#NetGalley #BookReview Ancient Egypt: The Cradle of Civilization by Peter Mavrikis #AncientEgypt #Egyptology #Photography

Book Review

Ancient Egypt: The Cradle of Civilization

by Peter Mavrikis

Release date: September 14th, 2021

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Ancient Egypt: The Cradle of Civilization by Peter Mavrikis from NetGalley and Amber Books to read and give an honest review.

…Ancient Egypt: The Cradle of Civilization truly is a captivatingly beautiful journey through Egyptian history…

I have been fascinated with Ancient Egypt since I was a child and recently have started taking courses in Archaeology, in particular Egyptology. I was thrilled to be afforded the opportunity to read and review Ancient Egypt: The Cradle of Civilization and I loved this book.

Ancient Egypt: The Cradle of Civilization is a stunning collection of photographs of Ancient Egyptian relics, covering items from the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, Late Period, and Greco-Roman Period, revealing recent finds amongst its collection. Accompanying each photograph are brief captions by author Peter Mavrikis that discusses concisely the relevance of each photograph and its significance in history.  

They say, A picture is worth a thousand words….” and in this case Peter Mavrikis has shared volumes, Ancient Egypt: The Cradle of Civilization truly is a captivatingly beautiful journey through Egyptian history.  

This would be perfect gift with anyone who is fascinated by Ancient Egypt and its amazing wonders, I would highly recommend it.   

#NetGalley #BookReview Reading Between the Crimes A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery #2 by Kate Young #Mystery #Cozy #CrookedLaneBooks

Reading Between the Crimes

A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery #2

by Kate Young

Release date: September 7th, 2021  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Reading Between the Crimes (A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery #2) by Kate Young from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

brilliantly crafted characters and intriguing clever plotlines that will keep you turning pages

Reading Between the Crimes, the second in the Jane Doe Book Club Mysteries begins a year or so after the events of book one, On Borrowed Crime. Lyla Moody has established herself at her Uncle Calvin’s Private Investigations Agency, has settled into a comfortable relationship with her agent boyfriend and seems that her family has become a bit more understanding of her life choices. When a local librarian and friend of the true crime book club the Jane Doe’s, Harper Richardson, seems to be under duress and confides in her, Lyla steps up as a friend, agreeing to help her find her missing aunt. Things deteriorate when Lyla and her beloved Gran stumble across the body of Harper’s husband Leonard Richardson at a fundraiser hosted by Lyla’s parents. While waiting for the police to arrive a key piece of evidence goes missing and everyone becomes a suspect. When the case takes a turn and Lyla becomes a target, taunted with clues that coincide with their book club pick, Agatha Christie’s the Crooked House along with her friends Lyla begins to put the pieces together and a strange connection to Lyla’s Mother and Uncle Calvin’s past makes this even more chaotic.

Author, Kate Young has done it again, brilliantly crafted characters and intriguing clever plotlines that will keep you turning pages and if you’re like me…losing sleep. I really enjoyed Reading Between the Crimes, although the second in the series it works well as a stand-alone, but I would really recommend On Borrowed Crime as well, both are fantastic reads, and I am looking forward to reading future books in this series! 

#NetGalley #BookReview Murder By The Bookend by Laura Gail Black #Mystery #CrookedLaneBooks

Murder by the Bookend 

An Antique Bookshop Mystery #2 

by Laura Gail Black 

Release date: September 7th, 2021  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Murder by the Bookend (An Antique Bookshop Mystery #2) by Laura Gail Black from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

… A clever cozy with suspects you’ll love to hate, clever red herrings and unexpected twists, the author has crafted …  

Murder by the Bookend is the second book in the An Antique Bookshop Mystery series and author Laura Gail Black does not disappoint. Life is finally looking up for Jenna Quinn after the events that occurred in “For Whom the Book Tolls.” Jenna has settled into her new life in Hokes Folly, North Carolina and is having a grand re-opening of the antique bookshop she inherited from her beloved Uncle Paul.

After all the struggles she has endured and the store surviving after being associated with two murders, Jenna is determined to get her life back on track, she reopens the store under a new name, Twice Upon a Time, with Mason as her Manager, her best friend next door and her Police Officer boyfriend, life is good. The re-opening is going well but in a small town there can be quite a few characters both the two and four legged variety. After a few tense moments with warring patrons was averted, a well-received raffle was held it concluding the opening on a high note…that’s until they see a patron’s dog running loose in the parking lot, which leads them to finding the victim’s body lying next to his car, murdered with a bookend that he had won at Twice Upon a Time. The victim and his dog were well known in Hokes Folly and Jenna although not overly close went to him for help with appraising books. The victim was always kind to her when many in the town were not, and Jenna wants to do right by him agreeing to take in his grieving pup and keeping it out of a shelter. When “Twice Upon a Time” gets targeted by the police, the press, as well as the murderer suspicious of the dog recognizing them, Jenna does what she must to save her shop and the new life she has built for herself.  


