Some e book bargains for January 9, 2021

A Killer Edition
Re JaneNative SonBecoming Jane EyreThe OdysseyWuthering HeightsBeezus and RamonaAhab's WifeWillful BehaviorDressed for Death (Commissario Brunetti Book 3)The Prime Minister's Secret Agent: A Maggie Hope MysterySuffer the Little Children (Commissario Brunetti Book 16)The Finisher (A Detective Peter Diamond Mystery Book 19)
My Review:

I have read every book in Peter Lovesey’s wonderful Peter Diamond series so I was absolutely overjoyed to receive this e galley to review.  As always, the story takes place in Bath, England; the setting is vividly brought to life with its unique architecture and planned design.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I found that a significant location in this title was the very street that I had lived on in Bath.  It just added extra joy for me as I read this.

Peter Lovesey has a sardonic, playful sense of humor which was very present in this book.  The title has several meanings as becomes clear as one reads.  There are police officers, most already known to the devoted readers of the series, along with other characters who are vividly brought to life including a criminal from an old case of Diamond’s, a murder victim, the Russian Olga, teacher Maeve, illegal immigrants and many more.  Some of these characters are in a half marathon that is central to the action of the story.

Lovesey spins plates in the air as the plot evolves and he manages to get to the end of the novel without dropping any of them.  I loved this book and hope that Lovesey, who is in his 80s, will just keep on writing.

Many, many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest view.  I adored my virtual trip to Bath and the time spent with this book and its characters.

An e book bargain today (1.9.21)

Death in Focus: An Elena Standish Novel Kindle Edition

My review:

Kudos to Anne Perry! She is not an author who rests on her laurels. Ms. Perry recently started a series with Daniel Pitt, son of long-term series regulars Thomas and Charlotte and now, she has started a series featuring Elena Standish. This novel takes place as Hitler is rising to power in Germany.

The characters in the family…Elena is an aspiring photographer. Her sister Margot was widowed shortly after marrying during WWI. Grandfather Lucas was in MI6 during WWI and maintains his connections. His wife, also was active in the war. Then there are Elena’s parents Charles and his wife Katherine. He is a diplomat; she is American. There are many characters not in the family, from the Jewish population in Berlin to the Brownshirts to those who are busy plotting and to Cordell at the British Embassy.

The settings in the novel are vividly described. The book opens in the shadow of Vesuvius where tourists are creating their reality, away from their daily concerns. It is here that Elena meets Ian, a man who sets her on a perilous mission. Thanks to Ms. Perry, i felt like I was on the train with them, right there in the compartment as the talked about themselves. There are so many equally vivid scenes. To mention a few, a British diplomat goes to lunch with Hitler and t he reader feels him sweating; a book burning takes place and the crowd watching is alive in the reader’s mind, a train hurtles toward Paris from Berlin and the reader feels the anxiety of the characters who need to escape quickly.

There are murders and conspiracies and Elena is clearly in peril. The plot does center on some coincidences but I was willing to accept that. The ending of the novel is a crescendo of events with a clear sense of unresolved issues for future novels or at least that is my hope.

I loved Death in Focus, a novel with rich and vivid characters who are trying to make their way in a world that was for ever changed by WW I and is now hurtling toward another war. There are some parallels to our world today in terms of the author’s description of how people who feel they have nothing, feel better when they have a group to hate.

I highly recommend this novel. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this e galley in exchange for my honest review.

Other reviews

“[Anne Perry] has found the perfect time period to showcase a family’s impassioned defense of democracy and social justice in the face of rising totalitarianism. . . . Obvious comparisons to Charles Todd’s Bess Crawford and Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs are warranted, but this novel also hearkens back to Helen MacInnes’s classic spy thrillers and Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense novels. At turns heartbreaking and action-packed, this gripping and superbly written story proves Perry still has what it takes.”Library Journal (starred review)

“Elena’s many narrow escapes and Perry’s immersive re-creation of Nazi-era Europe will keep readers enthralled by this series debut. The numerous characters working behind the scenes both for and against Elena—her beloved grandfather, for example, who is the former head of MI6—are well drawn, but it is the smart, gritty heroine herself who will ensure that readers eagerly anticipate the next in the series.”Booklist

Who are they? Where did they live? Artists in Residence

Seventeen Artists and Their Living Spaces, from Giverny to Casa Azul

by Melissa Wyse, Illustrated by Kate Lewis

#ArtistsinResidence #NetGalley

Artists in Residence is the result of the serendipitous meetings between author Melissa Wyse and artist Kate Lewis. Readers learn about how their paths crossed in the book’s introduction.

Together the two put together this title with MW writing beautifully insightful essays about the artists and Kate painting scenes reminiscent of their homes. Included are artists whom I knew well including Georgia O’Keeffe, Vanessa Bell & Duncan Grant, Claude Monet, Frida Kahlo & Diego River, Lee Krasner & Jackson Pollock and others with whom I am newly acquainted as, for example, .Hassan Jajjaj, Clementine Hunter, Donald Judd. (I have not listed all seventeen here). There is an alchemy between text and visual that works.

This collaboration will be welcomed by art lovers and armchair travelers alike. I know that I enjoyed my time in these homes and with these insights.

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

Pub Date 02 Feb 2021

Now out:

Dear Grandma

by Susanna Leonard Hill

This book is so engagingly illustrated! It is written in the form of a letter from a child to a grandmother. It shows the beauty, resilience, depth and breadth of that special relationship. The grandmother in this book is fun to play with, a listener, an encourager and so much more. She is simply a most important part of a child’s life.

This book ideally would be read with a grandmother whether in person or on Zoom. It is very sweet.

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

Be who you are: A Turtle’s Guide to Introversion

by Ton Mak

#ATurtlesGuidetoIntroversion #NetGalley

This title will be welcomed by introverts. With its gentle, green and white illustrations and its simple text, this book offers insight into both the inner and outer life of an introvert. Introverts will recognize themselves and feel accepted. Extroverts can read this book and better understand the introvert’s inner workings. This title could, additionally, be used in schools to help students to recognize different approaches to the world while encouraging acceptance and non-judgment.

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

Pub Date 09 Feb 202

What happened? Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder

A Novel

by T.A. Willberg

#MarionLaneandtheMidnightMurder #NetGalley

Some have compared Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder to Harry Potter and I can see why. There is a magical setting (Miss Brickett’s instead of Hogwarts), a special training (to be an investigator as compared to a wizard), orphans (Harry and Marion), ghastly relatives (Dudley and his parents and Marion’s grandmother) gadgetry, friendships, secrets, maps, mysteries, villains and more.

If all of this sounds good to you, think of giving this 1950s set mystery a read. I think that you will enjoy it.

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

A gorgeous count: 1, 2, 3 Salish Sea

A Pacific Northwest Counting Book

by Nikki McClure

#123SalishSea #NetGalley

This counting book is gorgeously illustrated with paper cut art. It celebrates the beautiful Salish Sea ecosystem. I met creatures that I have never before seen. There are, for example, two Banana Slugs, six Nudibranchs, 10 Sand lance and more. This book may well be enjoyed at least as much by adults as the children that they know.

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

Pub Date 09 Feb 2021

Stevie Wonder

by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

#StevieWonder #NetGalley

This title is another in this educative and enjoyable series by Ms. Sanchez Vegara. This time children get to meet Stevie Wonder in this appealingly illustrated title.

Readers watch as little Stevie goes from banging on pots and pans to playing the harmonica and piano to…becoming Stevie Wonder! It is indeed a wonderful journey and an inspiring one.

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

Pub date: February 2, 2021