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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Woman of an uncertain age. By Priya Malhotra

The book is an eye opener - especially for women in the Asian community (maybe other communities too) who may live long in liberal communities but are bound by unwritten rules and expectations engrained by generations repeating the same mantra. Naina fiftyodd recently widowed two grown up professional children is struggling to cope with the "inevitability" and I like this "startlement" of death. There is no turning back, you just move on. sheexpected Harish to be with her for decades, a comforting security blanket who would take up all the insecurities, the barbs and issues of life. Taking the step to move to New York after being in the haven of New Jersey surrounded by over thirty Indian families who were familar was the first battle. Finding a low level job in an art gallery was a major plus for Naina, but even here she hid the actual work she did even from her children not wantung them to know the actual work she did. it was only after many years of grit and hard work and results of being promoted was she confident enough for her children to visit her at her place of work. The massive issue was when she developed feelings for the boyfriend of her daughter - Jai. ten years younger than her twelve years older than Amaya,she did the unthinkable revealing her feelings to him thinking it was reciprocated and being rebuffed brutally. the story then evolves into a hitherto little known area of online dating for the Asian single older woman. scandalous to many, unknownto many uncharted territory to many. Cultural barriers, stigma exists even amongst second generation Asians and it is difficult toerase. to those first generation Asian Americans it takes great courage to break the barriers and live your life the way you want to. Naina herself felt guilty at her ability to find and develop relationships which were making her happy, and fulfilled when her daughter and son wereboth failing in their quest to find partners. this was a emotiinal book dealing with peculiar, specific issues facedby only some people. This was seen in the attitude of Naina's American friends who could not figure out the need for hide and seek, for hiding evidence of a partner or a sexual relationship from family and friends. they could not comprehend at all and by including it in the story, the author was able to highlight the divide. this was for me a page turner, rich, varied, so symtomatic of the system itself and the unwritten rules in life. sent by Bedazzled Ink Publishing for an unbiased review courtesy of Netgalley.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Murder at the Majestic Hotel by Clara McKenna

Lord and Lady Lyndhurst are on their honeymoon in York. Lord Lyndy has taken every care that nothing should go amiss on their stay in York but right at the start the Honeymoon Suite has been given to an an elderly gent Mr. Wingrove much to Lord Lyndhurst's chagrin and dismay but his wife the light hearted American Stella just shrugs it off as another odd thing that has happened. When Mr. Wingrove is found dead the next morning and several people and circumstances prove too suspicious for Stella, she independently tries to get to the bottom of this mystery despite all protocols and expectations of the time expect her to behave otherwise. When Stella's visit to York coincides with the Royal Princesses unveiling of Queen Victoria's statue she like all dignitaries attend until a bomb set off disrupts the proceedings, causes injuries and damage to people attending and a search for whether the attack and the murders are connected. The story which was a detective story in the main, held a lot of interest due to its Edwardian setting. Everything and everyone was dictated by the norms of the time, from the Police to the inhabitants and it was striking to see how the aristocracy could get away with literally murder if they were pushed to it. Very interesting reading. Sent by Kensington Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Monday, October 24, 2022

A Twist of Murder by Heather Redmond

I love the sleuthing bit of Charles Dickens and in this victorian England setting this was a wonderfully descrptive read. Coupled with his writing and detective skills, Dickens was such a humane and generous soul. Appalled by living conditions of the poor, his was a constant struggle to uplift whoever he could. When he discovers three orphans whom he had registered for a school disappeared and then the murder of a young girl, he is distraught first at the death of this twelve year old and then the disappearance of the three young boys and he is hoping that the two events are not linked. Charles is just weeks away from his marriage and his intended in laws are anyway not very happy with him. When Kate joins him in his quest to find the boys and solve the murder, Charles knows he has to deal with this quickly. This is a very busy story - there is Victorian England at its worst - the attitude towards the poor was appalling, the poverty was rampant, even parents were hard to fathom, there is a cholera epidemic going on and the girl was apparently killed because of a treasure map she kept hinting and waving about. Trying to solve it all made it a very busy story. Interesting but a lot of strands to follow on. Sent by Kensington Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The Socialite's Guide to Murder by S K Golden

