Friday, April 27, 2007


Pages: 370
Date: 27/04/2007
Grade: 4+
Details: nr. 5 Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel

Anita travels to Missouri, with Larry who she's training to be a zombie raiser and vampire hunter, to raise the dead from a jumbled up, two hundred year old grave yard. But almost as soon as they arrive, she's send to investigate a crime scene, where three young boys have been killed and dismembered. And then there's the dead girl, drained of blood, whose body is stolen as well as her younger brother.
In an effort to get the boy back, Anita calls Jean-Luc, who joins her in Missouri, to help her negotiate with the local vampires.
But deep in the ground is something more evil and powerful then Anita or Jean-Luc has ever encountered.
Basically more of the same, but still very enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Pages: 383
Date: 24/04/2007
Grade: 5
Details: nr.2 Nursery Crime Division Mystery

When the Gingerbreadman, a crazed serial killer escapes imprisonment, it should be a case for The Nursery Crime Division and Jack Spratt. But Jack is once again suspended, and the case given to an in-experienced, non NCD collegue, while Mary Mary is made temporary head of NCD.
While suspended, Jack secretly works with Mary, investigating the murder of Goldilocks, who got herself killed after visiting the cottage of the Three Bears, while investigating a big news story involving exploding cucumbers.
Meanwhile, Jack buys himself a new and self-repairing car and gets new neighbours by the name of Punch and Judy. And Jack's wife, after years of being married, finds out that Jack is a Person of Dubious Reality.
In the investigation the questions keep on piling up like how come the porridge in the three bowls had such different temperatures if they were all poured at the same time? Why did the Gingerbreadman escape when he did? Is the Gingerbreadman a biscuit or a cake? Why is National Security involved, and who is the Fourth Bear?
Answers only come with a very explosive conclusion.
It's amazing how these completely mad stories manage to make sense and come together, but they do. More amazingly, they're written in such a way that I find myself almost accepting it all as completely normal, while I'm enjoying myself greatly.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Pages: 369
Date: 22/04/2007
Grade: 4.5
Details: nr. 4 Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel

Anita Blake's life is never easy and being in love with a werewolf, while a master vampire is jealous because he has designs on you, doesn't make things any easier.
In this instalment, the local pack of lycanthropes (shape shifters) is looking for Anita's help, although Richard, the werewolf she's in love with, doesn't want her involved.
Lycanthropes are disappearing without a trace, and it's up to Anita to find out who is behind it. But just because she's helping them, doesn't mean the werewolves are going to go easy on her. And being caged in with a new werewolf during a full moon without any weapons is never a good idea.
Thrilling and sexy page turner. Continuing fun.


Author: Stephanie Barron
Pages: 369
Date: 21/04/2007
Grade: 4.5
Details: nr. 1 Jane Austen Mystery

This book was written as if Stephanie Barron had found Jane Austen's letters and diaries and was editing them for publication, which is an interesting, but not original idea.
Jane Austen has fled her family and Bath. She needs time away from them because within the space of 24 hours she accepted and then refused a marriage proposal. And since she's 27, her family is despairing of her ever marrying.
She has gone to spend Christmas with her newly wed friend, Isobel.
On the first night there, after a ball to celebrate the marriage, Isobel's new husband dies. And although the Earl's doctor tributes the death to natural causes, Jane has her doubts. Doubts that appear to be confirmed when Isobel receives a letter accusing her of having an affair with her husband's nephew and both of them of being guilty of murder.
And when days later the letter's author, Isobel's former servant, is found murdered, both Isobel and her alleged accomplice are arrested for both murders.
Although the evidence against the pair appears overwhelming, Jane is convinced of her friend's innocence and sets out to find prove of such. A quest that puts her own life in danger.
Interesting read. Set in the early 19th it is written in the style of that time, and, I assume, in Jane Austen's own style and wording.
I am looking forward to reading more of Jane's adventures in months to come.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Pages: 277
Date: 18/04/2007
Grade: 4-
Details: nr. 2 Isabel Dalhousie Novel

