Monday, April 1, 2024

Books 7-11

 A Friend of the Family by Stuart Field

Families are dying. No matter how hard DCI Platt tries, he's not seeing a pattern; not even after his own wife and daughter are targeted. Young Melanie has forgotten what life outside Larksford House was like. She's been in for so long. But when Toby joins the team, she starts to remember. She really shouldn't be there. Professor Hicks is delighted that Toby has made the breakthrough for him. It might actually allow Hicks to improve his own fortunes. Bill Brown sells security; his business improves with every strike of the family killer. As fear in the community grows, Bill's ability to gain a stranger's trust comes to the fore. But what is he hiding? As the clock ticks, can Platt get closer to the killer, and will Melanie remember the truth?

You would think that with the length of the book and number of chapters there would have been a few things resolved, even though there is another book in the series. I did enjoy this book but the ending left much to be desired!

Something really major, for me, in this book was the need for a proof reader. There were so many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors that it became quite distracting

Homecoming by Kate Morton

Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek on the grounds of the grand and mysterious mansion, a local delivery man makes a terrible discovery. A police investigation is called and the small town of Tambilla becomes embroiled in one of the most shocking and perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia.
Sixty years later, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for almost twenty years, she now finds herself laid off from her full-time job and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother, Nora, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and been raced to the hospital.
Nora has always been a vibrant and strong presence: decisive, encouraging, young despite her years. When Jess visits her in the hospital, she is alarmed to find her grandmother frail and confused. It’s even more alarming to hear from Nora's housekeeper that Nora had been distracted in the weeks before her accident and had fallen on the steps to the attic—the one place Jess was forbidden from playing in when she was small.
At loose ends in Nora's house, Jess does some digging of her own. In Nora's bedroom, she discovers a true crime book, chronicling the police investigation into a long-buried tragedy: the Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959. It is only when Jess skims through the book that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this once-infamous crime—a crime that has never been resolved satisfactorily. And for a journalist without a story, a cold case might be the best distraction she can find…
I have read all of Kate Mortons books and usually enjoy them but I found this one really dragged. In fact I was quite bored in parts. I think it could have been condensed into 300 pages instead of 500. I found the last 100 pages, for the most part, beyond belief.

The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery

When fate brings three strangers to a charming space for lease on the California coast, the Boardwalk Bookshop is born. Part bookstore, part gift shop, part bakery, it's a dream come true for Bree, Mikki and Ashley. But while their business is thriving, their personal lives are…not.
Bree, wounded by brilliant but cold parents and her late husband's ultimate betrayal, has sworn to protect her heart at all costs. Even from Ashley's brother, a writer and adventurer who has inspired millions. He's the first man to see past Bree's barricades to her true self, which terrifies her. Mikki has this divorce thing all figured out—somehow, she's stayed friends with her ex and her in-laws…until a new man changes how everyone looks at her, and how she sees herself. Meanwhile, Ashley discovers that the love of her life never intends to marry. Can she live without being a wife if it means she can have everything else she's ever wanted?
At sunset every Friday on the beach in front of the Boardwalk Bookshop, the three friends share a champagne toast. As their bond grows closer, they challenge one another to become the best versions of themselves in this heartachingly beautiful story of friendship, sisterhood and the transformative power of love.
Easy read, very predictable but I enjoyed it.

The Girls of Mersey Square by Pam Howes

Mersey Square, Stockport, 1959. Jane Wilson’s parents met during the war in the north of England, but Jane is more interested in listening to the new rock music than hearing stories about the Blitz. When she meets handsome drummer Eddie Mellor, with his sparkling blue eyes and cool black leather jacket, she knows her life is about to start.
But Jane’s parents think Eddie’s rebellious ways will lead their beloved daughter into trouble. They forbid her from seeing Eddie, telling Jane to get a proper job as a nurse. But Jane cannot stand the idea of life without the boy she loves and secretly continues to see Eddie. The day she finds out that Eddie has betrayed her, she is utterly distraught. Were her parents right all along?
Jane is desperate to rebuild her life. Her friends rally round to support her and she gets a job at the local music shop she loves, when to her shock, Eddie invites her to his family home and begs her to reconsider. Just as Jane is feeling tempted, someone pounds on the door of the house bringing shocking news that will change both of their lives forever…
Can Jane find happiness with Eddie? And if she does, will her family ever forgive her?

This is a story about randy, horny boys and silly, niave girls all between the ages of 14 and 17. The ending was a bit abrupt obviously ending that way so you will buy the next book.  If it comes up free on my book app I'll read the next one.

Her Sister's Death by K.L.Murphy

When her sister is found dead in a Baltimore hotel room, reporter Val Ritter’s world is turned upside down. What’s worse—an empty pill bottle at the scene leads the police to believe the cause of death is suicide. With little more than her own conviction, Val teams up with a retired detective who has his own personal interest in the case.
But digging into the corners of her sister’s life and retracing her last days, will lead them to the hotel’s dark, sordid history. In 1921, another guest on the brink of womanhood, will soon marry an eligible older man, sure to be a comfortable match—or is it?
With time running short, Val races to uncover the truth behind her connection to the woman in 1921, and the detective who knows more than he should about her sister, the hotel, and its sinister secrets.
There were two timelines in this book. One was present day and one in the 1920s. How the two events are connected don't come together until the end of the book. The present day story line kept me guessing until pretty close to the end.  The 1920s storyline was pretty brutal and hard to read but I wish that part of the story had gone on longer than it did. I did like this book and would read another book by this author.


  1. Disappointing to hear that the Morton book was a bit of a drag. I've enjoyed her books in the past.
    The Mallery book is one I call summer reading - great for the beach or a camping trip.
    The last one, however, sounds quite good. I'll have to make a note of it.

    1. I agree with everything you said. I needed a light, quick read after the Morton one.

  2. Thanks for another list of books to read. I like your critiques

    1. Thank you. Can you get very many books in English in your part of the world?

  3. I have loved Morton's books, but if this one isn't up to par, I think I will leave it alone.

    God bless.