9/10

#BookReview Forgotten on Sunday by Valérie Perrin (translated by Hildegarde Serle) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #ForgottenOnSunday #ValeriePerrin #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions

#BookReview Forgotten on Sunday by Valérie Perrin (translated by Hildegarde Serle) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #ForgottenOnSunday #ValeriePerrin #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions Title: Forgotten on Sunday

Author: Valérie Perrin

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 14, 2024

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 316

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

An unforgettable story about an unlikely friendship and about healing the wounds of a broken past from the million-copy bestselling author of Fresh Water for Flowers.

Justine is 21 years old and has lived with her grandparents and her cousin Jules since the death of her parents. As a nursing assistant at a retirement home, she spends much of her days listening to her residents’ stories. 

After bonding with Hélène, an almost 100-year-old resident, the two women slowly reveal their stories to one another. Whilst Justine helps Hélène to relive her memories of love and war, Hélène encourages Justine to confront the secrets of her own past, and the loss she keeps buried deep within. 

One day, a mysterious phone detailing a shocking revelation shakes the retirement home to its core. At once humorous and melancholic, Valérie Perrin’s novel depicts the consequences of undeclared love and, in her inimitable way, portrays once again how the past is never really past.


Review:

Captivating, melancholic, and sensitive!

Forgotten on Sunday is a heart-tugging, character-driven tale set in France during the 1930s, as well as present day, that takes you into the lives of two main characters. Justine, a young nursing aide who after being raised by her grandparents from an early age after the sudden loss of her parents, spends her days caring for the elderly and writing down all the stories they choose to share, and Hélène a ninety-six-year-old woman who as her life slowly comes to an end reveals a well-lived life that was bursting with passion, pain, tragedy, and war.

The prose is elegant and rich. The characters are troubled, sympathetic, and endearing. And the plot is a moving tale about life, love, loss, lies, emotion, betrayal, family, friendship, secrets, heartbreak, guilt, grief, hope, and regret.

Overall, Forgotten on Sunday is another immersive, touching, astute tale by Perrin that highlights once again her innate ability to delve into all the messy emotional and psychological entanglements that exist between family members, lovers, and friends, and proves why year after year her novels garner enormous amounts of high praise.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Valérie Perrin

Valérie Perrin was born in 1967 in Remiremont, in the Vosges Mountains, France. She grew up in Burgundy and settled in Paris in 1986. Her novel The Forgotten Sunday (2015) won the Booksellers Choice Award and the paperback edition has been long-selling best-seller since publication. Her English-language debut, Fresh Water for Flowers (Europa, 2020) won the Maison de la Presse Prize, the Paperback Readers Prize, and was named a 2020 ABA Indies Introduce and Indie Next List title. It has been translated into over thirty languages. Figaro Littéraire named Perrin one of the ten best-selling authors in France in 2019, and in Italy, Fresh Water for Flowers was the best selling book of 2020. Perrin now lives in Normandy.

Photo © Valentin Lauvergne

#BookReview Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood @PenguinRandomCA @BerkleyPub #NotInLove #AliHazelwood #PenguinReads

#BookReview Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood @PenguinRandomCA @BerkleyPub #NotInLove #AliHazelwood #PenguinReads Title: Not in Love

Author: Ali Hazelwood

Published by: Berkley on Jun. 11, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House

Book Rating: 9/10

A forbidden, secret affair proves that all’s fair in love and science—from New York Times bestselling author Ali Hazelwood.

Rue Siebert might not have it all, but she has enough: a few friends she can always count on, the financial stability she yearned for as a kid, and a successful career as a biotech engineer at Kline, one of the most promising start-ups in the field of food science. Her world is stable, pleasant, and hard-fought. Until a hostile takeover and its offensively attractive front man threatens to bring it all crumbling down.


Review:

Stirring, engaging, and sweetly romantic!

Not in Love is a heartwarming, amusing, enemies-to-lovers romance that transports you into the lives of Rue Siebert, an intelligent biotech engineer who is more than happy being single until one casual hookup sees her almost falling into bed with a man she could possibly see a future with but who happens to be the enemy, and Eli Kilgore, a successful businessman who has been driven his whole adult life by the thought of retribution until a no-strings affair with a woman he just met has him questioning it all.

