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Tag: mystery (Page 1 of 3)

Book Review: A Seaside Wonder

 

A Seaside Wonder

Melissa Tagg

Muir Harbor #2

Larkspur Press

Published 4 October 2022

♥♥♥♥♥

 

A Seaside Wonder is the second book in the Muir Harbor series and it carried the same charming warmth and familiarity as the first book did, combining mystery and romance with family and belonging. 

When Philip West stumbles into Indi Muir’s antique shop, he does so on whim and from a childhood memory. He doesn’t expect to find himself witnessing Indi’s boyfriend breaking up with her, or hearing her receive a distressing call about her mother’s health. Determined to make up for his awkward start, he volunteers to drive her to the hospital. After that strange and chance evening, he doesn’t expect to see Indi again, but again he is surprised. Having had to return to live with his grandfather and care for his teenage half-sister in the wake of his mother’s death has been hard. When his relationship with his sister worsens, he draws on those memories of belonging he found with Indi and decides to holiday in Muir Harbor. Two weeks to salvage any sort of relationship with Holland and maybe even find some answers to the questions that drove him into Indi’s shop all those weeks ago. 

We met the Muir family in book one of this series. I’d recommend reading the books in series order, as the threads of mystery that surround this family continue through the two books. 

Indi has always felt like she is the messy sibling, the one who hasn’t got it all together and in this book we readers find out the pieces of her past that make her feel like that. Indi is also generous and warm, so when Philip arrives on her doorstep, she welcomes him and Holland into the family and home (despite the misunderstanding of her family thinking he is her ex). Philip has his own hurts from the past. His mother left him with his grandfather when he was just a child, as she started a new life with a new husband and new child. Now, he is desperate to connect with his half-sister. He is hoping the change of scenery gives them a chance to connect, plus the sense of family and security he finds with the Muir family. 

Watching Philip and Indi connect was so heartwarming. They are good at supporting each other right from the first moment they meet and their romance develops out of this understanding and support. 

As with the first book, the mystery of Maggie Muir’s granddaughter and the lost Muir family treasure continues. Philip has a few more clues and there are a few tense scenes to raise the suspense. 

I can’t wait for book three, which better be an enemies to lovers book. I’ve been shipping Wilder and Lilian right from the start of this series.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Adult fiction

Genre: Christian contemporary

Themes: Romance, family, half-siblings, antiques, mystery, writing.

Published: 4 October 2022 by Larkspur Press

Format: Paperback, ebook.

ISBN: 9780997964257

Find it on Goodreads

Book Review: Sorceline

 

Sorceline

– Sylvia Douye, Paola Antista (illustrations) –

Andrews McMeel Publishing

Published 3 May 2022

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Sorceline is a beautiful graphic novel translated into English from its original French. I’ve heard booksellers wax poetic about French graphic novels and I can see why. Sorceline is divine. Perfect for middle grade readers, and older teens will also enjoy this story.

Enter a magical school that will delight fans of Harry Potter and meet magical creatures that are at once familiar and also delightfully fresh and new and also slightly scary.
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Book Review: Daughter

Daughter book cover image of girl standing behind cracked glass

 

Daughter

– Kate McLaughlin –

Wednesday Books

Published 8 March 2022

♥♥♥

 

What would you do if you found out your father was the worst kind of serial killer? How would you act when you have to come face-to-face with him for the first time. This is a gritty and dark novel, but didn’t quite sit right with me.

Scarlet’s life is forever changed when two FBI agents arrive at her door. It turns out, the father she never knew is actually on death row for a string of murders and other crimes. Now, dying, her father has one last request. If he can speak with Scarlet, he’ll reveal the locations of the bodies of the other women he killed. Thrown into a world of serial killers, media storms and cold cases, Scarlet must reconcile who is she now that she knows everything she once knew about her life, including her own name, is a lie.

