Diane Chamberlain does it to me every time. She writes stories that are so amazingly compelling that I find myself rushing through them while at the same time savoring the brilliance of the story. Her latest is even better than that.
Tess has everything she’s ever wanted. She’s surrounded by family and friends, close to graduating from nursing school, and engaged to the love of her life. Then one mistake, one night, changes everything. A drunken encounter with a strange man leaves her pregnant. Suddenly her entire life is in upheaval. Having a child out of wedlock in 1944 is out of the question. So she does the only thing she knows to do. She leaves the life she knows behind without much of an explanation to anyone.
When she settles in North Carolina with the father of her child, things definitely don’t go as expected. She’s seen as an outsider by almost everyone in the small town. Her new mother-in-law doesn’t care for her, and neither does her sister-in-law Lucy. Although Henry’s kind to her and she wants for nothing, he doesn’t really act like a husband. And then there’s the accident. Lucy’s dead, and everybody blames Tess.
But as her outsider status grows, so does her suspicion that something’s going on with Henry. Not only is he increasingly distant, he’s gone for long periods of time during the night. Oh and there’s that stash of hidden money she comes across…
I loved this book. That’s not really surprising because I love this author. But this one’s a bit different. The historical fiction element was wonderfully written and made for one heck of a story. This story will likely go down as one of my favorites from Diane Chamberlain.
What a thrill it must be, as an author, to have your debut novel reach the top of the best seller list. To have everyone talking about it, recommending it. To have it made into a movie, even. But as wonderful as this all must be, there’s a downside. Everyone expects your next novel to be just as good if not better. Unfair, probably. Still, the bar has been set.
There’s a river that runs through town. It’s a river filled with mystery and intrigue. It’s where many a woman has met her fate over the years. The latest death isn’t like the others, though. Nel’s death seems different, both to her daughter Lena and to her sister Jules. Did she really kill herself? Or was she digging too deep, uncovering the town’s hidden secrets? If that’s the case, then everyone connected to her is in danger as well.
Did I enjoy this one as much as The Girl on the Train? Not really. There’s a lot going on, and there are a lot of characters to keep up with. It seems like the story is trying to be too much at once. It’s a mystery/thriller, of course. But there’s also a supernatural-paranormal element at work although that aspect is never fully developed. That doesn’t stop me from recommending it, though. It’s a good story, well worth your time.
A friend…a very good one. Someone who knows you better than you know yourself. Someone you can turn to in your darkest hour, to help you pick up the pieces. What can be better? Leah considers herself lucky to have such a person in Emmy. She’s been there for her through it all, even after all the time they were out of touch.
And now, Emmy is willing to give up everything and start over for Leah. Everything begins to unravel, however, when a local girl turns up beaten and left for dead. And then Emmy goes missing. Exactly when did Leah see her last, anyway? As Leah digs deeper and deeper, she realizes that maybe she didn’t really know Emmy that well after all.
This is the perfect follow-up to Miranda’s last novel, All the Missing Girls. It has just the right mix of intrigue, mystery, whodunit-ness to keep you guessing. And even if you put pieces of the story together before the halfway mark, as did I, the last 30% is sure to take you for a ride. That alone is enough of a reason to grab this one!
A missing baby. A maybe slightly psychotic mother. A lying father. Kinky next door neighbors. They’re all there, a cast of characters to set you up for one heck of a story.
When their babysitter cancels at the last minute, Anne’s first instinct is to skip the dinner party next door. But somehow, her husband Marco convinces her that it’ll be okay to leave the sleeping baby home alone. Their houses share a wall, after all. And they’ll be checking up on Cora every thirty minutes. What could possibly go wrong?
Of course it does go wrong. Baby Cora goes missing. And there are very few clues left behind. It’s natural that suspicion would fall upon her parents. Anne has been slightly depressed, after all. And Marco’s business isn’t doing so well. Was he so desperate for money that he’d stage a kidnapping and ransom demand?
But wait. There’s more. There are also the shady dinner party neighbors, especially the wife Cynthia who has eyes for Marco. And Anne’s dad? He’s got a ton of money, thanks to her mom. Along with that, he has some questionable business dealings. Or was it really just a random event, a crime of opportunity? Somehow the detectives in charge don’t think so. But the deeper they dig, the more twists and turns they find.
This was quite an enjoyable book. There are so many characters who could be guilty that even when I found how who dunnit, I was still suspicious of the others. And it’s very twisty and turny, right up until the very end. Also to note, I listened to the audio version which had an excellent narrator.
There are those books that, while good enough to keep you reading, aren’t necessarily in the “can’t put it down until I finish it” category. And as voracious readers, we understand that. Not every story can be a page turner of epic proportions. That’s what I was thinking as I worked my way through the first half of this one. But then, oh boy.
The loss of a child is unimaginable for most of us, thankfully. So it’s impossible to truly understand how we might react. Would you find the strength to go on? Or would you curl up in a ball and simply wither away? Jacob’s mother is faced with just this dilemma when his young life is tragically ended on a rainy street. To make matters worse, the driver just keeps on going. Justice is not served, she’s left without a child and a purpose, and a killer runs free. So she leaves town, presumably hoping for a fresh start elsewhere.
