Monday, January 30, 2023


After waiting 2 years I'll finally be here in the morning!!!!! 

Books 1-6

 The Next Girl by Carla Kovach

She thought he’d come to save her. She was wrong.
Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again …
Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results.
The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.
I did enjoy this book.  I kept picking it up to see what was going to happen next. Wasn't crazy about the ending (the epilogue) it was a little too cut and dried given the horrors that happened to Deborah.  

Losing Your Head by Clare Kauter
She’ll clear his name of murder – if she doesn’t kill him first.
Checkout-girl turned amateur sleuth Charlie Davies at your service.
My nemesis has been accused of offing his billionaire uncle for an inheritance, and as much as I’d love to see James McKenzie rot in prison, there are two problems.
One: He definitely didn’t do it. (Probably.)
Two: In exchange for proving his innocence, he’ll pay up big.
And I simply can’t resist his… cash.
I have to find the killer somehow, because the reward money isn’t the only thing on the line. If I don’t catch the murderer before they catch me –
I might just lose my head.
This book was so over the top, unrealistic and beyond belief that it was quite funny.  I don't think I'll be reading any more in the series but it did make me laugh.

Jinnie by Josephine Cox

Ten years ago, Louise Hunter's life was torn apart by tragedy. Her husband, Ben, killed himself; her brother-in-law, Jacob, was murdered; and her sister, Susan, abandoned her new-born daughter, revealing the baby is Ben's child. Louise remains haunted by guilt over the one night she spent with Ben's friend Eric, and refuses to return Eric's love. But after adopting Jinnie, she finds new happiness - until Susan decides she wants Jinnie back.
Meanwhile, Adam and Hannah, whose mother was killed with Jacob, are on the run. What Adam witnessed on that dreadful night has put them all in danger, but their beloved grandmother knows that one day they must return to the place where it all began . . .
I did enjoy this book and it was very heart wrenching and touching in parts, but I was a little disappointed in the ending.  Can't say much without giving away the ending but it all fell into place a little too easily.

Last Seen by Joy Kluver

I can see her, shouting with laughter as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. I can feel her tiny hot hand in mine, and my heart aches. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…
When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.
Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.
But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village seems to care that Molly is missing at all. Why?
And then Bernie makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.
Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls, and just when they think they’re making progress a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.
Can Bernie outwit the most warped criminal she has ever faced and bring Molly home safe, or will another innocent life be lost?
This was an interesting crime thriller. I found it went from tame to crazy quiet quickly. I loved the dynamics between Bernie and her team, especially her newest member who is one moment obnoxious and the next nice, thoughtful and kind-there seems to be more to his story.
I liked how this case is uncovered and how deeply things go. It is done so well and believable as well. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put the book down.

Murder at the Manor by Catherine Coles

Evelyn Christie has resigned herself to another long, boring weekend at Hessleham Hall, the home of her husband, Tommy's, family. However, it turns out to be anything but dull when his uncle, the Earl of Northmoor, is shockingly murdered!
Evelyn must use all of her sleuthing knowledge, gained whilst she was a member of the Police force during the war, to find out who the murderer is before the bungling local police force decide the Earl was bumped off so Tommy could inherit his title.
This is a very light read. A lot of interesting, if not all of them likeable, characters. The story wasn’t over complicated, so I finished it very quickly.

The Force by Don Winslow

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.
He is "the King of Manhattan North," a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the real leader of "Da Force." Malone and his crew are the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, and the baddest, an elite special unit given carte blanche to fight gangs, drugs, and guns. Every day and every night for the eighteen years he’s spent on the Job, Malone has served on the front lines, witnessing the hurt, the dead, the victims, the perps. He’s done whatever it takes to serve and protect in a city built by ambition and corruption, where no one is clean—including Malone himself.
What only a few know is that Denny Malone is dirty: he and his partners have stolen millions of dollars in drugs and cash in the wake of the biggest heroin bust in the city’s history. Now Malone is caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job, his family, and the woman he loves, trying to survive, body and soul, while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.
 As you might expect, there is a lot of violence and strong language in this book. The language, authentic, though it may be, is rough, very rough.
This book is mind boggling. It is packed with layers of drama, tension and suspense, and is utterly engrossing and riveting.
However, it is not an easy read in many ways. It is intensely somber and bleak. 
Denny reminded me of a member of the mob, in reality, he is, he's the "the King of Manhattan North",the leader of "Da Force" with his fingers in every pie, wheeling and dealing, working the system, compromising, living large and on the edge, instead of a member of law enforcement. The lines were very very blurred.
This is a book that leaves you at the end pondering the story and asking questions. For me what the author did with Denny Malone at the ending, was unbelievable and as such, it was very much a let down. But over all I liked the book. It was a great read.  
I'm not sure I want to read another book like this though as I did found it just too much in the violence department.

That's it for January. 6 books, more than I expected!

Monday, January 16, 2023

6 months old today!!

 How time flies, 6 months old already!

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Books 57-68

 Hale's Point by Patricia Ryan

While house-sitting at a waterfront estate, sweet, straight-laced Harley is stunned by the arrival of her employer's supposedly dead son, an Alaskan bush pilot with a bad boy rep who's been wounded in an airplane crash. Coming home after years of estrangement--and a stint in prison--to make amends with the old man is difficult for Tucker, but not half as difficult as keeping his distance from the super-sexy but virginal Harley while they share the house, awaiting his father's return.
Having given up on the idea that he'll ever fully heal from his ravaged leg, Tucker balks when Harley urges him to swim as physical therapy--until she adds a unique incentive: "Catch me and you can have me." Her certainty that he'll never be able to swim that fast evaporates when he embarks on a rigorous training regimen, determined to claim her as his prize. But when she unearths the dark secret in his past, will she still be willing to pay up when the time comes?

This book was so predictable but still an interesting, light read.

Keep Her Close by M.J. Ford

It’s six months since DS Josie Masters saved her nephew from the clutches of the killer clown, but she’s still haunted by that terrible night. The Thames Valley police force, however, regard Jo as a hero – much to the jealousy of some of her colleagues.
When a young girl goes missing from Jesus College, Jo is assigned to the case, along with new recruit, the handsome DS Pryce. The city of Oxford goes into turmoil when two more girls disappear from Oriel and Somerville, and Josie soon realises that the killer is spelling out her own initials in a deadly game of cat and mouse. This time, the case is personal – but who is the perpetrator?
In a race against time, Jo hunts for the killer – but soon realises he could be a lot closer to home than she’d realised…

This book is the second in a series.  It was billed as a 'stand alone' but I think it would have helped if I had read the first book first. This story did keep me guessing for about three quarters of the book. 

His Hand in the Storm by Ritu Sethi

A man copes any way he can after killing his only son.
His team believes he’s calm and Zen. His boss finds him obsessive. Suspects think him gorgeous but dangerous. They’re all right.
Chief Inspector Gray James is sculpting the remembered likeness of his small son when he receives the call – a faceless corpse is found hanging by the choppy river, swirls of snow and sand rolling like tumbleweeds.
Montreal glitters: the cobbled streets slippery with ice, and the mighty St. Lawrence jetting eastward past the city. One by one, someone is killing the founders of a booming medical tech startup – propelling Gray into a downward spiral that shatters his hard-earned peace, that risks his very life, that threatens to force him to care and face what he has shunned all along: his hand in the storm.
Another fast read that kept me guessing. The plot is interesting and has enough twists and turns and lots of suspects to keep you guessing till the very end. 

