Archive for December, 2009

LOCKED IN by Marcia Muller

LOCKED IN, Marcia Muller’s 27th novel starring Sharon McCone, the owner of the San Francisco detective agency McCone Investigations, is somewhat of a departure in this enjoyable series started over 30 years ago (Edwin of the Iron Shoes). In her latest adventure, Sharon is attacked while entering her office building late at night after her car breaks down. She is shot and seriously injured by the intruder and becomes “Locked-In” where she is so paralyzed that the only thing she can move are her eyes. Her friends and family work together and separately as they look into their various cases to see who could have been responsible for Sharon’s attack while waiting and hoping to see if Sharon’s condition improves.

December 17, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: California, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author

THE ROAD HOME by Rose Tremain

The eminent, award-winning British Author, Rose Tremain, has written another lovely book. THE ROAD HOME is about Lev, an eastern European immigrant and his travails and successes in the big city of London. Lev is a widower who has left his child with his mother in Auror, a small town in eastern Europe. Lev hopes to seek his fortune in London, expecting to make a lot of money and be able to send it home to support his family. He has arrived in London with about 100 pounds in his pocket and nothing else.

December 16, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Orange Prize, United Kingdom, World Lit, y Award Winning Author


Several years ago, I read my first Jane Gardam novel, FIGHT OF THE MAIDENS, and I’ve been a fan ever since. The last Gardam novel I read was OLD FILTH, and so I was delighted to read that Europa Editions recently published THE MAN IN THE WOODEN HATt. While THE MAN IN THE WOODEN HAT isn’t a sequel to OLD FILTH, it is a companion novel. OLD FILTH, which really should be read first, begins with the death of Betty, the wife of retired judge Sir Edward Feathers. OLD FILTH, inspired by Gardam’s exposure to the early life of Rudyard Kipling, focuses on Edward, while this novel explores the Feathers’ life together through Betty’s eyes.

December 15, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Literary, United Kingdom, World Lit, y Award Winning Author


“Irresponsible, spoiled and bourgeois.” One of the characters in THE MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE, Orhan Pamuk’s new novel, uses these labels to describe a segment of Istanbul’s young adults. These same descriptors could specifically apply to 30-year-old Kemal, the novel’s protagonist. Kemal, part of Istanbul’s upper class, spends his time managing a portion of the family business. He has the privilege of an education in America and as the novel opens, is about to be engaged to Sibel, the daughter of another wealthy family in the city. It’s slated to be a marriage between equals.

December 14, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Middle East, Nobel Prize for Literature, Translated, Turkey, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

THE CONVALESCENT by Jessica Anthony

Earlier this summer I went to a book reading here in Maine where I live. The author, Jessica Anthony was local, and that always brings in a nice crowd. We have a lot of good writers in Maine. Of course there is Stephen King, up in Bangor, whom everyone knows; and there’s Phil Hoose, who just recently won the National Book Award. But there are a lot of writers around here who aren’t as well known, and many of them are very talented. I had not heard of Ms. Anthony, but I was obviously in the minority, for she seemed a favorite of the crowd the evening of her reading–and it was a crowd. Chris, the owner of the bookstore, introduced her, calling her brilliant and her book brilliant too. But Chris says this about a lot of the writers he introduces. They are either brilliant, or if not brilliant, their book can’t be put down. Sometimes it’s one or the other. Tonight, it was both–and the book was brilliant too, as I said. Ms. Anthony approached the podium and said hello to her many friends in the audience, talked briefly about the book, and began to read from her book THE CONVALESCENT.

December 12, 2009 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Amanda Davis, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Literary, Speculative (Beyond Reality), US Mid-Atlantic, y Award Winning Author


The world-building in this speculative fiction novel set on Earth is staggering. Over half the book takes place in Guatemala and Central Mexico at the height of the Mayan empire. The detail D’Amato puts into the pageantry, customs, sights, sounds, smells and tastes truly transport the reader to a seemingly alien world. The story is told by a Mayan descendent with his share of neuroses, gifts and curses. The first person, conversational narration was fresh and often humorous.

December 11, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Latin America, Latin American/Caribbean, Mexico, Scifi, Speculative (Beyond Reality)