Monday, May 31, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Well, I did no reading yesterday. What's up with that? I guess I hung out with Steve a lot of the day. We don't get to do that too often so that was nice. We watched the movie Taking Chance last night. It is a very appropriate movie for the Memorial Day weekend. It stars Kevin Bacon as a data-cruncher military man in 2004 who volunteers to be an escort of a soldier killed in Iraq. It is based on a true story. Steve and I both teared up many times. The movie got the respect of the military right but the airport in Montana was Bozeman instead of Billings like it should have been and what they said it was. It was actually Belgrade just outside Bozemen and has mountains so it must have been "prettier".

I have to bring up a current event controversy here for a minute. The oil spill in the Gulf. They can't do anything about it now until August? The federal government is saying they don't know how to fix it?!? They've got the best minds and the best access to other best minds and they're saying they don't know what to do about it? That is BS. Can you say Obama's Waterloo? Holy cow how can they just let it go on and destroy so much? Unbelievable.


On to Mailbox Monday: Mailbox Monday gathers together for readers the books that came into the house last week. (feel free to share yours) Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

THE NOBEL OUTLAW by Bernard Knight via I'm collecting the books that are upcoming for me in this series with features Sir John de Wolfe, the crowner (coroner), in 12th century Devon, England. "When Matthew Morcok, a former master saddler, is found mummified above a renovated school, the authorities call on Sir John de Wolfe and coroner's clerk Thomas de Peyne to stop what is fast becoming a campaign of terror. Later victims include a master glazier, who's strangled, and a candle maker impaled through the eye. John's work is complicated by the conflict between his shady brother-in-law, Richard de Revelle, and Nick o' the Moor, an outlaw who returned from the Crusades to find his estates expropriated by de Revelle and de Revelle's cronies. John makes an arduous wintertime journey into Dartmoor to meet Nick, who's actually a knight, Nicholas de Arundell. Nick's plight so moves John that he takes the outlaw's case to England's Chief Justiciar for resolution."


It's supposed to hit the 70s today. Again, the same plans as yesterday. I'll be enjoying the extra day off because work will be ugly this week. I think maybe we'll be getting something from out for dinner.

Have a fun day....

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Whoa, 3D ... like they're coming right at you!

Sunday morning. The sun is shining and there is a slight breeze. The high today is supposed to be in the 60s but there is a warning of thunderstorms later. I'll be walking Tug in about an hour.

We don't have any plans today other than I will be doing some laundry. I'd like to spend some computer time later. Nothing on tv for me that I can see so maybe I'll do some reading, too. I'll be making for dinner the potato/sausage casserole thingy that Steve likes and that he can have for leftovers on Tuesday when he has a board meeting.

I've read through the local newspaper and checked out some blogs. No complaints and if today is a relaxing day of "what shall I do next?" that would be lovely.

I finished a book last night that I had started a few months ago but set aside for something else. I can't tell you the name of it at the moment, it's on my Kindle, but I finished it so it goes on the list for the month. I'm thinking of reading next another that I had previously started, THE SEPTEMBER SOCIETY by Charles Finch so that I may add one more book to the month. I'm not racking up numbers per se but it just feels better to have read five or more books in a month.

I do have a movie I should watch, Young Victoria. I'll have to play it by ear on that.


Let's finish the weekend -- so to speak -- with another book meme: Write six random bookish things about yourself.

1. I don't like reading or writing book reviews so I'm starting my own newsletter so I get what I'm looking for -- a resource of monthly crime fiction releases.

2. I don't like contemporary fiction because I feel there isn't really a point to them. I need the quest: save the kingdom, get the girl, solve the crime.

3. I feel more at ease when I have books around me. I've got book art, a clock that looks like three books side by side, and some actual books decorating my cubicle at work. My cubicle is actually named "The Library" -- my little group of co-worker friends have all named our cubicles.

4. I go by the online nickname of PK the Bookeemonster. I chose this in homage to Sesame Street's Cookiemonster because I love muppets and we were coming up with nicknames years ago on 4MA. It just fit. And I devour books. :) Om nom nom...

5. My favorite subgenre of crime fiction is historical mysteries. I like learning things about history and I believe most authors make their best attempts to be accurate. I like that the crime solvers have to use the technology of their times to solve their crimes. I think the book that really clicked the love for this subgenre was THE INTELLIGENCER by Leslie Silbert and a nonfiction book about the princes in the tower. That was March 2004. I particularly like English time periods (medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, Georgian, Regency, Victorian, Edwardian), American Revolution, and Roman/Greece. I don't like American Civil War or really much of WWII and sooner. (okay that was a whole lot of facts but I'm putting it under the umbrella of "historical mysteries".

6. I also like to read nonfiction. I collect specifically books about Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, and the American Revolution because I like those time periods. I also like all things historical or philosophical. Isaac Asimov was my hero, being so prolific on so many topics and making them completely relatable.

More than you wanted to know, eh? Go on, have a lovely Sunday.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, May 29, 2010

One atta time! The weekend will still be there ...

Still another book meme....

1. You are stuck inside “Fahrenheit 451.” Which book would you be?

I've always answered this previously with PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen. But I think there would be thousands of people offering this as well. I will then suggest A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN by Virginia Woolf. I remember catching a glimpse many years ago of an actress who performed this as a one-woman show. I think it lends itself to memorization and oration.

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

All right, who hasn't had a crush on Darcy from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, raise your hand ... uh huh ... I make my point.

3. What is the last book you bought?

I think it was THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING by Nancy Pickard for da Kindle.

4. What are you currently reading?

Nearly finished with DEATH IN THE WEST WIND by Deryn Lake. If I could have stayed up a little past 9 (What, I had been up since 4:45am, I was tired!) I would have concluded it last night.

5. Five books you would take to a deserted island.

What IS it about deserted islands? Are they abundant? Do people get stuck on them all the time and it is so commonplace? How about stuck in an airport? That would make more sense. Couldn't I have my Kindle with me with over a 1000 books on it like they promise? I guess keeping it charged would eventually become an issue. Assuming this is actually asking what five books could I limit myself to and be able to read over and over.

1. DUNE by Frank Herbert His world building is beyond amazing.

2. MIDDLEMARCH by George Elliot I think I would want a big munchy soap opera-y type book. WAR AND PEACE or GONE WITH THE WIND would also work.

3. Perhaps THE FEDERALIST PAPERS and THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS. I think I would want something philosophical that I could take the time to contemplate each line for its meaning and if I needed to rebuild a government this may be a guide.

4. 1001 WAYS TO PLAY SOLITAIRE. One has to pass the time in other ways....

