#NetGalley #Book #Review The Body in the Garden (Lily Adler Mystery #1) by Katharine Schellman #Historical #Mystery

 

Review

Body In The Garden Cover

The Body in the Garden

(Lily Adler Mystery #1)

Release date: April 7th, 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Body in the Garden
(Lily Adler Mystery #1) by Katharine Schellman from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.

…Clever, complex, incredibly well-written and researched…

Set in Regency London, widow Lily Adler is returning to her old high society life as a reasonably wealthy and independent recent widow.  Without her husband or children, Lily is trying to carve a new meaningful life for herself in a society that once embraced her. Lily is not alone thanks to a strong friendship with her husband Freddy’s dear friend, Navy Captain, Jack Hartley.

While attending a friend’s high society ball she realizes that her social circle is fraught with scandal and secrets.   Lily overwhelmed with grief and the drama of the event takes a step outside for fresh air and hears an argument that ends in murder.  Shocked and overwhelmed by the events she is drawn to action when the case is swept under the rug and it appears that the victim won’t receive the justice he deserves.  Captain Hartley attempts to honour his friend’s memory by watching out for Lily which proves to be a constant and difficult challenge. Faced with the period’s misogyny Ms Alder boldly tackles the case with the help of Captain Harvey, and the young victim’s former fiancée Miss Ofelia Oswald. I have to say I’m also impressed by the way the author handles the misogyny, race and class issues of the time with sensitivity and respect.

Clever, complex, incredibly well-written and researched, this book keeps the reader enthralled and I have to say I absolutely loved it! Ms Schellman creates interesting, dynamic and real characters who have their flaws yet are likeable despite them.  The mystery plot itself though slow to build definitely does not disappoint.  With both friends and foes as suspects as well as corruption and treason at the highest levels, this book keeps you guessing to the very satisfying end. I’m looking forward to reading future books in this series!

#NetGalley #Book #Review The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #2) by Natasha Pulley #MagicRealism #Steampunk #HistoricalFiction

Review

The Lost Future of Pepperharrow

(The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #2)

by Natasha Pulley

Release date: March 3rd, 2020

The Lost Future of Pepperharrow

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of  The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #2) by Natasha Pulley from NetGalley  Bloomsbury Publishing in order to read and give an honest review.

I am a huge fan of Natasha Pulley, she has such a unique and wonderful voice, her novels are always magical and mesmerizing. The Lost Future of Pepperharrow is the second instalment in her The Watchmaker of Filigree Street which as expected is incredibly well written, complex, completely unique and captivating. Although it definitely stands on its own I really do recommend reading the first book, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.

We start a while after the events in The Watchmaker of Filigree. Thaniel Steepleton, Keita Mori and Thaniel’s daughter, Six and their Katsu their mechanical quirky octopus begin their adventure in Victorian-era London living their lives when they are asked to travel to investigate a ghost-infested British Legation in Tokyo.  Pulley introduces us to steampunk Tokyo, Hokkaido and even the infamous Aokigahara forest. Thaniel suffering from tuberculosis in the thick London fog agrees to accept the posting as an interpreter, while Mori returns to his royal home to use his powers to investigate unfortunately having to also face a past that he has worked hard to put behind him.

Slowly the Legation begins to see an increase in ghostly activity which seems to be plaguing them. Stranger things begin to happen when Pepperharrow, a woman from Mori’s past is called upon to honour a debt, Mori starts to change and seems incredibly distant.   When Mori goes missing, Thaniel and Pepper independently go to extreme lengths to find him.

This book has everything, the author introduces us to some larger than life heroes and villains in this instalment as well as introducing us to an interesting scientific plotline. I would highly recommend this book, Natasha Pulley has given us an exquisite novel, filled with characters that come to life, rich, well-researched world-building and beautiful, flawless prose that should be savoured and enjoyed.

#NetGalley #Review of The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold #UrbanFantasy #Noir

Review

 

The Last Smile in Sunder City Cover

The Last Smile in Sunder City

by Luke Arnold

Release Date: February 25th 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold from NetGalley and Orbit Books in order to read and give an honest review.

In his debut novel, author Luke Arnold does a masterful job with The Last Smile in Sunder City combining urban fantasy with the noir detective stories of old.