Bad to the Bones by James Harper

Ten years ago, Linda Clayton's son Daniel disappeared. The love and support of her husband Robbie was all that kept her sane—until the day he ran away. Makes you thankful you're not Linda Clayton.
Wise-cracking, street-smart PI Evan Buckley thought his problems were bad enough. When his latest case ends in disaster, he’s at the end of his tether—until fate throws him headlong into Linda Clayton's desperate world and a long-dead investigation that everybody wants to stay that way.
But Evan never does what everybody wants, and he vows to uncover the truth—and in the process kick into touch the demons that come to torment him every night.
As the suspense ratchets up, he’s caught in a desperate fight for his life with a stone cold killer who will go to any lengths to protect his secrets ...
This book is the first in a series.  It was a fast, easy read which I did enjoy.  There is a major fight scene that is particularly gruesome but fits. Of course, the book ends with only some of the story resolved which means you have to keep reading the series to see if there are answers further down the road.

The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham

A prisoner in the camps, Anke Hoff is doing what she can to keep her pregnant campmates and their newborns alive.
But when Anke's work is noticed, she is chosen for a task more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Eva Braun is pregnant with the Führer's child, and Anke is assigned as her midwife.
Before long, Anke is faced with an impossible choice. Does she serve the Reich she loathes and keep the baby alive? Or does she sacrifice an innocent child for the good of a broken world?
I did enjoy this book for the most part.  It basically dwelled on the pregnancy of Eva Braun and the love interest. There were a few 'hold your breath' moments and wondering what the outcome would be.  I felt the ending was far too condensed and lacking.

Crossed by Death by ACF Bookens
When salvage expert and historian Paisley Sutton crawls into an abandoned store with a house attached, she certainly isn’t expecting to find a body on site. But soon, her discovery sends Paisley on an expedition through history that links this murder to the one that led the previous owners to abandon the building in the first place. And someone doesn’t want her to salvage this story from the wreckage.
Can Paisley preserve herself and her young son while also uncovering the stories that matter most?
Not enough time spent on the mystery and too much time spent on a toddlers behaviour!!

Dangerous Deeds by Beth Prentice

If only she knew buying a house could be so dangerous...
Meet Lizzie. She’s 31 and having a premature mid-life crisis. So, she bought a lonely, run down old house that pulled on her heartstrings.
But with the purchase Lizzie gets more than she bargained for. She didn’t expect the engagement ring and letters of forbidden love hidden under the attic floorboards. She didn’t expect the lazy cat, or the drop dead gorgeous handyman. And she definitely didn’t expect the stalker.
As the renovation begins and the house starts to slowly return to its former glory, the letters dog her dreams. Why was the writer forced to turn away from his love? Why was their love forbidden? And why was this all hidden under the floorboards?
Filled with a drive to reunite the ring with its rightful owner, Lizzie engages the help of her new handyman, her crazy family and her sex crazed Grandma, and sets on a journey of lost love, heartache, and public damnation.
But can Lizzie restore the house to its former glory, and find who it all once belonged to before her stalker catches up with her? Or will she lose everything...including her life?
The Scott, Lizzie, Riley relationships was very easy to predict.  Loved Lizzies crazy family, especially grandma.  The outcome was surprising.  Would read another book in this series.

Angels in the Architecture by Annie M. Ballard

Emelie and Liam have a happy life with their five-year-old son Ben, until a car accident changes everything, sending Emelie into a spiral of declining mental health. Struggling with a deep desire for another baby, pretending she is fine, Emelie desperately tries to hold things together until her search for a baby makes her do the unthinkable.
Liam is determined to keep things “normal.” He barely notices his own struggle, until he makes a decision that shatters Emelie’s newly reordered world and separates their family.
Out of sync, each must grapple with the meaning of family and their deepest desires.
Can Emelie and Liam find their way back together?

I understand the mental health issues that this story revolves around but some of the characters, to my mind, were not very helpful when she needed help the most.

