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Books, books, books!
Is there anything better than losing yourself in a good book,
whether fluffy novel or scholarly tome?
This blog is for long and short reviews of books read,
essays about book series, memories of books,
quotations, and anything else with a literary bent.
 

12 September 2007

Books Read Since August 6

• Good Morning, Heartache, Peter Duchin/John Morgan Wilson
The sequel to Blue Moon, which I also discovered in the spinner rack at Dollar General. Like his protagonist Philip Damon, a bandleader, author Peter Duchin is the son of well-known Big Band leader Eddy Duchin. This time Phil and his band are at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where Bobby Kennedy would later be gunned down, where Phil and his band, including former black police detective Hercules Platt, are involved in the murder of their substitute trumpeter Buddy Bixby. As in the previous book, much name-dropping and run-ins with celebrities, fun if you enjoy that sort of thing. I found it easier to take this time round.

• Chow Down, Laurien Berenson
The next in Berenson's Melanie Travis mysteries finds Melanie and Sam settled into married life in their new home, and settled Melanie wants to stay, but her young son Davey secretly enters her and standard Poodle Faith in a competition to become "Spokesdog" for a new dog food. Melanie can't pull out of the competition, so she goes along with the contest, only to be embroiled when one of the contestants dies after a fall down the stairs. Enjoyable as always if you like dog-oriented cozies.

• Through Time, Andrew Cartmel
Which is subtitled "An Unauthorised and Unofficial History of Doctor Who," but should be subtitled "Andrew Cartmel's List of Episodes He Considers Notable and Why." Objective this ain't, but I found it generally amusing to read. Really, really obvious who his favorite Doctor is. :-)

• Speedbumps, Teri Garr with Henriette Mantel
A breezy, mostly easy read about actress Teri Garr's life and her growing battle with multiple sclerosis.

• Death Dines In, edited by Claudia Bishop and Dean James
Another acquisition from the $1 spinner rack at Dollar General. These compilations vary in quality; this one, mystery short stories revolving around food, wasn't half bad. There were several stories I liked more than others, including Anne Perry's "Sing a Song of Sixpence" involving Lady Vespasia, and the Alice Roosevelt story, "Alice and the Agent of the Hun." The one about the Mafia wife was pretty gross, though.

• The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, Paul Malmont
I've read several reviews of this book that complain that the plot of this pulp-novel homage doesn't really start until halfway through the book. My opinion: who cares? The pulp era and the personalities within it—Lester Dent, the creator of Doc Savage; William Gibson, alias Maxwell Grant, the "father" of The Shadow, and a young pulp writer named Ron Hubbard (as in L. Ron Hubbard before he became "God"), not to mention E.E. "Doc" Smith, a dying H.P. Lovecraft, and a fellow calling himself Otis Driftwood (really an ex-Navy officer from Missouri invalided out of the service by tuberculosis who thinks he may go into writing)—are so much fun to read about that I was enthralled from one end to the next.

And Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs' books, which were so good they must have a section of their own, not to mention a pile of fall-themed magazines and all the "Owly" graphic novels.

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