Category Archives: fiction

Phantom Prey

By John Sandford

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association

Frances Austin is a missing heiress. Traces of blood in her well-connected mother Alyssa’s home lead Lucas Davenport, head of Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, to assume the worst, but without a body, he can’t be sure. The investigation centers on Frances’ involvement in the Twin Cities’ goth community. The goths’ collective obsession with death and darkness makes them an obvious starting point, but Davenport believes it’s a form of youthful angst rather than an inherently evil social trend. But when other young goths connected to Frances are murdered, Davenport is forced to rethink his theory. Like all good investigators, he follows the money, in this case, a $50,000 withdrawal from Frances’ account and its subsequent disbursement over a 20-day period preceding Frances’ disappearance. When Davenport is wounded coming out of a goth club after conducting a series of background interviews, he realizes he’s closing in on the killer but has no idea who or why. The eighteenth entry in the best-selling Prey series is Sandford’s usual mix of clever plotting, gallows humor, and explosive action, but this time he mixes in a bit of the seemingly supernatural. Davenport doesn’t realize it-and neither will readers–but he’s actually working on two cases. The solution to one is mundanely tragic; the second genuinely disturbing. Expect another trip to the best-seller lists for one of the most consistently entertaining crime writers working today.–Wes LukowskY

Source Citation:Lukowsky, Wes. “Phantom Prey.(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.12 (Feb 15, 2008): 5(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
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Careless in Red

By Elizabeth George

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association


You can’t keep a good detective down. George has put longtime series hero Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley of New Scotland Yard through quite a bit lately: in her last novel, With No One as Witness (2005), Lynley’s much-loved wife was shot to death on the street, reducing him to a grief-stricken shell and leading to his resignation from the Yard. How to resurrect him? George uses a pretty klunky (but familiar to all mystery fans) deus ex machina device. Lynley has embarked on a walk along the coastal path in Cornwall; his rationale is that if he doesn’t keep moving, despair will overtake him. Sure enough, on day 43 of his walk, he spots, far below, what seems to his trained eye to be the vivid red and crumpled shape of a man who has plunged to his death. The machine creaks into place, with Lynley (whose walk has made him appear like a homeless man) being treated as a suspect, then with grudging respect from the local, bumbling constabulary, and finally as someone his old associate Barbara Havers of New Scotland Yard seeks to restore to his post. Despite the obvious restoration device, George delivers, once again, a mystery imbued with psychological suspense and in-depth characterization.–Connie Fletcher

Source Citation:Fletcher, Connie. “Careless in Red.(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.12 (Feb 15, 2008): 4(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
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Twenty Wishes

By Debbie Macomber

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association

Macomber brings her readers back to Seattle’s Blossom Street and quickly whisks us into the lives of its inhabitants. This tale begins on Valentine’s Day at Anne Marie Roche’s bookstore when four widows–Anne Marie, Elise, Lillie, and her daughter, Barbie, members of one of her book groups–decide to celebrate friendship together. One of them brings up the idea of making a list of wishes: things they’ve secretly wanted to accomplish but never did. However hesitant they might be at first, as the women complete their lists, they begin to embrace the idea of making each wish a fact. Anne Marie, especially, has had a hard time coming to terms with the death of her older husband and for almost a year has holed up inside her store and herself. Her wishes are fulfilled in ways she’d never imagine. Witnessing her rebirth is a joy to behold. Even the most hard-hearted readers will find themselves rooting for the women in this hopeful story while surreptitiously wiping away tears and making their own lists of wishes.–Maria Hatton

Source Citation:Hatton, Maria. “Twenty Wishes.(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.16 (April 15, 2008): 28(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
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The Art of Racing in the Rain

By Garth Stein

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association

Enzo the dog feels sure that his next life will be spent in a man’s body. In preparation, he closely studies human behavior, and it’s from Enzo’s observant point of view that Stein writes his moving third novel. Enzo is deeply jealous when his owner, Denny, falls in love with Eve, but after baby Zoe is born, Enzo assumes his role as the family’s unconditional protector, particularly after Eve is diagnosed with brain cancer. After Eve’s death, her parents drag Denny into a bitter custody battle for Zoe, and Enzo, despite his canine limitations, passionately defends Denny and even alters the course of events. Denny is a race-car driver, and Enzo, who has watched countless televised races, folds thrilling track scenes and driving lessons into the terse family drama. The metaphors may feel purposeful, but readers will nonetheless delight in Enzo’s wild, original voice; his aching insights into the limitations and joys of the canine and human worlds; and his infinite capacity for love. A natural choice for book clubs, this should inspire steady demand.–Gillian Engberg

YA/M: Teens will be drawn by the dog’s-eye view of the world and wrenching family story; includes some mild sexual references. GE.

Named Works: The Art of Racing in the Rain (Book) Book reviews

Source Citation:Engberg, Gillian. “The Art of Racing in the Rain.(Young adult review)(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.14 (March 15, 2008): 25(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
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Buckingham Palace Gardens

by Anne Perry

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association

The venerable Queen Victoria remains on the British throne. Her son, the middle-aged Prince of Wales, awaits the time to come for his occupancy of the throne. In the meantime, he fills his days–and nights–with wine, women, and song. One such evening explodes when, the next morning, in a linen closet in Buckingham Palace (the queen, fortunately, nor in residence at the time) is discovered the bloody body of a prostitute who had been part of the previous evening’s entertainment, when the Prince of Wales hosted a gathering of businessmen to discuss a certain engineering project in which he was interested. Called in to quickly and discreetly get to the bottom of the murder is Inspector Pitt (a recurring Perry character), whose strategy includes installing the maid from his own household as an undercover employee in the palace. In a mystery novel, or any novel, with such a setting, it would have been easy for the author to trip over titles and protocol, but Perry has done her homework and does not stumble.–Brad Hooper

Source Citation:Hooper, Brad. “Buckingham Palace Gardens.(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.12 (Feb 15, 2008): 38(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
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Of Men and Their Mothers.

By Mameve Medwed.

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association

Maisie has had it up to here with mothers, even if she is one. Specifically, it is her ex-mother-in-law who drives her berserk. Mother Pollock, doting parent or ranging lunatic-probably both–is controlling, manipulative, and overly possessive of her son (and grandson). Blame it on the pot pies–she sits on top of the Pollock family poultry fortune-and an unyielding sense of competition with other women. But Maisie is over it; in fact, she is happy with her life. Raising 16-year-old Tommy, she even intends to be gracious to his pierced, ragged girlfriend. Her business, Factotum Inc., keeps Maisie busy, and her clients provide amusing side characters, most notably Professor Seamus O’Toole, renowned expert on James Joyce at nearby Harvard. Always try ing to save the world, Maisie hires Darlene, a young mother, out of pity but soon gets sucked into Darlene’s child-custody battle, against-who else?–a trashy mother-in-law. This zany, highly comical page-turner feels churned out at times, but Medwed, author of How Elizabeth Browning Saved My Life (2006), is a seasoned and lively storyteller.– Emily Cook

Source Citation:Cook, Emily. “Of Men and Their Mothers.(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.16 (April 15, 2008): 26(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
<http://find.galegroup.com/itx/start.do?prodId=GRGM&gt;.

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