RaveBookreporterCharles Finch writes lavishly of the homes and fashionable dress of the Victorian era, along with the lush surroundings, customs and lifestyle of an America that is long gone. An Extravagant Death is the 14th Charles Lenox novel, but the first that I have read. Long a fan of period mystery series, I found it to be a witty and colorful tale well told, right down to the intriguing whodunit elements of the story. Nothing pleases me more than to discover another gem of a mystery writer with a healthy backlist, so I cannot wait to delve into Finch’s treasure trove. We seem to have a long winter (and year) ahead of us, so excavating a stack of mysteries is a great way to deal with the solitude. One can only watch so many reruns on the telly.
P J Tracy
RaveBookreporter... to call this book a mystery would be underselling it. This is a thriller to the very last page ... P. J. Tracy produces such stunning prose that simply reading her words is a joy. She has created a quirky, captivating cast of characters in an intriguing setting that grabs you from the unnerving prologue to the very end. I cannot wait to get my hands on future installments of this winning series.
Alexander McCall Smith
RaveBookreporterSmith holds a deep and abiding love for Africa, which we sense in every word he writes. He taught and practiced law there for decades and writes wistfully of the changing ways, the courteous behavior and the Kalahari Desert, all of which all seem to be shrinking, even vanishing with the urbanization of Botswana ... Alas, we who live in these dangerous times, like peoples of many nations, must soldier on. We are blessed with philosophers like Alexander McCall Smith, who look gently and longingly back at our own past good fortunes. I once added his name to my imaginary list of authors with whom I would like to share dinner and maybe a drink. The list is short and sadly grows shorter with time. Here’s to powerful writers who bring out the best in others. And, perhaps, in us.
RaveBookreporterDoes this sound like a typical whodunit \'bad guys against the good guys\' novel? Well, think again. British murder mysteries seem to be in a genre of their own. Perhaps it’s the wry humor, or the dialect, or the atmospheric stealth that teases you to the very end, leading you through a veritable school of red herrings until the culprit is netted. The Finisher is all of the above, featuring an improbable detective who outwits his stuffy by-the-book superiors, as well as the culprit through ingenious, often accidental detecting ... Diamond is entertaining and intriguing --- a true Diamond in the rough. You will be fascinated by his lifestyle and will want to visit Bath for yourself; its ancient Roman baths, vast stone quarries and Victorian parks make these books an armchair traveler’s delight. It’s history, mystery and pathos all wrapped into a gem of a series.
Chris Wallace, with Mitch Weiss
RaveBookreporterYou’ve heard about it in school, movies and novels, but the true story, told in Chris Wallace and Mitch Weiss’ Countdown 1945, is more exciting than those tomes you cracked open in American history class ... Veteran journalist Chris Wallace provides us with a historical account of that world-shattering final decision, which reads like a thriller from page one. Hollywood couldn’t conceive of a plot any more taut than the real events behind the grueling decision to unleash a lethal weapon that would forever change warfare and planet Earth ... This page-turning account delves into the private lives of the actual men and women who created the atom bomb, tested it and armed it to finally detonate not once but twice over two major Japanese cities ... Had Countdown 1945 hit the market in less unsettling times, it would top the bestseller list overnight. It takes your mind off of current headlines for a few hours.
PositiveBookreporterThe Posadas County that Havill has created is so tangible, you feel that if you walked down its streets, you would be greeted by old friends ... his narratives are the stuff of which Netflix series are made.
PositiveBookreporterThere are a lot of players in The Panda of Death, and initially I had a heck of a time keeping track of everyone. However, as the story swiftly moved forward, I became so fascinated by this righteous heroine and caught up in the tangle of improbable events that I whisked through the pages with a smile ... what’s not to love about this character?
PositiveBookreporterAt first comedic and satiric, it becomes somber as we are met with a scathing social commentary on immigration and assimilation in the new world for those seeking to start over. This theme subtly underlies the storyline through Yu’s unique lens ... I was laughing out loud ... Interior Chinatown is...a poignant story. It embraces the austerity of the life of immigrants in Chinatown, or the hundreds of other places in America where people of all ages and ethnicity arrive, full of hope. Their dreams of making a new life have their own stark but beautiful promise.
RaveBookreporter... information-packed, often witty and absorbing ... [an] extraordinary saga of the extensive, horrendously costly and corrupt venture to satisfy the ever-growing global appetite for gas and oil.
P J Tracy
PositiveBookreporterMonkeewrench is back! Just read the prologue and you’ll be hooked until the last page ... Readers will be happy to see that Traci Lambrecht is back in the groove following the loss of her writing partner and mother, P.J. Lambrecht, who introduced the series 16 years ago.
PositiveBookreporter... rich with history of the scenic area of Bath, England, and laced with wit, danger, pathos, love and loss. His protagonist, Peter Diamond, is a fully rounded human being with his own unique crime-solving methods ... begins more lightheartedly than Lovesey’s previous mysteries, as entertaining as its title. So kick back and enjoy a delightful summer escape from the drumbeat of real-world events that pays off with a surprising, page-turning denouement.
