Mar 4, 2016

Book Beginning: Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice.
Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz, published 2012 by Simon and Schuster 
The fifth installment in the bestselling series featuring the private investigator Izzy Spellman and her quirky family of sleuths. (publisher)

Brought up this book from the basement to read after finishing Lutz's other books, The Passenger, and How To Start a Fire. 

Book beginning, first chapter:
I do my job. I watch. I snap pictures and record video. I document subjects' activities through a filter of twenty years of disassociation. I don't judge. I don't manipulate the evidence. I simply report my findings to the client. The client can use the information however they see fit. That's the line I feed them. But the truth is always a murkier business.
The opening paragraph of this book intrigued me. It's a mantra for a PI and for other gatherers of info like journalists, the media. How much objectivity can/do they have, in reality? Eager to get into this crime novel, to see how the PI's objectivity holds out. 

Page 56:
  "How long are you going to play this game?" he asked.

Feb 29, 2016

Book Tour: Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James

Arsenic and Old Books, a Cat in the Stacks mystery #6 by Miranda James, paperback published February 2, 2016 by Berkley

I had read the hardcover last January 2015 and objectively rated the book a 5 on goodreads. The paperback copy is now out. My brief comments;
Excellent and smooth writing. Enjoyed the characters and the cat Diesel and will be reading the other books in this series.
Publisher description: The New York Times bestselling author of The Silence of the Library returns with a tale of books worth killing for...  
DEAR DIARIES Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, Mississippi, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. She would like librarian Charlie Harris to preserve and substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy—something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate.  
Beck’s biggest rival would like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly, leaving Charlie with a catalog of questions to answer. Together with his Maine Coon cat Diesel, Charlie must discover why the diaries were worth killing for before he too reaches his final chapter.
The secrets in one of the diaries is a threat to someone in town. Just who it is, what it is and why is the mystery. The book is well written, the characters, cat, and setting interesting, the plot intriguing. I don't like all cat-involved mysteries but I recommend this one for cat and mystery lovers.

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book for their book tour. 

Feb 28, 2016

Sunday Salon: Surprise Books

Welcome to the Sunday Salon where bloggers share their reading each week. Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer.
Also visit Mailbox Monday, and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date. 

A surprise win to celebrate the blogiversary of Suzanne at Chick With Books, who very generously sent a novel, the first book in a manga series she wanted to share, and a Hummingbird bookmark which I will most definitely use.


I had seen The Japanese Lover by Allende on several blogs, including Suzanne's, and had it high on my wish list. Goodreads describes it as "an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War."

Ooku: The Inner Chambers (Volume I) is by Fumi Noshinaga, published in 2009, and is one I'm sure that will get me hooked on reading more manga.

The Hummingbird Bookmark will save me from using paper napkins, pencils, combs, and sundry other things to mark my place in books. Thanks and congrats again, Suzanne! 

What new books arrived for you all this week? 

Feb 26, 2016

The Madwoman Upstairs, a Novel by Catherine Lowell

The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice.
Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.
The Mad Woman Upstairs, a literary novel by Catherine Lowell, to be released March 1, 2016 by Touchstone.

"...the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family's long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind." (publisher)

Book beginning: 
The night I arrived at Oxford, I learned that my dorm room was built in 1361 and had originally been used to quarantine victims of the plague. The college porter seemed genuinely apologetic a he led me up the five flights of stairs to my tower. He was a nervous man - short and mouthy, with teeth like a nurse shark - who admitted through a brittle accent that Old College was over-enrolled this year, and that the deans has been forced to find space for students wherever they could. This tower was an annex to Old College. Many tragic and important people had lived here before me, apparently: had I heard of Timothy the Terrible? Sir Michael "the Madman" Morehouse? I shook my head and said that i was sorry - I was American. 

Page 56:
I marveled at their ability to create characters that bore no resemblance to their own selves whatsoever. Were they geniuses in a world of losers? Or were there glimmers of themselves in even their most outlandish fictional creations?

I rated this book a 5/5. 

Feb 25, 2016

Book Feature: No Cats Allowed by Miranda James

No Cats Allowed (Cat in the Stacks #7) by Miranda James, published February 23, 2016 by Berkley.

MIssissippi librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat Diesel must clear a friend, Melba, when she is accused of a murder she didn't commit… The victim, library director Elwyn Dillard, is declaring all four-legged creatures banned from the stacks, among other things.....Is this the reason he is killed? 

Opening sentences: 
"He's out there again today, Charlie," Molly Gilley made the announcement as she strode hurriedly into my office at the Athena College Library. "Do you think we should call the campus police?"
Teaser:
Diesel, my Maine Coon cat, jumped down from his perch on the window ledge behind my desk and ambled around to greet Melba. The two adored each other, and if anyone could calm Malba down, Diesel could. 
This is the seventh in the series, featuring librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat, Diesel. Are you a cat and mystery lover? This series is for you!

Thanks to publisher for a review/feature copy of this book. 

Feb 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: March Cozy Mysteries

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted weekly by Jill at Breaking the Spine. What new releases are you eagerly waiting for. Link your post to Breaking the Spine.
Mrs. Jeffries Wins the Prize, a cozy mystery by Emily Brightwell, will be released March 1, 2016 by Berkley. It's the 34th in the series, so I expect it will be good! When Hiram Filmore, an orchid hunter and supplier, is found dead in Mrs. Helena Rayburn’s conservatory, Inspector Witherspoon is called in to weed out a murderer. Detecting sleuth, Mrs. Jefferies, also comes to the rescue!
Kernel of Truth, a new series in a Popcorn Shop Mystery by Kristi Abbott, to be published March 1, 2016 by Berkley. This one has a dog for a sleuthing companion! Featuring gourmet popcorn entrepreneur Rebecca Anderson and her poodle Sprocket. Rebecca finds that her potential business partner Coco has been killed and set out to solve the mystery. 

What new books are you eyeing for March?

Feb 21, 2016

Sunday Salon: New Reads - Cambodia Noir and When Falcons Fall

 Welcome to the Sunday Salon where bloggers share their reading each week. Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer.

Also visit Mailbox Monday, and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date. 
The Mad Woman Upstairs, an adventure novel by Catherine Lowell, to be published March 1, 2016 by Touchstone.
"...the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family's long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind." (publisher)


Cambodia Noir, thriller/adventure by Nicholas Seeley, to be released March 15, 2016 by Scribner.  
Phnom Penh, Cambodia: the end of the line. Lawless, drug-soaked, forgotten—it's where bad journalists go to die. For once-great war photographer Will Keller, that's kind of a mission statement: he spends his days floating from one score to the next, taking any job that pays; his nights are a haze of sex, drugs, booze, and brawling. But Will's spiral toward oblivion is interrupted by Kara Saito, a beautiful young woman who shows up and begs Will to help find her sister, June, who disappeared during a stint as an intern at the local paper (publisher)


When Falcons Fall, the 11th in the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series by C.S. Harris, to be released March 1, 2016 by NAL.
Ayleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to this seemingly peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend and on a quest to learn more about his own ancestry. But when the body of a lovely widow is found on the banks of the River Teme, a bottle of laudanum at her side, the village’s inexperienced new magistrate turns to St. Cyr for help. (publisher)

I've reviewed the 7th in the series, When Maidens Mourn, and look forward to this one. 

Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte, published February 9, 2016 by William Morrow
"... a sweeping comic portrait of privilege, ambition, and friendship in millennial San Francisco." (publisher)

Currently reading:
How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz, published May 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Genre: women's fiction, contemporary fiction
I have recently finished and reviewed Lutz's most recent novel, a thriller, The Passengerand am now reading another published last year, How To Start a Fire, a book about three college friends and their lives and relationships after.
I have the fifth in her private investigator Spellman series, Trail of the Spellmans on my TBR list. She is becoming one of my favorite authors.

What's on your reading list this week?

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...