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Join our Newsletter!MostlyFiction.com Newsletter Update

Posted to subscriber list on
February 19, 2005

Hello, MostlyFiction.com readers!

21 new reviews were posted to MostlyFiction.com today. Click on the book cover to read the review; click on reviewer's name to learn more about the reviewer.

This month's update has been lots of fun to put together, though puzzling at the same time. Many of the books defy simple categorization. I had to keep asking myself under which bookshelf do I put this book? It seemed like nearly every book offers a mystery even though by traditional definitions, not all are "mystery novels." Also, there are some exciting new writers creating unique works of fiction. The books are posted in no particular order -- we enjoyed reading all of these books and recommend them all. Good luck deciding which you will read next!

_____________________
CASE HISTORIES
by Kate Atkinson
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

This Whitbread award winner's fourth novel. Though the central character is detective Jackson Brodie -- an ex-cop -- who takes on three cases involving past crimes; this is not a "mystery" novel as much as it is a story of families divided, love lost and found, and the mysteries of fate.

_____________________
THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
by Philip Roth
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

Featuring characters from his own family, Roth puts together an alternative history in which Charles Lindbergh is our 33rd president.

_____________________
THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION
by Lauren Willig
Reviewed by Carisa Richner

Willig's imaginative debut is the story of Eloise Kelly, who for her Ph.D. dissertation, is trying to uncover the identity of the Pink Carnation, a British spy a la the Scarlet Pimpernel who infiltrated Napoleonic France. A romance-historical-mystery novel.

_____________________
THE KREUTZER SONATA
by Margriet de Moor
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

Tolstoy's novella entitled "The Kreutzer Sonata" inspired composer Leos Janacek to write his Kreutzer Sonata for strings, years later; and that, in turn, inspired Dutch author Margriet de Moor to create this novella. A murder story and a love story.

_____________________
CASANOVA IN BOLZANO
by Sándor Márai
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

The fictional account of Casanova after an escape from jail in Venice. The second of this Hungarian writer's novels to be translated to English. Though he wrote this is the 1930s, his style is ahead of his times.

_____________________
SCREAM QUEENS OF THE DEAD SEA
by Gilad Elbom
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

A witty, metafictional novel of life in Jerusalem, with an iconoclastic "fictional" speaker named Gilad who is writing a novel which parallels events in the life of the book's real author Gilad Elbom.

_____________________
THE SEAS
by Samantha Hunt
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

A fevered, reality-bending poignant novel about a young women stuck in a Northeastern seaside town, who believes she is a mermaid. Read Jana's review, then read the excerpt.

_____________________
MEN AND CARTOONS
by Jonathan Lethem
Reviewed by Olivia Boler

This collection of nine stories blends the literary with the fantastical, probing themes of loneliness, failed relationships and the consequences of strange powers. Wit and verbal dexterity sprinkled throughout.

_____________________
CITIZEN GIRL
by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Reviewed by Jennifer LeBlanc

Working in a world where a college degree qualifies her to make photocopies and color-coordinate file folders, twenty-four-year-old Girl is struggling to keep up with the essential trinity of food, shelter, and student loans. Recent Liberal Arts grads will love this one.

_____________________
NATIVE TONGUE
by Carl Hiassen
Reviewed by Chuck Barksdale

Chuck takes an opportunity to re-read an old favorite now that it is back in print. This is classic Hiassen with great dialogue and characters.

_____________________
KISS ME JUDAS
by Will Christopher Baer
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

A surreal, very edgy noir novel which opens with a stunning woman absconding with one of the narrator's vital organs. First in a series of three novels. Chuck Palahniuk fans will likely like this series.

_____________________
GOING POSTAL
by Terry Pratchett
Reviewed by Judi Clark

This could be Pratchett's best Disc World novel yet.

_____________________
VALLEY OF THE BONES
by Michael Gruber
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

Gruber's second novel is a genre-bending and exhilarating thriller that simultaneously offers a profound, deeply provocative exploration of the nature of faith itself.

_____________________
CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN
by John Perkins
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

An adventure thriller (nonfiction) that connects the dots between corporate globalization, American Empire, and the dynasty of the House of Bush. As a highly paid professional, the author helped the U.S. cheat poor countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars by lending them more money than they could possibly repay and then taking over their economies.

_____________________
THE BROKER
by John Grisham
Reviewed by Sebastian Fernandez

Grisham is still changing his style in this latest novel, but this time he's trying his hand at a thriller. Sebastian, a long time fan, gives his assessment.

_____________________
THE CROSS-LEGGED KNIGHT
by Candace Robb
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

The latest book (although it was published in 2003) in the series featuring the one-eyed medieval sleuth Owen Archer. Well researched historical mystery.

_____________________
DANGEROUS WOMEN
edited by Otto Penzler
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

A collection of stories from seventeen outstanding authors, some of the best writers in the mystery/suspense genre, about "dangerous" women.

Hard Case Crime™ Books are a new series of books consisting of the re-issue of “lost pulp classics” as well as the publication of new “hard-boiled” crime fiction. Our reviewer, Hagen Baye, picked up the first four books in the series:

_____________________
GRIFTER'S GAME
by Lawrence Block
Reviewed by Hagen Baye

A reissue of Block's first published novel, Mona.

_____________________
FADE TO BLONDE
by Max Phillips
Reviewed by Hagen Baye

A new book reminiscent of Chandler or Hamett.

_____________________
LITTLE GIRL LOST
by Richard Aleas
Reviewed by Hagen Baye

This debut novel is nominated for the 2005 Edgar Award.

_____________________
THE CONFESSION
by Domenic Stansberry
Reviewed by Hagen Baye

Nominated for the 2005 Edgar Award as best paperback original.

_____________________
Chapter Excerpts:
If you want to read excerpt from these books, whenever I can find them, I include a include a link to the excerpt at the end of the review, which opens in a new window.

Happy reading!

Judi Clark
MostlyFiction.com

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