Friday, April 8, 2011

More mysteries can be solved @ your library

Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Publishers Weekly -

Bestseller Fluke's fabulous 14th foodie mystery (after 2010's Apple Turnover Murder) finds Hannah Swenson, the baking whiz of the Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minn., still torn between the two less than perfect men in her life—dentist Norman Rhodes, whose attractive former fiancĂ©e and fellow dentist, Bev Thorndike, has just joined Norman's practice, and Mike Kingston, Winnetka County's chief detective, who has a roving eye. When someone shoots visiting Lutheran minister Matthew Walters, who's covering Rev. Bob Knudsen's duties at Holy Redeemer while Bob is on a belated honeymoon cruise, the only witness to the murder is Jacob, a mynah bird, who squawks, "The wages of sin is death." Unlike your typical boyfriend cop, Mike is thrilled to have Hannah tracking down clues. Between eating and baking, Hannah and cronies investigate Matthew's background, especially his relationship to his creepy, paroled convict cousin, Paul. Mouthwatering recipes include butterscotch bonanza bars and pineapple casserole.

Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Publishers Weekly-

Preston and Child's first in a new thriller series falls short of their usual high standard. In 1996, eight years after 12-year-old Gideon Crew saw his father, an employee of the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command, fatally shot outside his father's Arlington, Va., office, his mother tells him the truth about the killing on her death bed. The older Crew was made the scapegoat for the deaths of 26 spies for the U.S. the Russians caught as a result of a flaw in a new intelligence encryption standard he discovered but higher authority ignored. In the present, Gideon's quest for revenge takes a backseat to an assignment from shadowy Effective Engineering Solutions (introduced in 2001's The Ice Limit), whose people succeed in recruiting Gideon to steal plans for what might be a new Chinese megaweapon from a defecting scientist. That tired and predictable story line isn't helped by a protagonist lacking the quirks of the authors' popular series hero, FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast.

A Heartbeat Away by Michael Palmer

Publishers Weekly

Palmer (The Last Surgeon) offers a nifty plot premise in this high-concept medical thriller, but a plethora of subplots distracts from the more interesting primary issue. As the U.S. president, James Allaire, is beginning his State of the Union address, a number of small containers of a viral agent explode and infect the more than 700 people, including every important member of the government except the director of homeland security, who have gathered in the House chamber. The Capitol must be sealed off and the infected audience held inside until a cure for the disease can be found. The plotters behind the attack, a group of domestic terrorists known as Genesis, demand, among other things, that the government abolish the Patriot Act and cease unchecked spying on ordinary Americans. Overblown prose does little to make the implausible scenario more believable. Readers with a low tolerance for the hyperbolic are advised to give this one a pass.

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