It's not drizzle and daylight in my dream. It's inky black night and stars like ice-chips and a cold sliver of a moon. // Catriona McPherson, GO TO MY GRAVE
I've had an affinity for McPherson's writing for a while now, and so I jumped at the chance to read new writing from here. This novel was quite a trip. I immediately felt a kinship with Donna - she's attempting a new business venture in the Breakers, and AirBnB type of property, and wants this first booking to be everything it can be. But when the visitors realize they've been there before, and it was a traumatic ordeal, the secrets begin to tumble out. And then locked boxes arrive. And then the bloody animals. And then the body count begins...
I was WITH this book through 90% of it. The reveal was a bit far-fetched for me. I appreciated McPherson's ability to tie up loose ends, and show us the pieces that inexplicably fit together. But I did wish it wasn't such a leap. I still very much enjoyed the ride, and highly tout McPherson's writing and plotting skills, and setting this book in such a darkly picturesque locale.
I received this book courtesy of NetGalley, and Minotaur Books, in exchange for an honest review.
Another killer installment in the Cormoran Strike series.
I love returning to these characters, and this novel really digs into the relationship (sometimes lackthereof) between Strike and Robin. Her marital struggles, and his inability to commit frames their will-they-or-won't-they relationship throughout this novel.
I'm so into it.
Rowling's characters, no matter what the novel, are so viscerally real and flawed; they leap off the pages, and feel like they're simply people you know ... who also work as detectives.
This novel did drag at times, but overall I enjoyed it thoroughly. I feel v. connected to Robin's character - her marital struggles, her want for a life with Strike - whatever that means - and her love of detection.
I have high hopes for the next installment in this series. It feels like these two characters are at a tipping point - and I can't wait to see what will go down.
I've been an Agatha Christie fan for a long time, so I was interested in how Andrew Wilson would dramatize this very dramatic period of Christie's life. The afterword was fascinating to me - he evidently did a lot of research to aid in this novel of historical fiction.
Christie's brilliant mind was ever on display, and I loved her ability to reason her way out of every possible situation. The copious knowledge and employment of poisons is a Christie classic, and I was glad they were so central to the plot of this novel. I'm curious about the sequel, and how much fact from her life is included. Just curious enough to check it out.
I tried everything to get this book before the official publishing date. I knew it would be something I would love, and though I didn't accomplish getting it early, it was worth the wait. I was obsessed with THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER series, so I was hopeful about this one.
Megan Shepherd has created an entire world in this novel that I instantly dropped into. Anouk is a Beastie, destined to a life of servitude in a society ruled by Royals, Witches, Goblins, and Pretties. As it progresses, the reader learns more and more about the hierarchy of these individuals and that everything isn't necessarily as Anouk believes it to be. That journey is marred with gruesome deaths, ideology differences, and revelations on what constitutes a persons' moral grounding (or not).
I flew through this book, and was oh so upset when it ended. I wanted more. Finding out there will be a sequel is a comfort though. I hope it's hundreds of pages long. I want to thrive alongside Anouk for as long as she'll let me.
I took a jaunt up to Portland, Maine and visited The Great Lost Bar, an epic bar that makes a number of appearances in John Connolly's Charlie Parker series. Having read about the bar for years and years, it was a thrill to finally make it there.
My bartender, Bird, was a literal hoot; she made my time there quite fun. I met some fellow Jerseyans, and had some excellent local beer, after a hot toddy, of course.
Delving into new cases with Hugo is always a treat. I was intrigued by the premise of this novel - Hugo meets an hot new artist whose sculpture medium is books. When she has an art exhibition, attended by Hugo and the US Ambassador, a gruesome murder is also on display for the spectators.
I enjoyed that Mark Pryor let us get to know the players before the murder occurred, including the victim, so I really was aggrieved by the crime. The only element of this book that I strongly disliked was having Tom so far away. His disparate storyline, I understand was necessary, but I missed the camaraderie between Tom and Hugo.
This installment undoubtedly set up future books with Hugo, and his Parisian adventures. I'm looking forward to the bookish crimes that lie ahead.
I received a digital copy from Edelweiss, and Seventh Street Books, in exchange for an honest review.
A disgraced architect, the extravagant and lively (backstage) world of theater, and London backstreets and taverns all merge in this immersive novel following the exploits of Douglas Layton.
I loved reading this meticulously detailed book, written by Charles Balfoure, as our protagonist attempts to start over after a horrid prison sentence. Maintaining his innocence, Layton returns to London under a different name, and attempts to solve the case he was convicted of.
Being a fan of historical fiction and mysteries, this was the perfect merger of genres for me. I recommend this novel for anyone interested in London, architecture, theater and/or mystery - quite the list.
I received this novel through Edelweiss - from Sourcebooks - in exchange for an honest review.
A lovely mix between a textbook, and a novel. Margalit Fox lays out the case of Oscar Slater, a Jewish man convicted of a murder he most certainly did not commit. Conan Doyle, through his own deductions and attentiveness to the details of the case, assumed Slater's cause, and was instrumental in getting his sentence commuted (albeit years and years later). I enjoyed Fox's conversational tone amidst lots of evidence and technical vocabulary.
I recommend this book highly for any true crime fans, or Conan Doyle / Sherlock aficionados.
I anticipated reading this book for a long time, so the hype might have overshadowed the book for me a bit. There's a lot to love: Knecht's language is so sparse yet descriptive. I felt like I was at the coffee shops and offices alongside Vera. This novel is very specific in time and place; I loved learning about the politics of the era, and the importance of surveillance and counter surveillance. I applaud Vera's unerring perseverance, unapologetic pluck, and believe in herself. This book is not a traditional spy novel - it's a slow burn, female driven intriguing novel.
I want to disappear into Tahereh Mafi's writing. She is an amazingly astute storyteller, and creates worlds in her novels that are transformative, informative and beautiful. WHICHWOOD is no different.
Having devoured FURTHERMORE, I had to read the sequel, and didn't expect such a disparate novel. Though they involve many of the same characters, Whichwood is a completely different place, and so this novel feels oh so different.
We meet Laylee, a girl with a burdensome job of caring for the city's dead all alone. Alice and Oliver must fulfill Alice's Surrender, and help her - of which, Laylee wants no part.
Mafi's engagement with the reader, and use of witty footnotes and explanations, only serve her ability to paint this ghoulish world in which one (oddly) feels like they belong.
I cannot recommend this work of Mafi's enough. I can't quite capture what it does to me, but I love reading her words. You will too.