Dead of Winter by Wendy Corsi Staub (#3 – Lily Dale Mysteries)

 

 

Dead of Winter by Wendy Corsi Staub

Published:  November, 2017

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  The first couple books in the series proved to be a light entertaining read, and relatively fast.  Everyone should have a few of those in their TBR pile.

 

Previous Book in the Series: #2 – Something Buried, Something Blue

 

Dead of Winter by Wendy Corsi Staub is the third in the Lily Dale paranormal cozy mystery series.

 

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
Lily Dale is a small gated community in New York State, whose population predominantly consists of psychics.  The energy in the town is known as Spirit, and if you are skeptical when you arrive, you won’t be for long.  In the summer season, it is a very busy place, as tourists from around the world come for readings, as well as physical, spiritual and emotional healing.  Bella Jordan and her son Max ended up in the town while trying to return a cat to it’s owner…who, it turned out was dead.  Bella ended up not only looking after the dead woman’s pregnant cat, but also her bed & breakfast, The Valley View Guesthouse.

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
It’s almost Christmas.  Although trying to be quiet, a man clumsily dumps a body into the lake behind Valley View Manor, just as Bella is looking out the window.  She isn’t really sure what she heard or saw.  But the murderer doesn’t know that.  As he attempts to check out the Inn, he runs into a black cat, being chased by Jiffy.  The murderer doesn’t seem to be having any luck at all.  When he decides to come back later, he turns around and his dinghy is gone.  Then he discovers he has lost the gold rings somewhere along the way.  He has a long walk ahead of him, but plenty of time to think about what he is going to do about any witnesses, and to find those rings.

Jiffy starts having premonitions about being kidnapped, and although it isn’t the first time he’s had those thoughts, this time he fails to arrive home from school in the middle of a snow storm. Max is sure that his friend has been taken, although others feel he just wandered off, which is quite normal for the boy.  His mother, Misty, is beside herself, and goes off looking for him, and finds herself in more trouble.

When a second body is found, Bella is determined to find Jiffy.  She feels the police are concentrating too hard to the murders, and not the six year old boy.  While she still doesn’t buy all the psychic stuff, even she is starting to wonder.

 

My Opinions:
LOL,  well, this book turned out to be about my least favorite character – Jiffy.  I have not liked this bratty little kid since the first book….and this book really didn’t endear him to me, although it probably should have.  Pandora is coming in a close second to my disliked characters in this series.  I still like Bella, Drew and Luther.

I guess I should start by saying that you should really read these books in order to really understand the dynamics of the characters.

The plot was really good, and although some of the results were predictable, not all,

Overall, I still believe that the books in this series are a light, entertaining read, with enough mystery to keep me interested, and enough “lightness” that I don’t have to think too hard.

 

Read:  November, 2022

 

 

Wendy Corsi StaubAbout The Author: Wendy Corsi Staub is an American author who has written over 90 novels.  She writes stand-alone suspense novels,  a number of mystery trilogies, as well as the Lily Dale series and YA novels.  As Wendy Markham, she writes Women’s fiction.  She has a husband and two sons.  She lives in New York.  She is an active supporter of the American Cancer Society and has fostered rescue animals.   *** Photo Taken from GoodReads

 

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5121761104

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  These are only my opinions – and it would be a boring world if we all thought the same.  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

 

My Monday Reviews for December, 2022

 

My Monday Reviews for December, 2022

 

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas season!

Well,  this is a first for me.  In honour of the season,   I am reviewing all Christmas-based books this month (well, some just take place during the season).  A couple are just short (relatively) stories.  One is a series installment, but the others can be read as stand-alone.

Anyway, you’ll have to check out my reviews throughout the month to determine whether or not I liked them, and how much….or how little.  But remember, these are my opinions only, and yours may be different!

Just a reminder that my blog has many more reviews, and if you’d like a recommendation, feel free to ask! Remember, #keepreading and #staysafe.

Here’s hoping your next read is 5 stars!!!

Ruth's First Christmas Tree (Ruth Galloway, #4.5)

 

Ruth’s First Christmas Tree by Elly Griffiths

A short story in the Ruth Galloway series.

