Escape by Robert K. Tannenbaum
The latest in the Butch Karp series, as usual the plot(s) remind one of recent headlines. Butch is working on two problems. In his role as District Attorney he is prosecuting a mother who killed her three children because she says God told her to. He is also working with friends and allies to try to stop an Islamic terrorist from hitting some unknown target in Manhattan without creating a panic in the city. Exciting stuff!
Death Swatch by Laura Childs
This cozy mystery is set during Mardi Gras in new Orleans where
scrapbook store owner Carmela Bertrand is celebrating the season,
keeping her store afloat, and trying to solve a murder at the request of
a friend. The murder investigation leads her to search for Lafitte's
The Borrowed and Blue Murders by Merry Jones
The cover touts this author as "The Mary Higgins Clark for this
millennium". I'm not sure I'd go that far, but there is a rather
suspenseful passage in the book that is somewhat reminiscent. This is
third in a series about an art therapist named Zoe Hayes and the period
leading up to her wedding to Detective Nick Stiles. Zoe is finding
things a bit stressful since she is on maternity leave after having a
baby and dealing with her soon-to-be in-laws as well as an overly
efficient wedding planner and a babysitter who it turns out is a bit on
the weird side. Throw in a couple of mysterious zip drives which seem
to be the target of some unknown bad guys, and Zoe is really having a
hard week! Pretty entertaining.
Make Him Look Good by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
This book on CD changes narrator frequently, and at first seems a bit
scattered, but gradually you get acquainted with the characters and
drawn into the story. It all centers around a self centered young
latino singing sensation and the women in his life. Pretty early on you
begin to wonder why they all let him push them around. Eventually they
do too and exact their revenge. Not much substance but fun to listen
Rusty Nail by J. A. Konrath
Another book on CD, this one is about a female cop named Jacqueline
"Jack" Daniels and her search for a copy cat serial killer who is
copying one of her old cases. It's full of gory details and not for
everyone, but it is a suspenseful story with a surprise ending (although
I began to suspect it before the denouncement).
The Quilter's Kitchen by Jennifer Chiaverini
The subtitle is "An Elm Creek Quilts Novel With Recipes" and it's
actually more recipes than quilt novel. For those who are regular
readers of the Elm Creek Novels, it fills in a few more details in
Sylvia's life, but it's really just a glorified cookbook. The recipes
look pretty good though.
Antiques Maul by Barbara Allan
Brandy Borne and her mom (with whom she is living following a divorce)
open a stall in an antiques mall, mostly to keep her mom occupied since
she missed out on getting the job as director at the local theater.
When the owner of the establishment shows up dead outside their booth
appearing as if her pet pit bull killed her, Brandy and her mom (mostly
her mom) have doubts about the guilt of the dog.
The Sour Cherry Surprise by David Handler
This is a new series to me (Berger and Miltry Mysteries). Although I
hadn't read the previous titles, I found it drew me into the lives of
the main characters, and the plot was suspenseful as well. I'll be
looking for the earlier entries.
Faux Finished by Peg Marberg
A cozy based on an interior decorator who can't help sleuthing despite
her (cop) son-in-law's and husband's entreaties to the contrary.
Eggs In Purgatory by Laura Childs
This starts a new series by the author of the Scrapbooking Mysteries and
Tea Shop Mysteries. It features three women making it on their own
(one a widow, one with a husband in a nursing home with dementia, and
one separated from a no good husband) through a combination cafe/yarn
shop/book store. In this one they're working on clearing the name of
the widow's late husband. Looks like it might be an enjoyable series
with like able characters.
Mischief Becomes her by Kasey Michaels
Second in the Sunshine Girls series, this one centers around the
youngest of the three, Jessica and her attempt to solve another of her
late father's open cases and therefore find the truth about his death.
This is an interesting concept in a series. Each features a different
daughter and a different case, but all are working towards ultimately
finding out who killed their (retired cop) private eye father. If you
like a little romance mixed into your mysteries, you might enjoy this
Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer
This is by a new author and is set in the broadcasting arena. I enjoyed
the characters, and found myself staying up too late finishing it.
I'll be interested to see what her next one is like.
Keletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
This is a different setting and time period than most of Bohjalian's
novels, but equally compelling. It chronicles the evacuation of German
refugees from eastern Germany (formerly Poland) in advance of the
Russians fighting their way to Berlin at the end of WWII. These is an
interesting mix of characters including (besides the German family) a
Scottish POW and a Jew who jumped off a train on the way to Auschwitz
and has spent the rest of the war disguised as various German army
members, killing SS as he gets the chance. Periodically we also hear
about a group of French women in a work camp who eventually also cross
paths with the other characters. The description of the conditions of
the camps as well as those of the refugees is very stark and made me
glad not to be living in that place and time.
Death's Half Acre by Margaret Maron
The latest in a series about Judge Deborah Knott and her family.
The Bordeaux Betrayal by Ellen Cosby
This one is set in a vineyard in Virginia (who knew they had vineyards there?).
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
This is a novel from the point of view of a 50 year old college
professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. It is
fascinating (and very sad) to watch her deterioration through her eyes.
The author has a PhD from Harvard in neuroscience and has been active
with various Alzheimer's organizations, so I tend to believe she knows
whereof she writes. Since my mother had dementia it rings very true to
Murder Melts in Your Mouth by Nancy Martin
The Blackbird sisters are still at it, and in this one their wandering parents are back on the scene, albeit undercover. Fun!
The Condition by Jennifer Haigh (audio version)
The tale of a rather dysfunctional family who blame most of their
problems on the condition of the daughter, who is diagnosed with
Turner's Syndrome (a condition caused by missing a part of the X
chromosome which keeps her from growing and maturing normally). At the
end after the family has almost completely fragmented, it comes back
together for the most part. Not a lot of plot, but the characters are
The Burnt Orange Sunrise by David Handler
This is the second one I've read in this series (Berger and Mitry
Mysteries), and I'm liking it more all the time. This one is set in a
lodge during a blizzard, and the dead bodies keep showing up, even
though Trooper Des Mitry is one of the people stranded there. It
reminds me of some of the classic old mysteries but with a fresh twist
Espresso Shot by Cleo Coyle
Part of the continuing series about coffee house manager Clare Cosi,
this one finally sees her ex-husband married off after lots of angst
along the way, including the murder of an exotic dancer who looked
amazingly like her ex's fiancee. As always it includes lots of New
York/Grenwich Village atmosphere, and some tasty sounding recipes.