Thursday, 27 April 2017

Cover Crush: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!



A special collector's edition of the New York Times bestselling novel that inspired the international hit video game: The Witcher.

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin.

And a cold-blooded killer.

His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world.

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good. . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

For fans of the video game and the uninitiated alike, The Last Wish is the opening chapter of The Witcher series.


Some thoughts about the cover:

This is what I want to see when it comes to fantasy novels. A cover with a fire breading dragon. Need I sat more? As a fantasy fan is this pretty much drool worthy...

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Flashlight Commentary
2 Kids and Tired Books
Layered Pages
The Maidens Court
A Literary Vacation
IndieBRAG

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Wishlist April: Historical Fantasy/Horror

I was thinking of making a Sci-fi list this month, but while I was going through my want-to-read list on Goodreads did my thoughts shift towards another direction. So, instead, here are 5 Historical Fantasy/Horror titles that I want!

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Winter, 1862. A malevolent spirit roams the cold and gloomy streets of Victorian London, the vampiric ghost of John Polidori, the onetime physician of the mad, bad and dangerous Romantic poet Lord Byron. Polidori is also the supernatural muse to his niece and nephew, poet Christina Rossetti and her artist brother Dante Gabriel.

But Polidori's taste for debauchery has grown excessive. He is determined to possess the life and soul of an innocent young girl, the daughter of a veterinarian and a reformed prostitute he once haunted. And he has resurrected Dante's dead wife, transforming her into a horrifying vampire. The Rossettis know the time has come – Polidori must be stopped. Joining forces with the girl's unlikely parents, they are plunged into a supernatural London underworld whose existence they never suspected.

These wildly mismatched allies – a strait-laced animal doctor, and ex-prostitute, a poet, a painter, and even the Artful Dodger-like young daughter – must ultimately choose between the banality and constraints of human life and the unholy immortality that Polidori offers. Sweeping from high society to grimy slums, elegant West End salons to pre-Roman catacombs beneath St. Paul's cathedral, Hide Me Among The Graves blends the historical and the supernatural in a dazzling, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride.

The bestselling author of Ilium and Olympos transforms the true story of a legendary Arctic expedition into a thriller worthy of Stephen King or Patrick O'Brian.

Their captain's insane vision of a Northwest Passage has kept the crewmen of The Terror trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw. But the real threat to their survival isn't the ever-shifting landscape of white, the provisions that have turned to poison before they open them, or the ship slowly buckling in the grip of the frozen ocean.

The real threat is whatever is out in the frigid darkness, stalking their ship, snatching one seaman at a time or whole crews, leaving bodies mangled horribly or missing forever. Captain Crozier takes over the expedition after the creature kills its original leader, Sir John Franklin.

Drawing equally on his own strengths as a seaman and the mystical beliefs of the Eskimo woman he's rescued, Crozier sets a course on foot out of the Arctic and away from the insatiable beast. But every day the dwindling crew becomes more deranged and mutinous, until Crozier begins to fear there is no escape from an ever-more-inconceivable nightmare.

A thrilling tale of high-altitude death and survival set on the snowy summits of Mount Everest, from the bestselling author of The Terror 

It's 1924 and the race to summit the world's highest mountain has been brought to a terrified pause by the shocking disappearance of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine high on the shoulder of Mt. Everest. By the following year, three climbers -- a British poet and veteran of the Great War, a young French Chamonix guide, and an idealistic young American -- find a way to take their shot at the top. They arrange funding from the grieving Lady Bromley, whose son also disappeared on Mt. Everest in 1924. Young Bromley must be dead, but his mother refuses to believe it and pays the trio to bring him home. 

Deep in Tibet and high on Everest, the three climbers -- joined by the missing boy's female cousin -- find themselves being pursued through the night by someone . . . or something. This nightmare becomes a matter of life and death at 28,000 feet - but what is pursuing them? And what is the truth behind the 1924 disappearances on Everest? As they fight their way to the top of the world, the friends uncover a secret far more abominable than any mythical creature could ever be. A pulse-pounding story of adventure and suspense, The Abominable is Dan Simmons at his spine-chilling best.

