The Lights of Sugarberry Cove by Heather Webber

EXCERPT: Sadie – ‘… I still have family up that way. My older sister, her husband, and their little boy live up there. And my mother owns a bed-and-breakfast cottage on the lake, and my great-uncle, who’s more like a granddaddy to me, lives and works at the cottage, too.’ I bit my lip to keep from saying any more, from spilling my heart onto the cutting board next to the pecans. Why was I revealing so much?

But I knew why.

The water.

I missed Sugarberry Cove.

I missed my old home.

ABOUT ‘THE LIGHTS OF SUGARBERRY COVE’: Sadie Way Scott has been avoiding her family and hometown of Sugarberry Cove, Alabama since she survived a near-drowning in the lake just outside her mother’s B&B. Eight years later, Sadie is the host of a much-loved show about southern cooking and family, but despite her success, she wonders why she was saved. What is she supposed to do?

Sadie’s sister, Leala Clare, is still haunted by the guilt she feels over the night her sister almost drowned. Now, at a crossroads in her marriage, Leala has everything she ever thought she wanted—so why is she so unhappy?

When their mother suffers a minor heart attack just before Sugarberry Cove’s famous water lantern festival, the two sisters come home to run the inn while she recovers. It’s the last place either of them wants to be, but with a little help from the inn’s quirky guests, the sisters may come to terms with their strained relationships, accept the past, and rediscover a little lake magic.

MY THOUGHTS: How I loved the characters in The Lights of Sugarberry Cove! I wanted to move into Sugarberry Cove and be with them. This is a story of second chances, fresh starts, and the art of recognizing what is really in our hearts.

The story is told from the perspectives of Leala Clare, and Sadie her younger sister, both characters easy to relate to and emphasize with, both strong personalities, as has their mother Susannah. So you just know that there are going to be fireworks! Each one of them thinks that they know what is best for the others, and no one wants to back off.

The other characters – Uncle Camp, Teddy, Bree, Buzzy, Iona, Connor, Will and Tucker – all have their own important roles to play, and all are well portrayed and full-bodied. Each character has their own story and these are all woven together to form an intricate and detailed tapestry designed to delight.

The Lights of Sugarberry Cove is delightful, and entrancing, but I don’t think some of the magical aspects worked quite as well here as they have in this author’s previous books.

There is a lot to love about this read. I loved Sadie’s blog, A Southern Hankerin’, which explores family recipes, and the stories behind them. What a wonderful idea, and I do wish that recipes had been included.

There are lots of life lessons to be taken away from this read, but they work beautifully in with the story so that the reader is not being ‘lectured’. Some of them I have written down in my notebook, well, more than some. Sometimes I need to be reminded to count my blessings, to appreciate my family, my friends.

This story of grief, love, guilt, forgiveness and family will have you reaching for the tissues, but will leave you feeling warm and satisfied.

⭐⭐⭐⭐.4

#TheLightsofSugarberryCove #NetGalley

I: @booksbyheather

T: @BooksbyHeather

#contemporaryfiction #familydrama #fantasy #mystery #paranormal #romance

THE AUTHOR: Heather Webber, aka Heather Blake, is the author of more than twenty-five novels. She loves to read, drink too much coffee and tea, birdwatch, crochet, and bake. She currently lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and is hard at work on her next book.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing a digital ARC of The Lights of Sugarberry Cove by Heather Webber for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Golden Girl by Elin Hildebrand

Due for publication June 1st 2021

EXCERPT: The song changes to opening guitar chords that seize Vivi’s attention. It’s ‘Stone in Love’ by Journey. Vivi almost trips over her own shoes. She stops and stares at her phone’s screen. What is this song doing on the Nine Pound Hammer playlist? Did Carson add it? But Carson hates classic rock; she calls it ‘music from beyond the grave.’

Vivi is spooked. This song brings back such intense memories of high school that she feels if she turns her head, she’ll see Brett Caspian standing in the middle of Kingsley Road. She nearly pushes the skip button, but she does love the song, despite her complicated history with it, and it’s been so long since she heard it. When she starts running again, she sings along, ‘Burning love comes once in a lifetime.’

