Thursday, April 26, 2018

Free Form Reviewing or Reviewing with a Broken Hand

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.  I've had some great reading in April, a wonderful trip back to my hometown, and a not so great or wonderful broken hand.  The blog was interrupted for my trip, which was of major importance to me personally, and then the broken hand is making typing rather challenging.  I usually do rather lengthy reviews, but I've come up with a compromise that will allow me to share some of what I've been reading and accommodate  my limited typing abilities.  I'm going to use something akin to free verse poetry, in that I will do thoughts without structure.  So, here goes, some free form reviews.

Lord and Lady Hetheridge living in temporary new highrise digs--Lord Hetheridge, Tony, retired and starting his own detective agency--Lady Hetheridge, Kate, still on the "posh" squad at Scotland Yard with Detective Sergeant Paul Bhar, who is unlucky in love once again--Kate's dysfunctional family continues to present challenges to her and Tony's life--Tony takes on a case to find the missing twin of a suicide victim and discovers the twins' connection to Sir Duncan Godington, acquitted murderer and dangerous nemesis of Tony and Kate--Kate's and Paul's case of a murdered politician brings them in the same orbit as Tony's search--witty dialogue between Kate and Tony always a treat--characters never cease to engage and evolve--the storyline is filled with action and has a dizzying ending with gasping moments of alarm--looking forward to #6.

Scot Free is the first in Catriona McPherson's new Last Ditch Mysteries (because writing two to three books a year isn't enough for this Scottish madcap author)--marriage and moving from Scotland to America isn't what Lexy Campbell had hoped it would be, major understatement--finding herself stuck in California, divorced and using her ex-husband's credit card without his knowledge to stay afloat in a run-down hotel and her marriage consulting practice with a dead client doesn't defeat Lexy--this is, as the cover of the book says, "the lighter side of the dark underbelly of the California dream--Mrs. Bombarro, the other half of Lexy's couple who has the dead person, is suspected by the police of killing her husband and is the reason Lexy missed her flight and is still in California--Lexy is determined to prove Mrs. Bombarro innocent--needing a cheap place to stay, Lexy moves into the Last Ditch Motel and finds you really can find friends in low places--the cast of characters is one of the most entertaining a reader could wish for--laugh out loud is not an overused phrase for this book, it is what you will do from the first page to the last--I am entirely smitten by this new series.

Simone St. James has given us some great novels with a touch of the ghost, and The Broken Girls may be the most deliciously creepy yet--story is set in two different time periods, 1950 and 2014 in a small town in Vermont--Idlewild Hall, a girls' boarding school in the 50s sits empty and decaying in 2014, but it figures prominently in both time periods--resident ghost Mary Hand has been a feared presence on the school grounds since its beginning--four girls become close friends and allies in the school for wayward/unwanted girls in 1950, but one of them will go missing on a cold December evening--Fiona Sheridan, a freelance journalist in 2014 can't let go of her sister Deborah's murder twenty years ago and the field at Idlewild where her sister's body was found haunts Fiona--after thirty years of lying in disuse, Idlewild Hall is bought by a new investor who has plans to reopen the school, and Fiona feels drawn to cover the story of its restoration--Fiona still has questions about her sister's death and covering the story gives her access to the grounds--complicating the plot further is Fiona's boyfriend is a local policeman and his father, police chief at the time, investigated Deborah's death--a discovery on Idlewild's property during renovations will be the impetus to change everything--great melding of different timelines and connecting the dots--a mystery and and a thriller and a book to keep you up and keep you reading to the haunted end.

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