Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mailbox Monday-- Food Over Books

This was a holiday week, and it was obvious that most people had more important things on their minds than books. (I know it's a shock, but it can happen!) I sent 2 books out to new Paperback Swap (PBS) foster homes, and 5 books came here for a visit. Here's the scoop on the books I received:

--Dancing With the Virgins by Stephen Booth (PBS). "The second in the series set in the Derbyshire Peak District, Dancing with the Virgins is a tense psychological follow-up to Stephen Booth's acclaimed debut Black Dog. 'The body of the woman sprawled obscenely among the stones! She looked like a dead woman, dancing.' The ring of cairns known as the Nine Virgins has stood on the windswept moors of Derbyshire for centuries. Now, as winter closes in, a tenth figure is added -- a body -- and a modern tragedy is added to the dark legend that surrounds the stones. There's no shortage of suspects, each with their own guilty secret, but what DS Fry and DC Cooper lack is any kind of motive. As they search separately for answers, it seems the reasons for the strange behaviour of the moor's inhabitants may lie somewhere in the past, in a terrible crime yet to be discovered."

--The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune, and a Dynasty by Jean Zimmerman (PBS). "At the time of her death, in 1691, Margaret Hardenbroeck was reputedly the richest woman in the English province of New York. Over the course of the 30 years since she had immigrated to colonial New Amsterdam as a self-sufficient young Dutch maiden determined to carve out a place for herself in the New World, she had amassed an impressive fortune, operated a thriving business as a fur trader, assembled a fleet of sailing vessels, built an impressive real-estate portfolio, and earned a well-deserved reputation as a shrewd she-merchant. Margaret's most important legacy, however, was the example she set for the generations of female descendants who followed in her remarkably independent footsteps."

--The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (Amazon Vine). "Ruth Galloway is an overweight 40-ish forensic archaeologist living happily and quietly with her two cats in a Saltmarsh cottage when DCI Harry Nelson calls on her to establish the age of some bones found on a lonely beach. Nelson has never given up the search for Lucy Downey, taken from her parents’ home 10 years ago and presumed dead. But these bones, to Ruth’s delight, are those of an Iron Age child ritually buried. Despite their disparate backgrounds, the tough cop is sufficiently impressed by Ruth’s calm professionalism to show her a series of taunting letters he’s received over the years, presumably from the killer. She’s struck by the use of biblical and literary quotations and some arcane archaeological knowledge. The Iron Age find brings interest from both the university where Ruth teaches and her former mentor Erik Anderssen. The dig they worked together at the Saltmarsh now provides a shoal of suspects for Nelson. Reputed magician Cathbad, Ruth’s former lover Peter, her friend Shona and Erik were all around at the time. When one of Ruth’s cats is killed and left on her doorstep and another child goes missing, she’s sucked even deeper into the challenging and terrifying hunt for the truth."

--Snow Angels by James Thompson (Amazon Vine). "A beautiful Somali immigrant is found dead in a snowfield, her body gruesomely mutilated, a racial slur carved into her chest. Heading the murder investigation is Inspector Kari Vaara, the lead detective of the small-town police force. The vicious killing may have been a hate crime, a sex crime-or one and the same. Vaara knows he must keep this potentially ex­plosive case out of the national headlines or else it will send shock waves across Finland, an insular nation afraid to face its own xenophobia. The demands of the investigation begin to take their toll on Vaara and his marriage. His young American wife, Kate, newly pregnant with their first child, is struggling to adapt to both the unforgiving Arctic climate and the Finnish culture of silence and isolation. Meanwhile Vaara himself, haunted by his rough childhood and failed first marriage, discovers that the past keeps biting at his heels: He suspects that the rich man for whom his ex-wife left him years ago may be the killer."

--The Confederate General Rides North by Amanda C. Gable (PBS). "Eleven-year-old Katherine McConnell's passion for the American Civil War isn't surprising; she's been raised in Marietta, Ga., on stories of her ancestors' bravery during the war of northern aggression. So when, during the hot 1968 summer, Katherine's mother abruptly proposes the two of them take a trip up the East Coast to collect antiques for her latest business venture, Katherine plots out a route that will take them past as many battlefields as possible. Excited about setting foot into Yankee (read: enemy) territory, Katherine gradually comes to learn the truth behind their trip."

That's what came into the house last week. This week I'm anticipating a trip to the Poisoned Pen, since I have a coupon for a free book and a $20 gift certificate, so there will be a few books added to whatever ARCs and PBS books show up in my mailbox.

Marcia of The Printed Page deserves a huge Thank You for hosting this fun meme. If you'd like to join in or just take a look at what other participants received in their mailboxes last week, click on that redhead in the graphic at the top of this post, and you'll be taken right to the heart of the action. See you next Monday!


  1. The Women of the House sounds fascinating! I hope you enjoy it.

  2. Nice looking mailbox there as usual. That first title sure draws attention

  3. The Confederat General Rides North sounds like a fun read!

  4. These are all new to me. The Confederate General Rides North and The Women of the House both sound great.

  5. I have The Confederate General Rides North on my wishlist. Hope it's a good one!

  6. The Crossing Places sounds right up my alley. Here's

  7. Ooh, great books. The Crossing Places is wonderful! Hope you enjoy it! I'm anticipating the sequel.

  8. Great looking books and this is not the first time I wish I could do paperback swap :)

  9. What a fantastic mailbox this week. Enjoy them all and happy reading.

  10. Yes, I just finished The Crossing Places too and I enjoyed it a great deal. I hope you like it!

  11. everyone is getting great books this week. happy reading.

  12. I liked the Stephen Booth very much, especially because there is such a strong sense of place and atmosphere in it.

    I have also had a fine week: received a book I won plus two signed books from authors I like!

  13. Kathy-- I've been looking forward to this one for a long time. I'm glad Paperback Swap came through for me!

    Blodeuedd-- It does, doesn't it? :)

    Mary-- It does. I'm looking forward to it.

    Beth-- I'd say that, too, but I've already read The Crossing Places, and it's wonderful!

    Kristen-- So do I!

    Alayne-- I've just finished it, and it's a wonderful book.

    Nicola-- Having just read The Crossing Places, now I'm anticipating the sequel, too!

    Louise-- I wish you could, too!

    Ryan-- Thanks!

    Caite-- I did! I did!

    Serena-- You, too!

    Dorte-- I enjoyed the first one in the series, so I was happy to get my hands on the second. You did have a fine week!!


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