Ordinary Bear, by C.B. Bernard

I was driving somewhere about three years ago (it was Target, who am I kidding, it’s always Target) when traffic came to a sudden stop.  Something was blocking the road about fifty feet ahead of me, causing cars to make a wide arc into oncoming traffic, which had also stopped.  When it was my time […]

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, by Jesse Q. Sutanto

What to read when… …your boyfriend’s moved in and you’re trying really hard to be normal about it.  It had been 13 years since a man lived in my house, and for all the ways his nearness turned me into a warm gooey brownie inside, his permanent presence in my previously unmanned house baked me […]

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon

Any book that opens with fork-stabbed poodle-death is story that must be read, if only to give the author the chance to redeem himself, which Haddon does, and much, much more.  With the creation of 15-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone—self-proclaimed poodle murder-solver, who uses an emoji chart to translate human emotion and quadratic equations to […]

Case Histories: A Novel (Jackson Brodie, 1), by Kate Atkinson

You know something is about to go horribly wrong from the first line of this crime fiction book, even though the line reads innocuously enough—“How lucky were they?”—which is a tribute to Atkinson’s deft skill.  I won’t spoil this intricately-weaved set of stories except to say that style-wise, Atkinson does something in the books that […]