When magic disappears from Sunder city it leaves behind its magical creatures, powerless and living life like an average human. When a former vampire, now beloved old and frail teacher goes missing our protagonist Fetch Phillips is hired to find out what happened to him.  Some say he turned to dust or ran away some say his dedication to his students wouldn’t let him just leave.  Fetch a self-destructive, alcoholic living in his detective agency office, spending his days trying to assuage himself of his guilt-ridden past put himself in peril trying to get to the bottom of it. When a student goes missing too, he feels even more pressure to solve the case.  Sunder City feels like a bit of a character in itself, a typical noir city fraught with seedy back street bars, brothels and greasy spoons with disgusting food but excellent coffee.

I wasn’t sure about this book when I started but I have to say I was carried away, the characters, the pacing, the writer’s voice, his twisty plot turns, completely engaged me. With an intriguing mystery and interesting backstory, this is a fantastic book I highly recommend! I will definitely look forward to Mr Arnold’s future books.

Boho & Bookish #BookReview of #VoodooShanghai by Kristi Charish via @PenguinRandomCA #UrbanFantasy

 

Review

VooDoo Shanghi Cover

Voodoo Shanghai

The Kincaid Strange Series, Book Three

by Kristi Charish

Release date: February 18th, 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Lipstick Voodoo (The Kincaid Strange Series, Book Three) by Kristi Charish from Penguin Random House Canada in order to read and give an honest review.

… fast-paced mysteries with an urban fantasy/paranormal twist but with plenty of intelligence, wit and dark humour, making this series quirky, fun and extremely entertaining…

I am a huge fan of Kristi Charish so I was thrilled to get to review the third and final (?) offering from her Kincaid Strange Series. I really have fun with this series, the books are definitely fast-paced mysteries with an urban fantasy/paranormal twist but with plenty of intelligence, wit, and dark humour, making this series, quirky fun and extremely entertaining.   

Our protagonist, Paranormal Practitioner, Kincaid Strange, is on the case again picking up where Lipstick Voodoo leaves off with Kincaid now working as Gideon, a powerful sorcerer’s spirit’s, new apprentice. Although no longer working for the Seattle PD, Kincaid is getting her life back together and she is finding a moderate amount of success.  When her ex Aaron, asks for her help on an investigation in Portland, a case involving the ghost of who they believe to be Martin Dane, the White Picket Fence Serial Killer her newfound success in on the line. Something doesn’t sit right with Kincaid, she knows she is not being told everything and it’s making her a bit wary of taking the case but a young girl is involved.  When she receives a warning from the other side, her curiosity and sense of justice prevail and she pursues it even if it means her walking into a trap.  When she arrives in Portland she runs into more trouble than she expected, a magic bog, missing ghosts, zombies and witches just to name a few.

I love Charish’s female protagonist in both this series, Kincaid Strange and her Owl books
She writes strong, smart and sassy but also flawed female characters which make them easy to find empathy for and appreciate.  Although not a fan of zombies, in particular, Charish writes them in a fun way that enhances the quirkiness of her books.

All in all, a fabulous fun read but with one doozy of a cliff hanger at the very end which I really hope indicates we won’t be seeing the last of Kincaid Strange!  If you are looking for a fun, intelligent and quirky urban fantasy, this book is for you.

 

#BookReview Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara #CrimeFiction #missingchildren via #NetGalley

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

by Deepa Anappara

Release date: February 4th, 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara from Penguin Random House Canada and Netgalley in order to read and give an honest review.

“…atmospheric, intriguing story, with unique and sympathetic characters makes this such an incredibly engrossing read…”

Debut author and seasoned journalist, Deepa Anappara creates an atmospheric, heartbreaking and vivid portrayal of life in a basti when children go missing from an Indian slum. Bringing to light social issues, misogyny, religious conflict, police corruption, poverty, elitism and even a touch of folklore this book is more than meets the eye.

Obsessed with true-crime television, 9-year-old Jai dreams about becoming a detective.  When a classmate goes missing Jai and his friends Pari and Faiz decide to investigate when the local police are indifferent. “The Djinn Patrol” decides to look into the case but when more children are taken the case becomes much more than they bargained for and hits closer to home than they expected. 

