I am shocked at how many books I read! Very unlike me, but I do note that most are shorter books than usually read.
I was pleased with all the books I read this month and certainly hope the next months books are enjoyed as much! Which of course they should be since some will be for the RIP Challenge!
47..When Maidens Mourn…………..C.S. Harris………(341 pgs)
Regency England, August 1812: Sebastian St. Cyr’s plans to escape the heat of London for a honeymoon with his new bride, Hero Jarvis, are shattered when the murdered body of Hero’s good friend Gabrielle Tennyson is discovered drifting in a battered boat at the site of a long-vanished castle known as Camlet Moat. Missing and also presumed dead are Gabrielle’s two young cousins.
Still struggling to define the nature of their new marriage, Sebastian and Hero find themselves occasionally working at cross-purposes as their investigation uncovers dark secrets at the heart of the Tennyson family and an enigmatic young French lieutenant who is concealing mysteries of his own.
Sebastian and Hero’s race to unmask a ruthless killer and unravel the puzzle of the missing children puts both their lives and their growing love for each other at risk as they’re threatened by powerful men in high places…and by a tall, dark stranger who may hold the key to Sebastian’s own parentage.
48..The Asylum……………………..John Harwood……..(272 pgs)
Confused and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House, a remote asylum in England. She has no memory of the past few weeks. The doctor, Maynard Straker, tells her that she admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton, then suffered a seizure. When she insists he has mistaken her for someone else, Dr. Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, who replies that Georgina Ferrars is at home with him in London: “Your patient must be an imposter.” Suddenly her voluntary confinement becomes involuntary. Who is the woman in her uncle’s house? Georgina’s perilous quest to free herself takes us from a cliffside cottage on the Isle of Wight to the secret passages of Tregannon House and into a web of hidden family ties on which her survival depends.
49..Aftermath………………………Peter Robinson……(400 pgs)
One phone call from a concerned neighbor has inadvertently led police to Terence Payne, the elusive serial killer known only as "Chameleon." Now the fiend is in custody, perhaps dying, and a long nightmare appears to be over at last. But is it? In Acting Detective Superintendent Alan Banks’s mind too many questions remain unanswered at the chamber of horrors the press will dub the "House of Payne." Because the darkness has not yet lifted, the casualties are still mounting…and there are still monsters loose in the world.
50..Strange Affair………………….Peter Robinson……(384 pgs)
Insp. Alan Banks nearly died when a serial killer set fire to his cottage in the Yorkshire village of Eastvale, and the melancholic detective remains understandably depressed as this superlative 15th novel in the series gets underway. Living in a rented flat, Banks is struggling to put his life back together when an urgent phone message from his younger brother, Roy—a successful, slightly shady London businessman—requests his help: "It could be a matter of life and death…. Maybe even mine." When he can’t reach Roy by phone, Banks travels to London to see what’s wrong and finds his brother’s house unlocked and no hint about where he might have gone or why. On the night of Roy’s phone call, a young woman is shot to death in her car just outside of Eastvale, and she has Banks’s name and address in her pocket. Annie Cabbot, Banks’s colleague on the force (and a former lover), is in charge of that case, and her investigation quickly intersects with Banks’s unofficial sleuthing into his brother’s inexplicable disappearance. The gripping story, which revolves around that most heinous of crimes, human trafficking, shows Robinson getting more adept at juggling complex plot lines while retaining his excellent skills at characterization
51..The Fate of Mercy Alban………Wendy Webb……….(337 pgs)
Grace Alban has spent more than twenty years avoiding her childhood home, the stately Alban House on the shores of Lake Superior, for reasons she would rather forget. But when her mother’s unexpected death brings Grace and her teenage daughter back, she finds more is haunting the halls and passageways of Alban House than her own personal demons.
Long-buried family secrets, a packet of old love letters, and a lost manuscript plunge Grace into a decades-old mystery about a scandalous party at Alban House, when a world-famous author took his own life and Grace’s aunt disappeared without a trace. The night has been shrouded in secrecy by the powerful Alban family for all of these years. Her mother intended to tell the truth about that night to a reporter on the very day she died–could it have been murder? Or was she a victim of the supposed Alban curse? Grace soon realizes her family secrets tangle and twist as darkly as the mansion’s secret passages.
With the help of the disarmingly kind–and attractive–Reverend Matthew Parker, Grace must uncover the truth about her home and its curse before she and her daughter become the next victims.
52..The Alienist……………………Caleb Carr……….(496 pgs)
The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan’s infamous brothels.
The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler’s intellect and Moore’s knowledge of New York’s vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology– amassing a psychological profile of the man they’re looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.
Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian’s exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.
53..The Lavender Garden……………..Lucinda Riley…….(399 pgs)
La Côte d’Azur, 1998: In the sun-dappled south of France, Emilie de la Martinières, the last of her gilded line, inherits her childhood home, a magnificent château and vineyard. With the property comes a mountain of debt—and almost as many questions . . .
Paris, 1944: A bright, young British office clerk, Constance Carruthers, is sent undercover to Paris to be part of Churchill’s Special Operations Executive during the climax of the Nazi occupation. Separated from her contacts in the Resistance, she soon stumbles into the heart of a prominent family who regularly entertain elite members of the German military even as they plot to liberate France. But in a city rife with collaborators and rebels, Constance’s most difficult decision may be determining whom to trust with her heart.
As Emilie discovers what really happened to her family during the war and finds a connection to Constance much closer than she suspects, the château itself may provide the clues that unlock the mysteries of her past, present, and future. Here is a dazzling novel of intrigue and passion from one of the world’s most beloved storytellers.
I think my 2 most favorite of these books would be: The Fate of Mercy Alban and The Alienist. But then again…………….