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.

Chestnut Man                                  

 Author:  Soren Sveistrup                      Mystery                 

Naia Thulin had expected much more excitement when she transferred to Major Crimes; a constant diet of murders and mystery instead of just the typical interdepartmental bickering and jockeying for position. And today, with the return of the Minister of Social Affairs, tempers are shorter than usual; Rosa Hartung's year long absence has allowed the two political factions to bring their differences to a boil; unfortunate because Rosa is still recovering from her daughter's kidnapping. Until things settle down, Thulin is more than glad to keep a low profile until she can transfer to Cyber Crimes. Her careful plans are overturned when she's not only sent to the scene of a gruesome murder, but assigned, as well, a new partner: a taciturn cop from the Hague who Thulin is sure will be no help at all. The victim has been butchered and one hand removed, but the most puzzling piece here is the tiny chestnut doll left at the scene.

Great plot, great characters, written by a debut author who (I hope) is only getting started with this potential series. I couldn’t put down Chestnut Man; I'm sure you won't be able to, either!


Elevator Pitch                                                

 Author:  Linwood Barclay                              Fiction       

Manhattan Today columnist Barbara Matheson is in the process of being offered a job ghost-writing a memoir for New York's mayor Richard Headley (an interesting development since Headley has just threatened to sue her for her expose of his awarding of a major city contract to a Headley campaign donor) when Headley is summoned to the scene of what, for a vertical city like New York, could be a major disaster: an elevator malfunction in a high rise building that not only has resulted in fatalities but worse, is most probably sabotage. While Matheson manages to be the first reporter at the scene, NYPD partners Jerry Borque and Lois Delgado are just beginning their search for the person who killed the man whose body has been found, face bashed in and all ten fingertips missing, on a bench at a popular tourist destination. The death count increases as elevators continue to fail, while Borque and Delgado find that the plan behind the tampering is more professional and sophisticated than they could have foreseen and Matheson begins to realize that the plot to kill New Yorkers may strike closer to her than she could have envisioned.

This book is a roller coaster ride! If you're looking for an edge-of-your-seat read, this is it!


Olive, Again                                         

 Author:  Elizabeth Strout                Fiction                           

In this wonderful collection of related stories, quirky Olive Kitteridge is the thread that binds together a group characters whose lives are touched by her. From widower Jack Kennison who drives to another town so that he can avoid Olive's frank discussions of the realities of widowhood, to the guests at a baby shower made uncomfortable by Olive's obvious boredom, to Olive's son, with whom she has nothing in common and whose children are not only rude but destructive, no one who knows Olive (who may have a shortage of empathy but who certainly has no lack of truthfulness) is untouched by her influence.

As always, Strout has endowed Olive with unabashed honesty, not only about the people she meets, but also about herself. Olive, Again, is another fascinating chapter in Olive's life.


29 Seconds                                                

 Author:  T.M. Logan                          Fiction              

Sure that this is the year she'll be given a permanent place on the faculty, Sarah knows that the only thing she has to do between now and review day is to avoid the unwelcome attention of her boss Alan Hawthorne. It was one of the first rules she'd learned from her female colleagues: do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be alone with him. Too many women had seen their careers go up in smoke as a result of having rejected his drunken advances, and Sarah cannot allow herself to be one of them. Subjected daily to Hawthorne's harassment, Sarah knows that, eventually, she will either have to give in or quit her job, until the night that she finds a powerful man indebted to her, a man who offers her the chance to make Hawthorne vanish for good. One phone call, that's all it will take. Will Sarah have the courage to make that call?