Tag: #books

“Half Past” by Victoria Helen Stone

“Half Past” by Victoria Helen Stone

What happens if you wake up one day and discover that you are not who you think you are? This is what happens to Hannah Smith and the story “Half Past” follows her on a very unexpected journey. Hannah has recently taken over, from her older sisters, the role of caregiver for their mother who is suffering from dementia. When she questions the results of a simple blood test on her mother’s medical records her world is turned upside down. Hannah discovers that the woman who raised her is not her biological mother. With her father dead and her mother rarely having lucid moments, it’s up to Hannah to discover for herself how she came to be Hannah Smith. Her journey takes her to California where she discovers her twisted history and herself.

This book has all of my favorite things. A main character who is complicated and not always very charming. I setting in the redwoods of California and beautiful descriptions of the location. A mystery that does not have an obvious solution. Hippies and communes, and a personal psychological journey. The result is that I devoured this story. In my book, this is a hit and I highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

To purchase on Amazon US click here.

To purchase on Amazon UK click here.

To view on Goodreads click here.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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“A Lady in Shadows” by Lene Kaaberbol

“A Lady in Shadows” by Lene Kaaberbol

It’s so nice to see my new friend Madeleine Karno again! She’s back with a new mystery and her handsome fiancé. It’s June 1894 and the French president has been assassinated triggering riots in the streets. When the body of a young woman is found in an alley the next morning, Madeleine is called and finds herself with a possible Jack the Ripper copycat roaming the streets. Then she receives word that she has been accepted as the first female student at the local university. While she will be learning from the best, her professor will test her limits in every way possible. Meanwhile, her fiancé is facing charges and their future is starting to look very uncertain.

There is a lot going on in this story and I love how the author is able to balance all the parts of the storyline and weave them together seamlessly. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged and guessing till the end. The character of Madeleine continues to develop in this 2nd installment of the series and my affection for her just continues to grow. She is not just smart and well-educated but a caring and empathetic individual as well. She can distance herself enough to be able to expertly carry out an autopsy but turn around and cry for the victims. I really like the depth of this character. Finally, I like how the author places her character in a historical setting but manages to incorporate issues such as homosexuality and women’s rights into the story without disturbing the history. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, then I definitely think you need to.

This book releases on Dec. 5, 2017 in the U.S. and U.K. but can be pre-ordered now. Links are listed below.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

To purchase on Amazon US click here.

To purchase on Amazon UK click here.

To view on Goodreads click here.

A review copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.

“X” by Sue Grafton

“X” by Sue Grafton

Kinsey Millhone is probably my all-time favorite female detective and she did not disappoint me with this investigation. In “X”, Kinsey is on the trail of a woman who hired her under false pretenses and then paid her in counterfeit bills. She has also discovered an unfinished investigation that Pete Wolinsky was working on at the time of his death and decides, rather reluctantly, to see it to completion. And just to make her days a little more interesting, she and Henry have some annoying neighbors and a water leak on the property.

As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Kinsey. She continues to delight me with her somewhat caustic personality and her persistence. I also really enjoy getting to hang out in sunny California while reading this series. Sue Grafton continues to deliver with carefully crafted plots that flow seamlessly from beginning to end. This story, in particular, has several different threads weaving through it that all work together to present an engaging mystery. Another job well done. Mystery lover should not miss out on this one, or any of the books in this series.

Alinefromabook’s rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  5 stars!!!

Happy Reading!

To purchase on Amazon US click here

To purchase on Amazon UK click here

To view on Goodreads click here

“Poison” by Galt Niederhoffer

“Poison” by Galt Niederhoffer

The story told in “Poison” is riveting and totally blew my mind. This is very much a psychological thriller that will leave you breathless. Cass and Ryan Connor have what looks like the perfect marriage and family. A nice home in a nice neighborhood, 3 kids around the table, jobs they enjoy: what could possibly be wrong? Cass starts to notice things that just seem a bit off. Ryan takes longer than necessary getting home from the airport and he smells of alcohol. Was he with somebody else? But his explanation makes so much sense. Then Cass starts to feel ill, nausea and vomiting. Ryan seems more short tempered than usual. That fish he brought home just doesn’t taste right. Is there any validity to her suspicions? Why will no one believe her?

This story really gets into Cass’s head, exploring her thoughts and her perceptions in a way I’ve never experienced before in a book. At times I believed Cass was right, but then there were moments when I thought perhaps she was losing her mind. And you really have to go all the way to the end to find out whose story is the truth. But then I was wondering if Cass was going to make it to the end of the story. This is really good stuff! “Poison” is the first book I have read from this author and I am so impressed that I will have to check out more. The story is masterfully written, the characters are beautifully drawn and the ending was very satisfying. I highly recommend this one!

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

Happy Reading!

To purchase on Amazon US click here

To purchase on Amazon UK click here

To view on Goodreads click here

“The Stolen Marriage” by Diane Chamberlain

“The Stolen Marriage” by Diane Chamberlain

It’s the 1940’s. America are fighting two wars. One on foreign soil and one at home, in the form of the polio epidemic that surges every summer. Tess is a young woman in Baltimore, studying to be a nurse. She is also engaged to her childhood friend Vincent who has recently become a doctor. While Vincent is away in Chicago studying polio, Tess and her friend Gina take the train to Washington, D.C. for an overnight visit. But something unexpected happens to Tess while she is there and it turns her life upside down and destroys her dream of a life with Vincent. Tess suddenly finds herself all alone in the world and grasps desperately at a chance for redemption that takes her to Hickory, NC. Here she comes face to face with the issues of racism and gender bias.