In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret–She’s Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won’t rest until they’ve taken the magic that keeps her alive….

In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess’ malady, is the magic that might be able to save her…

As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee’s assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying.

Cora and her husband hunt things – things that shouldn’t exist.

When the marshal of Leadville, Colorado, comes across a pair of mysterious deaths, he turns to Cora to find the creature responsible. But if Cora is to overcome the unnatural tide threatening to consume the small town, she must first confront her own tragic past as well as her present.





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Want to see more wishlist?
Check out these that my friends have posted:

Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Travel through the lush English countryside and explore the magnificent estates of the British aristocracy in this next spellbinding love story in The Seven Sisters series by #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.

Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life...

As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.


**********

The Shadow Sister is book three The Seven Sisters series. I had wanted to read this series from the beginning and I was a bit unsure how it would go starting with book three. But, despite some mentionings from the previous book did I find this book to work as a stand-alone. Although now I really want to read the previous two books!

I found the title of this book to be very fitting, both the main characters in the present time Star D'Aplièse and Flora MacNichol that lived in the beginning of the 20th-century are both shadow sisters. They both have to find their own way in life. Star by daring to finally break free from living her life in symbiosis with her sister CeCe and Flora who has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful younger sisters will one day have to choose between her own happiness or her sisters.

I got very engaged in both Star's and Flora's lives. Sure there were times I wanted to scream at them to not be stupid and think of themselves, but they are both very undemanding and their love for their sisters makes them make decisions that go against what they really want. I did have moments when I just wanted them both to be a bit more selfish, and tell them to reach for the stars!

The Shadow Sister is a thick book, but absolutely not a dull book. A lot of things are going on, I do admit that I did want the story to get going at a faster pace sometimes, but at the same time, I enjoyed reading about the people in the book. From the bookish Orlando to little Rory, and Mouse who had lost so much in life. And, of course, Star and Flora, both storylines were interesting to follow.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book which seems to be starring CeCe!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo

Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

As the First World War rages in continental Europe, two New York heiresses, Sydney and Brooke Sinclair, are due to set sail for England. Brooke is engaged to marry impoverished aristocrat Edward Thorpe-Tracey, the future Lord Northbrook, in the wedding of the social calendar. Sydney has other adventures in mind; she is drawn to the burgeoning suffragette movement, which is a constant source of embarrassment to her proper sister. As international tempers flare, the German embassy releases a warning that any ships making the Atlantic crossing are at risk. Undaunted, Sydney and Brooke board the Lusitania for the seven-day voyage with Edward, not knowing that disaster lies ahead.

In London, Isabel Nelson, a young woman grateful to have escaped her blemished reputation in Oxford, has found employment at the British Admiralty in the mysterious Room 40. While she begins as a secretary, it isn’t long before her skills in codes and cyphers are called on, and she learns a devastating truth and the true cost of war.

As the days of the voyage pass, these four lives collide in a struggle for survival as the Lusitania meets its deadly fate


**********

Erin Davis review pretty much sums up my feelings for this book. But I guess that I have put down some thoughts I have on the book and not just refer to her splendid review. This is not a book that I liked so it's a pretty negative review...

Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo appealed to me as I'm interested in reading about WW1 and the suffragette movement. I was looking forward to seeing how the author would combine the storyline on the ship and that of the codebreaker Isabel in London. I'm sad to say that the book didn't really manage to satisfy me. I wanted intensity, but what I got was a bombast story with shallow characters and extremely predictable storyline.

The storyline with Isabel was marginally better than the one with the sisters on the ship. Still, the fallen women storyline has been done so many times before and better. Although I did enjoy the part when Mildred, Isabel's nemesis got what she deserved. I always like it when a despicable person gets what she/he deserves. What really troubled me was that Isabel getting an important job and the first thing she does is reading a letter from Churchill, because the envelope wasn't sealed ... seriously? And, when I think about it, shouldn't they have done a better background check on her, now that she has such an important job?

