Thanks for stopping by. We are back to whatever “normal” is after two weeks of scary fire storms. Nearly everyone I’ve talk to was affected by the fires, either through the death of a loved one, the loss of a home and/or a job. Personally, our family, friends are neighbors are all safe, although the two medical buildings where I go were burned and my favorite Trader Joe’s. Everyone will rebuild. It will just require time. We did have a nice day of rain which helped wth the fires and the hopes of residents. It brought my family back to doing normal things like reading.
I’ve been reading the novels of William Kent Krueger for two years now. With only two exceptions, all his novels are mysteries staring Cork O”Connor, a former sheriff in northern Minnesota. Prior to this month I had read nine books. I know the author just released his latest book (the sixteenth) in August and I’ve been feeling the need to catch up. So I challenged myself to complete as many as possible. I managed to complete four books.
The main thing I like about these books are the characters. Cork O’Connor is a private investigator who loves his family, his small town, and the great wilderness that is northern Minnesota. Cork also has strong personal values and tries to practice the wisdom taught him by Henry Meloux, his wise mentor and friend from the Ojibwe tribe.
Within the series we get to know the whole O’Connor family. The mystery in each book is usually something that has come up naturally within the story. Cork has three children – now all teenagers when I begin Thunder Bay. Henry Meloux is in every book as is the local sheriff and deputies. Various other characters show up from time to time and it’s always nice to see them.
Each book tells a different story. In Thunder Bay Henry Meloux asks Cork to find his long-lost son. He traces him to Thunder Bay in Canada, but soon Henry’s life is threatened. Could it be his son trying to kill him?
In Red Knife, Cork is caught in the middle of a conflict involving a powerful white father and his people and an Ojibwe gang. The father’s daughter died from her meth addiction which the father believes is the fault of an Ojibwe gang who supplied the meth. Cork tries to find the truth of the execution style murder before a war breaks out in his county.
My favorite book of this foursome is Northwest Angle. The whole O’Connor family is on a houseboat vacation when a freak storm descends and leads Cork and his oldest daughter, Jenny, to discover the dead body of a yoiung woman and, nearby, an infant daughter still alive. First the family tries to figure out who the woman and baby are and then they find them selves caught in a strange war between an island compound of religious “end-of-days” people and gun-toting locals. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and what is going on?
Trickster’s Point, the fourth book I read is chock full of mysterious clues and tons of who-and-how-did-they-do-it. Cork is invited to go hunting with a childhood friend who is running for governor. They are way out in the wilderness when the friend is killed with an arrow that is an exact duplicate of Cork’s. Lots of folks believe this to be an open and shut case with Cork as the guilty party. Cork has to hustle to get through all the various options. This was really complicated.
As you can see this is an excellent series, well worth exploring. Because the characters grow, start at the beginning with Iron Lake.
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Away From the Blog:
How lovely it was to get out to the movies this week! (Our favorite movie theater was spared during the fires.) My husband and I saw Victoria and Abdul. I am a Judi Dench fan, so I was excited to see she was staring in this new movie. Ms. Dench plays the British queen, Victoria, in the later years of her reign. Judi Dench was perfect in the role and, as you can see from the picture, quite beautiful. Victoria was queen over the great British Empire which covered a great deal of the world. The movie featured her during the last years of her life when, I think, she was bored with all the ceremony of being the queen. And then along comes a man, Abdul, from India to present her with a ceremonial coin. Victoria saw something different in Abdul and she asked him to be her teacher. A friendship grew from that, but her family and household resented Abdul. After all, he was of a different race and religion. I liked the story and, in particular, the photography of somer specular scenery. There is another point of view on this movie: My husband thought it was slow and it dragged a lot. Be warned: there are no car chases in this movie. However, if you’re a Judi Dench fan, go see her in this movie.
That’s it for me this week. Happy Reading everyone.