Friday, January 19, 2018

The Boggart Fights Back by Susan Cooper

Set in Scotland, this is the story of a developer who only sees what money he can make from a development.  He's bought the farm that was there, is working on buying the castle, and he makes their grandfather a generous offer for his little grocery store on the water front.  But grandpa isn't selling.  So the man intends to drive him out.  The problem is that he doesn't understand that some of the legends in Scotland are real...

Margaret K. McElderry Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 27th.

Allie and Jay are visiting and they are willing to help their grandfather fight back.  They take around petitions, remove the ribbons from trees that are to be cut, and eventually ask the boggarts for help.  The noise from the developers construction and destruction has awakened the sleeping boggarts.  They are shapeshifters.  One of them had been the Loch Ness monster for a while but now they are almost invisible and only have shapes when they take them.

The boggarts begin by scaring him with Nessie but all that does is inspire him to build quicker and more.  They come up with other ideas and they get scarier as they go.

All's well that ends well, but the best part is that the boggarts aren't done bothering him.  If he has another close up encounter with them, he might even retire...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley

CeCe is adopted and has five sisters.  She's very different from them because Pa Salt brought her home from Australia.  She and her sisters are devastated after their father's death.  They still have Ma, but Pa was their champion.  CeCe drops out of the college art classes and thinks about what she wants to do next.  She decides to look for her family.  After all, she has a picture from the past.  Maybe that will help...

Atria Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

What she finds is that her relatives in Australia were amazing.  She's of mixed blood and it shows but she's content with who she is.  She decides to visit Australia and trace the parts she can.  On the way, she meets a man who intrigues her and she stays with him.  She even thinks she might love him.  But she's going to Australia to look for her heritage so she leaves.  She invites him to come with her but he's hiding out and won't come now.  She asks one of his guards to develop her film and she'll live to regret that.

The story is part hers and part her great grandmother's.  It's fascinating to see how Australia was in the past.  I also found CeCe to be a complex interesting character.  She's not sure about her sexual orientation but she's open minded about it.  She has a love of painting and finds that Australia opens the door for her and her painting is even better than it was before.  All in all, this is great historical read with joy and sorrow both intertwined.  CeCe is going to do have a good life.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lucy Castor Finds Her Sparkle by Natasha Lowe

Lucy spent her summer with her relatives and is back and ready to go to school.  She can't wait to see her best friend again.  They work on magic together.  But her friend has changed.  She's joined a new group and isn't interesting in the games they used to play.  Now Lucy is all alone again and hates it.  She gets invited to be a sparkle girl but that's not what she wants to do.  So she sits at lunch alone...

Paula Wiseman Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 20th.

I could feel Lucy's pain.  When I went to parochial school, all the girls were from the city but one.  We country ones became friends but the others already had their own friends.  Then for a few years her parents couldn't pay the fees and I was alone.  It's not fun.

Lucy is lucky, though.  She finds two unusual friends who are much nicer than she imagined.  One of them reads all the time and one of them is her neighbor girl who is older and weird.  She never imagined weird could be nice.

Lucy's biggest problem was that she didn't like change.  So when her mother is sick and then her parents make the announcement another baby was coming, she's not thrilled.

Lucy has lots of adventures this year and she's learning to almost accept change.  Some of us still have that lesson to learn. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn

When Stoker's expedition partner from the past suddenly goes missing with a valuable diadem, it's beginning to look like Stoker might be charged with murder.  After all, he was back in the local area with his wife, who used to be Stoker's wife...

Berkley sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published January 16th.

Veronica Speedwell is not a shy retiring Victorian lady.  She's full of spit and vinegar and cares less about what people think of her.  But she's fond of Stoker and she doesn't like him being maligned.  Then the owner of the diadem asks them to look into the case.  She's happy to!

