What are you reading and reviewing in February?

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What are you reading and reviewing in February?

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Jan 30, 2017, 6:04pm

This is the place to let everyone know the books you are reading during February, and then to leave reviews of these books. You can put up a list of the books you are reading for the month or put a post about a book as you start it, or even both.

Don't worry we are not back at school a review can be something as simple as a sentence about the book or as comprehensive as you want to make it - whatever is good for you.

This then allows people to discuss the book with you, and after all that is one of the main reasons we are all on here - to discuss books and our love of them. And to add to our TBRs because we never have enough books to read do we! 😂

Editado: Fev 27, 2017, 1:29pm

Dusty's TBR in February
Bruce Sterling - Heavy Weather ✔
Kim Stanley Robinson - Green Mars✔
Roger Zelazny - Knight of Shadows ✔
Roger Zelazny - Prince of Chaos ✔
James White - Sector General ✔
Octavia R Butler - Parable of the Sower ✔
John Scalzi - Fuzzy Nation ✔
Charle Stross - Singularity Sky ✔
David Brin - Brightness Reef ✔
Alan Dean Foster - The Howling Stones
Jaye Wells - Deadly Spells ✔
Simon R Green - Dead Man Walking ✔
TS Eliot - Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats ✔
Beverly Cleary - Ramona Quimby,age 8 ✔
Kay Hooper - Sleeping With Fear ✔
A E Maxwell - Gatsby's Vineyard ✔
Kathryn Fox - Skin and Bone ✔
Nora Roberts - The Perfect Hope✔
Nora Roberts - Black Rose ✔
Nora Roberts - Red Lily ✔
Nalini Singh - Archangel's Heart ✔

read :20/21

Editado: Fev 1, 2017, 3:58pm

February 2017 Reads
✔★ ☊ ☞

Currently Reading
☞Mini Challenge Read - The Double Wedding Ring by Clare O'Donohue - 258 pg. - Cozy Mystery
☞Next In Series Read - The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer - 485 pg.

Finished Reading

Planned Group Read #1 - Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard - 389 pg.
Planned Group Read #2 - The Charlemagne Pursuit #4 by Steve Berry - 509 pg.
Planned Group Read #3 - Natural Causes by James Oswald - Tuesday 2/21
Mystery Sub-Genre Challenge - The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton
Mini Challenge Read - Say Nothing by Brad Parks - 440 pg. - Suspense Thriller
Mini Challenge Read - The Rome Prophecy by Jon Trace - Historical Thriller 465 pg.
Next In Series Read - Speak Ill of the Living by Mark Arsenault -250 pg.
Next In Series Read - More Bitter Than Death #5 by Dana Cameron - 318 pg.
Next In Series Read - Ashes and Bones #6 by Dana Cameron - 318 pg.
Next In Series Read - A Basket of Trouble #3 by Beth Groundwater - 293 pg.
New Series Read - Touched by Carolyn Haines - 371 pg.
New Series Read - The Progeny Descendants of the Blood Countess Series by Tosca Lee - 322 pg.
New Series Read - Death Comes to the Village Kurland St. Mary Mysteries by Catherine Lloyd - 282 pg.
Historical Mystery - Archangel by Robert Harris - 373 pg.
Psychological Thriller Standalone - Second Life by S.J. Watson - 402 pg.

Jan 30, 2017, 6:23pm

Jan 30, 2017, 6:24pm

>4 Andrew-theQM:
Good to know. Can't wait to read it!

Editado: Fev 4, 2017, 6:51pm

Provisional list to choose books from in February:

Mystery and Suspense Group Reads
Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard : Starts Friday 3rd February (Ireland / Austria)
The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry : Starts Saturday 11th February (Denmark?)
Natural Cause by James Oswald : Starts Tuesday 21st February

Sub-Genre Challenge

Progressing Series
Death of a Hussy by M C Beaton
The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith (Botswana)
Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came by M C Beaton
66 Degrees North by Michael Ridpath (Iceland)
👉The Wings of the Sphinx by Andrea Camilleri (Italy)
Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
The Mayan Codex by Mario Reading (Mexico)
Private Games by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan

Final Book in a Series
Signal for Vengeance by Edward Marston
The Rebels of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd (Ireland)
Churchill's Triumph by Michael Dobbs

New Series
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Russia)
Winter Pilgrims by Toby Clements 🎧

The Eyewitness by Stephen Leather (Bosnia and Hercegovina)
The Road to Gandolfo by Robert Ludlum (Vatican City)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Wales)
Crusoe's Daughter by Jane Gardam 🎧
The Beachcomber by Josephine Cox 🎧 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/2/17

Editado: Fev 28, 2017, 6:45am

Carol's February Reads

Group Reads
Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard - 2/13/17 - 4.5 Stars
The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry - 2/22/17 - 3 Stars
Natural Causes by James Oswald - 2/25/17 - 4 stars

Blind Date With A Book
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - Treasure Trove - 2/1/17 - 4 Stars
In the Blood by Lisa Unger - Mystery & Suspense Group - 2/22/17 - 5 Stars

Mini Challenge Mystery & Suspense Extra
Don't Look Twice by Andrew Gross - 2/28/17 - 4 Stars
The Cold Light of Mourning by Elizabeth Duncan - 2/16/17 - 3 Stars
The Furies by Mark Alpert - 2/18/17 - 3 Stars

A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer - 2/12/17 - 4 stars
The Liar by Nora Roberts - 2/5/17 - 3.5 Stars
Missing Presumed by Susie Steiner - 2/10/17 - 2 strs
Below the Belt by Stuart Woods - 2/4/17 - 3.5 Stars
The Widow by Fiona Barton - 2/7/17 - 3.5 stars
Cut and Run by Matt Hilton -2/9/17 - 4 stars
Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner - 2/3/17 - 4.5 stars
✔Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner - 2/3/17 - 4.5 Stars
The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian - 2/24/17 - 3 stars
Every Morning the Way gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman - 2/15/17 - 4.5 Stars
Deception Point by Dan Brown - 2/17/17 - 4.5 Stars
Fatal by John Lescroart - 2/19/17 - 3.5 Stars
The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston - 2/20/17 - 4.5 Stars
The Third Victim by Lisa Gardner - 2/24/17 - 3 Stars

Jan 31, 2017, 2:26pm

Threadnsong's February Reads

Since February will be just as busy on weekends as January was, I'll continue plugging away at my January book challenges. What I'm holding myself to finish are:

Long-term TBR Pile: Since The Fountains of Paradise is a fairly small book and I am enjoying it, I think I may be able to finish it this month. Which will mean that I get to start on another book in another genre on TBR!

Tolkien's History of Middle Earth series: Ditto with Kullervo, that I should be able to finish during the month of February. Which means the next book on my reading list is *gulp* The Book of Lost Tales, Part I.

Jan 31, 2017, 2:28pm

Jan 31, 2017, 2:30pm

>8 threadnsong: Will be interested to see what you make of The Book of Lost Tales, Part I.

