Book lovers never go to bed alone

November 2, 2009

October Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chantal @ 7:47 am

Une annee en Provence97. Une annee en Provence by Peter Mayle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Very light read. This is life of the rich and non-famous living the “simple” life in Provence. It has the same appeal as cotton candy. It’s fluffy, it’s pink, it’s sugar. You read it, you go on to the next book, but you enjoy the light pink fluffy candy while you eat it or in this case read it.

 

 

Wilful Behaviour98. Wilful Behaviour by Donna Leon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
More a reflection on rewriting history and atoning for a past that isn’t yours but your elders. Italy was part of the Germany-Japan alliance yet turned around and ended up on the Allied side at the end of the war. This Brunetti’s case deals with the past, with a family that took advantage and stole from people in desperate situation and one young woman who tried to make amends. The duplicity, the denial and in the end the cupidity makes this tale a bit too dark but in a good way.

 

The Moche Warrior (Archaeological Mystery)99. The Moche Warrior by Lyn Hamilton

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The author loves the subject that’s obvious. She has a passion for archaeology and it shows. The setting of the plot, the technical information, the historical setting are all fine. But the cake doesn’t rise. Not for me anyway. The characters are so thin and two dimensional. She’s in book 3 and Lara is still this heroine I don’t really believe in. The bad guys are “papier maché” villains, the pace of the action is off. Still there are enough little things I liked to seek out the next book. Barely a two stars.

 

Q... comme querelle 100. Q… comme querelle by Sue Grafton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was like meeting an old friend by chance on the street that you haven’t seen in 10 years. My last Kinsey Millhone was the letter J or K. Q like Quarry kinda picks up where I left off because we get a glimpse of Kinsey’s family on her mother’s side again. The case in itself is not that hard to guess, based on a true case of an unknown young woman stabbed to death and left in quarry near Santa Barbara. Grafton imitates life but also creates or fleshes out two characters that I grew to like : retired officer Stacey and on sick leave officer Dolan. Both grow on the reader and form with Kinsey a competent trio of investigators. But like the old friend you haven’t seen in 10 years this is a one time chance meeting. I’m not sold in picking up another one of Kinsey adventure in the near future.

 

Voices101. Voices by Arnaldur Indriðason

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Bleak and dark. What you expect from Indridason. We join Reykjavik’s detectives trio a few days before Christmas when an employee, who played Santa Claus, of a big hotel is found murdered with his pants down. Not a lot of fuzzy feelings in this dark tale of family, betrayal, stolen childhood and survivor’s guilt. Still, there is a little light there at the end. Tiny but there.

 

 

Utu : Un thriller chez les Maoris102. Utu : Un thriller chez les Maoris by Caryl Férey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was brutal yet immensely satisfying. The author didn’t cheat, didn’t waver. The plot came to the logical, violent conclusion. The hero of the tale is this nihilistic, doped up, violent, erratic, burnt-out cop with a death wish. It’s a dark tale of corrupt civil servants, murders and destruction. Utu is the Maori word for vengeance. Vengeance with no hope, no exit.

I’m really glad I read it. It’s not an easy read but a worthy one.

 

TIJUANA CITY BLUES103. TIJUANA CITY BLUES by Gabriel Trujillo Muñoz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first part of Gabriel Trujillo Munoz’s Mexicali City Blues series/collection. Amazing. Short but not sweet. Munoz shows does not tell the reader. You are right in the middle of the intrigue without any down time or side steps. The hero is a mix of old noir boiler novel and Sherlock Holmes. It’s well done. So the plot of this story is set around the Beat poet/novelist Burroughs’ time in Mexico and the quest of a man for his lost father. Nothing is simple and it’s a wonderful introduction to the dark world of that region of the border between Mexico and the USA.

 

Loverboy104. Loverboy by Gabriel Trujillo Muñoz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Second part of Munoz’s Mexicali City Blues series/collection tackles the urban legend of organ traffic. Anything is available on the frontier, for a price. When a child is abducted in broad day light, Miguel Morgado is asked to look into it. Fast paced, showing not telling, a compelling hero, really crazy bad guys and a place where nothing is all black and white more a dark shade of grey.

 

 

 

MEXICALI CITY BLUES105. MEXICALI CITY BLUES by Gabriel Trujillo Muñoz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Third part of Munoz’s Mexicali City Blues series/collection. All the world is a stage and Miguel Angel Morgado get to start in his own back to the future little drama. His first love asks him to find her husband, an helicopter pilot, lost in the desert or the ocean. No one knows or do they? Again, fast paced, showing not telling, this is more an action tale of cat and mouse of shady characters and ultimately about faith and loyalty.

 

The Celtic Riddle (Archaeological Mystery)106. The Celtic Riddle by Lyn Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the strongest of the series so far. Lara is finally, finally getting some depth and the secondary characters are interesting and engaging. The riddle is amusing, the plot keeps you interested, yes, I knew who did it midway through so the “surprise” reveal wasn’t one but overall I liked this one more than the first three.

 

 

44 Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street, #1)107. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Alexander McCall Smith wrote in the foreword of this book that the idea came from a trip to California where he met Armistead Maupin and how he longed for a series like Tales of the City. 44 Scotland Street has some distant likeness to Tales of the City but it’s definitely its own world and “douce folie”. There’s just enough characters to make it big enough but not too many that you can’t follow there lives around. It’s shiny, it’s bubbly, it’s definitely critical with a sharp view of some behaviours. I liked it a lot. More like 3 3/4 stars. Good thing I have the next two novels in my TRP.

View all my reviews >>

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