5. Hmmm, how about something fun like a big book of fairytales. Otherwise, the collected works of Jane Austen.


Tug woke me up at 6am this morning. I don't know why he does this. He paws at me for no reason -- he doesn't need to go outside, he just waits until I sit up and then he goes and lays down again, his job is done apparently.

So now I'm catching up on news, emails and blogs. My sister is in town so I'll spend the majority of the day at M&Ds. This weekend I hope to work on my projects. We don't have any other plans the long weekend. I have to remember to put the flag out.

Hope your Saturday is spent exactly how you'd like to whether it's relaxing, doing yard work, camping in the rain, shopping, looking at sports, whatever. In my case, if I can squeak in ONE more book for the month, I'll be very happy. :)

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, May 28, 2010

Smells like a three-day weekend!!

OMG the day and week is finally over. Oh, I just want to erase my brain of everything at work this week and get on with my real life. Yes, I appreciate working but holy cow I really really want these three days off. I'm being bad: I'm having a glass of wine. I've not had a soda in about two months and no sweets but wine just needed to happen tonight. One glass, that's it.

I'm back to DEATH IN THE WEST WIND by Deryn Lake. I'll probably finish it tonight if I work at it or tomorrow. It was a lovely dark and misting day today. It would have been a lovely day to stay home and read but I tell myself the overtime is worth it. Every time. Looks like nothing on tv for me this evening; Say Yes to the Dress is a repeat. I'll be making taco salad for dinner to that will be very good.


Another book meme!

1. One book that changed your life

OUT ON A LIMB by Shirley MacLaine. My spiritual world opened.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once

DAUGHTER OF TIME by Josephine Tey. I love the investigation of the smear campaign against Richard III

3. One book you’d want on a desert island

Hmm, that's difficult. Would I want a big honkin' huge collection and cheat? (Shakespeare?) Would I want a book that I love and could read over and over? (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE?) Would I want a book that had some meat to it so I could contemplate it over a period of time? (A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN by Virginia Woolf or THE FEDERALIST PAPERS?) I know people cheat at this question and say a book on how to survive, etc. I honestly don't know. My luck, it would be HOW TO PLAY POKER.

4. One book that made you laugh

THE EYRE AFFAIR by Jasper Fford

5. One book that made you cry

LITTLE WOMEN by Louise May Alcott. Every time when Beth dies.

6. One book that you wish had been written

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Steig Larsson. International acclaim.

7. One book that you wish had never been written

How about MEIN KAMPF.

8. One book you’re currently reading


9. One book you’ve been meaning to read

WAR AND PEACE by Tolstoy. I like Russian novels, actually. Oh and I could mention the books by Dorothy Dunnett.

I hope the start of your Memorial Day weekend is lovely.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tug sits like this all the time so I had to do this photo

I'm about 20 - 30 minutes away from finishing SHOOT TO THRILL. It has been enjoyable and I like to visit these characters and I'm nearing the wrap up, but this is seeming like another book I've read this year where the cops don't really *solve* the mystery -- they just show up in time to arrest the bad buy. Hrumph. I'm missing the days where the reader was provided clues and followed along and even "solved" the crime along with the good guy. After I finish this, I'll go back and finish the Deryn Lake so maybe I can get two books done before Monday and hence have five books for the month. Phew! It was looking pretty pathetic there for a while.

So much was glitchy at work: the phones cut out a couple times, the server went wonky this afternoon and we couldn't access the programs for a few minutes. I think it was a sign that we should have all gone home and started the holiday weekend earlier.

Just finished walking Tug. Will make dinner very soon. Then I'll read a little then head for bed. One more day. I have to remind myself that the overtime and long hours each day are worth it. And this is just the beginning, bwa hahahaha!


Book meme:
1. How do you organize your books? By genre, by last name, by title, by publication date?

I actually have them 95% organized by last name. It was a monumental task but worth it. But since then, I've added more books to the collection so they're not so nicely tucked in because I can't squeeze anymore on the shelves so they're stacked on top.

2. Do you have a shelf reserved for your favorite books and/or authors?

No. But I do have an area where I put the newer books that come in or what I think might be next up (real books, obviously not the Kindles). There are about 50 books over there.

3. What is the first title and author on your bookshelf?

I have five bookcases scattered throughout the house but the first one starts with "A". I can't see it now but it could be something by Aird.

4. What is the last title and author on your bookshelf?

Again, I can't see it now but I think it's one of the crusade books by Robin Young.

5. What genre dominates your collection?

Crime fiction. Surprised, no?

7. You own all of the books written by . . .

Oh, gosh, that's not fair. I can only say the authors that have few books in their series to date. Susan Hill, Maureen Ash, Josephine Tey, etc.

8. You own the entire series of . . .

I don't think this is a fair question. This is assuming an author is DONE.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reading gives you the inside edge ...

Sorry I missed yesterday. Worked a 10 hour day, walked Tug, made dinner, then rushed over to the in-laws' house to visit with Steve's aunt and uncle. We didn't get home until after 9:30 and I was very tired. I don't remember Steve turning out the light, I zonked out so fast. No no time to blog let alone even check my email.

I've had to set aside the Deryn Lake for the moment to read SHOOT TO THRILL by PJ Tracy. This is a loan from mom who has it from the library and the clock is ticking on it. This book is 5th of 5 in series featuring homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth and Grace MacBride, founder of Monkeewrench, a game software company, in Minneapolis. Here is a description:

With murders around the country being posted on the Web by killers who leave no online trail, the FBI is reduced to asking civilian hackers for help. None is more qualified than Monkeewrench Sofware: the unconventional unit of cyber investigators led by ponytailed Harley Davidson, whose Minneapolis mansion houses his eccentric but super-efficient team: eyelash-batting belle, Annie; exercise-addicted Roadrunner; and Grace MacBride, the object of MPD detective Leo Magozzi’s affection. With straitlaced FBI Special Agent John Smith as their liaison and, with Magozzi and partner Gino Rolseth working the local scene, the group starts its 24/7 efforts. Are the murders real or simply enactments? Will federal regulations thwart Monkeewrench, or will Smith (who’s facing retirement) bend the rules?

It was published last month and has 320 pages. I'll be back to the Lake after this one.

