Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Four-star review of A Lingering Shadow : An Arabella Stewart Historical Mystery (Arabella Stewart Historical Mysteries Book 2) by D. S. Lang

Arabella, recently returned from France where she was a telephone operator for the Signal Corps in the Great War, is working to revive business at the golf resort start by her grandfather and his partner Mac, but the murder of a guest puts her plans on hold. She and her childhood friend Jax, now the town constable, must find the murderer if the resort and their small Ohio town can survive. The tension between Arabella and Jax is the same as in the first book, since Jax is still hesitant to reveal his part in her brother’s death during the war and she’s fighting the feelings she has for him. A few characters from the first book play a smaller part in this one, and I would have liked to see more of them, but the focus is on the two of them, as it should be, and on the motivation for the murder.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Four-star Review of Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

As a departure from his usual mystery novels, this YA book still retains the humor and Florida setting. Roy Eberhardt recently moved to a small town there after many years in Montana. He’s homesick and being bullied by a middle-school bully on the school bus, but he becomes fascinated by a barefoot boy who runs past the bus and doesn’t seem to go to the school. Meanwhile, a pancake conglomerate wants to build a new pancake house in an empty lot in the town, and barefoot boy has been sabotaging their plans for what turns out to be a legitimate reason. Although I’m not a member of the target group for the book, I did enjoy reading it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Five-star Review of The Curious Secrets of Yesterday by Namrata Patel

Tulsi has been expected all her life to take over for her mother and grandmother as a spice healer in the Ayurveda tradition at their shop in Salem, Massachusetts, but she doesn’t think that’s the path she should take. The Gupta women also had a tradition of raising a daughter alone. The problem for Tulsi was that she didn’t know how else to live her life or what she wanted instead. But as she uncovers secrets about her mother and grandmother’s past and gets to know the owner of the new restaurant next door, her options become clearer. She also meets people from her mother and grandmother’s past in Chicago. Throughout the book, each of the characters is beautifully developed. The writing is engaging. As a bonus, it was fascinating to learn about various herbs and spices and their medicinal values.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Four-star review of The Ministry of Unladylike Activity 2: The Body in the Blitz by Robin Stevens

 In the follow-up series to the Murder Most Unladylike collection, Hazel’s little sister May is joined by her friends Nuala and Eric to investigate murders, this time in the London mews where they are living while they train to help the Ministry’s spies including Hazel, Daisy and their friend George during World War II. Yes, I figured out what was going on long before the kids but then they’re about 11 years old and this is only their second case. Stevens seems to know how pre-teens’ minds work and the chances they might take. The story is told by Nuala who, like Hazel in the first series, is the one documenting the cases. The characters in the story are interesting. Some of the situations are implausible, but fun to read about.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Four-star review of A Precarious Homecoming: An Arabella Stewart Historical Mystery Book 1

Arabella Stewart recently returned from France where she was part of the United States Signal Corps during the Great War and found her hometown in northern Ohio as well as the returning servicemen changed. She mourns her brother who died in battle as well as her parents who also died, in their case from the Spanish flu that swept the country. But when a middle-aged German-American is killed, suspicion falls on the former servicemen. Arabella, her brother’s friend Jax, who’s now the town Constable, and others investigate the murder. With so many suspects, it takes time to narrow down the list. Some of the dialogue seems stilted but considering the time period, it’s probably true to the way people spoke. I picked the right murderer long before the end, but so did Bella and Jax. They just had to prove it.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Four-star review for Redemption (Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran Book 1) by Deborah Ledford

Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran is a Taos policewoman searching for her best friend, Paloma, a renowned hoop dancer from the Taos Pueblo. Paloma and three other women, all addicts, have been missing for a while. Paloma’s teenage son, Kai, is also searching for his mother. The story is told from many POVs, including the woman holding the four women prisoner. Descriptions of the area around Taos and the Pueblo resounded with me because of a recent trip there to see the city and the gorge bridge, which pays a crucial part in the story. I’m also interested in stories that portray the lifestyle of any of the many Puebloans in New Mexico.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tuesday Book Review


Four-star review of Bad Blood (Kate Shugak, #20) by Dana Stabanow

This book refers to other characters and incidents in this series but is really about the feud between two villages, one prosperous and the other fallen on hard times, and the deaths of three people. Kate, her half-wolf, half-dog companion, Mutt and her significant other, Park Ranger Jim travel to various places in their part of Alaska to determine who killed each of them. There’s a Romeo and Juliet-style romance involved along with bootlegging and drug dealing. The cliffhanger ending leaves quite a few questions unresolved. Stabenow’s writing is always excellent with great descriptions and character development.