Personally, this book is one that will stick with me for a long time.  The author brings to life vivid details in each and every scene, immersing the reader in the culture. Knowing that although fiction, much of the book is based on facts, is chilling.  The author also shares the tragic statistic that approximately 180 children go missing in India every day and that many never make the newspapers or are ever thoroughly investigated.

Flawlessly written,  atmospheric, intriguing story, with unique and sympathetic characters makes this such an incredibly engrossing read that I would highly recommend!

 

#NetGalley #Book #Review of The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore #Historical #Suspense

 

Review

The Companion

A Novel

by Kim Taylor Blakemore

Release date: January 14th, 2020

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Companion, A Novel by Kim Taylor Blakemore from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in order to read and give an honest review.

an exquisitely written, atmospheric suspense that kept me engaged right to the last page...”

Author, Kim Taylor Blakemore gives us a beautifully written historical fiction novel brimming with slow-building suspense and atmosphere.  Set in 1855, New Hampshire, our narrator, Lucy Blunt is in her jail cell awaiting the hangman’s noose looking back at the events that led her to that moment.   

Lucy running away from her past shows up with falsified reference letters in hand at prominent mill owner Mr. Burton’s estate to get a position as a servant. Hired, Lucy settles in working in the kitchen, although the work is tiring and tedious but acts as a distraction from her past and the overwhelming grief that haunts her.  Her predecessor Mary is found dead and she is thrown in the middle of a grieving household. When Rebecca, the blind mistress, Eugenie Burton’s nasty companion, falls ill, Lucy ends up filling in. Unlike Rebecca, Lucy is respectful and kind towards Eugenie, earning her respect and affection.  Once jealousy rears its ugly head betrayal, threats and murder are not far behind.  

One of my favourite things about The Companion is the character development Each character felt well rounded, distinct and very real, each struggling with their lot in life. My only complaint, to be honest, I didn’t care for the open ending, in my opinion, it felt unfinished, I felt it deserved “more”. Although the ending wasn’t for me the story was an exquisitely written, atmospheric suspense that kept me engaged right to the last page. I would highly recommend.   

#NetGalley #Review of The Woman in the Veil (#Victorian Mystery No.4) by Laura Joh Rowland #Mystery

 

The Woman in the Veil

(#Victorian #Mystery No.4)

by Laura Joh Rowland

Release date: January 7th, 2020

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The Woman In The Veil


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Woman in the Veil (#Victorian Mystery No.4) by Laura Joh Rowland from NetGalley & Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.

The Woman In The Veil is a new entry in Laura Joh Rowland’s Victorian Mystery series featuring crime-scene photographer and reporter Sarah Bain. I consider Rowland to be a master at writing fast-paced, suspenseful whodunits that keep readers on the edge of their seats. I have been fortunate enough to read and review her first three books in the series, the first The Ripper’s Shadow, the second, A Mortal Likeness, the third  The Hangman’s Secret and her newest book, The Woman in the Veil, like her previous books, does not disappoint.

Set in 1890 London, the adventure begins when Sarah, Mick, and Lord Staunton are called to photograph a disfigured, naked female body that has washed up on the banks of the Thames. While the police prepare the crime scene, Sara notices not all is as it seems, something is not right about the victim….the poor thing is actually alive. When the unidentifiable victim is in the hospital in a coma, Sara feels responsible to help get to the bottom of this.  She convinces her boss, Sir Gerald Mariner, owner of the Daily World newspaper to allow her to stay on the story. Mariner gives the victim the name Sleeping Beauty until she is identified. Sarah, Hugh, Mick and along with Sarah’s fiance, Constable Barrett, are determined to get to the truth about who Sleeping Beauty really is and who tried to kill her. The investigation heats up when three different parties show up, all claiming that they are the loved ones of Sleeping Beauty. When sleeping beauty wakes up from her coma with amnesia, things become more desperate, they must get to the bottom of things before the killer decides to finish the job.  When one of the parties claiming to know her is murdered, Sarah becomes a suspect and Inspector Reid, is back, with his usual animosity and Sarah’s life and reputation are at stake. Sarah true to form puts her life and reputation in jeopardy to get to the bottom and save the woman she’s become incredibly fond of.

If you are looking for a clever, fast-paced, Victorian mystery this is definitely a must-read.