For the Love of Books, a look at what's new and exciting in the world of reading

Archive for November 2016

In the third book in the series, advice columnist Aggie Mundeen and her on again off again boyfriend, police detective Sam Vanderhover decide to try to rekindle their faltering relationship by taking a little trip down the River Walk during Fiesta Week. But this crime fighting duo will not be allowed a break from murder and mayhem, as a body has been discovered at the Casa Prima Hotel. What’s worse is the fact that it looks as if some of Aggie’s new friends may be involved. This is a fun cozy series that showcases the beauty and quirkiness of San Antonio


DS Jessica McDaniel is on the scene of a fatal car crash in Manchester, she’s seen death before, but she’s unprepared for the body of the dead child she finds in the car trunk. Now, she’s in a race to identify the driver. She uncovers clothing buried in nearby woods and most chilling of all, a list of children’s names in an abandoned garden shed. When another child from the list disappears, it becomes clear to Jessica that if she doesn’t find answers fast, another child will die. Jessica is a bit of a goober, not to mention a terrible driver, and I’m not sure she would have risen to the role of DS in the real world, but the story is creepy and compelling

It’s been ten years since Julie fled her home in small town Mississippi, sure she caused the death of her best friend, Reba. Sometimes it almost seems worse she got away with it then if she’d been arrested and jailed for her crime. Now, she and her daughter live a spare and quiet life in New York and while Julie vowed to never return home, she’s had a request to do just that from Reba’s old lover, August, who wants help locating Reba’s diary. On the one hand, Julie is terrified of returning, of her secrets being exposed, on the other hand, she wonders if others, who also played a role in Reba’s death might also be exposed. It’s a risk, but Julie can’t bear living with the guilt anymore and reluctantly makes the trip home. This is a delicious Southern Gothic with all the right elements – mysterious death, long-buried secrets, Spanish moss and sweet tea

How often have we seen the headlines – serial killer, monster, murderer arrested for the most heinous acts, and all the neighbors can say is “But he seemed so nice”? Dr Jeremy Balint is considered more than a nice guy, he’s one of the most respected doctors around, the youngest head of his department in the hospital and a kind and loving husband and father. And as long as you stay on Jeremy’s good side, that’s exactly what you will get, but cross him and you will see evil that’s difficult to even comprehend. Appel paints a terrifying picture of a high functioning sociopath that has me looking carefully at everyone I know. I’m almost sure a number of our national leaders fit into the same category as Balint

Adelaide Wentworth has reached the end of her rope. With her reputation in tatters and no money to speak of, she and her sister, Louisa travel to Lake Geneva along with Adelaide’s lover, poet Julian Estes. The trio set up house at Villa Diodati where Louisa plots to resume her affair with Bayard, a well-known writer in hopes he will help prop up Julian’s sagging career. Adelaide, meanwhile knows she needs to help Julian, but her love for him is fast fading and she finds herself attracted to Bayard’s assistant, Giovanni. As Giovanni and Adelaide grow closer, their affair will have vast implications on all the residents of Villa Diodati. Megan Chance writes gorgeous historical novels about women and the lives they were forced to lead because of the role society cast them in. This is a mesmerizing tale of greed, lust and betrayal

Charity Baxter’s best memories of childhood are of the times she spent with her grandparents on the Florida Gulf coast. Her mother was neglectful, self-centered and uncaring so when she loses her grandparents, Charity is heart-broken. The only family she loved, the only family that loved her, is gone. Charity has been left her grandparent’s island home and while it’s the scene of many happy memories, she no longer believes that the old weeping willow tree on the property is magical. The truth is, she doesn’t really believe in anything anymore. But then something unusual happens –  other people who have lost their way begin showing up –  a runaway teen, an uncle with a painful past and a man whose heart has been broken. Last but not least, Charity’s mother shows up needing help. Will Charity be able to get over the past to move forward? Oh my, what a lovely story. In such troubled times, it was absolutely wonderful to read such a gentle, magical book

Sandra Hurst is guilty of loving, and trusting too much, but now she’s had enough. She’s leaving her husband (for the second time). With no money and no resources, she heads to her parents for help (again), but she’s shocked when this time, they refuse to hep her. Desperate for a fresh start and some cash, Sandra takes her aunt up on an offer to house sit at the family home in Virginia. But the house is not as she remembered and it looks more than a little worse for the wear. Added to that, the dog she’s supposed to be taking care of has disappeared. It’s all just too much to bear, and Sandra just wants to find a quiet corner to curl up in and cry. But with the help of neighbor Colton and his son, not to mention her aunt’s dog, Honey, she begins to see a glimmer of hope on the horizon. I really liked this story – Sandra is not the perfect person and she’s a little dim-witted when it comes to love, but that just makes her more believable and likeable.