Monday, December 29, 2008

December 2008 Reading: Part 1, Fiction

See additional posts on reading here.

Didn't pick up anything super challenging this month. Among the books I read were:

Thief in Retreat: A Sister Agatha Mystery, by Aimee and David Thurlo (St. Martin’s Press, 2004). The Thurlos are the authors of more than 40 novels, many featuring set in the SW and many featuring the character Ella Clah. This is the second about Sister Agatha. The Dallas Morning News called the first, Bad Faith (which I thought was excellent) “Fascinating… Sister Agatha is intelligent, determined, funny and deeply religious yet completely unstuffy, and adds both interest and appeal to this thoughtful mystery novel."

[Readers might also enjoy another thoughtful if somewhat violent series featuring a contemporary religious as the sleuth – David Manuel’s books about Brother Bartholomew. Paraclete Press’s first venture into the mystery market, I think. More info here.]

Rhapsody in Red: A Preston Barclay Mystery, by Donn Taylor (Moody Publishers, 2008). “Teaching history allows Preston Barclay time to grieve the loss of his pianist wife and find relief from the musical hallucinations that have been playing in his head since her death. But when he and a headstrong colleague discover the body of another instructor on campus, Press’s monotonous solitude is destroyed…” Really enjoyed this book; sadly, I found it on the new book shelf and it’s the first in a proposed series. Hope I don’t have to wait to long for the next one!

Shepherds Abiding, by Jan Karon (Viking Penguin, 2003). “Since he was a boy growing up in Mississippi, Father Tim has lived what he calls, ‘The life of the mind.’ Except for cooking, gardening, and washing his dog, he never learned to savor the work of his hands. And then he finds a derelict nativity scene, including a flock of sheep, that has suffered the indignities of time and neglect…”

Whispering Pines series, by Melody Carlson (four volumes, Harvest House, 1999-2001). “Dream job in a dream location. Wanted: Experience and motivated newspaper writer/editor to manage small town paper in Central Oregon. Benefits include, but not limited to: tall pine trees, snowcapped mountains, peace and quiet.” Maggie Carpenter, the widowed mother of a teenage son, takes the job and moves to Pine Mountain where she single-handedly transforms the lagging community in the first month or two. On the other hand she doesn’t make it to the altar (as can be expected in a book from Harvest House) until the end of book 4. Though I checked these ones out purely for relaxation, I liked book 2 best because it had the most depth.


Megan Noel said...

did i give you the book Ink Heart? I am reading the last one in the trilogy, Ink Death -darker than the others but still good and charming.

D Wright said...

Jan Karon invites you to visit her website at
I know you will enjoy the site!