Marie’s Mind for Murder

Marie’s Mind for Murder

German detectives Marie Brand and Jürgen Simmel are indeed an odd couple. Their May-December partnership (she’s 50-ish, he’s 30-ish) makes for a lot of generational miscommunication that lends a comic and zany air to the very serious criminal investigations they handle.  But Marie soon realizes that Jürgen’s daring-do and quick-footed abilities are truly useful (and […]


Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Addie and Louis are elderly acquaintances in small town Holt, Colorado. They strike up an unusual friendship, sharing a bed at night to talk and hold hands in order to conquer their nighttime blues. People gossip, relationships are tested and built. This lovely story is a fitting final book for the author of the quiet […]


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

In pre-revolutionary Russia, the iconic Hotel Metropol, situated across the square from the Kremlin, embodied all that was elegant and luxurious. Of course, then its clientele consisted of the wealthy, titled and famous from all across Europe. In 1922, however, the Communists ruled, and the hotel, while still the epitome of elegance, became the place […]


The Extra by A. B. Yehoshua

The Extra by A. B. Yehoshua

Noga, Hebrew for Venus, is a divorced Israeli harpist, who plays in a Dutch orchestra. After her father in Jerusalem dies, her brother calls her back to help their mother decide whether to stay in their childhood apartment in a neighborhood that is becoming daily more full of ultra-religious Jews or move to assisted living in […]


The Folded Clock : a diary by Heidi Julavits

The Folded Clock : a diary by Heidi Julavits

The Folded Clock is a diary of sorts, but not one that follows standard chronology. It jumps around in time much as memory does but with so much wit and insight that it makes no difference. It’s more like peering into the mind of a funny, insightful, honest friend who shares her thoughts about life, […]


Bangkok 8 by John Burdett

Bangkok 8 by John Burdett

This is NOT your typical mystery novel and there’s no way you would call it cozy! If you’re looking for a darkly comic mystery set in a foreign country (Thailand) and don’t mind some violence, this may just be the book for you. It’s the first in a series featuring detective Sonchai Jitplecheep, the son […]


A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

This gripping memoir tells the tale of a young Canadian woman, a budding journalist, who was kidnapped and held for ransom by Muslim insurgents in Somalia in 2008. It’s a harrowing story of survival that had me biting my fingernails as she and her photographer friend escaped but were recaptured; as they strove to survive […]


Whiplash by Jōichi Itō

Whiplash by Jōichi Itō

Ito and coauthor Jeff Howe use stories of recent scientific and technological developments to demonstrate nine principles that they see driving innovation now and into the future — principles like “emergent systems” dominating over those with authoritarian rule-making, and “compasses” being better guides than maps. The principles are clear and well-illustrated, drawn largely from examples they’ve encountered […]


Fortune Smiles: Stories by Adam Johnson

Fortune Smiles: Stories by Adam Johnson

This is the best collection of short stories I’ve read in a long time: Evocative, intriguing, darkly funny and smart are words that spring to mind. I became an Adam Johnson fan after reading his Pulitzer prize winning novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, and he’s equally adept at short fiction. The six stories in this […]


The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

While trapped in bed recovering from a broken leg, a policeman passes the time by investigating one of history’s great mysteries – did Richard III kill the Princes In The Tower? Based on impeccable historical research, and written to engross anyone as much as any modern potboiler mystery!