Category Archives: adult

A classic mystery

Let me start by saying that I adore Agatha Christie….I have adored her books since I was in junior high school.  I started with And Then There Were None and devoured many of her mysteries soon after.   I became obsessed and would read the books and watch all the Agatha Christie movies….my favorites were with Peter Usinov  as Hercule Poirot.  So when I was offered to review Murder on the Orient Express, I quickly jumped at the chance.

The movie will be out this week (November 9, and I cannot wait to see this version directed by Kenneth Branagh.  Though I recommend everyone read the book first before seeing the film.)   The book is addicting!  The whole mystery takes place on the Orient Express which is stuck on the tracks in a snowdrift.   It is during this time that Samuel Ratchett is murdered.  He is found in a locked compartment stabbed 12 times….no murder weapon is found.   The murderer is among one of passengers or employees of the train.  Hercule Poirot is on the case before the murderer can strike again.  Trust me…this is one fantastic read for any mystery lover.  I love Hercule Poirot and the characters are so well developed, and I felt like I was on the train with them all watching everything unfold in front of me.  Go out and read this…now….and then see the movie!

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Filed under adult, mystery

Twists and turns…very dark

  

 

I have read several book by C.L. Taylor and have enjoyed them.  She writes thrillers that visit your deepest fears and will haunt you.   This is a story of 15 year-old Billy who goes missing in the middle of the night.  There are no clues as to where he could be or what could have happened.  Forward 6 months, and the family has fallen apart.  His older brother is drinking, mom is having blackouts and can’t remember things that she has done, and the father is distant and hiding some secret that could cause more agonizing news.

Throughout the book, we, the reader, are given clips of text conversations between two people who use aliases.  We come to learn quickly that one is Billy, but when we discover who the other is…we are shocked.

Fast-pace and engaging…I had to finish it before I went to bed last night.

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Delightful, Warm, and Sweet

  

I just finished reading the third book in this trilogy, and I am bittersweet over it.   It was such a delight to read, and I am a tad bit sad that I read the last one first.   I know I can go back and read the first two and pretend that I know nothing….I will certainly have to do that since I do love the characters so much.

The stories take place in a Cornish coastal village only connected to the mainland by the causeway…no road.  Polly is the baker of the bunch and has her own little bakery and she has two dear friends whose stories are both heartbreaking and lovely.   I do not want to tell too much about this book, but I do recommend it.   I would first read The Little Beach Street Bakery and then Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery and then finish with Christmas at Little Beach Bakery.  With the cooler temperatures coming soon…these books will warm you this winter.

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Filed under adult, fiction, romance

Timely novel

 

This novel tackles a timely topic that we are seeing every day in the world.  Racial divide and fear.  This story takes place in England.  The two main characters are two best friends.  Two 15 year-old boys.   One with terminal cancer.  One who is white.  The other is a Somali refugee.  They are quiet, nerdy boys who play chess and do everything together.

One night during a sleepover, Noah convinces Abdi to sneak out after his parents have fallen asleep.   Noah knows that his time is running out and he wants to do something mischievous.  Abdi is not so sure, but he reluctantly agrees.  Tragedy strikes when Noah ends up in the canal and is unconscious.  He ends up in the hospital in a coma.  Abdi is silent and refuses to talk about what happens.  People begin to assume that Abdi is the one responsible for what happened to Noah.  Both their families fight to find the truth and protect their sons.

Enter Detective Jim Clemo who is back on duty after a mandatory leave.  He begins to piece together the truth to that night, but he has to fight the media who wants to sensationalize the story and make Abdi and all Somali refugees the problem.   They blame Abdi and this fuels the belief for a White Nation as tension builds in Bristol.

Very hard to read at parts, very real, and a shocking ending.  Highly recommend!

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A new favorite mystery series!

 

This is my first encounter with  Stewart Hoag (Hoagy) and his sidekick….an anchovy-eating Bassett Hound named Lulu. And I loved it! This is number 9 in the series!   Number 9!   This means I have 8 more books that I need to read in order to complete the mysterious adventures Hoagy and Lulu.  Here is a rundown of who Hoagy is:

In the past, Hoagy wrote one best-seller and was the talk of the town…he had it all.  However, this was followed by an extreme case of writer’s block and a second novel has not come to be.   He lost his fancy home, the fancy life, and his marriage to movie star Merilee.   He now lives in small apartment in New York with Lulu and spends his time ghostwriting.  His new career has provided him not only with the opportunity to write fascinating and interesting stories, but to use another of his skills…amateur sleuthing.  He natural ability to deduce and reason helps him solve some fairly scary and dangerous cases…all that start with a new ghostwriting assignment.   Who knew writing could be so dangerous?

The Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes reunites Hoagy with Reggie….a beautiful, yet wounded poet who he spent three passionate and wild years with. Reggie’s father is a famous author who has become a recluse (think a bit J.D. Salinger).   No one has heard from him in years….not since his wife committed suicide.  That is no one has heard from him until now — twenty years later.   Reggie and her sister Monette (who have not spoken in 20 years) receive letters from their father….or someone pretending to be their father. He wants something from his daughters.   The public is intrigued.

Enter Stewart Hoagy.  He has been hired to author the story of the reunion of Richard Aintree (recluse author) and his two daughters. Hoagy flies out to Monette’s home in LA and discovers that Monette’s empire is crumbling away after a Hollywood scandal.  Hoagy gets thrown into the scandal when bodies begin to pileup in Monette’s LA mansion.  Hoagy immediately tunes into the detective part of himself and starts to uncover the truth.

Fun, witty, fast-paced….I recommend this for an rainy weekend read…make sure you have some coffee and pastries to keep you fueled through the read.

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Love, espionage, friendship, and war

Two brave women’s lives are entwined after World War II: 1947.  Charlie St. Clair’s mother drags her over to England to discreetly take care of her “Little Problem”, but Charlie has other plans.   She breaks free to discover what happened to her cousin…her best friend Rose.  She has been told that Rose died during the war, but Charlie does not believe this to be the truth and is determined to rescue her cousin.  She has one lead: a woman name Evelyn Gardiner.

She finds Evelyn.  Eve is a mean, bitter drunk who threatens to shoot Charlie once she arrives, but as soon as Eve utters the words Le Lethe, she puts the gun down.  She agrees to help her.  Together with Finn Kilgore (who is quite the handsome mystery and their driver) they embark on an adventure that reaches back to WWI when Eve was part of The Alice Network and worked as a female spy.  Back when betrayal broke apart the group and ruined lives forever.

Both Eve, Charlie, and Finn are looking for things….a cousin, a place, a man, revenge….what they discover along the way is more than they could have imagined.  The characters in this book are so wonderful and I would follow their stories anywhere.  Yet it is not the places that they took me that I loved…it was them.  Their strength, their love, their devotion, their decision not to follow social norms of the time and be their own people.  And in the end, they discover friendship and love….maybe the answers they uncover were not what they quite thought they would be, but in life and adventure it is never has it is planned.

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Filed under adult, fiction, historical, Uncategorized

Suspenseful

Hallie Ephron writes stories that command your attention until the end.  I picked this up and read until I had to put it down…I had to find out what happened to Janey.  Lis was a 7 year-old little girl when she was playing in the yard with her 4 year-old sister, Janey.  Lis sees a little dog and chases it into the woods, and her sister is left alone and ultimately disappears.   Lis is now in her 40s with her own daughter, and she has been living with her mother for quite a while.  Janey’s disappearances has effected them for decades.

Here is the creepy part, Miss Sorrel, Lis and Janey’s mother, is a doll maker.  She makes porcelain dolls in the likeness of a child who keeps the daughter….made with that child’s hair.  One day, a woman appears to Miss Sorrel with an old doll that looks just like Janey…..could this has been the doll that Janey had when she disappeared?  If it is the doll, where is Janey and what happened to her?

The story unfolds quickly, and Miss Sorrel and Lis realize they are in danger as they get closer to discovering what has happened to Janey.

Quick, easy read.   A few flaws with the characters, but nothing that gets in the way with the story.  Well-worth the read!

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Filed under adult, fiction, mystery, Uncategorized