Braille Book Review

July-August 2005
Books for Adults--Fiction


Absolute Friends BR 15110
by John Le Carré
3 volumes
Unassuming Bavarian tour guide Ted Mundy is actually a retired British double agent. After September 11, 2001, old friend and former colleague Sasha contacts him with a new mission: to stop an impending war in Iraq and become very rich in the process. Strong language and some violence. Bestseller 2003.

Hell at the Breech BR 15119
by Tom Franklin
3 volumes
Alabama, 1890s. Fifteen-year-old Mack Burke keeps it a secret when he accidentally shoots storekeeper and aspiring politician Arch Bedsole. The unsolved murder spurs Bedsole's cousin with his vigilantes to seek their own justice--targeting innocent and guilty alike in a year of terror. Violence, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some strong language. 2003.

The Cat Who Wasn't a Dog BR 15123
by Marian Babson
2 volumes
Aging British actresses Trixie Dolan and Evangeline Sinclair accompany Dame Cecile Savoy to the taxidermist to have her beloved dead Pekinese stuffed. They discover the owner murdered and rescue a rare cat. Meanwhile, the housekeeper where they are staying as guests disappears, their hostess's antagonistic stepmother arrives, and Trixie's daughter panics while writing a cookbook. 2003.

Once upon a Pillow BR 15124
by Christina Dodd and Connie Brockway
2 volumes
Four stories featuring an 800-year-old bed in an English manor house, now a museum, and the love affairs of selected couples who slept in it. Crusader Sir Nicholas first brings his reluctant bride in medieval times, while museum curator Laura Whitney wants a last fling before an upcoming auction. Some explicit descriptions of sex. 2002.

The Cat Who Talked Turkey BR 15183
by Lilian Jackson Braun
1 volume
A dead body found on his property slightly dims Moose County columnist Jim "Qwill" Qwilleran's excitement over a new bookstore and a neighboring town's upcoming bicentennial. After wild turkeys, rare for the area, suddenly appear, Qwill looks to his clairvoyant cat, Koko, for answers. Bestseller 2004.

Mr. Paradise BR 15236
by Elmore Leonard
2 volumes
Model Kelly has accompanied roommate Chloe on her job as escort to elderly Mr. Paradiso when two gunmen kill Chloe and her client. Wanting Paradiso's fortune, the crooks coerce Kelly into impersonating Chloe. While an investigating Detroit detective falls for "Chloe," she tries to dodge the murderers. Violence and strong language. Bestseller 2004.

Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy BR 15271
edited by Robert Silverberg
6 volumes
Eleven authors, including six contributors to Legends (BR 11950), return to the fantasy worlds of their popular series. Anne McCaffrey revisits planet Pern, Raymond E. Feist writes of the Riftwar, and Tad Williams further explores Otherland network. Also features Terry Brooks, George R.R. Martin, and others. Some strong language. 2004.

When the Elephants Dance BR 15274
by Tess Uriza Holthe
4 volumes
World War II, 1945. Through the eyes of young Alejandro, his headstrong sister Isabelle, and guerilla commander Domingo, the Japanese occupation of a Filipino community unfolds. As invading soldiers terrorize the islanders and the U.S. forces fight for control, families and neighbors struggle to keep hope alive. Violence and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2002.

Saul and Patsy BR 15275
by Charles Baxter
3 volumes
Newlyweds Saul Bernstein and his wife, Patsy, settle in a Michigan town where Saul works as a high school teacher. While Patsy is distracted by motherhood, Saul struggles with chronic disappointment and a student's ill-fated obsession. Descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. 2003.

Out of Order BR 15295
by A.M. Jenkins
2 volumes
Sophomore "Colt" Trammel hides his learning disabilities until his brainy girlfriend leaves him and his grades jeopardize his baseball-team eligibility. He turns to a new girl to tutor him while trying to keep up appearances with the other jocks. Strong language. For senior high readers. 2003.

The Wedding BR 15299
by Nicholas Sparks
2 volumes
Jane and Wilson Lewis have been married for thirty years. Wilson realized a year ago that the love was gone from his marriage. With the help of Jane's father, Noah Calhoun, from The Notebook (BR 15245), Wilson sets out to make his wife fall in love with him again. Bestseller 2003.

The Rescuer: The O'Malley Series, Book 6 BR 15318
by Dee Henderson
3 volumes
Following The Healer (BR 14407), paramedic Stephen O'Malley leaves his job due to burnout, grief from losing his sister, and loss of faith. But when his blind friend, Meghan, is threatened by a gang of jewel thieves, he rescues her and rediscovers his roots. 2003.

