Sunday, August 12, 2018

Back on the Shelf...again

The school year has started and I am definitely MIA on the blogging. Exhaustion - pure exhaustion!

But I digress.

I did squeeze in a few books before the rig-em-roll hit (but no lie, there will be definite lull in the updating over the next thirty-five weeks, but who's counting????) All book summaries from Goodreads. 

Murder on Mulberry Bend by Victoria Thompson (Gaslight Mystery #5)

Sarah Brandt, a midwife in turn-of-the-century New York City, has seen more than her share of joy and sorrow, birth and death. Now she will see for the first time how the squalor of the streets can breed madness and murder…
The Prodigal Son Mission on Mulberry Bend stands as a refuge for girls who otherwise would have to live by selling the only thing they have of value—themselves. The work being done there so impresses Sarah that she volunteers to help out however she can—with clothes, with medical assistance, with the organization of a benefit dinner. And when one of the girls is found dead and refused burial because of her former life, Sarah’s passion for justice is aroused.
Reluctantly, Sergeant Frank Malloy agrees to look into the death, if only to keep Sarah from endangering herself by pursuing the matter. But Sarah cannot be kept out of the investigation—and just as Malloy feared, her attempts to find the cause of the unfortunate girl’s death in the circumstances of her life put her in deadly danger—from an unexpected source…
My review: Continue to love Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy as a mystery solving duo. I appreciate the historical context of this novel and the race-based relationships between the Irish and the Italians that are explored here. In the end - we are all simply human and deserving of dignity. I believe this book sends this underlying message of integrity embedded in the mystery solving game. 🍷🍷🍷🍷
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein
Oct. 11th, 1943 - A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.
My review: Don't - please just don't. I rarely give less than three stars on any review because I support the author and the work it takes to write a book, but this - just no. 🍷I had to DNF this book and maybe that's not a fair review, but I simply could not read anymore. It is a long and drawn out account of a pilot's experience in WWII focusing mostly on the plane - not the story, not the depth, not emotion, just planes. And the twist in the end isn't really a twist. It's obvious and not well-done. I love WWII era books, but not this one. And I realize my opinion is quite unpopular in this, but seriously I can only read so much about WWII planes before I simply doze off. 😴😴😴😴😴 I felt nothing when reading this book - nothing. I'm sorry, but I must speak this truth if I save just one reader from cracking this spine. #donthateme
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth in line for the throne, she has been taught only a few things, among them, the perfect curtsey. But when her brother cuts off her allowance, she leaves Scotland, and her fiancΓ© Fish-Face, for London, where she has:

a) worked behind a cosmetics counter—and gotten sacked after five hours
b) started to fall for a quite unsuitable minor royal
c) made some money housekeeping (incognita, of course), and
d) been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son

Then an arrogant Frenchman, who wants her family’s 800-year-old estate for himself, winds up dead in her bathtub. Now her most important job is to clear her very long family name.
My review: This was a fun start to a series and the historical detail is excellent. A solid 🍷🍷🍷for me and I'll add it to my list of book series to read. I have several going - all murder mystery except for one YA series. I love reading the twists and turns and this book was no exception. Plenty of intrigue, plenty of characters, and a lot corgis - which always makes a book better. Enjoyed it and will read the next book in the series (as soon as I have time!)
What's coming up???
Currently reading Save the Date by Morgan Matson and How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster (I'm making my students read it, too!) I also have The Other Woman by Sandie Jones on the horizon.

Happy Reading Folks! Cheers! 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷


  1. That first book you pointed out looks so good! I have to add it to my list. Good luck with the school year!

  2. Aw, sorry you didn't like Code Name Verity; that's one that I really loved. hah Thanks for all the reviews. Hope you have a great school year!!


  3. That's a shame about Code Name Verity.