Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mailbox Monday-- The Book Tower

Mailbox Monday is on tour! That's right-- my favorite weekly meme is out and about. For the entire month of September you'll be able to find Mailbox Monday on Bermudaonion's Weblog. If taking a look at the books other people discovered in their mailboxes intrigues you, and if you'd like to participate, this just might be the meme for you. Thanks for hosting, Kathy!

Anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I'm trying to reduce the number of books I have in the house. That's one reason why I mention how many books I've sent out to other Paperback Swap (PBS) members each week. I'm keeping tabs on myself.

However, as anyone who's been around Casa Kittling knows... I can fall off the wagon from time to time. Last week was just such a time. I sent 3 books to new Paperback Swap foster homes, but I received 11.

"Hello. My name is Cathy, and I'm a bookaholic."

Here's the rundown on the books I found in my mailbox:
  1. River Deep by Priscilla Masters (Amazon). "Life in Shrewsbury is normally calm and uneventful. However, when the River Severn bursts its banks, a body is discovered floating in a flooded cottage. Coroner Martha Gunn is one of the first to be called to the scene. In the fetid cottage Martha’s instincts tell her that this is a homicide -- a hunch borne out by the post mortem. The victim is presumed to be the cottage’s tenant, James Humphreys, who recently went missing. However, when asked to identify the body, his wife Cressida is adamant that it is not her husband. Martha Gunn is left with many perplexing questions. Who, then, is the victim? Why has he been murdered? And where has the real Mr. Humphreys gone?"
  2. Shades of Death by Aline Templeton (PBS). "Animal torture, ritual murder, computer viruses and seemingly haunted underground caverns are the all part of the fun in Shades of Death, Aline Templeton's densely plotted thriller with supernatural overtones set in and around the caves of Derbyshire, England. The discovery of an 11-year-old girl's skeleton in one of the caves, and the ensuing investigation, leave the normally world-weary Det. Sgt. Tom Ward contemplating the possibility of ancient, diabolical forces."
  3. Murder Passes the Buck by Deb Baker (Amazon). "When her neighbor Chester Lampi is shot and killed in his hunting blind, sixty-six-year-old widow Gertie Johnson seizes the opportunity to become a detective. Gertie is abetted (and hindered) in her investigation by her grandson Little Donny, man-hungry best friend Cora Mae, and volunteer bodyguard Kitty. It doesn't help that Chester's death has been ruled an accident by the sheriff of this backwoods community in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Or that Sheriff Blaze Johnson happens to be Gertie's son. Whether it's interrogating neighbors, spying, or impersonating the FBI-not to mention staying one step ahead of Blaze-Gertie will do whatever it takes to solve the case, even when the killer takes aim at her."
  4. Queen of the Night by J.A. Jance (Amazon). "Dedicated to the late Tony Hillerman, Jance's brilliant fourth suspense novel featuring former homicide detective Brandon Walker and his wife, novelist Diana Ladd, spans some 50 years, from a murder in 1959 in San Diego to a rash of killings in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Tucson, Ariz., in 2009. Interwoven with these crimes are legends of the Tohono O'odham Indians and the lives of such contemporary Native people as Lani Walker, Brandon and Diana's adopted daughter. Jance's masterful handling of a complex cast of characters makes it easy for the reader to appreciate the intricate web of relationships that bind them across generations. The title refers to the night-blooming Cereus, a desert plant that blooms once a year and is of great symbolic importance to the Tohono."
  5. The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland (Amazon). "In the tiny English village of Ulewic in 1321, a struggle brews between the Owl Masters, who want to bring back pagan worship, and a group of pious Christian women, called beguines, who merely wish to be left in peace. Having suffered from floods and famine, the town takes bitter notice of the Christian women, who are continually spared. As suspicion grows, the Owl Masters find aid from an unlikely source, the village priest, who's determined to pursue the criminal women in order to hide his own sins."
  6. Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul by Shamini Flint (Amazon).  "Inspector Singh is back, but this time on secondment to Bali. A bomb has exploded and Singh has been sent to help with anti-terrorism efforts. But there's a slight problem: he knows squat about hunting terrorists. He's much better suited to solving murder! So when a body is discovered in the wreckage, killed by a bullet before the bomb went off, Singh should be the one to find the answers - especially with the help of a wily Australian copper by his side. But simple murders are never as simple as they seem - and this one has far-reaching global consequences ..." 
