My Blog List

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Custard Corpses by M J Porter

Described as a historical mystery, it has a good deal of police procedural work involved and would interest readers of that genre as well. Set in the 1943 period the story involves a decades old unsolved murder of a little boy which troubles the Detective at the station. When he gets the go ahead to further investigate from his superior officer, Detective Mason and his constable O'Rourke start a systematic search of all possible clues and come up with missing information, wrong procedures followed and then link up with a stream of other cases across Scotland, Northern Ireland and England with a very similar form of death. Putting the pieces together and bringing closure to several families was an act of mercy and though justice could not be meted out as the murderer had already died, the story was a good, methodical piece of detection work. Sent by BooksGoSocial for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Art of Betrayal by Connie Berry (Kate Hamilton series)

Eve is an American working for her friend Ivor in his antiques shop, managing the business while he recuperates from an illness. She loves the quaintness of this village she is working in, gets on well with its inhabitants and has found someone whom she loves. She is also a detective and murder and mystery seem to follow her wherever she goes. This does not endear her to one particular Detective Inspector who looks on all her actions with suspicion. Meeting Evelyn who brings in a very expensive piece of Chinese pottery and indicates there is much more to follow makes Eve sit up and take notice but when Evelyn is murdered in the shop almost immediately after sets off an investigation which has to go back eighteen years to find out where is Evelyn's daughter the heir to everything. Lucy disappeared years ago and has not been heard of since. Investigations reveal so many suspicious links that getting to the murder is one thing, and getting to the robbery of the Chinese antique is another. The story was set in beautiful surroundings, the characterization was interesting and varied and the story had different strands to be brought together - which was done well. Sent by Crooked Lane Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Until Vienna by Heather B. Moore

Gina is accompanying her aunt to Vienna on the luxurious Oriental Express. There are another two older ladies, friends of her aunt travelling with them and Gina is expected to be an additional partner for whist and card games and a sort of travelling companion. The actual story of why Gina was chosen is more complicated. Aunt Rowena was instrumental in driving away Gina's former boy friend and has now set her sights on the present guide for their tour the enigmatic and handsome Professor Clyde Haskins. He has all the attributes which the Aunt considers necessary and it is only a matter of time she feels, before it all comes together neatly. The settings of all the various cities through which the journey takes them is glorious. The descriptions are really good and the journey itself on the Oriental Express is detailed and descriptive. I enjoyed this part of the story more than the actual romance and its ups and downs. Sent by Covenant Communications for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Home Front Lines by Brenda Sparks Prescott

A military base and the year 1962. The restrictions, the divisions of color demarcate every part of the women's lives. So many rules, written and unwritten and all equally humiliating to these women who strive to live within the rules, uphold their dignity and at the same time not endanger the jobs of their husbands who are totally beholden to the white folk (particularly the wives) The story opened an aspect of life that was hitherto not even thinkable to me - the American women planned evacuation of their children, the Cuban women planned the same to send their children across the waters but this was the important part - without the knowledge of their husbands. Taking their children's lives into their hands they planned all this meticulously. Not that the husband's did not have their own secrets as well. All cocooned in their little worlds. The story was intriguing, and revealing. People put together will not follow rules however much rules are in place and indiscretions and breaking of these rules will happen. Consequences always follow. The book sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Revelations by Mary Sharratt

I like the convent/monastery settings in books. Must be my Catholic convent background I guess. This story dealing with almost the mystic "Margery Kempe" and Julian set in the 15th century deal with the prejudices faced by women in their daily life as housewives, wives and mothers and more importantly if they sought a spiritual life as well. Lollardy was a feared aspect of life and anyone found preaching, or even out of the ordinary in a spiritual sense was suspect and Margery Kempe ticked off all the boxes. A mother of fourteen children, leaving her husband on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and all alone was thought to be mad and someone who should be brought in line. She faced persecution of the worst kind but her faith was strong and she pursued a journey which was so fabulous, so fraught with danger at every turn that even today most people would have given up at the first hurdle. The story was a fascinating one of a woman who was definitely different and who sought the spiritual freedom she thought was her birthright. This was a fabulous read. Sent by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Duchess if You Dare by Anabelle Bryant

The Regency period is not filled with independent, non judgemental women and when one meets the Maidens of Mayhem one is filled with admiration that they do what they do in the face of steadfast opposition from men from all walks of life - their fathers, brothers, husbands will all oppose what they are doing, not just out of an idea of protecting them, but also with the idea that women should not get ideas above their station and that all decisions should be in the hands of the men in the family (even in fact if it leads to their ruination). Scarlett is one such woman. A misty, shady past which she never enlightens one very much and meeting Lord Ambrose in the middle of an investigation where they are both seeking one woman is a meeting which will end in a burst of fireworks. Ambrose has not met women of Scarlet's ilk and she is usually distrustful of all men. She hasnt met very many who are straight and honest and when she does meet one, she does not trust him at all. A mix of detection, a lot of sparks and romance all add to a light hearted Regency story. Sent by Kensinghton Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch

This was my first foray into the world of Lenox and Charles Finch. I am sorry I never got to it earlier. I loved the style of writing, the slower pace of vintage detection and the overall atmosphere of cleanliness, style and a certain innocence which is certainly lacking in the present detective genre. Lenox just wants to relax as a gentleman in his library with his books, his maps, his travel plans but this is not always to be. His lifelong friend Lady Jane, living next door appeals for his help in finding out the murderer of a maid who worked in her employ and who then subsequently worked for another. The other is a very high up in the present government, wants to shush the whole thing up for the most unbelievable of reasons and wants the murder to pass as a suicide. Despite so many things written oddly in this book (the geography, the americanisms, the mistakes of addressing aristocracy, even the odd title) I found the overall story to be unbelievable but charming, and Lenox though I have seen so many criticisms of his character - totally loveable! I will be looking out for more Charles Finch books but the cost even for the Kindle versions is astronomical! Sent by St Martin's Press for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.