Showing posts sorted by relevance for query the fear artist. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query the fear artist. Sort by date Show all posts

Jul 6, 2012

Book Review: THE FEAR ARTIST by Timothy Hallinan


Title: The Fear Artist (Poke Rafferty Mystery #5)
Author: Timothy Hallinan
Kindle; Hardcover to be released July 17, 2012; Soho Press
Genre: thriller

The main character: Poke Rafferty is a travel writer living in Thailand with his wife Rose and adopted daughter Miaow. He has gotten involved in solving murders and crimes before in the City of Angels which is Bangkok, and this is the fifth in the thriller series featuring Poke, in which crime and politics just seems to single him out for involvement.

The plot: Poke is minding his own business on the Bangkok streets, buying paint for their apartment while his wife and daughter are away visiting relatives in the northeast. Demonstrators against government policies in the volatile south of Thailand are suddenly dispersed by police and come rushing down the street when Poke is carrying two cans of paint out of a store. He is hit and sent sprawling on the sidewalk by one of the runners, a heavyset foreign man, who collapses in his arms, evidently having been shot at least three times by the police. The dying man, an American, whispers three words to Poke before he dies.

Poke goes into hiding for fear of his life and warns his wife and child to stay away from Bangkok indefinitely. The Thai police have already questioned him about the dead man, whom the CIA and other unknown people are curious about. Poke uses former spies from Russia and Eastern Europe and former Vietnam veterans, all living in Bangkok, to find out more about a red-haired man who is behind the attempt to link Poke with the dead man in a situation that Poke knows nothing about. The red-haired man is involved in resolving the Muslim insurgency and the "War on Terror" in the south of Thailand.

Help for Poke comes from his half-sister Ming Li, Poke's police friend Arthit, and his savvy neighbor Mrs. Pongsiri, to avoid the Thai police and the red-haired man while he figures out the significance of the three words the dying man whispered to him.

My comments: I read the book twice to get all the nuances of the plot, which was complicated to me as it involves Southeast Asia's past and its present. I read it first noting all the personal relationships that are important in the book - Poke with his wife and teenage daughter; his friend Arthit who carries around the memory of his deceased wife Noi; Arthit's growing relationship with Anna, the friend of his dead wife; Poke's daughter's friendship with a nerdy teen; the red-headed man's relationship with a drug addicted wife and a crazed teenage daughter, and so on.

I read the book again to get the political lowdown of Vietnam in the past and Southern Thailand in the present. The plot catches it all together neatly, while you travel every step of the way with Poke in hiding and Poke detecting, planning, surviving and deducing how to get out of his strange and unwanted situation.
".... But Jesus, Poke. You're supposed to be a travel writer, as far as I know. How does someone like you get this devious?" 
"I'm just writing," Poke says. "I got stuck in somebody else's story. All I'm trying to do is write my way out." ( ch. 26, from an uncorrected proof. The final copy may differ.)
A great thriller that will draw you in, into the relationships between what will seem like real people, and into a political situation with what will seem like true life villains. The characters are well drawn and realistic, the plot is superb, the thrill of the race is exciting, the setting in flooded Bangkok is exotic and a great place to be, from an armchair.

Thanks to the author for an ARC of The Fear Artist . My objective rating: 5/5.

Jul 8, 2012

Sunday Salon: Mystery Novels and a Few Other Books

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday

I've been in the mood for good thrillers and mysteries lately.

'The Fear Artist
I've posted a review of The Fear Artist: A Poke Rafferty Mystery #5 and really enjoyed the book and the setting - Bangkok, a city where I lived four years in the early 1980s.

A great thriller set in exotic Bangkok that will draw you in, into the relationships between what will seem like real people, and into a political situation with what will seem a true life villain. 
A Fistful of Collars (A Chet and Bernie Mystery #5)
Spencer Quinn's ARC of A Fistful of Collars: A Chet and Bernie Mystery is a clever series which features the man and dog detective duo.

