Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King

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I’m always thrilled when Net Galley offers a title in a series that I enjoy. Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell’s series are mysteries that feature the young, intelligent wife of Sherlock Holmes. While Holmes plays his part, Russell is the protagonist. They are cleverly plotted and I always find I learn a little something while reading them.

This latest one takes place in Venice. Holmes and Russell have gone there seeking a missing aunt of a friend. There are LOTS of themes in this book – women’s roles, depression and mental health, sexual abuse, sexuality, treatment in hospitals, rise of fascism, etc. I found it all rather compelling and fascinating. Adding to the mix were real characters, like Cole Porter and his wife Linda, along with Mussolini. I think this is my favorite Mary Russell mystery yet.

This would be a great book club book as there is much to discuss, too.

Thank you for my e-copy from Net Galley!

From Amazon:

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are back in Laurie R. King’s New York Times bestselling series—“the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today” (Lee Child).

With Mrs. Hudson gone from their lives and domestic chaos building, the last thing Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, need is to help an old friend with her mad and missing aunt.

Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, since the loss of her brother and father in the Great War. And although her mental state seemed to be improving, she’s now disappeared after an outing from Bethlem Royal Hospital . . . better known as Bedlam.

Russell wants nothing to do with the case—but she can’t say no. And at least it will get her away from the challenges of housework and back to the familiar business of investigation. To track down the vanished woman, she brings to the fore her deductive instincts and talent for subterfuge—and of course enlists her husband’s legendary prowess. Together, Russell and Holmes travel from the grim confines of Bedlam to the winding canals and sun-drenched Lido cabarets of Venice—only to find the foreboding shadow of Benito Mussolini darkening the fate of a city, an era, and a tormented English lady of privilege.

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Death at the Selig Studios by Frances McNamara

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The early summer of 1909 finds Emily Cabot eagerly anticipating a relaxing vacation with her family. Before they can depart, however, she receives news that her brother, Alden, has been involved in a shooting death at the Selig Polyscope silent movie studios on Chicago’s northwest side. She races to investigate, along with her friend Detective Henry Whitbread. There they discover a sprawling backlot, complete with ferocious jungle animals and the celluloid cowboys Tom Mix and Broncho Billy. As they dig deeper into the situation, they uncover furtive romantic liaisons between budding movie stars and an attempt by Thomas Edison to maintain his stranglehold over the emerging film industry. Before the intrepid amateur sleuth can clear her brother’s name she faces a serious break with the detective; a struggle with her adolescent daughter, who is obsessed with the filming of the original Wizard of Oz movie; and threats upon her own life. (via Amazon)

This is book 7 of the Emily Cabot mysteries, and I love this entertaining and well-plotted series that blends interesting facts from history with a lively fictional protagonist. Each volume can stand alone. Emily finds herself mixed up with film makers in Chicago in this installment. To be honest, I didn’t realize that the early film industry was in part in Chicago before it came to California. At the end of this post I’ve included a You Tube link of a Selig Studios rendition of The Wizard of Oz from 1910, the movie they were filming in this novel. It certainly is different from the movie version most of us grew up with!

Ms. McNamara’s writing is always a treat and she often can write a mystery that I can’t figure out. This novel was yet another winner from her.

Thank you for my review copy, sent from the publishers: Allium Press of Chicago.

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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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GIN AND PANIC by Maia Chance

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Partners in Crime Tour for THE BODY IN THE CASKET by Katherine Hall Page

 

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I absolutely adore the Faith Fairchild cozy mysteries! They are set in Massachusetts and Faith, a transplanted New Yorker, is a caterer and wife of a minister. Faith has amazing recipes (included!), lives her life as as typical wife and mother, and gets involved in murders and mystery quite unintentionally. All this takes place right where I live, so it’s really fun to read about Faith enjoying the same restaurants, etc. that I do!  I wish so much these books were a series to watch (are you listening, Netflix?). I’ve read them all.

As for this one, what’s not to like? There’s food, murder, theater, and subplots galore! Thank you for my review e-copy via Edelweiss.

Here’s the overview for this one:

The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

The inimitable Faith Fairchild returns in a chilling New England whodunit, inspired by the best Agatha Christie mysteries and with hints of the timeless board game Clue.

For most of her adult life, resourceful caterer Faith Fairchild has called the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford home. While the native New Yorker has come to know the region well, she isn’t familiar with Havencrest, a privileged enclave, until the owner of Rowan House, a secluded sprawling Arts and Crafts mansion, calls her about catering a weekend house party.

Producer/director of a string of hit musicals, Max Dane—a Broadway legend—is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his seventieth birthday. At the house as they discuss the event, Faith’s client makes a startling confession. “I didn’t hire you for your cooking skills, fine as they may be, but for your sleuthing ability. You see, one of the guests wants to kill me.”

Faith’s only clue is an ominous birthday gift the man received the week before—an empty casket sent anonymously containing a twenty-year-old Playbill from Max’s last, and only failed, production—Heaven or Hell. Consequently, Max has drawn his guest list for the party from the cast and crew. As the guests begin to arrive one by one, and an ice storm brews overhead, Faith must keep one eye on the menu and the other on her host to prevent his birthday bash from becoming his final curtain call.

Full of delectable recipes, brooding atmosphere, and Faith’s signature biting wit, The Body in the Casket is a delightful thriller that echoes the beloved mysteries of Agatha Christie and classic films such as Murder by Death and Deathtrap.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Number of Pages: 238
ISBN: 0062439561 (ISBN13: 9780062439567)
Series: Faith Fairchild, 24
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Author Bio:

Katherine Hall PageKatherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts, and Maine, with her husband.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Katherine Hall Page and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) physical copy of Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Casket. The giveaway begins on December 4, 2017 and runs through January 14, 2018. This giveaway is open to US addressess only.

