Saturday, March 4, 2017
kay's week - 3.4.17
Hello bookish friends! We are already into March and I'm finding it hard to believe. Think we'll talk about a bit of weather at the end, so let's get right on into the books.
I've been reading...
I read four books this week, two in audio format and two in print. I liked all four of them, though I did have some issues with one.
I See You by Clare Mackintosh on audio. It was narrated by Rachel Atkins and she did a fine job. This was a reread for me, as I had ordered a print copy from the UK last summer when it was first published there. And then when so many were talking about it here recently, I decided I'd like to listen to it. I've read Clare Mackintosh's first book, I Let You Go, as well. I See You may not have quite as many twists and turns as I Let You Go, but for me, the idea that someone was watching you as you commuted, as you bought your morning coffee, as you went about your life - very disturbing. Probably because it could happen to any of us. I know that the UK has many more CCTV cameras than we do here in the US, but I think we are catching up. And where there is technology, some nutcase will decide to use it for nefarious ends. Zoe, the main character, was a little too apologetic to her family and friends for my taste, but she was also a pretty normal person. I'll definitely be reading whatever this author thinks up next.
Nothing Stays Buried by P. J. Tracy is the 8th book in the Monkeewrench mystery series. It will be published at the beginning of August, but I couldn't wait that long to read my advance copy. Set in Minnesota, mostly in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, this series has wonderful characters - the Monkeewrench software gang and the Minneapolis Police Department detectives that we've come to know and love. The previous book, The Sixth Idea, was a bit different and some, including me, were not quite as fond of it. However, Nothing Stays Buried finds our beloved Grace, Harley, Roadrunner and Annie, Magozzi and Gino, back into the swing of things. The MPD is trying to find a serial killer who leaves playing cards on the bodies and Monkeewrench is trying to help a small town sheriff solve the disappearance of a local woman. Even Charlie the dog is included in the hunt. Did I say that I love this series? I think all Monkeewrench lovers will be delighted with this new book.
The Party by Robyn Harding. This book will be published in early June. Kim and Jeff Sanders throw a sweet-sixteen slumber party for their daughter, Hannah. Kim is one of those mothers, you know the kind, who spends more time reading about and stressing over being the perfect mom and much less time actually trying to accomplish it. Hannah is a good kid, but she wants to be part of the popular crowd. We all know that in order for that to happen, compromises in 'good behavior' are often required. At the party, Kim recites the 'house rules' to the girls, which are, of course, ignored. A tragic accident happens and this family pretty much comes unglued in every way possible. This book held my interest and had some twists and turns, but some parts seemed a little predictable. I liked it, but I didn't love it. Definitely falls under the 'domestic drama' category.
Entry Island by Peter May and I did a listen/read combo. It was narrated by Peter Forbes and he did an excellent job with all the accents. I have absolutely loved Peter May's trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland - if you haven't read it, you really should (starts with The Blackhouse). Entry Island has two storylines - one with a current setting - a murder investigation in a small group of islands off the coast of Quebec, Canada. The other story is historical - the mid-1800's as people are forcibly moved by local gentry from the Scottish Isles to Canada. The two stories are connected loosely at the beginning and then the reader comes to understand that they are interwoven tightly. Homicide detective Sime Mackenzie is the main protagonist, along with the wife of the murder victim. The setting is incredibly vivid, both in Canada and Scotland. This author has a way of writing about the Isle of Lewis that makes the reader want to jump on a plane and go there immediately. I really, really enjoyed this book. The setting, the characters, the stories. Highly recommended.
Mystery Book Group...
Our mystery book group met on Wednesday evening and we had an amazing amount of people. It probably helped that it was a 'potluck' meeting, but happily there was a lot of food, and we had a great time talking about books. Our theme for March was 'Books published by the Poisoned Pen Press' and I was so pleased that the group members dove in with vigor. It had been a bit tricky to discern which books in our library system were actually published by the PPP, but we got a little help from one member, Carol, who shared a way to sort through the catalog. I had read five books that qualified and really liked four of them and had a bit of an issue with one. Several members had tried more than one book and they took my advice of 'if it's not working for you, move on to the next book'. A few of the authors mentioned were Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher series), Donis Casey (Alafair Tucker series), Vicki Delany (Molly Smith series), Steven F. Havill (Posadas County series), and the British Library Crime Classics. We also talked about Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries - TV adaptation of the Phryne Fisher books. It's very good and on Acorn and Netflix. Next month, we'll be reading Ruth Ware's In A Dark Dark Wood.
I had a quiet week. My husband was on a trip to Tucson and so I was in sole possession of the TV remote and the dinner menu. I spent some time watching the first couple of seasons of Vera, which is based on the mystery series by Ann Cleeves. I had a little bit of trouble at first with the accents (and I'm a seasoned British TV watcher), but I soon adjusted and liked the episodes I watched. I saw the episode that was based on the book by Cleeves that I read a few weeks ago, Silent Voices. A few changes were made, but it was a good adaptation. I'll be reading more books in the series and also watching more of the TV show.
My husband texted me a picture from the golf course he was playing in Tucson. He said that they had just been experiencing 'icy rain'. I laughed and asked what he considered 'icy rain'. He said 'sleet and ice pellets'. I told him that he had to go all the way to Arizona to get 'icy rain', as we've had a very mild winter and none of that sort of stuff here. It was actually quite a bit cooler in Tucson than it was in Central Texas. That's not such an event, but it was interesting that they were getting more 'wintery weather' and we were not. I'll leave you with the picture and hope that everyone has a great reading week!