A Wonderful Story

The Flowering Thorn: A Novel

By: Margery Sharp

Rating: 5 of 5

Recently, I’ve been reading more and more books set in post World War I Europe. These are recent books which are given the advantage of 20/20 hindsight. I thought I would like to try some books that were actually written during the period and this is one of those books.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I had not read any books by this author before (except for The Rescuers as a child.) At first, I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for the main character; in fact, I found her very unlikeable.

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Great Fun, Great Mystery

Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody Book 1)

By: Elizabeth Peters

Rating: 5 of 5

I first read this book years ago. I’ve re-read it several times since. For a change, this time, I decided to listen to the audiobook format, and, it is just as good.

This is the introduction to Amelia Peabody and her crew. She is an intrepid lady, in her thirties and living in Victorian England, who decides to travel once she inherits a fortune.

Who she meets is part of the joy of the story, so I prefer not to discuss what happens. Suffice to say, this is a book that aged wonderfully and the series, as a whole, is one of my favorites. I return to it again and again.

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Confronting the past

Murder Most Fair (A Verity Kent Mystery Book 5)

By: Anna Lee Huber

Rating: 4 of 5

I’ve read all of the books in this series. This story deals with Verity’s relationships with various members of her family. While I enjoyed reading the book, I would not suggest it as the best starting point for the series. I would suggest that the series be read in order as there are so many references to the growth of the characters and what they have been through in the past.

In this story, Verity and her husband, Sydney, journey to Verity’s childhood home. She hasn’t been to visit in more than four years and her mother is hurt and unhappy with her. They bring with them Verity’s aunt Tante Isle. She is older and has come out of Germany to be united with her English family.

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Suspenseful thriller

Memory Man (Amos Decker Book 1)

By: David Baldacci

Rating: 4 of 5

This is the first David Baldacci book that I have read. It is more of a suspenseful thriller than the mysteries that I normally read. Having said that, there certainly is a mystery component and one that I did not fully figure out until closer to the end.

Amos Decker has hit rock bottom. His family was murdered and he found them, seeing the entire crime scene. While for some, that is an awful memory that will fade somewhat over time, for Amos, it will always be as if it is happening that moment.

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Ghost hunting, relationships and a funny murder mystery all in one book

It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To (A Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery Book 2)

By: Vickie Fee

Rating: 4 of 5

This is the second book in the series about a party planner, Liv McKay and her postal worker friend, Di.

In this story, Liv is planning a number of events and is also attending the local businesswoman’s retreat at a great local hotel. The hotel is actually made up of three areas that differ in luxury. The one they are at is the middle one, so rooms are shared by most.

That plays into the story, so it is important. In addition to all her planning, she is also responsible for herding the local gal who became a television celebrity, Lucinda Grable. Lucinda has a cable television show where she goes ghost hunting.

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Good start to a long-standing series

Her Royal Spyness (The Royal Spyness Series Book 1)

By: Rhys Bowen

Rating: 4 of 5

I just recently read this book, which is the first of a series that has been on-going for many years. I enjoyed it, had a few nits but will certainly be reading more of the series in the future.

Lady Georgiana Rannoch runs away from her home in Scotland when she overhears the Queen’s plans for her future. She heads to London only to find the skills she has (i.e., being a Royal) don’t make for finding a job in the real world. This becomes a serious issue as she has no money of her own.

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Hysterically funny and great caper

Double Wide: A Davis Way Crime Caper Book 10

By: Gretchen Archer

Rating: 5 of 5

I have read all of the stories in this series. Right from the beginning, I laughed so hard I almost cried. It is one of my very favorites for both the laughs and the great mysteries.

In this book, Davis and Fantasy are kidnapped, along with a crazy lady named Mango. They find themselves stuck on a deserted island, living in what few items are left in the motorhome they were stuffed into (see above, kidnapped.)

The story is told with multiple narrators, who tell the tale via posts, emails, and pencil put to paper. The personality of each of them shines through and were completely different, one from the other. It left me amazed that the author could tell her tale and keep in character throughout.

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So much to do, so little time

Murder in Connemara (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 2)

By: Carlene O’Connor

Rating: 5 of 5

I read and enjoyed the first book in this series and suggest, for continuity and continuing plot lines, that the series be read in order.

Tara Meehan has relocated from New York City to Ireland. She has found family and wants to be closer to them as well as enjoying the lifestyle of a much smaller city and country.

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Texas genealogy and murder cozy mystery

Fatal Family Ties: An Ancestry Detective Mystery

By: S. C. Perkins

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the third book in this cozy mystery series. It has, as its sleuth, a genealogist named Lucy Lancaster. While I haven’t paid much attention to my family tree, there are individuals in my family who do so. It’s pretty amazing what can be discovered when one looks into it.

In this story, Lucy is approached by a former co-worker, Camilla, who wishes to hire Lucy to clear a smear against one of her ancestors. While Lucy doesn’t really care for this co-worker (though there are two others she dislikes even more), she does decide to help her.

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Disjointed and Unbelievable

Dark Tides: A Novel (The Fairmile Series Book 2)

By: Philippa Gregory

Rating: 1 of 5

What a letdown. I read this book as a follow-on to the first in the series (The Tidelands.) While I had a few issues with the first book, I was intrigued enough to want to know the continuing story of Alinor and James.

That is not this book. The author jumps over 21 years and, from Alinor’s standpoint, summarizes the time in a couple of paragraphs.

Alinor is a shadow character in this book and has gone from loving and forgiving to rather bitter and, to say the least, unforgiving.

James has become incredibly stupid. He is duped from the get-go by a conniving young woman. For that matter, so is almost everyone else. That this young woman is transparently evil almost goes without saying. The book actually becomes mostly her story with everyone else as hangers-on.

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