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CaitlinR

CaitlinR

Joined January 2018

Retired Librarian (from University of Iowa), Michigan grad., Friend of Bill W, "Whatever's not full makes noise. Whatever is full is silent"
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River We Remember by William Kent Krueger
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CaitlinR
The Mountain King: A Novel | Anders de la Motte
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Ooh, this is a good thriller! Written by a former police officer who has crafted a great procedural, given us an evil villain, and a really interesting protagonist: Detective Leonore Asker, who has a fascinating back story. Demoted by a self-serving colleague, Asker winds up in a sub basement with a group of misfit colleagues. Whip smart and courageous she solves a beautifully complicated case. First in a series with a cliff hanger at the end.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Jeff Richt. 1d
18 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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CaitlinR
Berry Pickers | Amanda Peters
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Although the end it wrapped up in a fairly trite bow, I cared enough about the characters have a bit weep at the final resolution.

Ruthie, the youngest member of a Mi'kmaq family disappears in Nova Scotia while her family works the blueberry fields. The novel tells her story as she grows up with the couple that kidnapped her, and also recounts how her birth family was affected by her loss. Peters‘ language is lush and well worth reading.

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CaitlinR
The Tumbling Girl | Bridget Walsh
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I‘m grateful that this great debut is first in a series: A Variety Palace Mystery. Walsh has given us a fascinating story, great characters, and surprising twists, particularly at the end. Set in Victorian London, the titular character, Rose, is found hanging in the Adelphi Arches. The police dismiss the death as a suicide. Minnie Ward and the private detective Albert Easterbrook investigate and find evil lurking in private men‘s clubs. Loved it!

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CaitlinR
Night Watch: A novel | Jayne Anne Phillips
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“Endurance was strength. The courage of the lost swelled and moved, a force separating the days, clearing the way.” (p. 276) This is a remarkable novel with beautifully crafted writing and a fascinating story. Set in the aftermath of the Civil War and told through multiple voices and perspectives. Phillips gives us an account of how the horrors of slavery, poverty and war fracture lives and identities. Winner of the 2024 Pulitzer for Fiction.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Elena Seibert 2w
18 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
The Centre | Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi
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This is a slow burn of a novel that, while beautifully written, does not follow familiar narrative arcs. As a result it is, at times, a challenging read.

Anisa dreams of being a famous translator but she struggles with language acquisition. Her boy friend has learned languages with incredible speed. He introduces her to The Centre, an extremely exclusive and secretive school. There is a horrific truth behind their successes.

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CaitlinR
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Mrs. Wood is a very well known medium in Victorian London who is hiding a secret about her past. Attempting to attract new patrons, she takes on a young student, Emmie Finch, who has her own agenda and, blackmailing her instructor, threatens Mrs. Woods livelihood.

The details about readings, séances and the tricks of the trade are fascinating. Lucy Barker gives us a portrait of a woman potentially aging out of her profession. Well worth reading.

CaitlinR Photo of the author courtesy of the author. 3w
26 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
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An engaging historical novel telling the story of two young British women and how their lives are affected by the beginning of World War I. Peggy and her neurodivergent twin, Maude work for the bindery at Oxford‘s University Press. Peggy longs for access to higher education, but fears the Maude cannot live without her support. Refugees from Belgium change their world, offering new vistas. No easy solutions or pat endings here. An interesting read.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Sophie Davidson 3w
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CaitlinR
Sanctuary of the Shadow | Aurora Ascher
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Panpan

In this first in a series, Aurora Ascher has given us a fairly unsuccessful, derivative fantasy. The novel proves, yet again, that steamy sex cannot substitute for plot, world building, or character development. That said, I did finish the novel albeit with a lot of skimming. Although a fantasy author might be excused flaws if they are resolved in a sequel, she tells us that the next book will focus another storyline, so probably not.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Sergio Veranes 3w
23 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
Indian Burial Ground | Nick Medina
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Good horror stories always leave you wondering about what‘s real. Medina‘s novel does a great job of leaving us guessing. We‘re unsure whether what Louie experienced as a child was real, or whether his mental health was affected by trauma. Now his niece, Naomi has terrible troubles and his monsters are back, or are they real? A beautifully written story about our fears and how they affect our attempts to save family and friends from themselves.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Ashlee Suttor 1mo
22 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
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Benny Catspaw is nice. He‘s so nice, in fact, that a shadowy organization has targeted him as a threat to their plans for world domination. Then a mysterious sarcophagus is delivered and he is introduced to Spike, his Craggle, an alien creature dedicated to protecting their assigned charges who are too good for this world. Spike, Benny and Harper Harper set out to defeat the bad guys. Weird, yes, but more surprising is the charming humor.

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CaitlinR
The Hunter: A Novel | Tana French
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Tana French has mad skills, and her latest novel is a knock-out! Set in West Ireland, in her hands the small town of Ardnakelty becomes a character in its own right. Johnny Reddy, under the control of a Brit crook, schemes to defraud. His daughter, Trey, has her own revenge agenda. Her adult friends Cal and Lena are trying to protect her from herself. The characters are marvelous and unforgettable. The ending is great. Highly recommended!

Ruthiella Gotta read The Searcher first but totally looking forward to it and hopefully it will be this year! 🤞 2mo
CaitlinR @Ruthiella The Searcher is great! 1mo
29 likes1 stack add2 comments
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CaitlinR
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Pickpick

I loved to two earlier Pentecost and Parker books and his third offers a gloriously complicated plot. We get to know the two detectives better, and meet their really interesting client, Holly Quick. Great historical details. Very highly recommended. I also love Spotswood‘s view of the world: “my first thanks go to everyone, everywhere, fighting for a future that‘s a damn sight brighter than the world our heroes have waiting for them” (p. 367)

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Daniel Corey. 2mo
17 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
Village in the Dark | Iris Yamashita
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Mehso-so

A competent mystery, first in an Alaskan series and featuring Cara Kennedy. Cara is on disability leave from the Anchorage Police Department after the death of her family. She‘s still trying to track down those responsible. She exhumes their bodies in a search for clues, and finds a shocking surprise that leads her a corrupt drug company, and a village that offers safe harbor to those in need. The setting is very well done, the story needs work.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Pete Lomchid (Getty Images) 2mo
23 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
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Mehso-so

I almost bailed on this read. I found the writing kludgy and the authors‘s tendency to drop unnecessary classical allusions into the text was just plain weird. About halfway though, it was like a switch was thrown and suddenly a plot appeared and the characters began to shine, and maybe that was the point. Once Emily accepts the help of her fae colleague, Bambleby and that of her neighbors, she grows beyond her stodgy ways.

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CaitlinR
Lone Women: A Novel | Victor LaValle
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Bailedbailed

I‘m not new to the horror genre, and I‘ve enjoyed LaValle‘s work in the past, but unfortunately I decided to bail on this. I read well over half, but found that my anxiety was increasing, and I‘m not in a place where that‘s OK. That said, this had an interesting plot relating the eerie story of women pioneers in Montana who have brought their curses along as they strive to build new lives.

sarahbarnes This one didn‘t quite work for me either. 2mo
CaitlinR @sarahbarnes Glad it wasn‘t just me! 2mo
CaitlinR @dabbe Love the #hailthebail tag! 2mo
30 likes1 stack add4 comments
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CaitlinR
Murder at Cherokee Point | Peter Marabell
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Set in a beautiful part of my state, and written by a Michigan author, this mystery was a joy to read. Michael Russo, a Petoskey attorney, usually handles family law. When a wealthy member of a weirdly insular resort, Cherokee Point is murdered, the police ask Russo‘s help in gaining the other resident‘s confidence. Russo winds up investigating the suspects, and ultimately solving the case, but the truth is terrible. Glad it‘s part of a series.

