Thursday, February 22, 2018

#BookReview Many A Twist by Sheila Connolly County Cork Mysteries @crookedlanebks #CozyMystery #Series #Ireland

Title:  Many A Twist
Author:  Sheila Connolly
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Pub date: January 9, 2018               
330 pages

About the Book
Pub owner Maura Donovan hasn’t seen her mother for over twenty years, so when she suddenly shows up in Maura’s pub, Maura’s not sure what to expect. Her mother is trying to find a life for herself back home and has taken up a position working with the new owners of the Crann Mor hotel just outside Skibbereen. Until her new boss is found dead in the gardens, dumped down the hillside behind the hotel.

Now, trying to rekindle the relationship they’ve lost, Maura must investigate in order to clear her mother’s name. It’s not so easy though, as long-time residents of County Cork, including the families of her employee Mick, and the family of the deceased hotel owner, have bottled deep dark family secrets not meant to be uncorked. And someone will kill to keep them that way.

How far would you go to protect your family? Maura tests the age-old question in Many a Twist, the charming and atmospheric sixth County Cork mystery from New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly.

My Rating:  3 out of 5 🔍🔍🔍

My Review
Many A Twist is the sixth installment in The County Cork Mystery Series and my first read of author Sheila Connolly. The author has written other series such as The Orchard Mysteries, The Museum Mysteries, The Relatively Dead Mysteries, and The Glassblowing Mysteries. This book was hard to rate because there were things that I really liked about it but then there were things that I didn’t like so much.

Things that I liked about the book: 1. The author’s description of the setting: West Cork, Ireland sounds like my kind of place. It is more of a rural country setting just like where I am from. Some of my ancestors are from Ireland and I’ve always wanted to visit. 2. The characters, Maura Donovan and Old Billy Sheahan. Maura has had a rough past. She grew up barely scraping by while being raised by her grandma. Upon her grandma’s death she inherits a pub in Ireland named Sullivan’s. I admire Maura for being a fighter and doing all she can to make Sullivan’s a successful business. Old Billy Sheahan is in his eighties and lives in a room within the pub. Billy knows everything about the area and its people. He seems like an interesting guy that you would enjoy talking to and learning from.

Things that I didn’t like so much: 1. The pacing. The book starts out pretty slow…it was page 67 before the dead body was mentioned. Afterwards the story seems to slowly move along without much happening really until you reach the conclusion. Once you reach the end it felt rushed with lots of information crammed in to explain the ending. 2. The Blurb: When I choose books to read the first thing I do is read the blurb. When I read this one I assumed the main story line was the mystery. But the book itself seemed to have the mystery in the background and focus more on the personal relationships between the characters. This may have been intentional and some readers probably like that but I’m not one of them.

I would recommend this book to those who like cozies with more focus on personal relationships mixed with a mystery. I would be willing to try other books written by the author for a comparison to this one. I give this one 3 out of 5 🔍🔍🔍!

Thank you Sheila Connolly, Crooked Lane Books and Cozy Mystery Review Crew for providing me with a copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Searcher of the Dead by Nancy Herriman @Nancy_Herriman @crookedlanebks @Joni2345zb #HistoricalFiction

I just finished reading Searcher of the Dead by Nancy Herriman and it was a GOOD ONE! I will post my full review on March 12, 2018.

About the Book:
Herbalist Bess Ellyott flees London after her husband is murdered, but the peace she has found in the quiet Wiltshire countryside is short-lived. Her brother-in-law, a prosperous merchant, is himself found dead—dangling from a tree, an apparent suicide.

Clues suggest otherwise to Bess. Word around town holds that the dead man is a victim of rival merchants scheming to corner the wool market. Bess, though, is convinced the killer is out to destroy her family for reasons unknown.

Can she trust the town constable to help her find the truth? Christopher Harwoode will cross members of his own family to find the killer…whose next target may very well be Queen Elizabeth I herself.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse @RevellBooks #BookReview #Debut #HistoricalFiction @Joni2345zb

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Details
Publisher: Revell, 337 pages
Publish Date: January 2, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction; Christian Fiction

About The Book

There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse's stunning debut, Missing Isaac.

It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople's reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it's all over, Pete--and the people he loves most--will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.

My Review

I was so excited to start this debut novel from author Valerie Fraser Luesse. The first thing I usually notice about a book is its cover and I totally loved this one. Missing Isaac is a beautifully written story that takes place during the 1960’s in the small southern town of Glory, Alabama.

The main character was Pete, an eleven year old boy who loses his father to an accident at the beginning of the book. Pete has an unlikely friend on the farm, a field hand named Isaac who works for his grandpa. Pete feels that his mom is so sad about the death of Pete’s dad that he doesn’t want to add to her sorrow by showing his. So Pete shares his feelings with Isaac about his father’s death. Then one day out of the blue, Isaac disappears. Pete is left now without his best friend and he is determined to find out what has happened to him.

There were so many things that I loved about this novel. First the author is just flat out an AMAZING storyteller. The plot was original and flowed smoothly. The characters were believable and wonderfully developed. The dialogue and interaction between the characters was realistic and smooth flowing. Valerie Fraser Luesse’s descriptive prose brings Glory, Alabama and its inhabitants vibrantly to life.

Missing Isaac is a story of class and race in the 1960’s South…a story of loss, unlikely friendships, and a boy’s determination to not give up on his friend…. I hope this is the beginning of a long writing career by this gifted storyteller. Four out of five stars for Missing Isaac!!!

Thank you Valerie Fraser Luesse,  Revell, and BookishFirst for providing me with a review copy of this book to read.