Getting hungry so will go have dinner and maybe have some time to read tonight. Woo hoo!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mailbox Monday

It's Mailbox Monday! Mailbox Monday gathers together for readers the books that came into the house last week. (feel free to share yours) Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Nothing. Nothing came in the house last week. I can tell you the samples I download onto the Kindle though: WANNA GET LUCKY by Doborah Coonts - debut from this author and supposed to be a little humorous. THE CORONER by M. R. Hall -- I have this as an audiobook actually. DEADLY SLIPPER by Michelle Wan -- I actually don't remember much about this book but I was apparently interested in it. HARVARD YARD by William Martin -- I read his first book a long time ago, this series seems to be sort of like the National Treasure movies. And a couple romances.

I've decided to read one of my series reads so I don't feel so behind. I started DEATH IN THE WEST WIND by Deryn Lake. This is 7th of 13 in series featuring John Rawlings, an apothecary and associate of John Fielding, mostly in 18th century London. here is a description:

Newlyweds John and Emilia Rawlings are spending their honeymoon touring the mysterious county of Devon. The gruesome discovery of the body of a young girl, badly beaten and bruised draws the Apothecary into the investigation. Recognising the dead girl as the daughter of a Dutch merchant John realizes that he is deeply involved in something rather sinister - especially when the girl's brother, Richard, goes missing at the same time. Although he knows the identity of the dead girl, he is still no further towards finding her killer. Did her possessive father, furious with her for her wayward behavior murder her? Or is the father of her unborn child is to blame? Perhaps her fiance, Tobias Wills, exacted a deadly revenge for the betrayal? John Rawlings is determined to find some answers...even if it means putting himself
in danger.

It was published in 2002 and has 282 pages.

I made hotel reservations yesterday for Bouchercon 2010 -- San Francisco in October. I can cancel up to a day ahead if I can't pull it off but I'm thinking I can make it so (to quote Captain Picard).

It rained all day and I had to be at work and not home reading. Pout.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Aw, a dog after my own heart...

Ah, rats, today is sunshiny bright. I was promised dark and rainy! Whine whine whine.

I must make a couple corrections from yesterday. Averi spells her name with an "I". I'm extremely sensitive and respect it, having been an "I" person myself with my previous name. I hated it when people spelled it incorrectly. Second, Averi was selling baked goods and not lemonade at her little station. I think that is a much better product for early morning garage salers. According to her grandma, Averi would ask them if they would like to buy her baked goods and if they said no she'd ask, "Well why not?" I expect this little girl to have a great future ahead of her.

I need to spend more time on the downstairs computer today - I never did work on the projects I needed to (newsletter and application) so that's still ahead of me and I need to complete the one I did get started on (catching up on my books and making CDs). Plus I think I may make hotel reservations for the convention in October -- I need to make the commitment now before I chicken out. Otherwise, I'll be doing more laundry today and I may have to run to the grocery store again as I missed a couple things. Tug and I of course will go for a walk in a couple hours.

I am this close to finishing REVENGER by Rory Clements. Next up will probably be THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING by Nancy Pickard. I do miss my series reads though. I haven't gotten to them in two or three months. I really want to get back to Barnard Knight, and Deryn Lake, and Peter Tremayne, and Louise Penny... I've been caught up in new releases.

Tonight I'll check out Masterpiece Theatre Mystery on tv. I have problems sticking with televised crime stories (I find the pace to be very boring even though the period costuming and settings are so wonderful), but I'll tune in to the new episodes of Miss Marple. I like this actress' portrayal for some reason. And would you believe I've never read a book of Miss Marple? I've always preferred Hercule Poirot. In my ohsomuch free reading time (read that very sarcastically), I should work in some Christies. And PD James, and Ngaio Marsh, and Ruth Rendell, and Josephine Tey, and the other Dorothy Sayers I haven't gotten to yet, and Patricia Wentworth, and Margery Allingham, and Gladys Mitchell, and Rex Stout, and Earle Stanley Gardner...

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fine, you win the staring contest AGAIN!

Book meme:

Grab the nearest book.

* Open it to page 56.

* Find the fifth sentence.

* Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Alis protested: she was not a child any longer, she had received Communion.

- from THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH by Zoe Oldenbourg


So far Saturday is living up to the promise of being dark and potentially rainy. Woo hoo! One of our neighbors across the street is having a garage sale so I'm watching that on occasion. Avery, who is about 5 or 6 now, is on their lawn doing little dance moves -- bouncing on her hip and doing head bobs. In the yard behind us, the german shepherd puppy (well, she's probably a year old now) has a visitor white dog and they're running and chasing and nipping at each other all over the yard. Tug is on his bed looking out there but his eyes are blinking a lot so he's off for sleepy naptime soon.

I'm not sure what we have planned for the day. Steve is still sleeping but mentioned he may go to the shop to do some metal recycling because he's got a big pile sitting there. I may go to a place that may help with my dead cellphone -- or I may just call there to see what's what. It's down in the middle of the shopping zone and on weekends, if one can avoid that area, one stays home. Otherwise, I need to read my 4ma digests and blogs then I should get laundry going and then get on the downstairs computer to work on some stuff. Hey, maybe this could be a productive day.
Oh, I see that Avery is being a little mercenary -- she has a lemonade stand set up to catch those soft-hearted garage sale bargain hunters. Good for her!
Happy Saturday, all!
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, May 21, 2010

To quote John Lennon: I'm so-o-o tired...

Friday night. It's almost 9pm and I'm finally getting to the point of being able to relax maybe. After work I stopped by the cell phone place to figure out some options then got groceries at Walmart. I'm glad the weekend is ahead. I hope to work on a couple projects tomorrow and Sunday, both involving a lot of downstairs computer time. I'd also like to get close to finishing REVENGER. I'm maybe halfway through now and enjoying it but I've only finished two books this month. That's just not right.

In the meantime, maybe I'll read a couple emails and then go read in bed ... my favorite thing. That would be a good meme question: where do you most enjoy to read? For me: in my bed. Just always have no matter where I was living -- my own places, the apartment we first had together and now the house. To me, it's just comfy.

And for a bit of WTF: here's a link to a commercial that stars Hugh Jackman (!) that was made in Japan (weird).

Well, I'm yawning; I'd better get going.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A photo for my mom

Thursday and a day closer to the weekend. Excellent!

Not much to talk about, unfortunately. Work is staying busy. I've had some training hours this week which was very helpful. Tomorrow is our quarterly potluck lunch so that will end the week nicely, I think.

I've not had much time to read but I'm hoping with the expected rainy weekend I may be able to get more done. REVENGER by Rory Clements is getting good and has the elements I love: Tudor England, court intrigue with a plot against the Queen, conflicts between the Protestants and the Catholics, historic espionage...

My cell phone took a bath this week so I'm working on getting that up and running again. I watched the last episode of The Pacific last night so overall I think it was good but isn't the equal to Band of Brothers.

Nothing on tv now for us but Steve hasn't seen The Pacific so maybe we'll do that. I've got ot go start dinner. Otherwise, I hope everyone has a lovely evening.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - "No really, we're from the census"

On Mount TBR, actually in my Kindle, but in my to be read list, is a book called THE FIFTH SERVANT by Kenneth Wishnia. It may be a stand alone or may be the beginning of a series featuring Benyamin Ben-Akiva, Talmudic scholar newly arrived from Poland in Prague 1592. Here is a description:

Whoever saves a single life saves the entire world . . .
In 1592, as the Catholic Church and the Protestants battle for control of the soul of Europe, Prague is a relatively safe harbor in the religious storm. Ruled by Emperor Rudolph II, the city is a refuge for Jews who live within the gated walls of its ghetto. But their lives are jeopardized when a young Christian girl is found with her throat slashed in a Jewish shop on the eve of Passover. Charged with blood libel, the shopkeeper and his family are arrested. All that stands in the way of a rabid Christian mob is a clever Talmudic scholar, newly arrived from Poland, named Benyamin Ben-Akiva. Pleading the shopkeeper's innocence to the city's sheriff, Benyamin is given three days to bring the true killer to justice. But the search will not be easy. Hampered by rabbinic law, and with no allies or connections, Benyamin has only his wits, knowledge, and faith to guide him on his quest—a trail that weaves from the city's teeming streets to the quiet of a shul, from the forbidden back rooms of a ghetto brothel to the emperor's lavish palace. The Talmud says many things in life depend on mazl, luck. Fortunately, Benyamin is blessed, for an unlikely group of heroes will risk their own lives to help him discover the truth: Anya, a Christian butcher's daughter; the renowned reformist rabbi Judah Loew; a wise herbal healer known as Kassandra the Bohemian; and even the emperor himself. Who would most profit from the girl's murder—and from having the entire ghetto sealed off? Is the killer a Christian indebted to the girl's apothecary father? Or a messianic Jew bent on the destruction of his people to precipitate the Messiah's coming? The desperate search for answers is complicated by the arrival of a new Holy Inquisitor determined to root out witchcraft and heresy, and reclaim the fractious Bohemian territory for Rome. With time running out, Benyamin must dare the impossible—and commit the unthinkable—to save the Jews of Prague . . . and his own life.

It was published in 2010 and has 400 pages. Here is an excerpt:


A distant cry woke me

I sat up and looked out the attic window over the sloping rooftops on the north side of Broad Street, which the German-speaking Jews called the Breitgasse. It was too early to see the horizon. The city and the sky were an inseparable mass of darkness, and the scream's dying echoes evaporated into the air, like the breath I could see coming out of my mouth.

I was in bed with two strange men -- the mikveh attendant and the street cleaner -- and the room was damn near freezing. It was spring by the calendar, but it was still winter at heart, and I could feel in my bones that it was going to rain, like it did every year on the Christian holiday of Good Friday. I'd have bet five gold pieces on it, but there weren't any takers, and I didn't have five gold pieces. If you turned out my pockets, all you'd get for your troubles would be a few lonely coppers and some mightly fine lint imported all the way from the Kingdom of Poland.

But something had jarred me awake. Like is says in the Megillas Esther, the king found no rest, so I listened intently, the fog of sleep still swirling around in my head.

Muffled and ghostly, a distant cry floated over the narrow streets of the Jewish Town:

"Gertaaaaaah --!"

Goose bumps rose on my arms, as if the spirit of God had blown right past me and withdrawn from the room. If a Christian child was missing from its bed we were sure to be accused, and all of a sudden I was reduced to being just another Jew in a city that tolerated us, surrounded by an empire full of people who hated us.


I can't wait to get to it.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kids are just so smart these days ...

Oh goodness, I'm blessed tired tonight for some reason. Feet tired and it was so hot today. Yes, only in the "80s" tempurature-wise but I'm not used to it yet and I don't like the heat in general 0r rather it does not like me. Why do you think I like dark rainy days? And I go walking in the hotness so that makes me not so smart. So this will be short 'n' sweet tonight. :)

It's Mailbox Monday! Mailbox Monday gathers together for readers the books that came into the house last week. (feel free to share yours) Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

It was almost a bust last week but I stopped by a used book store on Saturday and picked up a couple, both historicals. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH is by Zoe Oldenbourg and looks to have been a classic novel published in 1948. It is set in 12 century France. So we'll see. The other is THE MERCY SELLER by Brenda Rickman Vantrease. I have other books by this author but not gotten to them yet. This is set in the 15th century and covers the religious conflicts and books. So these are good finds, I think. I actually went to the UBS looking for my histmyst authors but no such luck.

Survivor finale last night was okay. Of the three, the one who won is the one who I liked best. Tonight, we watched the newest episode of The Tudors. We still have to catch the last episode of The Pacific. But now, I may read; I may go to bed. Tomorrow morning is going to come very early.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Steve! and that's me in the back saying "just tell me what you want!"

We saw Ironman 2 last night. A new multiplex movie theatre opened last year here and now everyone goes to that one rather than the older one. The new one, we've been to once. I don't like it. It is uncomfortably like an airport to me. Cement floors, overcrowded, yuck. Last night we went to the older theatre -- practically deserted but still nice. And can I just say one more time that concessions are overpriced? Crazy.

The movie itself I enjoyed. Robert Downey, Jr. is just simply a great actor. Mickey Rourke also did very well. I just have to think of him as a competely separate and different man than the one with the same name twenty years ago, isn't that strange? He looks completely different and the experience from those years of self-abuse and years of being on the outside, he now has depth he can bring to roles. Heck, the same thing can be said about Downey. Having things easy is nicer overall but it is the suffering in one's life that truly brings forward one's soul.

I can't stand Gwyneth Paltrow. Ick, ptui. Scarlett Johansen did a fine job in her limited role. I do hope they make another one and not decend into the slump that inevitably happens for just a little longer.

This morning I went to a bakery and got Steve a true caramel roll -- not one of those cinnamon rolls that are frosted but a real true one. I'm not making or getting a birthday cake for him -- we both don't need to eat something like that. He has decided he'd like dinner from Red Robin brought in so we can also watch Survivor finale. I know he won't like the presents I'm giving him but there's nothing else I can do about that right now. One, a new down pillow, I replaced his old pillow yesterday with -- he didn't even notice. I had to point it out to him. Sheesh. I was hoping it would help him sleep better. Ah well. Basically, I hope he just has a relaxing day.