The writing is heartfelt and light. The characters are hardworking, passionate, and loyal. And the plot is a push-pull tale full of workplace drama, tender moments, witty banter, expectations, friendship, undeniable chemistry, and love.

Overall, Not in Love is a provocative, spirited, entertaining read by Hazelwood with characters I couldn’t help but root for and a happy-ever-after ending that left me smiling, smitten, and extremely satisfied.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ali Hazelwood

Ali Hazelwood is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love, Theoretically and The Love Hypothesis, as well as a writer of peer-reviewed articles about brain science, in which no one makes out and the ever after is not always happy. Originally from Italy, she lived in Germany and Japan before moving to the US to pursue a PhD in neuroscience. When Ali is not at work, she can be found running, eating cake pops, or watching sci-fi movies with her three feline overlords (and her slightly-less-feline husband).

Photo by Justin Murphy / Out of the Attic Photography.

#BookReview They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy’s Story by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #TheyThoughtIWasDead #RoyGrace #PGCBooks

#BookReview They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy’s Story by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #TheyThoughtIWasDead #RoyGrace #PGCBooks Title: They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy's Story

Author: Peter James

Series: Roy Grace #20

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 23, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Peter James, international bestselling author of the Roy Grace series, returns with a standalone novel revealing the truth behind Sandy Grace’s dramatic disappearance.

Some will know how it begins.

Her name is Sandy. You might know her as the loving wife of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. But there’s more to her than meets the eye. A woman with a dubious past, a complicated present and an uncertain future. Then she was gone.

Some will know how it ends.

Her disappearance caused a nationwide search. Even the best detective on the force couldn’t find her. They thought she was dead.

But nobody knows this…

Where did she go? Why did she run? What would cause a woman to leave her whole life behind and simply vanish? For the first time, award-winning crime writer Peter James lays bare what really happened to Sandy Grace. They Thought I Was Dead will thrill fans and new readers alike with its gripping story of a woman on the run. This is Sandy’s story.


Review:

Tense, menacing, and gritty!

They Thought I Was Dead is a clever, captivating mystery that takes us back to the beginning and into the life of Sandy Grace, the elusive first wife of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, whose reckless behaviour leaves his world irrevocably turned upside down and hers on a fast road to ruin.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are multilayered, vulnerable, and impulsive. And the plot is a sinister tale full of twists, turns, deception, mayhem, lies, secrets, suspicious personalities, revelations, addiction, and murder.

I have to say that die-hard fans of the Roy Grace series will be absolutely thrilled with this latest outing by James. They Thought I Was Dead is an ominous, sophisticated, entertaining tale that finally gives readers the insight and answers they’ve been waiting for.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Peter James

Peter James is the international bestselling author of many award-winning novels. His Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, set in Brighton, has been translated into thirty-seven languages with worldwide sales of over eighteen million copies, and has given him eleven consecutive Sunday Times number ones. In 2015 WHSmith customers publicly voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he became the recipient of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. Peter has also written a short story collection, A Twist of the Knife, and his standalone titles include Perfect People and The House on Cold Hill. He has also co-written a non-fiction account of Brighton’s toughest cases with former detective Graham Bartlett entitled Death Comes Knocking. The Perfect Murder, Dead Simple and Not Dead Enough have all been turned into smash-hit stage plays. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police. Three of his novels have been filmed and before becoming a full-time author he produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex.

#BookReview This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune @CarleyFortune @PenguinRandomCA #ThisSummerWillBeDifferent #CarleyFortune #PenguinReads

#BookReview This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune @CarleyFortune @PenguinRandomCA #ThisSummerWillBeDifferent #CarleyFortune #PenguinReads Title: This Summer Will Be Different

Author: Carley Fortune

Published by: Berkley on May 7, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House

Book Rating: 9/10

This summer they’ll keep their promise. This summer they won’t give into temptation. This summer will be different.

Lucy is the tourist vacationing at a beach house on Prince Edward Island. Felix is the local who shows her a very good time. The only problem: Lucy doesn’t know he’s her best friend’s younger brother. Lucy and Felix’s chemistry is unreal, but the list of reasons why they need to stay away from each other is long, and they vow to never repeat that electric night again.

