Sunday, 2 August 2015

Books read in July

July was yet another rather slow reading month for me, although slightly better with four books read rather than last month's three. Anyway, without further ado, these are the books:

34. Medicus and the Disappearing Dancing Girls by R.S. Downie

35. The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Picard

36. Déjá Dead by Kathy Reichs

Goodreads blurb:

The meticulously dismembered body of a woman is discovered in the grounds of an abandoned monastery.

Enter Dr Temperance Brennan, Director of Forensic Anthropology for the province of Quebec, who has been researching recent disappearances in the city.

Despite the cynicism of Detective Claudel who heads the investigation, Brennan is convinced that a serial killer is at work. Her forensic expertise finally convinces Claudel, but only after the body count has risen...

Tempe takes matters into her own hands, but her determined probing places those closest to her in mortal danger. Can Tempe make her crucial breakthrough before the killer strikes again?

This is my first book by Kathy Reichs. She's one of those authors that I've always seen all over the place... bookshops, supermarkets, the library... and never really been tempted to try. I've no idea why. Then my daughter recommended them and offered to lend me the first book and I thought, 'Well, why not?' I gather the series 'Bones' is based on these books, but as I know nothing about that series I can't comment further on that. I can just say that I thought this was a jolly good crime read. I like crime series set in countries other than the UK so this one being set in Montreal in Canada suited me very nicely. There's a nice sense of that city, its people and its problems etc. I liked Tempe herself, a woman in her forties with a teenage daughter and all the problems that having a real life and a demanding career brings. There's quite a lot of detail of the examining of dead bodies so if that's not your bag avoid this or, do as I did, skim read. I think I may also be becoming allergic to metaphors as they're sprinkled like confetti all through the story, and it's intrusive. Regardless... this is a good intro to a 'new to me series' and I will definitely grab more of my daughter's books at some stage.

37. Point of Dreams by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett.

The Alphabet of Desire is the new play that's been chosen as the midwinter masque in the city of Astrient. Philip Eslingen, newly dismissed from his job, gets a new position at the theatre teaching military drill to the chorus of the play. When the dead body of one of the chorus is found on the stage, Philip's lover, Nico Rathe, Adjunct Point at nearby Point of Dreams is called in to investigate. Several more deaths follow with no clues as to who the perpetrator is or motives for the murders. Is it political intrigue or something far more basic? One thing's for certain, neither man has any idea of the personal danger they're putting themselves into to investigate these crimes.

So far in this series I've read one book, Point of Hopes, one novella, Point of Knives, and now Point of Dreams which is officially book 2 I believe. The books are basically a crime series based in a fantasy world where astrology is real. My link to Point of Hopes reveals more about the setting of Astrient so I won't repeat myself here, suffice to say the world-building in the series is very good indeed. I'm not mad about theatre settings in stories I have to admit, I find some of the detail of the plays a bit tedious, rehersals and so on. That's why I gave it a four on Goodreads rather than a five. I do enjoy the relationship between Philip and Nico and I also like the fact that this is a world where the sexes are equal and all kinds of sexuality are the norm. Also an interesting aspect of this particular story was the use of flowers as magical instruments... very interesting and original. All in all a very good read. Good series.

Point of Dream is my book 17 for Bev's Mount TBR 2015 challenge.

I seem to have specialised in crime books this month, although admittedly one was a fantasy/crime story... it was still basically a crime yarn. It's been an odd month with mild illness, family things going on etc. so it's been nice to relax in quiet moments with a bit of murder and mayhem. I don't have a favourite book this month. All four books were equally good and fun and if August is similar then I shan't complain.



BooksPlease said...

I've been wondering about reading Kathy Reichs' books - I see them everywhere too but have shied away, thinking they may be too gory for me. I'll have a look next time I see one.

Four books sounds good to me, with family things going on and illness. We've been looking after son's dogs whilst they went to France - it didn't interfere with my reading!

DesLily said...

Well four is never shabby! It's so funny how you like a crime novel "out of your country" and I love mine in the UK lol.. I have to admit though..I like mine in the UK but usually based in the 1800's or earlier. I don't care for new crime as much. I would rather not read that someone used their cell phone etc... :) I guess I should do a short July post..but it will be short! lol

Cath said...

Margaret: Yes, likewise. For years I've been seeing her books everywhere and just not picking them up for some reason.

Summer is just like that I think, so much going on etc. And jigsaw puzzles are not helping my case. LOL

Pat: No, four is ok. Yeah, I'm constantly amused by that thing with us and where we like our books set. Just reading a John Connolly book set in Maine. 'Wonderful'... I want to move there. 'Without' the creepy people maybe... lol