Author: alinefromabook

“My Sister’s Grave” by Robert Dugoni

“My Sister’s Grave” by Robert Dugoni

Narrated by Emily Sutton-Smith

Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past — and open the door to deadly danger.

So, I recently reviewed “A Steep Price” by this author, which is the most recent book in the Tracy Crosswhite series. Then this one popped up on my Audible feed and I just couldn’t resist finding out how it all began. I really like Tracy because she is believable. She can be the tough cop, but she is also an intrepid investigator and a woman who has feelings and desires just like the rest of us. At times this creates conflicts but also adds drama and realism to the story. I found the storyline of the sister’s disappearance to be really intriguing and the culprit was definitely not obvious until very late in the story. As I expected, there is a host of secondary characters that drive the story forward and I will leave you to read the book for yourself and discover the hero.  I listened to the audiobook version which was expertly narrated and really captured the drama. I look forward to reading more in this series and highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

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“A History of Cadbury” by Diane Wordsworth

“A History of Cadbury” by Diane Wordsworth

Since February is the Valentine month, I thought a history of world famous chocolate maker Cadbury was appropriate. My first encounter with Cadbury was when the crème-filled eggs hit the U.S. market and I thought I had been transported to chocolate heaven. I had no idea the company had such a long history. Diane Wordsworth has written a very approachable narrative of the Cadbury family and the development of the company. I was very pleased to read about the employment reforms that the family introduced for their workers over the years. Cadbury’s, like many companies, faced setbacks during the World Wars and takeovers battles over the years but they continue to produce memorable chocolates. This is a great story and well-written.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:  Amazon   |   Goodreads

“Death in the Stocks” by Georgette Heyer

“Death in the Stocks” by Georgette Heyer

Blurb:  In the dead of the night, a man in an evening dress is found murdered, locked in the stocks on the village green. Unfortunately for Superintendent Hannasyde, the deceased is Andrew Vereker, a man hated by nearly everyone, especially his odd and unhelpful family members. The Verekers are as eccentric as they are corrupt, and it will take all Hannasyde’s skill at detection to determine who’s telling the truth, and who is pointing him in the wrong direction. The question is: who in this family is clever enough to get away with murder?

My Thoughts:  This is a mystery story but it tickled my funny bone more than it challenged my detective skills. The mystery storyline wasn’t bad but the story overall seemed to be more about the relationships between the characters with less police type work than you would expect. Georgette Heyer is probably best known for her Regency romances but she also published quite a few mysteries. This is the first one to feature Superintendent Hannasyde and Detective Hemingway. The murder did keep me guessing and I didn’t begin to suspect the culprit until near the end. My favorite part though, had to be the Vereker family. Not only are there two sets of siblings who can’t seem to get along, but a lost brother who appears out of nowhere and a particularly nasty big brother. Based on this book, I would say that characterization is where Georgette Heyer really shines. None of these people are clichés. This story is also written with a lot of humor and, overall, I found this to be a delightful read.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

“The House with a Clock in Its Walls” by John Bellairs

“The House with a Clock in Its Walls” by John Bellairs

4-5-star-rating

Narrated by George Guidall

Blurb:  When Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan, comes to stay with his Uncle Jonathan, he expects to meet an ordinary person. But he is wrong. Uncle Jonathan and his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, are both witches! Lewis is thrilled. At first, watching magic is enough. Then Lewis experiments with magic himself and unknowingly resurrects the former owner of the house: a woman named Serenna Izard. It seems that Serenna and her husband built a timepiece into the walls – a clock that could obliterate humankind. And only the Barnavelts can stop it!

