BOOKS & BLOG: December 14, 2018

by | Dec 18, 2018 | 2018

  • Dreadful Company, Vivian Shaw
  • The Cabin at the End of the World, Paul Tremblay
  • White Silence, Jodi Taylor
  • Past Tense, Lee Child

I enjoyed Vivian Shaw’s first Greta Helsing book, Strange Practice,so much that I was very glad to get the second book, Dreadful Company.Dr. Helsing specializes in the treatment of supernatural creatures, and many of her friends fall into that category. If your mummy runs a fever, she’s who you call. Greta is invited to Paris to make a presentation at a medical conference; but the vampires of Paris are an unruly lot, and Greta is imprisoned by them. While her English friends work to save her, Greta works at saving herself. I enjoyed her adventures a lot, and I think you will, too.

Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the Worldis on a lot “Best Books” lists, and rightly so. It’s as unpredictable a novel as I’ve read in a long time. Wen, a seven year old, is vacationing at an isolated cottage with her fathers, Eric and Andrew. The arrival of a group of strangers with a bizarre agenda is terrifying, and events progress at a terrifying rate. Truly an edge-of-your-seat story.

I’m a huge Jodi Taylor fan, but I’d never read anything besides her St. Mary’s books. To my relief, White Silencewas just as good. Elizabeth Cage grows up knowing there are things she can see that other people can’t. And those things can see her, too. She keeps this secret as best she can, but after her parents die and Elizabeth marries, her contented world is shattered by a series of events during which she is widowed and imprisoned in a very iffy nursing home. Gradually, Elizabeth begins to understand that her world is not what she thought.

Lee Child’s most recent Jack Reacher novel, Past Tense,centers on a figure in Reacher’s past . . . his father. On a whim, Reacher goes to the New Hampshire town where his father was born. He searches for traces of his family, only to find his father apparently didn’t exist. At the same time, a young Canadian couple on their way to New York find themselves isolated at a remote motel when their car breaks down. They’re on an intersecting path with Jack Reacher, if they survive that long. 

BLOG – My Year in Review

This year, my most important professional news was the publication of “An Easy Death,” the first Lizbeth Rose novel. I’m happy to say it got good reviews and had good sales. I also wrote a short story that hasn’t yet been published, and an essay for book designed to help writers publicize their work. That hasn’t been published yet, either. I’ve also been on an award reading committee, which has eaten a whole lot of time. “Midnight Texas” started its second season, and another Aurora Teagarden movie was on the air. I signed a television deal for the Harper Connelly books and shook hands on another deal for Lizbeth. (More information to come on those.) The Lily Bard interactional game is proceeding very slowly. 

I lost my gallbladder and my arthritis settled in for the long run.

My husband and my children are all doing well, and our grandchildren are flourishing. Gavin is 6 now, and Devin is 5. We are blessed that those two are healthy, intelligent, and beautiful. 

Our church, which is so important in our lives, broke ground on a new building.

We live quietly, because that’s how we like it. But this year we went to England and Italy on a wonderful trip sparked by an invitation for me to ride the Orient Express. We had a lovely time with interesting people, and seeing Italy was incredible. 

Of course we had a few dips in the road, too, but on the whole – thanks, 2018. 

Charlaine Harris