Monday, May 26, 2008

Grace Will Lead Me Home

by Robin Givens,
Miramax, 2007

Most of us know Givens as an actor and as the former wife of boxer, Mike Tyson. It was a marriage that we could have predicted would fail. So when I saw this book on the shelf of my local library, I was intrigued by its title, which hints at the author's spiritual journey.

The story is fascinating. Givens' grandmother and mother were both victims of spousal abuse and left their husbands. While Robin's mother, Ruth, did an excellent job of raising Robin and her sister on her own, the absence of a father left a huge hole in Robin's heart. Furthermore, she felt very much under her mother's thumb during the early years. As a young adult, Givens defied her mother by pursuing an acting career, and rebelled again in marrying Tyson. The union nearly destroyed her and it was not until long after she left Mike that she finally found the wholeness she was searching for in a connection with Heavenly Father.

Women who are in abusive relationships (or have been), or who have experienced fatherlessness will find much to connect with in this book. I had a hard time putting it down. The author relates the facts while remaining gracious to, and forgiving of, her former husband.

My only disappointment is that Givens stops short of filling in some important gaps for the reader. The only post-Tyson relationship she reports on is one she had with Brad Pitt, but she had two sons by other men after her first marriage dissolved. I am sure that the choices she made after leaving Tyson also played a part in her journey "home".

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Foul Deeds

by Linda Moore
Vagrant Press, 2007

Rosalind works as a researcher for a private investigator named McBride. She also has a sideline as a script analyst for a production of Shakespeare's Hamlet. In the process of investigating an apparent heart attack that may have been murder, art and life are found to mirror each other.

A director of plays herself, Moore has the inside scoop on all things theatrical and uses this to her advantage in creating the drama that is Foul Deeds. Set in Halifax, the mystery novel is one of the best I've read in ages, and Canadian to boot. Subtitled a Rosalind mystery, I hope this means that future installments are to come.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sleight of Hand

by Robin Hathaway
Thomas Dunne Books,

Third in the Jo Banks mystery series. Jo Banks is a motel doctor who consistently runs headlong into danger. Shortly after a dead body is discovered on the side of a road in South Jersey, Jo finds herself performing hand surgery in a farmhouse kitchen. Why does the patient, Max, not want to go to the hospital? Is the printing press that caught his hand used for sinister purposes? Where is Max's wife and what does his Down syndrome daughter know and understand?

Initially held at gunpoint, Jo continues to see Max as a patient and to keep his existence a secret. She becomes compelled to know the truth about who he is, and how/if he ties in with the execution- style murder that opened the story.

Hathaway keeps the reader spellbound through many twists and turns in the plot. Jo is an engaging heroine, and the supporting characters are well drawn. I can't wait to read the next in the series, or in Hathaway's other series, the Dr. Fenimore mysteries. Check out for information about forthcoming titles.