My Photo
Name:
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, September 29, 2015

Books Read in September

 

Books Read in September

54..The Devil in the White City.........Erik Larson.........(447 pgs)

55..The Woman in Black..................Susan Hill..........(200 pgs)

56..Mayhem..............................Sarah Pinborough....(352 pgs)

57..The Italian Secretary...............Caleb Carr..........(350 pgs)

58..The Harvest Man.....................Alex Grecian........(400 pgs)

Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—and Jack the Ripper—return, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.
In The Devil’s Workshop, London discovered that Jack the Ripper was back, sending the city—and Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—into chaos. But now it is even worse. Not only is the Ripper still at large, but so is another killer just as bad.
For Inspector Walter Day, it has been a difficult time. His wife has given birth to twins, his hostile in-laws have come to stay, and a leg injury has kept him at his desk. But when the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, the Yard knows they need Day in the field.
Not so Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Rash actions have cost him his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard, so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back.
Of course, the Ripper’s been playing a game with him—with Walter Day, as well. He is pushing both of them to their limits, and what happens when they get there . . . no one can say.

59..The Tale of Halcyon Crane...........Wendy Webb..........(328 pgs)

A young woman travels alone to a remote island to uncover a past she never knew was hers in this thrilling modern ghost story

When a mysterious letter lands in Hallie James's mailbox, her life is upended. Hallie was raised by her loving father, having been told her mother died in a fire decades earlier. But it turns out that her mother, Madlyn, was alive until very recently. Why would Hallie's father have taken her away from Madlyn? What really happened to her family thirty years ago?

In search of answers, Hallie travels to the place where her mother lived, a remote island in the middle of the Great Lakes. The stiff islanders fix her first with icy stares and then unabashed amazement as they recognize why she looks so familiar, and Hallie quickly realizes her family's dark secrets are enmeshed in the history of this strange place. But not everyone greets her with such a chilly reception--a coffee-shop owner and the family's lawyer both warm to Hallie, and the possibility of romance blooms. And then there's the grand Victorian house bequeathed to her--maybe it's the eerie atmosphere or maybe it's the prim, elderly maid who used to work for her mother, but Hallie just can't shake the feeling that strange things are starting to happen . . .

In The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb has created a haunting story full of delicious thrills, vibrant characters, and family secrets.

 

All of the books I read this month were very good! (I hope next month goes as well!!)

Of the six books, the "best of the best", were the last two books, The Harvest Man and The Tale of Halcyon Crane.  The first 3 books were listed for RIP but in truth all of these could have been read for RIP.

I hope you all had some good reading in the month of September!!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Tale of Halcyon Crane

The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb.

Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt(March 30, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0805091408

Amazon Review..

A young woman travels alone to a remote island to uncover a past she never knew was hers in this thrilling modern ghost story

When a mysterious letter lands in Hallie James's mailbox, her life is upended. Hallie was raised by her loving father, having been told her mother died in a fire decades earlier. But it turns out that her mother, Madlyn, was alive until very recently. Why would Hallie's father have taken her away from Madlyn? What really happened to her family thirty years ago?

In search of answers, Hallie travels to the place where her mother lived, a remote island in the middle of the Great Lakes. The stiff islanders fix her first with icy stares and then unabashed amazement as they recognize why she looks so familiar, and Hallie quickly realizes her family's dark secrets are enmeshed in the history of this strange place. But not everyone greets her with such a chilly reception--a coffee-shop owner and the family's lawyer both warm to Hallie, and the possibility of romance blooms. And then there's the grand Victorian house bequeathed to her--maybe it's the eerie atmosphere or maybe it's the prim, elderly maid who used to work for her mother, but Hallie just can't shake the feeling that strange things are starting to happen . . .

In The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb has created a haunting story full of delicious thrills, vibrant characters, and family secrets.

This is my second book by Wendy Webb. (not a series). The First one I read by her was The Fate of Mercy Alban.

This book, The Tale of Halcyon Crane is a fabulous book for the Fall and for those who like ghost stories! 

Very well written. 

Very readable. 

Hard to put down.  

To be honest I am not a great "ghost story" lover, but this was a really good book!  Some who know me will be shocked that I've read a book that doesn't take place in the UK.  Even the author is from the USA! lol.  However, she did great "island building" so that you felt you were on this remote Island with the locals who lived there year round yet made most of their money during the summer from tourists and from the rich who kept "summer cottages" on the Island.

So if you like books that have "deep dark secrets" to reveal and a good ghost story you will certainly enjoy this book.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Harvest Man

The  Harvest Man by Alex Grecian.

Series: Scotland Yard's Murder Squad (Book 4)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (May 19, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0399166440

 

 

Amazon Review....

Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—and Jack the Ripper—return, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.
In The Devil’s Workshop, London discovered that Jack the Ripper was back, sending the city—and Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—into chaos. But now it is even worse. Not only is the Ripper still at large, but so is another killer just as bad.
For Inspector Walter Day, it has been a difficult time. His wife has given birth to twins, his hostile in-laws have come to stay, and a leg injury has kept him at his desk. But when the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, the Yard knows they need Day in the field.
Not so Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Rash actions have cost him his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard, so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back.
Of course, the Ripper’s been playing a game with him—with Walter Day, as well. He is pushing both of them to their limits, and what happens when they get there . . . no one can say.

