Christine (CVS) reads a smidgen of all genres. She states that after joining the MG staff, she has had the great privilege of expanding her appreciation by speaking with other staff members and customers, all of whom are willing to share their enthusiasm for authors new and old. Christine is also our Fearless Book Discussion Group Leader.
This story has many elements – power struggles, casualties of war, love, steampunk, subterfuge, greater good, magic, witchcraft. Dr. Miles Singer, returned from the war, has hidden the fact that he is still alive from his family. If found out, his magical powers would be bound and subjugated to those of his sister. The dying decree of a man brought in by an enigmatic gentleman to the hospital where Miles practices (Tristan Hunter) sets the course for Miles and Tristan to discover the darkness within returning soldiers, why magical is dying, and where have so many souls gone. I really enjoyed this story and following the characters as they discover one hidden truth after another. This is C.L. Polk’s debut novel and is the beginning of a series. Can’t wait for the next book!
“Life only gives us as much as we can take.” So states Jackie Reed’s friend Helen.
This is a major understatement in the life of Jackie and her two sons, Wade and Connor. A high school boy is killed trying to prevent a carjacking. As the investigation moves forward, the story reveals that everyone involved has dark secrets and has lied to family, friends and the police. Wade is the crux of the story as it becomes clear that he is troubled. Wade becomes the focus of the inquest, which begins to take a tremendous toll on his family. Cyber bullying, intimidation, low self-esteem, over valued sense of worth, unconditional love, all of these powerful emotions are rolled into this compelling mystery. I was compelled to keep reading but yet felt trepidation as to what the next chapter might bring, right down to the very last reveal. Great read!
This story pulled me in from the very beginning. Lies, betrayal, danger, intrigue—all these pieces of the puzzle unite to tell the tale of Eve Gardiner, an English spy during WW1, and Charlie St. Clair, in 1947 a privileged, pregnant and single American desperate to find her cousin, Rose, who went missing during the last days of WW2. Tediously working through various documents Charlie finds Eve’s name in connection to her cousin. Eve is bitter, a drunk, and less then receptive to Charlie’s request for help in finding Rose. Persistence eventually pays off and the two set off on a journey that takes them from England to the French countryside. Along the way each woman’s story comes to light. The fiction is peppered with real people, places and events; if you are a history buff you may wish to write down some of the names and places to look up afterwards.
This book appealed to me for several reasons. I am a mystery fan, enjoy books about lost or stolen artifacts/relics, and who doesn’t enjoy Arthurian legends – especially the search for the Holy Grail? The author has borrowed Anthony Trollope’s imaginary setting of Barsetshire, how I wished it was real. The story has three time lines, 560 – 1888, 1941, and present day. Switching back and forth builds the tension as you follow a long line of monks who pass along their Guardianship of two very special items. Will the protagonist Arthur and his cohorts discover all the hidden clues and discover the treasure? Or, having interpreted the clues, discover the treasure been lost in time? —Christine
Silver Bear aka Columbus aka (that’s for the end of the story). The story is told from the perspective of a gun for hire, who has been in the profession for many years. He is not a good man. The people he takes assignments from are not good people. He is surrounded by bad people. Columbus dares the reader to believe his narration or not. He has been given the assignment to take out an assassin named Castillo. The situation goes from bad to worse rapidly as Columbus fails in his mission and many people, bad and good, suffer the consequences. I found the book interesting because of the polar-opposite emotions that are the crux of the story: love and betrayal.
The setting for the story is as much a part of the tale as the characters. The author’s research of 1940’s San Francisco has you walking the streets of Chinatown, and ferrying to the Golden Gate International Exposition. The lead characters are all women--artistic, smart, resourceful and gay. The story begins with the final days of the last surviving member of the circle and the mystery surrounding a heretofore unknown artwork. How and why the artwork comes to be is the magic and the mystery. I enjoyed the story for its interesting characters, the glimpse into the artistic world of Pulp Fiction magazine art. The ending is left for the reader to draw their own conclusion. Mine was hopeful.
High school is hard for some kids. We all know that, but it is especially difficult for Erin Blake. When Erin was three her mother was brutally murdered, but Erin was spared. Fourteen years later and the murder is still unsolved. Erin’s biology teacher, Miss Peters, is helping Erin with a project to see if she can discover the identity of her father. When Miss Peters is murdered, Erin discovers her body. Erin believes the two murders are connected. Along with her BFFs Spam and Lysa she sets about to see if they can discover the identity of the murderer. Erin is intelligent, persistent, and not always likable. She keeps secrets from her friends and her guardian, Rachel, her mother’s best friend who took her in – secrets that put her and her friends in harm’s way. The mystery has a satisfactory ending, but also leaves the door open for further adventures.
The Carson dynasty is cursed, or so some say. The family certainly does have its share of crazies, scoundrels, legends and the entitled.
The story opens and ends with the voice of Cynthia Carson who twenty-five years ago shot her husband in cold blood, absolutely positively. Throughout the story, I really wanted to dislike Cynthia, but she would occasionally surprise the reader. The concentric circle of characters begins with Wylie Wellborn, illegitimate son of Cynthia’s dead husband; her own sons, Robert and Sky; Adam Carson -- grandfather to all three;, Wylie’s sisters and his mother; and finally, Cynthia.
The Carson and Wellborn families both experience heartache and desperation.
None of the book’s characters is without fault, some more than others. How each individual deals with their own demons reveals the complexities of human nature.
The story is set against the backdrop of Mammoth Lakes ski resort, with its fantastic vistas and adrenaline pumping ski runs.
I was intrigued by the complicated families and their histories; the mysteries surrounding who is lurking around the Wellborn home and the theft of ski equipment, bicycles, etc. and who would ultimately survive.
After two millennia of not being worshipped, many of the Greek gods and goddesses have faded from existence, but some still remain. In the city of New York, the current identity of Artemis is Selene DiSilva -- a private investigator who protects those women who seek her out.
Selene comes upon the body of a woman brutally murdered in a ritualistic manner in Central Park. Unfortunately, she will not be the last. Her name was Helen, and in her final moments had called out to the goddess but Selene had heard her not. Enter Helen’s colleague and former lover, Timothy Schultz, a Professor of ancient Greece and its mythology. Selene and Timothy are forced by happenstance to work together to solve the mystery of several murders and how they are connected to the theft of ancient artifacts from several prominent museums. A very dangerous someone has resurrected an ancient sacrificial rite. That someone is attempting to amass power, the end game being to restore themselves to their former glory. The rituals are affecting Selene as well, placing her in a very mortal dilemma. The list of suspects is not lacking – Apollo, Hades, Dionysus, Hermes…
I was caught up in the mystery and mythology from the start. The location was also a plus, exploring some of the nearly forgotten places of New York City reimagined as ancient world locales.
This is the first in the Olympus Bound series, but can also be read as a stand alone.
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
Life sucks, then you die. Period. Unless you're James Stark, a hitman in Hell for eleven years before escaping back up to Hell-on-earth L.A.—looking for revenge, absolution . . . love, maybe. But Hell's not through with Stark. Heaven's not either.