Friday, June 03, 2022

Book Beginnings: The Marlow Murder Club


The Marlow Murder Club,
by Robert Thorogood
Poisoned Pen Press, May 2022


Opening Lines
Mrs. Judith Potts was seventy-seven years old and entirely happy with her life. She lived in an Arts and Crafts mansion on the River Thames, she had a job she loved that took up just enough of her time and no more, and best of all, she didn’t have to share her life with any man.

 

About the Book
Publisher's Description: 
Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper.
One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.
Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.
When another body turns up, they realize they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…

 

Initial Thoughts

I was originally attracted to this book because of that main character. A 77-year-old woman who lives happily on her own, swims in the Thames, and solves mysteries! How could I not love that? Especially since Judith Potts isn't a great deal older than I am. Not that we're terribly alike otherwise. I'm extremely happy that I do have a man to share my life. I don't drink whisky. And you'll never catch me swimming in the Thames. Still, I found her just really intriguing. 

It's not the book I thought I'd be reading this week, but when I discovered that the author, Robert Thorogood, is the creator of one of my favorite British TV series — Death in Paradise — I just couldn't resist. I'm about a third of the way through the book, and it keeps surprising me. I love that. Definitely enjoying it, so far.  


Have a good weekend, everyone.
And happy reading!


Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Reading Update - 30 May 2022


I haven't posted a reading update for quite a while. As usual, the year seems to be getting away from me — here we are at the end of May already. And I ask my usual end-of-the-month question: How did that happen?

In the last few weeks I've finished several recently-published books...


The Hidden,
by Melanie Golding


The Christie Affair,
by Nina de Gramont

(Alex Delaware #37)
by Jonathan Kellerman

by Jennifer McMahon

by Randy Susan Meyers
and M.J. Rose

...and a couple of vintage mysteries...

(Perry Mason #17),
by Erle Stanley Gardner

(Lew Archer #1),
by Ross Macdonald

All were enjoyable. Some more than others, of course. Hope to get some reviews up this week. 

At the moment, I've got three or four books going. This week, I'll be trying to finish The Omega Factor, a new thriller by Steve Berry, coming out next month.



Happy reading, everyone — and have a great week!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Book Beginnings: The Children on the Hill


The Children on the Hill
by Jennifer McMahon
Gallery/Scout Press, April 2022



Opening Lines
The Monster
August 15, 2019
Her smell sends me tumbling back through time to before
Before I knew the truth.

 

About the Book
Publisher's Description: 
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Drowning Kind comes a genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, that brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us.
1978: At her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when she’s home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran—teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love.
Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris—silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral—does not behave like a normal girl.
Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere.
2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She’s determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real—and one of them is her very own sister.

 

Initial Thoughts

Jennifer McMahon has become one of my favorite writers. I've read several of her psychological thrillers, and this one is the best yet. Nice and creepy. I'm about halfway through the book and loving it. Hoping the ending is as good as everything leading up to it!


Have a good weekend, everyone.
And happy reading!


Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Friday, April 15, 2022

Book Beginnings: City of the Dead

City of the Dead
(Alex Delaware #37)
Ballantine Books, February 2022



Opening Sentence
Four fifty-three in the morning was too early for anything.

 

About the Book
At 5am in the upscale neighborhood of Westwood Village, two removal men are making a routine pick-up when they make a fatal hit. It's a man — who appeared from nowhere — naked and with no means of identification.
Not long after, a woman is found dead in a house nearby, which neighbors suspect to be a brothel. Could the man have come from there?
When LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis calls brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware to the scene, the case gets even more complicated. Delaware has met the woman before. She's a psychologist too.
Are the two deaths linked? Or is there a darker force at work? (--Penguin Books UK website)

 

Initial Thoughts

Ah, yes. When I read that first sentence, my first thought was "Amen!" I definitely admire all those people who can start getting things done that early, but I have trouble waking up before ten or eleven A.M. Even back when I was working and had to be in the office by eight A.M., I didn't wake up until ten or eleven. 

This is number 37 in Jonathan Kellerman's super-successful mystery series starring forensic psychologist Alex Delaware. I've only read one other book in the series, but really enjoyed it. And so far, I'm really enjoying this one, too. I had been going through a bit of a reading slump earlier this year, but City of the Dead has helped lift me out of it, at least for the moment. Hope to finish it up over the weekend. 

The first book in the series, When the Bough Breaks (1985) was adapted into a film starring Ted Danson as Alex Delaware. I haven't seen it, and Ted Danson doesn't really match my mental picture of Delaware, but he'd probably be good in the role. I'm not usually enthusiastic about seeing film versions of books I've enjoyed, but I do think this series would be great on screen. 


Have a good weekend, everyone.
And happy reading!


Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

Book Beginnings: The Christie Affair

by Nina de Gramont
St. Martin's Press, February 2022


Opening Sentence
A long time ago in another country, I nearly killed a woman. 


About the Book
Mystery novelist Agatha Christie famously disappeared for eleven days back in 1926. Nina de Gramont's new novel The Christie Affair is historical fiction that centers around the unexplained disappearance, told from the point of view of the woman who was having an affair with Agatha's husband at the time. It's a tale of star-crossed lovers, heartbreak, revenge, and murder — a clever reimagining of one of the most talked-about unsolved mysteries of the twentieth century

 

Initial Thoughts

I'm a big Agatha Christie fan, and I generally enjoy a good historical fiction read. So this was sort of a natural choice for me. But I have to admit — the thing that really attracted me to this book was that cover. (Shame on me!)


Have a good weekend, everyone.
And happy reading!


Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Monday, February 21, 2022

Reading Update - 21 February 2022


February is not my favorite month of the year. It's cold. It seems like the longest month of the year even though it's the shortest. And it's spelled funny. It's just usually a very frustrating time of year. But even with all that frustration, I generally get a lot of reading done in February. This year, for some reason .... not so much.

So far this month, I've read a bunch of children's books, but haven't finished any grown-up books. Second childhood? Perhaps. Anyway, here's what I've read this month....







But I do have a couple of adult books going, too. Right now, I'm about halfway through this one....

It's definitely a grown-up read. Now I just need to keep myself from sliding back into toddler mode so I can finish it! 


Happy reading, everyone — and have a great week!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs. 


Monday, January 31, 2022

Reading Update and January Wrap-Up


Wow, we're already a month into the new year! That just seems really unbelievable. So far, 2022 is whizzing along even faster than 2021 — or maybe I just feel that way because we've been so busy around here. Busy, but not doing a huge amount of reading, I'm sorry to say. The hubby had surgery earlier this month and I've mostly been concentrating on getting him back up and running! (Well, not exactly running — let's say up and moving around like a normal human being again.) 

So with all the medical drama, I've only managed to finish two books in January....

Homicide Trinity, by Rex Stout (first published, 1962)
is made up of three separate Nero Wolfe novellas (or long short stories).

The Stately Home Murder, by Catherine Aird,
(first published 1969)
is the third book in her Inspector Sloan mystery series. 

Both of those were very enjoyable and just what I needed to help me through a dreary month. And, if all goes as planned, I should finish up one more feel-good book this evening....


Rabbit Hill, written and illustrated by Robert Lawson
First published 1944

That last book was awarded the Newbery Medal for 1945, and I'm a little surprised I never read it as a child. Last year, I read a lot of kiddie lit, and I'll probably read a lot of it this year, too — it's like comfort food for the mind and spirit. And right now my mind and spirit could both use a LOT of comfort.

Happy reading, everyone — and have a great week!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.