In the beginning...

...there were The Flyaways, a family who traveled in their miraculous flying machine having daring adventures with Goldilocks and Cinderella. The first in the 3-book series by Alice Dale Hardy was published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1925 and copies are almost extinct. Few people remember Ma and Pa, Tommy and Susie Flyaway now.

I became acquainted with them on my grandfather's lap, my dear Grandpa Baker who read and read and read to me every evening for as many years as I can remember. I would hold my breath as each chapter ending neared, hoping he would not stop. I would keep begging for "just one more" chapter until his voice got so hoarse I would have to run to his room to get his throat lozenges.

Over the years we covered all of Uncle Wiggly and Honey Bunch, the Bobbsey Twins, the Five Little Peppers, the Wind in the Willow series, some of them more than once. He read to me until long after I could read everything for myself, until I was into Beverly Gray, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I was safe and happy snuggled up on the couch with him and that feeling has never left me. I still read and read and read, and it still makes me feel safe and happy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Greg Iles again

I don't know why this guy hasn't skyrocketed to the top of the charts - unless he has and I missed him. Just finished my second of the summer by him and it was just as satisfying as the first. Deep Sleep is a crime novel revolving around paintings of dead women, featuring photographer Jordan Glass and John Kaiser, her new FBI love interest. Good one and another on the pile to begin.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mother California

This was a totally excellent book by Ken Hartman, who was convicted at the age of 19 for murdering a man in a park, and sentenced to life without parole. He has traveled throughout the California prison system - Soledad, San Quentin, Folsom and others - and remains incarcerated 30+ years after his conviction. He met and married and fathered a child now in her teens who he adores. The quality of his writing displays talent, intellectual curiosity and a refreshing honesty about his own situation and the corrections system in general. Really, really good read.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Rich, arrogant neurosurgeon Jack Scales buys a fancy boat and pressures his fractured family into sailing with him to Bermuda. Before they even leave the dock, troubles begin, and the voyage escalates into a nearly unbelieveable nightmare of violence and terror. This was a real page turner if you don't mind brutal and bloody. Written by David Poyer.

The Silent Girl, another Rizzoli and Isles novel by Tess Gerritson, is a cop novel set in Chinatown involving missing girls and ancient Chinese secrets.

Laurel Shields' doctor husband goes berserk in Third Degree, imprisons her in their home and threatens mayhem if she doesn't give him the name of her lover. Her denials serve to infuriate him more and more until he has killed his business partner and endangered all their lives, including their children. Who will rescue them? Hmmm...could it be her lover? Good one by Greg Iles.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Just a darn good read

Good characters, good writing, good plot: Betrayal of Trust by J.A. Jance. Not spectacular, just good solid cop stuff. JP Beaumont and Melissa Soames investigate the suicide of the governor's teenage ward. Jonas also uncovers details about his own father's life and family.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On the train from Dobb's

Not a bad Kindle read: The Abduction - a 99 cent special that was a little choppy with flashbacks to Viet Nam but I liked it. Vet's granddaughter is kidnapped by military group in Idaho mountains for a complicated reason. I liked the grandfather/hero Ben Brice.

Before I Go To Sleep

Despite its current popularity, I thought this was a dumb, dumb book. Like the movie 50 First Dates, woman forgets everything when she falls asleep and must relearn her whole history every day. Her husband turns out to be an imposter, best friend did not move to New Zealand, her grown son did not die in Afghanistan. The whole plot was such a stretch it was not believable and irritating as hell to read. Author S.J. Watson. They must have paid LeHane a bundle to "like" this one.