Patty P. (poppysbabies) - Reviews

1 to 10 of 10
The Alienist
The Alienist
Author: Caleb Carr
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 543
Review Date: 6/28/2009


This is a terrific, atmospheric, book on the detective work involved in hunting down an insane killer who can pass for normal while he selects his innocent victims. Caleb Carr writes with such skill and empathy that you forget it's fiction! Don't let the length deter you - that just means there's more to enjoy! A tight-knit group of friends all follow a psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (psychologists were known in those days as an "alienist" since people with mental problems were "alienated" by society.) It's practically a Patricia Cornwell book in early-New York clothing. This is just a wonderful, intriguing story which will leave you well satisfied that this was a good way to spend your time.


And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily, Bk 1)
And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily, Bk 1)
Author: Tasha Alexander
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 239
Review Date: 9/29/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This book features a poignant, unique, storyline - about a woman who falls in love with her husband only after his death - and it evolves into a very satisfying tale! The author, Tasha Alexander, has a delightful ear for dialogue and you can hear the coquettish flirting or the dry sarcasm as friends tease each other, throughout the book. You grow to like the main heroine Emily Ashton very much as she makes discovery after discovery about her little-known late husband - most of them good, some mysteriously uncharacteristic of him -- and she puts it together like a Nancy Drew of the Victorian Age. The plot is only slightly transparent at places, but by the end you're cheering Emily Ashton on! I LOVED it and I'm looking forward to the rest of Alexander's novels!


Deep South (Anna Pigeon, Bk 8)
Deep South (Anna Pigeon, Bk 8)
Author: Nevada Barr
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 9/7/2008
Helpful Score: 2


This book is a stunning tour de force - the story of national park ranger who's relocating from the clean-blown, arid, mid-West to take a job up the bureaucratic ladder. The job happens to be in the sultry south of Natchez Trace, Mississippi. So the book starts -- with great atmosphere -- about change: change in locale, home, and work environment. Then the murders start and Ranger Anna Pigeon puts on her detective hat, meeting a Southerners on their home turf, sizing them up, trying to figure out hidden agendas - Who can she trust? Lots of excellent descriptions, about National Park sites, the Civil War, a clash of personalities and Anna's own self-doubt, are front and center. The author's love for the area is captured in superior writing skill and the ending is absolutely thrilling and terrific! This book is the crown jewel of Nevada Barr's writings - I have read it twice and enjoy it as much as any more famous book by other authors. This book will stay with you as the emotions ring true, the scene-setting is captivating, and the personalities are three-dimensional. Five stars all around!


The Devil of Nanking: A Novel
The Devil of Nanking: A Novel
Author: Mo Hayder
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 7/14/2012
Helpful Score: 1


This is an astounding, mesmerizing book. It details a young girl's quest to solve an early mystery in her life. The protagonist is distinctly off-beat; raised cruelly by a mother with strange rules, then institutionalized as we find out bit-by-bit, the girl, Grey, absolutely HAS to locate a specific, elusive book describing the Japanese assault on Nanking - it's important to her mental health.
She finds the author in Tokyo, but to survive while he makes a bargain with her, she becomes a coffeehouse girl and lives in a moldering, run-down labyrinth of a apartment-house with distinctly odd companions. The needs of Nanking book's author and Grey blend together with haunting suspense and psychological thrills. This book is not for the faint of heart, but it will reverberate as a core-shaking book for those who enjoy a tense British-style mystery.


Me Talk Pretty One Day
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Author: David Sedaris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 1912
Review Date: 7/5/2009
Helpful Score: 6


Nothing prepared me for the sheer audacity and frankness of this book. I found myself laughing for days - literally days - after I read some passages and recalled them even weeks afterwards. David Sedaris has a gift for sketching the most bizarrely true events in his life and putting them in spare terms that hit your funny bone 'just so'! This is a perfect book for a savvy college student, anyone who faces a struggle of learning a new language or anyone who likes modern stand-up comedy. This is a book of autobiographical chapters and if you're not prudish, his rapier wit will exhilarate you- even as it stuns you - with sheer insightful humor. Just hilarious!


Peony in Love
Peony in Love
Author: Lisa See
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 351
Review Date: 7/10/2011
Helpful Score: 1


Brilliant! In a quiet, graceful way, Lisa See introduces us to the cloistered life of a young Chinese girl. The longings, the delicacy and the deep introspection of a young, spoiled girl are beautifully captured. When she makes moonlight forbidden - yet oh so innocent - trysts with a young poet visiting her house it's almost unbearably romantic! Then the plot takes a few major twists as the story mimics the girl's favorite opera. Lots of insight into Chinese culture, virtues and sophisticated pettiness of a cloistered female society. I was entranced!! I will definitely have to read more from Lisa See!


Pig Island
Pig Island
Author: Mo Hayder
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 7/14/2012
Helpful Score: 2


This book pulls out all the stops! Realistically mysterious, it follows a man who is drawn to investigate an island with a mysterious creature sighted on it. What he finds is a religious cult led by a crazed man. The protagonist rescues the daughter, who has a very strange deformity, and just when you think you understand the book - Bam! The whole plot turns inside out. Mo Hayder can make thrills of excitement and suspense merge with awe and fear. This is a psychological masterpiece which will stay with you!


Reluctant Genius: Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for Invention
Review Date: 1/3/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This is a stunning overview of the man of Alexander Graham Bell and his magnificent, always curious mind. It is also a tender look at his wonderful wife Mabel Hubbard Bell who played an extraordinary supporting and guiding role in managing his sometimes-manic genius. Bell had a devoted passion to work with the deaf so they could be accepted by hearing society and the larger world. But to make money he needed to patent commercial applications for his inventions. He hated paperwork and loved the Eureka! moments of discovery to the exclusion of almost everything else. What we know today of his inventions and his prolific mind is almost exclusively due to the wonderful woman he married, and Charlotte Gray attributes much to his clever choice of wife - and her patience in accepting to live with a genius. This was a tremendous book - very inspiring - and is a great source of material for book reports and inspirational speeches. Bell's love letters to his wife are particularly devoted and touching. A wonderful compilation of facts, interestingly written.


Sacrifice
Sacrifice
Author: S. J. Bolton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 3/14/2010
Helpful Score: 3


This is a gripping and stupendous book! The main character, obstetrician Tora Hamilton, is very sympathetic and smart. She touches the tip of an iceberg of a mystery when she unearths a woman's body in Scottish peat. The location - Shetland Islands of Scotland - the weather - late summer - and the characters are all top-notch. The writing is rich and eloquent - S.J. Bolton can capture sultry romantic feelings in a few sentences, and the conclusion is as vivid as anything at the movies. This is a wild ride of a one-women sleuthing mystery and certainly sets the stage for brilliant mysteries to come.


The Sculptress
The Sculptress
Author: Minette Walters
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 57
Review Date: 3/31/2010


What a treasure! Minette Walters has a gift for revealing the raw emotions that lie a scratch's depth beneath the veneer of civilization. The plot might read a bit gruesomely but it's actually an EXCELLENTLY-paced detective novel. The undercurrent of mutual attraction between Rosalind Leigh the writer-detective, left wounded by her past, and an ex-policemen with problems coming at him from all sides is masterful. This book shows you cannot judge a book by its cover, but the cover might not be the opposite of what the book contains, either... This is captivating reading, perfect for a chilly night with a hot toddy beside you.


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