It’s easier said than done.

Each year, Lucy escapes to PEI for a big breath of coastal air, fresh oysters and crisp vinho verde with her best friend, Bridget. Every visit begins with a long walk on the beach, beneath soaring red cliffs and a golden sun. And every visit, Lucy promises herself she won’t wind up in Felix’s bed. Again.

If Lucy can’t help being drawn to Felix, at least she’s always kept her heart out of it.

When Bridget suddenly flees Toronto a week before her wedding, Lucy drops everything to follow her to the island. Her mission is to help Bridget through her crisis and resist the one man she’s never been able to. But Felix’s sparkling eyes and flirty quips have been replaced with something new, and Lucy’s beginning to wonder just how safe her heart truly is.


Review:

Heartwarming, addictive, and thought-provoking!

This Summer Will Be Different is an absorbing, heartfelt tale that takes you into the life of the independent, loyal Lucy as she juggles a best friend in need of help, a life she enjoys but may be missing a little something, and an ongoing attraction for the one man she’s not allowed to have but who she’s never been able to forget, Felix.

The writing is sweet and smooth. The characters are kind, caring, and endearing. And the plot is a touching tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, happiness, healing, taking chances, growth, revelations, tender moments, light drama, promises, selflessness, romance, and new beginnings.

For the past few years, Carley Fortune’s books have topped my must-read favourites list, and even though I didn’t think it was possible to love her books any more than I already did, she proved me wrong once again. This Summer Will Be Different made my heart ache and smile in just 320 pages, and not only did I absolutely adore it, but it might just be one of my all-time summer faves!

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carley Fortune

CARLEY FORTUNE is the New York Times and #1 Globe and Mail bestselling au­thor of Every Summer After and Meet Me at the Lake. She’s also an award-winning Canadian journalist who has worked as an editor for Refinery29, The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, and Toronto Life. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons.

Photo by Jenna Marie Wakani

#BookReview Funny Story by Emily Henry @PenguinRandomCA #EmilyHenry #FunnyStory #PenguinReads

#BookReview Funny Story by Emily Henry @PenguinRandomCA #EmilyHenry #FunnyStory #PenguinReads Title: Funny Story

Author: Emily Henry

Published by: Berkley on Apr. 23, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A shimmering, joyful new novel about a pair of opposites with the wrong thing in common.

Daphne always loved the way her fiancé Peter told their story. How they met (on a blustery day), fell in love (over an errant hat), and moved back to his lakeside hometown to begin their life together. He really was good at telling it…right up until the moment he realized he was actually in love with his childhood best friend Petra.

Which is how Daphne begins her new story: Stranded in beautiful Waning Bay, Michigan, without friends or family but with a dream job as a children’s librarian (that barely pays the bills), and proposing to be roommates with the only person who could possibly understand her predicament: Petra’s ex, Miles Nowak.

Scruffy and chaotic—with a penchant for taking solace in the sounds of heart break love ballads—Miles is exactly the opposite of practical, buttoned up Daphne, whose coworkers know so little about her they have a running bet that she’s either FBI or in witness protection. The roommates mainly avoid one another, until one day, while drowning their sorrows, they form a tenuous friendship and a plan. If said plan also involves posting deliberately misleading photos of their summer adventures together, well, who could blame them?

But it’s all just for show, of course, because there’s no way Daphne would actually start her new chapter by falling in love with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex…right?


Review:

Amusing, smart, and adorably romantic!

Funny Story is an engaging, witty, roommates-to-more romance that features the quiet, wary Daphne and the outgoing, charming Miles as together they navigate their heartbreak and discover that their exes leaving them might be the best thing that ever happened to them.

The writing is sweet and crisp. The characters are quirky, charismatic, and genuine. And the plot is an irresistible blend of life, love, friendship, family, flirting, light drama, tricky situations, spirited shenanigans, awkward moments, and delectable romance.

I’ve always been a fan of Emily Henry novels, and Funny Story has just become another favourite. It’s funny, tender, deliciously swoon-worthy and without a doubt, one of the best rom-coms I’ve had the pleasure to read this year.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Emily Henry

Emily Henry is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of People We Meet on Vacation and Beach Read. She studied creative writing at Hope College, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it.

