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Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Girl at the Border by Leslie Archer



Richard Matthis is a renowned archaelogist and he has discovered Etruscan remains on the island of Crete. Angela Harris is working for him very happy in her job. She is also escaping from her past and feels safe in Crete, thinking that no one would link her to this remote site.

When Bella, Richard's daughter goes missing Matthis drops everything and flies back home to help in the search. Four days later he dies in a strange accident. The relationship between Richard Matthis and his daughter has been tense and Angela over a very short period of time, pretended to be Richard and started a message conversation with Bella, hoping to make the relationship between father and daughter a warmer one.

With Richard's death, Angela has a compulsion to return to the scene of Richard's death and find Bella on her own. She has a feeling Bella needs her, and compromises her own safety because there are people out there who want Angela found.

A rather convoluted tale, including ISIS, a spy network amongst other things it was rather fragmented when all the other stories got in the way.  My personal view was that there were too many strands to connect and this led to a lot of confusion. I also felt the cover was awful.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen



It is the time of women's suffrage and Esther has fought for the Cause and lost all that she has held dear and close to her heart. Her father is firmly under the influence of her step mother and she is now not allowed to go home. Living with her Aunt is not a happy state but she is very happy at her job at Pennington's where she is given a free reign to create artistic and eye catching window displays for which the store is now becoming famous.

Despite her success at her job, Esther is not happy. She is lonely and feels that her Aunt is just tolerating her in her house. On top of it all Esther feels that progress in the suffrage movement is very slow and wonders whether a more militant way is the correct way to go forward.

Into this scenario steps Lawrence, a successful hotelier with two young children whose wife has died a few years ago. Balancing a career and his family he is not looking for love though seeing Laura he is attracted to her and then starts the story of Esther and Lawrence. Covering the shift in the suffrage movement and Lawrence's wholehearted support for Esther, they have to overcome personal hurdles to come to some sort of place where they can be themselves. Both have family histories of hurt and bitter feelings towards parents so they cannot let themselves be hurt by those they love the most.

A descriptive story of 1911 England, the suffrage movement and a love story coupled with the beginning of women's right to independence.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Sisters' Secrets by Katlyn Duncan



A story of family - and two sisters who have now survived and one particularly reaching out to the other sister with a hope of drawing closer and being a family once more.

Reen left the Burrow under less than pleasant circumstances. On her father's sudden death, her mother withdrew from her and never attempted to bridge the divide. Now diagnosed with dementia and very ill, Reen has returned mainly out of a sense of duty to just pay her respects and leave the next day. She did not think that meeting her ex boyfriend and her sister and seeing her mother in her pitiful state would lengthen her stay.

Rose her sister has a fantastic tale to tell of her mother's past and one which is unimaginable and not very plausible. Rose is of the mind that her mother was a mermaid at some part of her life, and that accounts for Reen's brilliant swimming performances in the past.

This was the basic story. I found the mermaid part a bit difficult to fathom or understand. I also found the writing rather stilted and this took away from the story.

The highlight of this story for me was that life is short, you never know which way life will turn out to be and it is better to forgive and forget and move on, rather than hang on to bitterness and history which can anyway not be erased.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of HQ Digital.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Murder in Langley Woods by Betty Rowlands



I read my first Betty Rowlands last week and now I am hooked! it is a rather addictive type of cozy and I will be sad when I cant get any more!

A local couple are vociferous when they find out that the old, broken down freezer that they put out for Council pick up has been nicked. Why they should be so angry only they will understand. They are even more angry when they discover that the murdered body of a girl is found in the dilapidated freezer. Slowly unraveling the mystery is Melissa Craig our own mystery murder writer and always looking for new copy to the annoyance of her boyfriend Ken former Police.

The setting is idyllic. We have a Cotswold village, all the usual characters and ongoing with the murder and solving the crime is Melissa's own personal life and how it is going to turn out. Her friend who owns the adjoining cottage has decided to move to Provence and get married and wants to know within a week what Melissa's idea is about buying her out and then we have her partner Ken also pressurizing her to decide on how they could make their partnership more permanent.

Hannah Rose our victim is from a colony of travelling gypsies. They are furious with the man who took her away and who is hence responsible for her death and they want to mete out their own form of justice to him.  Hannah also took a ride to Hungary with a truck driver in the area and all signs point out to Rocky as the most likely suspect responsible for Hannah's death.

Like all village murder settings, the suspect and the actual murderer are two completely opposite characters. You'll be kept guessing till the end.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Bookouture. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib




This was a sad read and especially for anyone who is anorexic themselves or has a friend who is, not an easy read. It did not make it easier to understand the condition, and I really could not find that it makes it easier even for an outsider to think what one can do to help.

A dancer who is anorexic must be a dangerous condition. She thinks she could do better, dance lighter, get more roles, be more successful if she just avoids the cheese or goes one more mile as that is the obstacle holding her back. Reading it makes one realize the futility of this obsession and obsession it is.

No 17 Swann Street is set up to help girls like her but can it help permanently. Slipping back into the chasm is so easy, so very easy and for every girl they help, plenty more slip back.

A debut novel very emotional.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of St. Martin's Press.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

A Rebel at Pennington's by Rachel Brimble




It is the time of women's suffrage and Esther has fought for the Cause and lost all that she has held dear and close to her heart. Her father is firmly under the influence of her step mother and she is now not allowed to go home. Living with her Aunt is not a happy state but she is very happy at her job at Pennington's where she is given a free reign to create artistic and eye catching window displays for which the store is now becoming famous.

Despite her success at her job, Esther is not happy. She is lonely and feels that her Aunt is just tolerating her in her house. On top of it all Esther feels that progress in the suffrage movement is very slow and wonders whether a more militant way is the correct way to go forward.

Into this scenario steps Lawrence, a successful hotelier with two young children whose wife has died a few years ago. Balancing a career and his family he is not looking for love though seeing Laura he is attracted to her and then starts the story of Esther and Lawrence. Covering the shift in the suffrage movement and Lawrence's wholehearted support for Esther, they have to overcome personal hurdles to come to some sort of place where they can be themselves. Both have family histories of hurt and bitter feelings towards parents so they cannot let themselves be hurt by those they love the most.

A descriptive story of 1911 England, the suffrage movement and a love story coupled with the beginning of women's right to independence.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Aria.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer



The Kane family has a lot of controversies and family squabbles going on. Even in Silas Kane's professional life there are differences with his partners over a new investment. Silas Kane has steered the firm in a middle path, not given to extravagances and he intends to continue in the same way. Everyone is not very happy with that. Most people want quick riches and are not willing to wait ages to get their hands on the money.

The morning after Silas Kane's sixtieth birthday, his body was found dashed on the rocks. He had set out for his usual walk after dinner (a fact known to everyone) and it seemed like an accident. Not to the youngest member of the family who said it looked like murder. Clement Kane takes over as the heir, much to the joy of his wife Rosemary who only wants the money the position will bring. She was on the verge of throwing her husband over for her lover, but now all is forgotton with the newfound wealth brought by her husband! Clement's death by shooting in his study a few days later brings forth an unexpected heir - young Jim who was unaware of being the heir. He thought it was the female cousin living in Australia but apparently it was only if there was no male around that it went to her.

When a series of accidents coincidentally happen to young Jim, the police begin to suspect that even Silas's death may not have been an accident and enquiries commence. There are many suspects including the present heir and it has to be slowly whittled down one by one, till a most unsuspected  one emerges.

Nice old fashioned setting of a comfortable family, and all kinds of different characters to add to the interest, this is a very good comfort read.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark.