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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Since She Went Away

Since She Went Away by David Bell.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: NAL (June 21, 2016)
ISBN-10: 045147421X






Three months earlier, Jenna Barton was supposed to meet her lifelong best friend Celia. But when Jenna arrived late, she found that Celia had disappeared—and hasn’t been seen again. Jenna has blamed herself for her friend’s disappearance every single day since then.
The only piece of evidence is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet, leading the national media to dub Celia “The Diamond Mom.” And even though Jenna has obsessively surfed message boards devoted to missing persons cases, she is no closer to finding any answers—or easing her guilt.
But when her son’s new girlfriend—who suddenly arrived in town without a past—disappears, a stricken Jenna begins to unwind the tangled truth behind Celia’s tragedy. And as long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how completely lives can be shattered by a few simple lies.


This is book number 7 for me, written by David Bell. My first was Cemetery Girl and from then on I've been a fan.

This book was no exception. I am not sure how to define his writing, but one always feels they are right there and part of the story ... and that it's real! 

Like other's of his books it's hard to set them down for very long.  It helps, tremendously, that he writes very short chapters, which always makes you read one or two more before setting the book down!  I don't know if publishers like that or not but "I" sure do!

Chalk up another  good read from David Bell!

*************************************************************************************************************

I don't always do a list of books I read for each month, but last month all the books were really good so here they are:

21.The Black Box.......................Michael Connelly....(480 pgs)

22.Cracks in the Sidewalk..............Bette L. Crosby.....(332 pgs)

23.A Memory of Violets.................Hazel Gaynor........(432 pgs)

24.The Midnight Rose...................Lucinda Riley.......(496 pgs)

25.The Likeness........................Tana French.........(466 pgs)



I didn't read when I was on my trip except for something on my tablet that I "thought" was a full length book but turned out to be only 48 pages. It was Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas DeQuincey.  Maybe I should count that as a book anyway lol...

Well, Happy Reading for you all for the month of July!!

 

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Faithful Place

Faithful Place by Tana French.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books;(June 28, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0143119494




 

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. French's emotionally searing third novel of the Dublin murder squad (after The Likeness) shows the Irish author getting better with each book. In 1985, 19-yearold Frank Mackey and his girlfriend, Rosie Daly, made secret plans to elope to England and start a new life together far away from their families, particularly the hard-drinking Mackeys. But when Rosie doesn't meet Frank the night they're meant to leave and he finds a note, Frank assumes she's left him behind. For 22 years, Frank, who becomes an undercover cop, stays away from Faithful Place, his childhood Dublin neighborhood. When his younger sister, Jackie, calls to tell him that someone found Rosie's suitcase hidden in an abandoned house, Frank reluctantly returns. Now everything he thought he knew is turned upside down: did Rosie really leave that night, or did someone stop her before she could? French, who briefly introduced Mackey in The Likeness, is adept at seamlessly blending suspenseful whodunit elements with Frank's familial demons.

Book number 4 that I've read by Tana French.  She really knows how to tell a story and keep you interested on reading to the very end.  This one is a 22 year old cold case. And I do get hooked on cold cases lol.

This one I wasn't sure I would like.  On her other book she used the character of Frank Mackey and I can't say he was a favorite lol.. so when this book was "about" Frank Mackey", I was leery.  But she turned him into someone of interest and made me read this book to the end also! 

Her books are quick reading and keep your interest.  I have one more in my tbr mile high pile which I will get to after one book that I waited for it to come and now I have to read that first! (That would be David Bell.  I have read every book he's written! another one of those, have to read, authors).

 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Likeness

The Likeness by Tana French.

Paperback: 466 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books;(May 26, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0143115626




Tana French astonished critics and readers alike with her mesmerizing debut novel, In the Woods. Now both French and Detective Cassie Maddox return to unravel a case even more sinister and enigmatic than the first. Six months after the events of In the Woods, an urgent telephone call beckons Cassie to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl? A disturbing tale of shifting identities,

Quite a long time ago I read Tana French's first book "In the Woods" and remember enjoying it.  Not sure what took me so long to read another of her books, but I finally did and it was enjoyable too. 

It was different.

Undercover detective work generally means to pass yourself off as someone you are not.  In this case Cassie Maddox had to go among friends and pass herself off as a friend they thought was dead.  How does one convince 4 good friends that she's their "not dead" friend?    I think she wrote the story quite well., and like I said.. it was different, so I wasn't sure what to expect.   She had four different personalities to deal with and the detective that put her on the case once they realized she could be the dead girls twin sister. 

I have two more of her books sitting around here so, I may pick another up before I try another author.  Until next time.............................. enjoy whatever you are reading!

 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Midnight Rose

The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley.

