Rosepoint Reviews – August Recap—Woohoo, it’s September!

I mentioned last month the fun with new gardening possibilities and while the sauerkraut was a bust, the carrots did pretty well. The rest of the veggies in the gallon fermenter got too soft. Now, I have ripe cherry tomatoes coming out of my ears and already dried the first batch. A bit too much pepper on some, but otherwise, they are like little tomato-flavored candies.

Okay, admittedly, that has little to do with books, although an excellent reason I’m slow to read this month. Thank heaven for audiobooks and the CE!

us back in 62
We don’t have any wedding pics, but I think this is in 1962.

Speaking of the CE…we will be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary on the 2nd (cue the horns!). Hoping to do a couple things; still there are issues with gas and Covid. Because I am writing this ahead of those last three review posts, the links will be to Amazon rather than my review which I will edit upon return to my computer. (Sadly, I don’t know how to get a link to a review scheduled, not yet posted. Yes, I know—don’t say it.)

Together we did read or listen to nineteen books in August, most from NetGalley as I’m still working on the 500 badge; as I’m writing this, now up to a count of 494. So close!

The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt The Last Sentinel by Simon Gervais The Final Hunt by Audrey J Cole Such a Beautiful Family by T R Ragan Lie Down with Dogs by Liz Milliron The Girl Who Escaped by Mark Nolan Overkill by Sandra Brown Out of Patients by Sandra Cavello Miller Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart Bad Axe County by John Galligan Dark Rivers to Cross by Lynne Reeves Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin Lies She Told by Cate Holahan The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks A Sliver of Darkness by C J Tudor Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner The Double Agent by William Christie The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane

  1. The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier
  2. Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt (audiobook)
  3. The Last Sentinel by Simon Gervais (a CE review)
  4. The Final Hunt by Audrey J Cole (a CE review)
  5. Such a Beautiful Family by T R Ragan
  6. Lie Down with Dogs by Liz Milliron (a CE review)
  7. The Girl Who Escaped by Mark Nolan (a CE 5* review)
  8. Overkill by Sandra Brown (a CE review)
  9. Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart
  10. Bad Axe County by John Gallagan (audiobook)
  11. Out of Patients by Sandra Cavallo Miller (a CE review)
  12. Dark Rivers to Cross by Lynne Reeves (a CE review)
  13. Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin (a CE review)
  14. Lies She Told by Cate Holahan (audiobook)
  15. Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner (my 5*)
  16. The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks (a CE 5* review)
  17.  A Sliver of Darkness by C J Tudor (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)
  18. The Double Agent by William Christie (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)
  19. The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)

Reading Challenges

My challenges—promises, promises, promises. Yes, I caught it up! Not once, but twice as I lost all my input the first time. My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can always check out the progress of my challenges, if you are so inclined, by clicking the Reading Challenges page. I’m now at 73% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 132 and achieved my Audiobook Challenge of 30 and the Historical Reading Challenge of 25. I also achieved the yearly goal of 75 for Netgalley and Edelweiss, although of course, those books are all from NG.

Having to do over the Reading Challenges page taught me one thing: I’m not keeping up with it well. Not updating, nor reporting to the challenge hosts. My apologies. I think going forward I will undertake fewer challenges and not try to list individual entries to the challenge. Makes the page unwieldy and for what purpose? Tell me, honestly…have you ever looked at it?

Where the Crawdads Sing (my review of the book here by Delia Owens) starring Daisy Edgar-Jones—was excellent. Did you get a chance to view it? I’ll be doing a critical review discussing both shortly. I’d love to hear what you thought, too! Did you read the book?

We here in the upper Midwest had a beautiful August—I can’t complain—with pleasant temps during the day and cool in the evening perfect for sleeping. Did you get the kiddies off to school? We’ve been informed we are expecting our second great-grandchild. Too early to know boy or girl. In the meantime, the boy is trying to walk. He’s nine months. The fun begins…Happy old woman

Welcome to my new followers and as always I appreciate those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. Please let me know if you saw something above that got your interest.

©2022 V Williams

Granny graphic attribute: wdrfree.com

Rosepoint Reviews – July Recap—The Dog Days of Summer

Rosepoint Reviews – July Recap

Rosepoint Reviews - July Recap

Last month I mentioned new food possibilities from Amazon in addition to my veggie garden and sad to say, the mushroom block was a bust. Nothing happened. No mushrooms. I’ve been enjoying lots of spouts though, they add a tang to salads and sandwiches.

