Friday, November 09, 2007

October reads

If not for audiobooks, it would have been a very light month indeed.

On audio, I listed to no. 2, 3, and 4 in the Julia Spencer-Fleming series:

A Fountain Filled With Blood
Out of the Deep I Cry
To Darkness and to Depth

Protagonist: Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne
Setting: Millers Kill, N.Y.
Rating: 4.0 to 4.2
Read by Suzanne Toren
These book are set in the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York, and Spencer-Fleming does a wonderful job of creating characters and showcasing the beauty (and danger) of the mountains. This is, in fact, a great place to set mysteries. Cell phone service is very spotty up there (sometimes, I've moved just six feet and been able to get cell phone service), so characters are often unable to make that crucial call that would get them out of a dicey situation. With each book, Spencer-Fleming stretches and produces something better. These books should really be read in order, as the relationship between the characters grows. I read no. 5 first, but the most recent book brings to a point much of what's been happening in the series, so I do not recommend reading it out of order.

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
Protagonist: Dave Robicheaux
Setting: New Orleans, after Katrina
Rating: 4.5
Burke writes a rich, atmospheric novel about the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina on Robicheaux and the people he's investigating. Burke is one of those writers who turns a phrase so beautifully that you read it a couple of times to savor it. While I liked the book overall, I didn't like the characters and Burke often changes the tense, which can be confusing. There are those who love Burke's books, but I'm unlikely to pick up another one.

Rating system:
5.0: Wow!
4.0: Pretty good
3.0: Mediocre to good
2.0: Pretty Bad
DNF: Did not finish