 Murder by the Bookend is a clever cozy with suspects you’ll love to hate, clever red herrings and unexpected twists, the author has indeed crafted a novel with living breathing characters and compelling plotlines that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. Although I preferred the first book in the series, Murder by the Bookend was a fantastic read, and I am looking forward to reading future books in this series! 

#NetGalley #BookReview The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden #History of #Viking Warrior #Women by Nancy Marie Brown

Book Review

The Real Valkyrie

The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women

by Nancy Marie Brown

Release date: August 31st, 2021

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women by Nancy Marie Brown from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press to read and give an honest review.

… unique, professionally researched, and brilliantly written, …

Being huge lover of history, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to read and review The Real Valkyrie and I wasn’t disappointed.

Author, Nancy Marie Brown delves into a Viking warrior whose bones were found in grave Bj581 dated between 913 and 980 was discovered outside the Swedish town of Birka in 1878. Initially based on preconceived biases of the Victorian era the body was said to be that of a male Viking warrior. Buried with the body were grave goods such as weapons including a blade, spearheads a sword, knives, an axe, shields, various daily essentials, and a set of game pieces normally signifying a strategic thinker and were common of a warrior’s grave. In 2019 a team set out determined to prove that contrary to long held stereotypical beliefs there were in fact women warriors during Viking Era. The team, after running DNA tests on the bones, proved conclusively that the bones in grave were that of a female in her thirties or forties. The Author intrigued by this has tried to give the reader insight into the life of this and other female warriors by overlaying what stories could be found by way of sagas, poems, and documentation of the time to create a skillfully imagined vignette of the lives of these women warriors.  

Although, at times this book meandered a bit, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very unique, professionally researched, and brilliantly written, Nancy Marie Brown has taken us back through time to walk in the footsteps of brave female Viking warriors, keeping them alive when history forgot. 

#NetGalley #BookReview Silence in the Library (Lily Adler Mystery #2) by Katharine Schellman #Historical #Mystery

Review 

Silence in the Library 

(Lily Adler Mystery #2) 

by  

Katharine Schellman  

Release date: July 13th, 2021 

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Silence in the Library (Lily Adler Mystery #2) by Katharine Schellman from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review. 

… A true whodunit with multiple suspects, clever red herrings and unexpected twists and turns … 

In Silence in the Library, we meet up again in Regency London after widow Lily Adler had proven herself as a brilliant sleuth in the first book in the series The Body in the Garden which I was fortunate enough to review here.

Silence in the Library begins with the unexpected arrival of Lily’s somewhat estranged and extremely critical father. Her father a society climbing solicitor is concerned more about social mores than his daughter’s happiness. Despite being widowed two years prior young Lily has carved out a wonderful life for herself with close male friends and a consulting position with the local police much to her father’s chagrin. Her father insists she visit an old society friend Sir Charles Wyatt and his new wife. After an uncomfortable visit Lily returns home, the next day she receives word that Sir Charles has been murdered and Lily feels compelled to follow the trail with her friends who make a re-appearance namely Captain Hartley and officer Simon Page, a member of the Bow Street Runners. I was disappointed at first but pleasantly surprised with the appearance of Ofelia later in the book.  

A true whodunit with multiple suspects, clever red herrings and unexpected twists and turns Silence in the Library keeps you guessing until the end. Although I preferred the first book in the series Silence in the Library was a great read, and I am looking forward to reading future books in this series! 

#NetGalley #Book #Review The Night Hawks (Dr. Ruth Galloway #13) by Elly Griffiths

Book Review

The Night Hawks

 Dr. Ruth Galloway #13

by Elly Griffiths

Release date: June 29, 2021

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths from NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  to read and give an honest review.

… brilliantly written, atmospheric with dynamic and multifaceted cast of characters…

Being a huge fan of Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to read and review the thirteenth book “The Night Hawks” and for me although not the best in the series it was a wonderful read.  

We pick up with Ruth having left her prestigious position at Cambridge University to replace Phil Trent as head of Archaeology at the University of North Norfolk. When a group of metal detectorists called “The Night Hawks” uncover more than they bargained for DC Harry Nelson is on the case along with his consulting archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway. A body is found on the beach and what seems to be a simple death takes on a sinister turn especially when one of the Night Hawks reports gunshots at the legendary and supposedly haunted Black Dog Farm. As the bodies start to pile up and the race is on to unravel the truth from the legends and catch the killer before it is too late.  