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (March 18, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1476703574


 



 

From Booklist

For Anahita Chavan, childhood in India under the British raj was simple and happy. But when she is asked to become the companion to the maharajah’s daughter, Princess Indira, Anni is suddenly exposed to a life of wealth and privilege. Then the two girls are sent to England to attend boarding school, a move that will change Anni’s life in ways she never dreamed of. Meanwhile, in present-day England, American actress Rebecca Bradley has snagged the first serious role of her career, playing a 1920s debutante living on a beautiful Dartmoor estate. As filming begins, the manor receives an unexpected visitor, Ari Malik, Anahita’s great-grandson, who is on a quest to learn about Anni’s past. Riley, the best-selling author of The Orchid House (2011), has once again written an extraordinary story, a complex, deeply engaging tale filled with fascinating characters whose slowly revealed secrets carry readers to the very end. Spanning four generations and moving from the great palaces of India to the stately country home of an English lord, this is a sweeping tale of love lost and found.

I think the reason I got this book is because I have read most of Lucinda Riley's books and have always liked them.  Of course then there is the mention of Dartmoor..heh.  So , I had a good chance of enjoying the book.   Never gave a thought to learning about how India woman of high esteem had to live. (now I know what it was like back in the day).

It was a very good read.  Back and forth a few generations but never had trouble following it.  I gave a thought that the ending was rushed a bit ..strange to say that when the book was just shy of 500 pages! (a few more wouldn't have hurt).

Anyone who has read any of  Lucinda Riley books and enjoyed them will certainly enjoy this one if they haven't already read it.  I like her writing style.  Things flow so well that I went thru this book way faster than I ever thought I would!!

If you don't try this book you might want to try one of her others.. they are all enjoyable! "The Orchard House", "The Girl on the Cliff" and "The Lavender Garden"...

 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Memory of Violets

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor.

 

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 3, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0062316893




A short but sweet book review....................

Amazon:

In 1912, twenty-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s flower girls—orphaned and crippled children living on the grimy streets and selling posies of violets and watercress to survive.

Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a diary written by an orphan named Florrie—a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Moved by Florrie’s pain and all she endured in her brief life, Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.

Yet another book that isn't a crime book!..  but what a good book it was!

A lot of atmosphere.  A lot of sadness. And yet a lot of hope and happiness, all wrapped up in this one book.

The book contains 2 stories.  One of the two "flower girls" and the story of Tilly, a girl who doesn't know her life was/is anything but what she thought was.

The book is very easy reading, very well written, and very descriptive.  It's written keeping with the time period in which it takes place and makes you feel you are right there.

You might want to give this one a chance. 

 

 

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Cracks In The Sidewalk

Cracks in the Sidewalk by Bette L. Crosby.

Paperback: 332 pages
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing (September 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0983887926










Amazon didn't have a review by the book so I scanned the back of the book for the review..



OMG! I loved this book!

It was not a Victorian mystery, or any sort of murder mystery, and not a biography.. although it is said that it is "based on a true story".  Boy howdy!

It's a touching book.  Parts are a sad book. Parts are a feel good book.  It's nothing like anything I've read before.  It read so true that, easily I believe it was based on a true story.  It was so compelling I couldn't put the book down for long.  I had to know what could possibly happen next?!

Not a lot I want to say about it because if you should read it you would have your own feelings about the people involved and the story behind it. 

It's a good book .  'Nuff said.

Monday, June 06, 2016

The Black Box

The Black Box by Michael Connelly.

Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing(October 15, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0446556726




 

In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved.
Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box," the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.


 

Seldom do I read a mystery that takes place in the USA.  Not because I have anything against it, I just find Victorian Mysteries from England more interesting.   And I also have never gotten into reading the authors that seem to put a book a year out.  Again, nothing against them, I just drift in a different direction I guess. 

However, this book takes place in Los Angeles CA .  And it's by a prolific author.  That being said, I picked up this up because the story line on the back of the book read like something I would like.  I guess I liked it since I read it in 3 days!!

It's a good detective story.  I liked that the murder took place 20 yrs ago and 20 yrs later the same detective (Harry Bosh) picks it up as a cold case and gets his chance to really work on it to see if he can find out who murdered the pretty reporter way back during the LA riots.

This is my first book I read since my trip.. and glad it was a good one. 

I did try to read a book while gone that was on my Tablet called : Confessions of an English Opium Eater (about Thomas De Quincey) I thought I had downloaded a "book" but it turned out only to be 48 pages long.. so I don't count that as a book.

So.. onward to a new book.................

Friday, May 06, 2016

Pretty Girls

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter.

 

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow;(September 29, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0062429051


    

Amazon Review

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.
The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.


