#BookReview Where You End by Abbott Kahler @HenryHolt #WhereYouEnd #AbbottKahler #HenryHoltBooks

#BookReview Where You End by Abbott Kahler @HenryHolt #WhereYouEnd #AbbottKahler #HenryHoltBooks Title: Where You End

Author: Abbott Kahler

Published by: Henry Holt and Co. on Jan. 16, 2024

Genres: Horror, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Henry Holt and Co.

Book Rating: 7.5/10

From bestselling nonfiction author Abbott Kahler comes a spellbinding fiction debut inspired by true events: an unusual form of amnesia upends the lives of identical twins, forcing them to face the indelible, dangerous shadow of the past.

When 22-year-old Kat Bird wakes up from a coma, she sees her mirror image: Jude, her twin sister. Jude’s face and name are the only memories Kat has from before her accident. As Kat tries to relearn her history and identity, she trusts Jude will provide all the answers. But as the months progress, Kat begins to fear that, maybe, Jude has been lying to her.

Recruit. Hunt. Perform or Perish.

Growing up in a sophisticated New Age cult, isolated from society, the girls studied poetry and literature—but also played dangerous games of cunning and savagery, games with dark lessons that followed them into adulthood. Now, with Kat’s mind as a blank slate, Jude invents an idyllic childhood in the hope of erasing this history, and all the threats it still holds.

As Kat pulls at the threads of Jude’s elaborate tapestry, those threats draw closer. When the past and present finally converge, the twins must risk everything to save both their unique bond, and each other’s lives.

Intensely creepy and beautifully written, Abbott Kahler’s Where You End is an unforgettable tale of intrigue, revenge, and moral ambiguities in the quest for redemption.


Review:

Dark, eerie, and compelling! 

Where You End is a taut, ominous tale that takes you into the life of twenty-two-year-old Katherine Bird who, after a terrible car accident that leaves her mind blank of almost every memory except the special connection she has with her mirror twin, struggles to uncover the truths and secrets she knows she’s not being told about a past littered with a lot of darkness and perversion.

The prose is gritty and tight. The characters are vulnerable, secretive, and damaged. And the plot, using a back-and-forth, past/present style, unfolds and unravels quickly into a menacing tale of lies, deception, indoctrination, depravity, retribution, manipulation, shocking revelations, sisterhood, violence, and murder.

Overall, Where You End is an intense, sinister, solid debut by Kahler that has certainly left me intrigued and excited for whatever utterly disturbing tale she manages to come up with next.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

 

Thank you to Henry Holt and Company for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Abbott Kahler

Abbott Kahler, formerly writing as Karen Abbott, is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City; American Rose; Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy; and The Ghosts of Eden Park, which was an Edgar Award finalist for best fact crime and a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award. Her next nonfiction book, Then Came the Devil, is forthcoming in 2025. She is also the host of Remus: The Mad Bootleg King, a forthcoming podcast from iHeartRadio about legendary Jazz Age bootlegger George Remus. A native of Philadelphia, she lives in New York City and in Greenport, New York, where she is at work on her next novel.

#BookReview Hedging Your Bets by Jayne Denker @JDenkerAuthor @smpromance @StMartinsPress #JayneDenker #HedgingYourBets #smpromance #smpinfluencers

#BookReview Hedging Your Bets by Jayne Denker @JDenkerAuthor @smpromance @StMartinsPress #JayneDenker #HedgingYourBets #smpromance #smpinfluencers Title: Hedging Your Bets

Author: Jayne Denker

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Jan. 9, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Opposites attract in this enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy of feuding neighbors and dueling hearts from Jayne Denker, the author of The Rom-Com Agenda.

When small-town neighbors go head-to-head, better start Hedging Your Bets.

Gillian has been happily divorced for several years and, after trying a few dating apps, prefers to stay that way. Navigating her way through dates with fat shamers and lackluster men has left her with no desire to do anything other than work in her garden in her spare time. Who needs rude comments and awkward first-date conversation when soft roses and vibrant tulips are so much better?

Noah West has just moved to Willow Cove. After a rough breakup that leaves him looking to get far away, he relocates to the same small town he spent summers in as a teen―and moves right next door to Gillian. A big believer in minimalist design and that the best kind of plants are non-flowering, he knows as soon as he meets his neighbor that they are going to clash on just about everything. Now if only he could keep his eyes off her too. That might be helpful.

