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.
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 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
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.
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.
Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee De la Foret, is a collection of herbal recipes that help heal the body through food. It seems like very straightforward recipes, although I haven’t tried any at this time. I’m beginning to read more about herbs and am trying multiple sources for information.
Read March 2018.
Another fun read by Louise Penny. Glass Houses tells the story of revenge served cold. A group of friends returns for their yearly reunion in Three Pines when a dark, mysterious figure shows up in the center of town. Never moving, the figure dressed all in black, stands facing the town with a sinister feel. After the figure disappears, and a body is found, its up the Chief Inspector Gamache and his colleagues to determine what happened.
Although, there is much more to the story than simple revenge and Gamache and Beauvoir uncover secret drug routes through the region. In order to effectively catch the criminals, the Surete must present a mismanaged, incompetent front to trap the criminals into revealing their plans.
Read March 2018.