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Topic: July is here with a BANG! - What are we all reading?

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Geri (geejay) -
Subject: July is here with a BANG! - What are we all reading?
Date Posted: 7/1/2014 6:34 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I just finished the second of The Cue Ball Series by Cindy Blackburn.  The first was Playing With Poison and the Second is Double Shot.  There are two others.  I have them on my Kindle but had to share.  The MC meets her "beau" because a man dies on her sofa and the cop considers her the main suspect (of course).  It's nice because in true cozy fashion you know they're lovers without the bed scenes, you know they curse but the F word or any other isn't in print.  It's more "she used a word I've never heard her use".  It's Cue Ball because the MC is a female who plays pool.  Her father was a pool shark and taught her all she knows.  Fun because at one time I too... played.

Now, I've begun Unbreathed Memories / Marcia Talley the second in the Hannah Ives series.  MC is a breast cancer survivor who in true cozy fashion becomes involved in murders without even trying.

 

 



Last Edited on: 7/1/14 6:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/1/2014 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
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I always enjoy reading this forum and get good recommendations, but I forget to post and the list gets too long and then it's a pain to post, etc., etc.  So here are some books I've enjoyed over the past month or two:

Murder in Pigalle (Aimee Leduc) by Cara Black - Aimee is a young PI in Paris who is now pregnamt and maturing.  Always good characters with a somewhat convoluted plot set in Paris.

 And When She Was Good, a stand alone by hometown girl Laura Lippman.  Although I enjoyed this mystery, I, like many of the reviewers, would like her to bring back her PI Tess Monaghan series.  I read on her blog that, now that Tess is pregnant, she's not sure what to do with her.  She needs to talk to Cara Black (see above).

Dead Woman's Shoes (Lexy Lomax #1) by Kaye C. Hill - She is running away from her creep of a husband and buys a rundown shack of a woman who has died. She starts answering the phone and finds out the dead woman was a PI and she starts taking the jobs.  Lots of good characters.  Fall Girl (Lexy #2) was not as good as #1.

Been reading lots of David Handler's series.  The older one starts with The Man who Died Laughing (Stewart Hoag) who wrote a best seller and can't write a 2nd book.  He gets hired as a ghost writer and the fun begins.  The later series is David Handler's Berger & Mitry series starting with The Cold Blue Blood.  NY film critic Mitch Berger moves to CT and gets involved in many mysteries with police officer Mitry. I like sarcastic MCs.

I really like the John Ceepak series by Chris Grabenstein set on the Jersey Shore.  Starts with Tilt-a-Whirl, Anthony Award winner for best first mystery.   Ceepak is an ex Marine, by the book military policeman, and the stories are written through the eyes of Danny Boyle who starts out as as a summer intern who works with Ceepak and develops nicely throughout the series.

The First Rule of Ten (Tenzing Norbu) by Gay Hendricks is the first book in this series. Ten Norbu is a PI who was brought up in a Buddhist monastery in India, moved to L.A. and became an L.A. police detective.  He has an interesting slant on crime solving.  I'm up to The Third Rule of Ten.  

Also read The Goldfinch, best seller by Donna Tartt (Aunt Bicky made me do it!).  Seven hundred pages long, so it took a while, but I liked it.  Different than most of the other stuff I have been reading.

Happy 4th of July.  Hope the storm along the east coast doesn't ruin everybody's holiday.

Susan

 



Last Edited on: 7/1/14 9:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/1/2014 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
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I finished "A Dark and Stormy Knit" by Anne Canadeo, and I have to say it is one of the best in the series.  MC who owns a knitting shop with 3 other friends try to solve a murder, a young girl's sudden disappearance, and who are the Knit Kats, who have yarn bombed all the parking meters on Main Street?  Lots of stuff going on.

Am almost done with "The Quotient of Murder" by Ada Madison.  Part of a series.  MC is a mathematics professor at fictional Henley College in Mass.  I don't think I would want my children to attend that college because there is always a murder or some other skullduggery going on.  :)  This book has both an old cold case as well as more recent crimes.  Interesting how they will pair the two cases, so far I'm clueless.   LOL

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 7/2/2014 6:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,341
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I am reading Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson, Bk 6) :: Darynda Jones. Paranormal mystery. Fun series well written. Ms. Jones has done a good job developing our main character Charley over the years. Stronger character now.