Jan 31, 2017, 2:35pm

>10 Andrew-theQM: Hi Andrew - I will definitely let you know. I find that I have to take these HME series slowly with the realization that I will not get lost in the world the same as I do in Middle Earth as we know it. The writing process contains lots of intricacies, and I am so very glad that a) we have the extant notes and b) that Christopher Tolkien was willing to go through and annotate them as he did.

Editado: Fev 17, 2017, 9:20am

Lynda and Oliver's February Reading Plan


Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry
March Violets by Phillip Kerr
Dead in the Water by Dana Stabenow
Drop Shot by Harlan Coben - 4.5 Stars - 2/1/17
Family Sins by Sharon Sala - 4 Stars - 2/9/17
Last Policeman by Ben Winters
Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard - 5 Stars - 2/8/17
Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue by Victoria Thompson - 4.5 Stars - 2/6/17
Reunion in Death by J. D. Robb

Other Than Mystery

American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin - 1.5 Stars - 2/12/17
Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer - 4.5 Stars - 2/11/17
Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer - 4.5 Stars - 2/5/17
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett - 3 Stars - 2/4/17
Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn - 4 Stars - 2/3/17
Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond - 4 Stars - 2/10/17
Radio Girls by Sarah Jane Stratford
Room by Emma Donoghue
Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor - 4 Stars - 2/7/17
These Is My Words by Nancy Turner
Watership Down by Richard Adams - 5 Stars - 2/2/17

Fev 1, 2017, 4:54am

It only took an hour during the night to read T S Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. An engaging little book about the mysteries and foibles of cats,which is actually just a collection of little cat poems that Eliot would send to friends,and I doubt Eliot ever expected them to be more than amusing scribbles,not poetry written for the ages,but the poems are good fun. And since the musical ''Cats'' McCavity,Mr Mistoffelees and Mungojerrie have become world famous.

Fev 2, 2017, 5:52pm

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
4/5 stars
This is a coming of age story of fourteen year old June Elbus in 1987. Her favorite person in the whole world was her Uncle Finn, a well-known painter and he too was in love with her. After his death from AIDs, the whole family falls apart. June and her sister Greta are fighting. Her parents are working too much and she has no real friends at school. Toby who was Finn's partner was persona non grata in regards to the family. But one day Toby sends her a gift and she agrees to see him though she is supposed to hate him. They begin a covert friendship but someone else knows about it. This was beautifully written and the angst of lost and heartache was palpable.

Fev 4, 2017, 6:50pm

The Beachcomber by Josephine Cox

This book has got some very mixed reviews, including some poor ones; I'm not sure why this is the case unless people picked the book up not knowing what type of book it was. This is essentially a romance book with an element of mystery in it. If you read it from this perspective it is a very enjoyable book! There are multi facets to the story, characters you like and are rooting for, and characters you just hate! It is quite a long story but as with this type of book you know it is going to come right in the end. If you are looking for a light enjoyable romance, with an element of mystery thrown in then this could be the book for you, if you are looking for a high brow classic that might win a prestigious award then I would say avoid this one! Overall I enjoyed it and will continue to read books occasionally by Josephine Cox.

Fev 5, 2017, 7:47am

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
FBI Profiler series Book #7
4.5 Stars

From the Book:
Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Is he a killer?

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

All she knows for sure: He’s back.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

My Thoughts:
This is a book that you are either going to love or you're going to hate. There will be no straddling the fence here. The subject of child abuse is never an easy one to read about and more than likely it's probably not the easiest subject to write about.

Lisa Gardner's novels always seem to have a dark theme running through them and I thought that this one was not going to be an exception. However the further I read the more I found this one to be more sad than dark. It's not so much a mystery or a thriller but more of a drama and very character driven. I wished the Conner's had been more than a background filler but the book was very well written and well worth the wait for another Quincey and Rainie novel.

Fev 5, 2017, 7:48am

Below the Belt by Stuart Woods
Stone Barrington Series Book # 40
3.5 Stars

From The Book:
Newly ensconced in his Santa Fe abode with a lovely female companion, Stone Barrington receives a call from an old friend requesting a delicate favor. A situation has arisen that could escalate into an explosive quagmire, and only someone with Stone’s stealth and subtlety can contain the damage. At the center of these events is an impressive gentleman whose star is on the rise, and who’d like to get Stone in his corner. He’s charming and ambitious and has friends in high places; the kind of man who seems to be a sure bet. But in the fickle circles of power, fortunes rise and fall on the turn of a dime, and it may turn out that Stone holds the key not just to one man’s fate, but to the fate of the nation.

My Thoughts:
Thank you, Mr. Woods. Once again you have given us our "old" Stone Barrington and not the fast and loose playboy that he had been in some previous books. Good to have Stone back.

This one only received 3.5 stars from me...not because it wasn't interesting or well written...but because in places it had entirely too much politics. After our recent real election fiasco, I just didn't need anymore politics. There were some scary truths in the storyline though. The idea that a mega rich man could dare to think he could buy his very own President along with his own cabinet members while eliminating anyone that stood in his way...and nearly succeeding.

Like all of Stuart Wood's books it is a fast read and has absolutely no wasted words. He gets right to the point.

Editado: Fev 5, 2017, 9:29am

Finished the second book in Simon R Green's Ishmael Jones series,Dead Man Walking A spy is locked up in a cell waiting for debriefing of all his secrets,and somehow he is stabbed to death in an supposedly room. Unfortunately the solution to this modern version of a locked room mystery is glaringly obvious almost from the start,but we have fun running around the old manor house amid ghostly footsteps and bodiless heads as the death toll in the isolated manor rises.And as usual we have the banter between Ishmael,who is actually an alien who crash-landed on earth in 1963, and his girlfriend Penny.Good fun,but I wish the mystery had been more mysterious! lol.
Its a very long time since I read any of Kay Hooper's Bishop paranormal crime series.,but was able to fit one in for the Birthstone challenge,reading #9,Sleeping With Fear,where the heroine is suffering memory loss when someone is draining away her psychic powers. Nice agreeable read,though quite gory with human sacrifices etc. I used to read so many of this genre - Hooper,Alison Brennan,Mary Burton,Karen Rose.Linda Howard etc - and the Birthstone challenge allows me to fit some into my reading.Gone off mainstream crime,so am retreating to romantic suspense,which always have ''white hat'' protagonists,justice is served,and a happy romantic ending. No unreliable narrators,no dysfunctional protagonists or downbeat endings to be seen!lol.

Fev 5, 2017, 10:12am

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
4 Stars

From The Book:
Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sister, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

My Thoughts:
Many of us have lived through these times. It's 1964, the year of the Civil Rights Act, in Sylvan, S.C. Lily Owens is 14 years old and not only fleeing her abusive father, T-Ray, but also the police that beat her motherly servant, Lily for defending her new right to vote.

