Intrigue and Secrets in a Kentish Village

“There was something about even the smallest fire that was more unsettling than other crimes of a similar caliber. The match idly thrown on tinder can become an all- consuming blaze, while sparks ignored can envelop a mansion if left unchecked. And flame ignited for the sake of malicious damage strikes at the very heart of individual and collective fear, for isn’t fire the place where the devil resides?”—Jacqueline Winspear, An Incomplete Revenge. Set in 1931 during an economic downturn, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear follows psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs as she tackles a puzzling case in the picturesque village of Heronsdene, Kent. Every year, during the bustling […]

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November 2022 Picks and Pans

  Another month of reading came and went, and so did my deadline for writing this post! Oh well, I hope you find something to love here.   Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid “We live in a world where exceptional women have to sit around waiting for mediocre men.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, 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. When Carrie Soto retires […]

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Messenger of Truth

  Once again, Maisie Dobbs did not disappoint. I love historical mysteries, and author Jacqueline Winspear gets extra points for having the detective be a woman, which in 1931 would have been unprecedented. It was a 2006 Agatha Award Nominee for Best Novel—always a good sign. (Incidentally, Louise Penny has won the award seven times.) Nicholas Bassington-Hope was commissioned to paint war propaganda after sustaining injuries in combat. On the night before the opening of his exhibition at a celebrated Mayfair art gallery, he falls from a scaffolding to his death. The police rule it an accident, but the dead man’s twin sister suspects foul play. Where is the painting […]

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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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The Best Mystery Novels of all Time

The Best Mystery Novels of All Time Gumshoes, investigators, flatfoots, private eyes, sleuths, G-men. There are plenty of names for detectives and plenty of ways they catch crooks in the written word and on the screen. I much prefer a mystery novel because I can envision the characters and settings rather than having them imagined for me. If you love to read this genre, too, you’re in good company. Most critics and scholars agree that the first modern mystery was penned by Edgar Allan Poe. His short story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, was first published in the April 1841 issue of Graham’s Magazine. Nearly twenty years after Poe’s […]

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May Reads

June is upon us, so it is time to post my reviews of the books I read in May, a smattering from the historical fiction, thriller, memoir, mystery, biography, and literary fiction genres. I use Goodreads to track and rate my reading. 5 stars is reserved for rare blew-my-socks-off reads, 4 stars means I enjoyed it and would absolutely recommend. 3 stars is good, but not great. I very rarely rate lower because I do not finish books I’m not enjoying.  The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life by Ann Voskamp This book is for those in need of a renewed revelation of the grace of God. […]

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