Wrong Alibi by Christina Dodd

Eighteen-year-old Evelyn Jones lands a job in small-town Alaska, working for a man in his isolated mountain home. But her bright hopes for the future are shattered when Donald White disappears, leaving her to face charges of theft, embezzlement—and a brutal double murder. Her protestations of innocence count for nothing. Convicted, she faces life in prison…until fate sends her on the run.
Evelyn’s escape leaves her scarred and in hiding, isolated from her family, working under an alias at a wilderness camp. Bent on vengeance, intent on recovering her life, she bides her time, patiently searching for the man who took everything from her.
At last, the day comes. Donald White has returned. Evelyn emerges from hiding; the fugitive becomes the hunter. But in her mind, she hears the whisper of other forces at work. Now Evelyn must untangle the threads of evidence before she’s once again found with blood on her hands: the blood of her own family…
Its a bit difficult to follow this story at first as it jump all over the place, the sequences don't make much sense and Evelyn/Evie/Petie was kind of confusing. But things pick up.
I found parts of it pretty unrealistic but there were parts that really kept you reading to see what would happen.  The romance part was pretty unbelievable.  Tthe ending was a surprise but I thought it was quite rushed.  Maybe this is because this is book 1 in a series and some of the characters will be more fleshed out in following books.

We'll Have a Wonderful Cornish Christmas by C.P.Ward

Unlucky-in-love and long-term loner Lucy Drake can find no excuse not to join her parents on a Christmas trip to the Cornish coastal town of Tintagel, not when her father's company is sponsoring the inaugural Christmas Extravaganza.
Hoping to hide an embarrassing secret and generally keep out of sight, Lucy finds herself attracted to local surfing dentist, Dan. But when his ex-girlfriend and social media starlet Elizabeth Trevellian shows up to expose all of Lucy's insecurities, Lucy will need all of the magic of Christmas to help her untangle the ensuing mess.
Against a backdrop of fudge, Christmas beach parties, Brussels sprouts obsessions, reindeer rides and terrible Christmas karaoke, We'll have a Wonderful Cornish Christmas is certain to delight fans of CP Ward's Christmas debut, I'm glad I found you this Christmas, and even features a cameo from a familiar face.
I really enjoyed this book.  Maybe because I was reading it iver Christmas, I don't know.  It was really corny, silly, unrealistic and unbelievable in partss but it was a good feel good read.

Stationmaster's Cottage by Phillipa Nefri Clark

Christie is happy in her life... or so she tells herself. Despite a tragic childhood, she has built a satisfying career and loves her city apartment. But deep down she yearns for a simpler life. Family. A garden. And a place to heal her heart.
The decision to attend a funeral in a town she's never heard of throws her safe world into disarray, exposing the cracks in her life. As she deals with the fallout, Christie moves into a rundown cottage she's inherited and there, makes a discovery.
Fifty years ago, a heartbroken young artist waited each dawn on a jetty for his true love to return. And each night, he wrote her a love letter.
What Christie uncovers will change her life forever.
The love angle in this story was very predictable, regarding Christie.  What happens with the grandparents is a little more surprising!!

The Clockmaker's Wife by Daisy Wood

The world is at war. And time is running out…
London, 1940. Britain is gripped by the terror of the Blitz, forcing Nell Spelman to flee the capital with
her young daughter – leaving behind her husband, Arthur, the clockmaker who keeps Big Ben chiming. 
When Arthur disappears,Nell is desperate to find him. But her search will lead her into far darker places than she ever imagined… 
New York, Present Day. When Ellie discovers a beautiful watch that had once belonged to a grandmother she never knew, she becomes determined to find out what happened to her. But as she pieces together the fragments of her grandmother’s life, she begins to wonder if the past is better left forgotten… 
Overall it was a good story that kept me reading. The author did a lot of research on Big Ben and the running of the clock. London and the surrounding landmarks were described very well. Past and present. The descriptions really set the mood and tone. Lots of mystery and intrgue. unfortunately there was a lot that was just too unbelievable, especially the last part in the clock tower, although it did make it very exciting.

Finally finished this post and the last post today.  I read a lot more books this year than in previous years.  I must make a new years resolution to do my reviews of books read each time after about every 5 books.  I do add the books to the draft copy I have set up but I leave doing the review for far too long and end up having to go to somewhere like 'Good Reads' to refresh my memory.

