Friday, September 28, 2018

A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier

After serving as an MP in Afghanistan, Mercy Carr has moved back home to Vermont to try and recover from losing her fiancee, Martinez, while deployed. Mercy lives with Martinez's dog, Elvis, who worked by his side and was with him when he died. While out walking with Elvis on the 4th of July weekend, Mercy discovers a baby abandoned in the forest. Game warden Troy arrives at the scene and they realize that they knew each other as teenagers. In fact, Mercy recalls that she had a huge crush on the older Troy. Mercy then finds herself entwined in the case of the baby and a series of murders, even though she's been warned to stay out of it by Troy and other law enforcement officers. A Borrowing of Bones is a debut for those who enjoy mysteries featuring dogs and the outdoors.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Not Our Kind by Kitty Zeldis

In 1947, an accident between two cabs brings Eleanor Moskowitz into the world of Patricia Bellamy and her family. Eleanor is Jewish and has just left a position at a prestigious school in Manhattan when Patricia offers her a job teaching her daughter, Margaux. Margaux had polio, has trouble walking and has been very reluctant to go back to school, hence the tutor. Margaux takes an immediate shine to Eleanor, but in the upper class New York society, Eleanor is encouraged to keep her religion a secret. Things get even more complicated when Eleanor falls for Patricia's older brother, Tom, and Patricia's husband, Wynn, becomes increasingly angry about Eleanor's presence. Told through the eyes of Eleanor and Patricia, Not Our Kind explores the two women's very different lives in a time of change.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White

In 1915, wealthy Caroline Hochstetter is sailing to Europe with her husband, Gilbert, on the Lusitania, even though there is danger that  the ship could be sunk by a German U-boat. Also on the ship is a young woman named Tess, who is working in tandem with her older sister, Ginny, to secretly copy an unfinished waltz by Strauss that is owned by the Hochstetters. Tess comes into contact with an old friend of Caroline's, Robert Langford, while observing Caroline on the voyage. Robert has been in love with Caroline since they first met and Caroline has feelings for him, too, but she also loves Gilbert, even though Gilbert has been distant lately and feels it's  his duty to shield Caroline from his business dealings and any unpleasantness going on in the world. Meanwhile, in present time American writer Sarah Blake is desperate for a good idea for a new book. She decides to travel to England to contact Robert Langford's great-grandson, John, to see if she can look at the Langford family archives. Sarah's great-grandfather, Patrick, was a steward on the Lusitania and Sarah has a watch that was given to Patrick from Robert all those years ago. In The Glass Ocean, the reader learns what happened to Caroline, Tess, and Robert on that fateful crossing through their eyes and from the contemporary research of Sarah and John. An enjoyable read for those who like historical fiction.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Summer at the Garden Cafe by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Hanna has succeeded in saving the library in Lissbeg from being closed, and also was instrumental in having the medieval manuscript, The Carrick Psalter, displayed in a brand new exhibition. However, she's afraid to start a relationship with Brian Morton, even though they both have feelings for each other. Her daughter, Jazz, meanwhile, is finding it hard to get behind the wheel of a car after a serious car accident. In this second book of the Finfarran Peninsula series, the reader gets to catch up with a lot of the people Hanna and Jazz hold dear including Mary, Hanna's mother, Conor McCarthy (Hanna's co-worker at the library), Aideen (Conor's girlfriend, who's also a chef), and a lot of the people who frequent the cafe near the library. While I really enjoyed the first book in the series, this one was a miss for me. Not enough plot, and the characters seemed not to be able to make up their minds about anything.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

French Exit by Patrick deWitt

Frances Price lives on the Upper East Side with her grown son, Malcolm. When she's told that the family's estate is bankrupt, she and Malcolm decamp to Paris, staying in a friend's apartment. French Exit recounts the satiric adventures of mother and son and their cat, Small Frank, in the City of Light. The reader meets both eccentric old friends and new in this tale full of biting humor, emotion, and excess. Perfect for readers of Michael Dahlie and John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

His Majesty's Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal

Now working as a spy for the Special Operations Executive, Maggie Hope's mission is to go to Nazi-occupied Berlin to deliver radio crystals to the resistance and then to bug a high-ranking Nazi's office. Maggie agrees to take the assignment, but when the Nazi is her mother, Clara (whom she thought had died when she was very young but recently learned that was still alive), the job becomes even more perilous. Interspersed with Maggie's story is that of her half-sister Elise (whom Maggie doesn't know exists) and that of her life as a nurse in Berlin. Elise doesn't share her mother's views, and when she finds out what really is happening with the children after they leave her care, she is propelled to action. This third novel of the Maggie Hope series continues the stories of Maggie and her friends, and immerses the reader in life in London and Berlin during World War II.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

In 1941, all of Britain is on edge, worried about German spies and a possible invasion. The Suttons of Farleigh in Kent have had a big portion of their stately home taken over by the army. When a man falls from the sky and dies because his parachute hasn't opened, some in the area have suspicions that he was a German spy who wanted to pass a message to someone local. Friends Lady Pamela Sutton and Ben Cresswell (the vicar's son) have both been working for the government on secret projects, and soon find themselves involved in the case. Ben has been in love with Pamela since they were children, but her heart is with Ben's best friend--wealthy pilot Jeremy Prescott. Will Pamela and Ben be able to uncover a German sympathizer? In Farleigh Field, the reader is immersed in the everyday lives of ordinary Britons during World War II. A perfect read for those who enjoy the Maggie Hope mysteries by Susan Elia MacNeal.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Kit Owens dreams of a prestigious career as a scientist. When the project of her boss, Dr. Severin, is funded, Kit is hopeful that she will win one of the two spots on the team. However, when old friend and sort-of rival Diane Fleming joins the lab, Kit knows her chances have gotten slimmer. Seeing Diane again brings back memories of when Kit and Diane first met as teenagers and Diane shared an awful personal secret with Kit--a confidence that Kit wishes never happened and that has haunted her ever since. Soon, Kit finds her future entwined in Diane's in the worst way possible. Give Me Your Hand is a dark story of competition and success.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Little Comfort by Edwin Hill

On leave from her job as a librarian at Harvard, Hester Thursby agrees to help Lila Blaine find her brother, Sam. Sam and his friend, Gabe, ran away as teenagers more than twelve years ago. Lila periodically has gotten postcards from all over the country, so she believes Sam is still alive. It doesn't take long for Hester to find Sam and Gabe, but they really want to be left alone. Sam thrives on assuming new identities wherever he goes, finding wealthy marks to live off of, but leaving violence in his wake when things don't work out. Gabe has been a willing partner to Sam all these years, but something happens to Gabe to make him possibly question his loyalty to Sam. What will Sam and Gabe do when their plans and secret identities unravel once again? Little Comfort is a debut novel that is leisurely-paced at the beginning (hence the set-up), but soon you are immersed in the characters and the story and can't wait to see what happens next. A great read-alike for Peter Swanson.