Saturday, July 17, 2004

New Book Recs

Avoid if you don't like mysteries or 'chick lit'.

Two new books to hawk today; first up, 'Sleeping with Schubert', in which normal thirty-something Brooklyn lawyer Liza Durbin is surprised to find herself 'inhabited' by the spirit of Franz Schubert. Suddenly she's a piano virtuoso, and Franz (who died at 31) has a lot more music he needs to release to the universe. Why Liza? Who can she trust with her odd secret? 'Sleeping with Schubert' is Bonnie Marsden's debut novel, and it's filled with likable characters in unusual situations. Bittersweet fun.

Next up, 'We'll Always have Parrots', a Meg Langslow mystery. Meg is a blacksmith, which leads her to unusual venues such as Civil War Re-enactors camps and Renfairs and the like. In this latest outing, she finds herself at a sci-fi con, since her actor boyfriend Michael has become the latest hunk-hero as a recurring character on cult-TV-hit Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle. When the series star proves to be a gold-plated bitch, her demise comes as no huge surprise. But Meg has to find the real killer while the con goes on, complete with Amazonian security guards, fanfic smuggling, filking and masquerades. Anyone who's ever been to a con will recognize the venue.

(I provide links to the other Meg Langslow mysteries at my Reading Room blog.)

One book I read lately I want to DE-recommend (decommend?) is Dean Koontz' latest, 'The Taking'. I had noticed during the late eighties and early nineties, Koontz had seemed to fall in with some anti-government far-right nutcases; at least his books resonated with that kind of Tim McVeigh-paranoia. He seemed to have recovered somewhat, and after the charming 'Odd Thomas', I had rather hoped he had stopped drinking the koolaid. But 'The Taking' finds him right back in Paranoia-land, where Global Warming is a liberal conspiracy and our Corrupt Culture is leading us directly to hell. Read Odd Thomas, but eschew The Taking. I provide links to both so you can read the Amazon reviews.


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