Category Archives: mysteries

Disturbing Historical Fiction

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Before We Were Yours

After reading the short blurb about Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, I was highly intrigued about the plot and the writing. I was fascinated by the idea of a children’s home stealing kids and selling them off to the highest bidder. However, once I began reading, I was unprepared for how distressing main character Rill’s story would turn out to be. I actually could not finish it, knowing that horrible fates likely awaited Rill and her siblings. Perhaps I am too shallow, but reading the book and anticipating what would be happening to the kids, as well as the torture the parents felt over losing their children, was not an option for me. As a parent, I had great difficulty reading about subjects such as children being separated from the only family they know, about a child being abusively punished for bed wetting, about lies being told while children were used as pawns.

So I do recommend the book for those interested in realistic fiction, who have a stronger stomach than me. I think there are many well written pieces and the author does a commendable job outlining the plot, using a mystery as a good device to share this past atrocity. Friends and my book club read the book and though they thought it was upsetting, were glad they read it.

 

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Mistaken Identity

 

I FOUND YOU 9781501154591 Is he a good guy or a bad guy? ‘Frank’ shows up on English coast one day, with only the clothes on his back, no memory of who he is or how he got there. A woman named Alice finds him and takes him in, much to the chagrin of her family and closest friend. Miles away in London, Lilly an Ukrainian immigrant reports her newlywed husband is missing. Knowing no one, she has to figure out who she can trust to learn what happened to him. Decades earlier, a family goes on a seaside vacation in a small coastal community with unforeseen results. These three separate plot lines comprise the story of I Found You. A slow build up leads to an explosive explanation about how the three distinct tales intersect and provide all the answers.

Jewell effortlessly takes the reader back and forth, from present day to 1993. She paints descriptive pictures of each character, allowing for a full image to form and opinions to emerge. As the book unfolds, the two male characters are introduced, and one is likable while the other is not. With the story bouncing back and forth from the past to the present, and ‘Frank’s’ identity slowly forming shape, the reader is left to guess which of the two men he really is.

Highly recommend this suspenseful novel. My book club is going to read it, and I can’t wait to hear their opinions.

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New Mystery Series

Just discovered this series. If you like reading about strong female lead characters who have a habit of unintentionally finding dead bodies, then try to solve the crime, this is your series. It is sort of a mix of Stephanie Plum and Hannah Swensen, to name two other similar female leads (authors Evanovich and Fluke, respectively).

I liked the pace, the who unknown, the side cast, and the twists. Book one is out now, book two will be released in early June 2016.  I liked Swimsuit Body more, but Bones and Roses is good too. I also recommend reading in order, so the side stories make sense and don’t ruin a previous book.

 

 

 

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Books with a food theme

Though not a gourmet, I have always liked reading about books that have food as a primary element, where the descriptions of a dish or meal are so enticing, I am encouraged to cook or bake. (In fact, writing tonight’s blog inspired me to make banana bread, which smells divine). Sometimes there is a magical element too, associated with the food, that makes the story whimsical or fanciful. The food becomes its own character, driving the plot to an aspect otherwise not possible. After reading some of these books, perhaps you will want to go out and create some culinary magic of your own. I did not write summaries for these, but if you click on the link, you will be taken to its Amazon page for a description.

These first ones are more traditional in their styles, with recipes and fairly stable plots.

These books have that unknown element intertwined with a good story, and you have to be willing to suspend a little reality to embrace the tale as it unfolds.

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