Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mailbox Monday-- Back from Bisbee

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme hosted by the marvelous Marcia on her blog, The Printed Page. I love going to participating blogs to see the goodies that arrived in their mailboxes, and I've been known to keep additional browser windows to Amazon, Paperback Swap and Book Depository open while I surf. Good book suggestions come from everywhere!

Feel like joining in or taking a look? Just click on that redhead over to the left. She'll take you right to the heart of the action. Thanks, Marcia!

This past week Denis and I spent in our favorite cottage outside Bisbee, Arizona. It was a relaxing week that I seemed to spend mostly by taking photographs, taking naps, and reading. Neither one of us wanted to come back to reality in Phoenix.

After going through all the mail that was held while we were gone, I discovered 6 books, and I managed to send 3 books to new Paperback Swap (PBS) foster homes on Saturday, so the book flow wasn't all one-sided. Here's the rundown on the books I received:
  1. By Blood Possessed by Elena Santangelo (PBS). "Thirty years ago, Magnolia Shelby wrote out her will and bequeathed her beautiful Civil War-era estate, Bell Run, to a complete stranger related to the family that owned the land before the Shelbys. Now 91, Maggie feels it is time to meet her beneficiary and to introduce her to her heritage. Pat Montella, a quiet, unassuming office worker from Pennsylvania, is unaware of her distant connection to the Bell family. She travels to Virginia to meet Maggie and as the two of them explore the grounds and neighborhood, Pat becomes aware of voices and out-of-date details. She experiences blackouts and 'sees' back to early May 1864 when the Confederate army was preparing for a battle on the property. The Bell family is buried there but no one knows the circumstances of their deaths. Interspersed throughout the story are diary entries from that time in which a family member describes the tragedies befalling them. While puzzling over these events and their meaning, Pat becomes the victim of attacks against her and Bell Run. She is afraid to trust the local people she meets and doesn't know who is trying to scare her away from her inheritance."
  2. The False-Hearted Teddy by John J. Lamb (PBS). I enjoyed the first book in this series so much that I didn't waste time getting my hands on the second book! "Passions--and tempers--run high at a big-time bear show. And when a Cheery Cherub Bear designer is accused of stealing an idea-and later dies-Brad and Ashleigh Lyon's suspicions take wing."
  3. Goodbye, Dolly by Deb Baker (PBS). Like a broken record, I enjoyed the first in this cozy series centered around doll collecting so much that I just had to get the second. "A sleazy reporter has been found dead with doll restoration artist Gretchen Birch's craft knife stuck in his back. And when someone begins sending her boxes of Kewpie dolls with threatening messages inside, she knows she must watch her step."
  4. Belshazzar's Daughter by Barbara Nadel (PBS). "Istanbul police inspector Cetin Ikmen, never without his brandy and cigarettes, has his hands full when an old man turns up dead in Balat, the rundown Jewish quarter of the city. With his handsome partner, Suleyman; medical examiner Dr. Sarkissian; and skirt-chasing officer Cohen offering assistance, Ikmen begins investigating the puzzling crime. He discovers a strange group of expatriate suspects: a bored, lovesick Englishman teaching at a language school; an old German textile manufacturer with Nazi sympathies; and an odd Russian family stuck in the prerevolutionary past. As the team slowly unravels the complex chain of events that led to the victim's demise, Ikmen's wife gives birth to their ninth child, and Suleyman tries to find the courage to keep his mother from arranging an unwanted marriage. Nadel's first novel is a real treat. The city of Istanbul provides a rich background for an engaging plot and a cast of remarkably well developed, colorful characters. Add Inspector Ikmen and his motley crew to the growing list of outstanding fictional cops plying their trades across all parts of Europe and Asia, which have become hotbeds of police procedural excellence."
  5. The Judas Field by Howard Bahr (PBS). "A middle-aged salesman in 1885 Mississippi, Cass Wakefield is a Civil War veteran of the Army of Tennessee, which saw action far from the leadership of Robert E. Lee, and ended, badly, at the battle of Franklin in 1864. Cass agrees to accompany a neighbor, 54-year-old terminally ill widow Alison Sansing, to Tennessee to recover the bodies of her father and brother, killed at Franklin. As they travel north, Cass's memories return with painful vividness, culminating as he walks over the scene of his army's disastrous defeat. Bahr moves back and forth between the tattered post-Reconstruction South and the war. He describes the effect of weapons on flesh in gruesome detail and brings to life a long-gone era with its strange smells, foods, fashions and principles."

  6. Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson (PBS). I've been waiting with great anticipation for this book. Johnson happens to be one of those writers that I wish everyone would read. "Johnson's sixth mystery featuring Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire will remind readers that a big city isn't necessary for a compelling crime story and enduring hero. One blizzardy February day, Walt and his deputies—Victoria Moretti and Santiago Saizarbitoria—visit the Durant, Wyo., dump, owned by the Stewart family, to investigate a severed thumb found in a discarded cooler. There they discover that the Stewart family patriarch, George, was almost killed after someone dragged him behind a '68 Toronado. Walt winds up playing peacemaker between the cantankerous Stewarts, longtime Durant residents, and the owner of a new housing development bordering the junkyard. When a search of the dump unearths a surprising side business and two deaths follow, Walt realizes he has bigger problems on his hands. Series fans as well as newcomers will cheer the laconic Walt every step of the way."
Which books in this batch am I most excited about? Without a doubt, Junkyard Dogs followed closely by Belshazzar's Daughter!

Have you read any of these titles? Which ones would you recommend? Do any of them sound good enough to put on your own wish lists? Do tell!


  1. You had a great week! Belshazzar's Daughter sounds good. Enjoy your books!

  2. Great picture! Happy reading! My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

  3. I loved Bisbee, what an interesting town. I managed to show up on Earth day and what a wild time that was with all those aging hippies celebrating :)

  4. I'll be looking forward to your reviews of the Teddy Bear and Doll books. I enjoyed the last two reviews you did for the first books in the series.

  5. I haven't read any of these yet, but "Junkyard Dogs" definitely sounds as though it's right up my alley! Glad you had a getaway!

    My Monday:

  6. Elysium-- I will, thanks!

    Alayne-- I'll go take a look!

    Misfit-- It can be a lot of fun hanging around those aging hippies. :)

    Ryan-- I'm looking forward to those, too. Especially the Lamb book.

    Jewel-- Craig Johnson is a fabulous writer!


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