Sunday, October 26, 2008

Review: Love for Sale

I broke my rule of reading a series in order and jumped into the Grace & Favor Mystery with the fourth novel, Love for Sale. Due to tough financial times brought on by the Depression, Lily and Robert Brewster have turned the home they inherited from their uncle into a Bed and Breakfast. While running the Bed and Breakfast and substitute teaching part-time trying to make ends meet a few mysteries fall upon them.

A stranger comes along and offers a large amount of money to rent a room with an understanding that he and his guests wanted secrecy. Lily and Robert soon find out that their guest is Brother Mark Luke Goodheart and he has been murdered in his bath. Lily and Robert begin to try to figure out what happened to the missing school teacher and who killed Brother Goodheart.

While this was an enjoyable read, I found that the historical setting of the novel and the characters were more interesting than the murder mystery.

Review: The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank

Ellen Feldman penned an interesting take on history in The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank. What if Peter Van Pels had not only survived hiding in the Annex with the Frank family, but had survived life in the concentration camp too? What would he have done? Feldman creates a life for Peter in America, where he sheds his Jewish identity, begins a family and does not talk about his experiences during the war in an effort to lead a normal life. Peter becomes a successful business man, a loving husband and father.

One night Peter's wife is customarily reading before bed, but Peter's past confronts him as he catches a glimpse of the cover page to have young Anne Frank looking back at him. So shocked that his past has found him, Peter loses his voice. He is haunted by the rising popularity of Anne Frank's Diary, the discussions, the movie, the Broadway play. What ensues is a fascinating account of how one man accepts who himself and his past.

I loved this book, I loved the premise of "what if". Feldman created a believable character in Peter. One of the things I found really interesting was the way The Diary of Anne Frank rose in popularity and consumed American culture.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Review: J is for Judgment

Kinsey Milhone is hired back by California Fidelity to investigate the alleged suicide of Wendell Jaffe after the $500 000 life insurance policy is paid out to his widow, and his insurance agent spots him at a tropical resort. Off Kinsey jets to track down the elusive Jaffe which leads her right back to Santa Theresa and Jaffe's widow, sons, and lover. Kinsey systematically hunts down Jaffe while facing her own past. J is for Judgment is a good mystery, but more importantly I think it is a book in the series to build up Kinsey's character.

What drew me into J is for Judgment was how Kinsey was dealing with her own past and family. I really liked that Grafton was showing us a vulnerable side of Kinsey while she sorted out just what happened in the past, who to be angry with and whether she would give her family a chance. As usual I am drawn to Kinsey's exceptionally dry sense of humour.

Review: Barnacle Love

Barnacle Love is a tale of family, dreams and ultimately life. Seeking a life outside his small village in Portugal, Manual Rebelo follows his father's footsteps as a fisherman. Out at sea he is lost and washes up on the shores of Newfoundland. Turning from the past to build a new life, Manuel begins a family in Toronto, Ontario. A large portion of the story is told by Antonio, Manuel's Toronto-born son. Although the book is a collection of well-linked short stories by De Sa it reads as a novel full of rich descriptions and detail.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Who knew there was a whole world of book blogging out there! I am slowly finding many great ways to participate in the online book world. There are challenges, book giveaways, read-a-thons, weekly and daily topics to discuss. The possibilities for someone obsessed with reading are endless!

One of the ways that I feel most comfortable joining in is book giveaways. Hey Lady! Whatcha Reading? is hosting an Election Giveaway. You should head on over and check it out!