Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood 390 pages

At fifteen, Mila attended her father Sean’s fiftieth birthday celebration with his newest wife, her twin half-sisters Ruby and Coco and several well to do friends. Before the end of the celebration, Mila, still angry at her father’s defection left early, a new stepmother was on the horizon and three year old Coco disappeared with life altering consequences.

Now twelve years later, most of the same cast of unlikeable, characters return this time to the home of his fourth wife for Sean’s funeral. Mila is asked to bring Ruby whom she hasn’t seen since that fateful night all those years ago. It doesn’t take long for the lies and secrets to surface.

Alex Marwood won an Edgar for her first novel The Wicked Girls a book I still think about even though it’s been couple of years since I read it. She won a Macavity for her second, The Killer Next Door. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a third.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, 415 pages

Liane Moriarty's latest chick lit epic involves three couples and an infamous weekend barbecue. Something happens at the get-together and everyone there feels they are to blame, even the kids.

The actual event is shrouded in mystery and more than half of the book builds up to the big reveal.

Complicated relationships, difficult parents, strained marriages . . . pretty much life.  This wasn't my favorite Liane Moriarty book but it was definitely fun and worth the listen.

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, 69 pages

This is a slim gem of a Neil Gaiman fairy tale.  On the eve of a Queen's marriage there is a mysterious sleep that is overtaking the kingdom.  The Queen sets out with her trusty dwarf companions to find the culprit.

Adventure, strong women and homages to Snow White and Sleeping Beauty follow. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, 435 pages

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is book 3 in the 7-book series by J.K. Rowling.

Harry, Hermione and Ron are now 13 and in their 3rd year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  In this volume, crazed murderer Sirius Black has escaped from the wizard prison, Azkaban - a feat that no one has ever pulled off before.  He seems to be after Harry . . . and maybe Hogwarts isn't even safe.

Another great installment in the series.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, 352 pages

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" is book two of the wildly popular seven book series by J.K. Rowling.

I've read and listened to the books before, but just don't seem to get tired of the story.  I'm especially drawn to them in the fall.  It's been a long time since I've read, instead of listened to them but so far I'm reading this time.

Harry is back for his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  With the help of his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, he is able to thwart the evil wizard Lord Voldemort (He Who Must Not Be Named, for you squeamish folks.)

On to the Prisoner of Azkaban . . .

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen, 269 pages

This is one of those books I re-listen to periodically just because I enjoy it. 
I recently had a solo road trip and this little gem was the perfect companion.

Set in Mullaby, North Carolina, there are two main characters.  Emily is a 17 year old whose mother recently died and who just moved in with the grandfather she never knew she had.   Julia is a 36 year old who has reluctantly returned to Mullaby.  She left when she was 16 and never planned to live there again.

It's a magical little tale I never get tired of revisiting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton 343 pages

Several women are killed and Hamish Wolfe, a young and handsome doctor is convicted of the crimes and sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Hamish swears a blue streak he is an innocent man. And sometimes you believe him and sometimes not. Maggie Rose is a true crime writer and an attorney notorious for getting serial killers released independent of guilt, or innocence. She only cares that the conviction was just. Or at least that’s how it seems.  And Detective Constable Pete Weston is the officer who arrested Wolfe and gained a promotion because of it. So maybe he’s just concerned because he has a vested interest in protecting his conviction. Hard to tell.

All three characters are entangled in a web of lies, secrets and their own agendas. Along with several just as intriguing supporting characters, Daisy in Chains is an atmospheric, fast paced, psychological mystery that will entertain from the first page to the last. Seriously good read!

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell 309 pages

Marnie and her younger sister Nellie live in a housing estate in Glasgow. Their parents have disappeared. Which isn’t really a problem for the girls, they like it like that. Marnie only has to make it through the year without anyone knowing to avoid going into foster care and being separated from her sister. If it were not for Social Services, a long lost relative recently found, a drug dealer who wants his money back and an odd assortment of wacky characters, the girls lives wouldn’t seem nearly so bleak.

But then an elderly neighbor with issues of his own and inexplicably, a Russian mobster on the run, reach out to the girls and once again hope is on the horizon and just maybe everything will work out.

The Death of Bees is a beautifully written, achingly sad, raw at times, hilariously funny and always hopeful, read in one sitting, book. I absolutely loved it!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman 368 pages

Garrison Griswold is the Willy Wonka of the publishing business. He created a book scavenger game where people hide books all over the world and they use puzzles through a database to find them. So when Emily and her family move to San Francisco, she cannot wait to participate in his newest game. When Mr. Griswold was attacked and put in a coma, the existence of his new game is in jeopardy. Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they believe to be part of Mr. Griswold’s game. As they follow the clues, they learn that someone is following them.

This was read by Jessica Almasy.

Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke 384 pages

It’s the holiday season for the people of Lake Eden, Minnesota and there has been another murder. Everyone has come together for a holiday potluck in the community center. Gossip is running rampant when Martin Dubinski brings his new wife of two days, Brandi Wyen. Brandi was a Las Vegas dancer that Martin met just hours before the wedding. When Brandi is murdered in the parking lot, Hannah must solve the murder before the blizzard lessens and before people can leave the community center.  

This was read by Suzanne Toren.