The beautiful cover of this book peaked my interest upon first viewing. And then I kept seeing it on BEST OF SUMMER lists. I was lucky enough to get an ARC, and it did not disappoint.
Sarah Gailey has created a universe where some are gifted with magic, and some are not. Ivy is not. Her twin sister is. That's just a first step in the divide between them.
Ivy is now a small-time private detective and finds herself investigating a gnarly murder at the very school for magic where her sister teaches. She feels out of her depth, but perseveres to try to prove to her estranged sister that whether or not she has magic, she can indeed solve this major of a crime.
I was sucked into this world, and I do love a good boarding school novel. This checked a lot of boxes for me: strong female leads, unreliable narrators, magic as normalcy, and a murder in a library!
I recommend this debut book highly, and I truly hope that Gailey has some more magic up her sleeves.
Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for the digital ARC, and BookishFirst for the ARC book.
The quirkiest of books. I feel like I spent too much time acclimating to this world to fully enjoy the experience. But once I came to terms with the fact I was fully immersed in an alternate version of 1920s NYC, I let myself enjoy the ride. W.M. Akers is a meticulous wordsmith, and I was intoxicated quite often with his sentences - quite possibly sometimes distracting me from the storytelling.
Gilda is a strong protagonist, a solver of "tiny mysteries," who leads us through her life, and this foreign yet familiar landscape.
I do recommend this novel even though I did have some questions about the world. It's worth a read for Aker's language, and for the character development alone.
Having devoured Rachel McMillan's first book featuring Hamish and Reggie, I was over the moon to get a chance to read an ARC from NetGalley. I devoured this sophomore novel as well.
We return to Boston, and encounter Hamish and Reggie trying to give their detective business a go. I don't want to spoil any plot points, but there are a number of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I love Hamish's anxiety-ridden character juxtaposed with Reggie's innate strength. McMillan has crafted characters that leap off the page, and stay with you long after you finish reading. These two are a dynamic duo of a kind I haven't encountered before, and they're a pleasure to follow through Boston's cobbled streets.
I'm drawn in by McMillan's meticulous research of the era; I feel transported to a time and place gone by. I can't recommend this series highly enough. But be sure to start with MURDER AT THE FLAMINGO!
I read a handful of really good reviews about this series, so I decided to pick up the first, HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE.
I was immediately drawn in by Dayna, and her desperate need to both prove her worth to herself, and provide for her family. I love that we have an African-American woman as our protagonist. A woman that is taking charge, kicking ass and solving crimes.
Kellye Garrett's storytelling is very strong, and her voice is unerring. It's obvious that she herself either is or was immersed in Hollywood life - so many of her characters are pitch-perfect, from Dayna the "retired" commercial actress, to Sienna's desperation to make it (by hilarious means), and the seedy underbelly of Hollywood crime.
This easy read kept me guessing throughout - the best I can ask of a mystery novel.
I will undoubtedly be picking up the sequel... Okay, yes, I already have it on reserve at the library.
I wholeheartedly-on-the-edge-of-my-seat-and-check-a-third-time-that-the-window-is-latched-can't-stop-won't-stop loved this novel.
Having read THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 and THE DEATH OF MRS WESTAWAY, I am familiar with Ruth Ware's writing, but they both failed to ignite me in the way that this book did. I was with Rowan from the very first page. We know she is in jail for committing a murder, probably a child in her charge as a nanny at Heatherbrae House, but we don't get the full story until literally the last few pages. Quite the slow burn. BUT that doesn't mean that this novel isn't full of creepy moments, the "smart" house is one giant danger zone, and there is a garden that is the thing of nightmares, and dodgy characters, the groundskeeper/handyman, cleaning woman, and neighbor all come to mind.
There is nothing formulaic about this book even though it falls strongly into a gothic mystery category. Ware's writing kept me guessing, and I was very satisfied by the ending. WHY DIDN'T I PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER? She definitely lays them all out there for the reader; it's up to you to put them together correctly.
THE TURN OF THE KEY puts me solidly in Ruth Ware's corner. She has captured my heart with this mystery novel. Rowan is a woman I won't soon forget.
Thank you NetGalley and Gallery, Pocket Books for the ARC.
I can't believe this saga has finally come to an end. I had a bit of a roller-coaster ride with this series, but I'm so glad that it ended on a really strong, high note for me.
The Holmes/Watson relationship was a quirky one from jump, and I applaud Cavallaro's ability to have it evolve and grow. I LOVED that this novel focused on mishaps and murder in the theater department of Oxford's summer program; a setting tailor-made for this girl.
The story-telling in this installment was fresh, yet continued where we had left off. It didn't go schmaltzy (which I feared it might), and gave readers an ending that felt earned.
Now can Leander get a spin-off series? :)
It's a delight to return to the world that Dhonielle Clayton initially created in THE BELLES. We rejoin Camille in her efforts to overthrow Sophia, and find her sisters who have been scattered around the land. We meet the delightful anarchic anti-beauty regiment women, The Iron Ladies, who join Camille in striving to reunite the Belles, and stop Sophia whatever the cost.
I'm thrilled by the proliferation of females in these novels, and their unification against all odds. There is a power to Camille that is exciting, and I felt that even more in this sequel. Clayton's lush language fills every corner of every page, and I could have easily read another 100 pages of her writing.
As with THE BELLES, I applaud Clayton taking on the issues of beauty, female competition, and the lengths women will go to in order to look "ideal." I think this should be required reading for teenagers and young women alike.
YES to this gothic modern mystery. Gothic is always a buzzword for me, and this novel did not disappoint. Set in the competitive world of academia, Clare's colleague is murdered, and the killer might be closer than she thinks. She resorts to confiding in her diary, but is that safe?
Strong incorporation of literary references, spooky atmosphere, and a page-turning whodunit makes this novel a worthy read. I appreciated Elly Griffiths' ability to draw in the reader with multiple POVs; I got a well-rounded experience of the happenings at the school, and police departments.
I got MAGPIE MURDER mixed with THE MOONSTONE vibes from this novel. A strong addition to the canon of gothic mysteries for a new age.
I finished this book a few days ago, and can't stop thinking about it. The mark of a successful read.
I received this book from OwlCrate, and if I hadn't I'm not sure that I would have picked it up. Very glad I did.
Astrid Scholte has crafted superbly realized women in this novel, both the various (soon to be dead) queens, and Keralie, our protagonist. Living life as a thief and grifter, Keralie suddenly finds herself with knowledge about the upcoming murders of the rulers of Quadara, and must save her land.
I was fully immersed in Scholte's writing, and couldn't stop reading to find out what was going to happen. There was indeed a twist that I did not see coming, and it ramped up the book in a really exciting way.
I highly recommend this YA novel for fans of mysteries, fantasy reads and strong heroines. Girl. Power.
I wish I could live within the pages of this book.
Being a New-Orleans-ophile (or whatever one obsessed with NOLA is called), I strive to read everything I can get my hands on about the Crescent City.
This novel is a beautiful mash-up of history, magic, human trials and tribulations, and murder. We follow Jude, a demi-god grifter, who has the gift of finding lost items. He uses it as a parlor trick on tourists, but soon finds himself over his head when he loses the highest staked game of poker that ever existed. He must save New Orleans and himself before time runs out.
I loved the sensory overload of this novel. I saw his illegal squat, the shimmering moonlight on the asphalt, and the post-Katrina weary vagrants in Jackson Square. Mixed in with Camp's multitudes of mythological characters, this book is a must-read. Can't wait for more in the series.