TV Netflix Series Pieces of Her vs #Audiobook Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter and Kathleen Early (Narrator) – #thriller

TV Netflix Pieces of Her vs Audiobook by Karin Slaughter

TV Netflix Series Pieces of Her vs Audiobook Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter 

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Intro

After having listened to the audiobook that I then learned would be a Netflix original, I patiently waited for this one to debut, which it did on Friday, March 4. Again, I’m flummoxed by the difference between the original story and the Netflix series.

So if it’s well-received as a book title or audiobook, did it also translate well to the small screen? If you’ve caught a few of my previous audiobooks versus Netflix series, you’ll note my continued bewilderment. Is this actually better? Or worse. A radical departure from the Virgin River while a faithful reproduction of Longmire. (And I really loved the characters on Longmire.)

As you’ve no doubt read or heard by now, Pieces of Her is the story of a daughter who is just discovering that her mother hasn’t always been the person she thought was her mom.

Pieces of Her the Netflix thriller was developed by Charlotte Stoudt and Lesli Linka Glatter. The director for all episodes (and there are eight in the first series) is Minkie Spiro who directed Downton Abbey and Better Call Saul and while I’ve not watched the former, a solid fan of the latter, so I was excited.

Netflix Series

Toni Collette - actressPieces of Her (in the co?) leading role is Toni Collette as Laura Oliver with Bella Heathcote as Andy Oliver (her daughter). There are a number of other actors, of course, my favorites being Omari Hardwick as Gordon Oliver and Gil Birmingham as Charlie Bass. There is a lineup of actors portraying Laura as a child and as an adolescent.

The series is adapted from the novel (same name) by Karin Slaughter who is also acting as a producer on the show.

Bella Heathcote - actressAndy (Andrea) is celebrating a 30s birthday out with her mother, Laura, in beautiful coastal Belle Isle when the quiet serene atmosphere suddenly turns tragic. While Andy freezes in horror, Laura springs to action in the protection of her daughter and is soon forced to make a deadly decision.

That split-second automatic reaction to the situation changes their lives immediately and forever.

Laura is hurt but following triage medical attention clams up and refuses to speak to anyone; not to the police, her ex (Gordan), or to Andy. To Andy, however, she barks quick instructions to speak to no one and leave. She is handed some money, a burner phone, and car keys but no explanation. YAY! So far, so good.

Well, but Andy hasn’t been doing so well with her life though; aimless, living off her mother’s generosity in her mother’s garage apartment. So I’m not sure how she can be trusted to follow the instructions.

And she doesn’t.

My Thoughts

But now, is it just me? Or did the Netflix version veer into it’s own interpretation? The constant flashbacks crippled somewhat the timeline from Laura’s childhood to the present situation, introduction of all the backstories, new characters and twists that spins wildly with 70s US history. Indeed, at times spun completely out of coherence, forcing the viewer to catch up and make connections in later scenes.

While Toni Collette (Laura) made a heroic effort at portraying a horrific history and her effort at escape, her wretched persona got a bit tiresome. Andy, what can I say about poor, dear Andy; not the brightest daughter ever to be delivered from a pseudo-protest child.

3 starsthree stars

Audiobook (Blurb)

The number-one international best-selling author returns with an electrifying novel of devastating secrets and hidden lives that probes the fraught relationship between daughters and mothers and the lengths we go to protect those we love.

Pieces of Her by Karin SlaughterWhat if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all? Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows Laura has spent nearly her whole life in the small beach town of Belle Isle, Georgia; she knows Laura’s never wanted anything more than to lead a quiet, normal life in this conventional community; she knows Laura’s a kind and beloved speech pathologist who helps others; she knows Laura’s never kept a secret in her life. Andrea knows that Laura is everything she isn’t – confident, settled, sure of herself. Feeling listless, with no direction, Andrea, unlike Laura, struggles to find her way.

