Friday, December 23, 2011

A Double Header of Familiar Series

This time of year does not offer large uninterrupted chunks of time for reading, so I often turn to the familiar for relaxing and enjoyment. Recently, I had the opportunity to get back to two of my favorite series: Lily Bard and Salvo Montalbano. They're very different, but by now, I'm familiar with the characters, the settings, and the basic life events of each, so I can sit back with each of them and simply enjoy what's happening right now. It's like meeting up with an old friend while you're downtown Christmas shopping. You stop in at your favorite eatery, have an enjoyable mid-day meal, a glass of wine, and catch up on what's been happening. You leave refreshed, and looking forward to seeing them again.

Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher Format: Berkley (2008), Edition: e-book 224 pages
Subject: Christmas wedding in a small town - oh yeah - a cold case missing child investigation
Setting: Arkansas
Series: Lily Bard mysteries
Genre: amateur sleuth/private investigator crime solving team
Source: electronic Epub download from public library

This is my kinda series -- I love Lily Bard, adore her main squeeze Jack, and needed a Christmas book to get me in the holiday mood. Not only is there some Christmas, there's a southern wedding, and that in itself is enough to produce lots of enjoyment. Add the old cold case of a missing girl and a few more bodies and this gets very interesting.  Nice resolution, nothing overly coronary.  This one as an ebook took only about 3 hours to cruise through. Easy, fun, and still fresh enough that I want to track down the 2 left in the series I haven't yet read.
Author: Andrea Camilleri
Publisher Format: Penguin Books- Blackstone Audio, 5 hrs, 52 min, 276 page equivalent
Year of publication: 2010 (original print copyright 2004)
Narrator: Grover Gardner
Subject: crime solving; mafia, kidnapping
Setting: Sicily
Series: Inspector Montalbano mysteries
Genre: police procedural
Source: public library audio download

In this latest of the ongoing adventures of Salvo Montalbano and his sidekicks Fazzio, Mimmi, and Catarello, we are introduced to the Italian concept of kidnap/ransom where everyone expects the victim to be ransomed, the police want to help facilitate the exchange of ransom money for the victim, and even the priest says that if the family can't afford the ransom, then the godfather of the victim must pay.  There's none of the American expectation that the bad guys should be caught and punished.  Everyone knows the mafia rules and everything will be fine as long as the money is paid.  In this case, however, the crooks appear to have kidnapped the daughter of a penniless and broken old man, and it is up to Montalbano to identify the true motivation for the kidnapping.  Classic Montalbano.  If you're a fan of this series, you'll enjoy it.  If you've never read any, I'd suggest starting a little earlier in the series (this is #8).  They're always good for a short satisfying escape from reality.


  1. I could use a short satisfying escape from reality about now.

  2. Hi Tina, just stopping in to say Merry Christmas to you and yours!


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