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Debra Hamel
North Haven, CT
Recent Activity
Katie Sise, Open House Amazon A decade before the book opens, art student Emma McCullough disappeared during a college party. Now, Emma's younger sister Haley is a student at the school herself. Her father holds out hope that Emma is... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at
Barbara Holland, When All the World Was Young Amazon I bought this book on October 12, 2007, which is the same day that I finished reading Bingo Night at the Fire Hall (my review), Holland's account of living on a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2021 at
Richard Russo, The Risk Pool Amazon One of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation is "The Inner Light," the one where Captain Picard is probed by an energy beam and left unconscious on the bridge. In the... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2021 at
Alexander McCall Smith, The Strange Case of the Moderate Extremists Amazon In this short addition (73 pages) to Alexander McCall Smith's Detective Varg series, Ulf and his colleagues in Sweden's Department of Sensitive Crimes look into a pair of insignificant... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2021 at
Gorman Bechard, Ninth Square Amazon I came for the location: Ninth Square, written by fellow Connecticut native Gorman Bechard, is set in and around New Haven, and there are lots of local references beyond the expected Yale and pizza—Willoughby's, Toad's... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2021 at
Latin: Beginners (Language Course) Latin: Lower Intermediate (Language Course) Latin: Upper Intermediate (Language Course) Greek: Beginners (Language Course) Greek: Lower Intermediate (Language Course) Greek: Intermediate (Language Course) Greek: Upper Intermediate (Language Course) Greek: Advanced (Language Course) Coptic: Beginners (Language Course)... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2021 at Summer Classics
Alexander McCall Smith, The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday Amazon This is the fifth book in Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series. If you're this far along, you'll know what you're in for: occasional reflections on philosophy, music, and art... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2021 at
Adam Mitzner, The Perfect Marriage Amazon This story has sort of a strange arc. Jessica and James are happily celebrating their first anniversary, but their "perfect marriage" was built on the backs of two destroyed relationships. Both exes are on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2021 at
Robert Goddard, Never Go Back Amazon Back in England for his mother's funeral, Harry Barnett winds up traveling to a Scottish castle for a 50th reunion weekend with his old RAF buddies. They'd been involved in an experiment at the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2021 at
John Marrs, The Passengers Amazon John Marrs' The Passengers takes place in the same universe as his earlier novel The One (my review)—a not too distant future in which cool scientific advances tend to have unpleasant unintended consequences. In The... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2021 at
Bonnie Marson, Sleeping with Schubert Amazon Liza Durbin was in the women's shoes department at Nordstrom's when she was inhabited—literally, not figuratively—by the spirit of Franz Schubert. She sat down at the store's baby grand piano and played a piece... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2020 at
Louis Bayard, The School of Night Amazon In this 2010 novel, Louis Bayard twists the story of a modern treasure hunt around a centuries-old romance. "The School of Night" refers to a secret group of 16th-century intellectuals—among them Sir Walter... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at
Chevy Stevens, Never Knowing Amazon The premise of this book kept me reading: An adopted woman's search for her birth parents goes about as badly as it possibly could when she finds out that her father's a serial killer and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2020 at
Alexander McCall Smith, The Right Attitude to Rain (Book 3) Amazon Things are heating up in Edinburgh! (And in Dallas, for that matter.) And love is in the air, at least for a couple of happy couples. This time out,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2020 at
Ken Follett, The Evening and the Morning Amazon I've been reading Ken Follett's novels for some 40 years. Used to be, he was the one author whose books I'd snatch up the moment they were published. I kind of fell... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2020 at
Michael Finkel, True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa Amazon Shortly after Michael Finkel was fired by the New York Times for journalistic misbehavior, the story of a lifetime fell in his lap. A man named Chris Longo was in police... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2020 at
Linda Keir, Drowning with Others Amazon Andi and Ian Copeland were the "it" couple at Glenlake Academy. Twenty years and one seemingly perfect marriage later, their daughter Cassidy is a senior at the prep school. But when a car is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2020 at
Luke Smitherd, The Man on Table Ten Amazon Luke Smitherd's novella The Man on Table Ten poses an interesting question: What would you do to ensure your survival if the fate of the world depended on it? Smitherd's story is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2020 at
About Debra Hamel Debra Hamel studied classics as an undergraduate at The Johns Hopkins University and again as a graduate student at Yale, where she specialized in ancient history. Since receiving her Ph.D. in 1996 she has published a number of scholarly articles and reviews as well as publications for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at
John Harwood, The Ghost Writer Amazon John Harwood’s gothic novel The Ghost Writer centers on Gerard, a boy of 13 when the book starts, growing up in Australia, who begins a penpal correspondence with an orphaned English girl named Alice.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2020 at
Edward Dolnick, The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece Amazon In this very readable narrative, Edward Dolnick writes about the 1994 theft of Edvard Munch's Scream (or one version of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2020 at
Gregg Hurwitz, Into the Fire Amazon Into the Fire details Orphan X's latest--and maybe his final--mission This time, he's contacted on his super secure RoamZone phone by Max Merriweather, a down-on-his-luck construction worker who lands in serious trouble after his... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2020 at
Rachel Hoffman, Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess Amazon This is a book about cleaning that might have been written by your therapist. Rachel Hoffman--who doesn't seem to be a therapist in fact--gives advice about cleaning, sure, but... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2020 at
Loreth Anne White, In the Dark Amazon In the Dark is a story about what happens when a group of people is put in a real-life Survivor-type situation. Eight guests and their pilot are invited to go on an all-expenses-paid... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2020 at
Lee Goldberg, Lost Hills Amazon This is the first book in a new series by Lee Goldberg, author of a bajillion books, including the late Monk series, which I enjoyed a lot. This one is a police procedural focused on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at