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Topic: MAY's "What are you reading now?" topic

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Subject: MAY's "What are you reading now?" topic
Date Posted: 5/1/2010 5:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
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Good (way too early) morning, everyone! Rather than try the 5-minute-pillow-test with DH (who is snoring like a chainsaw!) and end up part of my own murder mystery, I decided to get up and be semi-productive. I've only had half a cup of coffee, so not sure I'm coherent just yet though. This is why the large print is in use--hopefully I can see my mistakes better. LOL

I started Moonlight Downs by Adrian Hyland yesterday and am finiding it hard to put down. It's set in the Australian outback and features Emily Tempest, an amateur sleuth who is half-white, half-Aborigine, and doesn't feel she quite belongs in either world. Looks to be an other really excellent foreign mystery!

I'm listening to Plague Year by Jeff Carlson, which isn't mystery--more like dystopian fiction I guess. About a post-plague-ridden world, set in the mountains of California. So far it's quite interesting, but I've only just started.

How about you? What book(s) are in your hands and/or ears to kick off May?

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
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I have my nose in a few things.  I'm nearly a third of the way through "Tower of Silence" by Sarah Rayne.  This is a 500+ page book and although I'm enjoying it and I'm anxious and curious about the direction of several of the storylines, I'm also feeling like this probably could have been a 300+ page book instead.  The pacing is a little slow and it toggles back and forth between current times and late-40s India.  I believe the author churned out several romance novels before trying her hand at psychological thrillers.  "Tower of Silence" is her first attempt at the genre and if she can move things along, I think she might have a winner.

I'm also reading "The Coffin Trail" by Martin Edwards.  This is a British mystery set in the Lakes District.  I've only just read the prologue and first chapter but the reviews for this one are good and it promises to live up to the reviews.

Yesterday, I happened upon a nearly new trade PB copy of "Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout.  This is not a mystery but it is the Pulizer Prize winner for 2008 and this edition has a WL that is 130+ long so I nabbed it for a buck.  I've been wanting to read it so now I have my opportunity.

May is going to be a great reading month!

**ETA** I forgot about "The Killing Way" by Tony Hays!  I picked this one up at the library and read the first three or four chapters while waiting for my son to finish his homework. (He won't do homework at home so I pack him off to the library.  He works, I read.  It's a win/win!)  "The Killing Way" takes place in Britain at the time of King Arthur and features a one armed soldier as the sleuth.  So far it's good.  Dirt, blood,  offal, rain, big burly soldiers, pagans and druids...I like it!



Last Edited on: 5/1/10 11:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/1/2010 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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LeeAnne - ooh, The Killing Way does sound good!

I am currently reading The Lost Girls by Jack Kerley (on page 100 or so). I've read all of his other books and this one looks to be great. I love the humor in it as well as the mystery!! These mysteries take place in the Gulf/ Mobile area and I really like the descriptions of the life styles of the characters in this book.

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
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I am reading Lee Child's Gone Tomorrow and frankly I am not feeling it. I love Reacher, but the leaps of logic to make connections is even too much for me. I give Lee alot of leeway as a general rule because I am in love with Reacher, but this....just isn't working. Anybody who has read it, how did you feel about it?

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 5/1/2010 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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I've just finished Loser's Town by Daniel Depp (Johnny's bro).  His first novel a bit slow here and there but generally not bad.  I'd look for a second but not anxiously.  I also polished off Kitty Litter Killer just for something quick to fill a spot without realizing it was the third book in the series.  I did get a bit lost in a couple of places because the author referes to her other "cases".  Quickly over came that though.

Next up is a challenge book The Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson (been on my TBR for over a year). 

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
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I read my first Kevin Kerney (and the first in the series, lol), Tularosa by Michael McGarrity today. Enjoyed it. Also read books 1 and 2 in the Valerie Wolzien Susan Henshaw series. Older series, but it was fairly good too, she doesn't have as bad of a case of the "dumbs" as some I've run into lately. And finally unearthed Monica Ferris' Embroidered Truths (I'd had to read #10 long ago because I couldn't locate this one) - and finished that off as well.

I don't know what's next up, I have The Professional by Robert Parker waiting in the wings, but will probably "save" it awhile and try to knock off some more cozies that are rapidly accruing, or read book 4 in the Laurie King series, A Letter of Mary, or Out of the Deep I Cry,  book 3 in the Julia Spencer-Fleming series. Way too many choices on my out of control TBR. :-)

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I finished Shoot to Thrill, the latest Monkeewrench novel by P.J. Tracy this morning. and have been trying to figure out what to say about it since that time.

