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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Dauntless Hearts by Lincoln Tuvelais

A romance set in 1812 in Northern England. Kitty was a sensible young woman who wanted to marry someone she loved and respected. The brash Irishman set her heart on fire but his behavior, for her, was boorish and she knew that he was unacceptable in polite English society. Putting her personal feelings aside she proceeds to London for her debut, meets up with another young woman and Kitty throws herself into a whirl of entertainment and meeting new people hoping that her earlier feelings will lessen. When her Irish Lieutenant in desperation to win her back invites Kitty and her family to his ancestral home, all hell breaks loose. The family dislikes Kitty intensely, is disparaging and condescending and is determined to get rid of her by any means possible. The book apart from the straight forward romance highlighted the animosity which existed between the Irish and the English, each side not willing to compromise. This was a Regency setting to the whole story which added to its interest. Sent by BooksGoSocial for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

A Mansion for Murder by Frances Brody

1930 Kate Shackleton arrives in the village of Saltaire at the request of an unknown gentleman who seeks her help as an investigator. On arrival, she finds the man initially missing, then drowned under suspicious curcumstances. Investigating further Kate discovers many facets to the murder - rival suitors for an heiress's hand, control of a business through fair means or foul, old curses which the current villagers believe to be true and prevalent today and unsaid, hidden stories that have to be feretted out. Slowly and diplomatically Kate along with her loyal troop of Mrs Suden and Mr Sykes untangle a web of old and new animosities and a desperation on the part of one man who is determined to escape the gallows. It was also interesting to see how women who were capable and clever had to hide their talents, work discreetly so as not to ruffle tge men's feathers. Sent by Crooked Lane Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Now You See Me byDK Hood

A psychopath on the loose in a small isolated area is not easy to find. It is true that people know each other, but when the area is vast, the weather is against you and the abductions are random with no pattern at all, the Detectives are flummoxed. No clues left behind, snatchedfrom the side of the road, snatched from their own house, no forced entry Sheriff Jenna and Detective Kane are at theirwits end to stop the abductions. A chance miscalculation on the part of the murderer, the slip up which every detective waits for and a grisly discovery in church solves the string of murders. Ingenious way of hiding the victims in full sight. Part of a series, my first foray into reading about this pair of detectives. Sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Nevermore Bookstore by Kerrigan Byrne & Cynthia St. Aubin

Very much a modern, social media type of story, the setting of the bookstore drew me in. Cady loves her books, she has also got addicted to a caller who only calls on Thursdays andto put it in a ladylike way as possible sets Cady on fire. The calls arefirst innocuous till they start lasting for hours, definitely volatile between the two. The story was romance and fantasy, a lot of conjecture. light reading at best. Sent by Oliver Heber Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Friday, March 17, 2023

The Slumber Party by Shannon Hollinger

We go back ten years - four girls its prom nite, also the 18th birthday of two abd everyone is in high spirits. The mood changes swiftly, the buoyancy goes, some become morose, the attraction of their dance partners wanes, and the unthinkable happens. Fast forward ten years, every one of the four young women have something to hide, the fissures appear fast and with it fear, that the secrets they held is unravelling before their eyes. The story was an intimate one of growing up in dysfunctional families and though appearing damage free, the cracks and emotional distress lie just below the surface. How parents supposed to be primary care givers, protectors of children fail in their duties. you wonder whether they are blind or pretend a problem does not exist or that communication is no longer possible with a willful teenager with angst aplenty. Is it that parentsg get selfish too, thinking that their own chances of a life are slipping away when the responsibilities of children overwhelm one. These were the thoughts which came to me, whilst I read this story maybe nothing what the author intended. A murder had happened, kept secret by four girls and now it was forced into the open by a persistent Detective, who knew that the key lay with the girls. Good story, dark though. Sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Maid of Steel by Kate Barker

1911 for a working girl was tough. For girls wanting something more than the drudgery and back breaking work in the factories was even harder. Women were old before their time, broken by the relentless hours working. When a factory fire destroyed many women's lives and the life of Martina, Emma's best friend, Emma knew tge time had come to make a change. Arriving in New York for abrecuperative spell, Emma sets about settling in and sees tgat the suffragette movement needs support. This forms the next part of Emma's story. The movement was gathering momentum, despite opposition but needed organisatiin and support whichEmma was eager to contribute to. The other part was the attraction that was building between Emma and Thomas the manager of the hotel where Emma stayed and Alice his wife who wanted to control Thomas though she had no interest in him. Swinging between the events of 1911 and 1912 both personal to the characters as well as those that actually occurred like the suffragette movement getting momentum, as well as the disaster of the Titanic the book was a good read on history at the time. A book that could be described as Womens Fiction with a good bit of history in the setting. Sent by The Book Guild for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Monday, March 13, 2023

