Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Whisper the Dead- Stella Cameron- Great series- start reading it now- April 1 for this one

Thanks to Severn House for this great ARC by a new-for-me author..it won't be the last I read for sure. The idea of the Cotswold's drew me and I did have some things to understand as an American- like what is a snug ( snug, a small private room within a public house) , and how remote was this area ( great for walking tours and sheep) ? It was terrific!

What I do not know until I read other books in the series is, how close did Alex's mother Lily keep her daughters father's identity and why was that? It is clear that it is 2 generations of oppressed women who were able to grasp their lives in a unique way.

The story had a fresh and complicate mystery plot, besides the remoteness of the area that I came to appreciate. It took me awhile to understand all the players here as the chapters had different scenarios. I had prepped a little bit by reading the "sample" on book #1 on my kindle so I did know that Alex and her coterie did sort of "fall into" mysteries.

This one has some brutal murders which fortunately were mostly alluded to, although the presence of the medical examiner definitely shared the forensics. A lot of players in the law enforcement community will become clear with further reads for me.

Recommended for mystery fans who like unique settings. Preorder link is up now in the US but start now and read the 4 (at least) others. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Wild Justice - A Medieval Mystery #14 - Priscilla Royal - Order your copy now ~ Terrific!

A very enjoyable Medieval Mystery in Priscilla Royal's Prioress Eleanor's outing #14, possibly one of the two best ones so far. The poignant ending, connecting the two Prioresses and their families, ratcheted it up to 5 Stars.

"Spring 1282. England is at war again with Wales.. Baron Hugh of Wynethorpe,prepares to join his King's army in Outremer." He asks his sister Prioress Eleanor to carry a gift of rents from the to Mynchen Buckland Priory. The reasons for this unfold as you will read this fine mystery.

Prioress Eleanor, Brother Thomas and Sister Anne travel to Somerset where they stumble into a scenario much different than they had planned. Former Prioress Amicia is confined in a cell, charged with murder and the new Prioress Emelyne is hostile and tries to get them to leave immediately. 

What can our trio from Tyndal Priory do to solve a mystery long over? Well order your copy now and you will find out. Suitably complicated and quite delightful.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Tudor Bride - Joanna Hickson - Great author, very fine series of books ~ 5 Stars~



 This was a terrific book, the ending left me a little cold with the kidnap conspiracy, but the rest of it was stellar! I know it is a novel, with not a lot known about Catherine's death, so it worked out in the end. I read the First of the Tudors before this one, when I reread them ( and I will) I will do it in order and after the Tudor Crown is released.

Mette and her family ( families with her two marriages) were my favorite characters and had great depth, although her fanatical allegiance to Catherine was a bit extreme. I do recommend this book and the others by this fine author

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Ghost of Christmas Past - Rhys Bowen ~ Terrific mystery and Holiday read ~ Get Yours now~

I received this ARC from NetGalley for review purposes and it was so very good. It was so good that I am going to go back and read other books in the series, as well as purchasing copies for my sister and my best friend for Christmas. I have read a few of the earlier books but this one has depth of character, as well as a terrific mystery.Since it is a holiday read, the happy ending should suit everyone just fine.

THIS from the publisher:"Semi-retired private detective Molly Murphy Sullivan is suffering from depression after a miscarriage.. She and her husband, Daniel, are invited for Christmas at a mansion on the Hudson, and they gratefully accept, expecting a peaceful and relaxing holiday season."

So what happened, you might wonder, to change this idyllic picture? Well let me start with some "Class" disconnect in the host family, their neighbors and friends of Molly, as well as long standing grief for their only daughter who disappeared 10 years before.

"Molly can identify with the mother's pain at never knowing what happened to her child and wants to help, but there is so little to go on. No ransom note. No body ever found. But she begins to suspect that the occupants of the house know more than has been divulged."

On Christmas Eve, while they sing carols around the tree a young girl appears and says " I'm Charlotte. I have come home" - and the peaceful planned Christmas becomes a scene of upheaval and complicated intrigue. A very very fine mystery but lighthearted enough in many places ( and the ending) to suit as Christmas reading.

Get your copy right now, it is recently released. I am purchasing two more besides my gifts and plan to finish the series eventually.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

First of the Tudors - Joanna Hickson- 5 Stars ~ A wonderful series ~

This was such an enjoyable book, I quickly went back and found one that I had not read ( The Tudor Bride) and purchased that one right away. I had not read a lot about Jasper Tudor although he does seem to have had two daughters. It is a different way of looking at Margaret Beaufort also- sort of with narrowed eyes.

His life with Jane ( who surely existed in some fashion) was one of legend, as was his birth to an anointed queen. His devotion to his nephew Henry VII was also legendary, but possibly NOT common knowlege how much he taught and protected him. 

Reading about this intersection, and the egress between England and Wales, was quite fascinating in this book. The clash of cultures helps us to understand this particular period. Recommended for this reason, as well as explaining how the Tudor kings came to exist.

A 5th book, The Tudor Crown will be published next May and I cannot wait to receive that one.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Boys in the Trees- A Memoir- Carly Simon - 5 Stars ~ Sing it Carly ~

5 stars- A riveting read that I tried several times to put down, as it was painful with recognized emotions. I must think about this review~

I loved and admired this couple..saw both Carly and JT in concert and played some tapes until they disintegrated. You would think they had always had charmed lives but apparently mostly not so.

But then what was different between we baby-boomers? Not a great deal apparently..

It is a must read for those of my generation who came of age at this same time. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Victoria - A Novel of a Young Queen- Daisy Goodwin- A Good Read~

4 + Stars

I really enjoyed this book, I wish Victoria had been a more likable character, but she was Queen Victoria after all. Furthermore, she was a young woman as well as a young queen, and made mistakes.

 Her mother the Duchess of Kent either got a bad rap or was very shallow. All in all, the British royal family, as well as those from Saxe- Coburg were also fairly self centered and unaware of how they were perceived by the public.

Lord Melbourne was very interesting and witty ( at least in this novel).Many of the events between he and the young Queen I was not aware of until reading this book.

I intend to purchase or borrow Daisy Goodwin's forthcoming book Victoria & Albert : A Royal Love Story when it comes out next week. I would recommend this author's work  completely and will read more of her work.