To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

It moves from the interior thoughts and emotions of its characters to the historic events that surround them, to the interaction of people across social, cultural and language boundaries, all while sucking you into this gripping story of a fantastical expedition and its impact on both the future and the lives of a young marriage.

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Tracking the Beast by Henry Kisor

What Kisor offers is a police procedural/mystery with an interesting hook and the people, history and culture of the Upper Peninsula as a setting and important background. Having gotten to know Steve Martinez and his world it is easy reading to slip back into that world as he tackles the latest mystery.

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The Eskimo Solution by Pascal Garnier

I usually stray away from noir-themed books due to their very nature, but this book intrigued me based on the plot. Like all noir novels, this is a bleak and depressing story. Despite the very dark nature, Garnier writes beautifully. He captures the scenes in the book perfectly by allowing the reader easily visualize the scenes.

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The Angels Die by Yasmina Khadra

Khadra captures Turambo's guttural feelings for his surroundings - whether they are in the ring entertaining Europeans or in the brothel. Her descriptions leap from the page and engage the reader. A good look at colonial Algeria from the perspective of an Arab-Berber.

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A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi

A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi is not the typical book that I read. It is set in a war-torn country, but it is nothing about war.  It’s a story about women in Afghanistan and how they survive in a male-dominated society. A bit about the plot from the publisher: For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home...

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The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

An entertaining and well done novella. Scalzi/Quinto drop you into the story and keep you interested from the start. It has an interesting hook and some well done twists. For such a short story, the characters were developed and seemed quite believable in their actions and motivations. Part urban fantasy, part police procedural, part mystery.

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