Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Natural Thorn Killer by Kate Dyer-Seeley (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she's finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin's floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It's on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren't as peaceful as they look.

For one thing, someone's been leaving dead roses around--and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he's found on the floor of the shop, with Elin's garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . ."

My Thoughts:

After adoring this author's Pacific Northwest cozy series, I am basically here for everything/anything that she writes.  So you can probably guess how thrilled I was to hear that she had this new series coming out!  I can't say that I've yet read a cozy series featuring flowers but I was definitely here for it.  And I loved my time with this book and these new characters.  It was a fun read and definitely different from any of the other cozy series that I'm currently reading.  In this book, Britta comes home to Portland after realizing how unhappy she is in her marriage.  Her passion is flowers so she comes back to help her aunt in the floral boutique that her aunt owns.  Soon after she arrives though, trouble finds them both as a dead body is found in the cottage behind their floral shop.  And just as fast, I was hooked on this book and these characters!  I think though before I tell you everything that I enjoyed about this book, that I better tell you about my one and only complaint with this book.  I feel like the author completely glossed over Britta's failed marriage in the beginning of the book.  It almost would have worked better for me if she hadn't included the discovery of her husband being unfaithful.  There were just no details relating to it all and everything happens so fast - I could have skipped all of that and just started with Britta arriving in her old hometown.  My two cents though so take it for what it's worth!  As soon as the murder happened though, I was firmly entrenched in the story and figuring out whodunnit.  I also really became attached to both Britta and Elin's characters.  I think that the author has a knack for creating characters that you come to care about which happened while I was reading this book yet again.  I'm really looking forward to more books with these characters!  I also loved how in this book the author gave tidbits and details relating to Britta and Elin's Swedish heritage.  It just added a different flavor to the book that I couldn't help but enjoy.  The mystery portion was also very enjoyable.  I didn't figure out who the killer was until the very end (although I did suspect at one point).  It's always fun to find that the author is able to turn you around enough that you don't see the end coming.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book and have already added the next book to my TBR list (despite the fact that it isn't scheduled to release until November of this year).  I will be right there ready to gobble it up when it does come out!  I found myself easily swept away by this book and it has me wishing to visit Portland sometime myself.  I even wouldn't mind a rainy day or two thanks to reading this one.  Ha!  I loved that this book was so focused on flowers...something that I wouldn't have said that I was terribly interested in.  I love to garden but fresh veggies are where it is at for me.  I just might have to consider planting some flowers though after enjoying this book so much!  I can easily recommend this book to cozy mystery fans.  It just has the perfect cozy feel that I look for.  And don't worry food lovers - the author included enough delicious descriptions to scratch that foodie itch that I didn't even know that I had.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A really enjoyable beginning to this new cozy series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my honest opinion.

This book releases on March 27th if you are interested!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Anna Pigeon has fled New York and her memories to find work as a ranger in the country’s national parks. In the remote backcountry of West Texas, however, she discovers murder and violence. Fellow park ranger Sheila Drury is mysteriously killed, presumably by a mountain lion. But the deep claw marks Anna finds across Drury’s throat and the paw prints surrounding the body are too perfect to be real."

My Thoughts:

This is my second book read for my personal TBR challenge.  I actually picked up my copy of this book from the used bookstore but then it just languished on my shelves.  I'm grateful for the push to finally pick it up that this challenge gave me because I really enjoyed this one.  It was a quieter mystery but it was the perfect choice for the reading mood that I was in.  I loved this book for the setting alone.  The author was able to just draw me in to the wilderness and stark back country of Texas within the pages of this book.  Through Anna's love of nature and the area where she lived, I was also able to feel like I was there myself.  I found that the mystery came almost second to me in comparison to just experiencing the atmosphere that Barr created within this book.  

