Month: July 2018

Weekly Round-Up 7/29/2018

Happy Sunday everybody! I hope you have blue skies and lots of sunshine wherever you are. It’s time to check in with the numbers and see what I’ve accomplished this week. So let’s get into it.

TBR – I finished 3 books this week. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself. How many books did I add to the list you ask? 6 books!! Yes people, NetGalley got me again and I lost all self-control. So the TBR has increased to 273. Go ahead and laugh, I know you want to.

Goodreads Challenge – I am currently 1 book behind schedule so this one I have almost under control.

NetGalley Score – 85%

John Connolly Challenge – I started listening to The Reapers last week but I haven’t made any progress with it this week.

Coming Up – “In Pursuit of Dragons” by Anne Renwick.In Pursuit of Dragons “The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz.The Crooked Staircase “Weekend at Thrackley” by Alan Melville. Weekend At Thrackley

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“Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century” by Mallory James

“Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century” by Mallory James

Ever wondered how ladies and gentlemen are supposed to behave? You will find all the answers in this book. The author breaks the subject down into categories such as dining, meeting on the street, and attending a ball. She walks the reader through a look at the nineteenth century as viewed through the etiquette books of the time. And the rules changed just about every decade. After reading this book, I feel like it would have been a full time job just to keep up with the rules and of course, the exceptions to the rules. Does it really matter who enters the dining room first? In the nineteenth century it mattered a lot and if not done right could leave with a reputation of being rude and undesirable at social gatherings. And please don’t show up at your neighbor’s house with mud on the hem of your skirt, even in London. This book is just full of little bits of formality that will make you glad you leave in the 21st century. I was also surprised though by how many of the rules continue today but in a watered down way. This is a great book for those interested in social history.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“A Gentleman’s Murder” by Christopher Huang

“A Gentleman’s Murder” by Christopher Huang

London, the 1920’s. The first World War is over but the after-effects are still being felt. Especially among the men who survived, many of whom are now members of the Britannia Club. Eric Peterkin is one of these men. The men of his family have been members since the club originated and they have all been highly respected by their peers. Eric has just recently been admitted and is still adjusting to civilian life after serving in Flanders during the war. One evening another new member makes a wager with one of the board members that the club’s vault cannot be broken into. Unfortunately for him, he will end up dead by morning on the floor of that same vault. Eric can’t help but notice some suspicious things going on with the investigation and decides to look into the matter himself. This may turn out to be more dangerous than war.

This story has a very clever plot line that definitely makes the reader work to figure out who the culprit is. The story also really captures the time period of the mid-1920’s. Eric Peterkin is a very likable character, young and handsome. His sister Penny, though, was my favorite. She is a secondary character but I found her absolutely delightful. There are a whole host of former military men involved in this mystery and each has a unique personality and story which adds depth to the story. The only thing I didn’t like about this book is the periodic flashbacks to the war. I found the descriptions to be disturbing, though they did add to my understanding of the story and the characters. So, if you are sensitive about such topics you might not enjoy this book. However, if you enjoy historical mysteries I think this is a good one for you.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

Weekly Round-Up 7/22/2018

Another Sunday, another Round-Up! I’ve managed to do a lot of reading this week which was wonderful. So let’s see what the numbers look like.

TBR – I finished reading 4 books and I added ZERO! I also dropped one book off the list because I just wasn’t able to connect with the story. So that gives us a new total of 269. Wow! I wasn’t expecting to drop that far.

Goodreads Challenge – I have dropped back to being just 2 books behind schedule.

NetGalley score – Up 1 to 86%. I am still focusing on NetGalley books until the end of the month so I hope that will continue to go up.

John Connolly Challenge – If you saw my review this week, you know I finally finished “The Unquiet”. I picked up the audiobook of book 8 “The Reapers” this week and hope to get started on it pretty soon. Once again it’s narrated by my current favorite narrator George Guidall so I’m looking forward to it.

Coming Up – I’m currently reading “A Gentleman’s Murder” by Christopher Huang.A Gentleman's Murder After that I think I’m going to pick up “The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz. The Crooked Staircase This one is book 3 in the Jane Hawk series which I have been loving. Book 4 comes out in September and I have already requested it from NetGalley. So that’s where things stand right now. I hope you all have a great week and I’m going to go and do some more reading.

Happy Reading!

“The Naked Nuns” by Colin Watson

“The Naked Nuns” by Colin Watson

Are there really nuns running around naked in Flaxborough? Suspicious, coded letters have been received by the police which point to a murder soon to be committed in Flaxborough. Word comes down to Inspector Purbright and he begins the thankless search for who the victim is to be. Meanwhile, a local businessman receives a threatening letter. He is offered protection but doesn’t seem to take the situation very seriously. Then there’s the suspicious character who turns up at Miss Teatime’s. A friend of a friend he claims to be, but when his dark past comes to light he is suspect #1. When it all comes to a head, all the answers will be revealed.

This is book 8 in the Flaxborough Mysteries series. I think this is my least favorite story so far. While the writing is classic Colin Watson, I found the story overall to be kind of messy and it felt like it could have been structured a little better. That being said, all my favorite characters are back: Inspector Purbright, Seargeant Love, Miss Teatime and Chief Constable Chubb. The secondary characters didn’t seem as compelling as in some of the other books. Overall, I found this one a little disappointing.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“Death, Disease & Dissection” by Suzie Grogan

“Death, Disease & Dissection” by Suzie Grogan

The life of a Surgeon-Apothecary 1750 – 1850

It’s time for another corner of history. In this book Suzie Grogan explores the history of the Surgeon-Apothecary. The period 1750 – 1850 was a pivotal one in the development of the roles of Surgeon and the Apothecary. Prior to 1750 there was no formal training required for either one, but during this time the official association were formed, licensing was introduced, qualification exams were created, and the roles of these professional men were defined in the communities.

