Monday, July 28, 2008

More Mini Reads And More Mini Reads!

I confess, I feel like I've been on a shameless bender. This week, I've logged another four.

I won't devote much time to Blasphemy by Douglas Preston, not that it wasn't enjoyable and thought provoking, but because nothing will ever equal the experience of the The Relic which he co-authored with Lincoln Child. That one had the nether regions of the Museum of Natural History and the novelty of abandoned New York Subway tunnels, as well as a fast-paced, hair-raising plot. Still, he had me going on this one. The title I'm lusting after is his new nonfiction book, The Monster of Florence.

Then there was Phantom Prey, another solid mystery/crime story in the John Sanford Prey franchise. I like Lucas Davenport; I can't help it. Still, he seems to be heading into the rarefied circles of Stuart Woods' characters with $2,000 dollar suits. But it's been fun watching him mature. And who'da thought he would turn out to be monogamous?

Now, Jennifer Lee Carrell's Interred With Their Bones is another type of story altogether. A review characterizes it as a DaVinci Code type of book, and in a way it is. In one night, young Kate Stanley loses her directing gig, when the Globe theater burns down, and her once very influential mentor, when the former is murdered, but not before Professor Howard leaves her the first in a tantalizing series of clues. This is very much an intellectual and literary pursuit with murders, Shakespearean lore and chases galore along the way. In sum, an interesting read, nicely written. I wasn't overly fond of the scenes set in 1613, but fortunately they were few. And yeah, people do go really overboard with these literary battles.

What do you do when you're a struggling young Mexican-American wouldbe writer who finds her life becoming enmeshed in life threatening ways with a group of people with a "condition" that renders them sensitive to sun and very fond of blood? When the indomitable Milagros De Los Santos, pun thoroughly intended, finds herself in this predicament, she overcomes it and gets her man. By The Bride of Casa Dracula, the third in the series, Milagros is engaged to marry the super sexy, somewhat vampiric, plastic surgeon Oswald Grant. I won't give away the plot, but I will say that the odd melange of Vampire tradition, wedding planners, and Cuban food make for an interesting romp. Once I hit the second chapter, I was no longer questioning the premise. The characters are memorable and Marta Acosta's style carries you along. Pure fluff. Great beach read.

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