The Deepest Grave by Jeri Westerson

The Deepest Grave (Crispin Guest Medieval Noir #11)

A Crispin Guest Medieval Noir Number 11

Crispin is back with his trusty apprentice Jack. After a distraught priest asks him to look into why the dead won’t stay put in their graves, and before he can even do much sleuthing, he receives a message from an old friend that her son is being accused of murder. At the tender age of 7.

And as the old friend is Phillipa, who knows what could be afoot?!

Between the strange goings on at the church yard and the strange behavior of the murdered mans family, this will be an interesting one for Crispin.

Crispin has really come into his own in this one. He is a much calmer and thoughtful man. He has seemingly banished his own demons and is coming to terms with his life as it is. But will this be the thing that could undo all his hard work?

I really enjoy this type of Noir. Crispin is an interesting fellow with just the right mix of snark and manners.

IF you haven’t picked up one of his tales, you should!

Netgalley/ Severn House August 01, 2018

GRANDGHOST BY Nancy Springer

Grandghost: A Haunted House Mystery

When she unearths the bones of a young child, Beverly Vernon’s life is transformed in ways she never expected. 

Beverly Vernon is a widow who moved to Florida and is trying to adjust to the lifestyle, the language and the tea as sweet as candy!

With both of her daughters still living up north, she is on her own, with her art. She illustrates children’s books with lovely, imaginative arts. But boy would she like some grandchildren!

She is trying so hard to make sense of what her place in the world is now and when she unearths a child’s body in her back yard she gets way more excitement than she bargained for!

Obviously the poor thing met with an unkind end and she decides to paint a portrait of what the child may have looked like all those years ago. Only the painting she leaves on the easel is not the one she finds in the morning. It just may be that the child has never left the house and is trying to communicate with her.

With both daughters believing their mother has lost her marbles and her holier than though neighbor trying to get her committed to the loony bin, Beverly charges full steam ahead and tracks down this childs family with the help of some great characters.

Although this could be a ghost story it was more the story of child abuse and secrets. Secrets that ruin entire families and how by reaching out to strangers can change their life and yours. This was a heart breaking tale as well as a heart warming tale of faith, acceptance, love and making a new family.

Very nicely done. Not what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it!

NetGalley/Severn House August 01, 2018

August 1st 2018 by Severn House Publishers

The Lucifer Chord by F.G.Cottam

The Lucifer Chord

Ruthie Gillespie’s efforts to find out the truth about a mysterious missing rock star lead her on a terrifying journey into the past. 

Researcher Ruthie Gillespie has undertaken a commission to write an essay on Martin Mear, lead singer and guitarist with Ghost Legion, the biggest, most decadent rock band on the planet, before he disappeared without trace in 1975. Her mission is to separate man from myth – but it’s proving difficult, as a series of increasingly disturbing and macabre incidents threatens to derail Ruthie’s efforts to uncover the truth about the mysterious rock star.

Just what did happen to Martin Mear back in 1975? Is he really set to return from the dead, as the band’s die-hard fans, the Legionaries, believe? It’s when Ruthie’s enquiries lead her to the derelict mansion on the Isle of Wight where Martin wrote the band’s breakthrough album that events take a truly terrifying turn …

It is so nice to have Ruthie and company back for a visit. Ruthie has been commissioned to do an essay on Martin Mear and his band, Ghost Legion, as part of a new boxed set and a tour of his music and memorabilia. But something isn’t right about any of this, she discovers as supernatural events force a medium to run for her life and more me she knows to end up dead.

Ruthie is no stranger to the supernatural or the occult forces in the world. She has come up against them before and lived to tell the tale, but will the third time be her last?

Ruthie is one of my favorite characters and I hope we will see more of her! Cottam’s writing draws you into the story and the characters and before you know it you are almost finished, so you slow down to make it last and still end up hurtling towards the end to find out what happens! As a great coincidence I had a text from a friend who is at this minute on the Isle of Wight so this seemed a sign of sorts, but by then I had devoured the entire book!

If you like secret societies, the occult, fact with fiction mixed in and a spooky setting,then you should read the books before this one as well.

