Reviews of 5 books for the Monthly Reading Challenge
|AUGUST REVIEWS 2015
1. Out of Circulation by Miranda James (A Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
The dedication to this story is about two deceased cats that left a lasting impression on the author. One of the main characters of this story is a Maine Coon Cat named Diesel. Diesel plays a large role in the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries. He is immensely large for a cat, walks on a leash (I have seen cats on leashes that were very comfortable walking down a sidewalk with their owners) and accompaniys him almost everywhere. Diesel seems to be aware of everything that happens. Although, the reasoning of the mystery lies in the mental action taken by Diesel’s owner Charlie Harris.
It is a simple murder mystery. The setting is about the library where Charlie works. The characters are part of the social makeup of Athena. This story shows how the citizens of Athena control and manipulate the society around them.”she had been telling the citizens of Athena what to do for more than seventy of her eighty-odd years.”
If you read the beginning book of the series characters introduced there will crop up in this story as well. There is a lot of background in the story about the citizens and their place in society and how their lives are affected through out a families history by the environment around them.
As Charlie sets out to solve the murder his family lends a helping hand. Charlie, always the gentleman, has manners not even recognized in much of today’s society. In this issue of Charlie’s life his romance with the pastry chef is beginning to blossom. As always it is a good summer read that does not show the surprise solution until the end.
2. The Burning Room by Michael Connelly ( a Harry Bosch Novel)
I’m revisiting some authors and characters that I have read before just because I enjoyed Connelly’s characters. However this story is specifically about a cold case that needed detective Bosch’s special touch for finding clues and running down leads.
In this story, other Connelly characters from other stories are mentioned but Bosch is the one who resides prominently in the chase for the answers to the case.
Bosch has been on the job for many years. He is used to the autopsy room. He is used to the politics that go along with the job as a city detective. So, he is a prime choice to train the next generation of city detectives. He works in the
Los Angeles police system but running down leads takes him to many places. In this story he works on cold cases in a unit of detectives specifically designed to work cold cases.
The work of a detective is highlighted in tedium. Daily phone calls and interviews with witnesses is persistent. Some witnesses especially with cold cases may have moved to other states. If the case is particularly aged the witnesses may have disappeared or died. Leads in cold cases may have been overlooked. All of this information is highlighted in this story as Bosch advises his new rookie partner how to extract the most information from the least likely leads.
3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (book 1 of the All Souls Trilogy)
All Souls day was started in a monastery in a place called Cluny in 993. It is to honor the dead and departed relatives or for those Christians who believe in purgatory, to send up prayers for the departed souls of friends and relatives.
The story starts in Oxford’s Bodleian library. As a reader I am discovering all kinds of stories that have this particular library in the content or sometimes copy the library for use in the story. “I walked quickly through the original, fifteenth-century part of the library,---”
Harkness’s story is about alchemy, combining fictional science and manic. The main characters are all prominent members of society in different countries, France, England, Scotland, and USA. Not surprising the witches, vampires and daemons are concerned with keeping their presence from humans.
The main character is a Historian. Another character is a 1500 year old vampire. Between the two of them they are involved in history. The first book sets the scene for the next two books in the trilogy. Although, small incidents are resolved the second and third book will be prominent in resolving the real issues brought out in the first book of the series. If you like witch stories you will find a fun house to add interest to the ongoing issues in the lives of the characters.
4. Tail Gait by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown (A Mrs. Murphy Mystery) [An Overdrive library eBook]
Rita Mae Brown included a note at the end of this mystery. In the note she explains her ties to Camp Security as a USA historical site. It was this interest in history and the saving of Camp Security as a historical site that prompted the story Tail Gait.
Camp Security was one of the main camps for prisoners of war. Soldiers captured during the rebellion against the British were held there. The Continental army captured and held thousands of British soldiers during the course of the war. Piglet (another corgi in the story) expresses, “Piglet came over to lick Angus’s face.”
Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tee Tucker continue to play pranks on one another as the story unfolds. Two cats and a corgi express their wisdom about what they see and hear. Of course, they can see, hear and sense things that are beyond the abilities of ordinary humans.
As “Harry” becomes drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery the four legged furry children comment on the way mysteries seem to seek out their owner.
Even as the story brings out the evil side of life it also shines light on the ability of people to see and respond to the needs of the less fortunate inside of the public.
In general, Brown is always bringing to the reader the interest in the tie between pets and their people. Some of the ways we have to keep our pets safe and obedient to law as contrasted to the freedom pets used to have to roam are highlighted as Harry loads the pets into her Ford 150 and travels around her town.
5.Ghostly Paws by Leighann Dobbs (Amazon kindle book) This is a Mystic Notch Cozy Mystery
The heroine of this story is Wilhelmina Chance, she runs a bookshop. She is living in Mystic Notch because she inherited some property from a relative. Including a cat.
Apparently the book shop came stocked with more than just books. Making Wilhelmina’s life a little more interesting.”Only you can help me, Willa,” whispered Lavinia.
Of course, there is a little bit of a romance starting up in this story. “sheriff Striker, what a pleasant surprise,” I said sarcastically.
Wilhelmina is an investigative journalist. Her curiosity causes her to be first on the scene of a crime. Her persistence get her into tangled webs of information.
Also available are cats, who seem to know a lot, but are not forth coming with help very often.
It’s a mystery to keep you entertained on a lazy day.