When a gardening contest brings out the competition in Gillian and Noah, dueling plant arrangements and fiery banter ensues. But is it possible that beneath all their differences, they might just be perfect for each other?


Review:

Heartfelt, engaging, and fun!

Hedging Your Bets is a spirited, heartwarming, enemies-to-lovers romance that introduces us to both the sexy, kind Noah who, after having his heart broken, is hoping that a move to the small town of Willow Cove, Ontario will be the perfect place for him to settle down and create a new life, and the insecure, passionate Gillian who, after a somewhat dismal foray into the world of dating since her divorce, is more than content spending her days helping the people of the community with their pharmaceutical needs and working on her beautifully cultivated garden.

The prose is amusing and light. The characters are quirky, supportive, and sweet. And the plot is a playful, flirty blend of tricky situations, tender moments, awkward mishaps, self-discovery, friendship, kindness, support, happiness, chemistry, misunderstandings, undeniable attraction, and romance, 

Overall, Hedging Your Bets is a charming, humorous, enjoyable treat by Denker that is a delight to read and a wonderful reminder that true love is always worth the fight.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to SMP Romance – St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jayne Denker

Jayne Denker is the author of romantic comedies, including The Rom-Com Agenda and the Welcome to Marsden series. When she's not hard at work on another novel (or, rather, when she should be hard at work on another novel), she can usually be found frittering away stupid amounts of time on social media.

Photo by Elizabeth Torgerson-Lamark.

#BookReview Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge by Lizzie Pook @LizziePook @SimonSchusterCA #LizziePook #MaudeHortonsGloriousRevenge #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge by Lizzie Pook @LizziePook @SimonSchusterCA #LizziePook #MaudeHortonsGloriousRevenge #SimonSchusterCA Title: Maude Horton's Glorious Revenge

Author: Lizzie Pook

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Jan. 16, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

An Arctic expedition. A mysterious death. And the lengths to which one woman will go to avenge her sister

When Maude Horton receives a letter from the British Admiralty informing her of her younger sister’s death, her world is shattered. Bold and daring, Constance had run away from her life in Victorian London two years prior, disguising herself as a boy to board the Makepeace, an expedition vessel bound for the Arctic’s unexplored Northwest Passage. The admiralty claims Constance’s death was a tragic accident, but Maude knows when she is being deceived.

Armed with Constance’s diary from her time at sea and a fiery desire for justice, Maude sets her sights on the Makepeace’s former scientist, Edison Stowe, a greedy and manipulative man whom she suspects had a hand in her sister’s death. When she learns he has a new venture, a travel company that escorts spectators across the country to witness popular public hangings, she decides to join the latest tour, determined to extract the truth from Stowe and avenge her sister—no matter the risk to herself.

From the stark beauty of the Arctic to the teeming streets of Victorian London, Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge is a mysterious, transportive tale about the unbreakable bond of sisterhood and the things we are driven to do by both love and greed.


Review:

Action-packed, alluring, and exceptionally atmospheric!

Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge is a rich, adventurous tale that sweeps you away to London in 1850 and into the life of the independent, bold Maude Horton who, after learning of her sister’s suspicious death on the Makepeace’s expedition to find the missing explorer Sir John Franklin, embarks on a secret mission of her own, attending ghastly public hangings and befriending the shady Edison Stowe in order to discover what truly happened to her.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are persistent, clever, and brave. And the plot is a fascinating tale of life, loss, family, bravery, survival, tragedy, danger, forbidden love, sisterhood, and vengeance.

Overall, Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge is an intriguing, absorbing, meticulous tale by Pook that grabs you from the very first page and does an outstanding job of blending historical facts with fiction that is both compelling and wonderfully immersive.

 

This novel is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lizzie Pook

Lizzie Pook is a London-based travel writer and journalist whose work has taken her to some of the farthest-flung parts of the planet, from the trans-Himalayas—in search of elusive snow leopards—to the vast, uninhabited east coast of Greenland. She has written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times (London), Lonely Planet, and Condé Nast Traveler. Lizzie is the author of Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge and Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter.

Photo by Magdalena Smolarska.

