Some books sit on your nightstand for weeks as you read a little bit each night. These are not those books.
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
Ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons attorney Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island. Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal, and a long-unsolved murder. She wants Brooke to help save her island from developers -- and to find her three best friends from her youth so that she can make amends to them.
This is a much darker book than many of Andrews' others. It reads well and the characters are interesting and well-drawn. Several times the Kleenexes were needed.
Fiction Can Be Murder by Becky Clark
Mystery author Charlemagne "Charlee" Russo thinks the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books are only the product of her imagination - until her agent is found dead exactly as described in Charlee's new, unpublished manuscript. Naturally Charlee becomes the prime suspect. Mostly a cozy with a bit of grit, this is a nice quick read for a summer evening.
Medusa Uploaded by Emily Devenport
A fast-paced science fiction thriller about the limits of power and control, and the knife-edge distinction between killing for revenge or for a greater good. Oichi’s voice is exceptional -- it's conversational, funny, and tragic. She, along with the Executives and the servants, has to overcome inherent bias to uncover the devastating plot that could destroy their starship.
I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!
Crime & Punctuation
by Kaitlyn Dunnett
Mikki Lincoln, newly widowed, moves back to her childhood home (now a fixer-upper), and becomes a freelance editor. Lenape Hollow is not the thriving tourist destination it was decades ago. Not with a murderer on the loose . . .
Murder, conspiracies, and editing. Mikki’s a fun character, not a gauche 25 year-old. She’s tough and funny and works hard to find out who dunnit. I look forward to more in the series.
In the Valley of the Devil
by Hank Early
I don’t usually post reviews of books I didn’t like but I'm going to make an exception here. The first book in the series, Heaven's Crooked Finger, was hard to put down. Racism, religion, romance, mysticism, family drama: it had it all and I was really looking forward to the sequel.
Those same ingredients are still in the mix in the sequel but somehow nothing jelled this time. I found myself getting progressively annoyed with the main character, Earl Marcus. How many times do you have to make the same mistake -- how many times do you have to get beat up, cut up, or shot, before you get a clue? I think the author may have been under pressure to get the second book out. The whole book was basically a fugue of the same thing happening to Earl. Over and over.
Maybe the third book will get the bugs worked out (I am usually willing to give the author a second or third chance).
*Cat emoji images via freepik
Another month, another cat pic: Ursula aka VOC (very old cat) is taking a nap. She's over 20 years old.
Mindy works at the Little Turtle branch. She's a cat lady, an avid reader, and an old boomer.