I don't think I've read one word of my book this weekend and tonight of course if devoted to tv. I'm not slumping but I'm sure not making time for it, hunh. I'm never going to get through all the books I have to read at this rate. I'll be walking Tug soon before he gets too warm. I also hope to work on my project today so I'll be on the downstairs computer later while clothes laundry runs. Maybe I'll tell you more about my project in another post.

And I totally missed the Preakness yesterday. I saw it on a ticker while having dinner and I was just stunned. The whole Triple Crown thing, I keep missing. Is it just not being advertised therefore I unaware or am I just simply unaware? Weird. I know I'm out of touch with world news; I just can't make time to read my WSJ like I used to and I hate that.

Have a lovely Sunday ...

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday night's all right ... for reading

A beautiful day in the neighborhood today -- I think was about to 80 degrees. I walked Tug before it got too warm but he still jumped in the ditches three times. He touched noses with a cow, too, and they both jumped back from it. :)

Well, Steve's birthday is tomorrow so I'm trying to pin him down on what he'd like to do. We'd like to see Ironman 2 but it has to be either this evening (but two new episodes of Cops are on which is a show he really likes) or tomorrow afternoon (because of the three hour finale of Survivor). I'm also trying to get him to tell me what he'd like for meals. Sigh, he is so difficult. Don't even get me going on a birthday -- or any freaking gift for that matter. Me, I tell him what I'd like. I'm supposed to come up with some kind of super-fantastic-amazing-wonderful gift that is somehow exactly what he wants and it has to be the best and topline. The most he'll say is he wants guns. Yeah, right, and he's only partially joking. He gets what he wants when he wants and I can't afford those prices. Oy. I do have some little gifts so maybe it will be okay.


Book meme: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you.

(In no particular order)

  1. Instance at the Fingerpost by Iain Pears

  2. Freedom and Necessity by Stephen Brust & Emma Bull

  3. The Millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson (The Girl Who...)

  4. Dune by Frank Herbert

  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

  6. Persuasion by Jane Austen

  7. Foundation by Isaac Asimov

  8. Passage by Connie Willis

  9. The Stand by Stephen King

  10. The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark

  11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  12. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

  13. The Daughter of Time by Ngaio

  14. Dissolution by CJ Sansom

  15. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf


I'm missing something, I'm sure. What's on your list?

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, May 14, 2010

Let the weekend begin

This will have to be a quickie. I have to go make dinner in time to watch Say Yes to the Dress. It's Friday. Work was all right. I took Tug for a good long walk and it the temps are the 70s. I hope to watch the show then do some reading.

It looks like my current read is ..... REVENGER by Rory Clements. This is 2nd of 2 in series featuring John Shakespeare, elder brother of playwright William Shakespeare and investigator for Queen Elizabeth I in England 1580s-1590s. Here is a description:

1592. England and Spain are at war, yet there is peril at home, too. The death of her trusted spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham has left Queen Elizabeth vulnerable. Conspiracies multiply. The quiet life of John Shakespeare is shattered by a summons from Robert Cecil, the cold but deadly young statesman who dominated the last years of the Queen’s long reign, insisting Shakespeare re-enter government service. His mission: to find vital papers, now in the possession of the Earl of Essex. Essex is the brightest star in the firmament, a man of ambition. He woos the Queen, thirty-three years his senior, as if she were a girl his age. She is flattered by him – despite her loathing for his mother, the beautiful, dangerous Lettice Knollys who presides over her own glittering court – a dazzling array of the mad, bad, dangerous and disaffected. When John Shakespeare infiltrates this dissolute world he discovers not only that the Queen herself is in danger – but that he and his family is also a target. With only his loyal footsoldier Boltfoot Cooper at his side, Shakespeare must face implacable forces who believe themselves above the law: men and women who kill without compunction. And in a world of shifting allegiances, just how far he can trust Robert Cecil, his devious new master?

It was published in the UK April 2010 and has 448 pages.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hitting the catnip at week's end

Steve is home; life is getting back to normal. Tomorrow is Friday and that makes me happy.

I FINALLY finished the Elizabeth George. It felt like she was getting back to her old form and I guess I know what she was trying to accomplish with the extra bits but it may have been a stronger book without so much extra bits and trying to be "literary." It needed some editing. I was about to start singing the song "This is the song that never ends...." only it was a book.

Now, I have so many choices for what is next I haven't chosen yet. I don't know what I'm in the mood for -- probably I should go back to a histmyst and there is REVENGER by Rory Clements right there. I think that is the strongest contender.

After raining most of the week, tomorrow it is supposed to get up into the 70s. Time to put the sweaters back away and bring out the lighter tops. It's spring.

This weekend we'll go see Iron Man 2 in the theatres. It is Steve's birthday on Sunday. We have the three-hour season finale of Survivor on Sunday as well as Episode 10 of The Pacific. Since The Pacific repeats through the week, we'll probably watch it later.

With America's Next Top Model ending last night, Survivor ending on Sunday and The Pacific theoretically ending on Sunday, I have many nights back for reading. Woo hoo! I still have Say Yes to the Dress tomorrow. :)

I didn't get as much sleep last night and I definitely felt it today. It's almost 9pm and my bedtime; not much time to look at books but I can't stay up a second night. Work can't suffer.

Have a good night.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday!

On my to-be-read pile is a book called THE BONES OF AVALON by Phil Rickman. It was published recently and has 480 pages. Here is a description:

When Elizabeth I's most trusted men fear for her safety and think there's a possibly supernatural plot against her, the obvious man to investigate it is Dr John Dee, her astrologer and consultant in the hidden arts. Aided by his former pupil – and Elizabeth's reputed lover – Robert Dudley, he travels to Glastonbury to try and find the bones of King Arthur. Glastonbury, however, has never recovered from the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the execution of its beloved Abbot Richard Whiting, and many residents view the pair with suspicion. The exception to this is Nel Borrow, who treats Dudley when he's ill and becomes the first woman Dee has ever been interested in romantically. Can the three stop the villainous plot?

And here is an excerpt:

I must have been the only man that morning to touch it. They'd gathered around me in the alley, but when I put a hand into the coffin they all drew back.

A drab day, not long after the year's beginning. Sky like a soiled rag, sooted know still clinging to the cobbles I'd walked down, for maybe the last time, from the lodgings behind New Fish Street, through air already fugged with smoke from the morning fires. A stink of sour ale and vomit in the alley, and a hanging dread.

'Dr. Dee...'

The man pushing through the ring of onlookers wore a long black coat over a black doublet, expensive but unslashed. Mole-sleek hair was cut close to his skull.

'You may not remember me, Doctor.'

