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Friday, August 18, 2017

Deadly Treasures by Vivian Conroy

Deadly Treasures (Lady Alkmene #3)

I am reading books with unusual names for the ladies! In this one Lady Alkmene Callender is anyway an unusual lady for her times. Disinterested in marriage and deaf to the match making tricks of all her relations including her father, a visit to an archaeological site is one she cannot resist, in spite of a prospective groom being the bait!

Finding the groom to be a suspect in a murder case does not deter Alkmene who uses all her detective skills to find out who the real culprit is. The fact that she and journalist Jake are also under threat does not deter her at all.

Told in an easy going style, the characters all blend nicely together to tell a story in a very listenable manner.

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This side of murder by Anna Lee Huber

This Side of Murder (Verity Kent, #1)

I am always looking for new mystery/thriller/suspense authors and this was a really lucky find. It combined my love for the WW era, a strong effective woman and a mystery death as well. The combination was irresistible. Now the difficulty would be to track down the next book in the series. This was the first one in the Verity Kent series.

Verity is a young woman who has worked in the Secret Service during WWI. She has lost her husband as well and is trying very hard to accept this and move on. It is just fifteen months after she received news of the death of her husband, but there was no body. Getting an invitation to visit the home of one of her husband's colleagues to celebrate and engagement was she felt one more step towards closure as she felt that meeting them would bring her peace of mind. That was the last thing she ever felt as circumstances and events took over from the moment she set out on this journey to a beautiful, scenic, isolated part of the British coast to an island where she and the rest of the party would be cocooned together and the entire drama would slowly unravel.

It was a beautiful piece of writing, building up in stages, never erupting but systematically going on to the next event and the next. Unexpected surprises at every turn, kept my interest going till the very end. Very descriptive as well this was such an enjoyable book to read I was sorry it had to end so soon.

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

In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

An idyllic setting of Farleigh Place. What anyone would envision the English countryside to be like. WWII has now come here and everyone is either working for the forces, or his house is occupied and taken over for a hospital or a convalescence center. Those who are not working directly in the Forces are working indirectly in the form of a land army or a women's center, All work towards a war effort.

At Fairleigh Place Lord Westerham and his five daughters are all also involved in one way or another in the war effort. A failed parachute landing raises suspicions that the man who died was a German spy in British army uniform and Ben Cresswell is assigned the task of unraveling the mystery. Engaging the services of many people Ben has to see who is the traitor in their midst in this small village where everyone knows everyone.

Could Lord Westerham's own family be involved in the treachery and betrayal and could Ben along with Pamela, Lord Westerham's daughter try to prevent an even bigger betrayal and tragedy that could effect the whole of Britain.

The war setting, the war effort and the patriotism and support which the average Englishman gave to both wars are told in numerous stories, each one more poignant and personal than the last. I never tire of reading individual stories, acts of heroism and the stoic support in the face of untold hardship that the average man and woman gave to their country.

This is another of those stories.

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Harriet Said by Beryl Bainbridge

This was an uncomfortable book to read. To accept that such young girls could be manipulative, obssessive and for me basically something very wrong mentally was not right.

A thirteen year old girl returns home from boarding school. Bored, bubbling with anticipation, frustration, feelings all of it but she does not have the courage to act on anything. Not until Harriet the slightly older teen appears on the scene. Egged on by her they decide to ensnare Peter Biggs, himself bored, middle aged but unaware of sinister plans on the part of the girls.

This is going to be their biggest dare, their biggest summer ever but what will be the end result, what they hope to gain from it, neither of them clearly knows. But it is wrong and in a way evil what they plan and hope to do. Their families and everyone around them are just unwitting partners.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood

Murder in the Dark (Phryne Fisher, #16)

It is 1928 and it is going to end with the best of parties The rich and not so rich but flamboyant and the risque are going to be present. The Hon. Phyrne Fisher is also invited. She was in two minds about going but when threats appeared telling her not to go if she valued her life, she knew she had to be present.

A sleuthing mystery of a different kind as the setting was unusual to say the least. The atmosphere is full of hash and sex, romance of many kinds, unusual men and women, unusual children as well and the underlying threat that follow in the form of riddles accompanied by the mysterious disappearance of both children. A world of glamour, parties of the most complicated kind and a lot of fun and laughter and high living.

Unravelling the riddles was an experience in itself and Phyrne has to make sure that the children are discovered before harm comes to them.

Unexpected twists and very quaint story telling made this an usual mystery thriller, one of a series.

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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

By Light Of Hidden Candles by Daniella Levy

Seemingly impossible, beautifully and meticulously and detailed research makes this a story that was poignant, emotional, romantic, historically fascinating and also hopeful.

Animosity against Jews has been universal. It has existed for hundreds of years. We go back five hundred years in this story where a seemingly impossible love existed between a Christian and a Jew and a ring that has come down twenty three generations with a message to each generation that they must find the Christian family who saved a Jew and gave them this ring, and return it to them.

To Alma and Manuel a Jew and a Catholic trying to trace ancestry - one this improbably owner of the ring and the other his father's dying dream of establishing their precedents, two more unlikely youngsters one couldn't imagine. Alma is orthodox Jewish follows the laws and customs of her people, Manuel is on the verge of joining a seminary. Both families look askance at the friendship. Both families are cautious where this will go though both Alma and Manuel have no romantic feelings for each other.

The story is convoluted, long and goes back and forth in time. Told in separate time frames going back five hundred years and then hopping across to the present times is not easy but the author handles this seamlessly. You never have a sense of being jarred out of the twentieth century and then going back to the fourteenth. It is a very smooth transition.

I enjoyed the story very much - all its facets. History, religion, romance, geography the works.

Sent to me by Netgalley, for an unbiased review, courtesy of Kasva Press LLC. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Very early on in this story you knew that things were not exactly as they seemed.  Two young girls went missing - were they abducted, did they run away, are they still alive. The investigation is still not quite closed but its been three years now. Of a sudden the younger girl returns. She just turns up at the door to her mother's house with a very long, perfectly logical explanation as to what has happened to her and her elder sister. Now it is the turn of the investigators to find the elder sister from the clues given by Cass the younger girl.

Abby and Leo are the investigators for this from three years ago and they take over again. Abby has her own suspicions but without proof it is not easy to pin point anything. Cass's explanations are explicit, very detailed with just enough clues to keep the investigative process going rapidly. The background at home is very complicated - parents separated and mother married again. There are step children involved and the mother is not your average lady on the street.

The story was full of suspense. It was a psychological battle between a mother with narcissist tendencies who was manipulative, deceitful and self centred. Nothing else mattered to her other than herself. The story was twisted and took a great deal of step by step story telling to unravel it.

The book was sent to me by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley for an unbiased review.