Ingrid Thoft’s first novel, Loyalty, features Fina Ludlow, a gritty Private Investigator in Boston who is the black sheep in a family of ambulance chasing lawyers. The plot twists and turns starting with Fina looking for her missing sister-in-law. The streets of Boston felt very familiar to me having spent much of my life there. Good story, good plot, good settings, good characters, and the book kept my interest from beginning to end.
I discovered another witty writer, Martha Grimes. Even though she’s written over thirty books, she’s new to me. In The Way of All Fish she satirizes the publishing world. Her characters are distinct and exaggerated; ridiculing authors, agents, publishers, lawyers, “hit men,” and fish. The “hit men” are part of the good guy crowd and the agents, publishers, and lawyers are characters on both sides. At times it’s difficult to keep track of all the characters going in all directions, but the majority are headed for the same goal – a convoluted plot to make an unscrupulous agent back off from suing an innocent author. Lots of fun.
Small town Anywhere, USA.
Tom Nelson writes refreshing true stories about his hometown Fennimore – the people, the places, the adventures. He writes with humor and heart. For anyone who grew up in a small town (or even a small community in a big city), Fennimore feels like home. He paints a delightful picture that takes the reader back in time and brings back memories.
Jincy Willett’s book about an aging writer, Amy Falls Down, is great fun and a good story. Amy Gallop emerges from the shadows when she gives an interview after falling down in her garden. She doesn’t remember a word she said. The interview sparks a new interest by the media and fans in her writing and the fall seems to have stirred her brain to begin writing and publishing new stories. Very original and full of laughter.
Love Anthony by Lisa Genova is not a first novel, but she’s a new author for me. The story is about two women living on Nantucket who have no connection until late in the book. One is the mother of three daughters in the process of divorcing her husband and the other is a woman hiding out on the island after losing her autistic son who consumed her life for his eight short years. I won’t get into the plot or the story or I might ruin it for you. The book was fascinating. The author pulls you in and doesn’t let you go.
I plucked the book off the library shelf because I liked the cover or maybe because it takes place on Nantucket. I love the ocean and the Massachusetts islands. I’ve spent some time on Martha’s Vineyard and taken a few trips to Nantucket. The book was a surprise because I didn’t read the reviews on the back or the synopsis on the inside flap. I might not have picked it up. I’m not sure this book has a genre. If does it’s probably women’s fiction or it might fall into the literary category. I read very few of either. They are usually too sad for me, or in the case of women’s fiction, I find the main characters to be too victimized or too wrapped up in their own problems (although by the end of the book they usually get better). In this case, both women were believable and intriguing. I loved this story.
Art in a book
The author/artist produced a beautiful ABC book about Aruba. You can see the time and effort applied to this book. Every page is a hand-painted water color. Having visited Aruba, I feel at home with this book. This would be a great tool to capture children’s imaginations about a different place.
I wouldn’t normally read or review a children’s book, but I helped the author format and publish this book.
When I read these stories, I can feel the energy, whimsy, and upbeat personality of the author. They are full of life. A combination of fiction and real life, humor and pathos. Such a delightful read that I even re-read it.
Mystery and Ghosts!
A mystery that kept me reading and kept me guessing. The author took me to a quieter time and place in small town Florida and Georgia, but the ghosts were not quiet. Reporter, Molly Martindale, urged on by those ghosts from the past, is determined to uncover the hidden secrets of her town.
Gone in a Flash by Susan Rogers Cooper. I don’t usually comment on books I don’t like but I picked up a book that was supposed to be funny and a mystery. A good combination – I like both. But I felt like I was reading a bad TV sitcom that needed a laugh track. Everyone was insulting everyone else, yelling a screaming, running around doing stupid things. The bad guys were like “Dumb and Dumber.” I read a few chapters and didn’t finish it. It went back to the library. I don’t like most TV sitcoms either. So it could be something you would enjoy if you’re a fan of that sort of humor.
Laugh out loud.
Few writers can make me laugh out loud. Bob Sanchez is one of them. His characters are hilarious and the story even has a plot. I want to read more from this author.