House of Spies by Daniel Silva, “one of our greatest living spy novelists”, was a disappointment. Almost a collection of Silva’s greatest hits, the book spends too much time re-introducing characters, locations and events from his previous 16 Gabriel Allon adventures. Clearly a great writer, but Silva has apparently become too successful or lazy to do his usual thoughtful writing and has turned over the writing to others.
*The Late Show by Michael Connelly introduces Renâee Ballard to his readers and the LAPD. Assigned to the night shift after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor, she disobeys orders by continuing to investigate an assault on a prostitute and the death of a woman in a nightclub shooting. Even after selling more than 60 million copies of his books, this novel proves proof that Michael Connelly is still a "a master of the genre" (Washington Post).
When Zackary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt is set in the summer of '71 and the small town of Antler, Texas. Toby's mother leaves, his best friend’s brother is killed in Vietnam, and Zachary Beaver, self-proclaimed fattest-boy-in-the world, has arrived in town, and Willis has to deal with adult issues of loss, character and becoming his own person. A good read for young teens.
Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keefe by Dawn Tripp brings life to Georgia O’Keeffe’s, love affair with photographer Alfred Stieglitz and her quest to become an independent artist. According to the NY Times “Georgia conveys O’Keeffe’s joys and disappointments, rendering both the woman and the artist with keenness and consideration.” For some reason, I had trouble finishing it. My bad.
*Glass Houses, Louise Penny’s 13th Armand Gamache mystery, explores what Gandhi called the court of conscience—the court that supersedes all others—and “proves she only gets better at pursuing dark truths with compassion and grace.” When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines on a cold November day, Gamache and others are initially curious, then wary and a bit frightened when the "cobrador" (a conscience) is killed. In July, the trial for the accused begins and Gamache struggles with actions he set in motion and knows his own conscience will also be judged.
The Address by Fiona Davis is an interesting novel about two women, a century apart, who find their lives changed by the Dakota, Manhattan’s most famous apartment building. There are issues of class distinction, love and mystery with lots of historical detail. “Maid in Manhattan meets The Grand Budapest Hotel.”—InStyle