THE FOREVER WITNESS by EDWARD HUMES

Pulitzer Prize Winner, Edward Humes, brings us a true crime story. How Genetic Genealogy Solved A Cold Case Double Murder.

This is a true story of murder in the Pacific Northwest. When two young people leave Canada to run an errand in the U.S., they never return. Searches were extensive, but the evidence was sparse.

This was a very cold case until Detective Jim Scharf with a lot of help from a genealogist tracked down a killer and made an arrest.

This is the story of Tanya Van Cuylenborg and Jay Cook. Murdered in the 1980s during a trip to Seattle. No murder weapon, no suspects, and no witness. The only clue was a palm print on the back window.

With the lack of any evidence, they are pretty sure it isn’t the first time the killer has done this. This person is good at cleaning up a crime scene.

At the time, genealogy just wasn’t advanced enough to be of help. But with the help of all of the genealogy kits popping up people are finding out information they never thought possible. And then there are the ethical questions. I think however if you upload your results online, you aren’t going to expect privacy.

There are over 250,000 unsolved murders in this country. Could we help solve those with DNA? Maybe. Just know that your genetic material could be used to identify a criminal. I wonder if that makes people less apt to participate?

This was a really good look at all aspects of DNA usage.

NetGalley/November 29th, 2022 by Dutton



Bake Offed by Maya Corrigan

Number 8 in the Five-Ingredient Mystery Series

When the Deadly Desserts bake-off lives up to its name, Val and Granddad turn up the heat on a killer . . .

Cafe Manager Val and her grandfather are looking forward to the Maryland Mystery Fan Fest. Grandpa will be competing in a fun dessert competition where the cooks must pretend to be the cook for a famous detective. He gets Nero Wolf, whose chef, Fritz is proving a challenge for him until he finds a goldmine in the attic!

His competition seems a bit sketchy, especially when they pick up their packets and someone has slipped a note inside warning them about Cynthia Sweet. She isn’t anyone’s favorite person, but could she be a saboteur? Grandpa is sure she stole his idea for Five-Ingredient recipes in the local paper.

But her bad behavior comes to an end when she is found dead in her room. Now they must get to the bottom of things before more people end up dead.

I love this series. Humor, good cooking, and a mystery to solve!


 NetGalley/ November 29, 2022, Kensington/ Kensington Cozies
 

The Perfect Assassin by JAMES PATTERSON AND BRIAN SITTS

Prof. Brandt Savage—grandson of the legendary action hero Doc Savage—is forced into a top-secret training program where he discovers his true calling…as the perfect assassin.

Dr. Brandt Savage, the grandson of Doc Savage, is about to go on a sabbatical from the University of
Chicago but instead finds himself kidnapped and hustled into a dark van. He has no clue who would want to kidnap him but he is going to find out soon that nothing is what he thinks it is.

Savage has become the student. And his professor is demanding to say the least.

The book bounces back and forth from his captors’ childhood and training to the present, where Savage is having some intense training sessions. Physically and mentally challenging. He still has no clue why he’s being bulked up and made mission-ready. Until they go back to where she was trained and he learns who she is and why she needs him.
 
This one was interesting. The only issue I had was that I had just finished a book that was almost identical to the first fourth of the book. But I’ll continue to read them!

NetGalley/Grand Central Publishing November 15, 2022      

The LINDBERGH NANNY by MARIAH FREDERICKS

Blending fact and fiction, the author introduces us to the Nanny. The nanny of the most famous kidnapped child in America at the time Charles Lindbergh was shining bright and everyone wanted to see the famous baby.

Ready to move house and have some privacy, the Lindberghs hire Betty Gow. Betty is still trying to get used to America. Hailing from Scotland, she is determined to do well and succeed in this strange country. She is a bit naive and that will get her into a lot of trouble.

Betty finds the Lindbergh household odd, to say the least. Some of the rules Mr. Lindbergh had were bordering on cruelty. As well as his views on Hitler. They are not what she expected at all. Dodging photographers hiding in the bushes trying to get a picture of the baby. People are really nuts about this.

And when the baby disappears it’s the nanny who becomes infamous. Blamed and shunned, she returns to her home in Scotland until the day a man is charged and she must testify in court.

There really was a Betty Gow and a lot of this comes from her as well as impeccable research! I have always thought that the Lindberghs were sympathetic people. I don’t think that now. He was rather an ogre and bigot. She was jumpy and afraid of him. I don’t think either of them actually wanted a baby.

I loved this book. A different look at the story we’ve all been led to believe.

NetGalley/November 15, 2022, St. Martin’s Press


The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang

This is a YA, magical realism, fantasy story that is a bit of a mystery as well.

Nora Wilder is coming unglued. Wandering at night, looking for something, forgetting who she is sometimes. Her two daughters, Zadie, and Finn know something is wrong, but Finn is young and Zadie doesn’t share her concerns about their mother until the day Nora walks down the driveway and leaves. No news, no notes, nothing for five years.

Finn was taken in by a great foster family and is now graduating high school. What she wants is to find her mother, but she can’t tell her parents and she isn’t sure Zadie will help her.

Zadie should have seen her mother’s leaving earlier. After all, she is a psychic. But she didn’t and now she doesn’t want anything to do with her gift. Shoving it way down until Jess persuades her to help track her mother. Jess has her own gift. Memories. She can feel memories in a place, so if her mother has been there, she will be able to tell.

