Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book Review Tuesday

In the month since I last posted I’ve read 7 books.

1. Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James. It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy's magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth's sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy's sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball. Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth's disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery. Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of "Pride and Prejudice," electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it. 

The Bug Says: I really wanted to love this book. And there were aspects that I did enjoy – it was fun to revisit the Pride and Prejudice characters. But the mystery was REALLY lame. I guess I thought it might be more Holmesian, but no one seemed to actually try to solve the mystery. I gave it 3 stars.

2.  The Shell Game (Fox and O'Hare 0.25), by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg. Con man Nick Fox is after Garson Klepper’s golden Peruvian relics. For Fox, convincing Klepper to hire him as security for the relocation of the relics to the Getty museum in L.A. was easy. Problem is, Fox wasn’t planning on Klepper also enlisting the help of the FBI. Fox also wasn’t planning on being paired up with rookie special agent Kate O’Hare. She’s smart, she’s tenacious, and when she’s conned, she holds a grudge. Life for Fox and O’Hare will never be the same again.

The Bug Says: This is a prequel to the other Fox & O’Hare books that I’ve already read. It was really just a short story & was pretty cute. Janet Evanovich is the queen of the wacky woman (Stephanie Plum), but Kate O’Hare is actually competent at her job. Light & fluffy – I gave it 3 stars.

3. The Complaints (Malcolm Fox #1), by Ian Rankin. Nobody likes The Complaints - they're the cops who investigate other cops. It's where Malcolm Fox works. He's just had a result, and should be feeling good about himself, but he's a man with problems: his new job is Jamie Breck, a dirty cop but no one can prove it. As Fox takes on the job, he learns that there's more to Breck than anyone thinks. 

The Bug Says: This was a fine well written mystery with some interesting twists. I’m planning to read the next one when I can get to it. I gave it 4 stars.

4. The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2), by Graeme Simsion. GREETINGS. My name is Don Tillman. I am forty-one years old. I have been married to Rosie Jarman, world's most perfect woman, for ten months and ten days. Marriage added significant complexity to my life. When we relocated to New York City, Rosie brought three maximum-size suitcases. We abandoned the Standardised Meal System and agreed that sex should not be scheduled in advance. Then Rosie told me we had 'something to celebrate', and I was faced with a challenge even greater than finding a partner. I have attempted to follow traditional protocols and have sourced advice from all six of my friends, plus a therapist and the internet. The result has been a web of deceit. I am now in danger of prosecution, deportation and professional disgrace. 

The Bug Says: I love Don Tillman. You’ll recall that I read the first book in the series last month for book club. We all enjoyed it so much that we made this one our April book. I found myself laughing out loud a number of times. And I listened to the audio version, so it was really fun hearing the Australian narrator. I gave it 4 stars.

5. Thundersword (Guardians Inc. #2), by Julian Rosado-Machain. The search for the Book of Concord is on the brink of failure. Guardians Inc. can’t move without being followed by the Azure Guard, and the balance between Magic and Technology has begun to shift giving Magical creatures a stronger hold in our world. With new enemies arising and old alliances breaking up, the Guardians need an urgent victory or the seven thousand year old plan will fail and a new Dark Age will engulf the world. But just as Thomas Byrne begins to discover the inner workings of Guardians Inc. and his place as a Cypher, he also finds out that not everything is as he thought inside the company and that the worst enemy might be the one lurking within.

The Bug Says: I read the first book in this series as my free Kindle book for book club. It had a lot of typos, but the story was somewhat interesting, so I decided to read the second book. Different typos, somewhat more interesting story, so unlike the first one (which got 2 stars), I gave this one 3 stars.

6. Blue Labyrinth (Pendergast #14), by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Aloysius Pendergast’s most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect murder, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California s desolate Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his family’s sinister past. But Pendergast learns there is more at work than a ghastly episode of family history. He is soon being stalked by a subtle killer bent on vengeance over an ancient transgression. In short order, Pendergast is caught in a wickedly clever plot, which will leave him stricken in mind and body and may well end with his death.

The Bug Says: With this book we are back to more familiar Pendergast ground. I enjoyed it quite a bit when I wasn’t being grossed out – don’t eat while reading these books!  I listened to the audio book & on my way to work one morning didn’t take my own advice. I gave it 4 stars.
Evidence of me not taking my own advice

7.  The Four Legged Prophet, (Guardians Inc. #3), by Julian Rosado-Machain. Both Magical and Mundane worlds have rallied around Cypher Thomas Byrne and a new pact between the Faun Clans and the Guardians gives hope that the World will be safe for everyone, human or not, and even a truce with the Warmaster might be within reach. But, do the Guardians really want it? "...and the Four-Legged Prophet will deliver us to darkness . . ." With Thomas searching for his parents, the enemies of Guardians Inc. apparently in retreat and peace seemingly within reach, the most urgent question will be: Who is the Four Legged Prophet?

The Bug Says: So yes, I had to read the next book in the series. I liked it the best of the three – very interesting twist at the end. The 4th book isn’t out yet & I’m not sure if I’ll read it once it’s available. We’ll see. This one had just as many typos as the other two, so it gets 3 stars too.

Currently I’m listening to The Preacher, by Camilla Läckberg, a Swedish police procedural (this is book # 2 in the series, but I’ve actually read ahead – when I finish I’ll be ready to move onto book #5). And for book club I’m reading The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson, which bizarrely enough is also set in Sweden!

What are you guys reading?


  1. I'm still in awe about the amount of books you read. As a kid, I used to read like that...now I only have time in the evening when I'm in bed. When I'm tired...when I want to go to sleep. So what am I reading these days? My Facebook news feed, the paper, and a few blogs. :-(

  2. The Shell Game was the name i gave my second unpublished novel. I guess I'd better look for a new name.

  3. Tim Winton's Eyrie. As usual, sparse, emotion filled, leaves a lot to the imagination which I like but in the end, maybe because I am a bit of an innocent in the world of drugs and inner city slums, I was confused. I think it was a happy ending. Rated highly by critics, so I guess it's me. Two and a half stars.

  4. I recently read Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. It was interesting. I just started a Grisham novel. I'm not sure I like it. I enjoy your reviews.

  5. You read far more books than I can manage Dana. How DO you do it?
    Well done anyway. I sometimes buy a book that someone has praised; not always been happy as a result. One man's meat is another's poison, or whatever the old adage says.
    I am tempted by The Complaints AND by The Rosie Effect, two completely different topics but each one is something I might check out at Amazon.

  6. They all sounded good, will look for them at the library.


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