Marisa de los Santos returns with some of my all-time favorite characters in her latest book, but this time Clare Hobbes is a grown woman and ready to get married – or so she thinks, until she meets an elderly woman during her wedding weekend, and Edith’s words inspire Clare to call off her marriage to her charming but possessive fiancé. Several weeks later, Clare is shocked to learn that Edith has died and left Clare Blue Sky House and a set of mysterious ledgers to decipher. This lovely, fascinating story is set both in the 1950s and present, and alternates between Edith’s and Clare’s voices. I’ve loved Marisa’s last two books, but this one is definitely my new favorite.
Mrs. Sherlock Holmes tells the true story of Grace Humiston, who became a lawyer, U.S. district attorney, and detective before women even had the vote. A rash of missing girls entices her to take on the case of eighteen-year-old Ruth Cruger, and along with her private detective partner, she uncovers the truth against a backdrop of dirty cops, secret boyfriends, and rumors of a white slavery ring. Humiston's fascinating story was unknown to me, and while this book is a biography, it reads like the best mystery.
A crazy grave robber, a boa constrictor named Ethel, and a slew of headless corpses? Add in the antics of Grandma Mazur and Lula, several exploded cars (and one exploding groundhog) and the reappearance of Diesel, and you have a pretty typical week for Stephanie Plum. She's on the hunt for the Supreme Ruler of the Zombies in this latest adventure, and fans of this long-running series won't be disappointed.
Sylvie and Dan have the perfect life - a lovely home, gorgeous twin girls, fulfilling jobs, and a relationship so solid that they finish each other's sentences. But they've also been married for ten years, and Sylvie can't help but wonder if they've become a little too...predictable. She has a scheme to spice things up - they'll surprise each other and prove that they still can. Typically, however, the plan takes some unexpected and funny turns, which is probably the biggest surprise of all - to Sylvie, at least. For the rest of us, this is pure Sophie Kinsella fun.
Pauline Bright, her husband, and their three daughters moved to Philadelphia from a small tobacco farm for the opportunity of a lifetime - Mr. Bright's bachelor uncle has offered his thriving mortuary business to the family, but as they are adjusting to their comfortable new life, the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 breaks out and devastates their newly adopted city. This fascinating story is told in alternating voices and is set not only against the backdrop of the worst pandemic in history but also that of The Great War. The choice of a funeral home also gives an interesting perspective, and I certainly learned a lot about what, to me, was a virtually unknown piece of history. This was a page-turner and definitely a new favorite.
Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her hardscrabble life in London. Nancy Mitford longs for adventure away from her quiet country home. The two bond when Louisa becomes the nursery maid in the Mitford household, and they begin to solve the mystery of nurse Florence Nightingale Shore's impossible murder aboard a train bound for a seaside cottage and a quiet retirement after helping thousands of men during the Great War. This fun, first-in-a-series mystery is set in 1920, and features not only a real family, but a real unsolved crime - although the solution Fellowes writes is certainly a plausible one. This book was delightful, and perfect for Downton Abbey fans.
A young boy is invited to the Biggest, Bestest, Hattiest party...but he must bring a hat. Therein lies the problem. He doesn't own a hat. But he finds a monkey with a hat and takes him to the party, setting off a whole lot of goofy new rules to get into the party. The best stories have a good twist at the end, and this one doesn't disappoint. The illustrations are colorful and clever and add to the charm of this fun new picture book.
A lot has already been written about Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff's explosive new book of interviews and impressions of the year-old Trump administration. I finally got my hands on a copy from our fourth order - the first three were sold through before we were even able to get them into the store. And, honestly, as I tend to be a 'take it with a grain of salt' kind of person, I originally bought it more because there was an attempted censor rather than because I thought it would contain groundbreaking information. While I'm not surprised at the content, I will say that the book is quite well-written - I'm reading with a dictionary, which I love. And even if only half of the book is accurate, it still does not paint a flattering portrait of the current administration. I'm convinced this won't change anyone's mind, but it was certainly an interesting read.
A drunken wager - an antique motorcycle against a diamond necklace - begins this complex, even epic novel. Spanning three centuries, the characters are as diverse as their time periods, and range from a slave-owning orphaned Quaker girl to an over-the-hill tennis pro. Their only commonality is the setting of Newport, Rhode Island. This beautiful novel is one to be savored.
I'm kind of enamored of this little volume. I've read several times that journaling is important for emotional health, but it takes a lot of time and effort. This I can manage. It contains a question a day for a year...but there is room for five years of answers - which translates into just a few lines. The questions range from the thoughtful - like 'What is your mission?' to the easy - like 'List three foods you ate today.' It's all kinds of fun, and very manageable.
I've always loved the Adam Dalgliesh mystery series, but I hadn't picked one up in a long time. The Dupayne Museum was the obsession of its founder, but its lease is up and its continuation is dependent on all three of the sibling surviving heirs. Two are willing, but the third is a holdout - and the decision must be unanimous. Unfortunately, it becomes so when he is found in the garage - very dead. Was it a copycat murder, or did someone really, really want to keep the museum open? This was a delightful cozy mystery, and P.D. James never disappoints.