Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery by Lida Sideris – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Gambling with Murder by Lida SiderisA late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I.—Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.

The action gets dicey when the missing senior case turns into attempted murder by a criminal mind who’s always one step ahead. Corrie’s hot on the trail, but finds more than she bargained for…when her mother becomes a target.

My Review:

Oops! The fifth in the series and my first. I think I may have missed something. Wannabe PI Corrie Locke (also a newly minted lawyer) is trying her chops at finding a missing person. Villa Sunset is an exclusive retirement home in Santa Barbara and, yes, that is a gorgeous, very expensive area of southern California. The author sets the reader up for beautiful views, ocean-scented air, and palms swaying in the gentle breeze.

Gambling with Murder by Lida SiderisThe novel is a cozy mystery and moves at a laid-back pace. Corrie is joined by her best bud, Veera, a former security guard, and apparently this entry to the series, Corrie’s mother, who proves to be the interesting character (for me). Because it’s a senior community, they need her mother to be their “in.” It appears to work as she is readily accepted and they “temporarily” tag along.

It is supposed to be a senior community, but these seniors are apparently not only “active” but bored and tend to come off more as “geriatric delinquents” than seniors. But nothing is simple, even in a cozy mystery, and things begin, slowly, to become more complex adding characters to the plot, threads, and twists.

The author writes with wit, coining some interesting and funny phrases:

“…he regarded me with the disdain reserved for a virgin eggnog.”

“I can spot a liar like a hawk can spot a grasshopper.”

“I’m not doing it. I’d stick out like a raisin in a jar of mayonnaise.”

At about seventy percent, the narrative begins to heat up and the pacing finds the gas pedal. At this point, there are a lot of issues to clarify which do get ironed out in conclusion following a fairly low-key climax.

I’m not sure whether it was because I started well into the series or there was just too much minutia that didn’t help keep the plot on track, but I found it too slow for me. The dialogue could be humorous at times, however, there were occasions when action got a bit over the top and the residents too juvenile. I am a senior but these characters didn’t ring true for me.

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: Women Sleuths
Publisher: Level Best Books
ASIN: B09QYW2VYG
Print Length: 318 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Lida Sideris - authorThe Author: Lida Sideris first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award for her first book and a Killer Nashville, Silver Falchion Award Finalist for her fourth book – Slightly Murderous Intent. Lida lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens.

“A smart caper with a heroine to match.” – Kirkus Recommended Review

“…An excellent read. It has everything needed for a cozy afternoon curled up on the sofa – murder, mystery, humor, and plenty of action. The plot is extremely detailed and so well written that I found myself hooked on page one.” – Readers’ Favorite

Bio for The Cookie Eating Fire Dog:

Lida Sideris loves baking and eating all kinds of cookies. Never, ever leave her alone with a batch of fresh baked cookies…if you want any left for yourself. She is the author of a Southern California Mystery series. This is her first book for children. When she’s not writing, she’s running a legal non-profit in Southern California. Lida is a lawyer and mother of two human and two canine kids. She is an avid supporter of the three R’s: reading, writing and rescue dogs.

“The story is charming and readers will love Dan.” – Readers’ Favorite

“If you have any little aspiring firefighters at home, Lida Sideris has penned an adorable and motivating tale that is just perfect for them…the lesson is solid, and as Dan learns the value of selfless acts, so will many young readers” – IndiesToday

©2022 – V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

The Trouble With Secrets: The Kilteegan Bridge Story by Jean Grainger – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

The Trouble with Secrets by Jean Grainger

Happy Release Day!

#1 New Release in contemporary British & Irish Literature 

Book Blurb:

Kilteegan Bridge, County Cork 1958

The Trouble with Secrets by Jean GraingerFor eighteen year old Lena O’Sullivan, life is predictable and dull. A future of hard work, marriage to a local boy, and a family of her own one day is all she has to look forward to. People from her background know not to expect too much, but Lena yearns for something different.

Malachy Berger was different, for him, the world is at his feet. An only child of a wealthy, if peculiar father, a large inheritance, a beautiful house and a fine education are his due.

Nobody is in favour of Lena and Malachy’s friendship, but why not? What harm are they doing? Why is everyone so dead set against it?