The story and the characters speak so openly of how life was in that time and the hardships some had to endure. It is really hard to do the book justice without giving away so much of it. Let's just say that it is beautifully written. I loved the writing...the descriptions... and the humor sprinkled through the story. There was sadness and love, hope and forgiveness – but ultimately The Secret Life of Bees is the coming of age for a young girl who had more than enough tragedy in her life. I highly recommend this book

Editado: Fev 5, 2017, 10:54am

The Liar by Nora Roberts
4 stars

From The Book:
Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions…

The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.

Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning.

My Thoughts:
The first part of this was fascinating. Shelby discovering that her husband was never even close to who or what she thought he was and consequently the entire four and a half years of her life was one gigantic and dangerous lie. The only good thing that came from the marriage was three year old Callie Rose. How she went about getting herself out from under over three million dollars in debt while discovering more and more deception at every turn, would have by itself have made a excellent book. The story, for me at least, began to break down when she and Callie Rose returned to her family in Tennessee. Everyone was just too sweet to be believable or digestible for very long. I'm from the south and I know that family is everything but this felt way over the top. It was however a good story and picked up when the private detective tracked her down and became involved again. It earned the 4 stars.

Editado: Fev 5, 2017, 3:00pm

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks
3.5/5 stars
Lemoncholy means to make the best of a bad situation and that is the philosophy of Annie Aster. In this story we find Elsbeth Grundy living in Kansas in the year 1895. One day she wakes up and finds that in her far backyard stands a home in her wheat field. She writes a letter to the occupant of the home and leaves it in her mailbox and thus begins a correspondence with Annie, a young woman living in a home in San Francisco in the 21th century that faces Elsbeth's home. But this is not a coincidence and they have more in common then they both know. You have to be able to suspend disbelief in this far- fetched but exciting tale of the two women who are destined to change their futures.

Fev 5, 2017, 4:35pm

Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley

This was another good book by Susanna Kearsley, but not in the league of my favourite one by her - Mariana - which would make my favourite books list. There was a good story in this in the current time frame and a good and interesting group of characters had been pulled together; however whilst the back story had good connections to Merlin, Henry Tudor and Owain Glyn Dŵr there was not enough of the historical element in this book for my liking. A very light touch connection compared to what I was expecting and this is why the book is not rated higher, even though I did enjoy the story and there was a surprise at the end of the book.

Editado: Fev 7, 2017, 1:47pm

Currently reading Alan Bradley's Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd and The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.

Editado: Fev 12, 2017, 5:54am

Finished Bruce Sterling's Heavy Weather,set in a bleak environmentally ruined earth where intrepid stormchasers are waiting for the Big One,an F6 storm. Unfortunately even apart from the bleak setting I disliked most of the characters,couldnt empathise with them at all. Add slightly inadequate writing and an improbable plot development 40 pages from the end,and it wasnt more than a midlevel read.
Also completed Roger Zelazny's Knight of Shadows #9 in the Amber series. Was a little disappointed as it seemed disjointed and confused,but I am going straight on to #10,Prince of Shadows where hopefully all will be revealed! :0)

Editado: Fev 11, 2017, 5:28pm

So far, I've been posting in my own thread! I need to remember this one is here, too!

Now, where are we keeping track of the mini-challenge with different genres? What is the thread called? Thank you!
ETA: Found it, I just didn't look far enough down the list of threads!

Fev 11, 2017, 5:41pm

>25 LibraryCin: I put Stars on the ones I want to find quickly, helps them standout.

Fev 11, 2017, 5:58pm

>26 Andrew-theQM: Thanks, I have a few I've done that with, but not recently. I just need to get used to what's where in 2017, as a few things have changed around!

Fev 11, 2017, 10:07pm

Long Way Home by Katie McGarry
★ ★ ★ 1/2
416 pages

The third in the YA Thunder Road series, this is Chevy and Violet's story. Set approximately during the same time period as Walk the Edge, Violet is trying to hold her life - and her family - together after her father's death the year before. She blames his death on the Reign of Terror motorcycle club and their leader Eli. Eli wants to keep Violet and her family safe, which leads to yelling matches and cold shoulders. Chevy has always loved Violet, even when she turns her back on the club. He goes to see her after a football game and finds her car stalled along the road. As he's helping her, they are overtaken by members of The Riot MC, who kidnap the pair. They are offered freedom in exchange for a favor - Violet must go through her father's files to get account information The Riot can use against Eli and the Terror. At the same time, Chevy is told he has a brother and that his father was one of the Riot. How far can the pair trust the club?

I loved the first two books in this series. This one seems rushed and the writing isn't up to McGarry's usual standard. A nice entry (conclusion) to the series, but it left me wishing she had taken a little more time with it.

Fev 12, 2017, 1:38am

Locke & Key. Vol. 4. Keys to the Kingdom / Joe Hill
3.5 stars

The two older Locke kids are having trouble with their relationships, while the youngest, Bode, continues to explore the keys and his mother wants him to make friends. He does make a friend of Rufus, who lives with Kinsey’s boyfriend, Zack.

It was good. I love the artwork in this series. I have to admit, though, that because I always have such a long gap in between books in the series, it takes me a while when I start reading to remember what had happened previously. Great ending in this one!

Editado: Fev 13, 2017, 5:42am

Finished Octavia E Butler's Parable of the Sower feeling wrung out with this unrelentingly dark downbeat and disturbing book.I will get to the sequel,Parable of the Talents later,but need a long break from the misery.Am almost finished the final book in Roger Zelazny's Amber series,Prince of Chaos and am half way through James White's Sector General,both of which are smooth, quick enjoyable reads,but I am still struggling with Green Mars,443/576 pages read and its so so slow,but I should finish it FINALLY this month.It may be rated as one of the modern classics of science fiction,but I find Kim Stanley Robinson's work interminably slow in pace,obsessively detailed in scientific data,but worst of all to me,I dont ckick with any of the characters. I am determined to read the whole trilogy,so have the misery of Blue Mars still to come. Certainly wouldnt be reading them if they werent Hugo winners.Its my goal to eventually read all 65 winners,and when I finish Green Mars I will be ticking off #51! Still a long way to go :0)

Fev 13, 2017, 6:47am

A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer
4 ★'s

From The Book:
If Danny Cartwright had proposed to Beth Wilson on any other day, he would not have been arrested and charged with the murder of his best friend. But when the prosecution witnesses happen to be a group of four upper-crust college friends―a barrister, a popular actor, an aristocrat, and the youngest partner in an established firm's history―who is going to believe Danny's side of the story?

Danny is sentenced to twenty-two years and sent to Belmarsh prison, the highest-security jail in the land, from where no inmate has ever escaped. But Spencer Craig, Lawrence Davenport, Gerald Payne, and Toby Mortimer all underestimate Danny's determination to seek revenge―and the extent to which his fiancee Beth will go in pursuit of justice.