Isabel Dalhousie (from The Sunday Philosophy Club) goes about her life thinking about and trying to do the right thing.
She is infatuated with Jamie, who is 15 years her junior and only has eyes for Isabel's niece, Cat.
While managing her niece's delicatessen she meets Ian, who has just had a heart transplant, and is experiencing strange visions ever since.
Because helping Ian would be the right thing to do, Isabel decides to help him find the donor's family, so he can thank them and hopefully explain and even stop the visions.
However, doing what is right for one person, isn't necessarily right for others.
And other things also occupy her time; like an Italian man who wants to take a road trip with her, and the editing of her philosophical magazine.
A fun and in-offensive read about a well-meaning woman.
It seems to me though as if McCall-Smith has created Isabel Dalhousie so that he has an excuse for philosophising about life and venting his pet theories. And although you can tell he is having fun in the process, I can't really believe that people go through life analyzing everything the way Isabel does in this book.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Pages: 368
Date: 15/04/2007
Grade: 4.5
Details: nr. 1 Peter Diamond Mystery

Peter Diamond is an old fashioned policeman with little faith in all the new technologies that are increasingly being inflicted upon his profession.
When the body of a young woman is found in a lake, it takes a few days before her identity becomes known and the case can really be investigated.
And although the method of murder isn't completely clear, there are at least two suspects.
Soon one of the suspects is being charged with murder. But at the same time, Peter resigns from his job, when his methods are being questioned.
Despite his best efforts, he can't leave the case alone though. Whatever the forensic evidence tells the police, he's not convinced the right person is being charged.
And further investigations prove him right, and lead to a rather surprising murderer.
Didn't like the character Peter Diamond at all in the first part of the book. I found him rather cynical and bullish. But once he resigns from the police force, he turned out to be rather likable after all.
This was a very good mystery, with a plausible, if surprising ending, and was well written. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Pages: 437
Date: 14/04/2007
Grade: 4.5
Details: By the author of The Reading Group

In 1985 four girls meet when starting university in Oxford.
Freddie, Tamsin, Sarah and Reagan make a pact; No matter what happens with the rest of their lives, they'll always be there for each other. And they call themselves the Tenko Club, based on a group of women in a television programme about a Japanese POW camp during WWII.
Twenty years later, Sarah has died, Tamsin is happily married with her fourth child on the way, Reagan is still moody and difficult, and Freddie's life is falling apart around her ears.
Within the space of one hour she has left her young son at boarding school, received a call from her husband telling her that he's having an affair and wants to end their marriage, and finds out that her father, who she wasn't close to, has died.
The three remaining Tenko's travel to Freddie's father's house in America, where Freddie learns that her father did love her, and that her mother, who abandoned her when she was four, is living near by.
When on top of all this, Matthew, Sarah's widower, tells her that he loves her, this is not only enough to throw Freddie into turmoil, it could also destroy the group's twenty year old friendship.
Ultimately a feel good book about women, relationships, love, loyalty and friendship, it touches on many issues which on one level or another we all have to deal with in life.
In the end, what matters is the true nature of friendship, come what may.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Pages: 298
Date: 12/04/2007
Grade: 4.5
Details: nr. 10 China Bayles Mysteries

For years China has kept her distance from her mother's side of the family.
But now her mother is looking after the aunt China used to spend holidays with, and calls for help, mentioning the aunt could be in trouble with the law.
Reluctantly China travels to the family's Mississippi plantation where the past is intruding on the present.
China has to delve into her family's past, learning many nasty secrets, to understand where she really comes from and what's going on in the present.
And that present isn't much better, with a murder to solve, a nasty genetic disorder hanging over her head and a relative she never knew existed.
And there's the ghosts, a local woman with second sight, dreams that aren't dreams after all and other unexplicable occurances.
The change of setting was fun and interesting, and all the various mysteries tie in nicely together in the end. Well written and insightful, as always.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Pages: 369
Date: 10/04/2007
Grade: 4.5
Details: nr. 3 The Irish Trilogy

Trevor Magee is an American businessman who has come to Ardmore, the birthplace of his grandfather, to build a theatre connected to the Gallagher's Pub.
Darcy Gallagher is a free spirit, with ambitious plans for herself.
Neither believe that they are able to fall in love, but they can't deny the attraction between them either.
Because neither will admit to loving the other, for fear of not being loved back, of love not being enough, they risk losing their future together.
But Ardmore has a magic of it's own, and when fairies and ghosts meddle, humans have no choice but follow.
Vintage Roberts; comforting, sexy, emotionally charged and fun.

