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Suspense/Mystery Books Discussion...
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
"Ties that Bind," by Natalie R. Collins. Part police procedural, part mystery, part a personal journey of discovery about one's family, but all of it kind of scary, primarily because it's set in a suburb of Salt Lake City and infused with the author's take on Mormon culture. The elements of that take are the scary part. If that take is at all accurate, I don't think anyone would be comfortable with Romney as president.


I thought her take on everything mormon came across as bitter rather than scary. And I'll be honest and say I knew the killer almost from the beginning based on something said very early in the novel. It was a C- read for me. I think another of her books reviewed here got a D. It too was very bitter re the Mormon religion.

I have my reasons to not vote for Romney but his religion is not one of them. I think there is actually a lot that is admirable about the faith that this book overlooked. Just my .02 of course Very Happy

maggie b.
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dick



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I admit that what little I know of the Mormon religion I gained from visits of their missionaries over the years, having lived and often visited Nauvoo, Ill--I grew up in Burlington, Iowa--and odd bits of information gleaned from reading. I recognized the bitterness, but the portrait painted, bitter or not, was still scary, even if only a quarter of the attitude both the main character and the author had toward it.

That being said, I too thought it an average read; I didn't much care for the style in which it was written, and the very limited point of view she employed left me dissatisfied.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackout - Lisa Unger

This was definitely a psychological thriller, but it took almost a week for me to finish it, due to other things going on. Even when more free time opened up, I was already accustomed to reading only two or three chapters at a time and I continued that pace with it. It was good, but not great. I kept expecting something more as the story was winding down, but I'm not sure exactly what it was. I do believe Unger has a voice in suspense; and from reading Fragile and Darkness..., I do want more of her. Seems as though she's still in the process of perfecting her style; and when she does, I feel she will be awesome.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Duty to the Dead
Charles Todd
A-

The Amazon blurb:

Quote:
The daughter of a distinguished soldier‚ Bess Crawford follows in his footsteps and signs up to go overseas as a nurse during the Great War‚ helping to deal with the many wounded. There‚ serving on a hospital ship‚ she makes a promise to a dying young lieutenant to take a message to his brother‚ Jonathan Graham: "Tell Jonathan that I lied. I did it for Mother′s sake. But it has to be set right." Later‚ when her ship is sunk by a mine and she′s sidelined by a broken arm‚ Bess returns home to England‚ determined to fulfill her promise.

It′s not so easy‚ however. She travels to the village in Kent where the Grahams live and passes on to Jonathan his brother′s plea. Oddly‚ neither Jonathan‚ his mother‚ nor his younger brother admit to knowing what the message means. Then Bess learns that there′s another brother‚ incarcerated in a lunatic asylum since the age of 14 when he was accused of brutally murdering a housemaid.

Bess rightly guesses that the dying soldier′s last words had something to do with the fourth brother. Because the family seems unwilling to do anything‚ she decides that she will investigate. It′s her own duty to the dead.


I absolutely loved it and have already begun on book two.

maggie b
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Manda



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished up the Kovac and Liska trilogy. I noticed that Tami Hoag has another one coming out in January. I'm curious about whether she'll let Sam or Nikki get any kind of HEA. So far it seems unlikely.

I picked up THE MISSING by Chris Mooney a few weeks ago and just got around to finishing it. I really liked the protagonist--Darby McCormick, a female criminalist with the Boston PD. The story itself read a bit like an episode of CSI but the characters were interesting. I was looking to see if there were any others in the series and was bummed to see that they are available but only in England. Mooney says he's working on getting foreign rights (or I guess domestic in this case) deals in place. (As an author, I totally understand the whole foreign rights issue--my publisher owns all the foreign rights to my books but they do seem to be trying to sell them at least). Anyway, I've ordered the next few and will report back on how they go.

Something I appreciate about the Mooney books is just how dull some of crime fighting must be. Fortunately he doesn't spend too much time detailing the tedious process of combing the victim's clothing for stray threads and trace evidence, but there's enough of it that make me happy when Darby gets out of the lab and investigates things in person. And unlike your typical CSI episode the story is told from Darby's POV, with a few exceptions for the victim and the bad guy.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've looked but can not find who recommended the Bess Crawford series by Charles Todd. Let me just say a heartfelt THANK YOU to whoever it was. They were absolutely fabulous.

I am reading Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody. Off to a bit of a slow start, unlike the Todd books.

maggie b.
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MrsFairfax



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:

I am reading Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody. Off to a bit of a slow start, unlike the Todd books.

maggie b.


Bess's opening scene on the Britannic is a great way to start a series, isn't it?

