Theo by Amanda Prowse

Theo by Amanda Prowse
Theo 
by

Reviewed by
30817744


EXCERPT: It was as he lay in his bed, wide awake and staring at the ceiling while the adults screamed their laughter below, that a sad realisation came to him. He didn’t want to be anywhere, not at school, not in the back of his father’s car, where cigarette smoke and fast corners had made him sick, not in the cold kitchen with the fuzzy TV, where there was no one to talk to, and certainly not in this bedroom filled with antiques from his grandpa’s house. And that left only one question: if he didn’t feel comfortable anywhere, then where was he supposed to be?

ABOUT THIS BOOK: There are two sides to every love story…

Anna Cole grew up in care, and wants to start a family of her own. Theo Montgomery had a loveless childhood, and wants to find his soulmate.

Then, one day, Theo meets Anna, and Anna meets Theo.

Each shows the other how to love. And each shows
the other what heartbreak feels like…

This is Theo’s story.

MY THOUGHTS: One love, two stories. . . an interesting concept and one Amanda Prowse has executed beautifully. I really liked Anna, but I absolutely adored Theo.

I started this book this morning and just read until it was finished.

Theo pulled at my heartstrings. I cannot believe that parents can be so casual, so careless with their children as Theo’s were. That any parent could even contemplate sending such a young child off to boarding school is completely foreign to me, and yet I know it happens.

If you are looking for a beautiful, touching read, I highly recommend this wonderful pair of books, Anna and Theo. 4.5☆

Thank you to Harper Collins Publishers Australia, Head of Zeus via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Theo by Amanda Prowse for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2361564216

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful Mums out there.

It’s time to catch up with what I am currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what ARCS I have been approved for this week.

Currently I am reading

The Perfect Mother

and listening to

I Found You

This week I am planning on reading

The Good Samaritan

She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.

Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.

But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?

The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…

Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.

Cassandra's Secret: Sometimes the only way to move forward is to go back...

Secrets can’t stay buried forever… 

1960s England

Cassandra Fitzpatrick’s family isn’t quite like everybody else’s: her house is always full to bursting with the various misfits her mother houses as lodgers.

The creative and chaotic household is all she has ever known and loved, until something awful happens that changes everything.

Cass loves her mother deeply, but, as she gets older, she becomes more and more aware of her flaws.

Will Cass have to distance herself from her family to find happiness? Or is she destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps? 

As Cass reflects on her memories, she must lay the ghosts of the past to rest and make peace with the secrets that have haunted her adult life

CASSANDRA’S SECRET is both a coming-of-age story and poignant return to the past, an intricate family drama of the close bond between mother and daughter, and the strength of love needed to overcome abuse and grief.

The Retreat

A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.

Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.

Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.

When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?

And I made up for my 0 arcs last week by being approved for 5 new reads this week. . .

The Memory Box

Dead Bad

The Date

Leave No Trace

The Little Shop of Found Things

So excited by my haul this week! Plus I received a signed copy of

The Key to Death's Door

from author Mark Tilbury. I just loved this book and am very grateful to Mark for his kindness. I reviewed The Key to Death’s Door a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read this yet, I urge you to check out my review and pick up a copy.

Well ,that’s my lot for the week. I hope you have an awesome reading week lined up. Let me know what you are reading, what you enjoyed, and what you didn’t like.

Cheers

Sandy

 

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

The weather is a mixed bag here today. We have had heavy rain, but now the sun is attempting to break through. I hope it succeeds .

So, here we are, Sunday again, and MAY!!!! I have had a quiet week reading-wise. I spent 4 days reading the first 37% of The Neighbor by Joseph Souza before finally abandoning it. In that time I would normally devour two books, so that put me somewhat behind schedule and I haven’t managed to catch up.

Currently I am reading

Cross Your Heart (Detective Jess Bishop, #2)

which I am loving, and should finish this afternoon. And listening to

A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone, #1)

Which I still think is one of the best of the series.

This week I am planning on reading

The Family at Number 13

Which I never quite got to this week.

