May 28, 2022

Sunday Salon: New Book Arrivals

 New book arrivals:

Rock of Ages

(Junior Bender #8)

Publication: June 7, 2022, Soho Crime

Junior Bender, Los Angeles burglar and off-the-books detective to the felonious, is reminded that rock and roll will never die, no matter how fervently he wishes some of it would, when Hollywood's most dangerous geriatric mobster, Irwin Dressler, retains Junior's investigative services to solve a rather unharmonious problem.

The Case of the Married Woman: Caroline Norton and Her Fight for Women's Justice

Portrayal of a courageous and compassionate woman who refused to be curbed by the personal and political constraints of her time, the 19th century.

Provisions... such as the right of a mother to have access to her own children, owe much to Caroline Norton, who was determined to secure justice for women at all levels of society

What are you reading this week? 
Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated BookreviewerAlso,  It's Monday: What Are You Readingand Sunday SalonStacking the ShelvesMailbox Monday  

May 21, 2022

Sunday Salon: New Books and a Book Review

 New arrivals

Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight


Publication June 16, 2022, Bitter Lemon Press

Set in a Tokyo flat over the course of one night, Aki and Hiro spend one last night together before going their separate ways. Each believes the other to be a murderer and is determined to extract a confession before the night is over.

The Martins


Publication June 16, 2022, Gallic Books

‘Go out into the street and the first person you see will be the subject of your next book.’

This is the challenge a struggling Parisian writer sets himself, imagining his next heroine might be the mysterious young woman who often stands smoking near his apartment … instead it’s octogenarian Madeleine.

Book Review

Four Aunties and a Wedding

(Aunties #2)

Meddy Chan's wedding day in Cambridge couldn't get more complicated. Wedding vendors distantly related to her family have threatened her and her family if she interferes with their plan to kill someone they are targeting at the wedding. Armed with the zaniness and the determination of her four aunties, Meddy tries to stop anything from ruining her elaborate and well planned wedding day .

The Chinese-Indonesian aunties steal the show with their outrageous wedding outfits, their misuse of British slang, and their behind the scenes activities to stop a potential murder, all on behalf of their beloved niece, Meddy. 

Written with spunk and a clever use of dialogue, character, and setting, Four Aunties and a Wedding is clearly a romantic comedy winner.

Book from NetGalley.
What are you reading this week? 
Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated BookreviewerAlso,  It's Monday: What Are You Readingand Sunday SalonStacking the ShelvesMailbox Monday  

May 15, 2022

Sunday Salon: Icelandic Mystery and Rom Coms

 New Books Reviewed:

Kalmann  by J

The publisher describes Kalmann as "neurodiverse." Kalmann says the townspeople see him as someone who thinks backwards or as not progressing past age six. But he is liked and humored as he describes himself the protector and Sheriff of Raufarhofn, dressing in a cowboy hat, a sheriff's badge, and a defunct Mauser pistol,  a gift from his American father, whom he doesn't know. 

 An avid shark hunter, Kalmann has life skills taught him by his grandfather, who is now in a home for dementia patients. 

The mystery begins when Kalmann discovers a large pool of fresh blood in the snowy hills at the same time as the richest man in the town goes missing. A patient and understanding female police officer from the city interacts with Kalmann to investigate the mystery, with a surprise for the reader at the end. 

Well plotted, suspenseful, with distinct and memorable characterization and setting, I find Kalmann another excellent Icelandic crime novel. 

Genre: romantic comedy
This is the story of two 12-year-olds who became friends at summer camp only to suddenly discover they had the same father. Kat never answered Blake's letters after camp and after this revelation, but both girls grew up knowing they were half-sisters,  forced to meet about 15 years later when they jointly inherit a beach house from their father.

The plot showing how they dealt with this situation, both sisters needing the money that a sale of the house would bring, is quite a good one. The complications of having to fix up the house themselves to realize a good price for it is a clever twist that carries the plot to the next level. Add to that the new love interests, the beach setting, their different home lives, and the novel becomes  a very enjoyable read, though with a somewhat predictable ending. 

What are you reading this week? 
Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated BookreviewerAlso,  It's Monday: What Are You Readingand Sunday SalonStacking the ShelvesMailbox Monday  

May 7, 2022

Sunday Salon: In The Mail and a Book Review

 In the mailbox:

Cashmere Comes from Goats by S. Portico Bowman, May 1, 2022, Stonehouse Originals

Genre: women's fiction, contemporary romance

Source: review copy from Saichek Publicity

As Robin contemplates a sabbatical to see puffins in Newfoundland, a fateful google search puts everything on hold.

Letters to Singapore by Kelly Kaur, May 1, 2022, Stonehouse Originals

Genre: women's fiction, contemporary fiction, multicultural

Growing up in Singapore, Simran always knew what was expected of her: to learn how to be a good mother and wife. The only problem? Simran has no interest in any of this.


The Favor by 

When Liam seeks out Jude after 11 years and asks for what seems like a simple favor, Jude inexplicably agrees. Liam was her high school sweetheart eleven years earlier, but after a terrific car accident, they went their separate ways, until now, when he returns to ask for The Favor.

Thrilling and suspenseful, the book leads you to the links between the two very different people and Liam's strange request. The favor leads Jude into Liam's present life, revealing a strange assortment of uninhibited arty types all living together in a large rundown house that Liam inherited. 

 Well plotted and written, this is another of Nicci French's thrillers I truly enjoyed.

What are you reading this week? 

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated BookreviewerAlso,  It's Monday: What Are You Readingand Sunday SalonStacking the ShelvesMailbox Monday

May 5, 2022

Book Review: Fault Lines by Emily Itami


Fault Lines by Emily Itami, September 7, 2021, Custom House
Genre: contemporary women's fiction, multicultural
Setting: Tokyo
Source: library book
Fault Lines is about a mother and wife feeling trapped in household duties with young children, having no career of her own and an indifferent often absent husband who seems to take little interest in her home life. Mizuki has no other outlet outside of  being a perfect Japanese mother and wife, and misses the days when she was single and worked as a singer.

Enter Kiyoshi, whom Mizuki begins a friendship with that becomes more serious as they spend many days and evenings together exploring the vibrant city that is Tokyo.  Her outings happen during the school hours and on the  evenings when her children are asleep with a babysitter and her husband is working late at the office.

The cultural aspects of being a traditional woman, mother, and wife in Japan stood out for me. The rigorous expectations of society for women are difficult for Mizuki as she has lived in the U.S. and experienced more freedom and life choices. That she finds comfort in a friendship outside of her marriage is not a surprise. The outcome of this friendship could go both ways, as Mizuki is influenced by her culture and her love for her children. She describes the fault lines in herself as similar to the ones that lie beneath the city of Tokyo, always threatening to plunge the city into a catastrophe. 

I enjoyed touring Tokyo by day and night through the book, visiting the various sights, restaurants, and museums and the crowded and busy main streets. The story was excellently told to reveal a place and culture that many Westerners don't know or may not understand very well.

Book beginning:

The whole Kyoshi situation started a long time before he was ever in the picture. The way a calligraphy painting begins before the first black stroke makes it onto the page. 

Page 56: 

The bar was in Shinjuku, and though places were closing, the streets were still full of people.

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.

Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month: Four Novels

For  Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month   (May),  I'm posting my book reviews by several Asian American novelists. The f...