Author Archive

Convenience Store Woman

August 9, 2018

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata is a short novel translated from Japanese. Keiko is a 36 year-old woman working in a convenient store in Japan since she was 18. Unlike the other employees who have come and gone at the store, Keiko is not intending this to be a transient job or a means to an end. This is where she feels like she belongs and doesn’t have higher aspirations. As a child, she startled her parents and teachers by exhibiting some questionable behavior. In order to conform to what everyone told her was normal, Keiko has been observing her fellow workers and listening to her sister’s advice about how to be ‘normal.’  It may be that her family and friends can’t understand her satisfaction about her job or single status.  However, Keiko is content and structures her life to her job as a convenience store worker.  When a new employee comes to the store, Keiko sees him as a way to stop her family and friends from asking when she will get a real job and when will she get married and have children.  The young man sees Keiko as a way of keeping people from bugging him, too, about similar demands from society that he wants no part of.  Convenience Store Woman demonstrates alternatives to normal that may just be very….  normal.

Convenience Store Woman

“Lying in Wait” by Liz Nugent

August 2, 2018

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

Lying in Wait: A Novel

Nugent’s second novel begins with another shocking opening and immediately draws you in. As in Nugent’s first book, “Unravelling Oliver,” we know from the first sentence that someone has been killed and who did it. Lydia and her husband, Andrew, have a nice life with their son, Laurence,  in Dublin- on the surface of things. Andrew is a judge and the family lives in a mansion inherited from Lydia’s father. However, just beneath the facade the family is about to explode.  What is their connection to the dead girl, Annie Doyle? Laurence unwittingly stumbles upon the gruesome information that his parents are involved in her death.  Annie Doyle’s sister, Karen, is determined to discover what really happened to Annie.  The lies and secrecy build to a crescendo of horrifying events that will keep readers guessing through to the very last page.

‘The Dependents’

July 19, 2018

‘The Dependents’ debut novel appraises the life of Gene and Maida Asher and their 49-year long marriage.  The story begins with Maida’s recent death and her funeral. Dion has Gene evaluate his life with Maida and their close friends, Ed and Gayle, who married at the same time and remained lifelong friends.  With Gene now alone, he embarks on his solitary life seeking confirmation that theirs was a good marriage. Without any alarming plot twists, ‘The Dependents’ enthralls with its examination of the everyday rituals and interactions Gene recalls looking back over his own life as he moves forward as a widower.

The Undertakers Daughter

July 7, 2018

Most famous for her Louise Rick series, Blaedel has a new mystery series focusing on Ilke Jensen. Danish author Blaedel begins the story in Copenhagen and quickly moves to the U.S. and a Wisconsin setting. Ilke doesn’t know much about her father. He walked out on her and her mother when she was young and moved to the U.S..  The recent news that he has died prompts Ilke to visit the States and see if she can learn about the mysterious man and why he left.  Once in Wisconsin, Ilke temporarily takes over her father’s business- a funeral home.  She is trying to save the failing business and wondering if she could perhaps create a life for herself in the U.S..  ‘The Undertaker’s Daughter’ begins the development of the main character and involves the workings of the funeral business and dead bodies- both from natural causes and not.

The Undertaker's Daughter (The Family Secrets series)

The Mysterious Bookshop

June 28, 2018

Established in the late 1970’s, the Mysterious Bookshop in NYC specializes in…  the best in mystery fiction and is “the oldest mystery specialist book store in America. ”  They hold frequent signings and events. The store has rare and new titles. Visit their web site and sign up for their newsletter if you are a mystery fan.

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