Will the curtain rise? A Fatal Overture

by Kathleen Marple Kalb

#AFatalOverture #NetGalley

A Fatal Overture is the third historical mystery to feature Ella Shane. The story takes place during the Gilded Age so fans of that TV show may enjoy this view of the time period. Ella is a performer; she is also in love with a British aristocrat so there is a tension in the story over work vs. relationship. Readers of the prior books will no doubt enjoy catching up with the latest on this couple.

Now relatives (a mother and sister) of our aristocrat have come to visit. There is trouble when a body is found in a bathtub in their hotel. Lord Peter Wimsey once investigated a case of a bathtub victim but here we have Kalb’s version. It is entertaining and sure to be enjoyed by cozy mystery aficionados who may also enjoy the opera and show business that are in the novel.

This series is best read in order. However, a reader could still start here and go backwards.

I hear this author on my local news. I am so impressed that she also writes mysteries.

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

Pub date: 29 Mar 2022

It’s time for: A New Home

by Mary Lindeen

#ANewHome #NetGalley

This title is part of a series for beginning readers. They will be pleased with their ability to read this one. There are helpful resources for adults and word lists at the back if a reader needs help.

This title clearly explains what it is like to move house. The photos that accompany the text show what the moving process looks like.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Norwood House Press for this title. All opinions are my own.

Pub Date 15 Jan 2022

Some e book bargains for 5.25.22

The Short List for the week: each under $10 and recently published

My review:

One thing that all of my favorite Italian/Sicilian mystery series have in common is their love of food and drink. Brunetti and Paola on their terrace is a place that I always love to visit (Donna Leon) as is Montalbano’s favorite Sicilian restaurant (Andrea Camilleri). Now, in her two novels (the first was Murder in Chianti), Ms. Trincheri has successfully found her place in that gastronomic firmament. To readers’ delight, there are frequent visits to the restaurant where retired NYC detective, Nico, works with his wife’s family; to the local breakfast spot (I want cornetti!) and to several wineries. Perfection! Oh…and there is the murder mystery to be enjoyed as well.

This time, Nico is involved in trying to discover who has murdered a (crooked) wine critic. Some of the suspects are people that Nico knows well, including his landlord and his landlord’s wife. There are also the victim’s wife and girlfriend among others. The mystery is fair to readers who want to try to solve it. That said, as already noted, there is much to be enjoyed around the case.

Readers can read this title without having read the first book, although both are quite enjoyable. Those who read the first book will enjoy again meeting up with all of Nico’s family members, those in the police department and the people who live in his town.

This is a perfect summer read mystery. Buon Appetito e buono lettura!

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

Other bargains for today

Nothing is easy: A Valiant Deceit

A WW2 Historical Mystery Perfect for Book Clubs

by Stephanie Graves

#AValiantDeceit #NetGalley

This novel is the second in a series, following on Olive Bright, Pigeoneer. This interesting historical mystery features an intrepid, occasionally naive heroine. The author highlights the important role that pigeons played in the war effort which adds an interesting twist to the tale. Think about the next time that you are annoyed by one of these city birds.

Olive is helping/hoping to transmit information that will help the Belgians via her birds when one of her military acquaintances is killed. Was it murder? Will Olive solve the case? Will her birds help the Resistance? Will Jamie and Olive manage to get along well enough to work together? Read the story to find out. Those who fancy cozy mysteries and WWII novels will enjoy this one.

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

Pub Date 25 Jan 2022

Editorial Reviews


Advance Praise for A Valiant Deceit

“Graves’s sequel to Olive Bright, Pigeoneer combines well-developed characters with the fascinating role of carrier pigeons in World War II, historical fact, and mystery.”
—Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
“Graves’s focus on a fascinating bit of WWII history makes this stand out among lighter wartime mysteries.”
—Publishers Weekly
“Perfect for lovers of wartime novels that combine history, mystery, and romance.”
—Kirkus Reviews

Some more e book bargains for 5.24.22

This is for the audio version

The Bookshop on the Shore

This book is related to the author’s earlier novel, The Bookshop on the Corner.  Some characters from that book are present as is the book van book shop, which I love.

While I enjoyed The Bookshop on the Corner, I did not find this novel to be nearly as good.  The premise is there; young mom with a mute child wants to find a new life.  So, Zoe moves to Scotland to work with Nina, the protagonist of the earlier title.  Zoe’s trials caring for three children plus her own and her experiences on the book van are central to the plot.  Of course, there is also a romance. In addition, readers who enjoyed Nina from the last book, will get to see how her pregnancy goes.  There just might be a surprise!

This book may be best for true lovers of this author.  I found it to be a bit slow and surprisingly, for the first time, I did not find myself fully enjoying a book by this author.

I will still read Jenny Colgan’s novels in the future.  I hope that the next one will be as good as I know that she can be.  Let me know what you think if you read this one.  I am interested to know.


Learn about: The Secret Life of Birds

by Moira Butterfield

#TheSecretLifeofBirds #NetGalley

This book is so cheerfully and invitingly illustrated. Inside these colorful pages are folk tales, as for example, “Why the Kiwi Can’t Fly” and “Birds in Balloons,” a tale from France. There are also sections on everything from “Fabulous Feathers,” to “Brilliant Beaks,” to “Birds of the Night,” and more.

Begin with the short “Dear reader” section and then dip into this book in any order. Speedy, the Swift accompanies readers through these pages, beginning with his birth.

I found this book to be very appealing. It would make a perfect gift for a nature loving child.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for this title. All opinions are my own.

Pub Date 14 Jun 2022

What might have transpired: The Christie Affair

A Novel

by Nina de Gramont

Avid readers of Agatha Christie’s novels may well know that the famous author herself was the star/subject of one of her greatest mysteries. Why did Mrs. Christie disappear for all those days? It is not really a spoiler to say that she learned that Archie was having an affair. Still, where did she go? What made Archie seem so appealing to two very different women?

In addition to that mystery, who was the other woman? What was her story? Can readers empathize with her?

Learn more about both women in this historical fiction title. Nina de Gramont tells her story well. She makes Nan’s story believable and this is more her story than Agatha’s.

Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this title. All opinions are my own.

Pub Date 01 Feb 2022

From the Publisher

The Christie Affair Nina de Gramont Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
The Christie Affair Nina de Gramont Kristin Hannah quote
The Christie Affair Nina de Gramont Paula McLain quote
The Christie Affair Nina de Gramont Christina Baker Kline quote
The Christie Affair Nina de Gramont Therese Anne Fowler quote