Thursday, December 1, 2011

In Which I Review Books

Here's what I managed to read during the month of November (holy crap, I can't believe it's now freaking DECEMBER!) , in between endless shifts at The Store, Thanksgiving and writing a NaNoWriMo novel:

The Spellman Files- Lisa Lutz- A while back, I asked for suspense/thriller book recommendations and a few of you mentioned this writer. I found her books in the library and took a chance. You weren’t wrong. This was a very fun and funny read and I highly enjoyed it. I thought the mystery was a little on the light side (had it almost figured out before the actual reveal) and the end a little too crammed with stuff (the Snow mystery plus the sister’s disappearance) but overall, this is a great read. I love Lisa’s writing style. I love how she crafts a character. I loved the use of footnotes and I really got a huge kick out of the author’s acknowledgements at the end of the book. Too funny, really. Look for the follow up novels to show up here soon.

Curse of the Spellmans- Lisa Lutz- I love Isabel and I have a serious crush on Henry Stone. However, Rae is a pain in the ass and because of this, her parents (on occasion) are too. Still, I’m loving this series.

Revenge of the Spellmans- Lisa Lutz- Isabel goes to therapy. Still loving this series even if Rae and her parents continue to irritate.

Robert B. Parker’s Killing The Blues- Michael Brandman- The most notable thing about this novel is that it’s a Jesse Stone novel NOT written by Robert B. Parker. It's written by Michael Brandman who has written the screenplays (teleplays) for the Jesse Stone tv movies starring Tom Selleck. There's even a quote from Tom saying how Michael is the perfect guy for the job for continuing on this series. I just wish he'd done it by not trying to emulate Parker's trademark style. This fact that Parker does not write this book is right there on the cover and becomes blatantly apparent on the very first page. I shouldn’t expect anyone to be able to write like Parker and I really didn’t expect it when I picked up this novel. I was just curious to see what it would be like and it was, to be honest, kind of annoying. The first thing Brandman has Jesse do is move out of his condo and into the house where Jesse lives on the TV movies. Irritating. Also, there were too many things going on, plot-wise. There was the car jacking plot, the high school mean girls plot, the ex-con seeking revenge on Jesse plot, the Jesse sleeps with a girl who’s way to young for him plot (which does ultimately and hysterical help tie up the revenge plot) and (let’s not forget) the Jesse makes friends with a stray cat plot. Way too much. Next time, Brandman should try writing like himself. It would probably work out better.

Read anything interesting lately? Reeling from the fact that it's freaking DECEMBER? Tell me about it...


  1. NaNo made November fly by. I only managed one book, which I am now finishing: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

  2. Oh, I loved Shiver. It's the start of a great series.

    And yeah, NaNo always does make November fly by. I know this and yet, somehow, I'm still always surprised when it happens. =)

  3. I'm reading a Dresden novel and an indie novel called The Fourth Wish which, as it happens, is set at Christmas (I didn't know that going in).

  4. @Alex- Probably more so than Michael Brandman, I imagine.

    @Andrew- I haven't read any of the Dresden novels. I love reading indie novels though. Is there a problem with a Christmas novel? Or were you just making a comment on the timing?

  5. It was just a comment on the timing. Appropriate time of year to be reading it, so it was good timing.

  6. I love your book reviews. They get right to the point. I will have to check out Lutz's books.

  7. Oh, I always wonder when others write books "in the style of" if it can ever work. So far, I've only seen epic fails in this.