Friday, February 16, 2024

Monday, February 12, 2024

Magical Monday

 The Book of Doors by Gareth Brown (HarperCollins, 13 February 2024).

Cassie Andrews is a bookseller at a family-run bookshop in New York City.  One evening, when she's alone in the store, Mr. Webber, a long time customer dies while her back is turned.  She's shocked and devasted, as he was a favorite of hers.  

Tidying up after the emergency personnel leave, she finds a small leather book on the floor.  It has a note from Mr. Webber, telling her the book is a gift from him.  The title page says it's The Book of Doors.  Curious, but exhausted, she takes the book home with her.

Once at home, she's thinking about a trip she once took to Venice while she goes into her bedroom to put the book away.  To her surprise, on the  other side of the door is the street she remembers from her years-ago visit.

Over the next few days, she and her roommate Izzy experiment with the book.  

But, as anyone familiar with magic knows, magical objects are always desired by people with evil intent, specifically, a mysterious woman who can control more than Cassie has ever experienced.

Soon, Cassie is being chased throughout the world and through different eras, learning how the book works as she runs.

This book was so much more than I expected.  There is a fret over it too much. It was one of those that I wanted to read quickly to find out what happened, but at the same time slowly enough that I could savor the lovely prose.

Highly recommended for lovers of fantasy and time travel!

Gareth Brown wanted to be a writer from a very young age, and he completed his first novel as a teenager. For the last twenty years he has worked in the UK Civil Service and the National Health Service while writing in his spare time. 

Gareth lives with his wife and two impudent and highly excitable Skye terriers near Edinburgh in Scotland. The Book of Doors is his first published novel.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Mystery Monday

 A Smoking Bun (A Bakeshop Mystery #18) by Ellie Alexander.  (St. Martin's,            20 February 2024).  

It's winter in Ashland, and Juliet's in-laws are coming to visit.  She's planning to give them an authentic Ashland winter experience, complete with snowshoe tours and winter picnics. 

An unpleasant encounter with a rule-breaking guide named Fitz Baskin puts a damper on their snowshoe tour, but they hope Ashland's unique Downhill Dummy race (in which makeshift dummies are strapped to skis and hurled down difficult ski run) will make up for it.

Unfortunately, one of the dummies speeds down the hill and lands on top of Baskin.  It's determined that he is dead.  Did the impact with the dummy kill him, or was he already dead?

Ellie Alexander's mysteries are always well-constructed,  and her characters are engaging.  Additionally, her descriptions of Juliet's baking and cooking processes are fascinating!

Ellie Alexander (who also writes as Kate Dyer-Seeley) is a Pacific Northwest native with a deep love for the region, which is why she sets her books there.  Ellie also writes the Sloan Krause mystery series, set in Leavenworth, Washington.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

February releases I'm excited about

Alexander, Ellie.  A Smoking bun (Bakeshop Mystery #18).  (February 20)

Brown, Gareth.  The Book of doors.  (February 13)

Bond, Gwenda.  The Frame-up. (February 13)

Marr, Melissa.  Remedial magic. (February 20)

McKinlay, Jenn.  Fatal first edition (Library Lover's Mystery #14). (February 13)

Williams, Sheila.  No better time. (February 27)