Saturday, March 31, 2018

Murder in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery #1), by Paige Sleuth (author), Marla Bradeen (narrator)

Marla Bradeen, October 2017

Kat Harper has moved home to Cherry Hills, Washington, and is settling in happily, until she finds her neighbor, Mrs. Tinsdale, murdered. The police detective who turns up to lead the investigation is childhood friend Andrew, who'll be investigating his first murder.

Except, of course, Kat has to investigate, too. Mrs. Tinsdale's cat, Matilda, with no one else to give her a home, moves in with her, and she gets involved with the rescue group Matty came from, and which Mrs. Tinsdale was treasurer for. This puts her in contact with all of the tiny number of people who could even conceivably had any motive to kill the friendly, kindly, older woman.

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea, by Robert Wald Sussman (author), David Colacci (narrator)

Tantor Audio, March 2018 (original publication October 2014)

The belief in race as an objective, biological reality has been very strong, pervasive, and significant in much of public policy. Yet scientists say it is simply not real. There is neither very much genetic variability in humans compared to other species, even our closest relatives, nor is it distributed in humans in anything like the consistent patterns that, in other species, define the biological concept of races.

Humans are all one species, with no subspecies, no biological races.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Different Kind of Evil (Agatha Christie #2), by Andrew Wilson

Atria Books, ISBN 9781501145094, March 2018

Following the death of her mother, the collapse of her marriage to Archie Christie, and her sensational disappearance for two weeks, Agatha Christie is now on a trip to Tenerife, officially for rest and recovery, and to finish her latest book. The Mystery of the Blue Train.

Unofficially, she is travelling at the behest of British Special Agent Davison, to investigate the death of another intelligence officer, Douglas Greene. Greene was found dead in a cave, drained of his blood and partially mummified. She is not to take any risks. She is only gathering information. Davison will also be there, under an assumed name.

What could possibly go wrong?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Touch, by Claire North (author), Peter Kenny (narrator)

Hachette Audio, February 2015

Kepler is a ghost, a being who, when he was beaten to death in a filthy alley, with his dying impulse reached out to touch his killer's ankle--and found himself looking down at his own dead body, out of his killer's eyes.

That was few centuries back, and Kepler can hop from body to body when ever he needs or wants to. He doesn't intend harm to his hosts, and even comes to cherish them.

Then one of his hosts is brutally assassinated.

The killer wanted Kepler dead, but killed his host, Josephine Cebula, even after realizing Kepler had jumped. Why? He needs to find the truth, and avenge Josephine.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

To Cache a Killer (Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries #5), Karen Musser Nortman (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Audible Audio, March 2018 (original publication August 2015)

Frannie Shoemaker and her friends and family are once again at a campground in Iowa, this time practicing the hobby of geocaching. Poking around in the woods looking for hidden caches naturally offers opportunities for Frannie's secondary--or perhaps primary--hobby of finding bodies.

This time she doesn't find a body; just a shoe. Because there's no foot in the shoe, or anywhere nearby, it strikes her and her friends as odd, but completely harmless. Unfortunately, not much later, the police do find a dead body quite nearby. Frannie and Larry tell the police about the shoe, but since the body isn't missing a shoe, and the shoe is gone by the time Frannie tells them about it and they look for it, all this does is call them to the attention of the police.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Last Move, by Mary Burton (author), Teri Schnaubelt (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, September 2017

Theo Mazur is a Chicago homicide detective who moved to San Antonio, six months ago, to stay near his daughter after his ex-wife moved to a San Antonio law firm. He's called to the site of a death on I-35. This death looks very much like a killing by the serial killer nicknamed the Samaritan.

The problem is, FBI profiler Kate Hayden has already caught the Samaritan. He's locked up, awaiting trial. Has she made a deadly mistake, or is there a copycat at work?

Soon Hayden is back in her hometown of San Antonio, for the first time in years, working with Mazur to track down someone who knows entirely too much about Hayden, her cases, and her personal history.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Second Chance Cafe (Hope Springs #1), by Alison Kent (author), Natalie Ross (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, March 2013

Kaylie Flynn has returned home to Hope Springs, Texas, where she lived as a foster child from age ten to age eighteen, in an unusually fortunate foster experience. Having built a successful career and a nice nestegg as baker, she has now bought the old home of her late and much-loved foster parents, Winton and May Wise, to be not only her home, but her new business, the Two Owls Cafe, serving lunch from 10am to 2pm.

She also has another mission, finding out what happened to her birth parents, and why they never came back to get her after the awful events that landed her in foster care.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II, by Liza Mundy (author), Erin Bennett (narrator)

Hachette Audio, October 2017

In World War II, a critical part of the war effort was breaking German and Japanese codes. Yet, unlike major European countries, the US had very little in the way of a cryptography operation. One had been developed during the first World War, but Henry Stimson, William Howard Taft's Secretary of State, closed it down when he came into office in 1929.  His statement, "Gentlemen don't read each other's mail," is beautiful, but of course, in the context of international diplomacy, completely wrong The Navy managed to preserve a tiny operation, but the onset of World War II, the US needed to ramp cryptography back up from almost nothing, very rapidly.