Well now... I remember back a long time ago when I read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and have some people say they had to put the book down and couldn't read it because it was to realistic in it's descriptions of some pretty nasty things.  Moving on to Pretty Girls... holy cow! even I had a hard time with parts of the descriptions in this book.. and yet I had to know how it would turn out!  Happily I did!

I sometimes wonder where authors who write these books get their material from.  And of course a good writer  will make it seem all to real!  This Karin Slaughter managed to do very well indeed!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Silent Sister

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (October 6, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250074355






Amazon Review:

"Chamberlain's powerful story is a page-turner to the very end." -Library Journal

Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. It was a belief that helped shape her own childhood and that of her brother. It shaped her view of her family and their dynamics. It influenced her entire life. Now, more than twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina, cleaning out his house when she finds evidence that what she has always believed is not the truth. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why, exactly, was she on the run all those years ago? What secrets are being kept now, and what will happen if those secrets are revealed? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality. Told with Diane Chamberlain's powerful prose and illumination into the human heart and soul, The Silent Sister is an evocative novel of love, loss, and the bonds among siblings.

"Enthralling and gripping...Chamberlain has a gift for telling stories about families whose good intentions go awry in difficult circumstances. Her characters are always portrayed with an understanding that sometimes life's most tragic mistakes require heroic strength to survive."

Boy.. talk about getting sucked right into a story! lol.  Whenever it's "family secrets" over years and then finding them out ..well.. needless to say,  I got sucked right into the story!

I must have needed this type of book because I read it awfully fast! I am not a speed reader.. not even close! But I read this in two days!  sheesh.. I guess I was being nosey!    Actually, I did enjoy the book very much.  Sometimes we need those "quick reads" to get us back on track with our reading.. although I expect May to be a very bad month for reading.

Tomorrow I get my friend from California visiting me for a few days and that thrills me. We haven't seen each other since I left California..about 18 yrs.  After that I have another girlfriend coming by and we are discussing taking a little driving trip. So if all that comes about, there certainly won't be time for reading.  Which is probably a nice break. 

This was an enjoyable quick reading book!  Try it you might like it!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The House on an Irish Hillside

House on an Irish Hillside by Felicity Hayes-McCoy.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Hodder;(June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1444730312






Amazon Review

'From the moment I crossed the mountain I fell in love. With the place, which was more beautiful than any place I'd ever seen. With the people I met there. And with a way of looking at life that was deeper, richer and wiser than any I'd known before. When I left I dreamt of clouds on the mountain. I kept going back.'
We all lead very busy lives and sometimes it's hard to find the time to be the people we want to be.
Twelve years ago Felicity Hayes-McCoy left the hectic pace of the city and returned to Ireland to make a new life in a remarkable house on the stunning Dingle peninsula.
Beautifully written, this is a life-affirming tale of rediscovering lost values and being reminded of the things that really matter.


This is not my usual type of book.  I'm not sure what it was about it that made me pick it up... well maybe because it was taking place in Ireland and England. (anyone who knows me KNOWS that would be the reason!)

Still,... it's not a mystery or a murder for a fairy story.  But what it is... is following your dreams and doing what makes you happy.  One should not give up dreams, at least not all of them.  Many woman do when they get married and have children and redirect their life to the family.  Not a bad thing to do, but late in life you wonder what would have happened?  What would your life have been like?  ... if you had managed to follow your dreams.

This little Irish house  in the Dingle peninsula was peaceful. All the neighbors knew each other.  Tales of old were always passed on by telling the stories over and over.  Music was part of all their lives, along with living most of their life like they would "in the old days".  Yet they still had television and computers... but they didn't take over their life.

It was a feel good book.  Nothing exciting. Nothing devastating. Just a normal life and how a couple found a way to be happy and at peace with each other and the world.  When one thinks of that.. it's actually pretty darn amazing!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Anatomy of Evil

Anatomy of Evil by Will Thomas.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books;(May 12, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250041058


 



 

Amazon Review

Cyrus Barker is undoubtedly England's premiere private enquiry agent. With the help of his assistant Thomas Llewelyn, he's developed an enviable reputation for discreetly solving some of the toughest, most consequential cases in recent history. But one evening in 1888, Robert Anderson, the head of Scotland Yard's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), appears at Barker's office with an offer. A series of murders in the Whitechapel area of London are turning the city upside down, with tremendous pressure being brought to bear on Scotland Yard and the government itself.

Barker is to be named temporary envoy to the Royal Family with regard to the case while surreptitiously bringing his investigative skill to the case. With various elements of society, high and low, bringing their own agenda to increasingly shocking murders, Barker and Llewellyn must find and hunt down the century's most notorious killer. The Whitechapel Killer has managed to elude the finest minds of Scotland Yard―and beyond―he's never faced a mind as nimble and a man as skilled as Cyrus Barker. But even Barker's prodigious skills may not be enough to track down a killer in time.