The detectives on the case, however, can’t let it go. Lead after lead is exhausted, and still they plow on, hoping for that big break. And finally it comes. But it’s not what they expected. Actually, it’s not what anyone expected. And this is where I’ll stop.
Told in differing viewpoints alternating between past and present, this story is unforgettable. Seems like a simple detective novel at first, but ends up being so much more. So much more that I did not move from my couch as I raced through the last half. Get it, read it, and enjoy!
Detective Cormoran Strike’s assistant Robin receives a special delivery – of a severed leg. And that’s the impetus for following around dangerous and seedy characters from Strike’s past.
This book is way more gory and psycho than the first two – and definitely too much so for my tastes. But it’s a beautifully written book with just enough clues to make you feel like you should have known who the culprit was all along. Personally, I liked the side stories of Robin’s fiancé and Cormoran’s superficial love life. I also liked traipsing around city and country alike, accompanying Robin in shadowy doorways and looking out for the bad guys.
Shannon has a broken heart – and a secret. Daniel has a broken heart – and is a detective. It’s up in the air whether they can find healing and solace together, or if their trust issues supercede their chemistry.
Heartsong Cottage is the latest in the Eternity Springs series, which I find charming and heartwarming.
Romance? Check. A wedding? Check. A drunken mess? Check. Good friends? Check. Celeste working her magic? Check and double-check.
When Shannon and Daniel wade through uncertainty, the Eternity Springs community comes through for them. Love from their friends and the healing spirit of the town are more than these broken people hoped for. And I appreciate that kind of charming embrace.
But the trope has been overdone. I’ve read too many stalker-traumatizes-and-detective-saves-the-day suspenseful romances. I skim-read about a dozen pages in the middle of the book because I felt like I had read them before – in a half dozen romance novels in the last five years.
March’s writing is excellent. The characters are loveable. Eventually there’s resolution and a nice, tidy, happy ending. But the journey there wasn’t the fresh new adventure I was hoping for.
Holy Moly, Jess Lourey! Here I thought I was embarking on another cozy mystery, threaded with a teensy bit of romance and some humor. But no. Instead I got Murder on the Orient Express sends Valentine’s Day off its tracks, and Things Are Not What They Seem goes deeper than a good disguise.
I laughed a whole bunch at the beginning of Mira’s train ride with nutty Mrs. Berns. All the elements of a good mystery came into play, with Lourey’s usual wit causing me to chuckle. The writing rocks, too. My favorite line about being stuck in a snowstorm: “Overhead, snow fell heavy like dirt on a casket.” Foreshadowing at its finest.
After the halfway mark, however, things got serious. Murders needed to be solved, people’s safety was at risk, and any laughter was only from pure comic relief.
By the end of February Fever I was crying like a baby. Mira may have solved the mystery on the train, but she also brought full-circle some unresolved heartaches.
Writing a funny mystery that naturally turns serious takes talent. Ending same book with a funeral takes guts. And leaving me hanging about the next step for Johnny and Mira’s romance? Pretty clever. When can I read the next book?!
I read a lot of amateur sleuth mysteries. Sister Eve is a little younger than the usual sleuths I read, and she rides a Harley, and she’s a nun, AND her dad is a former detective. Refreshing and appealing!
I loved Eve (Evangeline) and her candor. She reminded me a lot of myself: A little brash, a little naive, a little impulsive. When she suspected a certain guy as the perpetrator of the crime, she just drove down to his house and jumped the fence. She had no backup plan. She didn’t even have a primary plan! Her haste made for some funny moments and even a possible meet-cute. (I see romance in every novel!)
I enjoyed Hinton’s other characters, too: the injured and stubborn dad, the greasy film producer, the martyr sister, the pretty young actress…
But the plot just didn’t come together smoothly for me. Storylines are aesthetic… Liking a plot line comes down to your personal taste. I think this one just didn’t do it for me — the whole film world turned me off. I didn’t like the deviousness and quirks of the characters in the film industry. Even pretty Megan annoyed me when she didn’t stand up for herself.
The crime SOLVING, though… That was my cup of tea. Sister Eve and her friends who just happen to have information to help her solve the case… Eve’s brainstorming sessions with her dad… The police on the fringe of the true investigation… All very well worth the read.
My favorite part? Eve taking another leave of absence from the convent, because that means she might have another crime to solve soon.
I think I love his books more with each new release….I’ve been in a massive book slump…nothing holds my attention….but this did….and the ending….I love Davenport so much….I love that he is flawed, but his heart is not….I love that he faces moral and ethical dilemmas head on…..doing what he knows will allow him to sleep at night….even if it costs him something somewhere else down the line….and never putting his job before people…..those close to him, or just those he encounters for a short time….
I marvel at Sandford….an author that has kept me engaged for 20 plus years and more in love with a series now than I was with at the start….I also love that he doesn’t feel the need to make every thing nice and neat and wrapped in pretty paper…..his novels often get messy…and end messy….but that’s to be admired, not shunned…..
I hope Sandford is around for many more years to come…..still a favourite after all these years….