What I loved about this book besides the setting was the feel of it.  It almost reminded me of a Sue Grafton novel although they are two very different type of books.  I think it was the fact that both series are set in a different way of life - a time where technology and cell phones aren't the every day norm.  Anna has to use a pay phone to make calls to her sister in New York and can barely type up reports that she needs to do.  Both series feature a different type of investigating where it isn't all focused on forensics but instead focuses more on uncovering the secrets leading up to the crime.  This was a shorter book but I still was so easily caught within the pages.  I found myself surprised by the ending as I didn't see any of it coming.  It just made the book that much more enjoyable and has me eager to continue on with this series (which is why I now have a copy of book two on my shelves ready and waiting).

Overall, I really enjoyed this quiet mystery and am very excited about this series in general.  Luckily for me I believe I have many more books to look forward to.  I'm two for two as well when it comes to books read for this challenge.  Both have been really great reads for me and finally knocked a couple of books off of my TBR that have been on there for entirely too long.  I don't plan on waiting long before moving on to the second book!  I think that fans of mysteries and suspenseful reads will enjoy this book.  I really do see a lot of comparisons to the Sue Grafton series so if you enjoy that one you may like this one as well.  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line: A quiet mystery that sucked me into the beauty of its' surroundings!

Disclosure:  I purchased my copy of this book from my local used bookstore.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"A city of antebellum architecture, picturesque parks, and cobblestone streets, Savannah moves at a graceful pace. But for Harper McClain, the timeless beauty and culture that distinguishes her home’s Southern heritage vanishes during the dark and dangerous nights. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Not even finding her mother brutally murdered in their home when she was twelve has made her love Savannah any less.

Her mother’s killer was never found, and that unsolved murder left Harper with an obsession that drove her to become one of the best crime reporters in the state of Georgia. She spends her nights with the police, searching for criminals. Her latest investigation takes her to the scene of a homicide where the details are hauntingly familiar: a young girl being led from the scene by a detective, a female victim naked and stabbed multiple times in the kitchen, and no traces of any evidence pointing towards a suspect.

Harper has seen all of this before in her own life. The similarities between the murder of Marie Whitney and her own mother’s death lead her to believe they’re both victims of the same killer. At last, she has the chance to find the murderer who’s eluded justice for fifteen years and make sure another little girl isn’t forever haunted by a senseless act of violence―even if it puts Harper in the killer’s cross-hairs…"

My Thoughts:

This book was an excellent beginning to a new mystery series and I enjoyed my time reading it!  I'm not going to lie - I added this one to my TBR list based off of that gorgeous cover alone.  The book itself was just as good as I had hoped though and left me very excited about both this author and series!  One of the things that I liked best about this book was that it wasn't your typical detective mystery.  Harper is a crime reporter for a newspaper who pushes to the edge sometimes to get her story.  It is only when she comes across a crime scene that eerily reminds her of her past (her mother was murdered when she was younger) that she starts investigating both the recent crime and her mother's murder.  The similarities between the two crimes was intriguing but it was Harper herself that really made the story stand out for me.  She just came to life between the pages even when some of the choices that she made had me cringing.  In just a very short time she became obsessed with figuring out what happened to her mother so long ago (hence the reason for some of those bad choices).  It added this layer of tension to the story that caused me to be unable to stop reading.  I did guess the actual bad guy towards the end of the book although I couldn't figure out the whys behind it all.  Even figuring that much out, I found myself very surprised by the ending of the book and very eager to get my hands on book two.  It was so good but now I need more!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am now left with the long wait for book two.  But this one was so good that it will be completely worth the wait!  I tried not to give too much away because I didn't want to spoil anything but I obviously can't say enough good things.  I feel like I've hit a streak of finding new mystery authors to be really excited about and this author is on that list.  It was just such a great mystery and that ending left me wanting more.  I almost forgot to mention that I really enjoyed the Georgia setting.  There is just something about books set in the South that I love.  If you enjoy mysteries and suspenseful reads then this is a book to check out!  I'm in awe that this book is the author's debut because it is just so good!  I would highly recommend (I'm sure you can tell as this feels like it has turned into a gush fest).  So very good!

Bottom Line:  A mystery where the characters and setting swept me away and left me wanting more!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. 

This book releases today on March 13th if you want to check it out!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Sunday Post #45 (Used Bookstore Haul Edition)

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

I took another week off from blogging - no real reason why other than I've just been busy and lacked the motivation to write up reviews.  I feel like the past two weeks have been super busy but not really sure why.  Eh...that's what happens sometimes!  I managed to finish seven books in February which I was pretty happy with.  Not as good of a reading month as January but it was shorter and I'm still currently ahead on my Goodread's goal.

I didn't finish a single book last week which is the first time that has happened all year!  I'm not in a reading slump though - I just haven't been finding the time to curl up with a book.  I wouldn't have any books to update you on if I hadn't finished two the previous week.  I did go to the used bookstore yesterday though which left me a very happy reader.  I've got a fresh new stack of books to read and there isn't much better than that!  In other news, the kids are on spring break this week which they are pretty thrilled about.  I'm hoping that it will be a much less hectic week since the running around will be kept to a minimum.  My house could definitely use some deep cleaning and I don't even want to talk about the laundry situation currently.  LOL!  I'm also hoping that this will mean some extra quality reading time but that remains to be seen.  But let's get back to the books.  Since my last update I finished the following books:

Unsub by Meg Gardiner was a really intense and thrilling read.  I kept hearing really great things about this series (book two recently released) and I've got to agree.  It had me reading frantically trying to see how it would all turn out.  I'm eager to get my hands on the second book because although there is closure in this book - there is also an open story line that I'm left wanting answers to.

Born In Death by J.D. Robb was the perfect follow-up as this is a personal favorite series of mine.  It was great to jump back into a mystery like this one with some of my favorite characters.  I especially enjoyed this one as it had some laugh out loud moments to it as well.  I adore this series and each book is an enjoyable read for me!

I'm now currently reading the following:

I'm about 80% into this one and enjoying it although I've been reading it for over a week.  This is what happens when I don't get enough reading time in.  I don't currently have a print read in progress yet either.  I've got plenty of choices though so as soon as I finish this book (hopefully maybe this afternoon) I will figure that part out.

Curious about which books I brought home from my used bookstore trip?

I brought all of these gems home with me and STILL have almost $30 worth of in-store credit available.  Gotta love it!  I'm excited to add all of these to my shelves and read them in the hopefully near future.  Have you read any of these?  Any that I should bump up to the top of my never-ending TBR list?

I'm off to work on writing up some book reviews.  I'm falling a bit behind and would like to get some posts prescheduled for the month.  Life is going to get pretty darn busy soon enough and I can see my blogging time dwindling down because of it.  Plans for the rest of the day include laundry and reading otherwise.  I would really like to get some other things accomplished around the house but we will have to wait and see if that happens.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn’t for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even see her die.

In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig “Vig” RundstΓΆm has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera. He knows one way to save her life—but she might not like it. Signing up with the Crows will get Kera a new set of battle buddies: cackling, gossiping, squabbling, party-hearty women. With wings. So not the Marines.

But Vig can’t give up on someone as special as Kera. With a storm of oh-crap magic speeding straight for L.A., survival will depend on combining their strengths: Kera’s discipline, Vig’s loyalty… and the Crows’ sheer love of battle. Boy, are they in trouble."

My Thoughts:

I've been meaning to read this book for awhile now but it was hearing about it on the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books podcast that helped me to make it my next read.  I was in the mood for a fun romance and this book definitely fit the bill.  It is probably one of the most unique beginnings to a paranormal romance series that I've ever read.  Kera wakes up to find herself to have become a crow - basically she is now part of this group of strong females that have special strengths and abilities.  They are almost like warriors for a god - at least that's the best way that I can describe them.  How wonderful to find a book that focuses on female relationships like this one does!  That being said - my one and only complaint with this book was that at times it was hard to keep track of all of the characters.  There are just so many of them!  I'm sure that as the series goes on I will become more and more familiar with all of the characters but I did find it a bit overwhelming at times.  Enough on that though!  I absolutely breezed through the pages of this book!  It was such a fun read and it had me giggling at times.  Especially at the beginning where Kera explains more of how she first met/what she first thought of Vig.  It's pretty great but I don't want to spoil anything so I won't say any more than that.  I found that I especially enjoyed the relationship between Kera and Vig.  He helped her in so many different ways to adjust to her new life and I adored him for that alone.  Plus there are some nice steamy scenes between the two of them and I couldn't help but root for their happy ever after!  This book was very fast paced and I raced through the ending because I couldn't stop reading.  We don't get full closure since this is just the beginning of this series but it was wrapped up enough to feel satisfying.  I'll still be reading the second book sooner rather than later though!

