April Rave Reviewed

April is flying by, and soon it will be time for our next Rave Reviews session; sorry about the delay in posting this month’s gems, which were brought by Sue and Mae.

Here are Mae’s picks:

BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent

Iceland, 1828. A woman, Agnes Magnusdottir, convicted of murder, is sent to live in custody at a peasant farmer’s home until such time as she is to be executed.  This drama, based on an actual case, listens in on the thoughts of Agnes and observes the reactions of others around her in the season leading up to her death.

THE CRANE WIFE by Patrick Ness

The author of A MONSTER CALLS spins another modern day fairy tale juxtaposing lyrical myth with contemporary middle class personal life muddles. A kind man meets and falls in love with a mysterious woman.  Beautiful disturbing art is created.


Inspector Ashwin Chopra (Ret’d), forced into an early leave from the Mumbai police force because of a heart condition, is unsure how he will fill his time.  But then a request to investigate the suspicious drowning of a boy, and the unanticipated arrival of a baby elephant (a gift from a beloved uncle) keeps him more than busy.  Scenes of the seamy side of life in Indian is counterbalanced with domestic tribulations. For those who enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith’s NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY series.


After the Russian Revolution, the Bolshevik court rules Count Alexander Ilych Rostov to be a person of interest, to be confined to Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, under threat that he will be shot if he leaves the building.  How will the Count manage in the coming months and decades? — with grace, style, self discipline, and the assistance of friends.  Historical fiction, rather reminiscent of a Disney story.


For a more realistic view of the activities of aristocrats, Livingstone offers short biographies of five noblewomen, spanning the seventeenth to mid-twentieth century.  Each, in their own time, were the chatelaine of or closely associated with the stately English home known as Cliveden.

DEAD MAN’S BLUES by Ray Celestin

An heiress goes missing. A murder victim is discovered with his eyes gouged out and smelling of tainted hooch. Al Capone suspects a traitor in his organization. A New York mob fixer, a crime photographer, Pinkerton agents and even Louis Armstrong take turns trying to find the connections that will solve these mysteries set in Prohibition era Chicago.

And these are the books that Sue shared:

Havana: A Subtropical Delirium  by  Mark Kurlansky

Anyone who has visited Havana knows the life and adventure to be found there.  Kurlansky’s book is a fascinating history of the city, illustrated with literary snippets from Cuban authors.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

This non-fiction account of Savannah, Georgia’s most famous murder mystery is an intimate glimpse into the lives of the citizens of the city.  The characters are engaging and likeable and the book makes you want to visit the city to experience it yourself.

The Anatomist’s Apprentice by Tessa Harris

Set in 1790’s London, this first in a series of mystery novels has great characters intermingled with the nitty gritty of the early beginnings of modern forensic science.  Dr. Thomas Silkstone has to try to determine the guilt of a high society gentleman, whose wife just happens to be breathtakingly beautiful.

My Story by Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of people decades after her death.  This book, in Marilyn’s words, provides surprising and sad details about what made Marilyn, Marilyn.

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

From the author of The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society comes another book filled with quirky and likeable people.  Set in Macedonia, West Virginia during the depression, the novel centers around the family who runs a boarding house and their newest boarder, a riches-to-rags young woman sent to capture the history of the town as part of the Federal Writers’ Project.

Please join us in the Fred Israel Auditorium at Central for our next discussion of Rave Reviews on Wednesday May 3rd at 2:30pm.


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