Alice

Date Posted: 7/2/2014 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,600
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I'm finally getting around to listening to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I bought this a long time ago when I still had an audible membership and just hadn't gotten around to it...but had finished a library audio download and had a couple more likely to come available so didn't want to borrow anything else--figured if I listened to a book I owned I could just put it aside. Ha! Not going to happen. I really hate both the main characters in the book, but the story itself is quite interesting. I'm 80% done already...good thing, because I got a notice this morning that The Sound and the Furry by Spencer Quinn is ready to download, so that'll be next. I suspect I'll be ready for light and fluffy by the time I finish Gone Girl. LOL

Otherwise, more fantasy stuff (Golden Fool by Robin Hobb, #2 Tawny Man fantasy) is what I'm reading.

Cheryl

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/2/2014 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Now, look what you did Susan, I have a whole list of books that simply must be read!  It's your fault!

And Joy, you too.  Alice and Cheryl, Ha!  I've read your selections, the Darynda Jones and Gone Girl.

Still have my Marcia Talley going along with Scene of the Climb / Kate Dyer-Seeley.  This is a new series and the MC is a twenty-something who has landed a job in a bad job market.  She's very insecure. I can't remember being like that and yet I think I was.  Always afraid I was going to lose my job.  The other I'm reading is  Tailiing a Tabby / Laurie Cass.  Eddie the bookmobile cat is a fun read.  I need the lightness right now.

I also have The Final Arrangement / Annie Adams on my Kindle.  Barely started it yesterday.  MC owns a flower shop in Utah she's heard about the murder of a competitor.

 

Date Posted: 7/3/2014 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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Read Land of the Blind/Jess Walter...the second in the series featuring Spokane, WA homicide detective Caroline
Mabry.  Not really sure how to describe it...sort of a mystery wrapped in a novel.  Caroline who is totally burned out and depressed has been put on swing shift.  Other cops bring in a man whom they think is emotionally disturbed since he won't give them any information.  She talks to him and learns he wants to confess to a murder, but won't give her any names.  He agrees to write it all out.   The book is divided into sections and over half of the sections are his confession or "Statement of Fact" as he calls it.  While I liked the first section, I was about ready to give up on this one,  But, got intrigued the more I read and ended up liking the book.  Walter is a very good writer and really pulls you in.

Ran errands this am and the car parked at a UBS (I didn't do it!  LOL)  Hey, only came out with  5 books!!  Still working on getting current with the series books on my TBR before starting any new series...think I only have five to go. 

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY TO ALL!

Date Posted: 7/4/2014 4:53 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
Posts: 644
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Susan - I agree that Lippman needs to bring back Tess. I wasn't crazy about The Girl in the Green Raincoat during which Tess was pregnant and on forced bedrest. I'm sure she can still sleuth, she just needs to stay out of danger. I don't know of any rule that says the P.I. has to put her life on the line in every book.There are other ways of building suspense at the end of the novel.

I was in a bit of a reading slump, caught up in online genealogy. So I listened to all of you and changed books. Just finished Effigies by Mary Anna Evans, the third in her series featuring archaeologist Faye Longchamp. It was a good mystery, even though I figured out who done it before Faye. This book provided some interesting information about the Choctaws, one of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast.

Happy Independence Day!

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/4/2014 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Well, tsk I've done it again!  At least it's only five! 

I have Unbreathed Memories / Marcia Talley, Scene of the Climb / Kate Dyer-Seeley, The Final Arrangement / Annie Adams on my Kindle, Tailing A Tabby / Laurie Cass and Be Careful What You Witch For / Dawn Eastman.  I got that one Wednesday and just had to start reading it yesterday.  I've waited so long for it to be published and read so much in between I've forgotten the side characters.   They are coming back.  The one that has my attention the most is Tailing A Tabby.  The MC is a bit too sweet in spots, Eddie the cat is fun and the introduction of a love interest, well.  The male is jealous and the female doesn't catch on to it.  A bit dense on her part and yet she catches other small things in a flash.  I guess a little of can't see the forest for the trees.