The most perfect lives can hide the darkest secrets…
Mary has everything. Beautiful and rich, she lives on an exclusive street in the heart of the city, in a house with gorgeous views and an immaculately maintained garden. Her life looks perfect.

But behind closed doors the truth is very different. Her husband Andrew barely speaks to her, spending his days down in the basement alone. Her teenage nephew is full of rage, lashing out with no warning. Her carefully constructed life is beginning to fall apart.

And then someone starts sending Mary anonymous notes, threatening her and her family…

Everyone has secrets. But is someone at number 13 hiding something that could put the whole family in danger?

Theo

There are two sides to every love story…

Anna Cole grew up in care, and wants to start a family of her own. Theo Montgomery had a loveless childhood, and wants to find his soulmate.

Then, one day, Theo meets Anna, and Anna meets Theo.

Each shows the other how to love. And each shows
the other what heartbreak feels like…

This is Theo’s story.

You may remember that I read Anna a few weeks back.

The Dead House

This best-selling debut by an award-winning writer is both an eerie contemporary ghost story and a dread-inducing psychological thriller. Maggie is a successful young artist who has had bad luck with men. Her last put her in the hospital and, after she’s healed physically, left her needing to get out of London to heal mentally and find a place of quiet that will restore her creative spirit. On the rugged west coast of Ireland, perched on a wild cliff side, she spies the shell of a cottage that dates back to Great Famine and decides to buy it. When work on the house is done, she invites her dealer to come for the weekend to celebrate along with a couple of women friends, one of whom will become his wife. On the boozy last night, the other friend pulls out an Ouija board. What sinister thing they summon, once invited, will never go.

Ireland is a country haunted by its past. In Billy O’Callaghan’s hands, its terrible beauty becomes a force of inescapable horror that reaches far back in time, before the Famine, before Christianity, to a pagan place where nature and superstition are bound in an endless knot.

Even if I manage to read all three this week, I will still be a week behind in my reading schedule. 😕 Still, I will catch up at some point.

I have had no ARCs approved this week, and only requested one book yesterday.

Whatever the weather where you are, have a wonderful weekend and happy reading.😎

The Amazing Mr Morality by Jacob M. Appel

The Amazing Mr. Morality by Jacob M. Appel
The Amazing Mr. Morality: Stories 
by

Jacob M. Appel (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by
30817744


EXCERPT: When I’d first gone to live with Aunt Faye, she was alone in the house. She’d once had a husband, a fellow named Tate, but like most of the men in our family, he’d drifted from history into mist, leaving behind only his surname and not much else. (All I knew of my own father, Len Kuritsky, was that he’d asphyxiated on a chicken bone at a music festival in California several weeks after my birth.) At some point, long before I entered the scene, Aunt Faye had staffed the front desk at the Powick Bridge Public Library and, pushing seventy, she carried with her an atmosphere of dusty encyclopedias. We had lots of visitors in those days: A klatch of female relations whose precise perch on the family tree wasn’t worth locating. Even Marcella had stayed overnight once but left in a huff before breakfast, incensed that Aunt Faye had stipulated a separate bed downstairs for her niece’s boyfriend. Four years later, a widowed girlhood friend of my grandaunt – the aptly named Edie Coffin – moved permanently into the same chamber. (To this day, I don’t know whether Aunt Faye and ‘Cousin’ Edie were lovers, or had once been lovers, or were merely faithful late-life companions.) The third female in our estrogen-perfumed Cape Codder, Cindy-Jane, arrived only four months before Marcella. She was a genuine cousin – the sixteen year old cashew-shaped, eggplant-hued spawn of two heroin junkies, one of them loosely descended from Granny Bess. Aunt Faye had again opened her doors to the family’s jetsam.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The Amazing Mr. Morality features tenacious men and women whose determination to buck middle-class social convention draws them toward unforeseen challenges. A failed television producer insists upon having a woodchuck relocated from his lawn, only to receive desperate letters in which the woodchuck begs to return. An overconfident ne’er-do-well obtains a lucrative lecture invitation intended for a renowned ornithologist and decides to deliver the speech himself. An innocuous dispute over whether to rename a local street opens up racial fault lines that prove deadly.

