I've been a fan of Rick Riordan's YA books ever since [profile] miyyu recommended The Lightning Thief several years back. I've meant since that time to check out his mystery novels for adults as well, but just recently got around to reading the first one, Big Red Tequila.

The main character, Tres Navarre, has just returned to his hometown of San Antonio, TX, for the first time in 10 years. He left after his father's still-unsolved murder, but has come back hoping to reunite with his former girlfriend, Lillian, and hopefully find some answers about his dad's death. Lillian, his mom, and one old friend seem to be the only people in the entire city who are happy to see Tres back, as he clearly inherited his father's talent for stirring up trouble. Action, mystery, tai chi, tequila drinking and several near-death experiences ensue.

Tres is an engaging and likeably flawed character, and his cat, Robert Johnson, is even more awesome. The mystery was fun and intriguing, and I didn't anticipate the ending, which is always a plus. I can't say that the book drew me in the way that the Percy Jackson books did, but I think that's a combination of this being Riordan's first book and the fact that the setting isn't one into which I'd want to be drawn. Intense heat and tequila are two things I find extremely unpleasant, and Riordan wrote about both in vivid enough detail that I could sometimes feel the headache that I'd get from either, yellow and red and burning behind my eyes. Also, the scenes with Tres' half-brother Garrett, whom I very much enjoyed in general, had the unfortunate side effect of getting Jimmy Buffet songs stuck in my head and, well, let's just say I'm not a fan.

Still, I enjoyed Tres and the story overall, and I definitely want to read the next one in the series, the book for which Riordan won the Edgar Award. It won't be immediately (in fact, I just got Riordan's newest YA novel, the second of the Kane Chronicles, from the library), but I'll check it out at some point when I've made more progress on the rest of my to-read list.
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After not-so-patiently waiting for several weeks, I finally got Julia Spencer-Fleming's new book, One Was a Soldier, from the library. Despite my goal to savor it, especially since it may be a year or two before the next one is published, I couldn't help myself and just devoured it.

The story is centered around a therapy group for veterans who've recently returned from Iraq. largely free of spoilers beyond what one would infer from the title )
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