Deadly Ever After by EVA GATES

Deadly Ever After (Lighthouse Library Mystery, #8)

A Lighthouse Library Mystery #8

This is the 8th book in the Lighthouse Library Series. Lucy the Librarian and Conner the Mayor are finally getting married!

The book begins with their friends throwing them a party at the beach, close to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library where Lucy lives and works.

But just as things are winding down and they are packing up with Josie, Lucy’s almost-fiance’ Richard Lewiston the third and his bull of a mother arrive. Mother makes no apologies for coming uninvited to Lucy’s party. She does however, state her intentions to have Lucy marry her son. Almost desperately so.

Lucy and Richard aren’t interested in the least. As they agree to have dinner with the two, after all Lucy’s father and Richard’s father are law partners back in Boston. The dinner is awkward and they all head in different directions. Until a dead body is found at the back door of Jake’s Seafood Bar. The body of Richard the 2nd. What in the world is he doing here?

Lucy knows she will need to put on her detective hat in order to clear up the death and get rid of the grieving widow and her son before she can even think about walking down the aisle.

As for Charles, let’s just say he isn’t very happy with what she brings home. Charles is one of my favorite characters. Very discerning cat.

I enjoy this series so much. It’s a library. In a Lighthouse. Living in a lighthouse, be still my heart! So ready for the next book!

NetGalley Reviews/ Crooked Lane Books Out Now





the newcomer by mary kay andrews

The Newcomer

In trouble and on the run…



Letty Carnahan is looking over her shoulder in a panic as she and her niece, Maya, run from New York to Florida. Things have gone terribly wrong and the worst- case scenario is now happening.

Letty’s sister, Tanya, is not exactly a paragon of truth and virtue. Hooking up with the slimiest of men. This time she chose the wrong guy. Oh, he looks good on paper, but is as scummy as they come. Tanya tells Letty that if anything happens to her, look at the husband. And then take this shoe of money and Maya and run.

When Letty turns up for her standard Sunday with Maya, what she finds is a body and a screaming child. What does she do? She runs. With no idea why she is going to some old motel in an old Southern Living article her sister included with the go-bag, she pushes forward until she finally reaches Treasure Island and The Murmuring Surf Motel.

Why is she here? What does this place have to do with Tanya? And why, oh why, does the motel manager’s son have to be a cop?

Ms. Andrews is the queen of the beach reads. This is one that had a bit of everything in it. Much like real life. The characters are so real and the story so compelling you may want to hit the road to find Treasure Island yourself.

Always a pleasure!

NetGalley/ May 4th, 2021 St. Martin’s Press



Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

Sweetshop of Dreams

A novel in recipes!

A delicious rom-com about finding yourself and breaking out of routines, The Sweetshop of Dreams is full of tempting desserts, family secrets, and second chances.

In London, Rosie has a busy life. A job that is okay. A boyfriend who was rather bland and a momma’s boy. But who is she to complain?

When her mother asks her to check in on her Aunt Lilian who runs a sweetshop in Lipton but is having the issues that come with age and she is not one to ask for assistance. Rosie is thinking just a quick trip to sell the sweets shop and put her aunt in a facility and she’ll be back in London.

Lilian is not thrilled with someone coming to stay and poke through all of her things. It may be a sweets shop but it’s full of memories of love won and lost, decisions made and regretted.

Rosie sees this and while she works to get Lilian out of her depression and healthy again, she also brings new life to the sweet shop and soon it’s a project. She loves it. All the old-fashioned candies and the bright and eager smiles of the children and adults who are re-living their own childhoods through the smells and taste of their favorites.

When Rosie meets the dark and brooding Stephen while helping the local doctor, she begins to think maybe she won’t settle for a ho hum life in London.

Such a sweet treat to read this one. I went straight away to the Edinburgh candy!

NetGalley/ Sourcebooks Out now!

Three Dreamers A Memoir of Family by LORENZO CARCATERRA

Three Dreamers: A Memoir of Family

“By the time you reach my age,” he writes, “you have witnessed too much loss to not be aware of what lies ahead.”

