Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg


Each year, Laura's family gathers at her parent's place to go to the town fair. It's been a family tradition forever and one that can't be missed. Before she heads there with her husband and two teens, she gets a call from her sister saying that she has something very important to discuss with Laura and their brother. The conversation doesn't get very far before their father has a stroke and heads to the hospital. Laura's sister Caroline can't wait. She has been seeing a therapist and the therapist has recommended she talks to her sibling about what happened in their childhood. Caroline states how her mother never gave her any love and treated her completely different from the other children. When Caroline was supposedly in summer camp, she was actually at a hospital recovering from her mother attacking her with a knife. Laura has a hard time reconciling this with the childhood she remembers.

I got sucked in to this book very quickly. None of the characters are perfect and I was questioning truth along with Laura as she was hearing Caroline's story. There's also guilt of not believing a victim's story. Oddly enough, most of the male characters in this book were pretty much absent from the story because they couldn't handle the discussion, which I found a bit odd. I was a bit disappointed at the ending but still not a bad read.

First Line: "It is a photograph of a staircase that I took with my Brownie camera over forty years ago."


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann


Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Priest Father Mateo are back for book 6 in the Shinobi series (this is my 3rd introduction to them). Carrying a message up Mount Koya, the two stop at a temple as the weather turns bad, seeking refuge. In this temple are a group of Buddhists that live there, as well a father and his boy also seeking refuge from the storm while they wait to spread ashes. Hattori knows the Buddhist responsible for the protection of the temple and asks him, on break of the weather, to carry a message outside the temple for him. As Hattori and Mateo go to sleep, they are woken in the middle of the night to find that this Buddhist is dead. Hattori suspects someone know that he was a messenger and killed him for it. But then a few hours later, there's another death. Who is killing these monks?

Hattori and Mateo offer to help solve the crime and start interviewing all of the suspects. In the previous books I've read, what I liked most about this series was the history of Japan it provides in the 1500s, how Hattori needs to teach Mateo the culture of Japan since he is an outsider, and the interactions between the two men. This book had the first. A temple in the mountains and descriptions of the different Buddhas and their meanings. However it lacked a bit in the other two categories. There were some concerns mentioned from Hattori on what he thought Mateo might say. Maybe Mateo is learned enough from Hattori on how to behave properly and this isn't needed as much anymore? It was always a fun part of previous books though, which also follows in to the last category of the banter between the two. Because of this, I feel like it would be difficult to pick up the series with this book. Overall, still a good book but my least favourite of the three in this series I've read.


About the Author
Susan Spann began reading precociously and voraciously from her preschool days in Santa Monica, California, and as a child read everything from National Geographic to Agatha Christie. In high school, she once turned a short-story assignment into a full-length fantasy novel (which, fortunately, will never see the light of day).

Susan’s interest in Japanese history, martial arts, and mystery inspired her to write the Shinobi Mystery series featuring Hiro Hattori, a sixteenth-century ninja who brings murderers to justice with the help of Father Mateo, a Portuguese Jesuit priest.
Find her on Twitter, Facebook and at her website.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bloody Mary by J.A. Konrath

Genre of book

In the second book Lieutenant Jacqueline (Jack) Daniels, this book finds her hunting someone that is leaving body parts lying around the morgue attached to Jack's handcuffs. Since this person has access to the morgue and Jack's handcuffs, could they be a cop? While trying to solve the case, Jack is called away to Florida because her mother is in the hospital. Jack tries to convince her mom to move in with her in Chicago but mom wants nothing to do with it.

Between her personal life and this case that has a connection to her, Jack's life is a mess. These books are fun, but slightly more serious than the Evanovich number series. I remember really liking the first book, though it was a while ago that I read it, and this one was just as good.

I look forward to reading more about Jack - both her personal life and solving crimes.

First Line: "It would be so easy to kill you while you sleep."


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bones of the Moon by Jonathan Carroll


Cullen James has come a long way. She has left behind a boyfriend that didn't truly love her and made the tough decision to abort her baby with that man. Still getting over it, her long time friend Danny comes back from Italy to console her. The two eventually get married, have a child, and that's when the dreams start.

Cullen has incredibly vivid dreams of Rondua, where animals take her and her son Pepsi around trying to find bones of the moon. Cullen vaguely remembers similar dreams when she was a child and now this land is back in her dreams. The dreams and Cullen's real life start to intersect, as her and Pepsi find more bones and need to prepare for a fight with the man running Rondua.

This dream work is incredibly imaginative and fantastically represented in the story. I felt like I was right there with Cullen and Pepsi in Rondua. The entire book sets up for an epic battle between Cullen and Pepsi and the villian of Rondua, but the ending falls rather flat with everything happening rather quickly and too cleanly. With a better ending, this book had the chance of being one of my top read for the year.

First Line: "The Axe Boy lived downstairs."