Deep in the Forest: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 5) by Lynda McDaniel –#BookReview – @wordwardrobe

Book Blurb:

Deep in the Forest by Lynda McDanielHampshire, England, 2006: I should’ve known not to visit Nigel Steadman; trouble followed him closer than his shadow. But I’d finally made it all the way to Dublin, and it seemed a shame not to hop across the Irish Sea to see my old friend. Besides, he’d always said for me to come stay with him in London.

It wasn’t till I called from Dublin that I learned he’d moved to the New Forest in the south of England. Goodbye London before I ever met you—and hello heartache. That’s where Nigel roped me into doing some undercover work checking out the Ownbey gang he was trying to trick into telling the truth. But as you can imagine, things didn’t go the way we’d planned. Gunslingers, kidnappers, and thieves highjacked my vacation and turned it into a nightmare.

So here I am in a makeshift jail, and it feels like I’ll never see Fiona and the boys again. And if the bad guys have their way, I won’t. Even when my best friend Della Kincaid flies over to help, she can’t do much. I’m in so deep, she doesn’t know where to look for me. Time to pray. ~Abit Bradshaw

You’ll love this suspenseful mystery because who hasn’t tried to do the right thing—only to have it all go all wrong?

My Review:

Each of these series entries works well as a standalone and are unique but I have to say taking Abit Bradshaw and wife Fiona to Ireland is definitely a radical departure from their usual setting in the Appalachians.

Deep in the Forest by Lynda McDanielFiona is from Ireland and this was a grand chance to visit family. A chance also for Abit to get to London to see his old friend Nigel. He is envisioning the sightseeing until he discovers that Nigel is no longer in London—he relocated to New Forest. Nigel may best be a friend from afar as it doesn’t take long before he coerces Abit into doing a little “spying” for him. He’s always got something going on that could be considered dodgy—or even more—and this one appears to involve Nigel’s “gang” as well. Also, there is another gang which may prove downright dangerous and better left alone.

Abit, who got the childhood nickname from his dad who thought him “a bit slow” has, however, become quite the independent, strong, and actually musically talented adult as well as husband and father. I get the feeling Nigel takes advantage of him and wondered again how their friendship got past the first caper.

As always, Ms McDaniel completely immerses the reader into the locality, the local population vernacular, foods, and way of life. And in this particular narrative, it’s the local colorful characters, both good and bad, that take center stage rather than the overwhelming gorgeous atmosphere of the majestic mountains back home.

The POV switches between Abit and Della, his oldest friend and mentor—the lady who bought the little country store his dad owned back in Laurel Hills, North Carolina. Della is investigating her own drama at the store when she gets the word Abit is missing. I always enjoy references to the talent with his mandolin and Bluegrass music and Abit does get to show off some talents here as well.

I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Bluegrass music in Book 4, Murder Ballad Blues. I have read several of this author’s works and am definitely a fan. These are engaging characters, stunning atmospherics, clean, down home stories without gore, and unique page-turning mysteries.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my honest thoughts. I thoroughly enjoy the author’s sense of humor and prose, and I’m always left looking forward to the next novel.

Rosepoint Publishing recommended

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Religious Mysteries, Heist Crime, Women’s Detective Fiction
Publisher: Lynda McDaniel Books
ASIN: B09HR7SMDJ
Print Length: 254 pages
Publication Date: October 3, 2021
Source: Direct author connection 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Lynda McDaniel - authorThe Author: [Lynda McDaniel] I love writing page-turners—both fiction and nonfiction. And I love helping others to do the same, living into their dreams of writing books. I believe my success comes down to a respect for my readers and clients. I know I’m easily bored, so I work hard to engage and inspire my readers.

After all, we’re all busy these days, and I want to deliver value–whether that’s a gripping mystery filled with memorable characters or books on writing that give you the tools to write your own fiction and nonfiction. Both make me happy.

I got my start as a writer in the most unlikely place—a town of 200 people in the mountains of North Carolina. But living there changed my life in so many positive ways. Decades later, I realized that everything I value today, I was introduced to there. My Appalachian Mountain Mysteries–“A Life for a Life,” “The Roads to Damascus,” “Welcome the Little Children”–pay homage to the people of Appalachia who taught me so much. And to Mollie the Wonder Dog, who plays a role in both “The Roads to Damascus” (aka Millie) and in “Welcome the Little Children (as Millie and Mollie).

To keep up to date with Abit, Della, and the gang (and receive a free novelette that pulls back the curtain on Abit’s and Della’s lives before they met in Laurel Falls), head over to http://www.LyndaMcDanielBooks.com. No spam, no pestering, just the free novelette, a 12-part serialized preview of my upcoming Book Four (via my blog), and special offers/updates.

Over the years, I’ve written more than 1,200 articles for major magazines, hundreds of newsletters and blogs. I’m proudest of the 18 books I’ve written. My nonfiction books include “Words at Work,” which I wrote straight from my heart, a much-needed response to all the questions and concerns people have about writing today. (It won top honors from the National Best Books Awards.) I’ve also written two Amazon Bestselling Books: “How Not to Sound Stupid When You Write” and “Write Your Book Now!” (with Virginia McCullough).

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but I’ve lived all over this country—from the Midwest to the Deep South to Appalachia to the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest. Whew! I finally settled in Santa Rosa, California, a place that reflects the values I learned while living in the mountains of North Carolina, all those years ago.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

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Hypnosis Is for Hacks (An Eleanor Wilde Mystery Book 4) by Tamara Berry – #BookReview – #psychicmysteries

Book Blurb:

Hypnosis Is for Hacks by Tamara BerryThough Eleanor is delighted that her brother, Liam, is visiting her in England, she must reluctantly agree that her quiet village lacks something when it comes to sightseeing—namely: sights. True, there’s nearby Castle Hartford, belonging to the family of Ellie’s boyfriend, Nicholas. But even Nicholas’s mother is eager to ditch sleepy, sweltering Sussex for a vacation in Brighton, taking Ellie and a relieved Liam with her. Yet hopes of a breezy seaside holiday quickly turn stormy, in every sense . . .

The ominous change in weather is accompanied by the reappearance of Ellie’s former partner-in-crime, Armand Lamont. Back when Ellie earned a living as a phony medium, Armand’s hypnosis skills helped the pair persuade many gullible marks to hand over their savings. Ellie assumes that Armand has resurfaced with blackmail in mind, but before she can figure out his angle, she and Liam witness a man being pushed from a boat by two shadowy figures who then vanish into midair.

Phantoms? Demons? Though Ellie doesn’t believe in either, the recovered body is real enough, as is a string of thefts plaguing their luxury hotel. Ellie has a theory, and it requires inviting Nicholas to join them under a fake identity. Their evolving relationship is as complex as this case, and Ellie’s authentic supernatural abilities too are developing in surprising ways. But as for whether the outcome will be good or bad, not even her witchy powers can say . . .

His Review:

A couple is walking along a beach during an extremely stormy night. The couple looks out into the tempestuous storm to see two men fighting and throwing a third man off the boat whereby he drowns. Thus begins an investigation by a very renowned psychic and medium! A bit of a bitter pill to swallow as the novel begins.

Hypnosis Is for Hacks by Tamara BerryEleanor is a gifted psychic with a group of ghosts who help her unravel the mysteries she seems to keep getting. She is surrounded by a group of never-do-wells, cats, and an ugly doll named Brunhilde. She also has a highly respected investigator named Armond Lemont who continues to question her investigation and appears more of a hindrance than a help.

She struggles through the investigation with Armond questioning every assumption. It seems he may have more than a passing interest in Eleanor and her future. Meanwhile her apparitions continue to guide and help her through the investigation. She has another suitor who is hanging in there hoping to win her heart. He is Nicholas Hartford III.  Even his name evokes status and wealth. His mother will have to expire before this becomes a reality though.

I found it very difficult at times to believe the narrative. Who can walk on a beach during a stormy night and witness a crime on the water in the dark? Having lived on an island and been out in bad weather, I can assure you something happening in the dark on a stormy night wouldn’t be observed, especially someone fighting in a small boat on the open water.

CE WilliamsThe story was a fun frollick, however, and featured some interesting concepts and characters. It is a romp into the shadowy world of make believe. 4 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four Stars 4 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Psychic Mysteries, Witch & Wizard Mysteries, Ghost Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
ASIN: B08VF957XH
Print Length: 197 pages
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Hypnosis Is for Hacks [Amazon]
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Tamara Berry - authorThe Author: Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance copywriter/editor. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture.