No More Secrets by Kerry Lonsdale

Shiloh and Lucas are both trying to escape their past. Lucas six months in a detection centre now riddled with guilt that he failed his family in several ways by ignoring what was happening to his family. Shiloh abandoned by her mother who preferred a boy friend to her helpless daughter whowas being molested by said boyfriend. Now lucas and Shiloh's paths have crossed. Lucas wants to help Shiloh in a way he did not help his sisters but Shiloh after her present experiences with most of the men she met, distrusts Lucas and only sees him as a means to an end - finding enough money to join a boy who she thinks of as a boyfriend someoneshe met online. One knows how the story will pan out for Shiloh and how Lucas will rescue her (once again) but the reunion with the family was a nice touch for both characters. The story draws you in and makes a person realise how important the family structure and support really are. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong without good family relationships and communication without trust and love. The book was sent by Lake Union Publishing for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Death on Deck A Lady Eleanor Swift historical mystery/cozy by Verity Bright

Though there are usually a couple of murders in each book, the way the story is told between the Lady Eleanor, her bulldog Gladstone and her faithful and immensely clever butler Clifford - an element of frivolity or lightness always creeps in. Very different to modern mystery murders Set on an opulent ship (shades of the Titanic) again on its maiden voyage, the Captain with his crew do not want any mishaps, any delays to mar their arrival in New York. When Lady Eleanor witnesses the first murder which is explained to all as a man overboard accident, she knows something is afoot. Finding Detective Hugh Seldon aboard the ship adds to the confusion. The captains table in the first class lounge also throws up debatable characters with dubious reasons for travelling. Unravelling one murder is hard and when the second happens and Lady Eleanor is expressly forbidden to investigate, she knows she has to find the murderer and tge reasons to exonerate Hugh Seldon from suspicion. Very descriptive, class distinctions and all, this was a light read. Sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Lay This Body Down (Gideon Stoltz mystery) by Charles Fergus

This was not an easy read. No book dealing with inhumanity, or inequality, or degrading treatment of another being would be easy to read. i had a hard time to keep going but I hoped and did receive brighter, better news as I read on and this was good for my mind, which was quite disheartened through most of the story. Gideon Stoltz is the Sheriff. He is not from the town, considered an outsider being of Pensylvvanian Dutch ancestry, supposedly a minus point in this community. The county is free frim slavery but is being used by many as a conduit for slaves to escape elsewhere. The black community in this town are close knit and free, but live in permanent fear and are thus resentful. Does not make for good neighbourliness. When an anti abolition supporter Potter is found murdered, Gideon starts investigations which also unearth a series of missing free black folk who seem to be kidnapped. That investigation runs alongside the investigation into Potters murder and ruffles many feathers in the community who do not want questions asked. It endangers Gideon's own life but he is determined to see justice down, whether to a white or black man. Very good reading encapsulated into a pocket sized version of black enslavement in America. Sent by Skyhorse Publications for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Priorsford Scottish Historical Novel by O Douglas

I read a lot of mystery murder stories so it is important to balance stuff a bit and this was an ideal read. A domestic novel set in the hometown of Jean's childhood to which she has returned as a Lady, with three children and an entourage for a long vacation whilst her husband travels overseas. For Jean herself the stay is bittersweet - separated from the husband she adores she has to take on responsibilities previously shared and it is onerous. There is the shadow of end of the Great War and all the economic hardships it has brought on the populace apart from the loss of life and structure in Britain. The true British grit, the want to survive and overcome is very much part of the character of the story itself and this was the tone throughout. I am very appreciative that I first heard of this author through Cornflower Books. It was such a good and gentle introduction to Scottish life. Bought through Amazon Kindle.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Death of a Bookseller by Bernard J Farmer

Books, book sellers, the second hand book trade, the "runners", and the greed and avarice to procure a rare book at any cost is the basis of this story. Michael Fisk dealt in books, Sergeant Wigan's hobby was collecting the books he liked. on the fringe were all the other elements oftge trade. The story of a murder over a rare Keats, the investigation handled by Wigan and the meticulous following up of every detail. When the powers that be decided that Hampton was the murderer because everything pointed to him Wigan was the only one convinced thatthey had the wrong man. He embarked ona private investigation along with Charlie and Connington whom he was able to convert to his point of view, and despite the fact that the accused was a disagreeable character who quarrelled viciously with all even berating Wigan, the end result was excellent with Hopton escaping the execution by a whisker. The story was full of characters - all linked to the trade and it was detailed and descriptive of how bookselling operated at the time. Anyone interested in books should read this story as it told the story of a murder as well as the book trade in equal measure. Sent by Poisoned Pen Press for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. ten Steps from Baker Street by Thomas A Burns Jr

A collection of short engaging stories, typical to Holmes and Watson. Some with a rural setting but many set in the miasma of London slums involving everydayLondoners The intriguing part is the portrayal of the deductive and detective skills of Holmes who at a glance can narrow down the profession, the locality, the status of many who turn to him for support. Holmes isthe quiet, supportive partner meticulouslyfollowing instructions, very protective of Holmes and just trying to keep up with his partners brilliantmind. Loved the stories, never will get tired of them. Sent by Teckrighter. LLC for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.