“Dead End” by Rachel Lynch – Book Review @canelo_co #DeadEnd @r_lynchcrime #BookReview #CrimeFiction

DI Kelly Porter is faced with two important cases in this, the third novel in the series. An elderly Earl, at first thought to have commit suicide, is now deemed a homicide AND two young girls have gone missing from the fells.

The elderly Earl is going nowhere, but given the case Kelly makes sure she gives it her all. She befriends the Earl’s nineteen year old grandson Zach which makes her even more invested in finding out who killed the old man.

Time is of the essence in the case of the missing girls. They must find them, before it is too late.

On the home front, Kelly is now living in her riverfront house in Pooley Bridge. Her mother’s failing health ensures that Kelly visits her often, but does nothing to cure the antagonistic relationship between Kelly and her sister, Nikki. Kelly has always felt like an outsider, even within her own family. Now in her late thirties, that feeling has not gone away…

Pooley Bridge, Cumbria

The one person who can always comfort her, is her boyfriend Johnny. He gives her the space she needs, yet is always there for her. He seems to understand the pressures of her work and they enjoy similar leisure activities.

On the work front, Kelly’s supervising officer DCI Crane is trying to convince her that she needs to apply for promotion. An idea that Kelly rejects because she is happy where she is doing what she does as a ‘hands-on’ member of her team.

Dead End” is the third novel in the D.I. Kelly Porter police procedural mystery series. The first in the series, “Dark Game” was a solid 5-star read for me and the following novels in the series maintain the quality. There is nothing quite so satisfying to me as reading a British police procedural crime thriller.  When it has an engaging protagonist, a Lake District setting, and a compelling and well rendered plot, then it is for me, reading bliss.

The thing I like most about this series is that Rachel Lynch has found that perfect balance between the protagonist’s personal life and the murder investigation. Just the right amount of attention to each makes for compelling reading.  I enjoyed the relationships between Kelly and her team, between Kelly and the pathologist Ted Wallis, and between Kelly and her boyfriend, Johnny. This time out a family secret is divulged that has transformed Kelly’s thoughts on her own family and her place within it.

Rest assured that I will be reading every installment in the DI Kelly Porter series. A must-read for those who enjoy well-written, character-rich, realistically plotted crime novels. Highly recommended!

I purchased this book in Kindle format. If it weren’t for my myriad review commitments I would like to ‘binge read‘ the rest of the series.  At present there are EIGHT books in the DI Kelly Porter series.

Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years.
A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

You can follow Rachel Lynch on Twitter.

Posted in Book Reviews, Mystery fiction | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Spell the Month in Books – MARCH #SpellTheMonthInBooks #BookRecommendations

I first saw this on Nicki’s Secret Library Blog and Carla’s Love to Read, but it originated from Jana at ‘Reviews from the Stacks‘.

Every month I will spell the month in books that I have already read, linking back to my reviews of the title. (Initial articles – The, A, An – will not be taken into account)

"A man called Ove" by Fredrik BackmanA Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman

“After the Crash” by Michel Bussi

The Retreat” by Mark Edwards

The Creak on the Stairs” by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

Home” by Amanda Berriman

That was fun!

I’m always searching for ways to share my book recommendations.

Thanks for visiting. ♥

Posted in Book Reviews, Spell the Month in Books | Tagged | 4 Comments

Fictionophile’s February 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

Despite it being the shortest month of the year, I managed to read twelve titles in February. This is a personal best for me and I hope I can maintain the pace in future months so as to get a decent handle on my TBR. There are many stellar reads here, and truth be told I enjoyed them all.

I have FOUR favourites of the month: “The Downstairs Neighbor” by Helen Cooper; “Nighthawking”  by Russ Thomas; “The Daughters of Foxcote Manor” by Eve Chase; and “Dead End” by Rachel Lynch (review to follow)

I feel very lucky to have access to so many wonderful books. All the books above are reviewed here on the blog if you want to take a look.

Posted in Fictionophile report, Reading | Tagged , | 7 Comments

♣ ♣ March is ‘Reading Ireland Month’! ♣ ♣ #ReadingIrelandMonth21 #IrishFiction #begorrathon21

For the past several years now, Cathy, over at 746books.com has hosted Reading Ireland Month to promote Irish literature and authors. As I enjoy novels with Irish settings, I am only too keen to participate each year.

