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: Depraved Heart

Depraved Heart: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta) - Patricia Cornwell

Book: Depraved Heart

 

Author: Patricia Cornwell

 

Genre: Fiction/Mystery

 

Summary: Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a highly suspicious death scene in a historic home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages, immediately begins playing...and it seems to be from her niece Lucy. But how can it be? It's clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago. As Scarpetta watches she comes to grips with frightening secrets about her niece, whom she loves like a daughter. That first clip and others sent soon after raise dangerous implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, alarmed, and not knowing where to turn. She doesn't know whom she can tell - not her FBI agent husband, Benton Wesley, or her investigative partner, Pete Marino. Not even Lucy. Cornwell launched these unforgettable characters on an intensely psychological odyssey that includes the bizarre death of a Hollywood mogul's daughter, wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in the back of a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta's entire world and everyone she loves. The diabolical presence and singularly "depraved heart" behind what unfolds seems obvious - but strangely, not to the FBI. Certainly that's the message they send when they start harassing Lucy and begin building a case that could send her to prison for the rest of her life. In the latest novel in her bestselling series featuring medical examiner, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Cornwell captivates readers again with the jolting twists, high-wire tension, and cutting-edge forensic detail for which she is renowned, proving yet again why she is the world's number one bestselling crime writer. - Harper Collins, 2015. 

 

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Book Review: The Haunted Season

The Haunted Season: A Max Tudor Mystery (A Max Tudor Novel) - G.M. Malliet

Book: The Haunted Season

 

Author: G.M. Malliet

 

Genre: Fiction/Mystery

 

Summary: Agatha Award-winning author G.M. Malliet has charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees everywhere with Wicked Autumn, A Fatal Winter, Pagan Spring, and Demon Summer, the critically acclaimed mysteries featuring handsome ex-spy-turned-cleric Father Max Tudor. Something sinister is stirring at Totleigh Hall, the showcase of the English village of Nether Monkslip. Usually, the lord and lady of the manor are absent - high tax rates, it is murmured with more than a trace of envy, force them to live on the continent for most of the year. But Lord and Lady Baaden-Boomethistle have been in residence for some weeks now, and the villagers are hoping for a return to the good old days, when the lord of the manor sprinkled benefits across the village like fairy dust. Father Max Tudor's invitation to dinner at the Hall comes as a welcome novelty; it will be his first time meeting the famous family that once held sway in the area. But before he has time to starch his clerical collar and organize a babysitter, a sudden and suspicious death intervenes, and the handsome vicar's talent for sorting through clues to a murder is once again called into play in this charming and clever novel. -Minotaur Books, 2015. 

 

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Book Review: The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America - Erik Larson

Book: The Devil in the White City

 

Author: Erik Larson

 

Genre: Non-Fiction/Historical/True Crime

 

Summary: Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson's spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men - the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World's Fair, striving to secure America's place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction. - Vintage Books, 2003.

 

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Advanced Reader Review: The Other Lady Vanishes

The Other Lady Vanishes - Amanda Quick

Summary: After escaping from a private sanitarium, Adelaide Blake arrives in Burning Cove, California, desperate to start over.

Working at an herbal tea shop puts her on the radar of those who frequent the seaside resort town: Hollywood movers and shakers always in need of hangover cures and tonics. One such customer is Jake Truett, a recently widowed businessman in town for a therapeutic rest. But unbeknownst to Adelaide, his exhaustion is just a cover.

In Burning Cove, no one is who they seem. Behind facades of glamour and power hide drug dealers, gangsters, and grifters. Into this make-believe world comes psychic to the stars Madame Zolanda. Adelaide and Jake know better than to fall for her kind of con. But when the medium becomes a victim of her own dire prediction and is killed, they're drawn into a murky world of duplicity and misdirection.

Neither Adelaide nor Jake can predict that in the shadowy underground they'll find connections to the woman Adelaide used to be--and uncover the specter of a killer who's been real all along...

 

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Advanced Book Review: A Brush with Shadows

A Brush with Shadows - Anna Lee Huber

Summary: Sebastian Gage returns home to battle the ghosts of his past and prevent them from destroying his future with Kiera in the latest exciting installment in this national bestselling series.

July 1831. It's been fifteen years since Sebastian Gage has set foot in Langstone Manor. Though he has shared little with his wife, Lady Kiera Darby, about his past, she knows that he planned never to return to the place of so many unhappy childhood memories. But when an urgent letter from his grandfather reaches them in Dublin, Ireland, and begs Gage to visit, Kiera convinces him to go.

