Quick Reviews: Have You Read These Amazing Books Yet?


The Intern by Michele Campbell did not disappoint. Michele is one of my favorite authors and when I see a new book by her, I want to read it even without reading the plot. All of her novels are well-written, gripping, and satisfying.  If you haven’t read this one yet, get it right now!


Madison Rivera lands the internship of a lifetime working for Judge Kathryn Conroy. But Madison has a secret that could destroy her career. Her troubled younger brother Danny has been arrested, and Conroy is the judge on his case.

When Danny goes missing after accusing the judge of corruption, Madison’s quest for answers brings her deep into the judge’s glamorous world. Is Kathryn Conroy a mentor, a victim, or a criminal? Is she trying to help Madison or use her as a pawn? And why is somebody trying to kill her?

As the two women circle each other in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game, will they save each other, or will betrayal leave one of them dead?



Another auto-read author is A.J. Banner. I think my favorite of her books is a novel from a few years ago called The Poison Garden. That book had me staying up into the wee hours of the morning, I couldn’t stop reading!

Dreaming of Water is her latest, and it was a good read! I thought this was solid- it held my interest and I was satisfied with the plot and the ending.


Astrid Johansen swore she would never return to Heron Bay, Washington. In that idyllic coastal town, her little sister, Nina, drowned in a reflecting pool under Astrid’s watch seventeen years ago. Though guilt has kept her away, Astrid can’t ignore her aunt Maude’s urgent plea to come back. Maude claims to have found a letter that will change everything about the past.

When Astrid arrives in Heron Bay, she finds Maude unconscious, perhaps the victim of an attack. As Maude lingers in a coma, Astrid uncovers alarming evidence that Nina’s drowning that tragic night was no accident. But in a town rife with secrets, and in a family still fractured by grief, who knows the truth?

Astrid’s investigation leads her down a trail of dark memories, lies, and betrayals that will shatter her perception of everyone she thought she knew—even herself.



So many people I know read and loved Stephanie Land’s first book, Maid. I read it then watched the Netflix series and thoroughly enjoyed both. I was completely gripped by her story and her struggles. I sympathized with her determination and wanted to see her succeed.

Class, her follow-up, recently came out, and it details her desire to continue her education and her ongoing struggles. I was so excited to dig in where we left off in Maid, and see how Stephanie’s life unfolded since. She is a fantastic writer, that’s for sure, and she certainly has talent.

I didn’t feel the same amount of sympathy in this book and couldn’t relate to her constantly poor choices and risky behavior. Her attitude rubbed me the wrong way and when I finished the book, I felt lukewarm about it. I wanted to see her succeed, but this book didn’t leave me feeling the same as her first.


When Stephanie Land set out to write her memoir Maid, she never could have imagined what was to come. Handpicked by President Barack Obama as one of the best books of 2019, it was called “an eye-opening journey into the lives of the working poor” (People). Later it was adapted into the hit Netflix series Maid, which was viewed by 67 million households and was Netflix’s fourth most-watched show in 2021, garnering three Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Stephanie’s escape out of poverty and abuse in search of a better life inspired millions.

Maid was a story about a housecleaner, but it was also a story about a woman with a dream. In Class, Land takes us with her as she finishes college and pursues her writing career. Facing barriers at every turn including a byzantine loan system, not having enough money for food, navigating the judgments of professors and fellow students who didn’t understand the demands of attending college while under the poverty line—Land finds a way to survive once again, finally graduating in her mid-thirties.



This book got my attention when it was described as “savage satire” and I knew I needed to read it. The Other Half by Charlotte Vassell is a murder mystery with a host of unlikeable characters which can be very fun. Ridiculous, satirical, and over-the-top is sometimes just the break we need from heavy and serious suspense books.


Who killed Clemmie? Was it the blithe, sociopathic boyfriend? His impossibly wealthy godmother? The gallery owner with whom Clemmie was having an affair? Or was it the result of something else entirely?

All the party-goers have alibis. Naturally. This investigation is going to be about aristocrats and Classics degrees, Instagram influencers and whose father knows who.

Or is it ‘whom’? Detective Caius Beauchamp isn’t sure. He’s sharply dressed, smart, and thoroughly modern—he discovers Clemmie’s body on his early morning jog. As he searches for the dark truth beneath the luxurious life of these London socialites, a wall of staggering wealth and privilege threatens to shut down his investigation before it’s even begun. Can Caius peer through the tangled mess of connections in which the other half live—and die—before the case is wrenched from his hands? Bitingly funny, full of shocking twists, and all too familiar, The Other Half is a truly stunning debut.



There just are not enough good historical fiction novels out there. It takes a really special skill to write one. I can’t imagine the research that goes into writing a book like this one. So often, historical fiction is dry or overdone with too many unnecessary details, it’s boring, the plot doesn’t move or it’s a story we have seen or read about a hundred times before. Especially when the time is around World War II, I read so many that I got burnt out and had to stop for a while.

The Orphans on the Train by Gill Thompson was gripping, emotional, well-written, and was not dry, boring, or overdone! I can confidently recommend it to you.  I am going to be looking for more books by this author.