  As with any Galloway novel we have murder, mayhem, mythology, and archaeology along with a touch of whimsy in the form of Cathbad ,an old druid friend always happy to add his insights to the case. I loved that it felt like the old gang was back together again after Ruth’s departure to Cambridge to move in with her former boyfriend Frank. The author has created the perfect cast of characters which to me is the huge draw of this series, they feel genuine with their strengths and their insecurities which make them unpredictable and interesting. In this entry we have the introduction of a new character, David Brown a new appointment to the university’s Archaeology department. There is an instant combativeness between him, and Ruth and we learn the secrets he has been harbouring.  

Always brilliantly written, atmospheric with dynamic and multifaceted cast of characters I would highly recommend reading this book, but I highly recommend reading the whole series in order.  

#NetGalley #BookReview of The Abduction of Pretty Penny A Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Leonard Goldberg #Historical #Mystery

REVIEW

The Abduction of Pretty Penny

A Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mystery

by Leonard Goldberg

Release date: June 15th, 2021

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Abduction of Pretty Penny, A Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Leonard Goldberg from NetGalley and Minotaur Books in order to read and give an honest review.

” … face-paced, intriguing, intelligent and captivating read that will keep you turning pages! …”

A fan of this series author Leonard Goldberg certainly didn’t disappoint. In this instalment of the Daughter of Sherlock Holmes series,  Joanna Watson the infamous daughter of the late Sherlock Holmes, her husband, and father-in-law Dr John Watson are pulled into yet another investigation one with echoes of an infamous serial killer who stalked Whitechapel years before. Mrs. Emma Adams, pub owner, and playwright at the Whitechapel playhouse turns to Joanna for help when her lead actress and friend Penny Martin disappears. When people are convinced she just ran away the clues lead to something much more sinister which Joanna is determined to get to the bottom of. The urgency increases when a string of grotesque murders of young women in the Whitechapel area occur it appears the infamous Jack the Ripper is making his encore. “Jack” is thrilled by Joanna’s challenge and is determined to claim fame for “besting” the daughter of Sherlock Holmes. The closer Joanna gets to revealing his identity the more dangerous life becomes for her and her loved ones.

I have always been a fan of authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, in my opinion, Mr Goldberg has found his way into that elite circle The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes series is fantastic series and although this book would be great as a stand-alone, I do recommend reading the previous books in the series as they are all great reads and help the reader get inside the brilliant mind of Joanna Watson. Although the books have some violence I feel they are suitable for most ages, this one however I would not recommend for younger or sensitive audiences.  I enjoyed the book as it was a face-paced, intriguing, intelligent and captivating read that will keep you turning pages!

#NetGalley #Book #Review The Unkindness of Ravens (A Greer Hogan Mystery #1) by M. E. Hilliard #Mystery #Library

Review

The Unkindness of Ravens

A Greer Hogan Mystery #1

by M. E. Hilliard

Release date: April 13th, 2021

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

4.5 rounded up


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Unkindness of Ravens, A Greer Hogan Mystery #1
by M. E. Hilliard from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.

 “…a clever suspenseful mystery that is intriguing and highly entertaining…”

Atmospheric and suspenseful, The Unkindness of Ravens is a brilliant debut from author M.E. Hillard.  

Librarian Greer Hogan is a lifelong fan of mysteries, beginning with the likes of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. After the murder of her husband Greer goes from Corporate New York Executive to small town Raven Hill Librarian looking for a fresh start. Her fresh start comes to an abrupt end when she stumbles across the body of her best friend Joanna Goodhue in the library’s hidden stairwell. Although initially she becomes a suspect, the police declare Joanna’s death an accident. Greer’s memories of her husband’s murder combined with her intuition tell her there is much more to the story, and channeling her literary heroes, Greer puts her researching skills to effective use, determined to find justice for her friend. When she begins asking too many questions, she catches the attention of the killer putting herself in their path.  

I loved everything about the book, the literary references, a strong female protagonist, and a creepy Gothic mansion turned Raven Hill Library, which with its secret passages and creepy portraits becomes a character in itself.  

Reminiscent of Agatha Christie, M.E. Hilliard has crafted a clever suspenseful mystery that is intriguing and highly entertaining. The plot although a little slow to develop was filled with twists and suspenseful turns, I could not put it down. A must read for those who enjoy mysteries. I loved it and would highly recommend it. 