This story started a bit slow and didn't really build up momentum until you read over half of it.  But once it begins moving, I couldn't set it down.  The man who asks them to investigate used to have a partner, so he's on their list.  Veronica tells Stoker they need to talk to his ex-wife.  He's not happy about that.  It's a good thing he goes, though, or she wouldn't have found anything out.  His ex-wife is a good actress.

The story is full of human foibles, greed, thievery, and regret.  The criminal was closer than you might think.  

One thing I'm really enjoying is watching Stoker and Veronica dancing around each other.  They're falling in love but they don't want to admit it.  She almost told him at the end of the story but they were interrupted.  I hope the next book continues the romance.

I love this series and this is another good read.  Veronica gets my vote for being smart and not being afraid of danger.  If you haven't met her yet, start with the first book and watch her in action.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Claws for Concern by Miranda James

Charlie loves his new grandson and between volunteering at the library and then babysitting, his life is full.  Diesel helps him with the babysitting.  He's always loved the library so it's no hardship.  When he sees a new patron, he thinks he looks familiar, but he's no one he knows.  Then he finds out that they are related...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 20th.

Discretely working around what he's been told by the man, he finds that his uncle, who had been briefly married to another woman before he married his aunt, had had a child with the first woman.  She didn't tell him.  When he finds out where the man is living, he thinks he should probably let the man stay with him.  His aunt would have.  But first he wants to make sure he won't bring trouble with him.  Unfortunately, he has been involved with law.

Twenty years ago, a whole family was killed.  He was accused of being the killer but there was no proof.  Everyone involved with the case is keeping their silence.  But when someone tries to kill the man in town, Charlie gets involved.  Something is going on with the cold case and he wants to get to the bottom of it.  He still can't learn anything from the man, so he starts trying to track down other people familiar with the case.

This is the tale of dysfunctional family that finally blew up.  The facts were put together almost backwards, so it's hard to sort out.  It's a good thing Diesel can set him straight.  Charlie comes close to death himself.  

It's a good read with Charlie, Diesel, and his loving family around him.  It's funny what people will do in high stress situations.  Then they pay their whole life for it.  Read it as a cautionary tale...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

When they graduated from college, they went on a vacation to celebrate.  Celebrate they did and some of them hooked up in relationships, but it would come back to haunt them later in life.  Finding a dead body in a well will do that for you...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 20th.

This was a very interesting read.  It looks back at the personalities of the students, the things they wanted in the past, and how much they want to save what they have at the present time.  They've changed.  Some for the better, some for the worst.  But if the French girl never left, who was on the video camera footage wearing her clothes?  And if a stranger didn't kill her, it must have been one of the group.

There's a real chameleon in the batch.  It is determined to get all it wants no matter who gets hurt on the way.  It's hard to realize that someone would kill for that.  It's even harder when you are looking at all your friends and trying to figure out who could have done it.

Add in the ghost of the dead girl who happens to be haunting Kate and it gets even more interesting.

I had no clue who it was until it was almost too late.  What's worse is that the killer can't be convicted.  There's not enough proof.  But, not to worry.  Karma comes around and justice prevails.

This story is haunting me a bit but at least I don't see ghosts...

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Snake Mistake Mystery: The Great Mistake Mysteries by Sylvia McNicoll

His father is running a dog walking business and Stephen and his good friend, Renee, work for him.  They love the dogs, have fun walking around town and they use liver treats to make them behave.  All is going well until someone accuses the father of stealing from the houses.  He has the keys and they weren't broken into so it had to be him, right?

Dundurn and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 20th.

Stephen knows his dad didn't do it.  So he and Renee start looking for clues.  Renee's brother gets in trouble for graffiti and part of it wasn't his.  They are trying to find a pet to feed him and eventually they realize the snake is missing.  (They didn't even know it was a snake.)  Renee decides to adopt a mouse.

There's lot of action, fact finding is confusing but at the end, Stephen works out what happened and gathers the involved people together to tell them.  He manages to turn a disaster into good promotion for the company and that's a win win for them!