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.


 Author:  Robert Crais                    Fiction                        

When a mom finds a stash of valuables (including a $40,000 Rolex) in her seventeen year-old son’s bedroom, her first call is to private detective Elvis Cole, who agrees to take at least a cursory look into who might own the watch, not expecting to find much more than a kid with sticky fingers. The first indication that this case is not going to be so simple comes when Cole discovers that the missing Rolex is not only stolen, but is only one thing in a huge haul from eighteen burglaries of homes of the ultra rich. Surprisingly, it isn’t the Rolex that is garnering the most interest, but something much more dangerous, something for which people are being killed, something that has now made a target of Cole, his sidekick Joe Pike, and Cole’s only daughter.

Elvis Cole and Joe Pike continue to be a winning combination; Crais certainly hasn’t lost his touch!

Woman in the Window                                         

 Author:  A.J. Finn                            Fiction       

For ten months Anna Fox hasn’t left her house. Ten months of panicking at the thought of the outdoors. Ten months of mixing her pills with copious amounts of wine; ten months of only brief, unsatisfying conversations with her husband and their daughter. And ten long months during which her only knowledge of people outside the walls of her house is through the lens of her camera, zooming in to catch the nuances of their lives, tracking them down online, devising stories about their oh-so-normal lives. There is, though, one afternoon, when Anna’s isolation is broken by a new neighbor, Jane, and Anna has a new focus for her camera lens, which is why she sees Jane, stabbed, die in the living room across the park. Jane, however, has only been seen by one person: Anna, the crazy woman who can’t leave her house.

Woman in the Window generated a huge amount of pre-publication buzz, and deservedly so! A dark, disturbing book.


Bomb Maker                                        

 Author:  Thomas Perry                Fiction                                

When a bomb takes out half of LAPD’s Bomb Squad, former head of the squad, Dick Stahl (unshakable, wealthy, hunky) is recruited to return and rebuild the group. On the first day, he meets team member Diane Hines (gorgeous, quasi-capable, sexy). She shows up at his place that night. Sure, the police department wants to fire them both, but since Stahl is one step ahead of the bomber, he stays. As does she.

Unfortunately, Perry, who is usually a pretty dependably good read, spends way, way too much time jumping between the Stahl/Hines plot and the minutiae of bomb making to engage our interest. He has created uni-dimensional, stereotypic characters and a dull, unimaginative story. Pass.


Wife Between Us                         

 Author:  Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen                                            

Two women, one scarred by abuse, trying to rebuild the confidence she once had, one hopeful for the future, connected by one man who is either evil or perfect. Which woman, though, is which? And who is right in her judgment? And, depending on the answer to that, who is safe?

It’s hard to say much more about this intriguing book without revealing too much, as carefully intertwined as these lives are. What a good read!


False Witness                                

 Author:  Andrew Grant                Fiction                                

At nineteen, pregnant and broke, Deborah Holt realizes that she is not destined to become the next big country singer in Nashville. Hoping her mother will take her in, she heads her battered car in that direction even though she hates thinking of the dead end life she’s returning to. Maybe she should go to Mexico instead; raise her baby, find a job, anything to avoid the boredom waiting for her in Birmingham. Her car, however, has a different idea as it rattles to a stop only miles from her mother’s house, leaving her stranded, until rescue appears in the form of a mechanic who not only fixes the car, but also convinces her that her best option is to stay in Birmingham with her mom. Good advice, and Deborah finds a new future there until, on her twenty-first birthday, her body is found, trussed up in sheets, with a birthday present bow. When a second body is discovered the next day, Birmingham cop Cooper Devereaux realizes they’re dealing with serial killer: the new victim, like Deborah, is killed on her twenty-first birthday and, like Deborah, has also had a child she’s given up for adoption.

Although a little draggy at times, with a couple too many red herrings, False Witness is still a decent read.