I believe this is the third book of this series that I have read.

The main characters are good enough to keep my interested in the story line.  This particular one, as you can read above, is based on Jack the Ripper.  It is always interesting to read the fictional parts of stories such as this, to see what the author's take on it is, and how they manipulate their  characters to fit  the reality that has be written about so many times.  Of course anything written "back in the day" in any part of England is generally good reading for me!

I did enjoy this book and have his newest on my wish list.

 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Uprooted

Uprooted by Naomi Novik.



Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (March 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0804179050


 



BOOK 1 FOR ONCE UPON A TIME.............



Amazon review.

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.


 

I have been reading mysteries and biographies for so long now, that I forgot what a good Fantasy is like!

I remember now! I totally enjoyed this book!  Her world and Characters are really  good.  I absolutely loved the two main characters personalities!!  Agnieszka and the Dragon bounce off of each other fantastically!

As far as I know this is a stand alone book.  It has nothing to do with Naomi Novik's Temeraire Dragon series.

Short review, I know, but I noticed that a number of others reading for Once Upon a Time have this on their list and I don't want to spoil anything..I'll just say:  Read it !!

 

 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Two Short Book Reviews

Wild Fell ( A Ghost Story) by Michael Rowe.

Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: ChiZine Publications (December 15, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1771481595


(strangely when I went to Amazon to get the above information, it said the paperback was 320 pgs!  A ghost?)

 

 

 

The crumbling summerhouse called Wild Fell has weathered the violence of the seasons for more than a century. Built for his family by a 19th-century politician of impeccable rectitude, the house has kept its terrible secrets and its darkness sealed within its walls. For a hundred years, the townspeople of have prayed the darkness inside Wild Fell would stay there.

First of all I never really buy a book under 200 pgs long so this came as a surprise to me.  As I mention at the top Amazon said it was 320 pgs.. but it was only 180.  Odd.  Very odd.

Anyway, as I read the book I kept thinking that I had read it before. It drove me crazy so I checked all the lists I had and the book was not listed.  I felt this way through most all of the book.. except the ending.  Which came quick and swift!  Hmmm, not sure what to say about the book.  Some will really like it. And yet others may not.  I may have liked it more if I didn't keep having the feeling I read it before...  Maybe there is something to this "ghost thing"!

Sorry for the short review..Not that I write long ones but I just don't know what to say about the book.. except maybe I thought the preface was the best part of the whole book!

 ************************************************************


THE WIT AND WISDOM OF DOWNTON ABBEY

 

The Wit and Wisdom of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellows.

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (October 13, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250093600


 

 

 

"Come war and peace Downton still stands and the Crawleys are still in it."

Downton Abbey is loved the world over for its fabulous costumes, beautiful scenery, wonderful characters and intricate plot lines, but what keeps millions of us coming back time after time is the stellar quality of the writing. With each stroke of his pen Julian Fellowes seems to gift us with a cuttingly dry quip from the Dowager Countess, a perfectly timed word of wisdom from Mrs Patmore or a touchingly nostalgic pronouncement from Carson. Here in The Wit and Wisdom of Downton Abbey, Jessica Fellowes has gathered together her favorite quotes from the complete Downton Abbey oeuvre to take each of us back to the most memorable moments from the show and ensure we are armed with the very best ripostes should we ever need to chastise an impertinent lady's maid.

 

 

 

 

 

What can I say?  This is a most wonderful book!  One, because it is the humor of Downton Abbey ... and Two because my wonderful "sis", across the Pond, Cath Russell, gave it to me for my Birthday!!!

I so loved each and every character in the series and so this little book will always remind me of them all!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Lake House

The Lake House by Kate Morton.

Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (October 20, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1451649320








From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper, The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.


Oh-My-Gawd!  I have read every book Kate Morton has written and she just keeps getting better and better!  This is the BEST of her books yet!

It began slow, for me.. whenever a book is written in different times I have difficulty remembering which time period I am in. ..but eventually I get it.  And just when I do, the names in the "past" are also names in the "now"!  *sigh*.. but  even with all that, (and trust me I am the slow one so others will get this much faster then I did)  it became a book I could not put down!  Gosh how I love mysteries that include family secrets!!  (The 13th Tale come to mind)

You are reading and suddenly you say to yourself, "ahhah! I know now!"... and a chapter later you say. "well, nope.. I don't know."  How many times that happens I can't say but this book is way full of surprises, even to the family involved!!! And right to the better end, the surprises continue!

I loved this book!  Loved, Loved, Loved this book!  This is one I will read a second time once I have forgotten most of it. ... and at the rate my mind is disintegrating, that might well be next week!

Good book.

Good characters.

