THE GOOD COP by PETER STEINER

The Good Cop

In a world of growing nationalism, a quiet few are determined to resist. This gripping historical mystery explores the darkest days of the early 20th century. 

Peter Steiner has given us a work of Historical Fiction with a lot of truth in the mix.

WWI has been lost. Germany is in chaos and the new government isn’t anything to brag about. Everyone is in some way corrupted. Detective Willi Geismeier has a front-row seat to the rise of Adolph Hitler.

You have Fascism and Communism and violence everywhere. This is a country that needs a leader desperately. Unfortunately, that leader comes in the shape of Adolph Hitler. Everything is politicized and investigations of crimes become impossible.

We also have the viewpoints of Maximillian and his wife, Sophie, a reporter. Together they will fight to stay alive, knowing that things are not going to end well for many.

This was a historical fiction story with a whole lot of truth behind it. It moved fast and I really enjoyed seeing Munich in the 1920s through the eyes of those who were there. Good plot, good characters, and a fast pace. Well Done!

NetGalley Reviews/ Severn House  September 3rd, 2019

 

 

The Sisters of Summit Avenue by Lynn Cullen @GalleryBooks

sisters

Secrets, Betrayals, lies, and half-truths. This beautiful story is told through the eyes of Dorothy, mother to June and Ruth, as well as the two daughters. From the past and in the present.

Dorothy has led a hard and sometimes unfair life. Her parents lived and worked for a wealthy family and Dorothy grew up with their son Edward. But when she gets in the family way she is quickly kicked to the curb. Even as she marries a good man, she is still waiting for Edward to come for her.

Dorothy is a woman who doesn’t understand how to show love and affection to her children. She loves them terribly but has never learned how to show them.

Everyone has a point of view in this one. June thinks Ruth stole her soul mate. Ruth thinks June gets everything she wants and is the favorite. Now Ruth is living the farm life with John who has sleeping sickness. She hates her life and wants Junes. June wants her soul mate back but has instead settled with a rich doctor and is one of the “Bettys” of the Crocker plant.

When Dorothy calls June home, she comes and brings her husband who may have a cure for the sleeping sickness. But if John wakes up, how much of what has been happening will he know?

With 3 sisters of my own, I recognize this story! We all wanted what the other one had. Until we lost it and found out all we really wanted was to be loved and content with what we had. But as Dorothy would say, “We aren’t dead yet.”

Full of heartbreak, love, forgiveness and the love of family, this was a beautifully written book!

NetGalley/ September 10th, 2019 by Gallery Books

 

 

 

 

The Undertaker’s Assistant by Amanda Skenandore

The Undertaker's Assistant

“The dead can’t hurt you. Only the living can.” 

Effie Jones, once a slave, escaped a place she can not even remember as a child.
Found outside of a Union camp and taken in as a ward for an army surgeon. The Captain and his wife taught her to read and write, also how to forget her past and how to embalm bodies.

Effie’s feelings are buried so deep she appears cold and unfeeling. Leaving Indiana and returning to the last place she remembers, New Orleans, she quickly finds employment in the Re-Construction Era, 11 years after the Civil War, with an undertaker who needs her. He is a tortured drunk and Effie does all the work.

Effie maintains a distance from the other ladies at the boarding house. Not interested in anything but work and saving money. A chance meeting with a creole young lady has her learning to be comfortable with society and going to political meetings.

Things around the South are very volatile between the races and not a lot has changed for the better. After a confrontation, Effie begins to have flashes of painful memories of a holding pen and other slaves. She decides to find out who she is and where she came from.

This was a hard book to read. Not a part of our past I am proud of but these stories need to be told. I can’t imagine not knowing something as basic as your own last name. The trials and heartbreak Effie went through only made her stronger.

An exceptionally well-told tale!

NetGalley/July 30th, 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

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THE DOLL FACTORY by ELIZABETH MACNEAL

The Doll Factory

A beautifully written historical fiction novel. The authors’ descriptive style was so well done I could almost smell the stench of London in 1850. It was not an idealized version of the time nor the place. It was real and raw and sometimes hard to read, and I appreciated that. Life was hard. Things weren’t fair or pretty for the majority of the population.

This is the year of the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. Artists are all vying for their works to be accepted. And it is at this site that two people meet. For one, Iris, it isn’t memorable at all. But for Silas, in his severely messed up head, he has met his soulmate.

Iris and her twin sister Rose are apprenticed to a doll maker, who is also an addict. Iris hates it. She wants to paint. She wants more. And through chance, she is asked to model for an artist. Not only will she have her own bedsit, but she will also be learning to paint.

Down the street, Silas has thought of nothing but Iris. In his sick mind, she loves him as well. Now he is obsessed and is following her waiting for her to come to him and declare her love. When she rebuffs him, things get ugly.

An exceptionally well-written tale!

 

NetGalley/ August 13th, 2019 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

 

Tomorrow’s Bread by ANNA JEAN MAYHEW

Tomorrow's Bread

From the author of the acclaimed, The Dry Grass of August comes a richly researched yet lyrical Southern-set novel that explores the conflicts of gentrification—a moving story of loss, love, and resilience.

It’s 1961 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The neighborhood of Brooklyn is almost entirely made up of black families and businesses. While there are a lot of run down and shabby homes and storefronts, Loraylee Hawkins lives in a nice home with her grandmother, her uncle and her son, Hawk. She works a full-time job and cares for her grandmother and her son.

Loarylee works at a cafeteria and is involved with her boss. A white man. All very secret, after all this is the South in the early ’60s.

The city of Charlotte has declared Brooklyn a blight on the city and has decided to do some gentrification. Which we all know means bulldozing every house and business and putting in buildings no one can afford. This is their home. They were born here and many died here. But now even the graveyard is being removed in the name of progress.

This is a very familiar story for those of us raised in the deep south. The strength of the characters of this cast was extraordinary. This was a community that supported each other, a family that stood their ground and fought for a better life and for respect.

I am so glad I read this one and I highly recommend it!

Kensington Publishers

 

 

 

 

SUMMERTIME AND THE READING IS EASY!

Summer is in full swing here. Lots of sun, sand, and water. And of course, a good book!

Some of my favorite reads this summer have been:

31 of the Best Books of 2018 Oh, what a twisty puzzle this thriller was!

  Mean Girls meets the PTA

  This is an outstanding novel about freedom, racism, and family.

   Another one that tugged at my heartstrings and made me cry!

What is everyone looking forward to reading? At the moment I am reading Campusland by Scott Johnson.

Have a good one! We are under a severe heat warning. I’ll be in the pool!

xx P

SEASON of DARKNESS by CORA HARRISON

Season of Darkness (A Gaslight Mystery #1)

First in the Gaslight Mystery Series

Cora Harrison is one of my favorite authors. Her Reverand Mother series is wonderful reading!

In this new Historical Fiction Series, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins have teamed up to try and solve the murder of a young servant girl named Isabella Gordon. Isabella is one of the young ladies that Dicken’s charities had tried to help. Unfortunately, Isabella wasn’t a rule follower and she along with her friend, Sisena, moved on to work in a lodging house owned by a friend of Dickens. An American who supposedly made his fortune in gold.

Feeling a strong sense of responsibility to find her killer, Dickens, Collins, and Sisena are looking for clues. Was she blackmailing someone? Is the killer in the house? Will Sisena get greedy and go for the money herself?

I enjoyed the true parts tucked in with the mystery. Since this is the first in a series, I will say that I did not enjoy this one as much as her other series. But we’ll see where she goes with it!

NetGalley/ Severn House July 01, 2019