Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson. Published by Sourcebooks

The premise for this book was so good, I had to read it immediately, and I wasn’t disappointed! (Well, except for the fact I lost sleep staying up to read it). When Alice was growing up in London, her father created a huge stir with a series of graphic novels about Mister Tender, a very bad bartender who preyed on the sad and lonely customers in his bar by convincing to commit terrible atrocities. One day Alice is attacked, nearly stabbed to death by two of her school friends who tell police that Mister Tender told them to do it. Alice’s father stopped writing the books, but the damage was done and Alice mover to America with her mother. As an adult, Alice is a fearful woman, prone to panic attacks and worry that Mister Tender is not through with her. I’m sure this story is based, in part, on the Slender Man murder of a young girl who was murdered by her own friends, because Slender Man told them to do it. This book is terrifying on so many levels, not the least of which is that mass delusion exists and that the young or weak-minded are especially vulnerable. Read this book! Creeptastic!


Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim. Published by Lake Union

Two women from very different worlds populate this historical novel about a white woman and a black woman facing life in the American South shortly after the Civil War. Jordan Freedman was born a slave, the property of Lisbeth Johnson’s family, but the two women have been as close as sisters for as long as they remember. Together, they left the Johnson plantation to pursue new lives in Ohio, Lisbeth marrying an abolitionist, Jordan a teacher working for equal rights for women. When Lisbeth learns her father is dying, she returns to Virginia and the family who believes she betrayed them. Jordan returns to her family as well, hoping to spur them into choosing better lives. There are a lot of stories about the Civil War, but few about its aftermath and its effect on the people of the South. Engrossing

Disturbed by Jennifer Jaynes. Published by Thomas & Mercer

Chelsea Dutton lives in a bubble, working for her Boston home, she does her best to keep the outside world, and all its dangers far away.  It’s only been a handful of years since the attack that left Chelsea’s roommate dead and Chelsea in critical condition. She can lock herself away, but nothing can stop her from remembering that terrible day or from believing that her attacker is out there, somewhere, watching her. She’s proven right when she starts getting chilling messages that imply she’s being watched. Jaynes ratchets up the tension in this thriller perfect for a chilly night –  providing you leave all the lights on

The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Kent sets her latest mystery in Cornwall, where Beth, a hard partying barmaid has disappeared. Few are concerned, but Beth’s friend Nathalie knows something is wrong. Beth may be a bit flighty bu she wouldn’t just up and disappear. As Nat begins her search for her missing friend, it becomes obvious one of the pub’s patrons knows something. But is it just the drink talking? I loved the description of this book, but I had to keep plugging away for the first 80-100 pages. It sets off slowly, but once it gets going it really flies. Stick with this book and you will be rewarded in the end

Strong to the Bone by Jon Land. Published by Forge

Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong is out to combat some of the most vile criminals of her career, neo-Nazis. in Land’s newest entry in the series. And this case is personal for Caitlin, as she faces off with a killer her father, trued and failed to take down. Armand Fisker leads a group of loathsome and deadly followers who want to destabilize the United States by unleashing a biological weapon sure to kill millions. But Caitlin isn’t going to let that happen, and she’ll pull out every weapon she has to stop it. This certainly is a timely topic, with neo-Nazis marching the streets of America, hanging swastikas over streets that their father and grandfathers died defending against the march of the Third Reich. I also love that Land has made his character, a tough as nails, take no prisoners protagonist, a woman. If you haven’t read this series, you really should, because it’s fantastic

Coming Home to the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson. Published by HarperCollins UK

I’ve grown quite fond of the village of Budbury and its residents. Now, Johnson brings another lost soul to the Dorset village, where she’s sure to find help, hope and happiness. Zoe has lost her best friend, Kate, to cancer and found herself the guardian to Kate’s 15-year-old daughter. To say this is a difficult transition is putting it mildly. Hopefully a move to Budbury will be a new start for both women. All the residents you loved in the previous books in the series are here, along with the kind of cafe everyone wishes they had in their own town. You don’t need to read the previous books to understand this one, but I recommend it just because the series is so good

Devil’s Day by Andrew Michael Hurley. Published by John Murray

For years, the old man they called the Gaffer would perform rituals and redraw property lines to keep the village and its sheep safe from the devil. Now the Gaffer is dead and his grandson John has returned home, bringing his wife Katherine with him. Many villagers want the old ways, especially the redrawing of the property lines, to stop. After all, the whole story about the devil is just a myth, right? This book has a great premise and some Hurley has a way with words, but I had a hard time caring about the characters, they just didn’t come across as sympathetic or believable