Sailing in a Sea of Words

Literature Fanatic. Writer. I tend to lean toward mystery and fiction, but I like to change patterns with the occasional YA or non-fiction book. I hope you enjoy my reviews and they inspire you to read the book yourself!

Book Review: A Thorn Among the Lilies

A Thorn Among the Lilies (An Alvin, Alabama Novel) - Michael Hiebert

Book: A Thorn Among The Lilies


Author: Michael Hiebert


Genre: Fiction/Mystery


Summary: Detective Leah Teal is privy to most of the secrets in her hometown of Alvin, but there are always surprises to be had. Like the day she agrees to take her daughter, Caroline, to see a psychic for a reading. The psychic hones in on Leah instead, hinting at a string of gruesome killings and insisting that she intervene to prevent more deaths. When you go looking for trouble, you never know how much you'll find. Sure enough, the psychic's scant clues lead Leah to a cold case from six years ago, when a young woman was found shot to death, her eyelids sewn shut. As Leah digs deeper into old files, a second unsolved case surfaces with the same grisly pattern. While her shrewd young son, Abe, observes from the sidelines, Leah races to prevent another horrific murder, unaware of just how deep the roots of evil can go. Taut, suspenseful, and rich in Southern atmosphere, A Thorn Among The Lilies is a mesmerizing novel of loss and vengeance, and the lengths some will go to out of loyalty and love. -Kensington Books, 2015.


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Book Review: My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel - Daphne du Maurier

Book: My Cousin Rachel


Author: Daphne du Maurier


Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Suspense/Mystery


Summary: One of the world's greatest storytellers, Daphne du Maurier spins a dark gothic tale of passion and unswerving love that turns to suspicion and fear. Rachel, a woman of exquisite beauty, descends on the great Cornwall estate of Philip Ashley. Despite his aroused suspicions, she soon enchants him. In this tale of good and evil, Philip must decide whether the glorious Rachel, the recent mysterious widow of his beloved cousin, is out to destroy him or is the innocent victim of devious men with a tremendous longing to be loved. His fate and his future lie in the answer to this deadly question. -Sourcebooks, 1951.


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Book Review: Hawthorn

Hawthorn - Carol Goodman

Book: Hawthorn


Author: Carol Goodman


Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Fantasy/Romance


Summary: All Avaline Hall wants is to enjoy her senior year at Blythewood Academy, the boarding school where she's been trained to defend humankind from forces of dark magic. But when Ava is shown a glimpse into the future in the enchanted Blythe Wood, she discovers that the evil Judicus van Drood is rallying nations into a war that seems destined to destroy both the human and faerie worlds. Only Ava and her allies have a chance at stopping van Drood, but how many must die in the process? And how can Ava and the boy she loves be together when everything around them is falling apart? -Viking, 2015.


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Book Review: The Black Key

The Black Key - Amy Orr-Ewing

Book: The Black Key


Author: Amy Ewing


Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Fantasy/Dystopian/Romance


Summary: For too long, Violet and the people of the outer circles of the Lone City have lived a life of servitude, controlled and manipulated by the royalty of the Jewel. But now, the secret society known as the Black Key is preparing to seize power and knock down the walls dividing each circle. And while Violet knows she is at the center of this rebellion, she has a more personal stake in it - for her sister, Hazel, has been taken by the Duchess of the Lake. Now, after fighting so hard to escape the Jewel, Violet must do everything in her power to return, to save not only Hazel, but the future of the Lone City. In this thrilling conclusion to Amy Ewing's epic trilogy, Violet's loyalty to her family is pitted against her dedication to overthrowing a destructive and terrifying regime. This is an explosively compelling story that readers won't be able to put down. -HarperTeen, 2016.


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Book Review: The Moving Finger

The Moving Finger - Agatha Christie

Book: The Moving Finger


Author: Agatha Christie


Genre: Mystery/Fiction


Summary: Lymstock is a town with more than its share of shameful secrets - a town where even a sudden outbreak of anonymous hate mail causes only a minor stir. But all that changes when one of the recipients, Mrs. Symmington, commits suicide. Her final note says "I can't go on," but Miss Marple questions the coroner's verdict of suicide. Soon nobody is sure of anyone - as secrets stop being shameful and start becoming deadly. -William Morrow, 2011 (Originally published in 1942).


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Book Review: The Winner's Kiss

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy) - Marie Rutkoski

Book: The Winner's Kiss


Author: Marie Rutkoski


Genre: Fiction/Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance


Summary: War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn't forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people - and certainly more than she did for him. At least, that's what he thinks. In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they've done to her. But no one gets what they want just by wishing. As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win? -Farrar Straus Giroux Books, 2016.


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Book Review: The Winner's Crime

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy) - Marie Rutkoski

Book: The Winner's Crime


Author: Marie Rutkoski


Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Fantasy/Romance


Summary: A royal wedding means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin's freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself? Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She's working as a spy in the court. If caught, she'll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can't help searching for a way to change her ruthless world . . . and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret. This dazzling follow-up to The Winner's Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them. - Farrar Straus Giroux Books, 2015.