#NetGalley #BookReview The Art of Dying (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson #2) by Ambrose Parry #Historical #Victorian #Mystery

Review
The Art of Dying
Raven, Fisher, and Simpson #2
by Ambrose Parry

Release date: March 2nd, 2021
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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Art of Dying (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson #2) by Ambrose Parry from NetGalley and publisher, Canongate/Black Thorn in order to read and give an honest review.

“… a well-written novel, rich in historical details, it contains a brilliant mix of fact with fiction making it an engaging read… ”

Will Raven has spent the past couple of years in Europe training to become an obstetrician. When a violent attack in Germany causes him to kill a man he decides to return to Edinburgh. Will returns under the employ as an assistant to Dr. James Young Simpson, known for his groundbreaking expertise on anesthetizing surgical patients. Upon the return not much has changed except Sarah Fisher, the former housemaid and Will’s former love is no longer a servant but now the married assistant to Dr. Simpson. Will after leaving Sarah, as she was considered unsuitable to be a Dr’s wife, is weighed down by his regrets. Sarah has done well for herself, married to Dr Bates she has become well respected at her job, defying the confines that women were faced with during Victorian times.

When several patients from one family die questions arise as to what may have been the culprit. With Dr. Simpson’s reputation is in question Will and Sarah become obsessed with clearing his name. When it appears that they might have discovered a new disease Will excitedly pursues his theory one that could be the making of his career. With Sarah’s assistance he begins to delve into the origins of the disease, but the clues begin to lead them into another direction…the evidence suggests that the deaths were not natural at all but the work of an elusive serial killer. Faced with constant misdirection, regret and plagued with enemies from his past Will has his work cut out for him.

Although, I did not read the previous book in the series, “The Way of All Flesh” in my opinion “The Art of Dying” was perfect as a stand-alone. The authors give just enough background to pivotal moments from the previous book in a way that does not overwhelm or seem unnecessary.

Fast paced and intelligent, I thoroughly enjoyed The Art of Dying. Written by husband-and-wife team Chris Brookmyre and Dr Marisa Haetzman under the pen name of Ambrose Perry, this is a well-written novel, rich in historical details, it contains a brilliant mix of fact with fiction making it an engaging read that will keep you flipping pages.

#NetGalley #BookReview of In the Garden of Spite: A Novel of the Black Widow of La Porte by Camilla Bruce #HistoricalFiction #Mystery #TrueCrime

In the Garden of Spite

A Novel of the Black Widow of La Porte

by Camilla Bruce

Release date: January 19th, 2021

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of In the Garden of Spite:A Novel of the Black Widow of La Porte by Camilla Bruce from NetGalley & Berkley Publishing Group in order to read and give an honest review.

… the author does an excellent job at getting inside the mind of this infamous serial killer…

This will be a challenging book for me to review I’m giving it a 3.5 but rounding it up to 4 stars. Part of me loved this book, but part of me, well… For the positives, Camilla Bruce does such a fantastic job fictionalizing the story of a real-life serial killer Little Brynhild / Bella Sorenson / Gunnes aka “The Black Widow of La Porte”. Well-written for the most part, the author does an excellent job at getting inside the mind of this infamous serial killer. Bruce’s characters were brilliantly brought to life, perhaps in the case of Bella, a little too well. On the negative side, although I do not shy away from dark books this was even a bit much for me. Warning for those faint of heart, this novel contains graphic violence, murder, dismemberment, sex, arson, child abuse and infanticide. I also found at times it was slow and repetitive which made it a struggle to get into. The novel follows Little Brynhild/Bella through her young teenage years and into her middle age. We learn about a heartbreaking ordeal she experiences as a young teenager in Norway that leaves wounds that fester driving her to inflict damage onto all those who get close to her. The disconnect she feels towards her family and a rage that she cannot contain, drives Little Brynhild to leave the misery of Norway to join her sister Nellie in America. In America she takes the name Bella Sorenson and is disappointed in her first experience. Bella longs to make a happy and successful life for herself, constantly seeking acceptance from those in her adopted community. Having struggled for respect in Norway she knows what she wants and what she must do to reach the status she desires for her future. Bella is determined to be the perfect self-made, powerful woman and will go to any length, taking matters into her own hands in order to get what she feels she is due. Being a fairly famous news story, many people who follow true crime are aware of this famous female serial killer, but the author manages to get inside this monster’s head offering the reader a glimpse of what could have driven this woman to such destruction. It is a well-written engaging fictional interpretation of the workings of this woman’s mind, but it was a little too graphic for my taste, nevertheless an intriguing read.