Christine's Choices

Christine (CVS) reads a smidgen of all genres. She states that after joining the MG staff, she has had the great privilege of expanding her appreciation by speaking with other staff members and customers, all of whom are willing to share their enthusiasm for authors new and old. Christine is also our Fearless Book Discussion Group Leader.




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A Different Lie Cover Image
ISBN: 9781681772554
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pegasus Books - December 20th, 2016

Silver Bear aka Columbus aka (that’s for the end of the story). The story is told from the perspective of a gun for hire, who has been in the profession for many years. He is not a good man. The people he takes assignments from are not good people. He is surrounded by bad people. Columbus dares the reader to believe his narration or not. He has been given the assignment to take out an assassin named Castillo. The situation goes from bad to worse rapidly as Columbus fails in his mission and many people, bad and good, suffer the consequences. I found the book interesting because of the polar-opposite emotions that are the crux of the story: love and betrayal.

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Passing Strange Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765389527
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 24th, 2017

The setting for the story is as much a part of the tale as the characters. The author’s research of 1940’s San Francisco has you walking the streets of Chinatown, and ferrying to the Golden Gate International Exposition. The lead characters are all women--artistic, smart, resourceful and gay. The story begins with the final days of the last surviving member of the circle and the mystery surrounding a heretofore unknown artwork. How and why the artwork comes to be is the magic and the mystery. I enjoyed the story for its interesting characters, the glimpse into the artistic world of Pulp Fiction magazine art. The ending is left for the reader to draw their own conclusion. Mine was hopeful.

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To Catch a Killer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765381910
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Teen - February 7th, 2017

High school is hard for some kids. We all know that, but it is especially difficult for Erin Blake. When Erin was three her mother was brutally murdered, but Erin was spared. Fourteen years later and the murder is still unsolved. Erin’s biology teacher, Miss Peters, is helping Erin with a project to see if she can discover the identity of her father. When Miss Peters is murdered, Erin discovers her body. Erin believes the two murders are connected. Along with her BFFs Spam and Lysa she sets about to see if they can discover the identity of the murderer. Erin is intelligent, persistent, and not always likable. She keeps secrets from her friends and her guardian, Rachel, her mother’s best friend who took her in – secrets that put her and her friends in harm’s way. The mystery has a satisfactory ending, but also leaves the door open for further adventures.

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Crazy Blood Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250064097
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - March 8th, 2016

The Carson dynasty is cursed, or so some say. The family certainly does have its share of crazies, scoundrels, legends and the entitled.

The story opens and ends with the voice of Cynthia Carson who twenty-five years ago shot her husband in cold blood, absolutely positively. Throughout the story, I really wanted to dislike Cynthia, but she would occasionally surprise the reader. The concentric circle of characters begins with Wylie Wellborn, illegitimate son of Cynthia’s dead husband; her own sons, Robert and Sky; Adam Carson -- grandfather to all three;, Wylie’s sisters and his mother; and finally, Cynthia.

The Carson and Wellborn families both experience heartache and desperation.

None of the book’s characters is without fault, some more than others. How each individual deals with their own demons reveals the complexities of human nature.

The story is set against the backdrop of Mammoth Lakes ski resort, with its fantastic vistas and adrenaline pumping ski runs.

I was intrigued by the complicated families and their histories; the mysteries surrounding who is lurking around the Wellborn home and the theft of ski equipment, bicycles, etc.  and who would ultimately survive. 

Meet T. Jefferson Parker in San Diego on March 24th!

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The Immortals Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316347181
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - February 16th, 2016

A March Fantastic Firsts Pick!

After two millennia of not being worshipped, many of the Greek gods and goddesses have faded from existence, but some still remain. In the city of New York, the current identity of Artemis is Selene DiSilva -- a private investigator who protects those women who seek her out. 

Selene comes upon the body of a woman brutally murdered in a ritualistic manner in Central Park. Unfortunately, she will not be the last. Her name was Helen, and in her final moments had called out to the goddess but Selene had heard her not. Enter Helen’s colleague and former lover, Timothy Schultz, a Professor of ancient Greece and its mythology. Selene and Timothy are forced by happenstance to work together to solve the mystery of several murders and how they are connected to the theft of ancient artifacts from several prominent museums. A very dangerous someone has resurrected an ancient sacrificial rite. That someone is attempting to amass power, the end game being to restore themselves to their former glory.  The rituals are affecting Selene as well, placing her in a very mortal dilemma.  The list of suspects is not lacking – Apollo, Hades, Dionysus, Hermes…

I was caught up in the mystery and mythology from the start. The location was also a plus, exploring some of the nearly forgotten places of New York City reimagined as ancient world locales.

This is the first in the Olympus Bound series, but can also be read as a stand alone.

