Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Book Review Club (March 2019)



Welcome to the March 2019 edition of The Book Review Club! There's a lot going on in March (which was the first month of the year until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1572): International Women's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Daylight Savings Time, Vernal/Spring Equinox, International Fanny Pack Day (I'm not kidding!), and more. And, of course, there's our book review club!




MONKEY JUSTICE
by Patricia Abbott  (short stories, mystery, adult)

You know how one day you wake up and think, wow, I'm craving chocolate or doughnuts or whatever your particular poison? For me, it's short stories (and black licorice). A couple of weeks ago, I was reading merrily along when I suddenly realized it'd been too long since I'd dived into a book of short stories. Luckily, this was about the same time I learned our very own Patricia Abbott had Monkey Justice, a book of mystery short stories, coming out on March 20. The rest, as they say, is history.

I knew exactly what I was getting into when I requested an ARC of Monkey Justice. I've read Patti Abbott's two mystery novels: Concrete Angel (nominated for the Anthony Award and the Macavity Award) and Shot in Detroit (nominated for an Anthony Award and an Edgar Award). Her book of short stories, I Bring Sorrow and Other Stories of Transgressions, got starred reviews from Publisher Weekly and Library Journal.

Patricia Abbott is a prolific short story writer, having written over 150 of them! She is a master of this genre.

Monkey Justice is a collection of twenty-three short stories of mystery and suspense that explore the darker, noir side of human life. Each story is very different from the next: After a house robber breaks his leg, he and his wife find a unique way to end their payments to a loan shark. An elderly man tries to protect his new young neighbor from her abusive boyfriend. A 12-year-old boy enlists the help of his best friend to dispose of the body after his mother kills her unwanted boyfriend. That's just a little sampling. The ending always packs a punch. Always. The writing is terrific. The characters are well developed. To give you a sense of what I'm talking about, here's an excerpt from "Like a Hawk Rising": "She was both the deer caught frozen in the headlights and the Ford pickup speeding wildly toward the blinded animal. You never knew which Marsha you'd find on the road. But letting her get the upper hand too often made him the deer."  See what I mean? Terrific!

If you'd like to learn a little more about the author, here is an interview in Kirkus Reviews.

And here is a recent article by Patricia Abbott about her mystery reading habits.


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

MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS

Jody Feldman: THE PARKER INHERITANCE by Varian Johnson (MG, mystery)

Phyllis Wheeler: LOUISIANA'S WAY HOME by Kate DiCamilla (MG, contemporary)


ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS

Patti Abbott:  THE VEILED ONE by Ruth Rendell (mystery)

Sarah Laurence: OUR HOMESICK SONG by Emma Hooper (literary)

Scott Parker: FARADAY: THE IRON HORSE by James Reasoner (western)

Tanya Sutton: THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides (psychological thriller)



NONFICTION REVIEWS

Linda McLaughlin: A HOPE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SEA: ONE REFUGEE'S
                                INCREDIBLE STORY OF LOVE, LOSS, AND SURVIVAL
                                by Melissa Fleming (adult and YA appropriate, biography)

Margy Lutz: 5 ACRES AND A DREAM by Leigh Tate (memoir)

Ray Potthoff: HUNTING TRIPS OF THE RANCHERMAN and WILDERNESS HUNTING
                       by Theodore Roosevelt (memoir)

Stacy of the Cat's Meow: HUNGER by Roxane Gay (memoir)



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!

10 comments:

Sarah Laurence said...

Patti's stories sound terrific! I see a glimmer of Poe? Thanks for hosting, Barrie, and this enticing review.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks so much, Barrie. What a great start to my day!

Barrie said...

My pleasure, Patti! I thoroughly enjoyed MONKEY JUSTICE! So...thank you!

Barrie said...

Yes, Sarah, I think so, but with much updated settings and cultural references. :)

Phyllis Wheeler said...

I can see I need to check these out. Thanks for sharing!

Linda McLaughlin said...

Patti's books sounds fantastic. I haven't read short stories in a while either. Thanks for reviewing, Barrie.

Jody Feldman said...

Okay, you convinced me, Barrie! Now I have to read this!

Powell River Books said...

I like suspenseful mysteries, but I haven't read a book of short stories in a long time. They would fit well with the way I like to read at night, short and sweet. - Margy

Barrie said...

Margy/Powell River Books: I like short stories for the reason you stated. It's nice to actually finish something in one reading. :)

Barrie said...

Phyllis, Linda, Jody: I hope you enjoy!