THE HALF SISTER by SANDIE JONES

The Half Sister

Kate and Lauren are sisters who have nothing in common on the surface. One is career-oriented and seems to live a glamourous and carefree life with her husband while the other is married to a jerk with kids and an unhappy life.

But on Sunday they all sit at their recently widowed mother’s home for dinner. They are all still grieving. Kate was especially close to her father while Lauren has always been closer to their mother, Rose.

What no one knows is Kate has been trying for years to conceive a baby. And Lauren would just as soon leave her husband and escape her life.

All of that is the backdrop for the one Sunday dinner when there is a knock at the door and a woman stands there asking for their father. Who she says is her father as well. It seems she has uploaded her DNA and found a match with Lauren. But has she? Can they believe anything she says?

These sisters could have avoided all of this if any of them had bothered to talk to each other. But secrets are what families do. And sometimes they are what blows your world apart. And everyone in this book is keeping secrets!

There were some issues I had with the DNA thing, but overall it was a good mystery!

NetGalley/ June 16th, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

Puddin’ on the Blitz by Tamar Myers

Puddin' on the Blitz

A Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery

The success of Magdalena Yoder’s new Amish-Asian restaurant is threatened by murder in the deliciously quirky new Pennsylvania-Dutch mystery.

A murder mystery with an Amish/Mennonite theme.

The Story:

Magdalena Yoder is Mennonite and married to a Jew. Her mother-in-law is a piece of work and lives across the street with the other members of her apathy cult.

A woman who almost killed her is now in prison and has split her restaurant between her daughter and Magdalena, with Mags getting the 60% share. Between the daughter and Magdalena, they come up with an Asian Amish combo they call Asian Sensations.

Hiring Barbara Hostetler was a genius as she is a wonderful cook and baker. And soon enough we have a recent patron dropping dead.

Now Magdalena is being arrested for a murder she did not commit. Who is setting her up?

My Take:

I almost stopped a quarter of the way in because I wasn’t sure if this was satire or sarcasm. I couldn’t pronounce the names of anyone and I just did not care for the main character. I wasn’t sure if she was making fun of the people or if she just had a sarcastic tongue, which doesn’t really add up with the Amish.

It was less than okay, but you can read it yourself and let me know!

NetGalley/Severn House December 3rd, 2019

 

 

EDISTO TIDINGS by C.HOPE Clark

The Edisto Island Mysteries #6

Police Chief Callie Morgan is back with another mystery to solve. It’s almost Christmas and Callie is busy getting ready for her son to come home and making sure the Island is safe. The tourists have gone home and things are pretty quiet with just the residents and a few families coming in for a holiday at the beach.

It’s also Callie’s birthday and her surprise party is just that! A surprise party at the new restaurant in town whose owner is quite hunky and mysterious and her former boss and friend, Stan isn’t filling her in on anything. Before she can even enjoy her own party, a body is found on a plot owned by local pain in the bum, Brice! And the dead man is Ben, his attorney and Callie’s kind of step-dad.

When renters begin reporting thefts of Christmas gifts, the town seems to want to ignore it. Turns out it is kind of a tradition. Edisto Santa, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. And when Callie demands the gifts be returned, she is suddenly the bad guy.

So what do the thefts and a dead man have in common? You will never guess!

I love this series. Mainly because my Momma is from Charleston and was born in Walterboro and my family still has property on Edisto. But the writing is so good. From the first page, we kick into high gear and never let up! There is no page after page of backstory, just my need to know who this Santa fellow is!!!

Great Tale!

NetGalley/BellBooks   October 21, 2019

 

 

 

 

DEVIL’S FJORD by DAVID HEWSON

Devil's Fjord

I really wanted to read this book. I love the author’s Nic Costa series and I was not disappointed in this Faroe Islands Mystery!

In a small, dying village Tristan Haraldsen and wife Elsebeth are looking forward to living in the small fishing village of Djevulsfjord, a rather remote place

Tristan has taken the job of District Sheriff which doesn’t demand a lot. First up on the job list is overseeing the rules of the Grind. A whale hunt. For generations the villagers have depended on the meat from the whales to see them through the winter.

This time two boys go missing and the small, isolated village is shook. As Tristan investigates the disappearance of the brothers he finds out they are not the first young men who have just disappeared on Vagar.

Tristan is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. But this charming little fishing village has some ugly secrets and aren’t anxious to make Tristan’s job any easier.

This tale hit me in a few spots. I’m Norwegian and I’ve heard the stories of the grind. I am not in favor of it. The characters were developed well , the description of the area was easily pictured in my mind. This one had it all. The good, the bad and the very ugly.

But that ending….

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 01, 2019  SevernHouse

 

THE LIBRARY of LOST and FOUND by Phaedra Patrick

The Library of Lost and Found

A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the international bestselling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper 

Martha Storm is a book lover and works at the library. Not in the position she wants, but she has come to terms with not getting what she wants. She is what I would call a doormat. Everyone uses her and she just lets them. 

She is also a bit depressed it seems. Her joy for life never found after the loss of her beloved best friend and grandmother. To this day she isn’t sure what happened to Zelda except her mother telling her she died.

And a lie is a lie until it isn’t. When the universe conspires to right the wrongs And that is what happens to mousey Martha. One day a book shows up on her doorstep and suddenly she isn’t sure if her grandmother is dead or not. In the book are all of the stories they made up and the date in the inscription doesn’t match what she knows of when her grandmother died.

For me this was when things got interesting. I was a little peeved at Martha for being such a little mouse but I am glad I stuck with her because it was a fun ride. I cried for her and her grandmother. A poignant and moving story of families and love.

