Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Nun in the Closet

Fiction by Dorothy Gilman.

It's the mid-1970's, but the sisters of St. Tabitha's convent in rural Pennsylvania have been cloistered for so long that they've never heard the words "women's lib," "hippy," or "Watergate." All of that is about to change when they receive word that they've been left a mysterious property in New York state! Sister John and Sister Hyacinthe embark on a journey to check things out, and they stumble upon a mystery.

This was a fun little story. I enjoyed it!

I also read recently by this author: Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bring Her Home

Fiction by David Bell

Bill's daughter Summer and her best friend Haley are missing for three days when he gets the call that they have been found beaten and left in the park. He rushes to the hospital to find Summer unresponsive in the ICU, and learns that Haley has already died. Bill doesn't know how to cope with all of this, especially since his wife died a little over a year ago. But surprises are still to come...

This was a good thriller and also an interesting character book.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Lost Boy Lost Girl

Fiction by Peter Straub

I have read a novel coauthored by Stephen King and Peter Straub (see below), but never one by Mr. Straub alone. His style is actually pretty similar to Mr. King's, but less wordy and (I think) less character-driven. I did not like this book as much as the coauthored one, and I think it's because I didn't feel as invested in the characters.

Since it's categorized as "horror fiction," I suppose I should have expected the awful and creepy parts of this story, but I didn't feel like the good parts outweighed the bad. Also I didn't like the ending.

I did want to keep reading and find out what happened, so... I guess I'll give it half a thumb?

I also read by this author: The Talisman

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Stranger in the House

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald

This story begins with a kidnapping. Anna's little boy disappears at the age of four. The good news is: she gets him back. The bad news is: it takes eleven years. So the child who comes home is not the sweet toddler who left; he's a confused and sullen teenager. The "stranger in the house" is her own son. But there are mysteries still to come...

This was a good thriller!

I also read recently by this author: Not Guilty

Monday, January 21, 2019

Not Guilty

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

In this exciting thriller, Keely escapes one tragedy to find herself enmeshed in another. Is she just unlucky, or is there an connection?

This was a good book; I didn't expect the ending.

I also read recently by this author: Suspicious Origin

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Why Didn't They Ask Evans?

Fiction by Agatha Christie.

This story has also been published under the title The Boomerang Clue.

Bobby Jones and his companion find a body while playing golf. The man is not quite dead, however, and Bobby is the only witness to his last words, which are the question above. What could it possibly mean?

This is a really good mystery story!

I also read recently by this author: Lord Edgeware Dies

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Lost Family

Fiction by Jenna Blum

This story begins in 1965 with Peter, a restaurateur and survivor of Auschwitz, and follows him and his family until 1986. I'd say it's essentially a character story.

I liked the characters in this novel and found them very believable, although I didn't like their choices sometimes. I wasn't crazy about how things turned out at the end.

It's a good book but not as good as the first one I read by this author.

I also read recently by this author: The Stormchasers

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Suspect

Fiction by Michael Robotham

Psychologist Joe O'Loughlin has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at not-yet-forty years old, and is facing his own mortality a bit earlier than expected. If that isn't enough trouble, he's gotten himself entangled in a murder case that threatens his career and his family, maybe even his life.

This was a good mystery and I was surprised by the ending twist. I did have some trouble with the character of Joe and some of the decisions he made, so I'm not sure if I want to read more about this guy. (The book is listed as Joseph O'Loughlin Series #1). The other book I read by this author (see below) was miles better, although this was still a good read.

I also read by this author: The Secrets She Keeps

Saturday, January 12, 2019


Fiction by Brie Spangler

Here is a modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast," set in an American high school. Dylan is only fifteen, but he is already six and a half feet tall and nearing three hundred pounds of solid muscle. Plus he's covered in body hair! No wonder the kids call him "The Beast!"

That's a good beginning, right? I was prepared for a cute girl to befriend the beast and for him to learn to love, et cetera. But this story is a little different. I'm still not sure if I'm on board with it.

In the middle of the book, be prepared for a major twist that requires you to stretch your mind way past where you think this traditional story should go.

If you have an open mind, try it...

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Where We Belong

Fiction by Lynn Austin.

In this story, a pair of sisters in that late nineteenth century travel to the Middle East to discover historical documents that prove the truth of the Bible. Although fictionalized, the characters are based on a real pair of sisters who actually did this.

It was an interesting book!

I also read recently by this author: Until We Reach Home

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Outsider

Fiction by Stephen King.

This novel poses an interesting question: What if multiple eyewitnesses can place a man at a crime scene, and forensic evidence points directly to the same man as the perpetrator, but that man has incontrovertible proof he was nowhere near the victim at the time? Can a man be in two places at once?

This is an interesting mystery story, although be warned that it's very dark. It brought back a character I'd enjoyed from a previous book as well. (See Finders Keepers.)

I also read recently by this author: Sleeping Beauties, The Talisman

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Suspicious Origin

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

At the beginning of this novel is a fire that destroys a home and places a woman and her daughter in mortal peril, and as one can tell from the title, the fire chief soon suspects it was arson. But what really happened?

This was a great thriller!! I'm starting the new year with two thumbs up!

I also read recently by this author: The Unforgiven