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Suspense/Mystery Books Discussion...
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:
My review is up today on the site for Dee Henderson's Full Disclosure. I am so sad that this writer just can't seem to get her groove back.

I haven't read your review yet, but I agree with you about Henderson. She could put together a tight story along with interesting characters at one time. I haven't read anything by her in quite a few years.
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
maggie b. wrote:
My review is up today on the site for Dee Henderson's Full Disclosure. I am so sad that this writer just can't seem to get her groove back.

I haven't read your review yet, but I agree with you about Henderson. She could put together a tight story along with interesting characters at one time. I haven't read anything by her in quite a few years.


She hasn't published in quite a few years. I was glad to see her take a break after the fiasco that was "The Witness". This book felt a lot like that one.

maggie b.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven by Kay Hooper

I honestly didn't think I'd read another book by Hooper because of my disappointments in her recent issues, especially the Bishop series. I needed a break from the ...In Death books, so I put this one on reserve. Haven, as I expected, was not well done and I don't know who kidnapped Kay Hooper. I loved her stories and mysteries. With her turning to all this paranormal stuff, it's not working for me. I won't be picking up any more of her books, unless I hear she's abandoning this particular series. It's not even over-the-top silly; it's just plain boring.
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anwoodward



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished Imogen Robertson's fourth book in the Westerman/Crowther series, "Circle of Shadows".

The writing! The characters! The details! I am dying for the next book in the series.


I'm going to have to try the Maisie Dobbs series. I keep finding myself in the position of starting with books with this outstanding writing and getting disappointed by the next book I pick up because it's not on par. (for instance, going from Dorothy Dunnett to Philippa Gregory - both good, but not on the same scale at all, you know?)

Anyone know of other historical writers with that crazy consistent quality?
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anwoodward wrote:

Anyone know of other historical writers with that crazy consistent quality?


You might like Shona McLean, starting with The Redemption of Alexander Seaton.

I'm also a big fan of CJ Sansom's Matthew Shardlake books, but you sort of have to suffer through the first book (Dissolution) before Sansom makes some character adjustments and the whole series picks up in Dark Fire. If you're not really interested in Henry VIII dismantling the monasteries, you could probably skip the first book (it really is an entirely different tone from the rest of the series) and start with the second.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsFairfax wrote:
I've been reading Sibella Giorello's Raleigh Harmon series, about a young FBI agent whose somewhat impulsive style doesn't sit right with agency brass. These are labeled inspirational fiction, so don't bother if you're annoyed by overtly Christian protagonists. That said, Giorello isn't like some inspirational authors who have everything stop for an evangelical chapter or two. Raleigh's faith is just part of who she is and how she considers the world. There's a romantic subplot that goes through the series, especially the fourth and fifth books, and now I'm anxious for #6. I started with book #2, The Rivers Run Dry, since that's what my library had on audio.

The Stones Cry Out
The Rivers Run Dry
The Clouds Roll Away
The Mountains Bow Down
The Stars Shine Bright


Thanks for this recommendation. I just finished The Stones Cry Out and loved it. It was a bit of a slow start but then it took off and was amazing. I am looking forward to reading the others.

maggie b.
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsFairfax wrote:
anwoodward wrote:

Anyone know of other historical writers with that crazy consistent quality?


You might like Shona McLean, starting with The Redemption of Alexander Seaton.


Yes, yes, and yes to the Alexander Seaton books. I went from Georgian England in Robertson's books to early 17th C Scotland in McLean's and loved both. They are both wonderful at the atmospherics; no wallpaper historicals here.

People might also like early 20th C Vienna in Frank Tallis' series about a young doctor who is one of the first doctors to practice psychiatry (Sigmund Freud is an occasional secondary character). I think I gained about 5 pounds just reading about the pastries Max and his police detective friend consume in the course of solving the mysteries. There is also a budding romance, but it is not the focus of the stories.
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:


Thanks for this recommendation. I just finished The Stones Cry Out and loved it. It was a bit of a slow start but then it took off and was amazing. I am looking forward to reading the others.

maggie b.


Oh good, glad you liked it. She's completely hooked me by drawing the relationships out over multiple books, with just enough juicy bait in each one. Let me know what you think as you progress.
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csmiley



Joined: 26 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been a longtime fan of Anne Perry's Thomas Pitt books but never read her William Monk books. Kindle had a bundle of the first three Monk books and I am now hooked. Oh joy Smile a whole new series to read.
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading Maureen Jennings' William Murdoch mysteries. He's a little like a pre-Charlotte, Canadian Thomas Pitt. They're set around 1890 (I think) in Toronto. Much darker than the tv adaptation, The Murdoch Mysteries. 7 books total, so not a daunting series. There are a couple of not very convincing romantic subplots, but the mysteries and historical scene-setting are strong. I'm on the last one now. I wouldn't go out in the rain to buy a new one, but I would pick it up at the library if Jennings decided to write more.
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Charles Todd" has a holiday story coming out tomorrow, connected to Bess Crawford: The Walnut Tree

From Amazon:

"I was in Paris the day the French Army was mobilized."

In 1914, while visiting her friend Madeleine, Lady Elspeth Douglas's life is thrown into chaos when war breaks out and the Germans quickly overrun Belgium, threatening France. Having just agreed to marry Alain, Madeleine's dashing brother, Lady Elspeth watches him leave to join his unit, and then she sets out for England, only to find herself trapped on the French coast.

Caught amid a sea of stranded travelers, terrified refugees, and wounded men overflowing the port of Calais, the restless Elspethódaughter of a Highland aristocrat whose distinguished family can trace its roots back to the court of Mary, Queen of Scotsódecides to make herself useful, carrying water to weary soldiers near the Front. It is an act of charity that almost gets her killed when enemy shells begin to explode around her.

To her rescue comes Captain Peter Gilchrist, who pulls her away from the battle and leads her to safety. But before they can properly say good-bye, Elspeth and Peter are separated.

more here
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Outlandish



Joined: 22 Jul 2011
Posts: 69
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsFairfax wrote:
I've been reading Sibella Giorello's Raleigh Harmon series, about a young FBI agent whose somewhat impulsive style doesn't sit right with agency brass. These are labeled inspirational fiction, so don't bother if you're annoyed by overtly Christian protagonists. That said, Giorello isn't like some inspirational authors who have everything stop for an evangelical chapter or two. Raleigh's faith is just part of who she is and how she considers the world. There's a romantic subplot that goes through the series, especially the fourth and fifth books, and now I'm anxious for #6. I started with book #2, The Rivers Run Dry, since that's what my library had on audio.

The Stones Cry Out
The Rivers Run Dry
The Clouds Roll Away
The Mountains Bow Down
The Stars Shine Bright


Thank you for this recommendation; I've read and enjoyed the series a great deal.


SPOILER


But after reading the last 2, I despair because I've developed a soft spot for Demott. IMO, he is exactly what Raleigh needs. His perseverance and utter love for Raleigh is so sweet, and Raleigh just need that level of sweetness in her life. Jack's character is very intriguing and humorous, but I cannot see these two as romantic interests. They are, I fear, a tad too similar. I could see them as best friends for life, but life partner? Not so much.

I am probably in the minority, but I wish that Sibella would somehow reunite Demott and Raleigh after Raleigh discover for herself (not for her mother, not for appearance sake, but for herself) that Demott is the man she loves.

But at the rate this series is going, I highly doubt it. Therefore, I'm skeptical, but will continue on with this series. Sibella is a very gifted writer; but I often find that if the romance doesn't work for me, then I'll likely drop the series.
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MrsFairfax



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maggie don't read any of this!!

Outlandish wrote:

SPOILER


But after reading the last 2, I despair because I've developed a soft spot for Demott. IMO, he is exactly what Raleigh needs. His perseverance and utter love for Raleigh is so sweet, and Raleigh just need that level of sweetness in her life. Jack's character is very intriguing and humorous, but I cannot see these two as romantic interests. They are, I fear, a tad too similar. I could see them as best friends for life, but life partner? Not so much.

I am probably in the minority, but I wish that Sibella would somehow reunite Demott and Raleigh after Raleigh discover for herself (not for her mother, not for appearance sake, but for herself) that Demott is the man she loves.

