Wednesday, April 29, 2015
What would you title a book that’s unique, a bit outre, fun to browse and full of delicious recipes that make you want to run to your kitchen? (That is if you can’t hop a quick flight to New Orleans!) Fun, Funky and Fabulous is more than apropos for this delightful tour of affordable restaurants in the Crescent City (?) There’s also a bit of history thrown in and F, F and F also serves as a handy guide to various neighborhoods and where to eat in each of them.
Now, the dining is always casual but the dishes are more than delicious - you’ll find MoPho, Purtoo, Toup’s Meatery, Juan’sFlying Burrito and more. Ever tempting, always changing, innovative and exciting these recipes are unlike any others you’re apt to find.
Benson knows her territory well and describes it with affection. She has worked with the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and served as a regional reporter covering the southeastern United States for both the New York Times and Time Magazine.
Each section is headed by some of the most charming folk art to be found by Simon Hardeveld who is known as Simon of New Orleans. Originally from France his illustrations are unique and memorable.
Originally from London and now resident New Orleans photographer Sam Hanna’s photographs are so luscious that you want to pick up a fork and dig in. There are over 50 color photos - each mouth watering.
Fun, Funky and Fabulous is a pleasure to browse as well as to use given to us by three who quite obviously love their city and its cuisine.
- Gail Cooke
Friday, April 24, 2015
With his debut novel the author introduces us to a new hero as tough and savvy as they come - Van Shaw is a combat veteran recovering from random shrapnel injuries when he receives a letter from his grandfather, Dono, simply saying, “Come home if you can.” Van understands the “if you can” coming from his grandfather to mean please, a word not often used by Dono, and why now? The two had been estranged for a number of years and Dono was a thief, albeit a gifted one.
Van had been raised by Dono to follow in the old man’s footsteps and he was an apt pupil. But at the age of 18 he’d left that life behind him by joining the Army. Now, after ten years he returns to find that Dono has been shot and is near death. Outside of the fact that due to the known tension between the two men he might become the primary suspect Van wants to find out who would shoot Dono and why. In order to do this Van must reconnect with Dono’s old cronies and use every bit of skill he had learned as a criminal not only to find the shooter but to survive.
With Seattle and its waters as a backdrop the story develops in two narratives - the current investigation into Dono’s assault and memories of Van’s time as a lawbreaker. In order to solve the mystery Van must discover what Dono has been doing that might lead to this. Along the way we meet some exciting ancillary characters who may be a bit nefarious but still don’t want Dono dead. Now, mix in a bit of romance and a cache of diamonds and you have a stay-up-all-night thriller.
Kudos to Glen Erik Hamilton for a well crafted thriller, and looking forward to more.
- Gail Cooke
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Stone Barrington, one of this author’s most exciting and enduring series characters returns in a can’t-stop-listening-to mix of thrills, danger and surprises. Acclaimed screen and TV actor Tony Roberts gives topnotch voice to this action filled tale as Stone faces down terrorists and thugs alike.
Hard to believe this is Edgar winner Woods’s 33rd Barrington tale yet it has not lost one drop of its vinegar - nonetheless, ‘tis true. It begins with Stone taking possession of a new Citation M2 jet at a Kansas airfield. No surprise that the jet’s copilot is a really good looking gal, Pat Frank, with whom Stone soon finds much in common. When her ex-boyfriend who happens to be a stalker shows up they skedaddle to London.
Of course, things aren’t quiet in D.C. as Stone’s good friend President Katharine Rule Lee is top of the list for some terrorist assassins. Nor is all well on the international scene. However, once back in New York Stone accept a senatorial invite to join a tony club, and Pat’s former boyfriend seems adept at making big trouble - two tenants in a building just deeded to Pat are murdered.
Does Stone have enough on his plate? Of course, but that’s the pleasure in reading one of his tales and vicariously enjoying his luxe but dangerous life style.
- Gail Cooke