Jan 4, 2017

Athenian Blues by Pol Koutsakis.

The first in the Stratos Gazis mystery series, Athenian Blues,  will be published April 11, 2017.
Athenian Blues by Pol Koutsakis. The author was born in Crete in 1974, writes novels, plays, and screenplays. Athenian Blues is his first novel to be translated into English. Baby Blue, the sequel to Athenian Blues, is expected to be published by Bitter Lemon Press in 2018.

The main character, Stratos, is a hit man who goes to length to make sure victims truly "deserve their fate." He is helped by childhood friends: a homicide cop, a transsexual hooker, and Maria, the love of his life.

An unusual plot with unusual characters. I am eager to see how well this book will go down with mystery readers.  

Jan 3, 2017

First Chapter: The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

The Golden Son: A Novel  by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, October 20, 2015.

The Golden Son is an immigrant story, set in the U.S. and India, about immigration, tradition, and cultural clashes and difficulties.

Publisher description: Anil Patel, the golden son, leaves his tiny Indian village to begin a medical residency in Dallas, Texas. When his father dies, Anil inherits the mantle of arbiter for all of the village’s disputes. But he is uncertain that he has the wisdom and courage demonstrated by his father and grandfather. His doubts are compounded by the difficulties in adjusting to a new culture and a new job.

Back home in India, Anil’s childhood friend, Leena, struggles to adapt to her demanding new husband and relatives. Arranged by her parents, the marriage shatters Leena’s romantic hopes and eventually forces her to make a desperate choice.

First paragraph:

Anil Patil was ten years old the first time he witnessed one of Papa's arbitrations.
Children usually were not allowed at these meetings, but an exception was made for Anil since he would, one day, inherit his father's role....

Based on the first paragraph, would you keep reading?

Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two, from a book you are reading or will be reading soon.

Dec 31, 2016

Sunday Salon: Books Read in 2016

I completed my Goodreads Challenge this year by reading 81 books, one more than my stated goal. Click here to see the list of books.

Right now I'm reading Here Comes the Sun, a novel about travel in the U.S. by Nicole Dennis-Benn, and also just finished an historical mystery I bought as an e-book.
Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart, published September 2015.
Publisher description: "On the mountainous border of China and Tibet in 1708, a detective must learn what a killer already knows: that empires rise and fall on the strength of the stories they tell.

Li Du was an imperial librarian. Now he is an exile. Arriving in Dayan, the last Chinese town before the Tibetan border, he is surprised to find it teeming with travelers, soldiers, and merchants. When a Jesuit astronomer is found murdered in the home of the local magistrate, blame is hastily placed on Tibetan bandits. But Li Du suspects this was no random killing."

This is the first in the Li Du mystery series and I am eager to read the next in the series, The White Mirror, published September this year.

Happy reading this new year!

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

Dec 30, 2016

Book Beginning: Road to Paradise by Paullina Simons

Memes: 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.
Road to Paradise by Paullina Simons. November 29, 2016. William Morrow Paperbacks

Book beginning:

Do what you like, Shelby Sloane, the bartered bride had said to me, smiling like an enigma, just remember: all roads lead to where you stand.
Back then I said, what does that mean?
This morning I knew. It was the morning of the third day I had been trapped in a room, two miles from the main drag of the Reno strip in a place called “Motel.”

I stood alone, broke, and in Reno.

Page 56:
"So we're off," Gina said. "Are you excited?"
"Sure," I said.

Book description:


Dec 26, 2016

It's Monday: Here's What I'm Reading

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date Also, visit Mailbox Monday.
Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle, to be released January 10, 2017, Berkley.
Very enjoyable and complex plot, intriguing characters. Love the NYC setting of the coffee shop mystery series. 

I finished this book while I was recovering from surgery. It was a great comfort during that trying time!

I am reading a galley of When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz, November 29, 2016, Berkley 

A fairly suspenseful story of a woman trying to find her stepsister and solve the murder of her sister's best friend. 
Metaphors Be With You: An Z to Z dictionary of history's greatest metaphorical quotations by Dr. Mardy Grothe,  December 6, 2016, Harper

A book to open at random and savor a few pages at a time.

Here's a quote from the section on Poets:
To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession. - Robert Graves
And on Writing:
Writing is seduction. - Stephen King
On Committees:
A camel is a horse designed by a committee. - Author Unknown

Add a cozy to my reading list:
Pop Goes the Murder: A Popcorn Shop Mystery by Kristi Abbott, January 3, 2017; Berkley

First paragraph:
I knocked on the hotel room door. No  one answered. I glanced at my watch. Seven forty-five in the morning. I was right on time....

Building suspense from the start, this cozy mystery is next on my reading list.

How about your reading?          

Dec 5, 2016

It's Monday: What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date

I borrowed several books of poetry from the library written by Mary Oliver, including Dog Songs, The Leaf and the Cloud, and Blue Iris. Oliver tends to write a lot about the beauty of nature - flowers, the seasons, dogs - though her poems are not limited to these. Oliver has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

The bluebird
is dropping the pearls of his song
out of the sky.

- from "Rhapsody," The Leaf and the Cloud
Shelter by Jung Yun, March 15, 2016 by Picador.

Why should a man care for his parents when they failed to take care of him as a child? A debut novel that asks what it means to provide for one's family. (publisher)

I have been reading this on and off, not an easy story as there are lots of heartbreak on the part of the parents and a slow realization by their son of his responsibilities.

What are you reading this week?

Dec 1, 2016

Book Review: Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Review of Here Comes the Sun, a novel by Nicole Dennis-Benn, published June 2, 2016, Norton

I didn't think I'd want to finish the book, but as I kept reading it pulled me in - the vivid characters, the story, the, at times, poetic writing. This is a candid look at some of the lives of the less fortunate local people who live behind the scenes in the Jamaican tourist industry, the ones who serve in the hotels and cater to the tourists, legally or not. It also looks at the island culture of homophobia, superstition, and lack of opportunity and education that keep many miserable and hold them back. You won't look at the local people the same way the next time you vacation in paradise!

Written by a Jamaican-American who knows the island, the dialect, and its life rhythms. I recommend the book for all readers interested in the Caribbean.

Sunday Salon: The Last Flight by Julie Clark

 Last thriller read:  The Last Flight  by Julie Clark, June 23, 2020, Sourcebooks Landmark Genre: thriller, mystery Source; library book Two...