July 24, 2012
Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs
I find it amusing how there are now so many really specific niches of mystery novels- mysteries for dog lovers, knitters, park rangers and yes now tea lovers. Theodosia Browning runs the Indigo Tea Shop in a peaceful, historic district of Charleston, NC. But on the night of the Lamplighter Tour, a annual event showcasing the stately homes of the area, a ruthless* real estate developer is found dead, with a cup of tea from her shop in is hand. When the police detective casts suspicion on her and her employees, she decides to take matters into her own hands and investigate. This proves difficult, as the developer is disliked by many in the community.
I would definitely say this is more of a book for tea-lovers who like mysteries, rather than mystery lovers who casually like tea.
That said, the story drew me in, Theodosia was a unique and appealing heroine
and the descriptions of the characters and the historic city of Charleston also added interest. This is a nice, light read, and while a murder mystery, it is still not gruesome or that creepy. So you can give it to your grandma the tea maven 🙂
(*So what does ruth-ful mean then?)
October 10, 2007
Magic Steps: Book 1 of the Circle Opens Quartet by Tamora Pierce
In the Circle Opens quartet, Ms. Pierce continues the stories of young mages featured in Circle of Magic. But this time, as they grow up and develop their skills, they are sent outside of Winding Circle to study with teachers, and each finds a student of their own.
After her uncle Duke Vedris suffers a heart attack, Sandry stays in Summersea to take care of him while her friends travel further afield. Members of the Rokat family keep turning up murdered, and the Provost’s Guard (police) are baffled as to who the culprits might be, and where they are. Sandry starts noticing clues that signal the crimes have a magical nature, and despite being a young noblewoman she insists on investigating. Meanwhile she also discovers a boy, Pasco Acalon who can work magic by dancing. But he is from a proud family of harriers (Provost’s Guards) who don’t think dancing is a proper pursuit for their son. And who ever heard of a dance-mage? Though she does not feel ready, Sandry finds out that if a teacher of a specific magic cannot be found, the discoverer of the mage must teach him/her. Pasco and Sandry become partners in solving the murders.
I must say that I actually liked this better- as the characters and world were more developed, and the story had more layers to it. It’s really a murder mystery in a fantasy setting. I’ve heard good things about the later books in the quartet so I look forward to those.
January 11, 2007
Archangel Protocol by Lyda Morehouse
Imagine cyberpunk meets “A Handmaid’s Tale”. Fundamentalism juxtaposed with virtual reality. That gives you an idea of the world depicted in Archangel Protocol. Deidre McMannus ex-cop, has been excommunicated from the Catholic Church for her association with her partner who has been found guilty of murdering the Pope. This leaves her on the fringes of a society in which membership in an organized religion is a requirement for the full benefits of citizenship, including being connected to the LINK, an implanted, interactive network. Lately angels have been appearing on the LINK, which some claim heralds the Second Coming, namely a vocally right-wing presidential candidate. In this setting, a stranger appears at McMannus’s detective office, asking her help to debunk the angels.
I found this to be a riveting adventure, set in a creatively portrayed world. I wish, however that the author had included some kind of reference guide at the end of the book, as their are many concepts which are unclear. It got rather confusing around the middle of the book, but if you are patient, it gets clearer towards the end. Morehouse does include various “news articles” at the end of each chapter, which make help the reader piece together the puzzle.