Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Library Loot ~ July 6-12

In the Bleak Midwinter ~ by Julia Spencer-Fleming, 2002, mystery (New York), 10/10
Summary:  "Clare Fergusson, St. Alban's new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Miller's Kill, New York. She is not just a 'lady,' she's a tough ex-Army chopper pilot, and nobody's fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town's police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who's also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby's mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Miller's Kill like the ever-present Adirondacks. What they discover is a world of trouble, an attraction to each other, and murder."
This author's writing is fun to read.  The woman arrives in upper New York State with a sporty little car that worked well down south, where she's from.  But pastors have to do lots of visiting here and there among church members, and Miller's Kill (a "kill" is a stream) is a snowy place.  To give you an idea, here's some dialogue (page 115) after Russ comes along and "rescues" Clare by shoving her car into the police lot over a bump caused by two inches of snow (yes, two INCHES of snow).  I love it.
"That is an embarrassingly small amount of snow to get stuck in, isn't it?"

"You need something heavy, with front-wheel-drive," Russ said, opening the door to his cruiser.  "Four-wheel-drive is better.  Until you get that, load up the trunk with bags of kitty litter.  It'll give some weight to your rear and if you get stuck, you can always sprinkle some around for traction."

"Great.  I can see it now.  I'll get my car free just in time to run over some old lady's cat who's come to investigate."
I don't usually read mysteries, so I was quite surprised at how much fun it was to read straight through it.  I rate this book 10/10 because I couldn't put it down.

Pocketful of Names ~ by Joe Coomer, 2005, fiction (Maine), 8/10
Summary:  "Inhabiting an island off the coast of Maine left to her by her great-uncle Arno, Hannah finds her life as a dedicated and solitary artist rudely interrupted one summer when a dog, matted with feathers and seaweed, arrives with the tide. He is only the first of a series of unexpected visitors and is soon followed by a teenager running from an abusive father, a half sister in trouble, a mainland family, and a forlorn trapped whale. In the engrossing drama that unfolds, Hannah's love of her island solitude competes with her instinctive compassion for others."
My library copy had a different cover, but the dog is such an integral part of the story that I chose to share this paperback version.  Enlarge the cover to see how wet the dog is.  Until nearly the end, I had this book pegged as either a 9 or a 10, but it finally got so convoluted that I settled on a rating of 8 out of 10, a very good book.

Library Loot is a weekly meme co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.  Claire has the Mister Linky this week, if you'd like to share a list of the loot you brought home.  You may submit your list any time during the week.


Helen's Book Blog said...

In the Bleak Midwinter sounds like a good story! Enjoy

Joy Renee said...

those both sound fun.

i put up a library loot this week too.

also in the last ten days my first book review in six months and my first ever movie review

Marg said...

I really enjoyed the Julia Spencer-Fleming book as well. I am currently reading the second book and that is great too!