The cherry tomatoes are finally ripening, so slow this year. Contrary to most of the country, our temperatures have been temperate, almost comfortable, but tomatoes like it hot so they are slow. They are so sweet though—will be like candy when I get them dried. (See book graphic below)

Fermenting jarNow the new thing in July is “fermenting.” Got a couple lids and started on sauerkraut, but blew it by not exercising more patience. Then I got a gallon size glass bottle with a special fermenting lid (see that lid? It will exhaust but not allow oxygen back in) and trying that with carrots and cucumbers. Gotta be patient with this one and let it go at least thirty days. It’s been a week today…You can see why I might do more reading in the winter.

So of course I rely heavily on the CE for his reviews, so much of my time spent otherwise. He’s into the reading thing—now if I can just get him into the reviewing thing! We did read or listen to seventeen books in July, most from NetGalley as I’m working on the 500 badge, now up to a count of 482 and my ratio continues to be 95%.

Rosepoint Reviews-July Recap

The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin (CE review)
Dream Town by David Baldacci (audiobook)
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (audiobook)
Cold Justice by Nolon King (CE review)
The Faithful Dog by Terry Lee Caruthers (CE review)
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (audiobook)
The Iron Way by Tim Leach (CE review)
The Secret Keeper by Siobhan Curham (CE review)
Growing Wild in the Shade by Jean Grainger
Deadly Spirits by Mary Miley
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub (audiobook)
The Line by Helen Scott (CE review)
Canned Hunt by Kerry K Cox (CE review)
Still Waters by Sara Driscoll
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audiobook)
Do No Harm by Robert Pobi (CE review)
I Remember You by Brian Freeman (CE review)

Reading Challenges

My challenges—goodness, I just neglect them something awful. Okay—maybe winter? My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. When I get them updated, you can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page. I’m now at 64% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 116.

Looking forward to catching Where the Crawdads Sing (my review of the book here by Delia Owens) starring Daisy Edgar-Jones—they finally released it—and not sure now it’s even still there. Did you get a chance to view it? Does it do justice to the book?

I’m experiencing a drought of books that really glue me to the Kindle app and now with audiobooks as well (after The Nightingale—well, how do you follow that?), having started several and dumped. I hesitate to keep going back to favorites, but not having a lot of success with throwing a dart and hoping it sticks. Any suggestions?

How was your July? The US is either frying, in severe drought, or flooding and it appears we’ll get a taste of the former next week. Fortunately, the winds off the Great Lakes shift and give us a retrieve after a few days.

Welcome to my new followers and as always I appreciate those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. Please let me know if you saw something above that got your interest. I hope August will be kind to you and yours wherever you live.

©2022 V Williams

Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben

Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben

Book Blurb:

In Darkest Fear, Myron Bolitar faces the most emotionally shattering case of his career. And it all begins when Myron’s ex-girlfriend tells him he is a father – of a dying 13-year-old boy….

Myron’s sports agency is struggling. Now more than ever, Myron needs to keep his eye on the ball, sign up some big-name clients, and turn away from the amateur detective work that is taking precious time away from the agency.  

But life is not going according to plan. Myron’s father, recently recovered from a heart attack, is facing his own mortality – and forcing Myron to face it, too. Then comes another surprise. Emily Downing, Myron’s college sweetheart, reappears in his life with devastating news: Her 13-year-old son, Jeremy, is gravely ill and can be saved only by a bone-marrow transplant – from a donor who has vanished without a trace. And before Myron can absorb this revelation, Emily hits him with an even bigger shocker: Jeremy is Myron’s son, conceived the night before Emily’s wedding to another man.

Staggered by the news, Myron plunges into a search for the missing donor. But for Myron, finding the only person in the world who can save a boy’s life means cracking open a mystery as dark as it is heartbreaking – a mystery that involves a broken family, a brutal kidnapping spree, and a cat-and-mouse game between an ambitious reporter and the FBI. 

Somewhere in the sordid mess is the man who once signed his name to a bone-marrow donor’s registry, then disappeared. And as doubts emerge about Jeremy’s true paternity, a child vanishes, igniting a chain reaction of truth and revelation that will change everyone’s life forever.

At once a riveting mystery and a spellbinding journey into the secrets that haunt families, lovers, and friends, Darkest Fear proves once again that Harlan Coben is a master storyteller like no other – and one of the most original talents in suspense fiction today. 

My Review:

Whoa, another series into Book 7 but my first. Yes, I’ve done it again and this is a series in which growth and change continue so this should probably not be read as a standalone, although it does sneak in some backstory.

Myron Bolitar has a struggling sports agency, so this series usually has a totally different focus.  He does, however, do some amateur detective work but that’s not the reason Emily Downing comes calling.