But Andrea’s certainty is upended when a visit to the mall is shattered by an act of horrifying violence that reveals a completely different side of Laura – a cool woman who calmly faces down a murderer. It turns out that before Andrea’s mother was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly 30 years she’s been hiding from the woman she once was, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The assailant was a mentally troubled, teenaged scion of Georgia law enforcement royalty, and now the police want answers about what really happened in those terrifying moments at the mall. Though she’s being scrutinized at every level of the criminal justice system and her innocence is on the line, Laura refuses to speak to anyone, including her own daughter. She pushes Andrea away, insisting it’s time for her to stand alone and make a life for herself. To save her mother, Andrea embarks on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. Andrea knows that if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for her mother…or her.

Filled with intriguing turns, surprising revelations, and a compelling cast of characters, Pieces of Her is Slaughter’s most electrifying, provocative, and suspenseful novel yet.

My Thoughts

Okay, by now the well-plotted storyline has been laid out more than once. When Andy witnesses her mother in action, she is both stunned by her actions and also suffering from the disastrous circumstances that forced her mother’s reaction. She is not capable of applying what she knows about her mother with the person who so deftly ended the appalling scene. It’s shocking.

Pieces of Her by Karin SlaughterI was hooked by those opening scenes, narrated well by Kathleen Early. I quickly compared many of the headlines of the 70s to the circumstances dibbled out in little dabs, building the tension and whipping the listener from mother to daughter. As the old saying goes, make no conclusions until all the facts are disclosed, but mercy, that could be sooo slow sometimes.

Mainly told in Andy’s POV, there are the backstories, flashbacks revealing another tiny morsel of truth. Or was it the truth? Who can you trust?

The truth, the reveal, when it finally came, came as a knowing relief and combined several theories in the complex plot meant to throw the reader/listener off.

The setting is beautiful, the characters’ depths varied, most not wholly sympathic, the dialogue often blue. I listened to False Witness last year, my introduction to the author and her graphic writing style, but had to try one more. Perhaps I’ll try one in her signature series next time, rather than a standalone thriller.

4 stars  4 stars

Overall Impression

While I enjoyed the book, the tension, drama, and thrill of discovery, there were times when I lost all faith in Andy, finding her making questionable decisions more than once. I had too early formed an opinion of the circumstances, having lived through those years and headlines, and was shocked at the jaw-dropping reveal when it came. Still, I questioned some of Laura’s early handling of Andy and wondered how that might have been better.

The Netflix series, usually following their well-received formula, took a slightly different tack this time, throwing in Andy’s quick romantic interest (not unusual), but making a hash of the flashbacks. They generally work to create an equitable R-rated series, but missed building the tension this time like the book did.

This time my vote has to go to the author’s book—and it’s been out for some time–and can be found at your favorite retail outlet.

Book Details

Genre: Women Sleuth Mysteries, Police Procedural Mysteries
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio, Inc.
ASIN: B07CLKPDWL
Listening Length: 16 hrs 5 mins
Narrator: Kathleen Early
Audible Release: August 21, 2018
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Pieces of Her [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

 

Karin Slaughter - authorThe Author: Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 21 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NYT bestselling stand-alone novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and PIECES OF HER. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta. Her stand-alone novel PIECES OF HER is in development with Netflix, starring Toni Collette, and the Grant County and Will Trent series are in development for television.

http://www.karinslaughter.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKarinSlaughter/

Instagram http://www.instagram.com/karinslaughterauthor/

Twitter @SlaughterKarin

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

Info attributes, photos, and covers:
Netflixlife.com
Actress photos: Looper.com

 

Wild Irish Rose (Molly Murphy Mysteries Book 18) by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles – #BookReview – #historicalmysteries

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles

A Reading Ireland Month book St Patty's Day Hat

Book Blurb:

[New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen, now writing in partnership with her daughter, Clare Broyles, transports and enthralls readers through the incomparable Molly Murphy Sullivan. A brand new novel in this beloved mystery series is cause for celebration for readers and critics alike.]

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare BroylesNew York, 1907: Now that she’s no longer a private detective—at least not officially—Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to a time of settled tranquility with friends and family. Back in New York, where her own story began, Molly decides to accompany some friends to Ellis Island to help distribute clothing to those in need. This journey quickly stirs up memories for Molly. When you’re far from home and see people from your country, every face looks like a family member.

