Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg

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Having grown up in the Napa Valley, I was quite excited to find this novel on Net Galley. I love reading about the wives of famous authors (e.g. Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc.), and since I was familiar with Jack London’s home in Glen Ellen, I couldn’t wait to get this one!

Here’s the overview:

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A Note From the Publisher

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Before reading this novel, I knew next to nothing about Charmian London. What an interesting woman (who was very talented herself)! She was the glue that held Jack London together. London, probably not surprisingly, is portrayed as a struggling, somewhat tortured, weak in spirit but genius in mind, individual, and the story leads up to the end of his life. There were so many details in here that I did not know, and they are all based on fact and Rosenberg’s research. And let’s just say that I will never think about Houdini and his wife the same way again!
The descriptions of the Sonoma Valley are evocative of the real thing and the story flows easily, while building to a crescendo. I so enjoyed reading this novel and learning more about London’s life and his very interesting wife, Charmian.
Thank you for my review copy!
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The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

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I received this one a while ago through Net Galley. I love suspenseful reads! This one wasn’t a thriller, but more of a low grade suspense as I tried to figure everything out that was going on with all these characters! I was thinking while I read it that it reminded me of Big Little Lies, and I see that one of the “real” reviews made the same comparison.

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Recommended! Let me know if you read it. Thank you for my review copy!

 

 

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The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic

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So — if you read me, you know I love suspenseful novels, and this one was no exception. There are lots of things happening in this story and you need to pay attention to them (or end up confused!). I thought I had it all figured out (twice) but I was wrong. I will say that I had to suspend my disbelief just a tad with the ending. Overall, it was a fast and fun read that kept me eerily on edge!
Thank you for my review copy via Net Galley!
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WILDWOOD by Elinor Florence

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I loved Elinor Florence’s Bird’s Eye View, so I was excited to see that she had a new book out: Wildwood. Wildwood tells the story of Molly Bannister, who leaves Arizona with her young daughter to go to northernmost Canada as she has inherited a farm from her great aunt. The conditions are: live on the farm for one year (no plumbing, no electricity) and then you can sell it. Molly needs money and the farm is prime land for oil fracking. She moves north (where it’s way colder than she’s ever experienced!) and slowly pioneers her way through the year, with four-year-old Bridget by her side. Finding her great aunt’s diary from her first year at Wildwood in the 20’s is an added bonus. Along the way, Molly begins to find that connecting with the land may be the best thing that has ever happened to her and her daughter.

I just loved this story – especially since I’m a big fan of a pioneer story and this one essentially had two in it: Molly’s and her great aunt’s. I loved how Molly was tough and self-sufficient, but also overwhelmed by the demands of living off the grid. Molly’s little girl, Bridget, is selective mute, something that is near and dear to me if you know me personally, and I loved the character of little Bridget. It was interesting to read about Canadian winter (I thought we had it bad in New England!) and the indigenous people of Canada as well.

Thank you so much for my review e-copy! I truly enjoyed it!!

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A Note From the Publisher

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A Whisper of Bones by Ellen Hart

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I read this one a while ago — it was one of those “read it in one day!” kind of mysteries that I couldn’t put down. While it is part of a series, it certainly stands alone as I haven’t read any of the other titles. Suspenseful and well-plotted, I will look for more by this author!

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Thank you for my review copy via Net Galley!

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PICTour for Alex Gray’s THE SILENT GAMES

The Silent Games
by Alex Gray
The Silent Games by Alex Gray

Alex Gray’s stunning new Lorimer novel, set against the backdrop of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, brings the vibrant city to life in a race to stop the greatest threat the city has ever known.
2014: The Commonwealth Games are coming to Glasgow and security is extra tight, particularly after a mysterious bomb explodes in nearby rural Stirlingshire. As the opening ceremony for the Games draws ever closer, the police desperately seek the culprits. But Detective Superintendent Lorimer has other concerns on his mind. One is a beautiful red-haired woman from his past whose husband dies suddenly on his watch. Then there is the body of a young woman found dumped in countryside just south of the city who is proving impossible to identify. Elsewhere in Glasgow people prepare for the events in their own way, whether for financial gain or to welcome home visitors from overseas. And, hiding behind false identities, are those who pose a terrible threat not just to the Games but to the very fabric of society.
Critical Praise:
An excellent procedural in which Gray … does for Glasgow what Ian Rankin did for Edinburgh in the annals of crime fiction.” — Kirkus Reviews on The Silent Games
“Gray has no equal when it comes to unmasking killers and she has excelled herself here . . . Gray is the new master of Scottish crime writing.” — Scottish Daily Express
“Brings Glasgow to life in the same way Ian Rankin evokes Edinburgh.” — Daily Mail (UK)
Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: March 13th 2018
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780062659262
Series: A DCI Lorimer Novel, #11 (Stand Alone)

Get Your Copy of The Silent Games from Amazon,Barnes & Noble, & HarperCollins. Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads!!
 If you read my blog, you know I love Alex Gray’s DCI Lorimer novels. They all can stand alone, but I love to read them in order. This one was no exception – I couldn’t put it down! It seemed to have three different story lines going at the offset: Lorimer attends his high school reunion which is organized by his old flame (whose husband promptly turns up dead),  a young girl is kidnapped from Africa and black-marketed for sex in Scotland, and some thugs are planning a bombing at the Scotland Glasgow Games. I wasn’t sure how these three would come together, but converge they did, with a satisfying conclusion!

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my review e-copy! I hear there’s another title in the works….

Author Bio:

Alex Gray

Alex 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 alex-gray.comGoodreads, &Twitter!

 

 But wait! There’s more! A  Giveaway!!
Giveaway:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alex Gray and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) Print copy of Alex Gray’s THE SWEDISH GIRL. The giveaway begins on March 12, 2018 and runs through April 15, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

 

Direct Link to Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

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When I was in my early twenties, I went through what I called my “Romanov stage”. I read every book in the library on the Romanovs and all the books about people who claimed to be Anastasia or Alexei rescued and grown. I was fascinated by their lifestyle and their tragic story, and I wanted so much to think that one of those beautiful children had survived and was alive and well.
This story had me at the title. I love Lawhon’s writing and have read all her other novels. The timeline was unique: Anastasia’s story starts with her family’s imprisonment and continues to their last days and the tragedy in the cellar. Anna’s story starts with the near present and moves backward to that same period.
You can tell that Ms. Lawhon spent her time researching not only the details, but the personalities and characteristics of the characters of this novel, from the sisters to Alexei to the servants.
A sad yet unforgettable read — especially for those, like me, who once went through an “Anastasia phase”.
Thank you for my review e-copy via Net Galley!
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PICTour for: A Wolf in the Woods by Nancy Allen

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I’m happy today to be part of the Partners in Crime Tour for A Wolf in the Woods, a suspenseful mystery by Nancy Allen. While it is part of a mystery series, it is a stand-alone title (I hadn’t read any of the other books). I read this novel straight through as I couldn’t put it down! I will admit to having to suspend my disbelief at times due to “coincidences” in the story line, but overall, it was a solid read. My favorite part, though, was the main heroine, who is a bit down on her luck, a tad overweight, in a relationship that is going nowhere fast, and wanting to investigate a disappearance (though, as a lawyer, she is supposed to leave that to the “professionals”). I laughed out loud at some points. The twist at the end made me want to read more!

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

A Wolf in the Woods

by Nancy Allen

Tour March 1-31, 2018

A Wolf in the Woods by Nancy AllenMcCown County assistant prosecutor Elsie Arnold is prepping an assault case when a girl is found beaten and bloodied at a roadside no-tell motel. Elsie tries to convince the teen to reveal who attacked her, but Mandy is too scared—and stubborn—to cooperate… and then she disappears. Elsie’s positive a predator is targeting the Ozark hills, yet the authorities refuse to believe their small town could be plagued by sex trafficking.

Then middle school student Desiree Wickham goes missing, but only Elsie suspects it could be connected to Mandy’s assault. As she digs deeper into the events leading up to Desiree’s disappearance, she stumbles upon an alarming discovery: local girls are falling prey to a dubious online modeling agency, and never seen again. Elsie shares her concerns with Detective Ashlock and the FBI, but they shut her out.

She takes matters into her own hands and lands an interview with the head of the modeling agency. But when she meets him face-to-face, she discovers the fate of Desiree and Mandy… and becomes his newest captive. Elsie’s desperate to free the girls—and save herself—before the unspeakable happens. And she’s in for the fight of her life.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0062438786 (ISBN13: 9780062438782)
Series: Ozarks Mysteries #4 | Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
Grab Your copy of A Wolf in the Woods: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗 | HarperCollins 🔗

Author Bio:

Nancy AllenNancy Allen practiced law for 15 years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks.

She tried over 30 jury trials, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now a law instructor at Missouri State University.

Catch Up With Ms. Allen On:
nancyallenbooks.com
Goodreads – Nancy Allen
Twitter – @TheNancyAllen
Facebook – NancyAllenAuthor

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Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

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Oh my goodness, I loved this historical fiction novel that followed the life of Ernest Young, from his early childhood in China at the turn of the 20th century, to his life in Seattle, including being a charity case in a boarding school and spending many happy years as the house boy in a brothel. The story moved from the present (with Ernest, his wife, and his two grown daughters) to the past, where the Seattle Expo of 1909 is taking place. I grew to love these emotional and realistic characters, and I laughed and cried while reading this book.

Highly recommended! Thank you for my review e-copy!

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Chris Bohjalian’s THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT

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Woot! One of my very favorite authors has a new book out this week! I read it months ago as I got it via Net Galley and I’ve been waiting to share my excitement. First I have to say that Mr. Bohjalian is one of the most gifted and versatile authors that I’ve ever read. He can write in any genre and any topic. (And, if you follow him on things like Twitter and Facebook, he is a very humble and gracious guy!).

This story was a suspenseful one, focusing on a flight attendant who hooks up with a guy she serves in First Class, and then wakes up to find him dead, next to her in bed. It’s a suspenseful read, full of twists, but even more than I loved the mystery of it all, I loved the totally imperfect character of Cassandra. She made mistakes, she was rather messed up, she was not honorable, yet you couldn’t help but cheer her on.

As  I read this novel, I thought “this would make a good movie!” and yesterday on Facebook I saw that a movie is in the works — yeah!

Thank you for my review e-copy via Net Galley! I look forward to the next novel from Mr. Bohjalian!

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