The following books are ones I enjoyed, but maybe are not the literary quality of the ones from yesterday's post.
Lisa Gardner is a prolific author, whose books I am currently obsessing over. I started with her Detective D.D. Warren series and have read the following, one after the other: Alone, Hide, The Neighbor, Live To Tell, Love You More, and Catch Me. She has written at least 17 bestselling novels, mostly police procedural mysteries. Her books are pretty quick reads and have all kept me up late turning pages. She does one thing that I think is pretty funny. She has a fan club called "Lucky Stiffs" and she lets one of the club members name one of the characters that will be bumped off in her next book. These are definitely not in the category of "cozy" mysteries, but aren't grossly violent either. I am going to be busy working through her books for the next few months. These would be great summer/beach reads.
Book publishers keep trying to tell us that the current book they are pushing is "the next Gone Girl", which of course never turns out to be true. Never the less, The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, is a similar style psychological thriller. A man meets a woman on a plane, and they get to talking. He tells her he is unhappy in his marriage and that he thinks his wife is cheating on him. The woman on the plane offers to help him kill his wife. A tangled web of double crosses ensues, and the result was a pretty entertaining read.
Another purported "next Gone Girl", that wasn't. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica is still a worthwhile book to read. The subject is a kidnapping with a twist--a Stockholm Syndrome situation and more. The book was suspenseful, gripping, and full of surprises you didn't see coming. This book has it all. Kept me on my toes until the end trying to figure out what was going on with the characters.
Ok. Enough already J.K. Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith. You need to work a little harder to make me care about your main characters. All the Cormoran Strike novels are interchangeable in my mind, and I can't remember the plot differences between them to save my life. And long. Oh dear me, these books are way longer than they need to be.
So. Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes. The main character in this book works at the DMV, is clairvoyant and "sees" that someone is going to try to kill her. She makes a list of twenty eight and a half things to do before she dies. Light and fluffy. One of those books you can read while you are doing something else, never remember any of the details after you finish it, and then wonder why you wasted your time with it when it's done. And the bad news? The main character doesn't die and the author has written a bunch more books in the series. Thumbs down.
Why this book is titled The Downstairs Maid I could not tell you. I think it was a ploy to appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, to tell you the truth. Set in the 1920's, the main character grows up impoverished in a home where she is loved by her father and not so much by her mother. For about ten minutes the main character works as a maid for a rich family. The rest of the book is about her bad luck and poor decisions. Meh. Thumbs down.
Stars Over Sunset Boulevard. I have enjoyed Susan Meissner books in the past, notably A Fall of Marigolds. This book was fun for about the first 75 pages. It is set in Hollywood in the 1930s and the two main characters work for the production company that filmed Gone With The Wind. There was tons of GWTW trivia and name dropping of stars, directors and costume designers. Then, the main characters started behaving incredibly stupidly and the book got mind bendingly boring. This was mainly due to the fact that the two main characters were shallow, selfish and totally unlikable. To tell you the truth, I was so fed up with the characters I stopped reading the book about 90% of the way through. I know, why did I stick with it for so long? I do not know. Major thumbs down for this one.
Hope you enjoyed my book reviews! Feel free to share in the comments your thoughts on any of these books as well as what you have read lately.