The MandiblesLionel Shriver

Shriver’s oh-so-plausible dystopian novel follows four generations of the Mandible family. From the incredibly wealthy great-grandfather to his granddaughter and great grandson ( barely scraping by), the family fortunes run the gamut of the economic ladder. But all are soon falling, and fast.

What makes this novel both …

All the Money in the WorldLaura Vanderkam

What people do with their money is a choice, and these choices reflect our priorities. If we sport diamond rings but claim we don’t have money for date night, we are essentially saying that jewelry it worth more time to us than spending time with our spouse. If

Lloyd Kahn

Hobbit HouseHobbit House

“Joyful” is the best word I can use to describe Kahn’s new collection of tiny homes. Each under 500 square feet is a gem. Many are handbuilt and lived in by the builders.  Others are from built by companies specializing in downsizing for the 21st century. …

Graeme KentGraeme Kent

Kent has managed to create one of the rarest of novels. Set in the Solomon Islands in the 1960s as colonial rule is disintegrating, many of the bright boys are given a European education in preparation to take over control of the country. These men vacillate between their …

Raven BlackAnn Cleeves

The first in her Shetland Island thrillers, Cleeves’ story is dark and gripping.  The isolation, small-town atmosphere and like of privacy on the tiny island add to the tense atmosphere and ominous air.  Suspicion over the death of two local girls bounces from one resident to the other, …

Following PollyKaren Bergreen

A perfect blend of mystery, chick-lit, tension and snark.  Bergreen’s heroine (of sorts) Alice acts like a real person.  She holds grudges, creates fantasies and often does nonsensical and stupid things. But they all make their own wacky, forgivable sense.  Out of work and looking to occupy herself, …

Star IslandCarl Hiaasen

Hiaasen’s newest title, Star Island, is by far my favorite since Skinny Dip. Using the trite and oft-seen story of a starlet going off the rails, Hiaasen drags Cherry Pye, a mediocre singer filled with blind ambition, had her double Ann, into the psychotic world of …

MI_head(update 1/19/16 ) Looks like Rue Morgue is no longer in business.  Boo!

Rue Morgue reprints vintage mystery titles, mostly from the UK. Many are charmingly redolent of early Agatha Christie titles. Sheila Pim’s garden murder titles, set in WWII Ireland, are especially enjoyable. The mysteries are surpassingly complex with …

The PyratesGeorge McDonald Fraser

Rivaling Terry Pratchett for the king of humorous writing, George McDonald Fraser creates a fictional vision of the pirate life lifted directly from Treasure Island and Basil Rathbone movies with touches of slap-stick (if fruitcart then chase scene). Fraser’s pirates are walking, talking, larger-than-life pirate stereotypes. …

Christopher Marley

On our honeymoon last year we stopped by the gallery in Prairie Edge Art Gallerie in South Dakota. A few of Marley’s insect pieces were on display and we were fascinated. Each piece is a small collection of real, exotic insects. Pheromone shows many of his pieces, along …