Her eyes are closed and by the time she realises something is wrong, it’s too late – Vivi’s neck snaps; her heart feels like a stick of dynamite exploding. Vivi is airborne, she’s flying – until her head slams against the ground. Her leg. Something is wrong with her leg.

A tinny, faraway voice sings, ‘Golden Girl, I’ll keep you forever.’ Then the music stops. The dark turns to velvety black. The quiet becomes silence.

ABOUT ‘GOLDEN GIRL’: Golden Girl follows Nantucket novelist Vivi, who gets one final summer — after she is killed in a hit-and-run accident — to protect her secrets and learn from her mistakes while her loved ones still on earth try to solve the mystery of her death.

Vivian Howe, author of 13 beach novels and mother of three young adults, is killed in a hit and run car accident while jogging near her home in Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to a Person named Martha, who agrees Vivi’s death was unfair. Martha allows Vivi to watch what happens below with her children, her best friend, and her ex-husband.

Martha gives Vivi the use of three “nudges” so that she might influence the outcome of events in the world of the living. Vivi discovers her children’s secrets, watches the investigation of her death (headed by Chief Ed Kapenash from The Perfect Couple) and worries about a secret from her youth, fictionalized in her novel, coming to light.

MY THOUGHTS: The ocean beach, mouthwatering food, incredibly interesting characters, and a plot that had me entranced – Elin Hildebrand had me hooked from page one.

This is the first book that I have read by this author, and now I understand why everyone has been telling me ‘You have to read her!’ The blurb doesn’t do this book justice. I am glad that I didn’t reread it before I started. I probably would have nudged this read further down the pile.

Elin Hildebrand not only entranced me, she amazed me with Golden Girl. I was expecting a fairly predictable family drama/romance/paranormal tale, but there is nothing predictable about Golden Girl. The wonderful characters and plotting made sure of that! From the first page I felt like I had stepped right into this novel and was right there amidst the action and drama.

The story is told from multiple points of view, mainly in the present, but with forays into Vivi’s past. And what a past she had! I loved her character. She has dignity and fortitude.

I became totally invested in this family, and I shed a tear or two at Vivi’s death, and again while reading Savannah’s amazing tribute to her best friend.

I love sandwiches. I could live on sandwiches, and there’s some delicious ones described in here. I have bookmarked them and intend to eat my way through them.

Make sure that you read the author’s note at the end. It explains a lot. Elin Hildebrand is definitely an author whose backtitles will be finding a place on my shelves right beside Golden Girl.

⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

#GoldenGirl #NetGalley

I: @elinhildebrand #hodderstoughton

T: @HodderBooks

#contemporaryfiction #familydrama #paranormal #romance #womensfiction

THE AUTHOR: Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hodder &Stoughton via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Golden Girl by Elin Hildebrand for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Whoever Fights Monsters by Angelo Marcos

EXCERPT: He placed the phone back in it’s cradle – noting what a struggle it was with his hand trembling – and stared at the door. William was due any moment now, he had to be ready.

Aurora sat patiently in the corner of the room. Nathaniel caught her gaze and she smiled, her face telling him everything he needed to know. He could do this. He needed to.

It was the only way to save his daughter.

ABOUT ‘WHOEVER FIGHTS MONSTERS’: You’d kill to protect your family. The question is… how many times?

Three men are about to begin the worst bombing campaign in history, targeting schools in order to kill as many innocent children as they can.

One night, the mysterious Aurora appears and tells family man Nathaniel Bennett three things.

Firstly, that his daughter will be one of the victims.

Secondly, that he is the only one who can stop these atrocities from happening.

Thirdly, to stop them he’ll have to kill all three of the men. If even one is left alive, the bombings will still happen and hundreds of children – including his daughter – will die.

We follow Nathaniel as he wrestles with his mission – and himself. Is he a soldier following orders and saving children, or is he the monster, stalking and killing three men who – so far – have done nothing wrong?

And, to the rest of the world – and the police – does it even make a difference?