If you do plan to join Cathy for this event, use the hashtags #ReadingIrelandMonth21 or #begorrathon21

For Reading Ireland Month 2021, as part of March’s TBR, I plan to read SEVEN novels written by Irish authors which I will share with you below. Each novel’s description is a clickable link to Goodreads.Hop over to Cathy’s blog if you want to participate in this year’s Reading Ireland Month.

Posted in Anticipated titles, Reading Ireland | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Fictionophile’s February 2021 #BookHaul #Bookbloggers #TBR

I’ve added EIGHT review commitments to my TBR this month.

I received FIVE of these titles from NetGalley.

with no commitment to review, but of course I will anyway.

I have no commitment to review the titles I receive via ‘Amazon First Reads

Are you wondering why I didn’t get any books this month from Edelweiss?  I had requested four, but sadly, my requests were all declined…  this makes me very sad because I really, really wanted to read them.  

They were: “The Shape of Darkness” by Laura Purcell; “Strange Flowers” by Donal Ryan; “Rock, Paper Scissors” by Alice Feeney; and “The Death of Jane Lawrence” by Caitlin Starling.

Do any of these titles sound good to you?


Posted in Anticipated titles, Fictionophile report | Tagged , | 24 Comments

“You Sent Me a Letter” by Lucy Dawson – Book Review

After finding a man in her bedroom in the middle of the night, Sophie Gardener’s life is thrown into a tailspin. He does not harm her, but gives her a letter which he warns her NOT to open before her 40th birthday party the following day.  She is to open it for the first time at her party, in front of all her loved ones. If she doesn’t follow his exact instructions his message is clear… her family and friends will be harmed.

He takes her mobile phone with all her contacts and personal information within it…

This story is mostly told over one panic-fueled day in which Sophie Gardner is having feelings of paranoia, guilt, stress, worry, and trepidation. This was a page-turner.

With palpable anxiety, the story was skillfully told, though to be fair, I found it quite ‘over the top’ in places. The book turned almost farcical at times. However, that being said, I rapidly turned the pages to discover for myself JUST WHAT WAS IN THAT LETTER?

Then, when the contents of the letter was revealed, I wondered how the story would move forward. The author cleverly wraps the story up, but not before misleading the reader with a plot twist or two.

I wondered while reading just why Sophie was so sure she knew WHO sent the letter. She was wrong and it seemed obvious to me that she was wrong. I wasn’t sure exactly who did, but I knew it wasn’t the person she suspected.

While reading I was simultaneously tense, confused, and compelled to read on. This plot seemed quite original, and it contained enough ‘red-herrings’ that most readers of the genre will be satisfied.

Will I read this author again? Most definitely. Do I think this might be her best work? Probably not, but quite an enjoyable read all the same. Recommended to readers who love psychological thrillers with twisty plots.

This review was written voluntarily and reflects my personal opinions of the book. I purchased this novel a few years ago and just finally got around to reading it. It is not my fault. It was hiding in my Kindle. LOL

ISBN:  9781782396222 –  ASIN:  B01FIXHMK4 –  272 pages

Lucy Dawson has been writing psychological suspense novels since 2008, when her first bestseller – His Other Lover – was published. She now writes full time (mostly on the playroom sofa) from her home in Devon, England, where she lives with her husband and children.

Follow Lucy Dawson on Twitter @lucydawsonbooks

Posted in Book Reviews, Psychological thrillers, Suspense | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday – “A place called Winter” by Patrick Gale – Book Review

The Throwback Thursday meme was created by Renee over at It’s Book Talk. She made this meme to share some of her old favorites. Although all bookbloggers have an endless TBR pile, we seldom take the time to reflect back and post about some of the great reads from a few years ago. I decided to join in because sharing book recommendations is one of my most favorite things to do!

I originally reviewed “A Place Called Winter” in September of 2017.

I had no idea what to expect when I began this novel. At first it didn’t seem like it had anything to do with the blurb I read, as the first pages were an account of the horrific way the mentally ill were treated in asylums near the turn of the century. Then, I began to see how the story would evolve and grow…

What an amazing book!  The author has written of his own forebears, embellishing with fiction what he could not know for certain as fact.  Painstakingly researched, he has written a fine tribute to his own family as well as the homesteaders who settled the Canadian West in the early 1900s.