Then fate takes a hand, and Lena realises that secrets and lies have bound her and Malachy in an impossible situation. And their future seems determined by events that happened long before they were born.

From rural Ireland to post-war Cardiff, Lena and Malachy’s story winds its way back to wartime Germany and occupied France in a web of deceit that threatens to destroy them both.

My Review:

It’s a given that if Jean Grainger comes out with a new book, I’m going to be reading it—having done so for most of her books, series or standalones. Of course, I have my favorites.

The Trouble with Secrets by Jean GraingerThis one tells the story of Lena O’Sullivan and her family in the Irish countryside of Kilteegan Bridge and is one of the reasons I love the author’s books so much—the authentic atmosphere she brings to her storytelling. It’s palpable. It’s the late 1950’s and apparently as in America during that time, a young lady finding herself in a family way, unmarried, was dealt with in one of several (often severe and) shameful ways.

Lena was luckier than most, however, having a loving father, Paudie, who took good care of his wife who would probably now be diagnosed as bi-polar. She tended to have manic episodes and when Paudie dies in a tragic accident, Lena is left with her fragile mother and siblings.

The baby’s daddy comes from a well-to-do family who has familial problems of their own and resides in Kilteegan House. Malachy Berger’s father carries a vendetta against the O’Sullivan’s and makes sure Malachy won’t be involved further with Lena.

I loved most of the support characters, railed against the Berger father who made a despicable antagonist and loved the character of Doc, Lena’s godfather. Eli made a great character, but almost too good to be true, and it was fun to watch Lena’s maturation process.

The trouble with secrets is that they almost always are exposed (sooner or later). The journey through the process of devising a credible story to satisfy the people of the village is an interesting one—but one I fear hangs like a loose tooth. And I have a feeling we haven’t truly gotten the whole story yet.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author 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: Contemporary British & Irish Literature, Historical Irish Fiction, British & Irish Literary Fiction
ASIN: B09V5MWCP5
Print Length: 313 pages
Publication Date: May 2, 2022
Source: Author
Title Link: The Trouble with Secrets [Amazon]  

Jean Grainger - authorThe Author: JEAN GRAINGER

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.

WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE

Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!

I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi..

My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years…

[Truncated. Please read her full bio on her Amazon book pages.]

My current series, The Queenstown Series, centres on twelve year old Harp Devereaux and her mother Rose and the first book opens on the day Titanic sails from Queenstown, Co Cork on her last fateful journey. It is a bestselling series and people really seem to connect to the precocious Harp and her hard-working mother as they battle to survive in a society where conforming and playing by the rules was paramount. It is so far a three book series, The West’s Awake, and The Harp and the Rose being the next two books but I’m currently writing book four.

Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

A Life for a Life (Detective Kate Young Book 3) by Carol Wyer – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer

Book Blurb:

Nobody can get into the mind of an erratic killer—except an unpredictable detective.

A Life for a Life by Carol WyerWhen a young man is found lying on a station platform with a hole in his head, DI Kate Young is called in to investigate the grisly murder. But the killing is no one-off. As bodies start to pile up, she is faced with what might be an impossible task—to hunt down a ruthless killer on a seemingly random rampage.

Meanwhile, Kate has her own demons to battle as she struggles to come to terms with her husband’s death. And she is hell-bent on exposing corruption within the force and bringing Superintendent John Dickson to justice. But with the trail of deception running deeper—and closer to home—than she could ever have imagined, she no longer knows who she can trust.

With her grip on reality slipping, Kate realises that maybe she and the killer are not so different after all. But time is running out and Kate is low on options. Can she catch the killer before she loses everything?

My Review:

Although the CE read Book 1, An Eye for An Eye, and greatly enjoyed, I chose to read this one. Perhaps it could be read as a standalone, but I struggled for a time with all the characters, the names, their association with the investigation.

A life for a Life by Carol WyerDI Kate Young lost her husband Chris about a year ago and is still agonizing over his death to the point that she feels she can talk to him and he will answer, guide her. She is working hard to find the connection of his death to Superintendent Dickson to prove Dickson was culpable. The more she uncovers, the greater the corruption, and she’s getting dangerously close to proof.

At the same time, a body has been discovered killed by a dead bolt pistol (the kind used to dispatch animals) shot in the head. Apparently, the tip of the iceberg as there follows additional deaths by the same MO. The problem is the absolute lack of a sense of correlation as they appear totally random.