From the author of Sleepers and an incredible body of work, Carcaterra takes us down a totally different road with Three Dreamers.

This is the homage to the three women in his life who taught him to be strong, kind as well as how to tell a killer story. We are talking about his Grandmother, Nonna Maria where he spent summers on an island called Ischia off the coast of Naples.

I loved this woman. She was kind, funny, and strong. She had survived the war and come out even stronger and now she is happy to have this boy she can share her life with in the summers because she knows his home life is hard.

Rafaella, his mother, spends her days in an abusive marriage, miserable and dreading the future. She is really negative and goes through some stuff and that in itself teaches her son lessons he will need in his future.

And third, his beloved Susan. Wife, editor, and his best cheerleader. For thirty years they loved each other until her death from cancer. Their faith in each other and the complete support he found was inspiring.

What did he learn from these amazing women? Find your joy. Overcome your circumstances. Give life your all.

What a beautiful tribute to these three women. What a beautiful memoir.

NetGalley/April 27th, 2021 Random House Ballentine



WHAT YOU NEVER KNEW by JESSICA HAMILTON

What You Never Knew

Meet the Bennett family. June, May and their mother. Imagine finding out that everything you believed about your family was a lie.

The book is told from the POV of May and June. One is dead and one is alive. June is all grown up now with her own family. When her sister dies, she finds out that the place they loved the most, Avril Island, which her family owned and where her father disappeared in a mysterious way had not been sold as their mother told them, but is still sitting waiting for her.

Feeling lost and looking for answers, June heads to the island. But not everyone is welcoming and there are as many secrets as trees. Things begin happening that are hard to explain. And the answers she gets are shocking.

The point of view May tells is rather disjointed, but then she is dead. I have to say the ending left me unsatisfied. The writing seemed a bit stiff. This is not anything like The Lovely Bones that it is compared to.

NetGalley Reviews/ April 13th, 2021 by Crooked Lane Books



When the Stars Go Dark by PAULA McLAIN

When the Stars Go Dark

A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?

The beginning of this book had me imagining all kinds of reasons Anna is hiding out from her own past and present. A Detective in San Francisco, it’s obvious that something has happened to make her leave the city and head to Mendocino, where she lived as a kid.

The day she arrives the first thing she hears is about a missing girl in the area. This is bringing up a lot of emotions and flashbacks from her time living here with her foster parents. A girl went missing then as well. And that crime is still unsolved. When another girl goes missing Anna realizes she may be exactly where she is supposed to be at the moment. With all of her experience and knowledge of predators, she can’t help but get involved.

There are some true crimes and names here that you will recognize. There is a lot about trauma and human nature. This one had everything. I’m sure I bit my lip at least twice. What I loved about this book was the rawness of the emotions. There was no attempt to pretty up the facts. They tore at your heart to the very end.

When you are brave enough to face your demons, then maybe you can reclaim your life.

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by Ballantine Books



THE DROWNING KIND by Jennifer McMahon

Be careful what you wish for.

It’s 1929, and 37- year- old Ethel Monroe, watches her husband play with the local children and is desperate to give him a child of his own. She’s tried everything, including superstitious legends about keeping a robin’s egg in your bra. Nothing is working. Until her husband takes her to a fancy hotel in Vermont where there is a spring that seems to be able to cure the sick.

The fancy new resort caters to people coming to take the waters. Well, not the town people. They know all about the springs. When the owner befriends Ethel she also tells her a secret. The spring can grant wishes. But we all know nothing is free, there is always a cost. And the cost Ethel will pay will ensure that her family and their family will always be at the springs.

Cut to now and we meet Jax. Jax is a social worker. She works with trauma victims and children. Maybe she chose that path because her sister was haunted by mental illness. Lexie hasn’t been in touch with reality for a long time so when Jax finds nine missed calls from her sister and a voice mail that is scary and manic, she ignores them. The next day Lexie is found dead. Drowned in the pool full of spring water. Black as the devil’s soul and already quite crowded.

