A STRANGER ON THE BEACH by MICHELE CAMPBELL

A Stranger on the Beach

Told from two points of view, this thriller actually cost me a fingernail!

Caroline is living the dream. A successful interior designer, who quit to raise her daughter who is now off to college, she is determined to get back in the game and earn her own money. Her husband works long, hard hours in order to provide a lifestyle it would seem they both enjoy.

Staring out the expansive glass windows Caroline spots a man on the beach. Staring at her house. She debates calling the police since he isn’t really doing anything, but at the same time, there have been burglaries lately in this enclave for the rich and famous. Later she will say she wished she had called the police.

Aiden is a bartender in a local bar. Having served time for manslaughter and now determined to show his Chief-of -Police brother that he has changed. He isn’t a teenager anymore and is tired of being treated like trash.

At Caroline’s housewarming party everyone wants to know where Jason is. Even her husbands boss isn’t believing her story of him running late. Later when he shows up with a Russian hussy in tow everything blows up and in front of God and everyone he leaves with the Russian girl and wants a divorce.

Aiden is happy to come to the rescue and Caroline is happy to have him. For a bit.

That is all I’m giving away. Let me just say this was one twisted puzzle that had me speechless for a good hour in the end. What???  I did not see that coming. The pace was perfect. The timing was everything in this wickedly good thriller!

Well Done!

NetGalley/St.Martin’s Press July 23rd, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

SUNBURN by LAURA LIPPMAN

Sunburn

One is playing a long game. But which one?

Blurb:

They meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he’s also passing through.

Yet she stays and he stays—drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him. Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair. Still, each holds something back from the other—dangerous, even lethal, secrets that begin to accumulate as autumn approaches, feeding the growing doubts they conceal.

Then someone dies. Was it an accident, or part of a plan? By now, Adam and Polly are so ensnared in each other’s lives and lies that neither one knows how to get away—or even if they want to. Is their love strong enough to withstand the truth, or will it ultimately destroy them?

Something—or someone—has to give.

Which one will it be?

My Take:

This one started out at 100 mph and didn’t let up! Lippman has given us a suspenseful tale that took me on a wild ride of What? Who? What? This one was like a Rubik’s Cube. I was changing my mind all the way to the end. And that ending!

Polly is an unlikeable character. Adam is a very likable character. Irving is a jerk. Even though she appeared to be cold and calculating I wanted to find out why. What is the truth and who is going to die in order to keep a plan alive.

Are they in love? Who is using who? Is one of them a killer? Let’s just say Lippman has this layering of suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat!

Thanks to William Morrow for the copy!

Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber

Window on the Bay

A heartwarming story of two very strong and independent women. Jenna and Maureen have been best friends forever. Their dream was to go to Paris together after graduation from college. At the last minute, Maureen gets pregnant and has to get married. A short-lived event. Jenna, a nurse, marries Kyle, a surgeon. Bad idea. After having been a single mom for 20 years, she is now an empty nester.

Neither of the friends is into dating. But the house is awfully quiet now. Maybe it’s time to re-create themselves. Plan that trip to Paris now. Until each of them stumbles awkwardly into men they wouldn’t have looked twice at until they did.

Debbie always looks at the bright side of things in her books. Yes, there is heartbreak, misunderstandings, and dreams deferred, but in the end, I was crying like a baby. Because that is what her books do. They make you feel. The characters are so very human and make mistakes, but they are good people. I always feel as if I just had a true heart to heart with my grandmother after one of her books.

NetGalley/July, 16th 2019 by Ballantine Books

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

 

 

A Lady’s Guide To Gossip and Murder by Dianne Freeman

A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder by Dianne Freeman

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

Killer in the Carriage House by Sheila Connolly

Killer in the Carriage House (Victorian Village Mysteries #2)

The Second in the Victorian Village Mystery Series

Kate Hamilton is back in her hometown of Asheboro, Maryland. Staying at the dead Cordelia’s B and B. Trying to save the town and its history from going under. The only thing that ever made money in the town was a shovel factory that has long closed. It as well as the fantastic Barton Mansion were left to the city to be sold.

As Kate gets ready to get down to business and find out where Barton’s money came from and go through all of his documents, people start popping up asking questions, about the research and what she has found. And when one of them turns up dead in the library things get dicey.

I have enjoyed this author’s works before however, this one was pretty flat. Kate isn’t a likable character.  All of the characters seemed flat. Although the historical parts were interesting the people were not.

NetGalley/ July 9th, 2019 by Minotaur Books

BETHLEHEM by KAREN KELLY

Bethlehem

From the 1920s to the 1960s, the Collier and Parrish families have been very close. Living a life of wealth and privilege as major players in the steel industry in Bethlehem, PA.

They do everything together. Their children do everything together. Life looks perfect and everything they touch is gold.

By the time Frank and Joanna Collier and their two small children come to live on the estate, his own father has died leaving his mother and grandmother alone. While Joanna isn’t at all on board with this plan and is quite miserable about it and who wouldn’t be? No one needs 3 strong women under one roof! Every new wife and mother wants to be the queen of their domain but Joanna is feeling like an unwelcome guest and with Frank up to his ears in the business, she finds herself wandering through the nearby graveyard and not only finds a mystery but a handsome stranger.

I will own up to being a bit overwhelmed with all of the characters in this tale. There were a lot. There were also a lot of secrets. Nothing was what I thought it was. At the beginning I found myself whining about another book with a weak and whiny main character. I am so glad I stuck with it because it was nothing like that! These women were all strong. They had to be. The secrets they carried weighed heavy on them for decades.

And in the end, I cried and cried. A tale of family, pain, secrets, forgiveness, and trust. Never has the saying, “We never know what is really going on behind closed doors” been truer.

A beautiful story!

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press July 09,2019