#BookReview The Search Party by Hannah Richell @hannahrichell @SimonSchusterCA #TheSearchParty #HannahRichell #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Search Party by Hannah Richell @hannahrichell @SimonSchusterCA #TheSearchParty #HannahRichell #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Search Party

Author: Hannah Richell

Published by: Atria Books on Jan. 16, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A spellbinding locked-room mystery about a glamping trip gone horribly wrong when a powerful storm leaves the participants stranded and forced to confront long-held secrets and a shocking disappearance.

Max and Annie Kingsley have left the London rat race with their twelve-year-old son to set up a glamping site in the wilds of Cornwall. Eager for a dry run ahead of their opening, they invite three old university friends and their families for a long-needed reunion. But the festivities soon go awry as tensions arise between the children (and subsequently their parents), explosive secrets come to light, and a sudden storm moves in, cutting them off from help as one in the group disappears.

Moving between the police investigation, a hospital room, and the catastrophic weekend, The Search Party is a propulsive and twisty destination thriller about the tenuous bonds of friendship and the lengths parents will go to protect their children—perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley.


Review:

Intricate, ominous, and tight!

The Search Party is an engrossing, eerie thriller that delves into the complex bonds that exist between friends and family members and reminds us that behind all those happy, smiling faces often lies an abundance of escalating tension, simmering resentments, and devastating secrets.

The writing is taut and edgy. The characters are secretive, multilayered, and anxious. And the plot, told from alternating perspectives and using before and after timelines, is a sinister tale full of twists, turns, familial drama, secrets, lies, deception, infidelity, relationship dynamics, parenthood, reckless behaviour, swirling emotions, red herrings, vengeance, and murder.

Overall, The Search Party is a suspenseful, atmospheric, exceptionally clever tale by Richell that highlights everything is not always as it appears and is definitely one of the most gripping page-turners I’ve read in a while.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Hannah Richell

Before I became a writer, I worked in the publishing and film industries marketing books and movies. I began to write in 2007 while pregnant with my first child. The result was Secrets of the Tides, which was picked for the 2012 Richard & Judy Book Club, the Waterstones Book Club and was shortlisted for the Australian Independent Bookseller Best Debut Fiction Award, ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year (2013) and ABIA Newcomer of the Year (2013).

Since then I have written The Shadow Year (2013), The Peacock Summer (2018) and my latest novel, The River Home, which will be published in 2020. My work is available in twenty-two territories and has been translated into seventeen languages.

I have also written for a number of media outlets including Harper’s Bazaar, The Independent, Fairfax Media and Australian Women’s Weekly.

I am a dual citizen of the UK and Australia, though I currently live in the South West of England with my family.

Photograph by Claire Newman-Williams.

#BookReview The Fury by Alex Michaelides @CeladonBooks #AlexMichaelides #TheFury #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

#BookReview The Fury by Alex Michaelides @CeladonBooks #AlexMichaelides #TheFury #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner Title: The Fury

Author: Alex Michaelides

Published by: Celadon Books on Jan. 16, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Celadon Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A masterfully paced thriller about a reclusive ex–movie star and her famous friends whose spontaneous trip to a private Greek island is upended by a murder ― from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient.

This is a tale of murder.

Or maybe that’s not quite true. At its heart, it’s a love story, isn’t it?

Lana Farrar is a reclusive ex–movie star and one of the most famous women in the world. Every year, she invites her closest friends to escape the English weather and spend Easter on her idyllic private Greek island.

I tell you this because you may think you know this story. You probably read about it at the time ― it caused a real stir in the tabloids, if you remember. It had all the necessary ingredients for a press a celebrity; a private island cut off by the wind…and a murder.

We found ourselves trapped there overnight. Our old friendships concealed hatred and a desire for revenge. What followed was a game of cat and mouse ― a battle of wits, full of twists and turns, building to an unforgettable climax. The night ended in violence and death, as one of us was found murdered.

But who am I?

My name is Elliot Chase, and I’m going to tell you a story unlike any you’ve ever heard.


Review:

Gripping, intense, and suspenseful!

The Fury is a menacing, locked-island thriller that sweeps you away to a secluded island in Greece and into the lives of seven people as a furious wind storm leaves six of them stranded, one of them dead, and more than just a few long-buried secrets and skeletons finally coming to light.

The prose is precise and clear. The characters are multilayered, self-absorbed, and secretive. And the plot, told through an unreliable narrator, unfolds and unravels quickly into a foreboding Greek tragedy full of lies, secrets, jealousy, deception, drama, manipulation, desperation, obsession, betrayal, infidelity, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Fury is a dark, taut, unnerving page-turner by Michaelides that did a wonderful job of keeping me mystified, surprised, and guessing from start to finish while at the same time reminding me just how easily people can often be psychologically and emotionally manipulated.

