Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Book Review Club (August 2011)

Welcome to the last meeting of the summer of The Book Review Club. We've got some great reviews (fiction and nonfiction) this month. So, please scroll down and click on the links below. You won't be disappointed. :)

Without further ado, here's my review.


Over the Edge by Norah McClintock

Norah McClintock is a prolific Canadian Young Adult writer of mostly mysteries. She has won the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Novel FIVE times! Ms. McClintock was born in Montreal, attended McGill University and now lives in my beloved Toronto. In fact, several of her mysteries are set in Toronto.

Other fun McClintock facts: As a child, she read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries. She bakes a mean brownie. She has written 3 different mystery series: Chloe & Levesque, Mike & Riel, Robyn Hunter plus A SLEW of other books.

I want to be Norah McClintock when I grow up!

I have never met a Norah McClintock mystery I didn't like. Today I'm reviewing Over the Edge, the first book in the Chloe & Levesque series. In Over the Edge, high-schooler Chloe Yan, is forced to move to a small mining town because her mother marries a detective, Louis Levesque. One of the students at Chloe's new school, a loner named Peter Flosnick, is found dead at the bottom of a cliff. Peter's mother believes he was pushed and convinces Chloe to investigate. Peter is the third student to die recently. Chloe comes up with three suspects, then methodically follows the clues. There's a great climactic scene where Chloe amasses all the suspects at the cliff. The gathering together of the suspects kind of reminded me of the Nero Wolfe mysteries. I've always had a soft spot for Nero. :)

I love Chloe who is spunky, full of attitude and quite the risk taker. I love her stepfather, Levesque, because he's even-tempered, smart and goes to a lot of trouble to figure out how to deal with Chloe. I love Norah McClintock's mysteries because there is never ever a loose thread. And they're fast paced. And she always offers up a good, solid mystery.

Here is an excerpt from Over the Edge.

Now, drum roll, here are this month's delectable reviews! Please click through. You will find much to add to your to-be-read pile.

ADULT BOOK REVIEWS

Scott Parker: FUN AND GAMES by Duane Swierczynski (pulp fiction)

Sarah Laurence: STATE OF WONDER by Ann Patchett (literary)

Staci of Life in the Thumb: CLOSE YOUR EYES by Amanda Eyre Ward (literary)

Prairie Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden: FALL OF GIANTS by Ken Follett (historical fiction)

Kathy Holmes: WHAT THE HEART KNOWS by Mara Purl (women's fiction)

Patti Abbott: TIME WILL DARKEN IT by William Maxwell

Beth Yarnall: SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD by Charlaine Harris (mystery)

Linda McLaughlin: DARK FIRE by C.J. Sansom (mystery)

Stacy of The Cat's Meow: THE TIGER'S WIFE by Tea Obreht (And here's a link to Sarah Laurence's May review of this book.)


NONFICTION REVIEWS

Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: LET'S BRING BACK: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FORGOTTEN-YET-DELIGHTFUL, CHIC, USEFUL, CURIOUS, AND OTHERWISE COMMENDABLE THINGS FROM TIMES GONE BY by Lesley M.M. Blume

Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: THE WORDY SHIPMATES by Sarah Vowell (historical and humorous)


Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!

14 comments:

Rose said...

As a former Nancy Drew fan, "Over the Edge" sounds just like the kind of book I would have loved when I was younger!

Kathy Holmes said...

I agree - sounds great! I loved Nancy Drew!!! I didn't read them and say, "Wow, I want to be a mystery writer." I wanted to be a detective - I wanted to be Nancy Drew - lol!

Stacy said...

Sounds like a great book! Frequently when I read YA book reviews, I find myself wishing that YA was that good back in the '80s and '90s.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Sounds like a fun book. I used to love Nancy Drew!

abagayle said...

Ohh,i love mystery books,I'll need to check that out.I wanted to tell you,i checked out The Cupcake Queen,and i LOVED it!That,of course,made me want to check out her other books,so i did (I read them all,I'm like that,haha),and i loved them too.Thanks so much for the recommendations,i probably wouldn't of heard of her if you hadn't had the books review!So,thanks!
AbaGayle

Alyssa Goodnight said...

This sounds like my sort of book! I *still* haven't read a Nancy Drew mystery, but the lining up of the suspects reminds me of Hercule Poirot. :)

I need to make time for some mysteries...

Sarah Laurence said...

It is fun to see which authors have inspired you. I read all the Nancy Drews as a young reader then moved onto Agatha Christie. My problem now is finding most mysteries too predictable, partly from that earlier reading but mostly from plotting novels now. Still, an edge of mystery improves the reading experience.

Barrie said...

Rose: I think you would've loved this book!

Barrie said...

Kathy: Very interesting. I read Nancy Drews and wanted to be Nancy Drew and Carolyn Keene. ;)

Barrie said...

Stacy: that happens to me all the time. There's so much great YA available now.

Barrie said...

Linda: Hard to believe Nancy's been around over 75 years!!!

Barrie said...

AbaGayle: Thank you for sharing this!! So glad The Book Review Club has steered you toward some great reads. I will tell Child #4 that you enjoyed The Cupcake Queen. She'll be pleased! And, yes, definitely give Norah McClintock a whirl and let me know what you think.

Ellen Booraem said...

This sounds wonderful. At some point I have to stop obsessing about fantasy, so I'll put this on the list.

David Cranmer said...

I'm certain I would enjoy this book.