Lots of surprises. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





 







BOOKS READ IN 2016...



I haven't listed books I've read up until this date for a bit so I'll just copy them down and say that this is a slow year for me but I am enjoying each and every book!



January:  2016

1..The Murder Man...................Tony Parsons..........(384 pgs)
2..Strings of Murder................Oscar De Muriel.......(406 pgs)
3..The Haunting of Maddy Clare......Simone St. James......(329 pgs)
4..The Vanishing....................Wendy Webb............(304 pgs)
5..Jack Kennedy Elusive Hero........Chris Matthews........(496 pgs)
6..These Few Precious Days..........Christopher Andersen..(336 pgs)


February:   2016

7..Inspector of the Dead.............David Morrell........(352 pgs)
8..Some Danger Involved..............Will Thomas..........(290 pgs)


March:    2016

9..Jackie After Jack.................Christopher Andersen.(427 pgs)
10.Empty Mansions....................Bill Dedman..........(456 pgs)
11.Cover of Snow.....................Jenny Milchman.......(326 pgs)
12.Things Half in Shadow.............Alan Fin.............(448 pgs)


April:    2016

13.The Lake House.....................Kate Morton.........(512 pgs)



As I look over the titles I can't even pick a favorite! (at the moment it would be The Lake House). I can honestly say this has been a great group of books so far this year!





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Things Half in Shadow

Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn.

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (December 30, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1476761728







Postbellum America makes for a haunting backdrop in this historical and supernatural tale of moonlit cemeteries, masked balls, cunning mediums, and terrifying secrets waiting to be unearthed by an intrepid crime reporter.
Edward Clark is a successful young crime reporter in comfortable circumstances with a lovely, well-connected fiancée. Then an assignment to write a series of exposés on the city’s mediums places all that in jeopardy.
In the Philadelphia of 1869, photographs of Civil War dead adorn dim sitting rooms, and grieving families attempt to contact their lost loved ones. Edward’s investigation of the beautiful young medium Lucy Collins has unintended consequences, however. He uncovers her tricks, but realizes to his dismay that Lucy is more talented at blackmail than she is at a medium’s sleights of hand. And since Edward has a hidden past, he reluctantly agrees that they should collaborate in exposing only her rivals.
The mysterious murder of noted medium Lenora Grimes Pastor as Lucy and Edward attend her séance results in a plum story for Edward—and a great deal more. The pair want to clear themselves from suspicion, but a search spanning the houses of the wealthy to the underside of nineteenth-century Philadelphia unearths a buzzing beehive of past murder, current danger, and supernatural occurrences that cannot be explained…


I am not into reading about the supernatural but the amazon review read like there were many small mysteries (finding out about the characters), that I got a used copy.  The books surprised me in that I found myself wanting to read each time I sat down. (that hasn't happened in a while).

Short chapters always help.  In fact the absolutely make me read "just a little more" before setting the book down.

So, you read through some séance's, and learn the old tricks that used to be used to fool people. (noises happening, things moving).  But by the end of the book you have a little "hope' that maybe it could be done...for real!

This book was a very enjoyable read for any who enjoy the supernatural and murder mysteries !  It was a very good mixture of them both.

 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Once Upon a Time X

Wow! Ten years for OuaT!!!





Art by Melissa Nucera)


“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

The Once Upon a Time X Challenge has a few rules:
Rule #1: Have fun.
Rule #2: HAVE FUN.
Rule #3: Don’t keep the fun to yourself, share it with us, please!
Rule #4: Do not be put off by the word “challenge”.

There are all kinds of options so please check out
Carl's sign-up post.



I have trouble "committing"  to things... but I would never not join Carl when he does  this challenge or his RIP challenge!  So, I commit to only one book (but have been known to read more.)

I may read a  book called Uprooted by Naomi Novik....(which I recently sent for)



.... Or I may go to an author I have read many times before Margaret Weis, along with Robert Krammes, and try this series ...



I do know a good time is always had by all when Carl Challenges us all to have a good read!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cover of Snow

Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman.

Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books(December 31, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345534220




Amazon

Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide.
The first few hours following Nora’s devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them.
Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for an explanation—but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown . . . and its darkest secrets hidden.


 

This was a good little mystery.  No major detective solving the "crime" but the wife of the victim herself.  Although there is murder involved, this was a nice break from the normal detectives.  This was a good book with background being told a little at a time.

Quite a few surprising things happen along the way of her trying to find out why her husband committed suicide.  Obviously things are not always as they seem. But asking question can be a dangerous business.

 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Empty Masions

Empty Mansions by Bill Dedmand and Paul Clark Newell Jr.

Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 22, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0345534530




Amazon..

