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Book of the Week: Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch

It was just another day in Arizona – and then the monster showed up.

Marketing manager, Katherine ‘Kitty’ Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught up on. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple – a domestic dispute that looked like it was about to turn ugly. But ugly didn’t even begin to cover it when the “man” suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone else was doing. Instead, she got mad, searched her purse for a weapon and, armed with a Mont Blanc pen, sprinted into action to take down the alien.

In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a tall handsome hunk of a guy in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, examined the body, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with ‘the agency’, called out to an Armani-clad colleague to perform crowd control, and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his “boss”.

And that was how Kitty’s new life among the aliens began.

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Recent Review

Dreaming of the Bones (1997) [novel]
Review by michael a draper (2015-04-21)
Deborah Crombie provides her fans a mystery that spans all the way back to WWI.

The intricate story tells of Lydia Brooke, a poet. When she was a student at Cambridge in the 1960s, she emulated her namesake, Edwardian poet, Rupert Brooke.

Lydia died five years prior to the events in this story. Her death was attributed to suicide.

Dr. Vic McClellan, Duncan Kincaid's former wife, calls him out of the blue and asks for his help. Duncan and his lover, Gemma Jones, have a comfortable life together. Duncan is a police superintendent at Scotland Yard and Gemma is a police sergeant there.

Gemma is a bit uncomfortable with Duncan seeing his former wife but doesn't say anything. While Duncan hadn't heard from Vic since she walked out on him twelve years ago, he agrees to help.

When he does, the fun begins. The complexity winds up and the literary characters jump out of the page.

Vic is doing a biography on Lydia and something about her death doesn't seem right. She wants Duncan to look at the case.

Although it's not in Duncan's district and he takes vacation to investigate, the facts begin to unravel.

There is a major surprise and a list of characters who might be guilty of murder. Alfred Hitchcock would be watering at the mouth thinking about directing this novel as a movie.

We visit the historical times back to WWI when Rupert Brooke died in 1915. Crumbie tells us that Brooke never saw action during the war. He died of blood poisoning at Division Field Day and when Churchill and other officials read his sonnets about the war, they thought he'd make a good martyr.

There is good insight into the character of Lydia through the newsy letters she writes to her mother.

Overall, interesting, an excellent police procedural and as Duncan and Emma examine the suspects, it is a story that captivates the reader.

(This review refers to the 1997 version titled “Dreaming of the Bones”)

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