THE LAST ESTATE by Conor Bowman

This is a short but pungent tale about crime, betrayal, passion, love, and a scar–both real and psychic. How juicy is that? Especially when you blend in the Côtes du Rhône-Villages wine made from the dark-skinned Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cisault grapes. Throw in a pivotal love affair, a chateau, a virulent father, and an odious priest, and you have the crushing, pressing, and fermenting ingredients of a serious page-turner. The title refers to the legacy of the protagonist–the chateau, estate, and wine cellar he is set to inherit.

August 27, 2010 · Judi Clark · 3 Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: France, Mystery/Suspense


The city of Lowell, Massachusetts, was once a thriving home to the textile industry. Just before World War I broke out, the city was at the peak of a huge economic boom. In just a couple of decades however, a slow reversal of fortunes took place. By the early 1920s work was moving south to the Carolinas and once the Depression took hold, the slide was pretty much irreversible.

Rock Harbor, the fictional New England town painted by Rebecca Chase in her new novel, feels a lot like Lowell or even New Bedford, both towns marked by severe downturns in manufacturing industries.

May 31, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Facing History, NE & New York


In this ninth of his eleven Blandings Castle farces, P. G. Wodehouse brings a large cast of mostly repeating characters to Blandings Castle in Shropshire, where their adolescent behavior, their misplaced values, and their obliviousness to real issues in a real world, allow Wodehouse to create gentle but pointed satire of the British upperclass, of which he himself was also a member.

August 11, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Classic, Humorous, Satire

THE HOUSE WITHOUT A KEY by Earl Derr Biggers

When Bostonian John Quincy Winterslip is sent to Hawaii to retrieve his elderly Aunt Minerva, who has stayed with relatives in Hawaii long past the time she (and they) had originally intended, he fully expects to return home quickly. Shortly after his arrival in Honolulu, however, his uncle Dan Winterslip, with whom he is staying, is murdered in his Waikiki home. Assigned to investigate this murder is Honolulu Detective Charlie Chan.

August 4, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Hawaii, Sleuths Series

EAST OF THE SUN by Julia Gregson

Autumn 1928. Three young women are on their way to India, each with a new life in mind. Rose, a beautiful but naïve bride-to-be, is anxious about leaving her family and marrying a man she hardly knows. Victoria, her bridesmaid couldn t be happier to get away from her overbearing mother, and is determined to find herself a husband. And Viva, their inexperienced chaperone, is in search of the India of her childhood, ghosts from the past and freedom.

June 28, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Facing History, India-Pakistan, World Lit

THE ANGEL’S GAME by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

It must be extremely difficult for an author to write a brilliant, literary bestseller and then have to deal with the expectations of a worldwide audience waiting for him/her to do as well, or even better, with the next novel. I congratulate Carlos Ruiz Zafon on his latest offering, THE ANGEL’S GAME, a superb work of fiction where magical realism meets gothic horror and romance.

June 15, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Literary, Mystery/Suspense, Spain, Speculative (Beyond Reality), World Lit, y Award Winning Author