Now out: What Does It Mean to be American?

This book for younger children (Pre-K through grade 3 or so) looks to the values that ideally Americans share. With its appealing, multi-cultural illustrations and simple text, this book talks about what Americans aspire to be in terms of character and ways of behaving. It is a story that encourages children to think about what is important and the ways in which this includes valuing both oneself and others. A nice addition for school libraries.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. The views are my own.

The Sentence is Death (Horowitz)

#TheSentenceIsDeath #NetGalley

In The sentence is Death, second in the series which began with The Word is Murder, the author inserts himself as a character in his fiction. Tony, aka Anthony Horowitz, is Watson to Daniel Hawthorne’s Sherlock. Like Watson, he theorizes but is not as clever as his mentor. In the novel, the conceit is that Mr. Horowitz is writing a series of books about Inspector Hawthorne’s cases.

In this entry, a divorce attorney is murdered. There are numerous suspects including clients involved in an acrimonious divorce. But…the murder may also be related to a past friendship and a tragedy that occurred while caving. Characters stories are developed sufficiently to give the reader a good sense of them. Suffice it to say that several plot lines are followed, there are a number of viable suspects and eventually the case is solved.

As a fan of some of the author’s TV work, I enjoyed the references to Foyle’s War. There is also information about publishing which lends authenticity. I enjoyed this book and will most likely go back to read the first in the series.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this e=galley. All opinions are my own.

E-book bargains: 4.18.19

Some interesting bargains; three are for mystery readers.  The Cat Who is part of a long standing series in the cozy tradition.  In the Teeth of the Evidence is part of the Lord Peter Wimsely canon and Into the Blue is by literary suspense author Robert Goddard.  Then for the others…Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a classic school story while the James Herriott novels tell about the adventures of a vet in Yorkshire in the 1930s.

In the Teeth of the EvidenceThe Cat Who Saw RedInto the BlueThree James Herriot ClassicsGoodbye, Mr. Chips

Now out: Mutts Summer Diaries (McDonnell)

Every morning I look forward to reading Patrick McDonnell’s comic strip featuring Mooch and Earl. Generally the mood to be found is sweet, funny and clever.

The Mutts Summer Diaries is the latest compilation to feature these human-like pets. Give this latest volume a try if you enjoy a good natured take on the world around us.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this read in return for an unbiased review.

What happens to “The Chelsea Girls”? (Davis)

#TheChelseaGirls #NetGalley

F

Fiona Davis sets her novels in iconic New York City locations. She has told stories set at the Barbizon Hotel for Women, The Dakota, Grand Central Station and now at the Chelsea Hotel. In each of her three prior novels, the narrative took place during two eras; in this book, the author follows two characters in the same time period. They are actress Maxine and would be actress and playwright, Hazel.

The novel opens with Hazel joining a USO troop in Italy during WWII. These scenes were so evocative, both in terms of the war and the emotions raised for the performers. This beginning left me feeling very excited about the rest of the book except…for a while, I then found the narrative less engaging. However, round about chapter 18 there was a twist and I again became very involved in the story and the characters’ lives. It is worth sticking with the book in my opinion.

Much of this book centers on the activities of HUAC, the House Un-Amercian Activities Committee. Who is a Communist? Who is being targeted unfairly? Should we be rooting people out and encouraging them to turn on others? What are the consequences to everyone when a government sponsored witch hunt is going on? You will think about these issues as you read and may also find the subject relevant in our current political climate.

In addition to HUAC, the reader spends time at the Chelsea Hotel, the Tonys, on Broadway and more. There are actors, government workers, names dropped of famous and real Chelsea Hotel denizens and more. Most of all, readers will connect with Hazel and Maxine, their friendship and its challenges.

All in all, this was a good read. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-galley. All opinions are my own.

 

Now in Paperback!

The Banker’s Wife is a great summer read, especially for those who enjoy novels like The Expats by Chris Pavone. The set up…Annabel is married to Matthew. Matthew is a banker at a Swiss bank that keeps secrets for its depositors. Marina is a journalist who is engaged to a prospective presidential candidate’s son. She works with Duncan. They are trying to locate a notorious Ponzi schemer. The story, of course, is even bigger than this.

Matthew is reported killed in a plane crash along with a cousin of Syria’s dictator. Annabel is left bereaved and unsafe. Marina is unsafe as well. While the two do not meet, they are both impacted by the business practices of Swiss United Bank.

Both Annabel and Marina are connected to a myriad of other characters. There are questions about whom to trust and how to unravel the bank’s schemes and hold those who are guilty accountable. The reader experiences doubts too regarding what has happened and who all of the ‘bad guys’ are.

Christina Alger has written a book that is suspenseful and engaging. The plot is complex but not too hard to follow. The reader will understand more about financial shenanigans and the private banking worlds that are fascinating and not part of many readers’ daily lives.

I truly enjoyed the settings, characters and the plot of the novel. I highly recommend it!

“First-rate…Slick, heart-hammering entertainment.”–The New York Times Book Review

#TheBanker’sWife #NetGalley

A Nantucket Wedding: A NovelAs June approaches, love and weddings start to be on people’s minds. If you don’t have a real June wedding to attend, take some time to spend a fictional summer on Nantucket and be a guest at a wedding there.
David and Alison are a middle aged couple who have found love after their spouses died. Their relationship is sweetly portrayed. The drama in the novel comes from the intricacies of their adult children’s relationships. There are Alison’s children. First is Jane who is married to Scott; both are hardworking but are they right for each other? Then we have Felicity and her husband, who spends a lot of time at work with his assistant. Will their marriage survive? Does Felicity want it to? Then there are David’s children; pregnant Poppy and her playboy brother. Poppu wants to take over her father’s company but is she prepared?  She  does not want to welcome Alison in to family. There is also Poppy’s playboy brother who may create a lot of havoc.  Read this novel to find out how all of these dramas play out. Along the way, you will be treated to a generous and lovely slice of life on Nantucket. Enjoy!

#AnantucketWedding #NetGalley

Just out. What a Nice Car! (Bijsterbosch)

This is a simple, nicely illustrated picture book for young listeners. In it, Mouse is driving in a car that he has found. He picks up several friends along the way and they look for the car’s owner. Meanwhile, mouse’s hat blows off and is found by elephant whose car it is. All of the animals together then go for a ride.

This book emphasizes sharing and the niceness of doing things for others. While it has nothing unique to say, it is a fine book.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. The opinions are my own.