This was a very light mystery with characters who seemed fluffy as well. Evelyn lived in the hotel owned by her father. She did not seem to know or want to know how the world lived in 1958. She knew only that she was posh, with plenty of money, no one questioning her moves and she had already solved one mystery. When a murder occurs within the hotel she along with the boy who handles luggage whom she secretly has a crush on decide to investigate. At the same time Evelyn for purposes of show is the girl friend of a man who is rich and famous but gay. Evelyn on his arm is a cover for that too. The arrangement is mutually beneficial. The best description was that it felt that it was not quite written for an adult audience. Sent by Crooked Lane Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

TheShadows Of Rutherford House by C E Rose

i am doing this on my ipad as computer has gone on the blink. Excuse any errors. if you want a story that has more twists and turns than a roller coaster this is it. the story istold in several timelines and has many characters chiming in. the characters are very much part of the story but they come in in the then and now. it also seems typical that these old villages have the most complicated histories and that those in the "big house" seem irretrievably linked to the villagers, however much they look down on them or howeverresentful the villagers may be towards the richer folk. Lust and love, resentment and murder all surface in this well crafted story. The final reveal was a surprise for me. if you want a book that keeps you guessing from beginning to end this is one for you. Sent by Hera Books for an unbiased review courtesy of Netgalley

The Golden Doves by Martha Hall Kelly

The story is not for the faint hearted but then any book set with the concentration camps as a background for some of the novel cannot be. Josie and Arlette have been incarcerated and have since been free - the story of their life has been a very difficut one even to read. They both however want to pursue a Nazi doctor who was cruel, inhumane and who did the most violent experiments on human beings. Both women were known as the Golden Doves and were renowned for their daring and successful infiltration of Nazi intelligence and conveying it to Britain. They were responsible for many acts which were infuriating to the Nazis. Decades later Arlette gets news that the son who was forcibly taken from her may be still alive and Josie working with US intelligence is on the tracks of the infamous doctor. The story crossing time lines and countries also highlights that in the espionage business everyone is expendable and even both women who have sacrificed immensely may be disposable for US greed for supremacy over Russia in their pursuit of medical intelligence or anything that would benefit one country against another. That hit hard. That these very same Nazis were brought to America free to pursue their academic interests and live a very comfortable life after all what they had done. Detailed and authentic this is not an easy read. This period of history never was. We should not forget the atrocities committed because sadly history repeats itself. Sent by Random House Publishing Group Ballantine for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Unnatural Ends by Christopher Huang

I picked the book up for reading thinking this had got archived a long way back and only just saw that it is well in the future. An excellent puzzle of a murder mystery with a lot of suspects which kept changing with every chapter. Sir Lawrence Linwood is rather old, death was not expected but his head was found bashed in with a mace so there was nothing natural about his demise. He was estranged from his children who did not show a united front when they did arrive and who were hostile to everyone around them. Sir Lawrence had a strange proviso in his will. His estate would go to the person who solved the mystery of his death, if he did die of unnatural causes. There was a very cryptic puzzle available and his Secretary and companion of many years was also entitled to the search for clues. As the story progresses, many skeletons in the closet are revealed even those in the Secretary's past and now the two who are assisting in the investigation are beginning to doubt all those who are in pursuit of the clues. When the eldest son is also found murdered, when the pursuers are locked up to prevent them reaching the final clue one begins to see the dysfunctional features of the family which are so twisted and macabre. A lot of attention to detail, a setting of the 1920s very well done too. Sent by Inkshares for an unbiased review courtesy of Netgalley.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Treachery on Tenth Street by Kate Belli

The wealthiest models are being brutally killed off but the Police seem to want to keep it under wraps. Rumours that Jack the Ripper has crossed the Atlantic and continuing in New York is enough to send its citizens into a frenzy and for them to hound the Police and the politicians. The models are also mistresses of various very highly placed people and silence on their deaths seems to be paramount. Not to Genevieve Stewart and her able partner Daniel McCaffrey who have worked in partnership before to solve crimes. Genevieve is a journalist by profession and is keen that investigative journalism should be her forte. 1888 was not a time when this was acceptable by society and she has fought enormous odds to reach this position. Her own parents are supportive, but her brothers are protective and abhor the danger she puts herself in. Daniel and Genevieve make a formidable team. They have access to the upper class which the Police cannot get to and so they make bigger strides in the investigation much to the chagrin of the Police force. Danger, class divides, upper class society of New York as stringent as it was in England if not more are all brought together in this very entertaining read. Sent by Crooked Lane Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.