Photo by Devyn Glista/St. Blanc Studios.

#BookReview The Five Year Lie by Sarina Bowen @SarinaBowen @harperbooks #TheFiveYearLie #SarinaBowen #HarperBooks

#BookReview The Five Year Lie by Sarina Bowen @SarinaBowen @harperbooks #TheFiveYearLie #SarinaBowen #HarperBooks Title: The Five Year Lie

Author: Sarina Bowen

Published by: Harper Books on May 7, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Harper Books

Book Rating: 9/10

She thought it was love. Then he vanished.

On an ordinary Monday morning, Ariel Cafferty’s phone buzzes with a disturbing text message. Something’s happened. I need to see you. Meet me under the candelabra tree ASAP. The words would be jarring from anyone, but the sender is the only man she ever loved. And it’s been several years since she learned he died.

Seeing Drew’s name pop up is heart-stopping. Ariel’s gut says it can’t be real. But she goes to the tree anyway. She has to.

Nobody shows. But the text upends everything she thought she knew about the day he left her. The more questions she asks, the more sinister the answers get. Only two things are clear: everything she was told five years ago is wrong, and someone is still lying to her.

The truth has to be out there somewhere. To safeguard herself—and her son—she’ll have to find it before it finds her. And with it, the answer to what became of Drew.

With a heart-stopping romance that only Sarina Bowen can execute, The Five Year Lie is a page-turning, spine-tingling thriller that will have you guessing until the very end.


Review:

Sinister, sharp, and engrossing!

The Five Year Lie is a chilling, cyber thriller that transports you into the life of Ariel Cafferty, a young mother whose world gets turned upside down when she suddenly receives a text message that should have been delivered five years ago from the man she once loved but who suddenly disappeared without a trace.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are mysterious, troubled, and multilayered. And the plot intertwines and unravels quickly into a suspenseful, intricate tale of lies, secrets, manipulation, familial drama, unexpected twists, heart-wrenching motivations, violence, and deception.

Overall, The Five Year Lie is a tortuous, clever, creepy page-turner by Bowen that kept me guessing from the very first page, showcased her ability to be a master of more than just the romance genre, and ultimately, left me shocked, surprised, thoroughly entertained, and eager for more.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

Thank you to Harper Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over two dozen contemporary and LGTB romance novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller's list in February, with Brooklynaire. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina's books are published in a dozen languages on four continents. In 2016, The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with a RITA award for Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

#BookReview Lady Codebreaker by K.D. Alden @KDAldenAuthor @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2024 #KDAlden #LadyCodebreaker

#BookReview Lady Codebreaker by K.D. Alden @KDAldenAuthor @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #Forever2024 #KDAlden #LadyCodebreaker Title: Lady Codebreaker

Author: K.D. Alden

Published by: Forever on Mar. 12, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Forever

Book Rating: 9/10

Fans of Kate Quinn and Kristina McMorris will love this gripping historical novel based on the true story of the woman who used her codebreaking skills to bring down Prohibition gangsters and WWII Nazis, and who ultimately helped found the present-day NSA.

Grace Smith has never been one to conform to society’s expectations. She flees small-town Indiana to seek adventure—and finds more than she bargained for when she’s hired by an eccentric millionaire to learn codebreaking. Soon she’s using those skills to help head the government’s fledgling cryptanalysis unit.

During Prohibition, Grace takes up the fight against rumrunners—not to mention Al Capone himself. And as the country careens from one Great War to another, it’s Grace who must crack the secrets of foreign governments, catch spies, and derail saboteurs . . . before it’s too late.

With wry wit and sheer grit, she forges her own path as a codebreaker, wife, mother. She’s spent a lifetime going up against powerful men and winning. But as war rages and the stakes grow impossibly high, Grace faces a truly impossible choice: her family or her country?


Review:

Moving, alluring, and intense!

Lady Codebreaker is a thrilling, captivating tale set from 1917 to 1958 that takes you into the life of Grace Smith, a young American girl who, after leaving her small home town in the hopes of something more, finds herself learning cryptanalysis, having a distinguished career, and marrying a loyal, successful man all during a time of chaos and upheaval and two world wars.

