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review 2016-11-18 02:36
Gino's Law - Candace Williams
Gino's Law:: For Every Action There's An Overreaction - Candace Williams

The subtitle for this book is, "For Every Action There's an Overreaction," a mantra that our antihero, Gino Gibaldi, inadvertently lives by. One of his neighbors -- a slimy lawyer -- turns up dead; when the cops stop by to chat with Gino, he mouths off to them, just sort of on general principles. Unfortunately, the cops have circumstantial evidence that he's the murderer, and Gino sure looks guilty to them. You'd think he'd wise up and straighten things out, wouldn't you? He wouldn't overreact and run from the law, would he? Of course he would. And then things really begin to get interesting.


Williams calls this a quirky mystery, and there's certainly a whodunit aspect to the plot. But the best part for me was the characterizations, from Gino the misanthrope, to the Miss Jean Louise, the beauty-prize-winning hamster owned by Gino's gay neighbor. I saw a couple of instances where the Spanish wasn't up to snuff (for instance, a native Spanish speaker would say problema, not problemo -- "no problemo" is American slang), but by and large, the book is well-written and well-edited.


If you're looking for a fun mystery story, you could do worse than Gino's Law. Highly recommended for readers who like humor with their whodunits.

Source: www.rursdayreads.com/2016/11/ginos-law-candace-williams.html
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review 2015-11-06 02:39
The Earthquake Doll - Candace Williams
The Earthquake Doll - Candace Williams

The Earthquake Doll is the sort of deceptively simple story that you keep thinking about, long after you've reached the end of the book.

It's 1952 in Japan. The victorious Americans have never left, and in fact are about to begin using Japan as a base of operations for the Korean War. Japan's traditional ways clash with modern American customs, and the Japanese are trying to make sense of it all.

Among those navigating this brave, new world is 16-year-old Miyoko. Her uncle has found her a position as a maid in the home of an American officer, and her mother and her mother's sister are arranging a marriage for her, even though she is too young to get married by traditional standards. And then Miyoko's cousin dies, and the foundation of her world really begins to shake. Somehow, she must find a way out of her dilemma without disgracing either herself or her family.

Williams is an excellent storyteller. I found myself rooting for Miyoko the whole way through the story. In addition, the author does her best to explain the Japanese words in the book, to the point of linking them to the glossary that she has helpfully included.

I'd recommend The Earthquake Doll to anyone with an interest in postwar Japan, Japanese culture, or fine storytelling.

Source: www.rursdayreads.com/2015/11/the-earthquake-doll-candace-williams.html
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