Month: February 2017

“London Underground Serial Killer” by Geoff Platt

“London Underground Serial Killer” by Geoff Platt

Genre: True Crime

Kieran Kelly was a prolific serial killer who murdered at least 31 people in London over a 30-year period. He was a vagrant and often in prison on charges of drunkenness or theft. His career as a murderer began in 1953, with the murder of his best friend, and continued until 1983 when he was charged with the murder of a cell-mate. Kelly was more than willing to tell the police about his murders, after all they were a source of pride for him and he liked to brag. Geoff Platt spent months with Kelly, starting in 1983, investigating his claims. In the end, he was sentenced to life in prison and that is where he died.

Geoff Platt has carefully recounted the life of Kieran Kelly, from his boyhood in Dublin to his final arrest in London, and the intensive police investigation into his murders. He details for readers Kelly’s methods and his motives. I found this account to be well researched and a very thorough presentation of the facts concerning this man’s heinous crimes.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

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Weekly Round-Up 2/26/2017

TBR

I finished two books this week and I didn’t add any to the list, so my ending TBR this week is 273!

NetGalley rating

Started the week at 69%, finished one NetGalley read, so I’m up to 70% today.

Coming this week

“London Underground Serial Killer” london-underground-serial-killer

I finished reading “If the Creek Don’t Rise” but the publisher has asked that reviews not be posted till closer to the pub date. I will be highly recommending it. if-the-creek-dont-rise

I have started reading “Moral Defense” by Marcia Clark. I really enjoyed the first book with this character “Blood Defense” so I’m excited to be reading this. moral-defense

Ok, so that’s about it for now. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Happy Reading!

 

“The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore

“The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore

Genre: Non-Fiction

You are probably familiar with the saying “truth is stranger than fiction”. I think this book fits into that category perfectly. The events detailed in this work are like something out of a sci-fi movie. The pages of this book tell the stories of the young ladies who worked as painters in the radium dial industry starting in 1917. At the time the story opens, the scientific community’s understanding of radium and its effects was still in its infancy, but the substance’s characteristic of glowing in the dark made it a very profitable business venture. It was used commercially as a paint for the dials of clocks so that the numbers could be seen in the dark. As World War I began it became highly demanded for the instrument dials used in the military. The challenge at the time was that the painting of these dials had to be done by hand, this led to large-scale hiring of young girls as dial-painters. The girls were told that the substance was safe and they would even paint the substance on their bodies so that they could glow-in-the-dark when they went on dates. The painting technique involved putting the brush between the lips in order to form a point and in this manner the girls were ingesting the radium in dangerous quantities. Radium was also being used at the time as a treatment for cancer, and as an additive to health tonics.

It didn’t take long before some of the girls starting having health problems. Often the first indication that something was wrong was when a girl’s teeth starting to loosen and fall out. Some girls began to have sarcomas. One of the girls had to go so far as to have an arm amputated because of a sarcoma. It took a few years for the various doctors and dentists who were treating these girls to understand that the root cause of the symptoms was the radium that they had worked with. This diagnosis led to a long, drawn-out legal process as the girls tried to get the companies to take responsibility for having lied to them and to offer some compensation for the pain and expenses they had endured.

The author’s stated objective with this book is to tell the story of “The Radium Girls” from the perspective of the women themselves and she has done just that. I found this book to be both shocking and emotionally moving. These girls are heroes for the fight they put up, and without their efforts this country may not even have a process for protecting the health and safety of workers. Today, we take for granted, and are sometimes annoyed by, the safety procedures present in our workplaces, but after reading this book you will never take them for granted again. I think this book should be required reading and I am giving it a 5-star rating because of the quality of the writing and the importance of its message.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Weekly Round-Up 2/19/2017

Welcome everybody to the Weekly Round-Up, where we will once again pull back the covers and see what progress I made over the last week.

TBR – the week started with a TBR of 276. I added one book (only one? how is that possible!) and I completed 2. That brings the TBR to 275. Does that deserve a pat on the back? Not sure…hmmm.

NetGalley rating: With the completion of Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency, my rating increased from 68% to 69%. I wonder if I can manage to break 70% this week?

Coming up this week:

I am about half-way through “The Radium Girls” which I am really enjoying so that review should be posted in a couple of days.

the-radium-girls

I have also started reading “London Underground Serial Killer” and hope to finish it before the week is out. london-underground-serial-killer

Ok, so that’s it for this week.

Happy Reading!

 

 

“King Arthur: The Mystery Unravelled” by Chris Barber

“King Arthur: The Mystery Unravelled” by Chris Barber

Genre: Non-fiction

This book is a scholarly work whose aim is to unravel the true identity of King Arthur. The author’s exhaustive research has unearthed the lineage of King Arthur and untangled the myth and legend from the historical facts. Starting with Arthur’s ancestors he uncovers the family linkages and then tracks his life with chapters on his birth, crowning, the Round Table, and significant battles that marked his reign.

I found this book to be thoroughly researched and documented. The book introduced me to people and places that I had no idea were related to King Arthur. This book is a good choice for anyone who is intrigued by the legend of King Arthur. Another great history from Pen & Sword Books, who provided me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency” by Susan Breen

“Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency” by Susan Breen

Genre: Mystery

Maggie Dove is a lovely woman who has been trapped in grief for 20 years. Now she has opened a detective agency with two partners, Agnes and Helen, and she recapturing her life. Being a detective frequently challenges her comfort zone but she is determined to be a success. When a prodigal daughter returns home after 40 years and suddenly commits suicide, Maggie is hired by her sister to uncover the truth.

