Review – Marrow Island by Alexis S. Smith

Twenty years ago Lucie Bowen left Marrow Island; along with her mother, she fled the aftermath of an earthquake that compromised the local refinery, killing her father and ravaging the island’s environment. Now, Lucie’s childhood friend Kate is living within a mysterious group called Marrow Colony—a community that claims to be “ministering to the Earth.” There have been remarkable changes… Read more »

Review – A Cold Day in Hell by Lissa Marie Redmond

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Lauren Riley is an accomplished detective who has always been on the opposite side of the courtroom from her nemesis, slick defense attorney Frank Violanti. But now he’s begging to hire her as a private investigator to help clear his client of murder. At first Lauren refuses, wanting nothing to do with the media circus surrounding that case—until she meets… Read more »

Two Must-Read Memoirs

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As a change of pace, I decided to trade in my mysteries and thrillers for a pair of memoirs (which I plan on teaching in the fall).  I’ve read both of these books before, but my re-readings were just as intense as my first readings.  White I didn’t exactly fall in love (both books deal with very difficult topics) I… Read more »

Review of The Student by Iain Ryan

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Do bad people look like good people, like friends and brothers and boyfriends and students, until they have their hands around your throat? Gatton, Queensland. 1994. Nate is a student, dealing weed on the side. A girl called Maya Kibby is dead. No one knows who killed her. Nate needs to refresh his supply, but Jesse, his friend and dealer,… Read more »

It’s Good to Be Home

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My husband and I often travel in the summers since both of us teach and have the time off.  In the past, we’ve taken the whole family along, but this year, we went with just the two of us! Because of my Louise Penny fixation, we visited Montreal, Quebec, then went further north to Forillon National Park and then on… Read more »

Review – Desperate Housedogs by Sparkle Abbey

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In posh Laguna Beach, murder has gone to the dogs. When Caro Lamont, former psychologist turned pet therapist makes a house call to help Kevin Blackstone with his two misbehaving German Shepherd dogs, she expects frantic dogs, she expects a frantic dog owner, she even expects frantic neighbors. What she doesn’t expect is that two hours later the police will… Read more »

Review – The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

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The “volcanically sexy” (USA Today) bestseller about a widow and her daughter who take a young couple into their home in 1920s London. It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even… Read more »

Happy Fourth of July

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Happy Independence Day to all of my American blogger friends.  My neighborhood seems to think that the Fourth of July extends to the entire weekend, so we’ve had bombs bursting in air since last Friday.  My poor cat, Yoshi, thinks the sky is falling! Today, I will be doing the traditional American thing by eating barbecue, drinking beer, and watching… Read more »

My Favorite Book Club Picks – Dog Edition

It always amazes me how readers can become so passionate about their favorite books.  I’ve been a part of the same book club for over seven years, and we’ve had amazing discussions (and arguments!) over books.  At times, I laugh because we’re laughing, crying, and fighting over fictional characters.  Yet, we all become so attached! At any rate, my book… Read more »

Review – Glass Houses by Louise Penny

When a mysterious figure appears on the village green on a cold November day in Three Pines, Armand Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, knows something is seriously wrong. Yet he does nothing. Legally, what can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized. From the moment its shadow falls over… Read more »