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Suspense/Mystery Books Discussion...
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maggie, I enjoyed reading your review today of Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen. Although I didn't enjoy this one as much as you did, I am still in awe of Gerritsen's writing.

Aside from the story itself, I agree with so many things you said in your review, though. One of them being that she is not changing the characters of Maura and Jane to coincide with the awful renditions that the TV production displays.

You also mention that it's almost necessary to read her former books to get the true nature of the main characters. Although it's not critical to the understanding of the story, knowing their backgrounds from previous books makes one aware of their many nuances. I, too, highly recommend previous stories to get a handle on just what they're about. Again, they are not the superficial figures on TV.

I continue to enjoy Tess Gerritsen and know that there will be a couple of books along the way that won't wash as well as others with me. That goes for just about most series, even the ...In Death one I'm reading now. However, even in this latest Isles/Rizolli novel, the characters themselves progressed along and I am ready for the next installment. In fact, I am wondering about Maura and just what will happen with her and Anthony Sansone, if anything. He was a bit more mysterious here in this book with his attitudes in general. Almost, it seemed to me, a turning away from her. Hmmm...
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee: It will be interesting to see where Maura's romance goes.

I've been really surprised where the series has gone with the characters. They are so girly compared to the actual Rizoli and Isles. I'm glad the author hasn't gone that route - it just wouldn't suit her style of writing.

maggie b.
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Eggletina



Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 425

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I picked up the first three books of Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily Mysteries since they are currently offered as bargain books. Have just started the first one. Am intrigued by the growth opportunities for the heroine who marries to escape an overbearing mother only to lose her husband within a short period of time before she ever got to know him. It's only after he's dead that she learns more about the kind of man he was and starts mourning for what could have been.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:
I've been really surprised where the series has gone with the characters. They are so girly compared to the actual Rizoli and Isles. I'm glad the author hasn't gone that route - it just wouldn't suit her style of writing.

At a luncheon recently with friends, we began talking about a Lee Childs' book that is being made into a movie. My friend said the main character is a spy and described as a well-built muscled person and a former MP who is fairly large and dangerous in the book. She asked: "Who do you think they casted for him?" Well, when we heard it was Tom Cruise, we all about fell off our chairs. The response from Lee Childs, according to her, was that he had to compromise something and chose the integrity of the actor because he's done similar roles in the past: Mission Impssible, etc.

I then asked if anyone read Tess Gerritsen and no one knew who she was. I asked if they ever watched the Rizolli/Isles show on TV? All of them were aware of it and loved it. When I said the gals were quite different from the book characters, they really didn't seem to care; they liked the ones on TV. Too bad, they are certainly missing some good characterizations and don't even know it.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:

I then asked if anyone read Tess Gerritsen and no one knew who she was. I asked if they ever watched the Rizolli/Isles show on TV? All of them were aware of it and loved it. When I said the gals were quite different from the book characters, they really didn't seem to care; they liked the ones on TV. Too bad, they are certainly missing some good characterizations and don't even know it.


They are. I think of the TV show and the series as two completely different things. Maura's history isn't even the same in the TV show. Neither is Jane's really. The only accurate thing is that Maura is an ME and Rizolli is a cop. That's it. I do watch but I don't watch looking for a fix of the book series. You sure don't get that.

On another note, the detective in The Killing reminded me a bit of Rizolli. The whole plot was actually very Tess Gerritsen (with the exception of what happens with the son).

maggie b.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Low Pressure - Sandra Brown

First off, the main characters did not attach to me. In fact, I was hoping they'd go away. Both Dent and Bellamy were immature and their HEA is seriously in doubt. The story was unimaginative and I can't believe I suspected who the killer was so quickly. Everything was off here, including the dialogue. Dent, Dent--what the hell kind of name is that? It was the male's name, BTW, and Bellamy was the female. A DNF, followed by a quick read just to figure out how Brown worked everything out. At least the ending was more realistic concerning their relationship.

Here's an Amazon description of the plot (the word is loosely used here):

Bellamy Lyston was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy's fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene along with her memory of what really happened during the day's most devastating moments. Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a sensational, bestselling novel based on Susan's murder. Because the book was inspired by the tragic event that still pains her family, she published it under a pseudonym to protect them from unwanted publicity. But when an opportunistic reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on fact, Bellamy's identity is exposed along with the family scandal.

