Books I am reading

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Life of Freedom

Please check out my Spirituality page for my latest post. please use these links to comment or ask questions.

As is true with all comments, I will not post comments or questions that are abusive, use foul language or mean-spirited. This is a place to play nice. ;-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Penguin Pool Murder: a fun, vacation read

This book was written in 1938 and reads like a 30's movie. I could hear the "tough guy" accents and the "doll's" flirtatious "innocents". Some attitudes and words were not politically correct, something I wouldn't excuse in a current book, but take time and culture into account with this book. In my mind's eye, I could see the art deco style of the museum and other buildings mentioned.
The mystery was clever and took interesting twists and turns. The repartee between school teacher Hildegarde Withers and Detective Oscar Piper was fun, sexist on his part and not talking it on her part, and mildly reminiscent of Topper, Tom and Tuppence, and Hepburn and Tracey. 
I found this interesting enough, I am planning to buy the next book in the series to see if it improves in complexity. For a quick, light read, it was entertaining, perfect for a summer vacation read.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review of Death of Time

I have always been intrigued by stories of time travel. I have often wished that I could time travel, and I love to see what new way of travel has been invented by each author.
Ms Price starts the story with a 21st C divorced woman, self-employed, with 2 young children. She lives in Oakland and takes periodic forays into San Francisco. She begins to have odd dreams, and over a few days begins to sense she is entering into another time in San Francisco. I found the first 20% of the book a bit tedious and slow. Ms Price put so much time into describing what Robin was seeing and experiencing, but was very short on plot movement. If I hadn't made a commitment to write a review, I may not have finished the book. But I am very glad I stuck with it.
Robin begins to recognize that she enters into another body when she awakens in 1900. Without giving away any more of the plot, I found the story to be creative and interesting, filled with heart-pounding moments, and episodes of caring and sensitivity. Robin searches for her purpose in moving between the two time periods, and learns that her actions can have effects that she cannot foresee. She and her love interest in 1900, move cautiously to try to prevent a catastrophe caused by 2 people trying to rob a bank. I found it very satisfying that their first few attempts did not turn out as they had hoped, and, the consequences increase with each attempt to intervene. From a gentle strolling pace, the story begins to gradually accelerate until it becomes a heart-pounding race to save the potential victims. And as the story concludes, Ms Pace creates a very satisfying full circle to the story.
This is one I highly recommend. Another review alludes to other books in this series, and, if tru, I will be first in line to get the next book!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Provence, France, Wine & Food, and Murder

Death in the Vines has just been published. As an amateur reviewer, I received a free copy. I did not initially realize that this book was the third one in a series. But I had no difficulty completely enjoying this story.
It takes place in Provence, France, and area about which I know almost nothing. So the cultural practices and scenery descriptions were wonderful. I felt as if I had literally seen a small glimpse into the area, and I would definitely like to visit it now.
The story inter-weaves three plot lines in a masterful manner. There are a series of rare wine thefts at one winery, there are two disappearances of an elderly lady that ends with her being found dead after her second disappearance, and, there seems to be a serial killer starting a spree. 
One knows there are interactive relationships between these three plots, but it is not clear in what ways until the very end.
One element that I liked especially is that all the plot lines were not resolved in a neat package at the end, but each one resolved in it's own time over the last third of the book. 
I am highly recommending this book. It is a good piece of literature. It is a finely crafted mystery. There are interesting, multi-layered characters. And then there is the setting of Aix-en-Provence, the wine country, and small town life. I am going to find the first two books in the series and finish those as well!