MY THOUGHTS: I think that this is the first of the many books that I have read by this author that I haven’t absolutely loved. I liked Whoever Fights Monsters. I didn’t love it.

The premise is interesting, and Angelo Marcos jumps straight into the action. There’s no mucking about here and I was eagerly turning the pages, the burning question for me being was Aurora real, or was Nathaniel gripped by a delusional psychosis? I’m not going to tell you.

The problem for me was Nathaniel’s endless angst and introspection. I guess I have to qualify that statement. Aurora is telling Nathaniel that he has to kill three people that he knows otherwise many hundreds of children will die and he is able to ‘see’ what will happen if he doesn’t. But in between the killings he is beset by doubt. Yes, natural. But the angst and self-recrimination got a tad too repetitive, and wearing.

Despite this, I still enjoyed this read.

⭐⭐⭐.6

#WhoeverFightsMonsters #angelomarcos @theangelomarcos

#contemporaryfiction #crime #paranormal #scifi #thriller

THE AUTHOR: Angelo Marcos is a writer, actor and stand-up comedian, who for some reason refers to himself in the third person.

He writes psychological thrillers and crime fiction, often with a dash of humour thrown in for good measure.

Drawing on his background in law and psychology, he crafts memorable characters and suspenseful mysteries which shine a light on human behaviour and why people do what they do.

See? I told you he refers to himself in the third person…

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to author Angelo Marcos for providing a digital ARC of Whoever Fights Monsters for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

EXCERPT: Only later would I mark how he watched my approach with both sadness and trepidation.

‘Oh!’ I exclaimed, dragging up some vestige of coquettishness. ‘A late Christmas present for me?’

‘Yes,’ he said, refusing to meet my eye. ‘Take it as such. I won’t be charging you. Truth be told, I don’t know if I should give it to you at all.’

And then he was gone, disappeared like a puff of dark dust. Upon closer inspection, I saw the package had been wrapped, sealed and tied with the string circled three times around. Unable to open it with my own power, I walked to the desk and asked Mr Sylvan to lend me his letter opener. Silver and sharp, it weighed heavy in my hand as I sliced through the string and along the sealed edges.

‘It’s my Christmas portrait,’ I said as much to myself as to Mr Sylvan. I unwrapped the layers and uncovered the image printed on heavy paper. I felt myself frown at first. Haley had promised a tint, but I saw nothing but ordinary black and white.

Then the image blurred in my trembling hand.

‘Mrs Krause?’ Mr Sylvan’s voice lurked beyond the roaring of the rush of blood in my ears.

I dropped the image to the desktop and braced my hands beside it. A sob caught in my throat, perfectly timed to Mr Sylvan’s un-Sylvan-like gasp.

The Christmas tree it seemed, had failed in its spell to protect me from the ghost of Sallie White. For there she was, in the photograph. Right behind me. Her hand resting on my shoulder.

ABOUT ‘THE LADY IN RESIDENCE’: Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.

In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?

MY THOUGHTS: An enjoyable read, but not a particularly gripping or memorable one. I guess I was expecting more ‘gothic’ atmosphere.

The Lady in Residence is a combination of romance and a ‘paranormal’ mystery set over two timelines. I enjoyed the characters of Dini and Quin, but I found Hedda to be quite cold and calculating. Although I guess that had I found myself in her circumstances in that time, I might be much the same.

I have to admit to skimming large tracts in the second half of the book when my interest began to wane and it seemed that we were just rehashing old ground. So I may have missed it, but I can’t recall seeing any reference to ‘true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again’. If there are indeed references to this, please don’t hesitate to correct me.

I found the author’s notes at the end of the book most interesting. ‘There’s a Russian nesting doll structure to The Lady in Residence. Sallie haunts Hedda, Hedda haunts Dini,’ which explains the central theme of the novel perfectly. That and obsession.

‘The story of Sallie White is true, and the details of it depicted in The Lady in Residence fall in line with the newspaper accounts of the time.’

Pittman also talks about the beauty of the Menger Hotel in San Antonio, calling it ‘historically exquisite, but there is a sense of heaviness to it too.’