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * UPDATED TEXT WITH RESULTS OF THE CLARK ESTATE SETTLEMENT * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Janet Maslin, The New York Times * Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more. * When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money?
Dedman has collaborated with Huguette Clark's cousin, Paul Clark Newell, Jr., one of the few relatives to have frequent conversations with her. Dedman and Newell tell a fairy tale in reverse: the bright, talented daughter, born into a family of extreme wealth and privilege, who secrets herself away from the outside world.
Huguette was the daughter of self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, nearly as rich as Rockefeller in his day, a controversial senator, railroad builder, and founder of Las Vegas. She grew up in the largest house in New York City, a remarkable dwelling with 121 rooms for a family of four. She owned paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls. But wanting more than treasures, she devoted her wealth to buying gifts for friends and strangers alike, to quietly pursuing her own work as an artist, and to guarding the privacy she valued above all else.
The Clark family story spans nearly all of American history in three generations, from a log cabin in Pennsylvania to mining camps in the Montana gold rush, from backdoor politics in Washington to a distress call from an elegant Fifth Avenue apartment. The same Huguette who was touched by the terror attacks of 9/11 held a ticket nine decades earlier for a first-class stateroom on the second voyage of the Titanic.

Empty Mansions reveals a complex portrait of the mysterious Huguette and her intimate circle. We meet her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette's copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, Empty Mansions is an enthralling story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms.


I have been poor all my life... you wouldn't think I would enjoy a book about someone who had so much money it no longer mattered because she would never run out of it.

But Bill Dedman and a relative of Huguette Clark, Paul Clark Newell Jr.. managed to make this book very interesting indeed.  They wrote of Huguette's father who accumulated the fortune, their family life, and the last of the family, Huguette and her life, eccentricities, charities and gifts of goodness the likes, I am sure have never been seen before or since or never will.

It helps that the beginning of the book grabbed my curiosity:      When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance.

 These people were richer then many names we all know.  Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller to name a few.  Yet W.A. Clark  nor his daughter Huguette I had never heard of.  

Wikipedia lists her thus: 

Huguette Marcelle Clark ( June 9, 1906 – May 24, 2011) was an heiress and philanthropist, who became well known again late in life as a recluse, living in a hospital for more than 20 years while her mansions remained empty. She was the youngest daughter of United States Senator and industrialist William A. Clark. Upon her death at 104 in 2011, Clark left behind a fortune of more than $300 million, most of which was donated to charity after a court fight with her distant relatives. A feature film of her life is planned, based on the bestselling book Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune.

The story is real..

The story is interesting..

The story is beyond belief. (at least for someone like me) 

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Jackie After Jack

Jackie After Jack by Christopher Anderson.

Hardcover: 472 pages
Publisher: William Morrow & Co;(February 1998)
ISBN-10: 0688153127


 

  

 

 

In this much-anticipated sequel to his 1996 bestseller, Jack and Jackie, Christopher Andersen is certain to make headlines once again with his revealing account of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's life after Jack Kennedy's death.

Incredibly, Jackie Kennedy was only thirty-four when JFK was assassinated. With her husband, she had already captured the world's imagination. Without him, she would hold it until her own death three decades later--achieving a kind of global fame unsurpassed in this century. Billions of words have been written about her, but Jackie guarded her privacy so fiercely that the last thirty years of her life are still veiled in secrecy and mystique. For the first time, drawing on previously sealed archival material and newly declassified government documents--as well as important sources who have agreed to speak here for the first time--Jackie After Jack paints a sympathetic yet often startling portrait of Jackie in all her rich complexity.

Alone after Dallas, Jackie summoned the strength, grace, and dignity to go on. Along the way, she struggled with those all-too-familiar issues of remarriage, in-laws, money, romance, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, aging, illness, and finally, her own mortality. Jackie After Jack traces this remarkable woman's personal journey--and captures the drama, humor, glamour, and heartache that have made Jackie an enduring source of fascination and inspiration for millions.

Startling new revelations include:

The surprising truth about the men in Jackie's life before Onassis and after;

Important new information about Dallas and its aftermath -- including Jackie's battle back from depression;

Raise the flags I finally finished a book!

I have to say that the reason for my dropping off the reading radar is NOT because I wasn't enjoying this book because I was!  I found the author, Christopher Andersen, and excellent writer and he kept me engrossed in the telling of Jackie's life after JFK was assassinated.

As always with "historical" people, there is much you are aware of and much you are not.  This was an excellent representation of Jackie's feelings about her life. 

Some questions are answered and some "secrets" get revealed.  But in the end she remains one of the most revered women ever known.  (however, I would not put her above Eleanor Roosevelt!)

She was beautiful to many.  Highly intelligent. And her life was certainly not all glorious .  So money really cannot buy "everything".

It's a good read for anyone interested in what her life was like after Jack.  I am glad I read it.

