Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

When your god dies, it’s time to call in a Craftswoman or Craftsman to resurrect what they can – and find out who murdered him.  Fantastic world-building and compelling characters make for a great start to a new series!


Murder of a President

Murder of a President

Based on Candice Millard’s excellent book Destiny of the Republic, this PBS American Experience production takes us to Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1881. James Garfield has just been elected President and is turning out to be a strong leader–one determined to eliminate the horrible mess of machine politics and to continue the fight for equality for […]


Labyrinth of Lies

Labyrinth of Lies

In 1958 West Germany, the average person had never heard of Auschwitz. When a teacher at an elementary school in Munich–a former Nazi guard who had murdered people at Auschwitz–is ID’d by a Holocaust survivor, a young DA begins an investigation into how many former Nazis hold jobs and positions of importance despite a law that […]


101 Reykjavik

101 Reykjavik

Ever wonder what a slice of life looks like in Iceland? Start with Baltasar Kormákur’s award-winning black comedy, 101 Reykjavik. Hlyner is a 30-year-old slacker who lives with his divorced mother in a stifling apartment in Reykjavik. He spends his days wandering about town looking for a job (kinda sorta) and, during the frigid blustery […]


Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves is a story of terror and love. Using frame-style narratives, Danielewski draws us into two tales: Johnny Truant’s story is told through his diary entries; Will Navidson’s through videotape.  Johnny Truant, a troubled and increasingly paranoid employee in an L.A. tattoo parlor, discovers the writings of a reclusive old man […]


Winter. Series 1

Winter. Series 1

In the pilot episode of this intelligently written crime series, Detective Sergeant Eve Winter is pulled back from her calm and comfortable desk job to head a crack team investigating the disappearance of a 15 year-old teenage girl in a small Australian town outside Sydney. When a grave is discovered on an abandoned industrial site […]


Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

The best four-word summary for this series is “Nancy Drew gone wild,” which is high praise, in my opinion. It makes the most of its Roaring ‘20s setting and glamorous heroine. Phryne Fisher is not without her flaws, and she is not unscathed by life, but she is refreshingly free of needless self-doubt and insecurity, […]


Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame offers Anglophiles (like me!) a treat here with a story of class, scandal, propriety and illegitimacy set in England in the early 1840s. It’s chock full of atmospheric descriptions and characterizations that are, let’s say, thin-ish but not mere caricatures either. The story first flashes back to 1815 on the […]


Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

A refreshing change from the usual vampire novels. This is a much darker and edgier version, and very well-written. But be forewarned: this book will leave you with a near-obsessive desire to get your hands on some fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls. Try to read in the vicinity of a bakery, if possible.


The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Set in poverty-stricken Ireland about a decade after the worst of the potato famine, we meet Lib Wright, a “Nightingale,” a highly-trained nurse who learned her craft during the Crimean War from Florence Nightingale herself. She is sent from London to take on a very unusual assignment: the close and constant observation of 11-year old […]