Braille Book Review

January-February 2006
Books for Adults--Fiction


The Probable Future BR 15449
by Alice Hoffman
3 volumes
For generations women of the Sparrow family in Massachusetts have been blessed--or cursed--with clairvoyant powers. When thirteen- year-old Stella has a premonition that lands her father in jail on suspicion of murder, she goes to live in the historic ancestral home where she confronts her haunting legacy. Some strong language. 2003.

Holy Fools BR 15486
by Joanne Harris
3 volumes
Brittany coast, 1610. Five years ago a young, pregnant woman sought refuge in a convent. Now, as Soeur Auguste, she meets former lover LeMerle, who is masquerading as spiritual advisor to the new abbess. The manipulating false priest brings evil into the nuns' lives and shatters their peace. 2004.

Up Country BR 15543
by Nelson DeMille
6 volumes
Retired army investigator Paul Brenner must revisit the murder of an American officer thirty years ago in Vietnam. An enemy soldier witnessed the crime and now the U.S. military wants the truth. Sequel to The General's Daughter (BR 15542). Strong language, some descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2002.

The Winter Queen BR 15552
by Jane Stevenson
3 volumes
Holland, 1630s. Freed African slave Pelagius van Overmeer, a former prince of the Yoruba tribe, studies theology and has a reputation as a seer. With the Winter Queen--Elizabeth of Bohemia, exiled widowed sister of England's Charles I--he develops a bond that turns to love, yet must remain secret. 2001.

The Shadow King BR 15553
by Jane Stevenson
3 volumes
Seventeenth century. Balthasar van Overmeer, a young doctor, is caught between his mother's royal heritage and his father's African roots. Moving from Holland to London to Barbados and finally back to London, Balthasar cannot escape racism, class distinctions, and political controversy in establishing his identity. Sequel to The Winter Queen (BR 15552). 2002.

Comstock Lode BR 15561
by Louis L'Amour
4 volumes
1849. Soon after young Val Trevallion accompanies his family from England to America for a shot at the California gold rush, thieves kill his parents. Orphan Val grows up, becomes a successful miner, and awaits the opportunity for revenge. Some violence and some strong language. 1981.

Fire along the Sky: The Wilderness Series, Book 4 BR 15587
by Sara Donati
6 volumes
New York, 1812. As the Bonner family saga continues, war looms. Hannah returns home to find her half-brother Daniel eager to fight. Widowed Scottish cousin Jennet arrives, and Lily pursues independence in Montreal. Sequel to Lake in the Clouds (BR 14406). Some explicit descriptions of sex and some violence. 2004.

Eighteen BR 15593
by Jan Burke
3 volumes
Eighteen short mystery and suspense stories by Edgar Award winner and author of Nine (BR 14528). In "Mea Culpa," a disabled boy believes his stepfather will kill his mom. Includes "Miscalculation," about the wartime service of the oceanliner Queen Mary, "Unharmed," "The Muse," and others. Some violence. 1993.

Roads of the Heart BR 15597
by Christopher Tilghman
2 volumes
Ailing former Maryland senator Frank Alwin, whose family and reputation were devastated by scandal, embarks on a cross-country mission to reconcile with his ex-wife. His ad-executive son Eric accompanies him, learning about life, love, and his own failing marriage in the process. Descriptions of sex and strong language. 2004.

The Face of God BR 15598
by Bill Myers
3 volumes
Following his wife's death in Istanbul, Pastor Daniel Lawson discovers she had been given a mysterious stone--one of twelve from a breastplate representing the tribes of Israel. An Arab terrorist also has one of the stones, and as both men search for the remaining ones, lives of millions hang in the balance. Violence. 2002.

Cooking for Harry: A Low-Carbohydrate Novel BR 15601
by Kay-Marie James
2 volumes
Harry likes to eat and cook, and these activities are fundamental to his life and marriage to Francie. At the office Christmas party he wins a computerized scale that tells him he's a hundred pounds overweight, so Harry begins a low-carb diet that changes the family dynamics. 2004.

Last Lullaby: An Eve Diamond Novel BR 15604
by Denise Hamilton
3 volumes
L.A. reporter Eve Diamond accompanies a U.S. Customs supervisor meeting a plane from China. Shots ring out leaving three people dead and a two-year-old toddler missing. Eve and a score of unsavory characters search for the child amongst the immigrant population. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2004.

Gateway BR 15605
by Frederik Pohl
2 volumes
Wealthy prospector Robinette Broadhead wins a one-way trip to Gateway, an abandoned interstellar depot of the vanished Heechee race. Unsettled by the experience and with the help of his computerized psychoanalyst, Broadhead begins a personal journey that could lead to his destruction. Strong language. 1976.

The Ocean between Us BR 15674
by Susan Wiggs
3 volumes
Middle-aged navy wife Grace Bennett, tired of continual relocation, buys a house in Washington state and starts a business. Something in her husband Steve's past strains their faltering relationship, but before they can reconcile, a mishap aboard Steve's ship sends him overboard. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2004.

