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Posts by Jane J

4th quarter book report

Cover of Mystery Book Group
Mystery Book Group

For the last part of 2019 the mystery book group read a modern mystery classic, a generation-spanning, family crime story and a twisty thriller. Of the three the twisty thriller was my favorite, the group's favorite and our best discussion item, so we ended the year on a high note.

Jan 21, 2020

Into the heart of Dixie

Cover of A Longer Fall
A review of A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris

Gunslinger Lizbeth Rose lives in what used to be the United States, but after the assassination of FDR in the 1930s Texas and Oklahoma have become a small land of their own known as Texoma. Other parts of the US have been ceded back to Britain (the northeast), Canada (the upper midwest), and the far west the last Tsar to escape Russia. And the rest of the south (not Texas and Oklahoma) is known as Dixie and has reverted to a post-Civil War, reconstruction society in which race relations are very, very bad.

Jan 14, 2020

Powerful and painful

Cover of My Dark Vanessa
A review of My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

My Dark Vanessa is a debut novel that has been getting a lot of buzz and a big push from the publisher's marketing department. And it absolutely deserves every bit of that. It's an incredible, disturbing, and timely story - one that has stuck with me long after I read the last page.

Jan 2, 2020

Facing the past

Cover of Someone to Wed
A review of Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh is a hit or miss author for me. I always admire her writing, but she doesn't always grab me emotionally. Her newest is definitely a hit. A lovely, warm story that strikes all the right notes.

Dec 26, 2019

Taking back their nights

Cover of Women Talking
A review of Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Based on a real events, Toews' slim, powerful novel is true to its name. One evening eight Mennonite women living in an isolated community in Bolivia meet to discuss and make a choice that will change their lives irrevocably - whatever they decide. These eight women, along with more than a hundred other girls and women in their community have been suffering repeated sexual violations for years. And while that is devastating, and it has been devastating to them, the fact that it's members of their own community who have perpetrated these horrors makes their situation that much worse.

Dec 16, 2019

Love and suffrage

Cover of Bringing Down the Duke
A review of Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

I've been hearing the buzz about this debut romance for a while and though I was skeptical it could live up to the hype (as I would be with any hyped piece), my skepticism proved to be unfounded. Funny and sparkly and complicated and lovely are all adjectives that fit.

Dec 10, 2019

Justice revisited

Cover of Cruel Acts
A review of Cruel Acts by Jane Casey

Cruel Acts is the 8th in the Maeve Kerrigan series of police procedurals set in London. As you can guess, as the series is named Maeve Kerrigan, she's the Detective protagonist. Her partner is Josh Derwent and together they've worked out an effective partnership. Though she is good with people and he is decidedly not, both are intelligent and driven and extremely good at their job, which is why they've been tasked with a delicate job. A convicted killer, Leo Stone, is about to win his appeal based on jury misconduct. Leo was convicted of killing Sara Grey and suspected of killing another.

Nov 21, 2019

Book Fest goes on

Cover of Author Visit
Author Visit

Did you know the Wisconsin Book Festival goes on all year round (and not just on one weekend in October)? If not, take heed. The Fest hosts author events throughout the year and the next one is tomorrow night. The author is Adam Minter who'll be talking about his newest book, Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale.

Nov 18, 2019

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