Winter, Saskatchewan is a real place. Harry Cane, the protagonist of this novel, was the author’s great-grandfather.

Harry, an Englishman of means and leisure, is married and the father of a daughter, when he first realizes that he is gay.  This, in a time when homosexuality was not only socially unacceptable, but it was actually illegal!  When his family is threatened by blackmail, he does the noble thing – he emigrates to Canada. The government is offering 160 acres in exchange for three years residency on them. This land, appropriated from the resident Cree Indians, he is expected to farm.

“Think of the memories as pus; once it comes to the surface, you wipe it away. Or, better yet, as mud; brought out into the air, it dries in the sun and then crumbles to dust.”

When he arrives in Canada he is taken under the wing of a irreputable man named Troels Munck. A man whose presence in Harry’s life will produce much trauma and heartache.

Harry, who loves reading, riding horses, and has never worked a day in his life, is suddenly immersed in immeasurable toil and hardship. He works arduously for a year with a prairie family before setting out to claim his own acres in Winter, Saskatchewan. Here he is expected to build himself a shelter to live in and plow land that is not yet cleared of trees and rocks.

Cut off from his family, he is a solitary workhorse making some little headway, until he becomes ill. Kindly neighbors take him into their homestead and nurse him back to health. These neighbors, Paul and Petra, a brother and sister, are people he will come to love over time. He orders a house kit from the Eaton’s catalogue, and proceeds to make a life for himself.

“Luckily he had enough set by that he could focus on doing his own work rather than another man’s.”

On one of Troel Monck’s infrequent visits to the farm, he attacks Petra, leaving her wounded and traumatized.

When WWI begins, Harry and Paul elect to stay on the farm rather than go off to fight. Wheat was a much needed commodity to feed the vast number of soldiers, so there was no shame in staying put. A run in with the dastardly Monck changes Paul’s mind and he enlists. Soon after he is ‘missing in action’.

This novel has some serious themes running throughout. Not only is it a remarkably well written historical novel, it is a love story, a bold and realistic didactic treatise on how society has historically treated both the mentally ill, and homosexuals.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this astounding novel. Never did it lag, or become slow. I was rapt with learning of Harry’s plight, and wondering how the beginning of the novel could possibly join up with the flashbacks that comprised the bulk of the story. With an ending that is both satisfying and realistic, I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.I received a digital copy of this novel from Grand Central Publishing via Edelweiss.

Patrick Gale talks about writing “A place called Winter”.

Patrick Gale was in 1962 on the Isle of Wight, where his father was prison governor at Camp Hill, as his grandfather had been at nearby Parkhurst.  The family moved to London, where his father ran Wandsworth Prison, then to Winchester. At eight Patrick began boarding as a Winchester College Quirister at the cathedral choir school, Pilgrim’s. At thirteen he went on to Winchester College. He finished his formal education with an English degree from New College, Oxford in 1983.

His first two novels, The Aerodynamics of Pork and Ease were published by Abacus on the same day in June 1986. The following year he moved to Camelford near the north coast of Cornwall and began a love affair with the county that has fed his work ever since.

He now lives in the far west, on a farm near Land’s End with his husband, Aidan Hicks.

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical fiction, Literary fiction, Throwback Thursday | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

“The Northern Reach” by W.S. Winslow – Book Review

This is a series of interrelated stories about families in a small Maine fishing community. It follows them all, the ‘haves‘ and the ‘have-nots‘ over a span of time from 1907 to 2017. The characters are related by blood or marriage.

First I have to say that the writing was touching in its authenticity. A beautifully written narrative told through multiple narrators, this did not feel like a novel at all.

The setting is one that I can easily relate to and have visited many times. I live in Nova Scotia and Maine is less than a hundred miles away as the crow flies. The book astutely described the weather during the long Maine winters and believe me, you can’t live in this area of the world without the topic of the changeable and volatile weather entering the conversation at some point.

Above the reach, low clouds sleepwalk across the February sky. Today they are fibrous, striated, like flesh being slowly torn from bone. It’s four in the afternoon and already night has started chewing away the edges of the day.

