Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Review of Grilled for Murder

Grilled For Murder (Country Store Mysteries #2) by Maddie DayTitle: Grilled for Murder 

Author: Maddie Day 

Pages: 304

Series: Country Store Mysteries book 2

Genre: cozy mystery 

Rating: 4 stars

Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day is the second book in the Country Store Mystery series. Robbie Jordan has turned a run down store into a successful restaurant and has one solved murder under her belt when another body is found in her store. With her friend and baker Phil the prime suspect.  Robbie most work to clear Phil's name before she becomes the killer's next victim.   

Even though the police want her to stay out of it and leave the crime solving to them; Robbie can't let her friend take the fall.  As the second book in a series, the main characters as well as the setting a small southern Indiana town somewhere between Bloomington and the IU campus and French Lick.   I enjoyed this one more than the first one and look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Review of River to Redemption

River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart River to Redemption 

Author: Ann H. Gabhart

Chapters: 36

Pages: 336

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction 

Rating: 4 stars 

After being orphaned by a cholera epidemic in 1833 Springfield Kentucky Adria Starr is first taken in by a slave named Louis and Tillie. They were one of the few people who stayed behind to tend the sick and dying when everyone fled.  Louis single-handedly buried the 57 dead.  Once word got out that people were returning to the town and the school teacher's widow would be taking over the school; Louis convinces her to take in Adria as it wouldn't be proper for him and Aunt Tillie to raise the her. 

But Adria never forgot the kindness that Louis and Tillie showed her after her parents died in the epidemic. As a young woman she is determined to find a way to repay Louis. Her plan is simple find a way to buy Louis's freedom. This is something that isn't going to go over too well in 1840s Kentucky.  

The Events of Adria's life have shaped her made her the woman that she is. If it hadn't been for Louis she wouldn't have lived, to her Louis and Tillie are like an loving uncle and aunt despite Adria having a different skin color than them. Blood and looking alike doesn't make you family love does. 

In her historical novels Ann H Gabhart doesn't shy away from the hard stuff and River to Redemption is no different. That's what I love about her novels.  That even in south central Kentucky in the 1840s there was a pocket of people who knew slavery to wrong and where willing to do something about it; no matter what it cost them. Though Adria Starr is a fictional character the story is based on real life events.

Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this novel. Everyone should read it as Louis's story deserves  to be heard. But a fair warning it will make you cry. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Review of Hunting Prince Dracula

Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #2)Title: Hunting Prince Dracula 

Author: Kerri Maniscalco 

Pages: 434

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper book 2 

Genre: teen historical fiction steampunk 

Rating: 4 stars 

Hunting Prince Dracula is the second book in the Jack the Ripper series. This book opens with Audrey and Thomas on a train bound for Romania and a medical school there.  Both hope to get one of the few spots available and as a female she's looked down upon and no one thinks she can make it. 

I loved that in this second book in the series I didn't get the dreaded second book slump.  Hunting Prince Dracula had the same fast paced action and story of the first book.   While this isn't a true sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper but a companion novel it is best if you read the books in order. The events of the first novel shape the beginning events in this novel and allow you to understand why Audrey basically ran to Romania in the first place. 

Hunting Prince Dracula combines the myths and legends behind the story of Dracula with early forensic medicine and forensic investigation to  create another unique novel. And just like with the first book in the series I look forward to the next book in the series.  

Friday, August 10, 2018

Reading This Week

Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder
Game of Secrets by Kim Foster
Sisterchicks on the Loose by Robin Jones Gunn
A Study in Treason by Leonard Golderg
Princess: The Early Life of Queen Elizabeth II by Jane Dismoere

Reading at home
Then There was you by Kara Isaac

Kindle Reading
Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

Reading at Work
A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckely

Non-fiction reading
Princess Margaret by Christopher Warwick


Audio on the Way to Work
The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Getting ready to read
The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson
Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano
The Unbinding of Mary by Miriam McNamara


Read and Gone by Allison Brook
Shelved Under Murder by Vicotira Gilbert
Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

Devotional reading
When God Calls the Heart by Brian Bird

Did not Finish
Furyborn by Claire Legrand (DNF)

Reviews Posted this week

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review of Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper 

Author: Kerri Maniscalco 

Pages: 326

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper book 1

Genre: Teen historical fiction steampunk 

Rating: 4 stars 

In Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco we meet Audrey Rose Wadsworth a lord's daughter in  Victorian England.  She's not your typical Victorian girl she doesn't care about needle point and learning how to be a wife. She's more interested in the art of forensic medicine. A skill that she is slowly learning at the side of her uncle. She dresses as a boy to attend his lectures at the university.   It's there that she meets one of his students Thomas Cresswell who is close to her equal in book knowledge and skills. 
Then her uncle is asked by the police to help investigate the Jack the ripper killings.  Audrey wants to help  her uncle and first refuses and she goes behind his back almost gets killed and is rescued by Thomas.  Something he won't let her live down.   