The descriptions get rather graphic and the perps begin to have their own voice, discussing the next potential victim. It is greatly disturbing.

I thought the start of the book slow, a little disjointed, and it was some time into the book before I was able to piece together the plot points. Kate as a protagonist is damaged to the point she is seeking Chris’ voice over and over like an addiction but his voice is beginning to fade. She is alarmed she may be losing his connection. She is also paranoid about trusting anyone regarding her investigation into the superintendent. The author carefully paints a picture of Kate’s frustration with both issues.

I liked the characters of DS Emma Donaldson and DS Morgan Meredith as they help to form what appears to be a solid investigative team.

The tension ramps up closer to the end of the well-plotted narrative, adding suspense, switching goals between the quest for vengeance or justice, and the solution to the bolt murders and arbitrary victims.

This might be one of those books of a series that makes more sense to begin with Book 1. While the novel is engaging, it might be better appreciated knowing the back story.

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: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Serial Killers, Serial Killer Thrillers, Murder
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
ISBN: 1542021073
ASIN: B09BCPR894
Print Length: 363 pages
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble

A Life for a Life by Carol WyerThe Author: Carol Wyer is a USA Today bestselling author and winner of the People’s Book Prize Award. Her crime novels have sold over one million copies and been translated into nine languages.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost and proved that Carol had found her true niche.

In 2021, An Eye For An Eye, the first in the DI Kate Young series, was chosen as a Kindle First Reads. It became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Australia. The third, A Life For A Life, is due out March 15th, 2022, but is available to preorder.

Carol has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and written for the Huffington Post. She’s also been interviewed on numerous radio shows and on Sky and BBC Breakfast television.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband, Mr. Grumpy . . . who is very, very grumpy.

When not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

To learn more, go to http://www.carolwyer.co.uk, subscribe to her YouTube channel, or follow her on Twitter @carolewyer

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Mining for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery Book 3) by Mary Angela #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Mining for Murder by Mary Angela

It is my privilege to provide a review for you today at the blog stop for Mining for Murder by Mary Angela on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

“Underestimate me. That will be fun.”

Book Details

Mining for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Dakota
Lyrical Press (April 5, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 275 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0992TPJ24

Book Blurb

Zo Jones is enjoying the sunny season at her Happy Camper gift shop in Spirit Canyon, South Dakota—when a murder reminds her all that glitters isn’t gold. . 

The South Dakota Gold Rush might be long over, but Zo Jones feels like she’s hit the mother lode when she and her friends browse an estate sale, where a rare old book about the history of Spirit Canyon is causing quite a commotion. In addition to local stories and secrets, the book may even contain the location of a famous stash of gold—a treasure worth killing for.

Zo’s friend Maynard Cline wins the bid on the book, to the chagrin of many interested parties, including the historical society and college history department. But when Zo and Hattie head to Maynard’s mansion to borrow the book for a library event, the only thing they find is Maynard—at the bottom of the mountain. The valuable book is gone. Zo knows this must be murder because there’s no way a germophobe like Maynard would have voluntarily dived into a pile of dirt. Now she’ll have to dig into a new case, and go prospecting for a perpetrator . . .

My Review

The third in the series Mining for Murder continues the saga of the Happy Camper mysteries which takes place in mystical Spirit Canyon in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. The area is a tourist mecca in the summer central to major attractions such as Mount Rushmore.

Mining for Murder by Mary AngelaThis is where Zo Jones set up her Happy Camper gift shop. She offers everything from souvenirs to memorabilia. Her unique ideas for decoration and promotion keep her shop lively and sustainable through the long non-tourist months.

Jules, a (spirit) shop owner herself, plays a strong supportive role and Max, a forest service ranger, is back as the growing love interest.

When a long time resident with a substantial collection passes away, a valuable book on the history of the area goes missing about the time the man who outbid those who should have received the book is found dead. Zo would like to find the book as she is sure it will contain a possible clue to her birth mother—as well as help to find the perp.

But the missing book may contain more than the hint of her origins—it may also include information on The Theon Stone and clues to gold mines long rumored about the explosive gold mining era—riches hidden just waiting to be discovered.

