Sunday 24 February 2019

#BookReview American Duchess by Karen Harper @WmMorrowBooks @FreshFiction!

American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt by Karen Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before Meghan and Harry, another American ‘princess’ captured the hand of an English aristocrat. Now, Karen Harper tells the tale of Consuelo Vanderbilt, her “The Wedding of the Century” to the Duke of Marlborough, and her quest to find meaning behind “the glitter and the gold.”

On a cold November day in 1895, a carriage approaches St Thomas Episcopal Church on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Massive crowds surge forward, awaiting their glimpse of heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. Just 18, the beautiful bride has not only arrived late, but in tears, yet her marriage to the aloof Duke of Marlborough proceeds. Bullied into the wedding by her indomitable mother, Alva, Consuelo loves another. But a deal was made, trading some of the vast Vanderbilt wealth for a title and prestige, and Consuelo, bred to obey, realizes she must make the best of things.

At Blenheim Palace, Consuelo is confronted with an overwhelming list of duties, including producing an “heir and a spare,” but her relationship with the duke quickly disintegrates. Consuelo finds an inner strength, charming everyone from debutantes to diplomats including Winston Churchill, as she fights for women’s suffrage. And when she takes a scandalous leap, can she hope to attain love at last…?

From the dawning of the opulent Gilded Age, to the battles of the Second World War, American Duchess is a riveting tale of one woman’s quest to attain independence—at any pric


AMERICAN DUCHESS tales the fictional story of Consuelo Vanderbilt. In 1895 Consuelo wed the Duke of Marlborough. This was not a love match; she was already in love with another man. She only went to the altar after being bullied relentlessly by her mother, Alva. The marriage was a business deal— the Vanderbilt money for a title and the prestige that comes with the title. And, it could have all ended there. She could have stayed subdued like many other women in her class. However, Consuelo finds her inner strength, fights for the things she believes in and perhaps she will even find true love?


Saturday 23 February 2019

#BookReview A Baker Street Wedding by Michael Robertson @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress

A Baker Street Wedding by Michael Robertson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The wedding of Reggie Heath and the celebrated actress Laura Rankin was reported in all the tabloids—which is to say, it was a disaster.

Now, in a remote village on the British coast, locked in by sea cliffs on one side and moors on the other, the newlywed’s plane—piloted by Laura—has landed. Reggie doesn’t understand why Laura has picked this god-forsaken hamlet for their honeymoon. What is she keeping from him?

The answers are in Laura’s past, but she’s not saying, and Reggie is out of his depth. He must have help—or his worst fears and more will be realized.


I did get a sense of recognition when I started to read A Baker Street Wedding. Not that I had read any of the previous five books in this series. It's rather I think I've seen the first book in the library, read the blurb, but never borrowed it. Now, I want to hit myself in the head for not doing so because this book was hilarious.

Reading the latest book in a series, without having read the previous books mean that you can feel pretty lost. However, I quickly found my footing when it came to this book and the more I read the more I felt at home. Also, I really felt that I need to read the previous books.

Lawyers Reggie Heath and his brother Nigel are the ones responsible for answering the Sherlock Holmes letters that are sent to Baker Street. That's part of the deal for them to rent the place. In this book, the letter part gets a bit sidelined when Reggie's wedding to Laura turns into a dramatic paparazzi stunt. Nigel meanwhile has flown to LA to try to save his relationship. At the office is secretary Lois at a loss of what to do when a strange man shows up and starts to investigate where Reggie and Laura have gone.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm thrilled to have found the two first one available to listen to. I recommend this book to Sherlock Holmes fans!

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

#BookReview Dead Memories by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @bookouture

Dead Memories by Angela Marsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She ruined their lives. Now they’re going to destroy hers.

‘Someone is recreating every traumatic point in your life. They are doing this to make you suffer, to make you hurt and the only possible end game can be death. Your death.’

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the deaths of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.

Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim?


Angela Marsons has once again written a great crime novel that is a page-turner for page one until the end. I always get very, very happy when I see that a new novel is soon to be released since I've become quite addicted to the series.

Kim Stone is faced with her own terrible experiences all through this book. It's like someone out there knows all the things that have hurt Kim all through her life and tries to break her. And, it all starts with the police finding two teenagers chained to a radiator. Kim can't help seeing how this event is a copy of how she and her twin brother were found years ago. Who hates Kim so much that they would go to this far?

Dead Memories is an absolutely fabulous crime novel and I loved reading the book. Kim is being monitored by profiler Alison Lowe who's side story is also very interesting. I came to really like Alison Lowe and I hope she will show up in more stories. Kim and Alison have a tense relationship. To be honest I can't really remember their previous encounter more than I know which book Alison showed up in previously. Too many books read since then...

