Friday, March 26, 2010

bookfinds @ Kittling: Books

Once again, I looked through one issue of Paperback Swap's Daily Wish List email and found several books to add to my own, bulging, personal wish list of books.

I also happened to find two books that don't even have covers yet, so I'll talk about those first:

The Crocodile's Last Embrace by Suzanne Arruda. This is the latest installment of one of my favorite series featuring American Jade del Cameron, a former nurse in World War I who now finds herself in 1920s Africa as a photojournalist.

Burn, an Anna Pigeon Novel by Nevada Barr. Another of my favorites, park ranger Anna Pigeon will be in New Orleans solving her latest mystery. I do love following Anna around the country!

Now for the books for which I did find covers. Just click on those to get more detailed information about each one.

Sizzling Sixteen b y Janet Evanovich. "Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a “lucky” bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn’t specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck. . . .BAD LUCK: Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the cash can be produced. Nobody else will pay to get Vinnie back, leaving it up to Stephanie, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula to raise the money if they want to save their jobs. GOOD LUCK: Being in the business of tracking down people, Stephanie, Lula, and Connie have an advantage in finding Vinnie. If they can rescue him, it will buy them some time to raise the cash. BAD LUCK: Finding a safe place to hide Vinnie turns out to be harder than raising $786,000. Vinnie’s messing up Mooner’s vibe, running up pay-per-view porn charges in Ranger’s apartment, and making Stephanie question genetics. GOOD LUCK: Between a bonds office yard sale that has the entire Burg turning out, Mooner’s Hobbit-Con charity event, and Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle, they just might raise enough money to save the business, and Vinnie, from ruin. BAD LUCK: Saving Vincent Plum Bail Bonds means Stephanie can keep being a bounty hunter. In Trenton, this involves hunting down a man wanted for polygamy, a turnpike toilet paper bandit, and a drug dealer with a pet alligator named Mr. Jingles. GOOD LUCK: The job of bounty hunter comes with perks in the guise of Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, and the dark and dangerous security expert, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting lucky---the only question is . . . with whom?"

A Murder of Crows by P.F. Chisholm, one of my favorite historical mystery series. "Set in 1592, Chisholm's fifth Sir Robert Carey mystery (after 2000's A Plague of Angels) includes a couple of potentially interesting supporting characters, Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare, but the playwrights come across as mere caricatures. Not much more developed are the two leads—Carey, the son of Anne Boleyn's sister, Mary, and thus cousin to Queen Elizabeth, and his sidekick, Sergeant Dodd, whose heavy dialect (whit can ye dae to show us ye're no' one o' his kinship come tae trap us in ambush?) can be tough to follow. Carey and Dodd seek legal representation to bring a case of unlawful imprisonment against the queen's vice chamberlain, look into the identity of an unclaimed corpse found in the Thames, and probe some shady land deals in Cornwall." Although that blurb from Amazon doesn't sound exactly glowing, I've loved all the other books in the series, and that's what I'm basing my desire upon!

The Missing Ink by Karen E. Olson. All of the sudden, I'm seeing this series mentioned in mystery circles. "The Painted Lady, a tattoo shop in contemporary Las Vegas, and its owner, artist turned tattooist Brett Kavanaugh, are central to this pleasantly jargon-free themed mystery from Olson. When a woman requests a devotion tattoo from Brett and then vanishes, her disappearance is quickly linked to a series of murders involving tattooing equipment and rival shop Murder Ink. Brett's police detective brother, Tim, requests her expertise, and a murder at an engagingly excessive fictional hotel leads to Brett meeting its mysteriously handsome manager, Simon Chase, providing a solid base for further sleuthing and romance. Readers need not be conversant with street flash or other industry terms to enjoy the setting and follow Brett down a trail of needles and gloves to the dramatic finale."

Tide of Death by Pauline Rowson. "It is DI Andy Horton's second day back in Portsmouth CID after being suspended for eight months. Whilst out running in the early morning he trips over the battered, naked body of a man. PC Evans has been stabbed the night before, the DCI is up before a promotion board and Sergeant Cantelli is having problems with his fifteen year old daughter. But, Horton's mind is on other things not least of which is trying to prove his innocence after being accused of rape. Beset by personal problems and aided by Cantelli, Horton sets out to find a killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. As he gets closer to the truth, and his personal investigations start to uncover dark secrets that someone would rather not have exposed, he risks not only his career but also his life." Yet another UK mystery series for me!

