Thursday, July 2, 2015

Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand

It's Christmas Stroll weekend on Nantucket, and the Quinns are getting together for the festivities, as well as the baptism of son Kevin's daughter. However, two family members are not there--youngest son, Bart, is missing in Afghanistan and oldest son, Patrick, has several months left of his prison sentence for insider trading. Their absences cast a pall over the whole family. In the sequel to last year's Winter Street, Hilderbrand updates readers on the characters from the first book--this novel takes place a year after the first--but the family's stories feel not that well-developed and the ending felt too abrupt to me. Definitely a disappointment... It will be published in October.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

Alice is given a chance to go back to work full time when her husband, Nicholas, quits his job at a high-powered law firm. Alice accepts a job with a company called Scroll, helping to develop the company's plan to open reading lounges across the country. Alice adores books and feels that the job will be an interesting challenge for her, but with Nicholas and her nanny holding down the fort at home (taking care of the couple's three children), cracks begin to form in Alice's life--especially when her father's cancer reoccurs. A Window Opens was an enjoyable read which some have likened to Where'd You Go, Bernadette?  It is an apt comparison. The book will be published in August.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton

Kinsey is asked to help two detectives from the Santa Teresa Police Department with a cold case. The detectives, Dolan and Stacey, have been with the department for many years and are in ill health. In 1969, a young woman was stabbed and her body dumped. The authorities were never able to identity her or the killer. Now, eighteen years later, Kinsey reviews the old files and works with Dolan and Stacey to interview old witnesses. Will a new set of eyes be enough to crack the case, or has too much time passed for a resolution?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Brush with Death by Elizabeth J. Duncan

Spa owner Penny Brannigan has just moved into the cottage that she inherited from her friend, Emma. While going through Emma's possessions, Penny discovers that Emma had been in love with a woman named Alys Jones, who was a promising painter. Alys died in a hit-and-run near Emma's home forty years ago. With the police's blessing, Penny and her friends work together to find out if Alys' death was an accident or murder. A Brush with Death is the second book in the Penny Brannigan series.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Disclaimer by Renee Knight

Someone knows Catherine Ravenscroft's secret and has written a book about it. The names have been changed, but Catherine is sure the novel is about her. More intriguingly, how did the book get on her bedside table? Soon it becomes clear that someone wants to destroy Catherine--but who? The only other person who knew her secret is dead. A good read-alike for readers who like Ruth Rendell's psychological novels.

Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen

Lottie and Rose are two moms with young children, and are feeling overwhelmed with their lives. When they spot a notice on the school bulletin board advertising a cottage for rent in Maine for the month of August, they jump at the chance to get away and relax without their families. Hopewell Cottage turns out not to be a small cottage, but a very large home on Little Lost Island, with many bedrooms and a lot of charm. Lottie and Rose have gotten two other people to rent the cottage with them for the month--actress Caroline Dester and seventy-ish Beverly Fisher. None of the four know each other before they head off for their month away, but soon they are sharing meals and confidences. Enchanted August is a humorous tale of friendship and how the magic of a new place might just change one's life for the better.

A Place for Us by Harriet Evans

Martha Winter is turning eighty and having a big family party, at which she plans on revealing a secret. Martha and her husband, David (a famous cartoonist) have built what looks like, from the outside, an idyllic life at Winterfold, their home in Surrey. Their granddaughters, Lucy and Cat, now grown, remember it that way too. For Martha and David's three children, however, there was conflict between Daisy (the middle child) and her siblings--eldest Bill and youngest Florence. In the novel, the reader explores the family's lives both past and present from many points of view. A Place for Us is an exploration of family relationships and is a real treat for people who enjoy the novels of Joanna Trollope, Rosamunde Pilcher and early Jojo Moyes.