Monday, February 18, 2019

#TheStrangerDiaries #NetGalley#EllyGriffiths - Order Yours Now! 5 Stars-

#TheStrangerDiaries #NetGalley#EllyGriffiths
Loved this new standalone novel of Elly Griffiths so much..I was not sure I was going to, and some parts were a bit scary, but the characters developed quickly and helped me along.At the beginning I was thinking "this is not Ruth..or the Magic Men" but as always this very fine and brilliant author brought me right into the mystery and empathized with the characters. Now I am hoping it is not a standalone since Elly Griffiths always is a winner with me.

from the publisher:"Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. As a literature teacher specializing in the Gothic writer RM Holland, she teaches a short course on it every year. Then Clare's life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an RM Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer's works somehow hold the key to the case."

Clare's daughter Georgie ( Clare is divorced), DS Harbinber Kaur, and Clare tell the story each from their own viewpoint, which works very well. Herbert the dog is engaging as are Georgie's schoolmates and associates. Very well done.

Each murder or sinister event is accompanied by a handwritten note," Hell is Empty - All the Devils are here-". The surprising ending rackets to a finish on a sleeper train to Scotland. PreOrder your copy now!!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Reading the Ages: The Real Wallis Simpson - Anna Pasternak - Well Re...

Reading the Ages: The Real Wallis Simpson - Anna Pasternak - Well Re...: #NetGalley This was a very well researched and impressive book about Wallis Simpson and the former King Edward VIII. I am not exactly sur...

The Real Wallis Simpson - Anna Pasternak - Well Researched~

#NetGalley This was a very well researched and impressive book about Wallis Simpson and the former King Edward VIII. I am not exactly sure it was a new history, because most of the facts are known, but probably a somewhat different slant. However you present their affair, marriage, and life together it remains a tragedy and not happy reading.

It was quite comprehensive, perhaps too much so, and offered perhaps new evidence for the rift between the Prince and former ki
ng and his brothers. Financial insecurity, the fact that "David's"  brother did not want to be King and the antipathy of King George's wife led to a lifetime estrangement.

The book was very well done and painstakingly researched. I enjoyed the earlier chapters of Wallis' life prior to coming to England the best. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Victory Garden- Rhys Bowen - A Novel- #TheVictoryGarden #NetGalley

#TheVictoryGarden #NetGalley
Thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union and Rhys Bowen for this very interesting read, Rhys Bowen's first non- mystery was quite good. Not being British I did not know about the "Land Girls" and that it was formed in World War I.

Emily Bryce was the only surviving child, from a wealthy family and wanted to follow her best friend, a volunteer nurse, into service for England. Her family, having lost their son early in the War as well as having class issues with volunteers, refused to let her.

When she turns 21, having met a wounded Australian pilot at the hospital next door, she goes to volunteer. The only possible job she qualifies for is to be a Land Girl and she gladly volunteers and leaves home with essentially the clothes on her back.

The Australian pilot, Robbie and she are in love and plan to marry but their liaison results in a child and he is killed when he ditches his plane to save a village. She finds peace and purpose in a Devonshire estate with two new friends who share her willingness to work hard, if not her background.

The ending is poignant and hopeful for a revisit to these characters ( who hopefully will acquire more depth in a sequel) Recommended for historical fans of British war stories.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Joan - Forgotten Women of History I - Anne R. Bailey~ Interesting read~

An interesting book about the wife of Roger Mortimer, Joan de Geneville and her life and times. It started off a bit wobbly but improved a great deal. 4 Stars.

Joan's early life and how she inherited from her grandparents was quite fascinating to me. Her Grandfather was Justiciar of Ireland, and one of my ancestors was also a Justiciar so I was intrigued. Her early life was a bit quiet but her marriage to Mortimer presumably was happy for many years, producing 12 living children. They were Marcher nobility, something that presumably went to Mortimer's head as he took more and more risks( the author skipped over that a bit)

Roger Mortimer's relationship with Queen Isabella and the rising of the Marcher Lords against the King led to his downfall and eventual death. Joan, who had nothing to do with her husband's insurrection, lived in relative comfort after Edward III pardoned her.


Monday, February 4, 2019

An Innocent Client- Scott Pratt- A "Best Debut Mystery"~

 "Mystery Readers International finalist for "Best Debut Mystery," criminal defense lawyer Joe Dillard has become jaded over the years as he's tried to balance his career against his conscience"

I got this book on Prime reading and it was extremely well written and enjoyable ( a bit graphic). I give it 4.5 stars rounded up to 5. I am glad that there are others in the series and sorry to hear that Scott Pratt passed away last fall.

Joe Dillard is planning to end his career as a public defender but takes one last ( but lucrative) case for the opportunity to really defend an innocent client. The plot will astonish you as a preacher is murdered, and loses a body part, in a private club which includes topless dancing and private rooms. 

Joe's sister Sarah, a drug addict, was just was released from prison and his mother is in the end stage of Alzheimer's. Despite all the terrible things going on, his relationship with his wife and children is warm and loving. 

That and his own idealism on "innocence until proven guilty' makes it a book worth remembering. A fast paced legal procedural that works !

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Kissed a Sad Goodbye - Deborah Crombie - Amazingly good!!

"Crombie weaves a tale of two boys who become allies, then friends, in a story of trust and betrayal whose repercussions echo across six decades." 

Another 5 star read in this series which I jumped into midway and have gone back to start over.
My first read was book #8 when Gemma and Duncan moved in together. I am gaining on all of it now and so very much enjoy the mysteries as presented and the characters sub-story.

Each volume in the series is set in an interesting place in England ( and other areas I suspect) which allows for an intricate plot line. This one was in the Isle of Dogs, London and shifted back and forth between the present day and WWI evacuated children. 

Gemma and Duncan, Scotland Yard Detectives were called upon to solve a mystery which had it's beginnings in another time. The additional twists and turns are enhanced by their growing relationship. and how they process through their own past history.

Amazingly well written and absorbing. I can't recommend Deborah Crombie and her series enough.