Book Review: The Mother-In-Law, by Sally Hepworth

The Mother-In-Law, by Sally Hepworth

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

Published by  St. Martin’s Press on April 23, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense

Format & Length: e-book, 352

Source: Netgalley

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A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation.
Who could possibly want Diana dead?
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?

With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.

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Audiobook Review: The Book of Essie, by Meghan Maclean Weir

The Book of Essie, by Meghan Maclean Weir

The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir

Published by  Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on June 12, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary

Format & Length: audiobook, 11:09:13

Source: library

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A debut novel of family, fame, and religion that tells the emotionally stirring, wildly captivating story of the seventeen-year-old daughter of an evangelical preacher, star of the family’s hit reality show, and the secret pregnancy that threatens to blow their entire world apart.

Esther Ann Hicks–Essie–is the youngest child on Six for Hicks,a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage–and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media–through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell–Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?

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Book Review: Past Due for Murder, by Victoria Gilbert

Past Due for Murder, by Victoria Gilbert

Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Published by Crooked Lane Books on February 12, 2019 (expected)

Series: Blue Ridge Library Mysteries, #3

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, romance

Format & Length: e-book, 304

Source: Netgalley

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Has a curse fallen on the small town of Taylorsford, Virginia? After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle. 

Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first―but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.

The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished―or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.

When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events―and a dead body lying nearby―an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth.

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Book Review: Happiness is a Collage, by Gita V. Reddy

Happiness is a Collage, by Gita V. Reddy

Happiness is a Collage by Gita V. Reddy

Published by author on August 4, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, short stories

Format & Length: e-book, 204

Source: author

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This collection of fifteen stories leads the reader into a world that is at once Indian and universal. The stories explore love, life, loss, and relationships.

A painter derives inspiration from a long lost love. Every night after going to bed, a woman scours a vast desert for her missing husband. A young woman strides through two worlds. A son experiences the miracle of his father’s immense love. An actor’s wife struggles to keep her husband from slipping into his reel life. And a busy professional tries to factor in pregnancy and motherhood into her hectic life.

Among those traversing this space are a henpecked billionaire, a homeless boy, a middle-aged wife dealing with infidelity, and a seeker finding solace with a lion and a deer.

Happiness is a Collage follows the author’s well-received collection, A Tapestry of Tears.

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Book Review: The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Published by Wednesday Books on January 15, 2019 (expected)

Series: The Gilded Wolves, #1

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 464

Source: Netgalley

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Set in a darkly glamorous Paris, the book follows a charismatic but cursed heir of a massive fortune as he plots to steal one of three ancient and powerful artifacts of fate. He and his crew will navigate the elite gatherings of secret occult societies, traveling through Paris’ catacombs where they must confront their worst secrets as well as a destiny they never imagined.

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Book Review: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot's Christmas, by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Published by HarperPaperbacks  in December 1992 (first published December 19, 1938)

Series: Hercule Poirot, #20

Genre(s): fiction, classics, crime,  mystery

Format & Length: paperback, 243

Source: purchased

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Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense–creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters–brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to audio. In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, the holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder–and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case. The wealthy Simeon Lee has demanded that all four of his sons–one faithful, one prodigal, one impecunious, one sensitive–and their wives return home for Christmas. But a heartwarming family holiday is not exactly what he has in mind. He bedevils each of his sons with barbed insults and finally announces that he is cutting off their allowances and changing his will. Poirot is called in the aftermath of Simeon Lee’s announcement.

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Book Review: Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes, by Keira Gillett

Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper's Golden Shoes, by Keira Gillett

Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes by Keira Gillett

Published by author on July 1, 2016

Series: Zaria Fierce, #3

Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, middle grade

Format & Length: e-book, 300

Source: author

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“Nothing can save you now, Princess.”

How can anyone be tricked twice? Isn’t there even a saying about that? Zaria Fierce is determined to get things right this time and with the Drakeland Sword in her possession she’s ready to take on trolls, dragons, and whatever else may come… but first she and her friends are going to have to figure out just how much trouble they’re in at home.

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Book Review: No Mercy, by Joanna Schaffhausen

No Mercy, by Joanna Schaffhausen

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

Published by Minotaur Books on January 15, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: ebook, 320

Source: Netgalley

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Police officer Ellery Hathaway and FBI profiler Reed Markham take on two difficult new cases in this stunning follow-up to The Vanishing Season.

No Mercy is award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen’s heart-pounding second novel.

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the Spider-Man-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.

Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job—stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own—a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.

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Book Review: An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Published by St. Martin’s Press on January 8, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 384

Source: Netgalley

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The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us.

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

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Book Review: Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield

Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on December 4, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, mystery

Format & Length: e-book, 480

Source: Netgalley

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From the instant #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “eerie and fascinating” (USA TODAYThe Thirteenth Tale comes a richly imagined, powerful new novel about how we explain the world to ourselves, ourselves to others, and the meaning of our lives in a universe that remains impenetrably mysterious.

A body always tells a story—but this child’s was a blank page.

Rita reached for the lantern on its hook. She trained its light on the child’s face.

‘Who are you?’ she murmured, but the face said as little as the rest of her. It was impossible to tell whether, in life, these blunt and unfinished features had borne the imprint of prettiness, timid watchfulness, or sly mischief. If there had once been curiosity or placidity or impatience here, life had not had time to etch it into permanence.

Only a very short time ago—two hours or not much more—the body and soul of this little girl had still been securely attached. At this thought, and despite all her training, all her experience, Rita found herself suddenly in the grip of a storm of feeling. All the old rage at God—for not being kind, for not being fair, and finally for just not being—swept her up all over again and she felt tears of anger on her face. She took the child’s hand in hers—the perfect hand with its five perfect fingers and their perfect fingernails—and the words fell out of her that she had not known were there:

‘It should not be so! It should not be so!’

And that is when it happened.

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