Book Review: No Journey Too Far

In 1909, Grace McAlister, her brother Garth, and her sister Katie were sent from England to Canada, among the thousands of British Home Children taken from their families, often under suspicious circumstances. Grace was adopted by rich parents, the Hamiltons, but Garth and Katie, like many of the British Home Children, were forced into indentured servitude. Ten years later, Grace Hamilton is about to turn 18 and her parents are launching her into Toronto society, trying to find her a well-to-do husband. They stress that Grace is not to tell anyone she was a British Home Child, as there is stigma attached. Then she finds a trunk in the attic that could help her locate the McAlister family.

This is a gripping saga of a family torn apart. The second book in the McAlister Family series, it can be read as a standalone, but reading the first book, No Ocean Too Wide, is recommended in order to get the complete story. We learn the tragic and true history of the British Home Children, who were taken from their families and their country between 1869 and 1939. This is the story of a struggle against extreme injustices that were forced on young children against their will. It also depicts the determination of a family, fighting against odds and across the ocean in order to reunite. There is a gentle Christian message of trusting God during hard times, and there are also two romances that occur in the midst of turmoil. Similar in vein to Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours, this is a heartrending novel that is not to be missed.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Multnomah, for Historical Novels Review Magazine, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carrie Turansky

(In Her Own Words) I was born and raised in Oregon, so my heart longs for tall evergreens, the rugged Oregon Coast, and the pristine Cascade Mountains. But I presently live in beautiful central New Jersey.  This is the Garden State, so we enjoy shopping at our local farmers’ market for sweet corn and juicy tomatoes or picking strawberries, blueberries, and peaches at local farms. We are close to Princeton University, Philadelphia, and New York City, so we sometimes take day trips in and enjoy museums, plays, and touring around.

I am married to Scott and we have five adult children, two daughters-in-law, two sons-in-law, and seven beautiful grandchildren. Being a wife, mom, and grandma are fulfilling and rewarding roles for me. Scott and I partner in ministry at Calvary Chapel Living Hope, a church we helped plant along with a team of hardworking, Jesus-following friends in Robbinsville, New Jersey. We love our church and feel blessed to have the privilege of serving the Lord with these dear friends. Visit the Calvary Chapel Living Hope website to learn more about our church.

My husband is the author of several parenting books filled with practical insight and biblical wisdom. We invite you to visit our ministry website and sign up for free parenting tips, then check out the articles and helpful resources there. That web site is: www.biblicalparenting.org.

My first book was published in 2005, and I’ve had twenty novels and novellas published since then. Before that, I wrote several articles, short stories, devotions, and essays. Writing fiction is my passion, and I thank the Lord for the creative ideas and characters He puts in my mind and heart. I am very grateful for friends and family who believed in me and encouraged me on my writing journey.

When I’m not writing you will find me enjoying time with my family, working outside in my flower gardens, cooking healthy meals for family and friends, or walking around the lake near our home.

BUY LINKS

NO JOURNEY TOO FAR (BOOK 2) (AMAZON)

NO OCEAN TOO WIDE (BOOK 1) (AMAZON)

Self-Published Saturday: August 21, 2021

It’s Saturday, and I’ll be reviewing only Self-Published/Indie books all day. Saturday is exclusively Self-Published/Indie. Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help Indie authors market their books. As I always say, Self-Published/Indie authors have to do it all, from editing to cover design to marketing. My hope is that this feature will give them a little help. Please remember that if you decide to review the book, leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and anywhere else you review the book. This is so important for Self-Published authors. Today I am featuring the wonderful Alice and Trudy mystery series by Valerie Fletcher Adolph, set in post World World II Yorkshire. I actually reviewed Books 2 and 3 for Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. I haven’t written a book review for Book 1 yet, but I’m including a book description. My reviews for books 2 and 3 are below. They can all be read as standalones.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Fleeing an abusive husband, Trudy finds herself helping to run a private hotel (The Avalon Hotel) for elderly guests. But only a couple of weeks after her arrival, Alastair Mackie, one of its owners, is poisoned. Suspicion falls on Trudy and on Alastair’s wife, Alice.

Together, Trudy and Alice struggle to find the identity of the killer, or even a reason for the murder. They are helped along the way by Ben, a man from the moors, and by dear Doctor Taylor himself, beloved by the elderly residents of the hotel.

Only slightly in the way are Colonel Starr, who has difficulty telling one war from another, Calvin Hunt with his shocking remarks, the name-dropping Mrs Shand and the frequent fainter (but artistic) Fay Bowen. Oh! I almost forgot Miss Harriet – she is easy to overlook.

While Alice tries to discover the secret behind the killing, Trudy must fight with a husband who is determined to force her back.

Set in a large Victorian house in Yorkshire in 1947, this novel introduces readers to a new pair of detectives – Alice, raised in a country mansion by aristocratic parents, and Trudy, daughter of a butcher from the market.

BOOK REVIEWS

In England in 1947, Princess Elizabeth prepares to marry Phillip Mountbatten. And at the Avalon Private Hotel, sweet, elderly Miss Harriet is planning to marry John Prentiss. But there are obstacles in the way. Neither John nor Miss Harriet is particularly interested in wedding planning, there are issues agreeing on a church, and to top it all off, somebody wants to kidnap Miss Harriet! Alice, Trudy, Kenneth Wilson, the local police detective, and the guests at Avalon band together to try and keep the wedding on track and protect Miss Harriet. Tidbits from Elizabeth’s wedding are dropped throughout the book. This is the second in the wonderful Alice and Trudy Mystery series by Valerie Fletcher Adolph.

This is an entertaining read which alternates between the perspectives of Alice, the owner of the Avalon, and Trudy, who helps her run the hotel. In addition to wedding plans, we are caught up in the other residents—Fay, who is using her considerable talent as an artist to sketch the local dogs; Colonel Starr, whose mind is generally geared to military matters; Mrs. Shand, who does some uppity criticizing of the wedding planning, both royal and non-royal; Calvin, the elderly flirt; and Sophie, who tries to help out in every situation. Alice’s aristocratic family makes appearances, as do Ben, a local man, his dog Yan, and others.

This is a sweet, mild cozy mystery, softer and more comfortable than most. It is a relaxing read about post-World War II England. I loved the characters, especially the elderly hotel guests. Fans of weddings, cozy mysteries, and postwar novels will enjoy this book.

In post-World War II Yorkshire, Alice and Trudy are taken aback when Jeremiah Bickerstaff, the formidable patriarch of the rich and powerful Bickerstaff family, makes the surprising decision to move into a vacant room at the Avalon hotel while recovering from a stroke. Despite begging, conniving, and groveling from his family, he will not move back home. This makes things difficult for Trudy, as Bickerstaff is the grandfather of her abusive ex-husband, Jeremy. Then another young man enters the picture. He bears a strong resemblance to the Bickerstaff grandsons. Is he a long-lost heir? When a death happens on the premises, one of the elderly tenants is quick to point the finger. Was it an accident, or something more? This is the third book in the Alice and Trudy mystery series. It can be read as a stand-alone.

The elderly Avalon gang is back in another delightful mystery adventure. Led by hotel owner Alice and manager Trudy, the aged but active residents lend a hand and plenty of opinions after Mr. Bickerstaff joins their ranks. This series is such a delight to read. I truly enjoy all of these characters, especially Colonel Starr, who thinks everyone should join the Army, and Mrs. Shand, who is always ready with a comment, whether you want to hear it or not. You will laugh at the hijinks of this hilarious crew of lively lodgers. Fans of cozy mysteries will want to rent a room at the Avalon hotel, and stay long-term.

OVERALL COMMENTS

This is a warm hug of a cozy mystery series with characters who keep you chuckling. You will want to continue coming back to the Avalon Hotel.

BUY THE ALICE AND TRUDY MYSTERIES ON AMAZON

Click on each book cover to buy the books on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read the whole series for free! They are also only $2.99 each to buy the ebook version.

Two Reminders before you go:

  1. If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books. This is very important to self-published authors.
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Book Review: Under the Bayou Moon

Below is a review I did for Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. Under the Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse is a gorgeously written book, and as I say below, I felt like I was somehow reading a musical composition. This was an Editor’s Choice for the August edition of Historical Novels Review.

After leaving her home in Alabama, Ellie Fields arrives in Bernadette, Louisiana, in 1949 for her new teaching job. The people of this town do not trust outsiders, who have threatened both their language and their culture. But as Ellie settles into her job, she is accepted by almost everyone, except for the school board and a greedy politician. When Ellie meets Raphe, he   introduces her to the legendary white alligator who inhabits the waters, and he and Ellie soon begin a relationship. When a huge bounty is offered for the gator and an evil man tries to destroy the town, Raphe and Ellie will find their courage tested.

This is a gorgeous tale that draws the reader in with almost musical writing. The lonely character of Raphe, the loyal and determined Ellie, and the beautiful town with its rich history are all so well described. The threat to the white alligator, “L’Esprit Blanc,” mirrors the threat to the entire town and its culture from outsiders only interested in conformity and money. The characters, whether endearing, challenging, or infuriating, are beautifully composed. Through the weaving together of violin music, tall tales, chirping crickets, and the beauty and culture of the Bayou, Valerie Fraser Luesse has created a lyrical and masterful literary composition that you won’t want to put down.

I received a free copy of this book from Revell Books via the Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valerie Fraser Luesse

Valerie Fraser Luesse is the author of four novels set in the South: Christy Award winner Missing Isaac (2018), Almost Home (2019), The Key to Everything (2020), and the upcoming Under the Bayou Moon (August 2021), all published by Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. An award-winning magazine writer, Luesse is perhaps best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she wrote major pieces on the Mississippi Delta, Acadian Louisiana, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Her editorial section on the recovering Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, photographed by Mark Sandlin, won the 2009 Travel Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society. Luesse earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Auburn University and Baylor University, respectively. She is a native of Harpersville, Alabama, and lives in Birmingham, where she is the senior travel editor for Southern Living. Find her online at valeriefraserluesse.com; facebook.com/valeriefraserluessebooks; bakerpublishinggroup.com; bookbub.com/authors/valerie-fraser-luesse; and goodreads.com.

BUY UNDER THE BAYOU MOON

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Baker Publishing Group

Under The Bayou Moon will be released August 3, 2021.

Agustina De Aragón by Gail Meath–made an Editor’s Choice by Historical Novels Review Magazine.

As many of you know, I’ve been singing the praises of this fabulous historical novel for some time, and other reviewers agree! Historical Novels Review Magazine, the magazine of The Historical Novel Society, made this an Editor’s Choice book for the August 2021 edition, and gave it a fabulous review!

I’m especially happy about this because the author, Gail Meath, a wonderful person by the way, is a self-published author. As you know, I have a heart for self-published authors so I am thrilled to see this book in the magazine alongside books from top traditional publishers like William Morrow and Revell.

Here is a link to my review back in April on a Self-Published Saturday and here is a link to buy this great book on Amazon.

Congratulations, Gail. This book deserves that distinction and more!

Book Review: Shadows of Lions

This is another book I reviewed for the May edition of Historical Novels Review Magazine.

This is Book 2 of the In Spite of Lions series set in 1840s Africa and England. It can be read as a standalone. Catherine Kensington, an unmarried heiress, has been manipulated back to England from Africa by her abusive and violent mother, Lady Kensington. After her mother’s scheming caused great harm to Catherine’s friends in an African village, Catherine has gone back to deal with her and find her missing twin brother. She knows that sometimes to survive a lion attack, you must run straight at the lion.

This Victorian-era adventure is much more than a romance. It becomes almost a psychological thriller as Catherine engages in a long game of deception to outsmart her mother while her friend/protector, Mebalwe, searches for her brother. They are also trying to find a stolen child, Motsasi. Catherine’s love, Captain Ashmore, is desperate to protect her from the evil Lady Kensington, who has no qualms about harming her children to get what she wants. The characters are complex, and the battle of wits between Catherine and Lady Kensington is mesmerizing. This is a mother/daughter battle to the extreme. I truly enjoyed this book and will definitely read Book 1 and any others to come in this series. Four and a half stars. Rounded up to 5 on sites with no half star option.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scarlette is a mother of three, wife to one, and friend to many. In her spare time she enjoys scuba diving and gardening – sometimes at the same time! Pike is also interested in emotional health for kids and she writes children’s books with True Worth Books under her real name – Jamie Jensen.

BUY SHADOWS OF LIONS

Amazon

BUY BOOK 1: IN SPITE OF LIONS

Amazon

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can download both books for free or they are both priced very low to buy outright. Book 1 is only 99 cents and Book 2 is 2.99 (ebook only).

