Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

May 29, 2023

Murder in the Queen’s Armes by Aaron Elkin

Filed under: Mystery — Tags: , — Randolph @ 11:21 am

Gideon and Julie are on their honeymoon in this book, the third book in the Gideon Oliver series. Gideon wants to visit a local museum where he notices that an old skull is not what it seems. Then he visits a dig site where a friend is managing a dig site, while the friend is excited with a secret he is waiting to reveal, that the Micenean cultural diffusion to England might be related to an actual landing instead. One of his students is anxious to share some important information with Gideon, after making an appointment with Gideon, he goes missing.

With a missing skull, a missing student and a friend who is possibly about to make a fool of himself and destroy his career, Gideon has to explore the dig site and talk to people about the mysteries. Trying to find time for his very understanding wife, he works with the police to find the truth and weave everything together.

May 17, 2023

The People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman

Filed under: Mystery — Tags: , — Randolph @ 10:44 am

This is the fourth book in the Chee/Leaphorn stories, I’m filling in a few books I missed when reading the series. Jim Chee has an offer to join the FBI which he is considering, or to continue his studies to become a Hataalii, a tribal medicine man.

There is a backstory of an explosion at a well logging event that killed a number of people. Years later a bomb explodes in a pickup as a tow driver is hooking it up for towing, the target was a man already dying from cancer. Then someone steels a keepsake box from a rich man, B. J. Vines, leaving many valuables that are in sight. Chee’s first involvement was when Mrs. Vines asked Chee to recover the box.

The People of Darkness are involved, somehow. This is a religious sect that worships the mole. It is not recognized by most Navajo for its use of peyote.

During his investigation, he finds himself and a woman, Mary Landon, who finds herself wandering with Chee during his investigations, the target of an assassin.

The locals believe Mr. Vines is a witch, Chee must find a solution that satisfies the local cultures and the white men.

The book is excellent and rich in Navajo culture.

May 4, 2023

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Filed under: Fiction — Tags: — Randolph @ 9:45 am

This book has been on my reading list for a long time, and I was somewhat disappointed. The story is of a teenager dealing with getting dropped out of another school. He wanders about, avoiding his parents and going through a few adventures.

The story is told from a first-person perspective. His language is crude and uses a lot of mild vulgarity, but this doesn’t make it difficult to read. Through his adventures, the real story is told through backstory, we meet his friends and family and learn about his values.

It seems to be a type of travel story, I kept expecting him to grow up. There is a suggestion at the end that that could come to pass, but it’s not clear that he has learned anything.

The title is a reference to his one desire, to save children, the catcher in the rye being a person to keep children from falling off a cliff. This could be an allusion to his one good family relationship to his younger sister, who dotes on him and believes in him despite any evidence to the contrary.

Throughout his adventures, we never meet any family members except his sister. He does have adults he respects, who have opportunity to advise him, but who have their own faults, real or imagined.

The book itself is short and easy to read. I’m not sure why it has such acclaim.

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