Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stone's Fall by Iain Pears

This book is a keeper in my mind. I was totally intrigued by the author's writing of the story "backwards". By that I mean that the story opens Part 1 with Matthew Braddock finding out about the death of a women he has known in the past, and that she has left a package for him. Thus begins the mystery that unravels as the author takes us into the past history of the characters. My first thought was how on earth could a story be written "backwards", but Iain Pears accomplishes that task most successfully. In each of the three parts, he unravels the skein while at the same time expertly weaving all the threads into a whole fabric. I don't want to give away any of the story, so will keep my comments to a minimum, but suffice to say that this book is a favorite and bears reading more than once. I can honestly say I have found a new author to read and look forward to acquiring more of his works. If you enjoy a story that is complex and detailed and that still keeps you guessing until the end, then I highly recommend Stone's Fall.

Palace Circle by Rebecca Dean

I really enjoyed this book. The story was engaging and believable and I loved the inclusion of well-known historical figures. I appreciate when an author goes to the trouble to build the story around actual historical events and figures and provides a learning experience for the reader as well as an enjoyable read. This is the first of three novels by Rebecca Dean and I am looking forward to reading the next two.

Dark Side of the Morgue by Raymond Benson

I quite enjoy a good who-dunnit, and found this to be just that! Spike Berenger is a little rough around the edges, and so is his investigative style, but isn't that to be expected in a good detective story? The story kept me guessing right to the end and I enjoy when a book can do that. There's nothing worse than figuring out the story before all is revealed! I would definitely pick up another of Raymond Benson's mysteries.

Women in Family Business: What keeps You Up at Night?

An interesting book, but not what I expected or was looking for. Having just gone into business with a family member, I was looking for more of a partnership with family members perspective. This book seemed to focus more on the wife as support to her husband who is the primary business person and then on her relationships with other family members. For me it didn't consider the perspective of two family members of equal status working together to run a business. I do think if the situation you are in is one where you're looking for direction in how to be supportive of family members running businesses, then this book would be helpful. I did find it well-written, just not what I was looking for.