They set on a road trip beginning with the old campground their mother took them to before. It’s there that Zadie begins to notice that Jess is disappearing into a sleepwalking state at night. Leaving in the middle of the night and scaring Zadie to death.

Jess feels these echoes and hears a song about a bird and she knows these memories belong to Nora. As they go from place to place, Zadie is worried that Jess has whatever their mother had. Maybe she should stop this now and send Jess home before there is no more Jess.

This is a YA fantasy, magical realism story of things we don’t understand, and the powerful pull of family.

I enjoyed it!

NetGalley/ November 15th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press





DAWNLANDS by Philippa Gregory

“Dawnlands” is the third novel in the Fairmile series by historical fiction writer Philippa Gregory.

The Fairmile series is back with Alinor and her family getting entangled in the palace gossip, politics, and a lot of secrets and backstabbing.

We are in 17th-century England. Continuing with Alinor’s story. The year is 1685 and England is once again thinking of another civil war. The Stuart kings and the families are torn in two.

Ned is heading home to fight with a rebel army with his Pokanoket servant. Alinor tries to talk him out of it, but no.

Meanwhile, Livia has told Alinor that if she helps her she could get Tidelands back. Powerful stuff for someone whose position before was on the bottom. Her son doesn’t want war but leaves to rescue Ned. And oh my, there is a threat to the throne.

This is an epic tale that takes us to England, America, and even Barbados. This is the third installment of this series.

 I loved this story. My uncle wrote our family history and often mentioned the fallout from backing a Stuart king. It divided our family and I really enjoyed this one!


NetGalley/November 8th, 2022 by Atria Books

THE LAST PARTY by CLARE MACKINTOSH

At midnight, one of them is dead.
By morning, all of them are suspects.

It’s a party to end all parties, but not everyone is here to celebrate.

So many layers to unpack with this one. It’s New Year’s Day and Ffion Morgan is looking at a dead body and a lot of suspects.

On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd is entertaining the neighbors and townsfolk on Mirror Lake. His vacation houses seem to be popular with the rich and not so much with the town folk. With everyone drinking champagne, who would guess that Rhys would end up floating dead in the lake.

There are so many secrets in this one. It is a small town but that means her neighbors are also suspects.

I am not sure any of these folks know what the truth is. And it turns out the question should be who did not kill him

This author is so good at red herrings and twisting us up in a really good tale!

NetGalley/November 8th, 2022 by Sourcebooks Landmark

NEVER NAME THE DEAD by D.M.ROWELL

Old grudges, tribal traditions, and outside influences collide for a Kiowa woman as forces threaten her family, her tribe, and the land of her ancestors, in this own-voices debut perfect for fans of Winter Counts.

Mae is a long way from home. Fresh out of college and making a name for herself in Silicon Valley. Having left home a decade ago, she might not have gone back if her grandfather, James Sawpole hadn’t left her a mysterious voice message that he needed her now. And that is how Mae ended up on a plane headed for Oklahoma. Outside of Lawton, the land has always been Kiowa and Mae never felt as though she fit in. Her hair wasn’t stick straight, it was unruly and curly. Not like the traditional features of her cousin Denny.

She may have had a bad feeling about things, but she is only at the airport and already things are odd. Where is her Grandfather? And why are so many of the leaders there? Something is not right. And after a circuitous route to town, she is even more suspicious. These people she has known her entire life are acting very strange. And that’s before she finds a dead body.

Illegal fracking is messing up the groundwater and the tribal lands. Greedy oil developers hoodwinking people out of their land. And people in their own tribe sell off their ancestor’s artifacts. One, in particular, is the Jefferson Peace Medal. Stolen from the museum with only one suspect. Her Grandfather.

But just exactly where is he? Setting out into the Wildlife Refuge, Mae is determined to find out the truth and find her grandfather. But this story is complicated and this vision quest may kill her as well.

I live in Oklahoma and reading this was an honor.

NetGalley/ November 08, 2022 Crooked Lane Books




WE ARE THE LIGHT by MATTHEW QUICK

Matthew Quick has a gift for telling a story.

Our main guy here is Lucas. Lucas lives in Majestic, Pennsylvania. This is a town ripped apart by a horrible tragedy. While Lucas is hailed as a hero, he doesn’t see himself as one. He has lost his wife. Rather she is dead but still visits faithfully. She is an angel now and Lucas can’t very well go around saying that. Instead, he writes to his Jungian analyst, Karl.

Although Karl doesn’t answer the letters are revealing and cathartic. Then he finds a boy living in his backyard. Eli is eighteen and has no one. He isn’t a favorite in town but Lucas and Eli form a bond that could heal the entire town.

This is a beautiful story of resilience and the beauty of art as well its healing powers. Guardian angels are truly among us.

NetGalley/ November 1st 2022, by Avid Reader Press / Simon Schuster

EGYPT’S GOLDEN COUPLE by JOHN DARNELL and COLLEEN DARNELL

WHEN AKHENATEN AND NEFERTITI WERE GODS ON EARTH

In fourth grade, I knew I wanted to be an archaeologist. I was obsessed by Egyptian history and culture. I wish this book would have been around then.

Exploring these two powerful rulers and all they accomplished was a pleasure. The research that went into this is astounding. There is so much mythology and misinformation out there about this time in our history. This cleared up a lot of things for me.

If you are at all a history buff, this is a book you should read. I loved reading it.

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press November 01, 2022