The Risk Agent (Risk Agent, #1)Another new thriller I'm reading is Ridley Pearson's The Risk Agent, a novel about business and government corruption, set in modern Shanghai.

On a different note, here are a few other books I have on my list for variety:

The Wedding Guests by Meredith Goldstein, described as

One wedding. Five nightmare guests. Five ways to ruin the happiest day of someone else's life:
- Cry uncontrollably over your ex in front of the bride and mix calming herbal remedies with copious amounts of alcohol so that it's hard to stand up - especially if you're a bridesmaid
- Dress like you are attending a funeral and look for opportunities to re-enact scenes from steamy novels
- Turn up late wearing a T-shirt covered in mud and something that looks like blood
- If you are the bride's uncle, who no one likes anyway, try to cop off with her friend who's way too young for you
- Wear a suit that stinks of chicken wings and then spend the whole reception propping up the bar. Who said going to a wedding solo couldn't be fun?

SkiosAlso,
Skios: A Novel by Michael Frayn. "The master of farce turns to an exclusive island retreat for a comedy of mislaid identities, unruly passions, and demented, delicious disorder."

Laugh out loud comedy/farce set on a Greek island. Witty and clever. The plot reminds me of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. If you like satire, you will love this spoof on academics, pretentious scientists, and those who idolize them.

Keeping cool during these hot days? I'll be indoors watching tennis today. How about you?

Apr 23, 2012

In The Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddy Ratner

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? This Monday meme is held by Sheila at Book Journey. Tell us what you are reading or plan to read during the week.


I'm reading and enjoying the ARC of The Fear Artist by Timothy Hallinan, a Poke Rafferty thriller set in Thailand, sent to me by the author and to be released by Soho on July 17, 2012.

Publisher's description: "An accidental collision on a Bangkok sidewalk goes very wrong when the man who ran into Rafferty dies in his arms, but not before saying three words: Helen Eckersley. Cheyenne. Seconds later, the police arrive, denying that the man was shot.

That night, Rafferty is interrogated by Thai secret agents who demand to know what the dead man said, but Rafferty can't remember. When he's finally released, Rafferty arrives home to find that his apartment has been ransacked. In the days that follow, he realizes he's under surveillance. The second time men in uniform show up at his door, he manages to escape the building and begins a new life as a fugitive.

As he learns more about his situation, it becomes apparent that he's been caught on the margins of the war on terror, and that his opponent is a virtuoso artist whose medium is fear."

There is an author who has written a novel based on her experiences in Cambodia during the war,  In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, published in 2012.  A literary work of poetic, lyrical beauty, this novel is based on the real experiences of the writer as a child living through the time of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the writing, the author's use of poetic words and descriptions to tell this story of survival, loss, and emotion.

The book has received wide recognition and won numerous awards; details are on the author's website: http://www.vaddeyratner.com/banyan/

From the publisher's description:
"For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war in the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus.
Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. Raami fights for her improbable survival. In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience."
Both these books are highly recommended. 

Jan 2, 2012

100 + Books in a Year - I Joined!


Head over to Book Chick City to join this challenge. I found I read more than 100 books in 2012, when I tallied them up, so I'm taking this challenge this year. I'll be listing them on this post to help me keep track!

Non-fiction
1. 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal, self-help
2. The Poser: my life in twenty-three yoga poses by Claire Dederer, memoir
3. Finding My Balance: A Memoir by Mariel Hemingway
4. Breakthrough: the 5 Living Principles to Defeat Stress, Look Great, & Find Total Well-Being by Shea Vaughn
5. Living Fully by Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche, Buddhism and philosophy
6. We're With Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics by Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian
7. Everyday Meditation: 100 Daily Meditations by Tobin Blake
8. A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel, self-help
9. The Sexy Vegan Cookbook by Brian L. Patton
10. Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole, memoir
11. Conscious Calm by Laura Maciuika, self-help
12. Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
13. The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner
14. Pilgrimage to the End of the World by Conrad Rudolph, travel memoir
15. Lucky Child by Loung Ung, memoir
16. In My Father's Country by Saima Wahab, memoir
17. Lulu in the Sky by Loung Ung, memoir
18. The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschalk
19. Listening to Africa: Poems by Diana M. Raab
20. Charlie: A Love Story by Barbara Lampert
21. The Man in the Empty Boat by Mark Salzberg
22. Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi by Brian Leaf
23. Street Freak by Jared Dillian
24. Following Atticus by Tom Ryan
25. The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall
26. The Great Animal Orchestra by Bernie Krause

