Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot (Memoir, 2018). Already a New York Times Bestseller, this powerful if slender volume is a memoir, though told in highly poetic and richly evocative prose. Ms. Mailhot is a Canadian-born member of the Salish People now living in the United States. She holds a M.F.A. in fiction from the Institute of […]Read more "REVIEWED: Heart Berries"
Clint Eastwood and company were already planning their Escape from Alcatraz when I arrived at the Grand Midway Hotel’s weekly coffeehouse. Interesting caper movie, based on a true story. It had been a moderately hot day and I’d done a good deal of outdoor work, so I started off the evening with a cold drink (Orange Crush). […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: July 26, 2018"
The Taster by V.S. Alexander (Historical/War Novel, February 2018). In early 1943, World War Two is raging and Berlin is beginning to feel the full wrath of Allied air power. Till now, the German capital city has largely been spared direct attack and Magda, a mostly aimless young woman still living with her parents, is blissfully […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Taster"
Twenty-One Days by Anne Perry (Historical Mystery Novel, April 2018). Already a best-selling author for her series of Victorian-era books featuring master-spy agency guy Thomas Pitt and his mystery-solving wife Charlotte, Anne Perry jumps forward to 1910 to begin a new series built around their son, Daniel. He’s a 25-year-old London barrister who, to start the […]Read more "REVIEWED: Twenty-One Days"
Yes, it was another Thursday night at my weekly hangout: A haunted onetime hotel turned spooky (but very fun) coffeehouse. But first, there was time for another of my favorite activities: DINNER! What used to be Windber’s Coal Heritage Museum (and way before my time, the town’s Post Office) is less than a block from […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 19 July 2018"
The Bags of Tricks Affair by Bill Pronzini (Historical Crime/Mystery Novel, March 2018). Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon are partners in a private detective agency based in San Francisco in the 1890s. They work well, together or apart, and their friendly banter masks the fact (that they’re only beginning to realize) that they love each other. […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Bags of Tricks Affair"
Death By Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake by Sarah Graves (Cozy Mystery Novel, February 2018). This fun cozy features the amateur detective team from the Home Repair Homicide Series. Set in the same island fishing village up in Maine, “Jake” Tiptree and her best pal Ellie have now opened a chocolate-focused bake shop and they face a make-or-break […]Read more "REVIEWED: Death By Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake"
This installment of the Grand Midway Hotel’s weekly coffeehouse featured mostly familiar faces, plus one actual newcomer, a couple quirky films on DVDs (both comedies, though otherwise quite unlike one another), one regular’s persistent smartphone frustrations, another visit by two psychic researchers, and yours truly conveying good writing news (polite way of saying bragging) even […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: July 12, 2018"
Stray City by Chelsey Johnson (Contemporary Novel, 2018). In the last months of the 20th century, Andrea Morales is a 20-something artist who has left behind her very conventional Midwestern Catholic upbringing for life as part of the thriving and politically active lesbian community of Portland, Oregon. Most of her associates, friends and lovers are (like […]Read more "REVIEWED: Stray City"
Decarcerating America edited by Ernest Drucker (Nonfiction, Criminal Justice Reform Anthology, 2018). It’s a sad truth that we’re much more familiar with the word incarceration than its polar opposite (as per the title of this book). While the United States has only about 5% of the planet’s population, it also has 25% of all the people held in the […]Read more "REVIEWED: Decarcerating America"