Thursday, May 31, 2007

Not so Hot-Cha-Cha

HOT STUFF by Janet Evanovich and Leanne Banks(St. Martin's Paperbacks, c2007, ISBN 0-312-94146-3) was definitely not my favorite Evanovich book and I think fans of Janet's PLUM books will be disappointed with this. (To be fair, I've never read Leanne Banks so I can't give an honest opinion to her writing, but I've read plenty of JE's books!) To me, it was a formulaic read, one that I've read before only with different main characters, different cops and different dogs, yet the same. The only saving grace for me on this book was that it was set in Boston, MA which I called home for several years.

In this book you have Cate Madigan (aspiring teacher/by night bartender) Kellen McBride Kostner (ex-cop and PI) and Beast (Bull Mastiff, havoc-creating pooch). The girl is running from the bad guys, the ex-cop is trying to watch after her and solve the crime at the same time and the dog is just getting in the way. Throw in a couple of support characters, some adorable and some annoying and you have this book.

The 1st sentence:

Cate Madigan had mentally stripped the guy across the table from her, and he'd come up short in every possible way.

I will always rave about the Stephanie Plum books because she is just my FAVORITE, but I may have to step back and quit reading these just-add-water books because they're not really doing anything for me.


RASH by Pete Hautman (Simon & Schuster, c2006, ISBN 0-689-86801-4) was one of my most current reads and a fulfillment of my "MUST READ YOUNG ADULT FICTION" thingie that I've got going on.

In this book, in the United Safer States of America of the late twenty-first century, there is an obsession with safety and even "minor anti-social impulses" are criminal.

Bo Marsten is sentenced to work in a prison camp making pizzas for McDonald's after giving a rash to some schoolmates and fighting with a peer over a girl. It is here that he is recruited to play football, an illegal sport but one in which Bo is quite skilled. While in the Canadian tundra, at this camp surrounded by polar bears, Bo also begins to question the society in which he's been raised and finds that sometimes breaking the rules is necessary, especially living in a time where safety is more important than freedom.

The book begins:

Gramps, who was born in 1990, once told me that when he was my age the only way to wind up in prison in the USSA (back when it had only one S) was to steal something, kill somebody, or use illegal drugs.

I enjoyed this book and have added Hautman's book GODLESS to my to-be-read list. It's kind of a sports book with a football angle, a futuristic fantasy with the time thing and it smacks of HOLES by Louis Sachar (a book I read when it first came out!), whether intentional or not.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Wicked Snow

A WICKED SNOW by Gregg Olsen (Pinnacle Books, c2007, ISBN 978-0-7394-8068-7) was my latest read.

From Publisher's Weekly: Hannah Griffin has spent most of her life trying to forget the notorious Christmas Eve house fire that claimed her family and turned up almost two dozen other bodies buried in their yard; though the case remained unsolved, Hannah's mother became, posthumously, the de facto prime suspect. Twenty years later, Hannah's a happily married mother of one, a crime scene investigator for Santa Louisa, Calif., and a lifetime away from her traumatic Oregon childhood—until a series of mysterious events indicates that her mother may still be alive. Hannah reopens the case, as well as old wounds, after enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Jeff Bauer, the still-haunted chief officer from the original investigation. Thanks to Olsen's true-crime work, the case's particulars—both grisly and mundane—all carry genuine weight, though his characters can be cloying: Hannah's neuroses occasionally seem more dingbat than damaged, and Agent Bauer's tough-but-tender act is a familiar one. That said, Olsen's flashback narrative shines with lurid, carefully distributed details, and if it ultimately overshadows the present-day plot, his bizarre, many-layered mystery will keep fans of crime fiction hooked.

The first sentence:

The girl remembered the snow and the evil that came with it.

This book is written in 3rd person, jumps back and forth between the past and present. I would have written probably almost a carbon copy of the Publisher's Weekly review as my thoughts were quite similar. One thing I did love is that when I looked up the town in Oregon, Rock Point, I found this. Very cool!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Murder with reservations

Nearly a month ago, Elaine Viets, author, contributor to this site (that's Elaine on the far right!) and member of Dorothy-L (which is how I know her) suffered from a stroke and had to have emergency brain surgery.

Now on the mend, Elaine is having to deal with the fact that her newest book, MURDER WITH RESERVATIONS (NAL, c2007, ISBN 0-451-22111-7) came out May 1, 2007 and she is unable to tour and promote her book.

That's where several other authors, bloggers, readers, friends and I come in. We are all doing Elaine's promotions for her so that she can focus on getting well.

If you find yourself at the bookstore looking for something to read, go check out Elaine's DEAD END JOB mysteries and look for this book along with the rest of the series. If you are a library user, request that Elaine's books be purchased for the library.

Here is a list of events being held for Elaine as she recuperates and a really good deal: buy 2 of Elaine's books and the Mystery Lover's Bookshop will ship one to the library of your choice for free.

Now, if only I could tell you about Elaine's experience with a hotel buffet...I'll leave that for her to do.


And don't Elaine's books. Thank you.

This public service announcement brought to you by a voracious reader and a big fan of Elaine Viets'.