Elly Griffiths is a British author.

 

 

Lucky Girl: How I Became A Horror Writer: A Krampus Story

 

Lucky Girl by M. Rickert (Published: September, 2022)

A short story about a struggling writer who meets for strangers who start telling ghost stories at Christmas for many years to come.

Mary Rickert is an American author.

 

 

Her Frozen Heart (Nikki Hunt #6)

Her Frozen Heart by Stacy Green (Published October 2022)

The 6th installment of the FBI Agent Nikki Hunt has Christmas interrupted by the discovery of a dead body under the ice.  It beccomes apparent that they have a serial killer on the loose.

Stacy Green is an American author.

 

 

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict (Publ. 2021)

Lily Armitage returns to her ancestral home after 21 years to participate in the annual Christmas game.  She is only there to find out who killed her mother.  The others are there to win the estate.

A.K. Benedict is a British author.

 

 

 

The above are just a small sampling of what I will/have read in the month.  If something appeals to you, please check out the full review on my blog, where you will find many other books, perhaps something that will peak your interest.

 

I’d appreciate your comments…..Have you read any of  these?

 

 

 

 

The Ice Daughters by D.E. White (#2 – Dove Milson)

The Ice Daughters (Detective Dove Milson #2)

 

The Ice Daughters by D.E. White

Published:  December, 2020 by Joffe Books

 

Previous Book in the Series: #1 – Glass Dolls

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I received this series from the publisher (ages ago), and am now getting into it!

 

The Ice Daughters by D.E. White is the second in the DC Dove Milson crime series.

First, the publisher Joffe Books and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Series Background: (Warning – May Contain Spoilers from Previous Books)
DC Dove Milson has transferred to the Major Crimes Team, after an attack and subsequent breakdown while working as a handler of police informants.     Her partner is DS Steve Parker, their boss is DI Jon Blackman, all under the rule of DCI Kevin Franklin.  Her friend, Jess Meadows is a Crime Scene Manager, and one of the few who knows her background.  Dove’s fiance is a paramedic named Quinn.   She has two sisters, Ren (whose husband is now in jail) and Gaia (who owns a strip club). They grew up on a commune.  Dove has a photographic memory.

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Winter is brutal this year, and the nude body of a frozen man is found on a remote property.  The woman living there (Tessa) is missing, and her two young daughters are left behind.  Two ice chess pieces are found on her doorstep.  Part of the barn was set on fire. 

Identifying the man only results in more questions.  There doesn’t seem to be a link between Tessa and this man.

When another frozen body is found, more questions arise.

 

My Opinions:
Again, I am enjoying the second book in the series.  Again, I found it a little long, and a little slow, even though it was entertaining.  There is a lot going on, and I’m not sure the side-plot of Dove’s old job popping up again helped.  She’s moved on, so hopefully that angle could too.

I still like Dove, and her relationship with Quinn seems real.  I also like her co-workers.  I’m getting to know them now, and that helps.  It took me a while to figure out whose story was being told in between the investigation, but it was interesting.

The overall plot was good, if a little dark, and I understand that the author came across Nazi research that it was based upon.  Could be why it was a little dark!

Well, thanks to the publisher, I already have book 3, so I will be reading it shortly  (well, in a month or so)…

Read: August, 2022

 

Daisy WhiteAbout The Author: D.E. (Daisy) White is a British author who started writing full-time in 2017.  Before that she was a flight attendant, a 999 caller, a healthcare assistant, and in a supermarket. According to her website, she currently lives on the south coast of the UK with her husband, children, and a flock of rescue chickens. *** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4941840044

 

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

 

 

Where Privacy Dies by Priscilla Paton (#1 Twin Cities)

 

Where Privacy Dies by Priscilla Paton

Published: August, 2018 by Coffeetown Press

 

 

Reasons I chose to Read this Book:  I was approached by BooksForward to read the second in the series, but am anal about reading books in order, so am reading this first.  I liked the blurb.

 

Where Privacy Dies by Priscilla Paton is the first in the Twin Cities police procedural series.

