Two Stars for The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross

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I have mixed feelings about the latest book by award-winning author Lisa Tuttle; The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross. Since it is the second book in the Jesperson and Lane series, following The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief, I understandably had a little trouble getting into the book. This lack of access was compounded by the fact that as the reader, I was immediately thrown into the action. I found it difficult to determine what I didn’t know, but would eventually discover as the mystery unfolded, and what I what I didn’t know because I hadn’t read the first book. This can be a problem when entering any series midway, but I had more trouble during the first and second chapters of this novel than I have had with other series.

Once I got past the first couple of chapters, I felt that the story moved along at a good clip, the mystery was distinctive and not easy to solve, and the secondary characters were well developed and interesting.

Character definition lead to the second problem I had with the novel, though. I felt like I knew the background characters much better than the primary characters, and the things I knew about the lead characters didn’t ring true. Jesperson, the lead male character, should have had no particular problems working with a woman, since his partner Lane is female. Yet he seemed to hold information back, even purposely keeping her in the dark, which at times hindered their murder investigation. Similarly, why would Lane, a woman who supposedly wanted to make her own way in the world, put up with Jesperson’s behavior? Overall, I found their behavior and working relationship unlikely.

In the end, I thought the book was okay.

Two out of five stars.

I received a complimentary copy a courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley.

 Description from Amazon.com

“Witch!” cries the young man after stumbling unexpectedly into the London address of the consulting-detective partnership of Mr. Jasper Jesperson and Miss Lane. He makes the startling accusation while pointing toward Miss Lane . . . then he drops dead. Thus begins the strangest case yet to land—quite literally—on the doorstep of Jesperson and Lane.

According to the coroner, Charles Manning died of a heart attack—despite being in perfect health. Could he have been struck down by a witch’s spell? The late Mr. Manning’s address book leads Jesperson and Lane to the shrieking pits of Aylmerton, an ancient archaeological site reputed to be haunted by a vengeful ghost. There they sift through the local characters, each more suspicious than the last: Manning’s associate, Felix Ott, an English folklore enthusiast; Reverend Ringer, a fierce opponent of superstition; and the Bulstrode sisters, a trio of beauties with a reputation for witchcraft.

But when an innocent child goes missing, suddenly Jesperson and Lane aren’t merely trying to solve one murder—they’re racing to prevent another.

 

The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross

Publisher: Hydra (November 28, 2017)

Publication Date: November 28, 2017

Sold by: Random House LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B01N43CEFZ

 

 

 

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Depth of Lies by E.C. Diskin; Book Review

EDITED TO NOTE: FREE KINDLE COPY

There are 100 copies of the Kindle version up for grabs on Goodreads right now!      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34879620-depth-of-lies

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We need a new term for books which portray the life changes women experience when they become femmes d’un certain âge, women of a certain age, and their children have left home, their careers have soared or crashed, and their love-lives have succeeded or failed. If novels about young women are called “coming of age” novels, perhaps we can refer to later transitions in women’s lives as the “coming of wisdom.”

Depth of Lies, by E.C. Diskin, features one group of longtime suburban neighbors and friends who have shared a variety of experiences; childbirth and child raising; work, financial difficulties, unfaithful husbands and divorce. These events have allowed them to acquire of depth of knowledge which will be tested as they face one of the greatest challenges of their lives.

Shea Walker, one of their friends and the titular leader of the group, is found dead with a stomach full of pain-killers and alcohol.

This discovery shatters the close suburban circle, and begs the question, how well did they really know one another?

Determined to answer the questions surrounding her death, long-time friend Kate Burns follows the path Shea walked the last few months she was alive. That secret path leads Kate to discover unsavory secrets about all of the friends, and one secret that might have been better left alone.

Fast paced, relatable, contemporary mystery with satisfying conclusion.
Three out of five stars.

I received a complimentary copy of The Day the Angels Fell from netgalley.com

Pub Date 26 Sep 2017.

Bookshelf Faves August 27, 2017–September 1, 2017

I post a lot of bookshelf porn over on my Facebook page.  Here are the reader favorites of the week.

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When you run out of space, you can always put a bookshelf over the window.  Source: lonny.com 

 

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Interesting shelves on bookstore gallery.
Source: http://tangyanzxb.blog.sohu.com/321349948.html

 

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Bookcases don’t have to match!
IMO, these vaiously styled bookcases make the room look homey.
Source: picnicinthegarden.blogspot.com 
christoph-boninger-book-cart_so8Source: Christoph Böninger Book Cart for auerberg

 

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Desk and bookshelves in tiny Parisian apartment.
Source: apartmenttherapy.com  

 

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Great bookshelves along staircase!
Source: http://www.serett.com

 

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Narrow bookcase in small apartment makes good use of space.
Apartment in Kiev by Sergey Makhno Architects

 

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Crowded bookcases in Dev’s apartment on Netflix’s hit show, “Master of None.”

 

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No sleeping on the bookshelves!
Source: http://tangyanzxb.blog.sohu.com/321349948.

 

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Free Library founded by 68 years old Pietro Tramonte.

 

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Interesting library study and bookshelves from domaine.

 

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Out of date books replace spindles on staircase. I notice some of them are old Readers Digest condensed books, and some look like old text books. Don’t use good books!
Source: designsponge.com 

 

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I want a reading nook filled with globes, so I always know where my books are taking me.  Source: digsdigs.com

 

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How many books can you stack on your sofa before your partner gets annoyed?
Saved from thevintiqueobject.blogspot.com

The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker

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Several horror tropes are stirred together in Shawn Smucker’s debut novel, The Day the Angels Fell. The resulting brew is as frightening as that created by the Three Witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and equaling spellbinding. Twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers is forced to answer questions that would test the strength and character of older adults. Yet while the novel deals with difficult moral and ethical struggles, it is at no time preachy. The plot is suspenseful, well thought out, and surprising.

The Day the Angels Fell reminded me of some of Stephen King’s early works. While the former isn’t a horror story, it does have frightening moments.

Three out of Five stars.

I received a complimentary copy of The Day the Angels Fell from netgalley.com.

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800728491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800728496

The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire

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It’s hard growing up as a changeling, half human and half fae, and being an outsider from birth. Living between two unwelcoming worlds has been even harder for October “Toby” Daye due to lack of family ties and blood alliances. Through 10 novels, readers have watched award winning author Seanan McGuire craft a magical world filled with fairies, pixies, trolls, selkies and a host of otherworldly creatures in which Toby has had to learn to survive. Now, just when her life seems to be running on an even keel she faces the greatest challenge of her life, the return of her mother.

Okay, that sounds like the punch line from a bad joke, but Toby’s Mom, Amandine the Liar, as you may have guessed from her title, is not a warm and fuzzy kind of Mom. She’s not there to help with bachelorette parties or wedding preparations; she’s there to command Toby to find her older sister, and Amandine’s favorite daughter, August. And Amandine’s not taking no for an answer.

Toby must hunt for her long lost sister through a treacherous landscape with little assistance, all the while being careful of promises she makes. In the world of the fae, breaking a promise can be deadly.

 

My Rating: Four out of Five stars.

I received this ARC copy of The Brightest Fell from Berkley Publishing Group – DAW. The Brightest Fell is set for publication September 5, 2017.

Written by: Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye

Sequence in Series: Book 11

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: DAW

ISBN-10: 0756413311

ISBN-13: 978-0756413316

Genre: Urban Fantasy

#SeananMcGuire #OctoberDaye #TheBrightestFell #DAW

Cross posted to:

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23383896-the-brightest-fell

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Liked Station Eleven…

 

If you liked one of the biggest books of 2016, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, then you need to check out Before This Is Over, by Amanda Hickie.

While Station Elven looked at the national consequences of a fast moving pandemic, Before This Is Over focuses on one family, and the radical changes in their comfortable suburban life necessitated by a modern plague.

An unknown, flu-like illness sweeps around the world, catching Hannah and most of the society unaware. Quick witted, if somewhat naive, Hannah races to gather her family and prepare for the undefined threat. But how much food is enough? How much water, energy, basic resources western civilization takes for granted, will the family need to survive a threatened quarantine? How long will they need to hold out, and will they be able to endure?

Most of us have never been forced to make hard decisions regarding the survival of our loved ones, let alone face the consequences of choices made regarding neighbors, children, community and friends. What emotional cost, what damage to our psyche is too much to bear?

The premise to the novel may seem farfetched to some, but author Amanda Hickie’s life in Canada gave her a unique perspective on this apocalyptic tale. Hickie and her family were living on Toronto when it became the epicenter of the 2003 SARS outbreak in that country.

Compelling, frightening and intensely personal, Before This Is Over looks at one woman’s battle for her family in a suddenly unfamiliar world.

Four out of five stars.

Netgalley provided me with a complimentary copy for review.