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The 16th Seduction by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro. Little, Brown and Company 2017. 348 pp.

I was going to review a book I had read which was interesting, intense and educational, but this winter has been so annoying that I read and am reviewing, a detective story that is entertaining. In other words a “beach” or “gloomy day” read.

Lindsay Boxer, a detective, and her husband Joe have hit a bump in their marriage and are living apart. They have decided to meet for dinner but, just as they are finishing their meal, there is huge explosion at the science museum across from the restaurant. They rush outside and run into a man who seems excited about the explosion and appears to be taking credit for it. Lindsay arrests him and Joe runs into the burning building to help people still trapped inside. While there he is seriously injured and ends up fighting for his life.

The suspect Connor Grant goes to trial, but quickly fires his lawyer and defends himself. He is an extremely devious and intelligent man and is acquitted. The police are sure he is guilty and that he will probably blow up something else.

That is the beginning and I think you will enjoy reading and finding out what happens next.    – C M.

Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene. Random House l969. 262 pp.

This novel’s two main characters are Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager and his Aunt Augusta. Henry is a very reserved man who leads a quiet life in a house near London. His main interest seems to be caring for his garden of dahlias. His life will change abruptly when his mother dies and at her funeral, he meets his aunt Augusta for the first time. Aunt Augusta is the complete opposite of her nephew. She is in her early seventies and has had quite an exciting life, lots of travels and many romances, the current one being a large and friendly African she calls Wordsworth.

Aunt Augusta loves to travel but now that she is older she feels she needs a companion, and she soon convinces Henry to accompany her to Paris. Not long after this he will find himself seated next to her on the Orient Express on their way to Istanbul. Unknown to Henry she is searching for her long lost lover Mr. Visconti who has a questionable background of which smuggling is the least of his shortcomings.

Back home for a while with his dahlias, Henry receives a message from his aunt urging him to join her in Paraguay. The journey to get there is rather hazardous, but what happens when Henry finally arrives is quite unbelievable and at times hilarious.

Graham Greene wrote 25 novels plus a number of non-fiction books and short stories. I had read a number of his books, but had never read this one.   – P.M.

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