Oct 19, 2018

Review: Occupational Hazard by Alex S. Avitabile

Occupational Hazard by Alex S. Avitabile
Published: July 27, 2018
Genre: mystery

Occupational Hazard: An Al and Mick Forte Story (Volume 1)
My take on the book: Al, an attorney in Brooklyn, and his ex-mafioso cousin Mick, cross swords with deputy mayor Gordon Gilbert when they represent Mary Woodley, who is suing Gilbert for child support. This is a fairly light-hearted mystery which pits two relatively unknowns against a powerful lawyer, now deputy mayor, in a domestic issue lawsuit. 

How Al and Mick outwit Gilbert is the story in this easy-to-read and delightful mystery.

Book beginning:
"You're out!" Gordon Gilbert bellows as I sit down. 
I'm out? What is this asshole talking about? Could he be referring to that play at the firm's picnic when he pretended that he hadn't dropped the ball while trying to tag me. One of the other partners had to mediate the call, and I was declared safe at third, having legged out a nifty triple. 
But he couldn't, he wouldn't, be referring to that play.

Page 56:
"You need to know what you're up against by going after Gilbert."
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

Thanks to the Cadence Group for a review copy of this book. 

Oct 7, 2018

Sunday Salon: Must Reads from the TBR Pile

These are a few of the books I have on my desk that are waiting patiently to be read.

Don't Eat Me (Dr. Siri Paiboun #13)
Don't Eat Me 
Don't Eat Me by Colin Cotterill is the most unusual mystery series set in Laos and featuring the fictional Dr. Siri Paiboon, former national coroner of Laos, The books reflect the country's people, their beliefs, superstitions, and interesting cultural slants and is written tongue in cheek, with a great deal of irony and humor.

The Labyrinth of the Spirits
The Labyrinth of the Spirits
The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, September 18, 2018.  The final book in the cycle of novels that began with The Shadow of the Wind.

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar, September 11, 2018, Harper
One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.

My newest read, from Harper:

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver, publication October 16, 2018, Harper
Genre: literary fiction

Bum Deal (Jake Lassiter #12)
Bum Deal
Bum Deal by Paul Levine, Jake Lassiter #12, published June 12, 2018 by Thomas and Mercer
Genre: legal thriller, featuring "Second-string linebacker turned disillusioned defense attorney Jake Lassiter ." 

What books will you be reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.

Sep 30, 2018

Sunday Post: A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

A Knife in the Fog: A Mystery Featuring Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle
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I have a review copy of A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper, thanks to Seventh Street Books.
Published October 2, 2018, the book is set in September 1888, London. 

A twenty-nine-year-old Arthur Conan Doyle practices medicine by day and writes at night. He agrees to help authorities find Jack the Ripper, with the help of Dr. Watson, and soon discovers the body of a fifth victim. Wonder who the culprit turns out to be?

In gardening news,
we have brought in the potted plants as nights are beginning to get cold! My potted plants include the three poinsettias from last Christmas which not only survived the year but thrived outdoors this summer. I hope they will begin to turn red as another Christmas gets near.

For autumn, we bought Chinese moon cakes, those sweet round pastries packed with lotus seed filling or red bean paste, eaten to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival or Harvest Festival. I had to go easy on it as the cakes are very sweet, but delicious with hot tea!

Last week was taken up with TV news and the Kavanaugh-Ford testimonies. We are all eagerly waiting to see what happens next. This beat out watching Netflix movies by a long shot. Serious and real.

What are you doing, reading this week?
 The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,

Sep 26, 2018

Book Review: Darkness Falls by Kyle Mills

This review was one of my first when I started blogging in 2007. It was posted in 2008. I thought the environmental topic is relevant today, though it's fiction and a good thriller, and I'm reposting it here.

Darkness Falls, book review

Now that the environment, global warming, and especially fossil fuel (oil) are foremost on our minds and in the news, and especially the new focus on Alaskan oilfields, I thought posting this review of the novel Darkness Falls would be timely. I reviewed the book several months ago for New Mystery Reader and have to admit that I was surprised that I enjoyed the unusual plot once I had read it.

In Darkness Falls, published October 23, 2007, an environmental thriller by Kyle Mills, one of the main characters, Jenna Kahlin, makes the mistake of her life when she helps a rogue environmentalist carry out his extreme solution to global warming, global pollution, and the slow destruction of the environment.

She helps him by taking the bluprint of another biologist, Erin Neal, and using that research to create a voracious oil-eating bacteria that could spread unchecked through oilpipes and underground oilfields, literally destroying them and drying up major oil reserves. The bacteria, however, would be contained, as it would be harmful only to oil and would die quickly on contact with oxygen and the air. She does this only to preserve the Alaskan environment and to stop oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Little does she realize that her partner in that successful venture, Michael Teague, had plans for "preserving" not just Alaska, but the environment of the entire world. When the same bacteria shows up thousands of miles away in Saudi Arabia, destroying major oilfields and oil reservoirs there and threatening major supplies to the United States, Erin Neal is forced out of his self-imposed exile and hermit's existence to find a way to stop the advance of the bacteria.

The author paints a convincing picture of doom if major oil sources were to suddenly dry up. Our dependence on oil for housing, food, and our basic daily needs is brought home in the course of the book. How Jenna and Erin, together with Homeland Security manager, Mark Beamon, race against time and pit their wits against mastermind Teague, is the basis of this novel.

Sep 23, 2018

Sunday Salon: Watching you by Lisa Jewell, review

A brief book review this week.
Watching You

Watching You by Lisa Jewell
Published July 12, 2018 by Century
Genre: psychological thriller
Themes: family secrets, adolescence, murder mystery
Source: ebook from NetGalley

I found this an intriguing and engrossing thriller with enough plot twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout the book. Flowing narration, three-dimensional and realistic characters, including adolescents with psychological/developmental difficulties. Highly recommended five-star read. (my review on goodreads and NetGalley).

The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
Visit Saturday Review of Books, by Semicolon.

Sep 16, 2018

Sunday Salon: Canadian Authors Wanted

I've joined the 12th Annual Canadian Book Challenge by The Indextrious Reader.  thanks to a suggestion from Suko at Suko's Notebook.

background images from Large Roadside Attractions of Canada

Two reviews I've already entered for September: It All Falls Down and The Lost Ones, are thrillers by Vancouver author, Sheena Kamil.

The Lost Ones (Nora Watts #1)
The Lost Ones

It All Falls Down (Nora Watts, #2)
It All Falls Down

I'll be looking for other Canadian authors so I can fulfill the 13-book requirement! Though I'm assured there is no penalty if I don't reach the goal!

A new American book arrived for review, thanks to Wiley Sachek.

Bum Deal (Jake Lassiter #12)
Bum Deal
Bum Deal by Paul Levine, Jake Lassiter #12, published June 12, 2018 by Thomas and Mercer
Genre: legal thriller, featuring "Second-string linebacker turned disillusioned defense attorney Jake Lassiter ." 

My husband has co-opted this one for the time being and seems to be enjoying it!

A Japanese book I recently finished was

Convenience Store Woman
Convenience Store Woman
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, translated, published June 12, 2018, Grove Press
The novel covers aspects of contemporary culture in Japan, what society dictates that young women should aspire to and how they should live. 

Keiko breaks the mold, finds a niche as a convenience store worker, but after 18 years, her family and friends and even her co-workers think she should move on, find a husband, start a family, etc. But Keiko is only comfortable in her convenience store world. 

Revealing and enigmatic for Western readers, no doubt, but it's easy to side with Keiko, who chooses her niche, returns to what suits her.  This book was a lucky library find.

What books will you be reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.
Mailbox Monday. Also, Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews

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...