Death in Elysium

Death In Elysium, but Judith Cutler, is a cozy mystery where a really wealthy, intelligent, driven women ends up as a small town Reverend’s wife with all her churchly duties but unable to throw her money at the problems. Its a bit much how perfect Jodie Welsh is made out to be, finding solutions for many problems and getting the unemployed youngsters off the street by having them garden, build websites, or take photographs.

Easy read, a bit too unbelievable.

Read August 2019

After I’m Gone

After I’m Gone, by Laura Lippman was a great story about Felix Brewer and his family. The style jumps from character to character, time period to time period, wealthly to poor. No ones particularly likable, but they are all charming. Felix meets the love of his life in 1959 and disappears in 1976. His mistress disappears in 1986 and everyone thought she met up with Felix until her remains were found. In 2012, a retired Baltimore detective picks up the cold case and opens old wounds that didn’t quite heal.

I read this in 2 days, staying up past midnight to finish it.

Exciting read!

Read August 2019

broken arm

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, by Julie Berry, tells the story of a Victorian aged boarding school where the headmistress and her brother die mysteriously die. Craving their independence, the girls decide to hide the bodies and run the school themselves.

Fun story, listened to audiobook while on long car trip.

Broken arm.

The Underground Girls of Kabul- in search of a hidden resistance in Afghanistan

Jenny Nordberg tells a secret side of Afghanistan culture, the bacha posh. In The Underground Girls of Kabul – In search of a hidden resistance in Afghanistan, Nordberg explores a culture that devalues girls and oppresses women, and what happens when there aren’t enough boys. Jenny Nordberg covers Afghanistan when she learns the little boy of her interviewee is actually a little girl. When investigating why, she uncovers so many cultural norms that restrict girls and condemn families without and sons. Afghanistan is a country that’s been at war for more years than not in recent history, but no matter who’s in charge, women are the lowest of society. So what’s a family to do to gain respect, to help run their family story, to run errands when the husband is at work? They often turn little girls into boys, who have more freedom and power than the women of the households.

This was such an interesting book. And such a strange world where a fake boy is better than a real girl. Its heartbreaking for the bacha posh who want to stay as they are. Its heartbreaking for the sisters and mothers to see a bacha posh be treated better than they are. And more heartbreaking is that I don’t know if there’s any help for these women and girls in a culture that seems to hate them. Its hard to understand how a society can hate half the population. Even the women seem to bring the other women down.

Read January 2019

Lethal Black Dress

When I started Lethal Black Dress, by Ellen Byerrum, I was initially turned off by the fashion talk about what everyone was wearing at the White House Correspondence Dinner. I almost returned the book to the library without finishing the first chapter.

But what started as all fashion, turned into a true fashion mystery. One that could only have been solved by someone with historic fashion knowledge. Which really surprised me that you could have such a fashion crime! I ended up liking the main characters and the way they interacted, even openly mocking the fashion angle and then having to take it back.

Cute read,

Read January 2019

The Secret Place

The Secret Place is a coming of age story at an Irish boarding school with all that teenage girls do: secrets, friends, enemies; and some that most don’t: murder, witchcraft. Tana French has a cold case Detective Moran finagle his was onto a murder investigation with a difficult to get along with Det. Conway. At St Kilda’s, one of 8 girls  left a secretive note about the murder of Chris Harper, who was killed almost a year ago.

The novel seemed to drag on a bit into all the ins and outs of the different girl cliques at St Kilda’s, past my interest level. But the feeling of youth and how it felt so special to have  close friendships and secrets was true in my life and it was good to see it.

Read September 2018.

thursday’s children

Written by Nicci Gerard and Sean French, known as Nicci French, this Frieda Klein mystery has Frieda diving back into her old high school life. A school “friend” turns up and ask Frieda for her help with her angst-filled teen daughter. After meeting with her, the young girl commits suicide which Frieda cannot believe. She has to remember an old crime against her and try to solve crimes committed recently, all while dealing with her aging mother whom she’s not talked to in a long time.

Interesting read. I think its ok I didn’t start the series at the beginning, and may go back and read some of them too.

Read September 2018.