February 2013: This is the beginning of a new juvenile fiction series. It is Nancy Drew for a new generation. In this adventure Agatha and her brother Dashiell travel to Egypt to solve a mystery. I love the subtle references to adult mystery characters and the tidbits of historical information educate the readers on the exotic locations. I can’t wait for the next book, The Pearl of Bengel.
February 2013: LAPD cop Scott James is haunted by the ambush which seriously him and killed his partner. To help James recover he is assigned to the K9 division and given a new partner, a German Shepard healing from wounds suffered in Afghanistan. Together they must pull together and solve the mystery behind the ambush which changed James’ life. I hope this is the start of a new series by Robert Crais.
January 2013: This is the second in his series featuring Detective Carl Morck of the Copenhagen police department. A case file mysteriously lands on Morck’s desk but a person is already serving time for the crime. As he investigates he meets Kimmie, a woman living on the street who was part of the boarding school group involved in the murder many years before. Kimmie is in hiding and as her reasons are gradually revealed we find the wrong person has been jailed. I really enjoy this series.
January 2013: This is the story of Jesper Humlin, a moderately successful published poet. He wants to continue his career as a poet until he meets three young woman. The woman are part of the unseen immigrants to Sweden. Leyla is from Iran, Tanya is from Russia and Tea-Bag is from Nigeria and they have stories to tell. From a master, Mankell is writing the immigration stories for all to know the struggles some will endure for a better life.
January 2013: This Thomas Jefferson book concentrates on his culinary contributions to American table. Did you know he brought Mac and Cheese back from Paris? His years in Paris were spent collecting recipes, wine and plants which are now common in the United States. This book is for foodies as well as history buffs.
Who knew you could knit items related to your favorite literature but this book has it all. How about knitting a muff to go along with Anna Karenina or mittens for Little Women? This is a perfect gift for readers and knitters.
The enormous popularity of Downton Abbey has spun off many companion books. I really like this cookbook for its snippets of history and interesting recipes.
This beautiful cookbook showcases Ski Resorts with photography and food. The mouthwatering soup recipes will make you eager to hang up the skis and head indoors for a delicious meal. This will make an excellent gift for anyone visiting the area or those of us that live and play here.
The isolation of island life is the perfect place to heal for Olivia Donatelli. Her life was shattered by the death of her only son and the end of her marriage. “Love Anthony” is a sort of love letter to that loss and renewal.
Sergeant Fin Macleod is sent back to his home on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides to investigate a brutal murder. To find a murderer he must face the painful reminders of a life he left behind. This literary thriller has been an international bestseller for the a very good reason. The beautiful writing and storytelling is hard to put down. I highly recommend it.
Laura Lippman is one of the Literary Sojourn authors for 2012. Her new novel is the story of Heloise, a suburban madame. Heloise could be your neighbor. By all appearances she has a successful career and is raising a well rounded young son. However her checkered past is beginning to catch up with her. This is a page-turner seeking to answer the question of how far a mother will go to protect herself and her son. Lippman gives us characters we care about and a story we can't put down.
This book has already been a staff pick by Kim Brack but I wanted to second her excellent choice. Gillian Flynn has crafted an excellent thriller. It is a thriller about a marriage with many unexpected twists. I loved it.
Top chef, Marcus Samuelsson shares his story from his birth in Ethiopia to his new family in Sweden and finally to to his wildly successful restaurant in Harlem, New York. If you are a foodie you will enjoy this rising superstar’s story. If you love interesting memoirs this is a book for you.
The earth’s rotation has mysteriously slowed and the days are getting longer. The effects of this change on the planet is told through the eyes of 12 year old Julia. We experience this superb novel through her eyes as she comes to terms with her own struggles with the end of adolescence and on a larger sense she must also deal with the ever changing struggle of the world as everything changes. Excellent reading.
