Book Review: Betty Hechtman, Hooked On Murder (A Crochet Mystery #1)

Charming debut of a murder mystery series centered around a group of charity crocheters. Molly Pink shares a talent for earnestness and screw ups a la Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum and possesses an equally endearing cute cop boyfriend. When she’s the main suspect in the murder that opens page one, she and her best friend Dinah set out to clear her name, learning to crochet while infiltrating the group formerly headed by the now dead victim. As power struggles among the crocheters mount, Molly finds herself unraveling one knot after another as she narrows down her own list of suspects, while at the same time juggling her job, newish widowhood status, and figuring out how to handle her feelings for the boyfriend the detective who has it in her for also has eyes on. A fast, fun read that made me want to pick up my hooks as soon as I finished. Includes a recipe and a crochet pattern in back.


Book Review: Joseph Conrad (author), Matt Kish (illustrator), Heart of Darkness

Having read a bunch of Conrad’s shorter stories but only ever parts of his dark classic I decided to when this illustrated edition was released after seeing an excerpt in Tin House Magazine and am glad I did. Kish’s vision of the horror (the horror) contained within Conrad’s tale within a tale is a hellaciously beautiful world I had a hard time leaving but couldn’t wait to get out of. Highly recommended.

Book Review: Margaret Atwood, The Heart Goes Last

A young married couple tries to survive social upheaval in a world post-economic collapse embroiled in turmoil. Forced to live in their car on cheery Charmaine’s meager wages earned during slow shifts at the sleazy bar PixelDust while her friends turn tricks in one of the cleverly named corners, somewhat more cynical Stan vigilantly drives around to avoid being pillaged by roving gangs, who keep them from ever getting a good night’s sleep, and entertains hooking up with his long shunned brother Con when a unique opportunity presents itself. The Positron Project proposes a solution in the form of a working prison system/gated community, where selected applicants spend one month working a job selected for them and living in a project funded home, with living behind bars in the Positron prison, intermingled with inmates from outside, who spend their entire lives behind bars. The idea is for the alternating prisoners to model good behavior for those doing real time and appeals instantly to Charmaine, who sees a stable life and a secure future in the venture. Against the advice of his brother, Stan reluctantly goes along. Each find themselves challenging the core of who they really are, and how solid their relationship really is, after they become accepted into The Positron Project and a dark world beyond their imaginings. Told with her characteristic sharp wit and dry humour, a perfect balance for the more serious and bleak scenarios Atwood envisions for our very near future.