That evening Molly’s policeman husband, Daniel, is late returning home. He comes with a tale to tell: there was a murder on Ellis Island that day, and the main suspect is the spitting image of Molly. The circumstances are eerily similar to when Molly herself arrived on Ellis Island, and she can’t help but feel a sense of fate. Molly was meant to be there that day so that she can clear this woman’s name.

My Review:

Once again, I bit on a book well into the series with the 18th book. With some books, it makes no difference. I suspect this is not one of those.

I liked the blurb, Molly identifying with a new Irish arrival to Ellis Island, and then befriending her even in the face of a fresh murder in which hubby policeman Daniel determines she is number one suspect. Molly was on the island to help disseminate warm clothing to immigrants not prepared for the severe cold weather of New York.

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare BroylesMolly is a former private detective, now married and a mother, but as she watches Daniel put the puzzle pieces together of the mystery, she is drawn into the investigation sure that Rose McSweeney is an innocent pawn. Molly is sure she can do a better job of teasing clues from Rose and the others in attendance than could Daniel or the other investigators.

Here’s where I have a problem: Molly can be caustic. She has a quick temper and sometimes works to control it—sometimes not—but she is seldom kind or thoughtful and doesn’t elicit empathy. She pounds on her theory without question that it’s right, although it’s easy to figure who the culprit is. Being a mother is okay–but she misses the old (exciting) life and is quick to delegate childcare when and where she can get it so she can be free to be off, which it seems is most of the time.

So I had a problem with the protagonist, with the support characters, and felt sorry for Daniel, who had my sympathy while wondering why he didn’t step up appropriately. There were a few twists and red herrings and I also had a problem with the pace, my attention often waning—just could not stay with it.

I received a complimentary 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: Three-point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mysteries, Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ASIN: B092T8VJJP
Print Length: 310 pages
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Rhys and ClareThe Author(s): Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of two historical mystery series as well as the #1Kindle bestseller In Farleigh Field, the international bestseller The Tuscan Child. and three other historical novels–including the newly released THE VENICE SKETCHBOOK. This story takes a young woman to Venice to discover her great aunt’s secret life.

In Farleigh Field was nominated for the Edgar Award, won the Agatha award for best historical mystery as well as the MacAvity and Bruce Alexander Memorial Awards.

Rhys was born in Bath, England and educated at London University but now divides her time between California and Arizona. Her books have been nominated for every major mystery award and she has won twenty of them to date, including four Agathas.

She currently writes two historical mystery series, each very different in tone. The Molly Murphy mysteries feature an Irish immigrant woman in turn-of-the-century New York City. These books are multi-layered, complex stories with a strong sense of time and place and have won many awards including Agatha and Anthony. There are 17 books so far in this series plus three Kindle stories, The Amersham Rubies, Through the Window and The Face in the Mirror–a great way to introduce new readers to Molly’s spunky personality.

Then there is Lady Georgie, Rhys’s latest,and very popular, heroine. She’s 35th in line to the throne of England, but she’s flat broke and struggling to survive in the Great Depression. These books are lighter and funnier than Molly’s adventures. They poke gentle fun at the British class system–about which Rhys knows a lot, having married into an upper class family rather like Georgie’s, with cousins with silly nicknames, family ghosts and stately homes. The thirteenth book in the series, Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, was published August 2019. Two books in the series have won the Agatha award for best historical mystery.

The series received the Readers Choice Award for favorite mystery series and Rhys was nominated for career achievement. It was also voted one of Goodreads top 10 cozy mysteries. The books have been translated into many languages and brought Rhys fans from around the world.

Her most recent achievement has been the big World War 2 stand-alone novels, In Farleigh Field and The Tuscan Child as well as The Victory Garden, a novel of WWi and Above the Bay of Angels–a young woman becomes a chef for Queen Victoria. They have enjoyed impressive sales world-wide and brought Rhys many new readers.

As a child Rhys spent time with relatives in Wales. Those childhood experiences colored her first mystery series, about Constable Evans in the mountains of Snowdonia. 10 books including the Edgar nominee Evan’s Gate. She has lived in Austria, Germany and Australia, but has called California her home for many years. She now escapes to her home in Arizona during those cold California winters. When she’s not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, paint and play the Celtic harp–and hear from her readers!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Have a good week!

