Massive Book Update
Obviously, I’ve been totally slacking on posting the books I’ve been reading – I haven’t done an update since the start of the year!
I’m currently reading John Sandford’s latest Lucas Davenport mystery, Fields of Prey. As usual, this is a complex story with multiple characters going in different directions. The main mystery is something I think has got to be based on a real case somewhere – it’s just too bizarre not to have some reality to it. Always enjoyable and the bad guys will no doubt meet a satisfyingly final end.
Next up will be The Heist by Daniel Silva, the latest international spy thriller starring Gabriel Allon – Israeli super-spy and art restorer. These books also have taken a somewhat predictable tone – Gabriel really wants to spend his days with art but keeps getting lured back into the world of espionage. Comfortably predictable but also enough intensity and action to keep things going.
In no particular order, here’s what I’ve read since my last update:
Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming – always love these New England mysteries involving local sheriff Russ VanAlstyne and Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson. Russ and Clare have largely gotten past their previous hang-ups, they’re married, she’s pregnant, but trouble is never far away, even when they’re on a supposed vacation to a cabin on a lake.
The Shogun’s Daughter by Laura Joh Rowland – Investigator Sano Ichiro navigates the complexities of culture in 18th century Japan, trying to keep his position in the Shogun’s government and protect his family while solving the mystery of the death of the Shogun’s only daughter.
Barbara Hambly’s The Kindred of Darkness finds James Asher once again dealing with the vampires of early 20th century Europe, just before the outbreak of World War I. After a long hiatus with this series, Hambly has produced several books in fairly quick succession. Hoping for more!
Hapless bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is back in Janet Evanovich’s Takedown Twenty. As the title suggests, this is the 20th book in this series and number 21 in on the library shelves now. These are always super-entertaining with a lot of really funny bits, not to mention the sexual tension between Stephanie and her two men!
In Raiders of the Nile, Steven Saylor once again takes us back to the younger years of Gordianus the Finder as a young man in Alexandria. Here, he goes in search of his mistakenly-kidnapped slave girl and girlfriend Bethesda.
Thomas Lynley returns in Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George. Typical British mystery – the detective inspector and his working class detective sergeant match wits, this time with the mystery of a little girl’s disappearance that has personal meaning to both Lynley and Havers.
Hapless scholar saves the world yet again in Dan Brown’s Inferno, the most recent Robert Langdon novel. Not as good as his earlier works, I thought, but entertaining enough. Somehow I just can’t imagine one person having the stamina to do everything that happens here in such a short amount of time…
Frozen Solid by James Tabor takes us to McMurdo Station in Antartica, where scientist (genius/athlete/adventure junkie/sexy chick) Hallie Leland is sent to investigate the mysterious death of one of the temporary residents. Like Tabor’s other books, this one is set in a bizarre and unforgiving environment where the smallest mistake can be deadly (I sound like a movie trailer…).
Dust by Patricia Cornwell was a little better than some of the previous Scarpetta books. I don’t think this one involved some supposedly long-dead foe coming back to haunt the main characters – to tell the truth, I don’t have a clear memory of the story on this one, which doesn’t seem like a good sign. A decent read, but I still wish the author would get back to the more technical books she wrote earlier in the series.
Nevada Barr always gives a good story with her Anna Pigeon character and Destroyer Angel is no different. This book is less of a mystery and more a kidnapping narrative. Even Anna wonders if she’s getting a bit old for these exploits.
Finally, the moment everyone who reads these books has been waiting for! In Death Angel Linda Fairstein brings two of her main characters together after years and years of missed connections, other relationships. It remains to be seen if this will work out or, like most other sexually tense relationships, will fizzle once the bubble is burst.
Another round of messed-up life for DS Logan McRae in Stuart MacBride’s Close to the Bone. Nowhere to live (flat burned down), girlfriend in the hospital, crazy boss, and someone is leaving little bits of bones tied with ribbons outside his door.
Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson finds Inspector Banks surrounded by women, and not always happily. Squabbling underlings, a somewhat draconian and yet supportive boss, and a titled Lady tangle up a high-profile mystery. Meanwhile, Banks is, as always, on the lookout for a new romance!
In Black Fly Season Giles Blunt returns to the team of Cardinal and Delorme in the small Canadian town of Algonquin Bay. Always a good read, Cardinal keeps plugging along, trying to keep his job on track and his life in order despite the secrets of the past pecking at him.