Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Keeping warm by the glow of my chilling book haul

With the snow falling outside my window right now, I am more glad than ever about my latest book haul. In rough weather conditions, it's always reassuring to know that you have enough food in the cupboard, a good blanket to crawl under and a pile of spanking new books to read.

First on the pile(thanks to Blogging for Books) is The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry,which is a follow-up to her earlier novel, The Lace Reader, yet it's not necessary to have read that one before this. Having read TLR, I'm curious to see what she has store here.

This book returns to the town of Salem, where police detective John Rafferty  is investigating the death of a teenage boy that may be connected to a cold case called "The Goddess Murders". Those killings were tied to descendants of accused witches back in the bad old days and many believe that a local historian,Rose Whelan, is responsible for those untimely deaths.

John doesn't buy that and neither does Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the original victims who has come back to Salem. Even if Rose is innocent and they can prove it, how will they find the real killer? Especially if that killer is truly less than human in more ways than one. Barry's storytelling skills impressed me greatly back when I read The Lace Reader and catching up with these characters ought to be an engaging get-together:

My other two books came from the library and I was thrilled to find Jeffrey Toobin's American Heiress on the shelves. This is his take on the Patty Hearst kidnapping back in the early seventies, a story that has always interested me ever since I read Patricia Hearst's own account of it entitled Every Secret Thing(I even saw the movie version).

I know that Toobin didn't have the cooperation of Patty Hearst for this book, which from what I've heard has doubts regarding her participation in the crimes committed once she "joined" the SLA. Granted, I am rather sympathetic to what she went through but willing to see what evidence Toobin has gathered to make his conclusions.

After watching the adaptation of his book about the O.J. Simpson trial and gaining new insights into that event, this should be as equally fascinating. I've already started American Heiress and his addition of the social chaos swirling around that particular moment in time is certainly enlightening things for me already:

I paired that with the first in a new mystery series,Arsenic with Austen by Katherine Bolger Hyde. The leading lady here is widowed lit professor Emily Cavanaugh, who has a fondness for Jane Austen's Persuasion, a book she's reading while traveling to the small village of Stony Beach to claim an inheritance.

While settling the estate of her great aunt(who, rumor has it, may have been murdered) and getting to know the locals, Emily reunites with Sheriff Luke Richards, a former love of hers that could be the Captain Wentworth to her Anne Eliot.

Unfortunately, there's also a scheming cousin of hers named Brock who is reminding Emily a lot of the duplicitous Mr. Eliot of that novel about. As Emily and Luke look into a suspicious string of deaths going on, Brock is only one of the many suspects that might also add Emily to their deadly to-do list. This sounds like a charming cozy mystery and if it fulfills it's promise of Austen antics, I will look forward with pleasure to the next entry in this "Crimes with the Classics" series indeed:

This is a small book haul, to be sure, but a manageable one for the present. Of course, having books to carry around is a delightful burden for most readers as you can't possess everything you need to know at all times even with the internet available. Books allow you to travel where ever and when ever you please, particularly during bad weather days like this:

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