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Under My Skin by Sarah Dunant

23rd January 2006

Another Hannah Wolfe mystery. This one was my least favorite of the 3 that Dunant has written. She’s starting to fall into the predictable trap of Carolyn Keene, where you can predict who the bad guy is from the first time you meet him (or her).

Snowstorms in a Hot Climate

31st December 2005

Snowstorms in a Hot Climate : A NovelWhile Mapping the Edge was my favorite book by Dunant, this one was my least favorite. Marla travels from England to New York at the request of her friend Elly. Elly’s relationship with her cocaine-dealing boyfriend, Lenny, has gone sour, and she wants Marla’s help. But leaving Lenny is not as easy as Marla thinks it will be, and soon Marla is entangled as well.

While the book is somewhat suspenseful, it doesn’t really draw you in. You have a hard time sympathizing with Elly, as she knowingly and happily began a relationship with a coke dealer. And although you want Marla to help Elly, Marla’s actions don’t always make a whole lot of sense. All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

Mapping the Edge

31st December 2005

Mapping the Edge : A NovelThis book is by far my favorite one by Sarah Dunant. It is a suspensful page-turner that was impossible to put down. Anna is a single mother who took a quick trip by herself to Italy. When she doesn’t come back as planned, her friends begin looking for her. Did Anna run off and abandon her daughter, or was she kidnapped? The book and the solution to the mystery are completely unpredictable.

Birth Marks; Fatlands

31st December 2005

Birth Marks : A Hannah Wolfe Crime NovelFatlands : A Hannah Wolfe Crime Novel (Hannah Wolfe Crime Novels)If you enjoyed Nancy Drew books as a child (which I did) you will enjoy these two books by Sarah Dunant. Both are mysteries which are tackled by the amateur detective, Hannah Wolfe. In Birth Marks, Hannah must track down a missing dancer. In Fatlands, Hannah must find the killer of a young teenage girl. Both stories are enjoyable and suspenseful, but not frightening.

The Birth of Venus

31st December 2005

Alessandra lives in Renaissance Florence. She is passionate about art, although her passion is frowned upon by her family. When her father brings a painter into their home to paint the chapel walls, Alessandra is drawn to him, but ends up marrying a much older man. Meanwhile, tensions in Florence are rising between the Medicis and the upper class and the monk Savonarola.

The Birth of Venus : A NovelDunant typically writes mysteries, and although this book is not a mystery, there are definite elements of suspense and intrigue. I enjoy reading books about Italy so much more, since I traveled there, and this book was no exception. I know there was a lot of symbolism and deeper meaning that I glossed over in this book, but the overall story was enjoyable.