Lynda J R. - Reviews

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The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, Bk 1)
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, Bk 1)
Author: Laurie R. King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 62
Review Date: 2/9/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Sherlock Holmes meets his equal -- and it's a woman! Well, a young girl in this, the first book about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. Read them all -- and in order to best enjoy how the relationship develops. The books are a wonderful continuation of where Arthur Conan Doyle began and are more lively and funny, too. Laurie King is a wonderful writer.


The Beet Queen
The Beet Queen
Author: Louise Erdrich
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 7/4/2007


This book is not a hardcover. It is a large paperback book, ISBN-10.


Case Histories (Jackson Brodie, Bk 1)
Case Histories (Jackson Brodie, Bk 1)
Author: Kate Atkinson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 550
Review Date: 1/16/2016


Fantastic detective story; although, it's as much a series of family dramas as a mystery. I was a huge fan of the PBS TV series and the book is even better. Jackson Brodie is a world-weary private detective with a selfish ex-wife and young daughter. The cases he works on are myriad -- from tracking what might be a philandering wife and a strayed cat to a 34-year-old missing child case and an unsolved murder. The people involved in each case are so detailed and believable. And not always likeable. There's an underlying dark sense of humor that's very appealing amid such serious cases. There are three more Jackson Brodie novels and I'm looking forward to all of them.


Choices
Choices
Author: Mary Lee Settle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/25/2007


"One woman's extraordinary journey through the maelstrom of the 20th century... As a young southern belle of shallow longings in the early 1930s, Melinda Kregg leads a safe life built on guilt-edged securities in coal. When her mother suggested she volunteer for 'something nice,' Melinda willfully signs on with the Red Cross in Harlan County, Kentucky. There her conscience is stirred by the bloody coal-mining strike, but when she aids the black-listed miners, she is branded a Communist and dismissed from the Red Cross. Her innocence shattered, Melinda moves to other battlefields, tending to the social wounded wherever it may be - the Spanish Civil War, World War II London, the civil-rights torn South."


The Dark Descent
The Dark Descent
Author: David G. Hartwell (Editor)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/4/2007


This anthology of horror stories presents an evolution of the genre in 1,011 pages, with stories by Stephen King, M.R. James, H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Harlan Ellison, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Clive Barker, John Collier, Edgar Allen Poe, Richard Matheson, Charles Dickens, Joyce Carol Oates, Ambrose Bierce, Edith Wharton, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Philip K. Dick and many others.


The Demolished Man
The Demolished Man
Author: Alfred Bester
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 44
Review Date: 3/3/2007
Helpful Score: 1


This science fiction classic was the winner of the first Hugo Award. It has an introduction by Harry Harrison.


Don't I Know You?
Don't I Know You?
Author: Karen Shepard
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 2/3/2013
Helpful Score: 1


"Dont I Know You?" is one of the most haunting books Ive read in a long time. The story is divided into thirds, each covering a period in New York City spanning 12 years. It begins with the murder of a woman who is found by her 12-year-old son. As the book goes on, it becomes clear how the people in each section are connected and who might have a motive for the murder. Shepards writing is just marvelous in a book that is not a typical murder-mystery, but rather a look at how little we really know about each other. An example: The one thing he could see in the open space ahead of him was the missing shape of his mother. It was reassuring to know it would always be there. He folded (a picture of) her in half, in quarters. He swallowed her. She would stay there, slowly unfolding for the rest of his life.


The Earthsea Trilogy
The Earthsea Trilogy
Author: Ursula K. leGuin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/3/2007


This is a boxed set of three paperbacks, "A Wizard of Earthsea," "The Tombs of Atuan" and "The Farthest Shore."


Everville
Everville
Author: Clive Barker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/3/2007


Not a huge Clive Barker fan, but I loved this book. After I read it, I discovered it was part of a trilogy, but it didn't matter to my enjoyment of the book.


The Final Solution: A Story Of Detection
The Final Solution: A Story Of Detection
Author: Michael Chabon
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 85
Review Date: 1/25/2008
Helpful Score: 3


The Pulitzer Prize-winning author has created a charming homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective. All of his fans will want to read this story, which picks up with the once-famous detective, now 89, living in retirement and keeping bees. When a 9-year-old mute boy with an African parrot happens by his cottage, you just know a mystery will follow. Beautifully done. Mr. Chabon, please write more.


For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History
Review Date: 1/9/2013


"For All the Tea in China" reminded me of the "The Orchid Thief," but it went so much farther, fitting the theft of tea-growing secrets from China into a whole social, anthropological, political and industrial context that staggers the mind. In 1848, when the British East India Co. hired Robert Fortune, a botanist and plant hunter, to travel to China to steal tea seedlings and seeds, with the hope of growing tea in India, it set off a domino effect that ranged from monetary gain and scientific knowledge to improving the health of the British people and the speed of sailing ships. This is a fascinating look at a part of history that covers a short number of years, but changed the world.


