Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Those who like a little history with their mystery will relish the 6th installment of the Molly Murphy series, especially when read by the talented Nicola Barber. One of the many pluses for this series is that you do not have to be familiar with the previous stories to fully APPRECIATE this one - just tune in and enjoy Molly’s latest adventure.
Tommy Burke has recently found out that his sister was left behind when his family fled Ireland, and he’d like to leave his fortune to her if she is still living and can be found. (He’s already rescued a ne’er-do-well nephew umpteen times and would rather not leave his earthly earnings to him.) Nonetheless, when a search for said sister gives Molly an opportunity to return home after many a year she cannot refuse.
She sets sail for Queenstown on the Majestic. Another passenger is famous actress Oona Sheehan who asks Molly to switch cabins with her so Oona can avoid her admirers. Well, who can turn down a First Class cabin? That luxury turns out to be a bit brief as Oona’s maid is murdered and Molly becomes suspect.
To further muddy the waters it turns out that Oona never boarded the ship, and once in Dublin Molly finds that Oona’s trunks are packed with rifles. Things don’t bode well for Molly, but listen and find out what happens to our spunky heroine.
- Gail Cooke
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Someone once called Barthelme a “Kmart realist” - couldn’t have said it better meself and wish I’d said. This author stands alone in American literature as he captures the beauty of the mundane, the strangeness of our contemporary life, and does it all with a wry, wonderful warmth and humor. If you’re looking for a book that’s going to tell a story and then wrap it all up neatly at the end this is not it. But, if you’d like a delightful journey that is brilliantly narrated and genuinely atmospheric this is it.
We meet Wallace Webster, a 50+ fellow who lives alone in a condo development called Forgetful Bay in Kemah, Texas. (Barthelme’s take on the residents meetings is more than worth the price of admission.) Wallace’s solitary life is interrupted by visits from his college-age daughter, Morgan, (the offspring of a previous failed marriage. And, yes, we are introduced to his former wife. Another visitor is Jilly, a younger former colleague who we may think has Wallace’s number, but then who really does?
Unlikely as it may sound a string of apparently accidental deaths occur at Forgetful Bay, and Wallace becomes involved with Chantal who hasn’t a very squeaky clean history. Diversions may be dinners at an Olive Garden where the food was “execrable in the best possible way, as usual,” or desserts - ice cream bars at a gas station. All of this Barthelme recounts with affection, optimism and robust good humor.
There Must Be Some Mistake is pure pleasure, filled with comments you’ll find yourself repeating to friends, neighbors, anyone who will listen.
- Gail Cooke
We’ve been waiting for it, and here it is - the epic conclusion to the groundbreaking trilogy created by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell. Their mix of ancient history, gothic mystery, religion, and modern science hooked millions with first Blood Gospel (2013), and then Innocent Blood (2014), which left us waiting for the final battle between good and evil. For me Blood Infernal stands alone, the first two need not be read to thoroughly enjoy the last. However, for an exciting full reading experience I would suggest all three. Tales such as these don’t often come along.
Opening with a stunner Blood Infernal begins with a series of dreadful murders, and finding archaeologist Erin Granger having to uncover the meaning behind a long lost prophecy, the word of Christ written in his own blood. There is evil abroad and she along with Sergeant Jordan Stone and Father Rhum Korza must stop it before the world is lost and Lucifer reigns.
However, their foes are staggering including Legion, a demon on earth who wears many guises and has great power - strength enough to crumble the walls of the Vatican. Erin must muster all of her knowledge to try to discover what happened immediately following man’s departure from the Garden of Eden. She and the others must cross time lines and search throughout the world from the Vatican’s musty archives to medieval laboratories, homes of ancient alchemies. Their pursuit is dogged by creatures with strange other worldly gifts.
There are numerous riddles, clues, arduous tests only to discover the monumental cost of victory - can it be paid?
Harrowing, hypnotic Blood Infernal is not to be missed.
- Gail Cooke