Anyhow, this book is great, I loved trying to figure out who was behind it all, especially since the list of people hating Kim is not that short. She even has a fan club, in prison...

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

Friday 22 February 2019

#BookReview Who Killed the Fonz? by James Boice @jamesboice @simonbooks @FreshFiction

Who Killed the Fonz? by James Boice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The legendary 1950s-era TV show Happy Days gets reinvented as a gritty 1980s noir.

Late October, 1984. Prince and Bruce are dominating FM radio. Ron and Nancy are headed back to the White House. Crockett and Tubbs are leading men everywhere to embrace pastels. And Richard Cunningham? Well, Richard Cunningham is having a really bad Sunday.

First, there’s the meeting with his agent. A decade ago, the forty-something Cunningham was one of Hollywood’s hottest screenwriters. But Tinseltown is no longer interested in his artsy, introspective scripts. They want Terminator cyborgs and exploding Stay Puft Marshmallow men. If he isn’t interested in that sort of thing, his agent tells him, he’s gonna have to find new representation.

Then later that same day he gets a phone call with even worse news. His best friend from childhood back in Milwaukee, back when everyone called him Richie, is dead. Arthur Fonzarelli. The Fonz. Lost control of his motorcycle while crossing a bridge and plummeted into the water below. Two days of searching and still no body, no trace of his trademark leather jacket.

Richard flies back for the memorial service, only to discover that Fonzie’s death was no accident—it was murder. With the help of his old pals Ralph Malph and Potsie Weber, he sets out to catch the killer. Who it turns out to be is shocking. So is the story’s final twist.

Who Killed The Fonz? imagines what happened to the characters of the legendary TV series Happy Days twenty years after the show left off. And while much has changed in the interim—goodbye drive-in movie theaters, hello VCRs—the story centers around the same timeless themes as the show: the meaning of family. The significance of friendship. The importance of community.

Fast-paced and full of nostalgia, Who Killed the Fonz? is an ingenious twist on a beloved classic that proves sometimes you can go home again.


The year is 1984, and Richard "Richie" Cunningham gets bad news from his hometown in Milwaukee. Arthur Fonzarelli, his best friend when he was growing up, the Fonz is dead. Fonzie was driving his motorcycle when he crossed a bridge and lost control and into the guardrail. He went over the handlebar into the water, but no body has been found. Crushed Richard gets back home to the memorial service for Fonzie. In Milwaukee, the memories of his youth come back, but he also realizes the death of the Fonz may be something other than accidental. It may have been murder.


Thursday 21 February 2019

#BookReview Die Last by Tony Parsons @arrowpublishing @TonyParsonsUK @FreshFiction

Die Last: by Tony Parsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As dawn breaks on a snowy February morning, a refrigerated lorry is found parked in the heart of London's Chinatown. Inside twelve women are discovered - all dead from hypothermia.

But when DC Max Wolfe looks in the cab of truck, he finds thirteen passports.

One woman has survived. Where is she? And what sort of danger is she in?

The hunt for her will take Max into the dark heart of a terrifying world where nothing and nobody is safe ...


There are some series that become so special for you that the characters feel like old friends. The Max Wolfe series by Tony Parsons is one of them for me. Now, it has been a while since I read the previous book in the series, but it didn't take me long to get back into the life of Max and his daughter Scout and of course their dog Sam.


#BookReview Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox @candicefoxbooks @arrowpublishing @FreshFiction

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

They left four children safe upstairs.
They came back to three.

On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs.

But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing.

The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the building. No trace of the child is found.

Now the hunt is on to find him, before it’s too late – and before the search for a boy becomes a search for a body...


I LOVE this series! When I got the chance to read GONE BY MIDNIGHT didn't I hesitate, I had to read it straight away. And WOW! The first book was great, the second was fabulous, this one is awesome!


#BookReview The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith @eakeith @parkrowbooks @FreshFiction

The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amsterdam, May 1943. As the tulips bloom and the Nazis tighten their grip across the city, the last signs of Dutch resistance are being swept away. Marijke de Graaf and her husband are arrested and deported to different concentration camps in Germany. Marijke is given a terrible choice: to suffer a slow death in the labour camp or—for a chance at survival—to join the camp brothel.

On the other side of the barbed wire, SS officer Karl Müller arrives at the camp hoping to live up to his father’s expectations of wartime glory. But faced with a brutal routine of overseeing executions and punishments, he longs for an escape. When he encounters the newly arrived Marijke, this meeting changes their lives forever.

Woven into the narrative across space and time is Luciano Wagner’s ordeal in 1977 Buenos Aires, during the heat of the Argentine Dirty War. In his struggle to endure military captivity, he searches for ways to resist from a prison cell he may never leave.

From the Netherlands to Germany to Argentina, The Dutch Wife braids together the stories of three individuals who share a dark secret and are entangled in two of the most oppressive reigns of terror in modern history. This is a novel about the blurred lines between love and lust, abuse and resistance, and right and wrong, as well as the capacity for ordinary people to persevere and do the unthinkable in extraordinary circumstances.


THE DUTCH WIFE is a dual storyline book. In 1943 we get to follow Marijke de Graaf as she is forced to choose between a slow death in a labor camp or join the camp brothel. She picks the later in the hope of meeting her husband who has been sent to the camp where the brothel is. Years later, in 1977 we follow Luciano Wagerer's ordeal during the Argentine Dirty War as he is arrested and thrown in a prison he most likely will never leave.


Monday 18 February 2019

#BookReview Once a Liar by A.F. Brady @parkrowbooks @FreshFiction

Once a Liar by A.F. Brady
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

From the author of The Blind comes an electrifying story of deception, duplicity and suspense

Peter Caine, a cutthroat Manhattan defense attorney, is extremely adept at his job. On the surface, he is charming and handsome, but inside he is cold and heartless. A sociopath practically incapable of human emotions, he has no remorse when he fights to acquit murderers, pedophiles and rapists. When Charlie Doyle, the daughter of the Manhattan DA--and Peter's former lover--is murdered, Peter's world is quickly sent into a tailspin as the DA, a professional enemy of Peter's, embarks on a witch hunt to avenge his daughter's death, stopping at nothing to ensure Peter is found guilty of the murder.

Peter sets out to prove his innocence, and as he pieces together his defense, he finds that it's those closest to us who are capable of the greatest harm.


Peter Caine is a merciless Manhattan defense attorney who may seem to be charming on the outside. However, beneath the mask, he is a cold and heartless man who doesn't care about other people's feelings. He doesn't even harbor any feelings for his own son Jamie, and he is less than pleased when he has to take him in after Peter's ex-wife dies. But, his life will change dramatically when his ex-lover, the daughter of the Manhattan DA is murdered and Peter is one of the suspects.


Sunday 17 February 2019

#BookReview Ruin Beach by Kate Rhodes @simonschusterUK @K_RhodesWriter

Ruin Beach by Kate Rhodes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Ben Kitto has become the Scilly Isles’ Deputy Chief of Police. As the island’s lazy summer takes hold, he finds himself missing the excitement of the murder squad in London. But when the body of professional diver Jude Trellon is discovered, anchored to the rocks of a nearby cave, his investigative skills are once again needed.

At first it appears that the young woman’s death was a tragic accident, but when evidence is found that suggests otherwise, the islanders close ranks. With even those closest to the victim refusing to talk, it seems that plenty of people might have had reason to harm her.As the islanders remain guarded, Ben Kitto suspects a killer is on the loose in Tresco.

Everyone is a suspect. Nobody is safe.


I went straight for this book after finishing listening to the audio version of Hell Bay, the first book in the series. It was so good, and I was so pleased to have the sequel, Ruin Beach waiting for me. Now, we all have our favorite kind of settings when it comes to books. I LOVE reading crime novels set in isolated milieus. The grittier surrounding the better. This series that takes place on the Scilly Isles (had to Google it) was just my kind of series.

Before I start the review will I just say that, yes, you can read the books as stand-alone. However, they are so good so if you have the chance to go for book one first. Do so!

Ben Kitto returned home to the Scilly Isles in Hell Bay and even though he didn't plan on staying on was it exactly what he did. He's now Deputy Chief of Police of Scilly Isles after working several years in London. The peace on the Isle is broken when the body of a young diver Jude Trellon is found. The body has been anchored to the rocks of a nearby cave, and Ben quickly realize that she's been murdered. Now, Ben must find out who wanted Jude Trellon killed, and why. Someone on the little Isle wanted Jude dead, and now Ben must investigate those close to her to find out who hated her enough to kill her.

Ruin Beach is just as Hell Bay and excellent crime novel. The writing is superb and there are many suspects to choose from. I've become quite fond of this series and I really like Ben Kitto. The only drawback with this book is that I now have no more books in this series to read...

