Tuesday, July 31, 2018


1.  Yes...my bookshelf is organized by the date I read the book.
2.  Yes...my TBR stack is "out of control."  
Is there anyone who has a TBR stack that is IN CONTROL?  LOL!! 
Thanks for playing if you do, and thanks for stopping.

Books I Read In July

1.  Tiffany Blues by M. J. Rose
2.  Our House by Louise Candlish
3.  The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
4.  The Day of the Dead by Nicci French
5.  The Daisy Children by Sofia Grant

6.  Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
7.  The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

All were wonderful, and all will be reviewed in the upcoming weeks.

Have you read any or do you plan to read any of them?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay

Typewriter sounds are almost non-existent today, but they kept recurring in Paul’s home and seemed to be coming from the typewriter that his wife had bought him.

After Paul followed his friend because he was driving erratically, he found something horrific and unbelievable.

Paul saw dead bodies in his colleague’s trunk and when Kenneth struck him to silence him, he thought it was all over.  Thankfully Paul didn’t die, and Kenneth was imprisoned.  

Another thing happened as Paul was following Kenneth. He saw Kenneth dispose of a typewriter in a dumpster.  Could that be the same typewriter that Kenneth forced his victims to use to type an apology before he killed them and the typewriter that Paul's wife bought for him at a yard sale?

When we do "meet" this, typewriter, bizarre things begin to happen.

THE NOISE DOWNSTAIRS has us following Paul as he is recovering from his physical injury caused by the strike with the shovel as well as the emotional trauma.

Mr. Barclay keeps the tension high, and the story line is intriguing. The ending twists were well hidden from the reader.

The introduction of the typewriter was very clever, and the typewriter seemed to be included as another character. 

This was my first book by Mr. Barclay, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you have enjoyed Mr. Barclay's books, you won't want to miss his newest.   5/5

This book was given to me as ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tahoe Skydrop by Todd Borg

Another Todd Borg Mystery!!

Received TAHOE SKYDROP today.  :)

This is his 15th marvelous mystery.  😊 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Day of the Dead by Nicci French

Frieda Kline is missing because she wants to be missing, and now Lola who is writing her dissertation has gone out of touch.

Lola is writing a dissertation for her criminology class and wanted to write about Frieda and her involvement in police cases and her connection to Dean Reeve. 

Lola’s mentor suggested walking in Frieda’s shoes to get an idea about her.  Lola did just that, but it didn’t turn out too well.  Lola mistakenly and unknowingly came across Dean Reeve, a serial killer who kills anyone who has contact with Frieda, and who still has it out for Frieda. Dean kills others to get to her.

No one has been able to track Dean down.  Dean has been a character along with Frieda in previous books.

Was Dean Reeve back?  Frieda definitely thought so, and Dean made sure she knew.  And...Frieda knew he wouldn’t stop until he killed her.

The book begins as we find that a killer is on the loose.  The murders started with a dead man in a stolen car barreling down a steep hill, and another one was a dead man being burned in a bonfire.  But that wasn’t the end of the bodies. The count kept getting higher, and the bodies followed a pattern.

This is only the second book I have read in this series, and I actually didn’t know it was a series when I read the first one.  I was not lost while reading so it seems as if you can start in the middle...things went smoothly.

I can see why the series is so well liked.  Frieda Kline is a very popular character, but this will be the last book in this series.  Frieda is a bit rough outwardly, but she is actually a good Samaritan that the police always call in for assistance on their cases.  Frieda is also a psycho analyst.

DAY OF THE DEAD is suspenseful, and you will want to tell Frieda to stop being so stubborn about not allowing the police to take total control of this new Dean Reeve’s madness instead of trying to solve it on her own.

Readers who enjoy suspense, twists and turns, stubborn characters, and a killer who knows how to allude everyone will enjoy this book.

My only complaint is that it was a bit long.  4/5

This book was given to me as an ARC
by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  .  All opinions are my own.

The Boy At The Door by Alex Dahl

Cecelia had a perfect life with a perfect husband, two daughters, a beautiful home, and an enjoyable part-time job.

One night could change it all.

Cecelia picked her daughters up from swim practice, and as she waited for them to change, she was asked to take a young boy home because his parents didn’t show up.

Cecelia didn’t want to do it, but she couldn’t leave him at the school alone.  Taking him home was the worst thing that could have happened to her because he may be the reason her secret becomes revealed.  For some reason the boy, Tobias, knows Cecelia knew Annie, the woman who took care of him and abandoned him.
We get background information on Annie that is not very pleasant and then move back and forth to the present with the little boy that connects it all.

