My Blog List

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Murderess by Jennifer Wells


I am systematically going through all my unread books on my Kindle. This is one of them.

The story set just before the Great War and during the war centers around  the Paxton family, once gentry now impoverished. We have Hugh who only knows the life of a gentleman and is confused and troubled how to live any other way. His wife who is the owner of the Grange, refuses to sell out of a sense of belonging. There is a young daughter Kate who is pivotal to the story. 

The discovery of a mistress of Hugh, the former maid sends Millicent over the edge, but the actual beginning of the story starts years later, with a murder and we go backwards and forwards with the story both leading to the murder, and then after the murder.

Very intense, very well told, the reader is left to analyse the emotions involved as events are set out as it happens, very precise, very clinical. Unusual but very good reading.

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

Friday, September 22, 2023

The Middle Ground by Jeff Ewing

A collection  of short stories that had got to the end of my Netgalley list.

Dealing with almost forgotten characters those who have lived very normal lives and now either in middle age or old age gone to the periphery of society, even of peoples minds and that is sad. All of them lived lives of interest and seemed somewhat faded now.

Some of the stories left me perplexed, some were inspiring.

Sent by Into the Void for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

My apologies for the delay.

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Sorrowful Girl by Keenan Powell

Liam is a good man. Having given up on his dreams to go to Harvard and become a lawyer, he has become a policeman and is trusted with the upkeep of justice in this small town in  Massachusetts.

It is not an easy task trying to keep a balance between the rich and powerful who do not heed the laws and who all close ranks if one of them is threatened. The finding of a body of a young woman in the woods, sets off a search for the murderer, and the hapless tramp is the first suspect. Liam knows that the murder suspect is out there but pressure from outside and lack of any others forces him to an arrest.

The young woman dreamed big and sought a way out from the routine of what her life would be if she remained behind, and this was seen as a threat and she was eliminated.

The story is about injustice, the part that money and in its turn power and influence can play on lives if one does not conform to rules laid down by high powered society and how people keep their heads down due to fear. Liam sought justice but he too had to pick his battles.

This was a compelling read. Things haven’t changed very much still. In some parts of the world anyway

Sent by Three Hooligans Press for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Murder by Invitation by Verity Bright ( A Lady Eleanor mystery)

 Two vintage mystery reads was I fear a bit much, however nice they are.

Lady Eleanor along with her butler Clifford and the entire menagerie is good in small doses.

Celebrations for the Kings birthday are on in full glory. No holds barred with decor and street parties and food. A committee is in charge and Lady Eleanor is on it. But dark undercurrents abound, and when one member is found murdered, strangled with bunting, followed by another bashed on his head with the ceremonial plaque no less along with anti royal calling cards, the big guns are called in to stop these anarchist arising before the celebrations.

The story is a rather long one going into one man’s sad, past history and nothing to do with royalty which was a real red herring and put detectives off track. Very descriptive of the surroundings always this went from this little quaint village to a rather dreary mining village in wales.

This was a pleasant, light read with plenty of humour and nice varied characters to add range to the story.

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

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Wife in the Photo by Emily ShineroLa

 This was twisty and quite a tense read. A family with a teenage daughter having a bit more than the usual ups and downs. When Lola discovers that her husband is being unfaithful, she initially tries to work through the problem and Evan promises to stop the affair. He doesn’t. That eggs Lola to plan to leave him taking Jessica their daughter with her. She didn’t know that spelled doom for herself and she dies of a so called “accident”. 

Fast forward, we have a housekeeper entering the scene and though Jessica initially angry, calms down somewhat though Evan is never quite at ease. Ariel came recommended through Miriam who has worked with Evan for years and is a dependable sort.

The machinations behind Ariel and Miriam come up midway in the story, as it is divided into chapters outlining all the main characters emotions and plans but it did not work out, quite the way anyone bought it would.

Each person wanted a different outcome - no one got that.

Very much a page turner.

Sent by General Fiction (Adult)for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Friday, September 8, 2023

The Fire at the Exhibition by T E Kinsey (A Lady Hardcastle mystery)

 I’ve read two books about aristocratic Ladies who are not representative of the Ladies of the time. They were either haughty, vapid or cowed down. Lady Hardcastle was neither. Along with her supportive maid Flo and a very loyal staff they lived a very democratic and happy existence.

When the village had its inaugural exhibition of art - offerings from the villagers themselves, the productions were surprising. The prized ones were a book on Shakespeare, valued at Stf £ 1000 jewelled and dazzling, and a painting of the Grange by Summerhayes, one of a pair and an alabaster bust of an ancestor of the local laird.

At the inauguration a deliberate attempt to cause a fire, resulted in the theft of the prized exhibits and Lady Hardcastle with Flo was deputised to help the local Police in whatever way they could. They were also more keen to get the Summerhayes back as the Grange was in dire financial straits and needed the painting as one of a pair, to save the Grange from being lost.

Armed with few clues, lots of clever deductions, the addition of an eccentric brother and sister treasure hunting scheme, a hoity toity insurance investigator all adding false trails to the ultimate happy end.

Pleasant and easy to read novel set in 1912 rural England.

Sent by Amazon Publishing UK for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

TheLiterary Undoing of Victoria Swann by Virginia Pye

Vintage Boston we have a successful career woman writing under a pseudonym because her own name was considered provincial. Sadly she was scammed by her publishers who paid her much less than any of their other authors as she was a female, and a double wham when she was literally left destitute when her husband stripped her of all her assets.

Left to fend for herself, she left her publisher joined a pair of young newly established publishers, changed the format of her books, joined a provocative and energetic young woman and sued her former publisher for what she was cheated.

A story of bravery and courage to fly in the face of society’s conventions and norms was not easy but she did it. Successful in turning her life around and a beacon for young women her age.

Written descriptively about the age Victoria lived in, and the challenges women had to face even their own property.

Sent by Regal House Publishing, for an unbiased read, courtesy of Netgalley.