Sep 28, 2012

October Cozy Mysteries

A few new October cozies from Obsidian and Berkley....just in time for the cooler weather.

If Mashed Potatoes Could Dancee
Mrs. Malory and A Necessary End,
A Marked Man,
A Grid for Murder,
Deadly Patterns.

The titles read like a cozy poem.

Sep 27, 2012

Book Review: The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura


Title: The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura, translated from the Japanese by Satoko Izumo and Stephen Coates
Published March 20, 2012; Soho Crime
Source: library

I was pleasantly surprised by this award winning novel by the young Japanese writer Fuminori Nakamura. He won Japan's largest prize, the 2009 Oe Prize, for this book and I can see why.

Not nearly as noir as I was expecting, the book shows the flaws and the humanity of this young man, a Tokyo pickpocket so skilled that he can unbutton a man's coat, take a wallet from the inside pocket, and rebutton the coat without being noticed or caught. Working in tandem with two others, he can even remove the cash and return the wallet to the unsuspecting victim's pocket in the flash of an eye.

The Thief targets only wealthy, well dressed Tokyo businessmen, as they walk along the street or ride on the subway. This is until he gets involved in more serious pickpocketing for gang members who have a political agenda. The noir ending I was expecting didn't happen, and there is hope for the Thief who risks his life to protect a young boy, a budding pickpocket, and put him on a path different from his own.

This was an easy read, only 211 pages. The dialogue and plot lines are both excellent.

Nakamura's first book, The Gun, has also won an award.

Visit Saturday Review of Books for a weekly collection of book reviews.

Sep 25, 2012

The Merde Factor by Stephen Clarke - Just What the Doctor Ordered


Title: The Merde Factor by Stephen Clarke
Release date: October 23, 2012; Century
Paperback: 304 pages
Genre: novel, comedy

I've been stressed out lately by several factors and reading serious thrillers hasn't helped calm me down. Luckily, The Merde Factor came in the mail, and loving and hating all things French, I took the book to bed.

It's making me laugh, especially when the French in the novel start hurling one-word insults at each other through the open windows of their apartment building.

I'm going back to bed with this one.

Book description: The hilarious new novel from the bestselling author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French.

Englishman Paul West is living the Parisian dream, and doing his best not to annoy the French. But things have been going very wrong: His apartment is so small that he has to cut his baguettes in two to fit them in the kitchen. His research into authentic French cuisine is about to cause a national strike. And Paul's gorgeous ex-girlfriend seems to be stalking him. Threatened with eviction, unemployment and bankruptcy, Paul realises that his personal merde factor is about to hit the fan.

Sep 24, 2012

Book Teaser: One Last Strike by Tony La Russa

"Injuries are part of the game, an adversity you have to get accustomed to overcoming because one way or another they factor into every season." (p. 52)
One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Game Back, and One Final Championship Season by Tony La Russa
Release date: September 25, 2012; William Morrow hardcover
Genre: sports memoir

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB; choose sentences at random from your current read. Identify the author and title for readers.

Sep 23, 2012

Sunday Salon: Library Finds and Giveaway Winner

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday Salon!

Congratulations to Beverly S., who was chosen by a random number generator as the winner of:The Twelve Rooms of the Nile.

Another giveaway courtesy of the publisher is open until Sept. 28 for The Shoemaker's Wife.

Yesterday, I returned a book to the library and came away with four books I didn't intend to borrow.

1. The Dead Do Not Improve by Jay Caspian Kang is about twentysomethings being bored and self pitying as they go between real life and the Internet. I like this one so far.

2. Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais is about an elderly priest who moves from a serene village in Japan to bustling Brooklyn, New York.


3. The Incense Game: A Novel of Feudal Japan by Laura Joh Rowland is the latest in the Sano Ichiro mystery series set in early 18th century Japan.

4. The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura is an award winning novel that follows the events in the life of a Tokyo pickpocket.

Sometimes it's a nice feeling to choose books from the library, as opposed to picking up the ones already on my shelves.

Sep 21, 2012

Books for Upstairs and Downstairs

I have a mystery novel for reading upstairs, bedtime reading, and for when I wake up too early in the morning. And there is another book downstairs that I'd rather not take up and down the stairs.

My upstairs read is:

Bear Bait: a Summer Westin Mystery by Pamela Beason, to be released October 2, 2012.

A lover of the great outdoors, albeit from an armchair, I enjoyed the first book in the series, Endangered, and am liking this one with Summer Westin as a biologist, volunteer, and amateur sleuth in the National Park Forest in Olympic National Park, the Pacific Northwest.



My downstairs book is quite different.
The Devil Soldier: The Story of Frederick Townsend Ward, the Most Honored and Controversial American in Chinese History is a biography of  an American soldier of fortune from Salem, Mass. who fought in China in the mid 19th century, on the side of the Chinese emperor and against the Taiping rebels.

The book describes The Devil Soldier as a "compelling adventure story and an important piece of Chinese and American history."

It was first published January 8, 1992 by Random House.

Which book will I'll finish first?

Sep 20, 2012

It's Thursday - What Are You Reading: Allergic to Death

Quick–what are you reading right now? Would you recommend it? What’s it about? Leave your link at Booking Through Thursday.


Allergic to Death: A Gourmet De-Lite Mystery by Peg Cochran is the first in a new cozy series published August 7, 2012. As I'm allergic to a lot of foods, meds and even animals, except for non-shedding dogs like that Westie on the book cover, I put the book near the top of my TBR pile!

About the book: Restaurant reviewer Martha Bernhardt drops dead from a severe peanut allergy...right after eating one of caterer Gigi's signature dishes. Gigi suddenly finds her diet catering business on the chopping block. Now she'll have to track down who tampered with her recipe before her own goose is cooked.(book description)

What are you reading this Thursday?

Sunday Salon: Always Currently Reading

  Currently reading:  Missing and Endangered   by J.A. Jance, February 16, 2021, William Morrow Genre: thriller, suspense Source: library Ab...