Art and Murder in Scotland

I enjoyed this fictional trip to the Scottish highlands. Painter, Seamus and his photographer wife, Sylvie run their shop and engage in their artistic pursuits while living in their small, close-knit community. When a painting by a well-known Scottish artist leads to murder, the chase is on! Pluses in this book include the very likeable characters and the relationships between them. There were times when I groaned as Sylvie yet again became a “damsel in distress.” I figured out “whodunnit” but nonetheless recommend this novel. I will look for the other books in this series and you might want to too.

#BeforeAndAgain #NetGalley

This title will be published in June if you would like to mark your calendar

A big January ahead in my reading

Product DetailsProduct DetailsI love January first; for a moment all things seem possible.  No mistakes made as yet though I am pretty certain that will change.

I am excited about another year of reading journeys.  Top of my list right now are two books that I will review further later but have just begun.  As you can see, they pair well together.  An Odyssey is a story of fathers and sons both present and from Greek epic.  The author teaches a class on the Odyssey at Bard College; his father asks to audit. ( Intriguing to me as I audit many classes too.)  It seems that this will be a good and thought provoking read about family relationships in fact and fiction..

So, you may all have heard about Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey.  This is the first translation EVER by a woman. There is a great podcast on Slate as an introduction.  I am excited to have begun reading this beautiful and easy to follow edition of a great work.  It may be the start of educating myself on great literary works that I have missed.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading everyone.  I look forward to sharing more and to getting your feedback in 2018 .

Nuanced characters with shades of grey

I ordered this book from England and am so glad that I did!  This is the first mystery by M.B. Shaw (aka Tilly Bagshaw) who is a modern Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh.  All of the elements for a successful series are in place and I hope that Ms. Shaw keeps writing.  The characters are well developed and nuanced; each is unique and has a backstory.  The mystery is solved through the protagonist’s acute observational skills.  Iris Grey, amateur sleuth, is an artist who brings a certain sensibility to the small English village where she has rented a cottage.  Getting to know her and the victim, successful author, Dom, and his family kept the pages turning.  Highly recommended for mystery lovers with a British bent.

The English Wife (and her circle)

This is the first book that I have read by Lauren Willig. She is well known for her Pink Carnation Series and has also written standalone novels. The English Wife, (a standalone), was a page turner. To me, the book was like Jane Eyre crossed with Rebecca. If those are novels that you enjoyed, you may well enjoy The English Wife too!  Thanks for this book NetGalley.  It will be published in January.

A very enjoyable historical novel

Product DetailsThis novel comes out in the U.S. in August 2018.   Mark your calendar!  I read the British version which has already been published.

Mary Kirk, Bessiewallis Warfield, Diana Spencer…their stories entwine in this historical novel that is largely based on truth.  It is a page turning and fascinating look at life in America and Europe from 1912 until 1997.

Mary and Wallis became friends in their teens;  Wallis married an American pilot; Mary married a French pilot.  Wallis divorced and subsequently married Ernest Simpson. You probably all know who her third husband was… but do you know who Mary married next?  I won’t spoil the book by telling you.

Mary and Wallis’s stories come alive in a glittering London.   The story of Alex and Rachel, who are impacted by Diana’s death, takes place in 1997.  Choices are made by all with implications and consequences.  I truly enjoyed this book and suggest it highly to fans of historical fiction.

Product DetailsTo be published in May 2018.  Thanks for the advance read NetGalley. Clare   O’Donohue has written several series. I was familiar with her quilting mysteries which I enjoyed. I was excited to see that the author had written something in a new series and that it was set in Ireland. The descriptions of places in the Emerald Isle did not disappoint. I also enjoyed watching the relationship between Finn and Hollis evolve, each has a distinct approach to life at the start of the novel. Anyone who has been married or in a relationship will be able to relate. The mystery itself was a bit too based on chases for me. In that way, I think that perhaps the book could have been more tightly written. Nonetheless, a good read. #BeyondThePale #NetGalley

A home worth visiting

This is the first novel that I have read by this Australian author…and I am glad that I did! The story of a home and the people who lived in it is told with warmth and insight. We follow the elderly seller of the house as she is moved to assisted living. She has her memories though and we experience her earlier life and relationships. In the present, a young mom tries to understand her life and parenthood. A warm and lovely book!  Thanks NetGalley.