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James Allen's Literary World

A step down from The Mary Russell series

The Bones of Paris: A Novel of Suspense - Laurie R. King

The good:

Set in Paris.

The basic plot idea is interesting.

It was written by Laurie R. King and I thoroughly enjoyed The Beekeepers Apprentice.

The bad:

Long on irrelevant details. Every bar that the protagonist visits in search of clues is detailed.

Scenes jumped around from here to there.

A couple of times I noticed he/she were mixed up.

Details that were unrealistic: police leaving lock-picking tools and case notes in Stuyvesant's suit after he was arrested.

I was unsympathetic to the protagonist. Harris Stuyvesant, former FBI agent, sounded more like a hokey tourist than a private investigator.

The secondary characters were unbelievable.
How does Stuyvesant determine if photographs of possible victims are real? Send them to be looked at by a shell-shocked war veteran who is good at reading people.

An intersting Pride and Prejuice Variation

Mr. Darcy's Noble Connections: A Pride & Prejudice Variation - Abigail Reynolds

Mr. Darcy's Noble Connections is an interesting take on Darcy and Elizabeth's courtship after her rejection of Darcy's proposal.

 

A cast of characters keep the reader entertained. Darcy is jealous of the attentions given Elizabeth by the rake, Charles Carlisle who is brother to her childhood friend Lady Eleanor. Poor couple. Will it work out for them in the end? You'll have to read to find out.

Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections

Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections - Abigail Reynolds Mr. Darcy's Noble Connections is an interesting take on Darcy and Elizabeth's courtship after her rejection of Darcy's proposal.

A cast of characters keep the reader entertained. Darcy is jealous of the attentions given Elizabeth by the rake, Charles Carlisle who is brother to her childhood friend Lady Eleanor. Poor couple. Will it work out for them in the end? You'll have to read to find out.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (Sunday Philosophy Club, #2) - Alexander McCall Smith
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate is the second book in the Isabel Dalhousie series. Miss Dalhousie is a philosopher and the editor of the The Review of Applied Ethics. The main draw of the book is the heroine asking philosophical questions about her life and the mysteries she solves.

Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley - P.D. James

Death Comes to Pemberley has received mixed reviews. I enjoyed the plot and James did a great job of setting the book in the era of Pride and Prejudice. I also enjoyed the authors understanding of Darcy's and Elizabeth's motivations in Austen's novel.

 

On the negative side, there were several instances where the dialogue was unrealistic. Even so, the book was a page turner and is recommended for fans of Jane Austen.

Trains and Lovers

Trains and Lovers: A Novel - Alexander McCall Smith

Trains and Lovers is another excellent book by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the second of his books I've read and plan on reading many more. Smith is one of the best for weaving plot and dialogue. His characters who make me think; people who appear like those I could meet in the real world.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate - Alexander McCall Smith Friends, Lovers, Chocolate is the second book in the Isabel Dalhousie series. Miss Dalhousie is a philosopher and the editor of the The Review of Applied Ethics. The main draw of the book is the heroine asking philosophical questions about her life and the mysteries she solves.

Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley - P.D. James Death Comes to Pemberley has received mixed reviews. I enjoyed the plot and James did a great job of setting the book in the era of Pride and Prejudice. I also enjoyed the authors understanding of Darcy's and Elizabeth's motivations in Austen's novel.

On the negative side, there were several instances where the dialogue was unrealistic. Even so, the book was a page turner and is recommended for fans of Jane Austen.
The Sunday Philosophy Club - Alexander McCall Smith Alexander McCall Smith combined sleuthing and philosophy. The protaganist, Isabel Dalhousie, is the editor of a philosophy journal. The mystery is engaging but is secondary to the characters and Smith adds information on philosophy and Isabel makes decisions based on it throughout the book. The Sunday Philosophy Club is mentioned but does not figure in this book.

All in all, I loved the characters and the Ms. Dalhousie's thinking and making decisions based on philosophy.
Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout Olive Kitteridge vividly portrays how people are throwing their lives away. Each moment we let slip through our fingers. Regret is the strong feeling the book left me with. Not regret at having read it, but the regrets of my own life. The language is beautiful and powerful.
Rebecca -  Daphne du Maurier, Sally Beauman Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier is one of the best written books I have read. Two-thirds of the way through was a plot twist that was a major change to how the characters interacted and the mood of the main character.

If you like literary suspense, you will enjoy Rebecca.
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott - Kelly O'Connor McNees If you enjoy Louisa May Alcott's books or the history surrounding her life, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is a must read.
Forgotten Country - Catherine Chung Forgotten Country blew me away. I felt the emotions of the lead character Janie and her experiences.

Autumnal

Autumnal - James Scott Bell Good short story with a surprise ending.

The Choice

The Choice - Edith Wharton The Choice had the potential to be a good book. It was too short and ended abruptly.
The Son of Neptune - Rick Riordan I liked The Son of Neptune but it didn't seem to be as good as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series or the Lost Hero.