Something's Down There BR 15322
by Mickey Spillane
3 volumes
Former government agent Mako Hooker, spending his retirement fishing, is recalled to action when a sea creature nicknamed the "eater" attacks boats and old war mines resurface. A film company headed by a former mobster arrives to film the investigation. Some strong language. 2003.

Our Lady of the Forest BR 15323
by David Guterson
3 volumes
A sickly sixteen-year-old runaway living in a Washington state rain forest sees visions of the Virgin Mary. As the news spreads, Ann Holmes becomes a disciple of sorts while young priest Father Collins, unemployed logger Tom Cross and his paralyzed son, and others seek redemption. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2003.

The Songs of the Kings BR 15325
by Barry Unsworth
2 volumes
A retelling of events preceding the expedition of Greek warriors to conquer Troy, delayed by adverse winds that keep the fleet trapped at home. Recounts the betrayal and sacrifice of Iphigeneia, King Agamemnon's daughter, to appease the gods and obtain favorable sailing conditions. Some violence and some strong language. 2003.

H.M.S. Surprise BR 15328
by Patrick O'Brian
3 volumes (Reissue)
Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin escort an English envoy to India aboard the H.M.S. Surprise. Meanwhile, one of Napoleon's ships plies the Indian Ocean, intent on attacking the China fleet. Aubrey plots to capture the French vessel and alleviate his financial troubles with the prize money. 1973.

H Is for Homicide BR 15331
by Sue Grafton
2 volumes (Reissue)
Kinsey Millhone learns that claims adjuster Parnell Perkins, a California Fidelity coworker, has been murdered and she's assigned one of his cases: a possibly bogus insurance claim made by Bibianna Diaz. Millhone's investigation lands both Diaz and herself in jail. Some strong language. 1991.

Fahrenheit 451 BR 15332
by Ray Bradbury
2 volumes (Reissue)
Fiftieth anniversary edition of this social satire set in a future when owning or reading a book is a crime. Guy Montag, a fireman charged with destroying books, becomes a fugitive when he succumbs to temptation. Includes a 2003 introduction by the author. Some strong language. 1951.

The Last Juror BR 15333
by John Grisham
3 volumes
Clanton, Mississippi; 1970. Twenty-three-year-old Willie Traynor buys the bankrupt county paper and begins building circulation. He inflames readers with his reporting of a young widow's rape and murder by Danny Padgitt, who threatens his jury with revenge if they convict him. Years later Padgitt returns for retribution. Some strong language. Bestseller 2004.

Love's Proof BR 15361
by Catherine Palmer
2 volumes
London, 1819. Jane Fellowes, descendant of Sir Isaac Newton, discovers a mysterious box of papers that may establish scientific proof of the existence of God. When the box disappears, Jane and scientist Thomas Norcross investigate. Bizarre events ensue as the pair realize the true puzzle is a matter of the heart. 2003.

The Spinning Man BR 15362
by George Harrar
2 volumes
Philosophy professor Evan Birch's life is thrown in turmoil after he becomes the main suspect in the kidnapping of a teenage cheerleader. Even his wife and one of his ten-year-old twins begin to question his innocence. Meanwhile, rumors fly around campus. Some strong language. 2003.

Rumpole and the Primrose Path BR 15364
by John Mortimer
2 volumes
Six stories featuring British barrister Rumpole, now recovering from his near-fatal heart attack in Rumpole Rests His Case (BR 14645). In the title piece, Rumpole investigates a fellow patient's mysterious death at the Primrose Path convalescent home in Sussex. Back in London he takes on five other cases. 2002.

Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope BR 15366
by Beverley Naidoo
1 volume
South Africa, 1948-2000. Seven stories show young South Africans of different eras, races, and ethnic groups as they cope with apartheid. In "The Playground," Rosa is the first girl to integrate the local school. Foreword by Desmond Tutu. For junior and senior high readers. 2001.

Necessary Noise: Stories about Our Families as They Really Are BR 15367
edited by Michael Cart
2 volumes
Ten short stories portraying different kinds of family scenes. "Visit" by Walter Dean Myers describes a father's awkward meeting with his long-abandoned son, a death row convict. In "Snowbound," by Lois Lowry, a college girl returns home and introduces her unwashed, obnoxious boyfriend. Strong language. For senior high readers. 2003.

Paranoia BR 15370
by Joseph Finder
3 volumes
When Adam Cassidy, a low-level employee of Wyatt Telecommunications, is caught rerouting funds, he receives two options--face embezzlement charges or become a spy at Trion Systems, Wyatt's largest competitor. Risking exposure, Adam infiltrates Trion but ultimately finds his loyalties tested. Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2004.

