Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Come Fly With Me: "Unaccompanied Minor" by Hollis Gillespie

The Recommender is on a roll! I love being surprised by books that I know nothing about before starting them. I stay away from other reviews and synopsis-es so nothing influences my reading, and from the very first sentence...Hollis Gillespie's "Unaccompanied Minor" had my attention and my heart! I ADORED April Mae Manning, one of the best and most resourceful 15 year old narrators you will ever come across.  She comes from an airline industry family which included her flight attendant mother and grandmother to her late airplane mechanic grandfather and pilot father and she knows her stuff when it comes to what makes a plane stay up...or come down.
Her Mom and not so nice step-dad, Ash (also a pilot),  who officially adopted April when she was 5, are now divorced and HE is the custodial parent. Thusly...April spends a good deal of time in the air, flying from coast to coast between parents. Her companion on many of these flights is another unaccompanied minor flying back and forth between parents, Malcolm, and his emotional support dog, Captain Beefheart.
I won't give away any more details because April's story is far too wonderful and gripping and smart and so, so funny and... I swear you will be able to keep a plane in the air, or take one down if you had to, after reading "Unaccompanied Minor" (and. also...I may have a slight crush on Officer Ned!)!
I wasn't familiar with Ms. Gillespie before this book, but I am now a super fan of her writing and plan to read her other hilariously titled works... plus, I saw on Amazon, and it's on my wishlist, there WILL be a sequel to "Unaccompanied"!!! Personally, I can't wait!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

"The Outsmarting of Criminals" by Steven Rigolosi

There are few books that can surprise the Recommender, so, recently, while working at the library and checking items in... a book crossed the desk that caused me to take a second look. The cover is one of the best covers ever, take a look to the left. Is that not one of the BEST covers you've ever seen? It is Gorey-esque and yet, unique, and when you read the book it contains you will see just from where the design emanated!
Miss Felicity Prim, as the book begins, is an attractive woman of a certain age who has spent many years as the office manager for a well respected physician in New York City. A handsome one, at that. And, a widower. After Miss Prim survives a mugging, which is a life changing event for her, she decides to leave the city, though she loves it, and buy a home in the country much to the sadness of said physician and the office staff who all adored her and depended on her skills. Miss Prim is an aficionado of mysteries and crime fiction and after having read a great many and been able to second guess many of the lead characters, she decides a career in the field of criminal outsmarting would be perfect for her in new place of residence. She buys the quaint and lovely "Rose Cottage" in picturesque Greenfield, Connecticut. And immediately comes upon a murder mystery... in her own new home!
Does Miss Prim become a Criminal Outsmarter? Will there be handsome men in her future? Can home baked cinnamon buns win her new friends and influence people? These are just a few  questions that will be answered in one of the most delightfully arch and funny  and just perfectly written books that just begs to be reread and quoted aloud! I never heard of Mr. Rigolosi before but I am a new fan and though I am not big on sequels or series... I don't think anyone who reads The Outsmarting of Criminals can ever have enough of Miss Felicity Prim! And, in case you were wondering, the cover is by the extremely talented J. E. Larson. Highly, highly recommended!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Whispers in the Dark: "The Voices" by F.R. Tallis

The Voices by F.R. Tallis is a very, very creepy ghost story and maybe one you'll want to read in daylight. It haunted me for days after I read it so be prepared! It begins in 1974, and Christopher Norton, an electronic musician and scorer of film soundtracks and his beautiful, former model wife, Laura, who is pregnant, contemplate a move into an old estate in a desirable suburb of London.  As they wander around taking things in, Chris hears a gasp, and sees his wife staring out over the overgrown garden. She has seen something, but brushes it off. She has always wanted to live in a house like this, she claims, and it is the perfect place for a home recording studio and to bring up their future child.
Or is it?
Mr. Tallis creates a feeling of unease and menace that permeates Chris and Laura's lives. Chris, once famous for his avant-garde music, has now been struggling to get needed commissions from film companies, while his friend, Simon's career has grown over the years. Jealous, he longs for inspiration, that comes, one evening, in the form of static at the end of a tape he's making. Static, that gives way to voices. Is he inadvertently picking up odd radio frequencies... or, are they something else? The Recommender gives nothing away! If you are looking for an unusual and did I already say creepy? yes, creepy! ghost story, than check out the Voices, and keep that light on!