Francesca's Kitchen
Francesca's Kitchen
Author: Peter Pezzelli
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 3/17/2007


Widow Francesca Campanile finds herself rudderless with her children and grandchildren too far away. She answers an ad for a babysitter, which leads her to a new family who needs her help (and cooking skills). This gentle book is about family, home, a little romance and lots of cooking.


The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millenium, Bk 2)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millenium, Bk 2)
Author: Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 829
Review Date: 9/7/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Loved all three books in the trilogy. Great characters, smart, suspenseful, topical and well written. What a shame we won't get to read the other seven books planned by Stieg Larsson before he died. He was an exceptional talent.


The Haunting of Maddy Clare
The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Author: Simone St. James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 57
Review Date: 7/30/2014


Sarah Piper takes a temp job as an assistant to rich ghost hunter Alistair Gellis. He needs her because the ghost of Maddy Clare hates men. Sarahs afraid, but shes more afraid of returning to her lonely, wretched London flat. This is a crackling good ghost story, with unique twists and turns. Alistair and his male assistant, Matthew Ryder, are survivors of World War I and both have emotional baggage. Maddys ghost is full of rage, and Sarah will need all her courage to solve the puzzle and prevent Maddy from destroying them all.


The House on the Strand
The House on the Strand
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 8/9/2008


A stunning story of two worlds existing side-by-side. On vacation at an ancient manor house, a young man takes an experimental drug that transports him 600 years into the past--while leaving his body in the present!

In this haunting tale, Daphne du Maurier takes a fresh approach to time travel. A secret experimental concoction, once imbibed, allows you to return to the fourteenth century. There is only one catch: if you happen to touch anyone while traveling in the past you will be thrust instantaneously to the present. Magnus Lane, a University of London chemical researcher, asks his friend Richard Young and Young's family to stay at Kilmarth, an ancient house set in the wilds near the Cornish coast. Here, Richard drinks a potion created by Magnus and finds himself at the same spot where he was moments earlier--though it is now the fourteenth century. The effects of the drink wear off after several hours, but it is wildly addictive, and Richard cannot resist traveling back and forth in time. Gradually growing more involved in the lives of the early Cornish manor lords and their ladies, he finds the presence of his wife and stepsons a hindrance to his new-found experience. Richard eventually finds emotional refuge with a beautiful woman of the past trapped in a loveless marriage, but when he attempts to intervene on her behalf the results are brutally terrifying for the present. Echoing the great fantastic stories of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, The House on the Strand is a masterful yarn of history, romance, horror, and suspense that will grip the reader until the last surprising twist.


Landline: A Novel
Landline: A Novel
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 1/6/2016


Georgie McCool has it all, a job writing one of the most popular comedies in Hollywood with her partner and best friend, Seth; a husband she loves, Neal, and two daughters. But, things between Georgie and Neal haven't been right for a while. He hates the LA scene and only tolerates it and Georgie's erratic schedule. When Georgie can't go home to Omaha with him for Christmas because of a chance to write her dream show, Neal takes the girls and goes without her. When Georgie calls him from her mother's old landline, she reaches the Neal of her college days. Is this a second chance for them or is Georgie supposed to stop the relationship before it gets started? This is an honest, fresh look at love and marriage and life and how we manage to make it work.


The Memory Keeper's Daughter
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Author: Kim Edwards
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 5407
Review Date: 4/7/2007


If you like Jodi Picoult you will love this hauntingly beautiful story of regret, healing and redemption. When a doctor makes a split-second decision to give away one of his newborn twin babies, it sets a chain of events in motion that he could never foresee.


The Pale Blue Eye
The Pale Blue Eye
Author: Louis Bayard
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 8/24/2013


A great historical murder mystery. I love the way Bayard mixes real history and characters, such as Edgar Allan Poe in this book, with his whodunits.


Peace Like A River
Peace Like A River
Author: Leif Enger
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 469
Review Date: 11/21/2012


This is the richest book Ive read in quite a while and an amazing first book for Enger. Its not just marvelous characters in a thrilling plot, but a story about family, faith and love. In 1962, 11-year-old Reuben Land, his 8-year-old sister Swede and 16-year-old brother Davy live with their father, Jeremiah, in a small Midwest town. Reuben, an asthmatic, reckons he was spared at birth to be a witness to the miracles his father performs. When Davy shoots and kills two intruders and escapes from jail, he becomes an outlaw right out of one of Swedes epic poems. The familys trip west in search if him will bring great joy into their lives and grief, too.


The Perfume Collector: A Novel
The Perfume Collector: A Novel
Author: Kathleen Tessaro
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 9/27/2014


This is another time-shifting story. These are becoming very popular and I like them when done well as "The Perfume Collector" is. The stories of Grace Monroe, a 1955 London wife who moves in rarified social circles, and Eva d'Orsey, a Frenchwoman she's never met, collide when Eva dies and makes Grace her beneficiary. When Grace travels to Paris to meet with the lawyers for what she thinks is a misunderstanding, she will embark on a search for Eva's past from 1927 New York to 1932 Monte Carlo, to Paris during the Nazi occupation until Eva's death. Who is Eva and what is she to Grace?


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