We've had challenges where you were supposed to find a book written in the state where you were born and I would have trouble with it.  At the time I struggled to find something I hadn't read rather than re-reading.  Tailing A Tabby and Be Careful What You Witch For are both located in Michigan.  One a little further south than the other but both on the west side of the state.  As one character said located about where the little finger on the mitten is located.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY EVERYONE

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 7/4/14 10:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/4/2014 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,909
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cool     Happy Birthday America!! 

Hope everyone is having better weather than we are today on the East Coast.  We're all dealing with rain plus the threat of even more rain from the fringes of Arthur as he swings by  Maine on the way to Nova Scotia. I know others are dealing with much more than we are getting ~ hope everyone is safe and able to enjoy the day!

I'm reading an interesting book,  "A Study in Sherlock"  edited by Laurie King and Leslie Klinger.  Several authors were asked to write a short story related to Sherlock Holmes based on the Holmes Canon.  Some of them are written with Sherlock working on a case in the late 1800's,  some are in the present day,  one of the authors even wrote his story in the form of an illustrated comic book.   All quite interesting.  Laurie King writes the excellent Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell series.  Of which I have read all - if you haven't come across this series, give it a try.  Not a cozy, but is set in the time period in which Holmes lived. 

Date Posted: 7/4/2014 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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Happy Fourth everybody!!!!

Well, I haven't been doing well at all. Two DNFs back to back:Trapped by Irene Hannon and Murder Caribbean Style by Diane Rapp. Too much romance in them to suit me. So, I picked up the book Mary(mepom) was reading: Carved in Darkness and hopefully it will be just the ticket!

Date Posted: 7/4/2014 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
Posts: 644
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We finally had some rain last night in Phoenix. Not a lot, but it's a start. Our temps have gone down to the 90s for the first time since the end of May. Of course, the humidity has gone up. I had a doctor's exam Wednesday. He came in and quizzed me: "How many days until October?" It took me just a few seconds to come up with the correct answer: "Too many." 

50 States Personal Challenge Countdown
I started this challenge on July 5, 2013 and finished July 4, 2014

DONE! - Alamo North Dakota by Phil Rustad. A house is broken into. The burglar is searching for something specific when he's interrupted by the old woman who lives there, and she becomes collateral damage. A few days later her safe deposit box yields a packet of love letters going back to 1938. They provide a clue that will take the investigators from a Twin Cities suburb to the title locale. I have very mixed feelings about this book. It starts with a good premise and plot, the characters are interesting, and the author has a good feel for setting. However, the book suffers from some redundancies and lengthy diversions that slowed down the story. Also, there were quite a few typos, and even some wrong words - "all my conscience life" instead of "all my conscious life." The publisher, Fast Dog Express, obviously read it and recognized a good mystery in there, but it really should have slowed the presses long enough for a good editor to make it into a first class book. I gave it three and a half stars.



Last Edited on: 7/4/14 9:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/5/2014 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,107
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Well it sounds as though all are well and reading up a storm.  The pooches and I remain in Tulsa but really, really want to head home next week.  I was set to leave this week but decided I did not want to drive during the holiday week.  Hopefully next week will work out.  Finally have a stucco person lined up in Delaware and he will hopefully be starting in the next week to 10 days.  Thus, I need to get home and get the rest of the house "market ready".

I have been reading a goodly number of books on my Kindle, but will have to look them up to tell you the names.  I think one was "The Old Buzzard Had It Coming" --- it was set in Oklahoma and is on my Challenge list for that State.  It was quite good.  The main character is Alafair Tucker, an Oklahoma farm wife in the early 1900s.  Now I am on to something set in the Smokey Mountain National Park and the main character is a travelling, home health nurse.  It is good as well.  The title nor the author pop in mind just now, will report those later.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/5/2014 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Becky!  So good to see you here again!  Seems like forever since we heard the saga of your aunt's house.  Did it sell?  Hope everything is well.  Must be if you're leaving.  Hope everything goes well with the stucco guy.  I'm not having any luck with my landscapers.