As she cleans up the house and all the paperwork and journals that Lexie had, she realizes that Lexie was researching not only the history of their family but the history of the property and the springs. Measuring them at different times and areas and recording the depth and what she saw. Now she wants Jax to join her.

McMahon is brilliant at ghost stories. Tales we tell around the campfire and scare ourselves silly. I am not ashamed to say I lost a fingernail to this book. Spooky, ghastly, ghostly, this one is twisted and horrific. Just the way I like them.

NetGalley/ April 06, 2021 Gallery Scout Books

THE LOST VILLAGE by CAMILLA STEN

The Lost Village

I do love Scandinavian Noir! And this one is creepy, scary, and oh so gory! Once I started reading it I could not stop. Okay, I could, but I didn’t.

Alice wants to make a documentary. She’s low on money and equipment but she has a good friend who will put up some money if he can come along. An old friend/enemy has also agreed to come and Alice hated asking her but she is good and interested.

Alice has been a bit obsessed with the residents who just vanished from the old mining town. In 1959 the mine closed and that same year her grandmother’s entire family disappeared. Sure people came in and looked around but all they found were empty houses and in the square one dead woman tied to a pole and in the school, a baby crying. They took the baby and the town was just forgotten. But not by Alice.

When her small team arrives the place is deserted. It looks as if people got up from dinner and never came back. From the first night, they all can feel something isn’t right. They are not alone here. As things heat up they don’t even trust each other. Every one of them has secrets and one is a real shocker.

Reading this book was like watching the Blair Witch Project. You wanted to turn away but you wanted to know the who and why of everything. I loved every scary, gory moment of this one!

NetGalley Review/ March 23rd, 2021 by Minotaur Books

THE JIGSAW MAN by NADINE MATHESON *BLOG TOUR* @nadinematheson @HarlequinBooks

The Jigsaw Man

A serial killer and his copycat are locked in a violent game of cat and mouse. Can DI Anjelica Henley stop them before it’s too late?

DI Anjelica Henley is back on active duty with the SCU. She has no idea what she will face when called out to a crime scene.

By the river, dismembered body parts are washing up. While the crime has all of the marks of a serial killer she locked up not that long ago, she knows he is still in strict lockdown. Right?

The Jigsaw Killer. A total sociopath. No remorse, no second thoughts, just monstrous acts against people that would send the strongest of cops running.

When Anjelica can’t find answers she goes to the source. Peter Olivier. The Jigsaw Killer. Who also tried to kill her. He isn’t happy someone is copying his crimes. Not at all happy. Which is very scary for some people.

Horror at its finest! Hope to hear more about this!



A Sneak Peek:

Chapter Two

‘How long have we got until the tide comes in?’ Henley was facing the river watching the small waves crashing against the derelict pier. She checked her watch. Nearly two hours had passed since the first 999 call. 

‘I checked online, and high tide is at 9.55 a.m.’ Ramouter replied as he stepped around a half-submerged car tire, his eyes glazed with anxiety. ‘Low tide was at 3.15. Sunrise was at 6.32. A three-hour window for someone to dump whoever this is and hope that someone would find it before the tide comes in?’

‘Maybe,’ Henley acknowledged. ‘But for all we know it could have been dumped after sunrise or was dumped earlier upstream before being washed up here.’ She inspected the glass façade of the Borthwick Wharf, empty commercial spaces and work units that opened to the terrace and lacked security cameras. Henley doubted that the local council would have extended their own CCTV cameras to this part of the street. They had been neglecting this part of Deptford for as long as she could remember.

‘Has it been touched?’ Henley asked Anthony who had appeared at her side.

‘As far as I’m aware, it’s in situ. It wasn’t touched by the woman who found it. Matei, your builder, said that he hadn’t touched the legs but unhelpfully, it’s covered in his vomit. I had a quick look at the arms that were found downstream before I came here. From the looks of things, the treasure hunters may have prodded around a bit.’

