Review: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

The Postmistress
by Sarah Blake

The Postmistress

Copyright: 2010

Pages: 318

Read: Aug. 18-Aug. 21, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchased at library book sale

 
Blurb: It is 1940. France has fallen. Bombs are dropping on London. And President Roosevelt is promising he won’t send our boys to fight in “foreign wars.”

But American radio gal Frankie Bard, the first woman to report from the Blitz in London, wants nothing more than to bring the war home. Frankie’s radio dispatches crackle across the Atlantic Ocean, imploring listeners to pay attention – as the Nazis bomb London nightly, and Jewish refugees stream across Europe. Frankie is convinced that if she can just get the right story, it will wake Americans to action and they will join the fight.

Meanwhile, in Franklin, Massachusetts, a small town on Cape Cod, Iris James hears Frankie’s broadcasts and knows that it is only a matter of time before the war arrives on Franklin’s shores. In charge of the town’s mail, Iris believes that her job is to deliver and keep people’s secrets, passing along the news that letters carry. And one secret she keeps are her feelings for Harry Vale, the town mechanic, who inspects the ocean daily, searching in vain for German U-boats he is certain will come. Two single people in midlife, Iris and Harry long ago gave up hope of ever being in love, yet they find themselves unexpectedly drawn toward each other.

Listening to Frankie as well are Will and Emma Fitch, the town’s doctor and his new wife, both trying to escape fragile childhoods and forge a brighter future. When Will follows Frankie’s siren call into the war, Emma’s worst fears are realized. Promising to return in six months, Will goes to London to offer his help, and the lives of the three women entwine.

 


Review:  I picked this one up at the library book sale about a month ago. It sounded intriguing to me. I don’t read much historical fiction, but something about it drew me in.

Overall I’m kind of stuck as to my opinion on it. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really draw me in like I had hoped for. I never took to any of the characters. I kept waiting and waiting for something, anything, exciting to happen … but nothing ever came. It just fell flat in the ending. I actually laid it down and thought to myself “that’s it?” It just didn’t work all that well for me.

Review: Private Games by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

Private Games
by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

Private Games

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 426

Read: Aug. 16-Aug. 17, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchased used

 


Blurb
: Private, the world’s most renowned investigation firm, has been commissioned to provide security for the 2012 Games in London. Its agents are the smartest, fastest, and most technologically advanced in the world.

Hours away from the opening ceremony, Private investigator and single father Peter Knight is called to the scene of a ruthless murder. A high-ranking member of the Games organizing committee has been killed. It’s clear to Peter that this wasn’t a crime of passion but one of precise calculation and execution.

Newspaper reporter Karen Pope receives a letter from a person who calls himself Cronus, claiming responsibility for the murder. He promises to restore the Games to their ancient glory – and to destroy all those who have ruined the Games with lies, corruption, and greed. Now Karen and Peter must work together to uncover a criminal genius who won’t stop until he completely obliterates the modern Games.


Review:  James Patterson is always a go-to for me when I need a quick, easy read. So far I have read a few of these Private books and have enjoyed them.

This one fell a little bit flat in my opinion though. It wasn’t necessarily bad by any means, I just wasn’t all that interested in it. I thought it would be interesting to pick up a book with a storyline revolving around the Olympics during the Olympics (although I literally watched none of the Olympics).

But for some reason this one just didn’t work for me. Like I said, not a bad book, but I could have skipped it and never missed anything.

Review: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Doroth Gilman

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
by Dorothy Gilman

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

Copyright: 1966

Pages: 192

Read: Aug. 9-Aug. 15, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

Blurb: Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. So, naturally, she became a CIA agent. This time, the assignment sounds as tasty as a taco. A quick trip to Mexico City is on her agenda. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and our dear Mrs. Pollifax finds herself embroiled in quite a hot Cold War–and her country’s enemies find themselves entangled with one unbelievably feisty lady.


Review: I requested this one from Paperbackswap after seeing Stacy mention the second in the series on Goodreads. It was definitely an impulse “purchase” but it sounded like such a fun, cute book.

