Books I meant to review in 2011, part 1
You can see from the photo that I really fell down on the job, because I like to review books that I read, and there are quite a few here that just never got reviewed because I let myself feel overwhelmed last year. Going to try not to let that happen in 2012.
In the meantime, here are quick reviews from half the books you see pictured. Next week I’ll do the other half:
KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH OF JULY by Jess Lourey
–Jess is hilarious! I know her from being on the MWA Board together, but this was the first of her books that I’ve read. When a giant Indian statue goes missing from Battle Lake, Minnesota, Mira James’s fascination with the big guy gets her into trouble that can only be solved by finding out who did the dirty deed. Great fun.
BURIED SECRETS by Joseph Finder — I met Joe at the February meeting of the Midwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America where
he was our guest speaker, and I won this advanced copy, which others had to wait until summer to read. Even then I didn’t get around to writing the review. Guilt aside, it was incredibly suspenseful, made all the more horrifying because of the teenager girl who was buried alive. Joe really made me feel the claustrophobia of the young girl.
OTHER EYES by Barbara D’Amato–any book by Barb D’Amato is a treat, but I loved the premise of this book: researchers discover that it’s possible an early, one-time experience with a certain hallucinogen may inoculate users from ever getting hooked on drugs. Needless to say, a lot of very powerful, mean people would love to stop this kind of research. Even starts out suspenseful with a baby crawling across an interstate in the middle of the day. Great read!
RUNNING DARK by Jamie Frevelleti–Book 2 in Jamie’s series about biochemist/ultra-marathoner Emma Caldridge proves the first, RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL, was no fluke. Though I found the first book more interesting from a setting perspective, this second was just as riveting as Caldridge and her love interest Cameron Sumner attempt to stop Somali pirates from getting hold of a dangerous chemical no one knows is on board. Non-stop suspense.
GETTING SASSY by D. C. Brod–Every once in a while I love a good caper with a preposterous plot, and in the hands of a terrific writer like Deb Brod, this one sings. Sassy is a goat, and she just happens to be the one thing that a valuable race horse, owned by a scummy businessman who’s screwed main character Robyn Guthrie’s mother out of her money, has fallen in love with. Robyn falls into a kidnapping scheme using the goat as bait. Funny with a satisfying ending. Looking forward to the second book, GETTING LUCKY.
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS by Agatha Christie–I read this book in preparing to write the next Nick Bertetto mystery (for reasons I won’t elaborate here), and I was pleased to see how well Christie’s book has held up. Though you couldn’t start a mystery as slow today as Christie did back then, it still has an elaborate puzzle and her enigmatic sleuth Hercule Poirot to keep you reading. Even though I knew the ending, it was still amazing to see how Christie sets it all up. I can’t forget the magnificent 1974 movie version of this mystery, which was one of the things that got me hooked on reading, and subsequently writing, in the genre. Christie was a master plotter.
More next week