Out Like a Lamb ... Great "Just for Fun" Books
We Hope to Help Entertain You as March Ends
Well, March arrived in Vermont like a lion and honestly appears to be leaving as one as well. The political news is still divisive and disturbing. And, for a variety of reasons, both Book Jam Lisas have been reading a lot of serious books. So to break out a bit, today we review a bunch of mysteries/thrillers in the sincere hope that reading some "just for fun" books will help us all smile more often as March becomes April. Enjoy!
August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones (Feb 2017) - I so hope that in real life there is someone like August Snow - a half black/half Mexican, ex-cop with a strong sense of justice and neighborhood loyalty - looking out for Detroit. The hope this book expresses for Detroit weaves throughout the narrative, and Mr. Jones's descriptions of Detroit's decline and partial resurgence make the city an actual character in this thriller. Yes, Mr. Snow makes many mistakes, and wow, by the end of this tale, his body count is way too high for my tastes. However, few books take place in today's Detroit; please enjoy this one! ~ Lisa Christie
The Bat by Jo Nesbo (2013) - Somehow, we missed the first Detective Harry Hole mystery. Luckily, we rectified that last week. What fun! Even if you have enjoyed the other novels in this detective series already, going back to the first mystery and watching him solve the murder of a lovely Norwegian ex-pat living Down Under, is somehow the perfect antidote for healthcare news. ~ Lisa Cadow and Lisa Christie
IQ by Joe Ide (2017) - This debut features a great protagonist and a great sidekick whose incredibly complicated lives combine for a great plot. Set in modern day LA and following a man whose amazing brain lay dormant for awhile but has awakened as a solver of others' problems -- a la Sherlock Holmes (who the author recognizes in this acknowledgements), this book marks the start of a great series. We are ready for book two and thank Carin Pratt for pointing us in the direction of Mr. Ide. ~ Lisa Christie
Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah and Agatha Christie (2017) - Agatha Christie writes again. OK, so someone else writes for her, but the oh so British atmosphere and Hercule Poirot are pretty much the same. Have fun! ~ Lisa Cadow and Lisa Christie
The Whistler by John Grisham (2016) - Sometimes I just need the comfort of a reliable storyteller, and with Mr. Grisham I almost always get that. But, I always get a tale of people trying to do the right thing in spite of the odds against them. And honestly in 2017, I really, really need more of that. So, read this for a page-turner, but then think about it as a way to begin working for and fighting for what you believe is important. We can all use more of that lately. (Oh yes, the plot -- in this Grisham Lacy Stoltz, an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, gets in trouble when taking on corruption on the Florida bench.) ~ Lisa Christie
The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin (2006). Take a trip back in time to Istanbul circa 1836 to meet intriguing Investigator Yashim. Filed under the category of "How The Heck Did We Miss This Book?", this mystery (the first in a series) is full of obscure historical references, complex characters, and wonderful food imagery. The reader is transported back to 19th century Ottoman Empire and can truly feel her/himself walking by the donkey carts and spice vendors of Istanbul while she/he works alongside Yashim to solve a mystery involving a series of murders that threaten the sultan's political court. Besides being a talented detective, Yashim is also an excellent cook. He is also a eunich. Utterly fascinating, this book is perfect for history buffs, fans of literary mysteries, or the traveler looking for the perfect book to take on an upcoming trip to Turkey. If your curious about the cookbook that Jason Goodwin published in 2016, listen here: Yashim Cooks Istanbul ~ Lisa Cadow
In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear (2017) - Another Maisie Dobbs mystery finds Maisie on a case involving Belgium refugees just as Prime Minister Chamberlin declares Britain at war with Germany. Ms. Winspear has definitely gotten Maisie out of her "please get on with it already phase of incredible self-analysis to again using her honed introspection to help others. Enjoy this look at the UK as WWII begins. ~ Lisa Cadow and Lisa Christie
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