Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon

A simple bit of land clearing for a garden in rural Italy turns up some bones, and among the bones is a signet ring of the Lorenzonis. That signet means that a long-lost heir has been found, and it is up to Commissario Brunetti to tease out what actually happened to the heir of the Lorenzonis, and why.

Donna Leon is an excellent writer; her characters are complicated and her plotting is intricate. There were several times when the reader thought they knew what had happened, only to have the plot take a sharp turn. Another lovely aspect of the series is the way Leon writes about Italy, the atmosphere of the city and the people. A noble radiance is available in e-book format, from eLibraries Manitoba.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Susan Ryland is a fan of Atticus P√ľnd mysteries, even if she’s not that fond of the creator, Alan Conway. It’s a bit of a drawback, seeing as she is Conway’s editor, but they’ve made it work, and tonight she has a new Atticus to read. But this time, when she reaches the last page of the manuscript, she has an unresolved question of her own. It turns out that there is no way that she can simply ask Conway for the answer, so Susan decides to do some sleuthing on her own. What she doesn't realize is how high the stakes will get, and what finding the answer will ultimately cost.

The most shining aspect of this book is the writing – tight, well-planned, and not a word out of place. Everything glows with significance, the clues and the red herrings alike, which leads to suspicion arising exactly where the author wants, and to the final solution of the mystery being completely obvious only in hindsight. Horowitz throws in all kinds of puzzles and hidden messages so if you enjoy a good mystery head to your local branch and get a copy of Magpie Murders.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Run Hide Repeat by Pauline Dakin

“Take off all your jewellery and put it in this envelope. Get in the car and don’t say anything until we get to our destination.” This note was the introduction to an explanation Pauline Dakin had been waiting for all her life. Pauline’s mother had repeatedly taken her and her brother on spur-of-the-moments skip-school outings and cross-country moves, always deferring explanations with “I’ll tell you when you’re older.” And now that time has come, and the explanation her mother gives is even stranger than its beginning would suggest.

In this nonfiction memoir, Dakin interweaves her present and her past, starting with the revelation from her mother, and looking at both how her unorthodox childhood affected her, and the aftermath of hearing the story in her twenties. It’s a fascinating and unbelievable story, and the reader found themself racing through various parts of it, wanting to know more, faster, than what Dakin’s mother was willing or able to slowly reveal. Run Hide Repeat is well worth a read.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

If I Had A Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle

Sam gets a new pet, a small furry hamster, and while she is happy to have a pet hamster, they are sooo boring. So Sam imagines what it would be like to have a mythical creature as a pet and soon realizes that maybe hamsters are not so bad after all.

If I Had A Gryphon is a great read-aloud book, frolicking along in amusing rhyme. The story teaches young children to be careful what they wish for and that sometimes what you have is better then what you want. Next week is Children’s Book Week, check your local branch for times when the author Vikki VanSickle will be in talking about her books!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Burning Bright by Nick Petrie

Peter Ash figured the best way to escape the claustrophobia that’s his legacy from the war is to backpack through the California redwoods. But that led to escaping up a tree beyond the reach of a bear, and that led to discovering a series of climbing ropes and a woman who was running from her would-be kidnappers by hiding in the crowns of the redwoods. June is hardly your typical damsel in distress, and that’s good, because this situation is going to require every resource both of them have to make it out alive.

Nick Petrie takes a look at some of the damage inflicted by a tour of duty, and you get to see a little bit of how Ash copes, or doesn’t, with the aftermath and what that means for his life. This was beautifully plotted and paced, and the reader was pleased to find out there was two more novels in the series. If you like action, adrenaline, and a lot of fast thinking this book may be for you.