Archive for September, 2015

The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb.

Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt(March 30, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0805091408

Amazon Review..

A young woman travels alone to a remote island to uncover a past she never knew was hers in this thrilling modern ghost story

When a mysterious letter lands in Hallie James’s mailbox, her life is upended. Hallie was raised by her loving father, having been told her mother died in a fire decades earlier. But it turns out that her mother, Madlyn, was alive until very recently. Why would Hallie’s father have taken her away from Madlyn? What really happened to her family thirty years ago?

In search of answers, Hallie travels to the place where her mother lived, a remote island in the middle of the Great Lakes. The stiff islanders fix her first with icy stares and then unabashed amazement as they recognize why she looks so familiar, and Hallie quickly realizes her family’s dark secrets are enmeshed in the history of this strange place. But not everyone greets her with such a chilly reception–a coffee-shop owner and the family’s lawyer both warm to Hallie, and the possibility of romance blooms. And then there’s the grand Victorian house bequeathed to her–maybe it’s the eerie atmosphere or maybe it’s the prim, elderly maid who used to work for her mother, but Hallie just can’t shake the feeling that strange things are starting to happen . . .

In The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb has created a haunting story full of delicious thrills, vibrant characters, and family secrets.

This is my second book by Wendy Webb. (not a series). The First one I read by her was The Fate of Mercy Alban.

This book, The Tale of Halcyon Crane is a fabulous book for the Fall and for those who like ghost stories! 

Very well written. 

Very readable. 

Hard to put down.  

To be honest I am not a great “ghost story” lover, but this was a really good book!  Some who know me will be shocked that I’ve read a book that doesn’t take place in the UK.  Even the author is from the USA! lol.  However, she did great “island building” so that you felt you were on this remote Island with the locals who lived there year round yet made most of their money during the summer from tourists and from the rich who kept “summer cottages” on the Island.

So if you like books that have “deep dark secrets” to reveal and a good ghost story you will certainly enjoy this book.


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The Harvest Man

The  Harvest Man by Alex Grecian.

Series: Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad (Book 4)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (May 19, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0399166440



Amazon Review….

Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—and Jack the Ripper—return, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.
In The Devil’s Workshop, London discovered that Jack the Ripper was back, sending the city—and Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—into chaos. But now it is even worse. Not only is the Ripper still at large, but so is another killer just as bad.
For Inspector Walter Day, it has been a difficult time. His wife has given birth to twins, his hostile in-laws have come to stay, and a leg injury has kept him at his desk. But when the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, the Yard knows they need Day in the field.
Not so Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Rash actions have cost him his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard, so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back.
Of course, the Ripper’s been playing a game with him—with Walter Day, as well. He is pushing both of them to their limits, and what happens when they get there . . . no one can say.

This is the 4th book of the Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad that Alex Grecian has written..and the fourth book of his I have read!

OMG!  These Alex Grecian books just keep getting better!!! 

This one open with a 3 page “preface” that is such a “Hook” you can’t put the book down!

I mean…. this book contains three, (count them! THREE) murderers!  And one is: of course, Jack the Ripper. But the main hunt is for “The Harvest Man”.  I don’t think I want to describe his murders to you because they are gruesome!  Yet they make perfect sense to the murderer.

The first three Grecian books: The Yard, The Black Country, and The Devil’s Workshop were all terrific, and could if wanted, be read without following the whole series.  The Murder Squad uses the same characters,  however the first 3 books all have a beginning, middle, and end… where as……………………… The Harvest Man is left a bit of a cliffhanger!  And the next book doesn’t come out until next MAY!!   I was fine waiting for the new books when there wasn’t a cliffhanger!!!  Why did he have to go and do this to me??!!  ARGH!!. 

This is an excellent book and one I couldn’t put down.  Excellent “Scotland Yard” stories if you are into that sort of thing.

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The Italian Secretary

The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin(October 27, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0312352042



Caleb Carr’s novel, The Alienest, was a blockbuster international bestseller and positioned its author as a modern master of the historical thriller. Now, Carr reaches back further, to the age of opium dens and Jack the Ripper, when fictional detective Sherlock Holmes made the science of murder as real as the gore on a killer’s hands…


Mycroft Holmes’s encoded message to his brother, Sherlock, is unsubtle enough even for Dr. Watson to decipher: a matter concerning the safety of Queen Victoria herself calls them to Edinburgh’s Holyroodhouse to investigate the confounding and gruesome deaths of two young men–horrific incidents that took place with Her Highness in residence. The victims were crushed in a manner surpassing human power. And while recent attempts on Her Majesty’s life raise a number of possibilities, these intrigues also seem strangely connected to an act of evil that took place centuries earlier…

For indeed, the slaying of David Rizzio, music master and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots, was an extraordinarily brutal and treacherous act–even for a time when brutality and treachery were the order of the day. Now, the ghosts of Holyroodhouse are being reawakened by someone with a diabolical agenda of greed, madness, and terror as Holmes and Watson set out to trap a killer who is eager to rewrite history in blood…

This is my second book by Caleb Carr, the first being The Alienist.

This is a Sherlock Holmes story.  Generally, I am not the biggest fan of Holmes books that aren’t by Doyle, but since I liked the writing of the first Carr book I decided to give it a go.

His writing is really good. The old Holmes language is used and I had no problem hearing Basil Rathbone’s voice for Sherlock. (As much as I love Benedict Cumberbatch, Basil Rathbone will always remain the “original”).   Carr used the familiar characters of Watson and Mycroft, but put them in Scotland instead of Baker Street.  Still if you are a Holmes fan, even if Doyle isn’t the author I would say you would like this book.

The only problem, at all, that I had with this book  was, “Holyroodhouse”.  I won’t tell you how many times I read “Hollywoodhouse”.. *sigh*.

This would be a good “carry along” book. Not big in pages and there’s not many who don’t like Sherlock!

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The Woman in Black

(Book 2 for RIP)

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Vintage;(January 3, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0307745317

A classic ghost story: the chilling tale of a menacing specter haunting a small English town. Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford–a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway–to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images–a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black.

Well, this certainly is the perfect book for RIP!

I am not usually into ghost stories but this one was done really well.

Just the fact that it depended on the tide to get to the house in question was enough to make ME want to stay away!   I didn’t see the movie when it came out and had wanted to since it was Danielle Radcliff.  Maybe I will consider picking up the movie!

The Amazon review is a better review than I could ever give.  I did find that it was one of those books you pick up immediately upon sitting down in your favorite chair.  Since it isn’t a big book you read it rather quickly!

If you still need a book to read.. this would be a perfect read!

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