The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

Description (via Net Galley)

In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we know the people we love most?

Well – I got this one a while ago via Net Galley (thank you!) and I started it right away and could not put it down! It was a suspenseful read and not easy to figure out. I really liked Sylvie’s character and I had my fingers crossed for a happy (or at least uplifting) ending with a sense of resolution and forgiveness. I was not disappointed! I read it in two evenings because I wanted the resolution.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

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Description

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Murder…boarding schools…cold cases…I’m all about that when I need a quick, fun read!
This one was no exception, and I enjoyed this storyline, though it was rather sad in the final resolution. I had pretty much figured out what was happening, just not the actual means, but I’d still recommend it to those who want a suspenseful read. These type of books keep me going through the long winter!
Thank you for my e-copy!

Partners in Crime Tour for THE BODY IN THE CASKET by Katherine Hall Page

 

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I absolutely adore the Faith Fairchild cozy mysteries! They are set in Massachusetts and Faith, a transplanted New Yorker, is a caterer and wife of a minister. Faith has amazing recipes (included!), lives her life as as typical wife and mother, and gets involved in murders and mystery quite unintentionally. All this takes place right where I live, so it’s really fun to read about Faith enjoying the same restaurants, etc. that I do!  I wish so much these books were a series to watch (are you listening, Netflix?). I’ve read them all.

As for this one, what’s not to like? There’s food, murder, theater, and subplots galore! Thank you for my review e-copy via Edelweiss.

Here’s the overview for this one:

The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

The inimitable Faith Fairchild returns in a chilling New England whodunit, inspired by the best Agatha Christie mysteries and with hints of the timeless board game Clue.

For most of her adult life, resourceful caterer Faith Fairchild has called the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford home. While the native New Yorker has come to know the region well, she isn’t familiar with Havencrest, a privileged enclave, until the owner of Rowan House, a secluded sprawling Arts and Crafts mansion, calls her about catering a weekend house party.

Producer/director of a string of hit musicals, Max Dane—a Broadway legend—is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his seventieth birthday. At the house as they discuss the event, Faith’s client makes a startling confession. “I didn’t hire you for your cooking skills, fine as they may be, but for your sleuthing ability. You see, one of the guests wants to kill me.”

Faith’s only clue is an ominous birthday gift the man received the week before—an empty casket sent anonymously containing a twenty-year-old Playbill from Max’s last, and only failed, production—Heaven or Hell. Consequently, Max has drawn his guest list for the party from the cast and crew. As the guests begin to arrive one by one, and an ice storm brews overhead, Faith must keep one eye on the menu and the other on her host to prevent his birthday bash from becoming his final curtain call.

Full of delectable recipes, brooding atmosphere, and Faith’s signature biting wit, The Body in the Casket is a delightful thriller that echoes the beloved mysteries of Agatha Christie and classic films such as Murder by Death and Deathtrap.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Number of Pages: 238
ISBN: 0062439561 (ISBN13: 9780062439567)
Series: Faith Fairchild, 24
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Author Bio:

Katherine Hall PageKatherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts, and Maine, with her husband.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Katherine Hall Page and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) physical copy of Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Casket. The giveaway begins on December 4, 2017 and runs through January 14, 2018. This giveaway is open to US addressess only.

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A Death by Any Other Name by Tessa Arlen

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I am thrilled today to be part of the publicity blog tour for Tessa Arlen’s new mystery novel: A Death by Any Other Name. I’ve read Ms. Arlen’s other cozies: Death Sits Down to Dinner and Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman, and loved them! They are a bit in the Downtown style of Edwardian England with the lady of the house solving mysteries with the help of her trusty housekeeper.

Here’s the overview for this story:

A Death by Any Other Name is a delightful Edwardian mystery set in the English countryside. Building on the success of her last two mysteries in the same series, Tessa Arlen returns us to the same universe full of secrets, intrigue, and, this time, roses.

The elegant Lady Montfort and her redoubtable housekeeper Mrs. Jackson’s services are called upon after a cook is framed and dismissed for poisoning a guest of the Hyde Rose Society. Promising to help her regain her job and her dignity, the pair trek out to the countryside to investigate a murder of concealed passions and secret desires. There, they are to discover a villain of audacious cunning among a group of mild-mannered, amateur rose-breeders. While they investigate, the rumor mill fills with talk about a conflict over in Prussia where someone quite important was shot. There is talk of war and they must race the clock to solve the mystery as the idyllic English summer days count down to the start of WWI.

Brimming with intrigue, Tessa Arlen’s latest does not disappoint.

