My Blog List

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A Letter from Italy by Rose Alexander


The story crossing two countries, several decades apart is an emotional one. A young couple divided by war and promises made.

Set in Yorkshire at a camp housing Italian prisoners of war, was where Betty first set eyes on Gianni. Fast forward to Betty being signed up for the war effort and her prowess in Morse, making her an ideal candidate for being a cipher. Her meeting up with Gianni again in Sicily was pure fate. Fast forward to 1972 and Sadie trying to recover from the loss of her parents and suddenly discovering she is adopted.

Even for 1972 Sadie seems very sheltered and her trying to go back step by step to discover her roots seemed to have been an ordeal. Starting off in Yorkshire then going back tracing her father from a memento with just his initials was a massive undertaking. Meeting several helpful souls on the way helped and the story of her parents love affair, Betty’s role in the war, Giannis life post the war all add up to a family saga very well told.

Weaving many strands into the story, encompassing many characters this was an excellent read.

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

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Secrets of a Scottish Isle by

The year 1927 and Jane’s assignment is to an isolated island off the coast of Scotland. She was set to investigate discreetly and ferret the secrets of a cult led by the arrogant Livingstone. Getting there was not the issue, but questioning the followers when her own knowledge of the cult was scant, was going to be tough.

Jane did not do her homework and holes appeared at every stage of her stay. When Netta’s body was discovered naked and with scratch marks all over, the mystery deepened. The fact that a group that had split from the main group was on an adjoining island, added to the suspect list. Another body being discovered hastened the enquirer with suspects galore. With Redvers her fiancĂ©e on the island, Jane was sure to track the murderer down.

The setting of the story was fabulous. Lonely, wind swept, few inhabitants, tightly knit community. Jane came across as rather careless but that was part of the story.

Sent by Kensington Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley 

On another note I don’t seem to be able to post any images.

Friday, April 19, 2024

An Inconvenient Letter by Julie Wright


Marietta aka Etta has felt second best in her mother’s eyes. Scorned, criticized and looked over she has learnt to lie low and seeks the love she misses from her father. Her sister Anne has returned from her debutante season with a disastrous scenario surrounding her. It is now Etta’s turn but her mother decides that only Anne will go once again to London without Etta.

Etta has been in love with Frederick Finch for ages and has written passionate love letters to him (all unposted) albeit she thinks safely in her bureau drawer until the unthinkable happens and one gets posted.

Gerard lives in close proximity to Frederick and when the letters fall into his hands, he persuades Etta to help him woo her sister Anne, because the only way out for him is to find himself a very rich wife.
Etta agrees to this scheme only to get thwarted when she finds herself attracted to Gerard and realizes that Frederick is a cad!

Scandal, blackmail, genteel poverty, London and a debutant season all feature in the story.

Light hearted romance.

Sent by Shadow Mountain Publishing for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A Death in Venice by Verity Bright


The stories involving Lady Eleanor Swift and the mystery murders she somehow gets dragged in are not just good stories. Not just of murder but always include beautiful settings, handsome men, damsels in distress, her own personal butler Clifford and her coterie this time of domestics who have accompanied her to Venice on what was to be a holiday.

Dragged into one murder as a witness, the other deliberately targeted as the suspect, we have a family vendetta reminiscent of the Capulets and the Montagues, with dominant heads of families and a pair of star crossed lovers. 

The settings were picturesque and so descriptive that one was swept along without almost realizing that this is actually a murder mystery that has got to be solved.

Entertaining reading.

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

Monday, April 15, 2024

The Missing Maid by Holly Hepburn


London 1932 very stringent rules govern women’s behaviour and Harriet working raises eyebrows. Grand daughter of a baron, she is very comfortably off but wants to get out of the claustrophobic world of her family. Working in a bank was a job she liked, till the rejected advances of her boss got her relegated to the post room, the back of beyond.

Given the job of replying letters to the fictitious Sherlock Holmes who was depicted as living in Baker Street, Harry does the job efficiently till one letter catches her eye, and she knows she has to do some detective work on her own. Pursuing and finding a missing maid accused of stealing is one matter but Mildred the maid is a victim of a bigger ring of thieves in London. Uncovering this ring also reveals the other seamier side of London life. 

Harry engages the help of Oliver a friend, and despite his warnings of the dangers ahead Harry proceeds regardless. Somewhat similar to the escapades of Lady Eleanor Swift, this was a good read. The cover leaves much to be desired though.

Sent by Boldwood Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Love Unscripted by Denise Hunter


Chloe has written a best seller. She cannot believe it herself, and when the powers that be decide to turn it into a film, Chloe is overwhelmed. A small town resident running a restaurant with her brother and mother she was not ready for the intricacies of the film world.

Her hero on celluloid is Liam Hamilton, a typical bad boy whom Chloe is horrified being cast as her hero. He has his own personal life issues to sort out, his social media accounts are all critical, he needs a revamp, a steady relationship with a nice young lady and Chloe fits the bill.

It all had to go wrong though, before it righted itself. Family secrets came out, new romances were established, hearts broken, then mended and it ended happily ever after. 

We all need this in our lives!

Sent by HarperCollins Christian Publishing for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

After the scorching heat of the last few weeks, rain and mist are very welcome. At Rozella, Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill

I’m always trying to grab a Sulari Gentill read. She puts disparate characters together in the most cohesive way possible. 

We have Theo running away from her university studies in Australia. She has decided law is not for her and gone back to the refuge of her brothers home. Gus her brother is a hot shot lawyer and understanding and protective, even if he is skeptical of her choices. Then there is Dan an older man who befriends Theo. The mentor relationship develops and her one days sexual encounter with him, ends with his brutal murder and the story starts from there.

Seemingly disconnected, no obvious clues as to who, why or where, Gus’s friend Mac a private eye and more gets involved to find out why the death of Dan who was a popular river, has turned people’s venom against Theo, indirectly Gus and Mac.

Doomsday prophecies, cults, a behind the scenes controlling book agents add to the drama, murders, mayhem and attacks and then the complete disappearance of Theo for three years, till she surfaces again.
The power of a supportive family is amply demonstrated in this story.

Very much edge of the seat reading, this was a page turner which I finished in a day.

Sent by Poisoned Pen Press for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

One of the many beautiful gopurams at Kumbakonam I saw on my last trip to India.