Thursday, 28 December 2017

#CoverCrush Ike and Kay by James MacManus @Marablaise

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!


The sweeping love story at the heart of the Second World War, vividly reimagining General Eisenhower and Kate Summersby’s infamous, star-crossed affair

In his latest historical novel Ike and Kay, acclaimed author James MacManus brings to life an unbelievably true and controversial romance and the poignant characters and personalities that shaped the course of world history.

In 1942, Kay Summersby’s life is changed forever when she is conscripted to drive General Eisenhower on his fact-finding visit to wartime London. Despite Eisenhower’s marriage to Mamie, the pair takes an immediate liking to each other and he buys Kay a rare wartime luxury: a box of chocolates.

So begins a tumultuous relationship that, against all military regulation, sees Kay traveling with Eisenhower on missions to far-flung places before the final assault on Nazi Germany. The general does dangerously little to conceal his affair with the woman widely known as “Ike’s shadow,” and in letters Mamie bemoans his new obsession with “Ireland.” That does not stop him from using his influence to grant Kay citizenship and rank in the US army, drawing her closer still when he returns to America. When officials discover Eisenhower’s plans to divorce from his wife they threaten the fragile but passionate affair, and Kay is forced to take desperate measures to hold onto the man she loves . . .

Based on the scandalous true story of General Eisenhower’s secret World War II love affair, Ike and Kay is a compelling story of love, duty, sacrifice, and heartbreak, set against the backdrop of the most tumultuous period of the twentieth century.

Some thoughts about the cover:

The old poster feeling gets me every time. This is a cover that really takes my breath away. The kind of cover I wouldn't mind having as a poster at home. Love how Ike and Kay stand together, and the car in the cover a great addition since Kay worked as a driver and was assigned to drive Ike. Love also the details around, the buildings behind the fog and the airplanes.

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages




Meghan @ Of Quills & Vellum

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary

#BookReview The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt @AvonBooksUK @Marablaise

The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighbouring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…


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The Good Daughter is a book that I've been putting off reading because of the very varied reactions from my friends on Goodreads, some loved the book, and some ... did not. It's also a thick book, and being unsure about my reaction and seeing the thick book made me read other books instead. However, I braved it (since I'm trying to get through my NetGalley pile) and was pleasantly surprised at how interesting the book was, at first. I was curious to learn more about Dahlia and her mother, and what her mother is hiding. However, the book never turned out to be as good as I hoped it to be...

I have some very serious problems with the book: 
  • Lack of connection with the characters. I ended up not caring what happened to any of them, neither Memphis (Dahlia's Mother) nor Dahlia. 
  • The story was too long. I felt like crying when I finally finished the book, the last 100 pages was agony to get through.
  • The story had no surprising twists. At the end I was like, "is this it?"
  • The present story with the Jane Doe could have been skipped completely, felt totally irrelevant to the story. 
  • Quinn's story (the book's flashback story) was not bad, but it was pretty obvious "who" it was all about.
So, read it at your own risk! Perhaps you will like the book...

I want to thank Avon Books UK for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

#BookReview The Boy Who Saw by Simon Toyne @Marablaise @HarperCollinsUK

The Boy Who Saw by Simon Toyne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

‘Who is Solomon Creed? He's the hero of an epic new series of thrillers. Simple as that’ Mark Billingham

The second book in an electrifying new thriller series from Sunday Times bestselling author, Simon Toyne.

Who is Solomon Creed? A dangerous psychiatric patient, who has escaped from a high-security facility in America, or an innocent amnesiac trying to establish his true identity?

His search for the truth about himself takes Solomon to the beautiful southern French town of Cordes. But his arrival coincides with the brutal murder of an elderly French tailor, the words ‘Finishing what was begun’ daubed in blood on the walls.

Instinctively, Solomon knows he must help the tailor’s granddaughter and great grandson escape, and together they go on the run. Their flight, though, will set in motion a terrible sequence of events, leading to the exposure of a far-reaching conspiracy with its origins in the Holocaust but with terrible consequences for modern-day Europe. And what will it mean for Solomon himself?


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Like the brave (or foolish) soul I am did I jump straight to this book without having read the first book about Solomon Creed. I mean I do it all the time and this one was not a bit hard to get into, despite it being book two. Who is Solomon Creed? That's a good question, he doesn't know himself so he could be a dangerous psychiatric patient that has escaped from a high-security facility in America (looked up because of a violent deed in the past) or he could just be a man suffering from amnesia. Or he could be something entirely different ... who knows...

Storywise I have to admit did the book not really grab me before the very end when the truth about the murders was revealed and some shocking twist happened. Not that the book bored me, it's a tragic story, and the chapters from a diary of a concentration camp survivor were hauntingly moving and tragic. And I was curious to learn more about Solomon Creed. I would say that this book is perfectly all right, I would definitely read more books in the series. However, for some reason, the story just didn't totally captivate me until the end. I'm however curious to read the first book, both to know more about Solomon and to see if it was the writing style that just didn't agree with me.

I want to thank Harper Collins for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

#BookReview The Good at Heart by Ursula Werner @TouchstoneBooks @Marablaise

The Good at Heart by Ursula Werner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Based on the author’s discoveries about her great-grandfather, this stunning debut novel takes place over three days when World War II comes to the doorstep of an ordinary German family living in an idyllic, rural village near the Swiss border.

When World War II breaks out, Edith and Oskar Eberhardt move their family—their daughter, Marina; son-in-law, Franz; and their granddaughters—out of Berlin and into a small house in the quiet town of Blumental, near Switzerland. A member of Hitler’s cabinet, Oskar is gone most of the time, and Franz begins fighting in the war, so the women of the house are left to their quiet lives in the picturesque village.

But life in Blumental isn’t as idyllic as it appears. An egotistical Nazi captain terrorizes the citizens he’s assigned to protect. Neighbors spy on each other. Some mysteriously disappear. Marina has a lover who also has close ties to her family and the government. Thinking none of them share her hatred of the Reich, she joins a Protestant priest smuggling Jewish refugees over the nearby Swiss border. The latest “package” is two Polish girls who’ve lost the rest of their family, and against her better judgment, Marina finds she must hide them in the Eberhardt’s cellar. Everything is set to go smoothly until Oskar comes home with the news that the Führer will be visiting the area for a concert, and he will be making a house call on the Eberhardts.

Based on the author’s discoveries about her great-grandfather, this extraordinary debut, full of love, tragedy, and suspense, is a sensitive portrait of a family torn between doing their duty for their country and doing what’s right for their country, and especially for those they love.


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I was quite taken with the stunning cover and the blurb intrigued me. Escpailly the fact that the book was based on her discovery about her great-grandfather. I found the start of the book great with the introduction of the characters that live in Blumental. I especially loved the viewpoint of little Rosie, the youngest daughter of Mariana. I'm used to reading books about WW2 from the Allies side of the story, so reading a book set in Germany was a nice change. As I wrote before did I find the start of the book great, especially the egocentric Nazi captain that thinks he will single handle stop the French from invading Blumental. If there will ever get there of course.

The whole story takes place during three intensive days where much happens. There are preparations for the arrival of the Führer which coincide with the hiding of two Polish girls. We get to know more about Edith and Oskar Eberhardt and their family, recollections from the past. Personally, did I find the start of the book and the end the best. There were some nerve-wracking moments towards the end of the book. Unfortunately, I found the middle part of the story not always that engaging, but it's still a very good book. And, I was quite taken with the epilogue.

