Friday, October 18, 2013

Justice Hall (Mary Russell #6)

My Rating: 4/5 Review: This was much better than the one before it, I must say. The intrigue of an ancient ancestral home, as well as a perplexing murder mystery quite appealed to me. I enjoy taking my time with these books, mainly because I can (I have been borrowing them from my parents). It's funny. I can go days without reading, then catch right back up where I left off. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holms have become good friends to me, and I am looking forward to their next adventure. Book Description: Only hours after Holmes and Russell return from solving one riddle on the moor, another knocks on their front door…literally. It’s a mystery that begins during the Great War, when Gabriel Hughenfort died amidst scandalous rumors that have haunted the family ever since. But it’s not until Holmes and Russell arrive at Justice Hall, a home of unearthly perfection set in a garden modeled on Paradise, that they fully understand the irony echoed in the family motto, Justicia fortitudo mea est: “Righteousness is my strength.” A trail of ominous clues leads Holmes and Russell from an English hamlet to fashionable Paris to the wild prairie of the New World. But as the moment of reckoning approaches, will justice be done…or have they been lured straight into an elusive killer’s perfectly baited trap?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Demons Among Us

My rating: 4/5 Stars Review: This was quite an interesting story, with very creepy undertones. In fact, the creepiness just sneaks up on you as you're reading. I like that. Book Description: One afternoon he receives a visitor at his campus office, a strikingly thin woman who offers him an invitation: travel to Venice, Italy, witness a “phenomenon,” and offer his professional opinion, in return for an extravagant sum of money. Needing a fresh start, David accepts and heads to Italy with his beloved twelve-year-old daughter Tess. What happens in Venice will send David on an unimaginable journey from skeptic to true believer, as he opens himself up to the possibility that demons really do exist. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David attempts to rescue his daughter from the Unnamed—a demonic entity that has chosen him as its messenger.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Prisoner, a Doctor, and a Widow

My Rating: 4/5 stars Review: This was an interesting book, with three very different female perspectives. There is Karen, who is on death row in a Texas prison. She is also dying of AIDS. Quite a different story than anything I've every read before. Then there is Celia, who's husband Karen murdered during her last killing spree. Her character and story is a little more of what I'm used to. Finally, there's Franny, a doctor having a hard time dealing with the death of a young cancer patient. Her uncle, the man who raised her from the age of six, after her parents were killed in a car crash, dies while working at the prison where Karen resides. This brings Franny into Karen's life, and eventually into Celia's as well. I enjoyed the short chapters, the different points of view, and the fast-paced storyline.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Small Town Girl Makes it Big

My Rating: 4/5 Review: The book was so long, and the subject so ordinary, that you'd think it would be boring. It wasn't. I found myself enjoying Dena Nordstrom's story. She's a famous news reporter with an interesting past, and a mysterious mother who disappeared on her around Christmas a long time ago. The characters in the book are all so very real, and most of them quite humorous in their little ways. I love how Dena's character develops, and was quite pleased with the ending. Book Description: Once again, Flagg's humor and respect and affection for her characters shine forth. Many inhabit small-town or suburban America. But this time, her heroine is urban: a brainy, beautiful, and ambitious rising star of 1970s television. Dena Nordstrom, pride of the network, is a woman whose future is full of promise, her present rich with complications, and her past marked by mystery.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Female Jack the Ripper?

My Rating:4/5 Review: I wasn't sure I was going to like this one at first, but after a few chapters, I was hooked. The main character, Lacey, is a rookie cop in London, England. She also has a past that is coming back to kick her in the butt. Someone is playing at Jack the Ripper, and doing a gory job of it. As the story goes along, secrets are revealed, bodies keep turning up, and a mystery gets more and more intriguing. There's also a bit of sexual tension between Lacey and a handsome, but arrogant senior detective. The ending was very good, and I definitely plan to continue the series.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Magic Diary

My Rating: 4/5 Review: While I strongly dislike long chapters with no pause, I did enjoy this book a lot. It was very mysterious and interesting. I absolutely detested the main character, Tamara, at first. She was far too crude and hateful. I assume that was intentional, since I grew to like her a lot as she changed into a more appealing teenager. Tamara was a spoiled, mean, rich girl, until her father took his own life and their wealth was completely lost. She and her mother end up living with relatives, who happened to live near a ruined castle. I liked the whimsy of that. Tamara's mother is severely depressed, and mostly unresponsive, which concerns Tamara. When she discovers a book in a traveling library van, she is completely shocked to find her own handwriting inside several days later. All of a sudden, she has a chance to change the future, and unravel the mysteries that have plagued her since arriving at her relatives' home. It will also help her to bring her mother back from whatever dark place her mind has taken her to. I enjoyed the English scenery, the various characters, and the way the author kept the mystery hidden until the very end.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Depression Era Key West

My Rating: 4/5 Review: I loved this story about a young woman living in Key West, FL during the depression era. It was also an interesting glimpse into the life of one of the most famous authors of all time. I was drawn in from the beginning and completely moved by the end. Book Description: In Depression-era Key West, Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban woman, knows hunger. Her struggle to support her family following her father’s death leads her to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a risky boxing match...and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who are laboring to build the Overseas Highway. When Mariella is hired as a maid by Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline, she enters a rarified world of lavish, celebrity-filled dinner parties and elaborate off-island excursions. As she becomes caught up in the tensions and excesses of the Hemingway household, the attentions of the larger-than-life writer become a dangerous temptation...even as the reliable Gavin Murray draws her back to what matters most. Will she cross an invisible line with the volatile Hemingway, or find a way to claim her own dreams? As a massive hurricane bears down on Key West, Mariella faces some harsh truths...and the possibility of losing everything she loves.