Tag Archives: enjoyable read

Review: The Book of Lies, by Brad Meltzer

The Book of LiesFrom the jacket flap:

In chapter four of the Bible, Cain kills Abel. It is the world’s most famous murder. But the Bible is silent about one key detail: the weapon Cain used to kill his brother. That weapon is still lost to history.

In 1932 Mitchell Siegel was killed by two gunshots to the chest. While mourning, his son dreamed of a bulletproof man and created the world’s greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain’s murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found.

Today in Ford Lauderdale, Florida, Cal Harper comes face-to-face with his own family tragedy: His long-missing father has been shot with a gun that traces back to Mitchell Siegel’s 1932 murder. But soon after their surprising reunion, Cal and his father are attacked by a ruthless killer tattooed with the ancient marketings of Cain.

So begins the chase for the world’s first murder weapon. It is a race that will pull Cal back into his own past even as it propels him forwrd through the true story of Cain and Abel, an eighty-year-old unsolvable puzzle, and the deadly organization known for the past century as the Leadership.

What does Cain, history’s greatest villain, have to do with Superman, the world’s greatest hero? And what to two murders, committed thousands of years apart, have in common?

The Snapshot Review

What I Liked: The action is fast paced, and the pace never lets up; the characters are a little bit different from your run-of-the-mill best selling thriller novel; the plot is interesting and consistent. A real page turner.

And the Bonus! No gratuitous, graphic violence. There is violence, yes, but it’s definitely not gratuitous. Or particularly graphic.

Ms. Bookish’s Very Quick Take: Try to have a nice bit of time to sit down with this one, because it’s not an easy book to put down once you’ve started it.

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Review: The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday by Alexander McCall Smith

What This Book is About:

“In this fabulous new installment in the bestselling adventures of Isabel Dalhousie, Isabel is asked to help a doctor who has been disgraced by allegations of scientific fraud concerning a newly marketed drug. Our ever-curious moral philosopher finds her interest piqued. Would a doctor with a stellar reputation make such a simple but grave mistake? If not, what explains the tragic accident that resulted in the death of a patient? Clearly, an investigation is in order, especially since a man’s reputation is in jeopardy. Could he be the victim of someone else’s mistake? Or perhaps he has been willfully deceived by a pharmaceutical company with a great deal to gain.

Not every problem prompts an investigation (take, for example, her ongoing struggle with her housekeeper, Grace, over the care of Isabel’s infant son, Charlie), but, as we’ve seen, whatever hte case, whatever the solution, Isabel’s combination of spirit, smarts, empathy, and unabashed nosiness guarantees a delightful adventures.”

Ms. Bookish’s Quick Take: I have always had a place in my heart for Smith’s gentle mysteries involving Isabel Dalhousie, and The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday didn’t disappoint me. Isabel is true to form in this book: a very delightful and kind woman who thinks a lot. Her boyfriend Jamie might say she “thinks too much”, but the places to which her thoughts roam are just delightful. One caveat: if you’ve never read any of the Isabel Dalhousie books before, be warned that aren’t really mysteries. The mystery is more of a side story. What you get in The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday is the opportunity to spend time with Isabel Dalhousie and her outlook on life as a moral philosopher. Interesting and sometimes thought-provoking, but not very mysterious.
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Review: The Riddles of Epsilon, by Christine Morton-Shaw

Ms. Bookish’s Quick Take: This is a children’s fantasy set in modern times that had some great spooky moments. The plot is enticing, there is a good old-fashioned battle between the forces of good and evil, and a couple of twists in the ending came as nice surprises. This book is definitely Recommended. See below for the full review.

From the jacket flap:

Jess has moved to a remote island called Lume off the coast of England. Her parents are restoring an old house, and Jess discovers an abandoned cottage on their property. Inside the cottage Jess encounters an eerie presence – something like a ghost but suffused with a comforting energy. She also finds three locked boxes. Inside each she finds antique papers that send her mind spinning.

As Jess unravels the mysteries of Lume, she finds the writings of Sebastian, a boy who lived one hundred years ago and whose life contains unsettling reflections of her own. To her horror, the dangers he unearthed in 1894 now begin to threaten Jess and her family. Something dark has awoken, and Jess doesn’t have much time to do something about it.

