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The First Rule of Ten

Good Sunday morning! We had a few more inches of snow last night, and I am so over it. Can’t. Wait. Until. Spring.

So this week’s read was a mystery but a little different from my usual caper. The title is The First Rule of Ten, by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay.

Tibetan monk turned cop turned private detective, Tenzing Norbu, is the main character in this story. Sounds a little far-fetched, I know. Keep reading. While this book doesn’t delve into sci-fi or magic, Ten is different from your normal P.I. in that he’s into meditation and is a bit of a spiritual warrior. He also eats super-healthy, which left me feeling completely inadequate after many a chapter. There’s a line in the book that reads as follows: “Mostly, I eat fresh fruit, vegetables, and legumes, with the occasional cheese, egg, or fish product…” I have to admit—I had to look up legume online. (It’s a dry fruit and didn’t sound too appetizing to me, shocker).

So, for a quick summation, Ten’s first rule to live by is “Don’t ignore intuitive tickles lest they reappear as sledgehammers.” After resigning from the police force and becoming a P.I., a stranger briefly comes to Ten’s home looking for the previous owner. When that stranger ends up murdered the next day, Ten can’t help but feel some sort of responsibility and starts looking into the woman’s past. Which leads him smack into the middle of a nearby cult, an insurance scam, and a wonderful new friend.

I really liked this book because it was an atypical P.I. story, and Ten made me think I should stop and smell the roses more often. And maybe eat a legume at some point in my life? ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

 

The Unforgivable Fix

Happy snowy Sunday! We’ve received another foot of snow overnight and they’re predicting 50-60 mph winds. Make. It. Stop.

Anyway, on to a happier topic…my recommendation this week is the third and final in the Justice series, called The Unforgivable Fix. In this book, our lovable Mort Grant of the Seattle PD is finally going to retire and move away from the home where he and his late wife raised their two children. While he’s still in touch with his son, his wayward daughter Allie has been the lover of a Russian crime lord for years, and Mort constantly wonders where he went wrong. And just as he’s making some big decisions to get on with his life, his terrified daughter shows up on his doorstep, looking for help and protection.

Enter The Fixer.

Mort knows there’s only one place his daughter will be safe, but the two women aren’t exactly a match made in heaven, one a spoiled princess and the other a troubled assassin. While The Fixer has some issues going on at her “real job”, she finds herself simultaneously stuck babysitting Mort’s pampered daughter and fending off international criminals. All in a day’s work. What she can’t predict is how the final showdown will change her and Mort’s relationship forever.

I was really bummed to see the conclusion of this series because I loved the fast pace and twists and turns. Without giving away the finale, the ending wasn’t wrapped up in a tidy little bow like most of us expect. So give this book–and the entire series–a read and let me know what you think. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

The Red Hot Fix

Good Super Bowl Sunday morning! I hope this finds everyone doing well. I’m so excited to see the game tonight and am rooting hard for my beloved Patriots.

Okay, I’m done with my sports rant. (Go Pats!) Now I’m done.

After gushing about The Fixer last Sunday, this week’s follow-up read was The Red Hot Fix, the second book in the trilogy by T.E. Woods. While The Fixer was fantastic, this one was a little less so, but I’d still recommend it. It was a fine read, and I’ve got to think it was tough for the author to crank out a second book as good as the first.

In this story, the main character has tried to break away from life-as-an-assassin, largely due to the fact that the chief of detectives knows her true identity. (While that sounds counter-intuitive, you need to read the first book in the series to understand why she’s not behind bars). She and the chief are now essentially on the same side, looking for a serial killer whose latest victim appears to be the owner of an NBA team. (But isn’t). As much as Miss-Former-Assassin tries to behave, she can’t escape her former world entirely, and justice once again is served.

Quick, fast-paced, but doesn’t keep you guessing quite as much as the prior book, The Red Hot Fix is another good one by T.E. Woods. Please let me know what you think, and if you’re a football fan, enjoy the game tonight. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

The Fixer

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope this finds you well.

So I am in love…with the book The Fixer. Book #1 in a trilogy by T.E. Woods was absolutely fantastic, probably the best book I’ve read in the last two years.

The Fixer is about a female assassin. Her credo is Never A Doubt. Never A Mistake. Always for Justice. Never For Revenge. This woman has a strict set of criteria that she follows (only one job per country, per year) and she’ll only take a job if she’s convinced that justice can’t be served any other way. She doesn’t take your run of the mill please-kill-my-spouse-for-money gigs, she’s extremely selective. And when she strikes, it nearly always looks like an accident, so most of the cases are written off without a second thought. No muss, no fuss, no cops.

