Maine

From Marie K. Schulken
author: Sullivan, J. Courtney
Maine
 This is the first book I have read by J. Courtney Sullivan and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The story evolves around multiple generations of an Irish family who summered at their cottage in Maine.  A definite cast of characters beginning with the Matriarch, Alice, who rules the roost.  A great beach read and a nice respite from my spy novels.

From splendor to revolution : the Romanov women, 1847-1928

From Eileen Effrat
author: Gelardi, Julia P
From splendor to revolution : the Romanov women, 1847-1928
Vividly portraying the lives and turbulent times of four Romanov women—-an empress, a queen, and two duchesses, this thoroughly researched  book chronicles their lives from unimaginable wealth and grandeur to their deaths in relative poverty. The four leading ladies—-Empress Marie Feodorovna, mother of Tsar Nicolas II, Marie Alexandrova, daughter of Tsar Alexander II and wife of Queen Victoria’s son, the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Olga of Greece, a nieceof Tsar Alexander II and  grandmother of Prince Philip, the present Duke of Edinburgh, and Marie Pavovna, wife of Grand Duke Vladimir, son of Tsar Alexander II. This is a very readable narrative account of four women who dominated royal society for seventy years. I also enjoyed  reading Gelardi’s previous book, In Triumph’s Wake:Royal Mothers, Tragic Daughters, and the Price They Paid For Glory.

A Knife in the Back

From Elaine Pasquali
author: Crider, Bill
A Knife in the Back
This is a fast moving, engaging, light summer read.  English Department Chairperson, Dr. Sally Good, once again teams up with her colleague, Jack Neville, to solve a crime.  Only this time, Jack is the prime suspect.  Having just finished reading a rather dark novel, A Knife in the Back was the perfect antidote.

The Girl Who Played with Fire

From Judy Schroback
author: Larsson, Stieg
The Girl Who Played with Fire
This is the sequel to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Once again Mr. Larsson wows us with intigue and suspense.  Our main character is just as feisty as in book one.  Although young, she has such sophistication and physical strength. She is involved in criminal and ehtical predicaments which put her in grave danger. She is very secretive which keeps the other characters and the reader wondering how things will ever be resolved.  It was great.

Water for Elephants

From Judith Schroback
author: Gruen, sara
 Water for Elephants
 I think I’m one of the few people who didn’t love this book.  I was intrigued with the characters and the story but I felt both could have been developed more.  The leading lady fell short of getting to the hearat of her emotions.  I also would have liked more interaction with the elephant.  I am glad I read it but I would have liked more.