Netgalley/SevernHouse September 01, 2018

F.G. Cottam

Reading is a cheap and totally effective way of being transported to another world. The same is true of writing. Mundane concerns only afflict your characters if you decide you want them to.
University was where I first thought seriously about fiction; hearing about Hemingway’s iceberg theory and Eliot’s objective correlative and having the luxury of time to ponder on the mechanics of the novel.
My first writing was journalism and pieces for I-D, Arena and The Face brought me to the attention of mainstream magazine publishers. In the ’90’s I edited FHM when it still majored on sport and fashion rather than Hollyoaks starlets and weather girls. Then I launch-edited the UK edition of Men’s Health magazine and then came to the conclusion that if I didn’t try to write some fiction it was never going to happen.
I read all kinds of fiction, but write stories with a paranormal element I think really because history fascinates me and ghosts allow the past to resonate shockingly, scarily and I hope convincingly, into the present.
I got off to an encouraging start but have suffered a few disappointments since then. I wouldn’t in honesty want to do anything else, though. If I write a terrible novel it’s my fault entirely. If I write a good novel, it’s entirely my achievement.

Chariot on the Mountain by Jack Ford

Chariot on the Mountain

Once old Mastuh be dead, you be workin’ in the fields just like the rest of ’em. That day comin’ soon.” 

Based on little-known true events and brought vividly to life by Emmy and Peabody award-winning journalist Jack Ford, here is an astonishing account of a time when the traditions of the Old South still thrived, a treacherous journey toward freedom–and a testament to determination, friendship, and courage. 

Kitty’s story takes place a about 20 years before the war between the states. Kitty was a real person and this story is full of historical information with some fictional conversations that may have taken place. The facts are documented very well and Mr. Ford has done a masterful job of weaving them into a believable story.

Set in Virginia, Kitty is the daughter of her master and a slave woman. She has been raised in the house, educated and allowed to have a relationship and children.

But what is going to happen when her master dies? Will his widow sell them just to not have to face her husband’s proof of infidelity?

Mary Maddox was a wonderful lady. She decides to honor her husband’s last wish which was to free Kitty and her children.
To do so she must work with the underground railroad and take Kitty and her children to freedom in Pennsylvania. Along the way the two women develop a relationship based on trust, kindness and love.

But we have to have a bad guy and that guy was the master’s own evil nephew who has no plans to let Kitty remain a free woman when she would fetch a nice price to help clear his many debts.

No sooner is Kitty a free woman than another man of color sells her out and she is beaten and tossed in a wagon and taken back home. But dear nephew has no idea what a few women on a mission can accomplish.

This book was hard to read in some parts, but true. Miraculous things happen when women get together and refuse to back down. The fact that this is some well documented history makes the story even better.  I won’t spoil any of it for you though. It is a wonderful story and I am richer for having read it!

Netgalley/Kensington July 31, 2018

BELIEVE ME by J.P.DELANEY RELEASE DAY!!!

Believe Me: A Novel by [Delaney, JP]

After a disastrous on set affair with her leading man, Claire is not exactly in high demand. She is in the country from England without a green card and no one to hire her as an actress.

When she is approached by a law firm who specialize in divorce to become a decoy, hired to find out if husbands are cheating or at least thinking about it. The job is fairly easy. Use your acting skills and tape everything but under no circumstances sleep with them or proposition them first. Just get the evidence and sneak out.

But when the wife of the target is violently killed in her hotel room, it seems the husband is a good candidate for murder. When they come to Claire with a plan to get him to confess and a part for her to play that earns actual money, Claire jumps in with both feet!

And this is where it all goes insane! Claire’s mind is really a stage with her voicing all of the characters. Or are they real people? Who exactly is the bad guy here? Is she insane?

This was what I’ve come to expect from this author. The ultimate mental maze that leaves you exhausted and asking What???    Great Job.

Netgalley/ July 24th 2018 by Random House

 

What Are You Reading This Week?

I have absolutely no idea how these got dropped in my Netgalley Shelf! But I am happy to see them there!

 “Marrying forbidden love, devoted friendship, and the supernatural with Palombo’s signature passion for music, storytelling, and heartbreaking choices, The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel enchants with a concoction of love, longing, and loss plucked from the bones of one of our most enduring and haunting legends.” – Erin Lindsay McCabe, USA Today bestselling author of I Shall Be Near to You

 There’s only so long you can run for your life.

 

 The follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison’s Tear Me Apart is the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.

 The highly acclaimed author of Watching Edie returns with a new novel of dark psychological suspense that explores how those closest to us have the most to hide…

Sometimes life’s most magical journeys bring you back to where it all began…From USA Today bestselling author Emily March comes The Christmas Wishing Tree, an enchanting account of the magic and miracle of Christmas.

I was thrilled to see J.T.Ellison in this group! One of my favorites and with this extreme heat maybe the Christmas Wishing Tree will make us feel a bit cooler!

What is on your TBR pile this week?

xx Patricia