Tag Archives: book reviews

June 02

Big Questions in New York: Carthage, Joyce Carol Oates

***** Fourth Estate, 2014 ASIN B00DJHKGUK Part of the Mysterious USA Mystery reading challenge Sometimes there are periods when nothing you read impresses you—and then a book comes along that just blows you away by the sheer talent of the writer. Some novels touch readers through story; others do it through language or plot construction. […]

Winter People, Jennifer McMahon May 13

Ghosts Walking in Vermont: The Winter People, Jennifer McMahon

** Doubleday, 2014 ISBN 0385538499 (ISBN13: 9780385538497) Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge While this book had potential, it fell kind of flat from the outset. Its dual timelines follow the residents of an old farmhouse near a rock formation known as the Devil’s Hand, near the small town of West Hall, Vermont. […]

The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh May 07

Sinister Missouri: The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh

Spiegel & Grau, 2014 ISBN 0812995201 (ISBN13: 9780812995206) ***3/4 Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge “If the wolf wants in, he’ll find a way.” Laura McHugh’s The Weight of Blood takes place in Henbane, a fictional town in the Ozarks. I was genuinely surprised at how much I liked this book, and it […]

The Round House, Louise Erdrich May 01

Injustice in North Dakota: The Round House, Louise Erdrich

***** Harper Collins, 2012 ISBN 0062065246 (ISBN13: 9780062065247) Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge The Round House dealt with a lot of serious issues, from Native American rights to rape to revenge. Beautifully written and expertly told, Louise Erdrich’s novel was perfect for the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge. The entire book […]

April 21

Verdant, Adventurous Washington: Gemini, Carol Cassella

 *** Simon & Schuster, 2014 ISBN 1451627939 (ISBN13: 9781451627930) Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge An unidentified woman has been the victim of a hit-and-run, and as the hospital begins to take steps to make important decisions on her behalf, Charlotte, her doctor, feels that she needs to find out who the woman […]

April 13

Life-changing Decisions in Pittsburgh: Taken, Kathleen George

***3/4 Dell, 2001 ISBN 0440236614 (ISBN13: 9780440236610) Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge Sometimes the split-second decisions we make define our character, who we really are under all pretentions and all attempts to be “good” or “just” or “virtuous.” Sometimes those decisions can change the course of a person’s life. The premise of […]

One for the Money April 02

In Biker Shorts in New Jersey: One for the Money, Janet Evanovich

**** St. Martin’s Griffin, 1994 ISBN 0312362080 (ISBN13: 9780312362089) Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge I enjoyed One for the Money much more than I thought I would. Written in 1994, before The Sopranos or The Jersey Shore, Evanovich’s novel portrays the Jersey stereotype in a way that has been over-satirized in the […]

March 18

Pig Pickin’ and Square Dancing in North Carolina: Bootlegger’s Daughter, Margaret Maron

Thorndike Press, 1992 ISBN 0786223278 (ISBN13: 9780786223275) ***1/2 Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge Bootlegger’s Daughter was exactly what I expected it to be and perfect for this challenge. Maron’s fictional Colleton County is what the author believes small-town North Carolina to be, and with it, she paints a picture of the state, […]

March 09

Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, Juliann Garey

***** Soho Press, 2012 ISBN 161695129X (ISBN13: 9781616951290) WASHINGTON, March 9, 2014—I usually do not read books about mental illness, but this was on sale on Kindle one day, and, given the glowing reviews, I thought I’d see what all the hype was about. I absolutely LOVED this book. It was heartfelt, beautifully written, witty, […]

Cover The Vanishing, Wendy Webb February 22

Snowy, Remote Minnesota: The Vanishing, Wendy Webb

Hyperion, 2014 ISBN 1401341942 (ISBN13: 9781401341947) ***1/4 Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge Julia Bishop has recently lost her husband, her friends, and her entire life. The “Bernie Madoff of the Midwest,” her husband had swindled hundreds out of their life savings before killing himself once his scheme was discovered. Hounded by […]