Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Cozies

The Stolen Blue by Judith Van Gieson was touted by none other than Tony Hillerman as a book not to miss. So, of course, when Hillerman speaks, I listen very carefully. And I was not disappointed. I'm going to have to hunt up some more of Van Giesen's work because I loved this book. Claire reynier introduced me to the job of a rare book expert and if I had my life to do over again (God forbid!), I'm pretty sure that would be an area I'd love. Frustrating work, to be sure. But fascinating.

Claire's former professor and mentor calls her to his spread in The Blue, a virtually unspoiled area of New Mexico. He wants to donate his entire collection of books to University of New Mexico's Center for Southwest Research. Claire has a special fondness for the old curmudgeon, who is not in good health. He had hired her for her first job as librarian after graduate school and after her marriage ended recently, helped ensure she got hired at UNM as the head of library collection, responsible for buying rare books for the CSR. Claire is excited both about seeing her mentor and looking over his extensive collection. The joy ends soon, however. The day after Burke signs his will giving the collection to the Center, he is found dead in the snow outside his home. His daughter Mariah, who has only recently discovered Burke was her father, is not only named the principal heir of the Burke estate, but she also admits to helping the man commit suicide. To make matters more convoluted, when Claire returns to the university after Burke's death, one box of the books she had in her truck is stolen. Claire has to discover why the books were stolen, who took them and what they had to do with Burke's death.

Margaret Coel (another favorite author) said this book was an intricate puzzle that kept her guessing. Me, too. It was very well written. Claire is a character I liked and would like to read more about. So maybe in the next day or two, I'll be searching St. Tammany Parish Library for more books by Judith Van Giesen.

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross was an absolutely delightful book! Here's yet another favorite to add to my list. I've got to get supper going now, so will postpone writing anything more. I have to have more time to do justice to Miss Julia.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Long time, no write

I've failed. Surprised, aren't you? LOL! I've just kept putting off writing in my blogs for various reasons, some good, some not. I meant well. I always do. But doing well... Well, that's not my best thing. Follow-through has always been one of my many, many shortcomings.

I have been reading a bit, though. Not so much as I would have liked, but reading a bit here and there, nonetheless. I didn't write down every single title I've read since the last blog entry, unfortunately. But since I'm the only one who gives a hoot, it really doesn't matter. Except to me. That failure thing, you know.

What I've Read:
In August and September, I managed to read some of the Star Trek Gateway series novels. These are crossover novels - there's one for each of the Star Trek series, including a novel focusing on the USS Challenger, a ship introduced in a series of novels taking place between the times between the first two Star Trek movies. The unifying theme involves the sudden activation of interstellar gate planted millenia ago by the Iconians, a species we meet in one episode of the original Star Trek show.

  • First, the Kirk novel: One Small Step. Typical Kirk hero stuff. A fun read.
  • Second, Challenger, Chain Mail. This one was very frustrating to me, because I had not read all the novels in the New Earth/Challenger series and so was unfamiliar with the characters and the situation.
  • Third, Picard in Doors into Chaos. Despite the fact that I adore Jean Luc, this one was not nearly so satisfying as the Kirk book. Troi does get command of a ship, however, and that was nice.
  • Fourth, Deep Space Nine, Demons of Air and Darkness. Another disappointment. I liked DS9, but I did not care for this novel.

    The last three in the series that I hope to read soon:
  • No Man's Land, featuring Captain Janeway and the Voyager crew. I liked the Voyager series a lot. Hope this novel is not disappointing.
  • Cold Wars, the only novel series with characters not be based on an actual Star Trek show. It's part of a series introducing a new ship, The Challenger, and a new cast of characters. I've not read any of these novels yet. I'm sure I'll be lost when I read this one in the Gateway series, but I'll probably read it anyway.
  • What Lay Beyond, which is supposed to tie everything up quite neatly. A long damned time in coming, my friends! Not sure I care any more.

I liked the original concept - at least as I thought it was going to be before I started reading. But I was very frustrated with some of the individual books for various reasons. And frustrated that I had to wait for the last book in the series to wrap it all up. And I STILL don't own that last book!