25. DeFede, Jim
The Day The World Came To Town
Such an uplifting account blending many voices of the real people (those whose airplanes had been stranded and the residents and institutions throughout Newfoundland) who were thrown together on 9/11, when 38 planes landed in Gander. I was so overcome with emotion, that I reread it before I had to return it.
26. Goldsborough, Robert
Murder In E Minor
My first Nero Wolfe (and sidekick Archie) book. Don't know whether I'll read another one. 'Nuff said.
27. Gaiman, Neil
My first Gaiman novel. It'll be a while before I try another one, though I'd hope if I do I'll find a different sensibility. I had a really hard time with the violence of life "below" – even if it gave the protagonist everything he'd been lacking above in his so-far lacklustre life. But, especially after "Life of Pi", I just couldn't handle the rawness.
28. Truman, Margaret
Murder at the Opera
Yes, I checked. She was the daughter of Harry S. and lived in the White House for a few years. Didn't check for sure, but it seems as if all of her mysteries were set in the D.C. area. This one was weird, involving an al-Qaeda plot, stupid young musicians (from Toronto!), their deceptive musical agents (also from Toronto!), who got involved (the former inadvertently) in a plot to kill as many U.S. politicians on a single day with the pinnacle being the Pres. attending the opera and opera ball. Add loathsome spy handlers, people getting bumped off left and right (including suicide). No, I don't think I'll read any of her other ... mysteries.
29. Mitchell, Gladys
Death at the Opera
This was an odd, quirky story, set in a coeducational day school in England. The eventual victim, one of the schoolmistresses who funds the performance of "The Mikado" by the staff, is someone nobody really liked, even though she was an inoffensive creature. But her performance of Katisha was so unpleasant during the dress rehearsal that the ancient makeup artist (a former performer herself) decided to make things right by drowning her in the restroom between acts, thereby allowing the truly melodious understudy to continue on in the role. Lots of red herrings including a student who'd posed nude on school grounds for a sculpture by the arts master ... and other drownings.
30. Myron, Vicki
Dewey (the library cat)
Oh, my paws and whiskers. How I cried at the end of the book at the death of this cat after having read of all his triumphs and setbacks, his cattish ways and how he affected the lives of so many in one small town, eventually acquiring global renown. Added to this were the autobiographical hardships in the author's life (personal, financial, medical) that left me grateful that she'd had the companionship of this particular cat during his life (except for about eight weeks following his birth).
31. Peters, Ellis
Funeral of Figaro
A fascinating tale of an opera company, whose director (captain) and many of the staff (his former crew) had served on the same vessel during the war. "Marriage of Figaro" is but one of several operas the company is presenting. The singer playing Figaro is a despicable man (and it gets worse as we continue reading to the extent that we're basically glad someone killed him). He is murdered during a performance setting up many alibis. There are many suspects, including the director's daughter who'd been accepting Figaro's attentions and the woman who'd been married to Figaro (he'd used a different name and was willing to have her captured by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp; yes, a real charmer, NOT). Add to the mix a police inspector who's trying to match the murder weapon (the "ornamental" sword worn by the director's daughter) to the most likely suspect. Lots of twists and turns, including an attempt on the inspector's life, to keep the reader entertained.
32. Siciliano, Sam
The Angel of the Opera
(the further adventures of Sherlock Holmes)
A strange mashup of the familiar Phantom story with touches of Holmesian capacity to solve a problem (actually two) neatly while exhibiting unexpected humanity and compassion for the Phantom. This is the author's response to the "What if" question. Well worth the read, even if you're getting bored by reading about the shallowness of the Viscount and Christine's obsession tinged with a religious fervor.
33. Freed, Alexander
Star Wars: Rogue One
Oh, how I wish I'd read this before or shortly after seeing the movie. There were too many characters so I had trouble telling them apart on screen (okay, so, yes, there were those that couldn't be anyone else: Jyn, K-2, Chirrut) ... but the rest are a blur in my mind. The book is huge because EVERYBODY gets their thoughts dissected.