A Blog for Mystery Lovers

Currently making my way through “The Laws of our Fathers” which is a very interesting book, but it is soooooo long:  817 pages.  I’m almost halfway there, insomnia having kept me up until 2:30 this morning, reading.

I love Scott Turow’s writing;  however, I think you need to be a serious reader to get through his collection of legal thrillers, as he describes everything in extreme detail which makes these long and fairly difficult to read.  I had to read the first chaper of this one twice in order to understand what was going on, as it describes a gang shooting and is filled with street jargon that I had trouble understanding.

The reward comes in some of his courtroom scenes where every nuance of the players’ actions are conveyed, making you feel as if you are almost there in the courtroom too, experiencing the drama and emotions along with the characters when the defense attorney finally elicits the answer he is after from the witness.  Very effective writing!

He also makes liberal use of flashbacks in order to get you well acquainted with his characters and to further draw you into the story.

I’ll let you know how this one turns out.

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I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, since I have read and enjoyed almost all of the books in this series by Janet Evanovich, but the reviews in the paper have been awful.

Has anyone seen the movie?  Should I go see it, or will I be disappointed?  I would appreciate your comments.

The unique thing about “Eyes Wide Open” (HarperCollins Publishers, 2011) is that it was inspired by a real life tragedy.  In 2009, the author’s 25 year old nephew, Alex Gross, was found at the bottom of a cliff at Morrow Bay, having jumped or fallen to his death. Severely troubled, Alex had only days before been released from a hospital mental health ward in care of a small halfway facility from which he went for a walk, never to return.  Was it suicide or something else?

Andrew has taken this real-life and very personal happening and crafted a book which begins wth a fictional character suffering the same fate as Alex, and then proceeds to unravel the mystery of his death.  It is also a story of two brothers, one successful and one wayward, trying to bridge the gap between them, while each revelation from the past puts them in more danger.

Andrew has made this story exciting, thought-provoking, and also heart-wrenching, all the more so because of its link to real life, and it is well worth a read.  An author who may never find the solution to his own real life mystery has perhaps achieved some sort of closure by inventing a fictionalized solution for his characters.  Well done, Andrew.

To read about Alex and the circumstances of his tragic death go to www.alexwemissyou.com.

Dynamite finale episode from “Rizzoli and Isles” on TNT, don’t you think??  I loved it!

My Summer Reading List

My apologies to any readers of my blog, as other personal committments have kept me from blogging for quite a while now.  But that doesn’t mean I have not been reading, and I hope you have been too!

Here is a run-down of my summer reads:

“McNally’s Caper” by Lawrence Sanders – Another “mystery of the rich and famous” solved, of course, by Palm Beach sleuth and man-about-town, Archy McNally.  Not as interesting as some of the others in this series, so not one of my favorites.

“Swimsuit” by James Patterson – Standard Patterson fare:  a fast read with plenty of action and violence.  I got the feeling I had read it before (I probably have.  Many of the Patterson plots are similar and thus not especially memorable.), but I enjoyed it again anyway.

“Where There’s Smoke” by Sandra Brown– I always like the combination of mystery and romance.

“The Best Laid Plans” by Sidney Sheldon– This book feels a little dated, but the plot was interesting.

“The Doomsday Conspiracy” by Sidney Sheldon– I read this up until I discovered it was about little green men landing on earth, and then I ditched it.  I know my reading list is old, but this was way too dated for me.

“Breath of Scandal” by Sandra Brown– What can I say, I like Sandra Brown.

“The Shack” by William P. Young– This one is very different, and not exactly a mystery.  It is a Christian book about a man whose daughter is abducted and killed, and how he comes to know God and understand how He can let these things happen to young innocents.  The depictions of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are definitely not conventional, but if you can get your head around that, the book is quite thought-provoking and yields a satisfying ending.

“Let Me Call You Sweetheart” by Mary Higgins Clark– A reliable entry from this well-known author.

“Sanctuary” by Nora Roberts– Secrets from the past threaten a family and bring romance, naturally.

“Double Cross” by James Patterson– Alex Cross faces danger from homicidal maniacs on two fronts.  Again, formulaic Patterson.

“Standoff” by Sandra Brown– If you’ve read this far, you already know I like Sandra Brown, but this premise was so compelling I read the whole 217 pages in one sitting.  I just had to know how it ended!  It’s about a standoff with a gunman who tries to rob a convenience store.  The romance (or should I say sex) part was really not necessary to the story and could have been abbreviated, but then it wouldn’t be a Sandra Brown book without it.

I just wanted to share with all the mystery lovers out there news of  the recent release of the latest Bay Tanner mystery, “Jericho Cay“, by one of my favorite authors, Kathryn Wall.  This is the 11th book in this series set in the Hilton Head, S.C. area.

Here is Kathy’s preview of the book:

“While restoring her Hilton Head home after a brush with a hurricane, Bay reluctantly accepts best-selling true crime writer Winston Wolfe
as a client. Arrogant and secretive, Wolfe is researching the
cold-case disappearance of reclusive millionaire Morgan Tyler Bell
from his secluded private island off the South Carolina coast. What
has Bay’s investigative antennae quivering is the apparent suicide of
Bell’s longtime housekeeper at the time he vanished. After viewing
the scene inside his fabulous abandoned mansion on Jericho Cay, Bay
isn’t so sure.

Her newest employee–her husband Red–is hot to pursue the inquiry.
But as Wolfe’s behavior becomes more and more bizarre, Bay is torn
between her desire to earn her hefty fee and her fear that something
much more sinister is going on just below the surface. Is Bell dead
or alive? And who is the elusive man in the red baseball cap who just
may hold the answers to all her questions?”

Looks like I’ll be adding this one to my summer reading list!

This is not exactly going to be a review of “April Fool Dead” (HarperCollins, 2002) beacuse I never actually finished reading the book.  I tried, I really did.

I chose this one because the title caught my eye (it happened to be around April 1st, of course) and this author’s series setting for the Death on Demand bookshop mysteries is the South Carolina LowCountry, which I love.  And I do like a cozy once in a while.  In fact, I am working on writing one myself someday.  However, this book was way too cozy for me, if you get my drift. 

The first chapter introduces a multitude of characters, all with their own story lines, so I was pretty much lost right there at the beginnning.  But I made it through about 100 pages, even though nothing much had happened yet with any of these characters, so I put the book aside for a while. About a week later I picked it up again thinking, “There has to be some action coming at some point here,” and read about 60-some more pages.  Still zero action and zero suspense that I could pick up on.  The only mystery seemed to be who put out a bunch of bogus flyers, and I just couldn’t get interested in that.

Sure, eventually there was a murder, but nobody seemed particularly shocked or disturbed by it, and a few characters had somebody taking pot shots at them, but they didn’t seem very frightened at that either.  I just couldn’t get emotionally nor intellectually involved, so I gave up.

Sorry, Ms. Hart, but no sale.

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