The stories follow the characters through all of life’s milestones. Childbirth, marriages, parenting, betrayals, terminal diagnoses, divorces, scandals, funerals, shame and loneliness – lots of loneliness. It follows families who love each other and others who can barely stand to stay in the same room as one another. It showcases the insular nature of some small communities, and how one family’s loss or disgrace can radiate throughout the community having profound affects on multiple generations. It highlights how years of resentments and feeling of encumbrance can build enough to break you. How some people really should never have children…At times the writing can get very dark, with the resentments, frustrations, and unhappiness oozing from the narrative. Other times are more light-hearted. My favorite characters were the French born Liliane and the recently deceased Alice.

Above all this book is imminently memorable with some scenes that have seared themselves onto my consciousness.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, wholeheartedly.  Though be warned, if you are looking for something with a definitive beginning, middle and end you will not find it here. Like memory, it cannot be followed in a linear fashion.

All in all, this is an astounding writing debut.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel at my request from Flatiron Books/Macmillan  via NetGalley in order that I might participate in this blog tour.  

ISBN: 9781250776488 –  ASIN:  B088DQZMYV –  240 pages

Available for purchase on March 2, 2021 from the following booksellers:

W.S. Winslow was born and raised in Maine, but spent much of her working life in New York in corporate communications and marketing. A ninth-generation Mainer, she now lives most of the year in a small town Downeast. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French from the University of Maine as well as an MFA from NYU. Her short fiction has appeared in Yemassee Journal and Bird’s Thumb. Her first novel, “The Northern Reach,” will be published by Flatiron Books March 2, 2021.

Follow Wendie Winslow on Twitter: @WSWinslow

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Reviews, debut novels, Literary fiction, NetGalley | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Miserly Monday (#Kindle Ebook bargains) Feb. 22, 2021

SEVEN bargain Kindle purchases this week.

These books might vary in price from Amazon.ca to Amazon.com to Amazon.co.uk but they are all still BARGAINS!  Probably about what you would pay for a cup of coffee.

NOTE: The price tags reflect the U.S. and Canadian prices. (Apologies to my U.K. followers as the price will not display for me on Amazon.co.uk)

Click on the price tag to go to the Amazon.com link for the book.

Note: I do NOT receive any remuneration from Amazon.  These are just Kindle deals that I have found and want to share with my fellow book lovers. 

I purchased SEVEN Ebooks this week for a total expenditure of $5.95

So, here are my Miserly Monday deals…

For fans of Jo Nesbo, Steig Larson, and Henning Mankell, a gripping Nordic thriller that was a bestseller in Denmark. The first installment in the Jensen and Sander series.

After the death of her industrialist father, Elizabeth Caspersen finds a compromising DVD in his safe: it seems to show two people being hunted to their death in a gruesome, well-organized manhunt. Michael Sander, a private investigator and security consultant, is hired to find out who the victims are and why Caspersen was involved. Meanwhile, police investigator Lene Jenesen is investigating the death of a decorated war veteran found hanged on his wedding night. Having recently come into money, the man appears to have been driven to suicide, but the question is, why?

As the two cases begin to intertwine, Lene and Michael uncover a chilling secret: the existence of a hunting club formed by Denmark’s elite businessmen, where the targets are humans who are carefully selected and made to run for their lives. As their investigations take them into the darkest depths of humanity, uncovering crimes that reach further than they ever imagined, Lene and Michael must team up to overcome an opponent who outstrips them in resources and lethal danger—before they become the ones who are hunted.

Note: I bought this on the 19th as a daily Freebie, it is now showing as $2.99

Dead Man’s Trench is the first book in the Norfolk Cozy Mystery series.

A man lies dead, deep in an excavation trench, an angry villager’s signature on a damming piece of evidence, and a race against time to discover the truth.

When the corpse of a hated local man is discovered, smelling of whiskey and with his head split open, the police conclude its suicide.

Ant and Lyn aren’t convinced, and as they uncover disturbing clues that point to murder, the amateur sleuths have only days to prove their theory before DI Riley closes the case – and leave a killer on the loose.