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book and am excited to have finally given this author a try.  I was bummed at first to see that there are currently only three books in this series but Laurenston has other series and books that I can read as well.  I just enjoyed this book so much so I want tons more just like it!  I also really appreciated that the crows are all women of mixed heritages and races!  Yet another thing that I just loved about this book.  I'm so eager to read more in this series because of all of this.  There are just so many great things about this book that have me so excited to read more in this series.  I would highly recommend this book to other readers of romance, paranormal romance, and even urban fantasy.  I will be picking up that second book as soon as possible!  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  I thought that this was a really great beginning to this unique paranormal romance series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.         

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Whisper of Bones by Ellen Hart (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Britt Ickles doesn't remember much from her only visit to her mother's childhood home when she was a kid, except for playing with her cousin Timmy and the eruption of a sudden family feud. That's why, when she drops by unannounced after years of silence, she's shocked when her aunts tell her Timmy never existed, that she must be confusing him with someone else. But Britt can't shake the feeling that Timmy did exist...and that something horrible has happened to him. Something her aunts want to cover up.

Britt hires Jane Lawless, hoping the private investigator can figure out what really happened to her cousin. When a fire in the family's garage leads to the discovery of buried bones and one of the aunts dies suddenly and suspiciously, Jane can't help but be pulled into the case. Do the bones belong to Timmy? Was the aunt's death an accident, suicide, or homicide? What dark secret has this family been hiding for decades? It all depends on Jane Lawless to unravel."

My Thoughts:

A Whisper of Bones is one of those books that I was intrigued by from the very beginning.  With a great cover and a unique summary, I just couldn't help wanting to read this one.  The idea of a woman remembering a little boy from her childhood only to be told that he doesn't exist was too much for me to resist.  I just knew that I had to read it despite the fact that this is book #25 in this long standing mystery series.  Happily enough, it didn't matter in the slightest that I hadn't read the previous books as I found myself sucked into this book with ease.  The thing that I really liked about this book was the mystery portion and how unexpected that it all was.  Jane is hired basically to determine if Timmy is real or not.  That alone had me reading without stopping because I just couldn't figure out how she was going to be able to do that.  Then the bones were found in the garage and I was seriously hooked.  This book also featured some interesting secondary characters that I enjoyed reading about.  I'm sure that without having read the previous books I'm missing some back stories there but it didn't detract from my reading experience in the slightest.  Instead it just made me go and the first book to my TBR list to read soon.  I really enjoyed my time with this book and found that I didn't want to stop reading.  I loved the way this book wrapped up but I won't tell you much more than that so I don't spoil anything.  I just found it to be perfectly tied up and it left me excited to read more from this series!

Overall, I found this book to be a really great mystery and a series that I want to read more of.  I find it so surprising that I hadn't heard of this author until now but I'm glad that I found her books.  I'm looking forward to picking up book one in the very near future.  I do love that I have so many books to look forward to!  Readers that are looking for diverse characters - this book features a main character who is LGTBQ.  I thought it was worth mentioning because so many readers are really trying to expand their reading in ways like this - I know that I am!  If you are looking for a unique mystery, I would definitely recommend this book!  I think that this series is considered to be a cozy mystery series but I'm really not for sure on that.  All I can say is that I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more!  Mystery, suspense, and cozy mystery fans alike should give this book and series a shot!

Bottom Line:  An enjoyable mystery that left me excited to read more from this series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.