20 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinR
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I have really enjoyed the books in Massey‘s Perveen Mistry series. Set in 1920‘s India, the sense of place and history are fascinating and this, her latest, is a great read. Perveen, the only female lawyer in Bombay, is representing a woman falsely charged with the use of an abortifacient, and later with the murder of her employer. The truth revolves around white colonial greed. We get to know more about Perveen in each novel

29 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinR
The City of Stardust | Georgia Summers
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I actually enjoyed this light read. The author explores the ways in which we adjust our stories and concepts of love to protect ourselves from difficult truths.

According to Penelope, ostensibly a teacher, actually something much more and terrible, the Everly family owes her a blood debt; Violet sets out to remove the curse, sometimes aided, sometimes betrayed by Penelope‘s acolyte: Alexander. The plot gets a bit muddy at times.

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CaitlinR
The Silver Bone: A Novel | Andrey Kurkov
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What an interesting read! Set in Kyiv, 1919, a period of great unrest. Samson Kolechko has lost his entire family, most recently his father who is murdered by one of the factions fighting for control of the city. In the attack, Samson loses an ear. Reporting thieving Red Army soldiers who seize space in his home, Samson is offered a job with the newly formed police force. Fine start of a new series with great characters. Beautifully translated.

28 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinR
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What a great read! Tautly plotted and very well written.

A young black man kills a white school teacher in the aptly named Charon County, VA. As he leaves the scene he is killed by the police. As Sheriff Titus Crowne investigates, terrible evil acts are revealed and they must hunt a serial killer. All in the midst of racial provocation by Confederate apologists.

I loved Titus‘s final redemptive act at this end of this highly recommended novel.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Sam Sauter Photography 3mo
29 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
Infinity Alchemist | Kacen Callender
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Ash Woods wanted to enter Lancaster College to earn his Alchemy Certificate, but unaffiliated with a powerful clan he‘s denied entry. Working as a gardener he meets Ramsey Thorne who recognizes their latent power. Ultimately joined by Callum Kendrick they embark on a quest for the Book of Source.

As a younger reader, my parents allowed to read anything I chose. I should note that this YA book has explicit bits, but well suited to the story.

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CaitlinR
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Mehso-so

I‘m not sure if I can really recommend Sager‘s latest. The first 2/3 of the book is slow, laying almost more of a back story than needed. The last third of the book has so many plot twists, it‘s almost hard to keep track. In short, the pacing is really weird. The plot: fleeing a personal scandal Kit McDeere becomes caretaker for Lenora Hope accused, but never convicted of her family‘s murder. Now she wants to tell her story.

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CaitlinR
Chain-Gang All-Stars: A Novel | Adjei-Brenyah, Nana K
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Speculative fiction, and yet one of the more powerful condemnations of the American penal system that I‘ve read since Michelle Alexander‘s nonfiction The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration… The author‘s footnotes are brilliant!

Prisoners, tortured into a complete lack of hope, are offered a chance at freedom by participating in state supported gladiator-like killing “games.” In the midst of the carnage, there is grace. Unforgettable characters.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Alex M. Philip 3mo
28 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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CaitlinR
Holly: A Novel | Stephen King
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“Just when you think you‘ve seen the worst human beings have to offer, you find out you‘re wrong.” (p. 442).

King features Holly Gibney, a character I‘ve loved. She has been hired to find a missing woman and in the process unveils horrors wrought by a pair of demented professors who are seeking a way to reverse the ravages of their old age. King proves, yet again than no one should underestimate midwestern small towns.

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CaitlinR
Old God's Time: A Novel | Sebastian Barry
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Are the sins of parents visited upon their children? In this “story of atrocities” (p. 226) we live through Tom Kettle‘s life memories. His wife, June was raped, starting at age 6, by a Catholic priest. As an adult she strikes out in a horrible act of justice. The ripples of her act and her pain extend to her entire family. Awful and grim, the novel is so beautifully written that, although there is no redemption it becomes a transcendent story.