I've finished Final Arrangement and Tailing a Tabby.  Now reading Once She Knew / Sheila Connelly on Kindle and of course the remaining three books that I have going. 



Last Edited on: 7/5/14 12:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/5/2014 7:49 PM ET
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Geri --- Just felt that my "Perils of Pauline" are too much information that is NOT about reading or books!!!  Aunt Betty's house has not sold.  Found out that since 5 of her 7 lots were not "Transferred on Death" to my mother they must go thru a probate process.  It is all in the hands of an Estate Attorney at this point.  She has been able to put hands on Deeds for all 7 lots which is good.  It will take 60 days at a minimum before we can sell.  So I am hoping to be home for a while!!!

The Smoky Mountain book mentioned above is "Out on a Limb" by Carolyn Jourdan and it was very good.  I am now reading something with black in the title for a challenge.  Will have to check Kindle to get the particulars.

Date Posted: 7/5/2014 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2009
Posts: 1,792
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Becky - my sympathies on going through probate - had to deal with that in 2010 with my father's death and 2012 with my MIL's death. Not a fun or easy time!!!

I'm trying to read The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr.  I don't know why I am finding it a slogfest.  It is a really good story but I stop every half hour or so and am not sure WHY. I am determined to plow through because I want to know what happened. But the narrator seems to go into too much detail instead of getting to the point.

Hope everyone's 4th of July was happy and safe.

Leslie

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 1:42 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I was 10 books behind on my Goodreads goal so I hit it hard and read 20some books last month, now I'm 5 ahead. Mystery wise I read the 4th Tana French book, Broken Harbour. She is so good, can't wait until she gets the next one out. Every one has had a different MC but they are all part of the same group, they have a connection. I also read The Son by Jo Nesbo, a stand alone book that has already been optioned for a movie. The MC was very Harry Hole-like but not quite as messed up.

I read The Goldfinch too, on my phone. I had no idea how big it was when I bought it. Man that took forever. It was good though, I didn't like the very ending but the rest was worth it.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 3:21 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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Becky, but your "Perils of Becky" are a saga!  cheeky  Remember we all decided you just left the dead body in a box in the garage out of the mix.

Still working on Scene of the Climb.  Trying to work on my landscaping wears me out so much I'm falling asleep to firecrackers!   

That's my saga.  Will the landscape company show up this week?  Will my evergreens and bushes get trimmed?  Will my remaining flowers be planted?  Or will everything just... fall apart?

I did mention that I finished Tailing A Tabby.  I loved the first book, couldn't wait for the second and found myself disappointed in it at the end.  I know I'll get the next because there were a couple of things left hanging.  It seemed a bit mixed up, I actually had a bit of trouble keeping the characters straight in my head.  I don't remember the MC being quite so naive either.  She's supposed to be from "downstate" in Michigan which means a city, a college grad who worked in a big city library before coming to the small town.  She of course is investigating a murder because the police certainly don't know what they're doing.  though every time she tells the detective some tidbit he says, yes we've checked that.  Though she does a really dumb thing to catch the killer and doesn't tell the police what she's doing.  



Last Edited on: 7/6/14 4:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
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Becky - wonderful to hear from you!! 

Geri  -  I can feel it in my bones, this is the week your landscaping issues will be solved! 

Finished "A Study in Sherlock" with Laurie King as editor.  I found it to be about three short stories too long.  Some of them were really good, some of them were not so much and a couple were downright stupid and had nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes at all.  I do however, think that if you like Holmes you will like this one.  I recommend you don't read it straight through though.  I was a bit overwhelmed by the end.

Have picked up "Shadows of a Down East Summer" by Lea Wait.  Latest in her series of Antique Print Mysteries.  And yes, it does take place in Maine!  The MC and her boyfriend are visiting his Aunt Nellie in the fictional town of Waymouth which is right on the coast.  Practically the minute the MC arrives she is asked to help a friend of Aunt Nellie do some research on a biography she is writing about her mother, who was a semi-famous artist.  A lost journal, at least two deaths so far and what appears to be the potential for quite a bit of angst in the romance round out the book so far.  It has been a couple years since I read the book before this one, so I'm having a bit of difficulty figuring out the on-going plot line, who is who, etc.  The MC is being a bit of a whiner about this romance business, I hope it doesn't ruin the mystery plot.  Will certainly let you know.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 7/6/2014 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
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Another "Perils" tidbit.  We have heard nothing from cousin Amy since the incident at Aunt Betty's house with the Sheriffs!!!  I suppose that is a good thing until she has a desire to put this craziness behind her, but hard for us not to think of her and wonder!!

