February 22, 2011

The Minutes of the Lazarus Club by Tony Pollard (4 stars)

Of all the genred fiction that we provide at Camden Council Library Services, the Mystery genre is probably the most diffuse and varied. From the complicated puzzlers of Agatha Christie, to the crime thrillers of Patricia Cornwell and Lee Child, there’s certainly a lot to choose from. The book reviewed here fits into another sub-type- historical mysteries.

This medium sized novel is an enjoyable mystery/thriller set in the Victorian era. The main character is an established doctor in London whose expertise in the heart leads him into the path of entrepreneurs and iconoclasts that defined the progression of the Victorian era. As he becomes more and more entwined with the ‘Lazarus Club’, a group of well known individuals who fear their ideas may be too revolutionary for the general public, our poor protagonist is thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse as an important object is put into his care.

The strengths of this novel lie in good characterisation and a well-paced plot. The main characters are human, with understandable motives and great quirks. There’s also a good balance between chases and intense moments as well as quieter exploration of the finer points of the plot. However, at times the language gets a little bit out of hand (think Arthur Conan Doyle on one too many red cordials) and a romance between Florence Nightingale and the main characters seemed a little ridiculous, which endangered the believability of the work on a whole. But on the whole- fun, complex, and exciting. Lovers of Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, and other historically based mysteries will certainly like this one!

Check availability of The Minutes of the Lazarus Club at Camden Council Library Services.

February 17, 2011

Top 5 Thrillers

Thiller- An intense genre mixed between our general fiction and mystery collections. Thrillers aim to get the blood pumping with high-paced action and suspense. It'll definitely keep you guessing! Check out these top 5 thrillers available @ Camden and Narellan libraries.

February 15, 2011


Latest Update

CLANCY, Tom Dead or alive (out now)
COATES, Frank Softly calls the Serengeti (March)
CUSSLER, Clive The jungle (February)
SMITH, Wilbur Those in peril (April)

ALDERSON, Maggie Shall we dance (out now)
KELLY, Cathy Homecoming (out now)
MANSELL, Jill To the moon and back (March)
O’FLANAGAN, Sheila Season to remember (out now)

ALEXANDER, Nicole A changing land (March)
ARCHER, Jeffrey Only time will tell (March)
BINCHY, Maeve Minding Frankie (out now)
COURTENAY, Bryce Fortune cookie (out now)
DOCTOROW, E L All the time in the world (March)
EDWARDS, Kim The lake of dreams (out now)
EVANS, Nicholas The brave (out now)
FRANZEN, Jonathan Freedom (out now)
JACOBSON, Howard The Finkler question (out now)
JONES, Gail Five bells (February)
McINERNEY, Monica At home with the Templetons (out now)
MORRISSEY, Di The plantation (out now)
TORDAY, Paul More than you can say (February)
TROLLOPE, Joanna Daughters-in-law (March)

BALDACCI, David Hell’s corner (out now)
BROWN, Sandra Tough customer (out now)
CHILD, Lee Worth dying for (out now)
COBEN, Harlan Live wire (April)
COLE, Martina The family (out now)
CONNELLY, Michael The reversal (out now)
CORNWELL, Patricia Port Mortuary (out now)
CRAIS, Robert The sentry (out now)
DEAVER, Jeffery Edge (out now)
FAIRSTEIN, Linda Silent mercy (March)
FIELDING, Joy Now you see her (February)
FOX, Kathryn Death mask (out now)
GARDNER, Lisa Love you more (March)
GREENWOOD, Kerry Out of the black land (out now)
GRISHAM, John The confession (out now)
HOAG, Tami Secrets to the grave (out now)
Kellerman, Jonathan Mystery (April)
PARETSKY, Sara Body work (out now)
PATTERSON, James 10th anniversary (April)
PATTERSON ,James Tick, tock (out now)
PATTERSON, James Toys (March)
ROBB, J D Indulgence in death (out now)
ROBB, J D Treachery in death (March)

BRADFORD, Barbara Taylor Playing the game (out now)
PALMER, Fiona Heart of gold (March)
SPARKS, Nicholas Safe haven (out now)
STEEL, Danielle 44 Charles Street (March)

FEIST, Raymond A kingdom besieged (March)
HOBB, Robin The inheritance (April)
KING, Stephen Full dark, no stars (out now)
KOONTZ, Dean What the night knows (out now)
SIMMONS, Dan Flashback (March)

(UPDATED 11th February, 2011)

February 14, 2011

Review: The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

This review comes from one of our library members. Thanks Liam!

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay is a touching and inspiring story set in South Africa. The story is engaging and interesting. Many parts of it are quite depressing while other parts are quite uplifting.

The story follows the main character, Peekay, from the age of five to seventeen. and is written from his perspective. It seems that an older Peekay is looking back on his life and is writing it down. Peekay is very easy character to like. When he falls into hardship you feel sorry for him. He’s unnaturally gifted at many things, this takes away from the realism but you don’t notice at the time.

A recurring theme throughout the novel is racism within the South African community. Nearly every single person that Peekay meets is racially intolerant of varying races of people. Peekay himself is a victim of racism. As a small boy he is victimized for being English. This is interesting because it’s usually the other way round. Peekay himself never discriminates people based on race. Doc, Peekays’s best friend, is the only other person who seems to be unbiased.

There are some very remarkable characters and moments in the story. Many inspirational characters that give important phrases to live by e.g. “First with your head and then with your heart.”

Bryce Courtenay has done a good job at creating inspirational characters and a memorable storyline. This is a great novel to read.

February 09, 2011

Booklist: Brilliant Biographies

What makes a good bio? A great story, a great pace, great people? What about important events, or the little things in life? Well, this booklist below features biographies that bring something new and vibrant to the story-telling of real people and events.

Love in the age of drought – Fiona Higgins
Chosen by a Horse – Susan Richards
Escape -Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer

A big Little Life – Dean Koontz
The man who lives with wolves - Shaun Ellis with Penny Junor.
Marley and me: life and love with the world’s worst dog – John Grogan

Just click the title to go to a catalogue entry and make a reservation for pick-up at your local branch.