Review: Arsenic With Austen by Katherine Bolger Hyde

cover82927-mediumArsenic With Austen is my first book by Katherine Bolger Hyde. The novel starts with the return of Emily Cavanaugh to the little town of Stony Beach, Oregon to inherit a fortune from her great-aunt Beatrice. What Emily is not counting on is having to solve a murder mystery and face and old flame, Luke, who she hasn’t seen in 35 years.

Hyde’s novel has a great premise with a whodunit style of crime and a love story. There is, however, very little Austen in the book except for the fact that each chapter opens with a quote from Jane Austen’s more famous novels (Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility…). I’m a huge Austen fan and I think that had a lot to do with my first interest in this book, however, the Austen connection ends there. The characters although nice are a bit flat and stereotypical, the love story between Emily and Luke seems unrealistic and the murder mystery, although cozy, is quite predictable.

Arsenic With Austen is book number one in a series called Crime With The Classics, and although I couldn’t rate it more than 3-stars I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on July 12, 2016.

3 star

Review: Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

26245850

On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

The book starts with a small plane that falls in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with 11 people on board. Scott, a struggling middle-aged artist, and a four-year-old boy are the only survivors. The crux of the book is finding out the cause of the crash and events that led to the disaster.

I really enjoyed reading this book by Noah Hawley. The first couple of chapters are suspenseful and impossible to put down. There is a great message about the ridiculous power of media covering tragedies. It does slow down a bit as it alternates between the aftermath of the crash and the lives of the passengers before the accident (the fall), but overall a great summer read.

Before The Fall by Noah Hawley is one of those great suspenseful books that you can read in one sitting. A fast-paced, page-turner that keeps you guessing until the end. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of the genre.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on May 31, 2016.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: Death Before Decaf by Caroline Fardig

 

25300887

Death Before Decaf  by Caroline Fardig is a Java Jive Mystery novel and the first book in a series.  Juliet Langley is a fun and believable thirty-year-old singer who is returning home to Nashville after her fiancée breaks up with her. She takes a job as a manager at a friend’s coffeehouse, Java Jive. On her first day at the job, Juliet gets into an argument with Dave (the cook) over some health code violations and next thing you know Dave is found dead in the dumpster. In order to prove her innocence, Juliet sets out to investigate the crime.

Although the book started out a little slow for me, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the mystery was not as easily to solve as I had first thought. Juliet is an adorable character and I’m looking forward to her next books.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

3 star

Review: Trust No One by Paul Cleave

23492648

Trust No One is my first novel by acclaimed writer Paul Cleave. It seems everywhere I look around lately there are more and more novels touching on the subject of Alzheimer’s disease. I’m a nurse, therefore, medical/disease themes attract me quite a bit.

The book also has a great premise. This is the story of Jerry, a crime writer who also suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and starts to be accused of murders which we don’t know whether or not he committed. The book is written with alternating chapters, part Jerry’s journal of the past (written in first person) and Jerry’s journal in present day (written in third person! Yep-I know!).

Unfortunately, the novel just did not work for me. It’s a slow start. The narrative is confusing and repetitive, even with the occasional twists and turns.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

2 star

Review: Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

23492777

It’s high summer in the Mojave Desert and Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, for the July Fourth holiday weekend. But when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home unharmed, but never to see her fiancé again, or plunge forward into the searing desert to find him…where a killer lies in wait.

Wow! If I could give you a word of advice about this book is not to read it right before you go to bed. This is by far one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year. The narrative is extremely gripping, the storyline is compelling, intricate and full of twists and turns. The characters are a psychological mess, but all these elements somehow work together and what you end up with is an extremely graphic, right out shocking, story.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to the faint of heart, but if you like psychological thrillers with a pinch for the graphic and the macabre, you will definitely love this book.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Book Details:

Title: Swerve/Author: Vicki Pettersson/Genre: Psychological Thriller/ ISBN:9781476798578/Publisher: Gallery Books/Rating: 4-Stars/Read: August, 2015.

Review: The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

the truth

In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her own opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. However, once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is completely drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is deeply entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues—ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business with which her charismatic father is always occupied and the reason her adored aunt Jottie never married. Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a different tale about the Romeyns, and the invisible threads linking them to the heart of Macedonia’s history. As Willa peels back the layers of her family’s past, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed—and their personal histories completely rewritten.

The Truth According to Us is Annie Barrows debut novel. Written in an epistolary format, and alternating between twelve-year-old Willa and her aunt Jottie Romeyn’s point of view and thoughts on Layla Beck. Layla moves in with the Romeyn family after her father sends her off to work at the Federal Writers’ Project.

This novel is one of those books that as you read you can almost listen to the southern accent in the dialogues. The descriptions of the fictitious town of Macedonia really transports you to this quaint little southern town. The characters in this story are extremely colorful and funny. The book, however, was a little bit of a slow read for my taste, but overall a great read.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

3 star

Book Details:

Title:The Truth According to Us /Author:Annie Barrows/Genre:Fiction/ ISBN:9780385342940/Publisher:The Dial Press/Rating: 3-Stars/Read:June, 2015.

Review: Alive (The Generations Trilogy #1) by Scott Sigler

Alive

A group of young adults awake in a mysterious enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how they got there…and an indomitable young woman must lead them not only to answers but to survival.

A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth.