Moreover, Bellamy becomes the target of an unnamed assailant who either wants the truth about Susan's murder to remain unknown or, even more threatening, is determined to get vengeance for a man wrongfully accused and punished. In order to identify her stalker, Bellamy must confront the ghosts of her past, including Dent Carter, Susan's wayward and reckless boyfriend -- and an original suspect in the murder case. Dent, with this and other stains on his past, is intent on clearing his name, and he needs Bellamy's sealed memory to do it. But her safeguarded recollections -once unlocked-pose dangers that neither could foresee and puts both their lives in peril.

As Bellamy delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Susan's slaying, she discovers disturbing elements of the crime which call into question the people she holds most dear. Haunted by partial memories, conflicted over her feelings for Dent, but determined to learn the truth, she won't stop until she reveals Susan's killer. That is, unless Susan's killer strikes her first...

Maggie, I just now went over to the AAR reviews page and didn't realize you already reviewed it. Agree totally with all that you said, except you were kind to give it a C-. Very Happy
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
Low Pressure - Sandra Brown

First off, the main characters did not attach to me. In fact, I was hoping they'd go away. Both Dent and Bellamy were immature and their HEA is seriously in doubt. The story was unimaginative and I can't believe I suspected who the killer was so quickly. Everything was off here, including the dialogue. Dent, Dent--what the hell kind of name is that? It was the male's name, BTW, and Bellamy was the female. A DNF, followed by a quick read just to figure out how Brown worked everything out. At least the ending was more realistic concerning their relationship.

Here's an Amazon description of the plot (the word is loosely used here):

Bellamy Lyston was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy's fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene along with her memory of what really happened during the day's most devastating moments. Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a sensational, bestselling novel based on Susan's murder. Because the book was inspired by the tragic event that still pains her family, she published it under a pseudonym to protect them from unwanted publicity. But when an opportunistic reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on fact, Bellamy's identity is exposed along with the family scandal.

Moreover, Bellamy becomes the target of an unnamed assailant who either wants the truth about Susan's murder to remain unknown or, even more threatening, is determined to get vengeance for a man wrongfully accused and punished. In order to identify her stalker, Bellamy must confront the ghosts of her past, including Dent Carter, Susan's wayward and reckless boyfriend -- and an original suspect in the murder case. Dent, with this and other stains on his past, is intent on clearing his name, and he needs Bellamy's sealed memory to do it. But her safeguarded recollections -once unlocked-pose dangers that neither could foresee and puts both their lives in peril.

As Bellamy delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Susan's slaying, she discovers disturbing elements of the crime which call into question the people she holds most dear. Haunted by partial memories, conflicted over her feelings for Dent, but determined to learn the truth, she won't stop until she reveals Susan's killer. That is, unless Susan's killer strikes her first...

Maggie, I just now went over to the AAR reviews page and didn't realize you already reviewed it. Agree totally with all that you said, except you were kind to give it a C-. Very Happy


That C- was generous, wasn't it Twisted Evil ? I can't believe she followed up Lethal with this piece of @#$$%. We can only pray she gets her groove back for the next one.

maggie b.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all of you who recommended the Charles Todd series featuring Bess Crawford (WWI nurse). I'm listening to A Duty to the Dead (first in the series) and loving it so far.
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading Sibella Giorello's Raleigh Harmon series, about a young FBI agent whose somewhat impulsive style doesn't sit right with agency brass. These are labeled inspirational fiction, so don't bother if you're annoyed by overtly Christian protagonists. That said, Giorello isn't like some inspirational authors who have everything stop for an evangelical chapter or two. Raleigh's faith is just part of who she is and how she considers the world. There's a romantic subplot that goes through the series, especially the fourth and fifth books, and now I'm anxious for #6. I started with book #2, The Rivers Run Dry, since that's what my library had on audio.

The Stones Cry Out
The Rivers Run Dry
The Clouds Roll Away
The Mountains Bow Down
The Stars Shine Bright
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Margaret



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 880

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've recently read the following books:


Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes...this was a DNF for me. Too choppy and too many flashbacks.


