Monday, January 21, 2008

The Novelist

The Kerrigans live a comfortable life in the suburbs of Reno. The only major dilemma in their lives is the instability of their youngest child, twenty-one-year old Zachary. After bringing Zack home from college in Utah after what seemed to be major bingeing episodes and a beating by thugs, Jordan and Carl pray that they can keep an eye on their son. They also pray that somehow Zack will grow out of his destructive behavior and become more interested in the life in Christ that they found not long ago. Meanwhile, Jordan takes on teaching an evening fiction writing class at the local community college. When a badgering student challenges her to open a vein and write something more personal than her usual machismo loaded novels, an idea flourishes that Jordan believes may get a message through to her wayward son. Jordan writes a brilliant allegorical novella (captured within the main story) as a teaching aid for her class, hoping as well, that this story will be read by her son and it will capture his heart. However, the outcome is something the novelist never anticipated! Check out The Novelist, by Angela Hunt.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A modern mystery

One reviewer from Publishers Weekly described this book as "Agatha Christie meets Desperate Housewives." That is the perfect summary of They Did It With Love by Kate Morgenroth. Sofie and her husband Dean leave the hustle bustle of Manhattan for a luxurious home in Connecticut after she inherits a large sum of money from her father. She is unsure of whether she approves of the move, but Dean encourages it, and she tries to make a go of it. She falls in with a group of her neighbors who meet for a mystery book club. Sofie loves reading mysteries, and soon there is one in the community to solve. Julia, well-coifed and well-heeled but not well-loved, is found dangling from a tree limb in her front yard. Was it suicide? Or murder? All the book club members have secrets and their own stories to tell. None of the characters are entirely likeable, but they sure are interesting. And the mystery Morgenroth develops is fun and twisty. She has a special touch at describing the elite members of Sofie's neighborhood. Have fun with this one!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I thought I was finished with Scandinavian mysteries, but then Redbreast by Jo Nesbo crossed my desk. Detective Harry Hole is a recovering alcoholic who receives a promotion after shooting a Secret Service agent during a presidential motorcade. Basically he is given a corner office with nothing to do. On his own, he begins to investigate a story of an illegal arms sale associated with Neo-Nazi skinheads. He feels certain this sale will lead to an assassination. But who and why? He relies on his former partner, Ellen who is a whiz at puzzles to help him navigate not only the investigation but also his life.
This book brings to light Norway's World War II involvement with the Nazi's (many Norwegians fought for Hitler in the war) and the problems with Neo-Nazi's in Oslo today. In spite of his alcohol issues, Harry Hole is an endearing man with a penchant for irony especially with his superiors. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history and wants a mystery/thriller they cannot put down until the end.