Bloodstains with Bronte

Bloodstains with Bronte is the second Katherine Bolger Hyde novel that I’ve read, and that she’s written. I like her style and quirkiness. I don’t think they’ll win any mystery awards, but they are well written with a homey feel.

Now Emily Cavanaugh has moved to the Oregon coast to remodel her inherited home into a writer’s retreat. In the process, a young man with predatory past ends up dead. Cavanaugh sees literary suspects and love interests everywhere.

Again I enjoyed the novel references throughout but there was some religious anti-LGBTQ  but love the person that I found a little questionable and hope that these characters grow enlightened in the next novel, or I may need to question my acceptance of small town quaint.

Quick, enjoyable read.

Read July 2018

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The Burning Girl

I read Claire Messud’s The Burning Girl awhile ago, and it didn’t really stick with me. I liked it at the time and there’s a lot of good scenes with Julia and Cassie as they grow and grow apart from middle school to high school. Many of the scenes made me cringe thinking back on my own adolescence and loosing friendships over big and little things. But the end of the novel made me so sad about how people can hide things and even looking back, you can’t know for sure what was happening.

Read October 2018

The Mitford Murders

Jessica Fellowes uses the real life Mitford sisters in her The Mitford Murders, where Louisa Cannon escapes her terrible fate and becomes a servant at the Mitfords estate. She befriends the eldest daughter, Nancy, who is obsessed with a relative of Florence Nightingale’s murder.

I enjoyed the novel with the different classes on post-WWI British society.

Read August 2018, forgot to document.

The Mermaid’s Scream

Kate Ellis’s The Mermaid’s Scream tells the story of secrets, cover-ups, and murders that mimic a story from 100+ years ago. Archaeologists and historians help put the pieces together for an old crime and exonerate an ancestor of the new owner of a manor, as well help DI Wesley Peterson figure out the clues in a current murder investigation.

It was a little slow going at first, but eventually the twists were pretty interesting. It was a little neat how things matched up, but it was surprising.

Read August 2018

Saints for All Occasions

Saints for All Occasions tells the story of two sisters who left Ireland for more opportunity in the New World. J. Courtney Sullivan isn’t afraid to show the ugly side of being seen as proper and what people will do to protect themselves from public scorn, Nora and Theresa felt obligations to one another that built resentment and separation. The Catholic church and their belief about illegitimate children changed both sisters’ lives.

Nora remained in Boston, married, and raised a family. Theresa cut ties, moved to NYC and eventually became a nun. All affected by a youthful “mistake”.

Sullivan gets into families and rips them apart so we can see it for what they are. Everyone trying to right by others, but the secrecy can do nothing but bring pain.

Read August 2018

A Line in the Dark

I just finished Malinda Lo’s A Line in the Dark and I realized I’ve been duped. The twist at the end really began at the beginning and now I’m questioning if I actually know anything that happened other than what I read in the Epilogue. Interesting to have the main character be so untrustworthy, but not let the audience in on it until it’s over.

Anyway, Jess and her best friend Angie have gotten mixed up with girls from the nearby boarding school. Lots of jealously about friendships and relationships between a small group of kids. One girl goes missing and discovered dead close to Jess’s house.

A really good read!

Read July 2018

(Spoiler) This is the 3rd mystery I’ve read recently that a young girl has an affair with her teacher and ends up dead. WTF? Even the last novel had an older man and a young woman. I pick my reading randomly without knowing what the books will be about really, so its strange that the 3/4 of the last books have had young girls explaining away why they don’t want the teachers to get in trouble for the affair. The novelists are decidedly NOT ok with the young girls feelings, and all the teachers have paid for their crime, but still a disturbing trend in my reading type.

Into the Water

Paula Hawkins follow up novel to The Girl on the Train, Into the Water, has a lot of the same mystery and terrible decisions. Its a good book on its own about a small town, Beckford, that’s seen more than their share of women dying in the river. We get some history of the town and different versions of why the women died: suicide, witch-hunting, murder. No one is a 100% reliable witness and too many characters keep secrets that its not clear who should be believed.

Some of the apologies feel forced in the novel and one of the main reasons for a young character’s suicide should be admonished much more than the story and it should never be an acceptable behavior for a adult.

But overall, it was captivating. The reoccurrence of water throughout the novel is cleansing and harsh all at the same time.

Read June 2018.