Saturday, March 11, 2017

Review -- The Swap

The Swap
By Nancy Boyarsky

When Nicole and Brad Graves from Los Angeles swap houses for the summer with Fred and Muriel in London, Nicole thinks it may be a chance for she and Brad to work on putting their marriage back together.

Little does Nicole know what adventure awaits her – and it’s not a romantic summer with her husband exploring the historyand museums of the UK, shopping and dining out. From soon after they arrive at their swapped house, Nicole is dodging potential abductors and murderers. From a car bomb to kidnapping to attempted murder and more, Nicole is swept up in a maelstrom of events she doesn’t understand and over which she has no control.

It’s takes a few chapters to set the stage, but once the action starts, you won’t be disappointed. The exploits of Nicole Graves are just beginning, and I look forward to the next mystery she sets out to solve.

Four stars.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Review -- Come Next Winter

Seasons of Change Series: Book One
By Linda Hanna and Deborah Dulworth
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Come Next Winter is a tale overflowing with strong emotions – love, sadness, fear, joy – that carries the reader along for the poignant ride!

When Carol faces a life-altering catastrophe, she must find a way to re-build her life with her sons, one still at home and the other away at college. It’s not an easy road she must travel, but with her faith strong and most of her family behind her, she takes each difficult step in creating joy and a full life again for herself and her boys.
From the snowy ski hills of Vermont to the flatlands of Arizona, readers will be drawn into the story of Carol and her teenage son Andy, meeting her Mom and Dad, aunt and uncle, cousin and even touching base with her older son Ethan when he’s home from school.

Starting over is never easy, but Carol trusts in God, makes friends, finds love and begins a new chapter in her life in Come Next Winter.

This inspirational novel is an easy read, with well-developed characters, realistic situations, and a pleasant style and voice. The author team smoothly combines life and conviction, love and redemption, family and faith. Pour a cup of tea, put your feet up and treat yourself to this first book in the Seasons of Change series.

5 Stars

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review of The Dry

The Dry
Jane Harper

When federal agent Aaron Falk returns home to attend a friend’s funeral, today’s headline and yesterday’s collide. Can Aaron confront the past as he attempts to determine what happened to his friend and his family?

Author Jane Harper has captured perfectly the rhythm of life in a small town, where you’re either born and bred or an outsider. When Aaron and his father left decades earlier, they left under a cloud, and in present day his arrival stirs up old memories and rivalries.

I wish I could give this debut novel six stars – it’s well written, with solid character development, enough plot twists to keep you guessing and so much atmosphere you can feel the heat and the drought.

I’ll definitely be watching for Jane Harper’s next novel.

Five stars.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Attempted murder....or accidents?

Detective Superintendent Ben Spence is called to Marlby Manor when Lady Dinnister’s nurse companion dies under suspicious circumstances. Was she the target or was the lady of manor the intended target. Spence and his partner Inspector Laurel set out to find out if the accidents that keep happening to Lady Dinnister are repeated attempts on her life.

The mystery is populated by a fascinating cast of characters, any of whom could be the murderer. Will our detectives and their team figure out what’s going on before another victim falls prey to the wily criminal.

A most enjoyable English mystery, complete with lots of atmosphere. I’ll look forward to my next Detective Spence read. 

Five stars!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review -- In Such Good Company

This behind-the-scenes look at the eleven seasons of the Emmy Award-winning Carol Burnett Show is just a delight. It recalls so many fun characters, guests, skits and general hilarity, but it also shares some of what was going on in the background. Do you know how the show found its way on-air? That’s an interesting tale. Do you know how the main stars Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway ended up on the show? Read some lovely anecdotes about guest stars and friendships that lasted decades.

Part of the beauty of this book is you feel like you’re sitting chatting with Carol Burnett. Her voice is so authentic and you’re suddenly transported back to the fun of the show with all its laughter, music and even some characters who tugged at our heartstrings.

You’ll be glad you spent some time together with one of comedy’s most iconic stars and you’ll be In Such Good Company.

5 Stars

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Review -- The Widower's Wife

The Widower's Wife
by Cate Holahan
Crooked Lane Books

When insurance investigator Ryan Monahan opens an investigation into the death of Ana Bacon, who fell overboard, disappearing into the ocean during a cruise in the Bahamas, he has no idea where it will lead. It’s his job to see if there is a way for his company to deny the ten-million-dollar claim, but his investigation takes him in a direction he never expected.

Ana and her husband Tom have had some problems in their marriage, as well as in their personal and professional lives. What secret is the widower Tom hiding? What secrets did Ana take over the side of the ship?

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this thriller told from the alternating points of view of Ryan and Ana – investigator and victim. What I got was an addictive page-turner that I thoroughly enjoyed. Ms. Holahan tells a compelling story and writes so you feel like you’re right there with the characters. I’m looking forward to her next novel!

Five stars.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review -- Mata Hari's Last Dance

As she awaits her execution as a spy in Paris in 1917, Mata Hari tells a reporter the story of her life. She endured a tough existence, but the dancer known as Mata Hari is not the kind of person to give up. She finds her niche and makes her way in pre-WWI Europe. From humble beginnings to a challenging marriage to the pinnacle of notoriety in Paris, Berlin and Madrid, Mata Hari is never one to shrink from a challenge. While she is scandalous and the subject of much talk, while she sleeps with men across the Continent, she is also a vulnerable woman with many secrets.

Once again, talented author Michelle Moran takes a woman whose name is well known from history and brings her readers that woman’s story, mixing fiction and real life seamlessly. You will feel Mata Hari’s desperation and longing, her need to succeed and why, the pain of her final betrayal.

Don’t miss reading Mata Hari’s Last Dance, but don’t pick it up if you have to go to work tomorrow. You won’t want to stop reading.

5 Stars