Robert Ludlum’s (TM) The Janus Reprisal by Jamie Freveletti

Jon Smith is a biologist working in the U.S. Army. He is also an undercover agent for Covert-1, a super secret intelligence branch of the government. He is at a hotel in The Hague for a conference when it is attacked by terrorists. One of the terrorists is carrying 3 pictures – one of Smith, one of a British intelligence agent, and one of an unknown woman.

I like thrillers. I’ve read the rest of the books in this series and like the characters. This one was fairly weak though. It started out well. But then it seemed to throw in a lot of elements that didn’t go together smoothly.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Dodger is a street kid in Victorian London. He’s a tosher – a person who combs the sewers looking for valuable objects. One night he sees a woman being attacked and steps in to save her. This action brings him to the attention of the bad guys and even worse, to the attention of the good guys.

I love Terry Pratchett. I’ve had this release date on my calendar for months. I didn’t even know what it was about. I just wanted to read it. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a Discworld book. It is one of his YA novels. Once I got over that though I was quite happy.

Dodger meets up with many people on his accidental rise through society – Charles Dickens, Disraeli, Sweeney Todd. He’s doing his best not to let all this attention go to his head and to find a way to save the girl. If that requires dressing like an old lady occasionally and nicking a dead body, so be it.

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

Alice is starting to realize that she is dissatisfied in her marriage when she is invited to participate in a research study about marriage. She is assigned the name “Wife 22” and her contact is “Researcher 101.” She is sent questions about her life and marriage to answer. The answers lead her to start thinking more deeply about her life and what she would like to change.

This book was a light read. I found it predictable but it was perfect for reading by the pool on vacation.

Rashi’s Daughters, Book I: Joheved: A Novel of Love and the Talmud in Medieval France by Maggie Anton

Johaved is the eldest daughter of a Talmudic scholar in medieval France. She wins the right to study with her father’s students even though she is female. She is not interested in typical female pursuits like marriage and babies so she is distressed when she is betrothed. Will her new husband allow her to continue her studies or will he be ashamed of having an educated wife?

I love the way this author writes historical fiction. It feels very real without getting bogged down in endless details that exist just to show off how much research was done. I find these books slightly frustrating because so much of their world is given over to arguing points of medicine and science that we know aren’t true but I’m sure that in a thousand years people will say the same things about our modern society. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series about the other sisters in the family. Each of the girls are very different so it will be interesting seeing each girl’s perspective of life in 11th century France.