The collection concludes with the title novella in which two unscrupulous ethicists, writing rival newspaper columns, seek to unseat each other by addressing questions such as: If you’re going to commit a murder, is it worse to kill when the victim is sleeping or awake?

MY THOUGHTS: The Amazing Mr Appel has done it again! He has penned a collection of amusing, thought-provoking short stories featuring quirky, and sometimes naive, characters in both mundane and challenging situations, their actions fuelled by misconception, anger, desire, or the desire for revenge.

I have rationed myself to one story at a time, drawing out the pleasure of reading, savouring each individual tale, swirling it around in my mind like a fine wine on the palate. A wine I will be savouring again and recommending to all.

Thank you to author Jacob M. Appel and publisher Vandalia Press for providing a copy of The Amazing Mr. Morality for my great enjoyment and for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2333443100

Friday Favorite – Visiting Lilly by Toni Allen

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

It is a wonderful experience going back over all my 5-star reads. While I may have forgotten some of them until I see the cover, read the title or the author’s name, some of them stay with me. Visiting Lilly is one of these.

Visiting Lilly by Toni Allen
Visiting Lilly 
by Toni Allen (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Frankie stood in the rain. It had started out mild, but a driving wind had kicked up, and nowhe was freezing cold. He stared at the building, looked up and across the windows, wondering which room she was in. He’d rehearsed what to say one hundred times over, but that had been in his head, in his imagination. The nursing home had been built in the sixties, straight lined, pebble dashed – no character. In the rain the building looked grim. The idea of going inside was daunting, and for the past hour his courage had failed him. He dug his hands into his pockets. He’d bought new clothes especially for the occasion, a pair of black jeans, a chestnut brown sweater, and some leather shoes, not trainers. He knew she’d like the shoes, polished and smart; but they didn’t look smart any more. It was silly standing there getting wet with no umbrella and his waterproof left in the car. He was supposed to go straight in, only it wasn’t happening as planned. His nerve had failed him.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Why should a man at a Surrey police station go ballistic because someone tries to visit Lilly, his elderly grandmother?

Detective Inspector Jake Talbot is intrigued, and this little puzzle might serve to distract him from sorrows of a Christmas past. Soon he is entangled with Frankie, an odd young man who claims to have met Lilly in her youth. Talbot dismisses the notion of time travel, but then discovers the Ministry of Defence has been monitoring Frankie since his friend disappeared ten years previously. Forced to work with the MOD, Talbot unearths family secrets and betrayals. The families act ruthlessly to prevent him from discovering the facts, colluding to ruin him.

If Frankie is innocent, Talbot won’t let him be victimised. An uneasy understanding grows between them as they follow the evidence, for only the truth will allow Frankie to visit Lilly.

MY THOUGHTS: Can I write a review that does this outstanding book justice? I hope so.

This is a carefully and delicately layered book that delivers so much more than you first expect.

What starts out as a simple police procedural, and one where no real crime has been committed, soon turns into something far more sinister.

Detective Inspector Jake Talbot wonders why a man at a Surrey police station would go ballistic because someone tries to visit Lilly, his elderly grandmother? He asks to follow up the complaint, mainly as a distraction from the ghosts of Christmases past which come to haunt him at this time each year.

He is soon intrigued, even more so after he has met the man in question, Frankie Hayward, who claims to have met Lilly in her youth. Perhaps the authorities, who variously describe Frankie as a nutter, schizophrenic, genius, murderer, stalker and fanatic, may be right.

But in spite of all this, he forms an oddly protective friendship with Frankie, who is traumatised by the disappearance of his only friend, Keith MacKenzie, ten years earlier.

There are lots of secrets and lies, and people acting ruthlessly to prevent Frankie from seeing Lilly. The big question is “Why”?

This is a truly intriguing read. At times I wondered if there had been a book prior to this one, but there hasn’t, and all becomes clear by the end.

