Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford. Published by Berkley

London, 1926. A brand new company, the British Broadcasting Corporation is just opening it’s doors. Maisie Musgrave has landed a job there as a secretary, and while at first she’s intimidated by her bosses and all the famous people tromping through the studio, she soon relaxes and finds her niche, scheduling writers and scientists and politicians to be on the air. The public, meanwhile, has fallen head over heels for the BBC, listening to the radio at all hours. Soon Maisie finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between two of her bosses, one male and one female. Maisie finds herself taking the side of Hilda Matheson, the director of the Talks programming and as  she learns the rope from Hilda, she begins to see the divide between the have and have nots, the men and women in the industry. This was a fascinating look at the beginning of radio and the importance that the BBC would play in the coming days of World War II

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The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig. Published by Berkley

Pastry chef Neely Davis has a gift. She’s able to discern or “taste” the ingredients she needs to use to touch her customer’s palates as well as their souls. She’s never failed yet, but now she’s got a huge challenge. A bride to be has come into the shop along with her mother, a woman who wants to control every aspect of her daughter’s wedding. The two can’t agree on anything and their constant sparring is interfering with Neely’s ability to read the situation. It’s not like Neely doesn’t have enough on her plate, with  the reappearance of her long lost dad, her impending divorce and a new love in her life. I really liked this book, love and baked goods – how can you go wrong ? 🙂

Dead Distillers by Colin Spoelman. Published by Abrams

Americans have had a love/hate relationship with alcohol since our country was founded. Here, readers can meet the men and women who made it. From presidents to gangsters, from moms and dads to heads of industry, we are taken on a tour of distillers. The book lists when and where the distiller was born, died and was buried and then a brief biography. Learn about Jim Beam and Jack Daniel and the truth about the scandalous price for Pappy Van Winkel. Also included are the often lurid newspaper accounts of the distillers (or their children), who were boiled, fried, flambeed, scalded or blown up in the process of making liquor. A highly entertaining and informative look at distilling in America

13 Under the Wire by Gil Reavill. Published by Alibi

10 years ago, sheriff’s deputy Layla Remington was still a cadet in training with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department when she learned of the death of close friend Simon Loushane in Tijuana. She only went to his fabulously wealthy family’s mansion to help straighten out his estate, but she uncovered some nasty secrets about his family. Secrets that had everything to do with Simon’s death. Today Layla is a detective with the LASD and Los Angeles is literally on fire, the result of a huge riot. After making a huge mistake after working a 36 hour shift, Layla falls back to the staging area that law enforcement has set up – the decaying Loushane family mansion, back where this all began. I’m always pleasantly surprised when a male author writes a female law enforcement character well. Reavill has created a believable, smart, savvy character in Remington

I Don’t Want To Talk About It by Jane Lovering. Published by Choc Lit

Winter Gregory needs to get away from her domineering ex-boyfriend. A trip to a remote Yorkshire village to finish up her book seems like a good place to start (although unfortunately her ex is also her editor). While taking photos in a local cemetery, she meets 8 year old Scarlet, a horse crazy little girl living with her grandmother and gorgeous, but taciturn Alex. Alex doesn’t much care for strangers, he’s still suffering from the tragic death of his sister and stammers as a result. Winter is drawn to this damaged little family and they to her. Winter has had plenty of heartbreak in her own life and hopes that together, perhaps, they can find a way to heal. What a beautiful little story! The characters are so real, their sadness so potent and their love for each other so moving. I smiled through tears at this one. Highly recommended

The Second Girl by David Swinson. Published by Mullholland

Former police detective Frank Marr took an early retirement from the force. Now, he works as a private investigator for a defense attorney. The money he earns comes in handy for funding Frank’s “hobby”. He’s been a high functioning drug addict for years and has become so skilled at hiding it, no one knows. During a routine investigation, Frank stumbles across a kidnapped teenage girl in a drug dealer’s hangout. The rescue makes him front page news and he’s soon talked into searching for another missing teen who may be connected to the first girl. But all the media scrutiny threatens to expose Frank’s secrets for all to see. I have read a lot of books where the tortured cop was an alcoholic but this is my first drug addicted cop. Frank is the kind of character you know you should hate, but you can’t help but rally behind. His humanity is a testament to Swinson’s skills as an author

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti. Published by Atria

Everyone who’s anyone knows Zoe Whittaker. The beautiful socialite sits on the boards on Manhattan”s most prestigious charities, has a Tribeca penthouse and a Wall Street wizard as a husband. Of course, they don’t really know anything about Zoe. They don’t know that just a few short years ago she was someone very different, someone who would do anything just to survive – even become someone she was not. Now, life is catching up to Zoe and her house of cards is about to collapse, taking Zoe and everyone she cares about with it. Ever since Gone Girl, readers are looking for books with surprising twists, endings that shock and delight. Moretti delivers all those things and more in this compulsively readable shocker. Highly recommended