Fiction
1. The Thread by Victoria Hislop, historical fiction
2. Folly Beach:  a Low Country Tale by Dorothea Benton Frank
3. My Evangeline by Heidi Radford Legg, literary fiction
4. The Moment: A Novel by Douglas Kennedy, historical fiction, romance
5. Once Upon a Time, There Was You by Elizabeth Berg, women's fiction
6. Bond Girl: A Novel by Erin Duffy, contemporary fiction
7. Walter's Muse: A Novel by Jean Davies Okimoto
8. Other Waters by Eleni N. Gage
9. Gossip by Beth Gutcheon
10. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
11. Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini
12. Daughters by Elizabeth Buchan
13. The Shoemaker's Wife: A Novel by Adriani Trigiani
14. More Like Her by Liza Palmer
15. Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge (read but not reviewed)
16. Ninepins by Rosy Thornton
17. The Concubine Saga by Lloyd Lofthouse
18. The Dog That Talked to God by Jim Kraus
19. The White Pearl: A Novel by Kate Furnivall
20. Skeleton Women by Mingmei Yip
21. The Thing About Thugs by Tabish Khair
22. Timeless Desire by Gwyn Cready
23. Skios by Michael Frayn
24. Gone by Cathi Hanauer
25. The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam
26. Flesh by Khanh Ha
27. The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch
28. Across the Mekong River by Elaine Russell
29. Keepsake by Kristina Riggle
30. The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
31. A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvvete Edwards
32. Gold by Chris Cleave
33. What the Zhang Boys Know by Clifford Garstang
34. Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know by Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson
35. The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson
36. The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O'Brien
37. The Bracelet by Roberta Gately
38. The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla
39. The Summer Before the Storm by Gabriele Wills
40. The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister
41. The Round House by Louise Erdrich
42. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
43. The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson
44. How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue
45. The Nightingale Girls by Donna Douglas
46. The Pleasure Palace by Kate Emerson
47. The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo
48. The Language of Sisters by Amy Hatvany
49. The Playgroup by Janey Fraser
50. APatchwork Marriage by Jane Green








Mystery/Thriller
1. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, a Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley
2. The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly
3. Oath of Office by Michael Palmer
4. The Barbary Dogs: A Mystery by Cynthia Robinson
5.The Face Thief by Eli Gottlieb
6. The Look of Love by Mary Jane Clark
7. Raylan: A Novel by Elmore Leonard
8. Paydirt by Paul Levine
9. Pineapple Grenade by Tim Dorsey
10. No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
11. Double Booked for Death by Ali Brandon
12. Helpless by Daniel Palmer
13. Fashion Faux Paw by Judi McCoy
14. The Hope Vendetta by Scott Mariani
15. To Catch a Leaf: A Flower Shop Mystery by Kate Collins
16. The Probability of Murder by Ada Madison
17. The Expats: A Novel by Chris Pavone
18. Shore Excursion by Marie Moore
19. Lucifer's Tears by Jim Thompson
20. The Big Kitty by Claire Donally
21. From the Ashes by Jeremy Burns
22.  The Girl Next Door by Brad Parks
23. Murder Buys a T-Shirt by Christy Fifield
24. The Scarlet Pepper by Dorothy St. James
25. Due or Die by Jenn McKinlay
26. Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton (read but not reviewed)
27. A Spirited Gift by Joyce and Jim Lavene (read but not reviewed)
28.  Home for a Spell by Madelyn Alt (read but not reviewed)
29. Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta by Carol Nelson Douglas
30. An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
31. The Fear Artist by Timothy Hallinan
32. Tahoe Trap by Todd Berg
33. Broken Harbor by Tana French
34. The Playdate by Louise Millar
35. And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
36. A Sinister Sense by Allison Kingsley
37. A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn
38. The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
39. Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
40. Allergic to Death by Peg Cochran
41. Rally 'Round the Corpse by Hy Conrad
42. Cat Bearing Gifts by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
43. Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia Macneal
44. The Incense Game by Laura Joh Rowland
45. Not My Blood by Barbara Cleverly
46. Desert Wives by Betty Webb
47. Going to the Bad by Nora McFarland
48. Discretion by Allison Leotta
49. The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall
50. In a Witch's Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell
51. An Unexpected Guest by Ann Korkeakivi
52. One Red Bastard by Ed Lin
53. Livin' Lahaina Loca by JoAnn Bassett









