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Showing posts from February, 2013

The Boy In The Snow by M.J. McGrath

The Boy In The Snow is M.J. McGrath's follow up to White Heat and the second in the Edie Kiglatuk mystery series.  This book took me a little longer to read.  It sucks you in, but it's not really a 'fast read.'  As with her debut novel, McGrath winds some heavy, complicated themes into this mystery that deal with land development, human trafficking, the sex trade and selling babies (and yes, you did read that last one right).

While in Alaska to support her ex-husband's Iditarod run, Edie stumbles upon the frozen body of an infant boy wrapped up in a silken shroud and hidden in a tiny 'spirit house' under a tree on the edge of Old Believer land.  An interview with the Anchorage Police Department detective in charge of the case makes Edie realizes that the detective has prematurely pegged a couple of Old Believers as the murderers. So Edie decides to do some digging on her own when the forensic evidence she witnessed at the scene doesn't add up to what th…

The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White

This is Barbara Claypole White's debut novel.  She's a British expatriate living in the U.S. and the book takes place both in the U.S. and in England.

James Nealy is a man on a mission and barely hanging on by a fingernail.  He's a desperate man who sold everything back home in Illinois to move to North Carolina to take part in a therapy study that's become his last best hope of finally quieting his noisy mind, stilling his compulsive actions, and achieving finally some semblance of a 'normal' life with sound mental health.  To that end he has decided and become determined to create a garden in which he can work and in which he can find some relief from the noise in his disturbed mind.  To create this garden James seeks out Tilly, who owns a wholesale nursery and who is most determinedly not a landscape designer despite a very pushy assistant who tries to shove her in that direction and into James's path.

Tilly is a widowed, single mother raising her son, …

The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo

This is Courtney Miller Santo's debut novel.  Put simply this book tells the story of a family of 'superagers.'  A superager is someone who has longer than average longevity.  An example would be someone whose chronological age is 100 while their biological age is that of someone in their 60's.

The Keller women are five generations of first born daughters most of whom have long outlived husbands, children and friends.  Anna's the 112 year old matriarch; she lives with her daughter Bets and Bets' daughter Callie in a house on the family's beloved olive orchard.  Callie's daughter Deb is in prison, but is up for parole.  Deb's daughter Erin's unexpected and sudden homecoming coincides with the arrival of a geneticist who hopes to study these women in order to unlock the secret of aging.  Erin, who's returned home pregnant, is determined to aid her mother in her bid for parole.

The story shifts perspective as time moves along in the book.  It …