 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Some Danger Involved

Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Touchstone;(March 8, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0743256190




Amazon Review

An atmospheric debut novel set on the gritty streets of Victorian London, Some Danger Involved introduces detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, as they work to solve the gruesome murder of a young scholar in London's Jewish ghetto. When the eccentric and enigmatic Barker takes the case, he must hire an assistant, and out of all who answer an ad for a position with "some danger involved," he chooses downtrodden Llewelyn, a gutsy young man with a murky past.
As they inch ever closer to the shocking truth behind the murder, Llewelyn is drawn deeper and deeper into Barker's peculiar world of vigilante detective work, as well as the heart of London's teeming underworld. Brimming with wit and unforgettable characters and steeped in authentic period detail, Some Danger Involved is a captivating page-turner that introduces an equally captivating duo.




I've read one other Baker and Llewelyn book and enjoyed them both.  I went backward on this one as this would be the book that explains how Baker and Llewelyn become a team.

This book was a little slower but then this books sets up every other Baker and Llewelyn book to come.  

The books though are totally separate crimes and so other than background information they need not be read in succession. 

Although these books take place in early London the author actually lives in America.  I am guessing he did a lot of background work before writing them, because they are written for a very readable audience.

I have to admit that I didn't figure this one out until it was actually solved!

Slow reading this month, a lot of depression is back.. slow but sure, on to the next book! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Inspector of the Dead

Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books;(March 24, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0316323932








From School Library Journal

This follow-up to Murder as a Fine Art (2014) is set in 1855 while England is in the midst of the Crimean War. It opens with The Opium-Eater, Thomas De Quincey, and his daughter Emily leaving town, but a gruesome murder during a church service, seemingly connected to a rebel group committed to killing Queen Victoria, changes their plans. De Quincey is still addicted to laudanum, yet his skill at seeing connections, patterns, and possibilities that others miss is as strong as ever. The murders continue, each one more gruesome and artistically staged than the last. Teaming up again with Inspector Ryan and Detective Sergeant Becker, the De Quinceys work to untangle the motivation behind the murders and find the killer. The story is enriched by the weaving of historical facts into the narrative: the grinding failures of the Crimean War; the rigid, oppressive class divisions in London; and the multiple assassination attempts on Queen Victoria's life are all integral to the plot. The inclusion of some history of crime scene investigation practices enriches the story. Although it is a sequel, the book also stands alone. Teens will enjoy contrasting the class and culture stereotypes as well as expectations of women of the time with current-day ideas. VERDICT The narrative's drama, tension, and plot twists make this a likely hit with readers looking for grisly murder mysteries or compelling historical fiction.—



This is my second book by author David Morrell, who some may know as the author of the Rambo books/ movies.

Once again this book includes the characters of Thomas De Quincey (the Opium Eater) and his daughter Emily.  I have found De Quincey  a great character for the stories David Morrell has written.

Needing so much Opium to stay out of pain it has made his mind "dream" and yet know things he shouldn't know.  Most would long ago have died from the amount of this drug he takes... which of course is what makes him so interesting.  His daughter Emily fills a "secondary" story line between the two books that they have been in. (Murder as a Fine Art being the first book)  Other than the characters the stories do not overlap so you need not read one book in order to read the second. 

I enjoyed this book very much.  Morrell uses a lot of true history and true characters and  his descriptions of where he is at any time is so well done you feel you can see it.

So another good book bites the dust.......

Of the two books I like Murder as a Fine Art just a tiny bit more. But both are good reads.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

These Few Precious Days by Christopher Andersen.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (August 6, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1476732329





Amazon....

“The days dwindle down, to a precious few . . .” —from “September Song,” JFK’s favorite
They were the original power couple— outlandishly rich, impossibly attractive, and endlessly fascinating. Now, in this rare, behind-the-scenes portrait of the Kenne­dys in their final year together, #1 New York Times bestselling biographer Christopher Andersen shows us a side of JFK and Jackie we’ve never seen before. Tender, intimate, complex, and, at times, explosive, theirs is a love story unlike any other—filled with secrets, scandals, and bomb­shells that could never be fully revealed . . . until now. Including:
· Stunning new details about the Kennedys’ rumored affairs—hers as well as his—and how they ultimately overcame all odds to save their marriage
· The president’s many premonitions of his own death, and how he repeatedly tried to pull out of his last fateful trip to Dallas
· Shocking revelations about how the couple, unaware of the dangers, became dependent on amphetamine injections, the real reason— according to his longtime personal physician— for JFK’s notorious libido, and how the White House hid his many serious medical problems from the public
· How the tragic death of their infant son Patrick led to an emotional outpouring from the president that surprised even their closest friends—and brought JFK and Jackie closer than they had ever been
· Touching firsthand accounts of the family’s most private moments, before and after the assassination
Drawing on hundreds of interviews conducted with the Kennedys’ inner circle—from family members and lifelong friends to key advisors and political confidantes—Andersen takes us deeper inside the world of the president and his first lady than ever before. Unsparing yet sympathetic, bigger than life but all too real, These Few Precious Days captures the ups and downs of a marriage, a man, and a woman, the memories of which will continue to fascinate and inspire for generations to come.


