[Reviews] The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas

Charlie Howard and his friends remain the highlight of these stories, even when things get slightly more fantastic than usual.

[Reviews] The Good Thief's Guide to Paris

The second book in the series is more sophisticated, but not necessarily any better.

[Reviews] The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam

A fun new mystery series, with interesting characters making the most of similarly interesting settings.

One for the Money

I wouldn't likely have ever read "One for the Money," the first novel in Janet Evanovich's series about bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, if it hadn't first been recommended to me. The premise didn't jump out at me and scream "You must read me." It wound up serving as the basis for a terrific story, though.

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The Matarese Countdown

I knew basically two things about Robert Ludlum before I purchased and read "The Matarese Countdown." The first is that he wrote "The Bourne Identity," and the second is that he is no longer with us (he passed away in 2001, after leading what sounds like a reasonably interesting life that didn't even involve writing until his later years). Everything else that I would subsequently learn came as news to me, and that worked out just fine.

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Home of the Braised

Julie Hyzy has written a number of books in the generally solid Manor House Mystery series, and I read two of those before discovering an unrelated series of novels from the same author about a White House chef named Olivia Paras. The concept sounded interesting, so I jumped right in with the seventh installment, "Home of the Braised."

As the novel began, in the White House kitchen, I had no idea what was happening. The first chapter started out rather abruptly but things quickly improved as I got my bearings. The story that followed from there grew steadily better. The slow start is unfortunate, but at least it covered some important ground.

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Plot Boiler

"Plot Boiler," by Ali Brandon, is the fifth book in a series of novels about Darla Pettistone, a New York entrepreneur who runs a bookstore that she inherited from her aunt and solves crimes that occur in the local community.

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