First, let me thank both Ellen Whitfield and Layne Mandros from BooksForward, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Series Information:
The series is set in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Detective Erik Jansson and his new partner, Deb Metzger (who describes herself as 6’2″ and lesbian), work in the Greater Metro Investigative Unit (G-Met). Erik is a runner, a top marksman, divorced, has a young son named Ben, and is somewhat reserved.  Their boss is Chief Ibeling (known as Almost Allwise Ibeling).  

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
The body of a smartly dressed man is found in a pile of leaves.  His shoe contains the picture of a young girl.

Locating the girl in the photo proves difficult, although they do start looking into a girl that resembles her,  was taken by her father.  Deb, however, can’t let this one go.

Erik and Deb soon discover that the murdered man worked for a reputation management firm, which has a number of wealthy clientelle, and they often handled crisis management for corporations.  The company delves into the privacy of others, and also tries to protect their own.  The company had recently merged with another, and since that time a number of employees have left, or been fired.  The police soon learn that all the remaining staff are hiding something.  They start thinking they may have stumbled onto a child pornography ring.

 

My Opinions:
First, this is a really “wordy” book.  It was much longer than it needed to be, and moved very slowly.  I struggled to stay interested with a lot of useless information.

The overall plot was quite twisted, and although sometimes hard to follow, it was good.  I think there were too many characters….not many of them likable.

However, I really like the two detectives, both very different and both a little strange.  I loved the banter between them, and I can’t wait to see what they get up to next.

So, overall, it was good, but not great.  I am, however, looking forward to the next one to see where it goes.

Read: November, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from Where Privacy Dies:

“My sister’s a poet.  I can tolerate most things.”

 

Priscilla PatonAbout The Author: Priscilla Paton is an American author.  She has a B.A. from Bowdoin College, a Ph.D. in English Literature from Boston College, and was a college professor who taught in Kansas, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Minnesota. She has previously published a children’s book, Howard and the Sitter Surprise, and a book on Robert Frost and Andrew Wyeth, Abandoned New England. She and her husband live in Minnesota.  *** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3539755596

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  These are only my opinions – and it would be a boring world if we all thought the same.  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Countdown by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson (#4 – Rachel Ryder)

 

 

Countdown by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson  

Publishing: October 26, 2021  by Severn River Publishing

 

Previous Book in the Series: #3 Overkill

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:   Okay, somehow I got behind on this series, and just received a new one from NetGalley, so I’m playing catch-up when I can.  I wasn”t overly fond of the police corruption and drug cartels in the first books, but I really love the protaganist, so I can’t give up too soon!

 

Countdown by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson  is the fourth in the Detective Rachel Ryder series.

 

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
Detective Rachel Ryder left her 15 year career on the Chicago police force, and moved to Hamby Georgia, after the death of her husband. The people responsible are dead.   She still has a friend and father-figure in Chicago, and Lenny remains a true mentor.  She has fought both police corruption and the drug cartel since being in Hamby.  Her boss is Chief Jimmy Abernathy, and her partner is Rob Bishop, a veteran of 30 years.  Her best friend is Savannah, her boss’s wife, and Rachel has started dating DEA Agent Kyle Olsen.

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
When a surgeon and his wife are found dead in their home, things get a little strange.  Apparently the dead woman who they thought was his wife was actually her twin sister Emily.  So where is the real wife, Melodie?  More importantly, where is their 5 year old diabetic son Ryan?

Rachel and Rob have different opinions on this case.  Rachel thinks the grandmother is involved, and Rob can not wrap his head around that.  But opinions don’t matter, they know that if they find the killer, they’ll find the child….hopefully before it’s too late.

Meanwhile, Rachel is trying to build something with Kyle, but her own insecurities and past are playing with her mind.

 

My Opinions:
Okay, this was the best in the series so far….probably because it isn’t really about drugs or corruption.  After reading this one, I’m really glad I stuck with the series.  Looks like my wishes came true.

The characters are definitely growing on me, and although Rachel is a little rough around the edges, she’s a really good detective.  I love the banter between her and her partner.  They are just such different people.  All of the main characters in the book are interesting.

The plot was twisted, and really good.  It kept me glued to the pages.