My Thoughts:
The result of the intriguing trial...which sees a novice defense lawyer against a well seasoned and skilled prosecutor...is a 22-year sentence for Danny. However Danny is lucky enough to share a cell with Sir Nicholas Moncrieff, who teaches him the ins and outs of surviving prison life. Danny learns well and begins to plot a scheme to enact his pound of flesh on the three men responsible not only for the death of his best friend but in a large part to Danny's 22 year sentence for a crime that all readers know....he didn't commit. Just when you think you have things figured out...Archer throws us an ending you just won’t see coming. Anyone that thrives on courtroom dramas will find this book irresistible.

Fev 13, 2017, 7:55am

Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard
4.5 stars

From The Book:
Stephen Swan is amazed when he hears that the uncle he thought had been killed in the Blitz is actually alive. For nearly four decades, Eldritch Swan has been locked away in an Irish prison and now, at last, has been released. Shocked and suspicious, Stephen listens to the old man’s story and is caught up in a tale that begins at the dawn of World War II, when Eldritch worked for an Antwerp diamond dealer with a trove of Picassos—highly valuable paintings that later disappeared. Stephen, who finds his uncle by turns devious, charming, and brazen, then meets Rachel Banner, a beautiful American who may have inherited the Picassos—and is determined to see justice done for her family. But in this tale of revenge and redemption, justice is the ultimate illusion. Eldritch, Stephen, and the woman Stephen has fallen in love with soon find themselves fighting for their lives—against sinister forces still guarding a secret that must never be revealed.

My Thoughts:
A stolen trove of Picasso paintings and a bit of Irish history... that in a nutshell is what Robert Goddard's standalone novel A Long Time Coming is comprised of.

It's 1976. Eldrich Swan has been released from a Irish prison after 36 years imprisonment. He returns to England and is recruited to recover the Picasso's which is currently the property of an American tycoon and on exhibition at the Royal Academy of London. His nephew Stephen and the granddaughter of a Jewish diamond merchant... his former employer and owner of the art... help in the recovery. The paintings had been stolen from a vault of a London art dealer in the early days of World War II.

Like most of Goddard's novels, there is yet another story at the heart of this one also. It's the dawn of World War II and the neutrality of Ireland featuring some real-life characters. Eamon de Valera...a hero of the Easter Uprising of 1916... is Tsoiseach of the Irish Republic having served as early President of the Irish Free State. It's June , 1940 and Malcolm MacDonald of the British Legation is in Dublin to try and persuade Eamon de Valera and Ireland to join the war effort. Also in Dublin is the fictional Eldrich Swan searching for a master forger named Desmond Quilligan.

Goddard takes the reader back-and-forth from 1940 Dublin to 1976... and then to Belgium where the matter of the stolen art is finally resolved. It was another truly fascinating Robert Goddard adventure.

Fev 13, 2017, 5:45pm

Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard
Standalone Thriller

What do you say? Robert Goddard is the master story teller, he paints a picture and takes you there, unravelling the story one layer at a time rather like the layers of an onion. He is one of my favourite authors and has never let me down, and this is one of his best stories. This book is filled with intrigue, betrayal, espionage, political machinations and a mystery element that is not revealed until the end. What more could you want? What are you waiting for? Read this book! You will not be disappointed. ❤️

Fev 13, 2017, 5:54pm

Crusoe's Daughter by Jane Gardam
Standalone - Historical Fiction

This book has good reviews and has a good literary feel to it, but I'm afraid it just wasn't for me. There just seemed a lack of detail and of connection to historical events to keep me fully engaged in the story. There were points in the story where it started to engage me, like when she first taught a class, but these weren't developed and subsequently I lost interest. It is a good book but just didn't do it for me.

Fev 13, 2017, 6:04pm

The Eye of Shiva by Alex Lukeman
#8 in the Project Series

Another very enjoyable book in what appears to be this little known Project series. This one revolves around the Legend of the Eye of Shiva, and the friction between India and Pakistan which is exploited by terrorist groups. An enjoyable and quick read but in the matter of personal affairs I wish Nick and Selena would sort themselves out, they need their heads banging together! Perhaps in the next book!

Editado: Fev 13, 2017, 6:14pm

Wings of the Sphinx by Andrea Camilleri
#11 in the Inspector Montalbano Series

I love this series and love Inspector Montalbano, not many books translate well but these ones do. A great little group of characters that have been pulled together with always some interesting crimes or murders for him to solve. Good, light, fun reading and I look forward to continuing with the next book in the series. Although I do have to say he needs to sort out his love life before it is too late! Haven't read these? Do give them a try.

Fev 14, 2017, 9:50pm

Trust Your Eyes / Linwood Barclay
4 stars

Ray’s father has died in an accident. He father lived with and took care of Ray’s adult schizophrenic brother, Thomas. Thomas spends all his time online, memorizing city maps/streets – all cities around the world. He thinks he is helping the CIA. When Thomas thinks he sees a murder in one of the windows from the street map/view he is memorizing, he insists Ray go check out what happened. In the meantime, Allison has had an affair with a politician’s wife and is now blackmailing her. It doesn’t take long for this to go horribly wrong.

It took a little while to set this one up, but about 1/3 of the way in, it really got going and with 1/3 of the book left, it cranked up another notch. There were an additional couple of surprises at the very end.

Fev 15, 2017, 6:41am

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
4.5 Stars

From The Book:

It's an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

With all the same charm of his bestselling full-length novels, here Fredrik Backman once again reveals his unrivaled understanding of human nature and deep compassion for people in difficult circumstances. This is a tiny gem with a message you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

My Thoughts:
It is amazing how Backman managed to capture so much emotion so perfectly. It's a story about love and tenderness and letting go and remembering and legacies and family. I believe that Frederick Backman said everything that needs to be or can be said about this little gem. So with a heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Bckman for sharing his story...here is his quote.

"This is a story about memories and about letting go. It's a love letter and a slow farewell between a man and his grandson, and between a dad and his boy. I never meant for you to read it, to be quite honest. I wrote it just because I was trying to sort out my own thoughts, and I'm the kind of person who needs to see what I'm thinking on paper to make sense of it. But it turned into a small tale of how I'm dealing slowly with losing the greatest minds I know, about missing someone who is still here, and how I wanted to explain it to my children. I'm letting it go for now, for what it's worth. It's about fear and love, and how they seem to go hand in hand most of the time. Most of all, it's about time. While we still have it." ... Frederick Backman

Fev 15, 2017, 7:15pm

The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
#1 in the Inspector Montalbano Series

This is actually the first book in the series, but it is the ninth one I've read. It was interesting how they introduced Montalbano and having read the others I can see how the group of characters have been developed. A good introduction to the series with a very intriguing mystery, and an interesting outcome at the end of the book. One of my favourite series.

Fev 16, 2017, 4:58pm

Deception Point by Dan Brown
4.5 Stars

From the Book:
When a new NASA satellite spots evidence of an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory...a victory that has profound implications for US space policy and the impending presidential election. With the Oval Office in the balance, the President dispatches White House Intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton to the Milne Ice Shelf to verify the authenticity of the find. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic academic Michael Tolland, Rachel uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery—a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy.

