SUNDIAL by CATRIONA WARD

Sundial

Sundial is a twisty psychological horror novel perfect for fans of The Push and Girl A, from Catriona Ward, author of The Last House on Needless Street.

“You can only do three things with danger: run away from it, fight it, or make friends with it.”

Rob just wants to be normal. Whatever that looks like. She finally has a husband and two little girls she adores. But looks can be deceiving. When something frightening happens, all the nasty little secrets begin to come out. Finding the bones of animals in her daughter, Callie’s, room, all of her past memories come rushing to the surface. How could she have even thought her life would be normal? Despite her nasty husband, she takes Callie and flees to her family home in the Mojave Desert. Sundial. It’s time for the truth to come out.

Rob and her sister, Jack, grew up here. Surrounded by mystery and fear. Dogs and laboratories and dead things. Something is wrong with them all. But what? And can they get away?

I thought that Ward’s last book, The Last House on Needless Street, was wickedly twisted. I was wrong. This is a deeply disturbing psychological thriller that will have you wide-eyed and biting your fingernails! We have a new star in the Horror genre and I am thrilled! Next, please!

NetGalley/ March 1st, 2022 by Tor Nightfire

Batter Off Dead by Maddie Day

Batter Off Dead (A Country Store Mystery Book 10)

A Country Store Mystery #10

We are back in South Lick, Indiana at Pans ‘N Pancakes. Robbie sells both at her country store.

She and her new husband, Abe, are out with the entire town enjoying a nice summer evening with fireworks. Even the folks from the assisted living center are there including Buck’s dad, Roy, and his lady friend Vi. Even with his blindness Roy can still knit with the ladies and let his other senses wander.

When the fireworks end, Vi is found dead in her chair. Murdered with what looks like a knitting needle maybe. Buck’s father is devastated not just for Vi but for his own wife who was murdered long ago. The killer was never caught.

Robbie is going to have to run her business and solve a murder. And she is good at both. Snooping and feeding people is what she does best. But someone out there wants her to mind her own business. But we know she isn’t going to do that.

This is a favorite series of mine. The food descriptions are to die for. And the recipes are included!

NetGalley/  February 22nd, 2022 Kensington

THE SILENT PATIENT by ALEX MICHAELIDES

The Silent Patient

Alicia seems to have a perfect life. She is a well-known painter and her husband is a well-known photographer. They live in a lovely home in London and things seem perfect.

Until the night her husband comes home late and she shoots him in the face five times. Yes, five times. And never speaks a word again.

Her refusal to speak at all has turned this into a mystery that is big news. Suddenly her art is worth a lot and she is sitting silently in The Grove, a secure forensic unit in London.

But there is a new criminal psychotherapist at The Grove. Theo has been looking for an opportunity to see Alicia for a long time. He is determined for her to speak and finally find out why she did this horrible crime. And it just may cost him everything.

This book has been on my radar since it won the Goodread’s Choice Award in 2019. Sitting at my table begging to be read.

Let me say this is one of the most shocking psychological thrillers I have ever read. And I loved it! Every suspense-filled second. And as soon as I finished it I spent about an hour with my jaw on the floor. Then I rushed to my Grandmother’s house to give it to her. I refused to tell her anything and instead let her have the full experience.

What a really good story this was. I had no idea until the last pages! I can’t wait for his next book.

THE SANATORIUM by SARAH PEARSE

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Detective Elin Warner #1

The first thing you should know about this book is that it is her first novel! I found that so hard to believe.

The cover alone had me pushing the buy now button. A Sanatorium? Yes, please.

Le Sommet in the Swiss Alps is surrounded by forests and mountains. Its building is intimidating and austere. What you would expect from an old sanatorium, complete with stories of abuse, and of course rumors. The locals never wanted it to be open again. But that did not happen. It has been turned into a hotel with a bit of the macabre left behind.

Elin is taking some time off of work due to her last case. Still haunted by that and the death of her brother as a child. Her memories become nightmares and as hard as she tries she can’t let go of the feeling her brother Isaac may have killed their brother.

Isaac is getting married now and his fiancee is a manager at the new hotel. Laure seems nice and Elin wonders if she knows what she is getting into with Isaac.

Elin gets a bad vibe from the hotel and the area surrounding it. Will tries to convince her to relax and let things go but Elin isn’t that type of woman. The next day not only brings treacherous snowstorms, locking everyone into the hotel, but Laure is also missing. And then they find a body in the snow. And another in the pool. Everyone is sketchy and a suspect. I suspected every one of them at some point.

This is one of those tense, panic attack-inducing thrill rides. You could feel the walls closing in. And from the looks of that ending, we will see more of Elin. I can’t wait.

Outstanding Job.

Spreading the Love, not the Virus!

This has been some crazy weather! Last weekend we had snow. About 6 inches. People lost their minds and forgot how to drive and wrecks were all over the metro. It was gone in a few days. Nice and sunny today though. Hoping to get out in the kayak tomorrow.

So Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. Monday for those of you who need a reminder. Whole Foods has roses for $19.99 for two dozen. There you go.