This story is filled with delightful characters. I felt like I could really relate to Maggie because she old enough to be retiring but instead she if forging a new life for herself. Agnes was a little tough for me to like at first because she can be moody, but she always has Maggie’s back and she grew on me as the story progressed. Helen is a single mother with a mysterious past and a rambunctious little boy who adopts Maggie as a grandmother. I liked how the author was able to integrate some personal life challenges of the characters into the overall story and do it in such a way that it felt natural and not forced. This story is book 2 in a series but does well as a stand-alone. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would be interested in reading future installments of this series.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating  4 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“Paydown” by Nick Stephenson

paydown

When a high-flying Wall Street investment banker is found brutally killed, what started out as a simple fraud case turns into expert criminologist Leopold Blake’s first ever murder investigation.

Now, with the financial world at the brink of collapse, Blake must put aside his differences and work with NYPD Detective Mary Jordan to find and stop the killer before it’s too late. As the glamor of Wall Street is stripped away by a series of catastrophic discoveries, Leopold will have to decide how much he is prepared to risk in order to uncover the truth – and whether it’s a price he’s willing to pay.

Paydown is book 0 in the Leopold Blake Series of thrillers. The events in this story take place before the book Wanted, which is the first book in the series. I had really enjoyed reading Wanted and was curious how the characters had originally come together. This book did an excellent job of relating the back story of the series but I was a little bit disappointed. I had expected more in the way of action thrills, as I had enjoyed in Wanted, and there wasn’t as much of that. However, this book is really more the length of a novella, so there wasn’t room for much more. Again, I really liked the repartee between Blake and Mary Jordan. I think the author has been very clever in creating these two in that they constantly get on each other’s nerves but there is a respect between them that enables them to work well together. I’m still sold on this series and will definitely read more installments as the opportunity arises.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating 3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Weekly Round-Up 2/12/2017

Another week is done and dusted, so let’s take a look at what I’ve accomplished.

TBR Update:

The week started with a TBR count of 276. In the last 7 days 3 books dropped off the list and three were added, so the final count as of today is 276, again. Here are the three additions.

a-history-of-courtshipthe-yorkshire-witchmad-or-bad

These were all sent to me by Pen & Sword Books in exchange for a review, so you will be seeing my reviews here in a few weeks.

NetGalley rating: remains unchanged at 68%. I am currently reading Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency for NetGalley and you should see my review in a couple of days.

maggie-doves-detective-agency

Coming up this week:

Last week I mentioned that I was reading White Lead by Susan Daitch, unfortunately I really wasn’t enjoying the book so I did not finish it and will not be writing a review. As mentioned I am reading Maggie Dove’s and that review should be posted this week. I will also be posting a review of Paydown by Nick Stephenson paydown

By the end of the week, I hope to be reading The Radium Girls by Kate Moorethe-radium-girls

So that’s what is happening in my little corner of the book world. I hope you all have a great week!

Happy Reading!

“The Lengthening War” by Michael Goode

the-lengthening-war

Genre: Biography

World War I was a pivotal event in the history of the world. In “The Lengthening War”, Michael Goode shares the diary of Mabel Goode, which contains her thoughts and perceptions of the war as it stretched out longer and longer. Mabel is a young woman, unmarried, at the start of the war. In the beginning the people of Britain thought that the war would last a few months and then everything would go back to normal, and this rather casual viewpoint is evident in the diary. She is fervent in her desire to help out and to see her brothers participating as well. As the war lengthens and becomes more of a burden to the British populace, Mabel’s enthusiasm also begins to wane.

I enjoyed this book very much and through reading gained some insight into WWI that you won’t find in your history books. The first half of the book uses quotes from the diary to point out different aspects on the war. There are chapters on how different people’s roles in British society changed during the war, and how the spirit of the British people was altered as the war began to stretch out over the years. The author also takes the time to talk about the diarist brothers and how their lives were affected by war. The second half of the book then presents the diary in its entirety. Michael Goode has done an excellent job of researching and presenting the story of Mabel Goode and her brothers, and the many ways that the war changed the culture.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

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Weekly Round-up 2/5/2017

Another week comes to an end. Let’s review what’s been happening. I finished and reviewed 3 books. “Death Calls at the Palace” took me into a mystery in Victorian London and gained a 3.5 star rating. “The Hanover Square Affair” was also in London, this time for the Regency period and garnered 4 stars. Finally, I visited Northern California in “A Killer Location” which also garnered 4 stars. So, it was a week of mysteries here at Alinefromabook.

TBR Update:

The week started with 275 books. I read 2, bringing the total to 273. Late in the week, I got bitten by NetGalley again and added 3. The ending TBR is 276. I have decided to feel no shame. It seems that I have hit a sweet spot at 275, give or take a couple. There are just so many good stories out there!

NetGalley rating:

I started the week with a 68% rating but after receiving 2 books i have dropped down to 66%. I also had 5 books pop over to the “more than 3 months” column. That’s bad, so I will be putting more effort into NetGalley books for a few weeks.

Coming up:

I will finally finish “The Lengthening War

the-lengthening-war

I’m also working on “White Lead”

white-lead

So here’s hoping I get lots of reading time this week.

Happy Reading!