So many secrets in a family just fester and darken over time and when Martha finds out all the truths, it is truly a beautiful thing to behold!


NetGalley/ March 26th 2019 by Park Row

 

THE LIAR’S CHILD by CARLA BUCKLEY

The Liar's Child

Set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Paradise Apartments isn’t exactly the Ritz. It’s old and tired and falling down and just sad. Much like the people who call it home.

The most notorious residents are the Nelsons. Mrs. Nelson has issues. Serious mental issues and when she leaves her small son alone in a hot car all day, everyone is looking at her oddly. Most of all her 12-year-old, Cassie. Cassie knows what happened that day and has become sullen, rebellious, a thief and a liar.

When Mrs. Nelson disappears no one is surprised. And I was quite sure the husband had quietly killed her and disposed of her body.

Meanwhile next door Sara Lennox has moved in. It’s supposed to be a safe house for her to stay alive until her testimony that will put her boss in prison. She hates it. She hates the people next door. She is plotting her escape every day. And just when it seems she has everything set to flee, a hurricane comes barreling in over the islands. Ready to leave she sees the children from next door. She grabs them and runs to safety.

She’s no saint. No one is looking for a woman with 2 children. But then new information comes to light and she knows she can’t abandon them.

There were stories within stories here. Hank was in the first and then we don’t see him until the end. It was difficult to see why he was there at all.

Everyone in this tale had serious flaws! Not a one of them was likeable except the little boy Boon. It wasn’t my favorite by this author.

Netgalley/March 12th 2019 by Ballantine Books

 

 

 

 

WHILE YOU SLEEP BY STEPHANIE MERRITT

While You Sleep


It begins, they say, with a woman screaming…

Zoe Adams has Scottish roots,  so when she needs some time apart from her husband she heads to a remote island in Scotland. Responding to an advert for a recently restored Victorian on the beach. No cell service or internet is just the thing to help her reignite her passion. Painting landscapes.

An island so small there isn’t even a real policeman.  The McBride house stands alone against the forces of nature and man. A beautiful place in a beautiful setting. The owner and his family operate the pub and live above it, which Zoe is curious about. Such a gorgeous place, why wouldn’t you live in it?

The people of the island are not exactly welcoming and Zoe knows they are hiding something from her and her first night in the house she finds out firsthand what that might be. The house may look shiny and new but it has a dark and dangerous past. One full of ancient practices, buried bodies, ghosts and murders. Stories of a widow and her son dying there and most recently a boy disappearing there. But Zoe thinks the bad guys are very human. But can she figure it all out before she becomes one of the horror stories?

This book had it all. Horror, Thriller, Ghost Story, Gothic, Mystery and more. And that is all I’m telling you. I started it and finished it in one day. This is not your average haunted house, it comes with some special benefits that had me reading some chapters again just to be sure I understood what was going on! And that is good! The ending was perfect for this tale and I’m sure I will read it again.

Well Done!

Netgalley/ Pegasus Books March 05, 2019

DO NO HARM by DAWN EASTMAN

Do No Harm (Dr. Katie LeClair #2)

A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery #2

Small-town doctor Katie LeClair is drawn back into an old murder investigation, a mysterious disappearance, and a dark undercurrent of violence.

Dr. Katie is back in this second of the series.

Katie is loving her new job and house, not to mention a maybe new love.

It’s Halloween in the small town of Baxter, Michigan and Katie has just met Eugene, recently released from prison for a murder he says he did not commit. But as the town readies itself for their Halloween Festival, her patient goes missing and a college student who was looking into Katie’s old murder case is found dead.

Again, Katie trades in her doctors coat for her sleuth hat and tries to find the truth while staying alive.

I have to say I was a bit confused. The blurb stated this was for fans of Ellison and Gerritsen. It was not. As a fan of both I would say this was more of a cozy mystery than thriller. That being said it was enjoyable and easily stood alone if you haven’t read the first one. Katie is a very interesting character.

Netgalley/Crooked Lane Books December 21, 2018

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House of Ashes by Loretta Marion

House of Ashes

A Haunted Bluffs Mystery

Cassie Mitchell is living in her great-grandparents beautiful home overlooking the ocean. Battersea Bluffs is a house with a past. Built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell who died in a fire brought on by a curse.

Oh, and they still live there. Just in a different form.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here because the summary tells the entire story.

One thing I did not like was the jumping back and forth of timelines and characters that seemed to have an importance to the story  but were glossed over. I am not a fan of hand wringing helpless female leads. The entire book I was screaming, “Don’t you have a computer? Google?”

It read more like the outline for a story rather than a completed work. As much as I am a fan of Crooked Lane, this one was a hot mess.

Netgalley/November 13th 2018 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

LIMETOWN by ZACK AKERS, SKIP BRONKIE, and COTE SMITH

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

From the creators of the #1 podcast Limetown, an explosive prequel about a teenager who learns of a mysterious research facility where over three hundred people have disappeared—including her uncle—with clues that become the key to discovering the secrets of this strange town.

To set this up for you, Limetown is a successful podcast that is both weird and creepy. This would be the prequel to what is on now.

Lia Haddock is a student when the entire population of Limetown disappears off the face of the earth. Every one is just gone. One of those is Lia’s Uncle Emile.

There is a lot of speculation about what is going on at what was really a research facility and people are talking. Well, except for Lia’s parents. They are not saying a word.

Lia’s investigation into what happened to her uncle leads her all over the map and puts her in danger. The good twisty part is she isn’t the only one looking. And these are some seriously disturbed individuals I would not want to meet up with.

Before this book I had only listened to a few podcasts, but now I’m hooked!

Well Done!

Netgalley/Simon and Schuster  November 13, 2018