A girl with auburn hair looks anxiously out of the train window, watching the mountains of Europe pass by. War is on the horizon at home, and Kirsty finds herself heading to neutral Hungary to help in a school for Jewish children. Little does she know that in leaving everything behind, she is about to find the most precious gift of all – a true friend in school pupil Anna.

When the Nazis invade Budapest, Kirsty and Anna are on their own, and Kirsty worries desperately for her Jewish friend. What lengths must they go to in order to survive, and, when they are separated, can the guiding light of friendship bring them back to each other?



Another author whose books are all four and five stars is Lucinda Berry. You know you’re up for a good time when you dive into her novels. Keep Your Friends Close was excellent, as I had hoped it would be! I was into it from the first chapter and am now looking forward to her next novel! If you haven’t read any of her books yet, start with The Perfect Child which is chilling in the best way.


When Kiersten McCann, president of the West Hollywood Moms’ Club, turns up dead in her own pool, it quickly becomes clear this wasn’t an accident. And the party guests―all members of the exclusive club―are now key suspects in her murder.

Accusations fly, and three mothers find themselves at the center of the investigation. Whitney, Brooke, and Jade all have heavy secrets to bear…and possible motives for their friend’s murder. But as the police look closer, more secrets, betrayals, and sinister plots are revealed than the women could ever imagine.

With everything at stake, deceit threatens to shatter their illusions of the perfect life. West Hollywood will never be the same.



I was happily surprised by Anything for a Friend by Kathleen M. Willett. I did not know a whole lot about the story when I started, aside from the plot, but quickly got wrapped up in the life of Carrie, who is a mother and wife newly transplanted to Montauk. When her old friend lands on her doorstep, of course, Carrie wants to help her. But soon she regrets her choice to let this woman into her life again.


Writer Carrie Colts hopes a move to Montauk will be a rejuvenating change of pace for her family. The last thing she expects to see is her former college roommate on her doorstep. Newly widowed, and with a daughter of her own, Maya would love to reconnect. As a gesture to an old friend in mourning, Carrie extends an invitation to stay. Just for a few days. After all, there are reasons that Carrie and Maya are estranged.

Carrie soon regrets her impulsive offer. Someone has taken a pair of scissors to her college yearbook. Her herb garden is destroyed. She’s starting to receive sinister texts. And Maya is making herself a little too much at home. What does Maya really want? What is she hiding? Carrie’s afraid to ask. Because Maya knows all her secrets, exposing them comes with a price Carrie can’t afford to pay.



Here is another really good book that kept me fully engaged and turning the pages. Do not miss The Night She Lied by Lucy Dawson!

What I liked about this book,  besides the writing style, characters and pace, was that it was not a plot I’ve seen a million times before. If someone writes a book with a fresh storyline, I am already interested in it. I highly recommend this novel if you want a thriller that doesn’t echo about forty other books.


It’s midnight in the hospital when Jude’s phone rings, interrupting her precious fifteen-minute break. When she sees it’s her seventy-year-old mother, Margaret, she braces herself for the usual complaints. But her blood runs cold at four words that will change everything… ‘Something terrible has happened.’

Margaret has been accused of an unspeakable crime committed twenty years ago. She insists she’s not guilty, and begs Jude to help her prove it. But as Jude is drawn into the dark secrets of her family’s past, she starts to question whether her mother is really as innocent as she claims to be.

Soon, Jude realises what happened twenty years ago is more entangled with her own life than she could ever have imagined. And as she stands face-to-face with her mother’s accuser, she knows the cost of protecting her family will be someone else’s life…



I was hoping the follow-up to The Maid by Nita Prose would be good. Sometimes sequels are just a huge letdown. But I am happy to report that The Mystery Guest was just as good as the first book and I loved it from start to finish. I enjoyed the character of Molly and the author’s writing is excellent, I think that if you liked The Maid, you will not be disappointed!



Molly Gray is not like anyone else. With her flair for cleaning and proper etiquette, she has risen through the ranks of the glorious five-star Regency Grand Hotel to become the esteemed Head Maid. But just as her life reaches a pinnacle state of perfection, her world is turned upside down when J. D. Grimthorpe, the world-renowned mystery author, drops dead—very dead—on the hotel’s tearoom floor.

When Detective Stark, Molly’s old foe, investigates the author’s unexpected demise, it becomes clear that this death was murder most foul. Suspects abound, and everyone wants to know: Who killed J. D. Grimthorpe? Was it Lily, the new Maid-in-Training? Or was it Serena, the author’s secretary? Could Mr. Preston, the hotel’s beloved doorman, be hiding something? And is Molly really as innocent as she seems?

As the high-profile death threatens the hotel’s pristine reputation, Molly knows she alone holds the key to unlocking the killer’s identity. But that key is buried deep in her past, as long ago, she knew J. D. Grimthorpe. Molly begins to comb her memory for clues, revisiting her childhood and the mysterious Grimthorpe mansion where she and her dearly departed Gran once worked side by side. With the entire hotel under investigation, Molly must solve the mystery posthaste. Because if there’s one thing she knows for sure, it’s that secrets don’t stay buried forever.