The Damascened Blade: A Detective Joe Sandilands Mystery BR 15683
by Barbara Cleverly
2 volumes
India-Afghanistan border, 1922. Detective Joe Sandilands from Ragtime in Simla (BR 15080) chaperones a feisty American heiress at a British fort amid political tension. Kinsmen of an assassinated Afghani take a hostage, demanding that Sandilands find and execute the killer within a week. Strong language and some violence. 2003.

My Cousin Rachel BR 15687
by Daphne Du Maurier
3 volumes
After his uncle Ambrose's death, Philip Ashley travels to the funeral in Italy and meets Ambrose's alluring widow, Rachel. She later joins the young heir in England, where their budding passionate relationship is tainted by Philip's suspicion that Rachel may have played a role in Ambrose's demise. 1951.

The Funeral Party BR 15689
by Ludmila Ulitskaya
1 volume
In the humid heat of a loft without air conditioning, five women gather at the bedside of their beloved Alik, a failed and dying artist. It is 1991, and these Russian émigrés are following the Yeltsin putsch on television as they comfort Alik and reminisce. Some strong language. 1999.

B for Buster BR 15706
by Iain Lawrence
2 volumes
Sixteen-year-old Canadian "Kak" lies about his age to join the air force in 1943. He becomes part of a crew flying deadly bombing raids over Germany and fears for his life. Bert, an ex- pilot who trains homing pigeons to accompany the planes, comforts Kak. For senior high readers. 2004.

The Masqueraders BR 15708
by Georgette Heyer
3 volumes
Temporarily abandoned by their reckless father, Prudence and her brother Robin each disguise themselves as the opposite sex to avoid capture by their political enemies. Dangerous entanglements develop when Prue falls in love with Sir Anthony and Robin is smitten by a lovely heiress. Foreword by Anne Stuart. 1928.

The Full Matilda BR 15720
by David Haynes
3 volumes
For generations Matilda Housewright's African American family has served the elite of Washington, D.C. When Matilda's father dies in the 1940s, her brother Martin takes up catering. Unmarried Matilda lives as behind-the-scenes director, guiding Martin and his ill-behaved sons and grandsons to redefine the family legacy. Some strong language. 2004.

Indelible BR 15721
by Karin Slaughter
3 volumes
Georgia coroner Sara Linton is visiting ex-husband police chief Jeffrey Tolliver at the station when gunmen open fire, wounding Jeffrey. Throughout the hostage standoff, Sara flashes back to their initial romance. Sequel to A Faint Cold Fear (BR 15088). Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2004.

Ghost Riders BR 15724
by Sharyn McCrumb
3 volumes
The Civil War reverberates throughout several interwoven stories. In the 1860s, Malinda Blalock, disguised as a boy, accompanies her husband to war. Meanwhile, North Carolina congressman Zebulon Vance postpones politics to raise a militia. Decades later, battle reenactors encounter ghosts of Union and Confederate soldiers. Some violence. 2003.

The Bishop at Sea: A Blackie Ryan Mystery BR 15730
by Andrew M. Greeley
2 volumes
The archbishop of Chicago's cousin, captain David "Speed" Cronin, commands a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier haunted by ancient Irish ghosts. The archbishop enlists bishop "Blackie" Ryan's aid. Motion sickness pills help Ryan deal with missing sailors and Irish mythology. Strong language. 1997.

The Girl with the Long Back: A Harpur and Iles Mystery BR 15731
by Bill James
2 volumes
Assistant chief constable Desmond Iles feels uneasy about hints of a new superintendent. The rumors upset a delicate balance between drug dealers and the police, leading to murder and revenge. Meanwhile detective Colin Harpur is attracted to one of his undercover agents. Violence and strong language. 2003.

Tonto Basin: A Western Story BR 15733
by Zane Grey
3 volumes
Restored version of classic tale serialized in 1921 as To the Last Man. At his family cattle ranch in Arizona, twenty-four- year-old Jean Isbel's father prepares for a showdown with the Lee Jorth rustler gang. Jean's unexpected love for Lee's daughter, Ellen, complicates the blood feud. 1921.

Dinner for Two BR 15742
by Mike Gayle
2 volumes
London. Hopeful would-be father Dave Harding copes with his wife's miscarriage and his newfound unemployment by taking a job as a teen magazine advice columnist. A letter from a thirteen- year-old girl claiming to be his daughter soon rekindles his fatherly instincts, but the revelation could threaten his marriage. 2002.

The Love Wife BR 15743
by Gish Jen
3 volumes
Chinese American Carnegie Wong, his Caucasian wife, two adopted Asian daughters, and their biological son cope with the arrival from China of Lan, Carnegie's mysterious female relative. But Lan's ambiguous intentions and "nanny" status disrupt the Wong household. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. 2004.

