Friday, July 25, 2014

The Necromancer's House

This week I read The Necromancer's House by Christopher Buehlman. I picked this book up because of the title. I love books about the supernatural and after reading the description inside the jacket, I was hooked.

From the jacket: Andrew Ranulf Blankenship is a handsome, stylish nonconformist with wry wit, a classic Mustang and a massive library. He is also a recovering alcoholic and a practicing warlock, able to speak with the dead through film.

Opening lines from the Prologue: The old man walks from the cabin to the porch behind, palming his whiskey glass from the bottom and swirling the ice in it.

Our protagonist is Andrew Blankenship, a male witch who prefers the term magus to witch. He lives in Dog Neck Harbor in a house hidden by magic from most people. The house is also protected with charms, booby traps, against people who would seek to harm him. We don't find out Andrew's full story and history at once. It's fed to us throughout the novel like special treats. Eventually, we find out why his house is hidden and filled with traps.

Andrew is a recovering alcoholic and regularly attends AA meetings. Andrew's friend Anneke also attends AA meetings. She is luminous, a term used to describe those who have magic within them. Andrew is trying to teach her how to tap into her luminosity. Things start to go bad for Andrew when his rusalka (a mermaid) drowns one of his neighbors, an old Russian man, with connections to the past Andrew doesn't want to remember, (hint: Baba Yaga is involved).

The Necromancer's House is a well-written novel with fully fleshed-out characters. Buehlman has even brought to life minor characters that another author would have left one-dimensional. His writing style leans toward the flowery, which isn't a real criticism, though I did have to re-read a few sentences a second time to pick up the meaning. All-in-all, an excellent read.

I'm linking up to:
Literary Friday at Art @ Home
Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader

Thanks so much for your visit!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Homicide in Hardcover

I just finished reading Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle with the tagline of A Bibliophile Mystery.

Opening lines: My teacher always told me that in order to save a patient you'd have to kill him first. Not the most child-friendly way of explaining his theory of book restoration to his eight year old apprentice, but it worked. I grew up determined to save them all.

One of the reasons I was attracted to this book was the fact that the heroine is a rare book expert, who restores and conserves old books; two other reasons are: I love murder mysteries and it's set in San Francisco.

Brooklyn Wainwright is the main character who finds Abraham, "her mentor lying in a pool of his own blood." With his last breath, he whispers "Remember the devil" and gives her Goethe's Faust. Abraham had been working on The Winslow Collection of books for an upcoming exhibit. One of the books in the collection is Goethe's Faust, which, legend has it, is cursed. All who've owned the book have died. Brooklyn is asked to take over the restoration project and finish Abraham's work with the Faust.

We are introduced to several characters who may or may not have a motive for killing Abraham including: Minka, Brooklyn's nemesis from college; the Winslows; Abraham's rival Enrico; and Brooklyn's own mother. Then there's the British Derek Stone, a former military operative, who now runs his own security company and is in charge of The Winslow Collection. Derek also gets to have a romantic moment or two with Brooklyn.

My only nit with this book is that there's not a lot of actual mystery-solving or investigating happening with the main characters. It's focus is more on Brooklyn's life (who grew up on a commune), her family, (who still live on the commune) and people trying to harm or kill Brooklyn.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Homicide in Hardcover. The book is a fun read and the first in a series of books. It's well-written with definitive characters and plot. I'll definitely be reading others in the series.

I'm linking up to the following blogs:
 Literary Friday at Art @ Home
 Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader
Saturday Review at Semicolon

Thanks so much for stopping by :)