I want to thank Touchstone for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 25 December 2017

#BookReview A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain @wwnorton @Marablaise

A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Former FBI agent Kendra Donovan’s attempts to return to the twenty-first century have failed, leaving her stuck at Aldridge Castle in 1815. And her problems have just begun: in London, the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew Alec—Kendra’s confidante and lover—has come under suspicion for murdering his former mistress, Lady Dover, who was found viciously stabbed with a stiletto, her face carved up in a bizarre and brutal way.

Lady Dover had plenty of secrets, and her past wasn’t quite what she’d made it out to be. Nor is it entirely in the past—which becomes frighteningly clear when a crime lord emerges from London’s seamy underbelly to threaten Alec. Joining forces with Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must navigate the treacherous nineteenth century while she picks through the strands of Lady Dover’s life.

As the noose tightens around Alec’s neck, Kendra will do anything to save him, including following every twist and turn through London’s glittering ballrooms, where deception is the norm—and any attempt to uncover the truth will get someone killed.

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I absolutely loved the first book in this series, and I was curious to see how this one would turn out. For those that have not read the first book will I just explain that in the first book FBI agent Kendra Donovan traveled back in time to 1815 and ended up at the Aldridge Castle where she ended up catching a serial killer. And, now she seems to be stuck there. After solving a murder in the first book, was Kendra sure that she had done what she was meant to do and could go home again. But, unfortunately, it seems that she is either meant to do something more or perhaps she will never get back to present time. Thankfully, she doesn't have to just sit and wait for something to happen because, Alec, the Duke of Aldridge's nephew, becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. Now she must help him by figure out who killed the woman that was once Alex's mistress.

The first book was a blast with Kendra trying to blend it, but at the same time wanting to catch a murderer. Now, in this book is the cat out of the bag and Alex and the Duke both know that she is from the future. And, as much as I enjoyed this story, especially, when Kendra forgets and says or do something a woman from the 21-century would say or do, was this book just not as good as the first one. I liked the book, I liked how Kendra both tried to adjust to the time, but at the same time can't really seem to do so. However, the first book was much more interesting when it came to both Kendras's adjustment to the 19-century as well as her trying to solve the serial killer case. This case, well, it just didn't thrill me as much, a lot of suspects that needed to be questioned over and over and I felt that the story never really got as suspenseful as the first book. It's a good book, and I love how the Duke always tries to pry some information from Kendra about the future.

I want to thank Pegasus Books for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

#BookReview Begynnelse (Origin) by Dan Brown (SWE/ENG) @albertbonniers @Marablaise

Origin by Dan Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Varifrån kommer vi?
Vart är vi på väg?

Robert Langdon, professor i religiös symbolik vid Harvard, anländer till Guggenheimmuseet i Bilbao för att närvara vid avslöjandet av en upptäckt som enligt inbjudan kommer att ”förändra vetenskapen för alltid”. Edmond Kirsch, en fyrtioårig miljardär som blivit världskänd för sina hypermoderna tekniska uppfinningar och djärva förutsägelser, var en gång Langdons student. Nu hävdar han att han funnit svaret på två av mänsklighetens mest omdebatterade frågor.

När den spektakulära presentationen inleds inser Langdon att han och de hundratals andra gästerna står inför ett avslöjande som är långt mer kontroversiellt än de kunnat ana. Men plötsligt exploderar den välorkestrerade kvällen i kaos. Tillsammans med museets eleganta chef Ambra Vidal finner Langdon sig vara måltavla för en okänd fiende som inte skyr några medel för att förhindra att Kirschs banbrytande upptäckt når dagens ljus. Tillsammans flyr Langdon och Vidal mot Barcelona för att knäcka det kryptiska lösenordet som skyddar Kirschs hemlighet innan det är för sent. Under den dramatiska jakten tvingas Langdon navigera bland mystiska koder, nedtystade historiska fakta och religiös extremism.

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Begynnelse är en bok som i grund och botten inte når upp till samma nivå som t.ex. Da Vinci Koden och det bero helt på att boken har inte alls samma underbara jakt på ledtrådar eller ett förbluffande slut. Nu säger jag inte att boken är rakt igenom dålig. Den är läsvärd, men den har en sidohandling berörande det spanska kungahuset som känns som utfyllnad samt att handlingsbeskrivningen i stort sätt tar bort spänningen de första kapitlen eftersom man i sort sätt vet vad som ska hända. Och handlingen får mig att tänka på 2001 ett rymdäventyr, så slutet var inte speciallt överraskande.

Jag har haft gott om tid att samla mina tankar inför denna recension, det är ett tag sedan jag läste boken och även om jag fann den OK så var det delar som kändes väldigt pratiga, speciellt när Kirsch höll monologer. Det var kul att läsa om Langdon igen, men Ambra Vida (och hennes anknytning till det spanska kungahuset) kändes bara som ett upprepning av de tidigare böcker, med att Langdon behöver en kvinnlig kompanjon. Slutet är tamt, själva upplösningen, svaret på gåtan kändes som en rejäl besvikelse.

Begynnelse är en lättsam bok, men med tyvärr tämligen en svag story. Den är underhållande för stunden och jag gillar att boken utspelas i Barcelona. Det var kul att läsa om Langdon igen men Winston är boken stora behållning!

Tack till Albert Bonniers Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.

As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

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Origin is a book that unfortunately does not reach the same level as for example The Da Vinci Code and the reason for it are that the book does not have the same wonderful hunt for clues or an amazing ending. Now I do not say the book is all through bad. It is readable, but it has a side story about the Spanish royal house that feels unnecessary to the main story (yes there is a link, but all and all not enough to satisfy me) and that the blurb removes the excitement of the first chapters because you know what will happen the first part of the book. Also, the book made me think of 2001: A Space Odyssey, so the last part of the book was hardly a surprise.

I've had plenty of time to gather my thoughts for this review, it's been a while since I read the book and although I found it OK, there were parts that felt very wordy, especially when Kirsch held monologues. It was fun to read about Langdon again, but Ambra Vida (and her connection to the Spanish royal house) only felt like a repeat of the previous books because Langdon needs a female companion and an "enemy". The end is tame, the answer to the mystery felt like a real disappointment.

Origin is an easy-to-read book, but unfortunately with quite a weak story. It's entertaining for the moment and I like the book being set in Barcelona. It was fun to read about Langdon again, but Winston is the one that made the book truly enjoyable to read.

Thanks to Albert Bonniers Förlag for the review copy!

#Wishlist December: 1920s @Marablaise

We all have our favorite themes or periods when it comes to books. One of my favorite periods is the 1920s and here I have chosen 5 books that are all taking place in the 20s, from the glamorous Paris, the mysterious Venice to the stunning Yosemite, etc.

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Kiki Button—war veteran, party girl, detective, and spy—finds that she can’t outrun her past exploits, even in the glittering world of Jazz Age Paris.

Paris in 1921 is the city of freedom, where hatless and footloose Kiki Button can drink champagne and dance until dawn. She works as a gossip columnist, partying with the rich and famous, the bohemian and strange, using every moment to create a new woman from the ashes of her war-worn self.

While on the modelling dais, Picasso gives her a job: to find his wife’s portrait, which has gone mysteriously missing. That same night, her spymaster from the war contacts her—she has to find a double agent or face jail. Through parties, whisky, and seductive informants, Kiki uses her knowledge of Paris from the Great War to connect the clues.

Set over the course of one springtime week, April in Paris, 1921 is a mystery that combines artistic gossip with interwar political history through witty banter, steamy scenes, and fast action.

