Sunday, December 27, 2009
Mailbox Monday-- Santa Didn't Forget My Mailbox Either!
Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Marcia of The Printed Page. If you're insatiably curious about the books others are receiving, this is the meme for you. Just click on that redhead to the left to be taken right to the heart of the action on Marcia's blog. Thank you, Marcia!
I made out like a bandit with the books I received for Christmas, and from the look of the stack of what I pulled out of my mailbox, Santa spread some joy there as well.
As befits a holiday week, I sent out a mere 3 books to new Paperback Swap (PBS) foster homes, but I received a whopping 9 from two different sources. Here's the rundown:
--Homemade Sin by Kathy Hogan Trocheck (PBS). "The third appearance of Callahan Garrity, the quondam PI and owner of the House Mouse cleaning service, is a page-turner. When her cousin Patti McNair is shot to death in her new Lexus near the Garden Homes project in Atlanta, Callahan refuses to believe it was a senseless murder resulting from a random robbery. Learning that things may have been amiss in Patti's marriage to successful, secretive attorney Bruce, Callahan employs her clue-ferreting skills to stay ahead of the official investigation."
--Invitation to a Funeral by Molly Brown (PBS). "The deaths of two impoverished brothers (one found murdered in her own back yard) draw 17th-century playwright Aphra Behn into royal court intrigues in this debut. Aphra has troubles of her own, including a soured love affair with a drunken attorney, a doltish lead actress foisted upon her by the dissolute Lord Rochester and enough debts to get her arrested. But one of the dead men is Matthew Cavell, who once helped her in a great hour of need, so she feels bound to organize a proper funeral for him. Meanwhile, the paramours of King Charles II vie for power in the palace. One of them, Nell Gwyn, brings her friend Aphra into the royal orbit. Brown generously mixes factual and fictional Restoration history and campy drama?including such devices as secret passageways, knockout drops in the claret and manipulative mistresses to great effect."
--Cut Short by Leigh Russell (PBS). "D.S. Geraldine Steel expects the quiet town of Woolsmarsh to be dull. She quickly discovers she is wrong. The park is a place where children play, friends sit and gossip, people walk their dogs, or take a short cut to avoid the streets. But in the shadows a predator prowls, hunting for victims. A woman sees the killer and comes forward as a witness-someone whom the killer must stop at all costs. For D.S. Geraldine Steel, it is a race against time to find the killer before he strikes again, as public pressure mounts with the growing death toll."
--High Citadel by Desmond Bagley (PBS). "A group of adventurers set sail to track down the treasure and smuggle it out, encountering many enemies along the route, including murderous ex-partisans, ruthless beauties and menacing smugglers, all of whom will stop at nothing for a chance to hijack the fortune."
--Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman (PBS). "Jordan Marsh left L.A. for the quaint Pacific Northwest town of Port Chatham in pursuit of some much-needed R & R. As the prime suspect in her cheating husband’s murder, she had been hoping to immerse herself in the restoration of the charming Victorian she’d just bought—and put all talk of homicide investigations behind her. But as she soon discovers, the coldest of cases cry out to be solved, too. For this old house comes fully furnished—with two garrulous ghosts who have a century-old murder of their own they’d like her to look into. Now, if Jordan can keep the L.A. police at bay, and sort through a suspect list of shady characters circa 1890, she might just clear a wrongly accused man’s name—and her own."
--War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (PBS). "In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red colt with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?" (I'll keep Kleenex on stand-by in case this turns out to be Old Yeller in disguise.)
--Paper Butterfly by Diane Wei Liang (PBS). "Mei Wang, a private detective in late 1990s Beijing who works under the radar after being forced out of a government job, is hired to search for a missing singer. Mei’s search is interspersed with the story of Liu, a recently released prisoner making his way back to Beijing. China’s Communist past is always near the surface here, and Liang shows how it affects contemporary events. This time the focus is on the student revolt that led to Tiananmen Square. As Mei learns of the effects that tragedy had on the missing singer, she contemplates her own actions in 1989. The skillful storytelling—Liang effectively juggles the dual narratives—and the strong sense of place combine to create a tense and compelling private-eye mystery. Mei’s gentle but fiercely independent nature may remind readers of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs."
--The Disappeared by M.R. Hall (Amazon Vine). "Jenny investigates the disappearance of two young Muslim students, who vanished without a trace seven years ago. The police had concluded that the boys, under surveillance for some time for suspicion of terrorism, had fled to Pakistan to traffic in the atrocities of Islamic fanaticism. Now, sufficient time has passed for the law to declare the boys legally dead. A final declaration is left up to a coroner, Jenny Cooper. As Jenny's official inquest progresses, the stench of corruption is unmistakable. Not only does it appear that British Security Services played a role, but the involvement of an American intelligence agent soon makes it clear that a vast conspiracy is in play."
--When Wanderers Cease to Roam by Vivian Swift (PBS). "Filled with watercolors of beautiful local landscapes, seasonal activities, and small, overlooked pleasures of easy living, each chapter chronicles, month by month, the beautifully mundane perks of remaining at home—from curious notices in the local paper to the variations of autumnal clouds. At once gorgeously rendered and wholly original, this delightful and masterfully observed year of staying put shows us how the details of travel and the details of our lives remain with us—how they can nurture and sustain us, and how the past and the present become, in the end, intertwined."
Stop by again soon-- I'll be talking a bit about the books Santa put under the tree!
My Book Rating Scale:
A+...Don't delay, get your hands on a copy of this book!
A...I loved it!
B...I really liked it.
C...I liked it, with a few reservations.
D...I finished it, but it's not my cup of tea.
- Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Hi! I'm addicted to books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, travel, photography. Anything else? Oh yeah-- my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!
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