Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Master Key by Masako Togawa, Simon Grove (Translated by)

This is the story of an apartment house in Japan for women only.  Most of the inhabitants moved in during war days and didn't think they'd be there long.  Years later most of them are still there and stay in their little apartments from habit and for safety.  The story begins and ends with death...

Pushkin Vertigo and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 27th.

They are burying a little boy in the basement of the building.  This incident is tied to a kidnapping.  Practically everyone in this apartment house has a story and something they are hiding.  The chapters are little vignettes of their lives.  None of it seems to be related until you get to the end of the story where it all comes together.  The common thread is the theft of the master key.  It disappears twice during this story.

This tale is a bit dry and sad but it is a good look at a piece of life in Japan.  It was interesting and informative with a bit of mystery throughout the book.  Have you been to Japan?  This book will take you there. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

There's an old girl's school on the outskirts of the city.  When Fiona finds out they are going to rebuild it, she's horrified.  Her sister was killed and her body was left near Idlewild.  It haunts her to think of it operating again.  She's almost obsessed with the death of her sister.  Her killer is in jail but it doesn't make Fiona feel better.  She convinces her boss to let her write an article about it and begins to do some research on it...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will published March 20th.

Fiona is dating a cop.  He tries to get her to let go of the pain of her sister's death but she can't. She talks to the son of the woman who is going to refurbish the school and he offers her a tour.  As she tours, the contractors interrupt them.  They've found a body in the well.  Now Fiona really has something to investigate.  The girl is unknown, the body has been there since the early 1950's, it's a cold cold case and the police don't have the resources to do much investigation.  There's nothing to identify the body.  But Fiona is relentless.  She's going to research and find out who it is.  She does but it doesn't help her figure out she died.

The girls that attended this school were sent because they were illegitimate, were hard to control, or had mental problems.  If you didn't fit in the box, they sent you here to a new box where you wouldn't be embarrassing.  The dead girl was an orphan.  She'd had a hard sad life and Fiona can't let her die alone.

Another thing the school and even the police had in common was secrets.  As those are revealed, the story gets more complicated and intricate.

This is a tense story with lots of drama and unexpected outcomes.  I found it intriguing and interesting.  It's well worth a read.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lost Books and Old Bones: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton

She's an American who is working in a Scottish bookstore.  She loves her job, has friends and life is good.  Until a new friend she made is found dead behind the bookstore...

Minotaur Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published April 34rd.

Delaney likes the medical students she's met but it leads into a murder case.  She finds an old case from the past has something to do with the current events and she tries to make sense of it.  

The history of the old crime is fascinating, if a bit gruesome.  It's also true.  The author does a good of building her story from those facts.

There's a murdering doctor on the loose, everybody has some sort of secret, there are rumored affairs, and it's hard to weed out what's true and what's a lie.  The biggest lie is right in front of them but they can't see it.

The ending is exciting and Delaney almost loses her life.  I wouldn't have guessed who the murderer was and I was glad to see them brought to justice.  Especially since there was a wrong-doing long ago that got straightened out and a current plan thwarted.

If you like bits of history and books, this book is fun to read.  If you like a good mystery, this one fits that bill, too.  It was well worth my time and I enjoyed it.

Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett

It's time for her twin brother to become the "Chosen One".  He'll be the new ruler for the kingdom.  Marabel really doesn't care about that, but she would like to be recognized as a member of the family instead of always standing in her brother's shadow.  It's not his fault, he tries to include her.  It's her father who thinks she unimportant.  Then her aunt comes to the event and kidnaps him!

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.  It's a very good read.

When she tries to run after them she finds every exit at the castle blocked.  The evil beings in the other kingdom are guarding the doors.  A dragon at one, a giant at another and more of the like.  Her father is just going to send a messenger to his sister demanding the return of his son.  Marabel is ready to mount a rescue force and go after him, so he locks her in her room.  It's not looking good.

This is an enchanting tale.  Marabel is not willing to sit by and do nothing.  Her maid comes up with a way out of the castle.  The unicorn they have in their stable comes with them.  She meets up with a fairy, an ogre, giants and a dragon and more before she's through with her journey.  

Here's fantasy at its best.  She's trying to stop a war and save her brother and while she works at that she also finds her destiny.  This was a very satisfying read.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury

I was expecting a tale of young girl growing up in Alaska and competing in the dog sled races.  Alaska can be cold and deadly and I thought it'd be a bit about survival, too.  What is, though, is really a horror story...

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 20th.

Tracy learned survival skills from her mother and she still follows those rules.  But she doesn't understand that she's almost more wild that the animals she traps.  She runs with her dogs and spends time in the woods alone.  Her mom is gone now and that's where she takes comfort.  But she has a secret she doesn't share with everyone.

This is about a young girl coming of age and trying things out along the way.  She's sexually attracted by a young woman who is trying to escape the man who raped her.  The young women is pretending to be a man, but Tracy knows she's not.  Tracy also plans to race the dogs this year.  They haven't done the races since her mother died.

While she worries about the man she saw in the woods, she starts having hallucinations and suddenly she's gone too far with her knife and the wrong person lays at her feet. The wild inside Tracy has taken over.  The girl in her is fading away...

Tweet Hearts by Susan Reagan

Need a Valentine's Day gift suggestion?  Here's one for the little one in your life.

Robin Corey Books sent me a copy of this board book for review.  It has been published and would work very nicely for a gift.  It's special because it has a pop up at the end of the book that says "I love you."

Here are two birds tweeting themselves through the numbers from 10 to 1 as well as showing a lot of hearts. It's sweet and easy to read and those little fingers will be able to handle this book.

Books are better than candy; they last longer.  Why not share this sweet board book with your little one?

Happy reading.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Flicker of Old Dreams by Susan Henderson

She works in her father's mortuary.  Her mother died when she was born.  She and her father love each other but neither has a warm relationship with the other.  She has a better relationship with dead people than she has with live people...

HarperCollins and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 13th.

Mary is almost thirty and really hasn't even had a date yet.  She's a little too odd for the small town she lives in.  Everyone knows how she lives and what she does.  Who wants to be a mortician?

When the woman next door is fading from life, her son comes back to town.  He'd been involved in the grain accident where his older brother died and no one has ever forgiven him.  Mary tries to avoid him but he needs information on how to handle the future burial, so she has to deal with him.  Her father tells her to avoid him.  Despite all that good advice, she finds herself getting closer to him.

The dead are almost alive in this story and the living are almost dead.  Mary has to make a big decision about her future.  Will she stay in this town until she dies, too?  Or will she pursue the dreams she had in past?

Most people make those decisions earlier in life but Mary is a bit slow in growing.  Now she can see a reason why she might want to dream...