Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Book Review Club (January 2018)

Happy New Year! Bonne AnnĂ©e! Frohes Neues Jahr! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! You get the gist. It's a brand new shiny year. Full of possibilities. And adventures. And books. And, of course, our reviews. Enjoy!

by M.J. McGrath (adult, crime)

WHITE HEAT is the first of three books in the Edie Kiglatuk mysteries. It received starred reviews and was longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award.

Here's the Amazon plot synopsis: Half Inuit and half outsider, Edie Kiglatuk is the best guide in her corner of the Arctic. But as a woman, she gets only grudging respect from her community's Council of Elders. While Edie is leading two tourists on a hunting expedition, one of them is shot and killed. The Council wants to call it an accident, but Edie and police sergeant Derek Palliser suspect otherwise. When the other tourist disappears, Edie sets off into the far reaches of the tundra for answers.

Who doesn't love a mystery with a no-nonsense, tradition-bucking, bilingual (Inuktitut/English), Arctic hunting guide protagonist who boils iceberg chips for tea and chews wedges of igunaq (fermented walrus gut)? Not saying Edie doesn't have her demons. She does. She battles alcoholism ("The years of drinking had taken away what pride she might once have had.") and harbors mixed feelings about her ex-husband. But our Edie has ethics and courage in spades. When the elders, who "huddled together like a group of harried musk ox" wanted to ignore a qalunaat's (white man's) death, Edie takes matters into her own hands.

As Melanie McGrath, the author researched and wrote THE LONG EXILE, a non-fiction book about Inuit families. So, she definitely knows her stuff! In WHITE HEAT, the Canadian Arctic itself is a character. You practically need to wear a winter coat to read it!

I love everything Arctic. Visiting that area is on my bucket list. But I do believe anyone who enjoys a well-crafted, well-written mystery set in an exotic locale with a spunky, but flawed, heroine will enjoy WHITE HEAT.

(Dear FCC: Bought for my Kindle. Happy New Year!) 

And now....onto the rest of our reviews. Please click through. You won't want to miss a single one!

Jody Feldman: JASMINE TOGUCHI: MOCHI QUEEN by Debbi Michiko Florence (chapter bk)

Sarah Laurence: FAR FROM THE TREE by Robin Benway (YA, contemporary)

Ellen Booraem: GLASS HOUSES by Louise Penny (mystery)

Linda McLaughlin: LADY DARBY MYSTERY SERIES by Anna Lee Huber (historical mystery)

Margy Lutz: A TANGLED WEB by Mike Martin (mystery)

Patti Abbott:  SILENCE OF THE GRAVE by Arnaldur Indriadson (crime)

Stacy of the Cat's Meow: SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn (psychological thriller)

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: THE GREAT GOULD by Peter Goddard (biography)

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: WE'RE GOING TO NEED MORE WINE by Gabrielle Union

Ray Potthoff: THE CRUSADES by Thomas Asbridge (history)

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!