All is not well at Langstone Manor. Gage's grandfather, the Viscount Tavistock, is gravely ill, and Gage's cousin Alfred has suddenly vanished. He wandered out into the moors and never returned. The Viscount is convinced someone or something other than the natural hazards of the moors is to blame for Alfred's disappearance. And when Alfred's brother Rory goes missing, Kiera and Gage must concede he may be right. Now, they must face the ghosts of Gage's past, discover the truth behind the local superstitions, and see beyond the tricks being played by their very own eyes to expose what has happened to Gage's family before the moors claim yet another victim...  

 

 

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Advanced Book Review: Too Close to Breathe

Too Close to Breathe - Olivia Kiernan

Summary: In a quiet Dublin suburb, within her pristine home, Eleanor Costello is found hanging from a rope.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan would be more than happy to declare it a suicide. Four months ago, Frankie's pursuit of a killer almost ended her life and she isn't keen on investigating another homicide. But the autopsy reveals poorly healed bones and old stab wounds, absent from medical records. A new cut is carefully, deliberately covered in paint. Eleanor's husband, Peter, is unreachable, missing. A search of the couple's home reveals only two signs of personality: a much-loved book on art and a laptop with access to the Dark Web.

With the suspect pool growing, the carefully crafted profile of the victim crumbling with each new lead, and mysterious calls to Frankie's phone implying that the killer is closer than anyone would like, all Frankie knows is that Eleanor guarded her secrets as closely in life as she does in death.

As the investigation grows more challenging, Frankie can't help but feel that something doesn't fit. And when another woman is found murdered, the same paint on her corpse, Frankie knows that unraveling Eleanor's life is the only way to find the murderer before he claims another victim . . . or finishes the fate Frankie only just managed to escape.

Engrossing, complex, and atmospheric, Olivia Kiernan's debut novel will leave readers breathless.  

 

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Advanced Reader Review: The Punishment She Deserves

The Punishment She Deserves - Elizabeth  George

Summary: Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley are forced to confront the past as they try to solve a crime that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of a quiet, historic medieval town in England

The cozy, bucolic town of Ludlow is stunned when one of its most revered and respected citizens--Ian Druitt, the local deacon--is accused of a serious crime. Then, while in police custody, Ian is found dead. Did he kill himself? Or was he murdered?

When Barbara Havers is sent to Ludlow to investigate the chain of events that led to Ian's death, all the evidence points to suicide. But Barbara can't shake the feeling that she's missing something. She decides to take a closer look at the seemingly ordinary inhabitants of Ludlow--mainly elderly retirees and college students--and discovers that almost everyone in town has something to hide.

A masterful work of suspense, The Punishment She Deserves sets Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Inspector Thomas Lynley against one of their most intricate cases. Fans of the longtime series will love the many characters from Elizabeth George's previous novels who join Lynley and Havers, and readers new to the series will quickly see why she is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed writers of our time. Both a page-turner and a deeply complex story about the lies we tell, the lies we believe, and the redemption we need, this novel will be remembered as one of George's best.

 

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Question - Advanced Reader Reviews?

I'm sorry I haven't posted any reviews in a long while. I've been flooded with advance readers and I only have a month to read each one from the time I get them. (I'm reading them electronically and they expire.)

 

I usually don't post my reviews of the advanced readers I get, but would that be something you would like to see? I have about 6 manuscripts I need to read and I'm almost done with one of them so if you want to see what I'm reading before it publishes, let me know!

Book Review: The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker - Kate Alcott

Book: The Dressmaker

 

Author: Kate Alcott

 

Genre: Fiction/Romance/Historical

 

Summary: Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be her personal maid on the Titanic. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men - a kind sailor and an enigmatic Chicago businessman - who offer differing views of what lies ahead for her in America. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes, and amidst the chaos, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. The survivors are rescued and taken to New York, but when rumors begin to circulate about the choices they made, Tess is forced to confront a serious question. Did Lady Duff Gordan save herself at the expense of others? Torn between loyalty to Lucile and her growing suspicion that the media's charges might be true, Tess must decide whether to stay quiet and keep her fiery mentor's good will or face what might be true and forever change her future. - Anchor Books, 2012.

