This was my first book read by Meg Gardiner, and I think its safe to say that I’ll getting the rest of her books from the library. The Dirty Secrets Club was full of twists, turns and unexpected surprises – I never would have guessed the ending, which makes a mystery/suspense book a winner for me.
So what is the Dirty Secrets Club? I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll just say that it’s a group of fairly high-powered public figures with secrets to hide, both from their past and present. When a member of the Dirty Secrets Club is killed, the Boston police launch an investigation into the club, revealing more deaths, scandals, and the secret lives of some of Boston’s most well-known citizens.
If you enjoy mysteries and suspense novels, read The Dirty Secrets Club. Can you figure out who is in the club and who is threatening its members?
Tess Gerritsen is another of the mystery authors that I really enjoy, with most of her books centered around the same cast of characters – Boston cops. While I don’t normally post reviews of all my mysteries (I just read them way too fast!) but this one was particularly enjoyable so I wanted to leave a little something.
The Keepsake is the story of the “anthropology killer,” a murderer who is killing women and preserving them according to ancient methods (think of the mummies…). The murder investigation was intertwined with historical facts and antidotes. What I most enjoyed about the story was its unpredictability – even up until the last few pages there were twists that made me second-guess what we already knew and what we expected to happen.
If you enjoy James Patterson, Alex Kava, or other mystery & suspense authors (authors of “murder mysteries,” as I like to call them), then I would definitely recommend The Keepsake, or any other book by Gerritsen.
I got this book while at an airport – I had finished the one I brought with me and was trying to choose something that I knew a relative or friend wouldn’t buy (because those usually get mailed to me!). Since I love cooking, am eagerly anticipating Julie & Julia from Netflix, and know nothing about Julia Child, I chose her book, My Life in France.
I went into this book with no expectations, and to be honest, didn’t want to put it down once I started reading. However, for some reason, I felt oddly unsatisfied when I finished the book… like I didn’t know what she talked about for 300 pages.
The first two-thirds of the book were when Child actually lived in France and was learning to cook. I enjoyed the bits and pieces about her cooking classes, I wish there had been a lot more about her trials and errors in the kitchen and her experimentation while working on her cookbook. I did appreciate the glimpses into the 1950s – life in France at the time and the American diplomatic bureaucracy as the Cold War was just beginning. However, I wish there would have been more about Child’s experiences in the kitchen.
The end of the book really focused on the publication of Child’s cookbooks and her work doing tv cooking shows – she traveled back and forth between Norway, France and the U.S. Definitely more about cooking here. However, what I appreciated most about this section was the descriptions of working together with her husband, who was retired at the time and was an amateur photographer and artist. The descriptions of the two of them working together on recipes or the cookbook were just wonderful!
Recommendation? I would recommend this book for a glimpse into Julia Child’s life and into the time period, but if you’re expecting full stories about how she learned to cook or her lessons, I would probably skip this book, as I found that lacking.
A couple more of my favorite mystery authors. All are quite addicting – I start reading one of theirs and get hooked, always disappointed when I realize that I have to wait for a new book to come out. It’s a good thing my family keeps me well-stocked with an assortment of mystery books (I get a box or so a month, usually more than I can keep up with!).
I hope you enjoy getting to know these authors and their characters as much as I have. Please let me know what you think, or if you have any new recommendations for me and the family (fellow mystery addicts) to try!
Alex Kava: Most of Kava’s books are trilogies, several centered around FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell. Unlike Brennan and Stewart’s trilogies below, Kava’s should be read in order, as the later books usually refer back to previous storylines.
Allison Brennan – Brennan writes trilogies with several reoccurring characters, most members of the FBI.
Mariah Stewart – Another author that writes in trilogies. Stewart’s books follow a group of FBI agents, with each book focusing on one or to characters.
In addition to the FBI group, the Mercy books add in a group called the Mercy Street Foundation, a group of investigators funded and run by a wealthy man lost wife and son.
Karen Rose: Unlike the others in this post, Rose writes about local cops rather than a federal law enforcement service. Like most mystery books, all of Rose’s books have a secondary, romantic storyline – but I will admit to becoming much more attached to this storyline in her books than others.
Iris Johansen: The Eve Duncan series is my favorite of Johansen’s books. Eve Duncan is an artist who often helps law enforcement identify the remains of the deceased through forensic sculpting. This series follows Duncan and her family – police detective husband and daughter Jane – often across the world.
So I’m not going to lie – I love trashy mystery novels, that take only a day or two to read. By no means are they great literature, but I’m addicted. They’re mindless and help me unwind at night. I could lose myself in this sort of book for hours. I get very attached to the characters, so enjoy authors that continue to develop the same character set over several books. Some of my favorite authors are:
James Patterson: A long time favorite, although I confess, I’ve been disappointed in much of his books recently. Ever since The Jester, he’s been co-authoring an increasing number of books which frankly, aren’t as good as his older ones. Also, I wasn’t thrilled when the Alex Cross series (a DC cop) suddenly took on a counterterrorism angle. I haven’t read most of his recent books, so I’m not up to date, but I would recommend the couple non-mysteries he’s written (I very much enjoyed Sundays at Tiffanies)
Kay Hooper: Murder mysteries with a psychic twist. Hooper, writing in trilogies, follows the Special Crimes Unit, a unit of psychic FBI agents. The cast of characters is all the same, but each book focuses on the character development of one or two characters. I’m never disappointed by a Kay Hooper book!
Suzanne Brockmann: Most of Brockmann’s books revolve around a CIA-type agency, Troubleshooters Inc., involved in counterterrorism and other operations around the world. Like Kava, Brockmann follows a cast of characters, with each book highlighting one or two characters, usually in a romantic storyline (which is why you’ll sometimes find Brockmann’s books in the romance section at bookstores). These are a fun glimpse into the world of spies.