In this “glittering, Gatsby-esque” (Publishers Weekly) novel, two generations of Quincy women—a bewitching Jazz Age beauty and a young lawyer—are bound by a spectacular and mysterious Indian necklace.

Always the black sheep of the tight-knit Quincy clan, Nell is cautious when she’s summoned to the elegantly shabby family manor after her great-aunt Loulou’s death. A cold reception from the family grows chillier when they learn Loulou has left Nell a fantastically valuable heirloom: an ornate necklace from India that Nell finds stashed in a Crown Royal whiskey bag in the back of a dresser. As predatory relatives circle and art experts begin to question the necklace’s provenance, Nell turns to the only person she thinks she can trust—the attractive and ambitious estate lawyer who definitely is not part of the old-money crowd.

More than just a piece of jewelry, the necklace links Nell to a long-buried family secret involving Ambrose Quincy, who brought the necklace home from India in the 1920s as a dramatic gift for May, the woman he intended to marry. Upon his return, he discovered that May had married his brother Ethan, the “good” Quincy, devoted to their father. As a gesture of friendship, Ambrose gave May the necklace anyway.

Crisp as a gin martini, fresh as a twist of lime, The Necklace is the charming and intoxicating story “written with wit, compassion, and a meticulous attention to period and cultural detail” (Kirkus Reviews) of long-simmering family resentments and a young woman who inherits a secret much more valuable than a legendary necklace.

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are back in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

A June summer’s evening, on the Sussex Downs, in 1925. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are strolling across their orchard when the telephone rings: an old friend’s beloved aunt has failed to return following a supervised outing from Bedlam. After the previous few weeks—with a bloody murder, a terrible loss, and startling revelations about Holmes—Russell is feeling a bit unbalanced herself. The last thing she wants is to deal with the mad, and yet, she can’t say no.

The Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, yet he seemed to be improving—or at least, finding a point of balance in her madness. So why did she disappear? Did she take the family’s jewels with her, or did someone else? The Bedlam nurse, perhaps?

The trail leads Russell and Holmes through Bedlam’s stony halls to the warm Venice lagoon, where ethereal beauty is jarred by Mussolini’s Blackshirts, where the gilded Lido set may be tempting a madwoman, and where Cole Porter sits at a piano, playing with ideas…

Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as “pervaded with divine light.”

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shet her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas—a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

In 1920s England, a young woman discovers that her supposedly dead father is still alive and living in London with his new socially prominent family, whose happiness she sets out to destroy.

Raised in a poor yet genteel household, Rachel Woodley is working in France as a governess when she receives news that her mother has died, suddenly. Grief-stricken, she returns to the small town in England where she was raised to clear out the cottage...and finds a cutting from a London society magazine, with a photograph of her supposedly deceased father dated all of three months before. He's an earl, respected and influential, and he is standing with another daughter -- his legitimate daughter. Which makes Rachel...not legitimate. Everything she thought she knew about herself and her past -- even her very name -- is a lie.

Still reeling from the death of her mother, and furious at this betrayal, Rachel sets herself up in London under a new identity. There she insinuates herself into the party-going crowd of Bright Young Things, with a steely determination to unveil her father's perfidy and bring his -- and her half-sister's -- charmed world crashing down. Very soon, however, Rachel faces two unexpected snags: she finds that she genuinely likes her half-sister, Olivia, whose situation isn't as simple it appears; and that she might just be falling for her sister's fiancé...

Want to see more wishlist?
Check out these that my friends have posted:

Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

Friday, 22 December 2017

#BookReview A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas @sherrythomas @BerkleyPub @BerkleyMystery @Marablaise

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.


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After reading A Conspiracy in Belgravia, the sequel to this book, did I just have to read A Scarlet Women to get to know Charlotte Holmes from the beginning, to learn more about what happened before the events in A Conspiracy in Belgravia. And, I just have to tell you that this book is fabulous, one of the best Sherlock Holmes series I have read besides the original stories and the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R. King.

I quite enjoyed getting to know more about Charlotte Holmes, why she ran from her home after the scandal (the whole mess is quite entertaining, how she figured out a way to get what she wanted, but alas everything backfires) and how "Sherlock Holmes" was "born". Without Charlotte would no one have suspected that the three deaths are linked together and thanks to a dear friend who knows the truth about Sherlock Holmes can Charlotte try to find out who the killer is and why the people had to die.

A Study in Scarlet Women is an excellent historical mystery, the humor, together with the interesting mystery and the wonderful Charlotte makes this book a great read. I'm so glad to have found a new historical mystery series to read and I can't wait for book three to be released!

#BookReview Murder Between the Lines by Radha Vatsal @Sourcebooks @Marablaise

Murder Between the Lines by Radha Vatsal
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Intrepid journalist Kitty Weeks returns to unearth a murderous conspiracy in this WWI saga

In the second book in the acclaimed Kitty Weeks Mystery series, Kitty is tasked with writing a story about Westfield Hall, a prestigious girls' boarding school. Tragedy strikes when a student named Elspeth is found frozen to death in Central Park. The doctors proclaim that the girl's sleepwalking was the cause, but Kitty isn't so sure.

Determined to uncover the truth, Kitty must investigate a more chilling scenario—a murder that may involve Elspeth's scientist father and a new invention by Thomas Edison.

For fans of Susan Elia MacNeal and Jacqueline Winspear, Murder Between the Lines is a rich and spirited novel with irresistible charm, combining true historical events with a thrilling mystery.


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Murder Between the Lines is book two in the Kitty Weeks series and I have yet read book one. However, I found this book pretty easy to get into. Kitty Weeks lives with her father and works as a journalist, which economically she doesn't need to do since her father is financially stable. However, working as a journalist is something that she has aspired to do.

In this book is making a reportage about the prestigious boarding school Westfield Hall and there she gets to know a young bright student, Elspeth. Then Kitty, not long after meeting Elspet's outside the school, learns that the girl has been found dead. Apparently, Elspeth has been suffering from sleepwalking, and everyone assumes that she died because of that. Kitty, however, isn't so sure. Could there be someone out there that wanted the young girl dead?

Murder Between the Lines is a book that not really grabbed hold of me. I found the main story, the death of Elspeth to be weak and it was the things happening around that most interested me. Mainly the suffragette moment that Kitty got caught up with after getting the chance to interview Alva Belmont. I found everything concerning Alva Belmont and her impressive life to be far more interesting than Kitty's investigations into Elspeth's life. Honestly, if this book had been more about the suffragette moment than the mysterious death would I have found the story more interesting. The case was just so, meh.

I want to thank Sourcebooks for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

#MiniReviews A Certain Age, The Wicked City and Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams @authorbeatriz @WmMorrowBooks @Marablaise

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

New York in the Roaring Twenties – a time for love, secrets and scandal…

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue – a beautiful socialite of a certain age – has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young lover, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. But though times are changing, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question.

When Theresa’s bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the youngest daughter of a newly wealthy inventor, Theresa enlists her lover to present the family’s diamond rose ring to pretty ingénue, Miss Sophie Fortescue – and to check into the background of this little-known family. Yet even as he uncovers a shocking secret, Octavian falls under Sophie’s spell…

Divided loyalties and dangerous revelations lead to a shocking transgression and eventually, Theresa must make a choice that will change them all forever.

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Since A Certain Age, The Wicked City and Cocoa Beach are all connected with each other, but can be read separately will I do some mini-reviews of them all on the same page. I read them all in reversed order, and you can without any problems do as I did or some other orders, but here have I put the reviews in the order the books are published.

