Tag: #NetGalley

“Broomsticks Over Flaxborough” by Colin Watson

“Broomsticks Over Flaxborough” by Colin Watson

It’s been a couple weeks since I visited Flaxborough and I just had to check and see what Inspector Purbright is up to. Well, he certainly has his hands full in this story with witches and Lucies and dead store managers. Once again, Colin Watson does not disappoint. When Edna Hillyard disappears and Mr. Persimmon is found dead, both after a night of dancing with the local witches’ coven, Purbright and Sgt. Love and hot on the trail of the culprit. Miss Teatime is also making herself useful with some inside knowledge into local going-on. And because it’s the 60’s there are Lucies going door-to-door asking questions. I’m not going to say any more about the Lucie’s because you really need to read the book and experience them for yourself. This is book 7 in the series and one of the best so far. Any of the books in this series will make a great summer read.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Amazon CA

P.S. The Kindle edition is only 99 cents on Amazon US right now!

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“Fire in the Thatch” by E. C. R. Lorac

“Fire in the Thatch” by E. C. R. Lorac

Ah! The beauty of the Devonshire countryside. Who would dare to blemish this lovely spot with arson and murder? That is the question facing Inspector MacDonald of Scotland Yard. It’s near the end of World War II and Nicholas Vaughan has retired from the Navy after losing an eye in a shipboard incident. He takes up the tenancy of a cottage and land called Little Thatch in Devon and immediately begins fixing the place up. He’s a very quiet man but lets it slip to his landlord, Colonel St. Cyres, that he is planning to take a wife. That is until the night that the cottage burns down with him in it. The Coroner rules it an accident but Vaughan’s former Navy superior wields his influence and gets MacDonald sent to take a second look at the investigation. What seems straightforward at the outset turns into a very twisty tale.

This book is a British Library Crime Classic and the first I have read by this author. I would say that it reads most like a cozy mystery but with the complexity of classic British crime. The story contains a variety of country and urban characters and makes a point of showing up the contrasts between the two. I found Inspector MacDonald to be what you would expect of Scotland Yard at that time: thorough, professional, and dogged in pursuit of answers. The writing style is a little more formal than today’s mysteries but not difficult to read. There are however some conversations with the Devon natives that are written in dialect and were a bit of challenge to get through. All of that being said, I did really enjoy this story, it’s slightly old-fashioned style being a nice change from the thrillers I’ve recently being reading.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

Blog Tour Book Review: “Pendle Fire” by Paul Southern

Blog Tour Book Review: “Pendle Fire” by Paul Southern

John Malkin is an overworked social worker. His girlfriend has just become pregnant with their first child but the job stress is starting to come between them. One of John’s cases is Nathan, a young man who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Just as Nathan has landed himself in jail, again, John is asked to investigate two girls who have just reported having been raped by a local police officer. Both Nathan and one of the girls warn him that he is in danger and that a prophecy has named him as the “chosen” one. John knows nothing about this prophecy but strange things are happening and he is determined to get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile, Shaf, a Pakistani police officer in the local force, has rescued the two girls after they were attacked by strange men, but the girls lied and blamed him. His boss has suspended him pending an investigation, but later asks him to conduct a secret investigation for him. There are rumors of local gangs “grooming” girls, and race riots are breaking out all over the region. The police force is stretched to the breaking point and DC Ali thinks someone in the force is involved. All roads seem to lead to the “Hobbledy Man”, but who is he and what does he want?

I couldn’t wait to read this book because I had so enjoyed the author’s first book. I was not disappointed. The story is very intense with a lot of different things happening that seemingly have no connection except for the legend of the “Hobbledy Man”. The narration goes back and forth between John, who’s trying to help the kids, and Shaf, who is trying to clear his name. I really liked both of these characters. John is so well-intentioned but as his paranoia grows his actions become more and more erratic. Shaf is trying to be the kind of person that his father was, but soon finds his principles being tested at every turn. The plot line is many-layered but it all works together really well. There are some very graphic scenes of sex and violence which some readers may not like but they do work within the story. This book has elements of the supernatural, the presence of a very active cult, violent gangs, and issues of race relations. Some of the content is disturbing but overall I found this to be another excellent story from Paul Southern.

Alinefromabook’s rating:   4 stars!!

Happy Reading!4-star-rating

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

Pendle Fire Blog Blitz

“Bump in the Night” by Colin Watson

“Bump in the Night” by Colin Watson

Time for another visit to Flaxborough County! This is book 2 in the series and this time around we have a serial bomber in the village of Chalmesbury. After 3 bomb attacks the local council requests the help of Inspector Purbright in tracking down the perpetrator. But just as he’s getting started a 4th bomb results in a murder. Turns out not many people liked the victim and the list of suspects includes just about everybody. Purbright must use all his cunning to sort out the facts from the rumors if he’s going to get his man.

I am still delighted with Inspector Purbright. The author doesn’t offer anything in the way of background, at least not yet, but I just can’t help but be charmed. I especially enjoy reading his interrogation scenes, almost none of which take place in a police station. He’s very clever and casual with his question and always pull more out of his suspect than you would expect. The village of Chalmesbury is a hotbed of intrigue as it turns out and I got completely sucked in by the red herrings in this one. The ending was a complete surprise. I’m so glad this series is being re-released because it’s just such a pleasure to read.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads     |   Amazon CA

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

“Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

“Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

A story that will move and enlighten you! Tara was raised by parents who live on the fringes of society. They are survivalists living at the base of a mountain in Idaho. They claimed they were homeschooling their children but the education they offered was little more than how to read and write. Tara did not enter a classroom until she was 17 and a freshman at Brigham Young University. To say she experienced culture shock would be an understatement. And few would think it possible that she would end up with a PhD from Cambridge University.

