Tag: #bookreview

“Nail’s Crossing” by Kris Lackey

“Nail’s Crossing” by Kris Lackey

Indian country, Oklahoma. It’s hot and dry, and on this day, it’s deadly. Bill Maytubby is a tribal Lighthorse policeman and Hannah Bond is a deputy for the county. When Hannah discovers the body of Majesty Tate, a drifter, she has no idea what kind of a hornet’s nest the investigation will turn into. Finding answers will take Maytubby across three states and put his life and the life of his fiancé in danger. The question is who will be left standing when the final dust clears.

I think this is a great debut mystery/thriller. I certainly hope it is the start of a series with these characters because I really liked them. The dynamic between Maytubby and Bond is really unique. They are not exactly partners because they work for different agencies but they seem to end up working together when the jurisdictions overlap and I really enjoyed their banter and the way they are able to sense what is needed in any given situation. This story does have a lot of secondary characters that are vital to the story but you will need to be paying attention to keep up with it all. The plot line has a lot of interesting twists and turns and the finale had me on the edge of my seat. Overall, I’m really impressed with this one and will be keeping my eyes open for more from this author.

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

Happy Reading!

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“Carnegie’s Maid” by Marie Benedict

“Carnegie’s Maid” by Marie Benedict

Clara Kelley has been sent to America by her family in impoverished Ireland. Their hope is that she will find work and be able to send money home to support the family, as they have recently lost their land source of income. When she arrives she finds herself being mistaken for a different Clara Kelley who already has a job waiting for her. Clara decides to become this other Clara Kelley and finds herself in Pittsburgh working on a trial basis as lady’s maid to Andrew Carnegie’s mother.  Mrs. Carnegie is known to be a harsh mistress but Clara is determined to win her over. In the process she meets Andrew and the two instantly hit it off as friends. The story follows Clara through her years working in the Carnegie household and the influence she had on Andrew and his charitable work.

I loved this story. I have previously read another book by this author and was really excited about this one. It did not disappoint. The author masterfully created her characters with rich detail and her descriptions of the city of Pittsburgh in the time period are perfect. I was easily drawn into the both the affluent world of the Carnegies and the impoverished world of Clara’s cousins. This is another fabulous story from Marie Benedict and I highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

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“London Curiosities” by John Wade

“London Curiosities” by John Wade

The Capital’s Odd & Obscure, Weird & Wonderful Places

If you are planning a visit to London, then you should definitely take a look at this book. It is packed full of unique pieces of London’s history. These are the places that you won’t find in the typical tour guide. The book is organized into categories including Surprising Building, the Pineapple Trail, Tunnels Under London and many more. The text was an easy and enjoyable read and there are pictures of everything mentioned. If you’ve been following me, you know I like the odd and quirky and this book totally nailed it for me. I will definitely have it in my bag if I find myself in London again. Top marks to the author for putting this together.

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

Happy Reading!

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“Children in the Second World War” by Amanda Herbert-Davies

“Children in the Second World War” by Amanda Herbert-Davies

This book, for me, was a real eye-opener. Being an American, born after the war I had no real understanding of what conditions were like in a country where the war was actually being fought. This book focuses on the experiences of children in Britain, and while I’ve seen movies and TV shows set during the period, it’s a whole different understanding when you hear (or read in this case) from the people who actually lived through it.

The book opens with the recollections of what children were thinking or doing when the war was announced and then moves on to talk about the evacuations, the bomb shelters, shortages, education, war efforts and culminates with thoughts on the end of the war. I think the author has done a fantastic job of weaving together the facts of the war and the thoughts and recollections of people who actually grew up during the war. There are stories from kids who thought that bombed out buildings were a great playground and those for whom the terror of air raids left them permanently traumatized. The various chapters present a comprehensive look at the living conditions during this time, from those who were evacuated to an idyllic countryside childhood to those who were in the heart of the bombing zones and spending their nights in shelters. I hope that reading this book will give people pause when considering the act of war because it is often the youngest among us who bear the brunt of such action. I highly recommend this book as I found it both informative and moving at the same time.

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

Happy Reading!

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“The Trouble With Harriet” by Dorothy Cannell

“The Trouble With Harriet” by Dorothy Cannell

Ellie Haskell is back! She is quickly becoming my favorite cozy mystery heroine. And that handsome husband of hers, Mmm, Mmm. This story was delightful from beginning to end. Ellie and Ben are supposed to be off to France for a romantic getaway while the kids are with the grandparents. Then, just as they are about to leave, Ellie’s long-lost father shows up on their doorstep, with a broken heart and an urn. Seems he fell in love with Harriet while in Germany and then she died in a car accident. Meanwhile, the new vicar’s wife is putting on a play with Cousin Freddy as its star and objects are disappearing from the house. And who was the doom predicting gypsy?

As usual, the author has gathered up a quirky bunch of characters and the type of happenings that could only take place in an English village. The vicar’s wife is a force of nature but she has to be to keep up with her very absent-minded husband. Not only do we meet Ellie’s father but her kleptomaniac aunt as well. The storyline has something new for the reader on every page but she manages to flawlessly wrap it all up at the end. I highly recommend this book if you like to have some fun along with your mystery.

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

Happy Reading!