Sun Storm by Asa Larsson...I finished this one, but was skimming towards the end. It didn't keep my interest.


The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker...Another book I ended up skimming. Coming of age story set against the slowing of earth's rotation. I think this is considered young adult.



Defending Jacob by William Landay...This book I highly recommend, an 'A'. Very thought provoking, and makes you think about what you would do in the same situation.

A lawyer learns his teenage son has been charged with the murder of a classmate. There are some very good twists towards the end, but the reader may not get the answers they want.

I loved this discussion from the book...Andy, the lawyer, is talking to his wife...
Andy..."We're not arguing. We're discussing."
His wife..."You're a lawyer; you don't know the difference. I'm arguing."
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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 875
Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Death in the Floating City - Tasha Alexander
Grade: A-

[I posted this commentary in the "Recently Read" thread but felt it belonged here, too, since it is a historical mystery. Apologies to people who see it twice.]

I was totally captivated by this latest entry in the Lady Emily Mystery series. The last couple of books were a bit of a let down for me but I really did like this one a lot. It definitely can be read as a stand-alone which is both a good and a bad thing. I felt there was really a lack of character development for Colin and Emily and very little about their relationship. I missed that. I almost felt it was a bit "impersonal" towards them.

The historical detail about Venice in both the 15th and the 19th centuries was wonderful. Obviously Alexander did her research and taking us to another time and place is a strength of her writing. I am a fan of the story-within-a-story if it is done well as it is here. The 15th c. story of Besina and Nicolo was heartbreaking and gut-wrenching; it's tie-in to the 19th c. murder Colin and Emily are sent to investigate was intriguing. Alexander crafts a fine mystery here. A very satisfying read.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinabelle wrote:
Death in the Floating City - Tasha Alexander
Grade: A-

[I posted this commentary in the "Recently Read" thread but felt it belonged here, too, since it is a historical mystery. Apologies to people who see it twice.]

I was totally captivated by this latest entry in the Lady Emily Mystery series. The last couple of books were a bit of a let down for me but I really did like this one a lot. It definitely can be read as a stand-alone which is both a good and a bad thing. I felt there was really a lack of character development for Colin and Emily and very little about their relationship. I missed that. I almost felt it was a bit "impersonal" towards them.

The historical detail about Venice in both the 15th and the 19th centuries was wonderful. Obviously Alexander did her research and taking us to another time and place is a strength of her writing. I am a fan of the story-within-a-story if it is done well as it is here. The 15th c. story of Besina and Nicolo was heartbreaking and gut-wrenching; it's tie-in to the 19th c. murder Colin and Emily are sent to investigate was intriguing. Alexander crafts a fine mystery here. A very satisfying read.


Thanks, Tinabelle. I'm going to be picking up my copy tomorrow evening at a Tasha Alexander booksigning. I've heard very good things about this latest.
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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="LinnieGayl"]
Tinabelle wrote:
Death in the Floating City - Tasha Alexander
Grade: A-

Thanks, Tinabelle. I'm going to be picking up my copy tomorrow evening at a Tasha Alexander booksigning. I've heard very good things about this latest.


I hope you'll post your thoughts on the book; I always enjoy your comments. I still pay homage to you on a regular basis for introducing me to Amelia Peabody! I really did like this one a lot better than the last couple of books. I still feel that something changed and was "lost" when Colin and Emily married. I miss Emily's life adventures not related to Colin and her interactions with her friends like Margaret and "the Duke." Wish we would see more of them again.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinabelle wrote:

I hope you'll post your thoughts on the book; I always enjoy your comments. I still pay homage to you on a regular basis for introducing me to Amelia Peabody! I really did like this one a lot better than the last couple of books. I still feel that something changed and was "lost" when Colin and Emily married. I miss Emily's life adventures not related to Colin and her interactions with her friends like Margaret and "the Duke." Wish we would see more of them again.


Thanks, Tinabelle. I so dearly love the Amelia Peabody series (well, probably not the most recent book) that it's a joy to share the series with others.

I'll definitely post my thoughts on the latest Tasha Alexander here once I finish it. Can't wait for the signing tonight!
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My review is up today on the site for Dee Henderson's Full Disclosure. I am so sad that this writer just can't seem to get her groove back.

maggie b.
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