Saturday, September 9, 2017

What We're Reading Now! By WWK Bloggers

E. B. Davis
 Allie and Bea gives credence to every mother’s nightmares. Worst-case scenario happens. If nothing else, the story of Allie and Bea will remind you of how fragile our lives are. How our and other peoples’ actions and decisions can devastate life in a moment. In Allie and Bea, no one dies. It’s not a mystery, but it does involve crime.

When a telemarketer scams seventy-something Bea out of her remaining funds, she ends up homeless, living in her late husband’s bakery van. When fifteen-year-old Allie’s parents are both arrested for tax fraud, she goes into the foster care system, which turns into a nightmare. She runs—and meets up with Bea. They learn and help each other.

It’s a HEA ending—but it isn’t as sweet as you would think. It can’t be since no one can claim innocence. Everyone has been transformed. It’s a compromised HEA due to a shot of reality.

A worthwhile read and should be required reading for any parents committing criminal activity.

Linda Rodriguez

Right now, I'm reading Site Unseen by Dana Cameron, the first in her archaeologist Emma Fielding mystery series. It's an excellent traditional mystery with strong, lively characterization, excellent, twisty plotting, and smooth, supple writing. I'm also reading Buckskin Cocaine by Erika Wurth, a collection of short stories. These stories deal with the seedy, ugly underside of the Native American film business and are full of scammery and conmen, written in a robust noir style.

Next up on my TBR list are Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and Bad Policy by James M. Jackson, two novels I've long wanted to read and finally will have the chance to do just that.

Warren Bull

I have just finished Randy Wayne White's first novel Sanibel Flats in what has become a long and popular series about Doc Ford, a marine biologist and former undercover intelligence agent for some unspecified United States agency. His work reminds me of John D. MacDonald's, which is high praise indeed.  

Margaret S. Hamilton

Gone Gull by Donna Andrews
I anticipate with great pleasure two cozy series, Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow mysteries and Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse mysteries.

Gone Gull is a terrific addition to Andrews’ “bird books” with clever titles. Yes, a fictional type of rare seagull is featured, and Andrews makes a plausible case for the gulls living in the Virginia mountains.

This is her twentieth mystery featuring amateur sleuth and blacksmith Meg Langslow, who acts as project manager for her every increasing circle of relations and their endeavors. In this book, in addition to teaching elementary blacksmithing, Meg assists her grandmother Cordelia running the Biscuit Mountain Craft Center.

First with acts of vandalism and then a dead body, Meg is thrust into solving the crimes before her grandmother’s pet project is forced to shut down. Are mercenary land developers to blame, a rival craft center in Richmond, or Meg’s grandfather, a noted environmentalist with a long list of enemies? 

Meg and her enthusiastic and supportive husband Michael manage to protect their twin sons from harm. Meg escapes serious injury and salvages her grandmother’s business.

Jim Jackson

What I'm reading now: Smaller And Smaller Circles, a Philippine National Book Award winner by F.H. Batacan. Set in Payatas, a 50-acre dump outside of Manila's Quezon City, it combines a Jesuit PI, political battles within the National Bureau of Investigations, church corruption, and ritualistic murders of preteen boys whose eviscerated bodies appear in the dump.

Next up is either Deborah Crombie's Garden Of Lamentations or Sara Paretsky's Fallout (18th VI Warshawski novel).

Julie Tollefson

I'm reading Dear Reader by Lawrence, Kansas, author Mary O'Connell. The story features high school student Flannery Fields who would rather read about life than live it. Then her English teacher disappears and Flannery tracks clues to her whereabouts through a copy of Wuthering Heights that has magically transformed into a real-time diary of her teacher's day. Next up is either The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas or Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett.      

Shari Randall
I'm reading In Sunlight Or In Shadow: Stories Inspired By The Paintings Of Edward Hopper, edited by Lawrence Block.  Block says in the introduction that "[Hopper's] paintings don't tell stories. What they do is suggest - powerfully, irresistibly --  that there are stories within them, waiting to be told." Block gathered some amazing authors to tell those stories - Megan Abbott, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Jeffery Deaver, and Michael Connelly among them. Block's contribution, "Autumn at the Automat" was nominated for an Anthony Award. I'm reading with admiration.

Grace Topping

I've been reading Death at the Seaside by British author Frances Brody. It is the latest in her Kate Shackleton Mystery series, where each book is set in a different location in Yorkshire, England, this one in Whitby. Kate Shackleton gets involved with murder at every turn but is able to use her deductive skills to solve the crimes. This is a charming series set in 1920s England and has an interesting cast of characters. 

When I'm not reading, I'm listening to audible books, whether in the car or doing chores. Currently, I'm listening to Kate White's The Wrong Man, a suspenseful mystery set in modern-day New York City. It's the story of a woman who meets a man while on vacation in Florida and finds herself swept up in false identities, federal crimes, and murder. 

Gloria Alden

Harold Fry is a retired man in his 60s who spends most of his days sitting in his recliner. His wife is always busy cleaning or rearranging furniture. They have very little to say to one another. And then he gets a letter from Queenie Hennessey, a woman he used to work with and hadn't seen in 20 years. She's in a hospice home dying with cancer in a town in northern England 600 miles away. He writes her a letter and then leaves the house to post it in the mailbox down the road.

They had been very good friends. He calls the home and leaves a message to one of the people there because she's sleeping to tell her he's coming and stay alive until he gets there. For some strange reason he thinks that will only work to save her life if he walks there so he takes off with no spare clothes and only wearing yachting shoes and he forgot his phone, too. The people he meets and the problems he encounters make it funny and at times sad. He does call his wife collect off and on. Both of them have been rather estranged for years. It's not until close to the end that you find out why especially since both of them miss the other while Harold is walking, but neither tells the other they still miss them.

I highly recommend this book that ends in tears and laughter.

Kait Carson

Right now I’m reading Ant Farm by James M. Jackson. It’s the first Seamus McCree I’ve read, and I’m enjoying it tremendously. For those of you who, like me, shied away from the book because it features a former financial analyst as a protagonist—fear not! Knowledge of math is NOT required

The story deftly weaves two seemingly unrelated mysteries together drawing the reader ever closer to the conclusion. The characters are so finely drawn, you want to invite them over to discuss the case and the plot filled with believable twists.

Next up – Allison Brennan’s If I Should Die.

1 comment:

  1. This was fun. I enjoyed reading about what everyone is reading. Got some good book recommendations.