Monday, April 29, 2019

Review: Hiss and Hers

Hiss and Hers (Agatha Raisin, #23)

Hiss and Hers
MC Beaton

Agatha Raisin has done it again. She's fallen for a new man. This time it's George Marston her gardener. But George is popular in Agatha's Cotswold village of Carsely, and a lot of women seem to be vying for his attention. Since Agatha isn't having any luck getting George to look her way she's decided to organize a charity ball, hoping she'll get the first dance with George. The only problem is, George can't make it. He's dead. Now Agatha must turn her attention to finding his killer. Due to his way with the ladies she isn't short on suspects.

Agatha Raisin is one of my favorite lady detectives. She's feisty, cranky, opinionated and so much fun. With her motley crew of detectives and her colorful friends she's able to mix business with pleasure. If you're a fan of this series you don't want to miss Hiss and Hers, where Agatha has to come to terms with the fact that not all men fall for her particular charms.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Review: Chronicles of a Radical Hag

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)

Chronicles of a Radical Hag
Lorna Landvik

In a small town in Minnesota Hazel Evans, better known as Haze, has worked as a journalist and columnist for the Granite Creek Gazette as long as anyone can remember. When Haze has a stroke that leaves her in a coma, the employees of the Gazette decide to rerun Haze's columns as a tribute to her many years of writing. Not only do the articles written by Haze spark interest in the community but, closer to home at the Gazette, owner and publisher Susan, who took over the paper from her grandfather, is surprised to see her youngest son Sam take an interest in the Gazette and Haze's column. He even manages to uncover a few family secrets while reading Haze's early works.

Chronicles of a Radical Hag had a way of remembering the past while examining the present that was both enjoyable and entertaining. The characters were likable and well developed allowing me to get a sense of everyone in the story and there were enough developments within the plot to keep me turning the pages. This was my first book by Lorna Landvik. The humor and wit within this story mean that I want to read more of her work.

Thanks to the University of Minnesota Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review, and for allowing me to discover a new (at least for me) author.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Review: Naturally Tan

Naturally Tan

Naturally Tan
Tan France

In Naturally Tan, Tan France, star of Netflix's Queer Eye recounts his life growing up in England and how his Pakistani culture played a significant role in his life. He is now married to a Mormon from Utah, where he resides and where he once had a business creating modest, modern fashion for Mormon women. This, of course, wasn't the only interesting and surprising job he held, as you will see if you read this book.

His memoir is at once funny, entertaining and also warmhearted. He is open about many details of his life including silly and embarrassing moments. While most of us would probably be less inclined to reveal our youthful quirks, it works for Tan. He seems more than comfortable in his skin, happy in fact to be himself, which is what makes this book so engaging. I loved his observations about Americans and how he views life in this part of the world. I'm sure his fans will enjoy getting to know more about how he found his voice and his take on style in this exciting journey.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Review: Between the Lies

Between the Lies

Between the Lies
Michelle Adams

When Chloe wakes up in hospital after a car accident, she can't remember anything or anyone. Even though she can't remember her family, they take her home and tell her they are helping her regain her memory. But Chloe feels uncomfortable. She doesn't trust her father, and she thinks everyone is lying to her. Before she can get back her memory and retake charge of her life she will have to try to find out on her own what happened on the night of the accident.

This riveting story was full of twists and turns that keep me eagerly turning the pages. It had the right amount of tension and character development which made it a fast-paced story. And without giving anything away, it's a story that gets under the skin and keeps you guessing until the end. It was a satisfying psychological thriller, and I would definitely recommend this one.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Review: The Tragic Daughters of Charles I

The Tragic Daughters of Charles I: Mary, Elizabeth & Henrietta Anne

The Tragic Daughters of Charles I
Sarah-Beth Watkins

The Tragic Daughters of Charles I, traces the lives of Mary, Elizabeth and Henrietta Anne from their births to their deaths. As I read the first part of this book, the thing that struck me most was the sad circumstances the children often found themselves in after their father was executed. Even the male heirs weren't spared with the passing of their father.

The youngest children Elizabeth and Henry seemed to have been the most unfortunate, as they were handed around to benefactors of the state, often their father's enemies. It seemed clear the new regime didn't quite know what to do with the pair. Mary and her brothers James and Charles, while not immune to the change in regime, were old enough to conduct their own lives outside of England. Mary was able to create an existence for herself as the wife of William of Orange in Holland, and offer assistance to her brothers James and Charles as they attempted to claim back the throne and their place in English history.

Henrietta Anne seemed to me the most interesting of Charles' daughters. She was whisked off to France to join her mother at the start of the English civil war where she was brought up as a Catholic among her royal cousins. By all accounts, she seems to have led a charmed life, especially after Charles II reclaimed the throne. Her marriage to the Duke of Orleans, brother of King Louis XIV, was greeted as a good match, but it was a difficult one. Nevertheless, she devoted herself to promoting peace and understanding between her two countries and the King of France and her brother Charles II.

This is a fascinating account of a family's history, especially the role of women within, who are so often forgotten by history. Not only is this account, well written, but it's also engaging and enjoyable. It is definitely one to read if you are interested in English history.

Thanks to Chronos Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.