Monday, February 28, 2011

February's Book Reports

Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke
In the 3rd installment of the Dave Robicheaux series, he heads to Montana with his adopted daughter. Dave tries to clear his name for an arrest in New Orleans. In 1990, this book received two very distinguished awards -- I'm not sure why. The first 20 pages and the last 20 pages pertain to the story (first the history behind the problem - then the problem solved) everything in between was filler.  The narrative just sat there, never moving forward, not much of a mystery, and actually not much of a story.

Though Not Dead by Dana Stabenow
This is Kate Shugak's 18th Alaskan adventure.  Kate's great uncle, Old Sam, has died and left Kate everything he owned including a life long mystery to figure out. Another great Kate Shugak story although I found numerous typos throughout the book. Kate Shugak mysteries are good books about Alaska's native community, the history and it's people without the shadow of political overtones.

The Watchman by Robert Crais
With the 3rd Joe Pike book hitting the bookshelves soon, I decided to reread the first two books in this series again. Crais' Elvis Cole books brought Joe Pike into the limelight and now he has a storyline all his own, reversing the roles with his partner, Elvis Cole.  In the interesting, page-turner writing style of Crais, this series is very, very good.  The Watchamn has Joe paying back a big favor and becomes the body guard of a young women being hunted by the people trying to keep her from cooperating with the authorities. Of course, Joe doesn't stop there - but searches for the true story and all the people behind it. Good writing - Good story.

The First Rule by Robert Crais
Joe Pike's 2nd story is about friendships that never die and if Joe's your friend, he's got your back dead or alive. His close friend and family are murdered and Joe leaves no stone unturned to find out who, what, and why. He may be a quiet, soft spoken man but speaks volumes when his friends come in harm's way.  Great addition to the Joe Pike stories.

The Sentry by Robert Crais
These stories only get better and better -- and this 3rd Joe Pike story is great.  Joe can't leave well enough alone when someone is in trouble - he steps in to lend a hand and this time really steps in it. Joe and Elvis try to protect a Los Angles transplant from New Orleans and all the troubles she brought with her that won't go away.  There are twists and turns in the story that are a fun ride leading to a thrilling  book.

Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva
A first novel by a career journalist now teaching.  If you want to read how difficult it is to be a reporter than this book is for you.  Reviewed to be a good mystery that is witty.  It was witty - on the very first and last sentence of each chapter. The story was over before it had a chance to get off the ground. It lacked story facts, character building and towards the end there is a large segment that seemed out in left field without any way to bring it home. This author should not quit his day job. 

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
"Only those who dislike precocious young heroines with extra ordinary vocabulary and audacious courage can fail to like this amazingly entertaining book." -- Booklist (starred review)
Flavia de Luce is in the thick of things once more in her 3rd outing. Gypsies and thieves - Oh My! Besides living in Flavia's world again (what fun!) we join her in sleuthing out the current evil villains plus mysteries of long ago. Another sensational book by Canadian author, Alan Bradley.

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