A Creepy Trip to New York (With My New License Plate!)

Yes, it arrived! I am now a proud vanity plate owner. Of course it took two of us, and hours of time, and multiple trips to the hardware store to get the old license plate off because of rusty screws. In the end my husband did succeed, and while we were at it, we put on the license plate holder that a friend sent me when I won the March Madness pool among a bunch of college friends last spring. You see, and apologies to any of you who live in Cranston, but Cranston is a bit of a joke for Rhode Islanders who don’t live in Cranston. It isn’t particularly scenic, and people there have a very pronounced accent. I grew up in Rhode Island, and I went to Brown for college. That means there are lots of people in my life who joke about Cranston. A few weeks after I won the March Madness pool, this license plate holder showed up in my mail. I’m not sure how long I’ll leave it on the car, but I had to put it on at least for a picture. We bought stainless steel screws, so at least we have the choice of taking it off later. Anyhow, I’m very excited about the license plate. And if you see it and can tell me where and when, you get any book you want from my collection (but you might have to wait for me to read it first).

And I’m another book closer to some big points in my rainbow challenge thing. I’ve had another guilty pleasure read–this one a yellow book–and now I get what my brother-in-law sees in Preston and Child.

The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3)The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At a construction site in lower Manhattan, a tunnel is unearthed beneath an old tenement which is being knocked down. Inside the tunnel, workers find bones and remains of personal objects belonging to a total of 36 people. A mysterious southern FBI agent appears at the New York Museum of Natural History in the office of archaeologist Nora Kelly. Agent Pendergast presses Dr. Kelly into service to investigate the site, and she discovers that it dates to the late 19th century. From the appearance of the remains, it is clear that the people have been murdered, but what is not clear is why, and for that matter why a southern FBI agent is investigating a century-old serial killing in New York City. The Cabinet of Curiosities is a marvelous mystery which taught me a bit about the phenomenon of cabinets of curiosities and the life of the poor in late 19th century New York. The books celebrates some gems of New York City culture, especially the Museum of Natural History. It is very much a novel of place–I searched for a street map of the city to follow the characters as they walked some of the neighborhoods I knew less well despite 10 years of living there. My brother-in-law has recommended the books of Preston and Child for a couple of years, and now I understand why. The characters in this book are fun to get to know, the atmosphere is delightfully creepy, and the action is well paced. At this point, I fully intend to read more of the Pendergast series. I definitely want to know more about Pendergast himself.

View all my reviews

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About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
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