Books 45-56

 To Tell You the Truth by Gilly MacMillan

Lucy Harper’s talent for writing bestselling novels has given
her fame, fortune and millions of fans. It’s also given her Dan, her needy, jealous husband whose own writing career has gone precisely nowhere.
Now Dan has vanished. But this isn’t the first time that someone has disappeared from Lucy’s life. Three decades ago, her little brother Teddy also went missing and was never found. Lucy, the only witness, helplessly spun fantasy after fantasy about Teddy’s disappearance, to the detectives’ fury and her parents’ despair. That was the start of her ability to tell a story—a talent she has profited from greatly.
But now Lucy’s a grown woman who can’t hide behind fiction any longer. The world is watching, and her whole life is under intense scrutiny. A life full of stories, some more believable than others. Could she have hurt Teddy? Did she kill Dan? Finally, now, Lucy Harper’s going to tell the truth.
Cross her heart.
And hope to die.
The inability to trust plays a huge role in this book. People Lucy thought she could trust, turn on her. Even Eliza seems to be playing games with her. And the neighbours...they all seem to have their own agendas
We don’t know for sure what’s the truth or who is on her ssssside or playing mind games with Lucy until the end. Keeps you reading if only to find out what happened to Dan and Teddy.

Afraid by Lisa Jackson, Alexandra Ivy and Lisa Childs

St. Cecilia’s School for Girls in Salzburg, Austria, is a haven for the daughters of the rich and famous. Here, scandals are buried and secrets hidden. But for three former students, evil is about to resurface . . .
Lucy Champagne was sent to St. Cecilia’s after her movie-star mother was brutally attacked by her sleazy boyfriend, Ray Watkins. Lucy’s damning testimony landed Ray a twenty-five-year sentence. But now, Ray is free. And he’s going to find Lucy and make her pay, no matter how far and how fast she runs . . .
Rayne Taylor found unexpected happiness at St. Cecilia’s, until her roommate, Natalie, committed suicide. Only when Rayne finds a box of mementoes from that time does she realize how wrong she may have been about Natalie’s death—and how far someone will go to keep the truth hidden . . .
Erin MacDonald remembers little about the long-ago night she and her sister, Anna Beth, were kidnapped. While Erin was found safe, Anna Beth vanished forever. Now Erin has reluctantly come back to the family estate, where Detective Rafe Montego hopes to finally crack the case. But as flashes of Erin’s memory reemerge, she learns how deep the danger goes . . .
This book is actually three short stories woven together.  There is a common thread which weaves each of these stories together  and the the stories complimented each other well  Each of the stories had its own twists and turns and pulled off a reveal at the end which I didn’t see coming.

Secrets at the Last House Before the Sea by Liz Eeles

From the attic of Driftwood House there are stunning views of the deep green sea and sapphire sky. But Rosie can’t tear her eyes away from the faded photograph in her hands, and the words written on the back that will change everything…
Back in the tiny seaside village of Heaven’s Cove after the death of her mother, all Rosie Merchant wants is to hide her tears, rent out her childhood home, and get back to her ‘real’ life, away from the gossiping villagers and wild Devon weather she escaped from years ago.
She’s surprised to find a smiling man in hiking boots – local farmer Liam – waiting on the stone doorstep. His kind offer to help clear crumbling, isolated Driftwood House is hard to refuse, and despite Rosie’s determination not to let anyone get close, soon they’re walking and laughing together along the clifftops. As clouds scud across the endless sky and green waves crash against the shore, Rosie is reminded that nowhere is more beautiful than home.
Then, up in the attic of Driftwood House, Rosie stumbles across a photo which exposes the heart-stopping truth about how her mother came to live at Driftwood House years ago… and Liam only seems concerned about the implications for his own nearby farm. Did he know this painful secret all along, and should she run from Heaven’s Cove for good? Or will facing up to her devastating family history mean Rosie can finally put down roots in this beautiful place?
I enjoyed this book, it was an easy light read. There is some mystery, romance, beautiful scenery and lots of interesting characters in the village.  

The Sash McCandless Series by Melissa F. Miller 
Book 1: Irreparable Harm

Attorney Sasha McCandless has one ambition: Make partner at the best firm in town. Then a plum assignment plunges her into a world of deceit and danger.

When a commercial flight crashes, killing everyone on board, she's tapped to defend the airline. It's her big chance—high-stakes litigation for an important client. But, as she digs into the evidence, people close to the case start to die.

She discovers the crash was intentional, part of a breathtakingly evil plan. Unsure if she can trust her colleagues with the horrifying truth, she teams up with a federal air marshal, and they race to prevent another airline disaster.

Soon, Sasha finds herself with a brand-new life goal: Stop a madman before he kills her.

The author spends spends a great deal of time describing the hierarchy in a large law firm.  Interesting for some, not so much for me. There were a few surprises along the way, although it was quite predictable and far fetched at times.  It was a good story and made me want to read the next book.         

Book 2: Inadvertent Disclosure

It's been six months since an airplane crash altered the course of attorney Sasha McCandless's professional and personal life. She's now focused on building her solo law practice and tending her budding relationship with federal air marshal Leo Connelly, who helped her stop a madman.

When Sasha drives from Pittsburgh to rural Clear Brook County to argue a discovery motion, she finds a town bitterly divided over the issue of hydrofracking the Marcellus Shale. Outsiders from the oil and gas industry and environmental activists threaten to rip apart the community's fabric.

Then the town's only judge is murdered, and Sasha can't just walk away. As she works to find the killer, she must race to save the town before it fractures beyond repair.

I found the book interesting .  It does a great job of covering what shale mining and land deals can do to a community and also covered the pros and cons of fracking for oil.          


Book 3: Irretrievably Broken

The venerable law firm of Prescott & Talbott is reeling from the murder of partner Ellen Mortenson -- purportedly at the hands of her estranged husband -- when a photograph of the dead woman arrives, her face Xed out and "ONE DOWN" scrawled across the bottom. Within days, a second partner is murdered, her husband also accused.

Sasha doesn't practice criminal defense, so she's suspicious when her former firm asks her to represent Ellen's husband. Owing Prescott a favor, she takes the case and soon finds herself representing not one, but both, of the so-called Lady Lawyer Killers. The long hours jeopardize her relationship with Leo Connelly when he needs her most.

That's the least of Sasha's troubles, though, because what she doesn't know is that the real killer is waging a vendetta for a past case gone wrong. And there's one more lawyer on his list.

The identity of the killer was fairly obvious early on but even so the suspense still built.  The ending left a couple of things hanging and I don’t know whether this will be addressed in an upcoming book or not. I would definitely readdddd the next book in the series when I come across it.

Deadhead and Buried by 

City girl Poppy desperately wants to pay off her debts, quit her dead-end job, find her father… oh, and keep a plant alive. But she knows these are just hopeless dreams—until the day the letter arrives. Suddenly, Poppy is on a train heading deep into the English countryside, to collect a mysterious inheritance. And the last thing she expects to receive is a cottage garden nursery—complete with romantic climbing roses, fragrant herbs, a ginger cat with attitude… and a dead body.
Now she must solve the mystery or risk losing her new home and the chance for a fresh start. But who would want to murder a gardener in a sleepy little village? Could the reclusive inventor have something to do with the killing? What about the brooding crime author next door? And why is her long-lost cousin so desperate for her to sell the cottage?
Poppy might not know her pansies from her petunias but that doesn’t stop her digging for clues. The only problem is, she could be digging her own grave too…
There is an interesting cast of  characters, among which an elderly inventor, a reclusive crime author and an orange tom cat and a terrier. The gardening and plant theme was a very informative touch and well done. The author seems to know a lot about plants with the plant names and information  throughout the book. The mystery was well done, it kept me guessing and surprised me with the murderer, but there are enough clues that looking back it makes sense. 