All the Republicans came and made fools of themselves at the Gov.Stitt fundraiser. Don’t they realize there are cameras everywhere? And as the cherry on top, our Chef tested positive for Covid on Sunday. Surprise!

As for me, I have been battling a Crohn’s flair-up. Not pretty. I ate a boiled egg today. First time in 5 days I have eaten. So far, so good. Drinking copious amounts of Turmeric tea because it soothes my tummy. Catching up on reading lists and staring at the wall. But let’s talk tea!

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Harney & Sons have a tea just for Valentine’s Day. It’s black tea with chocolate and rosebuds. When you open the tin the smell of chocolate hits you in the nose! The tin states “A romantic brew of our chocolate black tea blended with lovely pink rosebuds”. It’s good. Grab a chocolate croissant and you are in love.

Tea is always a good gift. Maybe with some Godiva chocolates? If someone I know is reading this?

We voted for Mayor on Tuesday. I voted for the current one. He’s pretty transparent and involved in the community. And he’s a Republican. I vote for the person, not the party.

During the ‘snowstorm’, there were 14 Amazon trucks waiting to get into the warehouse facility and they were waiting for 3 days! With my stuff on board. Very stressful. I had to see my therapist. Not because of that but it did add to the stress. I’m just feeling claustrophobic. It feels as if our world has shrunk since the Covid mess. I order my groceries now and just about everything else. Is this our new normal?

NetGalley has saved me from boredom and being a Vine Voice has kept me busy. I have painted all the furniture I scavenged and decorated my house twice. It’s keeping me semi-sane.

What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day? It’s on a Monday so probably nothing here. I have enough birthdays on that day and OU Boy’s birthday is the 21st.

Enjoy your weekend, stay safe, stay warm!

xx P

CITY OF THE DEAD by JONATHAN KELLERMAN

City of the Dead (Alex Delaware #37)

An Alex Delaware Novel #37

The past comes back to haunt psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis when they investigate a grisly double homicide and uncover an even more unspeakable motive in this riveting thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

Detective Milo Sturgis and psychologist Alex Delaware are back. In LA, the land of sunshine and beautiful people. But this morning the city is not very pretty. As they arrive at the scene of a young and naked man who has run into a moving van in the wee hours. The driver is distraught and it looks like the man just ran straight into the truck. Until they find the blood trail.

The trail leads them to a nearby house where they find a woman savagely murdered. And Alex has met her before. In a custody case. Cordelia was an influencer who pretended to be a psychologist in a bitter custody case. Looks like she is still getting by on that lie.

Investigations lead them to a horrible family background along with a sketchy past. Has someone from her past returned? And who is the naked man in the street? Questions that lead to more questions than answers.

This is one of my favorite series. You think you know but you do not! At all! Once again Kellerman has given us Alex at his best, trying to untangle a web of lies and truly horrible people in this psychological thriller.

NetGalley/February 8th, 2022 by Ballantine Books






THE NIGHT SHE WENT MISSING by KRISTEN BIRD

The Night She Went Missing

“The lies they tell can be deadly”

An intriguing and twisty domestic suspense about loyalty and deceit in a tight-knit Texas community where parents are known to behave badly and people are not always who they appear to be.

Galveston Island is a place with a lot of secrets. Catherine and her husband, Carter Callahan have moved home to be closer to his mother after the death of his father. At least that’s the story they tell.

The Callahan name is sacred here. Nothing goes on without their matriarchs approval or knowledge. Even the school is named for them.

Emily loved her old school. She hates this one. And when she finally does make a friend, Alex, a boy with his own demons, she begins receiving threatening notes.

Then Emily goes missing. Her clothes washed up on shore and no sign of her. Until the day of her funeral when she is found floating in the water with a life preserver on. Unconcious. Where has she been all this time? Every judgy mom in this book was awful. Even though they think they are protecting their children, they are actually harboring a rapist.

So the first half of the book I was intrigued. In the second half, I was frustrated. And the ending was not in the least believable.

NetGalley/February 8th, 2022 by MIRA

http://www.piratepatty.com

A sneak peek:


EMILY

They find me faceup in the murky water of the harbor on the day of my funeral. Or memorial service. Whatever. It’s not like there’s much difference. Dead is dead.

Except I’m not. I. Am. Not. Dead. I would pinch myself if I could move.

“Can you hear me? Hey, what’s your name? Can you open your eyes?”

My eyes are as dense and heavy as basalt. Basalt: rich in iron and magnesium, Mr. Schwartz penned on the board during our volcanic rock unit in eighth grade. I fight to come out of the emptiness that has held me for the past…the past what? Hours? Days? Weeks?

I attempt to whisper my name even though my eyelids remain anchored. Emily. That’s right. Emily. I can’t remember the last time I voiced those three syllables.

“Pull her up.” 

Hands yank at me, jerking me from the arms of the water. Two hands wander up my body—over my feet, my legs, the arch of my hips, my arms, onto my neck, stopping at my forehead. This touch is not like the familiar plying of the boy I love, so fiery that it almost stings. This touch is necessary, cold, perfunctory. Perfunctory, Mrs. Abbot, my sophomore English teacher had pronounced for us students as we learned the word for the first time. P-E-R-F-U— 

The voice cuts in. “Tell them we have a girl, a teenager. No broken bones as far as I can tell but looks like she’s been out here for hours. Unconscious, but breathing on her own.” His voice muff les as he turns his head. “I think she might be Emily.” 

