Monthly Archives: September 2017

By the Book by Julia Sonneborn. Published by Gallery

Publish or perish. Those words are everything in the halls of academia and Anne Corey knows that if she wants to get tenure at her college, she needs to write a book and get it published, the sooner the better. If only it was that easy. Her life is further complicated when she learns the new president of her college is none other than Adam Martinez, ex fiance and love of her life. Anne has already begun a serious “friendship”  with the college’s writer-in-residence, Rick and she has no intention of rekindling the flame with Adam. The ending of this story is pretty much a foregone conclusion, but it was hard to feel any real heat, or even warmth from Anne and Adam’s encounters. The real strength of this book was Anne herself, I liked her and how she grew through the story, but I wish she had kicked both men to the curb

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The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland. Published by Bookouture

A parent’s worst nightmare is that their child will be taken. What happens if someone else’s child suddenly appears in your home? Tessa Markham has found a total stranger, a child in her home, asking if she is his mother. Tessa immediately contacts the police, but instead of believing her story, they believe Tessa kidnapped the child herself. No one believes Tessa. not the authorities, her friends or family. How can she prove her innocence? The ending of this book blew me out of the water, you won’t be able to put this down

Don’t Tell a Soul by DK Hood. Published by Bookouture

Black Rock Falls is a small town where crime and violence are rare, so Detective Jenna Alton feels a bit out of her element when a body is found in a barrel at the local dump. She surmises that the body must belong to one of the two strangers who passed through town and then disappeared. There is no obvious connection between the two, so Jenna and her deputy David are stymied. With any potential witnesses refusing to cooperate, Jenna begins to wonder if this quiet little town might have some dirty secrets. Secrets someone is willing to kill to keep quiet.

These Violent Delights by Victoria Namkung. Published by Griffith Moon

This book provides a look inside the world of pricey prep schools, Windemere School for Girls in this story. Not surprisingly, there is a professor who likes the girls a little too much. He continues his dalliances under the radar as the rest of the staff ignores the warning signs. It’s not until a former student comes forward with the truth, that Gregory Copeland comes under the microscope.  When two other former students step forward, the women. they along with the first student and a journalist take aim at Copeland and Windemere, exposing all of their dark and dirty secrets. This story is all to familiar, as it plays out in real life across the United States everyday. This was not an easy read, because of the subject matter, but Namkung handled it adeptly and with great sympathy for the story’s victims

The Orphan of Florence by Jeanne Kalogridis. Published by St. Martins

In 15th century Florence, Giulia has learned to take care of herself. Raised in an orphanage, the young woman decided to take her chances on the streets rather than be subjected to a loveless marriage. She and her young charge Tomasso make their way by lying and stealing, becoming adept pick pockets. Things rub along well enough until they pick the wrong person to rob. If you are interested in Florence and its history, you’ll love this book. There are many, highly detailed descriptions of the city and its inhabitants, and while I liked this aspect of the book (it gave me a real feel for the story), I think it may be a bit tedious for some readers

Bloodstains with Bronte by Katherine Bolger Hyde. Published by St. Martins

Hooray!  A book that doesn’t have a 20-year-old ingenue for the main character! Emily is a woman of a certain age, having the time of her life turning her aunt’s palatial home into a writer’s retreat. Less successful are her attempts to start a clinic in town, so she hosts a”mystery dinner” to help raise funds. Unfortunately the staged murder becomes all too real and Emily finds herself looking at everyone, wondering who was responsible. Her guests? The two young contractors working on the restoration? There are some tie-ins with the Bronte sister’s books, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, hence the title. There’s no gore or strange, demented characters, rather this is a literary cozy mystery that will appeal to fans of the genre

The Bad Daughter by Joy Fielding. Published by Ballantine

Robin has stayed far away from her family for years. Her father’s remarriage and ensuing new family, along with her terrible relationship with her sister, have given her no reason to play the part of dutiful sister and daughter. That changes when a blitz attack leaves her father, his wife and their daughter clinging to life. Robin heads back to her father’s home, the scene of the attack, wanting to try to mend fences with the family she’s very nearly lost. But she has to wonder, why were they attacked so brutally? Police seem to believe it was a home invasion gone wrong, but the whole thing seems like…overkilll. In her attempts to find out what really happened, Robin will learn that her estranged family has some very ugly secrets and that this was no random attack. I have been reading Fielding for years and she never disappoints, from believable characters to stranger and twisted plots, she creates some of the best literate thrillers I have read