Set in the evocative landscape of Norfolk, this baffling cozy murder mystery with its thread of humour and hint of romance between our two lead characters, will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

A girl with no name…

Penny doesn’t remember much about her childhood and what she does remember isn’t all that great. She and her mother moved too many times to a series of cheap motels. There were too many men visiting her mother and none of them were her father. As for him, all Penny knew was that her father was rich and dead.

When she was found abandoned on a deserted beach on the Salish Sea when she was four years old, Penny didn’t even know her own name. Shunted from one foster home to another, she struggled to overcome the odds.

When a Police Detective from the Victoria, B.C. Police Department calls about remains that were identified as belonging to her mother, Penny starts a quest to find out what happened to her and who her father really is. She enlists crime reporter Tess McClintock and Michael Carter to help her find her family, but when they start uncovering Penny’s past, not everyone is happy to learn their connection to the girl with no name.

Running rum during Prohibition, she’ll risk her life—and her heart.

Motherless and destitute, Frieda Hope is determined to make a better life for herself and her sister, Bea. The girls are taken in by a kindly fisherman named Silver, and Frieda begins to feel at home on the water. When Silver sells his fishing boat to WWI veteran Sam Hicks, thinking Sam would be a fine husband for Frieda, she’s outraged. But Frieda manages to talk Sam into teaching her to repair boat engines instead, so she has a trade of her own and won’t have to marry.

Frieda quickly discovers that a mechanic’s wages won’t support Bea and Silver, and is lured into a money-making team of rumrunners supplying alcohol to New York City speakeasies. Speeding into dangerous waters to transport illegal liquor, Frieda gets swept up in the lucrative, risky work—and swept off her feet by a handsome Ivy Leaguer who’s in it just for fun.

As danger mounts and her own feelings threaten to drown her, can Frieda find her way back to solid ground—and to a love that will sustain her?

How easily can an open heart unlock the door to happily-ever-after?
When Miss Quinn Cooper arrives in Emerson Pass, Colorado, her entire life is packed into one small suitcase. Her widowed mother and baby sister are depending upon her for their survival back home in Boston. And the self-appointed mayor of the rugged mountain community is counting on Miss Cooper to prove herself a fitful teacher for the young and old alike.
Lord Alexander Barnes is determined to bring a bit of English civility to the wild terrain of Emerson Pass. Using his own resources, the widower and father of five builds a schoolhouse and recruits a young teacher from the east to provide an education for both the adults and the children in his rapidly growing mining town. But when the lovely, and much younger than anticipated, Miss Cooper arrives to town, Lord Barnes finds himself providing more than just employment when the boarding house proves to be an unsafe accommodation for the school mistress.
As Miss Cooper takes a room in the Barnes’ home, the five Barnes children are delighted. They are sure Miss Cooper is the perfect woman for their lonely father. But when a friend of the Englishman turns up dead, the hope for progress in the untamed town seems immediately lost. Can Miss Cooper and Lord Barnes bring change to the closed-minded locals? And will their endeavor open their hearts to something more?

Someone doesn’t want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it…

Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far.

When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbours attending and snooping around their home.

But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.

Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…

The award-winning, international bestselling page-burner about the secrets and lies of one man that lead another into a treacherous house of strangers…

When novelist Manuel Ortigosa learns that his husband, Álvaro, has been killed in a car crash, it comes as a devastating shock. It won’t be the last. He’s now arrived in Galicia. It’s where Álvaro died. It’s where the case has already been quickly closed as a tragic accident. It’s also where Álvaro hid his secrets.

The man to whom Manuel was married for fifteen years was not the unassuming man he knew.

Álvaro’s trail leads Manuel deep into one of Spain’s most powerful and guarded families. Behind the walls of their forbidding estate, Manuel is nothing but an unwelcome and dangerous intruder. Then he finds two allies: a stubbornly suspicious police lieutenant and Álvaro’s old friend—and private confessor—from seminary school. Together they’re collecting the pieces of Álvaro’s past, his double life, and his mysterious death.

But in the shadows of nobility and privilege, Manuel is about to unravel a web of corruption and deception that could be as fatal a trap for him as it was for the man he loved.

Have YOU found a great Kindle bargain this week? If so, please share in the comments.