I wasn't a fan of the main character Cecilia. Her past lifestyle was off-putting for me, and her current life was made of lies. She currently had everything and still wasn't happy.

Tobias was a sweet boy who kept everything inside, and he definitely had secrets and answers to the questions the police were asking, but he wouldn't tell them anything. 

Some of the other characters were very unpleasant.
The ongoing questions in the story line are who is Tobias' mother, how did Cecelia really know Annie, and just what is Cecelia’s secret that will destroy her current life.

The author’s writing keeps you engaged and especially when she leaves an incriminating, clue-revealing tidbit as the last sentence of the chapter and moves on.  We gets hints about what is bothering Cecelia, but never enough information to figure it out.  Tobias knows, though, and Cecelia is worried.

THE BOY AT THE DOOR is brilliantly written with a creative, odd story line that is a bit unbelievable, but oh so good and attention grabbing.  

The tension kept me on the edge of my seat as the police questioned Cecelia about Annie and Tobias. 

THE BOY AT THE DOOR is an excellent suspense debut. 4/5

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Three friends with issues to resolve take a trip to Mexico to try to reconnect.

The issues seemed to compound rather than lessen.  When one of the friends is missing the morning after a wild night of drinking, the tension between the two remaining friends continues and worsens as their fears mount.

GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT goes back and forth from past to present bringing with it a bit of confusion as to what is going on for the reader, but revealing that the friends have a lot of secrets they never told each other.

The book actually dragged on for me even though the secrets were interesting, but they were a bit too vague to bring anything to the story for me until around half way through the book when the reasons for the fights and the estrangements started to emerge.   

The tension mounted even more when the police arrived, but up until that point, I didn’t think there was that much suspense.

GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT gives wonderful reasons for friendships to repair themselves and for women to support each other.

GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT was suspenseful because of the missing friend, but the majority of the book was about repairing friendships and revealing secrets.

Most of the secrets dealt with domestic abuse which is an excellent topic to get out in the open. 

Another issue about being safe and making smart decisions when you are in a foreign country and with strangers was addressed. That is great advice and very frightening.  

The tension in the last 20% of the book definitely picked up my interest and my opinion despite the slow read until then.  So instead of a 3/5, I am changing my rating to a 4/5.

I received an Advanced Reader copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. . All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Women Of The Dunes by Sarah Maine

​Scotland, back and forth in time, murders, illegitimate children, missing jewels, secrets, buried treasures, legends, a permitted excavation, authentic characters, and an old estate all greet us in WOMEN OF THE DUNES.

We follow Libby as she and her university team have gotten permission to excavate the estate of Hector Sturrock and an estate where Libby's great grandmother worked as a servant.

Libby's grandmother told her of the legend of Ulla that was part of the estate and the town of Ullaness. Libby had always enjoyed the legend and liked to hear it every time she visited her grandmother.
When Libby joined the team for the excavation, she had to decide if she would tell what her grandmother had told her and what her great grandmother had kept from the estate.

The legend began with a ship coming into a harbor where a monk named Odrhan lived.  Ulla was pregnant with her husband’s brother’s child, but when the husband found out about the baby, he badly hurt his brother, Harald, so Ulla sailed away with the injured Harald and sailed to Odrhan for help. 

As generations continued so did the legend and its people. The most interesting aspect was that Libby was the current generation of the women involved, and there were many secrets kept by them all.

WOMEN OF THE DUNES was captivating simply because of the lifestyle of the original family as well as those who lived in the Sturrock estate today.

The women of all generations had stories to tell, the estate’s castle-like home still kept its charm, and the legend made WOMEN OF THE DUNES enticing.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the land and the house.  Going back in time and hearing a story re-created is something I always love to read about.

The two stories - present and past - connected, came full circle, and brilliantly meshed together as mirrored stories. 

Any reader who enjoys castles, secrets, looking for clues in old documents, and re-tracing the steps of characters that lived long ago will want to read WOMEN OF THE DUNES.

WOMEN OF THE DUNES is going to be a favorite.  5/5

This book was given to be as an ARC by the publisher by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage


Before and After Hanna is how Suzette could label her life.  

Hanna actually ruined Suzette’s life.

Despite her pain from Chron’s disease, Suzette could handle that better than she could handle her daughter.  She also couldn’t handle how Alex, her husband, never saw how Hanna really was.  

