women sleuths, crime, mystery, psychological
Having lived his life suspected of being a serial killer, Carl Louis Feldman begins his journey into old age at a nursing home in Texas. Though he was never charged with any crimes, the staff aren't sorry to see him go when his estranged daughter arrives to take her father on what could be his last road trip. When Carl protests that this is not his daughter at all, the nurses are all too ready to excuse it as a product of his deteriorating mind. Were those suspicions about him true? Does he know where the missing women are buried? And if he is an honest man, who has just driven him away from safety?
A disturbing but strangely compelling story.
I kept not wanting to read further, but yet I did, because I could not stop myself.
The narrator is seriously flawed/damaged from the disappearance of her older sister and her journey with the man she believed killed her sister is such a strange thing to do. she is truly paranoid – but who does she think is following her?
Yes, we do find out the truth – but which truth? And as for Carl, well he has a lot of truths doesn’t he?
Sally Red Shoes
death, bereavement, romance, literary fiction
(3 May 2018)
Masha's life has stopped. Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds solace in the silent company of the souls of her local Victorian cemetery and at the town's lido, where she seeks refuge underwater - safe from the noise and the pain.
But a chance encounter with two extraordinary women - the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl-turned-magician's wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice - opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again. But just as Masha dares to imagine the future, the past comes roaring back ...
Like her bestselling debut, The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan's second novel introduces a cast of wonderful characters, both ordinary and charmingly eccentric, who guide us through a moving exploration of the simple human connections that make life worth living.
In homage to this book I visited Abney Garden cemetery. This is technically an Arboretum and was planted with 2500 trees when first opened, many of them being unusual species brought in by the local nurseryman in Stokey, who at that time had the largest greenhouse in Europe. Sadly, after around 100 years of business, his business collapsed and the greenhouse is no more.
I took a photo of my take on the Inebriated Field and also the most wonderful Davidia tree – aka the Handkerchief tree in full flower – a rare site and never one to be timed but lucky happenstance.
The leafy paths were full of dog walkers, in particular a lovely chocolate lab who wanted to walk with us rather than his owner!
And – well, Lidos are clearly an ‘in’ topic having just The Lido and they are very cold indeed when outdoors.
[ Fun fact: New Scientist has just published an article about crows and their face recognition. Not only do they recognise you, but they can tell other crows how to recognise you!]
And now, what did i think of the book?
It was different. It was sad and yet not sad – it reminded us that grief takes a long time to get over, especially the loss of a child.
Ruth Hogan writes in an empathetic manner that tells us much about human emotions and her portrayal of Sally demonstrates this.
But, although I loved the writing, the style and content, and everything about the story, the interspersing of the two women and their stories made the ending rather obvious to those of us who read crime/thriller/suspense stories. So there was no surprise there, which was a shame. This downgrades a 5 to a 4 as I really don’t think we should know the ending that soon.
Twenty-Seven Tiered Almond Cake
Womens' Literature, Romance , Women's Fiction, Humour
Charlie does not want to plan her sister’s wedding.
Erin is flakey, flighty. Irresponsible. And her upcoming marriage is proving no different. It reads like the playbill to a comedy of errors: the groom—what’s his name again?—is currently, mysteriously incarcerated; the bride is MIA; but don’t dare mention postponing the stupid thing; that would be scandalous.
Worse, in an industry that booked out months ago, Charlie has six weeks to hunt down everything from a reception hall to napkin holders! Ironically, the only person who may be able to help her accomplish this is Kantor O’Brien, aka the pastry chef she hired to create Erin’s wedding cake, aka the guy who seems to think Charlie’s antics fall somewhere between exasperating and not quite sane. (Okay, so maybe the cake she chose was a little, ah, unusual. Whatever.)
Kantor has interesting, if somewhat unconventional, contacts. Charlie’s got a colorful way of spinning the truth. Together, they might pull off something spectacular. Now if she can just convince him to go along with it….
TWENTY-SEVEN TIERED ALMOND CAKE is a light-hearted story about one woman’s struggle to give her sister the wedding she deserves. The novel’s primary themes—a contentious sibling relationship hanging in the balance of self-reflection and redemption—offset by its quietly comedic timbre and romantic undertones, will resonate and appeal to readers of commercial women’s fiction.
So I like almond biscotti too, but isn’t 27 layers of them a few too many?
An amusing tale of the responsible sister organising the feckless sister’s wedding right down to choosing the cake.
Light and frothy but don’t expect too much story-line beyond girl eats cake; girl eats more cake; cake baked by hunky baker; and the inevitable – girl falls for baker – and his cakes!
About the Author
Amber Laura’s biography, also known as “Five Fun Facts about the Author”:
As a writer, Amber Laura does her best daydreaming as a window-gazing passenger on long car rides.
If there’s creamer, she’s drinking coffee. When she edits, there’s always creamer.
A blogger, she also writes web fiction—(free stories updated chapter-by-chapter, week-by-week). Check it out at www.litliber.com.
Psst! Her debut novel, Topaz and Lace, a contemporary romance set in a fictitious Texas town, got its start on that same blog.
While she may physically reside in the beautiful country of Northern Minnesota, in her imagination, Amber Laura lives all over the world. She considers it one of the best perks to being a writer: easy, cheap travel. That and the oddball characters she meets along the way….
See Her Run
Aloa Snow #1
Fiction, crime, female sleuth
Thomas & Mercer
Running for her life could leave her breathless. A former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Aloa Snow knows what it means to be down and out. Once highly respected, she's now blackballed, in debt, and dealing with the echoes of an eating disorder. Until she gets one more shot to prove that she has what it takes--with a story some would die for... After the body of a promising young athlete, Hayley Poole, is recovered in the Nevada desert, authorities rule it a suicide. But when Aloa discovers that the girl's boyfriend died in a similar accident only months before, her investigative instincts are on high alert. It turns out the girl was on the run from secrets that could kill. This case is murder for Aloa, and Hayley won't be the last one to suffer. Someone very powerful forced Hayley to run for her life. Now Aloa must do the same.
A story that draws you into a complex web of connections and proves conspiracy theorists are right! Some capitalists don’t care. Except for money.
The story also explores what character trait makes people undertake extreme sports whether it is walking, running or climbing. i wish I knew the answer to that definitively as our son is determined to run the Marathon des Sables, one of the top ultra marathons in the world – across the desert in searing heat! Heb has already run the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall in one day… So I do get some of this desire to compete with yourself not just with others and to go faster and further than before. he seems such a normal person our son, until you mention marathons!
In this intriguing novel we meet a large number of the world’s misfits – of all types and varieties, and yet it is these very misfits, who because of their very belief in conspiracy theories, uncover a real one…
I am giving it a 5 for the story line, but the writing style was somewhat confusing at times and the story was perhaps over complicated? So 4 for the style. Although this is the start of a series i shall not follow up the remainder as Aloa didn’t ‘attract’ me enough.
A Demon Stole my Kitty
Werewolves, Vampires and Demons, Oh My #3
(15 April 2018)
I’m a witch. Not a good one or a bad one, although according to the snooty wizards, I’m a stain upon their robes.
But who cares what those snobs say?
So what do you do if your newly rescued kitten gets out and doesn’t come home? Especially if there is a good chance its body has been taken over by a demon? Why tickle it under the chin and hug it of course!
Yes its demons versus witches – and sorcerers – and all sorcerers are male misogynists – or are they?
A feisty witch (human and not having magic blood – or so the sorcerers claim) sets out to show the males just how demons should be fought. And how you can love some, and they will be faithful to you. See kitty!
Great fun story. Lots of humour and snark. And yes, the males get shown up by the females!