Tag: Book Review

“Dark Valleys” by Gary Dobbs

“Dark Valleys” by Gary Dobbs

Subtitle: Foul Deeds Among the South Wales Valleys 1845-2016

Genre: True Crime

True crime lovers should really like this book. The author has compiled all the murders committed in South Wales for the years 1845-2016. I found this book so fascinating that I nearly read it all in one sitting. The perpetrators in these cases are male and female, young and old, British and foreigners. The author also notes the forensic techniques used in these cases and points out the development of the science over the period. It seems wrong somehow to say that I enjoyed this book, but I found it fascinating and the author’s writing style was very engaging. Overall, a job well done!

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

Happy Reading!

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“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!

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“The Lengthening War” by Michael Goode

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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!

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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

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I’m also working on “White Lead”

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

Happy Reading!

 

“A Killer Location” by Sarah T. Hobart

“A Killer Location” by Sarah T. Hobart

A Home Sweet Home Mystery

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Whoever said the real estate business could be murder must have visited the town of Arlinda. Fledgling agent Sam has her hands full when the bodies start stacking up, all somehow connected to an open house she hosted. When her boss is arrested for the murders and the license for the agency is temporarily pulled, Sam decides to use her time to do an investigation of her own. Along the way she meets a host of quirky characters and finds herself covered in dog hair.

I found this mystery to be a lot of fun. Sam is feisty and determined. Her slightly offbeat take on things makes her quite charming. I also really enjoyed the way that the author was able to capture the uniqueness of the Northern California community. Finally, the storyline had some really captivating twists and turns. This book is the second one in the series but there was enough backstory that the book works well on its own. “A Killer Location” is a great choice for mystery lovers!

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

Happy Reading!

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“The Hanover Square Affair” by Ashley Gardner

“The Hanover Square Affair” by Ashley Gardner

Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries #1

Genre: Mystery

In need of a good swoon? Then check out Captain Lacey! He’s a former military captain whose wounds have left him with a limp and without a steady income. But it may be his emotional wounds that are the hardest to live with. While out one day, he happens on an uprising in Hanover Square. After intervening he finds himself investigating the disappearance of two young women. His investigation will involve everyone from prostitutes to the trendsetting Lord Grenville.

As you probably guessed I have a little crush on Captain Lacey. I found his complexity to be especially appealing. The author did a great job in developing his character. Lacey is not just a military hero but also very human. His episodes of melancholia brought a humanness to a character that might otherwise be just a stereotype. The storyline of this mystery is also top-notch with lots of twisty bits to keep you guessing. “The Hanover Square Affair” is a wonderful start to this series which is now up to 12 books. I hope to read more soon!

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

Happy Reading!

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“Death Calls at the Palace” by Adele Fasick

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Genre: Mystery

Publisher: Mongan Books

A mysterious death in Victorian London, an attempt to storm the palace, a plot to kill the Queen, what do they all have in common? It all happens in “Death Calls at the Palace”. Charlotte and Daniel Edgerton have just returned to England after years in the U.S. Daniel has accepted a job with a local newspaper and Charlotte is busy setting up their new household and getting reacquainted with her brother and his bride. Charlotte is a teacher and when she learns that her brother and sister-in-law can’t read she begins to teach them. Soon there are several young women coming to her for class. One of them is a kitchen maid in the Singh household. They are in London from India to try to meet with the Queen. There is much political unrest in London and many bad feelings against the Indians. When the Singh’s kitchen maid is found dead on the kitchen floor and Mrs. Singh and her maid are kidnapped, Charlotte and Daniel find themselves becoming detectives.

I found this to be a very enjoyable mystery. The Edgerton’s are very engaging characters, however, I would have liked to see a little more of their backstory since this is not the first book in the series. The story has a nice, twisty storyline that kept me glued to the pages. It is obvious that the author did a lot of research for this book, and her descriptions of the political scene at the time are very realistic.

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

Happy Reading!

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“In Such Good Company” by Carol Burnett

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Genre: Non-Fiction

Publisher: Crown Archetype

If you are a fan of “The Carol Burnett Show”, you will definitely want to read this book. In its pages, Ms. Burnett takes us back through all 11 years of the show and tells about how the show became the icon of TV comedy that it is today. The book starts with a history of how the show came to be in the first place. Ms. Burnett then takes the reader through her favorite skits, her co-stars, her guest stars and even the feedback that some of the show’s parodies received, not all of it good.

“The Carol Burnett Show” premiered right about the time I was old enough to understand television, and continued throughout my growing up years. It was a staple at our house. I was so excited to receive this book and reading it was like reminiscing with an old friend. I highly recommend this book!

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

Happy Reading!

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“The Kill Sign” by Nichole Christoff

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“The Kill Sign” eases you gently into the story but leaves you breathless at the end. The action in this one gets more intense the further you go. I was exhausted by the end. Jamie Sinclair is one of those female characters that I love. She can be gentle and caring with those she loves without sacrificing the toughness she needs for her job as a private detective turned security consultant. She needs all of her skills for this one. A nuclear bomb has exploded on a riverboat casino in Mississippi with Jamie, her boyfriend Adam Barrett, and much of Barrett’s military unit on board. When Jamie realizes that someone from her past placed the bomb, she knows she can’t rest till he is found. The riddle of this mystery involves Jamie’s former boss and mentor Ray whose wife is pregnant, and also Jamie’s best friend.

This is book 4 in the Jamie Sinclair series but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. “The Kill Sign” works very well as a stand-alone. That being said I enjoyed it so much that I think I will have to go back and read the first three. I felt an instant connection with Jamie and was as comfortable with her as I would be with an old friend, even though we just met. This is an excellent book in the mystery/thriller genre and I am giving it 5 stars.

5-star-rating

Thank you to NetGalley and Alibi Books for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Reading!

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“A Bitter Pill to Swallow” by Tiffany Gholar

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Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Publisher: Pronoun

This is the story of two teenagers who are misdiagnosed and misunderstood by friends and family, and the adults who seek to help them. Devante has lost his best friend and falls into a deep depression. After barely being rescued from a suicide attempt he finds himself at the Harrison School, a facility for children with mental illness for instead of being medicated they are coached and mentored to understand themselves and their individual challenges. At Harrison, he meets Janina, a young lady who has been there a long time. Janina is shy and insecure but she stretches herself as she gives Devante a tour and they become friends. The book tells their story as they work through their issues and face the future.

I found the characters in this book to be very believable and real. The author has done a great job of developing their personalities and also their backstory. The book is very honest about the ways that their support networks let them down, but is also very hopeful as the family and friends start to realize how they can do better. These characters are African-American but that was not the main theme of the book. The struggles Devante and Janina face could be true of anybody of any race and for that I think this book would appeal to a broad range of young adults. Overall, I applaud the author for the creativity of the storyline, which kept me engaged, and the depth of the characters, which made them feel real. This would be appropriate for older teens but younger ages may have difficulty understanding the mental health aspects of the story.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads