Tag Archive | Wednesday’s Write-Up

1st to Die

1st
James Patterson’s writing holds my interest. I can’t remember the name of the first title I read, but I remember his name. He has sold over 300 million copies of his books. He holds the Guinness World Record for being the first author to sell 1 million e-books. So I’m not the only reader to have learned I can trust his writing to be interesting.
jpatterson
For the last few years I’ve been reading his Women’s Murder Club. The last two days I’ve been reading 1st to Die. That’s the first one he wrote, not the first one I read. It isn’t important for me to read in chronological order. I read them as they come my way.
Lindsay Boxer is an inspector with the San Francisco police. The plot of the story concerns the bride and groom murders that Lindsay is working on. I like Lindsey for her ability to take happenstance and form a group of women to help her to work on the clues off the job. It’s pretty sweet that the three women she choses are in perfect spots to help; Claire Washburn is a medical examiner; Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A.; and Cindy Tomas is a crime reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Most importantly along with the drama and  emotions, Lindsay is introduced to a new partner to work on the newlywed murders, Chris Raleigh. Ladies we get a good shot of romance along with a crime thriller.

Perhaps the list of the Women’s Murder Club series will begin you on your way reading.

I Started

I have a Kindle app on my iPad and iPhone, and I receive email from Book Bub and Amazon about free or special priced books. Thank goodness for iCloud to store all these goodies.

Dying to readI’ve been reading Dying To Read by Lorena McCourtney for over a month now. I’m on page 61 of 313 pages, 19% complete. It’s not just Lorena McCourtney’s skill as a story teller that’s held me back, to be fair it’s Christmas and a very busy time of the year.

 

It wouldn’t  be right to rate an unfinished book. We can look at Amazon reviewers, 4.2 stars out of 5, and Goodreads, 3.51 stars out of 5. I think I agree with Goodreads rating. If this had been an intense mystery with scrupulously obscured clues, if Cate found danger at every turn I would finish in 2 days.

Synopsis – Cate Kinkaid is just dipping her toe into the world of private investigating until one of the many resumes she has floating around lands her a real job. All she has to do is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? When the big and brooding house happens to contain a dead body, this routine PI job turns out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?

First sentence – Cate glanced at the identification card her Uncle Joe had printed out just before she left his office.

I’m enjoying the book well enough to finish, and I’ll let you know more next week. I’m anxious to finish it because I have some interesting titles begging to go to the top of the stack.

The Red Tent

red tentThe Red Tent by Anita Diamant 

Published by Picador – 10th edition copyright 1997

Available from Amazon for Kindle and paperback. Also available on Amazon by another author, Dr. Sandra Polaski, Inside the Red Tent, a study guide

Rated 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and 4.13 out of 5 on Good Reads. I rated the book 5 stars.

Synopsis: Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent.

 

First sentence: Their stories began with the day my father appeared.

The hard cover has 2 pages of lineage that would be helpful in following the story.

Diamant gives us a fresh look at Bible historical accounts and fills in the blanks. The women are given personalities and their stories encompass the context of societal mores of the time. I enjoy fiction books that expand  the lives of people from the scriptures. The author, who usually writes non-fiction, delivers a book that gives vibrancy and human foibles to her characters. Diamant takes her basis of story from Genesis 34, the story of Dinah’s rape.

Diamant is quoted: “The Red Tent is not a translation but a work of fiction. Its perspective and focus—by and about the female characters—distinguishes it from the biblical account, in which women are usually peripheral and often totally silent. By giving Dinah a voice and by providing texture and content to the sketchy biblical descriptions, my book is a radical departure from the historical text.”

 

 

Miss Peregrines’ Home

miss p

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs    

First sentence – I spent the last afternoon of Before constructing a 1/10,000-scale replica of the Empire State Building from boxes of adult diapers.

Characters – Olive Abroholos Elephanta, Fiona Frauenfleld, Horace Somnusson, Millard Nullings, Jacob Portman

Literary Awards – YALSA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee (2012), The Kitschies Nominee for Golden Tentacle (Debut) (2011)

New York Times #1 best seller on the list for more than 52 consecutive weeks.

Synopsis – A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Amazon customers rated this book 4 out of 5 stars.

If you are unable to suspend reality; if you don’t like fantasy; if you aren’t looking for good story then don’t read it. I read some revues before I began and wondered why someone would read over 300 pages and rate a book a 2. If I found something that bad I’d quit.

I couldn’t quit reading Riggs peculiar story. It was fascinating to see the “found” photos that Riggs featured throughout the book. The characters were well-developed and interesting. The story moved well and the ending pleased me. I wanted to climb in the book and be part of this intriguing fantasy. I will read the second book by Ransom Riggs.

 
 


The Bone Orchard

bone orchard

The Bone Orchard by D. Daniel Judson

Synopsis: Beneath the glamour of a trendy Hampton’s summer town lies another world–one of dark lives and desperate secrets. And when Labor Day arrives and the beautiful people depart, locals like Declan MacManus are left behind to make a living out of just surviving. A sometime P.I., MacManus is an expert at self-defense and a master of self-destruction, but nothing he’s seen of the dark side of fortune can prepare him for what he is about to discover.

First sentence: I was dark when I left my apartment above the Hansom House and went down the two flight of stairs to her street below to wait for Frank Gannon.

From the book jacket I read “Buried secrets can kill…” Declan MacManus’s (Mac’s) unstable life is built on secrets. He lives in seclusion, staying out of sight in fear of the police chief. The author slowly reveals the back story, adding details and hidden agendas to the characters. The suspense builds, and then just when you think it can’t get any worse for Mac, it does.

I wondered if Mac’s circumstances and prospects are so dismal, why doesn’t he leave. As I got deeper into the story I began to understand why he stayed; he wants to find out the why, when, where and who started and kept the secrets.

This was my first time to read Judson’s fiction. I wasn’t disappointed and I’ll continue to buy his books for my Kindle app.

The Legend of Sheba

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The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee

 

 

 

 

You can read about the Queen of Sheba in 1 Kings 10:1-13. Many legends have been spawned by this short passage of scripture. Some speculate she was black, Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia. Tosca Lee weaves a well written fictional story of Bilqis – Makeda, Queen of Sheba, and Solomon in her latest book.

First sentence: “My mother, Ismeni, was born under the glimmer of the Dog Star, when men become disoriented by its light.”

sheba and solomon

I pre-ordered the book as soon as I began to follow Tosca Lee on Face Book. The description intrigued me.  Iscariot by Lee is the first of Lee’s books I’ve read. I was impressed by her extensive research into the maligned characters of the Bible. Through her beautiful prose she gives the reader characters that are multi-dimensional. She can translate how historical facts, attitudes and mores of the times contribute to the character’s decisions and personality.

I expected no less from Sheba, and I wasn’t disappointed. Lee’s rich language and her ability to tell a delicious story will engage the reader from the first sentence. In Tosca’s own words: