Sunday, August 01, 2010

Mailbox Monday-- A Tiny Little Weed-Out

Mailbox Monday is on tour! That's right-- my favorite weekly meme is out and about. For the entire month of August you'll be able to find Mailbox Monday on Shanyn's blog, Chick Loves Lit. If taking a look at the books other people discovered in their mailboxes intrigues you and if you'd like to participate, just click on that redhead over to the left. She'll take you right to the heart of the action on Chick Loves Lit. Thanks for hosting, Shanyn!

This past week I was tired of my TBR shelves being filled to overflowing, so I had a sitdown right in front of them and took a good long look. Sure enough, I found a few books that I'd gotten from Paperback Swap (PBS) that didn't look like anything I'd be reading anytime soon, so I listed those back into the system. I've found that, with Paperback Swap, it's easier for me to splurge on books that might lose my interest after a few weeks. At least it's easy for me to list them back into the system!

So... this past week saw me send 8 books to new Paperback Swap foster homes with 6 new arrivals in my mailbox. Here's the list of what I received along with their synopses from Amazon:
  1. Too Big to Miss by Sue Ann Jaffarian (PBS). "'From the first time Adam noticed the shrinkage and explained it to Eve, men have been trying to tell women that size didn't matter.' Odelia Grey knows better. At fortysomething, she's five-foot-one, weighing in at 230, and during her life, she's heard all the slurs and suffered all the consequences. Although she still finds comfort in her cookie jar, she's smart, determined, busy, and generally happy. But when her friend, Sophie, an activist for the rights of fat women, commits suicide, Odelia is shocked. She can't believe confident Sophie would kill herself, nor that she did so in full view of subscribers to the X-rated Web site she operated. More surprising secrets? You bet, but even as they unravel, Odelia remains certain there's something strange about Sophie's death. Coincidences abound here, and bits of self-deprecating humor don't always mix well with the underlying big-is-beautiful message. Ophelia, however, is an intriguing character, a true counter against stereotype, who demonstrates that life can be good, even in a world where thin is always in."
  2. An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd (Amazon Vine). "Set in the summer of 1917, Todd's excellent second mystery featuring British nurse Bess Crawford smoothly blends realistic characters with an intricate plot. When Bess accompanies Lt. Meriwether Evanson, a severe burn victim, from the Continent to England, she's surprised to spot the pilot's supposedly devoted wife, Marjorie, crying on another man's shoulder at a train station. After returning to saving lives under German fire in France, Bess is stunned to read in a newspaper that Marjorie has been stabbed to death in London. Soon after, the depressed lieutenant commits suicide by cutting his own throat. Unable to resist involving herself in the murder investigation, Bess seeks to identify Marjorie's unknown companion, the possible killer. In addition to supplying a challenging puzzle, Todd (a mother-son writing team) does a superb job of capturing the feel of the battlefield and the emotional toll taken on those waiting back home for a loved one's return."
  3. Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Amazon Vine). "It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society— where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it? Although he is supposed to be on leave, Gamache cannot walk away from a crime that threatens to ignite long- smoldering tensions between the English and the French. As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive the terrible event of his own past before he can bury his dead."
  4. Bad Traffic by Simon Lewis (PBS). "Chinese Police Inspector Jian is used to running rampant over his own domain and knows how to exploit a corrupt system to his own advantage, which comes in handy when his wayward daughter phones from England, begging for help. Attaching himself to a trade delegation, Jian arrives in England only hours after his daughter calls, speaking zero English and having no compunction about following the rules. Jian’s exploits lead him from one Chinese restaurant to another as he searches for translators and clues to help him find his daughter’s abductor, Chinese gangster Black Fort. Lots of action, a couple of interesting twists, and short cliff-hanger chapters make this a fast-paced read. Jian’s unwilling sidekick, illegal immigrant Ding Ming, provides a comic touch (with his opinions of Westerners and his frequent bouts of histrionics), which lends a lighter tone to what would otherwise be a fairly dark tale."

  5. If Books Could Kill by Kate Carlisle (PBS). "Book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is attending the world- renowned Book Fair when her ex Kyle shows up with a bombshell. He has an original copy of a scandalous text that could change history- and humiliate the beloved British monarchy. When Kyle turns up dead, the police are convinced Brooklyn's the culprit. But with an entire convention of suspects, Brooklyn's conducting her own investigation to find out if the motive for murder was a 200-year-old secret-or something much more personal."
  6. Borkmann's Point by Håkan Nesser (PBS). "Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, a veteran of 30 years of police work who appreciates fine food and drink, reluctantly cuts short his vacation to help the police chief of the remote town of Kaalbringen and his small crew investigate two ax murders. When the killer claims a third victim and the town's best police investigator disappears without a trace, Van Veeteren, who has left only one case unsolved in his long career, intensifies his hunt. The contemplative inspector believes that in every case a point is reached where enough information has been gathered to solve the crime with 'nothing more than some decent thinking.' The trick is knowing when that point is reached. Thompson's smooth translation makes this worthy mystery readily accessible to American readers."
I can't help but feel that I have some real winners in this batch, particularly with Todd, Penny, Lewis and Nesser!

Now it's time to visit all the other participants to see what they found in their mailboxes. I wonder how many books I'll add to my wish list this week?


  1. "If Books Could Kill" - love that title and hope it's a great read for you!

  2. You received some great books this week; enjoy. Here's what I got:

  3. You sure did get some great books this week. Louise Penny writes a wonderful story. Enjoy them all and happy reading, Cathy.

  4. You sure did get some great books this week. Louise Penny writes a wonderful story. Enjoy them all and happy reading, Cathy.

  5. nice stack of books...happy reading.

  6. Nice haul! My mailbox is at My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

  7. Having a sitdown with your books is always important - it lets them know who is really in charge ;0) Enjoy the intrigue!

  8. Any weed out, no matter how small, is a good thing! Bury Your Dead sounds like a winner!

  9. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your Mailbox Monday link! I haven't heard of many of the books on your list but I like the color green on that cover :)

    Happy Monday!

  10. Mary-- I'm looking forward to reading that one!

    Diane-- I'll be taking a look. Thanks for stopping by!

    Gautami-- I think so, too!

    Kaye-- Louise Penny is such a marvelous writer. I hope to be able to meet her the next time she stops at The Poisoned Pen.

    Serena-- Thanks!

    Alayne-- I'll come take a look!

    Molly-- I'm glad someone else realizes the importance of a sitdown with one's books!

    Kathy-- It certainly does!

    Shanyn-- Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Håkan Nesser is one of the few crime writers my husband enjoys as much as I do - perhaps because the protagonist is a bit philosophical and plays chess (I´d say I like him in spite of these two ´flaws´ ;D)

  12. Dorte-- Denis and I enjoy several of the same crime writers, but only because I am very judicious in the ones I mention to him. ;)

  13. Wow, great haul! Mine wasn't exactly a Mailbox Monday post because it was done on a Sunday, but it did feature what I got for the weekend. Haha!

  14. Puss-- Thanks for stopping by!

    Alice-- Now you've got me all curious!


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