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

#BookReview The Burning Island by Hester Young @PutnamBooks @FreshFiction

The Burning Island by Hester Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The newest haunting mystery from the beloved author of The Gates of Evangeline, featuring Charlie Cates, a headstrong heroine who must confront her unwanted supernatural gift and bring dark secrets to light if she ever wants to leave the Big Island . . .

Journalist Charlie Cates has always believed in facts, in what can be proved--her career depends on it. Which is why she has never truly accepted the supernatural visions that guide her to children in danger. After her work on a high-profile missing-child case brings unwanted fame, she reluctantly flees to the lush Big Island of Hawaii with her best friend, Rae. Determined to avoid her disturbing visions, Charlie begins writing what seems to be a harmless interview of a prominent volcanologist, Victor Nakagawa. But her hopes for a peaceful vacation are soon dashed by haunting dreams of a local girl who went missing six weeks earlier.

In the small and sleepy town of Kalo Valley, Charlie and Rae come to realize that even paradise has its ugly secrets, and the Nakagawa family is no exception. In order to find the missing teenager and stop a dangerous predator from striking again, Charlie is forced to embrace the gift she has always tried to conceal. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, and the closer Charlie gets to the truth, the more distant her chances of ever leaving the island alive.


In the third book about journalist Charlie Cates she goes with a gal pal to Hawaii. She needs some time away from home after newspapers have gotten to know that she has a supernatural talent; she can find lost children. And what better way is there then to accept an interview job on Hawaii? Well, she hardly has landed before she got the first dream vision of a child in trouble.


Saturday 16 February 2019

#BookReview The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley @lucyfoleytweets @WmMorrowBooks @FreshFiction

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?


A group of college friends is spending the Christmas break together at a hunting lodge. Spending time together welcoming in the New Year has long been a tradition for them, and this year the place is a remote estate in the Scottish Highlands. However, this year everything will change. This year, one of them will die, and one of them will be the killer.


Friday 15 February 2019

#BookReview The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff @parkrowbooks @FreshFiction

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the author of the runaway bestseller The Orphan’s Tale comes a remarkable story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female spies during World War II.

1946, Manhattan

Grace Healey is rebuilding her life after losing her husband during the war. One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, she finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.

Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a ring of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal.

Vividly rendered and inspired by true events, New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war, and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances


THE LOST GIRLS OF PARIS is a book about sacrifices, courage, friendship, and about moving on.

1946 - Grace Healey is living in Manhattan and is trying to live a life without her husband who died during the war. While passing through Grand Central Terminal one morning, she finds a suitcase with some photographs that she in a moment of impulse snatches. Later on, she learns that the suitcase belongs to Eleanor Trigg, who was the leader of a ring of female secret agents during the war. Among the spies was there a young mother, Marie, who was sent to France to help the resistance.


Thursday 14 February 2019

#BookReview Dear George, Dear Mary by Mary Calvi @StMartinsPress @FreshFiction

Dear George, Dear Mary: A Novel of George Washington's First Love by Mary Calvi
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A novel about heiress Mary Philipse's relationship with George Washington, based on historical accounts, letters, and personal journals by nine-time New York Emmy award-winning journalist Mary Calvi.

"Love is said to be an involuntary passion, and it is, therefore, contended that it cannot be resisted." --George Washington

Did unrequited love help spark a flame that ignited a cause that became the American Revolution? Never before has this story about George Washington been told. Crafted from hundreds of letters, witness accounts, and journal entries, Dear George, Dear Mary explores George's relationship with his first love, New York heiress Mary Philipse, the richest belle in Colonial America.

From elegant eighteenth-century society to bloody battlefields, the novel creates breathtaking scenes and riveting characters. Dramatic portraits of the two main characters unveil a Washington on the precipice of greatness, using the very words he spoke and wrote, and his ravishing love, whose outward beauty and refinement disguise a complex inner struggle.

Dear George, Dear Mary reveals why George Washington had such bitter resentment toward the Brits, established nearly two decades before the American Revolution, and it unveils details of a deception long hidden from the world that led Mary Philipse to be named a traitor, condemned to death and left with nothing. While that may sound like the end, ultimately both Mary and George achieve what they always wanted.


DEAR GEORGE, DEAR MARY is the story about George Washington's relationship with Mary Philipse. Mary Calvi has written a story based on hundreds of letters, witness accounts, and journal entries, reconstructing George Washington courting of New York heiress Mary Philipse.


#BookReview Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong @KelleyArmstrong @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's latest thriller, the town of Rockton—and her fans—are in for another hair-raising adventure.

The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town's only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson and falling in love in less than the year that she's lived there. Yet even she didn't think it would be possible for an outsider to find and cause trouble in the town she's come to call home.