And for the most part, it was. It should have been a quick, easy read. 192 pages – I could knock that out relatively quickly. But for some reason, it didn’t really click with me. I enjoyed the first bit of the book quite a bit, where Mrs. Pollifax introduces herself to the CIA and when she first went to Mexico City. It was all the stuff that came after that I didn’t care for. It just seemed to drag on forever with very little movement toward anything.

So while I wouldn’t say this book is bad, I doubt I continue on with this series. I need more meat to my stories. I need to connect more to the characters (and I really couldn’t find myself connecting to Mrs. Pollifax very well). So yeah, not terrible but not something I’ll remember in a month.

Review: The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark

The Melody Lingers On
by Mary Higgins Clark

The Melody Lingers On

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 354

Read: Aug. 3-Aug. 8, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Grandmother

 
Blurb: As an assistant to a famous upscale interior designer, Lane Harmon, mother to four-year-old Katie, is accustomed to visiting opulent homes around the tristate area. So when she is called to a modest town house in Bergen County, Lane knows the job is unusual. Then she learns the home belongs to the wife of a notorious and disgraced financier named Parker Bennett.

Parker Bennett was last seen two years ago on his sailboat in the Caribbean before he vanished, along with the five billion dollar hedge fund he managed. The scandal over whether Bennett was suicidal or staged his disappearance still continues. His clients and the federal government all want to trace the money and find Bennett, if he is still alive.

Lane is surprised to find herself moved by Mrs. Bennett’s calm dignity and faith in her husband’s innocence and drawn to Eric, the Bennetts’ son, who is similarly determined to prove his father is not guilty. Lane doesn’t realize that the closer she gets to the Bennetts, the more she puts her life – and her daughter’s life – in jeopardy.


Review: I love Mary Higgins Clark. I haven’t read all of her books, but I have yet to read a book by her that I didn’t enjoy. She just writes a really good story.

This book felt very believable just because you hear about these sorts of things happening all too often (Bernie Madoff?). And it’s my experience that when a book can be relatable to someone because you know it could happen, well that just makes the book all the more enjoyable.

I liked Lane’s character. She was sweet, but extremely naive. Almost to the point where I felt sorry for her. Luckily for her it turned out all right, but you have to wonder why women authors don’t write stronger women characters. But I’m not an author, so what do I know?

Anyway, I enjoyed this one and definitely recommend it to mystery lovers!

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant
by Veronica Roth

Allegiant

Copyright: 2013

Pages: 526

Read: July 29-Aug. 3, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchased New

 
Blurb: The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.


Review: This review is tough because I went into this one with absolutely no recollection of the first two books. Overall, that really affected my understanding and opinion because a lot of things made absolutely no sense. I also didn’t really care for the alternating stories of Tris & Tobias. The other two books weren’t in that format and I just didn’t care for it. Also – I was not impressed by the ending. It made me a little more than irritated.

So I guess while it wasn’t necessarily bad, it definitely could have been made better had I read this one with more memory of the previous two books. But I am glad that I finally finished the trilogy out. Just kind of an “eh” book from me.

July 2016 Books

Vicious A Front Page Affair Seven Up Game of Crowns Breaking Silence

July was a really good month – five books. And I was really excited that I finally got a nonfiction book in – it’s been way too long since I read nonfiction. Here’s to hoping August is just as good as July!!

Review: Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo

Breaking Silence
by Linda Castillo

Breaking Silence

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 302

Read: July 23-27, 2016

Rating: 5/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, prosperous and hardworking, with four children and a happy extended family. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane-gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers evidence of foul play. Who would want to make orphans of the Slabaugh children? And is this murder somehow related to a recent string of shocking hate crimes against the Amish?

Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. The state sends in agent John Tomasetti, with whom Kate has a long and complex relationship, and together they search for the link between the crimes – and uncover a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community.


Review: This is the third book in the Kate Burkholder series. I absolutely loved the first book in the series and the second one was good, but just a little flatter. But Ms. Castillo came out guns blazing with this one! I absolutely loved every minute of it! Just when I thought I had it all figured out, she threw a curve ball .. and then another!

I really like Kate’s character. She’s a good cop with some baggage, but she’s very relatable. And John, he’s just a male version of her. Their relationship works really well and makes for some enjoyable moments throughout the book.

I can’t believe I have waited this long to start this series… and I’m looking forward to reading the fourth book soon!