Hanna was two different people - one when she was with Suzette and one with Alex. Alex was definitely clueless that 

Hanna was evil and manipulative.

Hanna is going on seven years old and still doesn’t speak, physically lashes out, plans things to harm her mother, plans things to exasperate her mother so she will leave, and won’t be accepted in any school because of her behavior.

Hanna is an evil, brilliant child who is definitely frightening.  I can’t even imagine how she thinks up these horrific things she does. She is VERY unlikable for a supposedly sweet girl. 

BABY TEETH has the reader following Hanna’s days with her mother and her evenings with her father as he reads to his sweet girl at night.  Many issues are brought up, and you can feel the frustration of Suzette in all aspects.

BABY TEETH is set in Pittsburgh, and the author lives in Pittsburgh.

Ms. Stage’s writing is truly marvelous and immediately draws you into the story line but at the same time has you shaking your head at what is happening because it is unbelievable.

I am not a normal reader of disturbing situations or horror, but any reader who likes disturbing reads will like this book.

The last line leaves the reader with more questions.    4/5

I received an early copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.   All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

Miranda has come back after eighteen years to the island where she has spent every summer since her mother married into the prestigious Fisher family.  She hasn’t told anyone the reason why she has returned to Winthrop’s Island with bruises that no one mentions, but since she stays for a relatively long time, the reason can be assumed even though it might be the wrong guess.

Miranda's return isn’t a welcome event even after all of this time, though, because of her testimony at the trial of the lighthouse keeper’s son back in 1951 when she was eighteen and in love with the accused.

Miranda hadn’t grown up with the elite and wealthy.  When her mother married Hugh Fisher after her father was killed in WWII, she is introduced to that life and also sees how the year-round residents who fish and work as domestics live.

THE SUMMER WIVES goes back and forth from 1930 to 1951 and then to 1969.  We learn about Miranda’s life, the lives of the Fisher and Monk families, the lives of other island residents, and how the lives of the domestic help are all connected by one specific incident during those years. 

I enjoyed the story from the 1950’s the best.  It was the most interesting and the least confusing. The 1930’s didn’t make sense to me how it fit in, but as I kept reading, I found out that it kept a secret and held a BIG surprise.

Ms. Williams has written another book that will hold your interest but has a bit of confusing story line with all the back and forth. 

THE SUMMER WIVES is a story of the typical antics and lives of privileged families.  We learn that most of the Winthrop Island families may have had money, but most of them are not happy.

THE SUMMER WIVES has a great setting, good story line, and has characters with problems and secrets both past and present.  

I enjoyed Ms. Williams’ latest even though it dragged a bit at times, but the ending had it all coming together and was very satisfying.  4/5

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wonderous Words Wednesday - 7/18/2018

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at her blog.

Puerile - childishly silly and trivial:  You’re making puerile excuses.

That word was taken from THE MASTERPIECE by Fiona Davis - 25% into the e-book.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The BEST Of The First Half of 2018

I am going to choose a few of the most current books I have read.

There are SO many good books that I have read this year.

I could say ALL OF THEM have been the BEST!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How Fun Would This Be?

I wish I lived closer to New York.  :)

Have fun if you attend next week and meet an official Miss Subway.  :)

Took this from annabelmonaghan's Instagram page. 

My review of THE SUBWAY GIRLS is here.

Summer Wives Pre-Review Post

Have you read this summer’s most talked about book yet?

SUMMER WIVES by Beatriz Williams is now on sale.

My review will be on July 18.

Somebody's Daughter by David Bell

A nine-year-old is missing.  

Did she run away or was she kidnapped.  

Kidnapped is the consensus.

The suspect could be anyone - a single person or a team.

The drama begins with the ring of the doorbell.

Angela and Michael didn’t expect to see his ex-wife, Erica, on their front porch. What Erica  had to tell Michael was a shock.

Erica’s daughter is the nine-year-old missing, and she wanted Michael to help her.  The reason she wanted Michael to help was an even bigger shock.

We follow the investigation as it gets thicker by the minute and brings in a similar case that might be connected.

The characters all seemed to be guilty, and they all seemed to have secrets with Angela being the only one who had no clue about anything going on. 

SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER is filled with Mr. Bell’s signature tension and suspense.  His hints and hanging situations at the end of each chapter were strong enough to make you not want to stop reading.

And....I couldn't stop reading as the characters and the search became more complex, more intriguing, and had me scratching my head.

BRAVO, Mr. Bell.

