Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Vanishing Box - Elly Griffiths- Best one yet!! 5 Star Mystery - Preorder yours now~

#TheVanishingBox #NetGalley
The best of this series so far from a favorite and very talented author. Thanks to the author, Elly Griffiths, Houghton Mifflin and Netgalley for this ARC which will be out in 10 days. I would preorder mine now if it was me.

"In a nail-biting hunt for a missing loved one, DI Edgar Stephens and the magician Max Mephisto discover once again that the line between art, life, and death is all too easily blurred."

This all takes place as Christmas is coming to Brighton and the famous Hippodrome theater. Post WWII Brighton is thoughtfully portrayed as the staging scene for the Magic Men mysteries, which jump between variety show scenes and the Brighton police department, through the lives of DI Edgar Stephens and his wartime friend Max Mephisto.

The action in this outing jumps between the on and off stage Hippodrome variety show and a boarding house for transient entertainers. A series of theatrical staged murders are at two separate locations but seem to have a link. When DS Emma Holmes goes missing, Edgar does everything in his power, in a blinding snowstorm, to pull off an impossible rescue.

This 4th outing of Magic Men mysteries ends with some interesting romantic liaisons being formed. Elly Griffiths never fails to write a terrific mystery which illustrate accurate history and very fine character development.       

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Tudor Crown - Joanna Hickson ~ Enjoyable ~

An enjoyable read about the start of Henry Tudor's reign which I gave something close to 4 stars. ( rounded up) I liked the " Margaret chapters" much the best, although Joanna Hickson explained how little is known about Henry's exile. I found it difficult to go back and forth between the two accounts and am sure it was a difficult task for an author.

Henry VII is not my favorite king, but hopefully the last chapter where he explains himself very gracefully sheds a more hopeful light for a sequel about his marriage to Elizabeth. Those years are sort of sparse on authentic historical narrative also. I am anxiously awaiting another book being in the works.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Stonemason's Tale- Ann Swinfen - So ready for the next in series! ~ 5 Stars~

5 Stars for Book  6 and may they continue into the future. Ann Swinfen has created an entrancing group of characters and illustrates a period in time not often thought about. The Black Death of 1347-50 had wiped out one third of the population, and better living and economic conditions began to change the world.

Our hero Nicholas Elyot was educated and self supporting and his intellect aided him to solve mysteries and brought him to the notice of important figures. This instance was no different, as two trade groups, carpenters and stone cutters came to Oxford to build a cathedral for Queen's College. Troubling and eventually disastrous events became happening and Nicholas is front and center as the line is drawn between "town and gown" and affluent and poorer folk.

Nicholas rises to the occasion with the help of his friends Jordain and the Deputy Sheriff Cedric. Let us not forget also the dual role Nicholas and his Emma played in all of the disasters that arose.

May we hope that both Nicholas and Emma and Margaret his sister and her "friend" Peter have their romances continue in Book #7? "After Easter"  some important decisions will perhaps be made as to their futures. Recommended highly

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

An Empire for Ravens - "John Lord Chamberlain Mystery", Mary Read & Eric Mayer - Complex and Satisfying - Preorder Now!

Appreciate the ARC for this book from NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press and, as always it was great to visit with John and Cornelia. I also liked the vignette's that came back to Cornelia and john's home as a diversion from a complicated plot that often made my head spin. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

This is the crux of it:"Emperor Justinian's former Lord Chamberlain, John, gets a letter from his longtime comrade, Felix, and, placing loyalty to a friend above his own safety, risks defying imperial edict by leaving his exile in Greece for Rome where Felix is in some kind of trouble"

John, defying Justinian's exile and facing execution ( he has about 3 weeks), is enmeshed in many complicated issues not the least of which is the siege of Rome by the Goths under Totila.He sneaks into Rome, finds his dear friend is deceased and insists on figuring out what has happened.

Everything was wrapped up tidily in a terrific epilogue ( John and Cornelia's walk and discussion back home in Greece) which ended the story with the announcement that John was being recalled by Justinian to resume his imperial service. Exciting presage of what is to come. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Jackie's Girl - Kathy McKeon - 5 Stars ~ A Poignant Memoir~

An endearing coming-of-age memoir by a young woman who spent thirteen years as Jackie Kennedy’s personal assistant and occasional nanny—and the lessons about life and love she learned from the glamorous first lady.

A delightful book that I almost could not put down, about an era I lived through but with different experiences. Kath came to New York from her beloved Ireland in 1964 spent 13 years in Jackie Kennedy's employ and was almost a part of her family for many more.

It was a story told with respect and great regard for the family's privacy, as well as obvious love for John, Caroline and Jackie Kennedy. It was a great book for me. another Baby Boomer of Irish heritage to read, with echoes of my own family.

I very much recommend this book which was very well done.

Once A Queen : A Story of Elizabeth Woodville- Samantha Wilcoxson - 5 Stars- Sympathetic~

Once a Queen: A Story of Elizabeth Woodville (Plantagenet Embers) 5 Stars

I very much enjoyed this book as I have for all of Samatha Wilcoxson's efforts. The author writes with sympathy and a different type of understanding of what it "might have been like".

I am very sure that Elizabeth Woodville was not the terrible person the populace made her out to be, her life was a struggle as was all caught up in this "War of the Roses. She loved Edward surely and loved her children also.

It worked well for me. Recommended for all lovers of this period

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The General's Women -Susan Wittig Albert - Fantastically great read! ~5Stars ~

Truly I did not want this book to end, as it was absolutely enthralling. I learned a great deal about WWII ( I was born as my father's ship was fighting in the South Pacific), and the different mindsets that went into the European fronts. Susan Wittig Albert is a favorite author whose work is always well researched and exceptionally well written.

I can believe that the intensity of the European theatre of war led to a heightened intensity for Ike as well as Kay. Was it love? I think it probably was, and both of them were vulnerable for different reasons. We will never know if their relationship would have survived in peacetime- maybe not in political peacetime Washington.

Reading it gave me a new perspective of WWII than Americans often get,and I will look for more that are similar. It is sad that Kay did not have a happier life and that Eisenhower succumbed to what was surely political pressure to renounce his feelings. Definitely a very worthwhile reading experience