Then we have Sydney and Brooke Sinclair. Sydney is a suffragette fighting for women's rights, at least she is supposed to be it, but it never rings true and mostly she is portrayed as a poor rich girl that pretends to be a suffragette, but I lost all respect for her when she in spite decided to change from first class to third on the ship because she was arguing with her sister. Like a child with a tantrum. Brooke isn't much better, she is rich, but she wants a title and the best way is to find a poor aristocrat and marry him.

Then we have the romance story, oh this one was so easy to see that it's almost laughable. I won't give it away, but you can see right from the start how it all will end.

So, this was not a story to my liking, I persevered until the end, but It's not a book I can recommend. 

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Cover Reveal: Blue Bottle Tree by Beaird Glover


There’s no such thing as Voodoo. At least, that’s what most of the Baptists in Bellin tell themselves. But Seven LaVey knows better.

In a small rural town just outside of Nashville, Voodoo conjures and curses simmer and seethe under the noses of the many who will never know. Seventeen-year-old Seven romanticizes about the meaning of life while held captive as a zombie under the shell of a kiddie pool. He's counting on the strength - and maybe even love - of a certain redheaded clarinet player to save him. But will she?

Filled with betrayal and revenge, two families struggle with a curse that stretches back to Voodoo-ienne Marie Laveau in this contemporary southern gothic adventure. Prepare for a wildly original twist on the paranormal.


Author bio:

Beaird Glover grew up on a farm in rural Tennessee. He graduated from The Evergreen State College of Olympia, Washington, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing. He then moved to Southern California and wrote Secret Ciphers of the 1876 Presidential Election (Aegean Park Press). He has traveled extensively and lived in eleven of the United Sates, and Taipei and Buenos Aires. His poems have been published in the New York Quarterly and his chapbook of poetry was selected by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Top 10 Best of 1994. More recently, he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree from Long Island University in Brooklyn and has worked as a physician assistant. Beaird now lives in New Orleans with his wife Kim and their cats.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray Blog Tour

Her Secret

by Shelley Shepard Gray

on Tour April 17 – 28, 2017

Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

Book Details:

Genre: Amish Fiction
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Number of Pages: 272
ISBN: 006246910X (ISBN13: 9780062469106)
Series: The Amish of Hart County #1