Certain Age is fabulous historical fiction with the setting placed in the glamours 1920s. The story is inspired by Der Rosenkavalier and I was totally charmed with this interpretation. For me, was this book extra interesting to read since I have read the other two books that come after A Certain Age, and now I get the full background story to Sophie Fortescue and here sister Virginias life before we once again met Virginia in Cocoa Beach. One thing I really enjoyed about this book is the way Theresa Marshall is written. It was pretty obvious that her young lover, Octavian, become madly in love with Sophie after meeting her, but Theresa who obviously tried to keep her lover never become a villain in this story. To be honest, I liked her. She was the character whose POV I loved the most in the book. I had nothing against Sophie, her POV was also good, but I never truly enjoyed here storyline as much as I enjoyed Theresa's.

The ending is bittersweet and perfect. I truly enjoyed reading this book and it made me eager to someday re-read Cocoa Beach now when I have read this book. 

The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams recreates the New York City of A Certain Age in this deliciously spicy adventure that mixes past and present and centers on a Jazz Age love triangle involving a rugged Prohibition agent, a saucy redheaded flapper, and a debonair Princetonian from a wealthy family.

When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves out of their SoHo loft and into a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building. Her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight—laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano—even though the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the place hid a speakeasy.

In 1924, Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers.

Headstrong and independent, Gin is no weak-kneed fool. So how can she be falling in love with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent when she’s got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall, begging to make an honest woman of her? While anything goes in the Roaring Twenties, Gin’s adventures will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead—secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown.

As Ella discovers more about the basement speakeasy, she becomes inspired by the spirit of her exuberant predecessor, and decides to live with abandon in the wicked city too. . . .


**********

The Wicked City has a dual timeline story, in the 1920s do we meet Gin Kelly a flapper who frequently visits the Christopher Club until the club is raided and she got an "offer" she can't refuse from Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson who is after her step-daddy Duke Kelly, an infamous bootlegger. Several decades later has Ella Hawthorne moved into the house the Christopher Club used to be housed. At night strange noises can be heard from the basement, clinking classes, jazz piano voices, even though the speakeasy was closed down years ago...

I read this book and thought "wait a minute" could that be the guy from that other book by the author? I know now after reading A Certain Age, The Wicked City and Cocoa Beach that there are no coincidences. I also know if it feels like there are loose ends in any of the books is it probably a reason for that. A reason that only Beatriz Williams knows. The Wicked City has two different storylines, and although both were enjoyable did I enjoy the present one a bit more, could be Hector, the hot neighbor, could be the strangely haunted basement, or it could be the mysterious discover that Ella did or her awesome Great-Aunt Julie who gave Ella some great advice, when she didn't talk about all the men she slept with. Loved that chapter in the book when Ella was visiting her Great-Aunt, the dialog was cracking.

Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The New York Times bestselling author of A Certain Age transports readers to sunny Florida in this lush and enthralling historical novel—an enchanting blend of love, suspense, betrayal, and redemption set among the rumrunners and scoundrels of Prohibition-era Cocoa Beach.

Burdened by a dark family secret, Virginia Fortescue flees her oppressive home in New York City for the battlefields of World War I France. While an ambulance driver for the Red Cross, she meets a charismatic British army surgeon whose persistent charm opens her heart to the possibility of love. As the war rages, Virginia falls into a passionate affair with the dashing Captain Simon Fitzwilliam, only to discover that his past has its own dark secrets—secrets that will damage their eventual marriage and propel her back across the Atlantic to the sister and father she left behind.

Five years later, in the early days of Prohibition, the newly widowed Virginia Fitzwilliam arrives in the tropical boomtown of Cocoa Beach, Florida, to settle her husband’s estate. Despite the evidence, Virginia does not believe Simon perished in the fire that destroyed the seaside home he built for her and their young daughter. Separated from her husband since the early days of their marriage, the headstrong Virginia plans to uncover the truth, for the sake of the daughter Simon never met.

Simon’s brother and sister welcome her with open arms and introduce her to a dazzling new world of citrus groves, white beaches, bootleggers, and Prohibition agents. But Virginia senses a predatory presence lurking beneath the irresistible, hedonistic surface of this coastal oasis. The more she learns about Simon and his mysterious business interests, the more she fears that the dangers that surrounded Simon now threaten her and their daughter’s life as well.


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When I started to read Cocoa Beach did I not know that the previous two books A Certain Age, The Wicked City were loosely connected to this book. I only realized that when I started to read The Wicked City. Do I regret reading them in reversed order? Not at all, although I wish I could read them all again since I absolutely loved reading the books. Coca Beach takes place both in after-war Florida and on the battlefield of France during WW2. It's in France Virginia Fortescue meets the dashing Captain Simon Fitzwilliam who she falls in love with. But, five years later is she living alone with her daughter after leaving Fitzwilliam after marrying him.

Now, there is nothing I love more than a good mystery and here we get several. What really happened to Simon Fitzwilliam in Florida, why did Virginia leave him and could Virginia be in danger?

As much as I enjoyed this book was there moments towards the end of the book when I thought Virgina took things for face-value a bit too much. Honestly, woman, how about not trusting someone you hardly know and believe what he said. Do some investigations yourself instead. However, I do love the twists in the story towards the end of the book and the open ending, well now I know why Beatriz Williams left the story hanging that way...

#CoverCrush Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!


Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are back in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

A June summer’s evening, on the Sussex Downs, in 1925. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are strolling across their orchard when the telephone rings: an old friend’s beloved aunt has failed to return following a supervised outing from Bedlam. After the previous few weeks—with a bloody murder, a terrible loss, and startling revelations about Holmes—Russell is feeling a bit unbalanced herself. The last thing she wants is to deal with the mad, and yet, she can’t say no.

The Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, yet he seemed to be improving—or at least, finding a point of balance in her madness. So why did she disappear? Did she take the family’s jewels with her, or did someone else? The Bedlam nurse, perhaps?

The trail leads Russell and Holmes through Bedlam’s stony halls to the warm Venice lagoon, where ethereal beauty is jarred by Mussolini’s Blackshirts, where the gilded Lido set may be tempting a madwoman, and where Cole Porter sits at a piano, playing with ideas…

Some thoughts about the cover:

I love this cover. The young woman that hids most of her face behind a fan, the beautiful city of Venice in the background and the gorgeous colors of the background that matches the fan. 

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





#BookReview The Murder of Willie Lincoln by Burt Solomon @torbooks

The Murder of Willie Lincoln by Burt Solomon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A historical fiction debut by an award-winning political journalist and Washington insider about the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son--was it illness or murder?

Washington City, 1862: The United States lies in tatters, and there seems no end to the war. Abraham Lincoln, the legitimate President of the United States, is using all his will to keep his beloved land together. But Lincoln’s will and soul are tested when tragedy strikes the White House as Willie Lincoln, the love and shining light in the president’s heart, is taken by typhoid fever.

But was this really the cause of his death? A message arrives, suggesting otherwise. Lincoln asks John Hay, his trusted aide—and almost a son—to investigate Willie’s death. Some see Hay as a gadfly--adventurous, incisive, lusty, reflective, skeptical, even cynical—but he loves the president and so seeks the truth behind the boy’s death.

And so, as we follow Hay in his investigation, we are shown the loftiest and lowest corners of Washington City, from the president’s office and the gentleman’s dining room at Willard’s Hotel to the alley hovels, wartime hospitals, and the dome-less Capitol’s vermin-infested subbasement. We see the unfamiliar sides of a grief-stricken president, his hellcat of a wife, and their two surviving and suffering sons, and Hay matches wits with such luminaries as General McClellan, William Seward, and the indomitable detective Allan Pinkerton.

