Wednesday, May 1, 2019

An Open Book: April 2019

One of my "Donna-isms" is that life is too short to drink bad coffee and cheap beer.  I recently added to that litany, that it is too short to read bad books.  This month I kept to that adage and started and stopped several books.  I generally don't like dystopian stories or ones of vigilantism and revenge.  I recently discovered a couple of new-to-me authors, but some of the books in their series fall into those categories. So, there was a lot of starting and stopping of books this month.

Murder in an Irish Pub by Carlene O'Conner is the latest edition in the Irish Village series.  Just after the start of a big poker tournament being held in the small village of Kilbane, the favored player is found hanging from the end of a rope in a locked room.  What are the odds that this was a murder and not just a simple suicide?  Gardas Siobhán and Macdara set out to find the truth.  This was a fun and easy read.

In League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout, Paul Chapin’s college classmates never quite forgave themselves for instigating the tragic prank that left their friend a twisted cripple.  They had every reason to believe that Paul himself had forgiven them—until a class reunion ends in a fatal fall, and the poems, swearing deadly retribution, begin to arrive. Nero Wolfe is enlisted to prove who is behind the threats and put a stop to them.

"As it turned out, the name of Paul Chapin, and his slick and thrifty notions about getting vengeance at wholesale without paying for it, would have come to our notice pretty soon in any event; but that Friday afternoon the combination of an early November rain and a lack of profitable business that had lasted so long it was beginning to be painful, brought us an opening scene—a prologue, not a part of the main action—of the show that was about ready to begin."

"I do read books, but I never yet got any real satisfaction out of one; I always have a feeling there’s nothing alive about it, it’s all dead and gone, what’s the use, you might as well try to enjoy yourself on a picnic in a graveyard."

"But the fact remained that what chiefly attracted Wolfe about food in his pharynx was the affair it was having with his taste buds, whereas with me the important point was that it was bound for my belly."

In Where There's a Will by Rex Stout, Nero Wolfe is hired to investigate the  recently changed will that leaves the bulk of a multimillionaire's estate to his mistress and nearly nothing to his three sisters and estranged wife.  However, most of his time is spent solving several murders.

"It says that Mamma was an amazing woman because she was the mother of four extraordinary children. I have never understood why, in cases like this, it is assumed that Papa’s contribution was negligible, but there’s no time to go into that now."

In Stalking Willow by Fay Lamb, ad exec Willow Thomas is followed by someone at her home in New York City.  She is plagued by unwanted emails, phone calls, and photographs, but when her apartment is trashed, she heads back to her hometown in North Carolina to hide out for a while.  When the danger seems to follow her south, she has to learn to get along with those she had left behind ten years prior.  This is a great story of second chances and forgiveness, though at times is a wee bit preachy. 

I have been greatly anticipating the last book in the Hudson Sisters trilogy and The Goodbye Café by Mariah Stewart did not disappoint.  Each book in the series is told from the point of view of one of the sisters.  Allie, the oldest of the three sisters, is still trying to get her life back in order after a divorce and job loss has left her on the verge of bankruptcy.  Reuniting with her estranged sister, Des, and meeting Cara, the sister she didn't know she had, changes her in ways she hadn't thought possible. 

Veiled by Kendra Elliot has forensic investigator Lacey Campbell and her fiancé, Jack Harper searching for the killer of a woman left floating in a hot tub in a wedding gown.  At first it seems like her ex-husband may have done the deed, but when he turns up dead as well, Lacey and Jack determine something more is going on.  This was a quick read and had me guessing to the very end as to who had "done it."

Head on over to Carolyn's for more An Open Book.


First Photo: May 2019

I keep my fingers crossed, hoping that Spring has finally arrived.  We have noticed the return of a number of summer birds and have spotted fox and coyote and rabbits running through the yard once again.  And, better yet, that patio furniture is back in place!  There is nothing better than sitting back with a bottle of water or an adult beverage and watching the world go by.  Life is good!

“The modern philosopher had told me again and again that I was in the right place, and I still felt depressed even in acquiescence. But I had heard that I was in the wrong place, and my soul sang for joy like a bird in spring.”
― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy