Category Archives: fiction

1920’s in NYC

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I have a love affair with historical fiction, and I am always changing my favorite time period….I am fickle that way.  Currently, I am in love with the 1920’s.  I love Libba Bray’s series The Diviners which mixes historical fiction with mystery and fantasy.   Very cool.   And now I am devouring Beatriz Williams books.  This one is called The Wicked City.    It centers around an apartment in Greenwich Village that links two wonderfully tragic yet flawed women.

In the 1920s, it is Geneva Kelly who has run away from a horrible home life and has worked to reinvent herself.  She is a snarky flapper who loves to enjoy all life is offering her in NYC….until she is forced to go back home to see her dying mother and confront her toxic stepfather….Duke Kelly.   She gets herself wrapped up with Prohibition agents, bootleggers, sexy college boys, and murder.  Who can she trust?  Why can’t she shake her past and start over?

In 1998, Ella Glbert has discovered that her husband of four years….has been cheating on her.   She caught him with the other woman in a compromised position….she leaves immediately and rents the same apartment that Ginger AKA Geneva lived in decades before.   The other tenants in the building are friendly and welcoming.   In fact, there is one in particular that Ella is drawn to….Hector.  Ella starts to notice strange things about the building….a woman’s voice screaming in the night behind a brick wall….jazz music playing in the basement….she begins to discover what happened there years ago…..

Such a good read!  I could not put it down and was sad when it was over.   But wait…there is good news!   This is the first in a trilogy!!!   Can’t wait!!

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Filed under adult, fiction, historical, mystery

A complex and dark cold case….

This is a cold case that takes place in a small town in England called Lilling.   In 1976, a 16 year-old girl went missing  and her body was found later in a shallow grave.   The girl’s name was Annalise Wood and she become an obsession for more than one person in this small town.  She was a beautiful and popular girl who seemed to have no enemies.  The murder and motive have never been discovered.

Fast forward a few decades, and with new DNA evidence…the pieces of the unsolved murder begin to fall in place, or so the police believe.  The cast of characters in this small town has changed… Annalise’s parents are both dead, but there does remain a few high school friends who know more than they first divulged in 1976. There are new faces that seem to know more about the murder as well.   Enter a troubled 24-year-old girl who is also called Annalise who starts to talk to Dr. Laurie Ambrose, psychiatrist.  Dr. Ambrose starts to suspect that something is not quite right.  She tries to piece together clues and recordings on her own when another patient starts discussing the case as well.

Cold case investigator Morris Keene and Chloe Frohmann hope to take this new evidence and solve this case, but the new DNA only disturbs the community instead of healing it.  Another body is found…another possible murder?  Can the two be connected? And will there ever discover what happened to Annalise Wood back in 1976?

A good read for murder-mystery fans.

 

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Filed under adult, fiction, mystery, Uncategorized

Truly a page turner

I started this book on the car ride to Lake Lure, NC for a family trip to the mountains….one of my favorite places to be.  This book is 600 pages long….and I had it done on the second day of the trip.  What this means is that I used every free second between trail running and hiking and shopping and eating and card playing with my family….to read this book.   I stayed up very late at night reading while everyone else was snoozing away.

The book takes place in NYC and involves the disappearance of Amy.  Amy is about to graduate from college and seems like the a happy-go-lucky gal.  Yet the story does not center on her…it centers on her roommate Lily.  Lily is not about to graduate college despite being enrolled for 6 years and she seems to be stalled in her life at the age of 24.  She takes off to Maui to visit her sick mom when she is called back to help determine what happened to Amy.

The story takes twists and turns and encompasses so many tragic story lines….alcoholism, cancer, Nazi concentration camps, marital affairs, cults, murder, suicide, drugs, etc.  I sympathized with Lily and was rooting for her the whole story, but each time I would turn the page it would only get drearier.  I kept reading and hoping for Spencer and her to help each other in a world where they were drowning.   I am not going to tell you if I was rewarded at the end….that would be wrong.

The characters make this story…there were many that I hated (ahem…Anne), and those that I grew to understand even if I never found any love for them (ahem…Allison).  I kept reading for Lily and Spencer.  And I suggest you do the same.

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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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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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History and Mystery coming soon!

This is Historical Fiction novel that reads as more of a mystery than history.  It is by Beatriz Williams, and apparently she has written previous novels about some of the characters in this story.  I have not read any of them which could be why I am confused by the epilogue.   It was recommended that I read A Certain Age by her before this one….well…I did not do that.

I will tell you that I did enjoy this book…the beginning was a bit slow, but it eventually picked up and I read the last 200 pages in one afternoon.  It is about a strong woman named Virginia who is an ambulance driver in WWI in France, and it is there that she meets mysterious and handsome Captain Simon Fitzwilliams.  The two fall in love and have a passionate affair.  Yet they both have secrets from their past….some serious secrets that create tragedy to their eventual marriage and birth of their daughter.

Five years later, and they are living in America.  Virginia and her daughter are in NYC while Simon is in Florida running several businesses.   The pair become estranged for 3 years when Simon is  suddenly killed in a fire.  Virginia travel south to deal with the details of the death and the businesses she will inherit.  Enter Samuel and Clara Fitzwilliams…Simon’s siblings.  They welcome her with open arms, and yet Virginia senses something is off….something is not quite right.  The more she questions, the more dangerous her situation becomes.

 

 

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Filed under fiction, historical, mystery, Uncategorized