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 2

Someone was coming. After reeling in his line, Isaac Troyer set his pole on the bank next to Spot, his Australian shepherd, and turned in the direction of the noise.
He wasn’t worried about encountering a stranger as much as curious to know who would walk through the woods while managing to disturb every tree branch, twig, and bird in their midst. A silent tracker, this person was not.
Beside him, Spot, named for the spot of black fur ringing his eye, pricked his ears and tilted his head to one side as he, too, listened and watched for their guest to appear.
When they heard a muffled umph, followed by the crack of a branch, Isaac began to grow amused. Their visitor didn’t seem to be faring so well.
He wasn’t surprised. That path was rarely used and notoriously overrun with hollyhocks, poison oak, and ivy. For some reason, wild rosebushes also ran rampant there. Though walking on the old path made for a pretty journey, it also was a somewhat dangerous one, too. Those bushes had a lot of thorns. Most everyone he knew chose to walk on the road instead.
He was just wondering if, perhaps, he should brave the thorns and the possibility of rashes to offer his help—when a woman popped out.
The new girl. Hannah Hilty.
Obviously thinking she was completely alone, she stepped out of the shade of the bushes and lifted her face into the sun. She mumbled to herself as she pulled a black sweater off her light-blue short-sleeved dress. Then she turned her right arm this way and that, frowning at what looked like a sizable scrape on it.
He’d been introduced to her at church the first weekend her family had come. His first impression of her had been that she was a pretty thing, with dark-brown hair and hazel-colored eyes. She was fairly tall and willowy, too, and had been blessed with creamy-looking pale skin. But for all of that, she’d looked incredibly wary.
Thinking she was simply shy, he’d tried to be friendly, everyone in his family had. But instead of looking happy to meet him or his siblings, she’d merely stared at him the way a doe might stare at an oncoming car—with a bit of weariness and a great dose of fear.
He left her alone after that.
Every once in a while he’d see her. At church, or at the market with her mother. She always acted kind of odd. She was mostly silent, sometimes hardly even talking to her parents or siblings. Often, when he’d see her family in town shopping, she usually wasn’t with them. When she was, he’d see her following her parents. With them, yet separate. Silently watching her surroundings like she feared she was about to step off a cliff.
So, by his estimation, she was a strange girl. Weird.
And her actions just now? They seemed even odder. Feeling kind of sorry for her, he got to his feet. “Hey!” he called out.
Obviously startled, Hannah turned to him with a jerk, then froze.
Her unusual hazel eyes appeared dilated. She looked scared to death. Rethinking the step forward he’d been about to do, he stayed where he was. Maybe she wasn’t right in the mind? Maybe she was lost and needed help.
Feeling a little worried about her, he held up a hand. “Hey, Hannah. Are you okay?”
But instead of answering him, or even smiling back like a normal person would, she simply stared.
He tried again. “I’m Isaac Troyer.” When no look of recognition flickered in her eyes, he added, “I’m your neighbor. We met at church, soon after you moved in. Remember?”
She clenched her fists but otherwise seemed to be trying hard to regain some self-control. After another second, color bloomed in her cheeks. “I’m Hannah Hilty.”
“Yeah. I know.” Obviously, he’d known it. Hadn’t she heard him say her name? He smiled at her, hoping she’d see the humor in their conversation. It was awfully intense for two neighbors having to reacquaint themselves. By his reckoning, anyway.
She still didn’t smile back. Actually, she didn’t do much of anything at all, besides gaze kind of blankly at him.
Belatedly, he started wondering if something had happened to her on her walk. “Hey, are you okay? Are you hurt or something?”
Her hand clenched into a fist. “Why do you ask?”
Everything he wanted to say sounded mean and rude. “You just, uh, seem out of breath.” And she was white as a sheet, looked like she’d just seen a monster, and could hardly speak.
Giving her an out, he said, “Are you lost?”
“Nee.”
He was starting to lose patience with her. All he’d wanted to do was sit on the bank with Spot and fish for an hour or two, not enter into some strange conversation with his neighbor girl.
“Okay, then. Well, I was just fishing, so I’m going to go back and do that.”
Just before he turned away, she took a deep breath. Then she spoke. “I’m sorry. I know I’m not making any sense.”
“You’re making sense.” Kind of. “But that said, you don’t got anything to be sorry for. It’s obvious you, too, were looking for a couple of minutes to be by yourself.”
“No, that ain’t it.” After taking another deep breath, she said, “Seeing you took me by surprise. That’s all.” Isaac wasn’t enough of a jerk to not be aware that seeing a strange man, when you thought you were alone, might be scary to a timid girl like her.