Aug 10, 2012

Meme: My Life in Books, 2012

Got this meme from Books and Movies. My Life in Books, 2012.

Which book (titles) read in 2012 describe your life so far?

Describe myself:
The Storytelling Animal,
The Girl Next Door
The Unexpected Guest

How do I feel:
Timeless Desire

Describe where I currently live:
The Distant Shore

 If I could go anywhere, where I would go:
 Folly Beach

My favorite form of transportation:
In a Witch's Wardrobe

My best friend(s) is/are:
Skeleton Women

My friends and I are:
The Language of Sisters

What’s the weather like:
Wallflower in Bloom

Favorite Time of Day:
Jasmine Nights

What is life to you:
Gossip

You fear:
The Fear Artist

What is the best advice you have to give:
 Skinnydipping

Thought for the day:
Everyday Meditation

How I would like to die:
Hide Me Among the Graves

My soul’s present condition:
The Song Remains the Same
Roam

I looked up past memes and see I filled out some for 2011 and before: My Life in Books, 2011My Life According to Literature. Join in and have fun with it.
Click on each book title to see the review of it.

Jun 23, 2012

Sunday Salon: Books Set in Asia

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday Salon.

I was really happy to receive two surprise books yesterday, thanks to the publishers, both novels set in India.



The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken: A Vish Puri Mystery by Tarquin Hall will be released July 10, 2012 by Simon and Schuster. It's a mystery novel set in New Delhi. I've read The Case of the Missing Servant, the first in the series, and really enjoyed the main character, India's P.I. Vish Puri.





I received the ARC of Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes by Betsy Woodman, the first in a planned series of books featuring Jana Bibi, her chatty parrot, and her housekeeper, living in Hamara Nagar, India. The book will be released July 17, 2012 by Henry Holt.

I'm in the middle of reading
Mingmei Yip's Skeleton Women, a novel set in early 1930s Shanghai,
finished The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam, set in the Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and
finished The Fear Artist (A Poke Rafferty Thriller) by Timothy Hallinan, a thriller set in Bangkok.

I plan to write reviews of the above three but may not post two of them till their release dates in the U.S! These books are going to take some thinking to review; they are pretty complex, with complex settings, and complex situations and characters. But I think I'll enjoy doing it.

What's on your plate for the next couple of weeks?


Jan 7, 2012

Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2012- I've Joined



I will keep track of my mystery reviews this year by once again joining the Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge hosted by Book Chick City. Head on over to sign up! Read 12 or 24 books to complete the challenge.

Here are my books so far. Click on the titles to see the reviews.

1. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
2. The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly
3. Oath of Office by Michael Palmer
4. The Barbary Dogs: A Mystery by Cynthia Robinson
5. The Face Thief by Eli Gottlieb
6. The Look of Love by Mary Jane Clark
7.  Raylan: A Novel by Elmore Leonard
8. Paydirt by Paul Levine
9. Pineapple Grenade by Tim Dorsey
10. No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
11. Double Booked for Death by Ali Brandon
12. Helpless by Daniel Palmer
13. Fashion Faux Paw by Judi McCoy
14. The Hope Vendetta by Scott Mariani
15. To Catch a Leaf: A Flower Shop Mystery by Kate Collins
16. The Probability of Murder by Ada Madison
17. The Expats: A Novel by Chris Pavone
18. Shore Excursion by Marie Moore
19. The Big Kitty by Claire Donally
20. From the Ashes by Jeremy Burns
21. The Girl Next Door by Brad Parks
23. Murder Buys a T-Shirt by Christy Fifield
24. The Scarlet Pepper by Dorothy St. James
25. Due or Die by Jenn McKinlay
26. Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton (read but not reviewed)
27. A Spirited Gift by Joyce and Jim Lavene (read but not reviewed)
28.  Home for a Spell by Madelyn Alt (read but not reviewed)
29. Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta by Carol Nelson Douglas
30. An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
31. The Fear Artist by Timothy Hallinan
32. Tahoe Trap by Todd Berg
33. Broken Harbor by Tana French
34. The Playdate by Louise Millar
35. And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
36. A Sinister Sense by Allison Kingsley
37. A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn
38. The Book Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
40. Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
41. Allergic to Death by Peg Cochran
42. Rally 'Round the Corpse by Hy Conrad
43. Cat Bearing Gifts by Shirley Rousseau Murphy



Jun 10, 2012

Sunday Salon: A Cherry Festival

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday Salon.

It was in the 90s yesterday, but we went to the Cherry Festival in Whitehouse, Ohio anyway. This is a yearly local event in the Village of Whitehouse.

Two firsts for me, a sundae with real homemade cherry sauce. Tart and sweet! And a cherry pie eating contest with little kids under age 13 scarfing down a pie with their hands behind their backs and their heads into the pie tins. You guessed it; the oldest kid won. There was also a cherry pie auction to see whose pie or cake could raise the most money. One pie went for $110! All to help the village's Chamber of Commerce. We missed the cherry dessert contest and I don't know who won, but I bet some of the entries made it to the auction. All of these very local events were much fun to watch. Too bad we didn't stay for the fireworks at 10 p.m. as it was too hot to stay longer than 2 p.m.!

The Cherry Dessert Contest

I've been good about featuring new books on the blog but very bad about reviewing. I have a blog tour of The Concubine Saga by Lloyd Lofthouse tomorrow and another tour for An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd later in the month. I also have a review to post for Tim Hallinan's new thriller, The Fear Artist, which will be released early July.

My yoga teacher is also a sports athlete and gave us a stiff yoga workout stretch on Friday. My right leg is still aching but she did tell us we might feel it for a few days. All for the good, I'm sure.

What have you been up to this hot summer?


Dec 30, 2012

Reading 100+ Books in a Year: Challenge Met in 2012


I joined the 100+ Books in a Year 2012 challenge by Book Chick City and found I read more than 100 books for the challenge, 128 to be exact. I have shortened my list to show the ones that stood out for me.

NON-FICTION

The Poser: my life in twenty-three yoga poses by Claire Dederer *
Living Fully by Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche *
We're With Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics by Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian *
Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain *
Pilgrimage to the End of the World by Conrad Rudolph *
Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi by Brian Leaf *
Street Freak by Jared Dillian *

FICTION
 Bond Girl: A Novel by Erin Duffy *
 Walter's Muse: A Novel by Jean Davies Okimoto *
 Other Waters by Eleni N. Gage *
 I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella *
 The White Pearl: A Novel by Kate Furnivall *
Skios by Michael Frayn *
What the Zhang Boys Know by Clifford Garstang *
The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson *
The Round House by Louise Erdrich *
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett *

MYSTERY/THRILLER
 The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly *
The Face Thief by Eli Gottlieb *
The Fear Artist by Timothy Hallinan *
Raylan: A Novel by Elmore Leonard *
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie *
Broken Harbor by Tana French *
And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman *
A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn *
Tahoe Trap by Tod Borg *
The Expats by Chris Pavone *
The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura *
Livin' Lahaina Loca by JoAnn Bassett*

What challenges have you met or exceeded this year?
Here is my list of Books Read in 2012 and Books Read in 2011.