Until that changes…

The Fixer is a fast-paced whodunit that I promise will throw you for a loop more than once. More twists and turns than a corkscrew, with some fantastic characters and an assassin that you’ll somehow find yourself rooting for. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

Gray Mountain

Good Sunday morning folks, I hope this finds you well. Congrats to the New England Patriots for a great win last night, can’t wait for the next game!

I don’t do this too often, but I’m recommending a book today that I haven’t quite finished. But I’m 90% done and am eager to see how it ends. The book is Gray Mountain, by John Grisham, and was a nice present from my friend Elaine for Christmas.

The story is set in 2008, just as the financial world is ending, and the main character is attorney Samantha Kofer. Samantha is summoned one day at the bigshot Wall Street firm where she’s employed and is told that most of the people are being let go. She, however, will be one of the “lucky ones” and is given the chance for a furlough, which might allow for the opportunity to get her job back in a year’s time…if all goes well. The furlough in question ends up being a job in a legal aid clinic, in the hills of Virginia, in a town of about 2,000 people. With no pay. Fighting large coal companies. For the Manhattan lawyer who’s never seen the inside of a courtroom, it’s quite a change of pace. But Samantha quickly learns that small towns can have just as much corruption, evil and deceit as the big city.

Gray Mountain is vintage Grisham set in a David-versus-Goliath tone, with some surprises along the way. There’s a bit of romance, but it wasn’t enough to make me hurl, and it was appropriate to the story line. It’s not a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller, rather it’s comfortable and a bit lulling, like the small town it’s set in. I anticipate an ending where justice is served, but I don’t really know yet. If you get there first, don’t tell me, wink wink. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

Dust

Happy 2015, happy Sunday, and happy coldness, my word! Winter has arrived in New England, and the clothes are layered and the cocoa is steamy. I hope this finds you cozy and warm after the holiday season.

To close out 2014, I read Dust by Patricia Cornwell, a Kay Scarpetta novel. I haven’t been completely enamored with a few of Cornwell’s latest books, but I felt this one was back on track, with the medical examiner Scarpetta and her cronies chasing evil-doers from the nation’s capital to Massachusetts.

This story begins with an ailing Scarpetta getting called in the wee hours of the morning to visit a crime scene, one that’s suspiciously similar to murders that her FBI husband is working on in the DC area. However, Scarpetta isn’t supposed to know those details, so she’s relieved when her hubby shows up via helicopter to assist with the Boston case. When DNA tampering, a murder from seventeen years prior, a corporate cover-up, and dirty feds come into play, the trail they’re following creates more questions than answers. Scarpetta and Benton’s combined expertise, along with efforts from cop and long-time friend Pete Marino and Scarpetta’s rich-robo-cop-like-niece Lucy, make for an interesting game of cat-and-mouse with a dangerously powerful killer.

Like most of Cornwell’s books, Dust is a bit of a “dark” story, with a brooding and introspective Scarpetta examining the fine line between life and death throughout. Cornwell also blends fiction with real life, as the story references the horrible massacre at the elementary school in Newtown, CT, in December of 2012, with the fictitious Scarpetta assisting with the tragedy. So it’s not a light-hearted read, but it’s intriguing, thought-provoking, and throws a lot of curve balls throughout. Give it a go, and let me know what you think. ‘Til next time, happy reading! :-)

Accused

Good Sunday morning! I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying the holiday season.

This week’s read was Accused, by Lisa Scottoline, and brought back a host of characters we’ve come to know and love in her all-women’s law firm. In this book, Mary Dinunzio’s life seems to be on a roll; she’s just made partner at Rosato & Associates and also become engaged to be married. While celebrating the announcement of her partnership with friends and family at the office, Mary gets called away to the conference room to meet a new client. Who’s 13 years old. Her name is Allegra, and her sister was murdered six years prior. Even though a man was convicted of the crime, she wants to hire Mary, and Rosato & Associates, to re-investiagate the case. What initially appears to be the whims of a young girl with a sad fixation on her sister’s murder turns out to be anything but, and the whirlwind that ensues will keep you guessing until the end.

Accused is a very quick read, with all kinds of banter between Mary, her coworkers, and her old-school Italian parents with their geriatric friends. It’s a good lesson in loyalty and persistence, and I think that you’ll enjoy it. So give Accused a try, and until next time, happy reading! :-)

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