Chasing Time by Thomas Reilly – #BookReview – #medicalthrillers

A Reading Ireland Month contribution 4 leaf clover

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Chasing Time by Thomas ReillyDevastated by his wife’s terminal illness, retired teacher Tony Lucas seeks to recapture a lost magical key from his youth that has the power to predict the future and use it to unravel additional mysteries that could save her. Racing against time as the disease extracts its unforgiving toll, Tony embarks on an amazing quest involving a series of unexpected plot twists, cryptic clues, and memorable characters.

Driven by a strong male lead, this heartwarming book combines realistic medical elements with a hint of fantasy to create a gripping, suspenseful narrative. Reilly spins a compelling tale of a devoted husband’s resilience and perseverance as he pursues a life-saving mission that extends from Ancient Rome to modern-day America to the olive orchards of Spain.

His Review:

A strange talisman slips through time enhancing the lives of various individuals. Is time a continuous event with no beginning or no end? Lucius Fabius Antonius thought this might be true of the first century A.D. Lucius was an olive oil merchant in the Roman empire when disease ravaged the production in Italy. He was forced to look outside the empire and found a better product in Spain.

Chasing Time by Thomas ReillyTwo thousand plus years later Anthony Lucas waits patiently for a time capsule to be opened after it is discovered in a cornerstone of the old school. He is lucky to be chosen the recipient of the unusual talisman in the small copper box.

He discovers a five inch key-like object near an Italian restaurant which is intricately carved into the figure of a two-faced man. Tony tosses the key in his backpack and proceeds home. The box he won in class had an old newspaper clipping from 1906. The article included interesting happenings in that year along with some evidence of possible shady dealings from some of New York’s more prominent citizens.

Weird events continue to happen to the eighth-grader as he progresses through life.

CE WilliamsThis entire story is a very engrossing tale of what could be. As I read the book, I was drawn into the whirlpool of potential events in the confluence of time. I was so engrossed I could not put the story down but zipped through it. Start the book and you too will be all consumed! 5 stars – CE Williams

Thomas Michael Reilly—definitely of Irish descent—and my second novel by an Irish author or book about Ireland in participation with the eighth annual Reading Ireland Month. 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.

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Medical Fiction
Publisher: World Castle Publishing LLC
ASIN:  B09DTJPPLR
Print Length: 160pages
Publication Date: September 13, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Chasing Time [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Thomas Reilly - authorThe Author: Thomas Reilly is a retired biotechnology scientist and executive who holds a doctoral degree in microbiology. He is the author of numerous essays and articles on science and technology. CHASING TIME, his first novel, is a gripping medical suspense story with a touch of magical realism that captures many elements of the drug research and development processes. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife Linda.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Reading Ireland Month 2022

February Rosepoint Review Recap—Welcome March! (Finally…)

Rosepoint Reviews February Recap

Rosepoint Reviews-February Recap

We finally got our snow, although still under the norm. Warmer temps are forecast finally though that will go back and forth for the most part of March. I am still setting up 2022 folders as I need them and now searching for Irish authors, Ireland related books, or other fun Ireland related possible posts in March for Reading Ireland Month where Cathy has some great author and book recommendations. The first book review for March will be The Paris Network by Siobhan Curham on March 4. I got the audiobook from NetGalley, a powerful and emotional Historical Fiction and one I heartily recommend.

Between the CE and I, we managed fifteen book reviews for February, most from NetGalley, audiobooks (local library and now more from NetGalley), a few from author requests as well as one blog tour. (Links to our reviews below.)

February reads

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘em Dead by Elle Cosimano
Trapped by Sigmund Brouwer (A CE review)
The Doomsday Medallion by Avanti Centrae (A CE 5* review)
Moment in Time by Suzanne Redfearn
To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear
Silencio by Mike Faricy (A CE review)
The Darkest Place by Phillip Margolin (A CE review)
The Unveiling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte Whitney
The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Spencer Quinn
The Conversos by VEH Masters (A CE 5* review)
Every Little Secret by Sarah Clarke (A CE review)
The Art of the Decoy by Trish Esden
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
DoubleBlind by Libby Fischer Hellmann (A CE 5* review)
The Bucharest Dossier by William Maz (A CE review)

 

Reading Challenges

Reading Challenges

A short month, February, and so much going on have not gotten the challenge page updated. 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 32. And, I’m excited to mention that I’m over the 420 mark on the Readometer for NetGalley that I’ve posted in the widgets column!

