Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Shelf...J.P. Bowie

This topic got me thinking about not only books I'm currently reading but some I've read and enjoyed in the past. But first what have I read recently? I read so many books that often times the memory of them becomes a blur, but some do stand out and get re-read later.

I'm not crazy about collections, but coming back from GRL a couple of weeks ago I lost my Nook and was forced to buy something to read from the airport bookstore. After perusing the shelves and muttering in my Scottish way about the exorbitant prices of paperbacks these day - $10 for  a mass market book? - when did that happen? - I settled on Love is Murder a collection edited by Sandra Brown and boasting such famous authors as Lee Child, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Heather Graham etc.

The theme, romantic suspense, include PI's slogging it out on the streets of LA,  FBI agents blessed, or cursed with paranormal abilities, serial killers etc., some stories with clever conclusions, some with a wry twist at the end, all of them entertaining enough to make my flight back to San Diego go by in a flash.
Thirty stories, over seven hundred pages all for ten bucks - value for money indeed!

I like a good ghost story, and after reading the blurb for Ghosts in the Wind by Marguerite Labbe I was hooked - and hooked all the way through to the end of this really original take on life after death and what must happen to help a lost soul move on. Briefly a guy, Dean, stops to help a woman change a tire on a busy highway, is confronted by the woman's crazy husband who shoots them both and abducts his children.
So happens that Dean's lover Andrei, has Romany roots, a little sister who happens to be a ghost  and a grandmother who can speak to the dead. Dean returns in corporeal form to help Andrei track down his killer, but a clever twist gets in the way...Dean's anger at being killed and taken from his lover summons monsters known as jackal wraiths who feed on rage and threaten to consume Dean's soul.

So the pretty horrific climax has Dean and Andrei in a race against time, battling a hurricane, Dean's killer and the jackals. Honestly, I was on the edge of my seat and wondering how it all could end. Would the author cop out and gave us the HEA I wanted for the two guys which would have been nice, but still a cop out. Well, she didn't and kudos to her for creating an ending that was both beautiful and bittersweet.
This is one I'll reread.

I've always been a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, his John Carter novels I read as a kid and still reread on occasion. The recent movie which apparently was seen by no one but me, brought me back to the original books and considering they were written eons ago, they stand up pretty well against modern takes on the same theme. PS I loved the movie! I know, I know, my own partner shakes his head at that one, but guess what, I have it on DVR and get to watch it when the rest of the world is fast asleep and I can fly off again to Barsoom! (Mars, for the uninitiated)!


  1. My favorite plane flight author is Grisham. Most of the time I'm flying from one U.S. coast to the other and find that I can finish one of his novels on the two rides, with a pretty god nap both ways. On my last trip to Bangkok, I went with King's 1000+ page "Under the Dome".
    And thanx for giving Burroughs his due. Most people don't know dick beyond "Tarzan".

  2. Edgar Rice`Burroughs was one of my literary heroes also. I have a special shelf on my bookcase of all the old Ace Paperbacks with the covers by Frank Frazetta. Thanks to Ebay I manage to collect the whole series. I saw the movie and was excited that someone had finally attempted it but I felt it had been botched a little because they tried to crowd the first three John Cater novels into one movie. It would have been better had it been more focused.

    What I realized years later about the Burroughs novels is that they represent a genre most people don;t realize exists - romance novels for guys. These are tough guys in exotic environments with passionate exotic women - cave women, alien women - and the plots follow the classic romance novel structure of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl tries to kill boy with a sword, assassin or zap gun, boy wins girl. I ate those stories up without even knowing why. Imagine if he had written sex scenes.


  3. I must confess that as a teen I rewrote Burroughs' characters in a man on man setting - worked for me but my family was horrified!

  4. I've got Princess of Mars on my tablet... now I just have to get around to reading it. And that's because of YOUR praise, Garce!


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