With all these April showers (of snow), you’d think I would have done nothing but read this month. Then my kids had Spring Break and expected to be entertained, and Princess Thundercloud celebrated her 5th birthday (and celebrated and celebrated). I did read a few books worth mentioning, though.
The Book of Killowen by Erin Hart
Apparently this is the fourth book of this series, which I didn’t realize before reading it. I have this thing (some call it a problem) about reading series out of sequence. It seems as though this one is fine to read non-sequentially, though.
The bookjacket blurb:
What sort of book is worth a man’s life? After a year away from working in the field, archaeologist Cormac Maguire and pathologist Nora Gavin are back in the bogs, investigating a ninth-century body found buried in the trunk of a car. They discover that the ancient corpse is not alone—pinned beneath it is the body of Benedict Kavanagh, missing for mere months and familiar to television viewers as a philosopher who enjoyed destroying his opponents in debate. Both men were viciously murdered, but centuries apart—so how did they end up buried together in the bog?
While on the case, Cormac and Nora lodge at Killowen, a nearby artists’ colony, organic farm, and sanctuary for eccentric souls. Digging deeper into the older crime, they become entangled in high-stakes intrigue encompassing Kavanagh’s death while surrounded by suspects in his ghastly murder. It seems that everyone at Killowen has some secret to protect.
I’ll definitely read the others in the series, since I enjoyed learning about the peat of Ireland (really!), as well as the combination of modern and ancient storylines.
The Sixes by Kate White
I could not put this down…seriously! It’s total fluff, but so suspenseful and plain mean-girlish.
The bookjacket blurb:
From the “New York Times” bestselling author of “Hush” and the Bailey Weggins mystery series comes a thriller set in a college town where a student’s death sends one woman on a search for the truth and into the clutches of a frightening secret society.
Phoebe Hall’s Manhattan life has suddenly begun to unravel. Right after her long-term boyfriend breaks off their relationship, she’s falsely accused of plagiarizing her latest bestselling celebrity biography. Looking for a quiet place to put her life back together, Phoebe jumps at the offer to teach in a sleepy Pennsylvania town at a small private college run by her former boarding school roommate and close friend, Glenda Johns.
But behind the campus’s quiet cafEs and leafy maple trees lie evil happenings. The body of a female student washes up on the banks of a nearby river, and disturbing revelations begin to surface: accusations from coeds about abuses wrought by a secret society of girls on campus known as The Sixes.. To help Glenda, Phoebe embarks on a search for clues–a quest that soon raises painful memories of her own boarding school days years ago.
As the investigation heats up, Phoebe unexpectedly finds herself falling for the school’s handsome psychology professor, Duncan Shaw. But when nasty pranks turn into deadly threats, Phoebe realizes she’s in the middle of a real-life nightmare, not knowing whom she can trust and if she will even survive.
Plunging deeper into danger with every step, Phoebe knows she’s close to unmasking a killer. But with truth comes a terrifying revelation: your darkest secrets can still be uncovered . . . and starting over may be a crime punishable by death.
I’ve read the Bailey Weggins books by White, as well, and that’s why I picked up this one. Reading this was akin to watching a mystery thriller on television…you know it’s going to turn out fine, but just can’t quite figure out how. I did “solve” this mystery a while before the end, but enjoyed seeing how it played out in the book.
The Lawgiver by Herman Wouk
Having read Wouk’s more (much more) lengthy novels such as The Winds of War and Marjorie Morningstar, I was hesitant to add this to my “to-read” list when I read about its release. But, guess what? At 240 pages,it’s quite short and a very quick read!
The bookjacket blurb:
For more than fifty years, legendary author Herman Wouk has dreamed of writing a novel about the life of Moses. Finally, at age ninety-seven, he has found an ingeniously witty way to tell the tale in The Lawgiver, a romantic and suspenseful epistolary novel about a group of people trying to make a movie about Moses in the present day. The story emerges from letters, memos, e-mails, journals, news articles, recorded talk, Skype transcripts, and text messages. At the center of The Lawgiver is Margo Solovei, a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in the arts. When an Australian multibillionaire promises to finance a movie about Moses if the script meets certain standards, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including a reunion with her estranged first love, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business.
Two other key characters in the novel are Herman Wouk himself and his wife of more than sixty years, Betty Sarah, who, almost against their will, find themselves entangled in the Moses movie when the Australian billionaire insists on Wouk’s stamp of approval.
As Wouk and his characters contend with Moses and marriage, and the force of tradition, rebellion, and reunion, The Lawgiver reflects the wisdom of a lifetime. Inspired by the great nineteenth-century novelists, one of America’s most beloved twentieth-century authors has now written a remarkable twenty-first-century work of fiction.
Written in the form of emails, journal entries, and letters, I found it engrossing and entertaining. It proved perfect for a little family trip to Chicago during Spring Break, requiring little concentration and with very short chapters…because when you travel with the fam, your reading time comes in fits and starts.
So, do tell…any book recommendations from you this month?