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!
Unless the weather gets really screwy, in a couple of weeks, the butterflies will start migrating down from the mountains, and Denis and I know just where they like to stop to rest and refuel. Sounds like a perfect time to charge up the camera batteries!
As for more bookish matters, I sent 3 books to new Paperback Swap (PBS) foster homes and welcomed 6 new foster books to Casa Kittling. Here's some information about the ones I received:
- Drawing the Line by Judith Cutler (PBS). "Lina Townend, the orphaned natural daughter of somebody, somewhere, has been in care all her life. For the first time, at nineteen, she’s pretty happy, living with kind-hearted antique dealer Griff, who combines the roles of grandfather and employer. But there is still something missing: she wants to find her real family, despite Griff’s fears that she may uncover things she’d rather not know. When Lina comes across a page from a rare sixteenth century book, Natura Rerum, which she remembers from early childhood, she snaps up the chance to buy it. She has a vivid memory of being taken as a child to a stately home, where a man she believes must have been her father gave her this book to keep her quiet. If she can locate the book, maybe she can find her father. However, in the weeks that follow, a series of violent burglaries and attacks make Lina realise that what she found might have been more than just a link to her father. Undeterred, she carries on in her dangerous search, but will it lead her to happiness, or bitter disappointment?"
- Lamb to the Slaughter by Aline Templeton (PBS). "The fourth in Templeton's series to feature Scottish Detective Inspector Marjory Fleming finds Fleming's quiet community of Kirkluce divided by a plan to open a superstore that threatens local trade. Soon after Colonel Andrew Carmichael, the owner of property essential to the developer's proposal, receives a fatal shotgun blast to the chest, someone shoots young rowdy Barney Kyle in the back as he's riding his bike. While the motive for killing Kyle appears different, Fleming and her team find some suggestive links between the two victims."
- Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay (Amazon Vine). "When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed the course of her life half a century ago. It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theater; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions—Gersh, a brilliant composer, and the exquisite Vera, Nina’s closest friend—became victims of Stalinist aggression. And it was in Russia that a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape that led Nina to the West and eventually to Boston. Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest: Drew Brooks, an inquisitive young associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor of Russian who believes that a unique set of jewels may hold the key to his own ambiguous past. Together these unlikely partners begin to unravel a mystery surrounding a love letter, a poem, and a necklace of unknown provenance, setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all." (I've already begun reading this one, and all I can say is Wow! I had to force myself to come up for air!)
- A Gift Upon the Shore by M.K. Wren (PBS). "Would the survivors of nuclear holocaust have any reason to go on living? That is the question that must be answered by two women who have lived through the final conflict and now face the devastating nuclear winter that follows it. Mary and Rachel, the only survivors in their area, believe that choice makes us human, and they choose to affirm their humanity by preserving whatever knowledge can still be saved. Desperately longing for companionship, they hope eventually to meet other survivors. But when contact finally comes, more hard choices come with it. Wren's novel is thought-provoking in its consideration of ordinary people forced to confront the unthinkable. While the plot is not without cliches, and characters are not always fully developed, the author's passionate concern with what gives life meaning carries the novel."
- Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich (PBS). "In this tepid Stephanie Plum adventure, a personal case distracts the Trenton, N.J., bondswoman from tracking the usual group of eccentric skips--the kidnapping of her cousin, Vinnie, who's being held for ransom in the high six figures. As Stephanie, sidekick Lula, and office manager Connie soon realize, Vincent Plum Bail Bonds is seriously in the red due to Vinnie's gambling. Vinnie's also gotten caught up with local mobster Bobby Sunflower in a complicated scheme. Even though her sleazy cousin isn't her favorite person and chasing oddball felons isn't her ideal career, Stephanie knows family loyalty counts for something, plus she owes him for giving her a job all those years ago. So with Lula and Connie in tow--and romantic interests Morelli and Ranger lurking in the background-- Stephanie must save the day once again. Evanovich is at her best spinning the bizarre subplots involving Stephanie's bail jumpers, but the larger story simply recycles elements from previous installments."
- A Fete Worse Than Death by Dolores Gordon-Smith (PBS). "Set in the early 1920s in England, the story features Major Jack Haldean, a writer who dabbles in solving crime. While visiting family in the countryside, Jack becomes involved in solving several murders. The murders end up affecting his own family--but they also date back to WWI."
The only book in the batch that I'm ambivalent about is Janet Evanovich's. Sometimes it seems to me that her lackadaisical writing proves that she's sick of the series-- but she doesn't want to miss out on all the money. This is just a personal opinion, so don't throw me in the slammer. I'll probably pick it up and skim it quickly to pass it on to other PBS members who still love the series the way I once did. Rather sad when the bloom is off the rose....
Time to get back to Russian Winter-- well, not quite. I have to go out and about to see the goodies other Mailbox Monday participants received within the last week. I always find something to add to my wish list!