Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Must-Reads

I usually read several books a week in order to have enough reviews for the blogs and print publications I write for.  Here are a few of the books I will read this summer, whether I have to review them or not.

Some Like it Hawk (Meg Lanslow #13) by Donna Andrews  (Minotaur/Thomas Dunn hardcover,
17 July 2012).

I adore this series that often has me laughing out loud.  We've known Meg and her crazy family and friends for a long time now, and familiarity does not breed contempt.  Here's the publisher's blurb:
Meg Langslow is plying her blacksmith's trade at “Caerphilly Days,” a festival inspired by her town’s sudden notoriety as "The Town That Mortgaged Its Jail." The lender has foreclosed on all Caerphilly's public buildings, and all employees have evacuated --except one.  Phineas Throckmorton, the town clerk, has been barricaded in the courthouse basement for over a year. Mr. Throckmorton's long siege has only been possible because of a pre-Civil War tunnel leading from the courthouse basement to a crawl space beneath the bandstand.
The real reason for Caerphilly Days is to conceal the existence of the tunnel:  the tourist crowds camouflage supply deliveries, and the ghastly screeching of the tunnel's rusty trap door is drowned out by as many noisy activities as the locals can arrange. But the lender seems increasingly determined to evict Mr. Throckmorton—and may succeed after one of its executives is found shot, apparently from inside the basement.  Meg and her fellow townspeople suspect that someone hopes to end the siege by framing Mr. Throckmorton. Unless the real killer can be found quickly, the town will have to reveal the secret of the tunnel—and the fact that they've been aiding and abetting the basement’s inhabitant. Meg soon deduces that the killer isn't just trying to end the siege but to conceal information that would help the town reclaim its buildings--if the townspeople can find it before the lender destroys it.

Miss Me When I'm Gone by Emily Arsenault  (HarperCollins trade paperback, 31 July 2012).

I loved Arsenault's first two novels The Broken Teaglass  and In Search of the Rose Notes, this one promises to be just as gripping.
Author Gretchen Waters made a name for herself with her bestseller Tammyland—a memoir about her divorce and her admiration for country music icons Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton that was praised as a "honky-tonk Eat, Pray, Love." But her writing career is cut abruptly short when she dies from a fall down a set of stone library steps. It is a tragic accident and no one suspects foul play, certainly not Gretchen's best friend from college, Jamie, who's been named the late author's literary executor.
But there's an unfinished manuscript Gretchen left behind that is much darker than Tammyland: a book ostensibly about male country musicians yet centered on a murder in Gretchen's family that haunted her childhood. In its pages, Gretchen seems to be speaking to Jamie from beyond the grave—suggesting her death was no accident . . . and that Jamie must piece together the story someone would kill to keep untold. 

 A City of Broken Glass (Hannah Vogel #4)  by Rebecca Cantrell (Forge hardcover, 17 July 2012).

Hannah Vogel is a fascinating protagonist; definitely a flawed character, but the underlying reasons for her actions are honorable.
Journalist Hannah Vogel is in Poland with her son Anton to cover the 1938 St. Martin festival when she hears that 12,000 Polish Jews have been deported from Germany. Hannah drops everything to get the story on the refugees, and walks directly into danger.
Kidnapped by the SS, and driven across the German border, Hannah is rescued by Anton and her lover, Lars Lang, who she had presumed dead two years before. Hannah doesn’t know if she can trust Lars again, with her heart or with her life, but she has little choice. Injured in the escape attempt and wanted by the Gestapo, Hannah and Anton are trapped with Lars in Berlin. While Hannah works on an exit strategy, she helps to search for Ruth, the missing toddler of her Jewish friend Paul, who was disappeared during the deportation.
Trapped in Nazi Germany with her son just days before Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Hannah knows the dangers of staying any longer than needed. But she can’t turn her back on this one little girl, even if it plunges her and her family into danger.


  1. Thanks for a terrific bunch of reviews. Miss Me When I'm Gone looks especially intriguing, with a unique storyline. I'll have to check it out.

  2. I should have said "descriptions of" rather than "reviews." But you usually write reviews, and it's early.

  3. Several books a week? Wow!

    It looks like you have some fun reading ahead of you. Thanks for sharing!

  4. L.J.,, I'm in awe thar you were up at 6 a.m.

    Peg, fortunately I read quickly.

  5. I wish I had the time to read several books a week. Seems these days I'm more busy writing them than reading them. Thanks for the reviews!

  6. Thanks for the recommendations for summer reading, Marlyn!

  7. Thanks for the ideas Marlyn.

    Great to see Rebecca has another book out.

  8. You're welcome, all.
    CJ, yes, it's great that Rebecca has another book out; unfortunately it's the last in the Hannah series.


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