Page Turners

Here is a list of books that have been shared on KMA's Page Turners with the Shenandoah Public Library.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

MYSTERY READERS-Janet's post of September 9 re: Rennie Airth's mysteries reminded me of the mother-son writing team who go by Charles Todd. For those unfamiliar, the mysteries are set in early 1900's England. Great mysteries, patiently solved in old-fashioned style, with delightful authenticity added in the use of British English and terms of the age. I thought I'd mention this in case others have authors they've enjoyed and wished to share.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Iowa writer Max Allan Collins has written a series of "disaster" novels, featuring "a real-life crime-fiction writer as the amateur detective in a fact-based mystery" as he describes them. The one I just read, The War of the Worlds Murder, features pulp writer Walter Gibson, creator of the Shadow paperbacks. Gibson has been invited to spend a weekend with Orson Welles, who is interested in making a movie based on the popular Shadow novels and radio show. Among Welles current projects, that weekend, is a radio play based on H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. When one of Welles' mistresses is found murdered just before air-time, Gibson must work fast to solve the mystery before the police are called and ruin the broadcast.

Collins has also written a favorite series of mine, the Nathan Heller mysteries, and wrote the graphic novel The Road to Perdition, on which the Tom Hanks movie was based.

Friday, September 22, 2006

THE AFGHAN--Frederick Forsyth--Set in the reasonably immediate future, the story revolves around a potential terrorist plot against the West, who, what, how, when all unknowns. Acting in concert the U.S. and U.K. send the hero into the midst of the terrorist group and the action builds. The power of this book, for me, was the decriptions of the 'making of a terrorist' and the mindset of the terrorist. Forsyth condences so much yet makes it frighteningly alive. It well presents some of the delimas facing the world today.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick is one of those books that makes you laugh and cry in the same paragraph. The characters in the story stick with you long after the book is finished. Steven is in 8th grade and like most older siblings, his younger brother drives him crazy. It isn't that he and Jeffrey fight over things, no Jeffrey worships the ground Steven walks on, and in some ways that is worse. After an early morning kitchen mishap, Jeffrey is rushed to the emergency room where the doctors diagnose him with ALL, a form of leukemia. Everything has just been turned upside down. How is Steven going to handle Jeffrey's illness, school, all city jazz band and two crazy parents?

Those of you who enjoy archaeological mysteries might like Thunderhead, a stand-alone novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. A young archaeologist, Nora Kelly, has received a letter from her father, who has been missing for 16 years. In the letter, he claims to have found the city of Quivira--the legendary City of Gold sought by Coronado and other explorers. Nora manages to put together an expedition to find the city, but begins to be plagued by troubles, some of them by a group of supernatural creatures determined to protect the location of the city. Once again, Preston and Child put together a great page-turner with a hint of the supernatural.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I just finished Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich a couple days ago, and I'm a little into the third book. I haven't been able to read any other books since I started these because these are all I want to read. I don't have much more to say, read these books!

Friday, September 15, 2006

TELEGRAPH DAYS - Larry McMurtry- A nostalgic walk thorugh the 'Old West', and its taming, through the life of fictional heroine Nelly Courtright. Situations improve for her when her brother singlehandedly manages to gun down all six of the ferocious Yazee brothers and Nelly capitalizes on the situation. She humanizes (as only McMurtry can) such fameous real people as Bill Cody, Wyatt Erpp (and his brothers), Billy the Kid and Doc Holiliday. Highly readable and entertaining.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I just read a historical mystery series by Rennie Airth. There are only two, so far, in the series, but I hope there will be more. The first, River of Darkness, is set in the early 1920s and the second, The Blood-Dimmed Tide, is set in 1932. Both follow Scotland Yard as they track serial murderers in rural England. I like the fact that both books are written from multiple points of view, although I think this is more seamless in the second book. I have read a great deal of World WarI fiction recently, and this is a great addition to my list. They are dark books, especially the second, in which the Nazis are coming to people's attention and mothers fear for 10-year old boys.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Messenger of Truth, the fourth in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear, was a very interesting read. Set in the 1920s in England, this series is rather dark, dealing with emotional fallout and economic struggle following the Great War.

Maisie Dobbs is a young woman who was formerly in service, but whose intelligence was noticed by her employers, and she was sent to school. Along the way she also served as a nurse during the Great War, before working with her mentor, and now on her own as a psychological investigator. Many of the problems she solves have roots back to the war, including the new one. A young woman comes to Maisie because she believes her brother's death was not an accident, even though the police detective at the scene has ruled it as one. Nick was a controversial artist who fell, or was pushed, off of a scaffolding at the art gallery where his first solo show was to be held. Unfortunately, the main piece is missing--no one knows where he had it in storage, or even the subject matter.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

DUCHESS OF AQUITAINE--Enjoyable historical fictional account of Eleanor from the time she plots of her marrage to Louis (soon to become King of France) through the crusiade, meeting Henry (to be Henry II of England) and their approaching marriage. Interesting discussion of court life, some about the life of peasants in the 1130 and 40s and the Crusaide of the 1140s led, disastrously, by Louis. Interwoven throughout the exercise of the power of the church and its leadership in all aspects of life, sex to war.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I just finished my first book by Janet Evanovich, One for the Money. I liked it alot, so much in fact that I checked out the second one, Two for the Dough, and planned on reading it after I finished The Husband, by Dean Koontz. I started The Husband but I couldn't get into it because I wanted to read Two for the Dough. So I am currently reading that, and plan on going all the way through the series.

One of the most original series I have read in a long time began with The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde and continues with The Fourth Bear. In The Big Over Easy, Sargeant Mary Mary gets a job with the Reading police force in hopes of working with her hero, Friedland Chyme. Instead, she is assigned to NCD (Nursery Crimes Division) working for DI Jack Sprat. The NCD is underfunded and understaffed, and has taken a big hit in the press recently for failing to get a conviction for the three pigs who boiled the wolf alive, but have another chance when the falling death of Humpty Dumpty comes under their jurisdiction.

In The Fourth Bear, reporter Henrietta (Goldilocks) Hatchett is missing after running away from the home of Ed, Ursula, and Junior Bruin, and later found dead in a World War I theme park, SommeWorld. How does this death relate to a series of explosions, giant cucumbers, alien sightings, and Pippa Piper picking Peck over Pickle or Pepper? In addition, the serial killer Gingerbread Man has escaped and is on the loose. Join Jack Sprat and Mary Mary as they crack the case.

I really have enjoyed these, and am anxiously awaiting the next Nursery Crime case.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I just finished Simply Love by Mary Balogh, who is my favorite Regency romance author. Her plots are unique and her characters are very likable. She does tend to use characters from other books she has written, which I enjoy. Simply Love is the second of a quartet about teachers at a girls' school. As much as I liked it, I would probably tend to recommend it only to people who had read other books by this author, since the characters include the entire Bedwyn clan from her Slightly series, which is a lot of characters and history to throw at a reader.