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

Photo courtesy of
Released: 2007

Laura Lippman is amazing—all of her standalone novels are great. What the Dead Know is no exception!

This novel is about the story of two young sisters who disappear from a shopping mall in 1975 and are never seen or heard from again. In present day, one of the sisters steps forward to tell the story of what really happened that day. However, there are clues that indicate the woman is an imposter. What the Dead Know is incredibly fun and engaging, as us readers are tasked with solving the mystery right 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.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Yours for the Taking by Robin Kaye

Released: January 2011

Yours for the Taking is Brooklyn-born author Robin Kaye's fourth novel and first stand-alone. This novel is entertaining and cute if you like contemporary romance, although a bit far-fetched. Romance is not one of my favorite genres due to its predictability factor, but I'll give Yours for the Taking some credit for its unique spin.

Ben Walsh is a handsome, sexy, successful businessman who wants to inherit his grandfather's ranch in boring Idaho. The catch, however, is that Ben must be married and settled down for his grandfather to give it to him. Because Ben is such a playboy, he must find the perfect woman willing to marry him but ONLY as a business venture. Ben chooses Gina Reyez, a sexy latina with attitude and promises her loads of money for her and her family if she will marry him and play the role of wife for his grandfather's benefit.