Suddenly, a brilliant choir of tenors and baritones and basses burst forth. “The Emily?” 

Emily. Yes, that’s me. What a comforting thing to hear one’s name spoken by those who can point the way home. I breathe in gratitude and descend into the lightness of sleep before a hand touches my cheek again. 

“You awake, Emily?” 

The swooshing of the waves calls to me, a reminder that the song of the deep is steady despite all the new sounds: The bustle of work boots, the hum of the boat waiting to churn to life and set out across the open sea. 

“Your mama’s been looking for you, Ms. Emily. You gave us all a fright. You hear me?” The man seems to sense that I can hear his words while my body remains frozen despite the warmth of the water and the sun overhead. “You’re gonna be okay, sweetheart. Yes, ma’am, you’re gonna make it just fine. Got a daughter about your age, and I woulda been worried sick if my girl had gone missing for weeks on end. Your mama sure is gonna be happy.”

A nasal voice now. “Where you think she’s been all this time? Turned into a mermaid?” The boy chuckles. 

“Hush, Beau.” 

The man’s hand touches my forehead, his fingers sandpapery with callouses. “Now, sweetheart, if you can open your eyes for a sec, I can introduce you properly to the crew. We’re getting you help as fast as we can, but you can go ahead and open them eyes before all the medics arrive. They’d be good and relieved to see you looking around.” 

I try. Oh, how I want to flicker them open, but my head aches, and oblivion pulls harder. The siren call of the void is too tempting to resist.

LOVE & SAFFRON by KIM FAY

Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love

This witty and tender novel follows two women in 1960s America as they discover that food really does connect us all and that friendship and laughter are the best medicine.

It’s the sixties in America. Joan Bergstrom is just twenty-seven. She lives in Los Angeles with her mother and is writing for the newspaper. Imogen lives outside of Seattle and has a small cabin on Camano Island as well. She writes a monthly column for a magazine. Joan and her mother are big fans so one day Joan writes her a letter and encloses some saffron.

And just like that their lives are changed. Enriched by a love food. While Imogen is much older than Joan, the language of good food and exotic spices know no age limits. They begin a fast friendship through letters that take them through many sad times and even unexpected events in their own personal lives.

Soon Imogen’s husband is caught up in the food experience. The saffron has unlocked a memory and from there he is invigorated and excited about life again. Joan introduces them to the multi-cultural food found in Los Angeles as well as a secret about her own love for a man of Mexican descent.

The food made my mouth water, the women made me laugh and cry. This was just what I needed at this moment. Human connections. This is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read.

NetGalley/February 8th, 2022 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons


A LULLABY FOR WITCHES by HESTER FOX

A Lullaby for Witches

Two women. A history of witchcraft. And a deep-rooted female power that sings across the centuries.

With that blurb, I couldn’t resist. What has the gothic author created for us this time?

The story is told by two voices. One in the present, Augusta Podos, and one in the past, Margaret Harlowe. Their stories are linked across time.

Margaret was born into a time when her wealthy and oh so concerned about their reputations parents could not figure out why she was so different. Wandering the woods at all hours. Women showing up for help. What was going on with her? She had three brothers and none of them seemed odd. At the time. People kept away from her. The word “witch” was mumbled a lot.

In the present time, Augusta is plodding along in a job she isn’t crazy about and living with Chris who she isn’t sure if she is crazy about. But when she is offered a job at Harlow House, she runs to it! And while the art and archives are there very little is written about Margaret. One small portrait could be her and soon Augusta is obsessed with finding out everything she can about her.

Which is fine with Margaret. Oh, yes, Margaret is still at her house. Waiting for Augusta to come. Augusta is positive Margaret is trying to communicate with her but isn’t sure why. But Margaret has old scores to settle and she will not let anyone get in her way.

There is nothing better than a good ghost story. And this one had a few twists I never saw coming. This was one of those books you don’t want to end.

Great Job!

NetGalley February 1st, 2022 by Graydon House


THE BLACK AGENDA Edited by ANNA GIFTY OPOKU-AGYEMAN

The Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System

The Black Agenda mobilizes top Black experts from across the country to share transformative perspectives on how to deploy anti-racist ideas and policies into everything from climate policy to criminal justice to healthcare. This book will challenge what you think is possible by igniting long-overdue conversations around how to enact lasting and meaningful change rooted in racial justice.” —Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped From the Beginning

The Black Agenda is the first book I have seen that uses essays by experts all over to give us a perspective on issues we may not be aware of and if we are aware and just want to know more and what to do to effect change, it’s perfect.

There are so many issues addressed here. From mental health to climate change. This subject of police brutality and a culture of racism in every aspect of society. The inequalities and injustices against people of color. Even the question of infant and mother health issues.

If there is to be any hope for America, it needs to begin with true equality for all people. This is truly one of the best books I have read this year.

NetGalley/February 1st, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press