The Burglar on the Prowl BR 15371
by Lawrence Block
3 volumes
Bernie Rhodenbarr, New York bookseller and intrepid thief from The Burglar in the Rye (BR 12534), is asked by a friend to rob a surgeon who stole the friend's mistress. Bernie's attempted heists implicate him in a triple homicide. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. 2004.

Zipped BR 15374
by Laura McNeal and Tom McNeal
2 volumes
Fifteen-year-old Mick is upset to discover that his beloved stepmother is having an affair. He also loves Lisa despite her crush on a missionary from her Mormon church. Lisa's friend Janice dates her own low-life boss. Somehow things work out. Some strong language. For senior high readers. 2003.

Making Things Better BR 15375
by Anita Brookner
2 volumes
Young Julius Herz fled from Nazi Germany to England with his relatives and began a self-effacing life of familial obligation. Now retired, the reclusive Herz faces each day with anxious regret, longing for fulfillment. He dreams of a cousin he once loved, turns to his ex-wife for companionship, and obsesses over a young neighbor. 2002.

Laelia BR 15376
by Ruth-Miriam Garnett
2 volumes
Three wealthy African American sisters conspire to free themselves from lackluster marriages by placing their chronically ill husbands in care facilities. To preserve their good names and simultaneously win community support, Rebecca, Gracelyn, and Claudia must first oust their church's pastor. Some explicit descriptions of sex. 2004.

A Greater Glory: The Trials of Kit Shannon, Book 1 BR 15380
by James Scott Bell
2 volumes
Los Angeles, 1905. Criminal lawyer Kit Shannon tries the case of Celia Harcourt, who is being blackmailed for past events that threaten her family's happiness. A murder intensifies Kit's involvement, forcing her to face a ruthless female prosecutor. Undaunted and aided by her strong religious beliefs, Kit exposes the truth. 2003.

Miranda's Vines BR 15381
by Kimberly Kafka
2 volumes
Miranda and Bridie are lifelong, crisis-surviving friends. Miranda is riding the crest of her culinary career, and Bridie is a champion dogsled racer. Then disaster strikes both their lives, forcing them into drastic decisions and testing the bonds of their friendship. Strong language. 2004.

The Mauritius Command BR 15383
by Patrick O'Brian
3 volumes (Reissue)
As the Napoleonic Wars rage in Europe, Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubrey takes command of a British squadron in the Indian Ocean on a mission to capture the French-held islands of Mauritius and La Réunion. Problems arise, not from the hazards of warship living but from the other captains. Some strong language. 1977.

The Da Vinci Code BR 15406
by Dan Brown
4 volumes
Professor Robert Langdon investigates the scene of the Louvre's curator's murder. Joining him is French cryptologist Sophie Neveu. The clues left behind pit two Catholic societies against each other in a search for the Holy Grail. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller 2003.

Time's Eye: A Time Odyssey, Book 1 BR 15420
by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
3 volumes
Eurasia, 2037. United Nations peacekeepers crash land only to discover civilization has been reassembled into a patchwork of eras dating from prehistory. Alexander the Great's army and nineteenth-century British troops join forces as Genghis Khan's horde approaches Babylon and a lone radio signal. Violence, some descriptions of sex, and some strong language. 2004.

A Loving Scoundrel BR 15422
by Johanna Lindsey
3 volumes
Danny, a street-living London lass dressed as a lad, helps gentleman rake Jeremy Malory steal back jewels lost in a card game. Intrigued by her spunk, Jeremy hires her as a maid. When Danny poses as his new love, someone recognizes her, endangering her future. Some explicit descriptions of sex. 2004.

Guardian of the Horizon BR 15424
by Elizabeth Peters
4 volumes
Egypt, 1907. Archaeologist family headed by Amelia Peabody and husband Emerson accepts a hazardous mission to Lost Oasis to save their friend Prince Tarek, who is suffering from a strange sickness. They encounter constant deceptions and dangers on the desert trek, ultimately finding themselves victims of a ruse to dethrone the prince. 2004.

For the Love of Mike BR 15427
by Rhys Bowen
3 volumes
New York, 1901. In this sequel to Death of Riley (BR 14657), Molly Murphy inherits her boss's detective business. Two cases, one to uncover industrial espionage and the other to locate a runaway, intertwine. Molly tries to ease the plight of an immigrant family and finds a new love. 2003.

