Friday, November 10, 2006

Recently Read Books

The Visitation by Frank Peretti: The sleepy, eastern Washington wheat town of Antioch has suddenly become a gateway for the supernatural-from sightings of angels and messianic images to a weeping crucifix. Then a self-proclaimed prophet mysteriously appears with an astounding message. The national media and the curious flock to the little town-a great boon for local business, but not for Travis Jordan. The burned-out former pastor has been trying to hide his past in Antioch. Now the whole world is headed to his backyard to find the Messiah, and in the process, every spiritual assumption he has ever held will be challenged. The startling secret behind this visitation ultimately pushes one man into a supernatural confrontation that will forever alter the lives of everyone involved.

Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels: The quilt captured Rachel Grant's imagination. An antique bridal quilt, which appeared under mysterious circumstances in the vintage clothing shop where Rachel worked, it drew her as if it had been made for her. It was beautiful, mesmerizing ... almost eerily fascinating. She little dreamed that it might hold secrets better left undisturbed. Rachel had never been able to resist the allure of finely crafted textiles from times gone by. Her research into women's crafts led her to believe that through the ages women had woven protective magic into the fabric of all they fashioned for their rites of passage: birth, marriage, and death. It never occurred to Rachel that the same power used to protect could also be used to harm. But day by day she saw and felt the power grow - the quilt was influencing her thoughts, her actions. And this was not the benign white magic of her imagination. Much as Rachel's rational mind longed to deny such an uncanny phenomenon, the aura of evil emanating from the quilt was all too frighteningly real. The carefully crafted heirloom carried a sinister legacy into the present, something that threatened to destroy the people Rachel loved.

The Flanders Panel by Auturo Perez-Reverte: A fifteenth-century painting by a Flemish master is about to be auctioned when Julia, a young art restorer, discovers a peculiar inscription hidden in a corner: Who killed the knight? In the painting, the Duke of Flanders and his knight are locked in a game of chess, and a dark lady lurks mysteriously in the background. Julia is determined to solve the five-hundred-year-old murder, but as she begins to look for clues, several of her friends in the art world are brutally murdered in quick succession. Messages left with the bodies suggest a crucial connection between the chess game in the painting, the knight's murder, the sordid underside of the contemporary art world, and the latest deaths. Just when all of the players in the mystery seem to be pawns themselves, events race toward a shocking conclusion. A thriller like no other, The Flanders Panel presents a tantalizing puzzle for any connoisseur of mystery, chess, art, and history.

Search the Shadows by Barbara Michaels:Haskell Maloney's mother named her after an Oriental museum, and three months later died, leaving the baby girl, whose father had already been killed in Vietnam, in the care of a loving aunt. Grown up and engaged to be married, Haskell discovers she is a carrier of Tay-Sachs disease, most unlikely for the offspring of an Irish Catholic father and a Pennsylvania Dutch mother. She breaks off her engagement to begin the quest to learn her true paternity. Before becoming pregnant, her mother had been a student at the Oriental Institute in Chicago; Haskell's treasured possessions include snapshots taken there of her mother, Kevin Maloney, the man she married, and other friends. Haskell persuades one of the men in the pictures, now a professor, to take her on as unpaid summer help at the Institute, which still is in the unyielding grip of Victor Nazarian, a profoundly wealthy, ill and elderly eccentric, whose only son, also in the photos, died in the late '60s in an explosion caused by a home-made bomb. Her paternity now seriously in doubt, Haskell thinks she could be Nazarian's heir along with his daughter, who is married to another of the men in the pictures. Haskell's suppositions mount as does the danger she finds herself ina drink is poisoned and the cottage she lives in is rifled, then set afire. Finally she must also question who it is that wants her dead. A rousing chase through dark museum halls brings surprising facts to light, and helps Haskell decide where true love lies.

There's Something About Christmas by Debbie Macomber: Emma Collins has always believed that the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who love fruitcake and those who don't. She's firmly in the second category, so it's ironic that her major assignment for the Puyallup, Washington, Examiner is a series of articles about . . . fruitcake. At least it's a step up from writing obituaries. Her task is to interview the finalists in a fruitcake recipe contest, and that means traveling around the state. Actually . . . flying around the state. Local pilot Oliver Hamilton, who's starting an airfreight business, has agreed to take her wherever she needs to go, in exchange for free advertising. Unfortunately Emma hates small planes -- almost as much as she hates fruitcake. But in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Emma falls for Oliver (who's not quite the Scrooge he sometimes seems) and his mutt, Oscar (who's allergic to her perfume, which makes him sneeze repeatedly). And she meets three wise women who know a lot about fruitcake -- and even more about life.

Book info from

1 comment:

Laurie ten Berge said...

FYI: It would actually be very likely that Haskell would be a carrier of Tay-Sachs disease, coming from Irish offspring. Besides Ashkenazi Jews, Cajun Americans, and French Canadians being high carriers of the deadly gene, 1 in 50 Irish Americans are also carriers of the Tay-Sachs gene.


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