What Hay discovers has the potential of not only destroying Lincoln, but a nation.

**********

What if Willie Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln didn't die in 1862 because of illness? What if he was murdered instead? Who would kill a child? And why? Could it be that someone hated his father enough to kill the son? Lincoln asks his trusted aid John Hay, to investigate Willie's death, to find out if the boy's death could have been brought on by someone in the White House.

The Murder of Willie Lincoln is a "What If" story about Abraham Lincolns sons' death. This historical mystery book felt very well-researched, I particularly liked the author's note at the end of the book where he explained how much is true in the story. Personally, did I find the story both engrossed me, but also there were parts when I felt the investigation dragged on a bit. I have to admit that I sometimes found the story a bit hard to focus on as John Hay dug for information and interviewed people. But, there are also moments that shined, and that's often when Abraham or his wife Mary Lincoln was involved in the story. Those moments, their loss of their son was so gripping. I thought after finishing the book that I wouldn't have minded the book without the mystery, and I love historical mystery books.

Now, it may sound that I did not enjoy the mystery of Willie's death, but I did. It was just that it did not grip me the same way as the parts when the parents mourned their son. However, I was still curious to learn the truth and I was, to be honest, astonished about the ending of the book.

I found The Murder of Willie to be an interesting book and it made me want to read more about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

#BookReview The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron @TNZFiction

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her.

Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.

*********

I have to admit that it was the mentioning of Harry Houdini that got me interested in this book. And, I'm glad I read the book, despite, the story taking place after Houdini's death. I found the story to be interesting and engaging, although the obvious romantic side story really didn't interest me that much. 

Still, I was charmed by Wren Lockhart, and I found her to be a fabulous character. I especially liked the flashbacks to when she was younger, where we see what a terrible upbringing she had and how she came to work for Harry Houdini when she turned 16. I found the writing to be very good, and the characters came to life.

I quite liked the case. The mysterious "death" of a man raised from the dead with a note in his pocket with both Wren and Harry's real name that hinted that the "killer" wanted Wren involved. But why? This aspect of the book was great, I just wish the romantic part had been a bit toned down. Not that I disliked the romantic part, I just felt that I was more interested in the case, and Wren's part with Houdini. Still, it's a good book, and I wouldn't mind reading more books about Wren (and Houdini).

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

#BookReview The Escape by C.L. Taylor @AvonBooksUK

The Escape by C.L. Taylor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The new psychological thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Accident, The Lie and The Missing.

"Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter…"

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't.

The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.


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The Escape is the first book I've read by C.L. Taylor and to be honest was I a bit unsure when I started the book if it would work out for me. Once again we have a woman with psychological problems, in this case, agoraphobia and I've lately felt a bit tiredness towards psychological thrillers with a woman who is mentally unstable as the main characters. So. why do I keep reading them? Well, because I have a lot of them to read.

The Escape for me was a book that I was for a long time unsure if I should continue listening to or not. I often pick the audio version of books since then I could do other things while I listened to the book, like working. And, I want an audiobook that keeps me entertained. This was on the borderline, neither bad enough to DNF nor really suspenseful to truly captivate me. However, it was interesting enough that I wanted to know the end. And, thankfully short enough with a straightforward story that at least never got really boring.

Yeah, I know I sound very negative towards the book. But, it's not that bad, it's the middle road kind of book. Not gripping enough to really make me take to the story and its characters, but still a good book that takes not a long time to listen to or read if you do that instead.

The Escape is a so-so book, but I bet if you like the author's previous book will you probably like this one too!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 18 December 2017

#BookReview The Ludlow Ladies' Society by Ann O'Loughlin

The Ludlow Ladies' Society by Ann O'Loughlin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Connie Carter has lost everybody and everything dear to her. To help nurse her grieving heart and to try and find answers, she moves from her home in America to Ludlow Hall, deep in the Irish countryside. All she knows about Ludlow is that her late husband spent all their money on the house – without ever mentioning it to her. Now Connie needs to know why.

At Ludlow Hall, Connie befriends Eve and Hetty and is introduced to the somewhat curious Ludlow Ladies’ Society. But can Connie ever reveal her hurt? And, more importantly, can she ever understand or forgive? As the Ludlow Ladies stitch patchwork memory quilts to remember those they have loved and lost, the secrets of the past finally begin to surface.

The Ludlow Ladies’ Society is a story of friendship, resilience and compassion, and how women support each other through the most difficult times.


**********

I've been looking forward to reading this book for a while now. I have to admit that the cover really took my breath away the first moment I saw it and thankfully the blurb also made me interested in reading the book.

Connie Carter has arrived in Ireland from the United States after losing the ones close to her. The only thing she has left is Ludlow Hall, the property her husband bought without her knowledge. Now she tries to find out the truth about why he bought in the first place, without telling her. Also, she needs to find a place to heal her broken heart. Here, in this small town, she finds her place through two older women, Eve and Hetty who introduced her to Ludlow Ladies' Society. Together they share past pains and together they start to heal.

I found this book to be a beautiful book about friendship and courage. These women have all been through much and I enjoyed learning more about them and most of all I loved reading about how through revealing dark secrets and past pains they were able to move forward. All and all a good book to read. I'm looking forward to reading more books by Ann O'Loughlin. 

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Summary and next week's reading plan

I made a list of books that I planned to read last week. I have lately trying to get through my backlist of NetGalley books and I have pleased to see that this book has been great when it comes to that. On the plus side, there were not many new books approved. Otherwise often it feels like an impossible job with new books being constantly added. But, I think there were just one more books approved, from St. Martins which was a bit of surprise (I usually get declined by them).

All the books that I read. It's strange. I thought that with working full-time would I read less. But listening to books and watching less TV makes it easy to read a lot. And as you all can see, are there a lot of historical fiction among the books I read. That was my goal for the week. And also squeeze in some Swedish books. 




For next week will I try to continue to read books from NetGalley, however, I will also try to get some Edelweiss books done and some books that I've promised to read. And some audiobooks from Storytel. Perhaps, I should add some more days to next week as well...lol


It will be interesting to see how many books I will read and if I will be able to stick to this plan...

Friday, 15 December 2017

#BookReview If The Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss @sourcebooks

If The Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A strikingly sincere portrait of a town and its buried secrets from an outstanding new voice in southern fiction.

In a North Carolina mountain town filled with moonshine and rotten husbands, Sadie Blue is only the latest girl to face a dead-end future at the mercy of a dangerous drunk. She’s been married to Roy Tupkin for fifteen days, and she knows now that she should have listened to the folks who said he was trouble. But when a stranger sweeps in and knocks the world off-kilter for everyone in town, Sadie begins to think there might be more to life than being Roy’s wife.

As stark and magnificent as Appalachia itself, If the Creek Don’t Rise is a bold and beautifully layered debut about a dusty, desperate town finding the inner strength it needs to outrun its demons. The folks of Baines Creek will take you deep into the mountains with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.


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I love reading books about small communities in the middle of nowhere where life it tough. So, when I saw the cover of this book and read the blurb did I instantly know that I just had to read the book!

What I loved about this book is that the "main character" Sadie Blue only have a few POV chapters, the rest are told from people around her, like her husband, the towns preacher and the new teacher that arrives in the town. Not to mention the odd lady who lives with a crow. True all these people's POV do vet get not only a glimpse into Sadie's life, but also the hard life in Baines Creek. From events in the past up to the present time in the town. I think one of my favorite chapters was that of the preacher's sisters Prudence POV. She's quite a sourpuss and I thought that perhaps we will learn why she's so bitter and get a better understanding of what makes her tick and perhaps even feel sympathy. Well, let's just say that that bitter cow deserves no sympathy, together with Sadie Blue's husband.

