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.

Perfect Mother                                        

 Author:  Aimee Molloy                          Fiction                        

It’s the hottest summer any of them can remember, and the group of new mothers certainly feel the heat more this year. Even the few who were already mothers can’t recall New York ever being this oppressively hot. The core group of moms, though, are determined to keep up with their meetings in the park since, for some of them, it’s cooler there than in their un-air conditioned apartments, and because they’ve become used to depending on each other for advice and companionship. Their get-togethers have become a haven from long days and nights of caring for newborns; sleepless and wrung-out. Settled into the rhythm of conversation and friendship, their days have a sense of sameness, until the night that they decide it’s time for some time just for themselves, a baby-free evening of drinks and flirting, an idea that seems so harmless until one mother returns home to find that her baby is gone.

The fear and desperation are palpable as days pass with no trace of the missing baby, and as suspicion focuses on the members of the mother’s group, most of whom are not who they seemed to be. Is it possible that any one of them could have been desperate enough, though, to steal an infant?


Echo Killing                                         

 Author:  Christi Daugherty                            Mystery       

There are some nights that crime reporter Harper McClain is so bored that she fills her shift with crossword puzzles until the police scanner fires to life. Then there are those days that feed Harper’s obsession with murder, not only for their front page value, but also because Harper has seen murder from an insider’s view: when she was twelve, Harper came home from school to find her mother’s brutally murdered body on their kitchen floor. Although she often wonders what her life would be like if she’d grown up with her parents, rather than with her grandmother, the steadying influence of the cop who took her under his wing has given her direction and comfort. Arriving at a new murder scene, Harper is stunned to recognize the scenario: Lieutenant Smith leading another girl from another house, this child wearing the same anguished expression Harper has seen on her own face in old news photos. And when, against all rules, Harper steals a look at this killing site, it is, unbelievably, identical in every way to the horror Harper lived through. A serial killer who waits fifteen years between victims? Harper isn’t buying it; despite denials from the police, Harper is certain that the man , never caught, who killed her mother, is responsible for this death as well.

A really great debut novel!



Crooked Staircase                                   

 Author:  Dean Koontz                     Fiction                           

Former FBI agent Jane Hawk, pursued by the same powerful, ruthless group that arranged her husband’s death, is determined to root out those controlling the nano-enslavement of humanity, and to destroy them before they can claim and control the brilliant, the strong, the creative, or to force them to die. Her target is Booth Hendrickson, whom she will use in whatever ways necessary to expose and obliterate the ugly plan. Her son is safe with the only two people in the world she trusts, and Jane feels somewhat protected, but even someone with her skills, her determination, can’t know the enormous reach of the Arcadians.

By far the best so far in the Jane Hawks series; evil and sinister.



How It Happened                              

 Author:  Michael Koryta                      Fiction                     

There could hardly be a more unreliable witness than Kimberly Crepeaux. Who believes a twenty-two year old with five arrests, a young woman known to both police and bar owners, a woman living much of her life fogged by drugs? FBI agent Rob Barrett, regardless of the opinions of members of the Maine State Police, believes her. He was in the room as she confessed to being part of the murders of Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly. He heard her tell where their bodies are. He heard her describe the truck they were in; the picture of a cat painted on its hood. Most importantly, he heard her reveal who was driving the truck, although convincing the rest of the cops will be an issue. Mathias Burke is the local boy made good: a kid from nothing who, with hard work and determination, has become the respected businessman. Rob knows Matthias, though, has seen the meanness in his eyes, and regardless of the evidence that clears him, Rob refuses to let him slip through the law.

A roller coaster of a Thriller!


Death of Mrs. Westaway                

 Author:  Ruth Ware                      Fiction                     

Hal Westaway, on the brink of homelessness since her mother’s death, now knows there is no place for her to hide. Not only can she barely pay her rent, or buy food, or continue to pay for the tiny space on the pier where she does tarot readings, but now the kind man who loaned her money to get through the toughest times has sent a singularly unkind man to collect. The unkind man wants the money, and has made it clear that he is more than eager to hurt her if she doesn’t produce it. So when the letter comes, on its elegant paper, Hal sees, for the first time in years, a way out. Her grandmother, a woman she’s never heard of, has died, and Hal is a beneficiary. The only condition is that she must appear at Trespassen for the reading of the will, in addition to producing proof of her identity. Hoping for enough to buy her way clear of the loan sharks, pay her bills, and provide her with a little security, Hal travels to Trespassen, an estate encompassing acres of grounds and featuring a formerly grand home, where she meets uncles and cousins, none of whom her mother has ever mentioned. Why was her mother so secretive? Had Hal been told the truth about anything at all?

What a creepy, riveting page turner this is! Ware is definitely at her best here, weaving a dark web of secrets that threatens to destroy an entire family.