Mystery

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

A young girl goes missing from her English village over the New Year holiday, and the whole town turns out to look for her. Even while they search, though, their own lives have to go on. And so they do, for year after year after year. This is less of a mystery novel than a story of life in the village, and the characters age on their own throughout. Each chapter represents a year after the disappearance, each paragraph seems to fill a page, and most sentences are self-contained, unto themselves. I came to view this more of a series of meditations upon the mundane, and found it incredibly moving.

~Fielding

Literary Fiction

Mr. Flood’s Last Resort by Jess Kidd

The old man is a curmudgeon – he is estranged from his son, the death of his wife has isolated him in his own house, and he hasn’t thrown out a single thing since last century – and against his will, both he and his house are being rehabilitated preparatory to his moving to an old folks home. Into his life comes a house cleaner, who thinks she can ease the transition, and dispose of much of the old man’s trash. It’s set in Ireland, though, so the ghosts of saints and sinners move throughout the house, influencing and offering commentary on all their thoughts. It tended to be precious at times, but that’s the problem with novels written with irony and humor: it’s a heavy load to maintain throughout an entire book.

~Fielding

Mystery

The Wailing Frail by Richard S. Prather

The California state Senate committee investigating corrupt lobbyists needs a private investigator to follow up some leads in Los Angeles, and who better to call than Shell Scott. If you like your 1950s detectives completely hard-boiled, completely unreconstructed, and completely a product of their times, look no further than Scott. He doesn’t meet a woman who isn’t the embodiment of sex, and they’re as hungry for him as he is for them (except this series is true to its times, so the sex never really is consummated). It hits the four “B”s of the pulp genre – broads, booze, blood, bullets – but the mystery is still tight and surprisingly complex. It’s similar to Ross MacDonald, but with a lot more titillation.

 

~Fielding

Suspense

Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante

A year after the accident that killed her teenage daughter – followed by a divorce and an understandable meltdown – the suddenly-rootless woman moves to Half Moon Bay, a small town on the California coast, to rebuild her life. Shortly after her arrival, though, a small child is kidnapped and later found dead… and then there’s another and another. The protagonist doesn’t have an alibi, but she did arrive about the time the murders began, and her earlier meltdown did include criminal acts, so it’s only natural that suspicion should fall on her. This suspense novel is a cut above most, with good writing and plotting, and well-drawn characters.

~ Fielding

Fantasy, Juvenile Fiction

Myth Conceptions by Robert Asprin

Aahz and Skeeve managed to score an easy relaxing job as the magician to the king of a nearby kingdom, the first task in their easy job? Defeat an entire Army by themselves. They go to the bazaar at Deva to try and hire some mercenaries, and Skeeve accidentally hires 5 people with all of their money. So now it’s down to strategy to figure out how to win.
I really enjoy these books, they’re quick and easy read but the solutions are often a quirky twist that have a lot of real life in them. Plus they’re funny, and you actually get to see the characters grow!

~Naomi

Juvenile Fiction

Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale illustrated by Nathan Hale

In this Rapunzel was raised by Mother Gothel who controls the land by draining the plant life from places in people who don’t pay her lots of money and only allowing those who pay her to grow crops. When Rapunzel figures this out she rebels and Mother Gothel trapped her in a tree. When she escaped she teams up with a man named Jack together they set out to rescue her mother and take down Gothel, using only their wits and her cowboy tricks with her long long braids.
I enjoyed it, the art was good the story was sweet. Overall it was good.

~Naomi

Autobiography/Biography

Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson

A delightful, funny book told in the voices of the eloquent and witty brothers, some of their clients, and friends. Very entertaining stories about their lives and how the b&b came to be. The twins are hilarious and irreverent, but wholly dedicated to offering a warm and welcoming refuge for lovers of books and reading. Well worth reading about these two local (British Gulf Islands? They keep their whereabouts a secret) treasures.

~Laurie