What do they know? The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths

#TheNightHawks #NetGalley

pub date: June 29, 2021

Elly Griffiths is currently writing three different mystery series. There are the stories (historical) set around Brighton and the Harbinder novels in addition to those about Ruth, Nelson, Michelle and those around them. While I would happily read anything that Ms. Griffiths writes, I admit to a special soft spot for the stories about Ruth. Last year’s book featuring her as been nominated for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. I hope she wins.

‘A lot going on in this title. There is a mysterious and scary dog who apparently lives in a pretty horrible house in the middle of nowhere. Unlike with Holmes, this dog does bark but it is unclear why he is frequently sighted and to whom he belongs. He does terrify people though.

The farm where this beast has been seen is the sight of two deaths. Was there a murder/suicide or was this a crime committed by an outsider? The murdered doctor is a singularly unlikable character. He has intimidated his wife and children and has been doing some mysterious research with fatal results. Which unsavory aspect of his life led to his demise?

The Night Hawks of the title are a group of men who go hunting for metal objects. Their finds include finding bodies, both historical and contemporary. Several of them seem as if they may have been involved in the deaths in the novel. Some of these men have connections with the doctor and his family. Does that make them suspects?

Ruth also has a new colleague with whom to contend. What is in his past? Will Ruth rue having hired him? Where will he fit in the events of the story?

Around all of this, are Ruth, Nelson Kate, Michelle and their relationships. Where will they be by the end of the book?

Readers who are fans should absolutely rush out to get this 13th title in the series. I recommend it highly for its local geography, the people and the story itself.

Many, many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

Now out:

The Birthday Almanac

Discover the meanings, symbols and rituals of your day of birth

by Claire Saunders

#TheBirthdayAlmanac #NetGalley

This is a fun, lively book on birthdays for kids. Contents include a chapter on zodiac signs, birthstones, flowers and more, followed by a section for each month that includes activities too, and then, finally, a section of birthday trivia.

Kids and adults will enjoy looking at the information that relates to their date, day and year of birth and will also enjoy looking up the details for people they know. The book includes several types of signs, among them Chinese ones and Celtic ones along with the more familiar Aquarius, etc. There is also information on birthstones and flowers by month. Each section describes personality characteristics for each category.

This book provides an entertaining look at personality traits, traditions and customs that center on when a person was born. The illustrations are very bright, lively and engaging. I highly recommend this one for kids.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

An entry in a traditional series: Puppet for a Corpse by Dorothy Simpson

Dorothy Simpson began writing her Inspector Thanet series in the 1980s; she published fifteen titles in all. Those who enjoy Ruth Rendell’s Wexford novels may, I think, want to read all of the entries in Ms. Simpson’s series as well.

Inspector Thanet is a good man. In the stories he solves murders, is involved in the lives of those who work for him, and is a good husband and father. The characters grow over time, for example, Mike who works for Thanet advances in his career and relationships over the course of the series.

In this entry, a doctor has seemingly committed suicide. What happened? Read this one to find out and then see if you want to read others in the series.

The books show their age a bit but nonetheless, I think that readers may enjoy them.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

What will happen with: Three Weddings and a Proposal by Sheila O’Flanagan

#ThreeWeddingsandaProposal #NetGalley

Pub date: August 24, 2021

This book will be published just in time for last picks for summer reading. It will be a good title for those who have been enjoying women’s fiction titles this season.

Delphie is a woman who has given her all to her career and to her boss, Conrad. She is an employer’s dream, loyal, hardworking, knowledgeable and compassionate. Her family feels that she has given too much to her career and not enough to her personal life but Delphie, herself, is okay with this until…no spoiler but things will change. What will then happen to and for Delphie?

Delphie is surrounded by characters with whom readers will enjoy spending time. Early in the novel, Delphie becomes reacquainted with Ed who becomes her “plus one” for her brother’s wedding. Will they remain friends or will they become something more?

Readers also get to know Delphie’s two closest female friends. They spend time together offering support to one another. They also go on trips together including one to Mallorca.

So, there are three weddings and a proposal. Who is involved in each one? How will each affect Delphie? Read the novel to find out.

I very much enjoyed this book. I was invested in Delphie, the choices she makes, the world of work that is described in these pages and in her relationships. I will certainly want to read more by this author.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

An e book bargain for 6.14.21-Jackie and Maria by Gil Paul

The cover of this title shows Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas. In the novel, they are surrounded by those in their lives including Onassis, JFK, RFK, Jackie’s sister Lee and many others. All are brought to life in this excellent historical fiction.
Jackie and Maria had more in common than Aristotle Onassis. According to the book, both had mothers they could not please and both faced terrible losses around pregnancies. In addition, each was involved with a charismatic man who did not believe in fidelity and who did believe in power.
The settings of the novel bring the story to life. Readers will be in many locations including DC, Paris, Greece, the Cape, Aristotle’s yacht and more. The story unfolds in these places in a dual narrative that features the world from both Maria and Jackie’s perspectives.
As in the best historical novels, the world of the characters is portrayed in such a way that I very much wanted the history that I already knew, to somehow magically be transformed for the sake of the people on whom the characters are based. Of course, it could not be.
I enjoyed this title and recommend it highly for those who enjoy historical fiction. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

Now out: Mindful Thoughts for Students by Georgina Hooper

This title seems geared to pre-teens and older, those who have the capacity to stop for a moment to reflect on themselves and their approaches to tasks and life. The author offers mindfulness practices to study habits and the process of learning. For example, she writes about the importance of being present in the moment. This means not judging one’s self by past school performance. Equally it means not worrying too far ahead about school tests and projects but going step by step. The need for self-care is also stressed and, for example, relaxation exercises are given.

It strikes me that in the heat of the moment it might be difficult for a student to take the time to read this book even though it would, perhaps, be helpful. I propose that this title would make for good summer reading with the chance to relax, reflect and be ready for the next academic year.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

Get out your pencils: Doodle Days by Jane Maday

#DoodleDays #NetGalley

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

Often when I am in a class or talking on the phone I find myself doodling. Forever, it seems I have drawn faces, coffee cups and flowers. I am getting bored with these so was very excited to see this book. It is full of ideas about making those fun little pictures.

Short sections include everything from how to use the book to tools and materials, and lines and shapes. By the end of this sample, I wanted the full book and was full of ideas. I am very eager to get started.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this adorable book. All opinions are my own.

Let’s figure out why: Riley Can’t Stop Crying

by Stéphanie Boulay, ills. Agathe Bray-Bourret


#RileyCantStopCrying #NetGalley

This book will be welcomed by both the families for whom it was most likely written and also by all families that want to teach their young children acceptance of others. Its message is important.

Riley is lucky to have his older sister Regina. She cares about her little brother and wants to figure out what is leading him to cry all the time. She industriously works on this, talking to Riley, drawing pictures, and thinking about what she knows about herself and how this might help. Together, Riley, Regina and their dad address what is going on.

The importance of Riley, and by extension, others being who they are is the important message of this vibrantly illustrated story. It is a good title for school library shelves.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. Al opinions are my own.