Friday, April 29, 2011

All Wedding, All the Time!

Well, not really, but since the Royal Wedding has been dominating the airwaves for months, I was inspired to pull out some of the library's extensive collection of wedding related books. Everything from etiquette to crafts is included, so when you get tired of looking at all those pictures of Will and Kate, stop by and take a look!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the Book Cart

Rather light on the romances this week; I better go order more books!

Christina Dodd Taken by the Prince

Jacquelyn Frank Seduce Me in Dreams
Gena Showalter The Darkest Secret

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quicksilver -- Good, Scary Fun!

By Amanda Quick

Quicksilver is the second book in The Looking Glass Trilogy, and the eleventh to feature the Arcane Society. I enjoy the Arcane books in general, but some much more than others. This is definitely one of my favorites. Heroine Virginia Dean is the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman. Forced to make her own way in the world, she uses her inherited psychic gifts as a looking glass reader. Seeing the spirits of the dead in the mirrors in the rooms where they died enables her to help the bereaved find closure, and often to help murder victims find justice. Owen Sweetwater is an assassin, a trade he comes by honestly as it's the family business. The Sweetwaters are more vigilantes than bad guys, as they limit themselves to taking out those who use their psychic gifts to prey on others. The monsters, as Owen calls them, are often able to escape the more run-of-the-mill forms of justice due to the nature of their gifts, but they are rarely able to escape the Sweetwaters. Owen and Virginia join forces to find whoever is responsible for the deaths of two psychic practitioners. Because the two victims were glass readers, Owen fears Virginia may be next.

This book has great gothic elements – dark old houses with mysterious labyrinths underneath and madwomen wandering about upstairs, footpads lurking in cemeteries, malevolent wind-up toys, mirrored rooms with no discernible exit, disapproving housekeepers, and fog – you name it. I loved the creepy factor! The author’s sly humor is evident throughout as well, and every character, no matter how minor, has enough depth to come vividly to life. While this book can be enjoyed by someone not familiar with the series, I would still recommend starting with some of the earlier Arcane Society books. It will make this book that much more enjoyable.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

May RT Book Reviews on the Shelf

In this month's cover story, Debbie Macomber talks about her latest Blossom Street tale, A Turn in the Road. Other features include a list of the RT Award winners for 2010, a discussion with Anne Rice, an update on the latest paranormal and urban fantasy series, and a look at why cowboys continue to capture our hearts. In the Teen Scene section, author Candace Bushnell talks teenage Carrie Bradshaw in 1980's New York City. Also included are the Fan Forum, Pros on Prose, RT convention news, and over 250 book reviews.

On the Book Cart

Robyn Carr Harvest Moon
Lisa Dale Slow Dancing on Price's Pier
Joanne Kennedy Cowboy Fever
Erin McCarthy The Chase
Debbie Macomber An Engagement in Seattle
Deirdre Martin Icebreaker
Nora Roberts Chasing Fire

Cheryl Ann Smith The School for Brides
Jodi Thomas Texas Blue

Lora Leigh Navarro's Promise

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Attenbury Emeralds
By Jill Paton Walsh, based on the characters of Dorothy L. Sayers

I've always been a fan of Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter mysteries, and was thrilled when Jill Paton Walsh completed an unfinished manuscript and published Thrones, Dominations several years ago. This was followed a few years later by A Presumption of Death and now by The Attenbury Emeralds. Although some Lord Peter fans are purists and prefer those stories featuring the aristocratic sleuth and his “gentleman’s gentleman” Bunter, I have always enjoyed those stories including Harriet Vane as well. Harriet, a mysterious novelist, is the great love of Lord Peter’s life. She eventually becomes his wife, and the two work together to solve crimes. Thrones, Dominations picks up their story after the honeymoon, on the eve of the Second World War. A Presumption of Death sees them through the war, and The Attenbury Emeralds finds them, along with the rest of England, struggling to survive the peace and all the changes the war has wrought upon the world they knew. All are good mysteries, with relatively intricate plots. Paton Walsh does a nice job of recreating the voices of the main characters and demonstrating how WWII was a great social and economic leveler, leaving no family, however aristocratic, untouched. The contrast is made very sharply in this book, which follows Lord Peter from his first case in 1921 through a related case in 1951. The tale of the original theft and recovery of the Attenbury family’s famous emeralds is narrated by both Peter and Bunter as they bring Harriet up to speed. The crime would seem to have been solved thirty years ago, but was it? It seems the emerald in the Attenbury family vault may not be the one they have owned for decades. Just when the current Lord Attenbury is hard up for cash and wants to sell the emerald to cover death duties on the family estate, a mysterious and anonymous communication has been received by the bank, claiming ownership of the emerald. The Attenburys will be ruined, and ask Lord Peter to help sort the whole mess out.

There is a more modern sensibility to this story; I found that sometimes this worked, and sometimes it didn't. Peter and Harriet’s relationship still comes across as strong and true, and the shifting social strata and its effect on the friendship between Peter and Bunter is handled well. Overall, I liked this book, but I pegged the criminal early on and thought there were not quite enough red herrings. However, this didn't diminish my enjoyment. While I will always be a bigger fan of Lord Peter between the wars, I am still happy to read of the adventures and misadventures of the Wimsey family as they come to grips with the inevitable march of progress.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On the Book Cart

Susan Mallery Already Home
Lori Wilde The Welcome Home Garden Club
Sherryl Woods Driftwood Cottage

Katherine Ashe Captured By a Rogue Lord
Eileen Dreyer Never a Gentleman
Laurens, Balogh, Hern, D'Allessandro It Happened One Season (anthology)

Kristina Douglas The Fallen: Raziel
Jeaniene Frost This Side of the Grave
Amanda Quick Quicksilver
Kerrelyn Sparks Vampire Mine

Thursday, April 7, 2011

On the Book Cart

Catherine Anderson Here to Stay
Kristan Higgans My One and Only
Macomber, Mallery, Skye The Knitting Diaries (anthology)
Jill Shalvis The Sweetest Thing
Mariah Stewart Almost Home
Susan Wiggs Marrying Daisy Bellamy

Lecia Cornwall Secrets of a Proper Countess
Gaelen Foley My Irresistible Earl

Janelle Denison Into the Night
Roxanne St. Claire Shiver of Fear

Friday, April 1, 2011

Reminder -- E-reader event!

Digital Download Demonstration
Monday, April 4 at 7pm

Do you own a Nook, Sony Reader, an iPod or a smartphone? This hands-on program is an opportunity to learn how to check out OverDrive digital books from the library. We will show you how to search the digital bookshelves, get the software installed and download free books and audiobooks to your computer or portable device. Call us (765-2791) or email to sign up.