Sadie Blue, this sweet little girl that has to grow up fast when she gets pregnant with the good for nothing Roy Tupkin who as soon as he has her legally married to him starts to beat her. Sadie Blue's hero is Loretta Lynn who also came from a poor background. And, I just love her adoration of Loretta Lynn who had four children before she was twenty. However, the question is will Sadie Blue even manage to have one child before Roy beats her to death?

If The Creek Don't Rise is a wonderful book about hardship, but also strength and perseverance. It's a book that is hard to put aside when one has started to read it and I just love the ending of the book. Although I wouldn't have minded some more chapters just because I love Leah Weiss wonderful way of writing and the intriguing story.    

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

#CoverCrush The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!

New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between JFK and Alicia Corning Clark - and the child they may have had.

Based on a real story - in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.

Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other.

The Summer I Met Jack is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.

Some thoughts about the cover:

The first time I saw the cover of thius book did I think "hey that looks like JFK", but I didn't think more baout it before a friend of mine pointed out that it was a book about JFK. Which made me very eager to read it. However, it's the cover I will talk about, not the books story. The black and white picture is an obvious choice. I also like the fact that you relly can't see their faces since Jack's is turned away and Alicia's is partly cut of. I find the cover striking, yet very simple. It's a couple on the beach. What are they talking about? It's the kind of cover that makes me cruious to read the book.

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Erin @ Flashlight Commentary

#BookReview Prästens lilla flicka (The Priest's Little Girl) by Susan Casserfelt @SusanCasserfelt (SWE/ENG)

Prästens lilla flicka by Susan Casserfelt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

16-åriga Josefin kommer aldrig hem efter sin sånglektion. En skallgång med frivilliga söker efter den kände Modotränarens dotter. Situationen försvåras ytterligare av den snöstorm som lamslår Höga kusten.
Fallet med den försvunna flickan sätter polisstyrkan i Örnsköldsvik på prov. Den oerfarna polisaspiranten Kajsa Nordin upptäcker att ju djupare hon gräver i fallet, desto fler hemligheter verkar det finnas kvar att upptäcka.

Samtidigt dras den kända konstnären Zeta på Mariatorget i Stockholm in i dramat när en ung, utlandsfödd man ringer på hos henne. Mannen är på flykt, men från vad? Den excentriska Zeta, just hemkommen från New York i ett desperat försök att rädda sin dalande stjärna, behöver verkligen inte ytterligare ett problem.

Vad har hänt Josefin – och vad döljer Prästens lilla flicka?

***********

Prästens lilla flicka är den första boken i en ny kriminalserie som utspelas i Örnsköldsvik en stad långt upp på Högkusten i Sverige. En ung tjej försvinner och i första hand ser det ut som att tjejen har rymt till sin faster i Stockholm. Men snart hittar polisen bevis som visar att ett brott har begåtts. För polisen aspirant Kajsa Nordin är det här hennes första allvarliga fall, och det börjar inte alls bra för henne då hon i tron at hon gör något gott istället ställer till det rejält för sig. Men trots det kan jag inget annat än att gilla henne, att hon är ny i jobbet är bara något positivt tycker jag och det känns skönt att läsa om någon som fortfarande lär sig. 

Boken är engagerade samt tragisk. Fallet med den saknade tjejen har länkar till det förflutna, vilket är något jag alltid tycker om att läsa om. Det är så fascinerande att läsa historier där svaren ligger i det förflutna. Att denna series utspelas i Örnsköldsvik kändes också som något nytt och trevligt då många kriminalare jag läst den senaste tiden utspelas längre ner i Sverige.

Jag hittade att boken var väldigt bra och jag ser fram emot att läsa nästa bok i serien!

Tack till Mima förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

16-year-old Josefin never comes home after her singing lesson. A bunch of volunteers searches for the famous Modo (ice hockey) trainer's daughter. The situation is further complicated by the snowstorm that cripples the High Coast of Sweden.
The fall of the missing girl puts the police force in Örnsköldsvik on trial. The inexperienced police aspirant Kajsa Nordin discovers that the deeper she digs in the case, the more secrets are revealed.

At the same time, the famous artist Zeta at Mariatorget in Stockholm is drawn into the drama when a young, foreign-born man rings on her door. The man is on the run, but from what? The eccentric Zeta, just returned from New York, in a desperate attempt to save her falling star, really does not need another problem.

What has happened to Josefin - and what does the priest's little girl hide?

***********

The Priest's Little Girl is the first book in a new crime series that takes in Örnsköldsvik a city far up on the High Coast in Sweden. A young girl disappears and at first, it looks like the girl has just run away to her aunt in Stockholm. But, soon the police find evidence that proves that a crime has been committed. For police aspirant, Kajsa Nordin is this her very first serious case, and it starts off very wrong with her in her in good fate instead making more harm than good. But, one can't help to like her, despite, her mistakes, she's such a fabulous character and I quite enjoyed reading about a policewoman that is new to the job.

I found the book to be very enjoyable but also very tragic. The case with the missing girl has links to the past, which is something I always find intriguing to read about. It's so fascinating to read stories where the answers lie in the past. The setting of Örnsköldsvik also felt like a nice new setting to read about especially since it lately feels like most of the crime novels that I've read that takes place in Sweden has taken place further down.

I found the book to be very good and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Thanks to Mima förlag for the review copy!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

#BlogTour Strong to the Bone by Jon Land @JonDLand @partnersincr1me

Strong to the Bone by Jon Land Banner

Strong to the Bone

by Jon Land

on Tour December 4, 2017 - January 31, 2018

Synopsis:

STRONG TO THE BONE by Jon Land
1944: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a triple murder inside a Nazi POW camp in Texas.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself pursuing the killer her father never caught in the most personal case of her career a conspiracy stretching from that Nazi POW camp to a modern-day neo-Nazi gang.

A sinister movement has emerged from the shadows of history, determined to undermine the American way of life. Its leader, Armand Fisker, has an army at his disposal, a deadly bio-weapon, and a reputation for being unbeatable. But he s never taken on the likes of Caitlin Strong and her outlaw lover, Cort Wesley Masters.

To prevent an unspeakable cataclysm, Caitlin and Cort Wesley must win a war the world thought was over.
"Strong to the Bone is another fine effort by Jon Land, who manages to mix character development with gripping, page-turning plots. This is his best novel yet."— StrandMagazine

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Forge Books
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 0765384647 (ISBN13: 9780765384645)
Series: Caitlin Strong Novels (Volume 9)
BOOK REVIEW

After reading Strong Cold Dead, book eight in the series last year did I buy the first two books in the series. I haven't gotten to them yet, but I plan to have a Caitlin Strong marathon someday! Anyway, when I got the chance to read this book did I not hesitate. I loved Strong Cold Dead and I couldn't wait to read this one!

Part of the reason that I like this series so much is the parallel storylines that have a connection with each other. In this, we get to meet Caitlin's grandfather Earl Strong who is hunting a murderer who killed three men in a Nazi PW camp in Texas. What is the connection? Well, Caitlin is hunting a neo-Nazi gang and there are some things that combine the case in the past with the one in the present. Also, Caitlin herself has to face her own past when a young girl is sexually assaulted, which bring back dark memories for her.

