Tag Archives: mysterious

Review: A Tale of Two Murders (book 1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

On the eve of the Victorian era, London has a new sleuth . . .

In the winter of 1835, young Charles Dickens is a journalist on the rise at the Evening Chronicle. Invited to dinner at the estate of the newspaper’s co-editor, Charles is smitten with his boss’s daughter, vivacious nineteen-year-old Kate Hogarth. They are having the best of times when a scream shatters the pleasant evening. Charles, Kate, and her father rush to the neighbors’ home, where Miss Christiana Lugoson lies unconscious on the floor. By morning, the poor young woman will be dead.

When Charles hears from a colleague of a very similar mysterious death a year ago to the date, also a young woman, he begins to suspect poisoning and feels compelled to investigate. The lovely Kate offers to help–using her social position to gain access to the members of the upper crust, now suspects in a murder. If Charles can find justice for the victims, it will be a far, far better thing than he has ever done. But with a twist or two in this most peculiar case, he and Kate may be in for the worst of times…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Tale of Two Murders by Heather Redmond is a both classic and an exciting mystery. This plot shows us, readers, a young Charles Dickens in love who ends up going after the bad guys. His investigation leads to many suspects. Especially, those in the top circles of society. His lady, Kate helps him get into the top circles to question the possible suspects. I was enchanted with this book. Intrigue, suspense, and a repeat of murders just like in the past…everything held my attention to the last page. The writer brilliantly took a famous person, Charles Dickens, and wove a masterpiece entailing him and his younger life. I cannot see how readers would not be hooked. My curiosity peaked the pages flew by. The intensity of mystery grew the further I dug into it. Overall, A Tale of Two Murders is a must read. A little bit of mystery, suspense, and history all wrapped into one stunning book.

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Review: The House of Binding Thorns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The multi-award-winning author of The House of Shattered Wings continues her Dominion of the Fallen saga as Paris endures the aftermath of a devastating arcane war….

As the city rebuilds from the onslaught of sorcery that nearly destroyed it, the great Houses of Paris, ruled by Fallen angels, still contest one another for control over the capital.

House Silverspires was once the most powerful, but just as it sought to rise again, an ancient evil brought it low. Phillippe, an immortal who escaped the carnage, has a singular goal—to resurrect someone he lost. But the cost of such magic might be more than he can bear.

In House Hawthorn, Madeleine the alchemist has had her addiction to angel essence savagely broken. Struggling to live on, she is forced on a perilous diplomatic mission to the underwater dragon kingdom—and finds herself in the midst of intrigues that have already caused one previous emissary to mysteriously disappear….

As the Houses seek a peace more devastating than war, those caught between new fears and old hatreds must find strength—or fall prey to a magic that seeks to bind all to its will.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette De Bodard is a fallen angel story. Fallen angels among others are fighting to own Paris. But after a war, they are struggling to make the city strong again. Still fighting over ownership, two houses are trying to combine power of ownership. Yet destruction still hangs in the air…ready to strike once more. Power, fear, and loyalties are tested within these pages. The plot felt slow to me. I felt like I was dragged through the book, in the slowest way possible. I did not feel connected to the characters. It was like they did whatever they felt like doing for their own goals. This book held potential to be more than what it presented. However, it fell short of those expectations.

 

Review: The Man He Never Was

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Rubart will leave readers inspired . . .” –Publishers Weekly STARRED review for The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on–with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside–like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury–and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us–and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart is an interesting twist to the classic, Dr. Jekyll andMr. Hyde. Except in this case, the bad part of the main protagonist disappears completely. Like it was never there. Tore Daniels has had an awful temper. He has a wonderful family but sometimes his temper could be really bad…Toren goes missing. His family believes he’s dead until he suddenly pops up at the doorstep of their house. That’s where it gets really weird. Where was he, how did he go missing, and what happened to him while he was gone? These questions kept playing over and over again. His wife tries to push his buttons to see his temper fly but somehow Toren seems to hold it in way better than he ever did. His wife wonders who is this man…I found that a bit funny. The mystery is solved and it was a sweet ending. I loved these characters. There is a lot of inspirational messages on marriage, love, hope, and faith included in this book. Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it to all.