 

Read: November, 2022  

 

 

ACarolyn Ridder Aspensonbout The Author:  Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is an American author,  living in Atlanta with her husband, a couple of dogs, and a couple of cats.  She writes cozy mysteries, thrillers, and paranormal women’s fiction.  Prior to publishing, she was a journalist in Atlanta.

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5108681808

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  These are only my opinions – and it would be a boring world if we all thought the same.  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

Something Buried, Something Blue by Wendy Corsi Staub (#2 – Lily Dale Mysteries)

 

 

Something Buried, Something Blue by Wendy Corsi Staub

Published: October, 2016

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  The first book in the series was a light, fast read….and I need some of those in my life!

 

Previous Book in the Series: #1 – Nine Lives

 

Something Buried, Something Blue by Wendy Corsi Staub is the second in the Lily Dale paranormal cozy mystery series.

 

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
Lily Dale is a small town in New York, whose population predominantly consists of psychics.  The energy in the town is known as Spirit, and if you are skeptical when you arrive, you won’t be for long.  In the summer season, it is a very busy place, as tourists from around the world come for readings, as well as physical, spiritual and emotional healing.  Bella Jordan and her son Max ended up in the town while trying to return a cat to it’s owner…who, it turned out was dead.  Bella ended up not only looking after the dead woman’s pregnant cat, but also her bed & breakfast, The Valley View Guesthouse.

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Bella and Max have settled in to the Valley View Guesthouse for the winter, after the new owner offered her the job of a winter caretaker.  Bella is hoping to make it permanent, and when Odelia, the medium who lives next door, convinces her to host a wedding at the Inn, Bella thinks this may be a way to convince the owner to keep the business going.

Unfortunately, the bride is a nightmare.  Johneen Maynard may be a good friend of Odelia’s granddaughter, but she doesn’t make things easy for Bella.   The groom isn’t much better, and with the possibility of an October blizzard, things are getting worse.  Then there are the predictions that the wedding could bring dangers for the bride.

Meanwhile, Bella’s mother-in-law shows up with plans to take both Max and Bella back to Chicago.  

 

My Opinions:
Admittedly, this book was not very deep.  It was however, a fast read that kept me entertained.  What more could I want?  

I wasn’t very impressed with Odelia in this one, and I still don’t like Jiffy.

Bella, Drew and Luther continue to be my favorites.  The plot was okay, and although I had guessed the perpetrator early on, there was still enough of a twist to surprise.

Overall, it was a good cozy mystery, and if you need a light entertaining read, I’d recommend this series.

Read: November, 2022

 

 

Wendy Corsi StaubAbout The Author: Wendy Corsi Staub is an American author who has written over 90 novels.  She writes stand-alone suspense novels,  a number of mystery trilogies, as well as the Lily Dale series and YA novels.  As Wendy Markham, she writes Women’s fiction.  She has a husband and two sons.  She lives in New York.  She is an active supporter of the American Cancer Society and has fostered rescue animals.   *** Photo Taken from GoodReads

 

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5073276501

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  These are only my opinions – and it would be a boring world if we all thought the same.  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

 

The Book Swap by J.E. Rowney

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The Book Swap by J.E. Rowney

Publishing:  August 26th, 2022 by BooksGoSocial

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  I recently read another book by this author, and I’m not going to miss out on anything else she writes!

 

The Book Swap by J.E. Rowney is a mystery novel (not really the psychological thriller it is being touted as).

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher BooksGoSocial and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Laura and her husband have separated, and she’s not handling things well.  It’s been 4 or 5 months, and she still hasn’t been able to face going back to work.  She’s currently living with her mom, and spending her days reading and watching television. 

She joined a “book-swap” group, and the recent book she received contains a note that Laura feels she must act on.  Someone could be in trouble.  She will have to overcome her own fears, and find her confidence if she is going to be of any assistance.  Unfortunately, she has no idea who sent the book.

 

My Opinions:
Well, another fast and entertaining read by this author.  Maybe it wasn’t the greatest, but it was quite good.  Let’s face it, a book club and a mystery….what more do you want?

It was maybe a little predictable, and I felt that Laura didn’t really act her age.  Her actions were more of an 18 or 19 year old than that of someone who was 30.  It wasn’t just the fact that she goes off with someone she doesn’t really know in search of a mystery and probably danger,  but also her reactions to her break-up and her job.  Really, if she has that many anxiety issues, would she do this?