The Black Flower, a Novel of the Civil War by Howard Bahr. "The senseless agony of armed conflict is expertly evoked in this elegiac Civil War novel. As Bushrod Carter, a seasoned Confederate rifleman, grimly anticipates his next battle, he experiences both the mind-numbing terror and the detached resignation characteristic of most common foot soldiers. Shortly after the infamous Battle of Franklin commences, Gen. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee is quickly overwhelmed by the firepower of the superior Union forces. Before succumbing to his own wounds, Carter bears witness to the grim aftermath of combat as he roams through the carnage haunted by the visages of his departed comrades and horrified by the gruesome reality of the slaughter. The mournful tone of the narrative serves to underscore the powerful drama of this harrowing tale." This may sound like a rather grim book to add to a wish list, but Bahr's other novel centered on the Battle of Franklin, The Judas Field, was very good. I'll have to look into the life of this author. Perhaps, like me, he has a vested interest in this Civil War battle. My great-great-great grandfather was killed in the Battle of Franklin, and a family legend or two exists about James Henry Brown.

The Cart Before the Corpse, a Merry Abbott Carriage-Driving Mystery by Carolyn McSparren. "Famous southern carriage-horse trainer Hiram Lackland, a handsome widower, dies mysteriously after retiring to a farm outside Mossy Creek. His estranged daughter, Merry Abbot, also a horse trainer, arrives to settle his estate. But Merry quickly plunges into bit-chomping dilemmas when her father's friend and landlord, mystery-novel maven Peggy Caldwell, insists he was murdered. Before Merry can so much as snap a buggy rein, a handsome and annoying GBI investigator, Geoff Madison, is on her case. Then there's the troublesome donkey: Don Qui. Short for Don Quixote. And the fact that Hiram was teaching all of Mossy Creek's lonely women how to--ahem--drive his carriage. Can Merry rein in the truth? What kind of horse play was her rakish dad involved in, and why would someone want to giddy-yup him into an early grave?"

At Witt's End by Beth Solheim. "Things are really bustling at the Witt's End resort in Northern Minnesota. Clients are vying for one of the few remaining rentals. Sadie isn't your typical sixty-four year old senior citizen. She has things she wants to do and shouldn't be expected to solve a murder while trying to prevent an unscrupulous sheriff's deputy from shutting down the lakeside resort she owns with her straight arrow sister. But that's exactly what Sadie Witt must do. When five guests with hidden agendas arrive at Cabin 14, they're stunned to learn that the flamboyant Sadie is their conduit to the hereafter. Clad in the latest fashion trends --fads typically reserved for those without sagging body parts--and sporting hairdos that make bystanders want to look away but can't, Sadie realizes one of the guests has been murdered and must work against the clock to untangle the web and prevent further mayhem."

Those are my finds for this week. Do any of those titles tickle your fancy as well? Do tell!


  1. Great finds! I definitely want to read Sizzling Sixteen - those books aren't great literature, but they sure are fun!

  2. At Witt's End and Sizzling Sixteen are on my 'look for' list. They both sound like fun reads. Nice finds!

  3. Kathy-- We all definitely need some fun on a regular basis, and Evanovich does a good job of supplying some of it!

    Becky-- Oh oh, the sound of a true bookaholic! ;)

    Mary-- I always have to have some fun reads in amongst all the rest.

  4. More Stephanie Plum...can't resist...even though I think the series has jumped the shark...

  5. Sigh. You find the best books!

  6. Some of these sound really good. Love the cover on Tide of Death. It's amazing how much good fiction has come out of The Battle of Franklin, TN.

  7. Jeanne-- I know what you mean. I think it jumped the shark, too. Although I haven't stopped reading the series, now I'm quite happy to wait till my turn comes up at Paperback Swap. Used to be I was first in line at the bookstore.

    Beth-- Why, thank you! (I'll ignore that sigh! LOL)

    Barbara-- I know. It must be a sign of how horrific the battle was. I think I'm going to write about James Henry for Memorial Day.

  8. I love the cover for A Murder of Crows.

  9. I hadn't heard about Sizzling Sixteen yet. Thanks for that. I love those books. They're just pure indulgence.

  10. Ryan-- So do I. That woman certainly looks as though she's up to No Good!

    Margot-- Yes, they are!


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