Murder Between the Lines by Radha Vatsal

Murder Between the Lines
by Radha Vatsal

Murder Between the Lines

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 291

Read: May 10-14, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Publicist for review

 

 

Blurb: When Kitty Weeks’s latest assignment writing for the New York Sentinel Ladies’ Page takes her to Westfield Hall, a well-regarded girls’ school in New York City, she expects to find an orderly establishment teaching French and dancing – standard fare for schoolgirls in 1915. But there’s much more going on at the school than initially meets the eye. Kitty especially takes note of the studies of Elspeth Bright, the daughter of a scientist heavily involved in naval technology, who has inherited her father’s interest and talent for scientific inquiry. s

Elspeth’s seemingly accidental death is a shock to the school community and to Kitty – and the more she finds out about Elspeth and her family, the more the intrepid reporter begins to believe that it may not have been an accident at all.


Review: This is the second book in the Kitty Weeks series. When I was pitched this one I was really excited because I had read and reviewed and loved the first book in A Front Page Affair last year.

Once again, it was fun to be back with Kitty and company. I found that there were some parts that were a little more complicated for my personal taste – the scientific parts revolving around batteries and the navy. Science is not my wheelhouse and I just didn’t care for that whole part of the storyline. While it was an important part of the story, it wasn’t enough to make me dislike the book in any way.

I liked how the characters were evolving throughout the book (like Kitty’s boss at the Ladies’ Page). I could really see the change start to occur that happened around that time in our history with the women’s suffrage movement. It’s still 1915/1916 in this book, so women are still a few years away from the vote, but Ms. Vatsal begins to include some of the issues women were facing at that time period.

I would definitely recommend this book. I think historical fiction fans and mystery lovers alike will both enjoy this book (and series). Ms. Vatsal’s books are fun and easy to read. I’ll eagerly be awaiting the third book next year!

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Review: The Alpine Betrayal by Mary Jaheim

The Alpine Betrayal
by Mary Jaheim

The Alpine Betrayal

Copyright: 1993

Pages: 233

Read: May 15 – May 20, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Five years after her hasty departure from Alpine, Dani Marsh, now a Hollywood star, returns home for location shooting in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains …

At the annual Alpine Loggerama, Cody Graff, Dani’s former husband, goes berserk with an ax … Graff is later found dead on a lonely back road…

With stories like these, the Advocate’s valiant editor and publisher, single mother, Emma Lord, is on a roll…


Review: This is the 2nd book in the Emma Lord series. I read the first book, The Alpine Advocate back in 2015. I didn’t remember much about that first installment, but I was able to fall right back in with Emma and her crew with absolutely no problem.

My one and only complaint about this book was the sheer number of characters … or suspects… there were so many different people that I found it a little difficult to keep things straight at times. But I really did enjoy the overall storyline. There were some surprises here and there that I hadn’t expected at all that made the book even more enjoyable to me.

So yeah, I’m glad I finally got around to this book and I’m definitely looking forward to acquiring the 3rd book so I can read it (hopefully sooner than 15 months later…. ha!) Definitely a cute cozy mystery that I enjoyed.

Review: The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress
by Ariel Lawhon

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

Copyright: 2014

Pages: 302

Read: May 4-8, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased new

 

 

Blurb: Stella Crater, the Judge’s wife, is the picture of propriety draped in long pearls and the latest Chanel. Mitzi, a leggy showgirl with Broadway aspirations, thinks moonlighting in the judge’s bed is the quickest way off the chorus line. Maria Simon, the dutiful maid, has Judge Crater to thank for her husband’s recent promotion to Detective for the NYPD. Meanwhile, Judge Crater is equally indebted to Tammany Hall leaders and the city’s most notorious gangster, Owney “The Killer” Madden.

Then, on a sultry summer night, as rumors circulated about the judge’s involvement in wide-scale political corruption, Judge Crater stepped into a cab and disappeared without a trace. Or did he?

After thirty-nine years of necessary duplicity, Stella Crater is finally read to reveal what she knows. Sliding into a corner booth at Club Abbey, the site of many absinthe-soaked affairs and the judge’s favorite watering hole back in the day, Stella begins to tell a tale – of greed, lust, and deceit. As the story unfolds, Stella, Ritzi and Maria slyly break out of the prescribed roles, and it becomes clear that these three women know a lot more than they’d initially let on.

With a layered intensity and tipsy spins through subterranean jazz clubs, The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is a gripping tale that will transport readers to a bygone era. But beneath the Art Deco skyline and the intoxicating smell of smoke and whiskey, the question of why Judge Crater disappeared lingers seductively until a twist in the very last pages.


Review: I remember when this book first came out seeing it mentioned by Stacy’s Books. I was immediately intrigued and put it on my “watch out for” list. I finally came across it in the bargain section at Barnes & Noble and immediately snatched it up. And then I let it linger on my shelf for more than a year.

I was really intrigued by this book. I knew it was based on a true mystery (Judge Crater really did disappear in the 1930s) and I was interested in seeing how it all played out in a fiction novel. I knew nothing about this particular case, but I really liked this book. Ms. Lawhon really spun a great tale. She made me feel like I was right there in the story with the characters. She really made the setting come to life. And while the “twist” at the end wasn’t really all that surprising to me, it still was a good ending.

I would highly recommend this novel. I think historical fiction fans as well as mystery fans will really enjoy this book. It is so easy to read and a really great story. The characters are all well-developed. The plot line is interesting and the story never once dragged for me. Highly recommended for sure!!