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Tessa Arlen is a gifted writer, and the pages come alive with the sense of the period. Though this is the third in this series with Lady Monfort, this novel is absolutely a stand alone title as well. Ms. Arlen includes a cast of characters break down at the start of the book, and I found this handy as there were a lot of characters in this novel.

Well, paced and well,plotted, this was a fun read. Highly recommended to those who enjoy cozy mysteries and/or those who may just be missing their Downton fix!

Thank you for my review copy and for making me part of the tour!

 

Historical Fiction Virtual Tour for TAMING THE TWISTED by Jodie Toohey

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Here I am today as part of one of my favorite things – an HFVBT blog tour! Today we are featuring TAMING THE TWISTED by Jodie Toohey.

Here’s what HFVBTours has to say:

TAMING THE TWISTED
BY JODIE TOOHEY

Publication Date: August 15, 2015
Wordsy Woman Press
eBook & Paperback; 242 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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READ AN EXCERPT.

Taming the Twisted is written in a similar style to Laura Ingalls Wilders’ Little House books though updated for modern times. It might read as if she’d left in all of the juicy tidbits about things people didn’t talk about during the time when she was writing. Taming the Twisted is a story of destruction, romance, mystery, and deceit set against a back drop of an actual historical event.

In early June, 1860, Abigail enjoyed a peaceful home life with her parents, younger sister, and twin toddler brothers. Their home in Camanche, Iowa, where they’d emigrated from Pennsylvania, was almost complete and her beau, Joseph Sund, had recently proposed marriage.

That changes the evening of June 3rd when a tornado rips through town, killing her parents. At the mass funeral for the over two dozen people who perished in the storm, she learns Marty Cranson, with whom Abigail witnessed Joseph having a heated argument, died, but at the hands of a person rather than the tornado.

In addition to being faced with raising her young siblings, Joseph has disappeared without a trace and a stranger, Marshall Stevenson, appears, offering to help Abigail repair the families’ home and cultivate the newly planted farm crops.

Abigail, while developing romantic feelings for Marshall, tolerating the scorn of town woman Pamela Mackenrow, and working as a seamstress and storekeeper to support her siblings, becomes obsessed with finding out who killed Marty, hoping that and not that he no longer loved her, was the reason Joseph left without saying goodbye.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

About the Author03_Jodie Toohey

Jodie Toohey is the author of four additional books, two poetry collections – Crush and Other Love Poems for Girls (2008) and Other Side of Crazy (918studio, 2013) – as well as two novels, Missing Emily: Croatian Life Letters (2012) and Melody Madson – May It Please the Court? (2014).

When Jodie is not writing poetry or fiction, she is helping authors, soon-to-be-authors, and want-to-be authors from pre-idea to reader through her company, Wordsy Woman Author Services.

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER |GOOGLE+ | GOODREADS | PINTEREST

 

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Here I am again!

While I enjoyed this story I did have a few issues with it. For me, personally, I find it challenging when books jump around in time (unless it’s a clear flashback/telling of a story for the majority of the book). The beginning of this book moved around from the tornado then backstory then back to the tornado. I think it could have built to the tornado without starting there. That said, I also have some issues with the “mash-up” genre, which is quite popular now and which most people find exciting, especially as it relates to YA/kids books. Is this historical fiction? Romance? A problem novel? A mystery? All of the above? To me at least, I like my books (and my theater, too) to commit to a genre and stay there! I know that many would disagree.

All that aside, I enjoyed reading this book and liked the characters. I was rooting for the main characters as life was not easy for them. I also love a good clean read, and a happy ending! I found it really interesting that this book was based on a real tornado that occurred in Iowa and which wreaked much havoc.

Thank you for my review copy!

Quick Review: The Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Shenkel

I recently received THE MURDER FARM by Andrea Maria Shenkel through Net Galley. The synopsis of this book sounded similar to IN COLD BLOOD — true crime, murdered family on a farm, etc. This book takes place in the 1920’s and has been translated from German into English.

I had mixed feelings about this short novel. In one respect, it held my attention and kept me guessing. The chapters were told from all different viewpoints and perspectives, which, while slightly confusing, was creative. A prayer was interspersed throughout chapters (I’m sure it was relevant, but – full disclosure – I found myself skimming it in order to get back to the story).

When I reached the end of the this short novel, I was struck by the fact that perhaps the murder mystery wasn’t really the point of the story, and instead maybe it was a bit of a discourse on human nature, set within a nonfiction framework. Or maybe it was a murder mystery written in a new way.

Wish I had something more insightful and intelligent to add to this, so I’d welcome input from readers!

Have you read THE MURDER FARM? What did you think?