Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Stranger on the Train by Abbie Taylor

Single mother Emma is exhausted caring for her one-year-old son, Ritchie. When he is kidnapped by a woman that helped Emma with him on the London underground, Emma has a hard time convincing the authorities about the truth of what happened--they wonder if Emma harmed Ritchie and is making up lies to cover up her crime. However, Emma has an ally in Rafe, who believes she's telling the truth. Will Emma, with Rafe's help, be able to find Ritchie and bring him home?  Recommend The Stranger on the Train to readers who've enjoyed Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie and Lullaby by Claire Seeber. It will be published in May.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay

Scarlett Parker flees Florida for London when she becomes famous on the internet for throwing cake at her married lover. She and her cousin, Viv, each own half of Mim's Whims, a hat shop in Notting Hill Gate. The business was left to them by their aunt, Mim. Upon arriving in London, Scarlett finds that Viv is missing, so Scarlett has to manage the shop herself, with help from Harrison Wentworth (who handles the finances for their endeavor) and Fee (an apprentice that Viv took on). When Scarlett finds customer Lady Ellis stabbed to death wearing only one of the shop's hats, the situation gets even more desperate, leading to a break-in at Mim's Whims and the realization by Scarlett that she has to find Lady Ellis' killer. Cloche and Dagger is a book filled with colorful characters, but the mystery aspect of the novel is not as well developed as I would've liked.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Return to Prior's Ford by Evelyn Hood

In this sixth novel in the series, the reader is transported back to the tiny town of Prior's Ford to share in the everyday lives of its inhabitants. The Ralston-Kerrs have been successful in transforming the overgrown gardens of their old estate, Linn Hall, back to its former glory, but should they renovate their home and other buildings to bring even more visitors and income?  While the changes to Tarbethill Farm are positive, Ewan cannot forget the past and Alison's role in the plans. Will he be able to move forward or lose Alison for good? In addition, a new resident--retired professor Malcolm Finlay--provides work for local writer Helen Campbell, but does he have secrets like the past two residents of his home, Thatcher's Cottage? This latest book is a warm-hearted story that transports the reader to life in a small Scottish village.

Mystery in Prior's Ford by Evelyn Hood

In the small Scottish village of Prior's Ford, everyone patronizes the local pub, the Neurotic Cuckoo, and are there for each other in their times of need. Clarissa Ramsay frets about the villagers' opinions of her dating a man twenty years her junior. Ginny Whitelaw loves her job as a gardener at Linn Hall, the local big estate, but secretly harbors romantic feelings for Lewis Ralston-Kerr, who, with his parents, is trying to draw tourists to the hall. Meanwhile, the owners of Tarbethill Farm--Ewan McNair and his mother, Jess--are reluctantly considering changes in how they farm and use their land in order to be more profitable and have more of a personal life.  Despite the bucolic setting, there is a murderer among the townspeople, which is where new resident, policeman Neil White comes in. In this fifth book of the Prior's Ford series (and first to be published in the States), Hood writes a cozy, gentle read focusing on the characters and their daily lives. A great read-alike for Rebecca Shaw and Ann Purser.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Invisible City by Julia Dahl

Rebekah Roberts is a stringer reporter for the New York Tribune. Growing up in Florida and raised by her father, she is scarred by the absence of her Hasidic mother, who left when Rebekah was a baby. Her parents never married and met while Rebekah's mother was questioning her faith. When Rebekah is at the scene where a ultra-Orthodox woman is found dead at a scrap yard, she finds herself trying to understand a faith she doesn't know that well. She is also working on the case with a policeman named Saul who knew both her parents all those years ago. Saul wants justice for the murdered woman, Rivka Mendelssohn, but believes that the police are not investigating thoroughly and leaving it to the Hasidic community to dictate what's done, such as not performing an autopsy on Rivka. Will Rebekah be able to put her personal issues aside and put her journalist skills to good use? Invisible City is the first book in the Rebekah Roberts series and features an intriguing main character along with interesting story. Give to readers who enjoy the Kate Burkholder books by Linda Castillo. It will be published in May.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Girl With a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson

George Foss lives a pretty ordinary life as an accountant at a literary magazine and at 40, has never married or had children. When he glimpses his college girlfriend, Liana, at a bar, it throws him off-balance because throughout the last twenty years he's had moments where he thought he had seen her, but it was not the case. Liana cast a spell over George all those years ago and it hasn't dissipated. Despite knowing that she's possibly a murderer and is wanted by the police, he agrees to meet up with her. Liana wants George's help in returning money that she stole from a wealthy businessman she was seeing. George agrees to aid Liana, but finds himself deeply involved in violence and murder. A fast-paced, unputdownable thrill ride. It's like a noirish Harlan Coben/Linwood Barclay.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

Rachel has put her traumatic childhood behind her and is a successful television reporter in London. However, she is shaken when she realizes that the missing person report she's about to deliver on-air is about her childhood best friend, Clara.  The two haven't been particularly close in the last several years, but had recently reconnected. Rachel wonders what's happened to Clara, but when CCTV footage is obtained by the police that shows Clara with Rachel's boyfriend, Jonny, on the night she vanished, Rachel is forced to think differently about the disappearance. Interspersing scenes from their teenage years with the hunt to find Clara, the reader sees the dark nature of their friendship. Give Precious Thing to readers who enjoyed Gone Girl, The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood, and Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Missing You by Harlan Coben

NYPD cop Kat Donovan has never forgotten the love of her life, Jeff, even though they split eighteen years ago. Her friend, Stacy, has given her a year's subscription to an online dating site and Kat is stunned to discover Jeff's profile there. She and Jeff broke up right around the time her father was murdered. Her father was also with the NYPD and his death was always said to be a mob hit. Soon Kat finds that these two tragic events in her past are far from buried...  Missing You is another fast-paced puzzle from Coben.