Review: Secrets of Cavendon

Secrets of Cavendon (Cavendon Hall, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a stunning, epic novel featuring the characters of the beloved Cavendon series.

 

For years things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets among the Inghams and the Swanns. But since the end of World War II, things have changed. The Secrets of Cavendon picks up in the summer of 1949, with the new generation of the estate at the forefront of the scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford is an engaging historical read. It’s similar to Downton Abbey. A big enormous place that is getting harder to keep up with…and families that have poured their money into keeping it alive. Then, there’s the secrets and history that are revealed. Plus, it too is set after the war. I enjoyed reading this novel.

As with all wars, things change. Drastic changes affect the Ingham and the Swann families. Finding ways to manage the finances and ways of the heart intrigued my attention. There was a lot of backstory and made this hard to get into quickly. I couldn’t move between pages that fast, because I needed to learn what was going on and who was involved with what.

The history of Cavendon is explored on these pages. Major themes of betrayal, romance, and heartbreak are incorporated into the tale. Some characters I enjoyed following more so than others. One of the ones I loved was Aunt Charlotte. She and Cecily Ingham had personalities that just drew me more into the plot. But others were not as captivating as them. There is a bit of mystery to follow here. Other than that it’s mostly a drama novel. So much drama within this book.

Overall, I was intrigued but bored. It has a historical slash women’s fiction genre to it. The strong characters were the females. The males seemed to be left behind mostly in the background of the story. Secrets of the Cavendon is good, but could have been better.

Review: Long Black Veil

Long Black Veil

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2017

 

 

For fans of Donna Tartt and Megan Abbott, a novel about a woman whose family and identity are threatened by the secrets of her past, from the New York Times bestselling author of She’s Not There.

 

 

On a warm August night in 1980, six college students sneak into the dilapidated ruins of Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, looking for a thrill. With a pianist, a painter and a teacher among them, the friends are full of potential. But it’s not long before they realize they are locked in–and not alone. When the friends get lost and separated, the terrifying night ends in tragedy, and the unexpected, far-reaching consequences reverberate through the survivors’ lives. As they go their separate ways, trying to move on, it becomes clear that their dark night in the prison has changed them all. Decades later, new evidence is found, and the dogged detective investigating the cold case charges one of them–celebrity chef Jon Casey– with murder. Only Casey’s old friend, Judith Carrigan, can testify to his innocence.

But Judith is protecting long-held secrets of her own – secrets that, if brought to light, could destroy her career as a travel writer and tear her away from her fireman husband and teenage son. If she chooses to help Casey, she risks losing the life she has fought to build and the woman she has struggled to become. In any life that contains a “before” and an “after,” how is it possible to live one life, not two?

Weaving deftly between 1980 and the present day, and told in an unforgettable voice, Long Black Veil is an intensely atmospheric thriller that explores the meaning of identity, loyalty, and love. Readers will hail this as Boylan’s triumphant return to fiction.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan is an interesting novel. A thriller that holds a lot of action, intrigue, and danger. Explorations of murder, past secrets, and the truth are found among these thrilling scenes from their past. I was captivated. Jennifer Finney Boylan created a thick mysterious atmosphere in which I couldn’t deny. Her characters were believable. It was fun following them especially, Judith, as the intensity of the situation came unraveling from the past. Friendships tested, complex scenarios, and drama filled characters made for a fun read.

The pacing of this story was slow. Not quite up to my normal steady/fast paced environments that I usually love. The whole position of the friends locked up and things escalating out of control reminded me so much of Pretty Little Liars. I noticed that the book switches from past to future a lot. This was understandable as it explored the backstory of what happened to the cast of characters and what was currently happening to them now. Despite their past that haunts them as adults that they are now, I wasn’t that impressed with the rest of the current happenings of the story. Overall, it was good but not as good as I had expected.

 

 

Review: The Breathless

 

 

 

Synopsis:

No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.

Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.

And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.

And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen is a dark interesting read. The pages are deep and spooky. The plot was okay but it dragged a lot to me. I felt like I was going slow pace in a creepy horror film. This novel, was originally intended to be a suspense title. Yet, it wasn’t. Many explanations for things were left out completely. Plus, the scary factor was turned up full notch. Dark magic, Gothic mystery, and secrets that will entice readers every time. I was curious. My curiosity got the better of me with this read. It was good but could have been written better in my opinion. The characters were mysterious. Nobody but one person knows the real answers. Then, a book provides some interesting facts…and it’s like things may fall into place after all. But then, like I said, some more explanations were needed in several spots. I wasn’t sure of some things. Overall, this was an intriguing yet dark tale. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, the scary factor of this book would be your fit.