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CaitlinR
Learwife | J R Thorp
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Bailedbailed

The language in this novel was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, with everything that I have going on, I just couldn‘t concentrate enough to do it justice, so I‘ve set it aside for another day. Anyway, this is a temporary bail, but a bail nonetheless ☹️

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CaitlinR
The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi | Shannon Chakraborty
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In the first half of this book Chakrabory lays the foundation for her new series. As a result it is a slow and, frankly not very interesting beginning to what becomes, in the second half a thrill ride through a well-built world. Amina Al-Siafi is a mother, was a ship‘s captain/pirate and returns to the sea to rescue a young, magical girl . Her past shipmates join her on what becomes a life threatening adventure. Looking forward to the next entry.

26 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinR
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This story is flat out soul-satisfying! Greta, like many of the women in her small Indian village, is abused by her husband. She finds some freedom when he disappears. Some think she killed him and want her to help them get rid of their equally horrible spouses. Mahem ensues. Lots of humor amongst the very real pain. By the end, after getting her vengeance, she tells her returned wastrel, “You‘re wrong, I‘m right, and I‘m definitely not sorry.”

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Devin Spratt. 4mo
32 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
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This was a thoroughly enjoyable read! Vera Wong has run a tea house in Chinatown for years, but the business is barely squeaking by and she‘s lonely. One morning she comes down to find a dead man on the floor. As she sets out to solve the crime,her primary suspects become closer than family, enriching her life. I loved the twist at the end.

If you‘re looking for mood lifting book, grab this quick read. You won‘t be sorry.

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CaitlinR
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“Vera Wong Zhuzhu, age sixty, is a pig, but she really should have been born a rooster.”

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

ShyBookOwl 😬 4mo
25 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
Deus X | Stephen Mack Jones
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I have enjoyed all of the August Snow novels, but Stephen Mack Jones latest, Deus X is really something special. Father Michael Grabowsk, who August has known since the Franciscan baptized him, has been forced to retire in light of unsubstantiated abuse allegations. Investigating, Snow discovers that the false accusations stem from a power mad Bishop who wants a Vatican post. Beautifully written, great Detroit details. Highly, highly recommended.

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CaitlinR
Blood Lines | Nelson DeMille, Alex DeMille
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Mehso-so

Special Agent Harry Vance is murdered in Berlin. His colleagues, Brodie and Taylor, Army criminal investigator, are sent to liaise with their German counterparts and various FBI & CIA folk to find the perpetrator. Not surprisingly, everyone has a different agenda. Their investigation leads them to historical truths about the Stasi and current threats from far right baddies. In short a vintage DeMille plot. Written with his son this one falls flat

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CaitlinR
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Agnes Sharp converted her home, Sunset Hall to a shared living situation for pensioners and they‘ve become a family of sorts. None of them came through life unscathed, and they have secrets from their past. And none more than Agatha who is investigating the deaths of people she once knew. Although I‘ve enjoyed the Thursday Murder Club books, this story is darker, and more complex. I loved it; and Hettie, the tortoise is a fantastic character!

28 likes3 stack adds
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CaitlinR
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Reading this book is like experiencing a fever dream. When I let go, and just enjoyed the beautiful writing, I found myself discovering a route through the madness that has gripped Ada, her son Giles and her husband, Danny when she disappears.

Is Ada really unhappy, does she chafe at her role as mother, has she willingly left, or has she been transmuted into the natural world she believes to be failing. Others are gone too. What‘s happening?

