From Jackie Cantwell
Author: Mark Fuhrman
Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?
This is the true crime account of the murder of 15 year old Martha Moxley on her own property in the exclusive area of Belle Haven, Greenwich, CT. on October 30, 1975. Her neighbors were the Skakels, who are related to the Kennedys. From the beginning, many people suspected that someone from the Skakel household must have committed the crime, as the murder weapon was a golf club matching a set found in the house. Thomas Skakel, the 17 year old son of the widowed Rushton Skakel, emerged early as a suspect, since he was the last known person to see her alive. Ken Littleton, the 23 year old tutor who moved in that day, was a suspect for many years. Not only was the police investigation incompetent, but they tiptoed around the wealthy Skakels. It seemed the only way the crime would be solved would be a confession, because the police weren’t about to uncover anything useful themselves! Not until the existence of “the Sutton file” (a report by a private investigation firm, paid for by Rushton to clear Thomas’s name) became known did Michael Skakel (15 y/o at the time of the murder) become a suspect.
I like how Fuhrman explained how a murder investigation is supposed to be conducted, as he is a former detective with LAPD, most notable for being associated w/ the O.J. Simpson trial. A cast of characters would have been useful.
From Ellen Druda
Author: Christopher Steiner
Automate this : how algorithms came to rule our world
Every day more and more aspects of our modern lives are assisted or guided by computer-made decisions. Decisions that used to take humans hours, days, or years to study and interpret are now figured out by a computer algorithm in micro-seconds. The highly competitive financial markets were the leaders in using automation to make fast choices about buying and selling, and the science has filtered down into speech recognition patterns, medical diagnosis, musical composition, customer service, and much more. The book is an eye-opener on the subject. For better or worse, the bots are here to stay.
From Jackie Cantwell
Author: John Berendt
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil [sound recording CD]
This is the first time I’ve listened to a book on CD, and I’m impressed! I read the book and I saw the movie, and couldn’t get enough of this story. The narrator is Jeff Woodman and he has a mellifluous voice that carries you back to Savannah. At first, I was curious how Mr. Woodman would handle the women characters in the narrative. But he did fine renditions of the Lady Chablis, Minerva, Mrs. Williams, etc. and captured their accents beautifully. This is a nonfiction account of Mr. Berendt’s time in Savannah, with a cast of unbelievable real-life characters, including Jim Williams, a well-to-do antiques dealer. It is funny, suspenseful and engrossing, and before you know it, you will go through all 13 discs of this unabridged version.
From Ginny Pisciotta
Author: Compton Mackenzie
Monarch of the Glen
Having loved (and previously reviewed) the Monarch of the Glen DVD series, I just had to read the book of the same title. Unlike the series, which takes place in more current times, the book takes place in the 1940’s, when Hector MacDonald’s father, also Hector MacDonald (but referred to as Ben Nevis) was Laird of Glenbogle.
Ben Nevis has visitors from the U.S. – a millionaire (Chester Royde), his young bride Carrie, a Scottish Canadian interested in her Scottish MacDonald roots, and Chester’s sister Myrtle. Maintaining castles, estates, and a gentry lifestyle can be very difficult and expensive in the 20th century so Ben Nevis attempts to set heiress Myrtle up with one of his sons.
The visitors are quite enamored with Highland lore and life. Chester even starts wearing kilts. They also get caught up in a hysterical all-out war between Ben Nevis, clinging to customs and thinking more fitting of centuries gone by, and a group of progressive thinking hikers, who feel they have the right to hike on the lands of Glenbogle.
The story and characters are humorous and enjoyable overall. My one complaint would be that the story gets bogged down a bit in wordiness and Gaelic dialect, though even the wordiness can be quite clever if you can take the time to read it through. Also, the switching back and forth between names and titles can be a bit confusing.
I would recommend this book to fans of the series who need a Glenbogle fix, or to those interested in Scottish culture, or to anyone who enjoys a humorous story full of quirky characters and doesn’t mind a little wordiness or Gaelic dialect.
From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: Miranda James
Murder past due
I love books and cats and not necessarily in that order so when I discovered a new author who combines my two loves, I was in heaven. Miranda James has a “Cat in the Stacks mystery” series which features an archivist/public librarian named Charlie Harris who is accompanied almost everywhere by his Maine Coon cat, Diesel. Diesel warbles, chirps, meows and manages to communicate quite easily with his owner. Charlie solves the mystery while Diesel provides sympathy and/or emotional support to Charlie and others. So far there are four titles in the series and they are, as follows: Murder past due, Classified as Murder, File M for murder, and Out of circulation. I can’t wait for the next Cat in the stacks mystery to appear on my bedside table.
From Rosemarie Jerome
Author: James Wilde
The Time of the Wolf
No holds barred immersion into the treachery and brutality rampant in Medieval England. A visceral explosion of action that follows the path of revenge which created a hero, a demon, a warrior, an outlaw named Hereward. English King Edward is heirless and ailing, and William the Bastard, a Norman, waits to cut a bloody path to the English throne. Hereward leads the resistance against William. Hereward, the dark angel of war, risks everything to save the land he loves and Alric, a peaceful monk, strives to save his friend’s soul. This historical fiction has graphic violence and plenty of action.
From Rosemarie Jerome
Author: James McGee
Hawkwood: A Regency Crime Thriller
The dashing, dangerous, mysterious, Matthew Hawkwood is the hero of this historical thriller set in Regency London. Hawkwood, a Bow Street Runner, is ordered by Chief Magistrate James Read to investigate the double murder of a coachman and a navy officer on the Kent Road. Could the murders be part of a plot by Emperor Napoleon to crush Britain? Does the country’s security rest in the hands of its most controversial investigator? This is the first book of this exciting series. Hawkwood’s adventures are an entertaining treat.