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Showing posts from May 10, 2010

Talking for the Dying

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An author--Jan Burke--whose work I love, branching out in a new (and exciting!) direction? I'm in. Oh, yes, and how. The Messenger is something of an anomaly; Burke is well-known--not to mention much-praised, having received the Edgar, Agatha, & Macavity awards--for her wonderful mystery series featuring California newspaper-reporter Irene Kelly. What makes this book so unusual is that it is Burke's first foray into completely new territory: the world of the supernatural, in the form of a PR thriller. (Few writers attempt something so far out of their comfort zone; fewer still probably achieve much success with it.) Happily, Burke didn't falter; she managed to write something both completely different from her usual style as well as putting a unique spin on this new-to-her genre. The story begins in an interesting fashion, with a salvage dive that doesn't quite go according to plan. (Well, really, who ever plans on multiple equipment malfunctions? Or attacks by shark…

The Fae & the Fish Pond

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“We hated each other so well and loved each other so badly... and I had no idea what I was going to do without her.” (excerpt from Rosemary and Rue) Even though Rosemary and Rue (which came out in September 2009) reads as if it came from the pen of an experienced writer, it is, in fact, Seanan McGuire’s first published novel... and what a fabulously-engrossing novel she has produced for her debut. Avoiding the major pitfall inherent in the work of so many other writers out there today--that of falling back on yet another retelling of a story we’ve all read before-- McGuire has created a fresh and original story, with an array of well-drawn characters, an extremely well-realized world, and full of intricate plotting--and she has accomplished it all in a poetic, lyrical style.  Rosemary and Rue starts off like a standard detective story. San Francisco P.I. October “Toby” Daye is several hours into a tedious stakeout of a bad guy, whom she believes to have kidnapped her client/boss’s wife …

The Cabbie, the Cop, & the Killer

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What would you do if you were a regular Joe (or Jane), just living your life, when one day you suddenly found yourself the prime suspect for a murder--one that you know you  most definitely didn’t commit? What if physical evidence of this murder--say, oh, the dead body--were found in your possession? Try to imagine the mental stress you’d be under, unable to comprehend how your life had gone so horribly wrong, so quickly. And, think of the practical problems you’d have--seeing as how word of your alleged murderous rampage would be on the lips of your neighbors and coworkers the very next morning, following a daily cuppa joe and quick scan of the local paper? Would you still have any friends? Would you still have a job? If the evidence were stacked against you, and almost no one believed you, what would you do? That’s precisely the mess Bo Forrester lands in, in Nancy Holzner’s gripping mystery, Peace, Love, and Murder. One day her hero, Bo, is just an easy-going fellow who (until now) …