Happy Saturday everyone! Has your week been a good one? Groundhog Day was Thursday. What did you think about Punxsutawney Phil's forecast of '6 more weeks of winter'? Yes, that's right - he saw his shadow and so winter will continue for 6 weeks. Or so goes the theory. We haven't really had a lot of winter here in Central Texas, but we have had lots of cedar pollen and mold (hence, allergies) and flu. All of that can move right on along as far as I'm concerned.
I've been reading...
I read 4 books this week - again a mix of audio, print, read/listen. I managed 15 books during January and I think my 'put your head down and focus on reading rather than social media' is working. Ha!
I listened to The River At Night by Erica Ferencik, narrated by Joy Osmanski. New narrator to me and she was good with this adventure tale. Wini and three of her friends have taken a 'girls' vacation each year for a long time. They've done various things, but this year they are going to Maine on a whitewater rafting trip. This is so far outside Wini's comfort zone, she's a nervous wreck just contemplating it. She goes along though and they begin their trip with the young man guide who accompanies them. Horrible accident ensues and the women are basically stranded in the wilderness with no help, no provisions, no hope. This was a pretty intense story and though it was a bit over the top, I found myself wondering what I would do in the same situation. Of course, I wouldn't be in the situation because I would never, ever go on trip like that. Reminded me of the movie that starred Meryl Streep, The River Wild - with a little bit of Deliverance thrown in. If you get my drift. I was caught up in the drama and enjoyed this one.
My next book was Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves. This is the 4th Vera Stanhope mystery, but the first I have read. I received the book and had it signed by the author at last spring's mystery conference. I really, really enjoyed this book. And have since acquired the 3 previous books. I also want to watch the TV adaptation, Vera, but will wait on that for a bit. I liked reading how Vera and her team solved the murder of a social worker that Vera herself discovers in the health club sauna. There were lots of characters and it was plausible for many of them to be involved and several could have wished the woman dead. Other than the constant harping on Vera's weight (must be part of her character story) and ugly clothes and weird cottage, this police inspector seemed well qualified and canny. There was also quite a bit of humor tucked here and there - snarky humor. I give this a thumbs-up and Ann Cleeves' books will become ones that I look forward to.
The last book I finished this week, Unreasonable Doubt, was a print/audio combination, narrated by Carrington MacDuffie. This book is the 8th in Vicki Delany's series featuring Constable Molly Smith of the Trafalgar, British Columbia, Police Department. I love this series and have read each and every book - and I'm now caught up again. In Unreasonable Doubt, Walter Desmond, incarcerated for 25 years for a crime the courts now say he is innocent of, returns to Trafalgar to find out who really killed Sophia D'Angelo. The police are not at all happy to see Walter, even though they know he's been exonerated. The town has many residents that remember the crime and they don't believe the court. Walter makes things tough for Molly, Sergeant John Winters, and the Chief Constable. And then another woman is attacked (John Winters' wife, Eliza) and another. Trafalgar is full of tourists and dragon boat races and upset people. Things are about to get really complicated. I loved this book. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Vicki Delany has branched out into cozies now, but I hope she'll still return to British Columbia to catch us up with the great characters in Trafalgar.
Mystery Book Group meeting...
We had our monthly mystery book group meeting on Wednesday evening and enjoyed time together discussing John Hart's Redemption Road. This was the first book of his that I've read and I talked about it a bit in my weekly report last Saturday. The group as a whole was positive about it, but the story was a little grim for some. Several tore through it quickly, not being able to put it down (and it's a chunkster). Several others had to put it down from time to time as they absorbed the horrible crimes that were part of the tale. Horrible crimes and evil and sacrifice and goodness and caring for others. We watched a short video of the author being interviewed and he said that his inspiration for writing came from authors like Pat Conroy. I felt that the reader could see that influence in the beauty of the language and how the story was told. John Hart - a real Southern writer - able to tell a horrific story in a strangely beautiful way.
I had a bit of a busy week - two lunches out with friends that I enjoyed very much. Volunteering at the library twice - book group meeting and shelving books on Friday. I finished our taxes and got my house cleaned up. We're going to our usual small group Bible study on Sunday evening, even though it is Super Bowl time. We don't really have a 'dog in this hunt' since Dallas was beaten. If you're rooting for the Falcons - good luck. I'm not a big fan at all of the Patriots, so small luck to them. Ha! I'll leave you with a picture I took last year in New Mexico - you can just see a rainbow between the trees. Rainbows are hopeful, yes? Take care everyone!