As usual is the writing wonderful and the story engaging. I like Caitlin Strong very much, she's a strong woman and in this book, we learn what makes her join the Texas Rangers. Also, I love the quotations about Texas Rangers before every chapter. Reading this book really makes me wanna get to the unread books I have. I find the characters, both the ones in the present like Caitlin and Cort Wesley, etc. to Caitlin's own family of Texas Rangers that goes back several generations fascinating. This is a book that you definitely can read as a stand-alone, of course with the risk of being hooked!

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Austin, Texas
What the hell?
Caitlin Strong and Cort Wesley Masters had just emerged from Esther’s Follie’s on East 6th Steet, when they saw the stream of people hurrying down the road, gazes universally cocked back behind them. Sirens blared off in the distance and a steady chorus of honking horns seemed to be coming from an adjoining block just past the street affectionately known as “Dirty Sixth,” Austin’s version of Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
“Couldn’t tell you,” Cort Wesley said, even as he sized up the scene. “But I got a feeling we’re gonna know before much longer.”
* * *
Caitlin was in town to speak at a national law enforcement conference focusing on homegrown terrorism, and both her sessions at the Convention Center had been jam-packed. She felt kind of guilty her presentations had lacked the audio-visual touches many of the others had featured. But the audiences hadn’t seem to mind, filling a sectioned-off ballroom to the gills to hear of her direct experiences, in contrast to theoretical dissertations by experts. Audiences comprised of cops a lot like her, looking to bring something back home they could actually use. She’d focused to a great extent on her most recent battle with ISIS right here in Texas, and an al-Qaeda cell a few years before that, stressing how much things had changed in the interim and how much more they were likely to.
Cort Wesley had driven up from San Antonio to meet her for a rare night out that had begun with dinner at Ancho’s inside the Omni Hotel and then a stop at Antone’s nightclub to see the Rats, a band headed by a Texas Ranger tech expert known as Young Roger. From there, they’d walked to Esther’s Follies to take in the famed Texas-centric improve show there, a first for both of them that was every bit as funny and entertaining as advertised, even with a gun-toting woman both Caitlin and Cort Wesley realized was based on her.
Fortunately, no one else in the audience made that connection and they managed to slip out ahead of the rest of the crowd. Once outside, though, they were greeted by a flood of pedestrians pouring up the street from an area of congestion a few blocks down, just past 8th Street.
“What you figure, Ranger?”
“That maybe we better go have ourselves a look.”

CHAPTER 2

Austin, Texas
Caitlin practically collided with a young man holding a wad of napkins against his bleeding nose at the intersection with East 7th Street.
“What’s going on?” she asked him, pulling back her blazer to show her Texas Ranger badge.
The young man looked from it back to her, swallowing some blood and hacking it up onto the street. “University of Texas graduation party took over all of Stubb’s Barbecue,” he said, pointing in the restaurant’s direction. “Guess you could say it got out of hand. Bunch of fraternities going at it.” He looked at the badge pinned to her chest again. “Are you really a Texas Ranger?”
“You need to get to an emergency room,” Caitlin told him, and pressed on with Cort Wesley by her side.
“Kid was no older than Dylan,” he noted, mentioning his oldest son who was still on a yearlong leave from Brown University.
“How many fraternities does the University of Texas at Austin have anyway, Cort Wesley?”
“A whole bunch.”
“Yeah,” she nodded, continuing on toward the swell of bodies and flashing lights, “it sure looks that way.”
Stubb’s was well known for its barbecue offerings and, just as much, its status as a concert venue. The interior was modest in size, as Caitlin recalled, two floors with the bottom level normally reserved for private parties and the upstairs generally packed with patrons both old and new. The rear of the main building, and several adjoining ones, featured a flattened dirt lot fronted by several performance stages where upwards of two thousand people could enjoy live music in the company of three sprawling outdoor bars.
That meant this graduation party gone bad may have featured at least a comparable number of students and probably even more, many of whom remained in the street, milling about as altercations continued to flare, while first responders struggled futilely to disperse the crowd. Young men and women still swigging bottles of beer, while pushing and shoving each other. The sound of glass breaking rose over the loudening din of the approaching sirens, the whole scene glowing amid the colors splashed from the revolving lights of the Austin police cars already on the scene.
A fire engine leading a rescue wagon screeched to a halt just ahead of Cort Wesley and Caitlin, at the intersection with 7th Street, beyond which had become impassable.
“Dylan could even be here, for all I know,” Cort Wesley said, picking up his earlier train of thought.
“He doesn’t go to UT.”
“But there’s girls and trouble, two things he excels at the most.”
This as fights continued breaking out one after another, splinters of violence on the verge of erupting into an all-out brawl going on under the spill of the LED streetlights rising over Stubb’s.
Caitlin pictured swirling lines of already drunk patrons being refused admittance due to capacity issues. Standing in line full of alcohol on a steamy night, expectations of a celebratory evening dashed, was a recipe for just what she was viewing now. In her mind, she saw fights breaking out between rival UT fraternities mostly in the outdoor performance area, before spilling out into the street, fueled by simmering tempers now on high heat.
“You see any good we can be here?” Cort Wesley asked her.
Caitlin was about to say no, when she spotted an anxious Austin patrol cop doing his best to break up fights that had spread as far as 7th Street. She and Cort Wesley sifted through the crowd and made their way toward him, Caitlin advancing alone when they drew close.
“Anything I can do to help,” she said, reading the Austin policeman’s nametag, “Officer Hilton?”
Hilton leaned up against an ornate light pole that looked like gnarled wrought iron for support. He was breathing hard, his face scraped and bruised. He noted the Texas Ranger badge and seemed to match her face to whatever media reports he’d remembered her from.
“Not unless you got enough Moses in you to part the Red Sea out there, Ranger.”
“What brought you boys out here? Detail work?” Caitlin asked, trying to account for his presence on scene so quickly, ahead of the sirens screaming through the night.
Hilton shook his head. “An anonymous nine-one-one call about a sexual assault taking place inside the club, the downstairs lounge.”
“And you didn’t go inside?”
Hilton turned his gaze on the street, his breathing picking up again. “Through that? My partner tried and ended up getting his skull cracked open by a bottle. I damn near got killed fighting to reach him. Managed to get him in the back of our squad car and called for a rescue,” he said, casting his gaze toward the fire engine and ambulance that were going nowhere. “Think maybe I better carry him to the hospital myself.”
“What about the girl?”
“What girl?”
“Sexual assault victim inside the club.”
Hilton frowned. “Most of them turn out to be false alarms anyway.”
“Do they now?”
Caitlin’s tone left him sneering at her. “Look, Ranger, you want to shoot up the street to get inside that shithole, be my guest. I’m not leaving my partner.”
“Thanks for giving me permission,” she said, and steered back for Cort Wesley.
“That looked like it went well,” he noted, pushing a frat boy who’d ventured too close out of the way, after stripping the empty beer bottle he was holding by the neck from his grasp.
“Sexual assault victim might still be inside, Cort Wesley.”
“Shit.”
“Yeah.”
“Got any ideas, Ranger?”
Caitlin eyed the fire engine stranded where East 7th Street met Red River Avenue. “Just one.”

