Dream Town (An Archer Novel) by David Baldacci – #Audiobook Review – #TuesdayBookBlog

Dream Town by David Baldacci

Dream Town by David Baldacci

#1 New Release in Historical Mystery 

Book Blurb:

It’s the eve of 1953, and Aloysius Archer is in Los Angeles to ring in the New Year with an old friend, aspiring actress Liberty Callahan, when their evening is interrupted by an acquaintance of Callahan’s: Eleanor Lamb, a screenwriter in dire straits.

After a series of increasingly chilling events—mysterious phone calls, the same blue car loitering outside her house, and a bloody knife left in her sink—Eleanor fears that her life is in danger, and she wants to hire Archer to look into the matter. Archer suspects that Eleanor knows more than she’s saying, but before he can officially take on her case, a dead body turns up inside of Eleanor’s home . . . and Eleanor herself disappears.

Missing client or not, Archer is dead set on finding both the murderer and Eleanor. With the help of Callahan and his partner Willie Dash, he launches an investigation that will take him from mob-ridden Las Vegas to the glamorous world of Hollywood to the darkest corners of Los Angeles—a city in which beautiful faces are attached to cutthroat schemers, where the cops can be more corrupt than the criminals . . . and where the powerful people responsible for his client’s disappearance will kill without a moment’s hesitation if they catch Archer on their trail. 

My Review:

Okay, yeah, it’s Archer, Book #3. I did catch the first in the Archer series, One Good Deed, and found it…compelling, dispassionate, unusual. Somehow, I missed Book 2 but seems I didn’t miss much. This is the same Archer I remembered from Book 1.

Perhaps what I notice immediately is that 50s style delivery. Not quite Friday-esque, but almost. It’s rather black and white that tends to turn gray sometimes.

Dream Town by David BaldacciBut this entry to the series didn’t quite grab me. Perhaps there were just too many characters. Archer has a lady friend, Liberty Callahan—perfect for the 50s Hollywood set. Back then it was easy to visualize Bogey, Sinatra and his cronies wielding their Hollywood power and mining the darker side of LA for opportunity. Archer, as a private eye is contacted by Eleanor Lamb who is worried about recent threats. Then she promptly disappears leaving a body in her home. (If it’d been me, I’d have dropped it right there.)

Between the mob-riddled Las Vegas scenes and LA, Archer works with Liberty and his partner Willie Dash (a character in his own right) to hunt for the missing Eleanor and the murderer—or is that one and the same?

While the male narrator’s delivery of the storyline was geared toward the period, it just didn’t light a fire, the characters remained a bit blah for me, and the female narrator at times seemed to have phoned the whole thing in, sometimes lagging or slightly disjointed in the dialogue. I suspected she read her part from a remote location.

It’s a bit of a slow burn, noir crime fiction. There are the usual themes in noir fiction of gangsters, drugs, secrets, smuggling, and murder; entertaining if not engaging.

I received a complimentary review copy of this audiobook from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts. 3.5 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Thrillers, War & Military Action Fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ASIN: B09Q89CMLT
Listening Length: 11 hrs
Narrators: Edoardo BalleriniBrittany Pressley
Publication Date: April 19, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Dream Town [Amazon]

 

Add to Goodreads

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

 

David Baldacci - authorThe Author: David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, “because every mom needs a break now and then.”)

David published his first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER, in 1996. A feature film followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 44 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into over 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for younger readers.

David is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across the United States.

©2022 V Williams

V Williams

Rosepoint Reviews – May Recap—Welcome June!

Rosepoint Reviews – May Recap

Rosepoint Reviews - May recap

Yes, May is when I spend more time outside than in, working on my gardens; cleaning up the fairy garden, flower bed, and adding soil and amendments to the vegetable garden, turning that over and getting the veggies in. The tomatoes love it and take off immediately. Same with beans and peas—still cool enough for them with the occasional 90-degree day. I put in marigolds as usual to ward off bugs and the bunnies ate them. This year I’ve tried to secure all my defenseless little seedlings (except marigolds I guess) against all manner of deer and bunnies. (I’ve done that before but redoubled the effort this year.) The deer are being scattered due to construction on the other side of the pond. (I haven’t seen the doe with the broken leg in a while.)