 A Whisper of Bones releases today February 27th if you are interested!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Sunday Post #44 (Catching Up Edition)

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Happy Sunday folks!  I took a blogging break last week which was much needed.  Sometimes you just need a quiet Sunday curled up with a book instead.  It was a normal busy week which is starting to become our routine at this point.  Spring is just around the corner and then things are really going to get crazy though.  I'm trying to just appreciate the quiet evenings when we have them because it isn't going to be long before we have practices and games most every night.  Not much else knew on that front though!

In between all of the hours that I've been working, I have been reading as much as possible.  Because I didn't post a reading update last week, I've finished four books since my last Sunday post.  Gotta love how that sounds!!!  It makes me feel so accomplished even if it just what is hopefully becoming my normal average of two books a week.  I've been having such a hard time though deciding what to read next.  Does anyone else have this issue?  I've got a huge stack of books checked out from the library, plenty on my own shelves and e-reader but yet I still struggle on picking that next book.  It's crazy!  I ended up using the random number generator to help me pick a couple of books out - one from my TBR challenge list and then one just from my TBR shelf on Goodreads (which is ridiculously huge).  I think having those two books picked out to be read will help me to know what to pick next - at least once they come in from the library that is.  Anywhoo - here is what I've finished since my last reading update:

The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston - I picked this one up after hearing it mentioned on a podcast episode and it was a really great choice.  I just breezed through the pages of this book and couldn't get enough.  I heard the next book is even better which has me pretty excited!  I'm bummed that there only seems to be three books in this series so far - but at least Laurenston has other books that I can check out!

Be A Good Girl by Tess Diamond - I absolutely am so excited about this author after reading this book!  I feel like I'm constantly looking for good romantic suspense and this book delivered exactly that!  The mystery was both thrilling and tense and with a romance that I could actually get behind.  I'm excited to share my thoughts on this one soon.

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr - This is my 2nd book finished for my personal TBR challenge and one off of my own shelves.  I enjoyed this quiet mystery - it reminded me a lot of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series but in a different way.  I'll explain it better (hopefully) when I write up my thoughts on it but I'm excited to have found yet another long standing series to read.

The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty -  Oh my goodness!  I stayed up so late Friday night just so that I could finish this book.  It was such a great read (I feel like I'm on repeat here but boy have I been reading some great books) and I'm really excited to for the next book in this new series.  I will be writing up my thoughts on this one soon as well but will share them closer to its' release date.

I'm now currently reading the following:

I just started Unsub (my current print read) earlier this morning and I'm already seventy plus pages in.  I'm well and truly hooked and plan on reading this one more this evening.  Natural Thorn Killer will be my next read on my kindle.  I've enjoyed this author's books in a different series so I'm really looking forward to checking this new series out!  Let's all ignore the fact that I'm most definitely not caught up with the Pacific Northwest series of hers that is a favorite of mine. 

New Additions:

These are actually all courtesy of Edelweiss.  I don't even know which one I'm most excited about so let's go with all of them!  My TBR is out of control you guys!  And if you could see my library stack...well...it's a bit ridiculous but I don't mind.  I just need a month to read them all!

Plans for tomorrow (I'm writing this on Saturday night) include working for a few hours and lots of laundry.  The Walking Dead is back finally which I'm pretty pumped about!  I would love to gets lots of reading time in as well with my current books.  I also see a trip to the grocery store in my near future and maybe some meal prep.  I've been cooking a ton since my husband's surgery - I don't think I'll ever be the best cook out there but I'm improving which is always good.  I definitely plan on writing up a few reviews as well.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Look For Her by Emily Winslow (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Just outside of Cambridge, Lilling seems like an unassuming idyllic English village, but it’s home to a dark history. In 1976, a teenage girl named Annalise Wood disappeared while riding her bike home from school. Though her body was later discovered in a shallow grave, the culprit was never found. Decades later, Annalise maintains a perverse kind of celebrity in the small town, and is still the focus of grief, speculation, and for one young woman, a disturbing, escalating jealousy.