So please do read the Author’s note, but not before the book as it contains at least one spoiler that I can think of.

⭐⭐.8

#TheLadyinResidence #NetGalley
#contemporaryfiction #historicalfiction #christianromance #mystery #paranormal

‘She fixated on the idea that a man who had sisters knew how to be kind to a woman.’ – I snorted at this! I have three brothers and they spent most of our days enjoying making mine miserable!

THE AUTHOR: Allison Pittman is the author of For Time and Eternity, Stealing Home, the Crossroads of Grace series, and her nonfiction debut, Saturdays With Stella. A high-school English teacher, she serves as director of the theater arts group at her church. She is also the co-president of a dynamic Christian writers group in the San Antonio, Texas area, where she makes her home with her husband and their three boys.

DISCLOSURE: Thanks to Barbour Publishing for providing a digital ARC of The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Apologies for disappearing on you so suddenly last week. I was rushed off to ED in the early hours of last Sunday morning with breathing difficulties, which resulted in a five day stay in hospital. I am not yet allowed back to work, and will be going for more tests and follow up during the week ahead.

Currently I am not reading anything. I have finished two books this morning, the delightful Three Women and a Boat by Anne Youngson

And Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

Which as well as being a Netgalley ARC, was a group read for my Goodreads.com Mystery, Crime and Thriller group.

I started listening to Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout this morning.

This week I only have one ARC that I need to read for review which is Nothing Good Happens After Midnight: A suspense magazine anthology, with contributions by Jeffrey Deaver, Linwood Barclay and John Lescroart, amongst others.

I will use any other reading time I get to catch up on back titles.

I have received ten new ARCs over the past two weeks:

The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons, and Vicky Alvear Shecter

Murder Most Festive by Ada Moncrieff

Ask No Questions by Claire Allen

The Perfect Life by Nuala Elwood

Her Sister’s Child by Alison James

Suspicious Minds by David Mark

Without Blood by Martin Michaud

Limelight by Graham Hurley

Our Little Secret by Lesley Sanderson

And finally I’m So Effing Tired by Amy Shah

And on that note, I am off for a nap.

Happy reading ❤📚

An interview with author of The Day Henry Died, Lynda Renham

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I reviewed this wonderfully charming and unusual book at the end of May, but I haven’t been able to dislodge it from my mind. So I contacted author Lynda Renham to ask her how she came to write The Day Henry Died:

Sandy:I found this book somewhat unique. How did The Day Henry Died come about?

Lynda:Now, there’s a question. I had no plans to write a book as unusual as this. The idea came from a comment made by a neighbour. We were discussing my closest neighbour who had died. Although she was elderly, no one had been prepared for it. My neighbour happened to say something along the lines of ‘You never know, do you? One day you’re here and the next you’re reading your own obituary.’ I immediately wondered what it would be like if you woke up one morning and found yourself doing just that.

Sandy: What came to you first – the plot or the characters?

Lynda:With ‘The Day Henry Died’ the plot certainly came first and the characters grew out of that. The characters were already there somehow which sounds odd I know but it was like they had been waiting for the plot.

Sandy:Does it always work that way for you?

Lynda:Usually an idea forms and then the whole novel seems to unravel in a vague way in my head and then when I start writing, it all becomes clear.

Sandy: How well do you plan your books? Do you work out what you want to happen and then go about making it happen? Or do your characters sometimes take control?

Lynda:My characters always take control. There is no doubt about that. I usually know what I want to happen but often a character will appear that I hadn’t even considered and sometimes they can become a leading character in the story. An idea often changes in the writing. I never stick to an original idea if something better materialises in the process.

Sandy: Your characters are always very easy to relate to. Do you insert bits of yourself or people you know into them?

Lynda:I tend to write about people as I know them. I think there may be a fair amount of me in some of the characters. I like my characters to be relatable in some way, even the baddies.

Sandy: Do you, personally, believe in life after death? And how did your belief/nonbelief aid/hinder your writing of The Day Henry Died?

Lynda:I sit on the fence a bit regarding life after death. I think the book expressed differing opinions on that. Which is fairly realistic, I think. The writing of the novel gave me much to think about and I enjoyed exploring the concept of reality.

