Reading Roundup

13 1/2 by Nevada Barr

This is a total departure from Barr's usual writing, and is a separate book from her popular Anna Pigeon series. Instead, this is a dark, twisty psychological thriller mixing two stories in two different eras: a boy accused of axing his family to death, and a woman with two small children trying to settle into the world. What happens when these two collide? Chilling and readable - recommended!

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

A new Regency novel (the first in a trilogy) featuring feity heroine Lucy, who decides to use family friend Jeremy for "kissing practice" before throwing herself at her longtime crush. So what happens when the sparks fly with the wrong man? This is a fun, fast read!

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

This book tells two alternating stories: that of Deliverance Dane, an accused witch from the Salem Witch Trials, and Connie, a Harvard graduate student struggling to work on her dissertation, while cleaning out her grandmother's abandoned cottage. Written in dense prose, this book telegraphed the "bad guy" straightaway, and at times it felt the author was just bragging about how much she knew about history, but overall it was an interesting, thought-provoking read.

Body Surfing by Anita Shreve

I reread this title for our book discussion group, and though they were lukewarm at best about it, I still love the characterization, the setting, and the twists of this beautifully written novel.

Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner

This memoir details life with Steiner's first husband - a typical Prince Charming until they are married, who then begins to emotionally and physically abuse her. Steiner takes great pains to reveal her Harvard background, her checkered past and so forth to prove she isn't a typical abused wife, but while I found this a quick read, it didn't "stay with me" if you know what I mean. Almost like reading a long magazine article that you soon forget...

Loitering with Intent by Stuart Woods

Another Stone Barrington novel, this time with Stone and Dino flying to Key West for a few days to track down an errant client. Of course, mayhem, gunplay and sex get in the way of a simple job. ;-) Another great novel in the Stone series - I listened to the audio edition, as always narrated by the great Tony Roberts.

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