The 6:20 Man

  I’ve read twenty-seven books written by David Baldacci, some I gave two stars, some earned five. I’m thinking four stars is just right for The 6:20 Man. Every day without fail, former Army Ranger Travis Devine boards the 6:20 commuter train to Manhattan, where he works as an entry-level analyst at Cowl and Comely, the city’s most prestigious investment firm. He gazes out the train window at the lavish homes of the uberwealthy, dreaming about joining their ranks. Then one morning Devine receives an anonymous, untraceable message which reads: “She is dead.” Sara Ewes, Devine’s coworker and former girlfriend, is found hanging in a storage room of his office […]

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Carrie Soto is Back

  I’ve never been much of a tennis fan, although I took the obligatory tennis lessons at Wesley Park several summers through community ed and then married into a tennis crazed family of jocks. Despite my lack of athleticism, Carrie Soto is Back was engrossing from start to finish. Author Taylor Jenkins Reid delivers another ace. When Carrie Soto retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. But six years later, she sits in the stands of the 1994 US Open as Nicki Chan ties her record. At thirty-seven years old, Carrie comes out […]

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Overkill

Former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Zach Bridger is shocked to receive a call from the hospital about his ex-wife, Rebecca Pratt, who is on life-support following a violent assault. He hasn’t seen her since their volatile marriage fell apart five years earlier—why does he still have medical power-of-attorney? Zach must make an impossible choice: keep her on life support or pull the plug. Unable to decide, he walks away, and her vegetative state continues. Two years later, Rebecca’s attacker gets an early release from prison. State prosecutor Kate Lennon is determined to put him back behind bars. But that would take a murder charge, and the only way to do […]

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October 2022 Picks and Pans

  Hello fellow book lovers! For me, October was a month filled with reading variety: historical fiction, contemporary fiction, historical mystery, thriller, Christian fiction (and straight-up-fiction, of course). Most of my books were advance reader copies from publishers, but I enjoyed catch-up books in a couple series. My total isn’t very impressive this month… I started reading Shogun by James Clavell, which comes in at staggering 1,140 pages, but I didn’t finish. It’s a slow read and a definite time suck. Not sure if and when I’ll finish it. I turned on comments for this post… I’d love to hear your thoughts on these books! I’ll be transitioning to video […]

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Pardonable Lies

  This is my third book in the bestselling Maisie Dobbs series. She is a winning heroine; I love her gumption, especially for the era in which she is a detective, her investigative skills, and the plots of these terrific historical mysteries. In Pardonable Lies, Maisie is embroiled in three cases. First, proving 13-year-old Avril Jarvis innocent of first-degree murder in the death of her uncle. Second, verifying that Sir Cecil Lawton’s pilot son Ralph was killed in a plane crash during the Great War. Third, looking into the circumstances of the death of her college friend Priscilla Evernden Partridge’s brother during the war. Maisie faces grave danger and emotional […]

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Blowback

  James Patterson is hit or miss with me. This one was a hit in my book. Imagine this: the president of the United States is brilliant but has also lost his mind. Farfetched? Clearly not! President Keegan Barrett, the former director of the CIA, has a dangerous skill set. Six months into his first term, he devises a clandestine power grab to get revenge. He orders Special Agents Liam Grey and Noa Himel to execute his plan, even though the Central Intelligence Agency is forbidden to operate on American soil. As CIA agents, they’ve sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all threats, foreign […]

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The Ways We Hide

This wonderful novel maintained my interest from the first sentence. Unlike so many WWII novels I’ve read, The Ways We Hide one isn’t about the British who served as intelligence agents. it’s about an American woman’s involvement with MI9 (which I knew nothing about). MI9, the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9, was a highly secret department of the War Office between 1939 and 1945. Their function was two-fold: to help Allied POWs escape Nazi Germany, and help downed airmen evade capture after being shot down. Fenna Vos grew up on Michigan’s harsh Upper Peninsula. On Christmas Eve, 1913, the union holds a party at the Italian Hall in […]

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The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks

  I’ve always wanted to own a bookstore, so this novel was inspiring. It was not at all what I expected. I worried it would be a political rant about banning “controversial” books, but that wasn’t it at all. When Maggie Banks arrives in tiny Bell River to run her best friend’s struggling bookstore, Maggie expects to sell bestsellers to her small-town clientele. That’s now how things work, though. The town revolves around the legacy of famed writer Edward Bell, and the Bell River literary society bans her from selling anything written after his death in 1968. So, when a series of mishaps spell disaster for the shop, Maggie must […]

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Our Little World

  “A missing child brings together parents and neighbors and search parties and hot casseroles. It’s an ongoing story, with characters and plots and subplots, grief and faith in equal proportions.” ~ Karen Winn, Our Little World. I was glued to the pages of the wonderful coming-of-age book set in the mid-80s. I remember being in seventh grade hanging out at the beach with my friends a decade earlier (even more likely at the Brookview Golf Course pool) and it was a time of fun and innocence. Not so much for Bee and Max. July 1985. It’s a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis when […]

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The Unlocked Path

  The Unlocked Path is a historical novel about a “New Woman” of the early twentieth century: educated, career-minded, independent. In 1897 Philadelphia, after experiencing her aunt’s suicide, Eliza Edwards vows to help and heal. In her social circle, a young woman’s chief goal was to debut in society, but Eliza isn’t interested in such a traditional role. Instead, she enters medical college when only five percent of doctors are female. With the support of a team of women and driven by a determination to conquer curriculum demands, battle sexism, and overcome doubts, Eliza charts her life’s trajectory. Author Janis Robinson Daly was inspired to write her debut novel after conducting […]

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