Another suspenseful story line with an ending to ponder and to discuss. 5/5

I received an advanced copy
from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.    All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

We move from 1949 to 2018 and come across girls who auditioned for being a Subway Girl in 1948 to an advertising agency in 2018 that needs a new campaign to help the transit system get more ridership.

The girls in 1949 were more than happy to have their photos plastered over the subways because it might get them a job in a different industry.  The advertising agency in 2018 became interested in the Subway Girls as an ad campaign for themselves. 

Olivia who worked for the advertising agency had a brilliant idea to help the transit system and made a connection with the 1949 Subway Girls campaign for their current advertising.  She found the campaign as she was doing research, and wondered what really happened to the Subway Girls and if being a Subway Girl really changed or enhanced their lives.  Finding this information gave Olivia some hope for her agency’s winning the bid for the ad campaign.

Olivia and her assistant, Priya, hit the jackpot when they found actual posters of The Subway Girls and stories of their lives.

She uncovered more gems when a neighbor knew and had been one of the The Subway Girls.

THE SUBWAY GIRLS is a delightful read.  I enjoyed going back to 1949 and seeing how women had to really struggle to get out of the required mold of being a housewife and mother.

Ms. Orman Schnall's writing is refreshing and enjoyable. The story line is interesting and had me researching The Subway Girls.

According to Wikipedia, these women were called Miss Subways, and the program lasted from 1941 to 1976.  Ms. Orman Schnall also added information in the ending pages about how she became interested in The Subway girls and gave some background information about them.

THE SUBWAY GIRLS has everything historical fiction and women's fiction fans will love.  There is love, heartbreak, secrets, and the story of how women have been trying to "break out" from their stereotypical roles since forever.

The book goes back and forth from the 1940’s to 2018.  The story line connects smoothly with each era and has genuine, lovable, and relatable characters.

It is truly a book to savor and enjoy.  5/5

I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

Book Spines

Always fun to see book spines.

Have you read any of these books?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Our House by Louise Candlish


OUR HOUSE is one of the most creative suspense books I have read.

If you like to wonder what makes people do what they do,  and you like to keep guessing at it, OUR HOUSE is a must read this summer.

OUR HOUSE  is bizarre, nerve wracking, and unbelievable, but oh so good.  That last line is WOW!! 

Enjoy if you read this book.  5/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by NETGALLEY and the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Dying of The Light by Robert Goolrick

Appearances is all that matters, but you can't keep up appearances without money.

Diana Cooke and her family had once been wealthy and in high Southern society.  After the war, everything fell apart for the Cookes, and Diana is the only one who can save the family.

Saving the family means having to marry for money and endure all the debutante balls.  Diana is lucky on the first try, though.  She is chosen by wealthy Captain Copperton.  She knows he isn't who he seems, and even though she marries him to save her family and their home, she isn't very lucky or happy.

THE DYING OF THE LIGHT tells the tale of the plight of the Cookes and the way of high society with the wealthy marrying the wealthy even though the Cookes are no longer wealthy.

Diana's life was sad and lonely especially when her son was sent off to boarding school.  The huge house was empty, and the house in the end was the ruin of it all.  As the book begins, the ashes of the house seem to be the ashes of Diana as well - nothing left of her or for her.

THE DYING OF THE LIGHT is in typical Robert Goolrick fashion - excellent, descriptive writing, love, scandals, sex, mystery, and intrigue.
The cover is stunning, and as you continue reading, you will understand the meaning of the title.

The book also addresses domestic abuse both physical and emotional.

I enjoyed the Southern etiquette and loved the house and the setting, but I definitely did not like Captain Copperton at all - he seemed to be the cause of the demise of everyone and everything.

If you have enjoyed Mr. Goolrick's other books, I know you will enjoy THE DYING OF THE LIGHT.  

Mr. Goolrick can always tell a great story with beautiful words.

And what an amazing ending.
One last comment:  Be sure to re-read the prologue.  You will get more out of the book and have a better understanding the second time around. 

ENJOY!! 5/5

I received an advance copy by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine - Teaser


Do you LOVE that cover? 🙂

Scotland, back and forth in time, murders, illegitimate children, missing jewels, secrets, buried treasures, legends, a permitted excavation, authentic characters, and an old estate all greet us in WOMEN OF THE DUNES.

The two stories - present and past - connected, came full circle, and brilliantly meshed together as mirrored stories. 

Any reader who enjoys castles, secrets, looking for clues in old documents, and re-tracing the steps of characters that lived long ago will want to read WOMEN OF THE DUNES.

This is going to be a favorite.  5/5