Alive is one of those books which the premise alone made me drop everything else I was reading to start reading this book. I had read very few reviews on this book, and the author has requested that very little detail about the book be given. I don’t think I’m the sort of reviewer that reveals spoilers in books, but I have to admit that I struggled while writing this review in fear of giving too much away.

This is my first book by Scott Sigler and the first book of The Generations Trilogy. I love dystopian novels and that drew me to this story. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed as I started to read and recognize themes very similar to other famous dystopian novels. This is not a bad book, and although the story is interesting and fast paced the storyline is not very original. I’m looking forward to the next books in this series, and hopefully a departure from these familiar dystopian themes.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Alive/Author: Scott Sigler/Genre: Dystopian/YA / ISBN: 9780553393101/Publisher: Del Rey/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Sight (The Delta Girls-Book 1) By Juliet Madison

Sight

When Savannah wakes up after two months in the hospital, she sees a whole lot more than expected, things that could put those close to her at risk.

Three months after being discharged from the hospital, Savannah Delcarta and her family start a new life in the town of Iris Harbor. The change is difficult at first, but Savanna and her four sisters share a lot more than sisterhood and friendship in common. All five sisters have paranormal abilities. Savannah has the gift of sight, Serena the gift of sound, Sasha the gift of scent, Tamara the gift of taste and Talia the gift of touch. When the sisters get together and hold hands, they are able to predict the future using one of those senses.

When a serial arsonist terrorizes Iris Harbor, the Delcarta sisters rely on their senses to find out who is behind the mysterious fires.

This is book one of the Delta Girls series and I absolutely LOVED it! The story is awesome! Savannah is sassy and kind and the plot is well-developed. I really had a great time reading it. It was a nice, enjoyable afternoon read. I liked that there was the right amount of adventure, romance and suspense weaved in the story. Because this is book one, not all the characters were as developed as Savannah, but we get an introduction to her sisters and mother as well. I’m definitely looking forward to the other books in the series, and to learn more about the Delcarta sisters.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on July 14, 2015.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Book Details:

Title: Sight (The Delta Girls-Book 1) /Author: Juliet Madison/Genre:Paranormal/YA / ISBN: 978162681550-6/Publisher: Diversion Books/Rating: 4-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Constant Fear By Daniel Palmer

Constant Fear

In Daniel Palmer’s electrifying, brilliantly plotted new thriller, a private school campus becomes a battleground as a desperate father takes on a terrifying enemy….

Jake Dent lives with his diabetic teenage son Andy in the town of Winston, MA. Andy is a computer geek and part of the Shire–a group of hacker kids who steal money from rich people’s bank accounts to give to charity. It’s all nice and fun until the kids hack a drug cartel’s bank account and steal millions of dollars. When the drug dealers stage a chemical spill at the school and take the children hostage; Jake an ex-baseball player turned Rambo, goes on a race against time to save his son and the rest of the kids.

I really enjoyed Daniel Palmer’s new thriller Constant Fear. I wouldn’t call it a page-turner, but it certainly kept me interested. The story is really well-written and the book has a great premise. The characters were well developed, but I found some of the chapters with descriptions of the guns and ammo to be a little too long and boring. Overall, I definitely recommend this thriller.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on May 26, 2015.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Constant Fear/Author: Daniel Palmer/Pages: 416/Genre: Thriller/ ISBN: 9780758293466/Publisher: Kensington/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Don’t Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell

Dont-Turn-Around-Caroline-Mitchell

Title: Don’t Turn Around

Author: Caroline Mitchell

Pages: 318

Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Crime

ISBN: 9781909490970

Publisher: Bookouture

Ratings: 3-star

Read: April 21, 2015-April 24, 2015

As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave. When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked.

What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict. Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play?

In this book, Caroline Mitchell introduces us to D.C. Jennifer Knight a well-written and complex character. She is more than just a cop; she hears voices inside her head. Her paranormal abilities have helped her solve cases in the past, and she will have to rely on them one more time in order to solve a string of crimes and stop a killer.

This is book number one in the Detective Jennifer Knight crime thriller series, and it was also my very first book in the paranormal/crime/thriller genre. I truly enjoyed the plot and storyline.

This novel had some extremely creepy and scary moments that worked really well together, and still kept me very interested. I particularly liked the narrative from the serial killer’s perspective–chilling and well-written. A great glimpse into a murderer’s mind.

I definitely recommend this book, and my only wish was that there was a bit more romance weaved into this great story. I’m hopeful that the next books will explore the relationship between detective Jennifer and Will.

I’d also like to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Signature
3 star

A Dance With Books

Reviews, Recommendations, Discussions and Book Hauls

Read Betwixt Words

Books, Reviews, Recommendations and occasionally Poetry

A Wondrous Bookshelf

Book Reviews and Other Bookish Things

The Frugal Crafter Blog

Groovy craft projects, crafty recipes and other artsy stuff.

Echoes In An Empty Room

Hannah's book blog. This is my place where I share my favourite reads and chat about books.

Callum McLaughlin

If I'm not reading books, I'm probably talking about them on the internet

A Rambling Reviewer

Fantasy and Science Fiction Book Reviews

Stephen Writes

Book reviews, and original bookish content

Digital Reads Media

Shalini's Digital Reads & Promotions

%d bloggers like this: