Oct 3, 2017

From Here To Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty looks at how different countries handle death and dying. Let's face it most Americans are petrified of death and wouldn't even have a loved one's dead body in their house, even if their passing was peaceful. It was a different story for our ancestors, as Caitlin reveals. And whilst funeral pyres, 'recomposition’ and natural burials are making slow inroads in the US; countries like Japan and Mexico, amongst others, embrace death, devoting days to commune with their loved ones who have long passed over (although, in Mexico they aren't afraid to take advice from 007!)

A fascinating, funny and kind of spiritual look at how different cultures view the D word.

13 Minutes, Sarah Pinborough

Teens, especially teen girls have so much drama. The whole school is like a beehive, workers, drones, queen bees and wanna bees. So when the queen bee almost drowns...

13 Minutes, that's how long Natasha Howland's heart stopped for. Did she fall in or was she pushed into the icy waters. Natasha feels she's still in danger because with friends like hers...

Sep 26, 2017

An Unkindness of Magicians, Kat Howard

Harry Potter's TriWizard Tournament meets The Night Circus in present day New York City

'Fortune's Wheel has begun its Turning. When it ceases rotation, all will be made new.'

The Turning normally happens once every twenty years. It is a competition where the magical Houses of the Unseen World challenge each other's champions to duels, which become increasingly deadly as the stakes get higher. There can only be one winner and for the last few turnings that has been the House of Merlin.

Now The Turning has come early, it always causes upheaval in the magical world and this time is no exception. Magic is mis-firing. The heirs of Houses Merlin and Prospero have become disenchanted or disinherited, the smaller houses are jockeying for position and into this melee step Sydney and Harper.

Sydney, a real life Hermione Granger comes from the House of Shadows, although she is well aware of who sent her there. Shadows provides the pool of magic which all the Houses draw from because if you use your own magic, as Sydney does, there is a price to be paid. She represents Laurent Beauchamp who hopes to establish his own house by winning the tournament.

Harper is a mundane (a muggle), she can summon just enough magic to her to light a candle and give herself a bloody nose doing it. Her best friend, Rose was murdered for her magic by a man from the unseen world and Harper intends to avenge her and she thinks Sydney can help, if she can find her.

Sep 20, 2017

The Late Show, Michael Connelly

Cops who work the 'late show' in Hollywood CA don't normally close cases, they start them but when night turns to day their investigations are taken over by the day shift. It's not where Renee Ballard would have wanted to end up but after accusing a senior officer of sexual harassment and watching her ex-partner refuse to back her up, this is her life now. Ballard and her new partner, Jenkins catch an assault where the victim was left for dead and it pushes Renee's buttons. She manages to hold on to the case and work it under the radar on her downtime. As she gets closer to nailing a vicious serial attacker her attention is split between her case and a high profile shooting in a downtown nightclub where the shooter remains unidentified.

Detective Ballard is tough, feisty, a little Kate Beckett-esque, this has enough twists and turns to keep police procedural fans happy but still manages to throw a few curve balls into the mix.

Sep 18, 2017

The Sorbonne Affair, Mark Pryor

Hugo Marston, head of security for the US Embassy in Paris is at Isabelle Severin's funeral when he is approached by American romance novelist Helen Hancock. Her story sounds a bit far-feteched; someone has been spying on her, possibly to steal her work. Hugo suggests bringing in the police in the shape of Camille Lerens and a spy camera is found in Helen's suite at the exclusive Sorbonne Hotel. Before Camille can proceed with an investigation a murder occurs at the same hotel and within hours some of the footage from the spy camera, some very revealing footage is uploaded to the internet. Hugo finds himself drawn into the investigation because the bodies stacking up are all Americans and it seems that his involvement has drawn the ire of the killer.

Meanwhile Tom Green is obsessing over the release of convicted bank robber Rick Cofer who swore revenge on Tom and Hugo back when both worked for the FBI. Cofer is heading their way and may already be hunting his quarry on the streets of Paris.

Sep 5, 2017

Sourdough, Robin Sloan

From the writer of ‘Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour book store’ comes a charming Bay Area tale of robots, software and sourdough.

The 'clement street starter' is the last delivery from the hole in the wall food place that genius software engineer Lois Clary has been ordering from every night since they left a menu taped to her door. The two Mazg brothers that run it are leaving the country in a hurry and the key to their mouth-watering sour dough is now Lois' room mate. A very musical and lively room mate.

Soon, Lois has the baking bug and is supplying her neighbours and the canteen at her employer; robot arm maker General Dexterity. She has also discovered, a club for woman named Lois and the Marrow Fair, a group of cutting edge food technologists based out at now-abandoned Alameda air base, Lois, with email encouragement from the Mazg brothers (and some Mazg music) begins to explore the starter's origins. Without realizing it, Lois has hitched her star to a seething clump of microbes, which is becoming more demanding by the day.

Aug 15, 2017

Gone To Dust, Matt Goldman

Twin cities private eye Nils Shapiro's newest client is Edina PD. They have a murdered divorcee and a calculating killer who 'dusted' up the victim's house and contaminated their crime scene. CSI won't be solving this one.

Nils and his old police academy graduates buddies might though. Shap is an interesting character, hope we see more of this new-fashioned gumshoe.