Books I've Been Reading...

Time for another book review blitz - I've been on a roll! Let's go!

Physical Education by Maggie Barbieri

I still love this little cozy mystery series set on a Catholic college campus in New York where amateur sleuth Allison Bergeron and her new hubby Crawford seem to always be tangled up in some sort of drama. This time around, Alison has a body in her trunk, a basketball team to coach and a sullen stepdaughter to care for. Fun!

The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne

This is from the same author as The Spymaster's Lady (a great book!), but focuses more on two French spies (boy and girl, bien sur!) as they were growing up, and how their paths cross again in middle age, still deep in the spy game, when the lady is stabbed and near death. It was a well written read, but I lost interest during the "plucky teen" years, and it didn't have the same sizzle and spark as The Spymaster's Lady. Alright, but not my favorite of them all...

Fire Season by Philip Connors

This was one of the books I read while Dad was in the hospital, so it was a bit of a "choppy" read as we were often in and out. In any case, this is a memoir by Connors who, for the last eight years, has served as a fire watcher in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. I particularly enjoyed his descriptions of the 7x7 dwelling, the hiking and wilderness, the search for lightning and fire, and a bit of his own history and marriage. I was less interested in the excruciatingly detailed descriptions of fire watching history, fire as preservation and wilderness history - I wanted the "on the ground" stories, not the theories. An interesting read though, on an unlikely subject!

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

What can I saw about another Stephanie Plum book? Of course it has explosions, cars, Ranger in black, Lula and Cluck in a Bucket - all the usual suspects! Always a fast, fun read!

Comfort and Joy by India Knight

This Christmas novella had been getting rave reviews and sounded so great - a British chick lit tale of a houseful of family - and ex-family - getting together for the holidays. Everyone else may have loved it, but I loathed it. Choppy, disjointed, not terribly sympathetic characters and after about the fifteen reference to bowel movements, I was out. I couldn't finish it. Not for me...

October Fest by Jess Lourey

This was a "Kindle Daily Deal" one day, and as I'd read several other of Lourey's "muder-by-month" mysteries, I was happy to download this one! As the name implies, it's October, and another murder is afoot for librarian and reporter Mira James as the political season takes off in her small Minnesota town. This series is small town, full of quirky characters, a cozy mystery and quite a few laughs. A great series - check it out!

The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Macomber churns out a lot of Christmas novellas, and since I'd not read this one, I gave it a shot. Cassie has struck out at love, so when someone recommends a (very expensive) matchmaker, she gives it a shot. He gives her three tasks to complete in the "holiday spirit" before he will give her the name of her intended, but things don't turn out as the matchmaker plans...a sweet little Christmas diversion for a few hours.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

Read the second half of this 1200 fantasy novel while Dad was in the hospital - thank goodness for the Kindle! Season 2 of the HBO series comes out in April, and I'll be curious how this novel translates into that - lots of continued scheming, death, running around and sex. Right on. :-)

Tick Tock by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

This is another in the "Michael Bennett" series by Patterson and Ledwidge, and it was another good listen. A series of gruesome murders being mirrored on past crimes are happening in New York City, and only Bennett can save the day...

The Next Always by Nora Roberts

This is the first of the "Inn BoonsBoro" trilogy from prolific author Roberts. This time, the story takes place in a sleepy Maryland town where three brothers (and their mother) are renovating an old building into a beautiful Bed and Breakfast...which just happens to have a resident ghost. Of course, each story will focus on a brother - and the woman he falls for. A pleasant diversion from one of the reining queens of romance!

The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts

Another sweet Christmas story with a magical snow globe, romance, a puppy and a too-busy lifestyle. A nice story for a couple of hours....

The Three Weismanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
This was billed as a loose retelling of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, but set of course in modern times. Betty Weismann's husband of 48 years wants a divorce, sending Betty and her two grown daughters - Miranda and Annie - into a tailspin. They retreat to a cousin's cottage on the coast, and as in the books, fall for other men, struggle with finances, and try to come to terms with life. I was so excited about this book, but found myself absolutely losing interest about a third of the way through, and never really regaining any momentum. I ended up not caring a lick about the characters, and just wanted it to be over...this one *needed* a Colonel Brandon, and he never appeared. Not my favorite....

It's Classified by Nicolle Wallace

This is the second of the "President Kramer" series by former White House communications director Wallace. This novel takes place after the reelect of (female) President Kramer, and the rapid spinning out of control of her (female) Vice President, Tara Meyers. Of course, the orbiting players (mostly female) are also part of the landscape, and this is another intriguing view "inside the 18 acres" of the White House, and how public perception plays such a role in government today. I enjoyed it - a fast paced read!

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