Monday, April 20, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.

Here's what I got ~

Last Gasp (Romantic Suspense) by Carla Cassidy (For Review) ~ Ever since she found her mother and siblings murdered, Allison Clemmins has hated her father, Hank, who is imprisoned for the crimes. Then Seth Walker arrives in town, a lawyer determined to exonerate Hank, to unearth the secrets that should have been revealed long ago. He also offers Allison the one thing missing from her life—the ability to trust a man.But as fate finds them in each other’s arms, a psychotic killer— either the original or a copycat—makes himself known...

Take Me Two Times (Signet Eclipse) by Karen Kendall (For Review) ~ New to the art recovery world, agent Gwen Davies takes on her very first “repo” assignment: restoring a solid gold, bejeweled Venetian mask to its rightful owner. But she’s mortified to find that she’s stolen back a fake and worse yet, the client is her ex, Quinn Lawson. Both are forced to team up in order to find the real mask, leading them to the twisting canals of old Venice—and also in harm’s way because of a centuries-old curse. Someone seems to want this mask even more than they do, and the growing danger forces them closer together than they ever expected to be—again.

Smart Girls Think Twice (Berkley Sensation) by Cathie Linz (For Reveiw) ~ Sociologist Emma, sister of Sue Ellen and plus-sized model Leena (Big Girls Don’t Cry, 2007), has always been the “smart sister,” considered plainer and more reserved than her pretty, personable siblings. Sue Ellen and Leena are both getting married, and while Emma’s in Rock Creek for the weddings, she figures she can do an academic study on the town’s revitalization. When Emma approaches one of Rock Creek’s newcomers, hunky bartender Jake Slayter, to interview him, she wishes for once that she weren’t the ordinary-looking sister. Jake doesn’t want to be interviewed for Emma’s study: his reasons for coming to Rock Creek are secret. But when he watches the mousy sociologist deck one of the more obnoxious bar customers, Jake begins to view her in a different light. Readers will be captivated as they watch the introverted academic get in touch with her inner warrior and realize her true potential. Funny and poignant by turns, Linz’s latest is sure to charm.

Four Wives by Wendy Walker (For Review) ~ A klatch of wealthy suburban women become deeply entangled in one another's lives while planning a public health clinic benefit in Walker's uninspired first novel. Housewife Janie is having a heated affair she can't give up; lawyer Marie is trying to balance her law practice, family obligations and loafing husband when a hot summer intern arrives; heiress Gayle has turned to pills to numb her to the treatment of her abusive husband; and Love, a doctor's wife, receives a letter from her estranged father that dredges up a painful past. As the women's personal struggles invade their other, pedestrian pursuits, Love's struggle with the demands of motherhood and family forces Marie, Janie and Gayle to get more involved in the lives of their friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, Walker doesn't do much to bring life to her typecast characters, and the narrative wobbles wildly as the subplots barrel toward a big revelation. The ending is mostly happy, which will please some, but the novel's phoned-in feeling prevents readers from connecting with the characters.

Here Today, Gone to Maui by Carol Snow (For Review) ~ When Jane Shea’s boyfriend, Jimmy, invites her to spend a week at a swanky resort in Maui, she’s thrilled—of course—but nervous, too. She worries about missing their flight. She worries about losing her luggage. It never even occurs to her that she might misplace Jimmy.But paradise has a way of attracting trouble, and Jane hasn’t even managed to learn the hula or paddle under a waterfall before Jimmy disappears. When the police suggest that Jimmy has drowned, Jane thinks things can’t get any worse—but her troubles have just begun. This is one vacation the guidebooks never prepared her for.

A Flickering Light (Portraits of the Heart, Book 1) by Jane Kirkpatrick (For Review) ~ Historical novelist Kirkpatrick (A Tendering in the Storm) is exceptionally authentic in her use of early 20th-century history. Virtually all the characters are real figures; protagonist Jessie Ann Gaebele is inspired in this biographical fiction by the writer's own grandmother. Jessie Ann loves photography, and when she is hired as an assistant to photographer F.J. Bauer, she learns about the field of her dreams and also about herself, as she finds herself attracted to her married boss, who battles his own feelings in return. Kirkpatrick renders the war among desire, duty and restraint with exquisite nuance. There are no unsympathetic characters in this tangle of relationships. Bauer's wife—also named Jessie—may be difficult to live with, but she has her reasons. The period detail—dangerous chemicals used in photography, debilitating and frequent illnesses, the routine constraints on women's choices—offers a compelling portrait of the time. Kirkpatrick deserves a wide audience for this coming-of-age tale that is aching and hopeful.

Killer Keepsakes (Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries) by Jane K. Cleland ~ One of the mainstays of Prescott’s Antiques and Appraisals has always been the cheerful and helpful assistant, Gretchen, who turned up unexpectedly just as Josie was setting up shop in New Hampshire. Gretchen has always been so dependable that it seems odd when she doesn’t show up for work one day. Surprise soon turns to alarm when a dead body is found in Gretchen’s house, with Gretchen the prime suspect. How much does Josie know about Gretchen, anyway? Enough to believe she isn’t capable of murder, so Josie, with a crack team of antiques appraisers at her side, sets out to find the real killer and bring Gretchen home safely, no matter the cost.

Miss Julia Delivers the Goods: A Novel by Ann B. Ross ~ An unplanned pregnancy, a destructive break-in and a nasty gazpacho incident are just a few of the problems facing Julia Murdoch in Ross's diverting 10th cozy to feature the North Carolina matron (after 2008's Miss Julia Paints the Town). When naïve Hazel Marie, the former mistress of Miss Julia's first husband, learns that her flulike symptoms have another cause, it's up to the enterprising Miss Julia to patch things up between Hazel Marie and her estranged PI boyfriend, J.D. Pickens. Meanwhile, a burglary at the house of lawyer Sam Murdoch, Miss Julia's second husband, means trouble. The disappearance of Sam's meticulous files on local court cases suggests there are parties who don't want information on Abbot County's philandering judge and corrupt sheriff to see the light of day. Those who prefer a leisurely pace, a touch of screwball comedy and gentle puzzles in their mysteries will enjoy this paean to smalltown nosiness and steadfast loyalties.

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline ~ Ellen Gleeson was balancing life as a single mother and a feature reporter as well as could be expected. She had taken on single parenthood voluntarily, having fallen in love with her adopted son, Will, now three, when he was a very sick infant. A have-you-seen-this-child postcard featuring a child who could be Will’s twin catches Ellen’s attention, and while she should be pursuing her assigned story about the emotional effect of Philadelphia’s high teenage murder rate, she instead becomes obsessed with the missing child and with pursuing more details about Will’s background. Her questions multiply when she learns that, just three weeks after she adopted Will, the attorney who handled the proceedings killed herself. Where is the birth mother, and why doesn’t her family seem to know that she was pregnant? The answer only leads to danger, but Ellen, her reporter’s instincts on high alert, is hell-bent on finding the truth, no matter the cost. In a departure from her wildly popular Rosato & Associates series, Scottoline still sticks to what she knows in this taut stand-alone: female drama, family ties, legal intrigue, and fast-paced action.


Missy said...

You've got some good ones! I think I would enjoy Here Today Gone To Maui...can't wait to read your review for that one.

Kristi said...

You got some great books this week - and most of them are new to me! Enjoy your reading!