Books & Blog: November 5, 2016

Books of the Week:

  • Crossing Places, Elly Griffiths
  • Undead and Done, MaryJanice Davidson
  • The Killing Kind, Chris Holm

 

Elly Griffiths is a writer I hadn’t encountered before, and I’m really glad I bought one of her books. Lucky for me, it was the first one in Griffiths’ series about Dr. Ruth Galloway, a forensic anthropologist. Galloway is an interesting character, a self-sufficient single woman with a life that mostly satisfies her. She’s moving ahead in her profession, she owns her own home, she’s rid of a boring fiancé. But all that changes very quickly when Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson asks Galloway to date the bones of a child unearthed in the bleak marsh area where Galloway lives. Very shortly, Ruth’s life of content is turned upside down. Crossing Places is really a very well-written book, intelligent and engrossing, and I am anxious to read more of Griffiths’ work.

 

MaryJanice Davidson’s work has been on my bookshelves for years, and I’ve read every one. Betsy the vampire queen, good-hearted and inept, has been one of my favorite characters ever, and this is the end of her story. Undead and Done is a worthy conclusion to the Betsy saga, which began with one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, Undead and Unwed. Betsy’s very complicated world, in which her friend’s twins wander in at different ages in their lives and her best friend Mark has become a ghoul (to say nothing of Betsy’s attempts to reorganize Hell) should be tackled in order, to get the full evolution. All these books are highly recommended. Be prepared to laugh.

 

I read Chris Holm’s book on my new tablet while touring. I find that I don’t remember books as well if I read them that way, but this book has such a high concept I wanted to recommend it. Holm’s protagonist, Hendricks, has a very specialized occupation. He assassinates assassins. When he learns a person is being targeted, he makes money by offing the hired killer before he can strike. Naturally, this is not a job that allows him to have many friends. The Killing Kind is truly a fast-paced read with an unpredictable plot, which makes it a refreshing read.

 

Blog

 

In effect, I haven’t been home for a month or more. Between conventions and my tour and my visit to the set of “Midnight, Texas,” I’ve been in many airplanes, hotels, and bookstores, touching down at home only long enough to do laundry and repack.

 

Traveling, whether to conventions or on tour, is really not much fun. Airport, hotel, bookstore. Rinse and repeat. Now that I’m TSA Approved I don’t have to take my shoes off or be body-scanned, which is a great relief. I always seem to be the person who gets frisked or tested for chemical residue, because I look absolutely unlike a profiled terrorist.

 

I do always meet some wonderful people. Convention attendees are there because they like books, and readers who come to signings are there because they like my books specifically, which is always delightful and an honor. Also, I knew most of the bookstore owners, since this tour was all independent bookstores. Going to such a store guarantees that the staff and audience really know what your’re doing, and that eliminates the need for a lot of explanation.

 

Now, since I’ve been home for a few consecutive days, I’ve voted, paid property taxes and other bills, opened a lot of boxes (I’m an online shopper), looked at my backed up cache of television shows, and begun to organize for Thanksgiving dinner.

 

It’s such a pleasure to sleep in my own bed, to be able to arrange my day as I see fit, and to put my suitcase away in my closet. I keep feeling the urge to hurry through my tasks to get ready to leave again, only to breathe a sigh of relief when I remember that I don’t have to pack!

 

I hope all of you are looking forward to your winter reading. There are so many good books to put on your TBR shelf. There’s no greater pleasure than realizing you are well-stocked!

 

Charlaine Harris