really blow. When a school project is assigned, to write an alphabiography, the story of his life from A to Z, Joe takes on the task by writing about friendship, family, school, disappointments and joys, and growing up and coming out as a gay teen in a small town. It has great supporting characters like Joe's Aunt Pam who is totally cool with Joe being gay and actually gives him his first gay pride things (I snicker here--Like a shirt to sleep in that says "I'm not gay but my boyfriend is.") and some very understanding friends like Addie, Skeezie and Bobby (especially for a small town--unlike one I've ever seen, but I imagine they exist.)

The book starts out with a letter to the teacher assigning this:

Dear Mr. Daly,

       Okay, I admit it.

Little Boy Blue Come Blow Your Horn

One of my most recent reads was Mary Higgins Clark's newest, TWO LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE (c2006, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-7432-6490-8). It was a typical MHC book, fast moving yet predictable. Set in Danbury, CT and Cape Cod, the book starts out with the kidnapping of two twin girls. When only one of them is returned after the ransom is paid the worst is assumed. But mommies knows best and with a little twin telepathy from the returned, they embark to find the other missing girl.

It starts out:

"Hold on a minute, Rob, I think one of the twins is crying."

Dr. Einstein, I presume?

Michael Paterniti's book, DRIVING MR. ALBERT: A TRIP ACROSS AMERICA WITH EINSTEIN'S BRAIN (c2000, The Dial Press, ISBN 0-385-33300-5) was extremely interesting subject material albeit a little dry in parts.
The author volunteers to chauffer the pathologist, Thomas Harvey, who autopsied Einstein and then kept his brain for over 40 years in a Tupperware container in his house, across country from New Jersey to California to meet Einstein's granddaughter. In the trunk of a Buick, stowed away in a duffel bag, Einstein makes the cross country journey with these two men. Part travelogue, part biography of Albert Einstein, part autobiograpy and part roadtrip express, this book gave me some laughs, some yawns, but rarely a dull moment.

First sentence:

I thought the road trip would be a caper.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Full Scoop

My latest read was indeed FULL SCOOP by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes (St. Martin's Paperbacks, c2006, ISBN 0-312-93431-9) and it was okay. Set in Beumont, South Carolina, it featured the regular characters of the previous FULL books in the series, including Max and Jamie Holt, Vera, Destiny and the good ol' dog Fleas.

Characters I wasn't familiar with also were introduced including Maggie Davenport, town pediatrician and her daughter, Mel. Also, Zack Madden, the undercover FBI agent assigned to protect her, Queenie Cloud, a family friend practicing root medicine in Maggie's home, Earl Lee Stanton, the bad guy and Butterbean, an animal that Fleas has his eye on.

First sentence:

"Maggie, what in the world are you doing up there!"

And when I said it was "okay" that's what I meant. The books in this series do not, in my opinion, stand up to Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series or some of the stand-alone books by Charlotte Hughes that I've read. This was a typical bad guy/good guy-someone's in trouble-FBI agent shows up and falls in love with main character-a food is involved (think ice cream)-the bad guy gets caught-they all live happily ever after sort of book.

All too often I find them formulaic, although quick and enjoyable reads nonetheless. Most importantly, they tide me over while I'm waiting for the next Ranger/Morelli/Steph/Lula saga patiently, oh so patiently!

See you next time!