I think the author has done a wonderful job of researching the topic and presenting the history of the profession, and biographical information on some of the most influential Surgeon-Apothecaries of the period. There is also discussion in the book on what kind of ailments these men were able to treat and some of the remedies they had available to them. The author also presents a discussion of the “Quacks” and their “remedies” as well. This book is well organized and full of fascinating information on the topic.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Gods of Howl Mountain” by Taylor Brown

“Gods of Howl Mountain” by Taylor Brown

Rory has returned from the Korean war having lost one leg while there. He’s living with his grandmother on Howl Mountain. Rory’s history is troubled. He was born to an unwed mother while she was in a psychiatric facility, a facility she continues to live in. His grandmother raised me on the mountain, making a living for them by providing traditional remedies to the community. Rory is making money by running whiskey for family friend Eustace. Then Rory has a run-in with the Muldoons, who threaten his life, the county sheriff, who threatens his liberty, and the beautiful Christine, who turns his heart upside down.

This is a beautifully crafted story of life in the mountains of North Carolina. The author carefully reveals to us the challenges that Rory faces as he tries to build a life for himself and deal with the scars, physical and emotional, left him by the war. The descriptions in this story are rich and full of color, and they really draw you into the environment of Howl Mountain. The characters are each unique and complex, hiding a variety of secrets and revealing very little. The story reveals how government actions in the mountains have affected the lives and spirits of the people who live there, and how sometimes the mountain is more menacing than beautiful. This is a story of survival and a story of hope.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Unquiet” by John Connolly

“The Unquiet” by John Connolly

Narrated by George Guidall

Book 6 of the Charlie Parker series

In this installment in the series Charlie finds himself involved in a case that centers around child abuse. Someone is stalking Daniel Clay’s daughter and wants information from her about her father that she doesn’t have. Daniel Clay disappeared several years earlier and has been declared dead by the courts. Before he disappeared, there were accusations of child abuse surrounding him and his work as a child therapist. John Merrick’s daughter disappeared at about the same time and he is convinced that Daniel Clay was involved. He was in prison when it happened but now he’s out and he wants revenge. Parker has been hired to scare Merrick off but in the process sets out to find out what really happened to Daniel Clay. He uncovers other children who were abused by “bird-men” and finds a hornet’s nest of evil lurking in the darkness.

If you follow me, you know how much I love this series and this installment continues the greatness that is Charlie Parker. In addition to a great story, we have George Guidall as the narrator, one of my favorites. He always brings a depth and richness to the storytelling that I love every time I listen to one of his narrations. Of course, Lewis and Angel are back, though they didn’t seem to be quite as prominent this time. Rachel didn’t appear nearly enough in this story which I really missed. This is a dark story about child abuse which could be a problem for some readers, so a note of caution there. As always the story is complex and full of twists. There is a host of secondary characters that add to the richness of the story itself. All in all, this is a great book, though it’s not my favorite of the series so far. Readers who love thrillers and mysteries should really enjoy this one and I highly recommend the audiobook version.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

Weekly Round-Up 7/15/2018

Hello everybody! I am back from our trip to Wisconsin Dells, which was wonderful by the way. If you every go there I highly recommend staying at the Wilderness Resort and check out Aunt Jenny’s Got It All shop. It has been so hot back here in North Dakota that one of the main streets near our house has buckled and had to be closed off. They had police all over the place yesterday but if I have a chance to get a picture I’ll post it. Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, let’s see if I actually read any books this week.

TBR – I’ve read 3 books since my last update and acquired 2 from NetGalley, of course. Total now stands at 274.

Goodreads Challenge – I am currently 4 books behind schedule.

NetGalley Score – I am at 85% still.

John Connolly Challenge – I am ashamed to say that I still have not finished listening to “The Unquiet”.

Coming Up – I am continuing to focus my reading on my backlog of NetGalley books. Currently I am reading “Gods of Howl Mountain” by Taylor Brown.Gods of Howl Mountain After that will be another trip to Flaxborough with “The Naked Nuns” by Colin Watson.The Naked Nuns So that’s it for me this week. I hope you all are having an awesome summer and reading lots of wonderful stories. See you next Sunday!

Happy Reading!

“Miss Seeton Flies High” by Hamilton Crane

“Miss Seeton Flies High” by Hamilton Crane

Let me introduce you to Miss Seeton. She is the 1970’s answer to Miss Marple. In this installment of the series, Miss Seeton is asked to design the sets for the annual school Christmas play. This year the story will be about King Arthur and in order to be inspired Miss Seeton travels to the West country to visit the historical sites. Meanwhile, her friend Chief Superintendent Delphick and a kidnapping to deal with and he needs some insight. Miss Seeton is well known at Scotland Yard for the pictures she draws that contain clues to crimes, so Delphick pays her a visit. Several drawings and a hot air balloon ride later Delphick is finally closing in on his suspect and Miss Seeton has new project.

This was a delightful little story. Miss Seeton is a charming character is like Miss Marple before her is more that she appears to be. This is not the first in the series but it stands on its own just fine. The plot has some really nice twists and a few red herrings to keep the reader guessing. My favorite part of the book is how well the author portrays the time period. I can’t quite tell you how but the feel of the 70’s really comes through. There are hippies, and illegal marijuana growing. There’s the clash between the older and younger generations of the time. Finally, there are the references to the legend of King Arthur and the historical sites related to the stories. All of this combined to make a very engaging story. I think this book will be especially enjoyable for cozy mystery lovers.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads