Candlewick Press Children’s Fiction publication date 12th Sept 2017 via NetGalley.
A tale of fear and friendship–buy and read before Halloween with or without your kids to help keep the ghoulies at bay.
I love how the author, LaReau, reframes negatives into positives. The whole narrative arc regresses the adult reader into that frame of mind where everything is possible when you’re young, open-minded, and full of adventure. The characters are quick sketches with hidden depths offering young readers many opportunities to understand why people behave the way they do.
Who can’t relate to the need for emergency snacks.
A lovely read all round.
Fabulous and fun illustrations capture the Ratsos moods and emotions.
Published by Kensington Books genre Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 29 Aug 2017
A Catered Costume Party is the 13th book in the successful cozy series about Libby and Bernie Simmons, sisters and joint owners of A Touch of Heaven Catering and Bake Shop, New York.
Crawford has some snappy one-liners, and memorable thumbnail character descriptions and her casual conversational voice lures the reader onward.
As with most cozy mysteries, the readers’ enjoyment of this genre comes from the atmosphere generated by the writer, character driven rather than plot driven, suspending reality and buying into the caper. Crawford’s inclusive style brings the reader in close; these are women we like, women we want to know better, witty women who love to laugh.
Published by Kensington Books genre Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 29 August 2017 via NetGalley
A clash of cultures and values between urban New Yorkers and rural Armish sensibilities.
This character driven plot eases the reader into a different world where the humanitarian qualities of fair play and kindness fight to survive despite our busy lives.
Flower’s light touches of humor and heavy emotional punches make an entertaining read.
I particularly enjoyed the six-year-long relationship between Bailey and her best friend and colleague, Cassandra Calbera, Cass for short, which illustrates how you can work shoulder-to-shoulder with someone believing you know them inside-out and then later discover miles of unknown territory.
Cass is a great foil for Bailey and together their conversations combine witty repartee and light relief from the somber business of the murder. Plus, when a writer can work both Scooby Doo and Sherlock Holmes into a story, you know you’re in gentle hands for a safe and satisfying summer read.
Back in the fifth century, St. Patrick drove all Ireland’s snakes into the sea. Today, Norton could charm them back just as he has created a cast of flawed and credible characters in the village of Duneen. Somehow, I found Norton’s voice reading the story from the page to me—further evidence of his sorcery?
Norton weaves everyday droplets of detail, the items we overlook or misinterpret, to gradually reveal long buried secrets and eons of heartache.
Norton solves the crimes, misdemeanors, and errors of judgment in a satisfying conclusion with skillful aplomb. However, achieving resolution for the characters is a far more demanding objective. Some readers demand a happily ever after ending. Some need death, destruction, and total damnation for every sorry soul. Others prefer ambiguity where each reader can surmise their own denouement.
Like it says in the forward, Graham Norton’s writing is beguiling.
Macramé Murder has a fabulous fictional setting, ideal for stay-cationers reading and crafting at home but wishing they could escape to some exotic location, although hopefully far less dangerous.
Cora, the protagonist is a funny and quick-witted woman who will win you over as an irresistible character worth rooting for: “After all, helping was Cora’s thing. She had the disease to please. And that wasn’t always a bad instinct.”
Cox Bryan skillfully knits together history clippings [Madamoiselle Riego de la Blanchardiere] between snippets of much more contemporary text messages.
As well some great one-liners: “Next Marcy Grimm, she was about as interesting as a piece of dry toast.” This kind of description is so much more pithy and apt than a character’s eye color or hairstyle.
Read via NetGalley. Published by Kensington Books genre Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 29 Aug 2017
Published by Grand Central Publishing genre Mystery & Thrillers – uncorrected advanced copy. Pub Date 05 Sep 2017 from NetGalley
Marshall sets the kindling for a slow burn that crackles to an inferno of psychological immolation
At first, the limp-wristed protagonist, Louise, a single parent who has cocooned herself and her son a minute bubble world, does not inspire sympathy. However the writer, Marshall, skillfully engages the reader’s compassion with glimpses of Louise as a schoolgirl wrought by the commonplace complexities of teenage angst.
Since this is a first person account, my antennae are on high alert for clues of an unreliable narrator because I don’t want to be hoodwinked or sandbagged. But after a few chapters, I have fistfuls of gritty sand in my blinking bloodshot eyes late into the night. I have to keep reading. What is the truth and how quickly can I find out?
One of the hallmarks of a good book is the ability to transport the reader to another world. Another indicator is to tip the reader off kilter, just enough to teeter on the brink where the reader’s world and the fictional account could so easily be true and might be real: that is the badge of an artful storyteller, and her name is Laura Marshall.
This debut is a robust, first-round. Can’t wait for a hidden second bout.
From NetGalley Review published by Holland House Books.
A black humored checkerboard with ivory tiles of compassion.
Jane, a telemarketer, is neither a nihilist nor a slacker, but a resilient survivor from a wretched childhood using humor to make it through another torpid day at work.
Austin’s breath-taking cynicism, and laugh out loud one-liners, take the reader on a skillfully crafted journey. “I believe that I should be able to amputate my own hand if I am so compelled. I am the sole owner of all my own appendages.” Jane struggles to gain autonomy and keeps the truth private, a rare quality. Maybe she might have sought help if anyone suitable appeared on the horizon, but meanwhile, Jane willingly defends other people’s sensibilities as best she can.
The writer’s smooth and sinewy conversational writing style belies a razor-sharp opportunism and a wickedly warped perspective. Jane’s constant lies, or flights of fancy, form a tattered ribbon of deceit and protection that ultimately unravel and leave her vulnerable and exposed.
When you mix frivolous wit and unrelenting misfortune in the correct proportion you end up with a poignant portrait: a sweet-bitter nugget of life like multicolored jellybeans rolled in a crisp peppercorn crust. As a bonus, “Oh Honey,” has my favorite kind of ending. I’m looking forward to a second helping. Maybe you will too.
There is so much I’d like to share from this book, but I’d hate to spoil your experience.
Brilliant one-liners, hysterical word-play, peppered with poignant episodes compelling the reader to turn another page. Witty descriptions, pithy put-downs, and fragmentary insights about the human condition.
Do yourself a favor–escape this world and enter Major Tom’s.
Overall, an unreserved five star laugh out loud romp.
NetGalley Review published by Orion Books