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

As the Page Turns Book Club finished The Song of Achilles and thinking the next would be The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi, listened to that too. But no, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, a Goodreads Choice Award nominee and all-round awesome Historical Fiction was chosen. It’s also a NYTimes bestseller, a USA Today bestseller, a Los Angeles Times bestseller, and a PBS Book pick. Not bad, indeed! (Also one I’d overwhelmingly recommend.) I will be posting my review for The Henna Artist on Thursday, March 31. In the meantime, I’ll be reviewing in audiobook form Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann on Thursday, March 17 (perfect day for an audiobook for Reading Ireland Month) and from my local library whichever I can get by Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Barry, or Dervla McTiernan (as recommended by Cathy at 746 Books (thank you, Cathy).

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

Rosepoint winter graphic

DoubleBlind (Georgia Davis Series Book 6) by Libby Fischer Hellmann – #BookReview – #medicalthriller

DoubleBlind by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

DoubleBlind by Libby Fischer HellmannWith little work during the pandemic, Chicago PI Georgia Davis agrees to help the best friend of fellow sleuth, Ellie Foreman. Susan Siler’s aunt died suddenly after her Covid booster, and Susan’s distraught mother wants the death investigated.

However, Georgia’s investigation is interrupted by a family trip to Nauvoo, Illinois, the one-time Mormon heartland. It’s there that her life unexpectedly intersects with the runaway spouse of a Mormon Fundamentalist. Back in Evanston, after Georgia is almost killed by a hit and run driver, she discovers that she and the escaped woman look remarkably alike.

Is someone trying to kill Georgia because of her death investigation case? Or is it a case of mistaken identity? And how can Georgia find her doppelganger before whoever wants them both dead tries again?

His Review:

The state of Utah was founded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Brigham Young. They were escaping religious persecution after John Smith formed the church in New York, fled to Illinois and was persecuted by organized religion and finally went to Utah to have a place they could worship and form their religion in peace.

DoubleBlind by Libby Fischer HellmannA splinter group called the Fundamentalists are a radical group within the church whose sole purpose is to maintain the integrity of the original teachings of the founders. Those teachings include polygamy and this splinter group practice it today. The group has men with multiple partners, some as young as 13 or 14. Eden had married for love and the first years of her marriage were very happy. Then her husband found a younger woman and married her as well. Eden became a house charwoman and was often beaten and denigrated by her husband. Despite having three children she had to escape for her own sanity.

Eden runs to Chicago and environs around Illinois where the church first began. A large city offers a chance for anonymity. With no source of income, she is reduced to living in homeless shelters and relying upon the charity and hospitality of others. She is constantly looking over her shoulder and in fear of being dragged back to Utah. She fears for her life but wants to see her three children again.

Ms. Fischer-Hellman writes a very illuminating expose of the lives of these women married into this sect. Leaving husbands means giving up everything the woman has and escaping to another life, hidden. However, there are members of the sect who are very talented investigators and, if found, leaving a husband can result in beatings, imprisonment, and in some cases death.

CE WilliamsI found this book enlightening on the Fundamentalist Sect of the Mormon Church and enjoyed the novel. It is a good primer for anyone who is considering joining this church and will need to evaluate the consequences. 5 stars – C.E. Williams

I read Book 5 of this series, High Crimes, and also found it to be a solid and riveting narrative. We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher by winning a Goodreads Giveaway that in no way influenced this review. He enjoyed her strong well-researched writing style as well and these are his honest opinions. 

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Medical Fiction, Women’s Adventure Fiction
Publisher: The Red Herrings Press
ASIN: B09JV6CMCJ
Print Length: 335 pages
Publication Date: March 8, 2022
Source: Publisher and Goodreads Giveaway
Title Link(s): DoubleBlind [Amazon] 
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

DoubleBlind by Libby Fischer HellmannThe Author: Libby would love to visit your Book Club or Library Via Zoom. Click here: https://www.libbyhellmann.com/book-clubs-and-libraries

Libby Fischer Hellmann is a critically acclaimed crime writer loved by readers the world over for her compulsively readable thrillers and strong female characters. Her fast-paced crime fiction spans 16 novels and 25 short stories. She also writes historical fiction stand-alones and edited the evergreen popular crime fiction anthology CHICAGO BLUES. Her newest historical fiction, A BEND IN THE RIVER was released in October, 2020.