The prose is rich and vivid. The characters are intelligent, brave, and strong. And the plot is an insightful, compelling blend of life, loss, secrets, surprises, heartbreak, betrayal, politics, power, friendship, and romance.

Overall, Lady Codebreaker is an intricate, passionate, fascinating tale by Alden based on real-life events that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters within it that you can’t help but be fully absorbed and invested.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

Thank you to Forever and Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About K.D. Alden

K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in south Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.

Photograph by Christhopher Hawke.

#BookReview Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth @SallyHepworth @StMartinsPress #DarlingGirlsNovel #SallyHepworth #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth @SallyHepworth @StMartinsPress #DarlingGirlsNovel #SallyHepworth #StMarinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Darling Girls

Author: Sally Hepworth

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Apr. 23, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

SISTERS, SECRETS, LOVE, AND MURDER… Sally Hepworth’s new novel has it all.

For as long as they can remember, Jessica, Norah, and Alicia have been told how lucky they are. As young girls they were rescued from family tragedies and raised by a loving foster mother, Miss Fairchild, on an idyllic farming estate and given an elusive second chance at a happy family life.

But their childhood wasn’t the fairy tale everyone thinks it was. Miss Fairchild had rules. Miss Fairchild could be unpredictable. And Miss Fairchild was never, ever to be crossed. In a moment of desperation, the three broke away from Miss Fairchild and thought they were free. Even though they never saw her again, she was always somewhere in the shadows of their minds. When a body is discovered under the home they grew up in, the foster sisters find themselves thrust into the spotlight as key witnesses. Or are they prime suspects?

A thrilling page-turner of sisterhood, secrets, love, and murder by New York Times bestselling author Sally Hepworth.


Review:

Ominous, gripping and intense!

Darling Girls is a well-executed, intricate thriller that takes us into the lives of foster care sisters Jessica, Norah, and Alicia, as after bones are discovered buried under the home where they were raised, struggle to come to grips with the actions, scars, treatment, repercussions, and tragedies from their childhoods.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are troubled, scarred, and vulnerable. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style, unfolds and unravels quickly into a compelling tale full of twists, turns, lies, secrets, manipulation, obsession, love, loyalty, jealousy, abuse, and murder.

I’ve been a huge fan of Sally Hepworth since I read The Mother’s Promise in 2017, and whether it’s one of her women’s fiction novels or edge-of-your-seat thrillers, such as this latest release, Darling Girls, I am always riveted, entertained, satisfied and highly impressed.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Canada. She is the author of The Secrets of Midwives, The Things We Keep, The Mother's Promise, The Family Next Door and The Mother-in-Law. Sally now lives in Melbourne with her husband, three children, and one adorable dog.

Photo by Mrs. Smart Photography.

#BookReview Close to Death by Anthony Horowitz @AnthonyHorowitz @harperbooks #ClosetoDeath #AnthonyHorowitz #HawthorneAndHorowitz #HarperBooks

#BookReview Close to Death by Anthony Horowitz @AnthonyHorowitz @harperbooks #ClosetoDeath #AnthonyHorowitz #HawthorneAndHorowitz #HarperBooks Title: Close to Death

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Series: Hawthorne & Horowitz #5

Published by: Harper Books on Apr. 16, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 432

Format: Hardcover

Source: Harper Books

Book Rating: 9/10

In New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s ingenious fifth literary whodunnit in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series, Detective Hawthorne is once again called upon to solve an unsolvable case—a gruesome murder in an idyllic gated community in which suspects abound.

Riverside Close is a picture-perfect community. The six exclusive and attractive houses are tucked far away from the noise and grime of city life, allowing the residents to enjoy beautiful gardens, pleasant birdsong, and tranquility from behind the security of a locked gate.

It is the perfect idyll, until the Kentworthy family arrives, with their four giant, gas-guzzling cars, gaggle of shrieking children, and plans for a garish swimming pool in the backyard. Obvious outsiders, the Kentworthys do not belong in Riverside Close, and quickly offend every last one of the neighbors.

When Charles Kentworthy is found dead on his own doorstep, a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest, Detective Hawthorne is the only investigator they can call to solve the case.