I think that in general I agree with an Amazon reviewer who captioned his review with the title "A Good Book in a Great Series".   Overall, I've loved the Monkeewrench series - the settings, the characters, the humor, the suspense and the twists.  My favorite books in the series are the first (Monkeewrench) and the third (Dead Run).  The last book in this series came out almost four years ago, so this book was eagerly awaited by P.J. Tracy's fans.  I thought the last book was just OK - Snow Blind - primarily because I thought the plot was too far-fetched. (However, the concept of hiding a body inside a snowman was very cool.)    Shoot to Thrill didn't suffer from that problem at all.   One element of this book that really worked for me was the plot, which involved a series of murders coordinated over the internet.   It was entirely too possible that something like this could - and probably has - happened in today's world.

I also appreciated that we got a deeper look into the lives of the Monkeewrench team - especially Harley and Grace.   Unfortunately, Annie (my favorite character) didn't get as much screen time as I would have liked.    And there were several new characters introduced.  I really liked the FBI agent John Smith and have a feeling we're going to see him in future Monkeewrench novels.

One very cool scene in the book for me featured a cameo appearance by a character (a victim) called Lisa Timmersman.  When I attended the author signing this week, Lisa Timmersman was there (the real Lisa).   She won a part as a character in this book by bidding on it in a charity auction.    And it was a really, really good scene - highly suspenseful!

However, the action and suspense was a little bit up and down, and the ending seemed almost anti-climactic.   And the witty repartee between the two cops (Gino and Leo) seemed a little forced.   Yes this series is known for its humor, but not every sentence out of Gino's mouth has to be a one-liner or a complaint!

Overall though, I am very very glad that Monkeewrench and Leo and Gino are BACK, and I'm already eagerly waiting for the next book.

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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Great, great review, Lynne! Sounds like really suspenseful M/T writing in this series!

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Lynne, sometimes I think just the anticipation of waiting so long for a book can cause somewhat of a letdown when it's actually done. I am definitely looking forward to Shoot to Thrill--waiting for the library to cough up the audio version.

Speaking of audio, I ended up DNFing Plague Year--started out interesting but the author couldn't stay on track and ended up wandering through endless backstory that wasn't necessary. And the prose started to become boring. The reader was pretty good and tried his best to make it interesting, but I just couldn't stay with it. So I've downloaded Laurie R. King's The Language of Bees to listen to instead. We'll see if that's better.

Edited to add: ARGH! As soon as I started listening to Language of Bees, I realized my mistake. I thought it was the first in the series (I knew it had Bee in the title! LOL) but it's not. And the library only has The Beekeeper's Apprentice on CD...soooo...in the interest of instant gratification, I DL'd Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger instead. LOL

Lee Anne wrote: Dirt, blood,  offal, rain, big burly soldiers, pagans and druids...I like it!   ROFL! It does indeed sound great! I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for it.

Cheryl



Last Edited on: 5/2/10 9:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/2/2010 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Cheryl said: Sometimes I think just the anticipation of waiting so long for a book can cause somewhat of a letdown when it's actually done.

I agree, and that's something that ran through my mind several times when I was putting together my review.   I do think it was a good mystery, it just didn't meet the high expectations that I've come to expect from the Monkeewrench series. 

Guess what?  You and I are reading / listening to the same book!   Or we will be soon anyway.  I've been on a Minnesota kick lately, and right now I'm reading The Great Gatsby (set in Long Island but written by a famous MN author).   But when I'm done with Gatsby, Mercy Falls is waiting on my kitchen table.   By the way, I need your help.   I recently purchased an MP3 player for the primary purpose of downloading audiobooks from the library.  I followed all the instructions from the library, but can't get a download to work.  I know that you do this all of the time, so ..... help!   I"ll send you a PM on the subject.



Last Edited on: 5/2/10 10:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/2/2010 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I agree, The Killing Way looks very good.  I love books set in the Arthurian period.   It's wishlisted here on PBS, but luckily it's available in the Twin Cities library system!

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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I finished up Lee Chid's Gone Tomorrow. I know at first the leaps of logic really put me off, but I stuck with it. Finally I let that all go and let Lee start working his magic with Reacher and I began to truly enjoy the story. It starts out with Reacher realizing that a woman on the Subway was a suicide bomber. When he approachers her and starts to talk with her, she committs suicide in front of him. This starts a whole chain of events that have nothing to do with a suicide and everything to do with possibly national security. If you like the Reacher series this is a good book. If you have never read LC then I would start out with Trip Wire, Persuader, One Shot or Killing Floor.

