Random Book Reviews from 2013

So I’ve been a bit delinquent in linking my book “reviews” on here from my blog, so here’s a bunch of books which I wrote about in 2013…

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1.  John Saturnall’s Feast (Lawrence Norfolk) – John Saturnall’s Feast is a historical fiction that begins in 1625 in a small village in England.  Though he has never known another home, John knows that he and his mother, with their dark hair and strange ways did not belong among the fair haired, fair skinned people of Buckland.  Born with the uncanny sense of smell, John learned everything he knew about all things that grew from his mother who had a talent for brewing potions to ease the village women’s labour pains and other ailments.  Their strange ways and practices were enough to cause the villagers to be wary of them, branding his mother a witch and burning down their house.  Driven off by the cult zealots of the village with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a mysterious book,  John and this mother sought refuge in Buccla’s Woods which the superstitions villagers were afraid to enter. (Read more).

garden2.  The Garden of Evening Mists (Tan Twan Eng) – The Garden of Evening Mists (2012) by Tan Twan Eng is a beautifully written story about a woman’s lifelong struggle against anger, guilt, and the memories of her tragic past.  Growing up in Malaysia in the 1930′s, Yun Ling Teoh and her family lived a privileged life that was nearly destroyed during the onset of the Japanese Occupation during World War II.  Because of Yun Ling’s father’s strong anti-Japanese sentiments, Yun Ling and her sister, Yun Hong were captured by the Japanese and sent to work in a slave labor camp of an unknown location.  Made to suffer indescribable atrocities at the hands of the Japanese, Yun Ling, then only in her teens, miraculously survives the camp after the war, and goes on to become a successful lawyer, public prosecutor, and later, a well-known judge. (Read more).

33.  The Sandman:  Overtures (Neil Gaiman) – Also known as Morpheus, Dream is one of the seven Endless – entities who transcend time and are as old as the universe.  Along with his siblings Destiny, Death, Destruction, Delirium, Desire and Despair, who each influence different aspects of human lives, Dream resides in the realm of sleep and dreams. (Read more).

20130905_194812-copy4.  The Case of the Missing Servant (Tarquin Hall) – The Case of the Missing Servant (2009) is the first book in a series starring Vish Puri, India’s “most private investigator.”  The 51-year-old, rotund, Safari-suit-and-Sandown-hat-wearing, mustachioed detective with a penchant for pakoras and chicken frankies, and founder of Most Private Investigators, Ltd.  prides himself as winner of the 1999 Super Sleuth World Federation of Detectives award, and the first Indian private detective to make it to the cover of India Today.  Vish Puri is known to his friends and clients as the Indian Sherlock Holmes, a distinction he finds quite offensive.  He takes umbrage at being compared to a fictional detective who is popular for using, without giving credit to, the deductive methods invented in India thousands of years ago by Puri’s spiritual mentor and guru, Chanakya. (Read more).

20130814_2136255.  The Black Country (Alex Grecian) –   The boys in blue are back again in Alex Grecian‘s The Black Country (2013), the 2nd book in his Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad Series.  At the request of the local constable, Detective Inspector Day, Sergeant Hammersmith, and Dr. Kingsley are sent to Blackhampton on loan from Scotland Yard to solve the mystery behind the disappearance, and possible murder of a small family.  Upon arriving at Blackhampton, Detective Inspector Day and Sergeant Hammersmith soon find that the residents of the small mining town are strongly superstitious, suspicious of their presence and involvement in the case, and seem to have secrets of their own. (Read more).

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