Review: NYPD Red by James Patterson

NYPD Red
by James Patterson

NYPD Red

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 360

Read: April 28 – May 2, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Grandmother

 

 

Blurb: It’s the start of the Hollywood on the Hudson festival, and New York City is swept up in the glamour. At red carpet premiers, thousands of fans gather with the paparazzi to glimpse the world’s most famous faces. With this many celebrities in town, special task force NYPD Red is on high alert. Then a world-renowned producer is fatally poisoned, and top NYPD Red Detective Zach Jordan must work with his new partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald, to uncover the killer. Soon other horrifyingly spectacular crimes send all of New York into chaos – and put NYPD Red on the ropes. Now with the whole world watching, Zach and Kylie must race to stop a psychopath who has scripted his murderous finale down to the last explosive detail.


Review: This is the 1st book in the NYPD Red series …. as if I needed to start another series *eyeroll*. But I couldn’t resist, this one sounded really good and I wanted a quick and easy read. I actually really enjoyed this one.

As usual with any Patterson book, there was a lot going on in this one. It was a lot of fun to work the case with Zach and Kylie. I look forward to see how they develop as partners in the future books. I am definitely looking forward to continuing this series.

 

Review: God Save the Child by Robert B. Parker

God Save the Child
by Robert B. Parker

God Save the Child

Copyright: 1974

Pages: 202

Read: April 24-26, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased used

 

 

Blurb: Appie Knoll is the kind of suburb where kids grow up right. But something is wrong. Fourteen-year-old Kevin Bartlett disappears. Everyone thinks he’s run away — until the comic strip ransom note arrives.  It doesn’t take Spenser long to get the picture — an affluent family seething with rage, a desperate boy making strange friends…friends like Vic Harroway, body builder. Mr. Muscle is Spenser’s only lead and he isn’t talking…except with his fists. But when push comes to shove, when a boy’s life is on the line, Spenser can speak that language too.


Review: This is the 2nd book in the Spenser series. I read the first book way back in 2009 and to be honest, looking back over my review, I wasn’t really impressed by it. It took me eight years to get to the second book in the series. Oops!? I picked this one up randomly the last time I went to my favorite used book store. It was a short book and it was cheap (all paperback books in this shop are $1 each and they have a huge selection of older books – see why it’s my favorite?)

Yeah, Spenser’s character is still brash and not what I would consider appealing. But he definitely has some moments in this one. There are quite a few eye-rolling moments as well. And oh my goodness, the over-the-top descriptions got on my nerves at times. I mean I don’t need a whole run down on every outfit he puts on throughout the entire book. Another issue is that the actual storyline was not that surprising. There was one part of it that I never really saw coming, but it wasn’t necessarily a big huge “aha!” moment. It was predictable…

But overall I enjoyed this one. It was a quick and easy read. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t horrible either. And I’m willing to read the third book in the future. So I’m glad that I finally got around to this one … eight years later, ha!

Review: I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

I, Michael Bennett
by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

I, Michael Bennett

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 375

Read: April 18-23, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased new

 

 

Blurb: Detective Michael Bennett arrests an infamous crime lord who vows to rain epic violence down upon New York City – and to get revenge on Michael Bennett. To escape the chaos, Bennett takes his ten kids and their beloved nanny, Mary Catherine, on a vacation to his family’s cabin near Newburgh in upstate New York. But instead of finding the happy town he remembers from his youth, Bennett steps into an urban nightmare of warring gangs. Now Bennett is torn between protecting his hometown and saving New York City. And when beautiful prosecutor Tara McLellan comes to Bennett’s aid, she endangers his relationship with Mary Catherine – even as a cunning, cold-blooded killer closes in on him…


Review: This is the 5th in the Michael Bennett series. It had been forever since I read the fourth book, so I went into this with not a lot of recollection of the characters. But that didn’t really matter, I fell right back into step with the Bennett and his gang.

As typical Patterson books go, this one is filled with short, easy chapters and multiple storylines (only two this time, thank goodness). My one complaint is that there’s really a big cliffhanger at the end. There’s no true resolution to the story (guess I’ve got to read book #6 now!).

As usual, this was a fun and fast read. Mr. Patterson doesn’t write the most literary works, but there usually a good time. This one doesn’t disappoint in that regard. And I am looking forward to revisiting Bennett in the near future… to figure out if he can get out of the mess he’s gotten himself into!

Review: A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams

A Certain Age
by Beatriz Williams

A Certain Age

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 352

Read: April 15-23, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Barnes & Noble Serial Reads

 

 

Blurb: As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.


Review: So did you know that Barnes & Noble offers something called Serial Reads on their Nook reading app? I sure didn’t. Basically they offer up a free e-book each month and release it in daily installments. I happened to get an email about it. Otherwise I never would have known this existed! So I was really glad to get this email because (1) this book had been on my radar since it was released last year and (2) who doesn’t like free books?!

So what did I think of this book? Well….it helps to not miss the very first part…ha! I don’t know why but my app started me out on Chapter 1, but there’s actually a part that comes before that – and that is really important to the plot of the story. Oops! So here I was reading along and then BOOM! there’s this part that came from out of left field. When I exited and reloaded the app there were FOUR of these sections that I had completely missed! Um, ok? So I read those really quick and …. well the story started to make a lot more sense at that point. ::eyeroll::

So really I have to say that the book was very readable. Even though I had obviously missed a really big part of the entire book I was still able to pretty much put things together without it. I don’t know if that was a good thing or bad thing to be completely honest…There are some pretty big unanswered questions at the end of the book and this wasn’t billed as a series – I didn’t care for that. Either call it a series or wrap it all up like a standalone should be. Whatever…

So really, I did enjoy this book. I was actually really disappointed when I got to a certain point and had to wait until the next day for the next installment to release, haha! It was just a really good, enjoyable and completely readable book. I enjoyed it quite a bit and was glad to have found it available on Serial Reads (which I’m going to stalk like a hawk from now on, hehe!)