When a US Marshal shows up in town demanding the release of one of the residents, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Dalton, are skeptical. And yet only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only visible suspects are the townspeople and her estranged sister, in town for just the weekend. It's up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why they would kill to keep him quiet.


WATCHER IN THE WOODS is book four in Kelly Armstrong's Rockton series. I've read all the books and this is a series that I love and I hope that Armstrong will keep on writing several more books.


Wednesday 13 February 2019

#BlogTour The Lost Man by Jane Harper @janeharperautho @caolinndouglas @GraceEVincent @LittleBrownUK

The Lost Man by Jane Harper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron's mind when he was alive, he didn't look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote fence line separating their cattle farms under the relenting sun of the remote outback. In an isolated part of Western Australia, they are each other's nearest neighbour, their homes three hours' drive apart.

They are at the stockman's grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron, who lies dead at their feet.

Something had been on Cam's mind. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn't, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects...

The Lost Man is the highly anticipated new book from the bestselling and award-winning Jane Harper, author of The Dryand Force of Nature.


The Lost Man is so far my favorite book by Jane Harper. It was interesting to read a stand-alone book and not a new book in the Aaron Falk series. However, right from the very start when Cameron is found by his brothers Nathan and Bub did I feel that this book will be good.

The wonderful setting, one could really feel the Australian heat while reading the book. Not to mention the vastness everything takes hours to reach. Then, then there is the death of Cameron. Was it really a suicide? Has the legend of the Stockman's something to do with the death? The more one reads the more one realize that not everything is as it seems. There are secrets, deep dark secrets...

I will end this review now. This will be a short review since I think that this book should be experienced and I don't want to reveal too much of what is going on. I will just say this, it's beautifully written and I would love to see this book made into a movie or miniseries!

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

Monday 11 February 2019

#BookReview The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer @wscharer @panmacmillan

The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'I’d rather take a photograph than be one,' says Lee Miller, shortly after she arrives in Paris in 1929. Gorgeous and talented, Lee has left behind a successful modeling career at Vogue to pursue her dream of being an artist. There she catches the eye of the famous Surrealist artist Man Ray. An egotistical, charismatic force, Lee is drawn to him immediately. Though he initially wants to use her as a model, Lee is determined to become Man’s photography assistant instead.

As their personal and professional lives become further entwined, Lee is consumed by two desires: to become a famous photographer and to have a healthy and loving relationship. But as Lee asserts herself and moves from being a muse to an artist, Man’s jealousy spirals out of control, and their mutual betrayals threaten to destroy them both.

Richly detailed and filled with a cast of famous characters, The Age of Light is a captivating historical novel about ambition, love, and the personal price of making art. In exploring Lee’s complicated and fascinating history, Whitney Scharer has brought a brilliant and pioneering artist out of the shadow of a man’s story and into the light.


I knew nothing about either Lee Miller or Man Ray before I read this book. However, I was absolutely fascinated by this story. Several times during the time I listened to the audio version of the book did I have to take a break to google both Lee Miller Man Ray for their art.

Now, I had an ecopy of this book, but I decided to listen to the audio version during work. However, I couldn't stop listening and start reading when I got home. The narrator, Therese Plummer did such an excellent work that I just couldn't stop listening to her telling the story about Lee and Man. I have a favorite scene from the narrator, and it's when Lee and Man are in the darkroom for the first time and you can really feel the tension between them. Listening to the scene (and other intense scenes) is just, in my opinion, even better than reading them when the narrator does such a good job as with this book.

It's so easy to forget that this is just fiction (based on facts) when you read this book. The characters come to life in a way that makes you think that this is all true. Like there was a stenographer there all the time writing down everything that happened and was said. That's how I felt listening to the book. Like I was a fly on the way witness all that happened.

In the end, I just want to say that this is an absolutely fantastic book! And I recommend it warmly. Read it, listen to it. Do what feels best for you! 

Sunday 10 February 2019

#BookReview Eleventh Hour by M.J. Trow @severnhouse

Eleventh Hour by M.J. Trow
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Christopher Marlowe must discover who murdered the queen's spymaster in this absorbing historical mystery. 

April, 1590. The queen's spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, is dead, leaving a dangerous power vacuum. His former right hand man, Nicholas Faunt, believes he was poisoned and has ordered Kit Marlowe to discover who killed him.

To find the answers, Marlowe must consult the leading scientists and thinkers in the country. But as he questions the members of the so-called School of Night, the playwright-turned-spy becomes convinced that at least one of them is hiding a deadly secret. If he is to outwit the most inquiring minds in Europe and unmask the killer within, Marlowe must devise an impossibly ingenious plan.