Posted in Kindle deals, Miserly Monday | Tagged | 8 Comments

“The Last Garden in England” by Julia Kelly – Book Review

1907 – Venetia Smith is a single woman in her thirties. Despite the social mores of her time, she has gained a respected reputation as a garden designer. When she is hired to design the garden at Highbury House in Wiltshire, the task will change her life in ways she could never have anticipated.

1944 – As WWII rages on, Beth Pedley, a ‘land girl‘, is sent to work at a farm near the village of Highbury. Despite the arduous work, she comes to love living in the area and starts to feel that she has finally found a place she can call home. She befriends Stella Adderton, the cook up at the manor, and comes to the attention of the lady of the house, Diana Symonds.

Stella Adderton, the cook at Highbury House was born there. She longs to escape the confines of the house and the area. More than anything, she wants to travel and see the world. A family tragedy works towards seeing her hopes and dreams turn to dust.

Diana Symonds, Highbury House’s owner is a widow with a young son. She is distraught at having her beautiful home and garden requisitioned as an Army hospital.

Present Day – Emma Lovett, a talented gardener who owns her own business, is hired by the current owners of Highbury House. They wish to restore the gardens as close as possible to the plans of the gardener’s creator, Venetia Smith. Emma becomes immersed in restoring the gardens, especially intriguing to her is one of the garden ‘rooms’ which has been locked for decades with no key…This garden room, called “The Winter Garden” or intriguingly “Celeste’s Garden” is guarding secrets from several generations…

I’ve always been an admirer of gardens, so this novel appealed to me right away. The stunning cover also attracted my attention. Unlike many historical novels that feature a ‘dual timeline’, this one has a ‘triple timeline’ which the author skillfully weaves together.

Personally, I loved the World War II time line the most. My favourite characters were Beth Pedley and Diana Symonds.  Along with the three story lines, there were also three love stories which were integral to the novel.

There were many things about this novel that I loved. Not least the two little boys in the WWII story. The descriptions of the gardens and the grueling farm work was vividly portrayed.

The book highlights the way that the socioeconomic status of women has changed over the years by giving the reader a first hand look at some strong female protagonists.

The one thing that marred my enjoyment somewhat was the myriad characters. It was difficult at times to follow when the narrative jumped from storyline to storyline just who was being discussed. Some chapter headings helpfully stated the year, but all of them did not. The writing was such that I was immersed in the book, and it was a tad jarring when I was lifted from one story to another.

I believe that this book will be loved by many. Those who appreciate historical fiction, those who admire gardens, and those who enjoy timeless love stories, will all come under its spell. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster Canada  via NetGalley.      

ISBN: 9781982107826 –  ASIN:  B08BZWFLB2 –  365 pages

Julia Kelly is the international bestselling author of historical women’s fiction books about the extraordinary stories of the past. Her books have been translated into 11 languages. She has also written historical romance as well as fast-paced contemporary sports romance under the name Julia Blake. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London.

Follow Julia Kelly on Twitter

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical fiction, NetGalley, Women's fiction | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Love Crime Fiction? Looking to start a new series? #CrimeFiction #TBR #policeprocedural

Despite the fact that I’ve already got several series on the go, my radar is always attuned to crime/police procedural series that sound interesting. I’ve got quite a few series that I’m very anxious to read.
In case you also love crime series, I thought I’d share some of the ones on my TBR that have exceptionally good ratings on Goodreads.
I’ve linked each graphic to the series page on Goodreads.
Hope you find one you enjoy!

If you have already read any of the books in the above series, please let me know your thoughts.

Posted in 1st in series, Anticipated titles, Choosing what to read next, Mystery fiction | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

“The Wartime Sisters” by Lynda Cohen Loigman – Book Review

Firstly, the sisters:

Ruth Blum – Married to Arthur, an MIT graduate who works overseeing arms assembly, Ruth now lives on the Springfield Armory campus, in a house for officer’s wives. She is the mother to twin girls. All her life Ruth has felt to be something of an outsider. Ever since her younger sister Millie was born, Ruth has fallen into the shadow of Millie. Her beauty and popularity seemed to outshine Ruth who was more plain, the studious one, the responsible one.  No where was this more evident that in the eyes of their parents.

