Friday, November 26, 2010

A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin

A few days ago while sitting in my office when I spied this book out of the corner of my eye on the shelf.  I'm very funny about the books on my shelf.  I know them all personally and intimately even though I haven't read them.  This book was strangely unfamiliar.  I came back to it the next day when I was searching for a new book to read.

I slipped it off the shelf and leafed through the pages. I knew I hadn't bought it but I had no idea where it had come from.  So I figured I might as well read it and maybe that might jog my memory.

A Slight Trick of the Mind is a charming tale of an aging Sherlock Holmes.  Always having been sharp of mind, he finds himself struggling with answers to mysteries that in younger days would have come easily.  Woven quite nicely through the novel are Holmes' relationship with the housekeeper's son, Roger, his love of beekeeping and a trip to Japan only a few years after World War II.  In between are the pages of his manuscript of a case from years ago that continues to haunt him.

Sherlock Holmes had to dig deep within his aging mind and body to find the answers he was looking for but eventually the pieces of the puzzle came together.  A Slight Trick of the Mind is beautifully written and a pleasure to read.  I rate it 4 out of 5 even though Holmes was unable to solve my own mystery of how this book had landed in my collection.  I may never know.      

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb

I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in The Fetch.  I've met Laura Whitcomb and I consider her sister, Cynthia one of my mentors.  I adored A Certain Slant of Light and thought I would do the same for The Fetch.

I love Calder's story and the path he leads newly arriving souls on toward the gates of heaven.  The setting is beautiful and charming.  Ms. Whitcomb's prose is lovely and creative painting a sparkling picture in the reader's mind.  Calder had a warm heart but made a poor choice based on the human emotion of love.

I got bogged down however, in the long and exhaustive trip the three characters took around the world. They were sleeping all the time and when they woke, they were in a completely different part of the world. I know they were sleeping but as a reader I felt like I'd missed something.  It just bogged down the middle of what was a charming tale.

I still rate The Fetch as 4 out of 5 stars.  And I will read everything Laura Whitcomb publishes since I love how she weaves and writes beautiful paranormal stories of love.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

A Reliable Wife is the book I absolutely had to have the last time Richard and I visited the bookstore. I'm not sorry I broke my vow even though it was about the thousandth time I had.

This is a wonderfully rich story full of twists, turns and surprises.  Catherine Land is calm, cool and collected as she attempts to execute her plan; the plan she and her lover have devised.  As in any good plan after it is all said and done they will be able to live happily ever after together.

Ralph Truitt also has a plan.  All he really needs is a reliable wife to set his life in motion.  When the two minds collide someone will have to give up their dream.

Goolrick writes beautifully crafted prose.  He kept me wanting to turn the page.  This book was intriguing and interesting.  If I told you any more, I'd spoil the story.  I rate this book a 5 and it's so good I just may have to keep it on my shelf just a while longer.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Super Saturday!

Today was Super Saturday!  What is that you ask?  My local writing group, the Spacecoast Authors of Romance or Star for short, puts on a seminar.  We invite an agent and a speaker.  Lunch is served and we meet new people, learn tricks of the trade and share war stories.

But the best part is the raffle.  I purchased 12 tickets for ten dollars.  The money raised goes to the chapter's motivational fund.  And all you writers out there know how much we need motivating.  That muse is lazy. I paid my money and dropped a ticket into the bucket in front of each prize.  The prizes were gorgeously wrapped baskets and tote bags filled with all kinds of goodies.  Mostly books because it's a writing group after all.

By the end of the day, I was spent, my mind spinning with new ideas.  When it was time for the drawings, I laid out my tickets across the table.

"472040," Sandy called out.  Cheers rang out from someone at the next table.  "472233," she called.  Another person at that same table jumped for joy.


I checked my numbers.  "Yeah!" I screamed hopping out of my seat.  I never win anything so I happily accepted my prize.

"472129," she called out.

"Yeah!" I yelled out jumping up to add another oversized basket to my stash.

Having won two prizes and feeling exceptionally lucky, I prepared myself to ask her to draw another number when for the third time they drew one of mine.  That didn't happen thank goodness.

At home I searched through my treasures.  I must have forty new books.  Now four or five are young adult novels which will go to the grandkids for Christmas.   I'll send some to my sisters but I'll still have quite a bit of reading material left.  Do I have to add them to my list? I've read 36 out of my list that now totals 100.  The list grows when I can't behave myself at the bookstore.

I started this project last December believing I'd have read them all and be shopping for my e-reader right about now.  If I add my lucky new books to the list, it'll be three years before I move to digital.  I love the feel of touching, caressing and being surrounded by books.  So maybe that's a good thing,

City of Thieves by David Benioff

City of Thieves by David Benioff It's World War II in Leningrad, Russia.  17 year old Lev elected to stay behind in the city when h...