Saturday, April 1, 2017

Books Read - March 2017

Aasheim, April
The Witches of Dark Root ****
Fiction.  First in the Dark Root urban fantasy series.  Maggie Maddock is questioning her life in a cult run by her boyfriend.  When her sister, Merry, calls and begs her to come home to Dark Root, Maggie doesn’t want to respond.  But when she catches her erstwhile lover with another woman, Maggie heads home to face her magickal family and the many problems that are awaiting her.

Allende, Isabel
Inés of My Soul *****
Fiction.  Inés de Suárez lives in the 1500’s.  Born in Extremadura, Spain, she falls in love with Juan de Malagá.  When he leaves her to explore South America, she is left with two choices.  Either she can remain essentially a widow in Extramadura, or she can follow Juan to the New World and see where her journey takes her.  When he meets Pedro de Valdivia in Peru, she travels with the conquistador to the wilds of Chile, where she becomes the first gobernadora of Santiago.  She spends the latter part of her life with Rodrigo de Quiroga and dies as a much beloved woman of Chile.

Arden, Katherine
The Bear and the Nightingale *****
Fiction.  Vasilisa Petronova grows up in a village north of Moscow with her three brothers and her older sister.  Her father, Pyotr is the local lord.  Her mother, Marina, is the daughter of the Grand Duke, and even though she has a touch of magic about her, she dies as Vasya is born.  Vasya can see beings that nobody else can see, and she speaks with horses.  When she becomes the pawn between the Frost Lord and his evil brother, Medved, Vasya has tough choices to make to keep her family safe.

Bevill, C.L.
Ruins of Dreams *****
Fiction.  Fourth book in the Dreams dystopian series.  Lulu searches for code keys to stop a nuclear bomb from going off, but she’s sidetracked when she runs into a clan of cannibals.  Her  gift of creating portals is helping her get around, but it’s taking a toll on her brain.  Each time takes her longer and longer to recover, but she has no time to lose if she wants to prevent a world disaster and get back to Landers.

Charles, Ann
Tequila & Time ****
Fiction.  Violet and Natalie spend the evening at the Purple Door Saloon challenging each other to rounds of Truth or Drink, and by the end of the evening, they’ve revealed some closely guarded secrets to  each other.

Coehlo, Paulo
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept ****
Fiction.  First of Coehlo’s books published in the U.S.  Pilar in contacted by a childhood friend whom she hasn’t seen in 12 years.  She loved him as a child, but is wary about falling in love.  When he declares his love for her, they embark on a journey during which he introduces her to the feminine face of God, and she watches as he struggles with his feelings for her.

Dams, Jeanne M.
Smile and Be A Villain ****
Fiction.  18th book in the Dorothy Martin mystery series set in England.  Dorothy and her husband Alan are on holiday on the Channel island, Alderney.  On their first day out, they stumble over a dead body.  When they investigate, they discover that while some people were very fond of the deceased, others despised him.  As they help the local congregation come to terms with his death, they discover many secrets of his.

Galenorn, Yasmine
Souljacker *****
Fiction.  First in the Lily Bound urban fantasy series set in Seattle.  Lily is a succubus and runs Lily Bound, her salon where she exchanges sex for chi in order to survive.  When one of her best clients is murdered in her home, she draws the ire of the Were community.  She’s shocked to find that the murderer is a vampire, and not just any vampire.  The Souljacker has escaped from the mental hospital and is out to reclaim his ink.

Greenwood, Kerry 
Cocaine Blues *****
Fiction.  First in the Phryne Fisher mystery series set in Australia.  Phryne was born and raised poor, but by a lucky happenstance of the deaths of several relatives, her father rises to the position of Lord, and Phryne is introduced to a world of wealth and privilege.  Unfortunately, she becomes bored, and while searching for something to engage her agile mine, she is hired by a father seeking to determine if his daughter’s husband is poisoning her, and Phryne rises to the challenge.

Holthe, Tess Uriza
When the Elephants Dance *****
Fiction.  During the last few weeks that the Japanese occupied the Philippines, a group of Filipinos took shelter in the cellar of a house hiding from the Japanese patrols and the bombings by both the Japanese and the Amerikanos.  While in hiding, several of the adults tell tales of their past.

MacInerney, Karen
Whale of a Crime ****
Fiction.  Ninth book in the Gray Whale Inn cozy mystery series set on Cranberry Island.  A tour company has filled up the inn, and Natalie is busy fixing meals for them to take along on their whale watching trips.  When the captain is murdered and Natalie’s best friend’s boyfriend is charged with the murder, Natalie, John, and the others start investigating on their own.

Orenduff, Michael J.
The Pot Thief Who Studied Einstein ****
Fiction.  Third in the cozy mystery series set in New Mexico.  Hubie Schuz is hired to appraise a collection of pots by an anonymous collector who stiffs him of the appraisal fee.  In trying to get the money owed him, Hubie finds himself accused not once, but twice, for murder.  A mysterious beautiful woman seems to want his company, but she is not who she seems to be.

Orwell, George
1984 *****
Fiction.  The world is broken up into three major regions, each autonomous, and each at war with each other.  Winston lives in what used to be called London, which is now a part of Oceania ruled by the Party.  The Party dictates life, and in a most horrible way, it dictates history, changing it when the needs suit, completely annihilating it at times. Winston is a rebel, and the Party does not suffer rebels.  

Painter, Sarah
- The Secrets of Ghosts ***
Fiction.  Second in a paranormal series about a family of witches.  At twenty-one, Katie still hasn’t discovered her gift and is afraid that she has been born a dud.  But at work up at The Grange, she suddenly finds that she can see, hear, and communicate with ghosts, but when she tries to help them cross over into the light, she finds that not all ghosts are friendly.

Riegler, Bernhard
Mishap and Mayhem **
Fiction.  Memoir told by the father from the baby’s point of view of his first two years of life.

Rowland, Laura Joh
Shinju *****
Fiction.  First in the Sano Ichiro mystery series set in feudal Japan.  Sano is a yoriki, a policeman of sorts.  He obtained the position, not through a birthright, but through a favor owed to his father.  The other yoriki look down upon him.  When a couple is found tied together in the river, he is placed in charge of the case.  But when he realizes that his superior expects him to hand in a verdict of shinju - suicide, Sano feels there is much more to the story, and his conscience won’t let him rest until he uncovers the truth.

Smith Alexander McCall
The Kalahari Typing School for Men ***

Fiction.  Fourth book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency cozy mystery series set in Botswana.  Mma Ramotswe is still waiting for her fiancé to set the ate for their wedding.  Her assistant decides to set up a men’s typing school and finds a love of her own.  But when Mma Ramostswe discovers that her assistant’s love is a married man, she struggles with having to disclose his true status.

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