A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday: Books in the Mail

I Love my Mailbox! Here's what I found in it last week!

From Simon & Schuster Canada:

It is May 1969, and MI6 double agent Paul Dark stands alongside mourners at the funeral of Sir Colin Templeton; the former head of the organisation, the man he knew simply as 'Chief' -- and the man he killed in cold blood. Dark has got away with it, evading the attentions of both his fellow British spies and the KGB operatives to whom he long ago pledged loyalty. But that precarious security is about to be shattered, launching Dark back into the heart of an international conspiracy and making him a target for both exposure and assassination. Desperate to escape his predicament, Dark gambles everything on one last throw of the dice, exposing his Soviet handler to the British. But before long, he finds he has no choice but to go on the run again, taking him to the labyrinthine backstreets of Rome. The race is on to stop a deadly plot that dates back to the early years of the Cold War. The second part of the Paul Dark trilogy, and sequel to the critically acclaimed Free Agent, Free Country is another sweat-soaked Sixties-set spy thriller in the tradition of Len Deighton and Frederick Forsyth.

From Harper Collins Canada:

The first of four Larten Crepsley books that will span the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Birth of a Killer features Larten as a young boy whose life is thrown into chaos when his closest friend is brutally murdered. Retreating from the world of humans, he finds refuge in the night-world of the vampire clan. But although he has the bravery, strength and skill to go far as a creature of the night, he faces a number of troubling obstacles and setbacks. He never feels totally in charge of his life, and though he always tries to do the right thing, sometimes he makes serious mistakes...for which he must later pay. Like the Cirque du Freak series, this is a coming-of-age story, but it is spread across a far wider time period, and takes us even farther into the darkness of the vampire world.

Bianca and Bernard, agents for The Prisoners' Aid Society of Mice, rescue prisoners and outwit villains in this enchanting story, made world-famous by the Walt Disney film. The Prisoners' Aid Society of Mice discusses the proposed rescue of a Norwegian poet from the terrible Black Castle. Miss Bianca, the pet white mouse belonging to the Ambassador's son, is sent to Norway on a mission to recruit the bravest Norwegian mouse she can find. She finds Nils, and brings him back triumphantly. Then she, Nils, and Bernard, a pantry mouse who falls in love with her, set off for the Black Castle. They set up home in a mousehole in the Chief Jailer's room, and narrowly avoid the jaws of Mamelouk the cruel Persian cat. Eventually they trick the cat and the jailer, and get into the prisoner's cell. A dramatic rescue via an underground river, and they are all free -- and the Nils and Miss Bianca medal for bravery is struck in the mice's honour!

Edgar Award-winning author Tom Franklin returns with his most accomplished and resonant novel so far—an atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county—and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.

More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades.

From Candlewick Press:

Kipling's classic Mowgli tales spring to new life with the help of stunning artwork by acclaimed illustrator Nicola Bayley.

First published in 1894 in THE JUNGLE BOOK, these three stories tell of Mowgli's upbringing by wolves in the Indian jungle. When he is a baby they save him from the tiger Shere Khan, then teach him the law and language of the jungle animals, with help from two other unforgettable characters, Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther. In this classic edition, Mowgli's adventures are illustrated in ravishing and exquisite detail by Nicola Bayley.

From Henry Holt and Company:

Will Kiehn is seemingly destined for life as a humble farmer in the Midwest when, having felt a call from God, he travels to the vast North China Plain in the early twentieth-century. There he is surprised by love and weds a strong and determined fellow missionary, Katherine. They soon find themselves witnesses to the crumbling of a more than two-thousand-year-old dynasty that plunges the country into decades of civil war. As the couple works to improve the lives of the people of Kuang P'ing Ch'eng— City of Tranquil Light, a place they come to love—and face incredible hardship, will their faith and relationship be enough to sustain them?

From Penguin Group (Canada):

Danny Dragonbreath and his best friend Wendell thought the hot dog from the school cafeteria looked a little . . . off. Then things got weird when the hot dog bit Wendell, and weirder still when Wendell started to sprout back hair. Could Wendell be morphing into a . . . (cue ominous music) were-wiener? All evidence points to yes. And unless he and Danny can get past the lunch ladies and slay the alpha-wurst, the whole school could be infected.
Written in Ursula Vernon's trademark hybrid style of comic-book panels and text, this is the thrilling third book in the series.


It's 1948 and ten-year-old Fred has just watched her teacher leave -- another in a long line of teachers who have left the village because the smell of fish was too strong, the way of life too hard. Will another teacher come to the small Athabascan village on the Koyukuk River to teach Fred and her friends in the one-room schoolhouse? Will she stay, or will she hate the smell of fish, too?

Fred doesn't know what to make of Miss Agnes Sutterfield. She sure is a strange one. No other teacher throws away old textbooks and reads Greek myths and Robin Hood. No other teacher plays opera recordings, talks about "hairy os," and Athabascan kids becoming doctors or scientists. No other teacher ever said Fred's deaf older sister should come to school, too. And no other teacher ever, ever told the kids they were each good at something. Maybe it's because Miss Agnes can't smell anything, let alone fish, that things seem to be all right. But then Miss Agnes says she's homesick and will go back to England at the end of the year. Fred knows what this is about: Just when things seem to be good, things go back to being the same.

How Fred and her friends grow with Miss Agnes is the heart of this story, told with much humor and warmth by Fred herself This is a story about Alaska, about the old ways and the new, about pride. And it's a story about a great teacher who opens a door to the world -- where, once you go through, nothing is ever the same again.


  1. I've had my eye on Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Happy reading!

  2. I love the Rescuers movie! How is the book?
    My Mailbox

  3. Great mailbox. I'm really curious about City of Tranquil Light. Enjoy!!

  4. I received The City of Tranquil Light also. I think it looks like it will be a good read. Enjoy!

  5. Woo! I'm disappointed that I didn't get Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Enjoy!!! I look forward to your review.

  6. Dragonbreath looks great - love these titles you have shared with us. I did not realize the Jungle Book's early publication. And the Rescuers is a fantastic read. Another book you might enjoy is by British author, Peter John Lucking called, "Santa & The Little Teddy Bear." My daughter, 5, loves this book. The author has created a classic Christmas tale - every chapter a bedtime story with beautiful illustrations.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Daphne this time you stole the words from another blogger. Shame on you! I'm keeping your name visible so everyone else can see you are a spammer.