Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Fairly Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm, Book 1), by Michael Buckley (author), L.J. Ganser (narrator)

Recorded Books, ISBN 9781436156127, December 2010

Sabrina and Daphne Grimm's parents disappear, and they land in the state foster care system, where they become a major trial to everyone who deals with them. Then after a year or so, when they  have run through all possible foster homes, they are told their grandmother has applied for custody. This is a great shock to them, because their parents told them their grandmother died before Sabrina was born.

The unexpected appearance in their lives of a supposedly dead grandmother is the least of the surprises in store for the sisters. From their grandmother's friend Mr. Canis, to Mayor Charming, to strangely aggressive fireflies, to a very strange boy called Puck, the inhabitants of Ferryport Landing are a very unusual bunch, and  in some ways, strangely familiar.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs #9, by Jacqueline Winspear (author), Orlagh Cassidy (narrator)

Harper Audio, ISBN 9780062217004, March 2012

Maisie Dobbs is asked by her father's old costermonger friends to investigate the sudden death of Eddie Pettit, Eddie is a much loved figure in their old neighborhood, a "slow" (more probably, autistic) man with a rare gift with horses. One of his side jobs had been running errands at a paper-making factory, and he was killed when a large roll of paper came off the overhead transport and landed on him. Purely an accident.

Except that while accidents at the paper factory are fairly common, no one has ever been killed by a falling roll of paper before.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Camelot: A Novel, by Caryl Rivers

Diversion Books, ISBN 9781626810037, March 2013

It's 1963, and Mary Springer is just starting to feel confident in her abilities as a reporter for the Belvedere (MD) Blade. Blade photographer Jay Broderick is itching to do more with his talent than mundane local news photos. And Don Johnson, a young black writer who has just returned from the Freedom Rides, is torn between desire to pursue writing and commitment to advancing civil rights. Their lives intertwine as competing forces of personal ambition, passion, and growing civic and political awareness draw them together and push them in new directions.

And in interludes, we enter the mind of JFK as he deals with both national and personal issues as late summer and early fall pass, and his November trip to Dallas approaches.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dodger, by Terry Pratchett (author), Stephen Briggs (narrator)

Random House Audiobooks, September 2012

A talented young London tosher (sewer scavenger), going by the name of Dodger (because the one he was given at the orphanage was so awful), rescues a young woman escaping from a coach one dangerously stormy night, and stumbles into a meeting with Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew.

The young woman is not willing to give her real name, but she clearly needs shelter, as well as protection from those she was escaping from. Despite initial mutual distrust, the tosher and the two gentlemen are soon working together to solve the mystery of the young woman whom Mrs. Mayhew quickly names Simplicity.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Redshirts: A Novel With Three Codas, by John Scalzi

Tor Books, ISBN 9780765316998, June 2012

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, and he thinks his career dreams have come true. In fact, he's entering into a nightmare.

Dahl quickly acquires friends among other new crew members, and is thrilled to be assigned to the xenobiology lab. Yet his immediate supervisor and co-workers behave a little oddly. He and the other new arrivals--Maia Duvall, Jimmy Hanson, Finn, and Hester--all learn that they are replacing people killed in recent away team missions.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1), by Deborah Harkness (author), Jennifer Ikeda (narrator)

Penguin Audio, ISBN 9780142429112, February 2011

Diana Bishop is an historian doing research on alchemy and the history of science in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. She is also, much to her regret, a witch, a descendant of Bridget Bishop, the first person to be hanged as a witch during the Salem witch trials. Traumatized by the deaths of her parents in Nigeria when she was a young child, she (mostly) avoids using her powers, has never learned to cast spells or make potions, and, on a major Wiccan holiday, stays at the Bodleian continuing to work, instead of dining and celebrating with her fellow witches.

It's on that evening, nearly alone in the library, that Diana calls up an alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, to check it against other references.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Out of Her Depth, by Brenda Hiatt

Bell Bridge Books, ISBN 9781611943712, March 2013

Newly divorced Wynne Seally heads off to Aruba on vacation, taking advantage of the already paid-for trip she booked for her wedding anniversary, the day she discovered her husband was involved with another woman. "No Fear" is her new motto, and she embraces it by going ahead with the scuba lessons she had planned to take with her husband.

But on her first real dive, exploring a sunken ship that's a popular tourist attraction, she finds an expensive wedding ring and braves a moray eel to pick it up. It's engraved with two names and a date, and it's a Cartier piece.

The island's Cartier shop recognizes it and says they'll have the owner contact her. Fellow diver Ronan Gale tells her the names suggest it may be connected to a major murder case.