Jan 30, 2022

Sunday Salon: The Lost Dragon Murder by Michael Allan Mallory

 New mystery series:

This is the first in a series of mystery books featuring Detective Henry Lau. Looking forward to reading and reviewing it soon.

The Lost Dragon Murder by Michael Allan Mallory, December 31, 2021, BookLocker
Genre: traditional detective novel

Description: The murder of an art expert and the disappearance of a priceless artifact propels Detective Henry Lau into the nebulous world of ancient antiquities. Complicating matters is a parade of dodgy suspects who wouldn’t know a truthful statement if it bit them on the leg. Solving a cryptic clue left by the dead man may be the only way to unlock the mystery.

But can he do it? Back on active duty after near-fatal injuries kept him sidelined, Henry is determined to prove he can still do the job. His detective skills and Wing Chun kung fu knowledge are put to the test when the case spirals to a dangerous showdown.

My library books:

My library books, mosty mysteries and a fantasy, except for Lemon. 
Which book would you start with? 

Have you read any of these authors? 

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated BookreviewerAlso,  It's Monday: What Are You ReadingMailbox Mondayand Sunday Salon  

Jan 25, 2022

First Chapter: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros are hosted by Socrates Book Reviews. Teaser Tuesdays by The Purple Booker

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara, February 4, 2020, Random House. Award winning novel based on a true story, a mystery set in the slums of India. 

This Story Will Save Your Life


When Mental was alive, he was a boss-man with eighteen or twenty children working for him, and he almost never raised his hand against any of them. Every week he gave them 5Stars to split between themselves, or packs of Gems, and he made them invisible to the police or evangelist-types who wanted to salvage them from the streets, and the men who watched them with hungry eyes as the children hurtled down railway tracks, gathering up plastic water bottles before a train could ram in to them.  


Publisher description: Nine-year-old Jai ... decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from episodes of Police Patrol to find a missing schoolmate,...ventures into some of the most dangerous parts of the city. But kids continue to vanish, and Jai and two friends must confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth.

My review on goodreads:

Djinn Patrol on the Purple LineDjinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Realistic, eye-opening, heart breaking. Life and survival in the slums through the eyes of a ten year-old boy who decides with two classmates to become detectives and find out why and how children in their settlement have begun to disappear. Good character development that allows you into the hearts and minds of the people in the slums.

View all my reviews

Jan 23, 2022

Sunday Salon: A New Book and an Old

 A new book and an old: 

Words to Make a Friend: A Story in Japanese and English, November 9, 2021, Random House Studio

This delightful bilingual picture book for children shows a Japanese girl and an American girl communicating in both languages while playing outdoors in the snow. Simple words and phrases by one girl in English are repeated in Japanese by the other girl. Lovely illustrations. 

Lovers at the Chameleon Club by Francine Prose was published in 2014 by Harper. I found the book again while paring down my home library, and because of the stunning cover and the topic, Paris in 1932, I now mean to read it!

The lives of selected athletes, socialites, writers, photographers in Paris from 1920 to the beginning of the war, 1932, have been researched and reimagined for fiction, their names changed in the book.

"Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom. It is a place of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves." (book description)

What are you reading this week? 

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated BookreviewerAlso,  It's Monday: What Are You ReadingMailbox Mondayand Sunday Salon  

Jan 20, 2022

Book Beginning: The Taste of Ginger by Mansi Shah

 The Taste of Ginger by Mansi Shah, January 1, 2022, Lake Union Publishing

Genre: multi-cultural, contemporary fiction, family drama, romance

Descriptiona family tragedy beckons Preeti Desai, a first-generation immigrant in the U.S., back to the city of her birth in India. There, she has to navigate her way through a cultural and generational minefield as she tries to maintain her personal independence and a carefully nurtured Western outlook. 

Book beginning:
A gaggle of women, all speaking over each other in loud, animated voices, filled my parents' small living room. It was like watching a National Geographic special about social dominance, where pitch and decibel level determined the leader. They wandered around the room, grazing on homemade samosas and pakoras, careful not to get oily crumbs on the delicate fabric of their brightly colored saris. 