But before Rachel can contact the President, she and Michael are attacked by a deadly team of assassins controlled by a mysterious power broker who will stop at nothing to hide the truth. Fleeing for their lives in an environment as desolate as it is lethal, their only hope for survival is to find out who is behind this masterful ploy. The truth, they will learn, is the most shocking deception of all.

My Thoughts:
It started out rather slow but by the fourth chapter had started to really pick up the pace...and from there the story moves very fast and is full of twists and turns. It has a very clever plot in which you are never completely sure just who is 'the good guy". I loved that I was never completely sure what was going to happen or what I really wanted to happen. I can't say too much more without giving away the next reader's joy of immersing themselves in this very entertaining book. I did think that the author did a marvelous job of tying up the story lines into a very well done ending. The only thing that was missing in this one was all the puzzles that readers have come to associate with Dan Brown books.

Fev 17, 2017, 7:20am

The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry
Cotton Malone series Book #4
3 ★'s

From The Book:
As a child, former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone was told that his father died in a submarine disaster in the North Atlantic. But what he now learns stuns him: His father’s sub was a secret nuclear vessel lost on a highly classified mission beneath the ice shelves of Antarctica.

Twin sisters Dorothea Lindauer and Christl Falk are also determined to find out what became of their father, who died on the same submarine–and they know something Malone doesn’t: Inspired by strange clues discovered in Charlemagne’s tomb, the Nazis explored Antarctica before the Americans. Now Malone discovers that cryptic journals penned in “the language of heaven,” conundrums posed by an ancient historian, and his father’s ill-fated voyage are all tied to a revelation of immense consequence for humankind. As Malone embarks on a dangerous quest with the sisters, he will finally confront the shocking truth of his father’s death and the distinct possibility of his own.

My Thoughts:
It's not a bad book by any means...but certainly is not the best of this series. If I had depended on the description alone in choosing the book it would have rated very high as the subject was something that I am very interested in. As it turned out the characters were very hard to keep up with since the author jumped around in the time elements as well as what was taking place with each character in so many different localities. The usual team that Cotton works with were nearly all absent except for Stephanie and she was scarce and really wasn't working with Cotton. If this had not been a group read...which always adds so much to a book...I have to confess I probably wouldn't have finished it.

Editado: Fev 18, 2017, 8:25pm

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I'm not sure how to categorise this book or even how to describe it. I think it was more like an experience than a book, and I have to admit I was carried away and totally captivated by the whole thing. In short I loved it. Not the best story you might ever read but it just had that je ne sais quoi! I can see how it would be a book you'd either love or hate with not much middle ground. I listened to this on the commute and Jim Dale did an excellent job with it. Couldn't wait at the end for the next commute and had to just keep on listening! A magical book on a magical theme!

Fev 17, 2017, 6:45pm

The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry
#4 in the Cotton Malone Series

After the first few books in the series this one was a great disappointment! It seemed too long and too disjointed. The usual characters were missing (and were a big miss) and I didn't like the central characters in this book. Even Cotton seemed to show poor judgement and to be acting out of character. Hopefully they get back on track with the next book.

Fev 18, 2017, 8:27am

The Furies by Mark Alpert
3 stars

From The book:
For centuries, the Furies have lived among us. Long ago they were called witches and massacred by the thousands. But they're human just like us, except for a rare genetic mutation that they've hidden from the rest of the world for hundreds of years.

Now, a chance encounter with a beautiful woman named Ariel has led John Rogers into the middle of a secret war among the Furies. Ariel needs John's help in the battle between a rebellious faction of the clan and their elders. The grand prize in this war is a chance to remake the human race.

Mark Alpert's The Furies weaves cutting-edge science into an ingenious thriller, showing how a simple genetic twist could have inspired tales of witchcraft and sorcery, and how the paranormal could indeed be possible.

My Thoughts:
I'd like to give the author the credit he deserves for creating a story and a universe that is not only interesting but very diverse. He has taken historical events and woven them into quiet an adventure. I believe...at least for me...it would have been worthy of another star if he had woven the story more around that parallel universe. The story strives for scientific plausibility...but it is too eager to explain things thus bogging the reader down in half formed theories.

The idea of "witches" existing in their human forms through the centuries and never ageing is an interesting concept and this should have been what was built on throughout the book.

Fev 18, 2017, 3:50pm

>43 Andrew-theQM: Loved the book and it is supposed to be made into a movie but it is still in development. I think this would be amazing on the big screen.

Fev 18, 2017, 3:51pm

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
4/5 stars
Faith Sunderly's life has been upturned. Her father, a minister, naturalist and geologist has died after uprooting his family to Australia due to a scandal. The villagers think he killed himself but Faith knows something is wrong and decides to investigate her father's death in a time period where girls were to stay at home and mind their place. Hard to put down! YA Award winning book.

Fev 18, 2017, 6:29pm

>46 JulieLill: I agree, but think they would have to choose the actors very carefully.

Fev 18, 2017, 6:49pm

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
#4 in the Sherlock Holmes Series

Although not a great fan of short stories, this was a good collection of cases involving Sherlock Holmes. Most of them left you wanting more. Interesting this early in the series of books to finish with Holmes and Moriarty at The Reichenbach Falls - also intriguing how this last scene wasn't told by Arthur Conan Doyle. Will always leave you wondering exactly what happened.

Fev 19, 2017, 11:53am

Black Rose by Alex Lukeman
#9 in the Project Series

This is a very enjoyable series and I felt this was one of the best books so far, focusing around a Plague having been stolen from North Korea and an attempt to use it on targeted countries. Some good intrigue and counter intrigue, and also took Selena's story forward. Pleased to see things improved between Selena and Nick. Things are about to change for the Group! Certainly can recommend this series, especially if you enjoy authors such as Vince Flynn, Daniel Silva, Brad Thor etc...

Fev 19, 2017, 1:40pm

>48 Andrew-theQM: Yes, definitely!

Fev 19, 2017, 4:20pm

The Nightingale / Kristin Hannah
4.5 stars

Vianne and Isabelle are sisters, but are not close. Vianne is married and has a daughter and lives in rural France, while Isabelle prefers Paris. Vianne’s husband goes to fight in World War II, and Isabelle goes to live with Vianne. The sisters are opposites. Vianne wants to not rock the boat and just wait for Antoine to come home. Isabelle is furious and wants to help stop the Germans, so she gets involved with some underground resistance. In fact, Isabelle is very involved and it is very dangerous. Meanwhile, Vianne’s home is “confiscated” by the Germans when the town is invaded and a German soldier stays with them. This is dangerous for everyone…

The book goes back and forth between 1995 and 1939-1945. I think I’ve only read one other book (that comes to mind, anyway) that is set in France during the war (Sarah’s Key), so between the two books, I am learning more of what happened in occupied France. At first, I found Isabelle’s story more intriguing (we also went back and forth between what was happening with each sister), but as time went on, things were happening on both ends. Despite the length of the book, it was a fast read for me. Very, very well done and very interesting and heartbreaking, at times.