A Test of Wills BR 15431
by Charles Todd
3 volumes
To investigate a colonel's murder in 1919, Scotland Yard needs an experienced, but expendable, detective. Inspector Ian Rutledge, tormented mentally since returning from WWI, is assigned the politically sensitive case. His reputation at stake, Rutledge questions the victim's beautiful ward, her war-hero fiancé, and a shell-shocked witness. Some violence. 1996.

Storm Warning BR 15432
by Jack Higgins
2 volumes
1944. During World War II, some loyal German expatriates trapped in Brazil plot to return to their homeland on the three-masted sailing ship Deutschland. With five nuns also aboard as passengers, captain Eric Berger and his crew attempt an impossible voyage across an ocean dominated by British and American navies. 1976.

Tough Trails BR 15435
by Irene Morck
1 volume
Seventeen-year-old Ambrose takes tourists on trail rides while working for his uncle in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. He buys an older mare out of compassion but faces disaster when the animal can't make it up a pass. Uncontracted braille. For senior high and older readers. 2003.

Second Chance BR 15489
by Danielle Steel
2 volumes
At the Paris couture shows, forty-two-year-old Fiona Monaghan, editor-in-chief of a chic New York fashion magazine, falls for conservative advertising executive John Anderson, a widowed father. Their whirlwind romance leads to marriage, divorce, then a passionate rekindling--and a decision to try again. Descriptions of sex and some strong language. Bestseller 2004.

Leap Day BR 15493
by Wendy Mass
2 volumes
Chronicles one full day in the life of sixteen-year-old Josie as she takes her driving test, discovers where her father works, participates in a scavenger hunt, and celebrates her fourth leap- year birthday. In alternating chapters, family and friends shed different perspectives on the day's events. For senior high readers. 2004.

The Clock Winder BR 15494
by Anne Tyler
2 volumes
Baltimore, 1960. Eccentric elderly widow Pamela Emerson hires college-age drifter Elizabeth Abbott as a live-in helper. Pamela's unstable family, including her grown sons, rely increasingly on Elizabeth and absorb her into their bizarre and deadly personal dramas. Some violence. 1972.

The Return of the Black Widowers BR 15495
by Isaac Asimov
3 volumes
Sixteen stories, some previously unpublished in any collection, involving the Black Widowers club members who gather monthly to dine and solve a brainteasing puzzle. The men ponder mysteries ranging from murder and theft to an umbrella's seemingly inexplicable disappearance into a space warp. Foreword by Harlan Ellison. Some strong language. 2003.

Deception BR 15496
by John Altman
2 volumes
Hannah Gray takes a Mediterranean cruise despite her fears of being accused of insurance fraud. She befriends Renee Epstein, who unknowingly loans her a paperback containing a formula for a powerful weapon. When the Epsteins are murdered, Hannah flees with the book--not knowing why or from whom. Violence and strong language. 2003.

Sweet Land Stories BR 15497
by E.L. Doctorow
1 volume
Five short stories about faith, love, and abuse of power. In "A House on the Plain," a son abets his mother's murderous greed; in "Jolene: A Life," a young woman navigating some bad relationships reaches a bruised but resolute independence. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2004.

Leaving Protection BR 15505
by Will Hobbs
1 volume
Port Protection, Alaska. Sixteen-year-old Robbie signs on with captain Tor Torsen to fish for salmon. Robbie realizes he's in danger when he discovers Torsen secretly searching for valuable metal plaques laid by early Russian explorers to claim Alaska. Then a storm hits, imperiling them both. For senior high readers. 2004.

My Fine Lady BR 15533
by Yolanda Joe
2 volumes
Imani and Taz, her lover and lyric writer, dream of her becoming a hip-hop star. Hearing her street performance, music professor Orenthal Hopson accepts a bet to turn Imani into a traditional jazz singer. Through him, she achieves success--in an unlikely way. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 2004.

Max Brand's Best Western Stories BR 15534
by Max Brand
2 volumes
Five stories and a short novel pitting man against both nature and human enemies, written in the 1920s and 1930s. Includes the classic "Wine on the Desert," "Partners," and "Dust across the Range." Edited, with a biographical introduction, by William F. Nolan. 1923.

Scenarios: A "Nameless Detective" Casebook BR 15539
by Bill Pronzini
2 volumes
Fourteen short mysteries spanning thirty-five years of "nameless" San Francisco PI stories. In "It's a Lousy World," Nameless vindicates a friend suspected of--and shot for--robbing a liquor store. Also includes "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" and "Incident in a Neighborhood Tavern." Violence and some strong language. 2003.

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