Month: October 2012

  • From Hogwarts to Pagford

    Harry Potter, it’s not. But that’s OK, says Steve Wishnevsky, who has just read J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. By Stephen Wishnevsky THE CASUAL VACANCY. By J.K. Rowling. Little, Brown 512 pages. $35. This is an odd, very understated slice-of-life novel, touted as Rowling’s first adult novel. About half of the main characters are […]

  • Mortality in the bayous

    In case anyone wonders about the high-tech and high-brow credentials of this blog, I am posting a picture of how books for review are exchanged. In this picture, you can see Bob Moyer and his Harley, which he recently rode to Walnut Cove, N.C., for an editorial meeting with me. After a delicious lunch of […]

  • Is there romance in Doc Ford’s future?

    By Linda C. Brinson I did this all backwards. The news here for fans of Randy Wayne White is that he’s introduced a new character, a woman who just happens to have an interest in Doc Ford, the hero of 19 suspense novels by White. I stumbled upon Gone, the book introducing Hannah Smith, grabbing […]

  • Recipe for entertainment

    Want a book about travel, French food and wine, romance – and, oh yes, a good police mystery? Our world-traveling reviewer, Bob Moyer, has just the story for you. By Robert Moyer THE CROWDED GRAVE. By Martin Walker. Knopf. 324 pages. $24.95. Bruno, chief of police in the small French village of St. Denis, has […]

  • A debut novel that shines

    Here’s another offering by the indefatigable Anne Barnhill, who’s hard at work on her next novel of Tudor England, but kindly takes time out to review books for Briar Patch.  By Anne Barnhill  SHINE, SHINE, SHINE.  By Lydia Netzer. St. Martin’s Press. 309 pages. $24.99, hardback.  Lydia Netzer’s debut novel, Shine, Shine, Shine, is unlike […]

  • Picture this

    Bob Moyer took a break from his travels long enough to send another review. I think he had as much fun writing this review as he did reading the book. That’s good for us, because we can read both the review and the book. By Robert Moyer BEAUTIFUL RUINS. Jess Walter. HarperCollins. 352 pages. $25. […]

  • A wonderful deception

    Sometimes I choose to listen to an audiobook because I figure I’d never read the print version. That’s especially true in the case of serious nonfiction books. Perhaps because I worked in the newspaper business for so long, I have a difficult time making myself read nonfiction for pleasure. I started listening to the book […]