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Book Review: We Were Kings

 

We Were Kings

– Court Stevens –

Thomas Nelson

Published 1 February 2022

♥♥♥♥♥

 

I do love a good murder mystery and We Were Kings is a jolly fantastic murder mystery. Despite the elements of modern life (masks, hand sanitiser and YouTube) it has a very classic feel. Maybe it’s just because the mystery is in the past, or maybe it’s the setting and overall feel. Classic mystery at its best.

Nyla has lived her whole life knowing her mother loves the woman sitting in jail more than she loves her. When Frankie’s death is pushed forward thanks to a new death penalty ruling, Nyla’s mother falls apart. When a journalist drops a clue that Nyla’s mother might not be who she has always said she is, Nyla decides to investigate and finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation. If she is going to save Frankie and find the real killer, she’ll need to be quick. But no one wants her poking around, especially not the real killer.

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Book Review: These Deadly Games

 

These Deadly Games

– Diana Urban –

Wednesday Books

Published 1 February 2022

♥♥♥♥

 

I’m not entirely sure if I am super impressed with this book, super annoyed or impressed that it both intrigued me and annoyed and horrified me at the same time. Can one be so conflicted about a book? I’m going to lay out the good and the annoying.

These Deadly Games is a thriller that leads its main character Chrystal on a wild game that very quickly turns deadly. No end of twists, puzzles, dares and tasks that might seem innocent but quickly turn deadly. This mystery thriller is high stakes and there are some very serious consequences.

For Chrystal, her focus is completely set on winning a spot in her friends’ esports team. The prize money would ensure her family could stay in their home. But when she receives a text with an image of her younger sister tied up with a message – complete the dares or she dies. Chrystal must decide – her sister or her family’s future? Can she do it all and make sure her friends never learn the truth?

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Book Review: Autumn by the Sea

 

Autumn by the Sea

– Melissa Tagg –

Muir Harbor #1

Larkspur Press

Published 28 September 2021

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Autumn by the Sea is another delicious contemporary romance by one of all-time favourite authors. Seriously. Melissa Tagg never disappoints.

Autumn by the Sea is the perfect blend of mystery, romance, longing for family and meant to be. The characters just worm their way into your heart. The setting is rugged and charming. And that meet cute?!!?? Seriously?!? So cute.

Sydney Rose has only ever wanted a family and somewhere to belong. Maybe that’s why when a stranger approaches her and tells her that he thinks she’s the long-lost granddaughter of Margaret Muir, Sydney Rose jumps on a plane to Maine to discover if maybe, just maybe, she has a family after all. Sydney was not expecting the charming, if a little in need of some love, house on the coast, or Maggie, with her heart so welcoming and so hurt by the past. Nor was Sydney expecting Maggie’s three adopted adult children who are not exactly excited to see Sydney. Just it only takes days for Sydney to feel at home. If she and Neil, Maggie’s eldest adopted and the one holding Muir Farm together, can uncover the truth of the past, maybe Sydney could stay and find her place to belong.

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Book Review: Duplex

 

Duplex

– Orson Scott Card –

Blackstone Publishing

Published 7 September 2021

♥♥♥♥/♥

 

Duplex is the companion novel to Lost and Found. It continues in the same vein – a mix of realistic fiction with a mystery twist. Again, the characters have micropowers – like superpowers but too small, insignificant or useless to be deemed super. They are pretty unique and cool, though.

Duplex is a book that takes a while to read. I enjoyed sinking into its slow pace. That’s not to say nothing happens in the story – it does, everything from guys attacking with guns to fake FBI attempted kidnappings. There’s just a lot of space for inner dialogue and time between events. Time for introspection and relationship building. There’s also just time for great writing and descriptions, a feature of Card’s work.

Life changes for Ryan when he finds his dad has moved out and is dividing their family home into a duplex. Soon, Ryan is sleeping on the couch (he doesn’t have a bedroom anymore) and the rooms on the other side of the new walls and staircase house the Horvat family. Ryan meets Bizzy Horvat at school. She can meet his sarcastic wit and quick jibes like no one he’s ever met. When Ryan reacts so quickly and without thought to a bee in Bizzy’s hair (much like he reacted to a bee that stung his sister), he is approached by a guy who claims to discover people who have micropowers. Ryan’s quick reflexes are apparently a micropower and it turns out that Bizzy and her mother also have micropowers and there are a group of people who will stop at nothing to kill the Horvat family. So, Ryan’s quick responses might just come in handy.

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Book Review: The Hawthorne Legacy

The Hawthorne Legacy

 

The Hawthorne Legacy

– Jennifer Lynn Barnes –

The Inheritance Games #2

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Published 7 September 2021

♥♥♥♥♥

 

The Hawthorne Legacy is the brilliant and thrilling sequel to The Inheritance Games by the incomparable Jennifer Lynn Barnes. It is perhaps no secret that I ADORE her writing, complex characters and skill for piecing together a compelling plot that twists, turns and endlessly surprises.

Once again, Jennifer Lynn Barnes has crafted a novel that is totally addictive and she makes me like – nay love – things I usually hate. Like love triangles. Of course, it is a love triangle involving two Hawthorne boys and a girl who doesn’t have time for either of them, so what’s not to love. But the romance is really just a small part of the book. We readers are taken on a thrilling ride as Avery recovers from the news she received in the last book. One puzzle might have been solved, but there are so many more still to unravel.

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Book Review: Escape at 10,000 Feet

Unsolved Case Files: Escape at 10,000 Feet: D.B. Cooper and the Missing Money – Tom Sullivan – Unsolved Case Files #1 – Balzer+Bray – Published 2 March 2021

♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

CASE NO. 001: NORJAK
NOVEMBER 24, 1971
PORTLAND, OREGON

2:00 P.M.
A man in his mid-forties, wearing a suit and overcoat, buys a ticket for Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305 bound for Seattle.

3:07 P.M.
The man presents his demands: $200,000 in cash and four parachutes. If the demands are not met, he threatens to detonate the explosive device in his briefcase.

So begins the astonishing true story of the man known as D.B. Cooper, and the only unsolved airplane hijacking case in the United States.

My thoughts

Can you solve the case? That is the premise for this new series. Escape at 10,000 Feet is a non-fiction graphic novel, that entices the reader to try their hand at solving a case that has stumped FBI investigators for years. It also introduces an interesting time in history and air travel.

This is perfect for budding young detectives. Those that love mystery novels or books on spies will love this true story about a heist at 10,000 feet and the man who got away with $200,000.

This is not a graphic novel in the traditional sense – no call outs, just panels that illustrate the story along with factual documents, FBI files, diagrams and information to help the reader piece together the facts. The graphics are bright and dramatic and the storytelling powerful through the use of the narration and carefully placed illustrations.

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Book Review: Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter – Angeline Boulley – Henry, Holt and Co – Published 16 March 2021

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

My thoughts

Firekeeper’s Daughter is going to be one of THE books of 2021. If this isn’t on your radar yet, put it on there RIGHT NOW. #OwnVoices #DiverseBooks this book ticks all the boxes but it is so much more than just a book that is timely and Important (with a capital I). It is addictive and so powerful. I was hooked right from the start.

Daunis makes a great narrator. She is torn between two worlds – one her mother’s, old money and white, and her late father’s Firekeeper family from the Ojibwe reservation. When she meets the new player on her half-brother’s ice hockey team, Jamie, she is drawn to him but knows he has to remain off limits. She never wants to be ‘that’ girl. But when tragedy strikes, Daunis is shattered and her beliefs about her community rocked. Jamie is there for her and seems to understand exactly what is going on – more than can be explained. When Daunis is asked to go undercover to expose the horror that is destroying her community, she learns far more than she could have expected.

I love mystery novels. Love, love them and I also love contemporary novels that focus on family and relationships. This book is the perfect mix of both. This book reminds me of a book I read years ago and after reading it I searched desperately for something similar, something that mixed mystery and investigating with romance and and complex relationships. Years on, I have finally found the book I didn’t know I needed and it is even better than I could have imagined.

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