 

 

 

 

©CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Daughter of the Morning Star: Longmire Mysteries Book 17 by Craig Johnson – #Audiobook Review – #westerns

Daughter of the Morning Star by Craig Johnson

#1 Best Seller in Westerns

Book Blurb:

When Lolo Long’s niece, Jaya, begins receiving death threats, Tribal Police Chief Long calls on Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire along with Henry Standing Bear as lethal backup. Jaya Longshot Long is the phenom of the Lame Deer Lady Stars High School basketball team and is following in the steps of her older sister, who disappeared a year previously, a victim of the scourge of missing Native Woman in Indian Country. Lolo hopes that having Longmire involved might draw some public attention to the girl’s plight, but with this maneuver, she also inadvertently places the good sheriff in a one-on-one with the deadliest adversary he has ever faced in both this world and the next. 

My Review:

Well, forgive me, but I do so enjoy a Walt Longmire novel and deemed it long enough since the last I’d read and reviewed (Land of Wolves) that I could post his newest release.

This one, however, seemed a bit of a departure from his usual and I missed a few of my favorite well-developed support characters.

Daughter of the Morning Star by Craig JohnsonWalt Longmire, Sheriff of (fictional) Absaroka County, Wyoming has been contacted by Tribal Police Chief Lolo Long to investigate death threats that Jaya is receiving. Jaya is a high school senior well on her way to a real basketball career track via scholarship. She’s that good and she is being recruited. The problem is that she fails to be a real leader or a team player.

An additional wrinkle is that she is following in her older sister’s footsteps, who was also threatened and then disappeared. Sure that the two are connected, Walt brings along Henry Standing Bear to provide liaison and support with the tribal community. He also takes Dog and no one will mess with Dog.

ARGH! Well, potty mouth or no, I do miss Vic Moretti (his under-sheriff), and to a lesser degree his daughter, Cady.

Okay, a couple things: In most Longmire novels, there is a lot of Native American involvement (it’s Montana after all), the Bear usually featured prominently, and the author tends to include a lot of info about reservation life as well as supernatural or mystical stories handed down through the families by the separate tribes as to their beliefs, spiritually driven. And this one no different. Fascinating this.

Also, he loves to give equal time to the (historical) stories, allowing for the POV of both sides—native and non-native. In this one, he divulges the still currently deplorable stats on acts against Native American women (and girls), noting numbers of violence or disappearances far exceed those of female averages for the same crimes off the reservation.

This book takes on disproportional story time issuing play-by-plays of the basketball games with Jaya, the obstinate athletic teen, and the struggle to remain in the play-offs leading to championships.

While most of the Longmire books could be read as standalones, there have been a few recent examples of a thread brought forward and I wonder if that is what is occurring here as there are unresolved mysteries, questions to be answered at the conclusion.

I’m a die-hard fan (loved the Netflix series!), and most especially the audiobooks as George Guidall does a bang-up job of narrating, putting himself in the shoes of Henry Standing Bear and firing off glib philosophical spikes at Longmire, holding his own beautifully (love the dialogue between the two). But this one fell just a little bit short for me this time. No bother. I’m looking forward to Book 18.

Book Details:

Genre: Western Fiction, Police Procedural Mysteries
Publisher:  Recorded Books
ASIN: B091QCLR89
Listening Length: 8 hrs 25 mins
Narrator: George Guidall
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Daughter of the Morning Star [Amazon] 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Craig Johnson - authorThe Author: Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix SNCF du Polar. His novella Spirit of Steamboat was the first One Book Wyoming selection. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population 25.

George Guidall - narratorThe Narrator: George Guidall is a prolific audiobook narrator and theatre actor. As of November 2014, he had recorded over 1,270 audiobooks, which was believed to be the record at the time. Wikipedia

©2021 V Williams

V Williams

Happy Thursday!

Indigo by Paula Berinstein – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself mistress of an 18th-century plantation?

Indigo by Paula BerinsteinEsther Rubens is looking forward to getting to know her new community in South Carolina and repairing her troubled marriage. But as soon as she arrives in Charleston her life begins to diverge from the idyllic picture in her mind. Her physicist husband, Melvin, is arrested for driving while black, she inherits a strange English property from a cousin she didn’t know existed, and she learns that her great-grandmother Sophie, a brilliant scientist kidnapped by the Nazis, discovered the secret of time travel of all things.

