TWO RECENT READS–Morningstar:Growing up With Books and Playing with Fire: REVIEWS

The following two books were ones I read purely for escape while waiting for my delayed-by-ice semester to start:

First, Morningstar:Growing Up with Books a 2017 publication by Ann Hood, was a slim volume which needs to be read with one’s TBR list close by. The book might be described as a memoir organized by what the author was reading at various stages of her life. I had read her earlier novel, The Book That Matters Most, and thoroughly enjoyed it, sharing it with friends at my book club, so when I saw it displayed at the library, I checked it out. Hood grew up in a household that “didn’t foster a love of literature but discovered literature anyway. Sometimes lonely as a child she experienced “the companionship of books.” She read eclectically, pouring equally over classics, bestsellers, and books that were “not so nice,” her mother’s description. Because it was so short, it was a quick read and a unique one. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves books and is interested in other people who love them too.

Tess Gerritsen’s 2015 novel is one I found at Half Price Books.  As a fan of the TNT series, Rissoli and Isles, selecting Playing with Fire, was a no-brainer.  The cover alone was enough to capture my interest. Gerritsen employs great skills of characterization, and her plots and sub-plots combine psychological thriller appeal as well as mystery, action, and plenty of twists and turns. Beginning in the US and continuing in Venice, Julia, the protagonist, is soon caught up in espionage and violence, something she never dreamed a concert violinist would experience.  The intertwining stories of the modern-day professional violinist and the Jewish holocaust-era composer provide good reading and good mystery.

ANOTHER COZY MYSTERY: A Review

A cozy mystery, defined, is: someone gets killed, but it’s a really bad person anyway, and there’s minimum graphic and gore, and is the perfect read to cozy up to on a cold day.  Cozies are pure escape reading, and some of them are quite good–entertaining anyway. I have just finished the third of a mail package sent by my husbands cousin who lives in California.  I can’t wait to tell her that the author lives in Friendswood, Texas, not ten miles away from where I live.  According to a stamp in the front of the book, the cousin purchased it at a used paperback shop in Grover Beach, CA.  Lends a whole new meaning to the phrase, “small world” hmmmmm?”

The Cat, The Quilt, and the Corpse by Leann Sweeney, an award winning mystery writer, is in her “Cats in Trouble Series”. She has a line on the cover which says, “When cats are in trouble, their nine lives come in handy.”  The corpse in question is the lowest of the low, a catnapper! And the quilts?  Quilts made for cats, of course.

Widowed ten months ago, and  having moved to a small (really small) town in South Carolina from Texas, Jillian returns from an overnight quilt show to find her house broken into and one of her three cats (Katrina rescues, pure bloods) missing. How she tracks down her missing cat, discovers the corpse of the catnapper (making her and several prospective cat-loving friends ,suspects) is the gist of this story. Small town characters abound and if Jillian learns nothing else, it’s not to rely on first impressions.

This is an interesting story of making friends, being the outsider and the speculation of much gossip, and the important relationships we can forge with our pet-friends.  It is worth a read.  It is cozy.