Nancy's Reviews

After working in several word-related fields: copy writing, editing, freelance voice talent and theatre--followed by a long career as a stay-at-home mom I started working at the bookstore almost nineteen years ago, and was fortunate enough to be the manager for eighteen years. From my first day at work I had a sense of being home among the books and fellow book-junkies and that feeling only grew with the ensuing years.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a terrific team of booksellers and customers, and I am especially indebted to my fantastic family who supported my choice of jobs despite work hours that were definitely not conducive to family and social activities. I'm just now learning what all the fuss about weekends is all about!

My thanks to all of you who supported the store, who mourned its closing, and who asked us to establish this forum so that we can continue our tradition of exchanging opinions and ideas about books.

Two Girls Down                            

 Author:  Louisa Luna                    Fiction                        

Former cop turned private investigator Max Caplan is trying to convince himself that he’s content in his new life spying on cheating spouses and raising his daughter. But at night he drinks way too much beer, and when Nell is with his ex-wife, more often than not he passes out on the couch. Even when two little girls vanish from a mall parking lot, all he wants (he tells himself) is what he has. Alice Vega finds missing children, usually alive, and when the aunt of two missing girls in Pennsylvania calls, Vega packs her bag and is gone from California in a matter of hours. Together, Vega and Cap work their way through a trail of druggies and lies as they discover there are more missing kids: all girls, all the same age, all similar in appearance. The question is whether the two they’re looking for will live long enough to be rescued.

A really excellent crime thriller. A definite must-read!


 Author:  Gregg Hurwitz                            Fiction       

Evan Smoak was only twelve years old when the government came for him in the form of a program so secret that even those who were part of it knew only the project in which they were involved. Smoak, like the other kids recruited for the Orphan program, had nothing about his old life to miss: a series of foster homes, each more bleak and abusive than the last, made him welcome the rigors of the Orphan training; his handler, Jack Johns, becoming not only his mentor, but also the father he lacked. Living with Johns was akin to being homeschooled, with all that entails, although most homeschooled kids are denied the additional classes that Evan received. After all, there aren’t many students who graduate from the careful guidance of their parents knowing how to stay hidden, how to track prey, and how to kill in creative and esoteric ways. To sever his ties with the program, and to no longer act as Orphan X, Evan has used his unusual skills to create a new life, one in which those in danger need only call the number for the Nowhere Man. The people he hears from are strangers, until now, when the familiar voice of his mentor comes across the line: Jack Johns, in the only kind of trouble that would ever prompt such a call, forcing Smoak back into the world he had abandoned, this time as an adversary of a lethal enemy.

Hurwitz is a hell of a writer, and the Orphan books a hell of a series. If you haven’t read them yet, now is the time to start.


Light It Up                                             

 Author:  Nick Petrie                    Fiction                           

With Colorado’s legalization of marijuana has grown a huge secondary business: transporting and keeping safe the millions of dollars in profit, since the law prohibits any transactions by credit card or check. And a third, attendant, endeavor is flourishing as well: that of waylaying and stealing the shipments of untraceable cash. Although veteran and PTSD victim Peter Ash is determined to complete his journey to June Cassidy he hasn’t yet fulfilled her instructions to come to terms with the claustrophobia that grips him and conquer the white static that fills him with dread any time he’s forced to be indoors. So it’s with mixed feelings that he agrees to team up with Henry Nygaard to guard and deliver the huge stash of money from a profitable marijuana grow to the safe house in what they hope is a secret location. Just hours later, with dead bodies littering the mountainside, Peter realizes that what had seemed like a pretty ordinary job has turned out to be the target of a well-organized, well-funded, group of modern pirates, and that Peter is now in their crosshairs.

Maybe there have been way too many novels written in the wake of marijuana legalization, but this one, despite the bodies, the money, and the (not very convincing) love story, was just tedious, especially given the readability of the first two in Petrie’s series.


Chalk Man                                      

 Author:  C.J. Tudor                     Fiction                     

Eddie and his friends were twelve the summer life changed. It was the summer of the terrible accident at the fair, the failed birthday party for Fat Gav, the beginning of the chalk men, and the first death. Thirty years have passed since Eddie and the rest of them were children, but, even now, Eddie’s sleepwalking includes the horror of the dead, and the menace of chalk drawings; even now, Eddie continues to add to his collection of things that don’t belong to him. The letter, when it comes, opens Eddie’s mind to memories that he had thought long forgotten, and forces him to realize that what everyone, for all these years, had accepted as true, was only a carefully concealed lie.