“You took me by surprise, too. I never see anyone out here.”
Some of the muscles in her face and neck relaxed. After another second, she seemed to come to a decision and stepped closer to him. “Is that your dog?”
“Jah. His name is Spot, on account of the circle around his eye.”
“He looks to be a real fine hund.” She smiled.
And what a smile it was. Sweet, lighting up her eyes. Feeling a bit taken by surprise, too, he said, “He’s an Australian shepherd and real nice. Would you like to meet him?”
“Sure.” She smiled again, this time displaying pretty white teeth.
“Spot, come here, boy.”
With a stretch and a groan, Spot stood up, stretched again, then sauntered over. When he got to Isaac’s side, he paused. Isaac ran a hand along his back, then clicked his tongue, a sign for Spot to simply be a dog.
Spot walked right over and rubbed his nose along one of Hannah’s hands.
She giggled softly. “Hello, Spot. Aren’t you a handsome hund?” After she let Spot sniff her hand, she ran it along his soft fur. Spot, as could be expected, closed his eyes and enjoyed the attention.
“Look at that,” Hannah said. “He likes to be petted.”
“He’s friendly.”
“Do you go fishing here much?” she asked hesitantly.
“Not as much as I’d like to. I’m pretty busy. Usually, I’m helping my father on the farm or working in my uncle’s woodworking shop.” Because she seemed interested, he admitted, “I don’t get to sit around and just enjoy the day all that much.”
“And here I came and ruined your peace and quiet.”
“I didn’t say that. You’re fine.”
She didn’t look as if she believed him. Actually, she looked even more agitated. Taking a step backward, she said, “I should probably let you get back to your fishing, then.”
“I don’t care about that. I’d rather talk to you.”
Her eyes widened. “Oh?”
“Jah. I mean, we’re neighbors and all.” When she still looked doubtful, he said, “Besides, everyone is curious about you.”
“I don’t know why. I’m just an Amish girl.”
He thought she was anything but that. “Come on,” he chided. “You know what I’m talking about.”
Looking even more unsure, she shook her head.
“First off, I’ve hardly even seen you around town, only on Sundays when we have church. And even then you never stray from your parents’ side. That’s kind of odd.”
“I’m still getting used to being here in Kentucky,” she said quickly.
“What is there to get used to?” he joked. “We’re just a small community in the middle of cave country.”
To his surprise, she stepped back. “I guess getting used to my new home is taking me a while. But that doesn’t mean anything.”
Aware that he’d hurt her feelings, he realized that he should have really watched his tone. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I was just saying that the way you’ve been acting has everyone curious. That’s why people are calling you ‘The Recluse.’ ”
“ ‘The Recluse’?”
“Well, jah. I mean you truly are an Amish woman of mystery,” he said, hoping she’d tease him right back like his older sister would have done.
She did not.
Actually, she looked like she was about to cry, and it was his doing.
When was he ever going to learn to read people better? Actually, he should knock some sense into himself. He’d been a real jerk. “Sorry. I didn’t intend to sound so callous.”
“Well, you certainly did.”
“Ah, you are right. It was a bad joke.”
“I better go.”
Staring at her more closely, he noticed that those pretty hazel eyes of hers looked kind of shimmery, like a whole mess of tears was about to fall. Now he felt worse than bad.“Hey, are you going to be okay getting home? I could walk you back, if you’d like.”
“Danke, nee.”
Reaching out, he grasped Spot by his collar. “I don’t mind at all. It will give us a chance to—”
She cut him off. “I do not want or need your help.” She was staring at him like he was scary. Like he was the type of guy who would do her harm.
That bothered him.
“Look, I already apologized. You don’t need to look at me like I’m going to attack you or something. I’m just trying to be a good neighbor.”
She flinched before visibly collecting herself. “I understand. But like I said, I don’t want your help. I will be fine.”
When he noticed that Spot was also sensing her distress, he tried again even though he knew he should just let her go. “I was done fishing anyway. All I have to do is grab my pole. Then Spot and I could walk with you.”
“What else do I have to say for you to listen to me?” she fairly cried out. “Isaac, I do not want you to walk me anywhere.” She turned and darted away, sliding back into the brush. No doubt about to get covered in more scratches and poison ivy.
Well, she’d finally said his name, and it certainly did sound sweet on her lips.
Too bad she was now certain to avoid him for the rest of her life. He really hoped his mother was never going to hear about how awful he’d just been. She’d be so disappointed.
He was disappointed in himself, and was usually a lot more patient with people. He liked that about himself, too. And this girl? Well, she needed someone, too. But she seemed even afraid of her shadow.
***
Excerpt from Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray. Copyright © 2017 by Shelley Shepard Gray. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
  Shelley Shepard Gray