Darkest Fear by Harlan CobenEmily is a former college sweetheart. She informs him that her thirteen-year-old son is seriously ill and will die unless she can track down the possible donor, already identified, but missing. She’s frantic. Oh, and by the way, Myron is the father.

Apparently falling to pattern but with a much darker vibe than in previous series entries, Myron begins the search that quickly becomes complicated and you know will get more so.

There is a very rich, powerful family and it doesn’t take long before even the FBI is involved. Myron has quite the sarcastic wit and sense of humor, not tempered in the least by sidekick Win. To add to the mix, a new romantic interest in his life, which, of course, you gotta have in any detective series.

The storyline is hampered somewhat by a slow and convoluted start. Depending on how quick or how deep I’m hooked and also my multi-tasking, I’m apt to listen with half an ear if not thoroughly engaged. This one takes quite a while, introducing characters, then twists and turns and can switch from serious to wisecracking in the blink of an eye.

There are a few of the old tropes thrown in for good measure along with quotables:

“His blond locks had been parted with the precision of old ladies dividing up a lunch check.”

Now that’s funny! I must admit to enjoying some witty barbs. If you’re a Coben fan, you’ll no doubt enjoy this dark departure from the usual in the series—or not—but the sense of humor is still there.

I previously listened to Tell No One, not part of this series, and really enjoyed it. A copy of this audiobook was supplied also by my favorite well-stocked local library, this one narrated by Jonathan Marosz. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Mysteries, Suspense, Suspense Thrillers
Publisher: Random House Audio
ASIN: B000OYAJBC
Listening Length: 7 hrs 40 mins
Narrator: Jonathan Marosz
Publication Date: April 21, 2006
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Darkest Fear [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four Stars 4 stars

 

Harlan Coben - authorThe Author: With over 70 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times author of thirty one novels including RUN AWAY, FOOL ME ONCE, TELL NO ONE, NO SECOND CHANCE and the renowned Myron Bolitar series. His books are published in 43 languages around the globe.

Harlan is the creator and executive producer for the Netflix television dramas SAFE starring Michael C. Hall, Audrey Fleurot and Amanda Abbington, and THE FIVE starring Tom Cullen and OT Fagbenle. He is currently filming THE STRANGER, based on his novel, for Netflix starring Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran, Jennifer Saunders and Stephen Rea. Harlan was also showrunner and executive producer for two French TV mini-series, UNE CHANCE DE TROP (NO SECOND CHANCE) with Alexandra Lamy and JUST UN REGARD (JUST ONE LOOK) with Virginie Ledoyen. KEINE ZWEIT CHANCE, also based on Harlan’s novel, aired in Germany on Sat1.

Harlan’s novel TELL NO ONE (NE LE DIS A PERSONNE) was turned into the renowned French film, directed by Guillaume Canet and starring Francois Cluzet. The movie was the top box office foreign-language film of the year in USA, won the Lumiere (French Golden Globe) for best picture and was nominated for nine Cesars (French Oscar) and won four, including best actor, best director and best music. The movie with subtitles is now available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and DVD/Blu-Ray.

Winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – international bestselling author Harlan Coben’s critically-acclaimed novels have been called “ingenious” (New York Times), “poignant and insightful” (Los Angeles Times), “consistently entertaining” (Houston Chronicle), “superb” (Chicago Tribune) and “must reading” (Philadelphia Inquirer).

[truncated—please see the author page for his full bio]

Harlan was born in Newark, New Jersey. He still lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, a pediatrician, and their four children.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

Dark Sky (A Joe Pickett Novel Book 21) by C J Box – #Audiobook Review – #crimefiction

Dark Sky by C J Box

Dark Sky by C J Box

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett must accompany a Silicon Valley CEO on a hunting trip – but soon learns that he himself may be the hunted – in the thrilling new novel from number-one New York Times best-selling author C. J. Box.

When the governor of Wyoming gives Joe Pickett the thankless task of taking a tech baron on an elk hunting trip, Joe reluctantly treks into the wilderness with his high-profile charge. But as they venture into the woods, a man-hunter is hot on their heels, driven by a desire for revenge. Finding himself without a weapon, a horse, or a way to communicate, Joe must rely on his wits and his knowledge of the outdoors to protect himself and his companion. 

Meanwhile, Joe’s closest friend, Nate Romanowski, and his own daughter Sheridan learn of the threat to Joe’s life and follow him into the woods. In a stunning final showdown, the three of them come up against the worst that nature – and man – have to offer. 

