Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

THE TUSCAN CHILD by Rhys Bowen

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If you read me, you know I love Rhys Bowen’s mystery series (Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness, to name two of them). Every now and then she steps out and writes a stand alone (e.g. In Farleigh Field). THE TUSCAN CHILD is just that – a stand alone novel that tells the story of a WWII lost love, a young woman looking for part of her past, and the beautiful Tuscan countryside that is the setting for it all.

Here’s the scoop:

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A Note From the Publisher

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I really enjoyed this one (no surprise), and I think readers who enjoy mystery and family relationships and WWII will connect with this novel.
I received this e-copy via Ms. Bowen’s publicist and Net Galley – thank you!!
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THE STORY OF ARTHUR TRULUV by Elizabeth Berg

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I think I’ve read everything that Elizabeth Berg has written and I’ve loved it all. Thus, I was excited to see that she had a new novel out and I could get it via Net Galley.

The Story of Arthur Truluv was a sweet and touching story that had me both laughing and crying. It reminded me a bit of “A Man Called Ove”, and I loved that novel as well.

Here’s the overview:

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I loved these characters so much, but especially Arthur. Elizabeth Berg has done it again, writing a beautiful novel with memorable characters and a resounding message.
Thank you for my review e-copy!
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SHADOW BY THE BRIDGE by Suzanne Tewan — HFVBTours — with Giveaway!

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Today I’m giving a shout out to a historical fiction novel that is based on true events: Shadow by the Bridge by Suzanne Zewan. It takes place in the early 1900’s  when a serial killer was stalking a small town in New York. Check it out!

Shadow by the Bridge by Suzanne Zewan
 
Publication Date: November 1, 2017
No Frills Buffalo
eBook & Paperback; 368 Pages
 
Genre: Historical Mystery
 
11-year-old Fritz Reynolds recalled his father telling him that man is the only creature who can find amusement in killing. Little did he realize that those words would become the theme for his teenage years growing up in the rural hamlet of Linden, New York. In this coming-of-age story, Fritz takes us back to a simpler time when neighbors gathered at the general store to listen to radio shows, drank barrel-aged cider, and worshiped at the Baptist church every Sunday. All was picturesque in his close-knit farming community until terror was unleashed on them.
 
About the Author
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Suzanne is coordinator at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and is an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. She has a M.A. in English and Creative Writing and a M.S.Ed. in Career and Technical Education. Other publications include a poem in Jigsaw (2014), a short story and two poems in Jigsaw (2016), and a short story in Amaranth Review (2016).
But wait! There’s more! A Giveaway!!

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of Shadow by the Bridge to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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West Cork – an Audible original podcast

So this week I’ve been listening to this original podcast series via Audible that is currently (as of this writing) available for free. It’s about the unsolved murder of a French woman who was in West Cork at her vacation home shortly before Christmas in the mid-1990’s. It was oddly fascinating and haunting at the same time. I couldn’t stop listening. (Some graphic descriptions and language FYI). I would love to discuss this podcast with someone who has also listened to it or read about the murder.

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For My Ears: ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman

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So I had heard about this book as folks chatted about it in the blogisphere. Everyone seemed to love it, so I was immediately suspicious. I find that if everyone loooooves a book, I can’t stand it. Then I end up feeling rather clumsy and socially awkward, like something is wrong with me. However, I got this one with my audible credit and listened to it during my commute. At first I was wondering where it was going, but then I was drawn in and grew to love Eleanor and Raymond and Eleanor’s story. I ended up laughing and cheering and crying and generally being a possible road hazard. It was also delightfully read by Cathleen McCarron and I loved her accent.

Here’s the overview from Amazon:

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes…

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

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THE VANISHING SEASON by Joanna Schaffhausen

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This was a fast read – a great find on Net Galley. I love these suspenseful books, especially in the middle of winter.