With critics describing her work as “masterful” and “meticulously researched”, Libby’s thrilling and richly varied novels have won numerous awards. Libby is committed to her work, and in 2005-2006 she was the National President of Sisters in Crime, a 3,400+ member organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of female mystery writers.

Libby started out in broadcast news, beginning her career as an assistant film editor for NBC News in New York before moving to DC to work with Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer at N-PACT, the public affairs production arm of PBS. Retrained as an assistant director when Watergate broke, Libby helped produce PBS’s night-time broadcast of the hearings. She moved to Chicago to work for public relations firm Burson-Marsteller in Chicago in 1978, where she stayed until she left to found Fischer Hellmann Communications in 1985.

Originally from Washington, D.C.–where, she says, “When you’re sitting around the dinner table gossiping about the neighbors, you’re talking politics”– Libby earned a Masters Degree in Film Production from New York University and a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to writing, Libby writes and produces videos, and conducts speaker training programs in platform speaking, presentation skills, media training and crisis communications.

AN EYE FOR MURDER, introduced Ellie Foreman, a video producer and single mother who went on to star in five more novels in a series described by Libby as “a cross between Desperate Housewives and 24.” The mystery was nominated for several awards and described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a masterful blend of politics, history, and suspense.” Libby’s second series follows the Chicago PI Georgia Davis, a no-nonsense detective who has been featured in five books so far. Her historical fiction includes what she calls her “Revolution Trilogy,” (Set the Night on Fire, A Bitter Veil, and Havana Lost) in which we meet young activists during the late Sixties, a young American woman who becomes trapped in the Iranian revolution, and a female Mafia boss in Cuba who chases power at the expense of love.

And if you’ve read this far, you deserve a reward! When you sign up for her newsletter, you’ll receive 7 free short stories, including the prequel to the AN EYE FOR MURDER series, which is the prequel to the Georgia Davis series, which will be the prequel… to who knows what? Whatever it is, Libby guarantees it will be compelling.

Click to sign up here: http://www.libbyhellmann.com/libby-fischer-hellmans-newsletter/

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams

V Williams

Have a great weekend from Rosepoint Publishing

TV Netflix movie The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society vs #Audiobook by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows – #historicalfiction – #TBT

TV Netflix movie vs audiobook

“If books do have the power to bring people together, this one may work it’s magic.”

Trust the CE to find the pseudo-Hallmark of the week, in this instance, the Historical Fiction of the adaptation of a book published more than ten years previous amid vocal yays and nays. But, once again, my attention snagged, I sat and watched the two hour 3 minute movie with him. Seems we are in the grip of WWII stories and it doesn’t take much more than the slightest undertones of romance and a happy ever after to get the attention of those who hear the ka-ching in the wind. So yes, FIRST I watched the movie, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, although it was awhile before I noticed the audiobook come up at my local, well-stocked (audiobook) library. Once more I discovered quite the wide disparity of book vs TV version and glad I saw the Netflix rendering first.

Netflix Movie

No doubt most of my readers watched this movie before I did. Briefly, for those who haven’t, a successful London writer gets a letter from a resident of Guernsey and responds to his inquiry which begins an odyssey into the war history of the residents who invented a book club in the face of probable arrest by the Nazi occupiers.

In 1941, four friends confronted by soldiers of the German occupation invent a book club to explain why they’ve broken curfew. The historical romantic-drama borrowed heavily from the cast of Downton Abbey in forming a solid, immersive cast on film.

In 1946, Juliet Ashton receives an inquiry from one of the residents of Guernsey that sets off a barrage of correspondence eventually resulting in her move to the island to get to know them better and write a book about their WWII stories. Juliet has been writing successfully as Izzy Bickerstaff but explains to her publisher, Sidney Stark, that she wishes to write something of greater substance and senses a winning story.