I was captivated by this story from the beginning. Tess is a well-rounded young lady with a lot of spunk (as my grandmother would say). She has a great deal of empathy for others and she fit in perfectly with my image of working class young ladies during the period. The author very deftly guides her through the hard choices that she finds herself having to make and surrounds her with a whole host of wonderful characters. While reading this book, I really felt like a “fly on the wall” of Tess’s life. It’s also obvious that the author put in a lot of time researching life at the time in Hickory and the realities of treating polio patients. The story moved at a really good space and every scene helped to push the story forward. This is a book that you won’t want to miss.

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

Happy Reading!

To purchase on Amazon US click here.

To purchase on Amazon UK click here.

To view on Goodreads click here.

“Another Man’s Moccasins” by Craig Johnson

“Another Man’s Moccasins” by Craig Johnson

I already had a crush on Sheriff Walt Longmire from watching the TV show, but reading this book has made me fall in love all over again. This story is book 4 in the series and Sheriff Longmire is on the trail of the murderer of a young Vietnamese woman. The process of investigating this case brings back to him memories of his service in Vietnam during the war. By his side is his lifelong friend Henry and a rather mysterious, very tall, Indian named Virgil. Along the way the reader gets a tour of a ghost town and rural Wyoming.

As previously stated, I love the Longmire stories. I actually listened to the Audible audiobook version and the talent of the narrator just further intensified the story. As usual, the characters are well developed and this one can be read alone without feeling like your missing out on background. There are thrills and chills to delight the senses and the story moves at a really good pace. If you love mysteries and police stories than you don’t want to miss out on this one.

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

Happy Reading!

To purchase on Amazon click here.

To view on Goodreads click here.

“Victoria and Abdul” by Shrabani Basu

“Victoria and Abdul” by Shrabani Basu

I always find Queen Victoria fascinating and this book is no exception. The author relates for us the story of Victoria’s friend Abdul, who comes to her household originally to serve at table, but becomes one of her closest confidantes in the last decade of her life. I think Shranani Basu has done a wonderful job of bringing the main players to life. I really had a sense of being a fly on the wall watching the various dramas unfold. I thought it was wonderful that this Abdul had come along in her older years and opened up a whole new world for her. He made Indian food for her, taught her to speak Hindi, and introduced her to the culture of India, over which she was Empress, and yet a place she would never visit. Meanwhile, her family appears to have been insanely jealous of the relationship. Well, I say 3 cheers to Victoria for wanting to learn new things all the way to the day of her death.

This story has now been made into a movie, which I have not yet seen so I’m not sure how well it keeps to the story. I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this chapter of the Queen’s life and it just confirms my impression that she must have been a wonderful person to know. I think that Abdul brought a level of excitement back into Victoria’s life at a time when others were starting to write her off because of her age. I highly recommend this book for its color and attention to detail and historical accuracy.

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

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“The Muse” by Jessie Burton

“The Muse” by Jessie Burton

Narrated by Bahni Turpin and Maria Elena Infantino

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

Another excellent read from Jessie Burton! I so enjoyed “The Miniaturist” that I was really looking forward to this one. I actually listened to the audiobook version of this. This is the story of two young women, living at different times. Olive is living in Spain with her family in 1936 as political tensions are beginning to rise. She longs to be a painter but her father will not let her attend art school so she paints in secret in the attic. A local girl helps out in the house and the two become best friends. When Olive’s mother hires a local painter to paint their portrait, events begin to spiral out of control.

In 1967, Odelle is a young woman who has emigrated from the Caribbean. She is hired to work as a secretary for the Skelton Institute of Art. At her best friend’s wedding she meets a young man who has inherited an unusual painting after the recent death of his mother. He brings the painting to the Skelton to find out if it has any value. The search for what happened to the painter will bring the two storylines together but watch out for all the twists and turns before you get to the end.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s complex, keeps you guessing, and the way that the author takes you back and forth from one storyline to the other keeps you fully engaged. I did have a little trouble getting into the story at the beginning but I think that had more to do with the narration than the story itself. Both narrators have accents, one Spanish and one Caribbean, which makes the characters come to life but it took me a couple of hours of listening to really feel comfortable with the narrators. Don’t let that discourage you from picking up this book though. The story is inspired and a real treat. I highly recommend.

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“The Modoc War” by Robert Aquinas McNalley

“The Modoc War” by Robert Aquinas McNalley

A Story of Genocide at the Dawn of America’s Gilded Age

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating

This is the story of the war that the United States waged against the Modoc Indians in the Lava Beds of southern Oregon in the late 19th century. The author has done a great job of bringing to life the main players of the story, both Americans and Indians, and discussing their motivations. The Americans were determined to destroy the Modocs largely for the purposes of profit but also because of the mindset at the time that saw the Indians as little better than animals. I appreciated the author’s dip into the history of how this attitude came about in the culture of the time. I found this story to be riveting and thoroughly researched. It still surprises me that as a culture we know so much about the atrocities committed against blacks, but almost nothing about what was committed against the Indians. This is an excellent book in its category and I highly recommend it.

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“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!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads