Book Review by Brenda Repland
Adnan Khalil
Publish Date: 17 Apr 2018

Alhawadeth Media



The Bookworm


By Mitch Silver




  Review by Brenda Repland


Larissa Mendelovg Klimt, “Lara the Bookworm,” is a Russian historian and former Soviet chess champion.  In researching documents seized by the Soviets from Hitler’s bunker, she receives six Dictaphone recordings “of testimony by one of the men who started the Great Patriotic War.”  These are delivered by a very strange student of hers.  The recordings document (or purport to) the way in which a spy for the British was able to persuade Hitler to focus on Russia instead of the Allies.


Lara’s brother Lev is working in the Alaskan oil fields that the US President (“Mogul” to his Secret Service minders) has opened in the Wildlife Refuge area.  The President has promised the largest oil well in history but it is yet to appear after seven attempts.  When Len’s colleague is murdered, he inadvertently learns that there is no limit to what the American President will do or say to prove his point . . . including diverting Russian oil to American pipelines!


Meanwhile, Lara will discover the new secret pact negotiated by the nefarious Russian president and his recently elected American counterpart. 






The Bookworm


By Mitch Silver




  Review by Brenda Repland


In the latest of her Commissario Guido Brunetti series, Donna Leon shines a light on another kind of crime perpetrated on innocents in Venice.  This is not on tourists, but local Venetians themselves.


It all begins when a colleague of his wife Paola’s seeks Brunetti’s help in finding the drug dealer who is selling to the students of her son’s very exclusive private school.  On the heels of that meeting in Brunetti’s office at the Questura, the woman’s husband is found unconscious at the foot of a bridge after midnight. 


Though there appears to be no connection to drug dealing, the commissario’s investigation will lead him a tortuous path to a related scam. 


All the usual characters assist in this case:  the crafty and resourceful Signorina Elettra, secretary to Brunetti’s officious boss; fellow Commissario Claudia Griffoni and Inspector Vianello.


Leon’s series never fails to engage while immersing the reader in the sensual culture of Venice. 





The Good Pilot

Peter Woodhouse




Alexander McCall Smith




  Review by Brenda Repland


During World War II in Britain, the Women’s Land Army sent girls and women to do the work previously done by men now in military service.  Val Eliot was one of those, working on an English farm. 


One of her duties is to take charge of protecting a rescued border collie named Peter Woodhouse.  She’s very attached to him but when she meets an American pilot stationed at a base nearby, she realizes that Peter would be much happier around the service men.  The pilots take to him at once and anoint him Dog First Class, mascot of the U.S. Air Force. 


He even accompanies them on missions until a disaster jeopardizes the future of them all. 


It will be through Peter that Mike will come to know Ubi, a German corporal, who will have a profound affect on all their lives.


This is a heartwarming tale of the value of hope and faith during a most difficult time.




The Widows of Malabar Hill




Sujata Massey



Review by Brenda Repland


This launch of a new mystery series is set in 1920’s India and features Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s first female lawyer.  Inspired by the actual woman who made history as India’s first female attorney, this is a story rich with the culture of that period.


Perveen, replete with her legal degree from Oxford, has joined her father’s law firm, Mistry Law.  With a particular interest in women’s legal rights, Perveen is assigned to execute the will of Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim.  He has left three widows.  But when Perveen examines the paperwork, she sees that they have all assigned their inheritances to a charity.  There are other peculiarities in the paperwork which could preclude settlement.


The women live in full purdah (strict seclusion from men and the outside world) which means they are not knowledgeable about legal affairs.  Could they be the victims of a devious guardian?


Perveen’s investigation will turn dangerous with one murder and other attempts at murder.


This is a layered and most intriguing tale and a true page-turner.  We can hardly wait for the next in the series!

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