The Vanished Days – Book Review

Scotland, 1707. Queen Anne’s commissioners have begun paying out money sent up from London to settle the losses and wages owed to Scots who took part in the disastrous Darien expedition eight years earlier, an ill-fated venture that left Scotland all but bankrupt. When the young widow of a Darien sailor comes forward to collect her husband’s wages, her claim is challenged. One of the men assigned to investigate has […]

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My Favorite Book of 2021

Angle of Repose may be the best book I have ever read. Wallace Stegner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel traces the fortunes of four generations of one family as they attempt to build a life for themselves in the American West. Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents’ remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America’s western frontier. But his […]

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The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child – Book Review

“As much as we all like happy endings, the trust is we are all works in progress with broken pieces and, hopefully, with repairs. We win, we lose, we carry on. We soar, we crash, we pick ourselves up. Or not. The choice is always our own.” – Tana Amen, The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child. I read Tana Amen’s book just after Thanksgiving and was inspired by her […]

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The Heron’s Cry – Book Review

North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder—Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter’s broken vases. Then another body is found—killed in a similar way. Matthew must tread […]

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Sousanna: The Lost Daughter – Book Review

“I came to understand that people must often make desperate decisions in desperate times; that we cannot scorn someone without understanding what brought that person to that place; that good people sometimes make bad decisions; that words spoken over children have lasting effects on their destiny; and most of all, that war, love, greed, desperation, and determination each have effects that last for generations.”—Sousanna Stratmann, Sousanna: The Lost Daughter. Five-year-old […]

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The Women with the Blue Star – Book Review

1942. Sadie Gault is eighteen and living with her parents amid the horrors of the Kraków Ghetto during World War II. When the Nazis liquidate the ghetto, Sadie and her parents seek refuge in the perilous sewers beneath the city. Ella Stepanek is an affluent Polish girl living with her stepmother, who has developed close alliances with the occupying Germans. Longing for her fiancé, who has gone off to war, […]

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November Reads – Lots to Enjoy

Here you go fellow travelers, the books I read in November. It’s a lighter list than is typical for me, but Thanksgiving with the family is a more about food and fun than reading, right? This month I discovered many new authors—Karin Slaughter, Sunjeev Sahota, Erin Bartels, Alison Gaylin, Steve Pope, Emma Brodie, David R. Boyd, and Adele Myers—the advantage of receiving advance reader copies. Some of them I will definitely […]

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The Judge’s List – Book Review

Lacy Stoltz is tired of her work for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct and ready for a change. Then she meets a mysterious woman who is so frightened she uses several aliases. Jeri Crosby’s father was murdered twenty years earlier in a case that remains unsolved and that has grown stone cold. But Jeri has a suspect whom she has become obsessed with and has stalked for two decades. […]

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Thirst for Justice – Book Review

Michael MacDougall is a talented trauma surgeon whose life in Seattle is slowly unraveling. Frustrated as an ER doctor and with his marriage in trouble, he volunteers with a medical aid charity in the Congo. Once back home in Seattle, he is haunted by his experiences in Africa and what he sees as society’s failure to provide humanitarian aid to those who most desperately need it. Locked in a downward […]

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The Forest of Vanishing Stars – Book Review

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, Yona finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted; however, she encounters a group of Jewish refugees in the forest and shows them how to evade the Nazis and survive the harsh winters. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and […]

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