Friday, January 22, 2010



Lisa Gardner

4 out of 5

Rainie's life has been going down hill quickly, too much pressure at work, cases that go from bad to worse, killing a man that needed to die, a battle with alcohol, but she is determined to pull it all together. Rainie is now a child advocate, but she definitely has met her match in her newest case.

Pierce Quincy is Rainie's husband, a former FBI profiler, he know that their marriage is on the rocks, but when Rainie's car is found abandoned with the engine running and she is no where in sight, things get bad quickly. A kidnapper has soon contacted Quincy, but the demands seems all wrong. What is going on. Together with Quincy's adult daughter, they are going to find Rainie.

Told in the various voices of the characters involved, the read soon see's a deeper plot developing. What was it in Rainie's past that has brought them all to this point. Can a child really be responsible or are they just a ploy to make Rainie pay for her choices. A past that she too, should never been part of.

Though good, this book didn't fully capture my attention. It had too much of a been there done that feel. The characters are engaging and flawed, but still something for me was missing. Maybe this was a series that I should have started at the beginning, I never really got a good feel for who the main characters really are.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hooked on Murder

Hooked on Murder

Betty Hechtman

4 out of 5

Just because you literally trip over a dead body, doesn't mean that you are the killer. Or so goes the explanation that Molly Pink is trying to make clear to the officers who find her holding crochet hooks and peering into the lifeless body of Ellen Sheridan.

So, yeah, maybe once upon a time there were hard feeling between the two, but Molly has moved on to be the events coordinator of a small bookstore and her personal life is picking up a bit, but come one, one dead body doesn't make you a murderer. Besides, she has more important things to worry about. For instance, there is that afghan that needs to be quilted for the Hearts and Barks charity event.

First in the crochet mystery series, Betty Hechtman begins together a very compelling storyline and just enough interesting characters to keep the reader involved and a series worth continuing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Wife's Tale

The Wife's Tale

Lori Lansens

5 out of 5

Mary Gooch is quite a memorable character one that we can learn a great deal from. On the eve of her 25th wedding anniversary and weighing in at 302 pounds, Mary is left waiting for her husband Jimmy to come home from work, but as the evening wears on she knows, can just feel it in the pit of her stomach, right next to that aching hunger, that Jimmy won't be home, he won't come back to their life or their anniversary party.

Ever since she was young, Mary has been battling the "obeast", that driving hunger for food, that something that will satisfy her. During her few thin years she met the handsome athletic Jimmy Gooch and their romance was more then she could ever imagine. Then the disappointments and worries came, the weight was back. Jimmy swore that he still loved her, but the well worn path from her bedroom to the refrigerator was something that could no longer be avoided.

To find her husband, Mary knew that she had to break away from her very small world in Canada and board an airplane to California to confront a mother in law that detested her, but she would do that, to bring her Jimmy home. In the process of finding her wayward husband, Mary found the good in people, the good in herself and a way to keep the "obeast" quiet.

Though I've never been a fan of the woman trying to find herself type of book, I loved Mary's story. It wasn't all tied up with a neat bow because a man loved her and they lived happily ever after. Mary came across as a real woman, with real fears and real hopes. And in her journey to put her life back together she found good people, people who appreciated her for who she was, not what she looked like or how much money she had. She was willing to put herself out there, to show the world all her warts and maybe, just maybe, she could find the peace that would finally satisfy her.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Diva Takes The Cake

Diva Takes The Cake

Krista Davis

3 out of 5

Though not well written, with too much redundancy and an author that feels the need to describe each room and setting with such minutia that the reader feels as if the author is talking down to you instead of relating a tale.

Truly, a reader can remember a table setting from chapter to chapter, and really, how many times do you have to use the word samovar?

In this second book of the domestic diva series, Hannah is getting married yet again, but her sister Sophie isn't excited about it at all. Sophie's not quite sure what it is about Craig, she just knows that whatever Hannah is about to get into isn't good. When Craig's first wife is found dead, hanging in Natasha's pergola, all heads come together to try and figure out yet another murder on this quite little street in Old Town Alexandria.

Though I don't really recommend this book, I do adore all the characters that Davis has brought together. She has a good combination that lets the reader pick their favorites without having an overly clever one jammed down your throat. Each character brings something to the table and I guess that is why I continued on with this second book. Maybe the third will flow better, I just don't find myself rushing off to get it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dead to the World

Dead to the World

Charlaine Harris

4 out of 5

First of all, just because you have seen the TV series doesn't mean that you can jump into the middle of the books and understand who Sookie is. Start at the beginning and your appreciation for Sookie will go a lot further.

While Vampire Bill is off in Peru continuing his research, Sookie is reevaluation their relationship. That in itself creates a problem since Sookie has no limit to other men that are all so easily available to her.

While driving home from a New Year's party at Merlott's, Sookie is distracted by a naked man running alongside the road, but unfortunately, this isn't just any man, this is Eric, the very delectable Sheriff of Area 5 who has not kept silent his attraction to Sookie. To compound this situation, Eric appears to be have a case of amnesia. He remembers nothing about who he is or for that matter, who Sookie is. Oh, dear, could this get any worse, well, apparently it can.

Not only does Bon Temps have to deal with vampires, werewolves, and shape shifters, there is now a coven of very powerful witches that are attempting to take over Area 5.

Well, you can't leave a naked man on the side of the road, so Sookie has decided to take Eric home to care for him. In so doing, she begins to see a very sensitive side to the very scary Eric, a side that Sookie finds quite irresistible.

Charlaine Harris builds quite a strong story this time. With her usual humor and "where did that come from, but I love it" story writing, Sookie and Eric are enmeshed in one adventure after another that makes Sookie life with Bill seem rather normal. This is a great series, that blends just enough action and humor to keep the reader fully enthralled with Sookie

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Sari Shop Widow

The Sari Shop Widow

Shobhan Bantwal

4 out of 5

I loved the beginning of this book, the strong independent Anjali Kapadia who in her late 30's is widowed with no children and lives with her parents in the little India section of Edison, NJ.

When it becomes apparent that their boutique is in financial despair they call upon Jeevan, their very wealthy relative. Though feared for his abrupt manner and his no nonsense business style, they have no choice but to take him on as a business partner. When Jeevan arrives he is not alone, in walks a very charming Rishi Shah. And unfortunately, that is where the book changes - from a book about a strong Indian woman to a romance with Anjali left a weeping mass of indecision.

Though still a well written story, I would have much preferred Bantwal staying on the less traveled road and keeping Anjali independent. I understand the characters loneliness, but to have her character getting weak in the knees was not how she was presented in the beginning. I enjoy strong women characters, occasional romance, but to have a characters change so completely was a bit of a let down.

I will continue to read this author, but in the future, I will be researching a little bit more to see if Bantwal is really a romance writer, that way, I'll know what I am getting into.