Feb 25, 2019

Recent Books: The Book of Night Women by Marlon James; and others

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James

The Book of Night Women

Published February 19th 2009 by Riverhead (first published January 17th 2009)

Genre: historical fiction set in 18th century Jamaica
About: women coping with slavery on a plantation

Horrendous reading so far. The novel uses Jamaican colonial history as a background 
Death in Provence
Death in Provence

Death in Provence by Serena Kent

Publication: February 19, 2019, Harper
Genre: new mystery set in France

American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt

American Duchess by Karen Harper

Publication: February 26th 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: historical fiction
Consuelo Vanderbilt and her “The Wedding of the Century” to the Duke of Marlborough

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.
What books are you reading this week?

Feb 23, 2019

Book Reviews: Before She Knew Him; and Madam, Will You Talk?

Review: Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Publication: March 5, 2019, William Morrow
Genre: psychological thriller
About: an unstable young woman worries about her new neighbor
Before She Knew Him
Before She Knew Him

Henrietta has bipolar disorder but takes medication to control her up and down moods. She is happily married to Lloyd who understands and cares for her, watches out for her. When new neighbors Matthew and Mira move in next door, Hen begins to notice things that unsettle her. For one, she sees a fencing trophy on Matt's office shelf that she thinks belonged to a student who had been murdered years ago, case unsolved. That student went to the same school at which Matt teaches. Coincidence?

Hen develops a strange relationship with Matt, who begins to confide in her, knowing her own history of violence and mental health issues. Things begin to escalate out of proportion and the emphasis of the plot focuses on these two individuals.

A story with several interesting plot twists, unexpected and therefore intriguing. The psychological profiles fuel the story and propel the reader to keep turning pages to the end.

My rating: 4.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for an ARC copy for review.

Review: Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart  

Madam, Will You Talk?

Madam, Will You Talk?

Published June 28th 1956 by William Morrow
Genre: mystery set in Provence, France
Source: library book

I read this many years ago and enjoyed re-reading it, especially to get more information about cities and towns in Provence and the main city of Marseilles, both described so well by Mary Stewart. Both a romance and a novel of suspense, Madam, Will You Talk? was entertaining and delightful  I thought the ending or wrap-up of the story was a chapter too long, but nevertheless, four stars! 

Meme: Visit Books You Loved at Carole's Chatter

Feb 18, 2019

In the Mailbox: Contemporary Fiction

Contemporary novels and a thriller:

99 Percent Mine

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne,
Published January 29th 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: contemporary fiction, romance

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters: A Novel

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal
Expected publication: April 30th 2019 by William Morrow
Genre: family drama, travel

the dna of you and me

The DNA of You and Me by Andrea Rothman
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by William Morrow
Genre: contemporary fiction 

What's in your mailbox this week?

Visit Mailbox Monday to see what books others have on their reading list.

Feb 17, 2019

Sunday Salon: Mixed Genres in February

Spy thrillers in my TBR list:

Mission Critical (Gray Man, #8)

Mission CriticalExpected publication: February 19th 2019 by Berkley
The Moroccan Girl

The Moroccan Girl, Published February 12th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs, #15)

The American AgentExpected publication: March 26th 2019 by Harper

Add a foodie memoir and a book of poetry: 

Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and a Dinner Table (A Memoir with Recipes)

Savage FeastExpected publication: February 26th 2019 by Harper

Oculus: Poems

Oculus: PoemsPublished January 15th 2019 by Graywolf Press

And historical and contemporary novels:

Learning to See

Learning to SeePublished January 22nd 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks

My Coney Island Baby

My Coney Island BabyPublished January 17th 2019 by Jonathan Cape

What books are you reading this week? Do you have or have you read any of these?

The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer.What books are you reading this week?

Feb 10, 2019

Sunday Salon: Thrillers in My Reading Future

New books on the TBR list:

Saving Meghan
Saving Meghan
Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer,
Publication: April 9, 2019, St. Martin's Press
Genre: thriller
About: Munchausen syndrome by proxy

Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery #20)
Broken Bone China
Broken Bone China by Laura Childs
Publication March 5, 2019, Berkley Books
Genre: Tea Shop mystery set in Charleston
About: a drone collides with a hot air balloon

Death in Provence
Death in Provence
Death in Provence by Serena Kent
Publication: February 19, 2019, Harper
Genre: new mystery set in France
About: Penelope finds a body in her pool in Provence

Before She Knew Him
Before She Knew Him
Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson
Publication: March 5, 2019, William Morrow
Genre: thriller
About: an unstable young woman worries about her new neighbor

The Secretary
The Secretary
The Secretary by Renee Knight
Publication: February 12, 2019, Harper
Genre: psychological suspense
About: dark story about a faithful secretary and the secrets she keeps

The Better Sister
The Better Sister
The Better Sister by Alafair Burke
Publication: April 16, 2019, Harper
Genre: domestic noir
About: two estranged sisters and family secrets

Lots of thrillers in my reading future. How about you?

