Category Archives: Book Reviews

Capsule Reviews

The past two weeks have been crazy, in a mixed but mostly not-good way. Finally (touching all the wood I can find) things are calming a little, or at least there’s a lull, and I found some time to read. … Continue reading

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Vanessa and Her Sister

Priya Parmar published Vanessa and her Sister in 2014. I found it used at the Four-Eyed Frog in Gualala. This book was just engaging enough for a leisurely weekend away. Parmar’s graceful prose made it an easy book to slip … Continue reading

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An Old Man’s Game

Andy Weinberger opened Sonoma’s beautiful bookshop, Readers’ Books, in 1991, along with his wife Lilla. I’m always pleased to discover a book by someone I know in a different mode. When I visited Sonoma a couple of weeks ago, I … Continue reading

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The Siberian Dilemma is a Dilemma

The Siberian Dilemma is the ninth Arkday Renko thriller by Martin Cruz Smith. I realized I’ve only read two: Gorky Park, something of a classic, and Havana Bay. I suspect this book would have more resonance if I’d read others, … Continue reading

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The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

I bought The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James, at The Poet’s Corner bookshop in Duncan’s Mills. It’s a ghost story mystery with a girl’s boarding school, and in the midst of the hurly-burly of holiday prep, it seemed like … Continue reading

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A New Spin on an Old Trope Leads to a Bumpy Ride

In 2008, Random House published Lauren McLaughlin’s YA speculative sex comedy Cycler. On one level, it’s the story about Jill, an only child, and her quest (with the help of her friend Ramie) to get the New Boy at school … Continue reading

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3 Rules for an Ann Cleeves Mystery

(Warning, spoilers.)Ann Cleeves is a British mystery writer, who has won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award, and has two of her detective series, the Vera Stanhope books and the Shetland series, adapted for BBC television. Her books are extremely popular. … Continue reading

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Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

In Deepa Anappara’s debut novel, voices of hope provide a counterpoint to a backdrop of despair. Leading the chorus is nine-year-old Jai. Jai and his friends Faiz and Pari are determined to find the schoolmate who has disappeared from their … Continue reading

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The Shook-Up Generation

I laughed when I saw this book on the table in Brandy’s store. I mean, that cover! So period! Brandy’s Crest paperback copy will cost you more than thirty-five cents, sorry. In some ways a perfect cover, showing young toughs … Continue reading

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Lady Guinevere’s Revenge

Lucy Blue is a fellow Falstaff writer. Since I’m working on a project set in the Jazz Era, I thought a 1920s romance might be fun to check out, and sure enough, she had one. Guinevere’s Revenge is a mystery … Continue reading

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