Sandy: What would you like the reader to take away from this book?

Lynda:That it is important to make the most of what you have. Not to sweat the small stuff. You can’t do any of this again. You are here the once, enjoy it and do everything you want to do.

Sandy: Are you currently working on another novel?

Lynda:Yes, I’m currently working on several in fact. I don’t know how that happened as it is sheer madness.

Sandy: What is your routine like when you are writing? Do you treat it as a job and head ‘off to the office’ at the same time every day, or do you just write when inspiration strikes you?

Lynda:It’s my job, although I am slowing down. I write from 10 in the morning until about 5. I’ve always had a writing routine and a writing place. I think routine is important even if you don’t feel like working.

Sandy: How do you feel when you have finished writing a book?

Lynda: Relieved and anxious. Relieved it’s finally done and anxious about how it will sell. When a book is slightly different to your usual style, I think the reader is unsure about reading it.

Sandy: What do you find hardest to write, dialogue or narrative? And how do you overcome this?

Lynda:I find narrative difficult. I’d like to be better at that. Dialogue is my strength, I think. I enjoy writing dialogue very much.

Sandy: Now, I haven’t read your very first book, (Croissants and Jam) , but if you were to write that book now, would it be different, and how?

Lynda:Oh yes. I would work much harder at it. I think I have learnt a lot since that book and though it was very popular, I would certainly improve on it if I wrote it now.

Thank you Lynda for taking the time to talk with me. I adored Henry, and his story, and I am eagerly awaiting your next book/s.

Here is the link to my review of The Day Henry Died
https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/2020/06/01/the-day-henry-died-by-lynda-renham/

and, for a little variety also the link to Tina’s from NovelMeals wonderful review: https://novelmeals.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/the-day-henry-died-by-lynda-renham/

If you haven’t yet read this little gem, you don’t know what you are missing!

The House on Widow’s Hill by Simon R. Green

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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Jones’s Reviews > The House on Widows Hill
The House on Widows Hill by Simon R. Green
The House on Widows Hill (Ishmael Jones #9)
by Simon R. Green
30817744
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Jones’s reviewJul 10, 2020 · edit
really liked it
bookshelves: 2020, netgalley-arc, series, 3-star, 4-star, contemporary-fiction, crime, murder-mystery, paranormal, sci-fi

EXCERPT: ‘I don’t like the feel of the house,’ I admitted. ‘As though it’s hiding something from us.’

‘Are you feeling anything specific?’

Nothing I can put a name to. Not dread or horror, just . . . a general feeling of being watched, by unseen eyes.’

‘I am definitely feeling all of that,’ said Penny.

‘Remember the ink blot,’ I said. ‘It’s more than likely we are only feeling these things because the file told us we would.’

‘But we’re professionals,’ said Penny. ‘You are Space Boy,I am Spy Girl; we’re used to walking into dangerous situations. We don’t get nervous; we make other people nervous. And yet . . . it does feel as if something in that house is waiting for us, and rubbing its hands together in anticipation.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Set high on top of Widows Hill, Harrow House has remained empty for years. Now, on behalf of an anonymous prospective buyer, Ishmael and Penny are spending a night there in order to investigate the rumours of strange lights, mysterious voices, unexplained disappearances, and establish whether the house is really haunted.

What really happened at Harrow House all those years ago? Joined by a celebrity psychic, a professional ghost-hunter, a local historian and a newspaper reporter, it becomes clear that each member of ‘Team Ghost’ has their own pet theory as to the cause of the alleged haunting. But when one of the group suddenly drops dead with no obvious cause, Ishmael realizes that if he can find out how and why the victim died, he will have the key to solving the mystery

MY THOUGHTS: Another amusing and entertaining romp with Ishmael and Penny. Although this is a series, the books are easily enjoyed as stand alones. Author Simon R. Green gives enough information on the unique Ishmael Jones’ history to keep the reader up to speed.

While I easily guessed the murderer and motive, this in no way diminished my enjoyment.