What books are you reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday.What books are you reading this week?

Feb 1, 2019

Book Review: An Anonymous Girl by G. Hendricks and S. Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl Book Review, a thriller by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

January 8, 2018, St. Martin's Press.
Source: library book
An Anonymous Girl, thriller

I was lucky to get this book from the library so soon, the month of publication, as I bet it's now on a long waiting list! I finished it in about two days, reading through easily.

Jessica decides to answer a psychological questionnaire on morality, organized by a psych prof in New York City. She does it for the money they offer, but she becomes more entangled in the research study when she learns how much she will be paid.  Answering the questions in the university lab leads to real life situations she is asked to participate in. Soon, she is dependent monetarily and psychologically on the study organizer, Dr. Shields, who controls Jessica during her sessions, in and outside the lab.

This is a thriller that leans heavily on psychology, with the puppet master Dr. Shields who may or may not have ulterior motives for getting into Jessica's psyche so completely. Then there is Dr. Shield's husband, who may or may not be in cahoots with his wife in whatever scheme she is planning.

Suspenseful and engrossing, this novel has an unusual plot and characters. It's well written and planned, with Jessica and Dr. Shields both narrating their stories, carrying the novel to its unexpected conclusion.

I gave the book five stars.  

Jan 21, 2019

It's Monday: Three Winter Thrillers

Books set in snowy winter, which fit the stormy weather we are having right now.

No Exit thriller set in Colorado in winter
Title: No Exit by Taylor Adams
Publication: January 15, 2019, William Morrow

College student Darby Thorne, driving in the wintry, snowy mountains of Colorado, pulls in at a truck stop, unable to drive further because of the tons of snow that have shut down the state highway and back roads. She meets four other people in the truck stop, also stranded for the next day or so before the snow plows can arrive to clear the roads. In the meantime, the snow keeps coming down.

Darby goes outside to her parked car and on the way back spots a small hand of a child through a parked van that belongs to one of the travelers in the stop. She sees a child padlocked in a dog crate in the back of the van, and is too terrified of the situation to say anything to any of the people inside. Instead, she plots a way to free the child and drive her off to safety.

Easier said than done. The next several hours brings surprises that put Darby and the child in danger from not one, but maybe more of the people trapped inside the stop with her. She is not sure who to confide in and her decisions may be the wrong ones. 

This turned out to be a hair-raising thriller, with more twists and turns in the plot than I could have imagined. It kept me going on a snowy day when I was myself kept indoors by snow. What a perfect book for the day! 

Though the dialogue was a bit stilted, the book carried the day with the plot and action scenes, plus the personality of the tenacious Darby. 

Five stars.

The Hunting Party is a thriller set in the Scottish Highlands
The wintry thriller I'm reading next is set in the Scottish Highlands, at an exclusive but remote resort with cabins and a lodge set around a loch surrounded by thick pine trees and forests. The Hunting Party has a setting we are familiar with from Agatha Christie and other mystery writers - a group of people isolated and alone in a hotel or house, unable to leave, and with an unknown killer in their midst.

I can't wait to see who the culprit is, and the motive for murder.
Thriller set in Alaska, a coming of age adventure

The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury is next on my list of winter reads.

This one is set in the Alaskan wilderness with a young girl Tracy, trained to be a trapper and hunter. She is accustomed to being outdoors running with her dogs, but is one day attacked by a stranger, whom she fights off successfully.  

When an injured man later shows up, Tracy wonders if he was the one who attacked her.

The Wild Inside is described as a coming of age book as well as a psychological thriller.

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date. What's on your reading list this week? 

Sunday Salon: Japanese Authors and a Mystery

  Klara and the Sun   by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Klara and the Sun was easy to read for a literary novel of such magnitude and celebrity, I found...