Perhaps the book was missing a little depth, but it was good enough that I will still be reading other books from this author.

 

Read: August, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from The Book Swap:

“A stranger from the internet and the police?  Not really what I imagined when I thought about expanding my social circle.”

 

J.E. Rowney

 

About The Author: J.E. Rowney is a British author.  She enjoys reading, and walking by the sea.     *** Photo Taken from GoodReads

 

Check her out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4938004021

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  These are only my opinions – and it would be a boring world if we all thought the same.  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

 

 

The Locked Attic by B.P. Walter

 

The Locked Attic by B.P. Walter

Publishing:  November 24, 2022 Harper Collins – One More Chapter

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  The premise looked really good, and although I have not read anything else by this author,  this seemed worth a shot.

 

The Locked Attic by B.P. Walter is a psychological thriller

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Harper Collins – One More Chapter and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Stephanie, her husband Pete, and their son Danny move from London to a small town.  She was used to the anonymity of a large city, but here everyone wants you involved, and they gossip.  She’d prefer to be left alone.

The Franklin family across the street is strange, but Danny eventually makes friends with Jonathan, who is the same age, and in some of his classes.  Danny finds the family strange as well.  There is a lot of anger in that household, and the father spends a lot of time in the attic, supposedly working.

Danny starts acting a little strange himself.  Neither Stephanie nor Pete can get to the bottom of what is troubling their son.

When Pete and Danny are killed, Stephanie retreats further into herself.  She knows there is something wrong with the family across the street, and she is sure that Jonathan knows what was bugging her son.  She desperately needs to find out.

 

My Opinions:
Although it felt rather disorganized, the overall story was quite good.

I usually don’t mind  when a story goes back and forth between time lines, but this was too much.  From 7 months before the explosion, to the day of the explosion, to four months before the explosion, to two years before the explosion,  to five months before the explosion,  to one year, eight months before the explosion, to now…on and on, and back and forth.  Just too much.  I didn’t mind that the story was told from both Stephanie’s and Danny’s perspective, but the shifting time-line was annoying….and almost had me giving the book a 2 star review.

However, about half way through, that no longer mattered.  The story had me hooked.  Yes, it was a long time to be frustrated, but apparently it was worth it.  Everyone was keeping secrets, some of them not worth keeping, and others really creepy.  I loved the relationship between Jonathan and Danny, and I loved how much Stephanie cared for her son.

The book is about secrets, and friendship, and love, and abuse.  Some of it was sweet, some of it was creepy.  Some had me smiling, some had me angry.   It was those feelings that I got from the book that allowed me to give it a 4 star review.

 

Read: November, 2022

 

 

B.P. Walter

About The Author: BP Walter is a British author.  He loves to read, and worked in bookstores.  He has an MA in Film and Cultural Management. 

 *** Photo Taken from GoodReads

 

Check him out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5092656533

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  These are only my opinions – and it would be a boring world if we all thought the same.  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

 

I Know Where You Live by Gregg Olsen

 

I Know Where You Live by Gregg Olsen

Publishing:  November 15, 2022 by Thomas & Mercer

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I love this author’s writing style, and whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, YA or adult, he tells a good story.

 

Heads Up:  The book is about sexual abuse and incest.

 

I Know Where You Live by Gregg Olsen is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
When Violet’s grandfather collapses at her wedding, and later dies, she isn’t as heart-broken as some think she should be.  But Papa had abused her body and her trust long ago, and he wasn’t even supposed to be there on her special day.

Lily, Violet’s younger sister, doesn’t really care that her grandfather is dead either.  For what he did to Violet, he deserves to be dead.

Rose, their mother, got good at deflecting, denying, and looking the other way.  Her attitude of forgive and forget didn’t sit well with her daughters.  But in the back of her mind….

Richard, their father, knows nothing about the abuse, and is too busy chasing other women to worry about his wife or kids.

Nana put up with a lot over the years, but defended her husband til the end.

But when the death looks suspicious, the police get involved.

