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Archive for December, 2013

Good Sunday-after-Christmas-before-New-Years morning! I hope this finds you all well and recovering nicely from sugar comas.

This week’s read was Death Angel, by Linda Fairstein, #15 in the Alexandra Cooper novels. After a young woman’s body is found in NYC’s Central Park, Assistant DA Alex and her cohorts, Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, have to figure out who/what/where/when/why before the killer strikes again. As the characters follow the trail of breadcrumbs, Fairstein weaves many historical facts about NYC into the story, which always adds a lot of interesting flavor to the central plot. Also in this novel (and it’s about time!) is that the sexual tension that’s been hovering between and Alex and Mike for lo these many books finally gets acknowlegded; I won’t spoil it for you with any details…

As is typical in the previous stories, there’s the betting on the Jeopardy questions between the friends, the political infighting that always exists in Alex’s job, and a trip to Alex’s second home on Martha’s Vineyard that gives you a taste of how the other half lives. (But trust me, they’re recovering from sugar comas just like the rest of us). So if you’re up for some mystery and a few lessons about NYC in its earlier days, give Death Angel a go. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

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Good Monday morning! I hope this finds you well and keeping some degree of sanity during the crazy time of year.

So last week I recommended the first book in the Spellman series by Lisa Lutz, and this week I’m recommending the second one, Curse of The Spellmans. I actually enjoyed this second more than the first, and that surprised me. In this caper, the dysfunctional Spellman family of PI’s keep up their ridiculous antics, and the main character, Izzy, becomes obsessed with a neighbor, whom she’s convinced is up to no good. Between her un-neighborly love, Rae’s new boyfriend, her parents’ repeated “disappearances” and the family’s weird friendship with Inspector Harry Stone, the amusement is non-stop. When Izzy’s fourth arrest–in three months–results in her parents throwing her out of the house, she’s forced to live in what amounts to a closet and is ordered by the court to see a therapist.

Like the first story, there’s a lot of flashing back to explain previous misdeeds, but it’s easy to follow and adds to the fast pace of the book. I started the third book yesterday, but I’ll give you a break from this series next week. I’m also reading two other good mysteries, so I’ll have some type of fun reading for you again soon. In the meantime, I wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday; please count your blessings and do something special for a stranger during this time of year. ‘Tis the season. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

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Good Sunday morning! Massachusetts got dumped with a bunch of snow, and it’s a great day to be curled up with a book and/or a football game.

This week’s recommendation, Spellman Files, by Lisa Lutz, was recommended to me by a friend a couple of months back, and I finally got around to reading it. It’s the first in a series of a snarky family who runs a P.I. firm, with the main character being Isabel “Izzy” Spellman. Izzy’s irreverent youth was spent vandalizing neighbors’ property, earning poor grades in school, drinking to excess, and resenting her perfect older brother. When her parents have a third child, fourteen years her junior, Izzy realizes she needs to become a better person/role model, but it’s a very tall order. As the dysfunctional, hilarious family tries to run a business, their suspicious tendencies bleed over into their family life, resulting in them following each other in high-speed car chases, blackmailing one another, and forever tracking down an uncle who’s a loose cannon and disappears on drunken binges regularly. Izzy’s love live proves to be a train wreck because she simply can’t just meet a man and get to know him; she conducts full background checks on most potential boyfriends, and with one in particular, she lies to him about her profession, something that doesn’t bode well in the end. When Izzy decides that it’s finally time to leave the family business for “normalcy” her parents give her one last cold case before she can leave, and it’s a doozy…

While reading Spellman Files, you definitely have to get used to the rhythm of Lutz’s writing. She doesn’t write chronologically, rather she jumps around to incidents in the past to make her point about something that’s going on in the present. It’s easy to follow, but you just need to get used to her style before completely settling into the book. Sometimes it feels like a bunch of short, funny stories, but there is a plot, trust me; she just weaves around to add flavor to the book. Overall, I liked it, enough to move on to the second book, so you’ll probably be reading about that one soon. In the meantime, get that shopping done and those presents wrapped, and be safe. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

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Good Sunday morning! It’s a brisk one here in Massachusetts and I’m hoping to get much accomplished today (translation: no presents have been purchased to date, ugh).

This week’s recommendation is the ever-loving Janet Evanovich with her new book, Takedown Twenty. In this caper, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, along with her sidekick, Lula, find themselves chasing a giraffe down the streets of New Jersey, as well as a whole slew of bad guys, including one who is killing and then discarding old ladies in dumpsters. Keep in mind that Grandma Mazur is an old lady…

Takedown Twenty has the usual cast of crazy characters, along with the wonderfully recurring love/like-triangle of Stephanie, Ranger, and Morelli. If you liked the first nineteen in the series, you’ll enjoy this one as well. A fast, easy read that will give you a few laugh-out-loud moments. ‘Til next week, happy reading!

 

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Happy first day of December! I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s a spitty, cold day in Massachusetts, and it’s feeling every bit like the holiday season.

This week’s recommendation is my new book, The Stairwell. It isn’t out to all the retailers yet, but there is a way to order both the paperback and eBook. For the paperback, please go to https://www.createspace.com/4529712; make sure to include the numbers at the end. The paperback copy is $13.95. The eBook is available only through Amazon Kindle right now ($4.99) but will be available for Nook and iPad soon. Thanks to all of you for your support of Two Out of Three, and I hope you enjoy this one as well.

The Prologue and the first chapter are in previous blogs, and the synopsis for the new book is as follows:

Private Investigator Meagan Maloney is back with another action-packed mix of mystery, intrigue, and suspense. When an old acquaintance makes a dreadful discovery in his new house on the beautiful Rhode Island coastline, the authorities deem the event an accident. Unconvinced and unsettled, he enlists the help of Meagan and her computer-hacking sidekick, Doobie, to uncover the home’s hidden secrets.

Never one to handle a single crisis at a time, Meagan finds herself juggling several other issues while working her primary case. After she receives communication from a psychopath who’d attempted to kill her months prior, and who’s vowed to finish the job, Meagan is left to wait and wonder when her evil nemesis will strike again. As she fights off feelings of vulnerability, her focus becomes further challenged when she reluctantly gets dragged into a situation involving a suspected child killer and his intended next victim.

After Meagan’s actions unintentionally place a family member’s life in peril, she comes face-to-face with a killer and is once again called upon to make a life or death decision. Will she learn from the lessons of previous mistakes, or is the past fated to repeat itself? Regardless of her choice, someone is destined to die.

‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

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