Oh the "black" book I am reading is not the one I had down for the Challenge.  It is "Blackhouse" set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, written by Peter May.  A police procedural and good thus far.  Did you know they speak Gaelic there????  I really thought Gaelic was limited to Ireland --- learning something all the time.

Am about to my limit of living here with mother and Aunt Reba.  All sorts of physical problems are cropping up from the stress I suppose.  My neck went out of kilter and I can hardly turn my head and now this morning I have awakened with a bit of vertigo when I bend over.  Who would think that after 40+ years of living on my own, having to live in a tiny house with two old ladies who only watch Hallmark and the Waltons would put me over the edge????  I try not to show any of the angst to them which likely makes it worse, so the old body acts up!!!  Really planning to leave this week come hell or high water!!!

Date Posted: 7/6/2014 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
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Good to hear from you, Becky!  Had a feeling you were simply overwhelmed, but am glad to get the update on your "Perils"!  Hope you  and the fur people are able to head home soon.

Finished Close to the Bone/Stuart MacBride...the 8th in the series.  As good as the others...DI Logan McRae is still getting mixed up in all sorts of things and DCI Steele is in top form and, no, her language hasn't improved !!  This Brit series is just off-the-wall enough that I love it!

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Joy, from your mouth to God's ear!  Though the day is perfect for outside work so I trimmed three shrubs, one tree and a bush.  They're all small so though it sounds like major work but all told it was about an hour.  I also planted two flowers and put batteries in my solar lights.

Now, I'm reading Dead Wrong / Leighann Dobbs.   Billed as a romantic cozy mystery.  Yes indeed we have four sisters, all single and a new deputy in town.  He likes one of the sisters and she gets tingles from him.  The oldest sister has been accused of murder on the silliest premise.  It seems like the sheriff might be crooked.  I have a theory about the one of the murders.  The second is a mystery.  devil  This one has me speed reading.

 

Date Posted: 7/7/2014 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 167
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Hi!  New to this conversation, hope I can jump in!

Lately I've been bouncing back and forth between silly sort of caper mysteries and serious, heavy spy thrillers.  So far this includes:

  • Carl Hiaasen's "Sick Puppy" - a story about land developers ruining Florida and the people trying to stop them,  The bad guys all die in strange ways but it's not gross because he makes you laugh while he is bumping them off.  Very similar to Tim Dorsey's books.
  • Also finished Hiaasen's "Strip Tease" and I now have "Nature Girl" in the car for my upcoming carpool reading time.
  • I just finished Lawrence Block's "In the Midst of Death" (Matthew Scudder series) and it is my least favorite of his, so far.  The "Burglar" and "Hit Man" series are so much lighter.  This one is darker, and was written in the early-mid 70's and doesn't seem to have aged as well as the other.
  • Mark Greaney's "The Grey Man" - a very good spy thriller - former spy that was burned and became a freelance assassin.  He chases people, they chase him, lots of things blow up as they race around the world.
  • I liked it so well that I added Mr. Greaney's "On Target" to my Nook for my lunchtime reading.
     

Fun stuff!  I love learning about new (to me) authors and books!  Happy Monday!

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/7/2014 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Hi Mylinda, welcome to the party!  Sounds like you have some good reading going there.  I feel the same about the Matt Scudder series.  Just not my cuppa...

I'm now reading the third John Enright Jungle Beat series, Dead Men Don't Dance on my Kindle.  So far so good.

Nothing from the landscaper I hired but I did hear from another company so...

Date Posted: 7/7/2014 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
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Read Burglar in the Closet by Lawrence Bloch. I really like the writing. Sometimes it's LOL funny. 

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