Next up I will be a romance and then after that I have Preston and Child's Cemetary Dance, cannot wait! I wish though that Richard Preston, Douglas's brother would write another awesome book like the Cobra Event, man what scary good book that was. Hard to tell it was fiction.

Ellie (EllieW) - ,
Date Posted: 5/2/2010 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2007
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Keri, I did not know that Richard Preston was Douglas' brother. I loved The Cobra Event, too. They are two of my favorite authors.

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I'll be interested to hear what you think of "Mercy Falls", Cheryl and Lynne.  I have read all the books in the Cork Corcoran series up to that point in quick succession and really enjoyed them.  "Mercy Falls" is the one that has made me put William Kent Krueger on the back burner for a while.  He nearly jumped the shark for me  (he mostly pulled it back in) so I figured it was time to take a break.  I don't want to give up on Cork the way I gave up on Anna Pigeon!

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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Yep, if you look at their pictures side by side you can see the resemblance.

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
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I'm currently working on Caught by Harlan Coben.  Honestly, I had decided that if this latest book of his wasn't any good, I was done reading him.  And of course, it is completely holding my attentiong!  I'm listening to Escape by Carolyn Jessop.  Jeez but it makes me angry to listen to what went on in that group.  It's horrid what can become "normal" for people who don't have any power to force change.  I'll finish up Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Rayburn that I'm reading on my iPhone tomorrow at work on my break.

 

Next up is Heresy by S.J. Parish.  Then I have some fluff books from the library that I HAVE to finish reading so I can return them.

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Melani, be sure to let us know what you think of "Heresy" after you read it.  I have it on my WL and I've read good things about it but you know how that goes!  Many books that are favorably reviewed turn out to be real turds! LOL!

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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LeeAnne: this is my comment on Heresy by S J Parris in the HF forum dated 4/14/10 and 4/16/10:

 4/14/10

Now I am reading Heresy by S J Parris and even though I am only 50 pages into it, I really like it . I am enjoying her writing style and the " issue" at hand (so far). I know that there are more "issues" to come. This book starts out in a Monastery in Naples in the year 1576. One of the monks has been caught reading books that the Church considers heretical.He runs away and at this point, he is really doing some controversial stuff with his life - as a matter of fact he has been accused of heresy not only by the Catholic church but by the Calvinists as well! So far, so good - it  remains to be seen how this book goes.

4/16/10

I mentioned that I was reading Heresy by S.J. Parris, and now I am about 3/4 of the way into it. What I didn't realize when I started it, is that this book is based on the real life of Giordano Bruno, who was a Dominican monk in the 16th century, accused of heresy and ultimately burned at the stake. In this book however, he is the sleuth trying to discover a serial killer at Oxford. Parris describes the period and locale vividly. It seems to me that she is pretty much "dead on the money" as far as her historical facts are concerned. (I did a little research of my own.)  Her characters are very realistic and the mystery is gripping. I have already made up my mind that if she writes a sequel to this book, I'm reading it!!

I really did like it!!

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Jeanne, it may have been your review that inspired me to add this one to my WL.  Thanks for the reminder. :)

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
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I doing Joanne Dobson's The Raven and the Nightengale.  I wish I had a professor in college who was this cool.

Date Posted: 5/3/2010 8:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Lynne, I don't see a PM from you but will send a few tips for downloading.

LeeAnne, so far I'm finding Mercy Falls very engaging--I listened to half of it yesterday already! It has been a number of years since I read a Cork O'Connor book and I think the break was just what was needed.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 5/3/2010 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I read We Wish You a Merry Murder by Valerie Wolzien for my holiday challenge yesterday, as well as Dating Can be Deadly by Wendy Roberts.

Date Posted: 5/3/2010 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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Jodi, DCBC is on my WL, was it as good as her Ghost Duster Mysteries?

Date Posted: 5/3/2010 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Keri, I don't know...I haven't read those. :-) It was pretty good, the "whodunnit" was a surprise until the end which I always appreciate. I enjoyed it and I'm not much of a paranormal fan.

Date Posted: 5/3/2010 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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Thanks Jodi, she just can't write the Ghost Duster mysteries fast enough for me. They are a great series and I love Sadie and Zach together. Hopefully I will get DCBC soon.

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