Fev 20, 2017, 11:23pm

Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living With Joy / Susan Spencer-Wendel
3.5 stars

The author was in her 40s when she was diagnosed with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease). ALS eats away at muscles until a person can no longer walk, talk, or do pretty much anything for themselves. There is no cure and it is terminal. She was married and had three children. She quit her job as a court reporter, and spent time with her friends and family doing something she loved: travelling. In that time, she also met her biological mother (she was adopted) and found out her biological father had already died, but she went to Greece to meet his family, as well. She simply wanted to enjoy the time she had while she could still do things.

Susan had a great attitude and plenty of determination, as she wrote much of this book on her iPad, hunting and pecking the letters with one thumb. The book wasn’t nearly as sad as I thought it might be, but I’m sure that was due to her attitude. Of course, there were a few times where I teared up, anyway. I did know someone with ALS, though I hadn’t been in contact with her for a few years. I heard that she was also very positive and tried to enjoy life as much as she could for as long as she could, so I imagine she had a similar attitude to Susan. For anyone who likes inspirational stories, this is definitely it.

Fev 21, 2017, 6:45am

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
4.5 Stars

From The Book:
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.

Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.

My Thoughts:

“There was once a great city in the mountains,” he writes, “struck down by a series of catastrophes, after which the people decided the gods were angry and left, leaving their possessions. Thereafter it was shunned as a cursed place, forbidden, visiting death on those who dared enter.”

It reads like a dark fairy tale…but in 2012, Douglas Preston was present as the expedition team attempted to use light detection and ranging technology to identify the city’s location in the uncharted wildernesses of Honduras; they shot billions of laser beams into a jungle that no human beings had entered for perhaps five hundred years....and with good reason. They succeeded in locating two large sites, apparently built by the civilization that once inhabited the Mosquiteria region. A return trip took place in 2015 to explore the sites on foot, an experience that was easier said than done but resulted in remarkable archaeological finds.

It’s not Douglas Preston's usual Agent Pendergast novel or one of his wonderful technological offerings …it’s a true adventure that the reader as well as the explorers may many times wonder if it may not have been best to just “let sleeping dogs lie.” An exceptional, entertaining, and educational read.

Fev 21, 2017, 6:50am

Fatal by John Lescroat
3.5 Stars

From The Book:
Kate loves her life. At forty-four, she’s happily married to her kind husband, Ron, blessed with two wonderful children, and has a beautiful home in San Francisco. Everything changes, however, when she and Ron attend a dinner party and meet another couple, Peter and Jill. Kate and Peter only exchange a few pleasant words but that night, in bed with her husband, Kate is suddenly overcome with a burning desire for Peter. What begins as an innocent crush soon develops into a dangerous obsession and Kate’s fixation on Peter results in one intense, passionate encounter between the two. Confident that her life can now go back to normal, Kate never considers that Peter may not be so willing to move on.

Not long after their affair, a masked man barges into the café Kate is sitting in with her best friend, firing an assault weapon indiscriminately into the crowd. This tragedy is the first in a series of horrifying events that will show Kate just how grave the consequences of one mistake can be.

My Thoughts:
John Lescroart is an excellent writer and his courtroom series with Diz and Abe is one of the best to come off the press. While this one had good characters it somehow missed the mark in the plot department. Nothing that Peter...the dead guy...did to become dead... made any sense what so ever. Why would a successful attorney jeopardize his entire life as he knows it to have a two hour fling with a woman he barely knows, and why would he change his personality so drastically because of it? I'm sure it probably could and does happen but the reader is left in limbo. It's never successfully explained enough for the reader to buy into it. Please go back to the wonderful novels with all the courtroom drama that are really exceptional.

Editado: Fev 21, 2017, 3:45pm

Born Bright: A Young Girl's Journey from Nothing to Something in America
by C. Nicole Mason
3.5/5 stars
This is the true story of C. Nicole Mason who as an African American experienced life in poverty in Los Angeles, California during the 60s and 70s. She discusses what it was like to live in poverty, going to schools who did not encourage the academic growth of her race, struggling with moving from home to home and when she was determined to go to college, not knowing how to go through the ropes of applying for college since no one in her family or neighborhood went to college. She was able to beat the odds and got into Howard University and has made a success of her life. Very eye opening!

Started The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai.

Fev 22, 2017, 6:51pm

Watchman by Ian Rankin

This was an interesting early book written by Ian Rankin that he was planning during his honeymoon! At first moving along quite gently and you are trying to work out who is behind things and why, but when it moves to Northern Ireland and Ireland it really takes off, grabs you by the threat and doesn't let you go until the end. Also one or two good links in the book to the Rebus series. Very glad I read it, and I think he would write some more espionage books.

Fev 22, 2017, 7:06pm

Death of a Hussy by M C Beaton
#5 in the Hamish Macbeth Series

Another very enjoyable visit to Lochdubh, but it doesn't start off well for Hamish - they have shut the village Police station down and sent him to work in a nearby town. If you ever go to Lochdubh make sure you behave yourself, as anyone that is not nice gets murdered. Once again Hamish comes to the rescue in finding the murderer. An interesting ending to the book which may set it up for future books. Always feel refreshed following my all too brief visits!

Fev 23, 2017, 2:32pm

Pretty late to the party, however I'm finishing Nemesis by Catherine Coulter, Never Go Back by Lee Child and Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen. So far all very enjoyable...in different ways. But I will reserve further til I have completed them

Editado: Fev 23, 2017, 2:36pm

Hi Colin, everyone welcome at the party whatever time they arrive. Welcome to the group. :) You can't beat a good Lee Child book!

Fev 23, 2017, 2:40pm

Carol420 I loved this book. Read it a few years back. Another book by the author that is similar and I found just as enjoyable is Digital Fortress. If you haven't as yet you might find it worth reading.

Fev 23, 2017, 2:43pm

Thank you Andrew. Reading is reading and we are here for the love of it. I'm back in full swing since I got my new spectacles, so I will be a regular now. Happy reading to all

Fev 23, 2017, 3:02pm

>59 ColinMichaelFelix: Welcome to the group, Colin. Better late than never as they say. Lee Child and Catherine Coulter are tow of my many, many favorite authors. Have you read Coulter's Brit In The FBI series yet? It's written with J.T. Ellison? Really good series. I had lunch with Tess Gerritsen a couple of years ago. She did a program for my library and the library director is a good frond of mine so she invited me to have lunch with them and Tess. What a fascinating lady she is.

Fev 23, 2017, 5:25pm

>59 ColinMichaelFelix: Hello and Welcome... Hope you become a fixture! Feel free to join in our regular group reads/discussions.

Fev 23, 2017, 8:24pm

>63 Carol420: Carol420: So jealous, what a treat that must have been!! I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Jeffery Deaver. What a cool and down to earth guy. Anyway the Brit in Th FBI series is on my list of 'to be tried' soon.

Fev 23, 2017, 8:27pm

>64 Sergeirocks: Thanks for the welcome and I do intend to be a fixture here. I do so enjoy LibraryThing and all it's features.

Fev 23, 2017, 9:52pm

>66 ColinMichaelFelix:
Welcome Colin! Hope you join us for the group reads. They are a lot of fun.

Fev 23, 2017, 10:39pm

Still Life With Crows / Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
4 stars

In this 4th book of the series, FBI Special Agent Pendergast shows up (while on his vacation!) to a small corn-farming community in Kansas to help solve a recent murder. He hires a high school girl, who is often in trouble herself and who just wants to get out of town as soon as she’s done high school, to be his assistant and chauffeur. The local sheriff is surprised that Pendergast thinks the killer is local… in this small town of fewer than 400 people, where everyone knows everyone! Unfortunately, the killings don’t stop at one…

I thought this was really good. I liked the change of location for this book. It was very creepy at times, in amidst all that corn!

Fev 24, 2017, 6:46am

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
3 Stars

From The Book:
When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother's bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She takes their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is that the entertainment—two scared young women brought there by force—will kill their captors and drive off into the night.

With their house now a crime scene, Kristin's and Richard’s life spirals into nightmare. Kristin is unable to forgive her husband for his lapses in judgement, or for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. But for the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, the danger is just beginning.

My Thoughts:
I have always enjoyed novels by this author and found them easy reading with interesting themes. This one somehow just didn't live up to the standards of the others. I don't know if it was the topic of human slavery and the Russian mob or if it was the sleazy actions by the guests at the bachelor party...but it just lacked something. So I would have to say the book was just "okay". I didn't hate the book. It had promise from the description... but I found it tedious and was glad when it ended.

Fev 24, 2017, 12:22pm

I just started The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai which I am really enjoying.

Fev 24, 2017, 3:30pm

Churchill's Triumph by Michael Dobbs
#4 in the Winston Churchill Series

A very interesting book that brought this excellent series on Churchill to an end. It covers the week long Yalta Conference which outlined the creation of the United Nations, what post war Europe was to look like and how Russia was going to be brought into the war against Japan (and the cost of this). This certainly set the tone for the European scene over the next 40 - 50 years and more.

Throughout proceedings Stalin seemed to have the upper hand, including the Conference taking place in Crimea! If this is an accurate record it appeared to me that Roosevelt wasn't well enough to play his full part and this led to some appeasement towards Stalin, and almost betraying Churchill and Poland. As Roosevelt died a couple of months later it is clear he wanted to ensure above all else that the United Nations was set up to ensure lasting peace (at least in his eyes) and even gave Stalin three votes in the United Nations to ensure this. Obviously this is historical fiction so may not be a fully true record but does feel rooted in quite a bit of fact. It does make me want to go away and research events at this time more.

It is clear Churchill didn't trust Stalin and was proven right with events that happened over the next few months and years. I feel really that the die was already cast, so really the Conference was a bit of a Lame Duck Conference.

I particularly like the way the author weaved in the events of one Polish man and his 'adopted' family into the events in the book. Very readable and I do recommend the whole series.

Fev 25, 2017, 1:15pm

Natural Causes by James Oswald
Inspector McLean series Book #1
4 Stars

From The Book:
A young girl's mutilated body is discovered in a room that has lain sealed for the last sixty years. Her remains are carefully arranged in what seems to have been a macabre ritual.

For newly appointed Edinburgh Detective Inspector Tony McLean, this baffling cold case ought to be a low priority, but he is haunted by the young victim and her grisly death. Meanwhile, the city is horrified by a series of bloody killings—deaths for which there appears to be neither rhyme nor reason, and which leave Edinburgh's police at a loss.

McLean is convinced that these deaths are somehow connected to the terrible ceremonial killing of the girl, all those years ago. It is an irrational theory. And one that will lead McLean closer to the heart of a terrifying and ancient evil

My Thoughts:
This story of crime and mystery, set in Edinburgh, reminds us that the city has some dark deeds in its past. This story adds one more element of “dark” and “evil” to the mix.

The story moves very quickly for the most part and the bodies keep piling up, Detective Inspector McLean meets with resistance from some team members, however the scenes in the police station are well done, and the variety of characters throughout are well portrayed. Of course Oswald throws in one for us to hate. There is a hint... almost like a small dusting... of a supernatural element... that allows the reader to form their own opinion as to it’s authenticity. Over all a great first book and I look forward to the second one.

Fev 25, 2017, 5:55pm

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think / Brian Wansink.
3.5 stars

This book explains why so many of us eat mindlessly, without thinking about how much we are eating, resulting in weight gain. Portion sizes are a big one, including packaging and plate size. But, there are plenty more reasons than that. The author describes plenty of studies that explain this and includes tips on how to cut back.

I thought this was very interesting, though much of it makes sense when you think about it. The nice part of this book is that he has the studies to prove these things. I would love to be able to do some of the things he suggests. I actually wish I owned the book, so I could refer back to it later. I didn’t even go into the book looking for ways to lose weight, just to read some interesting information! I listened to the audio, read by the author, and he did a fine job.

Fev 26, 2017, 6:32pm

Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle.
#5 in the Sherlock Holmes Series

A veritable classic, what more can you say! Despite the course of time this is still a great story. After all the collections of stories about Sherlock Holmes I really enjoyed the greater depth that a novel allowed with a very intriguing story and some great inventiveness in the writing! I wish he'd written more as extended novels. Definitely should be read by everyone.

Fev 26, 2017, 6:41pm

Natural Causes by James Oswald
#1 in the Inspector McLean Series

I read this as a Group Read and as an author new to me, based around a newly promoted detective in Edinburgh. I have to say I think I have found a new and good author who put together an excellent story, with bodies dropping all over the place based on events in the past. It had all the markings of a 4.5 star rating or higher, and halfway through the last section of the book I still wasn't totally clear what was going on. However the ending with it's supernatural element just let it down a touch for me. I don't mind supernatural but the book wasn't really advertised as such so this cost it half a star for me. However it was still a very good read and I will be continuing with the series.

Fev 26, 2017, 6:50pm

The Russian Deception by Alex Lukeman
#11 in the Project Series

This was a cracking read, Cold War in the 21st Century! There has been a coup in Russia and they are planning a great deception to rise to their former glories. This book grew on me more as the story developed. I would however suggest ensuring you read these books in order as one sub-plot in this book would have provided a big spoiler to the previous book. I do love how these books are put together and great to see a large part of the story take place in lesser known countries , Macedonia and Albania. Do give this series a try, at the last time of checking book 1 is still free on Amazon.

Editado: Fev 26, 2017, 7:02pm

The Voynich Deception by Michael Lancashire
#1 in the Architect Series

Found this book free on Amazon and read it as part of a challenge. I quite enjoyed the set up of this book, although it took a bit to get going. Not the best writing I've ever read but did really enjoy the plot and was going to give it 3.5 stars but really enjoyed the twist at the end and so this raised it up to 4 stars. Will be interested to see how this series and writer develops.

