Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle

The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle is a fun, light wine mystery set mostly in the South of France that will get your taste buds all set for a good bottle of vino! Not really a true “mystery” (there is a caper element towards the end of the book) but rather more of a breezy whodunit where the end result is no where near as much fun as the finding-out-who part. Mayle (of A Year in Provence fame) knows how to write great characters with wonderful inter-play and chemistry…making this almost as much fun as an episode of Moonlighting (the TV show from the 1980s). And the setting of Marseilles, rural Provence, Paris, and even Los Angeles make for a perfect backdrop to this entertaining romp about stolen wine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Charley's Web by Joy Fielding

An excellent thriller -- my first read from Fielding. It was a true page-turner. I could hardly put it down -- even for sleep! About a journalist who gets suckered in to write the memoirs of a sadistic child killer, Fielding really has a way of increasing the suspense as the story progresses. Strong characters and a good, trick ending make it a must read for any thriller fan. Not exactly the most intellectual read ever, but for thriller fans, I would say it's a must! I'm going to try another Fielding soon and see if she's always this good!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Holmes on the Range

Meet the Amlingmeyers. A pair of brothers riding the range from one grub stake to the next. Are they just obsessed cowpokes thinking about food, smokes, horses, women and more food? Nope. Old Red (Gustav) and Big Red (Otto) have other things on their mind. Like detecting. Just like that Sherlock fellow. Welcome to the world of Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith.

Old Red's obsession with all things Holmes - read to him by his brother from Harper's Magazine - leads them to adventure. The slightly shady outfit they have signed up with - the Bar VR - ends up having two deaths on the premises. And the foreman really does not seem to care since everyone is supposed to be preparing for the arrival of the foreign owners of the ranch. Just who is lying to whom? And just what is going on with the ranch finances and stock? And those fancy English folks might have a hand in this mess too.

Hockensmith's characters are great fun. The story is told in Big Red's voice and he is a perfect doubting Thomas about his brother's detection skills. But he will stand by him as a loyal "Watson" and family member should. Old Red sometimes doubts himself - he is just an average uneducated cowboy - but he has studied his hero Holmes' methods.

With wonderful characters and a twisty plot, this series is off to a great start. I'm eager to read the rest. A very fun read!

Friday, October 2, 2009

One Fifth Avenue by Candice Bushnell

A peak into NYC society life, written by the author of the Sex and the City novel that started it all! Different than Sex in the City because there are a variety of people here from different generations and financial backgrounds. Bushnell gives us lots of colorful characters! And her writing style makes you feel like a voyeur reading it...getting a sneak peak into everyone’s social life. Ever wonder about the rich and famous? Or the not-so rich and famous? Well, if so, this is the book for you. A fun read!