Ruth holds a devastating secret…Millie Fein – Married to Lenny, a handsome wastrel, who can’t hold down a job and owes money to some unsavory people. When Lenny left her and their two-year-old son destitute, Millie moved from Brooklyn to Springfield to live with her estranged sister.

She gets a job in the armory ‘shops’, where she assembles triggers for the Army M1 Garand rifles. (Think Rosie the Riveter) Millie befriends the Italian cook at the cafeteria, a much needed ally, since her sister Ruth barely acknowledges her existence.

She also becomes friends with the Commanding Officer’s wife, Lillian.

Meanwhile, Millie is also keeping a secret…

Lillian Walsh – the wife of the Commanding Officer and mother to four children. Lillian has overcome a traumatic childhood to become a respected, organized, and empathetic woman.

Grace Peabody – An attractive woman who is an unpleasant, mean-spirited gossip. One of the officer’s wives, she is married to a man who has a wandering eye and drinks to excess.

A quote from the afterword of the book:
“By June of 1943, somewhere between 11,300 – 11,800 people worked at the Springfield Armory, and of that number, 43 percent were women.”

It is always so gratifying to read a historical novel that has been meticulously researched. The rewards are two-fold. You get to read a compelling story AND you learn something in the process. I learned not only about the history of the Springfield Armory during WWII, but I also learned a bit about Jewish traditions and the Jewish way of life.

The sisters in this story were very ‘human’ with all the flaws that the word represents. The story was well-paced and incorporated the history in an entertaining way.

The Springfield Armory was like a city within a city. It had a strong sense of community, with its inhabitants working toward a common goal.

How discrepancies in the way children are treated by their parents has such a profound affect on their adult personalities – and how it shapes their adult lives –  is the primary focus of the narrative.

Family secrets, sibling dynamics, and an interesting peek behind the scenes of life stateside during WWII, this story held me spellbound throughout.

Anyone who enjoys women’s fiction with a strong historical base will be sure to delight in “The Wartime Sisters”.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan Publishers  via NetGalley.      

ISBN: 9781250140715 –  ASIN: B07D2BVXCK –  336 pages

Lynda Cohen Loigman

Lynda Cohen Loigman

Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, MA. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is now a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives with her husband and two children in Chappaqua, NY. The Wartime Sisters” is her second novel following her debut “The Two-Family House”.

Follow Lynda Cohen Loigman on Twitter.

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical fiction, NetGalley, war stories, Women's fiction | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

WWW Wednesday – February 17, 2021 #readingforpleasure #bookbloggers #WWWWednesday #bookworms

I quite like a nosy look at what others are reading. To that end, (and because I’m feeling too lazy today to put together a ‘Wednesday Word’ post), I’m once again participating in WWW Wednesday.

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

What am I currently reading?

The Last Garden in England” by Julia Kelly which is published by Simon & Schuster.  I downloaded this title from NetGalley.

What have I just finished reading?

The Wartime Sistersby author Lynda Cohen Loigman. Published by St. Martin’s Press, I downloaded this title from NetGalley. Watch for my review tomorrow.

I read Loigman’s debut novel, “The Two-Family House” a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.

What will I read next? 

Dead End” by Rachel Lynch. Published by Canelo Crime, I purchased this title from Amazon in Kindle format. It is the third novel in a police procedural crime series featuring Detective Inspector Kelly Porter and is set in Cumbria, England. (another series that I love, but that I’m falling dreadfully behind in reading…)

AND…The Northern Reach” by W.S. Winslow

Published by Flatiron Books, I downloaded this title from NetGalley in order to take part in the Flatiron Blog Tour on February 24th.

So that’s it!   How is YOUR reading week shaping up?

Check out a few other WWW Wednesday posts:

Stuart’s WWW post

Nicki’s WWW post

Cathy’s WWW post

 Meggy’s WWW post

 Sam’s WWW post

Dee’s WWW post

Posted in Anticipated titles, Fictionophile report, Reading, WWW Wednesdays | Tagged | 21 Comments

#BookRecommendations with titles that start with the letter ‘B’ #booklovers #bookbloggers #GreatReads

As I mentioned last month, I plan to go through the entire alphabet, one letter per month. For February 2021, I’m listing all of my favourite novels that begin with the letter ‘B‘. I am choosing these titles from the books I’ve read since I began blogging seriously – five years ago (when I retired). My apologies…. there are 30 books recommended here. Who knew so many titles began with B? Included among these are at least 4 of my favourite all-time books!

