Thursday, December 14, 2017

Historically Dead by Greta McKennan

Daria is making historically correct gowns for two older ladies that competing to win the grand prize on a national TV show.  She's also doing the curtains and other sewing assignments as required.  The TV crew is a bit of a pain, but she keeps soldiering on and gets most of it all done.  All she has left are the curtains and a few more dresses.  When she goes in the office the researcher uses to ask about curtain patterns, she finds him dead on the floor.  She calls 911 and waits.  When she finds out he was hit in the head and it was not a natural death, it worries her.  No one was in the house who didn't belong.  Who killed him?

Lyrical Underground and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 19th.

This cozy mystery has one older lady who isn't quite all there and her sister, who seems to be made of steel.  There's a rumor that the more rigid one burned down her house and her husband both.  She doesn't regret his death.  It was arson, but did she do it?  She said she stayed in a local hotel because they had a fight.  Was that all she did? And then there's the boy that disappeared years ago.  No one ever proved him dead and his fluffy aunt still thinks he'll return.

Daria finds out the researcher had a secret he was going to reveal and it would expose the local hero as a traitor.  His assistant knows this secret, too, and she begs him to stay safe.  Then her newspaper reporter she's fond of disappears along with the assistant and she's afraid they are dead.

The story is busy, has lots of action, and ends violently.  This one won't bore you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Devil's Song by Lauren Stahl

Kate is an up-and-coming prosecutor who is trying hard to show her own worth.  Others think her dad got her the position and she intends to prove them wrong.  She has an excellent record.  And she's real excited about this new case.  She doesn't realize how close to home it's going to come...

Kaylie Jones Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published January 2nd.

Kate carries a secret from the past in her heart and head.  She soon starts to see similarities between the current killings and her near death experience as a child.  The women all have red hair and they've all been shaved to make them look childish. She thinks her predator is out of jail but he's not.  He's dead.  So who's killing them?

Someone is drugging Kate and messing with her mind.  Her cousin who was her best friend is now distant and detached even though she's living with her.  The more she searches for the truth, the more twisted the tale gets.

You have drug addicts, crazy people, blackmail and corruption cases all over the place and the people she's trying to track aren't where they are supposed to be.  Kate finds herself in an impossible place and it looks hopeless.

This story is exciting and realistic.  While Kate survives and it looks like she may have found a love interest, you can tell her father is in trouble.  He's a judge and she's always admired him.  She'll probably be protecting him in the next book in this series.

The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit

This tale is written for young readers.  It's full of silly stories where the children's big ideas backfire on them.  It's written well and you even laugh as you see how they carry out their goals.

Dover Publications and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Their mother has died, their father is having a hard time earning enough money to keep them in their home and they are trying to come up with ways to make money.  After all, father sold their silverware and other things from the house already and their allowances have disappeared.  Just what could they do?

They try all sorts of schemes that are hairbrained and silly and they manage to get by without doing any damage.  They do get in a bit of trouble.

The ending is great!  They feel sorry for their poor Indian uncle, so they give him they money they have left since their last great scheme.  That turns their fortune around.  You'll need to read the book to see how but it's a fun read.  Give it a try.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Royal Rabbits Of London by Santa Montefiore, Simon Sebag Montefiore

Shylo is a small rabbit who's not very good at physical activities.  His siblings tease him.  His oldest brother is the worse.  But he has a secret friend that believes in him.  He's an old rabbit with lots of scars and lots of tales...

Aladdin and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

When his brother follows him into the woods, he decides to shake him off by running through the woods and hiding.  He manages that, but he finds himself in a bad place.  The log he hid in is housing rats and they are making plans to take pictures of the Queen in Buckingham Palace while she's wearing her night gown.  Those will sell and make them famous.  (Like paparazzi but more along the lines of paparatzy.)

Shylo escapes and tells the old rabbit about it.  Since he's a retired Royal Rabbit, he tells him he must go warn the Royal Rabbits at the palace about the plot.  Shylo doesn't want to but he's the only one can.  The old rabbit tells him all the secret codes, where to go and who to talk to and tells him he may not be the strongest or bravest, but he needs to use his head to accomplish his goals.

I enjoy stories about animals and this one was a very good read.  Shylo finds himself in some very bad situations but he keeps his head and manages to stay out of trouble.  The Queen's corgis even play a role in this story.

It's an exciting tale filled with danger that ends well for the good guys.  Middle graders should love this story.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

She works for the CIA and works on detecting spies.  She's married, has children and life is good.  At least it is until she finds out her husband is a Russian sleeper.  She should turn him in but she can't.  She loves him...

Ballantine Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

When she talks to him about it, he admits it.  Her world falls apart.  It just gets worse.  She tries to protect him and then the Russians begin to blackmail her into being an inside person in the CIA.  She does something that won't damage much, but the threats escalate.

This is a cat and mouse world with death hovering around the edges.  She believes in him but I'm not sure she should.  They live through this crisis but I don't think her troubles are over yet.

With lots of suspense and tension throughout the story, this author keeps you reading.  It's a scary look at how things can turn out even with the best of intentions.  Who do you trust?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

This is the story of a woman who is mixing prescription pills with alcohol and gradually losing her mind.  She's suffered such a devastating loss she can't put her life back together again.  She's a bit like Humpty Dumpty.  She's created her own little, safe place and it's not good for her but she can't change...

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

All she really does now is play chess, drink wine, take her pills when she remembers, and look out her windows at the neighbors and what they do.  She uses her camera with the telephoto lense to see into the houses or yards.  She's a snoop.  When she witnesses murder, she becomes a worried snoop.  No one believes her...

This is a suspenseful psychological read with only part of the facts revealed at the beginning.  As it goes along, she begins to doubt herself.  She could have hallucinated.  Maybe she forgot some of what she did.  How else could someone post things on her account and take a picture of her sleeping in her bed?  The answer to that is disturbing.

The cops believe that she believes what she's telling them but there's no proof.  The missing woman was not who she assumed she was.  No one else witnessed the murder.  And she has mental problems.  It's no comfort to her to find out she was right.  Now it's a fight for her life... 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

Mr. Backman approaches his stories from a different angle.  You never know exactly what you're going to get when you begin them but he keeps you reading!

Atria Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

It begins with a father telling his son a story at Christmas in which he admits he's taken a life.  But the rest of the story is about making a deal with death...

The man finds out he has cancer and he may die.  He meets a five year old girl in the hospital and they become friends.  He doesn't want her to die.  But he can't trade his death for hers.  What he has to do makes him assess his life and his relationships with his family.

It's a story that makes you think.  It even has a message about how to make your life mean more.

Every time I read this author's work, I find myself thinking about the story days later.  This is a novella so here's your chance to quickly see how his words weave into your brain.