Monday, April 9, 2007


Author: Theresa Monsour
Pages: 368
Date: 09/04/2007
Grade: 4.5
Details: nr. 2 Paris Murphy Mystery

Justice Tripp has been a troubled person all his life. Being bullied and beaten up in highschool only makes things worse.
Now, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, he loses it completely. He kills a woman he doesn't know in a deliberate hit and run, hides her body, but keeps a finger.
When he joins a search party for the woman and "finds" the finger, he's a hero for a few days.
And he might have gotten away with it, if it hadn't been for Parish Murphy, police detective and former class mate of his. She doesn't believe his story and starts digging, finding ever more disturbing facts, but little evidence.
That evidence she intends to find at the highschool reunion they will both attend. The same reunion where Tripp intends to kill her.

One of the few mysteries I've ever read where the murderer was identified to the reader from the start.
I'm not sure how I feel about that.
On the one hand I like not knowing, and trying to figure out the clues as I read.
On the other hand though, seeing Tripp going to pieces during the course of the story was strangely fascinating.
If nothing else, this book was well written, and the story gripped my from the word go.


Pages: 307
Date: 08/04/2007
Grade: 5-
Details: Time Travel

This is the first novel by the author of LABYRINTH, a book I loved. And this one doesn't disappoint.
It is 1997, and Annie is leaving a nightclub, early in the morning. Annie's life isn't going anywhere, consisting mainly of partying and drugs, while she avoids going home, because she doesn't want to deal with a failed relationship.
After leaving the club, she gets caught in a very thick and very sudden fog, and on Crucifix lane she falls and knocks herself unconscious.
When she comes to, the world around her has changed. While she is still in London, it is now 2008 instead of 1997. And although London is still recognizable, it is very different from the place she knows. The Thames is no longer tidal, and climate change has turned the suburbs into insect ridden swamps.
Shortly after her arrival, Annie hooks up with an organization called the Network. She is very impressed with the charitable work the Network does, and charmed by it's charismatic leader, Kellen. And before long, Annie and Kellen are in a relationship.
Never one to face on to life, Annie tries to ignore the questions and implications resulting from her time travelling. But Kellen and others won't let it rest, and keep on bringing it up, forcing Annie to look at things she would rather have ignored.
She also meets Mary, another time traveller from 1997 who arrived three months before her and is refusing to integrate in life in 2008, focussing instead on figuring out how and why she arrived there and how to get back.
While there is a struggle going on between Kellen and a government body dealing with cloning, Annie refuses to see any clues that all is not as it might seem with Kellen.
When Mary asks Annie to travel back to 1997 with her, she is very reluctant, but when Kellen asks her to go, and to come back with things he needs, she does agree to take the risk.
This leads to a show down during with the background of the struggle between the government body and Kellan becomes clear, Annie's eyes are opened, her and Mary's reason for being there becomes clear and a major disaster strikes.
This was a very good story, but I had a hard time with how thick Annie was made out to be. And, as is often the case with time travel novels, it leaves a lot of questions unanswered;
- if you travelled forward in time by 11 years, could you resist looking into yourself or others you know? Or would you like Annie and Mary never even think about it?
- Could the climate and London really change as much as described in this book in only 11 years?
- While it makes sense for Annie to be there, what was Mary's reason for being transported 11 years ahead?

Despite these questions, I would recommend this book to others though. Once I started reading, I found it very hard to put the book down again.

Saturday, April 7, 2007


Pages: 267
Date: 07/04/2007
Grade: 4-
Details: Romantic Suspence

A nice fluffy romance with a bit of a mystery thrown in.
Josh January is a P.I. who almost managed to get himself killed on his last case.
So when Maggie Gladstone invites him to stay at her Inn for free in return for looking into the strange goings-on there, he jumps at the chance. He expects there won't be a case and he could recuperate and try his hand at writring a mystery.
Only, there's instant attraction between Josh and Maggie, and there actually is a mystery to solve, and one that could get dangerous.
I had the baddie picked (correctly) from the moment his name was introduced, and long before he made an appearance himself, so not much of a mystery there.
But a relaxing and slightly sexy read to sooth the mind.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Author: Cormac Millar
Pages: 307
Date: 05/04/2007
Grade: 4+
Details: nr. 1 Seamus Joyce Mystery