  7. Dream Queen by Betsy Thornton (Amazon). "Thornton's gripping sixth mystery featuring victim's advocate Chloe Newcombe charts her earlier years, long before she moved to Arizona. Two years after her older brother, James, died of AIDS in California, Chloe, then a New York City PI, travels to Dudley, Ariz., a small town where Tucson therapist Hal, James's surviving partner, has a home, and where Danny, her younger brother, has fallen for Kristi Marsh, a beautiful but troubled woman. Danny and Kristi meet Chloe at the airport, but en route to Dudley tragedy strikes--Danny disappears after they stop to fix his van at a garage while the two women wait at a diner across the street. Kristi also vanishes soon after they reach Hal's, but she's later found shot to death in a shack containing packages of a street drug called 'Dream Queen.' Kristi's stepfather, a therapist friend of Hal's, hires Chloe to investigate."
  8. The Edge of Ruin by Irene Fleming (Amazon). "One day in 1909, Emily Weiss’s handsome and successful new husband, Adam, returns to their well-appointed Philadelphia home to tell her he’s sold everything they own, and they are going to New York to become independent movie producers. As he’s already signed a contract that will ruin them if not fulfilled, Emily agrees to go with him to New York and help him set up their movie company. But of course, it’s not that easy—all movie production is controlled by Thomas Edison and his partners in the Patent Trust who hold many of the major patents used in filmmaking. And they employ a team of often brutal detectives whose main job it is to go around and disrupt independent films, breaking cameras and even heads if necessary. With a colorful crew of actors, Adam and Emily head to Fort Lee, New Jersey where they set shooting the films to fulfill their contract. After evading Edison’s detectives a couple of times, one of them arrives on the set in time for a major crowd scene. And, while almost everyone’s back is turned, he is murdered. Now Adam sits in jail, charged with the crime, while Emily has to not only finish films but uncover the truth about the shocking murder."
  9. A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield (Amazon). "Littlefield's amusing, sassy debut introduces Stella Hardesty, a widow and survivor of domestic violence, who owns a sewing shop in a sleepy Missouri town. On the side, Stella solves problems and metes out justice on behalf of battered women, like Chrissy Shaw, whose abusive bully of an ex-husband, Roy Dean Shaw, Stella keeps tabs on. After Roy Dean absconds with Chrissy's baby, Stella learns he's involved with local mobsters in a stolen auto parts ring. Chrissy sheds her victimhood to team up with Stella and do battle. After girding up their weaponry, the unlikely crime-fighting duo trick their way into the home of Roy Dean's mob boss, who they suspect has Chrissy's son. Stella discovers that no amount of preparation and righteous anger can prevail over pure evil, at least not without loads of trouble. Spunky, unapologetically middle-aged and a tad cantankerous, Stella barges bravely and often unwisely into danger."
  10. The Double-Jack Murders by Patrick F. McManus (Amazon). "Lucas Kincaid, an escaped killer, is planning to get even with Blight County Sheriff Bo Tully, who put him behind bars. Tully insists that the crazed Kincaid's being on the loose has nothing to do with him taking a little camping vacation with his father, Pap, and friend Dave Perkins. Tully figures the camping trip might draw out Kincaid, but his primary purpose is to try to solve the disappearance of gold miner Tom Link and his helper, Sean O'Boyle, in 1927. The two miners were exploring a vein of ore in the Snowy Mountains when they went missing. The college-educated Tully is no rube. An artist of considerable talent and a clever politician, he's also a backwoodsman who rambles through encounters with women, lawbreakers and abandoned mines with the sangfroid of the most sophisticated lawman. Plenty of unusual and colorful characters add to the fun."
  11. Mad Mouse by Chris Grabenstein (Amazon). "Easygoing part-time summer cop Danny Boyle is hoping to be promoted to full-time rookie, so he pays close attention to his impressive partner, John Ceepak, a decorated Iraq War veteran whose extreme correctness and keen intelligence are matched by a low-key bigheartedness. Sea Haven is gearing up for a gigantic Labor Day celebration, and Danny is falling hard for Katie, but summer fun is cruelly interrupted by a sniper stalking Danny, Katie, and their friends, and leaving calling cards featuring Derek Jeter and comic-book superheroes. As the mayor pressures the cops to find this taunting killer before the holiday festivities begin, cool Ceepak and bumbling Boyle wield their superpowers: kindness, honesty, and courage."