Charming Grace BR 15750
by Deborah Smith
3 volumes
Superstar Stone Senterra and his entourage invade small-town Georgia to film a movie about the real-life bravery of agent Harper Vance, killed in the line of duty. Harper's widow, Grace, tries to sabotage the film and finds an ally in Senterra's ex-con bodyguard. Some explicit descriptions of sex. 2004.

Dying in the Dark: A Tamara Hayle Mystery BR 15752
by Valerie Wilson Wesley
2 volumes
Newark, New Jersey. PI Tamara Hayle is haunted by the spirit of her murdered high school best friend, Celia Jones. After Celia's son Cecil asks Tamara to solve the mystery of his mother's death, Tamara explores the secrets of Celia's troubled life. Then Cecil is brutally killed. Strong language. 2004.

Absent Friends BR 15754
by S.J. Rozan
3 volumes
New York City. Fire captain James McCaffery died a hero on September 11, 2001. When journalist Harry Randall uncovers a link between McCaffery and organized crime, he winds up dead. Randall's lover, Laura Stone, digs into the fireman's past to learn the truth. Strong language. 2004.

Melancholy Baby: A Sunny Randall Mystery BR 15756
by Robert B. Parker
2 volumes
Boston PI Sunny Randall, upset over her ex-husband's remarriage, seeks counseling from Dr. Susan Silverman. Meanwhile Randall's latest case involves a young woman who's convinced her parents have adopted her--and the father is soon murdered. Strong language and some violence. 2004.

Thieves' Dozen: A Dortmunder Mystery BR 15757
by Donald E. Westlake
2 volumes
Eleven short mystery stories involving hapless criminal John Dortmunder. In "Ask a Silly Question," the thief is hired by a wealthy man to steal a counterfeit statue from his ex-wife. In "Too Many Crooks," the gang breaks into a bank that is already being robbed. Some strong language. 2004.

Silent Star BR 15758
by Tracie Peterson
1 volume
Haven, Pennsylvania; World War II. Scarred at fifteen in a tragic car accident and later orphaned, eighteen-year-old telegram courier Andy Gilbert bears sad news of wartime losses to his fellow townspeople. Andy is alone as Christmas approaches, until widow Estella Nelson changes his and all the residents' lives. 2003.

Fall Guy: A Rachel Alexander Mystery BR 15759
by Carol Lea Benjamin
2 volumes
Private investigator/dog trainer Rachel Alexander is appointed executor of the estate of detective Timothy O'Fallon, whom she'd met only once during a post-terrorism pet-therapy session. As she settles his affairs, she soon begins to wonder about O'Fallon's supposedly accidental death. Strong language. 2004.

Inside Out BR 15762
by Terry Trueman
1 volume
Sixteen-year-old Zach suffers from schizophrenia and, unless he takes his medication, hears voices that urge him to kill himself. When held hostage during a holdup, Zach resolves the crisis, learns about himself, and helps others understand his disorder. Strong language and some violence. For senior high readers. 2003.

Silver Bells: A Holiday Tale BR 15767
by Luanne Rice
2 volumes
Widowed Canadian farmer Christopher Byrne journeys to New York City every December to sell Christmas trees. Last year his teenaged son stayed on to pursue a photography career. Manhattan librarian Catherine Tierney buys her trees from Chris and looks out for the boy. Love is soon in the air. 2004.

Letting Go of Bobby James; or, How I Found My Self of Steam BR 15769
by Valerie Hobbs
1 volume
After being abandoned by her husband at a gas station in Florida, sixteen-year-old Jody decides to make a better life for herself. Along the way she acquires friends and patches together a new family. For senior high readers. 2004.

Runaway: Stories BR 15771
by Alice Munro
3 volumes
Eight short stories about women of all ages and circumstances. In "Runaway," Carla, though willing, is incapable of leaving her husband. In three connected stories, "Chance," "Soon," and "Silence," Juliet falls for an older man, returns as a young mother, and rescues her daughter from a cult. Bestseller 2004.

Murder Is No Mitzvah BR 15778
edited by Abigail Browning
3 volumes
Short mysteries set against a background of Jewish culture and tradition and published between 1967 and 2000. Includes Doug Allyn's "The Christmas Mitzvah," Max Allan Collins's "Kaddish for the Kid," and Michael Kahn's "Bread of Affliction," in which a lawyer struggles to keep a Holocaust survivor's fortune from neo- Nazis. 2004.

The Cat Who Went Bananas BR 15794
by Lilian Jackson Braun
2 volumes
Pickax City eagerly awaits the theatre club's opening of a play in which Alden Wade, a newcomer in town, is the lead actor. But when a cast member is killed and Siamese cat Koko acts like he's lost his mind, local columnist Jim Qwilleran investigates Wade's past. Bestseller 2004.

The Afterlife BR 15796
by Gary Soto
1 volume
Chuy, a high school senior, is brutally murdered in a dance club's restroom. Haunting the halls of his alma mater, he learns new things about his friends and relatives--and falls in love. Some violence and some strong language. For junior and senior high readers. Americas Award commendation. 2003.

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