CHAPTER 3

Austin, Texas
Four firemen were gathered behind the truck in a tight cluster, speaking with the two paramedics from the rescue wagon.
“I’m a Texas Ranger,” Caitlin announced, approaching them with jacket peeled back to reveal her badge, “and I’m commandeering your truck.”
“You’re what?” one of the fireman managed. “No, absolutely not!”
The siren began blaring and lights started flashing, courtesy of Cort Wesley who’d climbed up behind the wheel.
“Sorry,” Caitlin said, raising her voice above the din, “can’t hear you!”
* * *
The crowd that filled the street in front of Stubb’s Barbecue saw and heard the fire truck coming and began pelting it with bottles, as it edged forward through the congested street that smelled of sweat and beer. What looked like steam hung in the stagnant air overhead, either an illusion or the actual product of so many superheated bodies congealed in such tight quarters. The sound of glass braking crackled through Caitlin’s ears, as bottle after bottle smashed against the truck’s frame.
The crowd clustered tighter around the fire engine, cutting off Cort Wesley’s way backward or on toward Stubb’s. The students, their fervor and aggression bred by alcohol, never noticed Caitlin’s presence atop the truck until she finally figured out the workings of the truck’s deck gun and squeezed the nozzle.
The force of the water bursting out of the barrel nearly knocked her backward off the truck. But she managed to right and then repositioned herself, as she doused the tight cluster of students between the truck and the restaurant entrance with the gun’s powerful stream.
A wave of people tried to fight the flow and ended up getting blown off their feet, thrown into other students who then scrambled to avoid the fire engine’s surge forward ahead of its deafening horn. Caitlin continued to clear a path for Cort Wesley, sweeping the deck gun in light motions from side to side, the five hundred gallon tank still plenty full when the club entrance drew within clear view.
She felt the fire engine’s front wheels mount the sidewalk and twist heavily to the right. The front fender grazed the building and took out a plate glass window the rioting had somehow spared. Caitlin saw a gap in the crowd open all the way to the entrance and leaped down from the truck to take advantage of it, before it closed up again.
She purposely didn’t draw her gun and entered Stubb’s to the sight of bloodied bouncers and staff herding the last of the patrons out of the restaurant. Outside, the steady blare of sirens told her the Austin police had arrived in force. Little they could do to disperse a crowd this large and unruly in rapid fashion, though, much less reach the entrance to lend their efforts to Caitlin’s in locating the sexual assault victim.
She threaded her way through the ground floor of Stubb’s to the stairs leading down to the private lounge area. The air felt like it was being blasted out of a steam oven, roiled with coagulated body heat untouched by the restaurant’s air conditioning that left Caitlin with the sense she was descending to hell.
Reaching the windowless sub-level floor, she swept her eyes about and thought she heard a whimpering come from a nest of couches, where a male figure hovered over the frame of a woman, lying half on and half off a sectional couch.
“Sir, put your hands in the air and turn around slowly!” Caitlin ordered, drawing her SIG-Sauer nine-millimeter pistol. “Don’t make me tell you twice!”
He started to turn, without raising his hands, and Caitlin fired when she glimpsed something shiny in his grasp. Impact to the shoulder twisted the man around and spilled him over the sectional couch, Caitlin holding her SIG at the ready as she approached his victim.
She heard the whimpering again, making her think more of the sound a dog makes, and followed it toward a tight cluster of connected couch sections, their cushions all stained wet and smelling thickly of beer. Drawing closer while still keeping a sharp eye on the man she’d shot, Caitlin spotted a big smart phone lying just out of his grasp, recognizing it as the object she’d wrongly taken for a gun. Then Caitlin spied a young woman of college age pinned between a pair of couch sections, covering her exposed breasts with her arms, her torn blouse hanging off her and jeans unbuttoned and unzipped just short of her hips.
Drawing closer, Caitlin saw the young woman’s assailant, the man she’d just shot in all likelihood, must’ve yanked them down so violently that he’d split the zipper and torn off the snap or button.
“Ma’am?” she called softly.
The young woman tightened herself into a ball and retreated deeper into the darkness between the couch sections, not seeming to hear her.
“Ma’am,” Caitlin said louder, hovering over the coed while continuing to check on the man she’d shot, his eyes drifting in and out of consciousness, his shirt wet with blood in the shoulder area from the gunshot wound.
Caitlin only wished it was her own attacker lying there, from all those years before when she’d been a coed herself at the Lone Star College campus in West Houston. Some memories suppressed easily, others were like a toothache that came and went. That one was more like a cavity that had been filled, forgotten until the filling broke off and raw nerve pain flared.
Caitlin pushed the couch sections aside and knelt by the young woman, pistol tucked low by her hip so as not to frighten her further.
“I’m a Texas Ranger, ma’am,” she said, in as soothing a voice as she could manage. “I need to get you out of here, and I need you to help me. I need to know if you can walk.”
The young woman finally looked at her, nodded. Her left cheek was swollen badly and one of her arms hung limply from its socket. Caitlin looked back at the downed form of the man she’d already shot once, half hoping he gave her a reason to shoot him again.
“What’s your name? Mine’s Caitlin.”
“Kelly Ann,” the young woman said, her voice dry and cracking.
Caitlin helped her to her feet. “Well, Kelly Ann, I know things feel real bad right now, but trust me when I tell you this is bad as they’re going to get.”
Kelly Ann’s features perked up slightly, her eyes flashing back to life. She tried to take a deep breath, but stopped halfway though.
Caitlin held her around the shoulders in one arm, SIG clutched in her free hand while her eyes stayed peeled on the downed man’s stirring form. “I’m going to stay with you the whole way until we get you some help,” she promised.
The building suddenly felt like a Fun House Hall of Mirrors. Everything distorted, perspective and sense of place lost. Even the stairs climbing back to the ground floor felt different, only the musty smell of sweat mixed with stale perfume and body spray telling her they were the same.
Caitlin wanted to tell Kelly Ann it would be all right, that it would get better, that it would all go away in time. But that would be a lie, so she said nothing at all. Almost to the door, she gazed toward a loose assemblages of frat boys wearing hoodies displaying their letters as they chugged from liquor bottles stripped from the shelves behind the main bar on the first floor. How different were they from the one who’d hurt her, hurt Kelly Ann?
Caitlin wanted to shoot the bottles out of their hands, but kept leading Kelly Ann on instead, out into the night and the vapor spray from the deck gun now being wielded by Cort Wesley to keep their route clear.
“’Bout time!” he shouted down, scampering across the truck’s top to retake his place behind the wheel.
Caitlin was already inside the cab, Kelly Ann clinging tight to her.
“Where to, Ranger?”
“Seton Medical Center, Cort Wesley.”
Before he got going, Caitlin noticed Officer Hilton and several other Austin cops pushing their way through the crowd toward the entrance to Stubb’s.
“Don’t worry, Officer, I got the victim out safe and sound,” she yelled down to him, only half-sarcastically. “But I left a man with a bullet in his shoulder down there for you to take care of.”
“Come again?”
“I’d hurry, if I were you. He’s losing blood.”
***
Excerpt from Strong to the Bone by Jon Land. Copyright © 2017 by Jon Land. Reproduced with permission from Jon Land. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Jon Land
Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of 43 books, including eight titles in the critically acclaimed Caitlin Strong series: Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break, Strong Vengeance, Strong Rain Falling (winner of the 2014 International Book Award and 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery-Suspense), Strong Darkness (winner of the 2014 USA Books Best Book Award and the 2015 International Book Award for Thriller, and Strong Light of Day which won the 2016 International Book Award for Best Thriller-Adventure, the 2015 Books and Author Award for Best Mystery Thriller, and the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Mystery. Strong Cold Dead became the fourth title in the series in a row to win the International Book Award in 2017 and about which Booklist said, “Thrillers don’t get any better than this,” in a starred review. Land has also teamed with multiple New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham on a new sci-fi series, the first of which, The Rising, was published by Forge in January of 2017. He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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