Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Books You Read Twice

Ever pick up a book so good, that when you finish it, you turn right around and read it again?

I'm starting to keep track of those books on my GoodReads book shelf. Books-Read-More-Than-Once is what I called that elite category and I'm adding one more today: Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman.

I'm not entirely sure how I picked this book up. A friend got a copy at last fall's Emerald City Writers Conference. She read it on the plane, loaned it to her sister-in-law, who loaned it to a friend, who also passed it on and the book has been passed on to who knows where. My copy has a sticker from a used book store on it. Sadly, last night at Borders I went looking for more work by this author and there wasn't one copy on the shelves.

The cover is a whimsical portrayal of a in-need-of-repair Queen Anne Victorian in the town of Port Chatham, Washington. A house that comes complete with a rogue wisteria, two ghosts and a century old murder mystery. The requisite local hunk lives just a few doors down and makes an appearance early on with a gift of latte. I think I fell in love with him for that alone. Of course, he does a whole lot more to deepen that love, but it's a great start.

There are so many wonderful discoveries in this book I don't want to give any part of it away. But I will say a few things, hopefully enough to make you rush out and get a copy. The heroine is quirky and endearing, the locals who welcome her to her new home are supportive and refreshing (in other words, just as quirky - I love the Chief of Police), the dog who adopts her is a great sidekick and the ghosts, well, the ghosts are as interesting as the neighbors. This book is a *MUST READ* especially for fans of mystery. Not heavy on the romance angle (that would be my one complaint, more romance!), there was just enough to keep me mostly satisfied and teased. There's hope for future books!

I hope you follow my advice and pick up this book. I'm going looking for her other book, also set in the Northwest, A Killing Tide.

I've read another book recently which fell into the same category: A Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas. The lady can write! The third book of her contemporary series set in Houston, Texas, it's up to the same standard as Sugar Daddy and Blue Eyed Devil (both books I was lucky enough to pick up in hardback off the bargain shelf last night! Now I have all three in hardback and they look beautiful on my bookcase). I particularly love how she writes first person. I'm learning, she's mastered the art. It is so well written, I have to remind myself it's first person.

Next up on my to-read list, A Knight and White Satin by Jackie Ivie. Yeah, I got an ARC! Our local writers group is very excited about this one and I'm holding it off a little as enticement to get some work done. I'm ready to settle down with this one on my laptop, knitting in hand, coffee at my elbow and wish the world away for a few hours. The rest of you have to wait until October for its release.

Yeah, it's summer in Alaska and the reading is good!

Morgan Q. O'Reilly