The Curve of the Earth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316220064
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - March 19th, 2013

Speculative Fiction 

Welcome to the Freezone and the fourth book in the SamuilPetrovitch series. Sam’s adopted daughter Lucy has gone missing in the Alaskan wilderness. Not content with the US handling of the situation, Petrovitch travels to America to conduct his own inquiries into her disappearance. He is hindered along the way by disinformation and stonewalling. Sam is not always a likeable person. He is at times threatening, manipulating and violent. He is part Cyborg, a computer genius and right 95% of the time. The remaining 5% is almost his undoing. You do not have to have read the previous books, but it will give you a better insight into the characters. I tore through this novel as I have the previous three in the series. Simon Morden was awarded the 2011 Philip K. Dick Award for the trilogy.

– Christine

Murder Season Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780312366179
Availability: Special Order
Published: Minotaur Books - December 6th, 2011

The book’s dust jacket will give you the nitty gritty, but there is so much more to the story than that.

There are many reasons why I recommend this series (City of Fire, Lost Witness) -- strong, interesting and dysfunctional characters, a good mix of old fashioned detective work with heart pounding action, and protagonist Lena Gamble, a Homicide Special detective in the elite Robbery Homicide Division for the city of Los Angeles.

The character of Lena Gamble as established by Robert Ellis is a homicide detective without the drawbacks sometimes associated with female police officers – sexual harassment, not being accepted by other detectives, etc. Granted, she does seem to have her fair share of run-ins and stone walling by higher ups but that comes with the territory.

Murder Season certainly lives up to its title. The homicides actually begin before the first chapter and continue throughout, each a careful response to a perceived threat to our villain. The investigation is hampered by the District Attorney’s office and lost evidence. Just when you think you know the who and the why, you don’t. Just when you think you know a character (alive or dead), you’re wrong again.

There is one character in particular who totally blindsided me and Lena. And the emotional rollercoaster that comes with this character’s revelation becomes the crux of the last third of the story. The story does come to a most fitting conclusion with the very last sentence (but please don’t cheat yourself and read ahead).

If you are looking for a cozy, this is not it. However, should you favor Michael Connelly or T. Jefferson Parker, you should enjoy Murder Season.


The Weight Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307379191
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Published: Pantheon - November 9th, 2010

Andrew Vachss returns with a mesmerizing novel about a hard-core thief who’s about to embark on a job that will alter his life forever.

Sugar is that rarest of commodities: an old-school professional thief, tough and loyal as a pit bull, packing 255 pounds of muscle. When he’s picked out of a photo array in a vicious rape case, the cops find his apartment empty. A stakeout catches Sugar when he returns . . . carrying a loaded pistol. The sex-crime cops get nothing from their interrogation, but a streetwise detective figures out why Sugar offers no alibi: at the time of the rape, a holiday-weekend break-in job was being pulled at a jewelry store. The DA offers Sugar two options: give up his partners in the jewelry heist and walk, or plead to the rape he didn’t commit—and he’ll toss in the gun charge. For Sugar, that’s not two options; he takes the weight.

When Sugar finishes his time, his money is waiting for him, held by Solly, the mastermind behind the jewelry heist. But Solly tells Sugar that one of the heist crew was actually sent by another planner—and that planner has just died. In Sugar’s world, all loose threads must be cut. He suspects that there’s more to this job than what Solly is telling him. But nothing he suspects or imagines can prepare him for what he finds . . .

Book of Shadows Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780312384715
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Published: St. Martin's Press - June 8th, 2010

Homicide detective Adam Garrett is already a rising star in the Boston police department when he and his cynical partner, Carl Landauer, catch a horrifying case that could make their careers: the ritualistic murder of a wealthy college girl that appears to have Satanic elements. 

The partners make a quick arrest when all evidence points to another student, a troubled musician in a Goth band who was either dating or stalking the murdered girl. But Garrett’s case is turned upside down when beautiful, mysterious Tanith Cabarrus, a practicing witch from nearby Salem, walks into the homicide bureau and insists that the real perpetrator is still at large. Tanith claims to have had psychic visions that the killer has ritually sacrificed other teenagers in his attempts to summon a powerful, ancient demon.  

All Garrett's beliefs about the nature of reality will be tested as he is forced to team up with a woman he is fiercely attracted to but cannot trust, in a race to uncover a psychotic killer before he strikes again.

The Accidental Sorcerer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316035422
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - January 2009

Gerald Dunwoody is a wizard. Just not a particularly good one. He's blown up a factory, lost his job, and there's a chance that he's not really a Third Grade wizard after all. So it's off to New Ottosland to be the new Court Wizard for King Lional.

It's a shame that King Lional isn't the vain, self-centered young man he appeared to be. With a Princess in danger, a talking bird who can't stay out of trouble, and a kingdom to save, Gerald soon suspects that he might be out of his depth. And if he can't keep this job, how will he ever become the wizard he was destined to be...

THE ACCIDENTAL SORCERER is the first novel in the Rogue Agent trilogy, from one of fantasy's newest stars.

Graceling Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547258300
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphia Books - September 7th, 2009

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.      When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

Sandman Slim Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780061976261
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper Voyager - May 1st, 2010

Life sucks, then you die. Period. Unless you're James Stark, a hitman in Hell for eleven years before escaping back up to Hell-on-earth L.A.—looking for revenge, absolution . . . love, maybe. But Hell's not through with Stark. Heaven's not either.