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Book Review: These Few Precious Days

These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie - Christopher Andersen

Book: These Few Precious Days

 

Author: Christopher Andersen

 

Genre: Non-Fiction/Biographical/Historical

 

Summary: They were the original power couple - outlandishly rich, impossibly attractive, and endlessly fascinating. Now, in this rare, behind-the-scenes portrait of the Kennedys in their final year together, #1 New York Times bestselling biographer Christopher Andersen shows us a side of JFK and Jackie that we've never seen before. Tender, intimate, complex, and at times, explosive, theirs is a love story unlike any other - filled with secrets, scandals, and bombshells that could never be fully revealed until now. -Simon and Schuster, 2013.

 

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Book Review: The Heir

The Heir (The Selection) - Kiera Cass

Book: The Heir

 

Author: Kiera Cass

 

Genre: Teen/Fantasy/Romance

 

Summary: Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon - and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairytale romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible. But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her own Selection - no matter how fervently she protests. Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought. -HarperTeen, 2015.

 

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Book Review: The Night Sister

The Night Sister: A Novel - Jennifer McMahon

Book: The Night Sister

 

Author: Jennifer McMahon

 

Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Horror/Mystery

 

Summary: In the 1950s, the Tower Motel - with its namesake tower - was the shining attraction of tiny London, Vermont. Now it stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of three women - Amy, Piper, and Piper's sister Margot. They played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and sinister in Amy's family past, something that ruined Piper and Margot's friendship with Amy forever. As adults, Piper and Margot have done everything they can to move on; Piper lives in California, while Margot has devoted herself to studying local history and starting a family. Until, one day, Piper receives a panicked call from Margot: Amy and her family are dead, supposedly killed by Amy's own hand. And before she died, Amy scrawled a message that the two sisters know was meant for them: "29 Rooms." Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to revisit that fateful summer when they found a packed suitcase and haunting letters that once belonged to Sylvie Slater. Amy always claimed that her aunt had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blond bombshell of a leading lady, but the truth is much more complicated. As they investigate, a new story unfolds, one of Sylvie and Rose, two sisters who lived at the motel during its heyday . . . and one sister who carries a secret that will haunt the generations to come. -Doubleday, 2015.

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Book Review: Forever Liesl

Forever Liesl - Charmian Carr, Jean A.S. Strauss

Book: Forever Liesl

 

Author: Charmian Carr

 

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir/Film

 

Summary: The magic of The Sound of Music lives on in the minds and hearts of everyone it has touched. Now, Charmian Carr, who in 1965 captivated moviegoers as Liesl "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" von Trapp, tells what it was like to be a part of the film that has become a cultural phenomenon. It's all here: from how she got the role (and why she almost didn't) to romances on the set and wild nights in Salzburg; from the near-disaster during the gazebo dance to her relationships - then and now - with her six celluloid siblings. Charmian also reveals why she left acting, what she learned when she met the real von Trapp children, and how The Sound of Music has helped her get through the stormy times in her own life. Forever Liesl celebrates the spirit of the movie and what it stands for: family love, romance, inspiration, nostalgia, and the joy and power of music. -Penguin Books, 2000.

 

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Book Review: The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

Book: The Winner's Curse

 

Author: Marie Rutkoski

 

Genre: Teen/Romance/Adventure

 

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: to join the military or to get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel's real passion is music. Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave sold as a singer, at auction. It's not long before he begins to change the way she sees everything . . . but he himself is not what he seems. Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for him is much higher than she ever could have imagined. The first novel in a brilliant new series,
The Winner's Curse tells of the star-crossed romance of Kestrel and Arin. It is a story of masters and slaves, spies, rebellion, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake. The gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. -Farrar Straus Giroux, 2014.

 

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Book Review: Montana Sky

Montana Sky - Nora Roberts

Book: Montana Sky

 

Author: Nora Roberts

 

Genre: Fiction/Romance/Mystery

 

Summary: When Jack Mercy died, he left behind a ranch worth nearly twenty million dollars. Now his three daughters - each born of a different mother, and each unknown by the others - are gathered to hear the reading of the will. But the women are shocked to learn that before any of them can inherit, they must live together on the ranch for one year. They are sisters . . . and strangers. Now they face a challenge: to put their bitterness aside and live like a family. To protect each other from danger - and unite against an enemy who threatens to destroy them all . . . -Berkley Publishing Group, 1996.

 

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Book Review: The Ghost Orchid

The Ghost Orchid - Carol Goodman

Book: The Ghost Orchid

 

Author: Carol Goodman

 

Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Mystery/Historical

 

Summary:

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Currently reading

The Villa by Nora Roberts