Toni Allen has done a wonderful job of this book and I am looking forward to her next book, Saving Anna, which is due out later this year.

Thank you to gejohnsonmedia, Kay Vreeland at Booktrope and author Toni Allen for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1401085494

Anna by Amanda Prowse

Anna by Amanda Prowse
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: But you know, what you eat on your wedding day isn’t really that important. In fact, whether you get married or not isn’t really important. The thing that matters most is that you spend your time with someone who loves you very much and who you love right back, someone who is kind to you and who you, in return, want to be kind to.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: One Love, Two Stories.

Anna Cole grew up in care, and is determined to start a family of her own. Theo Montgomery had a loveless childhood, and wants only to find his soulmate.

Then, one day, Theo meets Anna, and Anna meets Theo. Two damaged souls from different worlds. Is their love for each other enough to let go of the pain of their pasts? Or will Anna and Theo break each others’ hearts?

There are two sides to every love story. This is Anna’s.

MY THOUGHTS: Those of you who have been following my reviews for some time know that I am no great romance reader. But every now and then I come across something that piques my interest. And Anna certainly did that.

WARNING: Anna is a book that needs to be read with a box of tissues on hand to mop up as we follow Anna’s journey.

Anna grows up the adored daughter of a single mum, sister to a drug addict. Her six year old self writes letters to the children she wants to have one day, Fifi and Fox. This is a habit she continues throughout her life. That and playing the alphabet game, a game her mother taught her to play when she was worried or anxious. These two things sustain her through her troubled life. But just when she thinks she has got it all right, everything goes wrong.

I have read and enjoyed Amanda Prowse’s books in the past. She has a talent for bringing her characters to life, of making you feel as though you are right there, experiencing the myriad emotions, living through the disasters and triumphs. She wreaks havoc with the reader’s emotions. Prowse had me laughing, crying, and everything in between.

Anna is a triumph. I can’t wait to read Theo. 4.5 stars

Thank you to Head of Zeus via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Anna for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2350466163

Friday Favorite – Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets by Jacob M. Appel

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog will know that I love the writing of Jacob M. Appel, an incredibly gifted and talented man with many strings to his bow. I treasure each and every one of his books which have their very own shelf in my library. I have left plenty of room for all the books that are going to flow from his pen in the future. This was only the second book from Appel that I had read.

Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets by Jacob M. Appel
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: We’re sitting on one of the cast iron benches that line the footpath between Red Brick Cottage II and Red Brick Cottage III. Abbington Manor feels more like a university campus than a psychiatric facility: waves of jonquils rising through beds of red woodchips, a Gothic revival chapel where bells peal on the hour. Ten weeks have passed since my mother tried to drown herself – long enough for the ice sheath to melt off Long Island Sound. The firemen who rescued her are now battling brush fires along the interstate. Jay Bergman, the veterinary student responsible for my positive pregnancy test, is dating a city planner. My mother has already worked her way up to ‘level three privileges’, meaning she may explore the grounds without supervision. The tranquility is killing her slowly. – taken from The Grand Concourse

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A visitor from a distant planet opens a Latvian restaurant next to an abortion clinic; a magician learns that true love will cost him a kidney; a blind barber cuts hair for tourists in a gentrifying Harlem…. Enter the mad, moving university of Jacob M. Appel’s short fiction.

MY THOUGHTS: There was not one story in this collection that did not bring a smile to my face or a tear to my eye – often it was both!

Each story is a tragedy in it’s own right, yet each one demonstrates the resilience, kindness and honour of mankind (and once – an alien!). But don’t expect to be depressed by this collection – to the contrary – all are in some way uplifting. This collection has the common theme of relocation running through it.

This book is a keeper for me…..I know I am going to get just as much pleasure out of it in the future as I just did.

Jacob M Appel appears to be an extraordinary man…..he is a physician (which explains the medical aspect to many of these stories), attorney and bioethicist; he currently teaches at Gotham Writers Workshop and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine; he is also the author of over 200 published short stories and winner of many awards.