Fev 27, 2017, 12:10am

Watermelon / Marian Keyes
3.5 stars

The day Claire has her first baby, her husband James tells her he’s been having an affair and he is leaving Claire. Devastated, Claire moves back to Dublin from London to live with her parents and two younger sisters while she tries to figure out where to go from here. Her youngest sister, Helen, is in college and one day brings home a friend, Adam.

Have to admit, I didn’t like Claire all that much, but there were humourous bits to the story and it was still enjoyable, overall. Actually, I’m not sure there were any characters I really liked much. Maybe Adam. Close to the end, it was a bit… odd and took some figuring out (as Claire was also figuring it out!). I did enjoy the book enough to put the next Walsh family book on my tbr.

Fev 28, 2017, 6:41am

Don't Look Twice by Andrew Gross
Ty Hauck Series Book #2
4 Stars

From The Book:
A drive-by shooting rocks an affluent suburb, leaving an innocent man dead. A witness to the madness—along with his terrified teenaged daughter—Detective Ty Hauck launches an investigation into what looks like a vicious case of family retribution. But Annie Fletcher, the owner of a hip café who's attempting to rebuild her life, saw something that does not fit the bloody scenario. And the truth is a gathering storm of secrets and corruption that could tear through the mansions of the town's most powerful—ravaging a family . . . and pitting Hauck against his own brother.

My Thoughts:
I first read this author when he began co-writing books with James Patterson and thoroughly enjoyed his writing style and how easy he was to read and hold the readers interest with an easy to follow plot. This...his second book in the Hauck series... is no exception and if anything better than his co-written books.

The only "problem" that I had with the story was that it didn't seem that the "Why" was never fully explained. I believe if the author had told us why things occurred as they did I could easily have given the book another star. In spite of that it was a fun book that should appeal to all mystery fans. I'll certainly continue this series.

Fev 28, 2017, 6:52am

>79 Carol420:
I made friends with Andrew on FB the other day and he liked my comment about his new book. I told him it was a great book. Here's what he posted about it:

"I am delighted that THE ONE MAN was nominated for a Bouchercon Barry award as Thriller of the Year, but I would argue it was a pretty decent "novel" as well, which was a whole different category. Thriller or novel, I'm genuinely pleased to be recognized."

Have you spoke with him lately? I may get to meet him soon......

Fev 28, 2017, 7:17am

>80 EadieB: He seems to be a very humble man. I like his writing style and will look for another of his books. He'll join the ever growing list of "favorite authors".

Fev 28, 2017, 7:25am

>81 Carol420:
I think he needs to change his last name. I would hardly call him 'gross'.

Fev 28, 2017, 4:05pm

Added O'Pioneers to my reading and did not realize how many copies of this book are available. For some reason the pictures links aren't working on Goodreads and LibraryThing for this book.

Editado: Fev 28, 2017, 4:30pm

>83 JulieLill:
Try encasing the title in the brackets that come after the letter p and don't use the shift key. O'Pioneers.

Mar 1, 2017, 4:20pm

>53 LibraryCin: What a great review. I have an acquaintance who was diagnosed at 34 and lived with this debilitating disease until 2015. My greatest sorrow was to know that my 34th year was so very different from hers. It is absolutely devastating to watch what this disease does to the young; like this author, my friend did as much as she could for as long as she could, including socializing at rare moments.

Mar 1, 2017, 9:59pm

>85 threadnsong: Thank you re: the review, and I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

Mar 1, 2017, 11:26pm

February / Lisa Moore
2.5 stars

In 1982, an oil rig sank off the coast of Newfoundland. This book follows Helen, now a young widow, as her husband, Cal, had been working on the oil rig. Helen is left to care for four children.

It wasn’t a boring story, but the book flipped all over the place in time, mostly between 2008 and other years, looking back. Each section did introduce the year, but it was really all over the place, I thought. I didn’t care about characters, and I didn’t believe the outcome of John’s (John is one of Helen’s children, an adult in 2008) storyline. Also, what is wrong with using quotation marks?

Mar 2, 2017, 7:40pm

>79 Carol420: This is definitely on my TBR. 15 Seconds also by him was quite a wild ride as was No Way Back. But I agree he doesn't seem to be heavy on the whys, he throws out a high-octane scenario and lets that run it's course. I for one, am not terribly dissuaded by that style in these instance. Very enjoyable they both were.

Editado: Mar 2, 2017, 7:46pm

>88 ColinMichaelFelix:
I liked 15 Seconds too! Shows what can happen in 15 seconds. Also read Don't Look Twice and The One Man which was really good!

Mar 3, 2017, 2:16pm

>86 LibraryCin: Thanks. She had a great sense of humor and railed on her blog for as long as she could against what she saw as perceived slights. Like pimples. As in, "As if I didn't have enough to deal with, now I've got pimples again??"

Mar 3, 2017, 8:32pm

>90 threadnsong: LOL! Good for her!

Mar 5, 2017, 10:39am

Old Dogs – Donna Moore

From the back cover: La Contessa Letitzia di Ponzo and her sister Signora Teodora Grisiola are not who they might seem. Now in their seventies, they’re actually Letty and Dora, a pair of ex-hookers turned con-artists who’ve decided to steal a pair of gold, jewel-0encrusted Tibetan shih tzu dog statuettes from a Glasgow museum. Unfortunately, it seems everyone wants to get their hands on the expensive pooches.

My reactions
I was immediately reminded of Donald E Westlake’s crime capers, or the crazy, convoluted plot elements of the best Carl Hiaasen novels. The characters and plot elements are ridiculous, but that’s what makes it so much fun to read. I was constantly wondering what on earth Moore would come up with next.

This is not great literature. It isn’t even a good mystery. But it IS a fast, entertaining read.

Mar 5, 2017, 10:39am

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon – Alexander McCall Smith
Book on CD performed by Lisette Lecat

This is book number 14 in the popular No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. The title refers to one of the cases presented to Mma Precious Ramotswe and her capable assistant ASSOCIATE, Grace Matakusi. A new salon has opened, but despite a favorable location, good prices, and a comprehensive list of in-demand services being offered, there are no customers. Instead the shop owner has received a veiled threat, and is the target of a smear campaign. But who is responsible?

I rarely get past book four or five in a mystery series, because they become formulaic for me and I lose interest. But this series is a wonderful exception. I just love this series, primarily for the characters. Though they are shelved as mysteries, there really isn’t much traditional mystery involved in these books. No murders, no shootings, or serial killers. As in most of the books, there are two cases the Ladies work on in this installment, but the real focus of the series is on the relationships between the characters. Fans of the series will find most of the characters they have come to love present: Precious, Grace, Mr J L B Matekoni, Mma Potokwane, Charlie and Fanwell and Phuti Radiphuti.

Lisette Lecat is superb performing the audio version. Her voices for the various characters bring them to life, and her narration imparts a sense of Botswana and the culture of the locale. Five stars and a ❤ for her narration.