It doesn’t take long to get to know the residents, appreciate their kindness, and understand their reticence in sharing emotional stories. Many of the stories keep revolving around another resident named Elizabeth, the founding member of the Society. Elizabeth’s daughter Kit was left with members of the Society when Elizabeth was arrested. She is still missing but hope remains for her return.

Juliet had left Mark in London expecting to return, an American in the armed forces, who proposed to her shortly before she left for Guernsey. He gleans info regarding Elizabeth for Juliet to relay to the Society, but her heart is now in Guernsey; the people, a man named Dawsey, Kit, and she’ll stay there.

Enter your happy ever after, queue the violins, swell the volume, fade to scenic pictures of the happy couple with the sun setting on the surf.

My Thoughts

Being a war baby, I got stories from my mother, the pictures, the music—the wartime mentality. Stamps for provisions, making due (chicory instead of coffee), darning until the clothes fell apart, shoes stuffed with paper or cardboard. So, yes, perhaps I tend to get a bit nostalgic. I’m not big on romance novels or movies, but there is more to this story than the romance both Juliet and Dawsey were denying. There is happiness gleaned in stories of triumph and the tragedy of loss. The scenes shot across England were beautiful, the clothing and hairstyles authentic. The production is engaging enough to forgive a few little details that might have been glossed over. 5 stars

Audiobook

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…. 

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends – and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island – boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. 

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

My Thoughts

WHOA! What a shock to discover the novel is actually Epistolary Fiction. Not that I haven’t read other books in that particular format, I guess, just that I didn’t know there was a name for that. Letters. A literary work made entirely in the form of letters. Hence, the multiple narrators (for the different characters in the audiobook).

Not at all what I was expecting. But then after a chapter or two, I expected it to evolve. It didn’t.

he Guernsey Literary and PPP Society audiobook coverFirst, the speed with which letters seem to fly back and forth left me wondering about post-wartime posts. With addresses disappearing daily during the raids and people missing, there was still the capacity of posting and receiving letters that fast?

Rather than trading letters and characters every chapter, I wished for some off-page narration. A little filler.

The letters, though written (and narrated) by different characters all seemed to have much the same sense of humor and insight. Only the character of Mark, the wealthy American, who was largely offensive, seemed distinct.

I did enjoy a number of the little side stories, dips into the characters for instance of Dawsey Adams, a pig farmer, and how a pig was used to dupe the Germans. I’m quite sure many such shenanigans were played, lightening the dark times just enough to make bearable another day under deplorable conditions.

Still, I was never able to become engaged with Juliet and the letters as laid out, always wanting to “fill in” what I perceived missing. 3 1/2 stars

Overall Impression

This would not have been my choice of reading had I known it was an Epistolary novel. And quite possibly, I’d have denied myself the pleasure of the book seen through the visionaries in the Netflix movie had I read the book first. So much is conveyed through sight and scene, the flashbacks, the instant impressions that make the movie come alive. The desperation, hurt, denial, and guilt, missing in part in the novel. The actors were superb. Their eyes spoke volumes. The letters failed to impart that emotion for me.

I have to give the Netflix movie the nod over the novel. If you haven’t had the pleasure, even at this late date, look for it.

Book Details

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Genre: World War II Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Random House Audio (Unabridged)
ASIN: B001FVJIN8
Listening Length: 8 hrs 7 min
Narrator:  Paul BoehmerSusan DuerdenRosalyn LandorJohn LeeJuliet Mills
Audible Release: September 2, 2008
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Publisher: The Dial Press
Genre: Epistolary Fiction, Historical World War II Fiction, World War Historical Fiction
Print Length: 306 pages
ISBN : 0385341008
ASIN: B0015DWJX2
Publication Date: July 29, 2008
Title Link: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society [Amazon]

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Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - authorsThe Authors: Mary Ann Shaffer who passed away in February 2008, worked as an editor, librarian, and in bookshops. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was her first novel.

Annie Barrows - author[Goodreads] Mary Ann Shaffer worked as an editor, a librarian, and in bookshops. Her life-long dream was to someday write her own book and publish it. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was her first novel. Unfortunately, she became very ill with cancer and so she asked her niece, Annie Barrows, the author of the children’s series Ivy and Bean, as well as The Magic Half, to help her finish the book. Mary Ann Shaffer died in February 2008, a few months before her first novel was published.