Meanwhile, Violet is starting to understand the support group she attends.  A lot feel that once their abuser is dead, they can finally move on.  She starts to think that may be true.  Maybe she can help others.

 

My Opinions:
This one had me hooked from the beginning.  One of those that I didn’t want to put down. It was a very emotional read – for me anyway.

The topics of this book are dark,  and sensitive, and somewhat disturbing.  This book is about sexual and emotional abuse, about denial, about revenge.  It is also about family.  It’s about a past that never really goes away.  It is about how one event can affect many people for years to come.  Gregg Olsen did a really good job with a very sensitive subject.

The story is told from the perspectives of Violet, Lily and Rose.  They are all dealing with abuse and death in quite different ways. Even though I didn’t particularly like them,  I did feel for them.

The short chapters meant that the pace was fast, but I found the story so compelling that I was turning the pages fast anyway.

 

Read: November, 2022

 

Favorite Quotes from I Know Where You Live:

I can forgive her for not being the perfect mother. When bad things happened, she had a way of pushing them aside with a distraction meant to make things better. Don’t look here. Look here. When you think happy thoughts, you become happy. The Power of Positive Thinking is her second bible. Norman Vincent Peale is her Pope. What a sack of bullshit.”

“I’d have taken tin snips to his balls,” she said. “Then I’d smoke a cigarette while he bled out.”   Mom gave me a look.   “I hope your sister isn’t smoking.”

“What Papa had done was always there.  Under the surface. In her skin.”

 

Gregg OlsenAbout The Author: Gregg Olsen (March 5 1959 – ) is a native of Seattle, and currently lives in rural Washington State with his wife. He is the bestselling author of over 30 books, both fiction and non-fiction. He has appeared on various television and radio shows as well as being featured in a number of magazines. He has won numerous awards.   *** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

Check him out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5096122391

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  These are only my opinions – and it would be a boring world if we all thought the same.  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

 

 

The Houseshare by Carla Kovach

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The Houseshare by Carla Kovach

Publishing:  August 16, 2022 by Bookouture

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I love his author’s Gina Harte series.  Her stand-alones are hit or miss with me, but always worth a shot!

 

The Houseshare by Carla Kovach is a psychological thriller (and apparently a re-work of “To Let” – which I have not read).

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Libby and her sister Olly had a rough life growing up, and they are really close.

Libby works as a recruitment agent for a company that doesn’t seem to care that she is being harassed by Trevor, one of their workers (who also has a drinking problem).  Chrissie, another employee at the firm, tries to help her.

Libby is also trying to escape her abusive boyfriend Gary.

She has found a new flat, but it looks like both Gary and Trevor have found her, and neither one of them is leaving her alone.  She is making new friends though.  Her new landlord Tim seems to be interested in her, but she isn’t ready for a new relationship.  Two other residents of the building, Kirsty and Micky both seem nice, and she hasn’t yet met her downstairs neighbour, the elusive Mr. Bull.  

When she discovers the last tenant of her room has disappeared, things start going a little wonky.  Libby finds a note in the closet that makes it look like the last girl was afraid, and felt like she was being watched.  Libby has started feeling that same way.

As she tries to delve deeper into the mystery, she realizes someone has been entering her apartment.

 

My Opinions:
This book had a fairly strong start, but dragged a bit in the middle.  

I liked the relationship between the two sisters.  It felt honest.  Actually, all the characters were interesting.  The abusive relationship and harassment from Gary and Trevor was really well done, but Libby’s initial quiet acceptance of it really pissed me off.  On the other hand, I think she always had Olly to protect her, so she didn’t really ever have to stand up for herself.  That changed.

The plot, however, was definitely too predictable.  It was easy to determine the perpetrator right from the start, and there were no real surprises.  However, I did like the eventual action.

So, overall, I still liked the book.  It wasn’t great, but it was quite good.

 

Read: August, 2022

 

 

Carla Kovach

 

About The Author: Carla Kovach is a British Author. When not writing she’s busy, screenwriting, film producing and acting.     *** Photo taken from GoodReads

 

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I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4911702108

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  These are only my opinions – and it would be a boring world if we all thought the same.  Either way, I’d love to know.