Are you far enough to know what I mean when I ask you - Simon or the Australian?
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Susan/DC



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LinnieGayl wrote:
Just finished S.J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep. Loved it! Now must decide what to listen to next. Am thinking of downloading Gone Girl, but need to think on it a bit more.


A friend lent this to me and I finished it last week. The heroine, Christine, suffers from an odd form of amnesia: she can remember what occurs during the course of the day, but when she wakes the next morning she has forgotten everything -- not just the previous day but the past 20 years. Her husband has put photographs around the house to remind her of who she is and leaves lists to remind her of things to do, but she is a lost soul. Then bits and pieces of her memory come back, and the fun begins.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsFairfax wrote:
maggie b. wrote:

I am reading Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody. Off to a bit of a slow start, unlike the Todd books.

maggie b.


Bess's opening scene on the Britannic is a great way to start a series, isn't it?

Are you far enough to know what I mean when I ask you - Simon or the Australian?


I am far enough to know what you mean. I finished the series last night. Bad cold and all I have done is read and take care of the kids. That's it.

So - Simon. No question. The Australian barely had a scene in An Unmarked Grave. Shame cause I love the guy and he did her such a favor at the start of the book. But I think Barclay had a clear eye on things when he spotted out his competition and decided who he had to beat. And that was Simon.

maggie b.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

double post. my apologies

maggie b.
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MrsFairfax



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:


So - Simon. No question. The Australian barely had a scene in An Unmarked Grave. Shame cause I love the guy and he did her such a favor at the start of the book. But I think Barclay had a clear eye on things when he spotted out his competition and decided who he had to beat. And that was Simon.

maggie b.



Hope you feel better! Me, I'm rooting against Simon because I think she needs to get out from under her parents' wings. Colonel Sahib and Simon were way too deus ex machina for me in the last book. Problem? Solved off screen by daddy. I want Bess to run away to the outback when the war's over. lol

Have you read the Todd's Ian Rutledge books? Similar time frame (between the wars), but lots darker.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsFairfax wrote:

Hope you feel better! Me, I'm rooting against Simon because I think she needs to get out from under her parents' wings. Colonel Sahib and Simon were way too deus ex machina for me in the last book. Problem? Solved off screen by daddy. I want Bess to run away to the outback when the war's over. lol


It's not so much as wanting her with Simon as bracing myself for the fact they will be together. I liked both Barclay and the Australian better in terms of personality.

MrsFairfax wrote:

Have you read the Todd's Ian Rutledge books? Similar time frame (between the wars), but lots darker.


Not yet, I am working on the Frances Brody book right now. Then I have a review book to read.

maggie b.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dying in the Wool
Frances Brody

I didn't like this as much as the Maise Dobbs or Bess Crawford books but it was still an interesting read. Kate is a WWI bride whose husband was declared missing in action. When an old friend from the VAD asks for help finding her father who has been missing for years, Kate agrees. What she discovers rocks the family to the core and exposes her to the darkest side of humanity.

maggie b.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Girl is Trouble
Kathryn Miller Haines

Iris Anderson, girl detective, finds herself dealing with more mysteries than your average teen could handle. Luckily, she's not average. As she works to understand the photos in her dad's safe, the notes being sent to the Jewish Student Union and the question of just who is having an affair she discovers secrets she may well wish she had never learned. While this is a YA book, it doesn't have a very kid like feel. It is a terrific WWII era mystery.

maggie b.

* edited for clarity. One should never type while drowsy.
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Manda



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject: Chris Mooney's Darby McCormick series Reply with quote

I've blown through nearly the entire Darby McCormick series by Chris Mooney in the past week. In order, they are:

THE MISSING
THE SECRET FRIEND
THE DEAD ROOM
THE SOUL COLLECTORS

Darby is kind of insanely competent. And she's gone from working in the lab to doing SWAT too. (Does this even happen? I doubt it.) But they are totally readable. And I like the variety of mystery types. In one book there will be a crazytown serial killer, but in the next it's an Irish mafia thing. I'm pretty sad right now about the direction the potential romance has taken. But I'm not quite finished with THE SOUL COLLECTORS so I'm hoping there's still a chance for an HEA. And it doesn't have to happen in this book, I suppose.

A funny thing about these books is that 2-4 have been published in the UK only, and I've come across many Americanisms that have been changed to fit the UK audience. I know it's always a big beef with Australians when AUS/NZ books are altered for the American audience, and I know how they feel now. Tire is now tyre. Counter is now worktop. The trunk of the car is the boot, etc. All for a story set in Boston!
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