Include this code to add the giveaway to your post:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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THE CURIOUS AFFAIR OF THE SOMNAMBULIST AND THE PSYCHIC THIEF by Lisa Tuttle

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I found this little gem on Net Galley and it seemed like the type of historical mystery that I would enjoy. I loved this duo of detectives and I particularly liked how much of this story is told from a woman’s point of view — a POV that loses sight of the intricacies of a women’s role in Victorian England.
Well-written and well-plotted, I can only hope that this is the start of a series!
Thank you for my review e-copy!
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Rhys Bowen’s On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service

 

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If you read me, you know I love ALL Rhys Bowen’s novels, but I particularly enjoy the Royal Spyness Mysteries with Lady Georgiana and her adventures that are both exciting and funny. I never find this series boring as each installment is unique and engaging.

Here’s what is happening this time:

Description (via Net Galley)

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Poor Georgie! Will she ever be able to marry Darcy?? Will good friend Belinda ever think of anyone except herself and her enjoyment? Will Georgie’s mother act like a mother for once?
You’ll have to read it to find out!
I hope Ms. Bowen continues writing these novels for quite some time. She’s a bit of an Agatha Christie — you just never get tired of her!
Thank you for my review e-copy!
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Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delaney

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This was another fun cozy mytery series that I discovered through Net Galley. It was funny and quick to read, but was well-plotted and kept me guessing!

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A KILLER LOCATION by Sarah T. Hobart

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A Question of Devotion by Anita Kulina

Question of Devotion Tour

Here I am today as part of the Virtual Author Book Tours, chatting it up about Anita Kulina’s new cozy mystery: A Question of Devotion.

Here’s the scoop on the story:

A Question of Devotion
Question of Devotion by Anita Kulina

Publisher:  Brandt Street Press (November 8, 2016)
Category: Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths
Tour Date: March & April, 2017
ISBN: 978-0974260761
Available in: Print & ebook,  256 Pages

A Question Of Devotion

Then she saw it – a sheet of paper in the mailbox, underneath the mail. It was white with large black letters and said LEAVE IT ALONE.

Mrs. B has a quiet life, and she likes it that way. Morning pinochle games at St. Mary’s Senior Center. Afternoon lunches with Myrtle, Anne and Rose. Peaceful evenings with a cup of coffee and the classic movie channel.

But one day she wakes to a phone call, which leads to consequences she could never have foreseen. Secrets snowball and threaten to change the neighborhood of Burchfield forever. Someone has to make things right. It’s up to Mrs. B.

Praise for Question of Devotion by Anita Kulina

“If you can picture Columbo when he’s retired, and spending more time in church and the kitchen, and Polish, and wearing a babushka, you have a sense of the down-home detective that Anita Kulina has created. I love Mrs. B!”-Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist and author of The Paris of Appalachia

“A Question of Devotion is a comforting snapshot of an aging population, where the way of life is still bound by churches, neighborhoods, and countries of origin. Its heroine, Mrs. B, is not just an old woman living out her twilight years at the senior center, but an able detective engaged in solving a mystery as cozy as cocoa and afghans on a cold Western Pennsylvania day.”-Kathryn Miller Haines, author of the Rosie Winter Mysteries and the Iris Anderson Mysteries

About Anita Kulina

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Like most people who love to write, Anita Kulina has been telling stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. Her first publication was in the letters-to-the-editor column of Adventure Comics #341. Nowadays, much of her work centers on the rich and colorful lives of Pittsburgh’s working poor. Since Anita spent much of her life in those ranks, it’s a subject dear to her heart.

Her book Millhunks and Renegades won her the Achievement in Literature award from the community of Hazelwood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently at work on the next two Mrs. B books.

Website http://www.brandtstreetpress.com/books/mrsb1.html
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/anita.k.smith
Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/anita-kulina-smith-4094812?trk=hp-identity-name

Buy Question of Devotion by Anita Kulina

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IndieBound
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This was an easy and enjoyable read. I just loved the character of Mrs. B — a sort of Miss Marple who leads a simple and quiet life. There’s a subplot in here about her relationship with the little girl across the street — sweet. I see that it is the start of a series.

Anita Kulina is a new author to me, but she is not new to writing. She has two more Mrs. B books in the works.

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my e-copy!

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Follow the Question of Devotion by Anita Kulina Tour

Teddy RoseBook Reviews Plus Mar 1 Kick Off & GiveawayMythical Books Mar 3 Guest PostBooks, Dreams,Life Mar 6 Review & ExcerptA Bookworm’s Journal Mar 8 Guest Post & GiveawayButterfly-o-Meter Books Mar 9 Interview & ExcerptIndie Review Behind the Scenes Mar 10 8 pm cst Live InterviewChristy’s Cozy Corners Mar 22 Review & GiveawayAnn’s Reading Corner Mar 24 ReviewBeth’s Book-Nook Mar 31 ReviewPulp and Mystery ShelfApr 3 InterviewLisa’s Writopia Apr 5 Review & Guest PostRockin’ Book Reviews Apr 10 Review & Guest PostCelticlady’s Reviews Apr 13 Excerpt & GiveawayTurning the Pages Apr 18 Review, Excerpt, & GiveawayJBronder Book Reviews Apr 19 Review & ExcerptA Room without Books is Empty Apr 24 ReviewMelina’s Book Blog Apr 26 Review & Guest Post

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