My Thoughts:  So I saw this book pop up on my Audible and recognized it because of the recent movie ads, but then I saw that it’s narrated by George Guidall, and you all should know by now that I can’t resist one of his narrations, even if it’s not my usual genre. I was not disappointed. This story is delightful! Lewis Barnavelt is a charming young boy who just wants to make friends and his eccentric uncle Jonathan is a mystery but also a very intuitive guardian. Of course, Mr. Guidall delivers another stunning performance. This is a great listen for adults and children alike!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

“The Murder That Defeated Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes” by Paul Stickler

“The Murder That Defeated Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes” by Paul Stickler

4-star-rating

Category:  Historical True Crime

Blurb:  In 1919, when a shopkeeper and her dog were found dead in Hitchin, Hertfordshire with brutal head injuries, there followed an extraordinary catalogue of events and a local police investigation which concluded that both had died as a result of a tragic accident. A second investigation by Scotland Yard led to the arrest of an Irish war veteran, but the outcome was far from conclusive.

My Thoughts:  What first got my attention with this book was the Sherlock Holmes in the title and then that it was the murder of a widow, and I found that I really enjoyed it. This is not a fictional account but more of a documentary style. Because the murder occurred in the 20th century there is quite a bit of documentation that the writer had to work with and forensic techniques were beginning to be developed. Mrs. Ridgley was by all accounts a decent woman who ran her shop to make her living and didn’t have any particular enemies, yet she is found dead in her shop one cold morning. The first policeman to arrive tries to follow all the correct crime scene procedures of the time but the local investigators aren’t quite so conscientious. After a week, Scotland Yard is called in and they send their best detective to run the case.

One of the things that I think makes true crime so fascinating is all the forensic tools now available to solve crime and sometimes we forget that those tools are still relatively new. I found this investigation to be intriguing, not only because of the way the forensics were messed up but because the techiniques were still new. Though they couldn’t DNA match the blood, they could determine that it was blood on the accused’s shirt. The author takes the reader through the investigation in great detail using records from the time period and trial transcripts as much as possible. This crime took place 100 years ago but boy how things have changed since them. This book would be a great pick for true crime lovers or anyone interested in police work.

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

January 2019 Round-Up

Welcome back friends! It feels like such a long time since I’ve done one of these. Here in North Dakota we’ve shoveled our way through 3 blizzards in January and bundled up against arctic temperatures for more days in a row than was really necessary. Yesterday, the temperature finally got back above zero but we’re definitely not out of winter yet. I’m hopeful though because the groundhog didn’t see his shadow yesterday and supposedly that means winter will be shorter. Other than that I’ve just been working and mostly listening to books. So let’s see what the bookish numbers look like today.

TBR:  So I started the year with 192 books on my TBR. In January I read, or listened to, 7 books. I also succumbed to temptation at NetGalley and picked up 6 new books there, and my father gave me a book that he really wants me to read. Also, the audiobooks I listen to usually don’t get added to the TBR, so my total today is 201. That’s a little disturbing…

Goodreads Challenge:  I set my goal for 2019 at 80 books and so far I am on track with that goal.

NetGalley Score:  I was at 86% when I started the year but, of course, I went a little nuts with acquisitions and my score has dropped to 84%. Gotta get this back in control.

John Connolly Challenge:  I listened to book 12 in the series this month so I’m getting close to the end.

Coming Up:  I’ve got 2 books I finished this past week that I hope to get reviews up for this week. I’m currently reading “Death in the Stocks” by Georgette HeyerDeath in the Stocks and, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, “A History of Cadbury” by Diane Wordsworth.A History of Cadbury I’m also listening to “My Sister’s Grave” by Robert Dugoni. My Sister's Grave Well, thanks for stopping by for this little update. Take some time to look around and we’ll chat again soon.

Happy Reading!

“The Third Wife” by Lisa Jewell

“The Third Wife” by Lisa Jewell

Narrated by Joe Jameson

Blurb:  In the early hours of a summer morning, a young woman steps into the path of an oncoming bus. A tragic accident? Or suicide? At the center of this puzzle is Adrian Wolfe, a successful architect and grief-stricken widower, who, a year after his third wife’s death, begins to investigate the cause. As Adrian looks back on their brief but seemingly happy marriage, disturbing secrets begin to surface.

The divorces from his two previous wives had been amicable, or so it seemed; his children, all five of them, were resilient as ever, or so he thought. But something, or someone, must have pushed Maya over the edge.