Yet the men, who "ought" to have done that work, were needed for combat operations. Enter the women.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Glitterbomb Vol. 2: The Fame Game, by Jim Zub (author), Djibril Morrisette-Phan (artist)

Image Comics, ISBN 9781534304901, March 6, 2018

Kaydon Klay is a teenager who wants, more than anything, to be famous. Now she has her chance--in the wake of a national tragedy in Hollywood. She was the friend of, and babysitter for the son of, the woman who has murdered dozens of Hollywood stars in a spectacular and horrific event. An agent quickly latches on to her, most of her classmates turn on her, and as scary as her first media event is, she is hooked. There's a thrill of power and a promise of wealth.

There's also her mother, who is alarmed by the turn of events, desperately worried for her daughter, and determined to maintain her own high moral and ethical standards. The money that Kaydon thinks will please her hardworking, financially struggling mother is the final straw, the proof that Kaydon is being drawn into a lifestyle that will destroy her.

In the midst of all this, Kaydon finds herself targeted by a strange and terrifying woman, who is apparently the real force behind the murders, preaching a terrifying message of pain being the only thing to cling to.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The First Kiss of Spring (An Eternity Springs Novel), by Emily March

St. Martin's Press, ISBN 9781250131706, February 2018

Caitlin Timberlake has a brief, romantic meeting with Josh Tarkington when she returns to Colorado from New York to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. When chance and her suspicious father interrupt their almost-romance, Josh returns to his automotive repair business, and Caitlin continues her plans to move back to her home town and start a new business, a day care center.

Caitlin's home town, and the location of Josh's car repair business, are the same: Eternity Springs.

Caitlin has had limited romantic success, and her father, Judge Mac Timberlake, is convinced no one is good enough for his little girl. Josh has his own reasons, and his own carefully hidden history, for avoiding anything but casual relationships with no commitment.

They have, of course, no chance of avoiding each other, especially after the perfect location for Caitlin's daycare proves to be a lovely, large, old house next to Josh's garage. There's also no chance that Josh's secrets won't come back to haunt them both, or that Mac Timberlake's own secret won't create its own problems.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Witch Creek (A Wildlands Novel #4), by Laura Bickle

Harper Voyager, ISBN 9780062567314, February 2018

Petra Dee is fighting cancer, and looking for her missing husband, Gabriel.  This is even more complicated and difficult than it might appear. There's considerable backstory here, this being Book 4, but Gabriel is a former Hanged Man, once tied to the Tree of Life that grows in this little town near Yellowstone. He's now the prisoner of Owen Rutherford, local sheriff, and new heir to the Rutherford Ranch, where the Tree of Life is. He wants Gabe to teach him all he knows about the Tree of Life and the magic of the Rutherford Ranch.

He's also talking to Murienn, a flesh-devouring mermaid whom Gabe helped imprison, and whom Owen has unwisely freed. She's determined to have vengeance on Gabe, the last of the Hanged Men still around.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook, by Christina Henry (author), Samuel Roukin (narrator)

Recorded Books, July 2017

We all know the delightful story of Peter Pan, and we all know of his arch-enemy, the evil pirate Captain Hook.

This is Hook's story, and his version is a little different than Peter's.

He was the very first Lost Boy Peter brought to the magical island, his first friend, and he promised Jamie, as Hook was called them, life forever young, with no rules, endless play.

As Peter brought in more Lost Boys, though, things started to change. It took a very long time before Jamie started to recognize those changes, and what they meant.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy #1), by Nora Roberts (author), Katherine Kellgren (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, October 2013

Iona Sheehan travels to County Mayo in Ireland, to connect with her family roots--and specifically with the family history of magic and destiny her grandmother has told her.

She quickly connects with her Irish cousins, Branna and Connor O'Dwyer, and finds her grandmother's stories, and her own dreams that have haunted her since childhood, are true. She's a witch--and the vital third member of the triangle needed to confront a lurking danger that has pursued her family for a thousand years.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin (author), Jesse L. Martin (narrator)

BBC Audiobooks America, February 2008 (original publication 1963)

James Baldwin was born in New York City in 1924, and grew up in Harlem. He experienced the racism of the pre-Civil Rights era, as well as a harsh, possibly abusive stepfather, and sought the library and the church as refuge.

Teachers recognized him as a gifted young writer in his early teens.

This is a thoughtful, eloquent, often painful to read or listen to, essay on racism and the core contradictions of American culture. In some respects Baldwin was the voice of a generation, and this is still an important read or listen for anyone who wants to understand the underpinnings of how we got where we are today.

Jesse Martin also reads it very expressively and effectively.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman (author, narrator)

HarperAudio, February 2017

Neil Gaiman says he first encountered the Norse myths in the pages of Marvel Comics. I first encountered the Norse Myths in the pages of school textbooks. I later discovered livelier versions, and he later discovered more complete versions, truer to the original sources.

One important difference is that Gaiman is an excellent writer, and he became interested in researching the myths and presenting them to new generations in a form both true to the sources and engaging for modern readers.

Or, in this case, as is most appropriate for ancient myths, listeners.