Stalking Jack the Ripper puts a new spin on the Jack the Ripper story that I didn't think was possibly but yet we have Stalking Jack the Ripper.  As the Jack the Ripper murders remain one of the criminal justice systems biggest mysteries, because till this day they really don't know who did it.  I loved that Audrey Rose was a woman a head of her time.  That I would like to think that if they had had women police officers, detectives doctors, medical examiners and  forensics that weren't in its infancy they may have caught Jack the Ripper in the Victorian times. I look forward to the next book in the series.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Review of Thief of Corinth

Title: Thief of Corinth 

Author: Tessa Afshar 

Chapters: 33

Pages: 400

Genre: Christian Fiction/ Biblical Fiction

Rating: 5 stars

     Thief of Corinth is the newest book by Tessa Asfhar. The Second book set in Corinth with the missionary Paul as an important character though not the main character. This time the heroine is fictional rather than a Biblical person. This story features not one but two honorable thieves. It gives it a bit of a Robin Hood feel. Ariadne flees Athens, but she’s not running away in her mind she’s running home to Corinth and her father Galenos. Once back she discovers her father’s secret the secret that tore her and her brothers away from their father. He’s a thief but an honorable one. Ariadne is left with three choices turn her father in or join him, or lie to protect them both. When they both are almost at the end of their ropes they meet a man named Paul, who will introduce them to Someone far greater.

I have to say that Thief of Corinth is one of my favorite books by Tessa Asfhar.  Her books just keep getting better and better. She is my go to author for Biblical fiction. Ariadne is my favorite heroine since Ariadne is truly fictional Tessa had more creative licenses with her story she didn’t have to stick with what was already written about her.  To me Ariadne is the most relatable of Tessa’s heroines.  

One of my favorite quotes from the book can form chapter 3, “In the shelter of my father’s love, tears came freely.” While this scene is dealing with an earthly father, it is a reminder that our Heavenly Father’s love allows us to express our tears and other emotions just as freely.  Another favorite quote came from chapter 23 “That is what father’s do, Ariadne they see how far you have come and cheer you, so you will learn to go the rest of the way.  Father’s lead you so far but then you have to learn to go the rest of the way on your own.

All I can say is that if you've read Tessa's previous novels you need to pick this one up. Or if you like Biblical fiction this one is a winning. Every time I read one of Tessa's books it like a part of the story is something that I am going through at that time and it encourages me in that season as well as reminding me to pick up my Bible more.   I wasn’t a fan of Biblical fiction till I discovered Tessa’s first novel Pearl in the Sand and I was hooked Tessa’s writes Biblical fiction in a way that makes you want to pick up your Bible and dive into that as well. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and author  through netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Review of Santa Fe Mourning

Perfect-for-fans-of-Victoria-Thompson-and-Rhys-Bowen-brilliant-new-heroine-Maddie-Vaughn-Alwin-makes-her-daring-debut-in-the-first-Santa-Fe-Revival-mystery-discovering-that-speakeasies-concealed-more-than-just-liquorTitle: Santa Fe Mourning 

Author: Amanda Allen 

Pages: 288
 ies: A Santa Fe Revival Mystery book 1

Genre: cozy mystery 

Rating: 4 stars 

Santa Fe Mourning by Amanda Allen is the first book in the A Santa Fe Revival Mystery series.  Madeline Vaoughn-Alwin goes west after losing her husband in WWI as a way to grieve to also put space between her and her wealthy New York city upbringing.  She settles in New Mexico and tries her hand at being a painter.   

When one of the people who work for her is found murdered and the police don't  act like the  crime is worth solving she takes it upon herself to solve the crime. 

I've read other novels set during the 1920s complete with flappers but never one set in New Mexico during this time period.  Which was a welcome change. Ms. Allen did her research because she was able to bring 1920s Santa Fe to life and give the characters a life of their own.  I look forward to the next book in the series.