Most of these books have been on my Paperback Swap wish list for so long that I had given up hope. The others are the latest by some of my favorite authors, and I just didn't feel like waiting for them. (Not that any of you know how that goes!)

I have no clue which one I'm going to reach for first. Maybe Murder Passes the Buck, since I've been waiting for it the longest, and it has the most memorable review quote: "Think Grandma Masur with a shotgun."

Have any of you read any of these books? Which ones would you recommend? Did any of you find titles to add to your own wish lists? Which ones? Do tell-- you know I love to find out these details!

Now it's time to go out and about to see the goodies in the other participants' mailboxes. I always find a title or two to add to my wish list, don't you?


  1. Cathy - Oh, it really looks as though you got a great bunch of books; I hope you enjoy them. I'm interested to see what you think of the Inspector Singh book.

  2. We all deserve to fall off the wagon from time to time. I've heard good things about A Bad Day for Sorry.

  3. That is a very good looking stack of books! Enjoy. They all look great.

  4. Love the stats on your swap... trying to clean house... send 3 get back 11! Now hmmm think you're going to have make room on the shelves again :)

    Very good loot and girl karma is on your side so enjoy it :)

  5. I think A Bad Day For Sorry sounds like a fun read. Enjoy!

  6. I've read MAD MOUSE and I love any of Chris Grabenstein's books. That Jersey shore is just too fun with Ceepak and Boyle!

  7. I have not read any of them! It's certainly an interesting mix. Enjoy!!

  8. I think I would do The Owl Killers first, it sounds so good.

  9. I love the Grabenstein books!

    J.A. Jance is an author I used to read regularly, but somehow lost track of. I should get back to her books.

    Enjoy your reading!

  10. Margot-- I loved the first in the series, so I really have high hopes for this one!

    Kathy-- So have I!

    Jennifer-- I wish they were a swimming pool, and I could dive right in! LOL

    Brooke-- That's what happens when I fall off the wagon! LOL

    Aisle-- I did. I made an extra effort to cull books that I didn't want but were wanted by other PBS members. :)

    Mary-- I will. Thanks!

    Kay-- I really enjoyed the first book in the series. I'm hoping to get to the point where Ceepak unwinds a bit. Right now he's a bit too good to be true!

    Holly-- I will. Thanks!

    Ryan-- I loved her first book. So much so that I'm almost afraid to pick up this one, if that makes sense.

    Laura-- My husband is devouring Jance's Beaumont series right now. He's like me-- caught up on Joanna Brady.

  11. Nice variety of books -- happy reading!

  12. You got lot of books! Gah, I'm so jealous of paperback swap...

    Haven't heard of any of those but they sounds good! Enjoy!

  13. Wonderful haul!

    Have a great reading week ahead! Here is my Mondays: Mailbox/Where Am I/Musings post.

  14. DC-- Thanks!

    Elysium-- If it weren't for Paperback Swap, I wouldn't be as willing to try out new books and authors. :)

    Serena-- Yes, indeed. One that must be balanced carefully in order not to bring harm to the stacker. ;)

    Gautami-- I can't wait to start reading all of them!

  15. Wow! That is one tall stack of books! Where will you start? Enjoy!

  16. Looks like some good books! Happy reading!

  17. I've heard good things about Owl Killers and her other book Company of Liars. Enjoy all your new reads!

  18. Not only are you a book addict (join the club!) but an obvious mystery fan! I haven't read any of the books in your pile, but in your received books, I've been wanting "The Owl Killers" .. it's just ... I have a table full of books waiting to be read and I just .. well, maybe I can!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  19. Beth-- I don't know, but it's going to be a fun decision!

    Kate-- Thanks!

    Holly-- Company of Liars is excellent, so I have high hopes for The Owl Killers.

    Julie-- Of course you can! ;)


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