My Thoughts:  A tragic but beautiful story about relationships. The impetus of the story is the tragic death of Adrian’s 3rd wife but what follows is not only solving the mystery of her death but even more so, deciphering the psychological and emotional effects of Adrian’s life choices on his children. I really enjoyed the richness of the characters and their relationships. Even the young children are given powerful dialogue and distinctive characters. Adrian’s gradual awakening to the impact of his choices on his children is really compelling and satisfying. I think it’s easy for adults to assume their children are resilient and will want them to be happy but kids are not that simple. This is a rich and intriguing story that I highly recommend.

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

“The Wolf in Winter” by John Connolly

“The Wolf in Winter” by John Connolly

Narrated by Jeff Harding

Blurb:  The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town.

But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.

Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive. Prosperous, and the secret that it hides beneath its ruins….

My Thoughts:  Prosperous, Maine is an entirely creepy place but a great setting for a thriller. The devotion of the people of Prosperous to their town is unmatched. Even when they leave they stay loyal to the end. Charlie Parker has his work cut out for him getting to the bottom of this one. This is another twisty, turny thriller in this series, with an excellent narration. Definitely a great addition to the series!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Leave No Trace” by Mindy Mejia

“Leave No Trace” by Mindy Mejia

Blurb: There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life.

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

My Thoughts: If you have not yet discovered this author, then now is the time! This is her third book and I really enjoyed the previous one “Everything You Want Me To Be” so I was looking forward to this one. This is not a series but, in my opinion, it is a case of the author getting better as they go along. This story had me spellbound from start to finish. First, the setting is the Duluth area of Minnesota, which I have visited and is as beautiful as the author makes it sound. Of course, technically, I live in North Dakota but Minnesota is within walking distance of my house, so this story feels like it’s in my backyard. Maya is a deliciously complicated character who works as a therapist in a mental hospital, so there’s the psychology aspect that I love. The story has a mystery woven in to it and a very unusual relationship between the main characters. One important thing for me in making a story good is the secondary characters. I look for characters that are distinctive and unique, not just there so the main character can have a conversation. This author hits the nail on the head here for me. From Maya’s boss to her father to the security guard, they all bring something to make the story better not just fill a space. Finally, I love the way that in this book the Boundary Waters themselves are a character and really enriches the story. I don’t think this particular story would be as effective if it was in any other setting. I look forward to a lot more wonderful books from this author in the future and am so glad that I have had the opportunity to read her books. Get a copy now!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Their Lost Daughters” by Joy Ellis

“Their Lost Daughters” by Joy Ellis

Narrated by Richard Armitage

Blurb: Deep in the muddy fields of the Lincolnshire Fens, a teenage girl is found wandering, delirious, claiming to have been drugged at a party. Metres away, the drowned body of another girl is found on an isolated beach. And all this on a small stretch of land where, nearly 10 years ago, the shocking disappearance of a young girl remains an open case.

For DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans, the pressure is on to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice. Are the crimes linked? Who are these young girls? And what on earth is going on under the green and pastured land of the Lincolnshire Fens?

My Thoughts: Dark. This story goes to some very dark places, both literally and figuratively. This is book one in the Jackman and Evans series and also the first I’ve read from this author and I was a little nervous going in. But this one really surprised me. Jackman is the older, seasoned detective, single, lives alone. Evans is his trusted partner, also single, devoted to the job and fighting some of her personal demons in this one. I particularly enjoyed the way these two spark ideas off of each other and seem to anticipate the other’s thinking as they dig into the investigation. They find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when they are assigned to assist an investigation at another division while also looking into the assault on a local teenager and a high-profile cold case. I also found the criminal activity to be unique from other missing girls stories I’ve read. There are a lot of suspects but Jackman and Evans, through many twists and turns, manage to hone in on the culprits and find connections where none were suspected. Richard Armitage is great as the narrator of this dramatic thriller. He manages to give distinction to each of the characters while allowing the author’s words to tell the story. This series is a great discovery for me and I highly recommend the audiobook version.

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website