Welcome Spring! I fired up the BBQ with a chicken and potatoes and then sat down to eat. Wasn’t long before we had a raccoon trying to clean up the drippings. He was wearing a mask and had no sense of humor. The bandit was a big boy intent on an easy meal and wasn’t happy with the interruption or my broom. At least the possums are smaller and non-threatening.

I relied pretty heavily on the CE for his reviews, so much of my time spent otherwise. The man can read three books to my one. We did read or listen to eighteen books in May, most from NetGalley as I’m still working on that badge, now up to a count of 460 and my ratio continues to be 95%.

May reads and reviews

The Trouble with Secrets by Jean Grainger
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (audiobook)
Somewhere in the South Pacific by John J Gobbell (a CE review)
Last Night with Tokyo Rose by Alexa Kang (a CE review)
Gambling with Murder by Lida Sideris
The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard (audiobook)
Warrensburg by Fleury Sommers (a CE review)
Answering Liberty’s Call by Tracy Lawson
TV Netflix series Along for the Ride vs the audiobook
Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben (audiobook)
Playing with Fire by Mary Burton (a CE review)
The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans (a CE review)
The Doctor’s Daughter by Shari J Ryan
The Crystal Beads by Patricia Black Gould
Flat Broke with Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha (audiobook)
Tom Clancy Zero Hour by Don Bentley (a CE review)
The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga
The Wylder Ghost and Blossom Cherry by Sharon Shipley

 

Reading Challenges

Reading Challenges

My challenges continue to be a problem keeping up. I’ll get them all caught up soon—spring planting push now mellow.  My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page but so far I’m at 45% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 81.

Spring Challenge

Speaking of challenges, that little Spring Challenge in the Kindle app is progressing, albeit not at full speed.

Have you checked yours out yet? It’s not something you joined, it joined you. Now it says I’m a Silver Reader—40 books. (A Gold Reader is achieved upon reading any 75 days during the Challenge.) Also notes I’ve earned eight of 16 achievements with 30 days remaining in the challenge. Actually, there are several I do not see ever achieving including a non-fiction. It’s been a while. Memoirs don’t count(?).

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner is the new club pic. It had just started and I jumped the gun when I saw the audiobook. While it might not have been one I’d have chosen, it turned out to be quite compelling. Of course, it was published last year and achieved an “Amazon Best Book of 2021” designation—and a debut at that!

Soap Box

The NetGalley Shelf continues to be an exasperation. I thought short shelf life applied to food? The audiobooks are rift with blanks (guess I’m supposed to fill in whatever words I want?). I can’t afford to buy the books expired and I try very hard to fulfill the promise to review. Too new to be in the library. Ideas?

Have a rant you’d like to mention? Like the change in the Kindle app and mobi conversions?

June is a big birthday month around here (hubby and son on the same day). Welcome to my new followers and those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. What is this without you? Hope you saw something that piqued your interest above!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

 

Rosepoint Reviews – March Recap—It’s Spring? Did we miss the memo?

Rosepoint Review Recap-March-Hello April!

March is typically a radical mix of warm to freezing with another blast of snow. I’m content to look out the window and note the grass is turning green again, the trees are trying to bud out. The deer came in and I swear they must have sat on my Magnolia tree, broke the main trunk and branches back to about a foot tall (it was just over 3). Damn does.

April will be very busy with a visit from my daughter, granddaughter, and new great-grandbaby boy. So excited to see the little guy, born last November and already teething. Mercy! My daughter was later than that but walking at nine months. (She skipped the crawling phase; once she pulled herself up it was all over.) We’ll be exchanging visits to southern Illinois and they up here, so we are very excited to see them.

March, of course, #readingirelandmonth22, and I participated with a number of selections, many suggested by the host of the all things Irish celebration, Cathy at 746Books. You will find a wealth of titles to investigate.

Between the CE and I, we read and/or listened to seventeen books for March, some from NetGalley, but more from my local library as that is where I get most of my audiobooks.