The body of a young girl turns up brutally murdered along a towpath in Bath, England. Zoe Benedict, the local police detective leads the investigation which opens her own family wounds and will lead to dark unexpected places. “Hanging Hill” is the novel to follow a win for the 2012 Edgar Award for the Best Novel “Gone” by Mo Hayder. An author masterful at frighteningly real suspense. The books by Mo Hayder should not be missed.
“The Lola Quartet” is the story of five friends. A girlfriend of a member of the quartet sails a paper airplane on stage during the last concert with the words, “I’m sorry” written on it. She then leaves town and is mostly forgotten by him. Years later Gavin Sasaki’s life is unraveling and those words begin to haunt him. He returns to his hometown to finally put an end to the mystery. This tantalizing novel explores lives where seemingly innocent actions have lifetime consequences for all involved.
Kate Moore and her family have moved to Luxembourg for her husband’s job. Kate is settling into ne wrole of stay-at-home mother in a foreign country. It is a role far different from the secret spy job she left in Washington. Suddenly the new friends and even her husband begin to raise suspicions to Kate about the new life in Europe. Is it just Kate suspicious nature or are things not quite what she expected? The Expats is a very gripping read about marriage, family and the spy game.
This is a book for all women. Anna Quindlen summarizes her life from a very young woman to a woman facing her sixties. She celebrates her life in all the many phases, the ups and the downs. Through her experiences we can begin to understand how our own lives are not so different and it is how we choose to handle them that makes us grow towards a comfortable age.
Laura Lippman is one of the Literary Sojourn Author’s for 2012. This short novel was serialized in the New York Times. It is part Rear Window and part The Daughter of Time. Lippman’s ongoing protagonist is confined to bed awaiting the birth of her first child. Her only entertainment is watching a lady in a green raincoat walk her dog. Then one day only the dog show up running free with his lease hanging loose. What happened to the lady becomes Tess Monahan obsession. I enjoyed the hunt.
Owen Laukkanen is a guy to watch. This debut thriller is an unexpected fast ride. You find yourself cheering for the “bad” guys and hoping the state investigator Kirk Steves and FBI agent Carla Windermere have success in stopping them. The professionals are a group of four friends, unable to find jobs, decide to kidnap wealthy midlevel executives for minor ransom amounts and then return them unharmed to their families. The plan works until they kidnap the wrong person. This is the first in a series and I will look forward to more.
A worthy addition to the Kate Shugak mystery series set in Alaska. Stabenow brings her two series characters together to investigate the death of a local businessman. Aviation and mining play a big role in the commerce of Alaska and bring an element of danger to those involved. Is it murder or just an accident that killed Finn Grant? I like the way the series gives a vivid description of life in Alaska.
This is my second book with an Alaskan setting. Snow, cold,
loneliness, isolation, love and happiness all find a place in this novel. The story of a husband and wife who build a snow child out of the first snow of the season. I really liked this book.
I really liked this young adult book. It is the story of young Greg Rich who has time traveled back in time to the Court of King Louis XIII and the Musketeers. The Musketeers are only teenagers when Greg meets them. His parents have been imprisoned and the group must rescue them before their pending execution. The author gives us a vivid description of life in Paris at this time.
The Detour” is a story about art, beauty, loyalty, family and coming to terms with these is an unexpected place. Ernst Vogler is given a simple task to travel to Rome and escort The Disc Thrower statue back to Munich for The Third Reich’s Sonderprojeke. He is given two young Italian drivers to get the statue to the train station. An adventure begins when the men decide it is unsafe to place an Italian treasure on the train so they decide they must drive it to Munich. Along the way Ernst Vogler’s life changes forever. I could not put the book down.
It is not often that you meet a female character in crime fiction to rival Vanessa Michael Munroe. She is tough, thinks quickly and acts even quicker. She has an empathy that makes her interesting. Munroe was raised in a cult known as The Chosen which took her away from family and friends. She has made a new life and longed to keep The Chosen in her past. A close friend has ask her to help find a child held by The Chosen. She will wage a battle against her own feelings and the need to save one more innocent from the group. This is a whirlwind thriller.