The Narrators: Paul BoehmerSusan DuerdenRosalyn LandorJohn LeeJuliet Mills

Juliet Maryon Mills (born 21 November 1941) is a British-American actress of film, stage, and television. She is the daughter of actor Sir John Mills and Mary Hayley Bell born November 1, 1941 in London and the eldest of three siblings; her younger siblings are actress Hayley Mills and director Jonathan Mills. [Wikipedia]

©2021 V Williams

happy thursday!

A Trail of Lies: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery Book 3) by Kylie Logan –#BookReview – #cozyanimalmysteries – #TuesdayBookBlog – #bookseries

Book Blurb:

A Trail of Lies is the third in the Jazz Ramsey mystery series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan.

A Trail of Lies by Kylie LoganJazz Ramsey is just getting used to the idea that her on-again-off-again beau, Nick, might actually be a permanent fixture, when she gets an alarming call in the middle of the night from his mother, Kim: there’s a dead man in her backyard. Kim has a long history of drinking and a vivid imagination, so when Jazz’s human remains detection dog, Wally, finds no evidence of a body, Jazz thinks she can breathe easy.

But when the body of a middle-aged man, Dan Mansfield, is discovered in a nearby park, and a photo of Nick and his mom is found in his pocket, Jazz has to admit that something isn’t adding up. Kim claims not to know who Dan is, but the cops find out soon enough: he’s a recently paroled convict who served thirty years for murder. And when Jazz traces his crime back to a bar fight with an antiques dealer, she ends up with more questions than answers.

Meanwhile, no one wants her poking around—not Nick’s mom, nor the Motorcycle-riding ex-con she connects to Dan, nor Nick himself, who seems worried about Jazz’s safety, but also about what she might find. But Jazz has never been one to take no for an answer, and she won’t give up now—even if it means risking her own life.

My Review:

Yes, I found a doggy story to share with you today! So many dogs in this world and each and every one has a job—even if only to be a companion dog—like our little Bichon, Frosty. (Her job is to be a thigh buddy and she usually performs that job very well.)

A Trail of Lies by Kylie LoganIn Book 3 of the Jazz Ramsey Mystery series, Jazz is awakened by Nick’s mom. Unfortunately, Nick’s mom is an alcoholic and it’s difficult to believe she is actually seeing the body of Nick in her back yard as Jazz knows her (police) boyfriend is on an undercover assignment. He had asked her to look in on his mother, however, and she dutifully drags herself over to inspect her back yard.

Kim continues to be quite adamant though and after her own Airedale terrier Wally, seven months old and training to be a HRD dog, fails to find anyone, she thinks the issue is over until the body of a man is discovered in a park. Oops. Apparently this isn’t going to go away, especially after Jazz brought in a trained dog who did alert. Double oops. Don’t tell me the woman actually did see something?

This episode focuses a little more on her position at St. Catherine and we get glimpses into the training involved with the dog, but again, I miss more dog involvement in the mystery. In the meantime, we are introduced to some interesting characters, are thrown red herrings, and follow Jazz as she pursues one lead after another up to and including the attack on her life. EEK! She’s out for the count–for three weeks(?). Little further development in Nick—he is mostly out of the scene. Her family comes roaring to her rescue—and the family theme becomes prominent.

Kim’s past appears to be catching up to her and pieces of the puzzle begin to fit, interesting twists exposed. The conclusion neatly wraps up the loose dog hair and I like the protagonists’ dogged character—she WILL get answers. A slightly more serious entry to the genre and fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy the inclusion of smart dogs with just a touch of anthropomorphic inclusion. I previously read and enjoyed The Secret of Bones and was happy to see more canine involvement in this, Book 3. Still, no problem reading as a standalone. Currently on pre-order. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Cozy Animal Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books

  • ASIN : B08FZ8143D

Print Length: 312 pages
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

 Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

The Author: Kylie Logan is the nationally bestselling author of the Jazz Ramsey Mysteries, the League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries.

[Goodreads] A pseudonym used by Constance Laux.

©2021 V Williams

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