Jun 9, 2013

Sunday Salon: Books for Review

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday Salon!This post lists new books and links up to It's Monday; What Are You Reading? at Book Journey;  to Mailbox Monday hosted by Dolce Bellezza; and to Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews.

Our cool summer continues, making it feel like an extension of spring. Not that I mind. Everything seems greener in front of my window and I keep that birdbath full for winged bathers!

I read four books last week, a lot for me, and reviewed three:
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert, a memoir
Gaijin Cowgirl by Jame DiBiasio, an adventure thriller
The Original 1982 by Lori Carson, women's fiction.

I finished There Was An Old Woman by Hallie Ephron, a mystery that started out really well but ended as if it was rushed and not well thought through. The ending was a bit puzzling, as only two of the people involved in the crimes were named, while a third simply was not mentioned at all, just fell off the radar, so to speak, when it was clear to me he was very much part of the crime. I reviewed an uncorrected proof, so hopefully the editors caught this unfinished business for the final copy.

A few review books came in the mail: 


The Artist's Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children by Julia Cameron and Emma Lively is to be published August 13, 2013 by Tarcher.  I requested a galley and was lucky to get it. The book is described as " an ongoing spiritual toolkit that parents can ener - and reenter- at any pace and at any point in their children's early lives." It gives tips and exercises for developing creative aspects, such as self-expression, focus, inventiveness, connection, and even safety. 
The Last Summer of the Camperdowns by Elizabeth Kelly was published June 3, 2013 by Liveright and came as an ARC.
Book description: The book introduces Riddle James Camperdown, the twelve-year-old daughter of the idealistic Camp and his manicured, razor-sharp wife, Greer. It's 1972, and Riddle's father is running for office from the family compound in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Riddle has her hands full juggling her eccentric parents. When she accidentally witnesses a crime close to home, her confusion and fear keep her silent. As the summer unfolds, the consequences of her silence multiply. Another mysterious and powerful family, the Devlins, slowly emerges as the keepers of astonishing secrets that could shatter the Camperdowns. As an old love triangle, bitter war wounds, and the struggle for status spiral out of control, Riddle can only hope for courage to reveal the truth. 


Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman is to be published June 18, 2013 by Gallery.  Book description: Samuel Cooke knows most women wouldn't give him a second glance even if he were the last man on earth. He's the cripple with the crutches, the nerdy computer genius every female past puberty feels compelled to mother. So when he leaves his lucrative career to teach programming to high schoolers, romance definitely isn't on his radar. 

Perhaps that's why Greta Cassamajor catches him off guard. The sarcastic gym coach with zero sense of humor is no beauty - not even on the inside. But an inexplicably kind act toward Samuel makes him realize she is interesting....




Operation Saladin by Roger Croft is the sequel to The Wayward Spy, and published May 2, 2013 by CreateSpace.
The book involves espionage and suspense with an MI6 operative in the Middle East. 
Restrike by Reba White Williams, a mystery published June 1, 2013 by Delos. I requested a review copy from the author and was surprised by a copy.Thanks!
Book descriptionMoney and murder go hand in glove in the rarified art world of Reba White Williams’ first novel. Cousins Coleman and Dinah Greene moved from North Carolina to New York after college to make their mark on the art world. When billionaire Heyward Bain arrives, announcing plans to fund a fine print museum, Coleman plans to publish an article about him. Dinah hopes to sell him enough prints to save her gallery. At the same time, swindlers, attracted by Bain’s lavish spending, invade the print world to grab some of his money.

When a print dealer dies in peculiar circumstances and after one of Coleman’s editors is killed and Coleman is attacked, Coleman becomes even more determined to discover the truth about Bain. 

Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa by Benjamin Constable, published June 4, 2013 by Gallery.
Book description: What writer Benjamin Constable needs is a real-life adventure wilder than his rampant imagination. And who better to shake up his comfortable Englishman-in-Paris routine than the enigmatic Tomomi “Butterfly” Ishikawa, who has just sent a cryptic suicide note? She’s planted a slew of clues—in the pages of her journal, on the hard drive of her computer, tucked away in public places, under flowerpots, and behind statues. Heartbroken, confused, and accompanied by an imaginary cat, Ben embarks upon a scavenger hunt leading to charming and unexpected spaces, from the hidden alleys of Paris to the cobblestone streets of New York City.

