A Place Beyond Courage- Elizabeth Chadwick- A story about John Marshal, who was famous for saying about his son (William Marshal), a hostage at the time, (and I paraphrase) “Go ahead and kill him. I’ve got other sons better than that one.” This book takes the stand that John wasn’t being a heartless uncaring bastard when he said that. It’s interesting, I guess, but nowhere near my favorite of her books. I tend to more like her novels whose main characters are not central historical figures.
The Time of Singing- Elizabeth Chadwick- A story about Roger Bigod, the earl of Norfolk during Henry, Richard and John’s reign. William Marshal is a minor character in this novel. I liked Roger as a character but found Ida slightly grating. I know I’ve said this before but I like her novels which feature characters who are not central historical figures. I prefer the everyman who sometimes moves in the circles of central historical figures.
Crank- Ellen Hopkins- This is a wildly creative novel. It’s a fantastic story. The breadth of young adult fiction continues to astound me.
Brimstone- Robert B. Parker- The latest in the Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch westerns. Not a bad read but not a great one either. This is a decent way to kill an afternoon (or two). Some humor, but not as much as in other Parker books. Speaking of other Parker books, the latest Spenser novel (The Professional) will be released on October 5th.