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Hadja Bakara. 5mo
22 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
No Strangers Here | Carlene O'Connor
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This was an engaging mystery, and the first of the County Kerry series. Dimpna Wilde followed in her father‘s footsteps and became a veterinarian. She left her hometown, Dingle, after horrific events. She‘s retuned because one of the principal men involved in those events is murdered. She‘ll have to revisit the past to find the truth.
Unfortunately, there isn‘t a lot of Irish here; I wish the dialogue had been more authentic. Good twists though.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Abigail Zoe Martin. 5mo
23 likes1 comment
blurb
CaitlinR
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1. Yup, I can drive a stick. I learned on a huge Buick station wagon with “three on the tree” which definitely dates me!

2. Can‘t get better than Hunter Thompson and the Great Red Shark — and that dates me too!

#Two4Tuesday. #TheSpineView

Crazeedi I've driven one of those too!!!😉 5mo
TheSpineView I remember those so I must be dated too! Thanks for playing! 5mo
Amiable Ha ha—I had a “three on the tree” too! It was an AMC Hornet. 😳😀 5mo
18 likes3 comments
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CaitlinR
Murder at Haven's Rock | Kelley Armstrong
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The only disappointing thing about reading this book is that I have not read any of the earlier related Rockton series. This book has all the components of a good mystery, well drawn characters, puzzling deaths, lots of red herrings and mistaken identities.

Haven‘s Rock will be a hidden community, created to provide sanctuary for people requiring support and safety. Even before it‘s finished people begin to disappear and then bodies are found.

TheKidUpstairs You have a fun treat ahead of you if you go back and read the Rockton novels! It's my favourite fun series! 5mo
CaitlinR @TheKidUpstairs Looking forward to reading the series. Just put a hold on City of the Lost through Libby! 5mo
31 likes2 comments
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CaitlinR
Lace Widow | Mollie Ann Cox
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Mehso-so

This is a strangely unsuccessful historical mystery, and it‘s difficult to put my finger on exactly why. I think it‘s mainly that her primary character, Alexander Hamilton‘s wife, Eliza is a bit one dimensional. Reeling from her husband‘s death, she attempts to unravel a conspiracy that had led to several murders, assisted by a group of widows from another class of society.

If this will become a series, later entries may be stronger.

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CaitlinR
Falling | T.J. Newman
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After reading and enjoying her, Drowning, I went back to read this, her first. While it wasn‘t as tightly crafted, Newman can certainly provide a thrill-ride.

Pilot Bill Hoffman has been asked to be substitute pilot for a flight to New York. His family is then taken hostage. They‘ll die if he doesn‘t agree to crash the plane. Newman gives us evil doers that are real, complex with understandable motives. Read it in one sitting.

33 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinR
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What a wonderful, charming story. Meg (“short for Megladon”) Shaffer gives us a book that shows us the power of hope, and how wishes can come true.

Jack Masterson is the author of the Clock Island book series. Four adult‘s, all with childhood connections to the author, have been invited to compete for the rights to his latest book. Lucy Hart MUST win to make her dream of adopting Christopher come true. Thoroughly enjoyed this read!

30 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinR
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Mehso-so

Rupert Holmes has presented us with an interesting premise, and at times the story is engaging. Unfortunately there are also clunky bits that drag, and also sections that are just overwrought and border on the farcical.

Cliff Iverson, after an unsuccessful attempt to murder his truly awful boss, is enrolled at a College formed to instruct in the fine art of murder. His story, and that of other students, make up the plot. Bit of a slog.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Susan Woog Wagner 5mo
26 likes1 comment
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CaitlinR
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Panpan

I‘m not a big fan of Christmas themed books, and this mystery did not change my mind. Sophie Hannah‘s latest Christie reinvention tries hard to be complicated, but it isn‘t — the identity of murderer is no surprise, making Poirot‘s big drawing room reveal just silly.

Catchpool says: “This was far from the first time I had desperately looked forward to leaving a place before I had arrived.” Finishing this book, I know exactly how he felt!