The House on Widow’s Hill is a quick read, read easily in an afternoon, that blends a number of genres and sets us up for the next installment.

😱😱😱.5

#TheHouseonWidowsHill #NetGalley

‘Fight fire with fire. When science can’t protect you, and logic is off in a corner having a panic attack, magic is right there kicking arse and taking names.’

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Because if you do it today and you like it, you can do it again tomorrow.

THE AUTHOR: and fantasy-author. He holds a degree in Modern English and American Literature from the University of Leicester.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Severn House via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The House on Widow’s Hill by Simon R. Green for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page on Goodreads.com or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

The Day Henry Died by Lynda Renham

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EXCERPT: A spoonful of porridge laced with honey was poised to enter his mouth when Henry uncharacteristically dropped the spoon with a clatter back in to the bowl, sending bits of blueberry-tinted porridge across the well-scrubbed table. Henry’s eyes scanned the words in front of him, his brain struggling to comprehend what it was seeing. This couldn’t be right. He blinked and removed his glasses, rubbing at them vigorously with a piece of kitchen towel. He replaced the spectacles and read the words again. They hadn’t changed. Henry Booker Frazer was still reading his own obituary.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Suppose you wake up one morning to find yourself dead. You can see yourself clearly in the mirror, and feel the same as you did the day before. But today is the day of your funeral. What do you do?

This was Henry’s dilemma. Henry decides he can’t possibly be dead, so he sets out to prove he is alive. Then, he discovers that Rita, a product demonstrator at the supermarket, can see him.

Even with the help of Rita, proving you’re not dead was harder than Henry imagined, but when Henry discovered that he was murdered, the question was why and by whom?

MY THOUGHTS: I read The Day Henry Died by Lynda Renham in one sitting, and loved it. It is not a book that is easy to categorize – there’s a little mystery, a little romance and a touch of murder, not to mention some relationship issues.

I really liked the way Lynda portrayed Henry and highlighted the vast gap between how Henry saw himself (successful, well-organised, competent and confident), and how others saw him (puffed up, pedantic, and controlling).

We don’t get to see a lot of Imogen, Henry’s wife, who has spent the whole of her married life firmly under Henry’s thumb, until after the funeral.

Rita, a product demonstrator at a local supermarket, is the only person who can see, hear and talk to Henry. And she has a soft spot for Henry, sees him as a real gentleman, someone she would like to have in her life. Rita is quite a quirky character. Her backstory is heartbreaking, and her current circumstances are little better. But she is a battler. And is determined to battle on Henry’s behalf.

I really thought that I had this sorted, that I knew exactly who had killed Henry and why. WRONG!

Lynda Renham has written an unconventional and entertaining book. I just had to know what had prompted her to write a novel with this particular theme. Here’s her reply: ‘The idea came when my neighbour popped in ages back and we were talking about another neighbour who had suddenly died. He said ‘That’s how it goes. One day here and the next you’re reading your own obituary in The Times newspaper.’ Something clicked in my head and the novel was born.’

❤❤❤❤

MEET THE AUTHOR: Lynda Renham has been writing for as long as she can remember and had her first work published in a magazine at age nine and has continued writing in various forms since. She has had several poems published as well as articles in numerous magazines and newspapers. Recently she has taken part in radio discussions on the BBC.

She has studied literature and creative writing.

Lynda lives with her second husband and cat in Oxfordshire, England. She is Associate Editor for the online magazine The Scavenger and contributor to many others. When not writing Lynda can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to author Lynda Renham for providing a digital ARC of The Day Henry Died, published by Raucous Publishing for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Watching What I’m Reading . . .

We are enjoying a long weekend here in New Zealand. The weather has been varied, and I have worked two days, but am looking forward to my day off tomorrow. The weather forecast is for heavy rain and strong winds all day, so I feel a day of reading in front of the fire coming on.

I managed to squeeze in an extra read this week – The Day Henry Died by Lynda Renham which is due to be published 01st June. You can read my review here tomorrow. I loved this book, and also love the cover.

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I am listening to In the Dark (DI Adam Fawley #2)by Cara Hunter.

