Women Like Us

Jason Pomerance

Women Like Us by [Pomerance, Jason]

I bought this book with low expectations. What man would dare call his book ‘Women Like Us’ without writing under a pseudonym? Well, as it turned out, this is a pretty good read. At first I thought is was to be the story of Susan and Andrew, an freelance chef and her boyfriend blueblood Andrew. Ultimately, though the story is taken over by her pushy, efficient mother-in-law, the Pasadena matriarch Edith. The book crackles when Edith is around, and soon I found myself caught up in the story. Bravo, Edith!

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Spirits United

Alice Duncan

Spirits United (A Daisy Gumm Majesty Mystery, Book 11)

I don’t know how she does it. I’ve read other series that run out of gas about the third book, but Alice Duncan’s series just keeps chuggin’ along. Each one seems as fresh and entertaining as the first. I’m so involved with Daisy, I worry about her sometime. Looks like she’s headed for the altar, and I wonder how her new husband is going to  like her continuing to work as a medium/spiritualist/amateur sleuth?

Oh, well, I’ll just have to trust Alice Duncan to work things out.

Mock My Words

Chandra Shekhar

A perfect little gem of a book. It tells the story of David, who has difficulties with spoken English, although he writes beautifully. His two books have been international bestsellers, leading to an offer from a private college to teach English Lit. Unfortunately his students are not willing to meet him halfway, and his difficulties with spoken English make communication a challenge. He has trouble at home, too, with a wife who is struggling with her own challenges at work. She is too wrapped up in her own problems to pay attention to David. I thoroughly enjoy this book and found the only criticism was that it was too short. I hope a sequel is in the offing soon. I love David and his struggles.

The Attenbury Emeralds

Jill Paton Walsh

The Attenbury Emeralds: The New Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mystery (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mysteries Book 3)

While I admire Walsh’s courage in attempting to keep this series alive, I am disappointed in her depiction of Lord Peter. People have said that Dorothy Sayers was in love with him, and that affected her writing about him. Perhaps so, but Walsh’s Lord Peter is a shadow of his former self. Perhaps if you read mysteries for the puzzle, you will be satisfied with the characters, but I found it flat.

Flight: A Novel

Sherman Alexie

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In this novel we follow along as ‘Zitz,’ a modern teen, travels his own vision quest, to learn about human nature. The story begins as the boy is about to commit a horrific act of violence, and involves several Quantum Leap type experiences in the bodies of other people. Finally the boy returns to the present and his own happy ending.

I was with Alexie right up to the end, which I felt to be artificially happy and unrealistic. It felt tacked on and didn’t fit the rest of the book.

Thief Eyes

Janni Lee Simner

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Taking the Icelandic myths as a jumping-off place, Simner weaves a tale of enchantment about a contemporary teen separated from her father, searching for her missing mother. Helped along the way by a raven, a fox and a shape-shifting bear, Haley braves danger to find out the truth and her way back.

I really liked the fox character and wished he had more of a role to play in her search, but he was there when it mattered.

I once wrote a historical novel. It was August in Tucson, and I was stuck in town. So I did second best. I chose a place far, far away. I set my novel in Maine in winter. At least I could mentally escape. Simnel, a fellow Tucsonan,  may have felt a similar urge to escape by choosing Iceland for her setting, far away from the desert heat.