But at the rate this series is going, I highly doubt it. Therefore, I'm skeptical, but will continue on with this series. Sibella is a very gifted writer; but I often find that if the romance doesn't work for me, then I'll likely drop the series.


Oh, I completely disagree. Demott's constantly worrying, asking her what's wrong, trying to baby her. He wants her to come live on the plantation and bear his children. He doesn't comprehend her work and isn't interested. He really doesn't seem to see her at all, but the image of the dream girl and the future he imagined back in high school. He's an incredibly nice guy, but absolutely wrong for Raleigh. (And his letter acknowledging that was perfect. Made me sniffle.)

Jack, on the other hand, brings her a gun when he knows she's without one. He doesn't try to wrap her in cotton wool, he expects her to handle herself - but makes sure she has the backup she's too impulsive to wait for. He brings her hamburgers, fries and mayo instead of lecturing her about what she likes to eat. He arranges for that flake to help look after her mother, just because he knows Raleigh's mom likes her. I thought he was a jerk when we first met him and didn't pick up any chemistry at all, but from the moment we found out he'd taken vacation to come help Raleigh in book 4, he's done nothing but show how well he knows her. He's my favorite kind of romance hero, the sort who helps the heroine be herself and is behind=the=scenes thoughtful in little, practical ways.
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Outlandish



Joined: 22 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsFairfax wrote:
Maggie don't read any of this!!
Oh, I completely disagree. Demott's constantly worrying, asking her what's wrong, trying to baby her. He wants her to come live on the plantation and bear his children. He doesn't comprehend her work and isn't interested. He really doesn't seem to see her at all, but the image of the dream girl and the future he imagined back in high school. He's an incredibly nice guy, but absolutely wrong for Raleigh. (And his letter acknowledging that was perfect. Made me sniffle.)

Jack, on the other hand, brings her a gun when he knows she's without one. He doesn't try to wrap her in cotton wool, he expects her to handle herself - but makes sure she has the backup she's too impulsive to wait for. He brings her hamburgers, fries and mayo instead of lecturing her about what she likes to eat. He arranges for that flake to help look after her mother, just because he knows Raleigh's mom likes her. I thought he was a jerk when we first met him and didn't pick up any chemistry at all, but from the moment we found out he'd taken vacation to come help Raleigh in book 4, he's done nothing but show how well he knows her. He's my favorite kind of romance hero, the sort who helps the heroine be herself and is behind=the=scenes thoughtful in little, practical ways.


I totally understand where you are coming from, because the majority of the time, I too love the heroes who let their heroine be who they are and encourage it without being "in your face" about it.

As I was reading the series, I kept struggling with who I think Raleigh should end up with. Typically, I don't doubt that I'd pick Jack, simply because, as mentioned, he encouraged Raleigh to be just Raleigh... No pressure! But then again, I side with Demott because quite frankly, he reminds be so much of my boyfriend before he passed away 4 years ago; the kind of man who loves so deeply, that he wrapped me up in cotton wool, but at the same time, who did let me go when I felt I needed time away from the relationship.

Demott's letter at the end of book 5 brought back a lot of bittersweet memories. I'll admit it, a lot of my 'wistfulness' about Demott and Raleigh's relationship, stems from my past regrets.

And as I've mentioned, Demott and Raleigh's relationship doesn't seem to be heading towards a HEA direction. But again, who knows, maybe Sibella will decide she doesn't want to be formulaic and decides to give this couple another go... Develop them to become more independent, who knows? A girl can dream, right?!
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outlandish wrote:

Demott's letter at the end of book 5 brought back a lot of bittersweet memories. I'll admit it, a lot of my 'wistfulness' about Demott and Raleigh's relationship, stems from my past regrets.



I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend's passing. That's rough, and I definitely see how you would want the characters to have the second chance you never got. I know it's hard, missing him.

I equate Demott with the guy I was briefly engaged to because he was a sweetie and everyone else thought it was a great idea. Totally identified with the way Raleigh felt resentful at having to feel guilty because she hadn't thought to return his calls. I thought Sibella wrote that wonderfully well, because I remember how it felt to unthinkingly cause that sort of hurt ("You couldn't pick Fielding?") and not even realize I was doing it until too late.

If it touched us both where we live, it must be a good series, huh? Smile
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