Turbo Twenty-Three

index-aspxThis latest novel by Janet Evanovich has Stephanie Plum chasing down a truck hijacker, only to witness a dead body covered in chocolate falling out of the said stolen truck. She is then invited by Ranger, a security expert that she is very attracted to, to spy on an ice cream business where the dead man was employed, in order to find his killer. Stephanie works for her cousin Vinnie, tracking down criminals that have skipped out on their posted bail. Her partner, a former hooker named Lulu, is short, stout, and a barrel of laughs. The plot thickens as more dead bodies appear, and Stephanie may be next on the killer’s list. If you are looking for a light mystery and a lot of laughs, this one’s for you!

The Graces

The Graces by Laure Eve is a mysterious tale about a girl named River who moves to a new town with her mother and makes friends with the Graces.

Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town and they re rumored to have powerful connectionsindex.jpg all over the world. If you re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. But what the Graces don t know is that River s presence in town is no accident.

This tale is intriguing and great for fans of Twilight or Nancy Werlin’s Impossible.

I could not put this book down, great read!

Learn About Unusual Animals

In the preface to the first book that Martin Brown has both written and illustrated, he asks the reader whether they are fed up with reading about the same old animals.  Had enough of bears, tigers, hippos, etc.?  Well then you are in for a treat because Martin’s new book “Lesser Spotted Animals–The Coolest Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of” is fun, informative, and a mind opener.

Each of the twenty-one unusual animals that are featured in the book are presented in a two-page spread with hand-drawn, cartoon-like illustrations.  In addition to an explanation of what the animal eats, what it looks like, and other important facts, Martin offers a map showing where the animal is found and a quick-facts box.9781338089349_p0_v1_s192x300.jpgOne of the animals that most of us never heard of is the Crabeater Seal. The size of a very tall, fat man–lying down, this seal doesn’t eat crabs but does eat krill.  They live on floating shelves of ice around Antarctica and are in no way endangered.  There are somewhere between ten and fifteen million crabeater seals in the world.  There are more of these seals on Earth than any other large wild mammal.

“Lesser Spotted Animals” is an engaging, informative book that any young reader will really enjoy.


“The Tea Planter’s Wife”

Ceylon in the 1920s and 1930s is the setting of Dinah Jefferies novel “The Tea Planter’s Wife.”  Jefferies has done her research.  Her descriptions of the lush surroundings–foliage, tropical flowers and birds–help to create a magical atmosphere.  Her explanations of the relationship between the owners of the tea plantations and the native population enables the reader to understand the conflict and upheaval that will soon erupt in Ceylon.

9780451495976_p0_v2_s118x184.jpgA young English woman, 19 year old Gwen, has met and married an older plantation owner, Lawrence Hooper.  Hooper’s first wife and infant son have mysteriously died twelve years before.  Gwen is anxious to create a loving home for her husband.  She is new to Ceylon, its climate, its traditions, and its people.  Add to these challenges, a sister-in-law that clings to her brother, an angry estate manager who Gwen can’t seem to get along with, and Lawrence’s rich former girl friend, Christine, and you have the makings of a plot filled with twists and turns.

When Gwen sees Christine flirting with her husband at a party in town, she proceeds to get rather tipsy.  A mysterious Sinhalese man who she met when she arrived, helps her to her room.  If any indiscretion happened, she has no memory of the rest of the evening.

The events of that night are the keys to what will happen to Gwen and the decisions that she will make.  Her secrets and those of her husband and his family will almost destroy Gwen, Lawrence, and their marriage.

“The Tea Planter’s Wife” is an interesting story about relationships in a part of the world that seems exotic.  The plot hinges on attitudes about race and acceptance that were the norms throughout the English empire of that time.

Although the ending is not a real surprise, how the author gets the reader there makes this a fun read.


“Behold the Dreamers”

Title: Behold the Dreamers, Author: Imbolo Mbue

The story of a young couple from Cameroon now living in New York City and pursuing the American Dream.  Jende and Neni along with their 6 year-old son feel fortunate to have left Africa and reached the United States. Their goal is to get legal citizenship so they can stop worrying about being sent back to Cameroon.  As they settle in to their adopted country, Jende is lucky to get a job as a chauffeur to the wealthy Clark Edwards, a Lehman Brothers financier. The job pays more than he has ever made before. Neni is in school studying to become a pharmacist. She loves New York City and America and only hopes to stay forever.  As Jende and Neni get more involved with the Edwards family, their hopes of becoming permanent citizens are threatened. They are careful not to do anything to risk Jende’s job even as Cindy Edwards makes demands that place his employment at risk.  The contrast between the wealthy Edwards family living on the Upper East side and the Jonga family living in Harlem, depict the true fabric of New York City. Happiness is not always found with privilege and wealth: an idea Neni has trouble believing and is reluctant to let go of as the possibility of returning to Cameroon looms large. Available as an audio title, too.