If you haven’t yet sampled any of Jacob’s work, I strongly urge you to do so. This is the second of his collections I have read and thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you Jacob for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1377590397

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

The Dollhouse by Fiona  Davis
The Dollhouse 
by Fiona Davis (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: “Patrick, when did you start working here?”

He turned to face her, eyebrows raised in surprise. She gathered that few residents asked him personal questions. “Back in the seventies. Things were very different then.”

She liked the way things came out as ‘tings’. “Do you know many of the older residents?”

“The ladies? Of course. I know them all.”

“What about the woman who left a little while ago? The one with the dog.”

He smiled. “Miss McLaughlin. And Bird. Odd woman.”

A woman with buttery blond hair clopped toward them carrying several packages. Patrick left Rose’s side and scuttled over to her. Rose checked her watch. She really should get back upstairs, not stand around chatting, but Patrick quickly reappeared. “Can I get you a taxi, Miss Lewin?”

“No,no.” She waved a hand in front of her. “I was hoping you could tell me more about Mrs McLaughlin.”

“Miss McLaughlin.” He was about four inches shorter than she was and he lifted his ruddy, round face to hers. “I don’t like to talk too much about the other residents, you know. ”

Patrick loved to talk about the other tenants, but Rose put on a serious expression and nodded.

“She’s from way back, the fifties, that was when she first moved in. Came here to go to secretarial school.”

“She seems like an interesting woman, the way she dresses and all.”

“Not many friends in the building. Management can’t stand her. She kicked and screamed when they said she had to move from her apartment down to 4B, with the rest of the longtimers. Threatened to call her lawyer. But she never did. In the end, I helped her to pack up and move. She’s a retired lady, couldn’t afford proper movers, and I was happy to do it. She always remembers me at Christmas with a card and a small token.”

Apartment 4B was the one directly under theirs. The one with the music. “That was very kind of you, to help her move.”

“Terrible story, what happened to her.”

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Fiona Davis’s stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City’s glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950s a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side by side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon’s glitzy past.

When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren’t: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn’t belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she’s introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that’s used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizon’s gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby’s involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman’s rent-controlled apartment. It’s a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose’s obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.

MY THOUGHTS: 4.5 jazz trumpeting stars for The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. This is a simply exquisite story divided between the early 1950s and the current day, between Darby McLaughlin and Rose Lewin.

I can’t believe that this was Davis’s debut novel. Her characterisation is masterful, as is her talent for setting the scene. The writing flows seamlessly from era to era, character to character. Davis brings to life the jazz dives, the condescension and petty rivalries between the ‘Ford girls’, or giraffes as Esme describes them, and the lesser mortals residing in what was the premier hotel for ladies.

The sharp contrast in lifestyle between the two time periods, and the similarities, are well used to further the plot which evolves into a mystery, and a romance, that had me hanging onto the author’s every word.

I listened to to the audiobook of The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis, narrated by Tavia Gilbert and published by Penguin Audio via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1741735965

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Time, once again, to take a look at what I’m currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what ARCS I have been approved for from NetGalley this week.

Currently I am reading

The Scent Of Guilt     

Which was published 17 February 2018, and

Lily and the Octopus

Which, I am ashamed to say, has been sitting on my shelf for 18 months.

In the coming week, I am planning on reading

An Unquiet Ghost (Mina Scarletti #3)

Mina Scarletti returns in her most thrilling mystery yet! Perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie and Antonia Hodgson…

A family is being torn apart by rumours of a murderer in their midst. Can Mina solve the mystery and lay the ghosts to rest? 

Brighton, 1871 .

Mina Scarletti is becoming well known for unmasking fraudulent psychics. So it is no surprise to her when a young couple write to her seeking her advice.

George Fernwood and Mary Clifton, betrothed distant cousins, have a family secret that is preventing them from getting married. Twenty years ago, their alcoholic grandfather died in his bed and since then rumours have been circulating that someone in the family murdered him.