‘There’s always one.’

The wind dropped and the air softly crackled with the electricity generated from the substation nearby.

‘We’re isolating the recovery of evidence to the direct path from the alleyway to the torso,’ said Anthony. ‘I doubt very much that whoever it was sat here and had a coffee afterwards.’

‘They may not have had a coffee, but if we go with Ramouter’s theory and the body parts have been dumped then whoever it was certainly knows the river,’ Henley replied. ‘We’ll let you get on. Ramouter and I are going to take a walk.’

‘Where are we going?’ asked Ramouter.

‘To meet Eastwood.’

‘And you want to walk it?’

Henley did her best to push aside her frustration when Ramouter pulled out his phone. ‘Google maps says that Greenwich pier is almost a mile away,’ he said.

‘Your body-part dumper isn’t the only one who knows the river,’ Anthony shouted out as Henley began to walk determinedly along the riverbank.

The gold scepters on the twin domed roofs of the Old Royal Naval College pierced the cloudless sky. The bare masts of the restored Cutty Sark completed the historical panoramic view that Greenwich was known for. It was a resplendent, whitewashed version of history that contrasted with the sewage that washed ashore. Henley stopped walking when she realized that she could no longer hear the sounds of Ramouter’s leather soles slipping on wet pebbles.

‘Where are you from?’ Henley asked, waiting for Ramouter to take off his jacket and loosen his tie. She moved closer towards the moss-covered river wall as the tide began to encroach.

‘Born in West Bromwich. Moved to Bradford when I was twelve.’ Ramouter tried to brush off the bits of mud that had stuck to his trousers, but they only smeared more. ‘Lots of moors, no rivers. Surely it would have been quicker in the car.’

‘This is quicker. Unless you fancy sitting in traffic for the next half hour while they raise the Creek Road Bridge.’

‘You know this area well?’

Henley ignored the question. She didn’t see the point in telling him that she could have walked this path with her eyes closed. That this small part of South-East London was ingrained in her. ‘Whoever dumped the torso would have taken this route. It doesn’t make any sense to come down here, go back up to the street level and then drive up to Watergate Street. Out of sight, below street level. Lighting would have been minimal.’

‘Body parts are heavy though,’ Ramouter tried to quicken his step to catch up with Henley. ‘The human head weighs at least eight pounds.’

‘I know.’ Henley pulled out her mobile phone, which had started to ring. She saw who it was and ignored the call.

‘Head, torso, arms, legs. That’s at least six individual body parts.’

‘I know that also. So, tell me, what point are you making?’ Henley waited for Ramouter to reach her before maneuvering him towards the river wall as though she was chaperoning a child.

‘I’m just saying that that’s a lot of dead weight to be carrying around at three in morning.’ Ramouter paused and placed his hand against the wall, trying to catch his breath.

Henley didn’t openly express her agreement. She fished out a black hair band from her jacket pocket and pulled her thick black curls into a ponytail. She had forgotten how much energy it took to walk across the gradient slope of the riverbank. Worse, she felt mentally unprepared for the job ahead, with a trainee struggling behind her who had no idea this was her first time as senior investigator in almost a year.

‘It’s a bit grim, isn’t it?’ DC Roxanne Eastwood shouted out as Henley finally reached the first crime scene. ‘Morning, Ramouter. Not a bad gig for your first day.’

Henley had always thought that Eastwood actually looked and carried herself like a detective. Now, Eastwood was poised on the riverbank, the sleeves of her jacket rolled up with her notebook in her hand. She had come prepared for the river and was wearing a pair of jeans and trainers that had seen better days.

‘Morning, Eastie. How does it feel to be out of the office?’ Henley asked, her eyes drifting to a crime scene investigator who was putting an arm into a black bag.

‘I should be asking you that,’ said Eastwood, with a look of concern.

Henley silently appreciated the empathy and placed her hand on Eastwood’s shoulder.