PositiveBookreporter\"Courtroom procedurals, of which I am a fan, can drone on and on, leading the reader to start skimming to get to the \'good parts.\' This is not the case with The Better Sister. Burke navigates the twists and turns of the trial and search for the truth with the skill not only of a legal scholar (she also teaches law in her \'spare\' time), but of a seasoned and gifted writer. I stuck with every word, turning pages well into the night, right up to the surprising denouement—and, better yet, to a final shocking twist.\
Alexander McCall Smith
RaveBook ReporterThe master of the gentle mystery kicks off a brand new series with an appealing cast ... Smith leads us on a whimsical romp through three sensitive crimes of a philosophical nature ... This is the perfect foil for another enchanting Alexander McCall Smith series, which fans will relish as our prolific author creates what easily could become a rival to his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels ... This fan wishes that she had the money, youthful vigor and talent to bring this new book to the streaming world of modern-day television. Yes, it’s that good. The charm of it being situated in a foreign country starring people with totally unpronounceable names only goes to underscore the genius of Smith’s universal and gentle appeal to human kindness ... eceives a dewy-eyed hug for its wit, wisdom and philosophical compassion. If it is possible, Smith has outdone himself, and that is quite the accomplishment.
PositiveBookreporter\"Alan Bradley\'s impressive knowledge of English history and literature sheds light on the funeral trains, burial customs and graveyards of England’s ancient past ... But we can forgive this overdose of references to enjoy the mere delight that Flavia de Luce brings to the page.\
Warren C. Easley
PositiveBookreporterWarren C. Easley has created an entertaining cast of engaging characters in his five prior novels, but if Moving Targets is your first dip into the series, he sets the scene of this fast-moving mystery so you can keep up. Each of these books can be enjoyed as stand-alones, so if you\'re a newcomer, you don’t have to go back ... Even if you’ve never been to Portland, Easley writes with such a strong sense of place that it puts you right in the scene that many writers try, but often fail, to accomplish.
Rave20SomethingReads\"If you are an ardent fan of spycraft, Daniel Silva provides a veritable handbook of the vernacular and sleight of hand still employed from Philby’s days, hugely updated with the fiendish electronic listening devices in use today. These abilities make one look at their beloved cell phones and GPS tracking with paranoia. But the old school tricks of the trade still work, sometimes more accurately than all the wizardry of the electronics universe ... Secrets can be conveyed by means that no hacker can ascertain. It’s as complex as those hand signals between the pitcher and the catcher, but misreading the signs can get you killed. That’s what spycraft is all about—and that’s what makes The Other Woman a great read.\
PositiveBookReporter\"The Hillermans have enlightened us belaganas (the Navajo word for white man) to strong Southwestern Indian moral beliefs and ways of living. The atmospheric prose in Cave of Bones brings back fond memories of travel through this mysterious and legendary world that my family calls home.\
RaveBookreporter.comThe Buddhist monk son of an infamous Thai madam and a Vietnam-era American soldier is detective fiction’s most complex cop, as enigmatic and exotic as his nearly unpronounceable name ...vibrantly bring to life one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating cultures ... Bangkok Haunts is the darkest of the three novels, which all provide a fascinating portrayal of modern life in Thailand. The clash between East and West is nowhere more deftly portrayed than by Burdett...reader is treated to a splendid, intricately plotted thriller replete with the sounds, smells, cuisine and fascinating examination of Buddhism that is at the core of everyday Thai life ...John Burdett continues to satisfy with a series character who grows with each page-turning novel.
PositiveBookreporter.comThere is no denying that each of these four short, chilling stories plumbs the depths of darkness of the human condition, but each also shines in its own macabre radiance as four mere humans struggle with events that forever alter the course of their lives ... King steers clear of the supernatural this time out, depending on how the reader sees the little man in 'Fair Exchange.' He offers the idea that there is the potential in each of us to kill, not only in immediate self-defense, but with diabolical cunning, if the situation warrants ... In Full Dark, No Stars, he explores these reasons through the eyes of otherwise ordinary people.
PositiveBookreporter.comWinter of the World, the eagerly awaited sequel to Ken Follett’s internationally bestselling Fall of Giants, is the second in a trilogy that will chronicle the 20th century, considered by many to be the most violent in history ...brings to life how revolution, a global plague, two world wars separated by a financial depression, holocaust, and the introduction into the atomic age have shaped our turbulent present – a present that, in many respects, may seem to be repeating history’s mistakes ...brings vividly to life the effects of these events on civilians and soldiers alike ... Follett draws us intimately into not just the battles but also into the personal lives of participants in the struggle ... No one is more uniquely qualified than Follett – through his gift for dramatic narrative, nuanced character development, and historical accuracy – to look at the broad picture of the 20th century and its impact on our youthful 21st.
RaveBookreporter.com...Ken Follett has launched perhaps the most compelling literary challenge of his long and successful career with the much heralded publication of Fall of Giants ... These fateful 15 years will set the stage for the events that spawned the First World War and the tumultuous century to follow ... The page count may seem daunting, but unlike many novels by other well-known authors who are justifiably guilty of running overlong and wordy, he has chiseled his narrative to a fine point, and the pages fly ...the strongest point of the book is to bring to light why the First World War happened and why the Bolsheviks won the Russian Revolution ... While Follett doesn’t write the book with a cliffhanger ending, one can’t help but wonder how our intrepid heroes and their progeny who have already survived the worst of what the first quarter-century had to throw at them will now fare.