It is happening again.
If I ever had to do back-to-school shopping, I think I would lose what shopping mind I have left.
First of all, you have to start back-to-school shopping in early July. Searching the corduroys and heavy things while the temperatures are in the high 90s just doesn’t make sense, not to mention that a sweater isn’t something that looks good in July. Any kid will tell you that.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can do without the new things on the first day of school, so this weekend will be a stressful time as you race from the shoes to the clothing area and around to the paper, crayon and pencil aisle. However, be careful; you will be accosted by the Halloween figurines that are screeching and groaning in the aisles filled with the decorations, the dishes and fall items so vital to a well-decorated house the first week of September.
Now, if you turn just a little bit, you will see that what is making the Halloween things screech are the store clerks busily stringing the Christmas lights from shelf to shelf. I give up. In fact, at first I decided I would only go into stores like grocery, material etc. where they don’t change seasons that fast. Even they are getting all decorated already. Oh well, since I might need a bathing suit in February, I guess I had better just wear blinders.
Maybe I will just eat out and come home to read, which is something I can control. In fact for a while I was finding quite a few new things to mention.
Patricia Macdonald is up to her usual strategy with the easy beginning, the buildup and twists and turns that you cannot help but follow, already knowing in the back of your mind what is going to happen. This is one author, however, who you cannot predict and once again, in Married to a Stranger, she manages to create scenarios that could go either way. Love, caring, fear, death and terror all work together as the characters continue to blend in a dance of life and death.
On the lighter side and a book you can read while you munch is Last Bite, by Nancy Barr. This is almost a behind-the-scenes book about cooking shows on TV with romance, a bit of intrigue and some good recipes tossed in for fun.
Still in the “food” mode, we have a good wine to serve those looking for a mystery in Ellen Crosby’s The Merlot Murders. You don’t have to know about wine to read this mystery; you just have to like a stubborn character and a surprising ending.
Kay Hooper continues the series of suspense novels with Sleeping with Fear. If you have read Hooper, then you know her characters all have some sort of a different “sense” and work in a special unit of the FBI under Bishop. This time Riley, a “chameleon” and an authority on the occult, almost goes a bit too far in her attempt to “see what is happening in a small town.” Occult practitioners seem to be the obvious problem, but Riley is not certain and when she starts losing days, weeks and hours from her memory, she knows something is more than a little wrong. How could she forget Ash along with weeks of study? I wish sometimes that Hooper could write faster and continue with these very interesting people who just have a little more “sense” that what we call normal.
David Housewright is not a name that I was familiar with, but I will certainly keep up with his writings now. Pretty Girl Gone is the third in the series featuring Rushmore McKenzie. How he got his name is only part of the story, but the writing kept me going page after page. Yes there was action, the characters were clearly drawn, the problem solvable and the whole book was good. Not really a mystery nor was it suspense. More, I think, of a problem solved. Look for him. Everyone will enjoy the quiet but steady pacing.
Enough, out to shop. See you all soon.
Susan Schwarz is the director of the Moses Greeley Parker Library.