Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Child by Fiona Barton

She left her hospital room for a few minutes to take a shower.  Her baby was sleeping peacefully and she wouldn't be gone long.  But when she came back, the baby was gone!

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 27th.

When the reporter was looking for general interest stories, she ran across a small article about baby bones being found at demolition site.  That sounded intriguing and she began digging into it.  What she discovers will change her life.

The body is found in an area that has been deteriorating over the years.  It has been acquired for new development but finding a body slows it down a bit.

Kate is a bulldog about her stories.  She has contacts all over and utilizes them to find out how many babies were reported missing forty years ago or so.  She finds three and decides the most recent might be her baby.  She finds the mother with more inquiry and goes to visit her.  Soon she's convinced the baby must be Alice but why would someone murder a baby?

The story gets more complicated.  With a woman obsessed with a man, sexual predators and drugs, a grieving family and another mother grieving a dead baby there's lots going on.  As the story plays out, you begin to realize no one is innocent.  

The final twist at the end is what makes the story unforgettable.  The story twists and ties around itself but at the end there are no secrets.  Now everybody has to pick up the pieces and move on.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Birdwatcher by William Shaw

When his next door neighbor is killed, he's involved in the investigation and they use his house as a base during the investigative work.  He doesn't do murder investigations.  He stays as far away from them as he can.  He has a secret he doesn't want anyone to know...

Mulholland Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 27th.

South lives on the Kentish coast and watches birds in his spare time.  He enjoys the wide open desolate land.  Birds migrate and the birders keep track of how many, when, and watch the climate change make the birds come sooner or later.  He keeps track of all the birds he sees.  His life is well-ordered and he's a good cop.  But he has a big problem from his past that is touching his life again.

Despite the fact that the man blamed for the murder committed suicide (South doesn't think it was suicide) also took the fall for his father's murder, he still tries to keep his secret.  However, when he figures out who the killer was, he has no choice.   If anyone is going to survive, he needs to do it.

This is to be a new series.  I'm hoping South will serve some jail time and come home.  He's an interesting character and he's paid the price for his sin now.  He should have a good life from here on out.  Where are you going with this story, Mr. Shaw?

Monday, May 22, 2017

My Aunt Manya by Jose Patterson

This children's story is based on a true story.  My father's parent immigrated here from Czechoslovakia so a story like this was easy to relate to.

The author shared a copy of his book with me for a review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.  

Sarah's father has gone to America to live with his sister and work with the intentions of bringing Sarah over later.  Russia isn't a safe place to live as a Jew anymore.  The problem is that he gets killed in a road accident and Sarah loses her only parent.  (She hates her new stepmother.)  However, Aunt Manya sends her a ticket and tells her to come live with her.  Her father's friends help her escape Russia and get on the boat for America.

Sarah's fears and worries sound authentic.  She came into the same port of entry as my grandparents.  When my grandmother finally arrived, she had a three year old daughter with her.  It took that long for grandpa to make enough money for passage.

Sarah's troubles aren't over yet, but she has the strength to go on and keep hoping.  This story will let your child look at how things worked in the past and how little people had or could bring with them.  Much of what we have today was non-existent then.  But everybody did what they had to do to meet their goals.  There's a lesson to be learned here. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Agatha Parrot and the Thirteenth Chicken by Kjartan Poskitt, Wes Hargis

Agatha is back again and she makes just as big a mess as the last time you read about her.  She's a character who does what she wants how she wants to.  I like her!

Clarion Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 27th.

It's a new school year and Agatha goes back hoping for more playground equipment.  Nope.  But there has to be a surprise somewhere.  There is:  her class will be raising baby chicks this year.  First she has to wait until the eggs hatch.  When they do, the chicks are all yellow and fluffy.  Everybody loves them except the spoiled girl who lives in the biggest house on the block and looks down on all of them.  She tries to get them removed from the school by claiming they're a health hazard.  Agatha's favorite of the group goes over and poops on the floor by the spoiled one's shoe.  You would have thought it was a bomb...

When the teacher breaks the incubator, the students get to take the chicks home for one night.  There are thirteen chicks.  But when they get home, they only have twelve chicks.  What happened to her favorite chick, Random?

The next day, they take the chicks back and wait for disaster to fall.  It doesn't but you won't guess why.  Agatha has to figure out just what happened and it's quite a story.  Agatha always makes me laugh.  I enjoy books that do that.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Making Scents by Arthur Yorinks

This is a silly story that is mostly fun and a bit sad.  He was an abandoned baby that is adopted by a man and his wife who raise dogs.  They train the boy just like they do the dogs...

First Second Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 27th.

He loves his parents and his "brothers and sisters" (the dogs).  He has some trouble learning to use his nose well for dog work but he tries hard and manages to find his father's glasses so he's well on his way to dog life.  Then they decide he must go to school.  That's a real experience.  You don't do dog at school...

By telling a teacher the fish she was going to eat was bad, he finally gets accepted at school.  They're even going to feature him during the assembly.  But bad luck hits and while he's showing off his nose skills, his parents die in an auto accident.  He then becomes the ward of his mother's older sister and her husband.  The husband doesn't like dogs or kids, so it's a tough situation.

While this novel is done in graphic form and is easy to read, it covers the death of his parents which is sad.  The ending brings everything together and a family is formed again so it's not hopeless.  I'd just suggest you talk about the story if your child seems troubled.  The story starts odd, has the dog angle, and ends up fine but since the deaths are unexpected, it even bothered me. 

A Fine Madness by Elizabeth Essex

She's grown up with her maiden aunts after her father's death.  She never even knew she had another aunt until the trunk arrived along with a letter.  Once she knew, she went back on the carriage to meet this new aunt.  It changes her world.

ERB Publishing and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can pick up a copy now.

Elspeth shows up with a small satchel containing her other clothes and goods.  Her aunt looks for her luggage and is amazed she has so little.  Soon Elspeth is going shopping and learning how to do her hair.  She also finds that her father has written a book.  Elspeth has her own stories, often with little animals in them, that she created while bored to death at her spinster aunt's house.  Maybe she could write a book, too?

Her aunt is intelligent and has worldly knowledge.  She slowly sets into play a way for Elspeth to make money and even acquire a husband.  She sends Elspeth to the local publisher to ask about the book and republishing it.  She's already spoken to Hamish about it so he was expecting her. What he didn't expect was how well she wrote or how attractive she seemed to him.

Her aunts had warned her about men like him.  What they didn't tell her was how it felt to be kissed or held close...

This is a good romance read with a bit spice thrown in.  It ends like you know it will but it took a creative way to get there.  Here's a nice light read that will make you smile. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton

Erin wants to go to sea so badly but her mother won't let her.  It's too dangerous.  After all, there's a big black rock in the sea that shows up where you least expect it.  All the adults are afraid of it.

Flying Eye Book sent me a copy of this book to read for review.  It will published June 13th.

When Erin manages to hide from her dog on the boat and actually goes to sea, she meets the Black Rock up close and personal.  She falls out of the boat!  Instead of drowning, the Rock picks her up and holds her above the water.  She finds out the Black Rock is a creature who attracts the sea animals.  But the adults in her village don't listen to her.  They intend to destroy the rock.

It's a good thing that Erin has a strong backbone.  She puts up a good argument against it standing on the rock and saves her friend.  She also is saving the fisherman's livelihood even if they don't want to admit it.  Erin is our hero for the day and it's just her first battle...