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Friday, July 14, 2017

Catching Up: Mysteries, Warrior Cats, and Neuroscience

The Cardinal's Court by Cora Harrison is the first in a new series featuring Hugh Mac Egan, a Brehon lawyer at Hampton Court in 1522. His current assignment is  to draw up a marriage contract between James Butler and Anne Boleyn.  Members of the court have already noticed the attraction between Anne and Harry Percy, but neither Anne nor Harry have any say-so about their marriages which are arranged by their fathers for financial and political reasons.  Of course, James Butler has no options in the choice of a bride either, but he doesn't seem concerned.

(How different might history have been if Anne and Harry had been allowed to marry?  We already know that the marriage between Anne and James Butler never occurred, but Henry VIII has not yet noticed Anne in 1522 and plays only a cameo role in the novel.)

A young man is murdered and Harry Percy implicates James Butler.  Hugh Mac Egan desperately needs to clear James of the accusation or his young charge will be executed.  Cardinal Woolsey and Katherine of Aragon are sympathetic, but Mac Egan has only days to determine the motive and the guilty party. 

The characters are well-drawn and the plot is compelling.  I'm all in for this new series.  

Read in June; review scheduled for July

NetGalley/Trafalgar Square Publishing

Historical Mystery.  July 1, 2017.  Print version:  320 pages.

I mentioned The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace  (nonfiction) back in May, but after the ransom cyber attacks, it became a bit too threatening.  I will get back to it eventually because our entire world is dependent in one way or another on the internet.  Klimburg is an expert in the field, and although some of the information is too technical for me, most of what I've read so far is enlightening.

NetGalley/Penguin Group

Nonfiction.  July 11, 2017.  Print version:  432 pages.

Deadfall is the latest from Linda Fairstein.   

Briefly:  Opening scene is in the morgue.  Paul Battaglia, Alex Cooper's longtime boss and mentor, has been murdered and for some reason Alex becomes a suspect.  This didn't ring true for the situation, and I was left-footed from the beginning.  

I almost abandoned this one early on: Alex was so annoying in the first couple of chapters, and the animosity of one of the investigators seemed over the top.  Although the more recent installments in this series have not appealed to me as much as the early books, I do enjoy the historical information about New York woven into each plot.  Trophy hunters, illegal animal trade, and the New York City zoos helped pick up the pace and my interest.

NetGalley/Penguin Group

Mystery/Suspense.  July 25, 2017.  Print version:  400 pages.

What else have I been reading?  My granddaughter brought me her copies of the first Warrior Cat series by Erin Hunter.  I have no choice but to read and report--in great detail--on each book.  

I read and enjoyed the first book in the series (Into the Wild) back in 2010, when B.E. was not quite two years old and had no clue of her future obsession.  Despite my intention to read more of the books in this middle grade series, I never did.  Now, I'm on the fifth book in the first series and reporting to B.E., who can't resist telling me what happens next.  Her excitement about what she reads is palpable, and I'm thrilled that she loves to read.  My other granddaughter loved the series, and B.E. is impressed with everything her older cousin does.  Now, Mila may have outgrown the books, but B.E. is still voraciously gobbling each new series.

And finally,  I finished The Secret Life of the Mind: How Your Brain Thinks, Feels, and Decides by Mariano Sigman, which I've been slowly reading for a couple of weeks now.  Will review later; fascinating and informative, it joins my favorite "brain" books.  

I've read a number of good books on neuroscience and continue to find the studies into the mysterious ways in which our brains work fascinating.  

Have a great weekend!


  1. Thank you for the list
    After cleaning out my desk, I think lost the reading list I started for summer. I'm presently reading "Waking Gods," 2ne in a Sci Fi series by Sylvain Neuvel.
    A Happy Weekend to You!

    1. :) I'm constantly losing lists! I read Sleeping Giants by Neuvel--hope you enjoy the second in the series. :)

  2. Oh I haven't heard about that Cora Harrison series but definitely sounds interesting. How fun that your granddaughter also wants to share her books with you. I am sure that will lead to a great book discussion :)

    1. I love historical mysteries, and I'm interested in Cora Harrison's other series now! :) Yes, we have had some funny discussions about the books!

  3. I think it's wonderful (and sweet, too) that your granddaughter shares her books with you. :) Sometimes my eldest will share her thoughts with me after she's finished a book and think if I might be interested in it. It's the best if we've both read the book and discuss it thereafter. You'll be surprised how their thoughts can sometimes differ from ours. :)

    1. It is funny to see the way opinions differ--whether because of age or personality. Discussing books with young people is a good way to approach important topics that might be awkward otherwise, isn't it?