I had two disadvantages when I read this book, first that it's the eight book in the series about Kit Marlowe and I have not read any previous book. And the second, this is an era that just doesn't really my thing. However, I went through a period when EVERYTHING looked interesting on NetGalley. That means I have a lot of books to go through that I, in hindsight perhaps should have passed over. This one is one of them.

Anyhow, this is a story about a murder, and it's the Queen's spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham that has been poisoned. Walsingham former righthand man orders Kit Marlowe to find out who killed Walsingham. So, Kit is off consulting scientists and thinkers of the School of Night to find out what poison it was and who murdered the spymaster.

I found myself not really taken with the story, actually now and then I felt a bit lost even. Like some thought processes from Kit's side took place outside the story in the book. It could just be me of course, not really finding neither the plot nor the characters especially interesting. On the plus side, Shakespeare shows up now and then in the story, not a terribly good playwriter apparently...

Eleventh Hour is probably a great book for fans of the era and those that love this series. I, however, will not bother with more books in this series.

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

Saturday 9 February 2019

#BookReview Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology by Ellen Datlow @wwnorton @Pegasus_Books

Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology by Ellen Datlow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Birds are usually loved for their beauty and their song. They symbolize freedom, eternal life, the soul.

There’s definitely a dark side to the avian. Birds of prey sometimes kill other birds (the shrike), destroy other birds’ eggs (blue jays), and even have been known to kill small animals (the kea sometimes eats live lambs). And who isn’t disgusted by birds that eat the dead—vultures awaiting their next meal as the life blood flows from the dying. One of our greatest fears is of being eaten by vultures before we’re quite dead.

Is it any wonder that with so many interpretations of the avian, that the contributors herein are eager to be transformed or influenced by them? Included in Black Feathers are those obsessed by birds of one type or another. Do they want to become birds or just take on some of the “power” of birds? The presence or absence of birds portends the future. A grieving widow takes comfort in her majestic winged neighbors, who enable her to cope with a predatory relative. An isolated society of women relies on a bird to tell their fortunes. A silent young girl and her pet bird might be the only hope a detective has of tracking down a serial killer in a tourist town. A chatty parrot makes illegal deals with the dying. A troubled man lives in isolation with only one friend for company—a jackdaw.

In each of these fictions, you will encounter the dark resonance between the human and avian. You see in yourself the savagery of a predator, the shrewd stalking of a hunter, and you are lured by birds that speak human language, that make beautiful music, that cypher numbers, and seem to have a moral center. You wade into this feathered nightmare, and brave the horror of death, trading your safety and sanity for that which we all seek—the promise of flight


16 bird stories and I'm actually thinking this was a really good anthology collection with only a couple of duds... I started to read this book a previous time, but changed to another book, and another book, etc. So, the first three stories. Well, poem and two stories did I reread.

First, we have O Terrible Bird by SANDRA KASTURI. A poem. I'm not a big fan of poems. So 2-stars because it's not badly written just not my cup of coffee.

Next story is The Obscure Bird by NICHOLAS ROYLE. Really creepy, just as creepy as the first time I read it. 4-stars

The last story I reread is The Mathematical Inevitability of Corvids by SEANAN MCGUIRE and I've forgotten how sad and brutal it was. 4-stars

Something About Birds by PAUL TREMBLAY. This story was pretty odd and I just felt that compared to the other stories I've read so far was it weaker. 3-stars

Great Blue Heron by JOYCE CAROL OATES. This story felt like an odd duck among the other stories. Good but I didn't see how it would fit in with the other stories. Until the 4-stars

The Season of the Raptors by RICHARD BOWES felt a bit rambling. Not bad, not among the best so far. Still interesting to read 3-stars

The Orphan Bird by ALISON LITTLEWOOD! I loved the twist in this story when you realize why this story belongs in this book... 4-stars

The Murmurations of Vienna Von Drome by JEFFREY FORD is not bad, I just think it lacks any good twists and has no wow factor. However, it's an interesting story and I can see it fleshed out into a movie or novel. 3-stars

Blyth's Secret by MIKE O’DRISCOLL. The first story that didn't capture my interest. When it's a horror anthology is it, of course, unavoidable that there is a lot of weirdos. However, I felt that the main character in this story just didn't work for me. Especially since a lot of people in this anthology are weird. Then, I want them to be at least memorable. 2-stars

The Fortune of Sparrows by USMAN T. MALIK. Frankly, this story didn't make much sense...or it was me that just didn't enjoy it so much. 2-stars

Pigeon from Hell by STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, for some reason the ending made me think of Pet Sematary... Because sometimes dead is better... 3-stars

Secret of Flight by A.C. WISE...great to finally have a good story after some not as good ones...4-stars

Isobel Avens Returns to Stepney in the Spring by M. JOHN HARRISON. Sigh, and ladies and gentlemen, the first 1-star story. This story was flat out boring as hell.

