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The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 21, 2017)
ISBN-10: 076423028X

 

Amazon Review:

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.
A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–including her own–are lost?

I really enjoyed this book.  I always like a mystery when the backgrounds of the family are discovered!

There were 2 mysteries going on in this book:  Kaine Prescott, who moved when being stalked after her husbands death.  And Ivy, Kaine’s Great, Great Grandmother.  The book has one or two chapters on Kaine and then one or two on Ivy.  Very easy to follow (that means it’s really simple since I get lost easily) The chapters are not long, and the story grows with each chapter!  Hard to put this one down once you get into it!

I would definitely recommend this book if you like mysteries and enjoy learning the hidden secrets of the family lives!

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The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 30, 2008)
ISBN-10: 034551355X

 

Amazon Review…

 

In this exhilarating series debut, police detective William Monk must solve the mystery of his own past.
His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective. But the accident that felled him has left him with only half a life; his memory and his entire past have vanished. As he tries to hide the truth, Monk returns to work and is assigned to investigate the brutal murder of a Crimean War hero and man about town. Which makes Monk’s efforts doubly difficult, since he’s forgotten his professional skills along with everything else.

Without realizing this was such a large series I happened to read “Revenge in a Cold  River” and enjoyed. Especially liking the flawed main character, William Monk.

So I searched and found the first book of the very long series (you do not have to read them all to enjoy them).  … and I loved it!  A super read with questions in your mind at all times!  Set back in Victorian London, I find it enjoyable to read mysteries that don’t have modern means to help them solve the murders!  I do, however, wish some of them were in other parts of England!

This book was so enjoyed I found a used copy on Amazon that is book number 2.  Monk leaves many questions about himself that I need finding out… let alone, another mystery!

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City of Bones

City of Bones by Michael Connelly.

Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: Warner Books (October 2, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0446699535

 

Amazon Review:

 

It’s a cold case, but for Detective Harry Bosch, it stirs up memories of his childhood as an orphan. He can’t let it go. As the investigation takes Bosch deeper into the past, a beautiful rookie cop brings him alive in the present. No official warning can break them apart–or prepare Bosch for the explosions when the case takes a few hard turns. Suddenly all of L.A. is in an uproar, and Bosch, fighting to keep control, is driven to the brink of an unimaginable decision.

This is the third book of Michael Connelly’s, using Harry Bosch, that I’ve read.

It was quite good. Lots of twists and turns as it got closer to the end.   Nice short chapters that certainly keeps you reading.

Mostly I do like that it takes place in Los Angeles near where I lived and so I get to hear towns names and street names that I know of.  Having that makes you picture exactly what’s going on, and makes you feel as if you are there.

A good main character (Harry Bosch) and very good writing.  An enjoyable book if you like detective mysteries.

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The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Custom House;(April 24, 2018)
ISBN-10: 006266638X

 

 

Amazon Review:

An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.

When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.

While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year’s Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.

These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart—an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.

 

In the beginning I became confused with so many characters and it seemed to jump from one to the other…(since I have always had a problem remembering names I get lost easily lol) but eventually it cleared up!

I did get a feeling that there were things I read before (but knew I didn’t read this book before.)  In the beginning it reminded me somewhat of a book I read long ago called Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.

It was a good study of a Victorian woman finally living the life she wanted rather than what was expected.

The book wasn’t what I thought it would be, but I enjoyed it anyway. 

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Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull: The Life and Times of an American Patriot by Robert M Utley.

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks;(April 29, 2008)
ISBN-10: 080508830X

 

 

Amazon Review:

The definitive, award–winning biography of the legendary chief and his dramatic role in the history of westward expansion

Reviled by the United States government as a troublemaker and a coward, revered by his people as a great warrior chief, Sitting Bull has long been one of the most fascinating and misunderstood figures in American history. Distinguished historian Robert M. Utley has forged a compelling portrait of Sitting Bull, presenting the Lakota perspective for the first time and rendering the most unbiased, historically accurate, and vivid portrait of the man to date.

The Sitting Bull who emerges in this fast-paced narrative is a complex, towering figure: a great warrior whose skill and bravery in battle were unparalleled; the spiritual leader of his people; a dignified but ultimately tragically stubborn defender of the traditional ways against the steadfast and unwelcome encroachment of the white man.

I’m not sure what to say.

If you are at all interested in Native Americans, and the Hunkpapa’s (Sioux) Then this is a very informative book.