 

This novel is available now.

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

        

 

 

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

 

About Alex Michaelides

Alex Michaelides was born and raised in Cyprus. He has an M.A. in English Literature from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and an M.A. in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. The Silent Patient was his first novel, debuting at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and has sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide. The rights have been sold in a record-breaking 51 countries, and the book has been optioned for film by Plan B. His second novel, The Maidens, was an instant New York Times bestseller and has been optioned for television by Miramax Television and Stone Village.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Knee.

#BookReview The Lost Van Gogh by Jonathan Santlofer @jsantlofer @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLostVanGogh #JonathanSantlofer #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview The Lost Van Gogh by Jonathan Santlofer @jsantlofer @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLostVanGogh #JonathanSantlofer #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Lost Van Gogh

Author: Jonathan Santlofer

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jan. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8/10

From the author of the much-praised The Last Mona Lisa comes another thrilling story of masterpieces, masterminds, and mystery.

For years, there have been whispers that, before his death, Van Gogh completed a final self-portrait. Curators and art historians have savored this rumor, hoping it could illuminate some of the troubled artist’s many secrets, but even they have to concede that the missing painting is likely lost forever.

But when Luke Perrone, artist and great-grandson of the man who stole the Mona Lisa, and Alexis Verde, daughter of a notorious art thief, discover what may be the missing portrait, they are drawn into a most epic art puzzles. When only days later the painting disappears again, they are reunited with INTERPOL agent John Washington Smith in a dangerous and deadly search that will not only expose secrets of the artist’s last days but draws them into one of history’s darkest eras.

Beneath the paint and canvas, beneath the beauty and the legend, the artwork has become linked with something evil, something that continues to flourish on the dark web and on the shadiest corridors of the underground art world.


Review:

Intriguing, mysterious, and fast-paced!

The Lost Van Gogh is a rich, ominous tale that takes us into the life of Alex Verde and her boyfriend Luke Perrone who, after purchasing a seemingly unknown painting at a nearby market, find their lives turned upside down when it’s quickly discovered that it may actually be a lost Van Gogh that more than one person is willing to do whatever it takes, even kill, to get their hands on it.

The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are relentless, driven, and clever. And the plot, told in alternating POVs, is a menacing tale full of life, loss, secrets, deception, lies, greed, peril, intrigue, and the complex world of art.

Overall, The Lost Van Gogh is an absorbing, pacey, dramatic tale by Santlofer with just the right amount of suspense, well-drawn characterization, and creative storyline to make it another satisfying, highly entertaining read for lovers of both art and this genre.

 

This book is available now. 

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jonathan Santlofer

Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. His debut novel, THE DEATH ARTIST, was an international bestseller translated into 17 languages, a People Magazine "Page-Turner of the Week" and is currently in development at Fox, along with his second and third novels. His fourth novel, ANATOMY OF FEAR, won the Nero Award for best crime novel of 2009. Jonathan created the Crime Fiction Academy as The Center for Fiction. As an artist, Jonathan has been making replications of famous paintings for wealthy clients for more than 20 years.

Photo by Clarke Tolton.

#BookReview The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheHeiressNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins @StMartinsPress #TheHeiressNovel #RachelHawkins #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: The Heiress

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 9, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she’s not only North Carolina’s richest woman, she’s also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family’s estate high in the Blue Ridge mountains. In the aftermath of her death, that estate—along with a nine-figure fortune and the complicated legacy of being a McTavish—pass to her adopted son, Camden.

But to everyone’s surprise, Cam wants little to do with the house or the money—and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Instead, he rejects his inheritance, settling into a normal life as an English teacher in Colorado and marrying Jules, a woman just as eager to escape her own messy past.

Ten years later, Camden is a McTavish in name only, but a summons in the wake of his uncle’s death brings him and Jules back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but coming home reminds Cam why he was so quick to leave in the first place.

Jules, however, has other ideas, and the more she learns about Cam’s estranged family—and the twisted secrets they keep—the more determined she is for her husband to claim everything Ruby once intended for him to have.