 Page 56: 

Until yesterday, we hadn't spoken in months. Not since she found out that my boyfriend - now ex-boyfriend - and I had been living together in Los Angeles. 

Would you read on?

The Friday 56. Find any sentence that grabs you on page 56 of your book. Post it, and add your URL to Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader.

Jan 14, 2022

Sunday Salon: Home, Fate, Drama, Learning Japanese

New ebooks: 

How to Find your Way Home by Katy Regan, February 15, 2022, Berkley

 Emily and her older brother Stephen have been separated for many years. Something catastrophic tore them apart and sent Stephen first to jail, and then to years of abject poverty and homelessness on the streets. I'm waiting to read the full story of what had happened to the brother and sister and their family so much earlier.

The Red Thread of Fate by Lyn Liao Butler, February 8, 2022, Berkley

Book description: Two days before Tam and Tony Kwan receive their letter of acceptance for the son they are adopting from China, Tony and his estranged cousin Mia are killed unexpectedly in an accident. A shell-shocked Tam learns she is named the guardian to Mia’s five-year-old daughter, Angela.  

Overwhelmed..., Tam must also decide if she will complete the adoption and bring home the son waiting for her in a Chinese orphanage. 

Watching on Netflix: 

A French-comedy drama series caught my attention. Call My Agent won an International Emmy Award for Best Comedy. A talent firm in Paris works hard to keep their clients working and their company in business. The agency characters are amusing in their handling of capricious actors, their clients. 

 The series in French is called Dix Pour Cent, or ten percent, the amount the company keeps of the earnings of their clients. I'm almost finished with Season 1, and there are at least four more seasons to go! I think the original version in French is best, with English subtitles! 

This Learn Japanese audio teaches you Japanese words, not phrases. Has anyone tried learning a language by listening to tapes while you're asleep?

These are my other books. You can see I've been trying!  

How are you keeping your winter days busy, and What are you reading this week?

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated BookreviewerAlso,  It's Monday: What Are You ReadingMailbox Mondayand Sunday Salon   

Jan 8, 2022

Sunday Salon: Film, TV Show, Books

 Watching on Netflix :

I seem to be watching more films, TV shows on Netflix now that the cold weather (and Covid) is keeping us indoors. Someone predicted on TV that 2022 will be a year for "going interior," and I assume that means, staying in and away from crowds.

Seasons 1 and 2 of Emily in Paris are dubbed a romantic TV comedy. The gorgeous filming of places in Paris made me more than interested in the show. I'll have to wait till next year for Season 3. (Photo from Netflix)


(Photo from Netflix)

The Lost Daughter is another film on Netflix, an award winner. It's described by the NY Times as a "dreamy thriller," and is set on an island, presumably in Greece. Based on a novel, it's the story of a literature professor vacationing alone, who observes the other vacationers, especially a young woman having difficulty coping with her young child. The professor is reminded of herself raising her two daughters years ago while building a career. The ending didn't bother me as it did some critics. You just have to fill in the blanks as to what comes next. 

Two other films set in Paris I'll be watching slowly, as they're in French, though I have the option of switching to the English version!

Now reading from Netgalley:

 Evil under the Tuscan Sun by Stephanie Cole is the 3rd in the Tuscan Cooking School mystery series, to be published February 1, 2020 by Berkley.

I enjoyed her first book, Al Dente's Inferno, when Nelli Valenti is enticed from America to Tuscany to turn a villa into a cooking school. In Evil under the Tuscan Sun, a philanthropher brings his aging mother and her companion from the U.S. to enjoy the Tuscan sun and a four-day workshop making ziti. Of course, death follows, but I haven't reached that part as yet, and can't tell you who got killed. 

Ebook bought:

This is a romance set in Paris, that I've not yet started, but see it's easy to read in French, happily for me. Un Appartement a Paris by Guillaume Musso, is described by French critics as a thriller and a romance, imaginative and intriguing. How could one resist that? It was published March 2018.  