First, I love her writing style. The narrative is easy to read and flows very nicely without ever getting bogged down. I could hardly put this book down. Second, her story will pull at your emotions. Some scenes are disturbing but necessary to effective relating the story and the challenges, both physical and emotional that she had to overcome. Finally, I found this book to be inspiring. Tara comes to adulthood with the odds stacked against her but she has a determination which allows her to continually try again. Overall, I loved this book and highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“Coffin, Scarcely Used” by Colin Watson

“Coffin, Scarcely Used” by Colin Watson

Prepare to be delighted! Inspector Purbright is on the job in Flaxborough, so murderers beware. A local businessman dies and 6 months later his next-door neighbor is also dead. When Purbright discovers that the two men were friends and involved in a not-so-legal business with other local businessmen, he suspects the deaths are more than coincidence. And where does the not-so-unhappy widow fit in? There are many questions, but Purbright is on the job, and he and his men will find the answers.

The Flaxborough Mysteries were published in the 1950’s and are being re-released. This is the first in the series and should not be missed. While the story is more along the lines of a cozy mystery than a thriller, I found to be a joy to read. The author writes with imagination and wit and creates a story that is both full of mystery and fun at the same time. Inspector Purbright is very intelligent and clever, knowing exactly how to get the information he needs from his suspects. This is classic British crime and I highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“Look for Me” by Lisa Gardner

“Look for Me” by Lisa Gardner

A family massacred, one daughter and two dogs missing. Is this 9th installment in the series D.D. Warren once again has her hands full. And while she’s tracking down a killer, her husband and son are out adopting a dog of their own, which she’s not quite sure will be a welcome addition. Meanwhile, kidnapping survivor Flora Dane, has a connection to the missing girl and begins an investigation of her own, using her very secretive survivor support group to aid in the search. Roxanna is just trying to find a place to feel safe for a while. Unraveling this mystery will take them all into the dark side of the foster care system and reveal just how twisted a motive can be.

I loved this story, and while I’m usually a cat person, the dogs really add something special to the story. D.D. Warren is a very complicated police detective, but great at her job. She has some great leadership skills and I was very impressed by the way she kept the investigation organized when practically the entire Boston police force was involved in the search for the missing girl. She also has great people skills when she needs them. I felt sorry for Flora and the trauma she had been through, but at the same time I admired her resiliency and the way she was working to re-create her life into something that was meaningful to her. There’s also a whole host of supporting characters that are unique and add depth to the story. The plot here has a lot of twists and clues that don’t seem to fit together until the very end. I think mystery/thriller lovers will really enjoy this one.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“Watch Me” by Jody Gehrman

“Watch Me” by Jody Gehrman

A really disturbing story that you won’t be able to put down! Jody Gehrman puts the reader right inside the head of a stalker and his victim. Kate Youngblood is an author and English professor at a Midwestern college. Sam Grist is the star student in her workshop. He’s talented and charming in a sea of ordinary college students. Kate is recently divorced and her best friend is about to have her first child. She’s lonely and facing writer’s block while her agent breaths down her neck. Sam is like a breath of fresh air but with her bid for tenure under consideration, she knows better than to do more than be a mentor. Sam on the other hand, has more in mind…much more!

I will admit that it took me a while to get into this story. I didn’t like anything about Sam and felt like a voyeur reading his thoughts. Kate, on the other hand, I could really relate to. Having been through one myself, I totally understood the anxieties and doubts caused by her mid-life type crisis, and how flattered she felt by the attentions of her student. The story seemed to start out a little slow but the intensity builds gradually to the point of no return. I admit that I thought I knew how it would end and was taken completely by surprise. If you like to get inside the brain of the perpetrator, then you will love this book. I highly recommend.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

Weekly Round-Up 1/7/2018

Here we are folks! The first round-up of the new year. Quick weather update: the temperature here in Fargo has barely crept over 0 Fahrenheit this past week. Apparently we might actually see a double-digit high today, fingers crossed. To celebrate the New Year, the battery died in one of our cars, but thanks to YouTube I was able to change it out myself even with a temperature of -6 in my garage. Gotta love living in a northern climate. Let’s get to the numbers now.

TBR – The year opened with a total of 277. I finished reading 2 books this week and added 1. The new total is 276. Not a terrible start.

Goodreads challenge – I set my goal at 100 again for this year. The 2 books I finished puts me ahead 1 book as of today.

NetGalley score – I didn’t read any NetGalley books this week so score remains at 87%.

JohnConnolly challenge – I am currently listening to book 3 in the series “The Killing Kind”.

Coming up – This year I am actually scheduling my reading. This week I will be reading “Kings of Georgian Britain” by Catherine Curzon, Kings of Georgian BritainUnwanted” by Andrew Young, Unwanted and “The Killing Kind” by John Connolly. The Killing Kind My reading year is off to a good start, I just hope I can keep it that way.

Happy Reading! and stay warm!