So I recently finished reading The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie, which is the first Christie book I’ve read. I read it for a class and really enjoyed it. I never read a Christie book because I thought that it would be boring and drawn out, but it is actually a quick, easy read. My only disappointment was the location of the crime. I read the title and thought that it would be amusing if the body was found in a public library, given my job. The body is found in an ex-Colonel’s private library.
When Dolly Bantry told her husband that a body was found in the library, he told her she was dreaming and reading too many mysteries. After Colonel Arthur Bantry found out that she’d been telling the truth, he called the police, while Dolly called her friend, Miss Jane Marple. They quickly learn that the body is of professional dancer, Ruby Keene, who works at the Majestic Hotel. But why was her body in the Bantry’s library? Although Mr. Bantry had been to the Majestic Hotel, he did not recognize the strangled girl. An investigation ensues, taking the police and Miss Marple to the Majestic Hotel, where they meet more than one person with a motive to kill the dancer.
Conway Jefferson, an elderly wheelchair bound, rich man had taken an interest in Ruby and was the person who the disappearance. Adelaide Jefferson, Conway’s widowed daughter-in-law, believed that Ruby was a gold digger and Marc Gaskell, Conway’s widowed son-in-law, admitted to being happy the dancer was murdered. Josie, Ruby’s cousin, seemed more angry than sorrowful when she identified her relative’s body. When a second body is found in a burned out car, Miss Marple is sure that the murders are connected. And if the murderer has killed twice, what would stop him/her from killing again?
The Body in the Library is an interesting read because the story never stops moving. There’s always something going on to hold the reader’s attention just a little longer. The crimes are not graphic in detail but still help to move the plot along. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in murder mysteries.
A couple of weeks ago I read Foundation by Mercedes Lackey, the first book in the Collegium Chronicles. The book takes place in Velgarth, a world created by Lackey, where magic may be found in people with the gift for it. They are found by beautiful white horses called “Companions,” who happen to be much more intelligent than your average horse. The young, gifted person they choose becomes their “Chosen,” and is taken to Valdemar to be trained how to use their new power(s) so that they may become a Herald and service their country.
Mags has worked in the Pieter’s mines all of his life. He earned the name Mags or Magpie because of his ability to spot “sparklies” in the stone tunnels. He lives on meager portions of cabbage soup and bread and huddles for warmth in the basement of Cole Pieter’s house with other children who the Pieters force to work in the mines. All of the children are orphaned or unwanted and told how grateful they should be for their place in the mine. The only hope Mags has of escaping the mines is waiting until he turns sixteen and becomes a legal adult, no longer under the Pieters’ guardianship.
It comes as a surprise when one day a stranger comes on a white horse to take him to Haven. Mags is informed that he has the gift of Mind-Speak and is taken to the Collegium at Haven to be trained. There, for the first time in his life, Mags has friends: Dallen, his Companion; Lena, a Bardic Trainee; and Bear, a Healer Trainee. But he also learns of a plot to destroy this new found peace and must fight for the right to learn at the Collegium.
I loved this book! I could not put it down and took it almost everywhere with me until I finished it. I enjoyed Mags’ story and his character. Foundation could be suggested to anyone who enjoys fantasy adventures, who likes magic, or likes Mercedes Lackey. She has multiple series that take place in Velgarth and this certainly is not the first one. However, with a little background information, I feel that this book can be read without reading the other series first. This book will be one of my picks, displayed near the front desk.
The Collegium Chronicles: Foundation, Intrigues, and Changes (coming out this year!).
For a full list of Mercedes Lackey’s books, here is a great website: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/mercedes-r-lackey/
Recently I finished reading Magyk by Angie Sage, the first book of the Septimus Heap series. The book starts with Silas Heap, an Ordinary Wizard, trudging through the snow one night after visiting a witch to get medicine for his baby. On his way home, he comes upon a baby girl wrapped up in a bundle in the snow and takes her home with him. Once home, he finds out his baby boy, Septimus Heap, did not survive and the midwife carries the boy’s body away into the night. The Heap family takes in the baby girl and names her Jenna.
The Queen is murdered the night that Silas finds Jenna and the Supreme Custodian (like a dictator, I think) closes all Magyk schools. Wizards are now considered lower than scum and all Magyk books are burned. Silas rescues some books and teaches his children Magyk illegally. Ten years later, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard comes to the Heaps and informs them that Jenna is in danger. She is actually the princess, daughter of the deceased Queen, and the Supreme Custodian has found her. The Heaps, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, and a young guard named “Boy 412,” who became involved by pure accident, must go on the run, pursued by The Hunter. There is a much greater villain after Jenna and he will do whatever it takes to rule the land.
I picked up Magyk because it was reviewed as being a fun read that is similar to the Harry Potter series. I loved the magic and adventure of the book, however it could be slow at times. The author tries to follow all of the characters, which spreads the story out a little too thin. The story does pick up it’s pace eventually and becomes a completely enthralling book. I suggest that if you liked the Harry Potter series, you give this book a try. It is more similar to the earlier works of J.K. Rowling, before the books got so dark and morbid. The Septimus Heap series are in the juvenile section of the library and are suggested for children between ages 9 and 12 by Amazon.com.
Septimus Heap series order: Magyk, Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren, and Darke.
Recently I finished River Marked by Patricia Briggs. It is the sixth and latest book in her Mercy Thompson series and it did not disappoint. First, I’d like to start off with some information for those who have not read the Mercy Thompson series. The order is: Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, Silver Borne, and River Marked.
The series is about Mercedes Thompson, a VW mechanic and a coyote walker. Being a walker means that she can change into a coyote form while still being herself, maintaining human mentality, and not having to experience the pain that is brought on by a werewolf’s shape shifting. She is surrounded by other paranormal creatures as well: her next door neighbor is a werewolf, her former boss is a gremlin, and one of her clients is a vampire. Being a coyote, she follows the Native American ideal of the spirit of Coyote and finds herself getting into trouble quite often. What I like about this series is not only that it is enthralling, but the lead female character is not a pushover. She may get herself into trouble, but she is also the main one to get herself out of trouble. She also looks out for her friends and will defend her beliefs with ferocity.
In River Marked, Adam and Mercy take a trip to a fey-owned campground along a river. The fey sent them to the campground for the purpose of solving an “issue.” After a series of attacks, they discover a Native American river devil living in the river and devouring any human that it coaxes into it’s jaws. To help her destroy the magical river devil, Mercy is aided by Adam and the spirits Coyote, Bobcat, Snake, Raven, Thunderbird, Wolf, and a few others. She also learns some interesting information about the father she never knew, Joe Old Coyote. Fans of the series will enjoy the adventure and passion of this book and, like me, will not be able to put it down until finished.
This book would be on display as one of my picks, except that it does not stay on the shelf long enough! You can request online after you log into the new catalog or you can place it on request at the front desk of the library.