What are you reading this week?

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You ReadingMailbox Mondayand Sunday Salon   

Haiga Poetry Challenge

The poetry challenge at Fake Flamenco is hosted monthly by Rebecca.

This month, use the photo provided or a photo of your own to write a haiga - a haiku (5-7-5) with an image. I joined in for the first time, finding this challenge in a post by Margaret at From Pyrenees to Pennines. Here's mine.


Cold my heart and room,
Green leaves against a blue sky
Waft in warm breezes 

 - Harvee Lau, January 8, 2022

The challenge provides a different theme and poetry form each month. 

Jan 7, 2022

Book Beginning: The Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll

Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll, November 1, 2021, Thomas & Mercer
Genre: psychological thriller

Book beginning:

The daughter looks at her outfit. And suddenly, at the eleventh hour, she realizes the colour is all wrong. 


Page 56:
"Don't you test his clothing or something? For residue. I've seen that on the television -'

Book description: The perfect family? Or the perfect lie?

Would you read on?

The Friday 56. Find any sentence that grabs you on page 56 of your book. Post it, and add your URL to Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader.

Jan 1, 2022

Six Degrees of Separation: Rules of Civility to Saying the Final Goodbye

 Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best.

This month's book begins with Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Add six more books that are somehow connected, to form a chain of books. 

From civility and polite society, to rules, to memoir, to art, and to saying the final goodbye. These are the books I found in my goodreads list that gave me this month's link! 

Join in!

 February's link-up will start with No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood.

Happy New Year! Sunday Salon


Books carried over from 2021

Happy New Year to everyone, and may all your reading, blogging, dreams come true in 2022. 

My first resolution this new year is to finish the books I started in 2021, only the ones that I liked. Here are a few: 

Anne Gaëlle Huon : Le bonheur n'a pas de rides, published Septemer 13, 2017, City Editions. This is an amusing, pleasant read. 

An 85-year-old woman from Paris, determined to live out her last days in an exclusive home for the elderly, pretends to become senile so that her son can place her in her dream retirement home with its luxurious surroundings.

The plan backfires when Paulette's daughter-in-law persuades the son to place her instead in a very modest, small hostel in the French countryside. Paulette schemes to find her way to the exclusive retirement home of her dreams, but in the meantime finds herself becoming more and more involved in the life of the hostel, its owner, and its inhabitants. 

That's as far as I've gotten so far, but it's been enjoyable reading in my modest French, like teasing a story out of a puzzle. I confess my Kindle French-English dictionary helps me out a lot, especially when it comes to French idioms and more contemporary phrases. 

Another book started in 2021: 

I fully expected The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley to be another historical romance of an apartment found empty, unclaimed, and full of treasures or even a contemporary romance about women running off to the City of Light to find a new career, a new love, a new life. 

My surprise...the book started out right away to be a thriller. Jess does run away to Paris to find a new life. But she is in for a surprise and some suspense when she finds her half brother Ben's Paris apartment empty and Ben missing. 

The prologue to the book sets the stage: footsteps coming up the stairs stop at Ben's apartment door in Paris with an unwelcome surprise, just as Ben has emailed his sister Jess his apartment's address. 

I've just started this one, so I'm eager to find out where it leads. And this book is set in France, but is in English! Thanks to Netgalley for an advance read on the mystery, to be published February 22.

This book from Netgalley looks like a contemporary romance but turns out to be a thriller. My Summer Darlings by May Cobb will be released May 17, 2022 by Berkley.

Three lifelong friends are about to come up against a sexy new guy in town, who may turn out to be very dangerous! Looking forward to reading this one in English!

What are you reading this week?

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You ReadingMailbox Mondayand Sunday Salon   

Empresses of Seventh Avenue by Nancy MacDonell: Historical Novel

 Fashion in Paris and New York City during WWII   Empresses of Seventh Avenue World War II, New York City, and the Birth of American Fashion...