So William Morrow Publishing sends me this book — To Dwell In Darkness by Deborah Crombie. I quickly discovered she writes a series of detective/murder mystery novels. Cool. I like those. Then I think….”hmmmm, I wonder what number this is? 3…maybe 4.” No, it is her 16th book in the series. I am not mad at her…just sad I did not know about detectives Gemma and Duncan…married couple…but maybe they have not been married in precious novels. Maybe, there was some romance or sexual work tension that I have missed out on. So now, I am going to have to go back and see just what occurs in those 15 other novels.
Let me clarify one thing….this book (To Dwell In Darkness) was a pleasure to read without having read any of the others. I loved the characters which is such a crucial part of enjoying a story. If I don’t care about them, then I do not care about the plot — no matter how intense the plot. The stories revolve around detective superintendent Duncan Kincaid and detective Gemma James…..married with children and living in London. This novel focuses on two investigation. The main focus is on the events that enfolded at the historical site of St. Pancras International Station involving a deadly bombing that stems from a group of 20 year-old protesters. The action moves quickly…the suspense is intense and the characters were people who I would like to know better. I am going to have to schedule a trip to the library to get her first few books.
It seems as if every other post is another book by Christina Baker Kline, and here is yet another one. This is a story about starting over when life seems to have hit a wall, and how a person can change their own path and be happy. Seems simple…yet so complex. The story is called The Way Life Should Be. The book follows Angela who lives alone in New York and is a party planner. She likes her job, but it is not her passion. She has yet to discover what that may be. Meanwhile all her friends are getting married and having babies….and Angela feels stagnant. Her friend Lindsay has recently met a wonderful online dating service, so on a whim Angela tries it. She sends a message to a man named MAINECATCH. She thinks it is silly and that nothing will come of it….but life moves quickly. She begins a relationship with him, soon loses her job, moves in with her father and Nonna and then decides to leave it all behind and move to Maine for a man she barely knows.
Her father and friends warn her against it, but she is not thinking logically….she reacts. Maine does not hold what she imagined in her head, and yet when she seems to be at her darkest point…she pulls herself up and discovers what makes her happy. I love this book because it takes place in Maine (a place I will be vacationing soon), and it is about the simple life: a cup of coffee, a few true friends, a good book and a warm blanket. It about taking something that is falling apart and building it up. Making life cozy…isn’t that what we all want?
Violet is in her late 30’s and owns a unique vintage clothing shop. Who doesn’t love vintage? How romantic it is to be a part of something from the past….Violet embraces this philosophy since her present situation is devoid of any romance. She left her drunken husband five years early, and she has put all her emphasis on Hourglass Vintage….her shop. Romance, marriage and motherhood have put placed far from her thoughts. Yet, she still has a glimmer of someday falling in love and becoming a mother. Then she is meets Sam….sparks fly and love blooms (excuse the overabundance of clichés). Yet, there is one thing that puts a wedge between them and could be a deal-breaker for a forever love.
April is a pregnant 18-year old whose well-to do boyfriend…excuse me…ex-boyfriend has left her high and dry. There were plans for the two of them to wed, but Charles mother cancelled the wedding and ended their relationship. April has acquired an internship at Hourglass Vintage and is trying to build a life for herself despite the failed wedding and the death of her mother. Can she find the strength to build a love with her new child on her own?
And finally, there is Amithi. Married for decades to her husband Naveen and mother to her self-centered, modern daughter Jayana, Amithi has never made her needs a priority until she decides to step inside Hourglass Vintage to sell some silk dresses. Soon after, she discovers her husband has been cheating on her for years. Shocked and betrayed….she leaves Naveen and begins to forge a path to independance….something exciting and new to her. Will she have to take this new journey alone?
The book is a quick, light-hearted read. The female characters are developed and portray strong women. I just wish that the men had more depth to them….it seems too easy to make them the villain all too often.