Intrigued by Sophie’s cryptic journal Melvin begins to experiment with time travel, but his anger at the police makes him careless. The process backfires, killing him and throwing Esther back to 1750. Attacked by an unknown assailant the moment she arrives, she seeks protection at an indigo plantation belonging to a dashing planter with a dangerous secret, negotiating a deal that guarantees her safety. But she soon realizes she’s made a terrible mistake. What she discovers on the plantation is far more horrific than anything she could have imagined.

Overwhelmed, she attempts to flee just as the planter’s mysterious, handsome brother arrives from England seeking refuge-and offering an opportunity that’s too compelling to turn down. But can he be trusted? And are the two of them strong enough to vanquish the evil that’s pervading the lowlands? Only time will tell.

The first title in the Indigo series.

My Review:

Not the first time I’ve read a time travel romance, but must admit this one is a bit different.

Indigo by Paula BerinsteinEsther and Melvin, a mixed race couple move from California to South Carolina. Their relationship had become strained and after he is offered a prestigious position at a university, they jump at the chance to start anew. She accepts a librarian position at the same institution—but he becomes increasingly unhappy.

Esther inherits an English property from a distant, unknown cousin in England, and she makes the trip to inspect the crumbling estate coming home with her great-grandmother Sophie’s well-documented personal and scientific journal.

Sharing with Melvin that Sophie’s journal had chronicled a time travel experiment, Melvin jumps at the chance to travel with her, but something goes terribly wrong and he is killed in the same incident in which she discovers herself in 1750 South Carolina, the victim of an attack. She is rescued by indigo plantation owner Daniel Peacock and following a period of recovery from the attack, agrees to marry Daniel in a bid to give him credibility and she time to figure out how to find the time portal and return to her own century. Then she meets his brother, Jesse. (All bets are off.)

Okay, so far. Now it’s going to turn complicated, and the storyline becomes complex adding multi-layers to the plot. There is the plight of the slaves, the barbarism of the eighteenth century. Issues run from racism, anti-Semitism, hidden agendas, treachery, and conflict.

Esther’s character is empathetic to her surroundings, she’s smart, educated, and eager to right wrongs. Daniel is a greedy and vile character, unpredictable, greedy, and narcissistic. Jesse is soft-spoken, gorgeous, and hot. (Guess who becomes the romantic partner.)

The twists start coming and eventually introduce a thread to twentieth century Nazis. Huh? The twists, threads, storyline becomes overwhelming and begins to require a comprehensive score sheet. Threads are introduced, then put on the back-burner and forgotten until some time later. Threads are left open-ended, perhaps to be picked up in a subsequent book of the new series, sympathetic characters fleshed and then sacrificed.

Added to the complexity is her drive to conceive and begin a family. (Well, okay, maybe these things can’t always be timed well, but…) The final twist in the conclusion is a douzy and I’ll bet you won’t see that one coming!

The author’s writing style is unique, picking up and utilizing colloquialism, modern slang, and unusual words possibly unfamiliar to a younger generation. It is a story that is being related in a one-on-one personal manner (writer to reader) with a lapse from time to time to involve eighteenth century diction. Also, there seemed to be a bit of contradiction, timeline problem, and edit misses.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Time Travel Romance, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Writing Show
ASIN: B084DC6VSS
Print Length: 399 pages
Publication Date: February 14, 2020
Source: Author request

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble

Paula Berinstein- authorThe Author: Paula Berinstein loves to ponder “what if” questions, which is why she writes so many different kinds of books. That’s what happens when you spend your life reading . . . and dreaming. She invites you to join her on her journeys of the imagination.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Always Remember by Cathryn Grant –#BookReview – #psychologicalsuspense

Book Blurb:

Louise loves her family. To death.

Always Remember by Cathryn GrantKelly is married with two kids, enjoying an ordinary peaceful life – until she finds her father-in-law Frank dead in her backyard sauna.

Now, Frank’s grieving widow, Louise, has installed herself in Kelly’s house and shows no signs of leaving. Ever.

In fact, she seems determined to take over Kelly’s role as mother and wife, inserting herself between Kelly and her twin boys, lavishing attention on Kelly’s husband Wyatt.

Kelly tries to be understanding – Louise has had a huge shock, after all, losing her beloved husband of so many years.

