Monday, November 19, 2007

An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris

Oh, I do enjoy the fun of reading Harris. I was in dire need of some plain, uncomplicated, unadulterated enjoyment with no strings attached. I wasn't disappointed by An Ice Cold Grave. I didn't guess the ending (which I usually do with mysteries). Harris had provided so many good suspects and well, I was coasting along, so completely willing to be carried away by the plot that I couldn't be bothered to guess who-done-it. The plot does involve the grisly murders of teenage boys plus a good serving of violence, hospitals and death, but Harper's voice keeps events from becoming oppressively grim. And there's romance too - pretty hot stuff in a cold cabin. Ice Cold is a quick read and thoroughly entertaining. Go for it when you need some diversion from heavier fare.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

Delightful, magical, a joy to read.

From the first page, I believed - just like I did when, on Georgia summer nights, the attic fan pulled in a wisteria-scented breeze from the vine winding around a giant pine outside my window. All things were possible, and the mystical and real blended into one.

The Waverly women have their own special talents. Claire's lavender tea cookies give Ladies Aid members the ability to keep secrets (I imagine they must be pretty strong magic). And those who drink her honeysuckle wine on July 4th can see in the dark. She knows just what to add to her catered dishes to make children thoughtful or adults full of hope. And everyone in Bascom, North Carolina, knows that if seventy-nine year-old Evanelle gives you a gift, you had better keep it because her gifts are always needed later. In addition to possessing a healthy appreciation for fine male posteriors, this track suited old lady has an uncanny knack for picking exactly the right present.
Claire's sister Syndey had run away from both Bascom, NC and the Waverly talents, but now she's returned with her young daughter. While Sydney hides an unhappy past marked by violence, Claire resents the disruption to her ordered life created by Sydney's arrival and the very disorderly emotions stirred up by Tyler, her new neighbor. But, love is in the air. Fate and the old apple tree with a penchant for throwing prophetic apples conspire to make sure that life will not remain the same for Claire.
Garden Spells is romance sprinkled with fairy dust. It definitely put a spell on me (sorry, the pun is too apt). I really hope Allen writes another book - soon!