Thursday, October 10, 2019

Review: Very Nice

Very Nice

Very Nice
Marcy Dermansky

Rachel has a thing for her writing professor Zahid, and she thinks he might feel the same way about her. But when Zahid meets Rachel's mother, Becca, who is looking after his dog while he's been in Pakistan for a funeral, he quickly develops feelings for her. Becca's husband ( and Rachel's father) Jonathan has a thing for Mandy, a pilot. He's left his family in Connecticut and moved into Mandy's apartment in Tribeca. Back in Connecticut, things are not going the way Rachel had planned. When Zahid moves in with her and her mother to write his second novel, he has little time for Rachel but all the time in the world for Becca. How could it not be an interesting summer with all these tangled relations?

Very Nice is a fast-paced, fun tale that will remind you of nothing you've read recently. With a contemporary flair that seems spot-on for our times and characters who seemed so real, this is
one book I'm glad I got to read.

Thanks to Alfred A. Knopf for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Review: Lemon Meringue Pie Murder

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #4)

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder
Joanne Fluke

Hannah Swenson is trying to focus on the 4th of July holidays when Norman phones to tell her he's bought a house. Not just any house, the old Voelker cottage near the lake which he plans to tear down and build their dream home. Hannah isn't sure she heard that right. How could he be building her a dream home when he hasn't even proposed yet? Before Norman can get started on the building work, a body is found in the basement. Rhonda from the local drugstore had been planning a vacation, but it's one she won't be taking now, and Hannah is determined to find out who killed her. It's the least she can do since it was her mother Delores who found the body.

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder is a fun cozy mystery that is sure to keep Fluke's fans entertained, and as always it comes with a few of Hannah's recipes from The Cookie Jar. It's just the thing for a lazy afternoon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Review: Stronger than Death

Stronger Than Death: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa

Stronger than Death
Rachel Pieh Jones

This book follows the extraordinary life of Annalena Tonelli, an Italian woman who spent years in the Horn of Africa, specifically, Northern Kenya and Somalia, trying to help eradicate Tuberculosis. Although she wasn't a medical doctor, she was able to find ways to improve access to treatment for some of the regions poorest inhabitants. While Tonelli was not a nun or a missionary in the traditional sense, she was a woman who followed her heart and the teachings of Jesus. She felt love was what the sick and poor needed most, and she was determined to conquer fear, disease, and terrorism to provide it and compassion to her patients.

Ms. Jones does a tremendous job describing in great detail Tonelli's life, work, and the challenges she faced in an African undergoing immense change. Although Tonelli's assassination marks a sad end to a life dedicated to helping the least fortunate, it is also an inspiration to others. I feel privileged that I was able to read such a well-written account of this extraordinary figure. Tonelli's work and sacrifices will no doubt go on to inspire many more. Her undying love and faith in humanity is a testament to her strength and character.

Thanks to Plough Publishing for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Review: Case Histories

Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)

Case Histories
Kate Atkinson

Olivia Land disappeared at the age of three, leaving her family with a lot of unanswered questions. When her father Victor dies, some of the questions return and two of Olivia's remaining sisters, Julia and Amelia want to find out what happened to their sister. To do this, they hire Jackson Brodie. But they aren't his only clients. Theo lost his daughter as well, and he wants Jackson to find the killer. And then there is Birdie Rain, an elderly woman who wants Jackson to find her cat. He only obliges because he fears she is a lonely old lady with no one else to turn to, except a useless nephew. As if these cases weren't enough to keep him busy, he meets Shirley, who is looking for a niece she hasn't seen since she was a baby.

It seems Brodie is incapable of saying no to someone in need. He's down to earth, and he loves his daughter Marlee. It is too bad her mother Josie is thinking of moving to New Zealand with Marlee and her new husband. It's enough to make Jackson crazy. In the meantime, he is busy trying to keep up with his list of cases as some of the stories threaten to reveal long-held secrets that may or may not bring comfort to their relatives.

Atkinson has written a brilliant, mystery with twists and turns that kept me turning pages as fast as I could. With vivid writing that delves deep into the minds of the characters,Case Histories is a thrilling and enjoyable book for those who love addictive mysteries.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen (Tennison, #5)

The Dirty Dozen
Lynda La Plante

Jane Tennison has been assigned to the Flying Squad, a police unit that investigates robberies. She is the first woman to join this elite group that likes to call itself the Dirty Dozen. Not only is the head of the unit DCI Murphy not keen on having a woman on the team, but Jane has arrived just as a violent gang is robbing a bank.

While trying to investigate the crime, Jane has to cope with the bad humor of the men and, to top it off, there is also a jealous female secretary lurking in the office. Plus, there are a few problems on the home front as well. When her brother-in-law gets into a spot of bother, he calls Jane for help. Life is tough as a female officer, but it is clear that Tennison wouldn't want any other kind of job. And while the criminals may seem one step ahead of the police, it is clear the Flying Squad will dig deep to get results and even though Tennison is a woman she is definitely proving to be an asset to the team.

As a fan of the Prime Suspect series, I was thrilled to get a copy of The Dirty Dozen. La Plante creates a thrilling drama that will keep readers on their toes. I loved that this book examined the role of a strong female trying to overcome obstacles to do what she loves. The characters were all well developed, and the pace and tension throughout were good with a well-developed plot. This was a satisfying read and one I am sure others will enjoy.

Thanks to Goodreads and BonnierZaffre for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Review: Royal Holiday

Royal Holiday

Royal Holiday
Jasmine Guillory

When Vivian Forest's daughter Maddie gets a job over Christmas, to work with a member of the British royal family, she invites her mother to come along. Vivian is thrilled to be staying on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. And when she meets Malcolm, the Queen's private secretary she is immediately attracted to him. Will her encounter with this elegant man turn into a typical holiday affair, or could it led to something more?

Jasmine Guillory has written a fun romantic comedy that captures the spirit of Christmas in the UK. Vivian is a character that I couldn't help, but love. I am sure other readers will feel the same. Right from the start, I wanted things to turn out well for her. Malcolm was also a fun character, especially when he showed his stubborn side now and again. The mix of well-developed characters and a fantastic setting is what makes this book work. And if you thought romance was dead, you will be thrilled to find that it is alive and well in Guillory's world and buzzing thorough the pages of Royal Holiday. This will be a great holiday read for those looking for a contemporary, heartwarming story.

Thanks to Berkley Publishing for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Review: You Me Everything

You Me Everything

You Me Everything
Catherine Isaac

When Jessica decides to take her son, William, on holiday to a French chateau, she does so with more on her mind than just a relaxing getaway. The chateau in question has been restored and now operates as a hotel run by her former boyfriend Adam, who happens to be William's father. Her mother, who suffers from the debilitating Huntington's disease, has convinced Jessica that William needs to get to know his father, even if Jessica isn't keen on the idea. Jessica has her reasons for not wanting to go first because she isn't convinced Adam is up to being a parent and also because she has a secret she's been keeping from both Adam and William.

Although You Me Everything is a sad story, as it deals with disease and broken relationships, it doesn't disappoint. It's full of interesting characters, scenery and complete with a satisfying end. The author does such a good job of developing the characters, by the time I finished reading, I felt as if I'd been in the French countryside with them. But, before you get to the end, you might find, like me, that you need a tissue or two.

This review was written by me and originally published by City Book Review.