But Ruby’s plans were always more complicated than they appeared. As Ashby House tightens its grip on Jules and Camden, questions about the infamous heiress come to light. Was there any truth to the persistent rumors following her disappearance as a girl? What really happened to those four husbands, who all died under mysterious circumstances? And why did she adopt Cam in the first place? Soon, Jules and Cam realize that an inheritance can entail far more than what’s written in a will––and that the bonds of family stretch far beyond the grave.


Review:

Complex, intense, and gripping!

The Heiress is a charged, unpredictable mystery that sweeps you away to North Carolina and into the life of Camden McTavish, who are receiving an email from an estranged cousin, reluctantly heads home after ten years away to deal with the inheritance he never wanted, introduce his wife to the dysfunctional, multigenerational McTavish family he willingly disowned, and finally discover all the long-buried secrets that his adopted mother, the infamous Ruby McTavish tried for a long time to keep hidden and buried for good.

The prose is powerful and polished. The characters are flawed, self-absorbed, and ruthless. And the plot, using a mixture of letters, news articles, and dual perspective narration, is a captivating, menacing tale of life, loss, secrets, deception, privilege, resentments, greed, corruption, violence, familial drama, surprises, and despicable truths.

Overall, The Heiress is a gritty, provocative, twisty novel by Hawkins that’s a must-read for anyone who loves a well-written mystery interlaced with a dramatic family saga all mired in the dark, toxic history of the past.

 

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, as well as multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.

Photo by John Hawkins.

#BookReview The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan @vanjchan @SimonSchusterCA #VanessaChan #TheStormWeMade #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan @vanjchan @SimonSchusterCA #VanessaChan #TheStormWeMade #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Storm We Made

Author: Vanessa Chan

Published by: Marysue Rucci Books on Jan. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A spellbinding, sweeping novel about a Malayan mother who becomes an unlikely spy for the invading Japanese forces during WWII—and the shocking consequences that rain upon her community and family.

Malaya, 1945. Cecily Alcantara’s family is in terrible danger: her fifteen-year-old son, Abel, has disappeared, and her youngest daughter, Jasmin, is confined in a basement to prevent being pressed into service at the comfort stations. Her eldest daughter Jujube, who works at a tea house frequented by drunk Japanese soldiers, becomes angrier by the day.

Cecily knows two things: that this is all her fault; and that her family must never learn the truth.

A decade prior, Cecily had been desperate to be more than a housewife to a low-level bureaucrat in British-colonized Malaya. A chance meeting with the charismatic General Fuijwara lured her into a life of espionage, pursuing dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” Instead, Cecily helped usher in an even more brutal occupation by the Japanese. Ten years later as the war reaches its apex, her actions have caught up with her. Now her family is on the brink of destruction—and she will do anything to save them.

Spanning years of pain and triumph, told from the perspectives of four unforgettable characters, The Storm We Made is a dazzling saga about the horrors of war; the fraught relationships between the colonized and their oppressors, and the ambiguity of right and wrong when survival is at stake.


Review:

Absorbing, harrowing, and impactful!

The Storm We Made is a poignant, immersive tale set in British-occupied Malaya that takes you into the lives of the Alcantara family, especially the matriarch, Cecily, a middle-aged mother suffering from extreme guilt over the decisions she made ten years ago, and her three children, Jujube, Abel, and Jasmin whose lives are irrevocably changed forever when their homeland is invaded and occupied by the Japanese during WWII.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are brave, tormented, and determined. And the plot is an exceptionally touching tale about life, loss, family, secrets, separation, desperation, infidelity, tragedy, and the horrors of war.

Overall, The Storm We Made is a gritty, emotional, beautifully written tale by Chan inspired by real-life familial events that reminds us that survival of any kind often involves heartbreaking choices, moral dilemmas, action, spirit, extreme loss, and beyond all else, unimaginable sacrifice and courage.

 

This novel is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Vanessa Chan

Vanessa Chan Author Photo

Vanessa Chan was born and raised in Malaysia. Her short stories have been published in Electric Lit, Kenyon Review, Ecotone, and more. She was the 2021 Stanley Elkin scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference and has also received scholar awards to attend the Bread Loaf and Tin House writers’ conferences. The Storm We Made is her first novel.

Photograph by Mary Inhea Kang.