His voice soft, making him younger than his appearance suggested.


'Arrived in Cambridge not long before you left.

I was edging a cautious thumbnail over the yellowing face within the coffin. All the people you're supposed to recognize these days. Why? They're something then nothing, here then gone. Waste of study-time.

'Quite a big college,' I said.

'I think you were a reader in Greek at the time?'

Which would have made it 1547 or '48. I hadn't been back to Cambridge since, having -- to my mother's fierce consternation -- turned down a couple of proffered posts there. I looked up at him, shaking my head and begging mercy, for in truth I knew him not.

'Walsingham,' he said.


Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, May 10, 2010

Some days have more hurdles than others

It's Mailbox Monday! Mailbox Monday gathers together for readers the books that came into the house last week. (feel free to share yours) Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Last week for the Kindle I got THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING by Nancy Pickard. This is a mystery author who I think really found her "voice" with her previous books, THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS. These two books are set in small towns, in the plains states. There's an openness, a vastness, and just a western, middle America tone to them.

A UK release from April got to me last week via Book Depository, REVENGER by Rory Clements. This is the second book in a historical mystery series set in the Elizabethan period. Love that era.

From, came a book that I'd already read but I decided the series was good enough to go into my personal library. This is the second book of a series by C.S. Harris called WHEN GODS DIE, which features Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, an investigator in Regency England.

From the free books at the library's lobby, I picked up Margery Allingham's THE FEAR SIGN which is one of her Campion series and a lovely, lurid Pocketbook edition of a book called BLACK IS THE FASHION FOR DYING by Jonathan Latimer. I love Pocketbooks with their cast of characters in the front with sensational descriptions of each person we're to meet inside.

And that's it. I MUST finish the George. I MUST to read and do nothing else. Though I did watch episode five of The Tudors while having dinner -- ah, Catherine Howard has met her end. On to wife number six!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pleasant Valley Sunday

Sunday afternoon. Steve's jet took off about an hour ago, heading for Phoenix where it is 94 degrees today. Tug is walked (and smelly from jumping in the water-filled ditch). I'm reading 4MA digests because I have a ton of them to read since last weekend but I'm thinking a nap may be in the offing before heading over to my parents' for dinner. Mom's Day and all that. Afterward, Erik is coming over to watch episode 9 of The Pacific. I haven't gotten very much reading done this weekend. (sigh)

It was good to see our friend Josh yesterday. He used to work for me at Software Etc., and since then has graduated from West Point, been in Afghanistan (had been in Bosnia previously), married and recently they had triplets. Over achiever. :)

We watched the Sherlock Holmes movie last night with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. It was really very very good. Downey is just simply always wonderful and amazing. And I don't like Jude Law but I didn't hate him here. The sets were Victorian gritty; the music was really good as well. The plot goes a little overboard on the fantastical but it's do-able. They've set up for a sequel. I'm afraid Downey has another franchise on his hands. Busy, so-talented man. We want to see Iron Man 2 next weekend.

It's funny -- I read about the mysteries on the digests and get all fired up for them; I read the RT magazine and get all mushy for romances. I'm such a mood reader ... or is it short attention span? SQUIRREL!

This week not much out of the ordinary going on other than picking Steve up at the airport Wednesday. Same old same old. :)

Have a lovely rest of the weekend ....

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I KNEW it!

Here's an interesting meme I came across while surfing the Net:

  • What series do you read where you have had an issue with one of the books in the line-up.

  • Do you cut the author lose after one miss, or do you have a limit of failed books in a series before you toss in the towel.

  • What's your suggestion for that book that you struggle with in a series.

Over time, I think a reader's taste may change. I know mine has changed multiple times. Overall reading preference by genre type since kidhood include moving from romance to SFF to mysteries. Within the mystery genre itself, I've moved from perhaps the cozier sides of things to historical mysteries. Ah, but the reading itself is always there. :)

A sample of some series that I have abandoned (in no particular order):

  • Jerilyn Farmer's Madeline Bean, a caterer in Hollywood, California. It just got too silly.

  • Sujata Massey's Rei Shimura, a Japanese-American who would like to become an antiques dealer, in Tokyo, Japan. I think this author strayed from made the books interesting -- the antiques and being in Japan. Suddenly she was like a spy. Oy.

  • Carolyn G. Hart's Annie Laurance, a mystery book store owner, and Max Darling, investigator, in Broward’s Rock, South Carolina, in the Death on Demand series. Again, too saccharine. I wish she would write more of her HenryO series.

  • Monica Ferris' Betsy Devonshire, a needlework shop owner in Excelsior, Minnesota. Got way too involved in the crafting than the mystery it seems.

  • Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series. Frivolous. The first one was terrific.

  • Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey. She is writing the same book basically over and over with no changes.

Basically, I have a low silliness threshold. And often an author loses focus on what worked in the previous books that had gotten me hooked on a series, it no longer works for me and I don't want to waste time on "meh". Fluffy is okay on occasion but I usually want heft and an inner intelligence in the books I read. And I don't mean I'm looking for scholarly works, I just want there to be some meat on the book's bones.

I usually give a series a second chance if a book goes "off" for me. But after the second chance, done.

A suggestion for the book that I struggle with in a series? I say, move on. Sometimes it could be me and my mood at the time so move on and maybe it will strike me better later. Other times, it is time to let it go and wish it and the author well -- truly there are readers out there for every book and sometimes it is not for us. Set it free.

Still reading the George. Oy. I feel this internal clock ticking away and it's time to get on to another book but I can't yet. I think I'm around the 60% done mark. Otherwise, I have a ton of 4ma digests to read this weekend.

The sun is shining, it's a nice morning. Go out and enjoy!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oh Friday.

Finally made it to Friday. OMG.

So now I don't know what is going to happen. Steve called me when I got off work that a friend of ours is in town and leaving Tuesday. Steve is going out of town Sunday and won't be back until Wednesday. So we have this little window of opportunity to link up with said friend and for sure I'm not letting him come over to the house because it's a mess and I'm too tired tonight to clean it. And now it's 6:30 and Steve hasn't yet called me back to let me know what is supposed to happen. Do I cook dinner tonight or are we going out? I don't know and it bothers me the lack of keeping me in the loop.

If we don't go out tonight then I have Say Yes to the Dress to watch and reading George of which I'm ready to be done not so much that it's not a good book -- it's just taking me a seemingly long time to read it when I have so many others I'd like to get to, too.