A Little Bird Told Me by PAT CADIGAN. Meh. It feels like the best stories were at the beginning of the book. Or it's me that has started to get tired of bird stories

The Acid Test by LIVIA LLEWELLYN. Acid trip. 1-star

AND THE FINAL STORY IS: The Crow Palace by PRIYA SHARMA the very last story and the very best. Creepy and engrossing. LOVED IT. 5-stars

So, that's it. Not a bad collection and there are some authors here I'm going to check up what they have written. 

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

Thursday 7 February 2019

#BookReview In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey @HarperCollinsUK @HarperFiction

In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Charles Hayden has been fascinated by a strange Victorian fairy tale, In the Night Wood, since he was a child. When his wife, Erin – a descendant of the author – inherits her ancestor’s house, the couple decide to make it their home. Still mourning the recent death of their daughter, they leave America behind, seeking a new beginning in the English countryside.

But Hollow House, filled with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest, is a place where the past seems very much alive. Isolated among the trees, Charles and Erin begin to feel themselves haunted – by echoes of the stories in the house’s library, by sightings of their daughter, and by something else, as old and dark as the forest around them.

A compelling and atmospheric gothic thriller, In the Night Woodreveals the chilling power of myth and memory.


In the Night Wood is just the kind of book I like to read. A story about a married couple who move to a new house. A house that the wife has inherited. A house with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest. A forest that is so deep that you can get lost in it...

Now I had the pleasure of both listen to the audio version and reading the book. I think I preferred listening to the book which could be because John Banks did such an excellent job. As for the story itself. It's perfectly OK. However, I found myself wanting to like the story more than I did. Books like this one are actually the ones I find the hardest to review because there is nothing wrong with them more than I just can't seem to love the story. I wasn't annoyed with the characters, the death of their daughter is tragic and I felt for both Charles and Erin. I actually found the story within this story to be the most fascinating thing. A fairy tale with an unhappy ending.

One thing I want to say about the book is that it didn't bore me at least. It was a good book to listen to when I worked and that is a good sign. I kept on wanting to find out the truth about the forest. I would definitely recommend the book if you like modern gothic thrillers. I can see how the right reader will love this book. I just wish that the story had grabbed my attention more than it did.

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

Tuesday 5 February 2019

#BookReview The Black Ascot by Charles Todd @CharlesToddBks @WmMorrowBooks

The Black Ascot by Charles Todd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge seeks a killer who has eluded Scotland Yard for years in this next installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.

An astonishing tip from a grateful ex-convict seems implausible—but Inspector Ian Rutledge is intrigued and brings it to his superior at Scotland Yard. Alan Barrington, who has evaded capture for ten years, is the suspect in an appalling murder during Black Ascot, the famous 1910 royal horserace honoring the late King Edward VII. His disappearance began a manhunt that consumed Britain for a decade. Now it appears that Barrington has returned to England, giving the Yard a last chance to retrieve its reputation and see justice done. Rutledge is put in charge of a quiet search under cover of a routine review of a cold case.

Meticulously retracing the original inquiry, Rutledge begins to know Alan Barrington well, delving into relationships and secrets that hadn’t surfaced in 1910. But is he too close to finding his man? His sanity is suddenly brought into question by a shocking turn of events. His sister Frances, Melinda Crawford, and Dr. Fleming stand by him, but there is no greater shame than shell shock. Questioning himself, he realizes that he cannot look back. The only way to save his career—much less his sanity—is to find Alan Barrington and bring him to justice. But is this elusive murderer still in England?


The Black Ascot by Charles Todd is the 21st book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. I had an ecopy of this book, but most of the book did I listen to (a very enjoyable workday) and I found the audiobook version pleasurable. Although to be honest, Simon Prebble is not my favorite narrator. He has a voice that I try to get used to, there is a gruffness that I just can't seem to truly enjoy. However, the story is good really good. So after a while, I forgot about the voice and let the story take over.