This is the 4th book of the Scotland Yard's Murder Squad that Alex Grecian has written..and the fourth book of his I have read!

OMG!  These Alex Grecian books just keep getting better!!! 

This one open with a 3 page "preface" that is such a "Hook" you can't put the book down!

I mean.... this book contains three, (count them! THREE) murderers!  And one is: of course, Jack the Ripper. But the main hunt is for "The Harvest Man".  I don't think I want to describe his murders to you because they are gruesome!  Yet they make perfect sense to the murderer.

The first three Grecian books: The Yard, The Black Country, and The Devil's Workshop were all terrific, and could if wanted, be read without following the whole series.  The Murder Squad uses the same characters,  however the first 3 books all have a beginning, middle, and end... where as........................... The Harvest Man is left a bit of a cliffhanger!  And the next book doesn't come out until next MAY!!   I was fine waiting for the new books when there wasn't a cliffhanger!!!  Why did he have to go and do this to me??!!  ARGH!!. 

This is an excellent book and one I couldn't put down.  Excellent "Scotland Yard" stories if you are into that sort of thing.

The Harvest Man

The  Harvest Man by Alex Grecian.

Series: Scotland Yard's Murder Squad (Book 4)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (May 19, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0399166440

 

 

Amazon Review....

Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—and Jack the Ripper—return, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.
In The Devil’s Workshop, London discovered that Jack the Ripper was back, sending the city—and Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—into chaos. But now it is even worse. Not only is the Ripper still at large, but so is another killer just as bad.
For Inspector Walter Day, it has been a difficult time. His wife has given birth to twins, his hostile in-laws have come to stay, and a leg injury has kept him at his desk. But when the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, the Yard knows they need Day in the field.
Not so Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Rash actions have cost him his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard, so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back.
Of course, the Ripper’s been playing a game with him—with Walter Day, as well. He is pushing both of them to their limits, and what happens when they get there . . . no one can say.

This is the 4th book of the Scotland Yard's Murder Squad that Alex Grecian has written..and the fourth book of his I have read!

OMG!  These Alex Grecian books just keep getting better!!! 

This one open with a 3 page "preface" that is such a "Hook" you can't put the book down!

I mean.... this book contains three, (count them! THREE) murderers!  And one is: of course, Jack the Ripper. But the main hunt is for "The Harvest Man".  I don't think I want to describe his murders to you because they are gruesome!  Yet they make perfect sense to the murderer.

The first three Grecian books: The Yard, The Black Country, and The Devil's Workshop were all terrific, and could if wanted, be read without following the whole series.  The Murder Squad uses the same characters,  however the first 3 books all have a beginning, middle, and end... where as........................... The Harvest Man is left a bit of a cliffhanger!  And the next book doesn't come out until next MAY!!   I was fine waiting for the new books when there wasn't a cliffhanger!!!  Why did he have to go and do this to me??!!  ARGH!!. 

This is an excellent book and one I couldn't put down.  Excellent "Scotland Yard" stories if you are into that sort of thing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Italian Secretary

The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin(October 27, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0312352042

    

 

Caleb Carr's novel, The Alienest, was a blockbuster international bestseller and positioned its author as a modern master of the historical thriller. Now, Carr reaches back further, to the age of opium dens and Jack the Ripper, when fictional detective Sherlock Holmes made the science of murder as real as the gore on a killer's hands…

FOUL WHISPERINGS…

Mycroft Holmes's encoded message to his brother, Sherlock, is unsubtle enough even for Dr. Watson to decipher: a matter concerning the safety of Queen Victoria herself calls them to Edinburgh's Holyroodhouse to investigate the confounding and gruesome deaths of two young men--horrific incidents that took place with Her Highness in residence. The victims were crushed in a manner surpassing human power. And while recent attempts on Her Majesty's life raise a number of possibilities, these intrigues also seem strangely connected to an act of evil that took place centuries earlier…

…UNNATURAL DEEDS
For indeed, the slaying of David Rizzio, music master and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots, was an extraordinarily brutal and treacherous act--even for a time when brutality and treachery were the order of the day. Now, the ghosts of Holyroodhouse are being reawakened by someone with a diabolical agenda of greed, madness, and terror as Holmes and Watson set out to trap a killer who is eager to rewrite history in blood...

This is my second book by Caleb Carr, the first being The Alienist.

This is a Sherlock Holmes story.  Generally, I am not the biggest fan of Holmes books that aren't by Doyle, but since I liked the writing of the first Carr book I decided to give it a go.

His writing is really good. The old Holmes language is used and I had no problem hearing Basil Rathbone's voice for Sherlock. (As much as I love Benedict Cumberbatch, Basil Rathbone will always remain the "original").   Carr used the familiar characters of Watson and Mycroft, but put them in Scotland instead of Baker Street.  Still if you are a Holmes fan, even if Doyle isn't the author I would say you would like this book.

The only problem, at all, that I had with this book  was, "Holyroodhouse".  I won't tell you how many times I read "Hollywoodhouse".. *sigh*.

This would be a good "carry along" book. Not big in pages and there's not many who don't like Sherlock!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Mayhem

 

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (January 6, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1623658764

(Book 3 for RIP)

Amazon Review

"A compulsively readable story that starts as a conventional murder mystery and morphs, by degrees, into a horrifying supernatural thriller," The Guardian said of Mayhem.
A virtuoso fantasy writer, Sarah Pinborough has won numerous awards including the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story. In Mayhem Pinborough turns her attention to one of the most baffling and notorious crime sprees in Victorian times.
Already frustrated in their attempts to capture serial murderer Jack the Ripper, the detectives of Scotland Yard are suddenly confronted with a new monster, dubbed the Torso Killer for his habit of leaving behind neatly wrapped parcels of his victims' body parts, minus the heads. With the terrible increase in mutilated corpses to examine, the highly regarded police surgeon Dr. Thomas Bond has lost the ability to sleep. True, a growing dependency on opium affords him some solace in his loneliest and most desperate hours, but he also fears the grip of the drug.
During Dr. Bond's nightly tours of London's underbelly in search of pharmaceutical respite from the horrors that plague him by day, he encounters a mysterious Jesuit priest scouring the opium dens himself, clearly in search of someone--or something. The doctor at first rejects the strange priest's unnatural theories about the Torso Killer as an affront to scientific thought. But over time Dr. Bond's opium-addled mind begins to crumble under the growing impression that there might be some awful truth to the Jesuit's ideas.
As the police struggle to capture two serial killers, the troubled forensics expert begins to suspect that he may actually know the Torso Killer personally. If he is right, Dr. Bond will need all the strength he can muster to save his small circle of loved ones from falling victim to the bloody depravities of this twisted creature.

Poor England back in the 1800's, just how many mass murderers can London have?!!!

Of course I liked this book.  The time period and being in England, and I've read a number of books over the years about Jack the Ripper .. and having recently come from reading The Alienist, this followed right along with the "descriptions" of the murder victims. So if you have a weak stomach you might want to skip this one. I am not one to enjoy much "supernatural"  but it was written well so I really did enjoy the book!

Anyone who knows me knows that I really don't write a "review" since I do generally buy my books by the Amazon review, I figure many others would.  All I can add to it, without giving more away, is that if you like period piece mysteries/ murders and such then this book should go on your list.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Woman in Black

(Book 2 for RIP)

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Vintage;(January 3, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0307745317

A classic ghost story: the chilling tale of a menacing specter haunting a small English town. Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford--a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway--to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow's house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images--a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black.

Well, this certainly is the perfect book for RIP!

I am not usually into ghost stories but this one was done really well.

Just the fact that it depended on the tide to get to the house in question was enough to make ME want to stay away!   I didn't see the movie when it came out and had wanted to since it was Danielle Radcliff.  Maybe I will consider picking up the movie!

The Amazon review is a better review than I could ever give.  I did find that it was one of those books you pick up immediately upon sitting down in your favorite chair.  Since it isn't a big book you read it rather quickly!

If you still need a book to read.. this would be a perfect read!

Friday, September 04, 2015

Devil in the White City

 

(Book 1 for RIP X)

 

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

Paperback: 447 pages
Publisher: Vintage (February 10, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0375725601

Amazon.com Review

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims. Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson's skillful writing

My first book for RIP.. I have read In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson and liked it so I thought I'd give this a try. (also heard it's being made into a movie).

I have to say most of the book was about the building of the Cleveland Words Fair, and less about the serial murderer that seemed to attach himself to being by the Fair to draw in more victims.  So for me the building of the Fair was slow and not very exciting to me.  Historically, which I generally like reading about, I learned a few things (not much). And through a lot of the book they barely mention the murderer Dr. Holmes.  He was finally given a whole chapter at one point to peek your interest but it wasn't until near the end that you finally really learn about him. 

So for me this was a slow reader.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

RIP X

It's hard to believe R.I.P is  here for the Tenth year! and what great art by Abigail Larson to make it so perfect.  This year Carl is passing the "torch" to The Estella Society to run the reading challenge.

RIP is one of our favorite events, so when Carl asked us to host, we practically jumped out of our skins with excitement! 10 years is quite an accomplishment for any event, so we’re glad you’re here to celebrate with us!

Without further ado, pick your poison, won’t you? September 1st is here, and we’re ready to begin!

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on, we’ve discovered that simple rules are best:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

As Carl does each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have too many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.

R.I.P. X officially runs from September 1st through October 31st.

I have decided to choose Peril the Second to read 2 books pertaining to the list of types of books.

A few of the books I have to choose from are:

Wilkie Collins: The Haunted Hotel and Other Stories

Susan Hill: The Woman in Black

Susan Hill: The Various Haunts of Men

Marie Kiraly: Mina

and Charlaine Harris Dead in the Family

I have other murderous books so I am not sure I will read just from this pile.. but it's a place to start!

 

 

So here's to another R.I.P year!  Hope you all join in!