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Book Review: As You Wish - Inconceivable Tales from The Making of The Princess Bride

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride - Rob Reiner, Joe Layden, Cary Elwes

Book: As You Wish - Inconceivable Tales from The Making of The Princess Bride


Author: Cary Elwes with Joe Layden


Genre: Nonfiction/Film Memoir


Summary: From celebrated actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the family favorite and cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner. In As You Wish, Elwes has created an enchanting experience for new and old fans of The Princess Bride, complete with plenty of set secrets and backstage stories. -Touchstone, 2014.


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Book Review: The Paris Librarian

The Paris Librarian: A Hugo Marston Novel (Hugo Marston Novels) - Mark Pryor

Book: The Paris Librarian


Author: Mark Pryor


Genre: Fiction/Mystery


Summary: Hugo Marston's friend Paul Rogers dies unexpectedly in a locked room at the American Library in Paris. The police conclude that Rogers died of natural causes, but Hugo is certain mischief is afoot. As he pokes around the library, Hugo discovers that rumors are swirling around some recently donated letters from American actress Isabelle Severin. The reason: they may indicate that the actress had aided the Resistance in frequent trips to France toward the end of World War II. Even more dramatic is the legend that the Severin collection also contains a dagger, one she used to kill an SS officer in 1944. Hugo delves deeper into the stacks at the American Library and finally realizes that the history of this case isn't what anyone suspected. But to prove he's right, Hugo must return to the scene of a decades-old crime. -Seventh Street Books, 2016.

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Book Review: A Murder is Announced

A Murder Is Announced - Agatha Christie

Book: A Murder is Announced


Author: Agatha Christie


Genre: Fiction/Mystery


Summary: The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity when the Gazette advertises "A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6:30 p.m." A childish practical joke? Or a spiteful hoax? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, the locals arrive at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out and a gun is fired. When they come back on, a gruesome scene is revealed. An impossible crime? Only Miss Marple can unravel it. - William Morrow, 2011 (First published in 1950).


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Book Review: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story - Barbara Leaming

Book: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story


Author: Barbara Leaming


Genre: Non-Fiction/Biography


Summary: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story is the first book to document Jackie's thirty-one-year struggle with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here is the woman as she has never been seen before. Barbara Leaming explores the seemingly magical world of Jackie's youth, her fairy-tale marriage to a wealthy and handsome senator and presidential candidate and her astonishing transformation into a deft political wife and unique First Lady. This spirited young woman's rejection of the idea of a "safe marriage" as the wife of some socially prominent but utterly predictable man led her to JFK and, in time, international fame. But the trauma of her husband's murder would damage her far more than has been known. Until now. While the life of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis has been examined and scrutinized countless times, it is only now that we can truly understand the woman behind the facade, the untold story of this iconic woman. -Thomas Dunne Books, 2015.


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Book Review: Five Little Pigs

Five Little Pigs (Hercule Poirot, #24) - Agatha Christie

Book: Five Little Pigs


Author: Agatha Christie


Genre: Fiction/Mystery


Summary: Beautiful Caroline Crale was convicted of poisoning her husband, but just like the nursery rhyme, there were five other "little pigs" who could have done it: Philip Blake (the stockbroker), who went to market; Meredith Blake (the amateur herbalist), who stayed at home; Elsa Greer (the three-time divorcee), who had her roast beef; Cecilia Williams (the devoted governess), who had none; and Angela Warren (the disfigured sister), who cried all the way home. Sixteen years later, Caroline's daughter is determined to prove her mother's innocence, and Poirot just can't get that nursery rhyme out of his mind. -William Morrow, 1943.

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Book Review: Happily Ever After | Companion to The Selection Series

Happily Ever After: Companion to the Selection Series - Kiera Cass

Book: Happily Ever After | Companion to The Selection Series


Author: Kiera Cass


Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Fantasy/Novellas/Romance


Summary: Before Amberly came to the palace. . . She was a Four in love with a One.

Before Maxon met the girl of his dreams. . . He was the boy of someone else's.

Before Aspen opened his heart to someone new . . . He was determined to fight for his first love.

And before Marlee could fall for a prince . . . She was swept off her feet by a guard. -HarperTeen, 2015. 


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Book Review: The Girl Who Knew Too Much

The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Amanda Quick

Book: The Girl Who Knew Too Much


Author: Amanda Quick


Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mystery/Romance


Summary: When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head off to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It's where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool. . . The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn't resist - especially since she's just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene's investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are more powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment. Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician - until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can't let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago . . . With Oliver's help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past - always just out of sight - could drag them both under . . . -Berkley, 2017


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Book Review: The Crown

The Crown - Kiera Cass

Book: The Crown


Author: Kiera Cass


Genre: YA/Romance/Fantasy


Summary: When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illea to hold her own Selection, she didn't think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone. Eadlyn still isn't sure she'll find the fairy tale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you . . . and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible - and more important - than she ever imagined. -HarperTeen, 2016.


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Book Review: A Bridge Across the Ocean

A Bridge Across the Ocean - Susan Meissner

Book: A Bridge Across the Ocean


Author: Susan Meissner


Genre: Fiction/Historical/Romance/Supernatural


Summary: February 1946. World War II is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Devereux, the wronged daughter of a French Resistance spy. Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark. . . Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides - and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings. -Berkley, 2017.


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