The Paris Network by Siobhan Durham The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

Chasing Time by Thomas Reilly Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter Wolf Catcher by Anne Montgomery Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly Hope Island by Jackie Elliott Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry Citizen K-9 by David Rosenfelt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Paris Network by Siobhan Curham (audiobook)
The Night Shift by Alex Finlay (a CE review)
Chasing Time by Thomas Reilly (CE review-Reading Ireland Month)
 Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles (Reading Ireland Month)
Pieces of Her (vs audiobook) by Karin Slaughter
Second Chance by Mike Faricy (Reading Ireland Month)
Wolf Catcher by Anne Montgomery (Reading Ireland Month)
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (Reading Ireland Month)
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (audiobook-Reading Month)
The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan (a CE review-Reading Ireland Month)
The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly (Reading Ireland Month)
Hope Island by Jackie Elliott
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (audiobook-Reading Ireland Month)
Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe (a CE review)
Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne (audiobook-Reading Ireland Month)
Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry (audiobook-Reading Ireland Month)
Citizen K-9 by David Rosenfelt (audiobook)

 

Reading Challenges

March, so much going on but think I’ve about got my challenge page caught up.  My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page but so far I’m four books ahead on my Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 48. Slow progress on the NetGalley Challenge in March as I participated heavily in the #readingirelandmonth22 challenge with eleven novels by Irish authors, of Irish ancestry, or about Ireland.

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

As I mentioned last month, the second reading choice of the year is The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, also a Goodreads Choice Award nominee an all-round awesome Historical Fiction, and a favorite of mine last year. Since I’ve already read it and participate in discussion, I’m waiting now for the next one, which will be The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, published in March 2021, and another Goodreads Choice nominee. Have you read this one? I confess, first time I’ve seen the title. LMK if you liked it, please.

The first quarter flew by and I’d resolved to try and narrow down my favorites this year. I had several in January, including The Golem and the Jinni, a couple in February including The Lincoln Highway, and several again in March, including A Ladder to the Sky (audiobook for March). And the winner for the first quarter:

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

Kept me glued to my earbuds, stunned by the prose, shocked by the cunning morality of the protagonist. Resonated well after I shut off the audio.

I hope you’ve seen a title here that beckons to you and I’d love it if you let me know in the comments. Welcome to my new followers and a hardy thank you to those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. I do so appreciate you!!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Have a great weekend!

January Rosepoint Review Recap—Hello Frigid February!

Rosepoint review recap-January banner

No Christmas snow or the most part of January, but here is February and with it our heaviest snow period in the area this season. This week promises to be a douzy with a foot of snow forecast. The CE has prepared his snowblower with fresh gas and assured himself that it will start. In our mini-banana-belt, however, we may or may not get that accumulation.

This time of year has me looking at the blog and thinking of housekeeping the ole website from opening new (2022) folders to gathering old lists to archive. Seems like it’s a yearly learning process and takes me a while. I’ve opened up a couple new menus that I hope will make for easier or faster navigation.

The CE meanwhile is content to crank out most every book I send his way and is happily engaged in reading. He’s doing well with his reviews and I appreciate the help!

Between the two of us, we managed seventeen book reviews for January, most from NetGalley, several from audiobooks (local library and NetGalley), a couple from author requests as well as one blog tour. (My reviews in the links below.)

Rosepoint Review Recap-January

The Silent Sisters by Robert Dugoni
Talk by Greg W Peterson
Going There by Katie Couric
Head Shot by Otho Eskin
Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi Vohra
Where There’s a Will by Roland Sinclair
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Enter a Wizard by Connie diMarco
A Valiant Deceit by Stephanie Graves
Roaring Liberty by Jean Grainger
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Texas Job by Reavis Z Wortham
Red Buring Sky by Tom Young
Hidden Agendas by D Marshall Craig
Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski
The Berlin Exchange by Joseph Kanon
Murder on an Irish Farm by Carlene O’Connor

 

Reading Challenges banner

As mentioned above, my reading challenges have all been updated and the older challenge years archived in the drop-down menu. The new challenges are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. I hope you’ll join me in a Challenge or two! Which do you routinely join yearly? Will you join a new challenge this year? (I’ll be adding Ireland Reading Month in March.) You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page. (Goodreads has upwards of three million participants this year with an average challenge of 46 books. That’s impressive, huh!)

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

As the Page Turns Book Club is well into The Song of Achilles and it appears that The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi, a Goodreads Choice Award nominee as well as a Reese Witherspoon Book of the Month back in May of 2020 is next. Reese was one of the Celebrity Book Clubs I blogged about looking into during the first burst of Covid. She has a very lively and active digital book club as well as Instagram account. The moderator of our local club works hard to entice participation, but so far for those who joined, it’s the usual few that contribute. I wonder if one of the problems is that she proposed one book a quarter rather than one a month. I’m already well into the audiobook (once again gained from my local library for Overdrive); much too soon.

(Kindle) Reading StreakKindle is one of the sneaky little entities gathering your reading history and from time to time I get these little updates to my values. Obviously, I missed a day (or two) when we were traveling by RV in remote areas as I have successful Goodreads Challenge badges (except 2015) from 2013 with no way to include those years on my list in the widgets.

Audiobooks

I finally landed my first two audiobooks from NetGalley and discovered a few small problems with skipping or blanking dialogue. Not significant enough to lose the thread, but a glitch I’ve not encountered with the audiobooks from my library. Do you also download books from NetGalley through their NetGalley Shelf app? Have you noted any problems?

Thank you again for joining my community if you are new and much appreciation to my established followers for shares, likes, and comments. It’s not a blog without you!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Have a great week!

Real Easy: A Novel by Marie Rutkoski – #BookReview – #crimethrillers

Real Easy by Marie Rutkowski
(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Book Blurb:

A compulsive, tenacious, and unexpectedly hopeful thriller set in a Midwestern strip club, told by New York Times best-selling author Marie Rutkoski in the spirit of Gillian Flynn and Tana French.

It’s 1999, and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club. She’s not used to taking anyone under her wing – after all, between her disapproving boyfriend and his daughter, who may as well be her own child, she has enough to worry about. But when Samantha overrides her better judgment to drive a new dancer home, they are run off the road. The police arrive at the scene of the accident – but find only one body.

Georgia, another dancer, is drawn into the investigation as she tries to assist Holly, a Harvard-educated detective with a complicated story of her own. As the point of view shifts from police officers and detectives to club patrons and children, the women round up a list of suspects, all the while grappling with their own understandings of loss and love.

Drawing on her personal experiences as well as interviews with police, Rutkoski immerses us in a subculture that is all too often reduced to cliché. Gripping, deeply feminist, and character-driven, Real Easy spellbinds us and gets to the heart of this timeless question: How do women live out their lives knowing that men can hurt them?

A Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt and Company.

(Includes a bonus conversation between the author and narrator.)

My Review:

Wow, when I step outside my normal genres, I go WAY out. This audiobook on NetGalley caught my attention—and once I started listening—kept listening.

It’s 1999 and the reader is introduced to Samantha, a veteran dancer at the Lovely Lady strip club. She’s been there long enough to have the best stage, the following, and the income that comes with experience and being very good at what she does. She lives with her boyfriend and his daughter but she appears to be closer to the daughter than the disapproving and abusive boyfriend.

Marie RutkowskiA new dancer is hired, and as dancers come and go, she is extremely naïve, inexperienced and not the brightest. Samantha provides some mentoring and volunteers to drive her home but neither reach home that night. That’s unfortunate as the reader is just beginning to develop empathy and engagement with her.

The reader is gradually introduced to the entertainers, the employees, and the boss, with a few backgrounds providing the explanation for the how and why they became sex workers. The owner has enforced a number of rules, but the patrons are there to drink and satisfy some carnal urges providing various *ugh* moments. Any violence happens off page and left to the reader’s imagination.

Upon the discovery of the body of the newbie, police become involved in the investigation and the other side of society now views the strip club, the dancers, and the patrons with a jaundiced, somewhat crude eye. The newbie isn’t the first and won’t be the last.

It’s a character-driven narrative as seen through the eyes of the women and the community that supports or protects the trade. The women are drawn with individual goals, stories. This is a world of the salacious underbelly of fringe society and one where most of us are ignorant. It’s dark and atmospheric and a far cry from the sex entertainment trade movies that produce a rather starry-eyed version with happy endings.

While I suspected the perp, was disappointed in the reveal and the slight let-down of the conclusion. Otherwise, I found the audiobook to be engaging and entertaining. It is well paced with little filler and moves the storyline well, producing more than one or two heart-pumping moments. An unusual premise, plot, and unique characters. Looking for something different? This is out now.

I received a complimentary audiobook review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

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

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Thrillers, Suspense
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B094DQ32N7
Listening Length: 10 hrs 28 mins
Narrator: Eva Kaminsky
Publication Date: January 18, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Marie Rutkoski - authorThe Author: Marie Rutkoski is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for children and young adults, including THE HOLLOW HEART (September 14, 2021). Her debut for adults, REAL EASY (January 18, 2022), is a literary crime novel.

Born in Illinois, Marie holds degrees from the University of Iowa and Harvard University. She is currently a professor at Brooklyn College and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

(photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan)

©2022 V Williams

V Williams

happy thursday!