When DNA linked to the Annalise murder unexpectedly surfaces, cold case investigator Morris Keene realizes he may now have the chance of his career. Morris and his former partner, Chloe Frohmann, hope to finally solve this perplexing mystery, and bring closure to a traumatized community. But the new evidence that should be the simple solution instead undoes the case's only certainty: the buried body that had long ago been confidently identified as Annalise may be someone else entirely, and instead of answers, the investigators face only new puzzles.

Whose body was unearthed all those years ago, and what happened to the real Annalise? Could she have had a secret child? Is someone interfering with the investigation? And is there a link to a present-day drowning with eerie connections? 

With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Emily Winslow explores the dark side of sensationalized crime in this haunting psychological thriller."

My Thoughts:

I read the above summary and just knew that I wanted to read this book as soon as possible so I jumped at the chance when I received an email about a blog tour for it.  I didn't realize that it was part of a series though and honestly it didn't effect my enjoyment in the slightest.  I found myself just so intrigued by this cold case that was being worked again thanks to new evidence.  I did find that that I was slightly thrown off at the beginning of this book because each chapter was told by a certain character.  It took me a little bit to catch on to the rhythm (and also get to know each character) but by the halfway point I was hooked.  I then really appreciated the different viewpoints as I felt that it added to the overall story line.  I also felt like the way that this book was set up added to the suspense.  The author pulled me in and I didn't want to stop reading after that.  I would think that I had an idea of what was going on only to find that I was completely wrong not long after.  There were some particularly tense moments featuring the story line told by the psychologist that had me unable to set this book down.  I just had to see what was going to happen next!  There were all of these threads in this book and I loved that the author was able to tie them together in a way at the end that felt like a satisfying but unexpected conclusion.  I am now really excited to go back to the beginning of this series and see how it all started!

Overall I am very excited about this series and really enjoyed my time with this book.  The way that this book is set up and the fact that it was based around a cold case made it really stand out to me.  It's different from what is out there and I really appreciated that fact.  I also really enjoyed the main characters and am excited that I have more books with them to look forward to.  I wanted to say that this was a quieter mystery but there were just enough of those fast paced moments where that wouldn't be a valid statement.  It was a great mystery though and I'm eager to read more by this author.  I would recommend this book to fans of both suspense and mysteries alike.  It's definitely a four star read for me!

Bottom Line:  A really great mystery that kept me engrossed throughout!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a PICT Book Tour.

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: February 13th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 006257258X (ISBN13: 9780062572585)
Series: Keene and Frohmann #4 | Each is a stand alone novel
Purchase Links: Amazon πŸ”— | Barnes & Noble πŸ”— | Goodreads πŸ”—

Author Bio:

Emily Winslow
Emily Winslow is an American living in Cambridge, England. She trained as an actor at Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious drama conservatory and earned a master’s degree in museum studies from Seton Hall University. For six years she wrote for Games magazine, creating increasingly elaborate and lavishly illustrated logic puzzles. She lives with her husband and two sons. She is the author of four novels and a memoir.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website πŸ”—Goodreads πŸ”—Twitter πŸ”—, & Facebook πŸ”—!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Blue Monday by Nicci French (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes a national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when a picture of his face is splashed over the newspapers, psychotherapist Frieda Klein is left troubled: one of her patients has been relating dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. A child he can describe in perfect detail, a child the spitting image of Matthew.

Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson doesn't take Frieda's concerns seriously until a link emerges with an unsolved child abduction twenty years ago and he summons Frieda to interview the victim's sister, hoping she can stir hidden memories. Before long, Frieda is at the center of the race to track the kidnapper.

But her race isn't physical. She must chase down the darkest paths of a psychopath's mind to find the answers to Matthew Farraday's whereabouts.

And sometimes the mind is the deadliest place to lose yourself."