Review: The Phantom of the Opera

Synopsis:

First published in French as a serial in 1909, “The Phantom of the Opera” is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well until Christine’s childhood friend Raoul comes to visit his parents, who are patrons of the opera, and he sees Christine when she begins successfully singing on the stage. The voice, who is the deformed, murderous ‘ghost’ of the opera house named Erik, however, grows violent in his terrible jealousy, until Christine suddenly disappears. The phantom is in love, but it can only spell disaster. Leroux’s work, with characters ranging from the spoiled prima donna Carlotta to the mysterious Persian from Erik’s past, has been immortalized by memorable adaptations. Despite this, it remains a remarkable piece of Gothic horror literature in and of itself, deeper and darker than any version that follows.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is quite a tale. Dark, intense, and dramatic. Every page builds the momentum. Suspenseful and cleverly written. The Phantom Ghost is not a ghost at all. But a mere mortal. Yet he brings upon fear and darkness at the Opera. Love, jealous, and murder. This was an interesting piece of literature. I was in love. It had everything I expected and more. Gaston Leroux was a great writer. His words lured me deeper into his fictional world, The Phantom of the Opera. Music, death, and drama at the center. Absolutely, fascinating to read. I recommend this book to readers worldwide. 

Review: Beneath Copper Falls





Synopsis:

USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble returns to her beloved Rock Harbor—but both danger and romance hide in this idyllic small town.
Dana Newell has just moved to Rock Harbor to take a job as a sheriff’s dispatcher and is settling in next door to Bree and Kade Matthews. The abusive relationship she left behind seems a distant memory in this perfect place.
Her first day on the job, Dana receives a call from her friend Allyson who screams “He’s going to kill me too” before the phone goes dead. Dana immediately dispatches a deputy, but it’s too late. Allyson’s death is ruled an accident, but Dana just doesn’t believe it. She knows Allyson—an investigative reporter—was researching a new story. Did someone want to keep her quiet?
Dana continues to look into the accident with the help of Bree and also Allyson’s cousin Boone. Romance quickly blooms between Dana and Boone but the game is much more complex than either of them imagined. When Dana’s ex-fiance locates her, she’s caught in the middle. It’s a game of cat and mouse as she and Boone fight to catch one killer while evading another.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble is another stunning book! This author is another one of my all-time favorites. Her writing has a way of pulling me deeper into the plot. Heart pounding, thrilling, and dangerous. Beneath Copper Falls has it all. Mystery of a friend’s death. As that investigation continues it sends, one woman right in the harm’s way. Her abusive ex is after her again. Plus, there’s a killer that she and Boone are following. Two people wanting to move forward are thrust together. Heat transpires and the romance begins. But there are plenty of risks that comes with it. Then, there’s is the constant danger both have to dig themselves out of…once more, Colleen Coble has created a suspenseful story. Addictive once I got started. Most intriguing novel yet. Overall, I highly recommend this romantic suspense title to all. 

Review: The Miracle Maker and the Misfits 





Synopsis:

“Abby.” She felt his hand gently touching her shoulder. “Mom was murdered.”

“Charley!” Abby screamed, shooting off her chair. “Charley, what are you saying?” Her lips were spread thin in panic.

“Abby, I can tell you no more now, except that my father is a very dangerous man. For now, we could all be in danger.”

After years of separation, Julie had found peace and was excited to come home and be reunited with her crazed son, Charley, and her now grown sister, Abby.
But Julie never made it home.
When the shocking news of Julie’s death forced Abby to her sister’s burial, all of Abby’s dreams laid in that pine box along side of Julie. Their childhood days remained locked up inside of Abby and in the journals Julie had left behind.
But Abby doesn’t have much time to grieve, because when the Miracle Maker comes to the rural backwoods of Perjure County, he sets the young Charley free from legions of demons and ushers in a battle between light and darkness. Abby, a writer for the Edge Water Times, is assigned to follow this story, but she has no idea what this story will cost her.
Heart-shocking suspense follows Abby as she uncovers the truth of Julie’s death. As a sinister plot develops and controversy explodes, John, an old mysterious hero of yesteryears, steps back into Abby’s life. He and his friends are big believers in the Miracle Maker.
But, who is powerful enough to unlock Abby’s heart and help her to believe for a miracle? Who cares enough to rewrite hope into the script of her miserable life?
Find out in The Miracle Maker and the Misfits. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Miracle Maker and the Misfits by Dixie Koch is a stunning tale. The novel hooks its claws deeply into me. I was entertained throughout the book. The charcaters felt real. Their dilemmas had a way of holding onto my heart. Emotionally brilliant…I loved reading this story. Dixie Koch is indeed talented. The scenes and characters stayed with me even after I finished. Themes like hope and love can be found inside…I was truly engaging to read. Overall, I recommend The Miracle Maker and the Misfits to readers everywhere. 

Review: Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa



Synopsis:

When food writer David Dominé buys a three-story Victorian house, little does he know it is located in an enchanted neighborhood, one full of gargoyles and gas lamps, hidden courtyards, towers, turrets, and gingerbread trim. The 1890s structure he will call home becomes known as La Casa Fabulosa–or the fabulous house in Spanish–because of its elaborate façade. His is just one of hundreds of striking dwellings in an area famous for its fanciful architecture and 19th-century charm, however. The neighborhood is also replete with colorful characters–an assortment of vagrants, cross-dressers, gypsies, and random misfits that make life interesting, to say the least. There are even rumors of modern-day witches and voodoo queens. When strange noises and puzzling smells start to keep him awake at night, and bizarre coincidences punctuate his days, he discovers that enchantment can take many different forms. The oddballs and oddities, the weird and wonderful he encounters in this enchanted neighborhood come to life in Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa by David Domine is a unique memoir. His writing isn’t anything like others that I have read. If I didn’t know it was nonfiction, I would have thought it was a novel. The creativity and exciting scenes leaves readers with amazing visuals. I can see the writer as each moment happened. His thoughts about how strange everything was…as well as the unexpected outcomes. I love anything with a history. It seems the place the writer bought as his new home, has a ton of it. The architecture is the best. I can only imagine the stories behind it. The characters are eccentric. But they make the reading enjoyable. Some scary, mysterious, and hilarious details will keep readers intrigued. The title of this book also, caught my attention. It pulled me into its contents and from there I was on a journey. Exploring those around the main character. From neighbors to animals, there’s a bit of everything you can and couldn’t imagine. The humor is great. I definitely enjoyed reading Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa, and I highly recommend it to others. 

Review: Kitty Hawk & The Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost

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Synopsis:

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is the exciting second installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This second book in the series continues the adventures of Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot who has decided to follow in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart and make an epic flight around the entire world. After flying across North America Kitty’s journey takes her down south to Florida where she plans to get a bit of rest and relaxation before continuing on with the rest of her long and grueling flight.

As Kitty explores the strange and magical water world of the Florida Keys her knack for getting herself into precarious situations sweeps her headlong into the adventure of a lifetime involving mysterious lights, ancient shipwrecks, razor-toothed barracudas and even a sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself. This exhilarating story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept across the landscape and history of the Florida Keys all the way from Key West to the strange and remarkable world of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas.

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn about and experience as much of our amazing world as they can – just like Kitty Hawk herself.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

 Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost by Iain Reading is superb. Once more, I have been dragged into the adventures and mysteries that Kitty Hawk takes me through…she is truly a phenomenal character. Kitty is a teenage pilot who goes about traveling the world and solving mysteries. Sort of like Nancy Drew but much more interesting. Iain Reading has created a world of fiction that both entertains and educates readers. I love that about this series. Florida Keys is where this story takes place. Once there, Kitty finds mysterious situations that will only peak readers’ curiosity even more. Intriguing, spontaneous, and dangerous. Kitty Hawk had me holding my breath. Her bold ways of finding the truth is  crazy fun. Iain Reading kept me guessing with every page. The characters were perfectly suited for this book. I can see this novel as a cross-over read. All ages can find something to love about Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost. Travel from home and engage in fun activities. Fast-paced and brilliantly woven…I highly recommend this to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Guttersnipes 


Synopsis:

Charlie Daniels is more than six feet tall, allergic to almost everything, and has a pet dinosaur at home. His life in Arizona is relatively normal. That is, apart from the nightmares Charlie has… But when his dinosaur, Trike, gets kidnapped by a strange old lady and her cat-like sidekick, Charlie and his misfit friend Arty are sucked into a story bigger than both of them. Risking everything to rescue Trike, Charlie and Arty are flung into the past, landing in the chaos of New York City, 1865. Dodging the mysterious Nasten Cobblestine, and avoiding the perils of New York’s nastiest street cleaners’ strikes, test Charlie’s wits as well as his courage. All he wants to do is reunite with his dinosaur and somehow find a way back home… As Charlie searches for Trike, he draws dangerously close to P.T. Barnum’s eerie museum and the creature that lies within. Will he find Trike and get home alive? And who is the Ice Lady of his nightmares?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Guttersnipes by Scott Eric Barrett reminded me so much to the Night of the Museum movie. I felt that this had similar qualities. A fantasy adventure about a boy and his dinosaur. They get separated and the boy keeps searching for his dinosaur, Trike. However, the boy isn’t aware what everything is nor means but figures pieces out as the story unfolds. A father who isn’t what he appears. A danger that will carry on even beyond the ending…I am interested in reading the next book from this writer. I was intrigued. Just enough suspense, action, and danger to keep me turning the pages. Time travel, magic, and secrets. Charlie is an interesting character. I really liked him. His personality makes readers like myself feel compelled towards him. His caring and sweet ways are believable. Mysterious til the end, The Guttersnipes by Scott Eric Barrett is a must read for adults and children alike. I can see this as a crossover novel and as a big screen motion picture. Overall, I highly recommend this entertaining piece of fiction to all. 

Review: The Invitation

The Invitation by [Foley, Lucy]

 

Synopsis:

An evocative love story set along the Italian Riviera about a group of charismatic stars who all have secrets and pasts they try desperately–and dangerously–to hide.

Rome, 1953: Hal, an itinerant journalist flailing in the post-war darkness, has come to the Eternal City to lose himself and to seek absolution for the thing that haunts him. One evening he finds himself on the steps of a palazzo, walking into a world of privilege and light. Here, on a rooftop above the city, he meets the mysterious Stella. Hal and Stella are from different worlds, but their connection is magnetic. Together, they escape the crowded party and imagine a different life, even if it’s just for a night. Yet Stella vanishes all too quickly, and Hal is certain their paths won’t cross again.

But a year later they are unexpectedly thrown together after Hal receives an invitation he cannot resist. An Italian Contessa asks him to assist on a trip of a lifetime–acting as a reporter on a tremendous yacht, skimming its way along the Italian coast toward Cannes film festival, the most famous artists and movie stars of the day gathered to promote a new film.

Of all the luminaries aboard–an Italian ingenue, an American star, a reclusive director–only one holds Hal in thrall: Stella. And while each has a past, that belies the gilded surface, Stella has the most to hide. As Hal’s obsession with Stella grows, he becomes determined to bring back the girl she once was, the girl who’s been confined to history.

An irresistibly entertaining and atmospheric novel set in some of the world’s most glamorous locales, THE INVITATION is a sultry love story about the ways in which the secrets of the past stay with us–no matter how much we try to escape them.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Invitation by Lucy Foley is a historical romance story set in the 1950’s. Its tale takes readers deep into the darkness that surrounds the characters. Regret, sorrow, and loss. But even with that, there was also, the luxury of lives lived in glamorous ways. Rich, fascinating, and enticing. Lucy Foley magnificently creates, a world in which readers want to dive into time and time again. The emotional journey is one that baits and hooks readers deeper into the plot. Moving back and forth dipping into each character’s life so as to give readers a clearer picture of who they are. The mystery behind the characters and their dilemmas is fascinating to watch. This book is like a moving picture. The Invitation brings a realistic yet romantic story that nails me to its pages. A search for redemption and love is so great that I simply couldn’t put the book down…to stop reading. I highly recommend this to fans of historicals, romances, and family sagas. Lucy Foley is indeed a talented writer.