Murder at the Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon

June 1933. Independent young Kitty Underhay has been left in charge of her family’s hotel, The Dolphin, on the tranquil English coast. She’s expecting her days at the bustling resort to be filled with comfortable chatter with chambermaids as they polish the mahogany desks and glittering candelabras of the elegant foyer. Everything must be perfect for the arrival of a glamourous jazz singer from Chicago and a masked ball that will be the cultural highlight of the season.
But when several rooms are broken into and searched, including Kitty’s own, she quickly realises that something out of the ordinary is afoot at the hotel. Soon rumours are flying in the cozy town that someone is on the hunt for a stolen ruby. A ruby that Kitty’s mother may well have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. And when the break-ins are followed by a series of attacks and murders, including of the town’s former mayoress, it seems the perpetrator will stop at nothing to find it.
Aided by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, the Dolphin’s new security officer, Kitty is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the reputation of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests. Is there a cold-blooded killer under her own roof? And what connects the missing jewel to the mystery from Kitty’s own past?
An excellent mystery with many twists and turns and an unpredictable ending. This is the beginning of a series and I would read more of the books.

Bitter Roots by C.J.Carmichael

Dispatcher Zak Waller prefers working behind the scenes in the Sheriff’s Office of Lost Trail, Montana, but when a newcomer to the sparely populated town is brutally murdered—and the Sheriff is quick to pin the death on an unknown outsider—Zak starts his own private sleuthing.
On the surface Lost Trail is a picture-perfect western town, offering a simple way of life revolving around the local ranches and ski hill, but Zak knows the truth behind the façade. When his old school friend Tiff Masterson, whose family owns a local Christmas tree farm, moves back to town, the two of them join forces to get to the truth about the murder.
This was an interesting read. It's set in a small, ranching town. There was plenty going on within this small town and many of the characters were suspects. The two main characters were interesting, as well as all the secondary characters. This is the first book in a series which I think would be interesting to read the rest of the books.

The Bones of Amoret by Arthur Herbert
Amoret, Texas, 1982. Life along the border is harsh, but in a world where cultures work together to carve a living from the desert landscape, Blaine Beckett lives a life of isolation. A transplanted Boston intellectual, for twenty years locals have viewed him as a snob, a misanthrope, an outsider. He seems content to stand apart until one night when he vanishes into thin air amid signs of foul play.
Noah Grady, the town doctor, is a charming and popular good ol’ boy. He’s also a keeper of secrets, both the town’s and his own. He watches from afar as the mystery of Blaine’s disappearance unravels and rumors fly. Were the incipient cartels responsible? Was it a local with a grudge? Or did Blaine himself orchestrate his own disappearance? Then the unthinkable happens, and Noah begins to realize he’s considered a suspect.
Paced like a lit fuse and full of dizzying plot twists, The Bones of Amoret is a riveting whodunit that will keep you guessing all the way to its shocking conclusion.
I thought this was a great read. There were definitely some twists and turns that I never saw coming!  

Silent Night by Nell Pattison
What happened while they were sleeping?
A school for the deaf takes an overnight trip to the snowy woods. Five teenagers go to sleep, but only four wake up. Leon is missing, and a teacher’s body is found in the forest…
Sign language interpreter Paige Northwood is brought in to help with interrogations. Everyone at the school has a motive for murder – but they all have an alibi.  
As Paige becomes increasingly involved, she suspects there’s something sinister going on. With the clock ticking to find Leon, only one thing is certain: the killer is among them, and ready to strike again…
I thought this was a great murder mystery and recommend it to anyone who would like to read something different from your regular mysteries. There was a lot of information on how difficult it can be for teens who are deaf in a world where everyone can hear.

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

With new arrivals comes new responsibilities...
The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.
For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?
Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he's ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do - forgive his father.
For both Samantha and Josh it's a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.
Well, I definitely learnt a lot about hedgehogs!! This is a book about relationships and sacrifices that have to be made in order to succeed.