Have dog, will travel

John Steinbeck hits the road in ‘Travels With Charley’ In 1960 at the age of 58, Steinbeck had already published his last novel (although he didn’t know it), and had less than a decade to live (which he also didn’t know but probably suspected). He was restless, a feeling exacerbated by having spent the pastContinue reading “Have dog, will travel”

Delicious murder mystery

‘A Bitter Feast’ serves up delectable meals along with its charming detecting duo You will be forgiven if your mouth waters uncontrollably while reading Deborah Crombie’s latest entry in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery series, A Bitter Feast (HarperCollins, 2019). The action is set in the picturesque Cotswolds and centers around a pub in theContinue reading “Delicious murder mystery”

Outside the covers

What I’ve been reading lately besides books A weekly roundup of long reads you won’t find between the covers of a book. đź“° Nina Martyris serves up a variety of ways that the world’s most popular beverage has made its presence known in fiction in When Tea Reaches Its Boiling Point in Fiction, So TooContinue reading “Outside the covers”

Read it before you see it

Long before it was a movie, ‘The Goldfinch’ cast a spell on its readers With the recent release of a major motion picture based on Donna Tartt’s runaway bestseller, I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit my initial review of the book. This review was originally written in 2014. Wow, what a sprawling, magnificent,Continue reading “Read it before you see it”

A watery way of life

‘A Chesapeake Requiem’ takes the reader inside the endangered world of Tangier Island There’s a romance that lingers around certain places in America. Usually they are places that to outside observers have been “left behind” by modernity. Those of us frantically trying to keep up with the blistering pace of technology fool ourselves into thinkingContinue reading “A watery way of life”

Jackson Brodie returns

Nine years on, the moody detective picks up right where he left off in ‘Big Sky’ When last we saw Jackson Brodie, in 2011’s Started Early, Took My Dog, the introspective private investigator at the center of Kate Atkinson’s literary mystery series was wandering around Yorkshire, trying to track down an adopted woman’s biological familyContinue reading “Jackson Brodie returns”

Ellery Queen takes a trip

The sleuth leaves the city behind to tackle a small-town family’s misery in ‘calamity town’ My mom had the Wrightsville Murders omnibus pictured at left on our bookshelves when I was growing up. It was a big heavy hardcover book containing three full-length Ellery Queen novels — Calamity Town, Crazy Like a Fox, and TenContinue reading “Ellery Queen takes a trip”

Illusions of safety and danger

Dennis Lehane dives deep in ‘Since We Fell’ Rachel Childs is a television journalist in Boston whose career is on a steep upward trajectory until she is sent to Haiti on assignment after the devastating 2010 earthquake. The horror she sees and experiences there leave her with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder thatContinue reading “Illusions of safety and danger”

The Irish Book of Job

John Boyne puts his hero through some heavy trials in ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ So many friends on LibraryThing have recommended John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies (Hogarth, 2017) to me, and one went so far as to send me a copy of the trade paperback (thanks, Amber!) It took me entirely too long toContinue reading “The Irish Book of Job”

‘Yells for Ourselves’ gets up close and personal with the NY Mets

Sports stories — and especially baseball stories — are written at certain altitudes, as it were. Some are written from 30,000 feet, taking a wide overview of what’s happening across a broad span of time. Some cruise along at a lower altitude, focusing on a particular team or player but still encompassing a number ofContinue reading “‘Yells for Ourselves’ gets up close and personal with the NY Mets”