My Twelve Favorite Books of 2021 – Month by Month

My Twelve Book Picks of 2021

So many great books this year, always a major challenge to whittle them down to ten. 

Therefore, I thought I’d try for one favorite per month. The CE tends to be generous, so I schooled him again on his favs.

Many five-star rated books and new authors competing with favorites. As always, a wide range of genres covers fiction in categories from action adventures and cozy mysteries to family drama, historical, suspense, and thrillers as well as several non-fiction biographical books in both ebooks and audiobooks.

Listed by month this time, thinking next year I’m going to note my No. 1 pick in the monthly recaps, hopefully making a year-end wrap-up easier. Links on titles and pics are to my full review that will also provide sale info.

Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle LewisJanDead Cat, Run by Annabelle Lewis – Such a pleasant surprise, this book. Mythology, yes, but still the ancient oft-repeated story of good versus evil. Each of the characters are powerful, engaging, emotive. “I’ll see you again, my friend, in the next life. And then, heed my words, dead cat. Run.”

The Wise Ass by Tom McCaffreytFebThe Wise Ass by Tom McCaffreyThis tale covers all the bases: humor, family, love, suspense, thriller, and the supernatural—somehow interwoven in a natural, almost believable way. Well-plotted, well-paced, and highly entertaining. The pulse-pounding climax alone is worth the price of the book, but don’t skip the rest, it’s just way too much fun. “Sorry, Sir! The Irish are fighting amongst themselves and the Lions refuse to come out.”

Search for Her by Rick MofinaMarSearch for Her by Rick Mofina – Rick Mofina begins a tale of a frantic search and a number of plot twists. As you read his tale you feel fairly certain that you know who the culprit is. This narrative would be a very good read for anyone studying criminal justice. [A CE review.]

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle CosimanoAprFinlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano – [Audiobook] Is a mystery, contract killer supposed to be funny? Yes! This one’s a hoot! I really liked Nick and Julian—great, possible romantic interests—and Vero is a keeper…Loved the backfires of the plans, the twists, the dialogue, and the way the narrator delivered the well-paced plot.

Key West Dead by Mark NolanMayKey West Dead by Mark Nolan – Mark Nolan builds a great deal of tension in this narrative. Note: This is Book 6 of the Jake Wolfe series and how many have we read? ALL OF THEM. The duo of Jake and Cody are engaging, intelligent, fast, cunning, and capable, but tender and hot at the same time! [A CE review.]

Dog Eat Dog by David RosenfeltJunDog Eat Dog by David Rosenfelt – Rosenfelt has created an attorney who, having the benefit of a substantial inheritance, has quit, or tried to several times. (He runs a dog rescue called the Tara Foundation. He loves dogs.) Andy’s self-deprecating sense [of humor] bounces between that and confirmation of his brilliance. I always love it when they get to the courtroom—there are teachable moments, intelligent and full of fancy footwork, maneuvering, not to mention some memorable acting scenes.

The Perfect Ending by Rob KaufmanJulThe Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman – This storyline fires the imagination from the get-go. It’s dark, delightfully deceiving, and emotionally wringing. The author tweaks his main character with just a slight amount of humor and moral justification. It’s so wrong. Twisted mystery, suspense. I released more than one audible groan…omg. This one is a must read!

The Harp and the Rose by Jean GraingerAugThe Harp and the Rose by Jean Grainger – Amazing how the author develops characters sure to mirror those of the time, fleshing them out, making them real, sympathetic. The stories are heart felt, she is passionate about her Irish history and the love of her home in Cork shines through the prose. The novel is compelling, strongly engaging, and hard to put down as the pace never waivers.

Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael ReisigSepGamblers, Fools, and Fate by Michael Reisig – I’ve read most of Reisig’s novels and enjoyed each and every one. The characters are richly drawn, infused with charm and wit while the dialogue is fresh and natural in the wild adventures you’ve come to expect in a Reisig novel. As always, a delightful escapade, one that fills my head with sights and sounds, heart-pounding exploits, the intelligence of animals, and the themes of love and life.

Daughter of the Morning Star by Craig JohnsonOctDaughter of the Morning Star by Craig Johnson – Okay, a couple things: In most Longmire novels, there is a lot of Native American involvement, 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 is no different. [Audiobook]

Under Pressure by Sara DriscollNovUnder Pressure by Sara Driscoll – There is more than one theme here, the bond between the handler and their canine, the amazing intelligence of a service K9, and that a family can be comprised not just of blood relatives but those closely bonded by circumstance. The novel is an easy one to fly through—you don’t want to put it down!