But Butterfly’s posthumous messages are surprisingly well informed for the words of a dead person, and they’re full of confessions of a past darkened by insanity, betrayal, and murder. The treasures Ben is unearthing are installments of a gruesome memoir. Now he must draw a clear line between the real and surreal if he is to save himself, Butterfly, and what remains of their crazy and amazing friendship

These all look pretty good to me, as they all have some element of mystery, which I love.

What did you get in your mailbox? 

Jun 17, 2012

Sunday Salon: Books for Dad

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday Salon.

Two small bunnies that ate my lily plants and my miniature roses, and nibbled on the basil, are now in the front yard eating the grass. I hope they forget about my backyard and move on where the grass is greener and there are not flowers or herbs to nibble on. Cute as they are, I want my Thai basil to grow! And so does the Dad, who loves to cook Thai!

Happy Father's Day to all loving, deserving dads!

Books for fathers to read? Here are a few May and July releases ...

Title: 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross
Hardcover; release date, July 10, 2012
Genre: thriller

Henry Steadman didn't know what was about to hit him when he pulled up to a red light. A successful Florida plastic surgeon, he is in town to deliver a keynote address at a conference when suddenly his life becomes an unrelenting chase to stay alive. (publisher)




Title: The Fear Artist by Timothy Hallinan
Hardcover; release date, July 17, 2012
Genre: thriller

An accidental collision on a Bangkok sidewalk goes very wrong when the man who ran into Rafferty dies in his arms, but not before saying three words: Helen Eckersley. Cheyenne. Seconds later, the police arrive, denying that the man was shot. That night, Rafferty is interrogated by Thai secret agents who demand to know what the dead man said, but Rafferty can't remember. (publisher)


Title: Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year
Author: John Smoltz
Hardcover; published May 8, 2012
Genre: sports memoir


John Smoltz is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and active sportscaster. He is best known for his prolific career of more than two decades with the Atlanta Braves, during which he garnered eight All-Star selections and received the Cy Young Award in 1996. He is currently the chairman of King's Ridge Christian School in Atlanta and is a scratch golfer. (Tiger Woods has said that Smoltz is the best golfer outside of the PGA tour.) He lives in Atlanta with his family. (publisher)


What do you have in mind for Dad today?

Apr 15, 2012

Sunday Salon: Spring Reading

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday Salon.

A robin has been building a nest for weeks outside my window.
April winds shake the small tree, her bits of twigs and grass blow away.
Has she lost her ability to make a nest? It keeps falling, bits and pieces.
Perhaps she will triumph today, before the new winds blow.

On my spring reading list:
The Ghost of Lily Painter by Caitlin Davis, a haunted house thriller.

Ashes to Dust by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Scandinavian thriller

The Wild Wood Enquiry by Ann Purser, cozy mystery

Murder Buys a T-Shirt , thanks to Kaye, Pudgy Penquin Perusal

The Concubine Saga by Lloyd Lofthouse, historical fiction

An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi, re a British diplomat's wife in Paris

The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins, thriller

Under Oath by Margaret McLean, legal thriller

The Fear Artist by Timothy Hallinan, thriller set in Thailand

I'm reading these two memoirs for TLC book tours this month and next:

Lucky Child by Loung Ung, a Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind, memoir

Lulu in the Sky by Loung Ung, a Daughter of Cambodia Finds Love, Healing, and Double Happiness, memoir

And for lighter reading, I have two library books: Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl and Remember Me?

Whew! Would you believe I'm also doing some writing of my own? What have you been up to and what are you reading?

Sunday Salon: Japanese Authors and a Mystery

  Klara and the Sun   by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Klara and the Sun was easy to read for a literary novel of such magnitude and celebrity, I found...