Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

NeXt For me

September 6, 2005

Well, survived another holiday weekend — why do they always seem to be so busy? It’s supposed to be a weekend for kicking back and instead you end up doing more around the house and in this case, for my “job.” Well, not to complain, too much.

Leanne Banks, romance authorWe’re getting ready to have an author dinner — Leanne Banks. Her latest book is FEET FIRST and it’s about SHOES. I think that goes with feet theme, don’t you? From those in the group who’ve read it, they say it is great fun! I’ll try to get a copy before the dinner.

This past week it was hard for me to concentrate on much of anything, the horrors on the television, the radio, and even my inbox, were hard to understand and to absorb. New Orleans holds a special place in my memories — my entire family has spent some good times, uh, scary adventures (some people in the family are directionally challenged) there and it is hard to connect the broadcast images with memories. I thought perhaps I’d read some books set in NOLA, but I found I could not. So, instead I read a book set in another steamy locale — the gulf coast of Florida, near Tampa.

Yes, I’ve tried one of those “NeXt” books — PELICAN BAY. This one was a mystery about a 50 year-old detective in small town Pelican Bay — and thus the name of the book. Clever, no? Well, it is a mystery. I’m not sure if it should be stocked in the romance section because a romance reader would be sorely disappointed. The relationship in this book is so slight it is totally missable (I’m now inventing words). But the mystery is first-rate and I’d hope that savvy booksellers will stock it in the mystery section so it gets a better readership.

Maggie Skerritt was a hold-out from a bigger police force who moved back to her home town to be the “token” female detective on a force run by a politically driven chief. And the murder victims are all patients at a “fat” clinic who were losing weight — too much for some body, apparently. It was a nice read and as a start of a series, I’ll check out the next one, just to see the police chief lose his bid to have the department dissolved. What an ass!

My other big read was the historical by Her Royal Highness, Princess Michael of Kent. Whew, what a name, and that doesn’t even include all the “proper” ones, trust me they go on forEVER! THE SERPENT AND THE MOON is the story of two of her ancestors — Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici. Not a pretty story, all said, but interesting. And detailed enough to require close attention which helped me keep my mind off the news. The book came out last year in hardcover and is now in trade. If you’re fascinated about the Renaissance, this is a good book to have. And you can even read it in pieces without losing anything. You’ll feel educated after it’s all done.

If you’d just like to read about Diane, I’d suggest you get the much shorter version of famous mistresses — Betsy Prioleau’s SEDUCTRESS, Women Who Ravished the World and their Lost Art. I bought this at Gwen’s college bookstore. It’s a book by a Sweet Briar alumnae, but it is terrific. Great reading about women, powerful, some forgotten, throughout history.
I wish it was available when I was doing my thesis on women in Renaissance history. *sigh*

Now, if I can only interest Gwen into at least ONE period of history, other than the 1990s *g* Ancient history for her.

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