The Last House on the Street by Diane ChamberlainDecThe Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain – The 1965 accounts are electric, pervasive, and lead the frank, mind-blowing plot. The descriptions of the window-dominated house clashes wildly with the dark, invasive moss-covered forest surrounding it. Gradually, the two main characters stories merge, peeling away minute reveals, building tension, heartbreak, fear. The storytelling is immersive, impactful, tragic. It’s a tough read…“I wasn’t just moving from one town to another. I was moving from one world to another…”

No, not all the monthly favorites were five stars but still resonated and many five-star reads didn’t make the list—though as with every bookblogger—I tend to read my favorite authors and demure making them favorites all the time. Just know that in addition to those listed above, you can’t go wrong with an Amanda Hughes (Bold Women Series), Margaret Mizushima (Timber Creek K-9 Series), or Nevada Barr  (Anna Pigeon Series) or standalones.

Do any of these grab your interest? Read it already? Disagree with my review? I’d love to know and welcome your comments.

©2021 V Williams

Christmas bough

September Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Hello October!

Yes, the house closed the third week of September and they are moved and into their new home still crammed with boxes. I haven’t seen it yet but we are due to see it this weekend. She is loving it and very excited to start her new adventure and create memories in that lovely area of Illinois.

Frosty Dancer our Bichon Frise In the meantime, the tension and stress apparently hit the CE with more stress than he shows and was attacked with a horrendous case of shingles. In pain for days and no help from the local doc, we finally resorted to the emergency room who diagnosed him. However, with Covid19 still rampant in all it’s forms, have we had one call back from our doctor despite numerous calls for pain relief? Nope. Nada. Zip. We’re talking nerve pain which is not easily quelled and after three weeks, he’s still down. Even Frosty, our Bichon, got sick. I think that’s taking canine-human sympathy too far, and she’s been back and forth to her doctor. At least she is doing better.

Still resorting to shortcuts, not doing as much social media, and difficulty reading, but still managed fourteen book reviews for September. As usual from NetGalley and author requests, as well as audiobooks from my library. (My review links listed below.)

Regardless of the Consequences by L D Lauritzen The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula Darnell Crossing Lines by Adrienne Giordano False Witness by Karin Slaughter Keep Me Close by Jane Holland Traveller Probo by Rob Shackleford Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael Reisig The Silent Witness by Carolyn Arnold Fatal Solutions by Becky Clark Look Twice by Eva Hudson Mind Trap by Matt Cost The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (audiobook)
Regardless of the Consequences by L D Lauritzen (a CE review)
Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula Darnell
Crossing Lines by Adrienne Giordano (a CE review)
False Witness by Karin Slaughter (audiobook)
Keep Me Close by Jane Holland (a CE review)
Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael Reisig
The Silent Witness by Carolyn Arnold (a CE review)
Fatal Solutions by Becky Clark
Traveller Probo by Rob Shackleford (three parts)
Look Twice by Ingrid Skyberg (a CE review)
Mind Trap by Matt Cost (a CE review)
The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander
The Guest List by Lucy Foley (audiobook)

Eventually I expect to catch up my reading challenges! You can check out my challenges progress (however far behind it is) by clicking on my Reading Challenges page. However, I have achieved my Reading Challenge goal for Historical Reading Fiction (10) and the Audiobook challenge (30). I feel I have also achieved the NetGalley challenge (75), but I’ll have to catch it up to confirm. And, I’m on track for hitting the Goodreads challenge of 175 at 140. Now, I’m looking at setting up a goal next year for the 500 reviews badge on NetGalley.

I’m still struggling with the widgets and the update of the most dynamic of them, finally getting an answer from one of the engineers that steered me right into doing a block widget. Seems there is no way I can continue to do classic widgets and if the widgets look like a fifth grader did it, perhaps you’ll understand. Wait! A fifth grader would probably have done better. But at least I’ve made a little progress and no, I still don’t like the block editor.

Apologies for the erratic postings, the possible edit errors I’ve missed. September has been difficult. Still, I do so appreciate my new followers and thank you again to all my active followers. I hope you and yours are doing well!

©2021 V Williams – Happy and safe autumn!

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