A review of A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders

Flanders' debut mystery does everything just right. Her protagonist, Samantha Clair, is a forty-something editor for a publishing house in London. Sam is smart and funny and more then a little cynical, a combination that warms this cynic's heart. When Kit Lowell, one of her top authors, goes missing, she's concerned. But when she finds out his disappearance may be tied to the death of a bicycle messenger killed in a hit and run, Sam becomes frightened. Kit had just finished a manuscript about a more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
February 16, 2015 | 0 comments
My Top Ten For the first ten days of the month librarians around the country counted down their top ten books read for 2014 and listed them on Twitter using the hashtag #libfaves14. The top title was The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry which I loved and reviewed. Though I really enjoyed Fikry, it didn't more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
December 22, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Silent Murders by Mary Miley

Jazz Age Hollywood and murder, it doesn't get more fun then this.  Jessie Beckett, aka Leah Randall (read my review of The Impersonator to find out about this), has come to Hollywood in the mid 1920's after a career as a child actor in Vaudeville. She's working as an assistant script girl more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
December 9, 2014 | 0 comments
Librarian Picks If you've got readers in the family and are looking for gift ideas, fear not, librarians to the rescue. For ten days librarians will be naming their favorite reads of the year using the hashtag #libfaves14. They started yesterday and will add titles until Dec. 10th. I've already posted a couple, Empire of Sin by Gary Krist (which I reviewed here) and Meredith Duran's Fool Me Twice more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
December 2, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Purple and Black by K. J. Parker

I was looking through my recent reads to find a book I just loved. A lot of things lately have been solid, but not great. Except for this one. Purple and Black is brilliantly done. Tightly woven. Thought-provoking. And all of that in a slender 113 pages. This is a fantasy novel, but don't let that prevent you reading it. It's only a fantasy in that it has a made up country. Everything else about it reads like historical fiction.  The story is told through a series of letters more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
November 20, 2014 | 0 comments
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Best Books Lists It's the most wonderful time of the not Christmas (though I did see my first Christmas commercial, just when the political ones will be winding down!). It's Best Books season and Library Journal has kicked things off with some good lists. They've got a top ten, but also best in a diverse group of genres. You can take a look at their picks here. Not to be outdone the more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
November 4, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist

One of my favorite tv shows is winding down. There's only one more episode of Boardwalk Empire and I'm already feeling the loss. Especially since this last season has been stellar. Because I enjoy the time period covered by the show, late 19th century into the first few decades of the 20th, I was drawn to Gary Krist's latest historial exploration of a city and an era. Empire more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
October 22, 2014 | 0 comments
Recommended Romances I was thinking we hadn't had a romance review on MADreads for a bit, so thought I should write about something I've read. But when I looked back over my recent reads, I found three titles I wanted to bring to your attention. First up is one that is considered to be in the new category of books called "New Adult". These books (often romances) are written for and about 20-somethings who are in those first stages of adult life. First love, first time living on their own, etc. And more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
September 16, 2014 | 1 comment
A review of Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach

A friend recommended Rachel Bach's trilogy to me since she knows I enjoy military SF. And I thank her right now for the suggestion. Fortune's Pawn introduces mercenary soldier Deviana Morris. Devi's ultimate goal is to join the elite special forces of her planetary kingdom, but to do so she can either spend years in the military slogging her way up the ranks, or go mercenary and more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
September 9, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This summer I watched The Last Ship, an action adventure tv series (based on the book of the same title by William Brinkley). The series, which is very action-packed and fun (if sometimes a bit over-dramatic and thin on the plot details), takes place in the months after a disease has wiped out about ninety percent of the world's population - think Ebola on extreme steroids. And with all the recent news about the Ebola disease, the plot doesn't seem that far-fetched. This shoot-em-up series more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
September 5, 2014 | 0 comments