There are a number of support characters that build interest in the population of the little town, including law enforcement who’s had to warn Zo before to let him do his job while she tends her shop.

I greatly enjoyed the first book in the series, Open for Murder, and looked forward to a well-plotted and fast-paced book with well-drawn characters. Also appreciated are the descriptions of the area, the topography, quirky weather, and wildlife. As with the previous entry, there is strong dialogue patterns that sound natural and personal growth in the protagonist.

“The past is never really the past, is it?”

I love reading about the history of these areas, steeped in folklore, indigenous peoples, and wild west experiences. I had a few problems, however, with her descriptions of riding (her Kawi motorcycle—perhaps she doesn’t ride?) and the reveal in the conclusion.

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Giveaway

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About the Author

Mary Angela is the author of the Happy Camper cozy mystery series, the Professor Prather academic mystery series, and several short stories. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com.

Author Links

Website: www.maryangelabooks.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/maryangelabooks

Twitter: @maryangelabooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15342425.Mary_Angela

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryangelabooks/

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Apple – Google Books – Kobo

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

April 5 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 6 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

April 6 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 8 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 10 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

April 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Rebecca M. Douglass, Author – REVIEW

April 14 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW

April 15 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

April 16 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW

April 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

April 17 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – REVIEW

April 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 18 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

April 18 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Night Boat to Tangier: A Novel by Kevin Barry – #Audiobook Review – #TuesdayBookBlog

Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry

Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry

A Reading Ireland Month book 

Book Blurb:

From the acclaimed author of the international sensations City of Bohane and Beatlebone, a striking and gorgeous new novel of two aging criminals at the tail ends of their damage-filled careers. A superbly melancholic melody of a novel full of beautiful phrases and terrible men.

In the dark waiting room of the ferry terminal in the sketchy Spanish port of Algeciras, two aging Irishmen – Maurice Hearne and Charlie Redmond, longtime partners in the lucrative and dangerous enterprise of smuggling drugs – sit at night, none too patiently. It is October 23, 2018, and they are expecting Maurice’s estranged daughter, Dilly, to either arrive on a boat coming from Tangier or depart on one heading there. This nocturnal vigil will initiate an extraordinary journey back in time to excavate their shared history of violence, romance, mutual betrayals, and serial exiles, rendered with the dark humor and the hard-boiled Hibernian lyricism that have made Kevin Barry one of the most striking and admired fiction writers at work today.

One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2019 
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book ReviewLit Hub, The MillionsThe Paris Review, and NPR 
Number One Irish Times Best Seller
Longlisted for The Booker Prize 

My Review:

Man oh man, did I miss the boat on this one! All those accolades, I figured it must be good. The blurb sounded interesting. Audiobook from my favorite library, what could I lose? Time—and at my age—that’s getting more precious.

I had an awful time with this one. For an audiobook some five and one-half hours, it just seemed to go on and on. I didn’t think I could get through it. Spoken in hushed, harsh monotones, and, finally, thankfully, it ended.

Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin BarryAs mysteriously as it started.

What did I miss here?

A plot? Oops. Did I miss that? (Of course, it’s totally character-driven.)

Depth to the characters…well, certainly they were described and we understood by the blurb they were despots. Cue the heavy Irish slang, had to back it up several times but after awhile that got tedious.

Perhaps so literary it went zooming right over my head. Perhaps I didn’t give it the attention it deserved. Perhaps I was so bored, I just flat couldn’t get into either of the characters or their stories.

There were times when it seemed chunks of narrative had been edited out and no backfilling ensued.  I don’t want to characterize them as the dregs of society, but they were the dregs of society and if one of them was waiting for daughter Dilly, I feared for the character of the poor child, wondering what kind of childhood she might have had.

My first experience with the author. Have you read or listened to this book? Am I just ignorant or do you agree even somewhat? Can you cite a book by the author that you discovered profound and would recommend I try again? This one was just not the book for me and I’m giving it two stars simply because I did not DNF it.