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“Birdcage Walk” by Helen Dunmore

“Birdcage Walk” by Helen Dunmore

Lizzie and Diner have recently married. Lizzie is learning her new role as Diner’s wife, while Diner is busy trying to make his real estate development business take off. It’s the 1790’s and there is revolution in France. When Lizzie’s mother becomes pregnant, her loyalties are torn and trouble begins to brew in Lizzie’s mind. Will world events upset Diner’s carefully laid plans? Will Lizzie be able to come to terms with the specter of Diner’s first wife, who died before they met?

This is a complex and delicious story. I really loved the characters that are created here. Lizzie is a delightful young lady who is doing her best to adjust to a husband who is perhaps more demanding than she anticipated. Diner is a bit strange and sometimes I liked him but other times not so much. The mystery of the first wife adds a lot of interest and drama to the story. Basically, I loved this story and highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

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“Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots” by Kathryn Burtinshaw & Dr. John Burt

“Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots” by Kathryn Burtinshaw & Dr. John Burt

A History of Insanity in Nineteenth Century Britain & Ireland

This book is for anyone interested in social history. The authors take the reader through the history of the treatment of those with mental illness during the Nineteenth century. The book opens with information about how to trace ancestors who may have been in an asylum. Chapters 2 – 9 talk about the development of asylums and the legal treatment of patients. Each chapter focuses on a different region of Britain and Ireland. Chapters 10 – 20 go on to give information about staff and how they were chosen, the different legal classifications of patients, different types of mental illness, and closes with a rundown of diagnoses and treatments. Throughout the book are scattered case histories of actual patients which illustrate the conditions at the time.

I found this book really interesting. Mental health is something I’ve always had an interest in and it amazes me at times to see how far we have come in western civilization in handling the mentally ill. The book is written in a format that is easy to read and follow. I found a lot of great information and history in this book and would recommend it for anyone interested in history or mental illness.

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

Happy Reading!

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Thank you to Pen & Sword Publishing for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

“Blackout” by Marc Elsberg

“Blackout” by Marc Elsberg

What happens when the lights go out and … they don’t come back on? In “Blackout”, Marc Elsberg explores just that question. Electrical grids have failed all across Europe, no one knows why. As the blackouts consume more and more of Europe, power plants and governments are all scrambling to find a solution. In Italy, Piero Manzano finds an anomaly on a power meter but will anyone believe him, will he be able to find the saboteur, will he come out of this alive?

This book is packed with thrills, largely because it all seems incredibly plausible. I was completely captivated with the scenario laid out in this book. The story never lets up and the characters are great. The author even manages to slip a little bit of romance in between the riots and shortages. This is the author’s debut novel and it was just released in the U.S. this summer. If catastrophe stories are something you like, then you will definitely enjoy this book. I don’t want to give anything away but I do highly recommend this book and hope the author’s subsequent work will be made available soon.

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

Happy Reading!

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“The Party” by Robyn Harding

“The Party” by Robyn Harding

Can a birthday party destroy lives? One wealthy San Francisco family is about to find out. Hannah is turning 16 and her parents agree to a sleepover party with four guests. The girls arrive. The pizza and cake is delivered. Jeff and Kim go to bed assuming that the girls will watch movies and talk all night, safely ensconced in the family basement. What happens in the wee hours of the morning will completely alter the lives of this model family and their guests forever.

This is a great story about relationships and family dynamics and how one small choice can change a person forever. The characters are wonderful and perfectly suited to their roles. I couldn’t help but love Hannah, a girl on the cusp of adulthood who just wants to explore what it means to be alive. I totally sympathized with Mom Kim and her frustration with her teenage daughter, while at the same time I completely got why Hannah felt so restricted by her mom’s presence. Jeff was a little harder to like as he seemed at times to be trying to ignore that he had a family, but at same time wants to be the cool Dad in the eyes of his teenage daughter. I also really enjoyed the interplay between the main characters and the side players. I think the author really hit the nail on the head with how she portrayed the ever changing landscape of the character’s social circles. There is a message here about how variable “friendships” can be. This book also has a lot to say about bullying, both amongst the kids and the adults that surround them. I found this story to be brilliantly conceived and executed and I highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

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“A Perfect Obsession” by Heather Graham

“A Perfect Obsession” by Heather Graham

When the body of Jeannette Gilbert is found in a recently discovered crypt under an old church, Kieran Finnegan finds herself unexpectedly drawn into the investigation. Kierans’ family owns the Finnegan’s pub which is located directly behind the church turned nightclub. What she doesn’t realize at first is that her twin brother Kevin is Jeannette’s “mystery lover”. Meanwhile, her boyfriend Special Agent Craig Frasier of the FBI is assigned to the case, and Kieran and her employers are called in to help with the profile of the killer. As the publicity heats up and another girl goes missing, the pressure to find the perpetrator intensifies. Will Kieran and Craig be able to find him before he has a chance to strike again, or will Kieran become his next victim?

This is a very intriguing story with some clever twists thrown in to keep you guessing. It reads in a way that is more similar to a cozy mystery than an intense thriller, but there is danger and some psychological thrills given that Kieran is a forensic psychologist. I found Kieran to be a lovely character with a well-developed personality. Likewise, her boyfriend Craig, though he’s just a bit too protective sometimes. There is a nice interplay between Kieran and her brothers, and several interesting secondary characters. I was still guessing almost till the end as to who the killer was, so in that respect the mystery is well presented. This is the 2nd book in a 3 book series and I have not read the first one, but I didn’t feel like that detracted from my enjoyment of this story. Overall, I found this book to be an enjoyable read with a good story and characters.

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

Happy Reading!

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