I was asked by Andria Williams to participate in her annual Women Writers Recommend Books blog post she puts together for her Military Spouse Book Review, site. I never turn down a chance to spread the word about good books. And 2017 was an especially busy reading year since I had to take any and every opportunity to escape from the reality of 2017 … if you know what I mean.
Some of the best I read this year were, Dinner at the Center of the Earth, by Nathan Englander, In Farleigh Field, by Rhys Bowen, A Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon and Janet Oakley’s expertly researched historical thriller, The Jossing Affair.
Andria told us to giver her our top three books of this year. An impossible task! So, I’m going to cheat and give you my top three picks, in no particular order, which all happen to be part of a larger series. Continue reading
I’ll remember 2014 as the year several writer friends I know and respect published or republished great books. Mark Willen’s smart and poignant mystery, Hawke’s Point, Cindy Young-Turner’s republication of her engrossing fantasy, A Thief of Hope and the second book in Gale Deitch’s popular culinary cozy mystery series, Fine Dining.
Gale Deitch developed an impressive fan base after her first book, A Fine Fix, was published last year. Her readers have been asking for more in the series, and now they finally have it.
The star in Deitch’s kitchen-centric stories is Trudie Fine, a caterer who loves brightly colored clothes, is growing accustomed to a new boyfriend in her life in the form of a handsome detective, and whose loyalty for a close friend lands her in the middle of a murder investigation.
The first thing you’ll notice about Hawk’s Point are the atmospherics. The story takes place in Beacon Junction, a little place where everyone knows everyone, the small town newspaper prints things everyone has an opinion on, a place where you can predict where someone will be according to their habit at any time of the day and life seems to progress on an expected, and steady pace and that’s just how this story is; evenly paced and fully explored.
But like most small towns, dig a little deeper and there’s much more going on, everyone has secrets, everyone has losses they are fighting through and they all seem to be struggling with something significant as we all do. The ethical dilemmas abound in this story. Who is right? Who is wrong? Does it matter?
Stories about vampires and werewolves have been around for centuries but Michael Wallace manages to bring a fresh take to the old tale. Far afield from his stories about Later Day Saints enclaves in scrubby patches of desert, in The Wolves of Paris, Wallace takes us back centuries to 1450 to weave a tale of sorcery and deceit.
Two Italian brothers from a wealthy merchant family in Florence, travel to Paris to search for a man of their employ who has disappeared. They find a city terrorized, not only by supernatural creatures, but also by Dominican priests mired in the work of the Inquisition. One brother, Lorenzo, has already been “put to the question,” and resents his brother, Marco, for accusing him of heresy and turning him over to the priests who tortured him. The brothers also resent each other because they are both in love with the same woman; the beautiful and now widowed, Lady Lucrezia d’Lisle.