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A woman and child are found locked in a basement room, barely alive.

No one knows who they are — the woman can’t speak, and there are no missing persons reports that match their profile. The elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before.

The inhabitants of the quiet Oxford street are in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? But DI Adam Fawley knows that nothing is impossible.

And that no one is as innocent as they seem ..

I am about to begin reading The Museum of Forgotten Memories by Anstey Harris.

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Cate Morris thought she’d met her match in Simon at university—until she laid eyes on his best friend, Richard. Cate and Richard felt an immediate and undeniable spark, but Richard also felt the weight of the world more deeply than most.

Now, four years after Richard’s suicide, Cate is let go from her teaching job and can’t pay the rent on the London flat she shares with her and Richard’s son, Leo. She packs the two of them up and ventures to Richard’s grandfather’s old Victorian museum in the small town of Crouch-on-Sea, where the dusty staff quarters await her. Despite growing pains and a grouchy caretaker, Cate falls in love with the quirky taxidermy exhibits and sprawling grounds and makes it her mission to revive them. When the museum is faced with closure because of a lack of visitors, Cate stages a grand reopening, but threats from both inside and outside the museum derail her plans and send her spiraling into self-doubt.

As Cate becomes more invested in Hatters, she must finally confront the reality of Richard’s death—and the role she played in it—in order to reimagine her future.

This week I also plan on reading The House Guest by Mark Edwards.

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When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.

So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.

They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers—let alone invite them into your home—but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her.

As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…

Only 4 new ARCS this week:

What We Hide by Lesley Sanderson

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My Name is Anton by Catherine Ryan-Hyde

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A Galway Epiphany by Ken Bruen

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The House of a Hundred Whispers by Graham Masterton

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I hope that wherever you live, the Covid-19 situation is improving. Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep on reading.

Cheers
Sandy

Watching What I’m Reading . . .

Good afternoon from a chilly, grey and dismal New Zealand afternoon. I am currently reading, and loving, The Banty House by Carolyn Brown.

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I am listening to the delightfully touching and humorous The Sparkle Pages by Meg Bignell.

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This week I am planning on reading Stories We Never Told by Sonja Yoerg

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Psychology professor Jackie Strelitz thought she was over her ex-lover and colleague, Harlan Crispin. Why should she care if Harlan springs a new “friend” on her? After all, Jackie has everything she ever wanted: a loving husband and a thriving career. Still, she can’t help but be curious about Harlan’s latest.

Nasira Amari is graceful, smart, and young. Worse, she’s the new member of Jackie’s research team. For five years, Harlan enforced rules limiting his relationship with Jackie. With Nasira he’s breaking every single one. Why her?

Fixated by the couple, Jackie’s curiosity becomes obsession. But she soon learns that nothing is quite what it seems, and that to her surprise—and peril—she may not be the only one who can’t let go. (

Followed by When Grace Went Away by Meredith Appleyard

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‘Functionally dysfunctional.’ That’s how financial analyst Grace Fairley describes her family in the small South Australian farming community of Miners Ridge – a family fractured by tragedy and kept that way by anger, resentment and petty jealousies. As the eldest sibling, Grace tries to keep the family in touch, but now she’s accepted a promotion to the London office. Time-zones and an enormous workload mean she’s forced to take a step back, although she finds time to stay in contact with Miners Ridge landscape gardener Aaron Halliday.

Sarah Fairley, Grace’s mother, fled Miners Ridge and her embittered husband eight years ago. Now, in the absence of Grace, she finds herself pulled back to the small town where her estranged children and grandchildren live. Drawn into the local community, and trying to rebuild family relationships, she uncovers a long-kept secret that could change her world …

Can Grace, Sarah and their family find a way to heal? Who will have the courage to make the first move?

This week I have received 4 new ARCs:

Breaking and Mending by Joanna Cannon.

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The House on Widow’s Hill by Simon R. Green

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Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

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And The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

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Wherever you are, I hope that you are enjoying your weekend. I plan on spending the remainder of the afternoon reading in front of the fire. Whatever you are doing, have fun, stay safe and be kind my friends.