This book was a very personal view of JFK and Jackie during the final year of Jack Kennedy's life.  The title alone made me know it would not be a "happy" book to read, yet in many ways... it was.

Nothing is left untouched in the book and yet nothing that is said changes my mind that JFK and Jackie were the very last in the White House that I found I looked up to and and glad I was old enough to remember them.

The book doesn't let you forget that JFK was a womanizer but because Jackie knew and never gave up on him I always found that I forgave him too.. It just did not effect what he did as President.  I admire how he continued to work thru pain that was crippling but felt sorry that the only way he could go on was because of "Dr Feelgood".. who shot him up with pain killers.  My true feeling is that he wouldn't have lived long enough for a second term had he not been assassinated.

Of course the happiest for the two of them was cut short by his murder.  So the book had sad and happy times, most would say: like everyone else, but truly it wasn't like everyone else.

I have always said that whenever I read a book about Kennedy I learn at least one thing I didn't know.. this time among my enlightenments is this: "Much to the amusement of those who knew him, the President groused constantly about money..even though he had such little need for his $100,000. Presidential salary that he donated the entire amount to charity."

Somehow I don't think any of those hoping to become President would do the same.

Although through the years "rumors" told a lot of the Kennedy's private life this book seems to confirm or deny most of them. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jack Kennedy Elusive Hero

Jack Kennedy Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews.

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster;(November 6, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1451635095


 



Amazon:

What was he like?”
Jack Kennedy said the reason people read biography is to answer that basic question. What was he like, this man whose own wife called him “that elusive, unforgettable man?” In this New York Times bestselling biography, Chris Matthews answers that question with the verve of a novelist. We see this most beloved president in the company of friends. We see and feel him close-up, having fun and giving off that restlessness of his. We watch him navigate his life from privileged, rebellious youth to gutsy American president. We witness his bravery in war and selfless rescue of his PT boat crew. We watch JFK as a young politician learning to play hardball and watch him grow into the leader who averts a nuclear war. Matthews’s extraordinary biography is based on personal interviews with those closest to JFK, oral histories by top political aide Kenneth O’Donnell and others, documents from his years as a student at Choate, and notes from Jacqueline Kennedy’s first interview after Dallas. As Matthews writes: “I found a fighting prince never free of pain, never far from trouble, never accepting the world he found, never wanting to be his father’s son. He was a far greater hero than he ever wished us to know.”


 

I finally found this book at Friends of the Library for $1.oo!    So I had to get it!

JFK always interests me.  I loved that he got us in Space and he will always be a "hero" to me because when my brother was in the Air Force JFK was President, and my mother and I, fearfully, lived thru the Cuban Missile Crisis.  So now and then a get a book about JFK to read, sadly most cover his death rather then his life.

This one is about a very young Jack who felt unloved by his parents and admired his older brother who was killed in the war.  It talks of his slow introduction into politics and his climb to the Presidency.  It's filled with quotes from JFK which makes you feel more like you know the man rather then the President. His having to cope with Addison's Disease and his painful back and hiding it from the public is really quite dramatic.

I found out in this book that one of his hero's was Winston Churchill, and it showed in his inaugural speech...

 

"Kennedy and Ted Sorensen had been devoting a good deal of that Palm Beach time writing Jack's inaugural address

Given the ongoing challenge of the U.S.-- USSR relationship and its immense significance in the election, that theme would command the heart of the speech. Its focus was on strength- not as a prelude to war, but as an instrument for peace? "Man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life."

The Churchillian notion of peace through strength had echoed throughout Jack's adult life. " We dare not tempt them with weakness.  For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed" America would arm not to fight, but to parlay its power into protection. "Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversaries, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest fort peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction."

Those decisive phrases have not lost their resonance. "Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms- and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.  Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors.  Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the oceans depths, and encourage the arts and commerce."

The one domestic policy reference would be Kennedy's commitment to "human rights" at home as well as abroad.  At the end came the words that passed into the world's consciousness: " And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country."

Most of us remember the last sentence but not much else.

Many also thought our "race for space" was nothing more then "beating the Russians".. but it was a lot more in America's power struggle then "just" a race for space.

I enjoyed this book.  As always I learn one or two more things about Kennedy with each book, although this one wasn't just about his death... and for that I was glad.