The Child Goddess

The Child Goddess

Louise Marley

In The Child Goddess Louise Marley introduces us to a future in which the Catholic Church, bowing to peer pressure, and the need for clergy to serve on Earth and various other worlds, has allowed an order of female priests, the Magdalenes, celebate Enquirers who have accepted Mary of Magdala as Christ’s first disciple.

Despite that, it’s not a religious novel, as much as it is a good first contact story. A power company on an obscure, mostly-oceanic world discovers an island of lost children, remnants of a 300 year old colony. There’s the inevitable skirmish, and one child is brought home to Earth, where Isabel, the Magdalene priest who is the lead character, is assigned as guardian, and with the help of a friend (which backstory, I’m hoping, is in one of the other books in this series) discovers the truth of the girl’s life and culture.

It’s an excellent novel as a stand-alone, and I enjoyed it as much for the plot as for Marley’s feminist sensibilities with regard to Catholocism.

I look forward to visiting her work again, in the future.

Peach Cobbler Murder

Peach Cobbler Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery with Recipes (Hannah Swansen Mysteries)

Joanne Fluke

Hannah Swenson owns a bakery called The Cookie Jar in a fictional town in Minnesota, and when she’s not pushing sugar, she solves crimes. The formula for a Culinary Mystery is not new: cozy murder mystery combined with a cookbook, but unlike Diane Mott Davidson’s tales, the mystery here is predictable, and the text is desperate for a good editor.

I confess that the book did inspire the need to make cobbler (mine was strawberry), and the recipe worked, for the most part, but I find it jarring to have the recipes within the chapters, and not grouped together at the end.