Author: RichardDemma

In Another Life: Reading Progress

I’ve been away from this blog for some time, sorting through issues regarding publishing, writing, teaching and what not. However, I’m halfway through this very civilized, intelligent and cultured mystery = part religious investigation ala Dan Brown,  elevated for a more sophisticated readership, part Peter Mayle, with wonderful descriptions of food and wine from the Languedoc area of France, and part historical romance, with characters crossing boundaries of time via reincarnation – and rediscovering lost loves. It’s quite intriguing, but definitely for a very cultured readership. Very few thrills and spills, but many subtle pleasures. I look forward to reviewing this book in depth in the near...

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Conclave – by Robert Harris

Capsule Review: I’ve just finished reading Robert Harris’ very stylish, sophisticated thriller, Conclave, the story of the struggle to elect the next pope in the post-Francis era. The time period is 2018. I have to say I was quite impressed on many levels. The author exhibits a superb understanding of internal Church politics, no simple matter,  and the difficulty of juggling so many conflicting factions in the RMC. He actually succeeds in making this strange, secret world comprehensible. I’ve read quite a few of this author’s previous works and didn’t expect this level of expertise and insight. Nor did I...

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Book Review: Ladle to the Grave

Never judge a book by its cover, as the old adage goes, and truth to tell I’ve been fooled in the past by not following that sage advice. Not so in this case, with Connie Archer’s charming cozy mystery, Ladle to the Grave, the fourth installment in her NYT bestselling Soup Lover’s Mystery series. I discovered this find while browsing through the mystery/crime section of Book Club Reading List. I was immediately pulled in by the lovely turquoise soup tureen on the cover, with its enticing fumes wafting into the air and drifting out into the green garden, where a number...

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A Cozy Mystery for the Age of Trump

Depressed by the US elections 2016, appalled by the nastiness in human nature on display during this election season, not a US citizen but dismayed at the negative influence US news has upon the world? Well, here is the perfect cheerful pick-me-up antidote for you, Connie Archer’s charming LADLE TO THE GRAVE, the third installment in her Soup Lovers’ Mysteries series. I chose this from Book Club Reading List and  just started it a few days ago (so I would have a good excuse not to watch the US presidential debates) and I’ve been thoroughly entertained all the way...

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The Vanished: Nordic Noir

(Update: September 28 – review reflection coming shortly) I’ve just started The Vanished, by Denmark’s brother and sister team, Lotte and Soren Hammer. I’m 5% into it and I expect to be up all night devouring it. Why is this news? Well, because the sibling Hammer’s debut novel, The Hanging – while receiving rave reviews in native Denmark and other nordic parts – bombed miserably in its English version – because, well, because the English translation was abysmal – and the initial cover was shite also. Lots of very peeved people on Amazon expressing their peevety in no uncertain terms. I...

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