I found this little gem on Net Galley — I was not familiar with this series of cozy mysteries set in an Edwardian hotel — and it was a delightful read! It was just what I needed to start thinking about the holidays (though the mystery was the main part of the story, not the holidays).
I will look for more by Ms. Kingsbury! Thank you for my copy!
It is an Edwardian Christmas, and the Pennyfoot Hotel is all dressed up. But when one of the guests turns up dead, owner Cecily Sinclair Baxter realizes it is not only the Pennyfoot that is back in business—the hotel’s Christmas curse is, too…
The Pennyfoot halls are decked with boughs of holly, a magnificently decorated tree graces the lobby, and the hotel’s bookings are finally looking up. Owner of the Pennyfoot, Cecily Sinclair Baxter is in high holiday spirits until disaster strikes, threatening to ruin yet another Yuletide. Her chief housemaid Gertie McBride has found a man’s body in the hotel laundry room—with a woman’s scarf wrapped around his neck and a note in his pocket from the hotel’s new maid.
Cecily is determined to track down the culprit, but with multiple suspects icing her out of crucial clues, she realizes this killer may be more slippery than most. With Christmas right around the corner, it is up to Cecily to prevent this holiday season at the Pennyfoot from turning out more fatal than festive.
“A subtly but relentlessly unsettling novel.” —TANA FRENCH, author of The Witch Elm
It was the perfect place to disappear…
One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.
Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all…
I read this novel several weeks ago, but it’s rather haunting so I still remember it! It was well-plotted and suspenseful, moving back and forth in time as it tells Allison’s and Maureen’s stories.
Hard to believe it’s a debut novel! Recommended to those who like a suspenseful mystery. Thank you for my copy!
I really enjoyed The Tattooist of Auschwitz (though I am aware of all the criticism it received for being unbelievable), and I was excited to find Ms. Morris’ next novel, Cilka’s Journey on Net Galley. Cilka is a character from Tatooist and the story tells what happens to her after the war.
First I must say that I struggled with the first third of this book. I found it so violent and disturbing that I feared I might not be able to continue reading as I was having nightmares, but I figured that this was someone’s story and they didn’t have the option to “stop reading” so I should stick with it. Luckily for me, things became less graphic and I got really into the plot and characters. Cilka was an amazingly strong young woman, but I was left with such a sense of sorrow – as I often am when I read stories of the Holocaust – that her young life was upended and forever changed by the atrocities of war. I also had no idea that those who “collaborated” with the Nazis in the camps (though some had no choice) by being in charge of their bunks, being forced to have sex with guards, etc. were sent to labor camps after the war.
Recommended to those who enjoyed the first story (though this is a stand alone) and stories of the Holocaust.
Here’s the overview:
From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz comes a new novel based on a riveting true story of love and resilience.
Her beauty saved her — and condemned her.
Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1942, where the commandant immediately notices how beautiful she is. Forcibly separated from the other women prisoners, Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly taken, equals survival.
When the war is over and the camp is liberated, freedom is not granted to Cilka: She is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a Siberian prison camp. But did she really have a choice? And where do the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was send to Auschwitz when she was still a child?
In Siberia, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she meets a kind female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing and begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.
Confronting death and terror daily, Cilka discovers a strength she never knew she had. And when she begins to tentatively form bonds and relationships in this harsh, new reality, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.
From child to woman, from woman to healer, Cilka’s journey illuminates the resilience of the human spirit—and the will we have to survive.
I’m so very excited to take part in the blog tour for this amazing read by Autumn Bardot – The Emperor’s Assassin. I had read Dragon Lady earlier in the year and couldn’t wait to read this novel. Ms. Bardot has the gift of making history come alive! This story is full of sex, lies, and betrayal, and you will find yourself rooting for Locusta.
Thank you for my galley and for letting me be part of the tour!
History paints her as the first female serial killer…
Locusta is the daughter of a winemaker in the Roman province of Gaul. She enjoys the indulged childhood of the elite, her concerns only about the day’s amusements. She rides gentle ponies, attends parties, reads Ovid, and learns the herbal arts from her servant. But the day after meeting her betrothed, Locusta discovers the consequences of possessing such dangerous knowledge.
Ordered to leave her pastoral life, Locusta is thrust into a world of intrigue, scandal, and murder—where treason lurks behind every corner and defying an emperor means death. Locusta’s life changes forever when a young Emperor Nero requires her herbal expertise. And commands her to be his personal poisoner. Caught in an imperial web, Locusta must embrace her profession or die.
Or is there another way out?
History paints her as the first female serial killer. Or is she yet another maligned woman in history?
Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and historical erotica. Her debut historical fiction is THE IMPALER’S WIFE. Her debut historical erotica is LEGENDS OF LUST.
