May 15, 2011

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (August 17, 2010)
Source: Uncorrected proof provided by publisher
Genre: Thriller, suspense novel

Chapter 1:

 Eliza Benedict paused at the foot of the stairs. Time for what, exactly?  All summer long - it was now August - Eliza had been having trouble finding the right words. Not complicated ones, the things required to express strong emotions or abstract concepts, make difficult confessions to loved ones."

Publisher's description: " An edgy, utterly gripping tale of psychological manipulation that explores the lasting effects of crime on a victim's life."

 "Lippman tells a gripping tale of a young woman whose life dangerously entwines once again with a man on death row who had kidnapper her when she was a teenager."

I'd Know You Anywhere was nominated for the Edgar Awards 2010.

May 14, 2011

Book Review: The Eighth Scroll by Dr. Laurence B. Brown

The Eighth ScrollThe Eighth Scroll by Dr. Laurence B. Brown
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (February 22, 2008)
Genre: thriller
Source: eBook provided by the Gatekeeper's Post

My comments: The Eighth Scroll pits the Mossad, the Vatican, and the CIA against each other in their search for the Eighth Scroll, hidden by a Jewish librarian in Roman times and recently come to light after the discovery of the librarian's diary. The scroll may contain information that none of the three groups want revealed for different reasons. A thriller that reminded me of The DaVinci Code, The Eighth Scroll will have you sitting on the edge of your seat as you follow theologian Michael  Hansen and graduate student June Cody in their search for the scroll in this fictional work.

Book description: "Stirring the flames of age-old controversies, The Eighth Scroll by Laurence B. Brown draws on the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to create an unbelievably dynamic and powerful story. Set in a world that teeters between orthodoxy and heresy, this thriller is packed with intrigue and adventure. When a Roman Catholic scholar involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls Project hides one of the scrolls because of the heretical message it contains, no one is the wiser until decades later, when a prominent archeologist discovers reference to the scroll in an archeological dig. This discovery ... leav(es) the salvation of humankind to a father and son, who must either find the hidden scroll . . . or die trying."

About the author: "A graduate of Cornell University, Brown University Medical School, and George Washington University Hospital residency program, Laurence B. Brown is an ophthalmic surgeon, a retired Air Force officer, and the medical director and chief ophthalmologist of a major eye center in the Middle East. He has authored four books of comparative religion, The Eighth Scroll, and another soon-to-be-published action/adventure novel. "

The eBook is available here.

May 13, 2011

Book Blogger Hop: May 13-16

Hosted every week by Jennifer from Crazy-for-Books, this Book Party lasts from May 13 until May 16. Join in by answering this week's question and by visiting other participants:

Are you going to Book Expo America (BEA) and/or the Book Blogger Convention (BBC) this year?

Sadly, I'm nowhere near those events and will have to rely on my fellow bloggers to give the scoop on what goes on at BEA and BBC. Other plans for trips have come up and sadly, not in those locations!

How about you?

May 11, 2011

Book Trailer: Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader

Last SnowLast Snow by Eric Van Lustbader
Publisher: Forge Books
Hardcover released Feb., 2011

Book Trailer: In celebration of the paperback release of "Last Snow", a new Youtube book trailer is available for readers to take a sneak peak!

Publicist: From the author of "The Bourne Sanction" and "The Bourne Legacy" comes Eric Van Lustbader's electrifying second novel in the Jack McClure/ Alli Carson Series, "Last Snow".

Link to trailer:

May 7, 2011

Book Review: The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award Winner

Steve Hamilton'sThe Lock Artist: A Novel [Hardcover](2010)
Steve Hamilton's The Lock Artist: A Novel [Hardcover](2010) won this year's Edgar Award for Best Novel. I scanned it in about two hours or so and felt I got the gist of the book, which I would rate about a 4 out of 5 stars. The lock artist is a young man who has decided not to speak though he is not physically mute. His talents for unlocking safes and any kind of lock makes him a target for professional thieves, who take advantage of him and reward him with very little if any of the takings.

The book shows his history through flashbacks in the storytelling and gradually reveals the reason he is now in jail at the start of the book. However, not all is lost for this young man. There is a twist to the plot and at the end, there is hope for a better life and even for love.

The characterization is excellent. You become involved in the life of this mute and seemingly helpless but talented "lock artist," as the story is told in the first person, from his point of view.

I can understand why the book won the Edgar. After all, the author has won before and was certainly a safe bet. However, there is another Edgar nominee that I rated a full 5 stars - The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller by Timothy Hallinan. This book is not only socially conscious, even more so than The Lock Artist, but it's also an excellent thriller with a lot going for it on several levels.

I recommend you read them both!

May 5, 2011

A Case of Kidnapping: Three Mystery Novels

Breezed through three enjoyable mysteries set in Florida, Malibu, and Delhi, borrowed from my local library. They all have one thing in common - a kidnapping plus murder mysteries to solve.

The Case of the Missing Servant: From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator (A Vish Puri Mystery) is by Tarquin Hall, a British writer who lies in London and Delhi, India.

His main character, Vish Puri, is a portly, likeable Punjabi P.I. who employs an unlikely team of helpers with the descriptive nicknames of Tubelight, Flush, and Facecream. His search for a missing servant, Mary, takes Puri to the deserts of Jaipur and the uranium mines of Jharkhand. I rated this a 4.5 out of 5 for unique setting, characterization, and plot.

Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs: A Dixie Hemingway Mystery (Dixie Hemingway Mysteries) by Blaize Clement, author of 5 petsitter cozy mysteries, is set on a small Florida Key near Sarasota.
A 12-year-old girl from L.A. shows up there but then goes missing, and a high school friend's husband is kidnapped for ransom. Dixie tries to find the girl and help her friend while petsitting her many clients' cats, dogs, and birds. An enjoyable and easy read, I also rated this 4.5 out of 5 for characterization, setting, and plot.

The Case of the Kidnapped Angel (Masao Masuto mystery) by E.V. Cunningham aka Howard Fast, features a Buddhist policeman, Detective Sergeant Masao Masuto of the Beverly Hills police force, California.

In this novel, a Hollywood sex goddess is kidnapped from her Malibu beach home. Masuto's unorthodox investigative procedures and his keen insight makes him a detective to follow. I rated this a 4 out of 5 for characterization and writing. Easy to read, spare and direct, a police procedural that is enjoyable and unusual. There are six other novels in this mystery series.

May 2, 2011

Book Giveaway: Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Call Me Irresistible (Wynette, Texas, #5)

Thanks to HarperCollings Publishers, I have two copies of the hardcover romance Call Me Irresistible: A Novel by New York Times bestselling author, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, to give away. Enter by May 9.  Winner will be chosen at random on May 10 and will have until May 12 to reply with a mailing address.

Book description from Goodreads: R.S.V.P. to the most riotous wedding of the year . . . Lucy Jorik is the daughter of a former president of the United States. Meg Koranda is the offspring of legends.
One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible—Ted Beaudine—the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. The other is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache.

But even though Meg knows that breaking up her best friend's wedding is the right thing to do, no one else seems to agree. Faster than Lucy can say "I don't," Meg becomes the most hated woman in town—a town she's stuck in with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure she can survive on her own wits. What's the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all...

For my review, click HERE.

To enter the contest, leave a comment telling us the name of a romance novel you have read AND include an email address. For U.S. addresses only; no post office boxes, please. For an extra chance to win, become a follower or let me know if you are already a follower. Good luck!

UPDATE: Anita and Aimee both won books! Congrats!

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...