Friday, 24 July 2009

Louise Penny - The Cruellest Month

Ok this is the third book in the series, and in this book the subplot involving the Arnot case is resolved . I think it is fairly important that you read them in order as this book contains spoilers for the earlier ones.
Once again I was totally hooked, and have already started the fourth. then horror or horrors I will have to wait for the next installment of this delightful " Midsummer" of Canada.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Louise Penny - Dead Cold

This is the second book in the Inspector Armand Gamache crime series set in Canada. If you are intending to read them I recommend that you read them in order, see below, as subsequent books do carry spoilers for the previous novels.
They are fabulous. They are modern day Agatha Christie. Small village murder stories, so far set in the picturesque and isolated village of Three Pines. There is a wonderful mixture of characters that make up the village, and we are left with a classic 'whodunnit'. There are wonderful twists and turns and some excellent red herrings, that keep you guessing all the way through.
I also like the subplot that carries through the novels. Inspector Gamache of the Montreal Surete, refused to compromise on a previous case of police corruption, and so has enemies within the force that are determined to bring him down, and he has a traitor within his team!
An extra plus is the wonderful poetry written by one of the characters Ruth. Perhaps Louise could be persuaded to bring out her own book of poetry as well?
A very satisfying read that I could not put down, what is housework after all? I have immediately picked up the next book, as I want to know who the traitor is , but I am sure I am going to have to wait!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Santa Montefiore - The Italian Matchmaker

This is the second book of Santas that I have reviewed. I do not think this one is in quite the same league but it is still a great escapist, if undemanding, read.
It is a simple but effective book. Great if you like a gentle romance, a memorable location and a bit of a mystery thrown in.
Luca, wealthy, ex-banker, half- Italian is going through a messy divorce. He goes to stay with his parents who have renovated a Palazzo on the Amalfi coast. The Palazzo is steeped in an unsavoury history involving murder. Whilst there Luca sees the spirit of a young boy and becomes drawn to the heart broken mother, who just happens to be the granddaughter of the murdered woman at the Palazzo..........
This book is filled with a pot -pourri of eccentric characters and will keep anyone amused and relaxed this summer.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Mario Reading - The Notradamus Prophecies

This book comes out next month in August. Do look out for it. It really is an exciting thriller. An up market version of the Dan Brown genre.

1566, Nostradamus has hidden some of his prophecies that will only be revealed at the right time. It fortells the second coming and the identity of the third anti-Christ. The knowledge of where to start the quest has been held by French gypsies for safe keeping ever since.

There is a secret French sect who are also after the prophecies and their henchman, Achor Bale, will stop at nothing to get them.

Into this mix comes our hero, a flagging writer called Adam Sabir, who is an expert on Nostradamus, he takes off with the gypsies in a race through France to get there first.

Suspend belief, go with the flow and enjoy. This would be an excellent book to take on holiday with you, provided you will have plenty of time to read , as I assure you you will not want to put it down. I found delving into the gypsy way of life fascinating. The psychological insights into Achor's behaviour spot on, making a really well rounded character, rather than a plasterboard baddy. We also have a memorable world weary, and wise French cop , Captain Calque, priceless.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Richelle Mead - Succubus Heat

A big thank you to Transworld and their Facebook page " What shall I read this month?" for a copy of this book. This is supernatural chicklit par excellence, oh and very erotic, but what can one expect when our heroine is a succubus and drains energy from men during sex! Here we have an underground world, set in Seattle, of angels and demons. This is a world where the demons run themselves like corporate America, no irony there then, plus they need a day job to pay their way.(Georgina, our succubus manages a bookshop!) Mixed up in all this is a thriller, romance, and a hostile takeover bid........ and I forgot to say it is very funny. So if you fancy something different and a bit of fun, especially if you like Black lace books and others of that genre, do give it a try! I've ordered her back list from the library!

Gilbert Adair - And then there was no one

Taken in context this is an extraordinary book the third in an Agatha Christie pastiche series, it defies categorisation. It is the book that shoots the golden goose but perhaps that is Gilbert's intention. The first 2 books , Act of Roger Murgatroyd, and A Mysterious Affair of Style: A Sequel are all part of a supposed Evadne Mount Trilogy. The first two books in the series were hilarious pastiches of Agatha Christie. (I listened to them on CD in the car and was nearly crying with laughter in places!) In them we had a completely over the top sleuth in Evadne Mount.
This book is nothing like the others. It rambles, it makes 'clever' diversions into art and literature and plagerism. It educates us on Sherlock Holmes, authors and literary festivals and the US post 9/11. There is a murder but it is inconsequential.
For the first three chapters I defy anyone to work out what is going on. To be honest I could not decide whether this book was clever or was just selling itself as such. All I do know is that I felt vaguely unsatisfied at the end, and very nearly gave up half way through, but then perhaps I am too simplistic! I have seen reviewers calling it Postmodernist, whatever that is, I am still confused!

David Roberts - Hollow Crown

1936. I have come rather late to this series but am really enjoying it. These are whodunnits but very superior ones. We have an English Lord partnered as sleuth with young Verity Browne, Communist. These adds some spice to the proceedings but also a clever device to provide social commentary. It is for this reason that any of these wopuld be very good for reading groups. This book covers the Jarrow march, the Cable Street Riots, Fascism, oh and Wallace Simpson!

Kate Ellis - A Perfect Death

This is a Wesley Peterson novel, the thirteenth, and it really is up to standard. Set in beautiful Devon, again with a clever time slip element, involving archaeology. I love them! Once again, when is this going to be made into a series for TV!!!!