Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

This is the story of a woman who is mixing prescription pills with alcohol and gradually losing her mind.  She's suffered such a devastating loss she can't put her life back together again.  She's a bit like Humpty Dumpty.  She's created her own little, safe place and it's not good for her but she can't change...

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

All she really does now is play chess, drink wine, take her pills when she remembers, and look out her windows at the neighbors and what they do.  She uses her camera with the telephoto lense to see into the houses or yards.  She's a snoop.  When she witnesses murder, she becomes a worried snoop.  No one believes her...

This is a suspenseful psychological read with only part of the facts revealed at the beginning.  As it goes along, she begins to doubt herself.  She could have hallucinated.  Maybe she forgot some of what she did.  How else could someone post things on her account and take a picture of her sleeping in her bed?  The answer to that is disturbing.

The cops believe that she believes what she's telling them but there's no proof.  The missing woman was not who she assumed she was.  No one else witnessed the murder.  And she has mental problems.  It's no comfort to her to find out she was right.  Now it's a fight for her life... 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

Mr. Backman approaches his stories from a different angle.  You never know exactly what you're going to get when you begin them but he keeps you reading!

Atria Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

It begins with a father telling his son a story at Christmas in which he admits he's taken a life.  But the rest of the story is about making a deal with death...

The man finds out he has cancer and he may die.  He meets a five year old girl in the hospital and they become friends.  He doesn't want her to die.  But he can't trade his death for hers.  What he has to do makes him assess his life and his relationships with his family.

It's a story that makes you think.  It even has a message about how to make your life mean more.

Every time I read this author's work, I find myself thinking about the story days later.  This is a novella so here's your chance to quickly see how his words weave into your brain.

Ella Bella Ballerina and The Magic Toyshop by James Mayhew

This is a sweet story of a little girl who wants to be a ballerina and has a good imagination.  It reminds me a bit of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales.

Barron's Educational Series and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.

When her teacher plays her music box, Ella Bella is transfixed by the music.  When the teacher explains the story the song is telling, she finds herself being transported into the Magic Toyshop.  She sees wonderful toys that are animated and isn't sure which one she would pick if she could.  The best ones are the two cancan dancers.  He and she are in love.  And when some visiting customers see them, they tell the proprietor they'll be back the next day to buy them.  Since two couples want them, he will only sell them each one.  The toys are devastated.  They don't want to be separated.

Luckily, Ella Bella has an idea...

The graphics look old timey, the story has a happy ending and your own child's imagination will be filled with thoughts of their own personal magic store.  Share it with them for Christmas, it'd make a perfect gift.

Friday, December 8, 2017

For Better or Worse by Donna Huston Murray

The title says for better or worse, but most of the people in this story are on the "worst" side of marriage.  It makes for good reading, though.

This author and Net Galley shared this book with me to read for review (thank you).  It will be published January 10th.

Ginger is at her daughter's home helping them with some updates to the house.  The first thing she sees is a bag of bricks thrown out of the third floor window next door!  Then she hears what she thinks are shots.  While she's debating calling the cops, she meets Eric who lives next door with his grandmother.  He says she's eccentric and she does crazy things.  When he finds her at the bottom of the stairs, he takes her to the hospital with her fighting him the whole way.  Then the doctor suggests he murdered her...

She meets the other neighbors and ends up babysitting for two couples.  She also finds herself being stalked by one of the husbands.  He thinks she's after him but she has no idea why.

With abusive husbands, a suggestion of murder and a child the mother doesn't seem to love, Ginger has plenty of work to do trying to make things better.  She manages in her own way and things do settle down.  I'm sure she'll find more trouble in the next book.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd

His sister has just married and left on her honeymoon and Ian doesn't know what to do with himself.  He decides to go for a drive.  He doesn't know where he'll end up but maybe it will get him out of this helpless feeling of no place to call home.  Instead, he drives up to a standing car with a woman in distress.  The driver has been shot and killed...

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 17th.

He begins sorting things out and working on the case even though he's not been assigned.  Scotland Yard finally sets him up as their local contact.  Then another man is found shot through the heart.  Who would kill these folks who had no enemies?

As he searches through the past, he finds that a book seems to connect them all.  It's an antique book about apples.  He can see no significance in it but it seems everyone who touches it ends up dead.  As he keeps tying the webs together, he finds there probably is a good reason. The killer was someone who surprised me.  

This mother-son team writes excellent mysteries and this is another in the series that pleases.  I'd like to see Ian find a love interest but he's a very good detective and interesting fellow even now.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Long Arm of the Law by Martin Edwards

This is classic collection of short stories done by well established authors.  I recognized some names and knew I'd enjoy reading this book.  I was right.

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 2nd.

There's a lot of brainwork involved in these stories.  There aren't many clues, most of them have alibis, and they all appear to be unfortunate accidents or suicide.  Never underestimate the detectives.  They didn't get to the rank that they did by being stupid.

My favorites here were done by authors I read long ago and they still stand up to the test of time:

The Silence of P C Hirley by Edgar Wallace.
The Undoing of Mr Dawes by Gerald Verner.
The Chief Witness by John Creasey.

There's deducting of the best quality and some bluffing in these stories and they're great fun to read.  Give it a try!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Scones and Scoundrels by Molly MacRae

The Highland Bookshop is doing pretty well now.  With scones selling next door, hot tea or coffee available and her friends, Janet is content.  When one of her friend gets a well-known author to come and sign books at her shop, she's enthused and anticipates good sales.  What she gets is murder...

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 2nd.

Daphne, the celebrated author, lives in a cabin in the woods and has never returned to her hometown until now.  She's not a nice a person.  She can either be hot or cold in personality, likes to be sarcastic and nasty, and she leads people on.  Most everyone doesn't like her.

One of the first things she does is suggest the locals might like her help in solving an open murder case.  They don't want it and tell her so.  She still pokes her nose into everything.  In time, she becomes the next victim.  It's hard to feel sorry for her.  Then a missing man shows up murdered.  Who in the small town could be killing them?  There are no strangers there.

I had no suspects in mind because the man that was killed was on my list and he's been killed, too.  I was totally amazed at the real killer.  They acted normal and sane until they showed their true colors.  It's a close thing for Janet and her friends...