Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich

Released: June 2010

Sizzling Sixteen is (obviously!) the sixteenth installment of the famed and hilarious Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. If you've never read any book in this series then you're in for a real treat! Even better, you're not necessarily required to begin with the first book because Evanovich provides the perfect introduction in each one that gives you a brief background on the characters and series in general.

In Sizzling Sixteen, our awkward, hilarious, and lovable bounty hunter Stephanie Plum goes on the ultimate manhunt to find her bail-bonds employer Vinnie. Accompanying her this time around of course is the ever-present loud-mouthed, ex-prostitute Lula and foxy front-desk lady Connie.

Blackout by Connie Willis

Released: February 2010

Connie Willis is one of the most celebrated sci-fi/fantasy authors in existence, and for those readers who aren't familiar with her work, I suggest you add some of her novels to your wish list, ASAP!

With both the Nebula and Hugo Awards under her belt, Connie Willis has made a huge re-entry onto the scene with Blackout, her first novel since the release of Passage in 2001.

Blackout is about a group of time-travelling historians from the year 2060 who venture back into time to re-shape history as we know it, to potentially alter major events such as the World Trade Center attack, Pearl Harbor, and the American Civil War, to name a few. When the time-travelling lab begins to cancel and reschedule assignments, projects go haywire when the historians are thrown into situations they are either not prepared for or trained on.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

Released: April 2010

I rarely read celebrity biographies, but found Sarah Silverman's The Bedwetter irresistible. Sarah Silverman is the girlfriend of my dreams; someone I fantasize about hanging out with and joking raunchily with while avoiding the shock and awe reactions I usually muster up in anyone who is not a dude.

Silverman's The Bedwetter is an example of a really clever way for a celebrity to overcome any hang-ups and insecurities they may have had before or during stardom. A large portion of the biography is attributed to Silverman's problems with bed-wetting throughout her childhood years. While this subject does consume quite a few chapters, Sarah sprinkles in as much humor as possible, which causes the reader to appreciate her nonchalant hilarity more than her confrontation of the bed-wetting trauma.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Daughter's Keeper by Ayelet Waldman

Released: 2003

I really hope Ayelet Waldman sticks to writing literature. As her first stand-alone novel, Daughter's Keeper will keep you addicted from start to finish, with Waldman's experience as a defense attorney really coming to light in a very creative way. Having read 100% of Waldman's work to date, I highly recommend bypassing her "Mommy-Track" cozy mystery series and dedicating your time and energy to not only reading Daughter's Keeper, but Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (2005) and Red Hook Road (2010).

Daughter's Keeper is about a young and once-highly ambitious woman named Olivia who supports her boyfriend and illegal alien Jorge as he can rarely obtain work as a day-laborer. Fluent in Spanish and incredibly educated, Olivia even questions her own loyalty to this seemingly worthless-boyfriend. When Jorge becomes involved in a major drug-deal to help support them better, both Olivia and Jorge are busted in an undercover operation set up by the DEA. Adament about her detached involvement in the drug-trafficking, Olivia must face trial and the possibility of spending several years in prison.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Certain Prey by John Sandford

Released: May 1999

I usually NEVER read books that fall into the grocery store/airport/gift shop mass market category. There are a few exceptions to the rule including Jeffery Deaver, Phillip Margolin and Nora Roberts, so I was pleasantly surprised at how Certain Prey by John Sandford really grabbed me. It was extremely hard for me to put this novel down.

Certain Prey is about a beautiful and successful lawyer named Carmel Loan, who has her sights set on another handsome attorney named Hale Allen. The problem is that Hale is married, so Carmel hires a hitman (actually a hitwoman in this case) named Clara Rinker who kills Hale's wife Barbara so Carmel can move in on her "prey". When Carmel finds herself being blackmailed by the person who put her in contact with hitwoman Clara, the two dangerous women begin to conspire to kill anyone who gets in the way.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Spoonful of Poison by M.C. Beaton

Released: January 2008

M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin series is my absolute FAVORITE cozy mystery series out there! I love it for so many reasons I probably couldn't name in one go here in this review. If ever you need a pick-me-up or you're in a book slump, an Agatha Raisin book is guaranteed to make you happy. Plus, they're quick, fast reads you could probably finish in one sitting on a rainy Sunday.

A Spoonful of Poison is the nineteenth book in the Agatha Raisin series featuring the ensemble cast we have grown to love including the vicar's wife Mrs. Bloxby, detective Bill Wong, the annoying scumbag Sir Charles Fraith, and newcomer Toni Gilmour, Agatha Raisin's young, beautiful and intelligent sidekick.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Keys to the Castle by Donna Ball

Released: January 2011

Keys to the Castle is the newest contemporary romance novel by Donna Ball, who is not only prolific under this pseudonym but under several others as well including Donna Boyd, Donna Carlisle, Rebecca Flanders and more.

Keys to the Castle is about two of what I call "hoity-toity" middle-aged aristocratic characters who unexpectedly find love under the most unusual and melodramatic circumstances. Sara Graves is the recent widow of an artistic, bohemian French-man who leaves behind a magnificent (and expensive) castle in France that Sara doesn't know about until after he dies. Her deceased husband's best friend and lawyer Ash Lindeman handles the estate and soon they find themselves falling fast in lust -- or love if you may call it that. As Sara is lulled deeper into France's bewitchment, she learns that her late husband has not led a life without secrets. Thus, drama ensues and Sara must cope with new challenges thrown her way.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

Released: 2007

Laura Lippman has quickly become a staple in my household. What the Dead Know is the second novel I've read by her in the past three months and I'm LOVING this author!

What the Dead Know is about two young sisters who both disappear from a shopping mall at the same time on the same day in 1975, never to be seen or heard from ever again. In present day, one of the sisters steps forward to tell the story of what happened that day, however mystery surrounds this woman as clues point to her being an imposter. What the Dead Know is an incredibly fun and engaging ride as we try to solve the mystery along with the detectives in the book.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gone, But Not Forgotten by Phillip Margolin

Released: 1993

Gone, But Not Forgotten is Phillip Margolin's third novel. The novel tells the story of a womanizer and serial killer who emerges after a decade of silence. Gone, But Not Forgotten is incredibly suspenseful and has even made into a 2005 movie featuring Lou Diamond Phillips and Brooke Shields!

                            Gone But Not Forgotten        

A serial killer is on the loose in the Portland, Oregon area; his victims are upper-class women married to successful and wealthy businessmen. While their disappearances leave behind limited clues of a black rose and a cryptic note, only a few people are truly clued in to the identity of this horrible perpetrator.