Now, I have not read more than six books in this series. It was through the Bess Crawford series (by the same author) that I discovered this series and I have to say that so far this is one of the best books in the Ian Rutledge series I have read. I love how Ian Rutledge (and Bess Crawford as well) have a tendency to solve even the most difficult cases. Even those cases that hardly seem like a case. Like the case in this book that seems like an open and shut case. But, is it really so? Slowly Rutledge starts to unravel a mystery only he can solve. Only he is tenacious enough and through small clues does he start to puzzle the case together...

And, I really don't want to spoil the book so I just want to say that it's a great ending!

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

Monday 4 February 2019

#BookReview The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to 'go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there'. He is shaken, not only because children are very much on his mind, with Michelle's baby due to be born, but because although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they?

Meanwhile Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh - another henge, known by the archaeologists as the stone circle - trying not to think about the baby. Then bones are found on the site, and identified as those of Margaret Lacey, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared thirty years ago.

As the Margaret Lacey case progresses, more and more aspects of it begin to hark back to that first case of The Crossing Places, and to Scarlett Henderson, the girl Nelson couldn't save. The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly.


First I want to say that this is one of the best books in the series. I can be quite annoyed with both Ruth and Nelson. However, in this book both very behaving quite good. Although there are moments of when I thought; "Come on Nelson, you can't have your cake and eat it". Now, that I've gotten that off my chest can I return to the story of the book.

One of the reasons for me liking this series is the combination of crime and archaeology. I love that Ruth is an archaeologist that now and then get dragged into different types of crimes. Like in this book when the body of a young girl is found in a dig. And evidence point to that this is compared to the usual bodies found a fresh body. Or fresher, it's been in the ground for thirty years.

The Stone Circle is engrossing, both the case (that brings to mind the case in the first book) and everything that goes around in the characters personal lives was enjoyable to read about. I was even thrilled to wake up too early this morning so that I could finish the book before work. Also, This book actually made me think of going back and read the books from the beginning. It was so long ago that I read the first book that it would be fun to read it again.

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

Sunday 3 February 2019

#BookReview The Dying of the Light by Robert Goolrick @HarperCollins

The Dying of the Light by Robert Goolrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the author of the bestselling A Reliable Wife comes a dramatic, passionate tale of a glamorous Southern debutante who marries for money and ultimately suffers for love—a southern gothic as written by Dominick Dunne.

It begins with a house and ends in ashes . . .

Diana Cooke was "born with the century" and came of age just after World War I. The daughter of Virginia gentry, she knew early that her parents had only one asset, besides her famous beauty: their stately house, Saratoga, the largest in the commonwealth, which has hosted the crème of society and Hollywood royalty. Though they are land-rich, the Cookes do not have the means to sustain the estate. Without a wealthy husband, Diana will lose the mansion that has been the heart and soul of her family for five generations.

The mysterious Captain Copperton is an outsider with no bloodline but plenty of cash. Seeing the ravishing nineteen-year-old Diana for the first time, he’s determined to have her. Diana knows that marrying him would make the Cookes solvent and ensure that Saratoga will always be theirs. Yet Copperton is cruel as well as vulgar; while she admires his money, she cannot abide him. Carrying the weight of Saratoga and generations of Cookes on her shoulders, she ultimately succumbs to duty, sacrificing everything, including love.

Luckily for Diana, fate intervenes. Her union with Copperton is brief and gives her a son she adores. But when her handsome, charming Ashton, now grown, returns to Saratoga with his college roommate, the real scandal and tragedy begins.

Reveling in the secrets, mores, and society of twentieth-century genteel Southern life, The Dying of the Light is a romance, a melodrama, and a cautionary tale told with the grandeur and sweep of an epic Hollywood classic.


THE DYING OF THE LIGHT engrossed me from the very first page. I love reading books set in the American south, especially books that have romance, tragedy, and of course, a wonderful gothic feeling.


Saturday 2 February 2019

#BookReview The Military Wife by Laura Trentham @StMartinsPress

The Military Wife by Laura Trentham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An emotionally layered novel about family, loss and what it means to be a military wife.

Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.

Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.

In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.

In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their past


The Military Wife is not my usual kind of books. I rarely read contemporary romance books. However, I found the blurb to be intriguing. So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and read a book about getting a second chance of happiness.

I did find the story to be quite good and I loved the idea of the military wives starting a coffeehouse (who doesn't love coffeehouses?). Since this is the first book in a series have I a feeling that this coffeehouse may serve as a center for the stories. Anyhow this is a book about moving on, about finding closure and purpose in life. That no matter how much you love someone is it OK to find love again. Btw if you love dogs will you love Jack London, a big lovable dog. I liked that the book also dealt with PTSD among soldiers.

The Military Wife is a perfect read for those that love reading contemporary romance books that mix serious issues with lighthearted moments.

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