NORTH OF BOSTON by Elisabeth Elo

North of Boston is Elisabeth Elo’s debut novel, and to me it is a real winner. It certainly held my interest and I found that, at times, I was unable to put this books down.

Pirio Kasparov, heir to a very successful perfume business which her Russian immigrant parents founded, is our protagonist. She is a gritty, smart and complex woman. When Pirio’s mother died, the girl was just 10 years old. Her deceased mother’s will stipulates that when Pirio turns 21 years old, she will inherit her mother’s share of the extremely successful business, Inessa Mark, Inc. and that if she wants full ownership, the company would revert to her upon her eccentric father’s death. Pirio has joined the company where she works as “CEO in training.” Scent permeates much of the novel – the scent of perfume, ambergris, herbs, flowers, etc. And the smells of the sea also play an important part in the author’s descriptive passages.

May 11, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Canada, Debut Novel, NE & New York, Thriller/Spy/Caper


The setting for REDEMPTION MOUNTAIN is located in Red Bone, West Virginia, in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States. Ranked by median income, it is the poorest state in the union except for Mississippi. The major resource in West Virginia’s economy is coal and the state is a top coal-producer in this country, second only to Wyoming.

From the beginning, in 1863, the state of West Virginia mined coal. While it has been blessed with a vast assortment of natural resources, coal is found in 53 of 55 counties, it is a mixed blessing. The downside of this blessing is about the the environment, the land, the people who mine it, and the unfortunate miners’ families who watch their loved ones leave for work never to see them again.

March 12, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Facing History, Theme driven, US South

ALENA by Rachel Pastan

ALENA is a novel about the art world and the people who inhabit it. It is said to be an homage to du Maurier’s Rebecca. However, not having read Rebecca in no way took anything away from my love of this novel. This novel stands on its own and I loved it.

March 6, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Europe, NE & New York

GEMINI by Carol Cassella

GEMINI is an intensely absorbing novel which I found difficult to put down. It is a very human tale which delves deeply into subjects like love in its many shapes and forms, and time – too little time, not enough time, counting time, too late. The author, Carol Cassella, uses time to move her storyline back and forth in years, seamlessly weaving together the characters and the events which impact them.

March 3, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

NIGHT FILM by Marisha Pessl

This psychological, genre-bursting/ busting literary thriller took me on a high-speed chase into a Byzantine rabbit hole into the quirkiest, eeriest, darkest parts of the soul. Investigative reporter Scott McGrath is on a quest to exhume the facts of a young piano prodigy’s tragic end. Ashley Cordova, 24, daughter of cult-horror film director, Stanislav Cordova, was found dead–allegedly a suicide. The now reclusive director (30 years isolated from known whereabouts) is the reason for McGrath’s ruined reputation five years ago, and Scott is hungry to turn things around, upside down, and inside out to pursue Cordova again and save himself. And to disinter the “truth,” which itself can be an illusory concept in this cat and mouse thriller.

January 11, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2013 Favorites, Horror, Literary, Mystery/Suspense, New York City, Reading Guide, Thriller/Spy/Caper

THE DROP by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch is the real deal. Michael Connelly’s THE DROP is another superb entry in this outstanding series about an L. A. cop who is cynical and battle-weary, yet still committed to doing his job.

December 17, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, California, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author