If the title begins with an initial article such as The, A, An etc., I will be using the second word.  For instance, “A Man called Ove” will be included in my M post. “The Silent Patient” will be listed in my S post.

Hopefully you’ll find something that interests you from these posts. As always, I’ve linked the book cover to Goodreads, and the title link will take you to my review of the book. I’ve included only those books that I’ve rating 4 stars or higher.

Breakers” by Doug Johnstone

Breaking Light” by Karin Altenberg

Britt-Marie was Here” by Fredrik Backman

Beartown” by Fredrik Backman

The Beautiful Dead” by Belinda Bauer

Black Widow” by Chris Brookmyre

Black Rabbit Hall” by Eve Chase

Blacktop Wasteland” by S.A. Cosby

Broken Grace” by E.C. Diskin

Bright Stars” by Sophie Duffy

The Butterfly House” by Katrine Engberg

The Beach at Doonshean” by Penny Feeny

A Bad, Bad Thing” by Elena Forbes

Blood in the Water” by Gillian Galbraith

Before She Disappeared” by Lisa Gardner

Block 46” by Johana Gustawsson

Before It’s Too Late” by Jane Isaac

The Big Chill” by Doug Johnstone

The Birds that Stay” by Ann Lambert

Blood Lines” by Angela Marsons

"The Blackhouse" by Peter MayThe Blackhouse” by Peter May

Beside Myself” by Ann Morgan

The Bird Tribunal” by Agnes Ravatn

The Boy from Zion Street” by Geoffrey Seed

The Birdwatcher” by William Shaw

The Boy who Shoots Crows” by Randall Silvis

The Broken Girls” by Simone St. James

Blood Orange” by Harriet Tyce

The Beekeeper’s Promise” by Fiona Valpy

Blackberry & Wild Rose” by Sonia Velton

If you have already read any of these titles, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

When someone asks me to recommend a book…


Posted in Book Reviews, Favorite books | Tagged | 14 Comments

“Valentine’s Day at the Star and Sixpence” by Holly Hepburn – Book Review

I’ve been reading a lot of crime fiction lately and thought I’d take a wee break by reading this charming, seasonal novella. I met the protagonists when I read the Christmas novella “Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence” and thought I’d catch up with them a few months later.

In the first story, two sisters had just inherited a Cotswolds village pub from their father. He hadn’t been a part of their lives for many years mostly due to the fact that he was an alcoholic.  Nessie has just parted from her husband and Sam is escaping a scandal in London.  They both need to reconnect with each other, and start afresh.

“The Star and Sixpence” is a sixteenth century coaching inn – now pub.

The girls restore the pub which had fallen into disrepair.  Now a few months on, they have the idea that they will host a special gourmet meal for Valentine’s Day. They even hire a celebrity chef.

Joss, the cellarman, has made himself indispensable to the pub and has caused Sam to re-access her ‘playing the field‘ ways.

Meanwhile, Jessie is more than a tad attracted to Owen, a widower who lives next door at Snowdrop Cottage. However she fears that she cannot compete with the memory of his recently deceased, and much adored wife.

how I imagined the interior of The Star and Sixpence would look...

how I imagined the interior of The Star and Sixpence would look…

A charming, warm, romantic story with ‘real’ characters and an idyllic setting straight off of a box of chocolates, this novella will make you feel warm inside.

I purchased this novella from Amazon to read on my Kindle.  Just the light and easy read to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day.

If you just can’t get enough of the Star and Sixpence, the author has written other titles that feature this charming pub and the sisters who run it.
Holly Hepburnholly-hepburn‘s favourite thing is making people smile.

She has tried many jobs over the years, from barmaid to market researcher and she even had a brief flirtation with modelling. These days she is mostly found writing.

She lives near London with her grey tabby cat, Portia. They both have an unhealthy obsession with Marmite.

Follow Holly Hepburn on Twitter @HollyH_Author

Posted in Book Reviews, Love stories, Novellas | Tagged , , | 2 Comments