Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mystery Read-A-Thon #2

Hello All!

Here's the third book I finished today, as posted on Goodreads also:

"It's actually 4.5 stars :). I liked this book so much better than the first in Sean Chercover's Ray Dudgeon series. The problem I had with Big City, Bad Blood was there was a little too much vengeance for me.

Trigger City starts out as Ray is hired by a grieving father to find out what really happened in the murder of his daughter. The Chicago Police consider it a an open-and-shut case, where a woman is killed by an employee who has exhibited maniac behaviors, and who then kills himself, leaving a suicide note. This case gets very big, very quickly, moving into international relations, and mercenaries. Is it too big for Ray to handle?

What I liked so much about this book is that Ray was a PI who worked well with others, including the police and the FBI. So many fictional PI's don't, and this made it a better story for me.

This book won the 2009 Dilys Award, given by booksellers as a favorite of theirs to recommend to customers. It is also nominated for the Anthony Award for Best Novel, and the Macavity Award for Best Novel--both awards to be given at Bouchercon, The World Mystery Convention in October, 2009.

I'm also proud to say I've met Sean Chercover, and in addition to being an author deserving of the above awards, he's also a great guy."

Re: the Mystery Read-A-Thon--I failed miserably :) at reading for 12 hours straight. I ended up taking a nap (2 hours), and got sidetracked by another project (about 1 hour), and I will be finishing up this post about an hour before my 12 hours were to end. It was fun planning for, and being involved with others who were doing the same thing.

I do have a lot of time to read overall--my husband occasionally works out of town (and he's a reader too), I don't have kids, pets, or own house with a yard to take care of, so I have a bit more time than the average person for reading. Yes, I do count myself as quite lucky in that regard.

Happy Reading!

Mystery Read-A-Thon #1

Mystery Read-A-Thon

Started this morning at 10:15 AM, after a 2 mile walk on the treadmill and a shower:

Baring Arms by Jo-Ann Powers
I really like the main character in this 2-book (so far) series by Jo-Ann Power. Congresswoman Carly Wagner is from Texas and is strong, feisty, funny, and doesn't take crap from anyone. As she recently solved a murder committed in her own office, she has no doubts about her own investigative skills, and also knows how to use the networks available to her throughout Washington.

Carly's daughter Jordan is nearly arrested in a raid on a gaming party, but is scooped away from trouble by Carly's friend, Mr. Jones, who helped her in the murder that occured in her office. Mr. Jones works for "a company" that provides very expensive and high tech investigative work for "clients he doesn't know". The gaming party ends up being a source from which many questions arise, and one murder--that of the father of 2 of Jordan's friends. How the gaming party comes together with a case the Mr. Jones is working on, along with missing government information makes for a very good read.

I like the characterizations in this book, and in the first one, especially those of Carly and her daughter Jordan.
Mystery Read-a-thon info: started at 10:15 AM on p. 206, finished at 10:50 AM, 260 pp total.

Gilda Joyce Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison
Started at 10:55-ish, read about 35 pp, didn't like enough to continue reading.

Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott
Megan Abbott is such an amazing writer! She always takes you directly to the time period she's writing in, and you feel you are there as the story unfolds.

This title, due out in July, takes place in Arizona, in 1931, as Mrs. Marion Seeley is left behind there by her husband so that the dry air can heal her consumption. Her husband, a doctor with licensing problems due to drug addiction, goes to work in Mexico for a mining company as their doctor.

Marion befriends a coworker, Louise, and Louise's roommate, Ginny, and the three soon spend several evenings a week together, cooking and listening to the radio. It evolves that Louise and Ginny run with something of a wild crowd, having parties at their home frequently. One of their men friends is Joe Lanigan, and Marion is soon seduced into an affair with him, which becomes an obsession for her.

Where this obsession will lead, and what Marion finds herself doing is the heart of this book. Megan Abbott writes these dark tales better than anyone. From reading other works by her, thise is at least the third title she's based on a true story. For those who like the darker, seamier side of life, this is the book for you.
Started at 11:15 AM, finished at 1:35 PM 270 pp including Author's Note

I feel a nap coming on, so I'm not sure I'll get my full 12 hours in today. I do feel I'm getting good reading done though, which will continue after the nap!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Meme 2: Mystery Read-A-Thon 2009

Tell us more about your mystery/thriller reading habit.

When did you start reading this genre? In elementary school, in 2nd or 3rd grade. I remember being in the school library, looking at or for a Happy Hollisters book.

What was your first experience with the genre? The ever popular Nancy Drew or Agatha Christie? Or someone completely different? The Happy Hollisters first, then Nancy Drew, Dana Girls. I don't remember how I moved to adult mysteries, but I know that Charlotte Macleod and Phyllis Whitney both wrote for teens also, so those may have been transitional authors for me.

How did you discover it? In the school library.

Do you exclusively read mysteries and thrillers or do you mix it with other genres? I mix in other genres.

If you switch genres, which other genres do you read? I read quite a bit of young adult (YA), as I am a teen librarian; I also read fiction, fantasy, science fiction, some romance (preferably screwball) and nonfiction.

Would love to hear others' answers to the above questions!

Happy Reading!

Introductory Meme for Mystery Read-A-Thon 2009

As the first members will probably be starting the Mystery Read-A-Thon around this time, here's the first post. For this, we have a short meme for you all to answer. Please take the questions to your blog and leave a link directly to the post in the comments here!

What books do you want to read during this read-a-thon?
Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison (YA), Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott (ARC from Kathy F--thanks!!!), Raiders of the Lost Corset by Ellen Byerrum, A Night at the Operation by Jeffrey Cohen, Trigger City by Sean Chercover, The Boxer and the Spy by Robert B. Parker (YA), and A Mammoth Murder by Bill Crider (titles subject to the whims of the reader on June 7)

How many books do you hope to finish? At least 3.

What (if any) breaks do you intend to take? I plan on taking breaks here and there for the restroom & food, to check in online, to post on Goodreads & my blog, and to spend time with my husband (who has his own plans for most of the day).

Do you generally read lots of mysteries and thrillers or are the one of the many genres you like? I'm a huge mystery fan, and it's my preferred genre, though I read a little bit of almost everything.

What are some of your favorite authors? Margaret Maron, Sarah Shaber, Louise Penny, S.J. Rozan, Donna Leon, Megan Abbott,...just the beginning of a very long list :).

If you could make us all read one mystery or thriller for this read-a-thon, which one would it be and why? A Place of Execution by Val McDermid, because it's a book that takes some time to read, and is excellent--a read-a-thon would be a perfect time to focus on it.

Do you prefer series or stand alones? Series

Happy Reading!

Prep for Mystery Read-A-Thon 2009

Hello All!

Here's the link to the Mystery Read-A-Thon I'm participating in tomorrow, Sunday, June 7, 2009:

I think I'm ready--I've got food for meals, snacks (generally, mostly low calorie, kinda healthy), I may allow myself 2 Diet Cokes instead of my usual 1, and I'll be drinking lots of water (it's the desert, and our humidity's been 15% or below lately).

Here are the books I've set aside, though not necessarily in the order I may to read them:
Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison (YA)
Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott (ARC from Kathy F--thanks!!!)
Raiders of the Lost Corset by Ellen Byerrum
A Night at the Operation by Jeffrey Cohen
Trigger City by Sean Chercover
The Boxer and the Spy by Robert B. Parker (YA)
A Mammoth Murder by Bill Crider

I have also started reading another mystery today, which I am still undecided about, so that may end up on the list if I end up finishing it tomorrow.

Not sure yet about how I'll be posting, here and on Goodreads (probably on Facebook & Twitter too), but my usual thing is to post reviews on Goodreads after I've finished a book, so I'll probably do that.

Ahhhh, a day of guilt-free reading--looking forward to seeing who else participates, and, as always, would love to know what you're reading!

Happy Reading!