My Review:

Yes, not my first Joe Pickett. This entry to the series has Pickett accompanying a bigwig Silicon Valley CEO on an elk hunting trip. The man has decided he must do the thing himself, not ever having hiked a trail that wasn’t a flat concrete path through a park, much less the Bitterroots. These mountains are serious; elevation, dense, full of wildlife, and treacherous. It’s beyond me how someone without hunting experience is even allowed a gun, much less something powerful enough to bring down a bull elk.

A social media event, the governor has given Pickett the assignment as “Steve2” is trying to decide on a location for a major extension into Wyoming. The gov wants the deal.

Dark Sky by C J BoxSounding suspiciously familiar, I ventured into the book because I like the series, the characters, and the stunning, majestic, and rustic location. But, yes, I think I’ve read this plot before, maybe at Book 21 there are no new plot ideas.

Still, Steve2 is exactly what you’d expect of a clueless (and fabulously rich) Silicon Valley media baron and the various characters surrounding him on this quest are exactly the clueless people you’d NOT want to be accompanying anyone.

You won’t read a Picket series novel without Nate Romanowski running at least a sub-plot and he does so here, providing his shoot first, ask questions later style of justice.

Predictably, it’s one disaster after the other, dodging the bad guys, confronting dangerously severe early winter weather, and experiencing more than the average savage death of bit players. But Joe is, after all a game warden, and experienced in these here mountains. He does, fortunately, have a budding and forceful Joe Pickett Jr in his youngest daughter and she’s coming fast to help save dead old dad.

The well-plotted and fast-paced narrative races to the conclusion in a flurry of Western blood and guts. But hey, in the meantime, it’s been an engaging and entertaining novel, one that the narrator enhanced in the telling this time. I listened to Long Range last year and could have happily exchanged Chandler for the lady who narrated The Bitterroots (another series also by the same author).

Still, I’ll be looking to listen to Book 22, released in March this year (coincidence? I think not), Shadows Reel. No, you don’t have to worry about starting with Book 1. 

Quote from Walter Kirn

I obtained a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stock library.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.  
ASIN: B08F2SLBZN
Listening Length: 9 hrs 31 mins
Narrator: David Chandler
Publication Date: March 02, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Dark Sky [Amazon] 

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing: Four stars 4 stars

C J Box - authorThe Author: C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over twenty-two novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award (twice), the Western Heritage Award for Literature, and 2017 Spur Award for Best Contemporary Western. The novels have been translated into 27 languages. Open Season, Blue Heaven, Nowhere To Run, and The Highway have been optioned for film and television. Millions of copies of his novels have been sold in the U.S. alone.

Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. In 2008, Box was awarded the “BIG WYO” Award from the state tourism industry. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and is currently serving on the Wyoming Tourism Board. He lives in Wyoming.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James – #Audiobook Review – Supernational Thrillers

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James


The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Sun Down Motel.

In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect – a rich, eccentric 23-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases – a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

My Review:

Shea Collins is a single medical receptionist who still lives quietly with the trauma of surviving a kidnap attempt when she was young when Beth Greer comes in for an appointment. Shea hosts a true crime website in 2017 as a hobby and clearly remembers the case, dubbed the Lady Killer murders from 1977. She requests an interview for her blog and to her amazement, the interview is granted.

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St JamesBeth, wealthy and living alone quite eccentrically, lives in her wealthy family home, both parents gone for years. She was acquitted of the murder of two men. Beth has no one but her lawyer and after all these years agrees to meet with Shea—in her home.

Beth is a fascinating character and the complete opposite of Shea. Shea quickly realizes there is something really wrong with the mansion Beth lives in. There are strange manifestations during her visits that unsettle her but the deeper she delves into Beth’s history, the more she comes to believe in her innocence, seeing her a victim of her circumstances as well.

The suspense weaves in a paranormal atmosphere through the well-described Victorian filled with the furnishings of people long gone. The meetings as well as the mansion ooze atmosphere, described so well you can smell the decay. Shea as a main character is engaging, but not so much as Beth. A cat is introduced by the name of Winston Purrchill and quickly becomes my favorite character—love the name!

The well-plotted narrative sweeps the reader into a satisfying conclusion, including the little twists, and perhaps a surprise you hadn’t expected. Entertaining and gripping, one of those novels hard to put down—but not in the dark.

I listened to The Sun Down Motel in 2020 and the audiobook left me wondering what the hype was about. Definitely the delivery, I suppose, though noted the two timelines (again) was split, this one also in 2017. There would be a lot of argument as to whether or not this novel was better than that one. For me, however, particularly in both cases, listening to audiobooks—my vote goes to this one. The author knows how to raise the hair on the back of your neck and make sure you’ve locked your doors before reading. This one has my recommendation.

