Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen

I never tire of this series, with Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 38th in line to the throne of England, solving mysteries in the 1930’s. Time passes and life goes on throughout the timeline of this series, but each installment is fun and well-plotted. This one was no exception. Thank you for my review copy via Net Galley!

Description

Georgie and Darcy are finally on their honeymoon in Kenya’s Happy Valley, but murder crashes the party in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

I was so excited when Darcy announced out of the blue that we were flying to Kenya for our extended honeymoon. Now that we are here, I suspect he has actually been sent to fulfill another secret mission. I am trying very hard not to pick a fight about it, because after all, we are in paradise! Darcy finally confides that there have been robberies in London and Paris. It seems the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya. Since we are staying in the Happy Valley—the center of upper-class English life—we are well positioned to hunt for clues and ferret out possible suspects.

Now that I am a sophisticated married woman, I am doing my best to sound like one. But crikey! These aristocrats are a thoroughly loathsome sort enjoying a completely decadent lifestyle filled with wild parties and rampant infidelity. And one of the leading lights in the community, Lord Cheriton, has the nerve to make a play for me. While I am on my honeymoon! Of course, I put an end to that right off. 

When he is found bloodied and lifeless along a lonely stretch of road, it appears he fell victim to a lion. But it seems that the Happy Valley community wants to close the case a bit too quickly. Darcy and I soon discover that there is much more than a simple robbery and an animal attack to contend with here in Kenya. Nearly everyone has a motive to want Lord Cheriton dead and some will go to great lengths to silence anyone who asks too many questions. The hunt is on! I just hope I can survive my honeymoon long enough to catch a killer. . . .

CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain

cover60688-mediumBERYL

Publishing at the end of the month (July 28, 2015) is a really fantastic novel about female aviator Beryl Markham: Paula McLain’s CIRCLING THE SUN.

I first heard of Beryl Markham when I read her memoir, WEST WITH THE NIGHT. I was going through a “female aviator phase” and was reading about Anne Lindbergh (my personal hero – don’t get me started!), Amelia Earhart, and Beryl Markham. I had not heard of Beryl before, but found her absolutely fascinating! Beryl was English, but grew up in Kenya in the early years of the 1900’s. Her mother deserted her and her father and returned to England. Beryl was a wild child: precocious, tough, and in love with the land and culture of Africa. Nothing stopped her. Again and again she pushed against the restrictions against women. She became a noted horse trainer (first female). She became a bush pilot. She actually is the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic east to west. A very personal side of Beryl is shown in this novel – her loves, her triumphs, her foibles. The love triangle with her, Karen von Blixen (Out of Africa author), and Denys Finch Hatten is portrayed in depth here. In all, you come to know Beryl Markham intimately.

I loved McLain’s earlier work, THE PARIS WIFE, and loved this novel, too. These characters came alive and are still with me, weeks after I finished the novel. They are so interesting – so real – so human. Don’t miss this one.

And if you like it, read Beryl’s own WEST WITH THE NIGHT.

Find them at an indie near you (I am an Indie Bound Affiliate):


Shop Indie Bookstores


Shop Indie Bookstores

Thank you, Net Galley and Random House Ballantine, for my review copy!

Quick Review: THE HANDSOME MAN’S DELUXE CAFE by Alexander McCall Smith (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency)

If you read me, you know I love the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith. I have read them all. I purchased the latest, number 15 in the series, recently for my husband for his birthday (he’s a fan, too).

Life continues to go on for the characters in this charming series set in Bostwana. The agency has a new case – a woman with amnesia – and even a new “detective”, the hapless “apprentice mechanic” Charlie. Meanwhile, Grace has decided to open a restaurant and is dealing with staffing, menus, and a reviewer who is an old nemesis.

Always a delight, this series brings new events as these characters continue to grow and develop. I just love these books!

You can see this book at the library, at your fave bookstore, or on Amazon where I got mine.

Quick Review: THE MINOR ADJUSTMENT BEAUTY SALON by Alexander McCall Smith

I love the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books, and number 14 came out this fall. I bought it for my husband for his birthday and just read it this weekend myself. It’s another “cozy” home run for this popular series.

This time, Grace and Phuti are expecting their first child. Will motherhood change Mma Makutsi, and will she want to stay at the agency now that she has a baby? Meanwhile, Precious is investigating two cases: an inheritance case where she needs to determine if the claimant is legitimate, and a beauty salon that is the victim of an anonymous slur campaign.

I really enjoy this series and look forward to more installments from Mr. Smith!


Quick Review: The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith

I received the new No. 1 Ladies book for Mothers’ Day (and I’m seriously delinquent in posting about it!). This thirteenth addition to the series is just as enjoyable as its predecessors. This time Fanwell, the apprentice, is in trouble and Precious is determined to help him;  Grace and Phuti are building a house, which has issues of its own; and Mma Potokwane has been mysteriously dismissed from her position at the orphanage. In addition, the very illustrious Clovis Andersen shows up and helps Precious and Grace with their work.

I enjoyed this novel from start to finish!