Monthly Archives: December 2018

Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon. Published by Crooked Lane

Now firmly settled into life in small town Maine, Callie Aspen is enjoying her job at her aunt’s tea room, but she’s decide to liven things up by solving a long unsolved mystery. Back in the “80’s TV star Monica Walker vanished from Heart’s Harbor, Maine and was never seen again. As Callie interviews town residents, she gets a lot of different accounts of the actresses last days in town, and when one of her “sources” turn up dead, Callie realizes that someone is willing to do anything to keep the truth about Monica from surfacing. A fun, spunky heroine adds wit and charm to this cosy mystery

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. Published by Berkley

Nina lives a solitary life and she likes it that way. She has her books, her cat and for social interaction, a trivia team. Life goes along very well, thank you very much, and then her father dies. All terribly sad of course, or it would have been if she even knew he existed. No, the horrible thing about the death of her father is discovering that she has a family, a huge, loud, interfering family who threaten Nina’s well-ordered world. all us introverts and bibliophiles will identify with Nina ( I liked her life before better) as she struggles to cope in a noisy, nosy world

The Last Thing She Remembers by J.S. Monroe. Published by Park Row

You arrive at a train station ready to depart when you realize all of your important papers are gone, passport, credit cards  – gone. Keys, laptop? Gone. You try to report the theft only to realize you don’t even know your own name. Your amnesia is caused by stress and the town where you thought you lived is filled with people who eye you with mistrust and fear. The local police seem more than a little interested in you too. What do you do, where do you go and who do you turn to? In a world where we all leave such a huge digital footprint, a situation like this would be utterly terrifying, and this story is all that and more

The Couple on Cedar Close by Anna-Lou Weatherly. Published by Bookouture

Cedar Close is a tight knit community, and as the residents gather to celebrate at their annual summer barbecue, they prepare to meet their newest member, Laurie Mills. But the event reveals the terrible secret her husband has been hiding, he’s having an affair.  When Robert is later found dead, Laurie has no memory of the events leading up to her husband’s death, she only knows she’s not the one who killed him. Any woman who has ever been cheated on has had a fantasy about offing her husband and his mistress, but they don’t actually follow through. Is Laurie the woman scorned who decided to get justice on her own terms?

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe. Published by Henry Holt

I loved the Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, but I’ve been somewhat disappointed by Howe’s follow-ups. Here, she returns to her “roots”, writing about a modern-day woman who discovers her connection to one of the original Salem witches. Connie Goodwin has always been fascinated with the history of supposed witchcraft in the United States, perhaps in large part because she is descended from a Salem witch who may have actually had some of the powers her Salem neighbors were so terrified of. In her quest to uncover the truth about her ancestor and all the Hobbs women who came before her, Connie begins the research that will bring the women of her family to life, giving them a chance to finally have their voices heard. Traveling between past and present, this was a novel I could really sink my teeth into, and since I stayed up most the night to read it, I think it’s fair to say that Howe has got her groove back.

The History of Living Forever by Jake Wolff. Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux

This is a sly, witty tale of the quest for immortality and those who have been bamboozled, destroyed and killed in the effort to find it. Sixteen year old Conrad has a crush on his teacher, Sammy Tampari, but he’s shocked and broken-hearted to learn that the beloved Mr. Tampari has been found dead of an apparent overdose. He refuses to believe the man he knew and cared for would throw his life away so cheaply and as he examines the journals that Tampari left behind, he discovers he was right. Tampari has spent the two decades trying to concoct the “Elixir of Life”. Conrad, a chemistry genius is left with his teacher’s “recipes” and the chance to find the missing ingredient in the recipe. If he does so quickly enough, he may be able to save his father, who is dying an agonizing death due to liver failure. But Sammy and Conrad aren’t the only people who have tried to find the secret to immortality, and Conrad with have to face off with some really bad dudes. What would you do to save the life of someone you love?  Wolff’s novel is both irreverent and profound, a story of a simple young man facing the question of the ages

Wildflower Heart by Grace Greene. Published by Lake Union

Kara Hart has lost her mother and now her husband and unborn child in an accident. She has lost all interest in life, there seems to be no point in going forward. Her father is her one last bastion of comfort, so she accompanies him to Virginia, where he is preparing to restore an old Victorian home. While her stay with her father was supposed to be temporary, Kara finds herself getting closer to her father, as he shared stories about Kara’s mother and his own past. Just when she feels she has gotten her footing, yet another tragedy pulls the rug out from under her again. Kara must decide if she will retreat back inside her shell, or if she has the courage to continue on with the new life she has just started to build. This is a moving novel about seemingly insurmountable loss and the resilience of the human spirit