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CaitlinR
Uncanny Times | Laura Anne Gilman
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Mehso-so

The first in a new series. Huntsmen are born from union of a creature and a human and tasked with the control of the uncanny. Aaron and Rosemary Harker, brother and sister Huntsmen, are called to investigate murders in Brunson, NY (1913) including a distant cousin, accompanied by their hellhound, Botheration.

The story unfolds VERY slowly, except for the final pages. Jury still out on whether the series is worth following, might read the next.

21 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinR
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Mehso-so

A fluffy fantasy that doesn‘t require any deep thought or careful reading; perfect for the sprint to complete holiday preparations.

Called to a solicitor‘s office, Ivy Radcliffe is shocked to find that she is the heir of Blackwood Abby. Suddenly, she‘s thrust from modest life into the role of Lady Haworth. As an avid reader, she is thrilled by the estate‘s library — but it imposes a terrible cost. A curse that will steal her memories, and life.

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CaitlinR
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Pickpick

Kuldesh Sharma, an Antique dealer and an old friend of Stephen‘s, occasionally accepts a package, holding it until it is picked up. Some money changes hands, but more importantly if he refuses they will torch his store. Kuldesh is killed and the Thursday Murder Club investigates. The witty, joyful banter is forced in this fourth in the series, but there are painful things happening for Elizabeth and Stephen, so allowances must be made.

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CaitlinR
Drowning | T.J. Newman
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Don‘t tell anybody, but I‘m a disaster movie junkie. Love ‘em all (except Titanic, THAT was just silly) Well, this book is just like a soul satisfying disaster flick. It checks all the boxes: lovable characters trapped together with interesting back-stories, engineer who keeps folk safe with his knowledge, lovely older couple, two charming kids, horrible a** hole, brave female captain, valiant rescuers, etc. Finished at 2AM. Just plain, fun read!

marleed I‘m right there with you on disaster movies! 6mo
CaitlinR @marleed Glad to have a disaster movie buddy! 6mo
28 likes2 comments
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CaitlinR
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Bailedbailed

I‘ve loved James McBride‘s books, and I eagerly waited for this one to become available. After reading more than half way, however, I‘ve decided to set it aside and maybe try again later. The book is more heavy handed than his earlier work. His character are almost caricatures. I get that this is probably the point, but I just wasn‘t enjoying the story. I‘m disappointed.

Tamra I bailed too, but I thought it might the audio format. 6mo
CaitlinR @Tamara glad to have your take on the audiobook. I placed a hold on it for my mom, think I‘ll cancel it! 6mo
BkClubCare Oh no 😱 I am about 10% in on audio🎧 6mo
29 likes3 comments
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CaitlinR
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“There was an old Jew who lived at the site of the old synagogue up on Chicken Hill in the town of Pottstown, PA, and when Pennsylvania State Troopers found the skeleton at the bottom of an old well off Hayes Street, the old Jew‘s house was the first place they went to.”

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CaitlinR
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Pickpick

An excellent historical mystery set in Philadelphia, 1875. The primary character is Lydia Weston, a physician at Women‘s Medical College of Pennsylvania and the book‘s debut author is herself. A doctor

Police discover an apparent suicide of a patient treated by Dr. Weston. The autopsy reveals that she was murdered and that she was a different person. The investigation reveals horrific crimes. A good read and, I hope the start of a series.

CaitlinR Photo of the author by Alex Metzger 6mo
Kimzey Sounds good! Stacked! 📚 6mo
CaitlinR @Kimzey 💜 6mo
23 likes1 stack add3 comments
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CaitlinR
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Pickpick

I need to read the first Henri LeFort mystery, but I enjoyed this one even without the benefit of that background. Set in occupied Paris, Inspector LeFort has been tasked with locating a missing physician. His investigation leads him to discover horrific medical experimentation on disabled children. With the help of both friends and enemies, LeFort‘s solution stops the atrocities, foils the Nazi‘s and helps the Resistance. Bit formulaic, but fun.