Joanne’s Mystery Picks

9781770412767_1024x1024BENEATH THE WAKE by Ross Pennie

It’s fifteen months since Zol’s fiancé, Colleen, was killed in a car crash and he is desperate for a well-deserved rest.  So Zol, son Max, Max’s friend Travis, and Zol’s colleague and new girlfriend, Natasha, are enjoying the high life on the Coral Dynasty, a cruise ship embarking from Perth, Australia, on its way to South Africa.  Zol is hoping that the only worries that he’ll have on this trip will be enforcing the boys to wear their suits and ties at supper each night.

However, that’s not to be.  When members of the crew start becoming sick with a strange affliction, Natasha is quick to offer assistance to the ship’s doctor, Noah Ferguson.  She quickly realizes that the situation is much worse than first diagnosed, and she appeals to Zol to lend a hand.  With limited resources to identify the pathogen responsible for the sickness, the team contact Hamish Wakefield back home for help.  By coincidence, Hamish and Noah attended med school together and worked well as a team.

While they are racing against the clock to identify the cause of the illness on board, Natasha witnesses other disturbing goings-on.  Certain passengers are given “special services” by the medical team and she’s disturbed by what she sees.

Once the pathogen is identified, it’s easy enough to see where this story is leading.

Though not as riveting as Pennie’s other novels in the series, there were some startling surprises along the way.  Still worth the read.

93823THE LONG DROP by Denise Mina

This is the true story of a series of horrific crimes that took place in Glasgow in 1958.  We know who the serial killer was – Peter Manuel.  Manuel had been on the police’s radar for a long time but they were never able to get “the goods” on him to keep him in prison.

When William Watt is arrested for the murder of his own family but released due to lack of evidence, he is determined to clear his name and willing to pay for any information that will lead to the arrest of the murderer of his wife and children.  Peter Manuel contacts him, agreeing to help.

Mina mixes fiction and parts from the transcript of the trial of Peter Manuel to bring this story to life.  It is gruesome and the crimes are abhorrent.  This novel is a tour de force though most certainly not a story for the faint of heart.

 

 

 

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the August 9, 2017 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Hope has two daughtersHope has two daughters : a novel

By Monia Mazigh

Unwilling to endure a culture of silence and submission, and disowned by her family, Nadia leaves her native Tunisia in 1984 amidst deadly violence, chaos, and rioting brought on by rising food costs, eventually emigrating to Canada to begin her life. More than twenty-five years later, Nadia’s daughter Lila reluctantly travels to Tunisia to learn about her mother’s birth country.

 

 

Language of solitudeThe Language of Solitude : a novel

By Jan-Philip Sendker

Brooding expat and journalist Paul Leibovitz is seeking a new life for himself in Hong Kong, one in which the grief over a recent family tragedy doesn’t consume him and his love for Christine Wu brings him great joy. Then Christine gets an unexpected and emotionally-charged letter from her estranged brother, Paul. This suspenseful novel offers a glimpse into contemporary China.

Summer Reading Game Reviews

We’re in the final stretches of the Adult Summer Reading Game, but there is plenty of time to get a few more books in!

1137151Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson

I really enjoyed this book! It is written in a similar style to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book and the details of life in rural P.E.I. in the early 1900s really made me feel like I was right there. I recommend this book to all lovers of Anne of Green Gables. it will leave you with a wonderful “feel good” feeling.
Loved it!

massey_murder-size-custom-crop-438x650The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and The Trial that Shocked a Country by Charlotte Gray

I chose this book as a fan of true crime, but I was pleasantly surprised by the engaging look at our country at the turn of the 20th century. Gray uses the trial of Carrie Davis as a frame for a growing Toronto/Canada, a country at war, and the changing role of women. I missed Charlotte Gray when she was at our library, but I will be sure to see this author if she comes back!
It was good. ~Staff review by Michelle

1291577Sisters in the Wilderness by Charlotte Gray

For those who love early Canadian history, Sisters in the wilderness is an illustrated double biography of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill, two of Canada’s earliest pioneers. Set in the “backwoods” of Upper Canada in the 19th century, it is a great novel of those early days: the hardships, the struggles, the isolation, loneliness and fear. It is also a story of achievement — two sisters and the birth of Canada’s literary tradition. A great read!
Loved it!  ~Staff review by Iris.

 

Weekend Picks

Long Weekend Long Plays

Wow, when Branagh does Bill, no skull is left unturned. Enjoy a couple of films that go a little over the conventional running time.

Hamlet

In this first-ever full-text film of William Shakespeare’s work, the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Trailer

Watchmen

Someone’s killing our superheroes. The year is 1985 and superheroes have banded together to respond to the murder of one of their own. They soon uncover a sinister plot that puts all of humanity in grave danger. The superheroes fight to stop the impending doom only to find themselves a target for annihilation. But if our superheroes are gone, who will save us?

Trailer

 

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the August 2, 2017 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

midnight sunThe Midnight Sun : a novel

By Cecilia Ekback

It’s Sweden, 1855. There’s been a massacre on one of Lapland’s mountains by one of the indigenous Sami people. The Minister of Justice dispatches his son-in-law, a geologist, along with his daughter, to investigate. There, the shocking truth they discover about the murders and what lies behind them will only be matched by what they discover about themselves.

 

 

Forgotten girlsThe Forgotten Girls : a novel

By Owen Laukkanen

She was a forgotten girl, a runaway found murdered on a train through the northern Rocky Mountains and, with little local interest, put into a dead file. But she was not alone. When Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere of the joint FBI-BCA violent crime force stumble upon the case, they discover a horror far greater than anyone expected–a string of murders of young women drifters.