‘But since you asked, it’s bloody terrible. I think I’ve got sunburn.’ Eastwood rubbed a hand over her reddening forehead. ‘Forensics are going to be wrapping up in a bit. Not that there’s much for them to do. Bag it and tag it.’

‘Where’s Mr Thomas?’

‘Ah, our illustrious treasure hunter. Last time I saw him he was heading towards the shops. Said that he needed to get some water for his dog.’ Eastwood shook her head, obviously not believing a word of it. ‘I’ve got an officer keeping an eye on him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d already uploaded pictures of his find onto Instagram.’

‘I want him taken back to the station. Ramouter can take another statement from him.’ Henley said it purposely so that Ramouter would sense she was in control. ‘If he’s like most mudlarkers, he would have been out here first thing this morning waiting for the tide to go out. Where exactly were the arms found?’

‘Just over there.’ Eastwood pulled down her sunglasses and pointed towards the foamed waves created by a passing river bus. The tide had already come in where X had once marked the spot. A sense of urgency filled the air as the river regained its territory.

‘Did he say anything else?’

‘Only that he found the second arm about three feet away from the first.’

‘It’s a sick trail of breadcrumbs,’ said Henley.

‘You’re telling me and before you ask about CCTV, there’re loads of cameras—’

‘But none aimed at this part of the river.’

‘Exactly.’

Henley’s mobile phone began to ring. She pulled it out and answered. After a quick chat, she ended the call.

‘That was Dr Linh Choi. You wouldn’t have met her yet but she’s our go-to forensic pathologist. She’s just arrived,’ Henley explained to Ramouter. She wiped away the sweat from the back of her neck.

‘So, we’ve got two arms, both legs and a torso,’ said Ramouter. ‘Where’s the head?’

Good question. Henley thought of the places between the two locations. A primary school, two nurseries and an adventure playground among the flats and houses. The last thing she needed was to find a head in the kids’ sandpit.

‘Can I have a quick look?’ Henley asked the assistant from Anthony’s CSI team, who had just bagged up the arm and was scribbling in her notebook.

‘Sure.’ The assistant unzipped the bag and pushed the plastic apart.

‘Fuck,’ Henley said under her breath. Her heartbeat quickened, her stomach flipped.

‘Oh,’ said Ramouter as he peered over Henley’s shoulder. One arm was covered with gravel. Slivers of seaweed criss-crossed old scars. The second arm. Slender wrist, the ring finger slightly longer than the index, broken fingernails. Black skin. Henley could hear Pellacia’s words from earlier ringing in her ears.

‘Too early to say if it belongs to the same victim or if it’s more than just one.’

‘Call DSI Pellacia,’ Henley told Ramouter. ‘Tell him that we’ve got two possible murder victims.’

NetGalley/ March 16th, 2021 by Hanover Square Press





THIS IS THE FIRE (What I Say to My Friends About Racism) by DON LEMON

This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism

Don Lemon brings his vast audience and experience as a reporter and a Black man to today’s most urgent question: How can we end racism in America in our lifetimes?
 

Don Lemon, the anchor of CNN Tonight, is a very popular reporter who has the most conversational writing style I have ever seen. To watch him and to read his words are very much like having a conversation with a friend.

Known for his monologues on racism, broken systems, and administrations that do more harm than good, this book seems even more personal. Showing us what is wrong, how wrong it is, and how we maybe can begin to repair what is broken.

I enjoyed the beginning, which is a letter to his black nephew. He talks about their slave ancestors, activists, politicians, and people he has met and interviewed. We hear about the slave port where his ancestor was shipped to America as a slave. He talks about his growing up and his experiences. Even the 2020 New York protests. The most important thing we can do is to resist racism every single day. EVERY DAY. With Love. Which is hard to do.

I was so comfortable with this book. It honestly felt as if Lemon were talking to me about some really important issues in his famously calm and steady voice. I am from the deep south and understood everything he said. This has to stop or we will never be truly free people.

Very impressed with his words.

NetGalley/ March 16th, 2021 Little, Brown, and Company