I personally think he was a great leader and caregiver of his people. Yes, he killed.  But then again many were trying to kill him and his people.  I will keep this book along with a few others like Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.  To me, it’s just sad what “all the immigrants” along with the politicians, killed off the Native Americans.

For one small thing, I no longer get angry with my phone when it says “press one for English”. Because in truth.. it is NOT the “native language” of America.

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The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill.

Paperback: 437 pages
Publisher: The Overlook Press(April 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1590200276

Amazon Review:

 

When Susan Hill first introduced us to the city of Lafferton, to its meticulously crafted cast of characters, and to its chief police inspector Simon Serrailler, readers went wild. When it was released in hardcover, The Various Haunts of Men was named a BookSense Pick and was immediately on the must-read list of every mystery fan. Now out in paperback, Hill’s intricate and pulse-pounding novel will reach an even wider audience.

As the story begins, a lonely woman vanishes while out on her morning run. Then a 22-year-old girl never returns from a walk. An old man disappears too. When fresh-faced policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case, she runs the risk of getting too invested–too involved–in the action. Alongside the enigmatic detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrallier, she must unravel the mystery before events turn too gruesome. Written with intelligence, compassion, and a knowing eye–in the tradition of the fabulous mysteries of Ruth Rendell and P.D. James–The Various Haunts of Men is an enthralling journey into the heart of a wonderfully developed town, and into the very mind of a killer.

 

Strangely enough, the first 1/3 of this book I wasn’t sure what was going on.  I almost  set it aside. Then it finally got to the “mystery” and it got to be interesting reading.  Happily I read along trying to figure out how this would all end.  

All along I couldn’t figure out how the name of the book fit what I was reading.. and I never did figure that part out.

Near the end when you think you have it all figured out, (and mostly you do!) an unexpected happening occurs.  What the.. ?? And you read on thinking “this really didn’t occur”…  sigh.

One more thing that made no sense is that it’s listed as, “A Simon Serrailler Mystery”.. but there was very little of Simon Serrailler.  Huh?.

The final thing is this..  I think, for the most part, I enjoyed the book…. but I can’t be sure!

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Minding the Manor

Minding the Manor by Mollie Moran.

Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Lyons Press;(January 7, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0762796839

 

Amazon Review:

Born in 1916 in Norfolk, Mollie Moran is one of the few people still alive today who can recall working “downstairs” in the golden years of the early 1930’s before the outbreak of WWII. She provides a rare and fascinating insight into a world that has long since vanished. Mollie left school at age fourteen and became a scullery maid for a wealthy gentleman with a mansion house in London’s Knighsbridge and a Tudor manor in Norfolk.

            Even though Mollie’s days were long and grueling and included endless tasks, such as polishing doorknobs, scrubbing steps, and helping with all of the food prep in the kitchen, she enjoyed her freedom and had a rich life. Like any bright-eyed teenager, Mollie also spent her days daydreaming about boys, dresses, and dances. She became fast friends with the kitchen maid Flo, dated a sweet farmhand, and became secretly involved with a brooding, temperamental footman. Molly eventually rose to kitchen maid for Lord Islington and then cook for the Earl of Leicester’s niece at the magnificent Wallington Hall.

 

So.. sometimes one needs to read something “different”.. even if we don’t realize it!  This book was given to me by my “Sis” Cath Russell, some time ago.  As usual, it got lost among the other 130 books I haven’t read until now.  I began one book, read 100 pgs and tossed it aside.  Then I read American Lightening.. was not thrilled but I did finish it.  Not knowing what I wanted I searched thru ALL my unread books and found I was aghast that I hadn’t read this yet.  So.. I dragged it out.  Uncertain about it since I “thought” I wanted another Gothic Mystery.  Boy.. was I wrong!  I flew thru this book faster than any I have read in a long time!

When Cath sent me the book she said, “Since you liked Downton Abby so much I thought you’d like this.”  It turns out my Sis knows me well!

I really enjoyed this book! Here was a woman who began work at 14 yrs old as a Scullery Maid.  Nothing many woman of today would want to do!..  Her story was a true life tale.  Growing up with very hard work, going thru all things a young female goes thru, dreaming of meeting boys and dancing and enjoying life with what little time a job such as she had would give you.

It just sucked me in.  I felt what it was like (maybe because of Downton Abby). But also how ones mentality of what she was dong affected her life.

Super good read, when you feel you need a change!

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