Thursday, October 31, 2013

September Books I Loved

Before October ticks away in a few more hours :)

The newest in the Armand Gamache/Three Pines mystery series opens with Gamache almost completely isolated within the Surete de Quebec and at risk of not only losing his job and reputation, but his life. As he attempts to unravel the high-level plots that have threaded through several previous novels, Gamache also investigates the murder of an old woman who was once a very high-profile child. But the great strength of these stories is Gamache himself, and the generosity and honor with which he acts. Every time one of Penny's books come out, I tell you the same thing: START AT THE BEGINNING WITH STILL LIFE. YOU'RE WELCOME.

The second in the Honor Harrington sci-fi series finds Honor and her crew attending a diplomatic mission to a planet and culture that keeps their women isolated and removed from public life. I love the action and adventure of this series, even if the technical details of space battles go over my head. Honor is smart and creative and the story is filled with plots and secrets galore.

THE CROWN/Nancy Bilyeau
This Tudor thriller introduces Joanna Stafford, a young nun of noble family who violates the order of enclosure in order to attend her cousin's execution. When she and her father are arrested, Joanna makes an uneasy alliance with Bishop Gardiner to search for a fabled relic hidden at Dartford Priory. With Henry VIII and Cromwell rapidly closing the monasteries, there isn't much time for Joanna to maneuver to keep herself and her father safe. Obviously to my taste :)

NIGHT FILM/Marisha Pessl
When Ashley Cordova is found dead, journalist Scott McGrath suspects something beyond a rich young woman's suicide. Ashley is the daughter of reclusive horror filmmaker Stanislas Cordova and McGrath nearly ruined himself trying to expose Cordova in an earlier story. Now he's determined to uncover whatever horrors lie behind Ashley's death, but what if the horror is all in his mind? Pessl's story is a brilliant amalgam of news reports and photos and an atmosphere of uncertainty and dark creativity. Though I still slightly prefer her first book (SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS), this is a remarkable novel.

On the remote Scottish island of Lewis, Detective Fin McLeod has come reluctantly home to help solve a murder. The novel moves back and forth from the current murder to McLeod's childhood surrounded by a strict fear of God and his adolescent involvement with a ritual slaughter of young birds. The current murder unlocks community secrets that even Fin does not see coming. A stark but beautiful novel, rather like its setting.

UNTOLD/Sarah Rees Brennan
How do I love Kami Glass? Let me count the ways . . . beginning with her sense of humor and closely followed by her love of pretty clothes. Not to mention her tenacity in fighting a crowd of evil sorcerers who want to take over her hometown of Sorry-in-the-Vale. The second novel (following UNSPOKEN) deals with Kami's fraught relationship with cousins Jared and Ash, but the novel's relationships encompass everything from undying friends to parents who may not be able to work through the lies in their own past. A gothic tale with wit, love, sexual tension to spare, and impossible choices.


  1. I haven't read "The Crown" yet, but the sequel, "The Chalice" is excellent. I have no idea why I'm reading in reverse order...

  2. I just finished "Untold" a few days ago! I loved it!! Filled with joy and heartache. I think the third book isn't coming out for a year, though. I won't enjoy waiting. I'd better get my happily ever after.