Thursday, March 31, 2011

Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

I picked this book up to read about the famous Tiffany lamps and how women were treated in this time period of the turn into the twentieth century in the work force. The story follows Clara Driscoll, an artist who received very little credit for her work of designing lamps for Mr. Tiffany. I almost stopped reading this book several times as I grew tired of all the information about glass cutting and what all went into designing items. I kept reading it, however, and enjoyed reading about the life of women at this time and about life for the poor in New York City.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson is the grim reaper. From the day she was born, she could see dead people and help them to “cross over”. To pay the bills, Charley works as a private investigator and consultant for the police. She uses her gift to help solve murders and other unexplained deaths. She is aided in her work by her assistant Cookie, her uncle the cop, a rival private investigator, and any number of ghosts. But when the case heats up, it’s Charley who takes the beating.

This book was a fun, sexy read. Charley reminds me of Stephanie Plum with superpowers. She has great instincts, but ultimately makes a lot of stupid decisions that get her into trouble. I recommend this book to fans of the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris and the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Walking to Gatlinburg by Howard Frank Mosher

Morgan Kinneson, a Vermont teen involved in the Underground Railroad, makes a fatal mistake and one of his charges is killed. He heads South to find his older brother, who has been reported missing in action at Gettysburg, and also to solve the riddle of a mysterious carved stone given to him by the escaped slave. A strange and murderous band of escaped convicts are after the stone and attempt to intercept him along the way. Morgan's travels and travails make for a wonderful thriller, coming of age story, and adventure yarn. Morgan struggles with the concepts of justice, forgiveness, faith and love in his own quest and also in light of the bloody war that has torn his country apart. I loved it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Peril at Somner House by Joanna Challis

Have you ever wondered what your favorite author’s life is like? This book is a fictionalized account of the life of author Daphne du Maurier. This second novel featuring Daphne finds her stranded at Somner House, on an island in Cornwall. Soon after her arrival, her host is found dead and his wife is found in the arms of her lover.

This novel was an intriguing period piece that kept me guessing to the end. I recommend it to British mystery fans.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

The Red Garden begins in 1750 with the founding of the rural Massachusetts town Blackwell/ Bearsville. Hallie Brady loves Nature and befriends a bear... Thanks to the resourceful Hallie, who saves the settlers from starvation during the harsh winter expedition when everyone including her husband William has given up.
Why does Hallie's garden have blood red soil and every plant grow into the color red? Hoffman has spun 14 interlocking stories tying them with history and the intricate web of Nature with the descendants of the first settlers to the present. It is a haunting yet magical read.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Rose Revealed (Amish Farm Trilogy Book #3) By Gayle Roper

Gayle Roper is a newer author in the plethora of Amish Christian Fiction. Ropers characters are rich and lifelike. This book deals with forgiveness, forgiving others and ourselves. Roper deals with these topics realistically.
Rose the main character witnesses a murder and hides out in an Amish household while the search for the murderer goes on. While in the household she is reacquainted with Amish raised paraplegic Jake Zook. Rose also meets 16 year old Becky, a single Amish Mother, shunned Sam Hershberger and Davy and Annie Stoltzfus. Rose demonstrates grace and forgiveness, while doing this she also comes to grip with her own need for forgiveness. I found this book to be a good story and an easy read with lessons in it that I could benefit from.