Jess has a talent for solving puzzles, riddles, and codes. She is confronted with a series of riddles that she must unlock in order to save her mother from a dark and ancient threat. Jess is guided by the creepy presence in the cottage. The mysterious guide is called Epsilon, but is he a guide from the bright side or the dark?

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Review: Snatched, by Pete Hautman and Mary Logue

Ms. Bookish’s Quick Take: Snatched, the first book in the Bloodwater series, introduces us to two engaging teenagers who become unlikely partners as they track down the mystery of who has abducted a classmate. I enjoyed this mystery very much; it was both fast-paced and realistic. I did find the ending somewhat disappointing, but despite this, it’s definitely a recommended read. See below for the full review.

From the jacket flap:

What do Roni Delicata, the pushy reporter for the school newspaper, and science geek Brian Bain have in common? Ordinarily, nothing except a tendency to end up in the principal’s office. But today isn’t an ordinary day: their new classmate Alicia has been snatched.

In no time, Roni and Brian are on the case. But the deeper they dig, the more suspects they find. And when they follow the trail to Wolf Spider Island, a place well known for its creepy inhabitants, Roni and Brian are suddenly risking their own lives for the truth. Can they find Alicia before it’s too late – for all of them?

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Review: Compulsion, by Jonathan Kellerman

Ms. Bookish’s Quick Take: Jonathan Kellerman is one of my favorite authors; I really like his protagonist, Alex Delaware. I know the Delaware novels are a “series” but each book is very much a stand-alone novel, and Compulsion, like all the Delaware novels, doesn’t disappoint. While the plot and story doesn’t set it above the other novels in the series, that’s really not a negative, as most of the Alex Delaware novels I’ve read have that intensity and grab-you effect that I like in a crime thriller. Which is to say, you’re not going to go wrong with Compulsion. It’s highly readable, like all its predecessors. See below for the full review.

From the back cover:

A tipsy young woman seeking aid on a desolate highway disappears into the inky black night. A retired schoolteacher is stabbed to death in broad daylight. Two women are butchered after closing time in a small-town beauty parlor. The curious fact that all their killers drove luxury vehicles, coupled with a baffling lack of any apparent motive, is enough to warrant the attention of LAPD detective Milo Sturgis and his frequent collaborator on the crime beat, psychologist Alex Delaware.

What begins with a solitary bloodstain in a stolen sedan quickly spiders outward in odd and unexpected directions, leading Delaware and Sturgis from the well-heeled center of L.A. society to its desperate edgesety to its desperate edges – on the trail of a killer who proves to be a fleeting shapeshifter, defying identification, leaving behind dazed witnesses and death – and compelling Alex and Milo to confront the tru eface of murderous madness.

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Review: The Broken Window, by Jeffery Deaver

Ms. Bookish’s Quick Take: The Broken Window is a wild ride of a novel, fast-paced and engrossing. The plot line is very credible; I know I started using my paper shredder more after reading the novel! It’s my first Lincoln Rhyme novel, and I found myself liking both the logical Lincoln Rhyme, a forensic consultant, and his partner and lover, Detective Amanda Sachs. The Lincoln Rhyme novels are a series, but this didn’t prevent me from enjoying dipping into the series via the latest book; The Broken Window works well as a standalone novel, although of course I now have all the earlier Rhyme novels on my to-be-read list. See below for the full review.

From the jacket flap:

Lincoln Rhyme and partner/paramour Amelia Sachs return to face a criminal whose ingenious staging of crimes is enabled by a terrifying access to information …

When Lincoln’s estranged cousin Arthur Rhyme is arrested on murder charges, the case is perfect – too perfect. Forensic evidence from Arthur’s home is found all over the scene of the crime, and it looks like the fate of Lincoln’s relative is sealed.

At the behest of Arthur’s wife, Judy, Lincoln grudgingly agrees to investigate the case. Soon Lincoln and Amelia uncover a string of similar murders and rapes with perpetrators claiming innocence and ignorance – despite ironclad evidence at the scenes of the crime. Rhyme’s team realizes this “perfect” evidence may actually be the result of masterful identity theft and manipulation.

An information service company – the huge data miner Strategic Systems Datacorp – seems to have all the answers but is reluctant to help the police. Still, Rhyme and Sachs and their assembled tteam begin uncovering a chilling pattern of vicious crimes and coverups, and their investigation points to one master criminal, whom they dub “522”.

When “522” learns the identities of the crime-fighting team, the hunters become the hunted

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