A Lady’s Guide To Gossip and Murder by DIANNE FREEMAN

A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery #2)

A Countess of Harleigh Mystery #2

The Countess, Francis, is back in the second of this series. Now a widow with a full house in town, she has no desire to head for the country as most do in August. She isn’t hunting for birds or a husband.

Her younger sister is visiting from America and has brought a friend. Within a few short weeks, the sister announces she is going to marry a man she just met. Francis is worried. She doesn’t want her sister to marry someone she barely knows. Didn’t work out that well for Francis!

Along with her Aunt and her cousin Charles, she has her hands full. Charles is a lovely man but rather scattered. Francis has been encouraging him to see an acquaintance of hers, Mary Archer. Charles isn’t enamored of Mrs. Archer and picks a poor time to break off seeing her.  The next day the poor woman is dead, murdered in her own home. Charles just became a suspect.

With help from her friend and neighbor, George Hazelton, she hopes to find something in the poor woman’s belongings that will clear Charles. What they find sends them in an entirely different direction!

I really enjoyed this one. Historical Fiction is a favorite of mine and Ms. Freeman has a style of writing that is so easy to read. The characters are quirky and fun. Francis and George may have something going on soon so I hope we don’t have to wait long for the next book!

NetGalley/  June 25th, 2019 by Kensington

 

What are you reading this week?

We’ve made it to the halfway point! Wednesday. What is on everyone’s NetGalley radar?

This week I am reading a good mix of genres.

  A Farm – to – Fork Novella from Lynn Cahoon. I love her novellas and updates on this series!

 Some very good Historical Fiction from M.J. Rose

 Have to toss some serious stuff in there as well. Rachel Maddow is my girl crush!

 And of course, we can’t leave out the twisty, spooky, thriller by Erica Spindler.

This is what I’m reading this week, how about you?

PiratePattyReviews

SECRETS of the CHOCOLATE HOUSE by PAULA BRACKSTON

Secrets of the Chocolate House

In this second book with time spinner, Xanthe is back in her own time and modern-day Marlborough. She is still missing Samuel and wonders if he thinks of her.

Helping her mother in the shop and buying new stock, getting involved in the town and planning a special event for all of the shops.

While looking through the mountains of stock in the shop, Xanthe clearly hears something singing to her. An old and dented chocolate pot. When she holds it she immediately gets a vision of Samuel in danger. Knowing she must go back to the seventeenth century to save Samuel gives her some pause. Her mother is crippled, events are coming up and lo and behold the ex Marcus is in town.

This time Xanthe will learn what it is to be a Spinner of time. She will face a powerful foe and fellow Spinner. While Xanthe travels to put things right, This man wants power and he is willing to kill to get it.

No one does the slip time better than Paula Brackston. This is a series I hope will continue. The characters are so engaging and the mystery must be solved so you are turning pages to the very end. And now we wait.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ October 22nd, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

“Cilka’s Journey” by Heather Morris, author of The “Tattooist of Auschwitz”

Cilka's Journey

The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is mentioned in the first book and now we have facts of her life blended with some fiction to fill in the question of Who was Cilka Klein?

She was only sixteen when she and her mother and sisters were taken. In 1942, she arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Already a beautiful young woman, her looks do not go unnoticed by the Commandant, Schwarzhuber, who separates her from the other women. Her job is to look after the sick and dying women who will be taken to the gas chamber. She knows these women hate her. She hates herself. In this place, in order to survive, you had to use whatever power you had. And hers was her beauty and ability to compartmentalize everything she had to do.

When the camp is liberated Cilka is sentenced to prison for sleeping with the enemy. Literally. This did not sit well with me. How unfair was that? At 16 you do what you need to do to stay alive. After all of the suffering and now she is being sent to Siberia for 15 years.

Once there, a young, female doctor takes her under her as an apprentice nurse. Cilka is good at this work and forms bonds with the doctor and the nurses. Using her privileged position to help the other women in her hut. She is especially taken with one man in the ward. But will she ever be free? Will she ever know the love she deserves?

This story is part true, part fictional. But the facts are there. It was difficult to read and the images in my head will always be there. The brutality of the enemy along with the equal brutality of fellow prisoners. It was heartbreaking and beautifully written and I will never forget Cilka’s Journey!

NetGalley/ October 1st, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

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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