Book Reviews May 2019

The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen. Bowen is a prolific writer of several mystery series I have enjoyed. This novel is a stand alone story and a good example of the skills of this author. Two timelines, one of Joanna Langley investigating her father’s early life and one of Hugo Langley, her father, a British pilot shot down over Tuscany. Good characters, lively detail and descriptions of the cuisine that left me hungry. Rate 3.8

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty. I love this author but I’m going to give you a very confused, mixed review on her latest. It was a unique story, that’s for sure. So many twists and turns. I don’t want to give you any spoilers. The story is about nine people who go to a ten day health retreat. The reader gets to see through different eyes (chapter by chapter, no head hopping!)…Moriarty does a fine job of reveling each character through actions and interactions. But…while the book kept me reading past my bedtime, I had to put it down when one more unexpected and shocking thing happened. I don’t know. I guess I have to give it a range of a rating and you’ll have to decide for yourself. Rate: 3-4.

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. Although written in 1988 this novel is timely. Things we hear in the news as the focus of horrific treatment of humans have been around a long time, just ebbing and flowing into the conscious awareness of people (thanks to media)…this is the story of Taylor Greer, who is on the road in an attempt to escape the life she will have if she stays in rural Kentucky. But the surprising people who come into her life, an abandoned American Indian child, an illegal couple escaping certain death in Guatemala, and a newly abandoned mother of an infant. Kingsolver weaves the lives of all of these characters in a story which I couldn’t put down. Rate: 4.0

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. This one was from Roberta which is almost always a great thing because she doesn’t pass along the books she didn’t like. A mystery, this author does a good job of giving tiny reveals in the form of glimpses into the future. It is well written in the sense that the foreshadow and clues are there, but not too blatant. When journalist Lo Blacklock is given the chance to take the maiden publicity voyage aboard an exclusive luxury cruiser her stay is far from pleasant. Rate: 4.0

Paradise Lost by J.A.Jance. I have read some of this prolific writer before, but never been hooked on any of her several series. Her work is somewhat “prescribed” in my opinion, the genre driving the story arc. But she is a good writer and the clues to solving the crime along with Sheriff Joanna Brady are scattered throughout. I did spot a couple of “yellow Volkswagens”…events that seemed significant and then were never mentioned again…Rate: 3.8

Key for my personal rating system:

5.0 – A book I will never forget, will quote, will tell everyone I know they MUST read it.

4.0 – An excellent book, but doesn’t quite make the best books of all time list.

3.0 – A recommendation, good read, decently written

2.0 – Some redeeming qualities, I finished it, but I’m not likely to seek out more by the author.

1.0 – Don’t wast your time.