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The Great and Calamitous Tale of Johan Thoms by Ian Thornton
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Tale: 1) a fictitious or true narrative or story, especially one that is imaginatively recounted

At the age of seven, Johan Thoms outwits a chess master, but on June 28, 1914, at the age of twenty, he discovers he can't drive a car in reverse. While chauffeuring the ill-fated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his pregnant wife, Sophie, he takes a wrong turn and haplessly delivers the couple into the hands of an assassin, and thus, (in his mind) starts a world war. Unable to face the ramifications of this horrific blunder, he flees Sarajevo into a life filled with regret and self-blame (but not without adventure).

This is a "tale," of course, and while the assassination of… Read more
Death Can't Take a Joke (A Kiszka & Kershaw Myster&hellip by Anya Lipska
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, 16 Jun 2014
I enjoyed Lipska’s first novel, WHERE THE DEVIL CAN'T GO, but this, her second in the Kiszka and Kershaw saga, shows a maturity of writing. With her first novel, it’s as if she stepped into a well-made new pair of shoes but, now, they're broken in, the leather soft and supple.

What makes Lipska’s stories are her characters—from the main characters to the minor players, like Oskar, Kiszka’s affable and well-meaning friend. While I like the Kershaw character, I just love Kiszka. He’s a good person, with a big heart, but can be “bad” when necessary.

I recently read an interview of Lipska’s in which she discusses writing about a culture (in this case the Polish immigrants… Read more
The State of Me by Nasim Marie Jafry
The State of Me by Nasim Marie Jafry
After reading the blurb for this book, I expected it to be different, but I say that in a good way. I expected it to be full of accounts of doctors' visits, of woe-is-me narrative, of medical terms and explanations. While it contains a smattering of some of those things, the main focus is the inner life of a twenty-something girl, living in the 80s in Scotland, who's striving to become a responsible adult and who also happens to be struggling to cope with a little-known, and little understood, disease called ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis. I think the title says is all, The State of Me, with lower case e.

This is one of those books that tells a story through the… Read more