Author Bio:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Catch Up With Ms. Gray On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !


Tour Participants:


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Wendy Corsi Staub and William Morrow. There will be 2 winners of one $25 Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 15th and runs through May 2nd, 2017. This giveaway is for US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.
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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Decorator Who Knew Too Much by Diane Vallere

The Decorator Who Knew Too Much by Diane Vallere
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Interior Decorator Madison Night accepts an assignment in Palm Springs with handyman Hudson James, she expects designing days and romantic nights. But after spotting a body in the river by the job site, she causes a rift in the team. Add in the strain of recurring nightmares and a growing dependency on sleeping pills, and Madison seeks professional help to deal with her demons.

She learns more about the crime than she’d like thanks to girl talk with friends, pillow talk with Hudson, and smack talk with the local bad boys. And after the victim is identified as the very doctor she’s been advised to see, she wonders if what she knows can help catch a killer. An unlikely ally helps navigate the murky waters before her knowledge destroys her, and this time, what she doesn’t know might be the one thing that saves her life.

**********

I first read a book by Diane Vallere last year (A Disguise to Die For (Costume Shop Mystery, #1)), and I found the book to be charming, just the kind of cozy mystery I like to read. So, when I got the chance to read this one did I not hesitate. I quite like the idea of an interior Decorator that has a thing for Doris Day. 

The Decorator Who Knew Too Much is a great book. I came to like Madison Night quite a lot, I especially liked that she is not a young thing. That she is a mature woman over forty who just stumbles over mysteries like this one in this book. Nowadays it's like all the books I read the main characters (women) are around 20-40 years old. Nothing wrong with that, but I like authors that actually decide to something different from everyone else. Another thing, for a cozy mystery, did the book feel very serious, with Madison dealing with PTSD, seeing a dead body and being mistrusted because no dead body is found and clashing with her boyfriend's brother-in-law among other things. 

But, it worked, there are no gruesome deaths, but at the same time, it has not a silly plot, despite Madison's Doris Day passion (obsession). I quite liked the mystery in this book, even though I did have an inkling of whom was behind it all and was right about that. It was a very good book, perfect when you want a mystery, but have read too many heavy crime novels. 

I found the book to be just to my taste, loved the cover, like the characters, there is a hint of a triangle drama, she had to choose between two men in the previous book or one of the previous books. Did she make the right choice? Well, Hudson, her boyfriend is a nice guy, but I kind of like Tex Allen as well. So, it will be interesting to see what the future will bring because I will definitely read the next book in this series, and the previous as well if I can get them.

I want to thank Liz D Publicity & Promotions for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!


Links:










About Diane Vallere:

Diane Vallere is a former fashion buyer turned mystery writer, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. She is president of Sisters in Crime and writes the Samantha Kidd, Madison Night, Costume Shop, and Lefty-Award Nominated Material Witness Mysteries. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Killer On The Wall by Emma Kavanagh

The Killer On The Wall by Emma Kavanagh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first body comes as a shock

The second brings horror

The third signals the beginning of a nightmare


When fifteen-year-old Isla Bell finds three bodies propped against Hadrian’s Wall, her whole world falls apart. In such a close-knit community, everyone knows the victims, and the man who did it.

Twenty years on and Isla has dedicated her life to forensic psychology; studying the brains of serial killers, and even coming face to face with the convicted murderer who turned her world upside down. She is safe after all, with him behind bars.

Then another body appears against the Wall.

And another.

As the nightmare returns and the body count rises, everyone in town is a suspect.

Who is the Killer on the Wall?


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The Killer On The Wall is a chilling story about Isla Bell, a young girl that finds three bodies propped against Hadrian's wall. This will have a great impact on her life. She will, later on, dedicate her life studying the brains of serial killers, in hope that one day she will find what makes a person a killer. Then, 20 years later a body is found propped up against the wall, and then another.

I found The Killer On The Wall the be interesting to read. There are several POV's in this book, among them are Isla, her husband who survived the first attack 20 years ago, and her father who caught the killer. But, the one person I think I liked the best was Mina, a young cop that has been transferred from London to Briganton to get away from her overbearing family. Now she faces a nightmare with a serial killer loose.

I read The Missing Hours by the same author last year and I think this book is better. This story was much more interesting and all these different characters make this story engrossing to read. The ending was perhaps not that surprising since there is just not many suspects to chose from anymore. However, I found it fitting because even though one can know a person well, can even the best of us be blind when it comes to seeing things...

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!