Book Details:

Genre: Urban Fiction, Humorous fiction, Fiction Urban Life
Publisher: Random House Audio
ASIN: B07X6HL9JW
Listening Length: 5 hrs 39 mins
Narrator: Kevin Barry
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Night Boat to Tangier [Amazon]

 

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Rosepoint Publishing: 2 stars

Kevin Barry - Irish author
Photo of Kevin Barry, author appearing at the International Festival of Authors 2013. Photo courtesy of IFOA and Goodreads

The Author: Kevin Barry is the author of the novels Beatlebone and City of Bohane and the story collections Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms. His awards include the International Dublin Literary Award, the Goldsmiths Prize, The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. His stories and essays appear in The New YorkerGranta, and elsewhere. He also works as a playwright and screenwriter, and he lives in County Sligo, Ireland. –This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition.

©V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

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!

The Art of the Decoy (A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery) by Trish Esden – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

“Open by chance or appointment.”

Book Blurb:

After her mother is sent to prison for art forgery, Edie Brown returns to Northern Vermont to rebuild her family’s fine art and antiques business. She’s certain she can do it now that her mother is gone. After all, butting heads with her mom over bad business practices was what drove Edie away three years ago, including a screwup that landed Edie on probation for selling stolen property.

The Art of the Decoy by Trish EsdenWhen Edie scores a job appraising a waterfowl decoy collection at a hoarder’s farmhouse, she’s determined to take advantage of the situation to rebuild the business’s tarnished reputation and dwindling coffers. In lieu of payment, Edie intends to cherry-pick an exceptional decoy carved by the client’s renowned Quebecoise folk artist ancestors. Only the tables turn when the collection vanishes.

Accused of the theft, Edie’s terrified that the fallout will destroy the business and land her in prison next to her mom. Desperate, she digs into the underbelly of the local antiques and art world. When Edie uncovers a possible link between the decoy theft and a deadly robbery at a Quebec museum, she longs to ask her ex-probation officer, and ex-lover, for help. But she suspects his recent interest in rekindling their romance may hide a darker motive.

With the help of her eccentric uncle Tuck and Kala, their enigmatic new employee, Edie must risk all she holds dear to expose the thieves and recover the decoys before the FBI’s Art Crime Team or the ruthless thieves themselves catch up with her.

My Review:

Protagonist Edie Brown has grown up in the family’s fine art and antiques business. Unfortunately, her mother landed in the slammer for art forgery, implicating Edie in the process for which Edie paid with probation for selling said property.

Now she is back in Northern Vermont to take over the business with a little help from uncle Tuck. In the meantime, Tuck has hired an employee, Kala, a computer whiz and otherwise smart dynamo—perfect addition to the faltering business.  When she is approached with a waterfowl decoy that may be the tip of an iceberg, Edie sees a huge possibility in scoring a collection from a hoarder’s farmhouse with hopes of securing lucrative auctioning rights.

“For me, researching folk art was like setting a beagle free in a park full of squirrels.”

The Art of the Decoy by Trish EsdenBut Edie may get a taste of the business that she had failed to perceive when her mother got into trouble. The art and antiquing community holds those who would turn a multi-million dollar find into underworld funds without interest in the beauty or history of the exquisite folk art carving.

Edie definitely gets in over her head as she fails to ignore warnings, including one from an ex-lover (who she’d love to make a current lover). While I had a few problems getting into Edie’s head, I appreciated several other main characters including Kala and Shane. There is more than one antagonist, a murder off page, the craft of antiquing, and descriptions of the area and proximity to Canada.

For a debut novel and the first in the series, the author appears to have set up quite the storyline as well as several remarkable characters. Definitely a good start and an interesting introduction to the world of buying, trading, pricing and selling of antiques. The well-plotted narrative, however, tends to sag a bit and do a repeat of motives, slowing the pace. It might have kept a heightened interest by fewer repeats and a bit more fleshing of Edie. Also, going forward, I’ll be interested to see where the relationship with Shane goes, as well as additional background into Kala’s character.

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. Currently on pre-order.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Small Town & Rural Fiction, Traditional Detective Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
ASIN: B098PXZNDF
Print Length: 336 pages
Publication Date: April 5, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):
Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Trish Esden - authorThe Author: Trish Esden loves museums, gardens, wilderness, dogs and birds, in various order depending on the day. She lives in Northern Vermont where she deals antiques with her husband, a profession she’s been involved with since her teens. Don’t ask what her favorite type of antique is. She loves hunting down old bottles and rusty barn junk as much as she enjoys fine art and furnishings. Trish is the author of the Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery series.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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