Have you read both? What is your thoughts on this one? Agree with me?

Book Details:

Genre: Supernatural Thrillers, Suspense
Publisher:  Penguin Audio
ASIN: B098YCW26K
Listening Length: 10 hrs 44 mins
Narrator: Brittany PressleyKirsten PotterRobert Petkoff
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Book of Cold Cases [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four Stars 4 stars

 

The Author: Simone St. James is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel and The Broken Girls. Her debut novel, The Haunting of Maddy Clare, won two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada.

Simone spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives just outside of Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled rescue cat.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

happy thursday!

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!

The Unveiling of Polly Forrest: A Mystery by Charlotte Whitney – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Rural Michigan, 1934.

The Unveiling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte WhitneyWhen her new husband Sam perishes in a bizarre farm accident, would-be milliner Polly soon becomes the prime suspect in his murder. As she digs for evidence to clear her name, Polly falls into a sinister web implicating her in a nefarious crime ring being investigated by White House Police. Polly’s life and those of her family are at stake.

Narrated by Polly, her self-righteous older sister, Sarah, and Sarah’s well-meaning, but flawed husband Wesley, a Methodist minister, the story follows several twists through the landscape of the rural Midwest. During the throes of the Great Depression Polly marries for money. After her husband Sam dies in a freak farm accident, new bride Polly assumes she is financially set to pursue her dream of opening a hat-making business. Instead, she becomes the prime suspect in Sam’s murder. Secrets abound and even Polly’s family can’t figure out the truth. [BookBub]

My Review:

Told in the POVs of three persons, Polly Forrest, her sister Sarah, and her brother-in-law, the Reverend Wesley Johnson, the tale is woven through the perilous, deprived times of the depression in 1934, Michigan.

The Unveiling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte WhitneyPolly’s husband Sam is killed in a farm accident and it isn’t long before she becomes a suspect. Her sister, who lives up the hill on the adjacent property with the reverend is also implicated. Sarah is the typical depression era housewife and mother of two young boys and a baby daughter. The oldest of the two sisters, she was fundamentally responsible for raising her much young sister, Polly, who had been spoiled before their mother passed.

Polly remains immature, making bad decisions and one was her marriage to Sam who appeared to have money but turns out to be abusive. Polly tries to hide injuries and she denies any problem, but Sarah suspects the truth, so she quietly wonders if Polly had had enough and “helped” her husband to his death by bull.

Living on boiled potatoes and bean soup, thoroughly patched and repatched clothing, most are living hungry with the threat of losing their farms and a roof over their heads. The reverend is losing his congregation. Polly, now desperate, is beginning to discover secrets around Sam’s farm she hadn’t known about which might make a small difference in her financial recovery. But there are others who might also have interest in those as well.

I wasn’t able to really engage in either sister or the reverend. Polly feels more like Petulant Polly and Sarah as an overworked and underappreciated workmate who had put up with her sister until she could no longer—no love lost. There were themes of domestic abuse, friendship, secrets, and felonious crimes. All characters are flawed.

Chapters alternate on each perspective while events begin to occur that gradually change the demeanor of Polly. This is often illustrated by naming Polly as Patient Polly, Impetuous Polly, or Pretty Polly allowing for a slight bit of humor in a dark theme. There is a gradual softening of Sarah as she begins to see the strength and maturing in Polly.

A rather slow start, the plot picks up speed as it hurdles into an interesting conclusion. In the meantime, however, I noted a few contradictions and slightly awkward descriptions.

I received a complimentary review ARC 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 Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mysteries, Mystery, Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Lake William Press
ISBN: 979-8-9851601-0-9
Publication Date: March 15, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Google Books  |  BookBub

Charlotte Whitney-authorThe Author: Charlotte Whitney‘s latest book, THE UNVEILING OF POLLY FORREST is a historical mystery set on a Midwestern farm in 1934. It follows her successful novel, THREADS A DEPRESSION-ERA TALE. The author grew up on a Michigan farm and heard her aunts and grandmother tell stories of “hard times,” and was surprised to hear that even farmers went to bed hungry. That served as the impetus for the settings for her most recent novels. She worked at the University of Michigan as the associate director of Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts before leaving to write full-time. Currently, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two Labrador Retrievers. She loves hiking, bicycling, and yoga.

To learn more about the author’s upcoming books and subscribe to her free newsletter go to: http://www.charlottewhitney.com

©V Williams – V Williams

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