Desperate to find out the truth, they have decided to seek out a medium to communicate with their grandfather, and they want Mina to help them find one who is genuine.

Though she is not a believer in ghosts, Mina is intrigued by the family mystery and decides to help them in any way she can.

Could one of the new mediums advertising in Brighton really be genuine? Will they help George and Mary find the answers they are looking for? 

Or will this Unquiet Ghost ruin the chance of happiness for future generations …?

AN UNQUIET GHOST is the third cosy mystery in Linda Stratmann’s intriguing historical series, the Mina Scarletti Mysteries, a traditional British detective series with a feisty woman sleuth set in Victorian Brighton.

The Last Laugh

I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’

‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’

Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair…

Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago.

And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.

Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990’s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?

From No. 1 bestseller Tracy Bloom, The Last Laugh is both hilarious and heartbreaking, a book about how to find happiness and live your life as though every day is your last. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and The Kicking the Bucket List.

And books I have received from NetGalley this week are

White is the Coldest Colour (Dr David Galbraith, #1)          The Retreat

The Visitor          The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

A  reasonably restrained requesting week for me, particularly since I requested The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton months ago, and it has been sitting on my pending shelf ever since. I had almost given up all hope of ever being approved for it. But I have just been to NetGalley and requested Sold on a Monday

after reading Susan Dyers blog, Susanlovesbooks. Thanks Susan!

It looks like a pretty wet week ahead of us here in New Zealand, so I should get plenty of reading in.

Don’t forget to let me know what you’re reading and, if you have read any of my upcoming reads, what you thought of them.

Happy reading everyone!

 

Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery

Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Kelly Murphy was willing to accept certain injustices in the world. That brownies had more calories than celery. That wearing white pants meant getting her period – regardless of where she was in her cycle. That her car would be low on gas only on days when she was running late. What she did not appreciate or accept was the total unfairness of Griffith Burnett not only returning to Tulpen Crossing, Washington, nearly a year ago, but apparently waking up last month and deciding that stalking her was how he was going to spend his days.

The man was everywhere. Every. Where. He was the aphid swarm in the garden of her life. He was kudzu, he was rain at an outdoor wedding, someone spoiling the end of the movie just as you were getting to the good part, all rolled into one.

THE BLURB: Kelly Murphy’s life as a tulip farmer is pretty routine—up at dawn, off to work, lather, rinse, repeat. But everything changes one sun-washed summer with two dramatic homecomings: Griffith Burnett—Tulpen Crossing’s prodigal son, who’s set his sights on Kelly—and Olivia, her beautiful, wayward and, as far as Kelly is concerned, unwelcome sister. Tempted by Griffith, annoyed by Olivia, Kelly is overwhelmed by the secrets that were so easy to keep when she was alone.

But Olivia’s return isn’t as triumphant as she pretends. Her job has no future, and ever since her dad sent her away from the bad boy she loved, she has felt cut off from her past. She’s determined to reclaim her man and her place in the family…whether her sister likes it or not. For ten years, she and Kelly have been strangers. Olivia will get by without her approval now.

While Kelly and Olivia butt heads, their secrets tumble out in a big hot mess, revealing some truths that will change everything they thought they knew. Can they forgive each other—and themselves—and redefine what it means to be sisters?

Told with Mallery’s trademark heart and humor, the Tulip Sisters are in for the most colorful summer of their lives…

MY THOUGHTS: 4.5 ☆ for this heart-warming story from my ‘comfort food author’ Susan Mallery. I can always relate to her characters, they are unreservedly human, flawed, but lovable anyway. And I always want to belong to the families she writes about, warts and all. Mallery is the master of family dynamics. And she always has me wondering, if this were happening to me, how would I react?

While you might know that everything is going to work out in the end, and you are going to get a ‘happy ever after’, the journey itself is a maelstrom of emotions. Parental upheaval, sibling rivalry, old flames, jealousy and an unforseen love affair all contribute to this wonderful read.

I listened to the audiobook of The Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery, narrated by Tanya Eby, published by Harlequin Audio, via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2273414407