January Rosepoint Review Recap—Hello Frigid February!

Rosepoint review recap-January banner

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

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

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

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

Rosepoint Review Recap-January

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

 

Reading Challenges banner

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

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

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

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

Audiobooks

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

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

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Have a great week!

Where There’s a Will (Roland Sinclair WWII Mysteries Book 10) by Sulari Gentill – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

2021 NED KELLY AWARD NOMINEE, BEST CRIME FICTION

Book Blurb:

Hell hath no fury like a family disinherited…

Where There's a Will by Sulari GentillAmerican millionaire Daniel Cartwright has been shot dead: three times in the chest, and once in the head. His body is found in Harvard Yard, dressed in evening attire. No one knows who he planned to meet there, or why the staunch Oxford man would be caught dead at Harvard—literally.

Australian Rowland Sinclair, his mate from Oxford and longtime friend, is named executor of the will, to his great surprise—and that of Danny’s family. Events turn downright ugly when the will all but disinherits Danny’s siblings in favor of one Otis Norcross, whom no one knows or is able to locate. Amidst assault, kidnapping, and threats of slander, Rowly struggles to understand Danny’s motives, find the missing heir, and identify his friend’s killer before the clock—and his luck—run out.

A deft blend of history and mystery, WHERE THERE’S A WILL offers an alternately charming and chilling snapshot of Boston and New York in the 1930s, with cameo appearances by luminaries of the day including Marion Davies, Randolph Hearst, Errol Flynn, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and an arrogantly ardent Joe Kennedy, who proves no match for Rowly’s sculptress friend Edna…

My Review:

I love it when I can get into daily life of the 1930s crowd, although these characters are all so wealthy it was difficult for me to identify.  The background is Boston, New York, and North Carolina and name-dropping throughout the narrative brought some jolting moments. Not that old, but these support or peripheral characters are names even most younger people would recognize.

The protagonist, Rowland Sinclair, and his cronies are Australian called from Singapore to Boston upon notice of the death of a close and dear friend, David Cartwright. Rowland is accompanied by Edna (who he insists on calling Ed), Clyde, and Milton. To Rowland’s horror, he has been named executor of David’s will. Upon reading of the will, however, the family discovers the bulk of David’s wealth is to go to one Otis Norcross—assuming he can be found. The Cartwrights are not happy.

In languid prose, the narrative proceeds with no one breaking out a sweat to find Otis—although that is the declared objective from the beginning as well as the discovery of who killed David. In the meantime, the novel introduces all manner of early to mid-thirties characters, invoking scenes in which Marion Davies, Joseph Kennedy, or William Randolph Hearst might appear. (Followed by Errol Lynn and Orson Wells.)

“Reputation is what you are supposed to be; character is what you are.”

There are gangsters, both Irish and Italian, formal dress codes for dinner, fashions, sights and sounds of the time along with delightful and entertaining quotes from news reports as intro to new chapters.  I also enjoyed the lively scenes of the dance halls, noting the Savoy in New York and the creation and popularity of the Lindy Hop.*

There are twists, turns, and shenanigans that sidetrack the MCs and I loved the tidbits regarding some of those historical figures as well as F Scott Fitzgerald and Monopoly (the Parker Brothers game that saved the company). So many historical luminaries woven into the story!

I must admit that my attention waned several times throughout the book as the gain in the whodunit was rather slow, then something would happen to spark my interest again. Took a while to get to the heart of the matter, the histories of the victim and the missing Otis, and I’d guessed the antagonist shortly after introduction to the plot.

My first experience with the author and the series, it’s obvious that Rowland and Ed have a thing, have had for some time, so I wasn’t particularly thrilled about the solution in the conclusion but any history buff would enjoy the Louella Parsons worthy gossip.

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.

Trigger Warning: Homophobia

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Organized Crime, Historical Mysteries
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN: 1464214905
ASIN: B09158FKZ2
Print Length: 386 pages
Publication Date: January 18, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Sulari Gentill-authorThe Author: After setting out to study astrophysics, graduating in law and then abandoning her legal career to write books, Sulari now grows French black truffles on her farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of NSW. Sulari is author of The Rowland Sinclair Mystery series, historical crime fiction novels (eight in total) set in the 1930s. Sulari’s A Decline in Prophets (the second book in the series) was the winner of the Davitt Award for Best Adult Crime Fiction 2012. She was also shortlisted for Best First Book (A Few Right Thinking Men) for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2011. Paving the New Road was shortlisted for another Davitt in 2013.

[Goodreads] Sulari lives with her husband, Michael, and their boys, Edmund and Atticus, on a small farm in Batlow where she grows French Black Truffles and refers to her writing as “work” so that no one will suggest she get a real job.

* The Lindy Hop is an American dance which was born in the African-American communities in Harlem, New York City, in 1928. [Wikipedia]

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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