Here’s the overview:

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PICTour for THE SWEDISH GIRL by Alex Gray

The Swedish Girl

by Alex Gray

Tour January 8 – February 12, 2018

The Swedish Girl by Alex Gray

Another gripping Lorimer novel from Alex Gray, evoking Glasgow like no other writer can

When Kirsty Wilson lands a room in a luxury Glasgow flat owned by Swedish fellow student Eva Magnusson she can’t believe her luck. But Kirsty’s delight turns to terror when she finds the beautiful Swedish girl lying dead in their home and their male flatmate accused of her murder. Kirsty refuses to accept that he is guilty and, inspired by family friend Detective Superintendent Lorimer, sets out to clear his name.

Meanwhile, Lorimer calls on trusted psychologist Solly Brightman to help unravel the truth behind the enigmatic Eva’s life and death. But it is not long until another woman, bearing a marked resemblance to Eva, is brutally murdered. Horrified, Lorimer realises that Kirsty could be right. Is it possible that Glasgow’s finest detective has put the wrong man behind bars? And is there a cold-blooded killer out there orchestrating the death of the next innocent victim?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: January 9th 2018
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780062659255
Series: A DCI Lorimer Novel, #10 (Stand Alone)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | HarperCollins 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

 I so enjoy Alex Gray’s novels with Scottish detective DCI Lorimer and his colleagues. This was was particularly entertaining as it focused on his friend’s college-age daughter and her friends. Alex Gray never disappoints! Her writing is smooth and her mysteries well-plotted. While they are crime mysteries, I don’t find them overly graphic. DCI Lorimer is in all the books, but each can stand alone.

Thanks for making me a part of the tour!

Author Bio:

Alex GrayAlex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English. Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing. A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

Catch Up With Alex Gray On: Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗, & Twitter 🔗

 But wait! There’s more! Enter below for a giveaway copy of this novel!!

Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alex Gray and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winner of one (1) eBook copy of Alex Gray’s A Pound of Flesh. The giveaway begins on January 8 and runs through February 14, 2018.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE by Melanie Benjamin

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I love Melanie Benjamin’s writing, so I was excited to find this book on Net Galley. If you know me, you know I LOVE reading about the heyday of Hollywood. This novel is a fictionalized account based on the true story of the relationship between Frances Marion and Mary Pickford.  I didn’t know any of this and found it both interesting, and a bit sad. If you like reading about old Hollywood, you’ll enjoy this one!

Here’s the description:

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For My Ears: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE by Elizabeth Strout

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I really loved OLIVE KITTERIDGE and I enjoyed MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, so I knew I would like ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Elizabeth Strout is a master storyteller. She makes the ordinary extraordinary with her subtle emphasis on details. She creates and fleshes out characters like no other author; and she does it through simple prose. She is amazing.

Like her earlier books, it’s hard to describe her novels and make them sound amazing (or even interesting). This one tells the stories of people who touched the life of Lucy Barton. Sounds like a snooze fest, but it wasn’t. I laughed. I cried. I listened to it while commuting and I didn’t mind the drive! (It was superbly read by Kimberly Farr). I got mine through Audible. It will be one of my top books of 2018.

Here’s the overview:

An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by number one best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.

Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.

Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author’s celebrated New York Times best seller) returns to visit her siblings after 17 years of absence.

Reverberating with the deep bonds of family and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout’s place as one of America’s most respected and cherished authors.

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DEAD MAN’S CHEST by Kerry Greenwood

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I love watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on PBS. Phryne is definitely in a class by herself. And the costumes are to die for — very Downton! I was thrilled to find a Miss Fisher mystery on Net Galley. I have read other mysteries of favorite shows, but this one was different. It gave a greater depth to the characters and spent a lot of time in character development. There was a mystery, of course, and lots of twists and intrigue, but overall, it was a very solid and pleasant story.

Here’s the overview:

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If you enjoy the series on PBS (haven’t watched it? start now and thank me later!), you will enjoy this novel full of favorite people and fun!

Thank you for my review e-copy!

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