Saturday, September 14, 2013

Books of the Week - Rose Under Fire, Alien Hunter, Seduction in Silk, Death on the Greasy Grass

From my dearth of posts lately it may look like I've not been reading. I started a new job last week and while I'm still reading, my time for writing reviews and commenting on what I've read has been sparse.

Recent reads I hadn't written about yet include Rose Under Fire an outstanding WWII historical novel by Elizabeth Wein featuring an American woman pilot who ends up in a concentration camp. If you liked (I actually haven't heard of anybody who merely liked) Code Name Verity, one of the very best books of 2012, you will definitely want to read this. The good news is that it is in the stores now so you won't have to wait for this great adventure story.

I also finished Whitley Strieber's Alien Hunter, a thriller that reminded me a little of the 1990s tv show, The First Wave with a protagonist whose wife has disappeared who discovers a network of people who have lost loved ones or maybe themselves experienced things that don't make sense. It features well reasoned paranoia, alien abductions, and decent suspense.

As a fan of Regency era romances, I've enjoyed many of Jo Beverley's books in the past and really enjoyed Seduction in Silk, set in Georgian England a decade before the American Revolution and a generation before her Regencies. Beverley made the era real and vibrant with a low key but very satisfying love story. Its portrayal of life  reminded me somewhat of the  Poldark Saga by Winston Graham. Claris Mallow he daughter of a mad clergyman has moved into a decaying cottage with her grandmother and a servant following the death of her father. Perry Perriam, is willed the long contested family manor by the last in the line of a rival family faction, under the condition he marry Claris. Neither one really wants the marriage but they both want what the marriage will bring them, never suspecting they will fall in love.

While waiting to read Margaret Coel's Killing Custer I picked up C.M. Wendelboe's Death on the Greasy Grass set in the present and in the past. It involves a murder during a re-inactment of the battle called by some the Battle of Little Bighorn, or Custer's Last Stand. A journal kept by one of Custer's Crow scouts, due to be auctioned off seems to be an important clue and maybe even the motive for the first and subsequent murders. I always like books that I feel I have a real life connection to. In family legend, my great-great grandfather was one of the last people to visit the army encampment before the battle. He was a teamster who had a load of supplies for Custer's regiment. He had been warned by Indian friends to not hang around which is why eight years later he was still around to father my great-grandmother.

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