So on my break this afternoon (15 minutes) I decided to walk to the library. On the way there, I came across a man either asleep or passed out on the grass of a bank. I didn't get close enough to check which way it went. So I walked around to the entrance to the bank which apparently doesn't allow visitors inside because the doors were locked so I went around to the drive up window thingy where a man in his car was conducting business. I assured him I wasn't up to anything nefarious and told the girl behind the glass what was going on on their property. She made a surprised but displeased face and I continued on my way. Walking back, the man was gone so I guess he wasn't dead at least.

I'm weary of the week and ready for the weekend. I have the usual cleaning to do and on Sunday I have to take Steve to the airport. I don't really want to think about much else; just tired and don't want to deal with things.
Update: I guess we're meeting tomorrow afternoon so now I have to get dinner started.

Have a good evening, everyone...

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, May 6, 2010

And the cat had better be named Lucy

A day closer to Friday. Kept busy at work but it would have been nicer to be closer to the weekend than Thursday. Ah well. And it snowed all day, fergoodnesssakes. But I got to test my new winter coat and it is nice 'n' toasty. Tug needed to check out the furry stuff that was around the hood and was apparently satisfied that it wasn't something to eat or chase.

We just finished eating dinner and watching Survivor (Russell has got to go -- can they not make this happen?). Now for the blog and maybe some reading. Still plugging away at the Elizabeth George.

Not book related but here's a quick little meme: What was the best first scene you remember in a movie?

The first one that popped into my brain was The Sound of Music for some reason with the flow over the countryside then focusing in on Julie Andrews. The openings of all the Star Wars movies always got me excited --- the letters going across the screen and the music. Also the opening of Star Wars itself with the ship going across the screen... that's a classic. The opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark is fantastic with the whole character and what to expect from the story in one scene -- amazing. Someone else mentioned the opening of Jaws but that never really registered in my "whoa" category though the movie overall is excellent. Saving Private Ryan has that powerful beginning on the beach. Here's a somewhat obscure one in the thriller category: Cliffhanger with Sylvester Stallone and the girl ultimately falling. For film buffs: the long tracking scene opening for The Player. Can anyone add more? How about some bad movies with terrific openings or do good opening scenes really only happen in good movies?

Only a half hour to read so I must be off.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When the wind blows ....

I'm blown away. No, really, it has been so freakin' windy today and I've been out walking in it. Ready for it to be done now. And of course Tug was saying "Woo hoo! Lovin' it!" Steve has a board meeting tonight. I can either read this evening or watch Deadliest Catch and Glee so I'm not sure how it will transpire.

It's Teaser Tuesday!

One of my upcoming reads is THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING by Nancy Pickard. It was just published this week and has 336 pages. This is her most recent book since the fantastic THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS. Here is an excerpt:


June 9, 2009

Until she was twenty-six, Jody Linder felt suspicious of happiness.

She hated that about herself, because it tended to sour some otherwise pretty damn fine moments, but this was Rose, Kansas, after all. Only the year before, a pencil tornado had dropped down and killed three people only a few miles from her hometown. A tornado, when the sun was shining! In the winter, there were ice storms. In the summer, there were grass fires. At all times, people she knew went bankrupt, lost their homes, their ranches, their jobs. Or, they died just when you least expected them to. A person could, for instance, belong to a nice family living an ordinary life in a small town in the middle of nowhere, and on some innocent Saturday night, violent men could drop in like those tornadoes and turn those nice people into the dead stars of a Truman Capote book. Such things happened. That wasn't paranoia. It was a terrible fact that Jody knew better than anybody--or at least better than anybody whose father had not been murdered when she was three years old and whose mother had not disappeared the same night.

Such things happened, and she was proof of it.

Therefore--the past having proved to her the unreliability of the present--happiness made Jody Linder anxious. Feelings of safety and security got her checking around corners, lifting lids off bins, and parting shower curtains for fear of what might be hiding there, because you just never knew. A killer could hide in the corner, bugs lurked in bins, spiders jumped out of bathtubs.

Happiness was fragile, precious, and suspect.


And today perhaps only, a two-fer! Two for Teaser Tuesday!

Also up in my reading TBR, is REVENGER by Rory Clements. This was published last week in the UK. This is 2nd of 2 in series featuring John Shakespeare, elder brother of playwright William Shakespeare and investigator for Queen Elizabeth I, England 1580s-1590s. Here is an excerpt:


SHAKESPEARE HAD never seen a woman more lovely. His first sight of her was at a distance, in profile, along the evening-shadowed long gallery of Essex House and he was transfixed. The room had fine elmwood panelling and frescoed walls with pictures of nymphs and satyrs in woodland scenes. She was laughing and her fair hair fell back across the soft skin of her nape and shoulder blades. Her neck was adorned by three strings of precious stones that looked to him like diamonds and rubies.

Slyguff walked a step ahead of him, his hand gripped on the hilt of a dagger that was thrust in the belt buckled tight about his narrow, wiry waist.

Only at the last moment, as they came near, did Shakespeare avert his gaze from the woman and see that she was with Charlie McGunn, deep in conversation.

The woman looked up with nonchalant curiosity at Shakespeare’s approach. Her eyes were black, like still, dark water. She raised an eyebrow questioningly. McGunn turned to him, too, and a grin broke across his fleshy, bald face. ‘Ah, Mr Shakespeare, I believe you have seen sense. Welcome to the fold.’

‘Thank you.’

‘I hope you will introduce us, Mr McGunn,’ the woman said.

‘My apologies, Lady Rich. This is Mr Shakespeare. Mr John Shakespeare.’

Shakespeare bowed. ‘My lady.’ Of course, he had seen her portrait. Penelope Rich, sister of the Earl of Essex, was said to be the most beautiful woman at court, if not in the whole of England. It was an assessment which Shakespeare could not dispute.

‘Mr Shakespeare,’ she said, ‘you must be brother to the other Mr Shakespeare, the Earl of Southampton’s poet, for I can see that there is a little family likeness in your eyes and brow, though you are taller.’

‘Indeed, my lady. And I am a little older, too.’

McGunn clasped his arm around Shakespeare’s shoulders. Too tight for friendship. Shakespeare winced at the memory of his vice-like hand taking him by the throat. ‘Mr Shakespeare has agreed to join our great enterprise of all the talents, Lady Rich. He is to seek out and find the mysterious lost colonist, if one such really exists.’

‘Oh, I am sure she exists, Mr McGunn. It is an intriguing tale. Do find her, Mr Shakespeare. I should so like to hear what she has to say for herself, about the perils she has endured in the New World and how she came to make her crossing of the ocean home to England. It will be the talk of the court. And, of course, it is certain to discomfit Ralegh, which will be most amusing.’