Autumn, a pen name, has worked as an educator for more than sixteen years. She teaches literature, writing, and the magic of words. She has a passion for history and a special affinity for the unsung courageous females that history has neglected. Or misunderstood. Autumn lives in Southern California with her husband and every-growing family. She wishes she was one-tenth as brave as the women she writes about.
Historical Fiction ~ The Impaler’s Wife ~ Dragon Lady ~ The Emperor’s Assassin ( coming Oct 1, 2019 )
Historical Erotica ( Cleis Press) ~ Legends of Lust, Erotic Myths from around the World ~ Confessions of a Sheba Queen ( coming March 10, 2020)
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The Emperor’s Assassin! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Paperback giveaway is open to US residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
“Rich, dark, and intricately twisted, this enthralling whodunit mixes family saga with domestic noir to brilliantly chilling effect.” —Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author
“A haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read.” —Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author
From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.
Be careful who you let in.
Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.
She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.
Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.
In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.
I got this one weeks ago and can’t wait to share it with you all! I love, love, love Lisa Jewell. She is an amazing suspense writer!! This novel combines all sorts of suspenseful elements: lost family, unknown history, unsolved murders, to make for a thrilling read, one that is hard to put down! If you regularly read Lisa Jewell you will know that she’s done it again with The Family Upstairs!
I adore the cranky and wonderful Olive Kitteridge; and I truly enjoyed the first novel about Olive and how wonderfully written it was. This one continues Olive’s story, basically for the rest of her life. It is so well-written that it makes the story of her life beautiful. Elizabeth Strout has an amazing way of making the ordinary extraordinary.
Here’s the overview (and thanks for my ARC galley through Net Galley!):
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions.
“Strout managed to make me love this strange woman I’d never met, who I knew nothing about. What a terrific writer she is.”—Zadie Smith, The Guardian
“Just as wonderful as the original . . . Olive, Again poignantly reminds us that empathy, a requirement for love, helps make life ‘not unhappy.’”—NPR
NAMED ONE OF FALL’S MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS BY People • Time • Entertainment Weekly • Vanity Fair • BuzzFeed • Vogue • USA Today • The Seattle Times • HuffPost • Newsday • Vulture • Bustle • Vox • PopSugar • Good Housekeeping • LitHub • Book Riot
Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). TheNew Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire us—in Strout’s words—“to bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can.”
Praise for Olive, Again
“Olive is a brilliant creation not only because of her eternal cantankerousness but because she’s as brutally candid with herself about her shortcomings as she is with others. Her honesty makes people strangely willing to confide in her, and the raw power of Ms. Strout’s writing comes from these unvarnished exchanges, in which characters reveal themselves in all of their sadness and badness and confusion. . . . The great, terrible mess of living is spilled out across the pages of this moving book. Ms. Strout may not have any answers for it, but she isn’t afraid of it either.”—The Wall Street Journal
Available today! And just in time to get you in the Christmas spirit!
I love, love, love this series about a woman finding love after 40. As a woman who found love after 35, I can relate! Plus, she has this little miniature horse as a pet and I want one!
Susan Schild sent me a galley of this novella (about 70 pages) and I loved continuing with Jenny’s story. Thank you! I believe it is only available via Amazon kindle. Just a note: it would be considered a “clean read”.
Here’s the overview:
Ready for a feel good read that will ease you into the Christmas spirit?
Join forty-three-year-old newbie innkeeper Jenny Beckett at the Lakeside Resort on beautiful Heron Lake. Jenny’s dreading Christmas. With almost no cabins booked for the holidays, she’s accidentally made promises on social media about dazzling Christmas festivities happening at the Lakeside Resort. Trouble is, the holidays are fast approaching, Jenny’s not begun to finalize plans, and she keeps running into roadblocks.
Stretched tight, Jenny scrambles to book a decent Santa Claus, a horse-drawn wagon for Currier and Ives-style sleigh rides, and the Christmas choirs she’s so enthusiastically described online. To complicate matters, Mama has a frightening fall, Charlotte and Ashe are at odds about their upcoming wedding, and Jenny’s getting the jitters about marrying and building a cabin with her fiancé, Luke.
When Jenny shares her fears with Luke and her best girlfriends, she starts to feel the wonder of the season. Friends gift her a new vintage camper, Mama and Landis make a startling announcement, and friends and family pitch in to help her deliver the dazzling Christmas she’d promised. Jenny realizes she already has all she needs for a magical Christmas and a happy future.
With cozy romance, classic carols, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and happily ever afters, Christmas joy is always on tap at The Lakeside Resort.
USA Today Bestselling author Susan Schild writes heartwarming novels about women over 40 having adventures, falling in love, and finding their happily ever afters. Follow her on BookBub for updates.