#BookReview Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally @CConnallyAuthor @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ActLikeALadyThinkLikeALord #LadyPetraInquires #CelesteConnally #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally @CConnallyAuthor @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ActLikeALadyThinkLikeALord #LadyPetraInquires #CelesteConnally #SMPInfluencers Title: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord

Author: Celeste Connally

Series: Lady Petra Inquires #1

Published by: Minotaur Books on Nov. 14, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

Bridgerton meets Agatha Christie in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord, a dazzling first entry in a terrific new Regency-era mystery series with a feminist spin.

When Lady Petra Forsyth’s fiancé and soulmate dies just weeks ahead of their wedding, she makes the shocking proclamation—in front of London’s loosest lips—that she will never remarry. A woman of independent means, Petra sees no reason to cede her wealth and freedom to any man now that the love of her life has passed, nor does she intend to become confined to her country home. Instead, she uses her title to gain access to elite spaces and enjoy the best of society without expectations.

But when ballroom gossip suggests that a longtime friend has died of “melancholia” while in the care of a questionable physician, Petra vows to use her status to dig deeper—uncovering a private asylum where men pay to have their wives and daughters locked away, or worse. Just as Lady Petra has reason to believe her friend is not dead, but a prisoner, her own headstrong actions and thirst for independence are used to put her own freedom in jeopardy.


Review:

Atmospheric, witty, and mysterious!

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord is an engaging, amusing tale set in London during 1815 that features Lady Petra Forsyth, a young, independent woman who, after losing her fiancé and declaring she will never marry, finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery when she begins to notice an unusual amount of high society wives disappearing and a servant who knows too much turns up dead.

The writing style is rich and light. The characters are adventurous, plucky and resourceful. And the plot is a well-paced, immersive tale full of red herrings, tricky situations, amateur sleuthing, awkward moments, danger, deduction, duplicity, attraction, and friendship.

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord is a compelling, suspenseful, highly entertaining tale by Connally that is not only a wonderful start to the Lady Petra Inquires series but, in my opinion, a great choice for anyone who’s looking for a historical mystery that’s not only lighthearted but playful.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

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

 

About Celeste Connally

CELESTE CONNALLY is an Agatha Award nominee, and a former freelance writer and editor. A lifelong devotee of historical novels and adaptations fueled by her passion for history—plus weekly doses of PBS Masterpiece—Celeste loves reading and writing about women from the past who didn’t always do as they were told.

#BookReview The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell @MaxwellJessa @SimonSchusterCA #TheGoldenSpoon #JessaMaxwell #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell @MaxwellJessa @SimonSchusterCA #TheGoldenSpoon #JessaMaxwell #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Golden Spoon

Author: Jessa Maxwell

Published by: Atria Books on Mar. 7, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

For six amateur bakers, competing in Bake Week is a dream come true.

When they arrive at Grafton Manor to compete, they’re ready to do whatever it takes to win the ultimate The Golden Spoon.

But for the show’s famous host, Betsy Martin, Bake Week is more than just a competition. Grafton Manor is her family’s home and legacy – and Bake Week is her life’s work. It’s imperative that both continue to succeed.

But as the competition commences, things begin to go awry. At first, it’s small acts of sabotage. Someone switching sugar for salt. A hob turned far too high.

But when a body is discovered, it’s clear that for someone in the competition, The Golden Spoon is a prize worth killing for…


Review:

Fast-paced, atmospheric, and cosy!

The Golden Spoon is a crafty, ominous tale that sweeps you away to a dilapidated manor in Vermont where six contestants from all walks of life have gathered to film and compete in the reality TV show “Bake Week,” but in a group like this, where tensions are high, secrets are rife, winning is everything, and everyone has a hidden agenda, death is definitely not out of the question.

The prose is crafty and light. The characters are self-obsessed, quirky, and secretive. And the plot is an enticing, suspenseful mix of twists, turns, secrets, manipulation, sabotage, revelations, revenge, confessions, malicious intentions, and murder.

Overall, The Golden Spoon is a mysterious, amusing, satisfying treat by Maxwell that had just the right amount of suspicious personalities, zany antics, and abundance of drama to keep me engaged and entertained from start to finish.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jessa Maxwell

Jessa Maxwell is the author of The Golden Spoon and I Need You to Read This. She is also the author and illustrator of five picture books for children. Her comics and cartoons have been published in The New Yorker and The New York Times and her writing has been published in Slate, Marie Claire, and many others. She now lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island with her husband, two cats and three-legged dog.

Photo by Stephanie Ewens.