Because how do you solve a murder when everyone is a suspect?


Review:

Intricate, sharp, and clever!

In this fifth instalment in the Hawthorne & Horowitz series, Close to Death, we head back into the life of Horowitz, the author extraordinaire who, now under a tight deadline to produce his next book, decides to delve into one of Hawthorne’s most challenging murder cases from five years ago involving a gated cul-de-sac in an exclusive part of London, and the crossbow slaying of an arrogant neighbour who everyone in the community seems to have had a motive to kill.

The writing is tight and crisp. The characters are multilayered, irritated, and secretive. And the plot is an immersive, mysterious tale full of twists, turns, surprises, deception, mayhem, suspicious personalities, revelations, manipulation, animosity, and murder.

Overall, Close to Death is a complex, intense, engrossing tale that has just the right amount of suspense, well-drawn characterization, and creative storyline to make it a satisfying, highly entertaining addition to a metafiction series that I can honestly not get enough of. Anthony Horowitz has certainly written some amazing characters over the years, but Hawthorne & Horowitz are definitely two of my all-time favourites.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Harper Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Anthony Horowitz

ANTHONY HOROWITZ is the author of the US bestselling Magpie Murders and The Word is Murder, and one of the most prolific and successful writers in the English language; he may have committed more (fictional) murders than any other living author. His novel Trigger Mortis features original material from Ian Fleming. His most recent Sherlock Holmes novel, Moriarty, is a reader favorite; and his bestselling Alex Rider series for young adults has sold more than 19 million copies worldwide. As a TV screenwriter, he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle’s War on PBS. Horowitz regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, and in January 2014 was awarded an OBE.

#BookReview The Lost Letters of Aisling by Cynthia Ellingsen @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheLostLettersOfAisling #CynthiaEllingsen #LakeUnion #FireflyDist

#BookReview The Lost Letters of Aisling by Cynthia Ellingsen @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheLostLettersOfAisling #CynthiaEllingsen #LakeUnion #FireflyDist Title: The Lost Letters of Aisling

Author: Cynthia Ellingsen

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Apr. 1, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 302

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 9/10

A woman faces the past she fled in a heart-stirring novel about unforgettable love and indomitable courage by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper.

Rainey’s grandmother makes a startling Take me home. To Ireland, the country she fled post–World War II. Though they’re inseparably close, Rainey knows few of her grandmother’s secrets. Until they arrive at Aisling—the majestic estate on the southern coast of Ireland where her grandmother was raised—and Rainey discovers a collection of seventy-year-old letters in a trunk.

Dublin, 1945. The Germans surrender, celebrants crowd the streets, and fourteen-year-old Evie meets her best friend, the spirited Harding McGovern. Years on, they are more like sisters when rumors begin that Harding works in the black market trade—a source of wealth that could give her a dream life in America but could also cause great danger. Evie is uncertain of the truth but will stand by Harding, whatever the cost.

As Rainey uses the letters to reunite her grandmother with the past, what unfolds is a never-forgotten story of family, friendship, and love, and the healing that comes from letting go of secrets.


Review:

Captivating, rich, and absorbing!

The Lost Letters of Aisling is predominantly set in Ireland during the early 1950s, as well as present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Rainey, a young woman who journeys to Ireland to honour her grandmother’s wishes to return to her homeland to finally confront the past, and Evie, a young woman whose platonic love for her best friend will ultimately change her destiny and life forever.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are troubled, determined, and endearing. And the plot is a moving tale about life, loss, love, emotion, betrayal, family, friendship, heartbreak, guilt, grief, hope, and regret.

Overall, The Lost Letters of Aisling is a heartwarming, alluring, compelling tale by Ellingsen that highlights the enduring passion, loyalty and power of love and is a wonderful choice for anyone who enjoys a dual timeline story with both a sliver of mystery and a touch of romance.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

      

 

 

Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Cynthia Ellingsen

Cynthia Ellingsen is the Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Starlight Cove series. The Lost Letters of Aisling is her tenth novel. A Michigan native, Cynthia has lived in Los Angeles and Chicago. Currently, she lives in Lexington, KY with her family and two sassy but charming Siamese cats.