Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mailbox Holiday Monday

Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday! MM was created by Marcia at A girl and her books (fka The Printed Page), who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring meme (details here).

The wonderful Amused by Books is hosting in September. Please visit!

I have had a super busy book week, thanks to bringing a box of books home from my parents' house after Mom cleaned out her bookshelves, and a swing through Booktique, my favorite library book store.

But I am particularly excited about a book I actually bought new and it arrived in my mailbox:

Second Reading: Notable and Neglected Books Revisited by Jonathan Yardley.  This caught my eye in the Europa Editions spring catalog a few months back and I finally remembered to buy it.

And now for the long list, in no particular order:

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black.  Black is the pen name of John Banville, who I heard talk on NPR the other day about his mystery series set in Dublin in the 9150s. This is the first of the series.

The Rector's Wife by Joanna Trollope -- my new favorite.

A Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym. I've never read her books, but have heard good things.

Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron. This won the Edgar Award.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik. My Mom loved this one.

Other People's Children by Joanna Trollope

Winterkill by Craig Lesley, an Oregon author.

Ultimate Prizes by Susan Howatch. I now have all 4 of this series. I read the 2nd one out of order and loved it.

Scandalous Risks by Susan Howatch. Part of the same series.

Hotel World by Ali Smith. This was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize in 2001.

A Theft by Saul Bellow -- a novella I've been meaning to get.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot -- my Book Club's book this month.

Powers of Attorney by Louis Auchincloss. I love the vintage cover on this one.

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

History of Scotland by J. D. Mackie

Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothers by Barbara Hambly

My Kitchen Wars by Betty Harper Fussell

1939 by Anne De Courcy

Pendulum: Leon Foucault and the Triumph of Science by Amir D. Aczel

A Dog's Life by Peter Mayle

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn. I gave this to my sister when she was in culinary school. She passed it to our mom and now I have it.

Review of the Day: The Reluctant Detective

The Reluctant Detective is the first book in a new mystery series by Martha Ockley featuring ex-cop, newly-ordained vicar, Faith Morgan.

When the priest of St. James's in Little Worthy dies during communion, Faith is called in to watch over the parish. When her former boyfriend, Ben Shorter, is the officer in charge of the investigation, things get interesting and Faith finds herself at the center of the investigation.

It's like a British version of Julia Spencer-Fleming's Clare Furgusson series – a female Episcopalian (Church of England) priest in a small town – but cozier. Things in Little Worthy aren't as idyllic as they seem at first glance. Family tensions, secret love affairs, crazy neighbors, and old scandals lay barely hidden beneath the calm surface.

Oakley is a good writer and the narrative flows well, with smooth dialog and no clunky passages. First books in a planned series can be tricky, trying to balance the current plot against the need to introduce characters for future volumes. Oakley strikes a reasonable balance, although some of the characters lack depth at this point – something that can be remedied in the books to come.

This is definitely a cozy series that could be worthy of a long run.


If you would like your review of this book listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.


I got my copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.

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