But Louise knows exactly what she’s doing, and as her horrifying agenda slowly becomes clear, Kelly realises she has to fight. For her children, her marriage – and her life.

My Review:

Don’t you just hate it when you paint yourself into a corner and then have nowhere to go? I suspect this is what happened with this story.

Always Remember by Cathryn GrantKelly and her hubby invited his parents to stay with them while Frank was recuperating from multiple bi-pass surgery. They have twin boys and it was thought Louise, her mother-in-law might be of some help with the three-year olds. Kelly took on the post-surgical care of her father-in-law and discovered him deceased in the backyard sauna, definitely against doctor’s orders, but that wasn’t all.

The grieving widow makes herself to home, caring for the children, cooking meals, light cleaning, even prompting Kelly to return to work which she missed and was happy to do. But Louise begins to make decisions around the household not wholly welcome, including encouraging Wyatt (her son) to take a leave of absence from his job to concentrate on his music and redesigning the former office.

POVs shift from Kelly to Louise to Wyatt each giving their perspective of the household atmosphere which gradually goes from softly benign to cancerous. Kelly becomes increasingly aware something is terribly wrong, Wyatt refuses to acknowledge there could be a problem with his mother, and Louise is playing the self-serving widow.

As the suspense escalates, questions are answered and become shocking, all three on eggshells dealing with the other, Kelly finding no support from Wyatt against his mother. The conclusion is dreadful, but the resolution of the situation appalling, and I had a real problem believing this is how it might play out. The secret this couple would share, untenable. Really? This is how it ends?

The narrative begins rather slowly, setting the scene, getting the reader engaged and involved with the characters. Wyatt would back his mother until you wanted to hit him over the head. Kelly kept pounding at problems, Louise kept conniving—not a person to celebrate on Mother’s Day. All three left me a bit cold. I hated what happened to Jason. Okay until then but I was not a fan of the ending of this novel.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Inkubator Books
ASIN: B09J1C87RF
Print Length: 313 pages
Publication Date:  October 17, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
 Title Link: Always Remember [Amazon]

Cathryn Grant - authorThe Author: Cathryn is the bestselling author of twelve psychological thrillers, including THE OTHER COUPLE and THE GUEST, published by Inkubator Books. She is also the author of the ALEXANDRA MALLORY series, featuring a sociopath you can’t help but love.

View the complete list at her website: cathryngrant.com

Cathryn Grant’s fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines, The Shroud Quarterly Journal, and been anthologized in The Best of Every Day Fiction and You, Me & A Bit of We. Her short story, “I Was Young Once”, received an honorable mention in the 2007 Zoetrope All-story Short Fiction contest.

Her psychological suspense fiction reveals the motives and desires that lead to suburban crime. She’s obsessed with the “why” behind human behavior. In real crime, too many times, the why is left unanswered. Cathryn’s fiction tells the stories of ordinary people driven to commit crimes, especially homicide.

Cathryn also writes ghost stories—The Haunted Ship Trilogy and the Madison Keith series of novellas.

When she’s not writing, she’s usually reading fiction, walking on the beach, or playing golf, trying desperately to avoid hitting her ball in the sand or the water. She lives on the Central California Coast with her husband and two cats.

Sign up for Cathryn’s mailing list to find out when new books are released and receive a free short story about Alexandra Mallory, or contact Cathryn directly at cathryngrant.com/contact

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Silent Title Books – Are Any of These on Your #TBR ?

Rosepoint Pub-Silent title books

Silent book titles are popular lately—I currently have four—two already read and reviewed, two on the radar. Seems they come in waves—before “silent” was “secret.” Must be a title trigger. [Thumbnails below are linked to the Goodreads entry.]

The Silent Witness by Carolyn ArnoldFirst read and reviewed the middle of September by the CE was Silent Witness by Carolyn Arnold. He gave it five stars and it was not the first book by the author we’d read. Ms Arnold does a great job with a #policeprocedural and this one is rated at 4.6 stars on Goodreads.

Silent Island by Dana PerryThe second read and reviewed the first week of October also by the CE was Silent Island by Dana Perry. He gave four stars for this police procedural also rated at four stars on Goodreads.

These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham GrantNext up will be my read (if I can keep it away from the CE during his recuperation), These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant. Due to be released on October 26, this mystery-thriller is expected to be a humdinger with over 330 ratings already on Goodreads riding at just over four stars.

The Silent Sisters by Robert DugoniOf course, one of my favorite authors, Robert Dugoni, will be releasing The Silent Sisters next year on February 22, a Tuesday, of course. This is part of the Charles Jenkins series, Book 3, International Mystery and Crime currently running over four stars on Goodreads. We both read Book 2, The Last Agent in April, 2020 (five massive stars!). (And I read the Tracy Crosswhite series.)

Funny how often titles seem to run a similar theme, but then I tend to read mystery/thriller. Maybe no surprise. Do any of these titles interest you? Have you read or have them on your #tbr? Hopefully, I interested you in one!

Enjoy your weekend!

Silent Parade by Keigo HigashinoPS: Okay, yeah, I knew there was another “silent” and after trying to find it and giving up, got the approval from St. Martin’s Press (Minotaur Books) for Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino, A Detective Galileo Novel (Detective Galileo Series Book 4), International Mystery and Crime. It is scheduled to release December 14, 2021. It is apparently ahead of the game on Goodreads at over 275 ratings with an average of four stars. You might want to check this one out as well.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

All the Devils Are Here: A Novel: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Book 16 by Louise Penny – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

The 16th novel by #1 bestselling author Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light

On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.

When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.

It sends them deep into the secrets Armand’s godfather has kept for decades.

A gruesome discovery in Stephen’s Paris apartment makes it clear the secrets are more rancid, the danger far greater and more imminent, than they realized.

Soon the whole family is caught up in a web of lies and deceit. In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past. His own family.

For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide.

My Review:

I know I was supposed to love this book but truthfully had a difficult time keeping an ear on my cell phone earbud and/or my little portable speaker. Goodness. I was so lost!

My fault, obviously, for trying (once again) to jump into a beloved series at Book 16 no less where the reader was supposed to know who all the players were and why.

All the Devils Are Here by Louise PennyGamache and his wife, Reine-Marie is supposed to be in Paris to celebrate the birth of a grandchild—and visit with the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache’s godfather.  Certainly out of their Three Pines, Quebec element, but seems no problem as they search Paris high and low for the person who plowed into his godfather, Stephen Horowitz following their dinner. Intensionally.

The plot seemed all over the board from priceless art to corporate crimes, getting deeper and deeper into rare earth minerals. Meanwhile, Horowitz comes under scrutiny for his possible WWII activities. Wayyy too much going on for this device to work for me. Would it please just settle on one, or even two, main plot points?

Gamache routinely bounces all his theories off his wife, who manages to insert some calming sense into each, after a man is found murdered in Stephen’s Paris apartment.

I greatly enjoyed the narrator, managing voices and French pronunciations with ease, sliding effortlessly over the Paris street names, restaurants, foods, and attractions. The author includes some harrowing tidbits and facts about the fanatical post WWII Paris atmosphere that unsettles—lost in some of the more horrific stories and pictures of the time. (I still marvel that there are any monuments left standing and weep over the loss of Notre Dame in the fire of April 2019. I will never forget our singing experience there and am amazed at their restoration progress.)

Of the immediate family characters, including Daniel their son, I most enjoyed Reine-Marie as being authentic. At Book 16, I’m quite sure I’ve missed the all-important development of Armand but coming into a city not of his domain and taking on the investigation seemed a bit sleuthish, especially given the extent of this plot. He has no authority; how much latitude would he be allowed by the Paris authorities?

Thinking I’ll try another Louise Penny book, but not sure it will be Book 17 of this series. Any of you die-hard Canadian author readers read this series? Did you also have a problem with this narrative?

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Detective Mysteries, International Mystery & Crime
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B0842XLN7Z
Listening Length: 13 hrs 59 mins
Narrator: Robert Bathurst
Publication Date: Sept 1, 2020
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: All the Devils Are Here [Amazon]

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Louise Penny - authorThe Author: LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times) and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.

Robert Bathhurst - narratorThe Narrator: Robert Guy Bathurst (born 22 February 1957) is an English actor. Bathurst was born in Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1957. In 1959 his family moved to Ballybrack, Dublin, Ireland and Bathurst attended school in Killiney, later enrolled in an Irish boarding school. He is married to Victoria Threlfall and they have four daughters. [Wikipedia]

 

 

©2021 V Williams V Williams