My Thoughts:

I'm so pumped about this series after finishing this book!  Last year I read and adored Dark Saturday which is a later book in this series.  I've been meaning to go back to the first book every since then and thank goodness that I finally did.  I started and finished this book in one day.  A day in which my husband was having shoulder surgery so that should tell you how compelling that I found this book!  I was able to lose myself in it despite everything that was going on.  It was the perfect distraction and way to keep me from just sitting there worrying (like I'm prone to do).  It's funny but having read a later book in this series first, I could see how this book sets everything up for books to come.  We meet characters that are still in those later books and a bad guy like no other.  I know that I'm missing pieces but they will all fall into place as I continue to catch up on this series.  I should have listened to some of blogger friends and started reading this series years ago!  In this book, Frieda gets involved in the search of a kidnapped boy - a kidnapping that is starting to seem like it is related to another kidnapping over twenty years ago.  Frieda is such a great main character and I really enjoy reading about her.  She is a bit of a mystery in that she just seems so distanced from those around her.  She walks at all hours of the night and as the reader I could never quite get a feel of what is going on in that head of hers.  I loved it though because I am so intrigued by her!  I never know what to expect from her and that's a good thing in my opinion.  The mystery portion of this book was so completely well done and unexpected.  I don't want to give anything away but if you like a good twist (as seems to be so popular nowadays) then check this book out!  I can honestly say that I won't be waiting long to continue on with book two because I just NEED to see what happens next!

Overall, I basically loved my time with this book which is really all you need to know.  It was such a compelling thriller, and has pushed both this series and author to my must read list.  I've heard that the eighth book is going to be the last one which is a bummer only in that I enjoy these characters so much.  That being said I still have a good number of this author's books to catch up on before then and hopefully they will continue to write other books in the future.  I'm basically gushing at this point but this is a series and author to definitely to check out in my opinion.  I can highly recommend to both thriller and mystery fans alike.  Trigger warning in that this book features a kidnapped child - I'm sure that isn't something that all readers will want to read about so thought I would give you a heads up.  Highly recommended otherwise though!

Bottom Line:  An amazing beginning to what is now fast becoming a favorite series of mine (and I've only read two books in it)!

Disclosure:  I checked this book out from my local library.       

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Two girls go missing. Only one will return.  
The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die. 

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping. 

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad. 

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour… 

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?"

My Thoughts:

I've been meaning to read this book for months and am so glad that I finally did just that!  I have a tendency to hoard books in my favorite series but never read them as I don't want to run out of books to look forward to (yes, I'm weird like that).  But then I realized that there are seven books in this series and I've fallen way behind so I decided it was time to start catching up.  Reading this book reminded my why I love this series so much.  It was heart-poundingly good and such a thrill ride!  The premise is honestly too horrifying to think about.  Two families are torn apart when their daughters are kidnapped and to get them back they are told to make the highest bid.  I cannot even imagine and wouldn't want to!  It raised the tension level in this book to about a ten though which meant that I didn't want to stop reading.  I loved the fact that in this book we got to see a different type of investigation for Kim to be working rather than a murder investigation.  The thoughts of what these two missing girls must be going through was haunting Kim and even effecting her investigation at times.  As I've said before, she is one of my favorite main characters in a mystery series due to her personality and dark past.  She is just so interesting to read about and you never know what she is going to do next.  That was definitely apparent in this book as she was basically willing to do anything to get those girls back.  I found the last half of the book so incredibly intense that I basically couldn't stop reading.  I was cooking dinner last night with one hand and had my kindle in the other.  Seriously, I had hit the point of no return and just had to see how it was all going to end!

Overall, I enjoyed this book so much and found that it was another great addition to one of my favorite mystery series!  I can't say enough good things about this series or these books.  I've been reading them in order but I really do think that you could read them out of order without it effecting your enjoyment of each book.  If you enjoy tense, thrilling reads then this is a series for you.  Each book has been different but so compulsively readable.  The first two books made my best of lists for the years that I read them and I don't think that this one will be any different.  I'm kicking myself now for waiting so long to read this book.  Luckily, I already have book four loaded on my kindle so I won't be waiting much longer to dive into that one.  I would highly recommend this book and this series!

Bottom Line:  Another top read from one of my favorite series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.