BOOK REVIEW: From Sea to Stormy Sea

From Sea to Stormy Sea edited by Lawrence Block (Short Story Anthology, 2019). Lawrence Block, the best-selling and much-honored author of numerous crime novels and stories, turned anthologist a couple years back. The above title is the 3rd in a series of anthologies he’s edited. In each case, he’s used paintings by famous artists as […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law by John Lescroart (Legal Thriller, January 2019). The wily Dismas Hardy heads up a crew of defense attorneys in San Francisco and this is the latest entry in a long-running series about them and their cases. For a legal thriller, this one features almost nothing in the way of courtroom theatrics. The […]

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BOOK REVIEW: John Woman

John Woman by Walter Mosley (Contemporary Novel, September 2018). Mosley is one of our most varied and interesting contemporary authors, not to mention frequently honored, prolific and best-selling. This time out he’s offered us a striking book that combines psychological character study, musings about the philosophy of and practice of history, the internal backbiting and politics […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Shelved Under Murder

Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert. Cozy Mystery Novel, July 2018. The second novel in yet another cozy mystery series, this one revolves around library director Amy Webber. She also has a background in art history, which comes in handy here, even as she narrates the tale in a capable yet vulnerable and winning manner. Adhering […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Proposal

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (Contemporary/Romantic Novel, 2018). Successful freelance writer Nikole (Nik) Paterson has been dating a self-involved and shallow LA actor for only 5 months. It’s totally casual and that’s fine with her. A bad ‘serious’ relationship a few years back has left her gun-shy about the very idea of love. Baseball isn’t her […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Johnstown Girls

The Johnstown Girls by Kathleen George. (History-Related Novel, 2014). On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Great Johnstown Flood of 1889 two journalists with a major Pittsburgh newspaper are in search of fresh angles for a series of articles on the subject. Ben Bragdon and his younger co-worker Nina Collins plan to feature an […]

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BOOK REVIEW: What We Were Promised

What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan (Contemporary Novel, 2018). This touching first novel features vivid characters interacting with the hopes and contradictions of our multicultural world, as well as universal the joys, challenges, contradictions and heartbreaks of modern family life. Wei and Lina Zhen grew up in a small town in the China of the […]

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REVIEWED: It All Falls Down

It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal (Crime/Thriller, 2018). Canada’s disastrous 1950s-era policy of adopting out indigenous children to non-Native American (or as they say in Canada, First Nations) families provides the background for author Sheena Kamal’s novels revolving around Nora Watts. I missed the first of these, The Lost Ones, but this is the second and […]

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REVIEWED: Stray City

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 […]

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REVIEWED: RAINBIRDS

Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan (Contemporary Novel, 2018). Ren Ishida heard of his sister’s violent and mysterious death just after finishing his graduate degree at one of the top universities in Japan. Keiko was long-estranged from the rest of the family, though she spoke to Ren through weekly phone calls. She’d been living in a smallish town […]

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