‘I will do my utmost.’

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday! Mailbox Monday gathers together for readers the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Last week I got two books. The first, on Tuesday, was Nora Roberts' SAVOR THE MOMENT. The other was THE GOD OF THE HIVE by Laurie R. Roberts via the Kindle. That's it. For the biggest release week of them all, I only achieved two ... so far.

To add a little heft here, I can tell you what samples I downloaded to my Kindle last week. THE TULIP VIRUS by Danielle Hermans, a book I believe is translated from Dutch. SECRET OF THE SEVENTH SON by Glenn Cooper. ALL THE QUEEN'S PLAYERS by Jane Feather. POISON PEN by Sheila Lowe and THE HERETIC'S WIFE by Brenda Rickman Vantrease. I've not yet had a chance to dabble in them.

I kept busy all day at work. And today starts that state fitness thingy so I've been wearing the pedometer starting last week but today it begins in earnest.

Just got done with dinner and watching episode four of season four of The Tudors. Catherine Howard is in trou--ble. I didn't quite get the hamburgers done all the way through so dinner was a fail. Sigh.

Tug is out on the deck, aroo-ing. So I'd better go give my puppy some attention.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Summary of monthly reads

My April 2010 Reads:

- A MURDEROUS PROCESSION by Ariana Franklin This is 4th of 4 in series featuring Adelia (Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar of Salerno), a “doctor for the dead” working for King Henry II in 12th century England. Here is a description:

Medieval forensic pathologist Adelia Aguilar has been an enjoying a quiet life in the countryside with her daughter and friends. Then Henry II demands that she accompany his daughter and her formal procession to Sicily and offers to “keep” her daughter with Queen Eleanor until her safe return. But death stalks the procession, and Adelia and her loyal friends soon realize that the killer is someone from her past bent on revenge.

It was just published and has 352 pages. From the first book, one can so hear Peter O'Toole as Henry and Katherine Hepburn as Eleanor. I like this time period a lot but I don't like cliffhangers when the next book won't be out until next year.

- HAND OF FATE by Lis Wiehl and April Henry. This is 2nd of 2 in series featuring Cassidy Shaw, a reporter, Allison Pierce, a federal prosecutor, and Nicole Hedge, an FBI special agent, in the Triple Threat series. Here is a description:

When the host of a popular radio talk show is murdered, the suspects almost outnumber his millions of listeners. Outspoken radio talk show host Jim Fate dies tragically when poisonous gas fills the studio while his polarizing show, "The Hand of Fate," is on air. In the ensuing panic, police evacuate downtown Portland--and the triple threat of FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, crime reporter Cassidy Shaw and Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce begin piecing together the madness, motive, and the mystery of what just happened. And this time it's personal since one of the women was secretly dating the host and has access to his well as possible evidence.

It was published this month and has 320 pages. I'm reading it on the Kindle. It was fluffy and over the top but okay.

- SHADOWS IN THE STREET by Susan Hill. This is 5th of 5 in series featuring Simon Serrailler, a police Chief Inspector in Lafferton, England. Here is a description:

Simon Serrailler has just wrapped up a particularly exhausting and difficult case for SIFT - Special Incident Flying Taskforce - and is on a sabbatical on a far flung Scottish island when he is called back to Lafferton by the Chief Constable. Two local prostitutes have gone missing and are subsequently found strangled. By the time he gets back, another girl has disappeared. Is this a vendetta against prostitutes by someone with a warped mind? Or a series of killings by an angry punter? But then one of the Cathedral wives goes missing, followed by another young married woman, on her way to work. Serailler follows lead after lead, all of which become dead-ends. The fear is that more women will be killed, and that the murderer is right under theirnoses; meanwhile the public grow more angry and afraid.

It was published April 1, 201o in the UK and has 384 pages. Hill writes very well but the crimes were solved by accident. I think she is more interested in plumbing into the depths of a characters rather than writing actual crime fiction.

- A VEIN OF DECEIT by Susanna Gregory. This is 15th of 15 in series featuring Matthew Bartholomew, physician, and his colleague Brother Michael, in 14th century Cambridge, England. Here is a description:

Despite a new influx of well-heeled students, Michaelhouse has suffered from an acute lack of funds that has made itself manifest in a lack of decent provisions. When the Brother in charge of the account books dies unexpectedly, an explanation is revealed: large amounts of money had been paid for goods the college never received. A pregnant visitor to Matthew's sister's household has died from an overdose of pennyroyal. Had she meant to abort her child, or had someone else wanted to ensure that she was unable to provide an heir to her husband's wealthy estates? When Brother Michael and Matthew learns that it was the dead woman’s husband who had received Michaelhouse's missing money, they begin to search for other connections and quickly exposes a deep and treacherous conspiracy.

It was published in 2009 and has 480 pages.

- SAVOR THE MOMENT by Nora Roberts. This is 3rd of the Brides Quartet. Here is a description:

Wedding baker Laurel McBane is surrounded by romance working at Vows wedding planning company with her best friends Parker, Emma, and Mac. But she's too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that their clients seem to long for. What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker's older brother Delaney, on whom she's had a mega-crush since childhood. But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convinced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her - or so she thinks.

Published April 2010 and has 352 pages. Roberts has used this setup before in a series but it works. This is sort of like Sex in the City only they've got long-term romance in their lives. I've gotten a young c0-worker -- who is a huge TWILIGHT-er -- hooked on them.

I've started but not finished three books in April: THIS BODY OF DEATH by Elizabeth George, THE GAME OF KINGS by Dorothy Dunnett, and THE CRUELEST MONTH by Louise Penny. I hope to complete them this month.

I think I have only one book release in May that I'm anticipating. That is THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING by Nancy Pickard, releasing this Tuesday. Otherwise, I still have a couple that were published this last week in April that I've not gotten to yet. So I'm not lacking for reading material. (I'm not counting the series reads I need to get back to)

So, once again I'm only averaging five books a month which sucks. Better than nothing, yes, but with so many books to get through, this doesn't help.

It's a dark windy day so far on this Sunday, maybe I could hunker down and read. Last night we watched Angels and Demons on one of the movie channels. I'd read the book but it had been so long ago some of the details were fuzzy. In some ways it was more plausible (for a thriller) than The Da Vinci Code. The movie got hyped when it was released but didn't seem to have much impact. At least Tom Hanks' hair was better. Too many people on fire scenes -- Steve was kind to mute it while I hid my face during them. It's a long movie at almost 2 1/2 hours so it took up a chunk of the evening.

I have a ton of 4ma digests yet to read so have a lovely Sunday ...

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster