Looking For A Good Book? Read These Now

 

I read – and liked – Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger a few months ago but wanted to wait until it came out to write about it. She’s a great author and I enjoyed the book.  I was hooked within the first couple of chapters.  The main character of Nell was tough and smart, I admired her!

 

FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn’t been home in ten years. Nell and her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, have never had much of a relationship. And Suffolk County will always be awash in memories of her mother, Marisol, who was brutally murdered when Nell was just seven.

When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns to the house she grew up in so that she can spread her father’s ashes and close his estate. At the behest of her father’s partner, Detective Lee Davis, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect–and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks. Plagued by doubts about her mother’s murder–and her own role in exonerating her father in that case–Nell can’t help but ask questions about who killed Ria Ruiz and Adriana Marques and why. But she may not like the answers she finds–not just about those she loves, but about herself.

Get the book here.

 

 

Here’s another fantastic book from J. Ryan Stradal, author of one of my favorite books from a few years ago, Kitchens of the Great Midwest. Now you can dig into his newest novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota.

I really like the author’s writing style and I thoroughly enjoyed the setting!

Two sisters, one farm. A family is split when their father leaves their shared inheritance entirely to Helen, his younger daughter. Despite baking award-winning pies at the local nursing home, her older sister, Edith, struggles to make what most people would call a living. So she can’t help wondering what her life would have been like with even a portion of the farm money her sister kept for herself.

With the proceeds from the farm, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country, and makes their company motto ubiquitous: “Drink lots. It’s Blotz.” Where Edith has a heart as big as Minnesota, Helen’s is as rigid as a steel keg. Yet one day, Helen will find she needs some help herself, and she could find a potential savior close to home. . . if it’s not too late.

Meanwhile, Edith’s granddaughter, Diana, grows up knowing that the real world requires a tougher constitution than her grandmother possesses. She earns a shot at learning the IPA business from the ground up–will that change their fortunes forever, and perhaps reunite her splintered family?

Quirky characters? Sisters? Food? Yes, yes, and yes! Read it right now.

 

 

If weird and suspenseful is what you look for in a book, grab a copy of The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson.

Phoebe Miller isn’t sure when the rusty car started showing up in the cul-de-sac she calls home, or why its driver would be spying on her. What could be interesting about an unhappy housewife who drowns her sorrows in ice cream and wine and barely leaves her house?

Only one knows why.

When a new family moves in across the street–the exuberant Vicki, who just might become the gossipy best friend Phoebe’s always wanted, and her handsome college-bound son, Jake, who offers companionship of a different variety–Phoebe finds her dull routine infused with the excitement she’s been missing. But with her head turned she’s no longer focused on the woman in the car. And she really should be…

I obsessively read books like this and love being pulled into a tangled web of thrills and twists. This is an entertaining read!

Find it here.

 

 

Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear features detective Cat Kinsella in the second book of the series.  Don’t worry if you didn’t read the first book, Sweet Little Lies, this one can stand alone.

This murder mystery/police procedural started slowly but picked up speed and was a great read! I really like the scrappy character of Cat. I found the storyline to be suspenseful and gritty, my personal favorite.  I also tend to love books that take place in England!

After a brief stint in the Mayor’s Office, Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is back at the London Metropolitan Police, wisecracking with her partner Luigi Parnell and trying to avoid the wrath of the boss, DI Kate Steele.

But for Cat and Parnell, it’s serious business when a young Australian woman turns up dead after a party thrown by her new boss. The initial investigation of Naomi Lockhart’s murder points to Joseph Madden, the owner of a coffee shop around the corner from police headquarters. Madden insists he’s innocent, that he was home with his wife Rachel at the time of the murder. When police question her, Rachel contradicts his alibi, swearing that she was home alone.

While the team builds its case against Joseph, Cat is tasked with getting to the heart of the Maddens’ marriage. Cat knows that one of them is lying—but the question of which one, and why, is far more complicated than she could have expected. As she tries to balance the demands of the investigation with a budding romance and unresolved family drama, Cat has to decide how far she’ll go to keep her own past mistakes buried.

 

Get it here!

 

Sometimes I forget how much I absolutely love historical fiction! I get caught up reading suspense and thrillers and like to switch up genres for a break from murder and mystery. The Summer Country by Lauren Willig was the ideal novel to read in between darker stories!

1854. From Bristol to Barbados. . . .Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous merchant clan—merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheiritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills—so eager that they invite Emily and her cousins to stay with them indefinitely? Emily finds herself bewitched by the beauty of the island even as she’s drawn into the personalities and politics of forty years before: a tangled history of clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

When family secrets begin to unravel and the harsh truth of history becomes more and more plain, Emily must challenge everything she thought she knew about her family, their legacy . . . and herself.

I loved everything about the authors writing and this wonderful story. I enjoyed the details of the time period, the setting of Barbados, the main characters and I know you will enjoy it too!

Find it here.

 

Have you read The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean? What caught my eye about this was the description of it being a “coming of age” story. I enjoy those and this one has a thread of mystery through it which kept the story moving forward.

It was 1992 – the summer the Van Apfel sisters, Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – disappear.

Eleven and one-sixth years old, Tikka is the precocious narrator of this fabulously endearing coming-of-age story, set in an eerie Australian river valley suburb with an unexplained stench. The Van Apfel girls vanish from the valley during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river. While the search for the sisters unites the small community on Sydney’s urban fringe, the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved forever.

This book is sad and atmospheric, written very well and its a story that stayed with me for a while.

Get it here.

Coming Soon, Add These To Your Reading List…

 

 

This was a quick read for me because I wanted to know what was going to happen, how was this story going to conclude? Devotion by Madeline Stevens takes place in New York, the Upper East Side where a strange woman named Ella takes on a job as the nanny for a wealthy couple. Ella immediately gravitates towards the wife, Lonnie and develops a near-infatuation with her.

Ella is unstable, Lonnie is unhappy which seems to be the perfect catalyst for Ella’s increasingly strange behavior.

Ella is flat broke: wasting away on bodega coffee, barely making rent, seducing the occasional strange man who might buy her dinner. Unexpectedly, an Upper East Side couple named Lonnie and James rescue her from her empty bank account, offering her a job as a nanny and ushering her into their moneyed world. Ella’s days are now spent tending to the baby in their elegant brownstone or on extravagant excursions with the family. Both women are just 26 – but unlike Ella, Lonnie has a doting husband and son, unmistakable artistic talent, and old family money.

Ella is mesmerized by Lonnie’s girlish affection and disregard for the normal boundaries of friendship and marriage. Convinced there must be a secret behind Lonnie’s seemingly effortless life, Ella begins sifting through her belongings, meticulously cataloguing lipstick tubes and baby teeth and scraps of writing. All the while, Ella’s resentment grows, but so does an inexplicable and dizzying attraction. Soon Ella will be immersed so deeply in her cravings – for Lonnie’s lifestyle, her attention, her lovers – that she may never come up for air.

 

The writing is rich and descriptive, I liked the book and the setting but I didn’t like the character of Ella.

Get it here. Due out next week!

 

 

Date Night by Samantha Hayes captivated me! I loved this book which I read in recond time. It was a wonderful combination of setting, murder, mysterious characters and being in the wrong place at the wrong time AND a surprise twist. I also like when a book moves quickly and keeps the tension tight.

Returning early from a disastrous date night with my husband, I know something is wrong the moment the wheels crunch the gravel drive of our home. Inside, the TV is on and a half-eaten meal waits on the table. My heart stops when I find our little girl is alone in the house and our babysitter, Sasha, is missing…

Days later, when I’m arrested for Sasha’s murder and torn away from my perfect little family, I’ll wish I had told someone about the threatening note I received that morning.

I’ll hate myself for not finding out who the gift hidden inside my husband’s wardrobe was for.  I’ll scream from the rooftops that I’m innocent – but no one will listen. I will realise I was completely wrong about everything that happened that night… But will you believe me?

It all starts with a note on Libby’s windshield warning her that her husband is cheating. Of course, she is worried and nervous though he insists he’s not cheating on her. Maybe going out on a nice date will help get them back on track. Only their date night is the beginning of things really going wrong- including their missing babysitter and a cast of characters who had reason to set Libby up for murder.

This one was an excellent read! It coming out on August 20,  only $3.99 on Kindle.

 

 

If you enjoy true crime books (Ann Rule was my favorite true crime author) and podcasts (My Favorite Murder, Crime Junkie, Sword and Scale) as I do, Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession by Rachel Monroe needs to be on your Must Read list!

In this illuminating exploration of women, violence, and obsession, Rachel Monroe interrogates the appeal of true crime through four narratives of fixation. In the 1940s, a frustrated heiress began creating dollhouse crime scenes depicting murders, suicides, and accidental deaths. Known as the “Mother of Forensic Science,” she revolutionized the field of what was then called legal medicine. In the aftermath of the Manson Family murders, a young woman moved into Sharon Tate’s guesthouse and, over the next two decades, entwined herself with the Tate family. In the mid-nineties, a landscape architect in Brooklyn fell in love with a convicted murderer, the supposed ringleader of the West Memphis Three, through an intense series of letters. After they married, she devoted her life to getting him freed from death row. And in 2015, a teenager deeply involved in the online fandom for the Columbine killers planned a mass shooting of her own.

Each woman, Monroe argues, represents and identifies with a particular archetype that provides an entryway into true crime. Through these four cases, she traces the history of American crime through the growth of forensic science, the evolving role of victims, the Satanic Panic, the rise of online detectives, and the long shadow of the Columbine shooting. In a combination of personal narrative, reportage, and a sociological examination of violence and media in the twentieth and twenty-first century, Savage Appetites scrupulously explores empathy, justice, and the persistent appeal of violence.

The stories focus on four archetypes of females- detective, victim, attorney, and killer. Savage Appetites looks at each of these types with detail and insight which I found fascinating. I highly recommend this book if you have a desire to learn about the darker side of human nature, what makes us gravitate towards these murders and mysteries?

Due out on August 20.

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