If I hadn't been aware of corruption being and having been wide spread in Irish policing and politics, I would have called this a cynical book. As it is, it's probably a sad reflection of real life, if fictionalised.
Seamus Joyce is the newly appointed acting director of the Irish Drug Enforcement Agence (iDEA), reporting directly to the minister of justice. He's under huge pressure to ensure drugs related convictions and thus advance the minister's career.
But when a drug trafficer is actually convicted, it poses more questions than it answers.
Was this man set up, and if yes, by who? Why are Seamus' phones being tapped, and why is money being deposited, from Lichtenstein, into an account Seamus didn't even know he had?
As Seamus sets out to see justice done, he realizes that the corruption goes up to the highest levels, and that not only his carreer but also his life is in danger.
And his wife is in hospital with an undiagnosed disease, and possibly dying.
Good read, but the truth beneath the fiction left me rather sad and angry.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Pages: 304
Date: 04/04/2007
Grade: 4
Details: Memoir

This was a very bizarre read.
If it had been fiction, I would probably have thrown the book accross the room for being too over the top. But it's not fiction, it all really happened and it's a miracle that not only did Augusten survive his teenage years, he survived to write about it with detachment and a sense of humour.
When Augusten is a child his alcoholic father and crazy mother constantly fight, while his older brother moves out as soon as he can.
By the time Augusten is in his early teens, his father has left to cut all ties with his ex-wife and son, and his mother is getting ever more obsessive and crazy.
So much so that Augusten finds himself living with his mother's psychiatrist, Dr. Finch, and his family, in what has to be the most dysfunctional family possible.
Because Dr. Finch believes that kids are adults as soon as they become teenagers, Augusten and the Finch kids are free to do as they please, while they're given prescription drugs as if they were sweets.
For Augusten this means drinking alcohol, smoking (both cigarettes and joints), dropping out of school and starting a gay relationship with a man more than twice his age, all by the time he reaches the age of 13.
Reviewers called this book funny, despite it's dysfunction. I didn't get whatever was supposed to be funny, but did find it compelling reading, out of sheer disbelieve and the need to know how the by Augusten survived.
I'm not sure that I would recommend this book to anyone though, unless I knew them and their sensibilities very well.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Pages: 372
Date: 03/04/2007
Grade: 5

When Richard Mayhew moves from Scotland to London, he is a passive young man who lets life happen to him. And so, three years later, he finds himself with a job, a flat and a fiancee, Jessica, almost by accident, thinking his life is good.
Then he encounters a wounded girl in the street and despite Jessica's protestations, he decides to help her.
But the girl, Door, is not from his world. Her world is one that exists underneath the London Richard is familiar with. A London where live those who fell through the cracks. A London filled with weird creatures and monsters. And because Richard has to enter this London in order to help Door, he finds that his ties with the regular London are cut. He is no longer part of that world and has no choice to return to the underworld.
Back below he reunites with Door and joins her and two others on a quest to avenge her murdered family, in the hope that succeeding will show him a way back to his old life.
During the quest they face hired assassins, monsters, angels, (friendly) rats and all sorts of other creatures. And they're never out of danger.
But will going back to his old life bring the happiness Richard expects, or has the underworld changed him too much?
Thrilling and gripping story. A complete fantasy, but because it starts of in London as we know it, it seems almost possible and definitely left me wondering and day-dreaming. The book is written in very simple language and keeps you turning the pages. It was a pleasure to read this book.
Gaiman says in the introduction that he's considering writing a follow-up to this book, and I for one hope that he will.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Rosemary Remembered

Pages: 295
Date: 01/04/2007
Grade: 4.5
Details: nr. 4 China Bayle Mystery

When China goes to pick up her partner, McQuaid's, car from Rosemary Robbins, she finds the accountant murdered in that car.
At the same time, McQuaid is warned that a man he put in jail in the past is now free and may be out to get him and those he loves. In reaction to this news he grounds his 11 year old son Brian and tries to get China to obey his rules as well. However, China has been an independent woman for way to long to let a man determine her life, even if she does love the man.
To add to all the turmoil, Brain's mother now tries to get custody of her son away from McQuaid.
Then McQuaid is asked to travel to Mexico to find the man who is suspected of having commited the murder, and China finds herself responsible for Brian's safety.
And China is not at all convinced that the man McQuaid is looking for is in fact the murderer, so she sets out on an investigation of her own.
And while she gathers information, not all from earthly sources, and gets closer to answers, Brain disappears. An event that makes her priorities perfectly clear to China, and it isn't until she's found the boy again that she solves the mystery.
Eventhough I did know who the murderer was from fairly early on, I still enjoyed this book very much.