Upcoming #Book Reviews Historical Novels Review

Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been posting as much lately. That’s because it was deadline time for my most recent reviews for Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. These reviews were for the August edition, and I reviewed 13 books this time. I cannot share them online until after they are published on August 1st, but I wanted to share with you the covers, links, and Amazon book descriptions for some of the books I’ve been reviewing. I cannot give my opinion at all at this time on these particular books, but I will definitely be sharing them on August 1st.

AMAZON BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Germany 1940. As secretary to Himmler, the leader of the SS, Magda spends her days sending party invitations to high-ranking Nazis, and her evenings distributing pamphlets for the resistance. But Magda is leading a dangerous double life, smuggling secrets out of the office. It’s a deadly game, and eventual exposure is a certainty, but Magda is driven by a need to keep the man she secretly loves safe as he fights against the Nazis…

Forty years later.Nina’s heart pounds as she steps into an uncertain future carrying a forged passport, a few bank notes, and a scribbled address for The Tower House taken from an intricate drawing she found hidden in her grandmother’s wardrobe. Separated from her family and betrayed by her country, Nina’s last hope is to trace her family’s history in the ruins of the past her grandmother ran from. But, when she finally finds the abandoned house, she opens the door to a forgotten story, and to secrets which will change everything: past, present, and future…

LINK TO BUY THE SECRETARY

AMAZON BOOK DESCRIPTION

Trudy can’t escape the Bickerstaffs. One by one they invade the Avalon until death intervenes.

Old Mr Bickerstaff, recovering slowly from a stroke, moves into Miss Harriet’s old room at the Avalon hotel. His family, inheritance in mind, demands his immediate return home. His grandson Jeremy is not prepared to wait – he wants his money now. His accident – was it an accident? Or did one of Mr Bickerstaff’s closest associates give him a push? And why is it so important that old Mr B should return home?

Mr B’s decision to move into the care of Alice and Trudy puts him in the middle of the Avalon crew – especially Mrs Shand, whose obsession with the aristocracy hides her secret. But his family can’t leave him to settle in peacefully. His wife, his sons, his daughter-in-law demand his return with tears, threats, hysteria. His grandsons, future lawyers all according to Grandmamma, confront him with their own drama. But then Perry arrives, not interested in the Bickerstaffs, their money or in becoming a lawyer. But he looks so much like the young Bickerstaff men…

LINK TO BUY THE PROBABLE SON

AMAZON BOOK DESCRIPTION

Restless with the familiarity of her Alabama home, Ellie Fields accepts a teaching job in a tiny Louisiana town deep in bayou country. Though rightfully suspicious of outsiders, who have threatened both their language and their culture, most of the people in tiny Bernadette, Louisiana, come to appreciate the young and idealistic schoolteacher as a boon to the town. She’s soon teaching just about everyone–and coming up against opposition from both the school board and a politician with ulterior motives.

Acclimating to a whole new world, Ellie meets a lonely but intriguing Cajun fisherman named Raphe who introduces her to the legendary white alligator that haunts these waters. Raphe and Ellie have barely found their way to each other when a huge bounty is offered for the elusive gator, bringing about a shocking turn of events that will test their love and their will to right a terrible wrong.

LINK TO BUY UNDER THE BAYOU MOON

I can’t wait to share my reviews of these books and more! Now that that’s done, back to my huge TBR pile and more reviews to come tomorrow.

#Book Review: Man on the Isle of Jura

I reviewed Man on the Isle of Jura for the May edition of Historical Novels Review magazine, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. As the final part of the process, reviewers are given a list of books (with descriptions) to choose from. This one jumped out at me because: √Time Travel, √Historical Fiction √Magical Realism. Those who have been following this blog know that historical fiction with a time travel sub-genre is my favorite thing to read. Throw in magical realism and I am definitely hooked. My review is below. There is also a link at the bottom of the page to an interview (Q&A) of me on Tom Maremaa’s website. Check it out! This time he was the one asking the questions. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Christopher Reed is with his family in an SUV in California when a devastating earthquake hits. His wife and daughter are killed and Christopher plunges into the Pacific Ocean. However, before he knows it, he is drowning in the Atlantic ocean on the Isle of Jura outside of Scotland, 1948. The village Christopher arrives in on the Isle of Jura is like many villages may have been in 1948–except some of its inhabitants are telepathic and some can see the future. Jack Wilson, who rescues Christopher from the ocean, can do both. Jack soon joins Christopher on an important mission to make sure a world-changing book (George Orwell’s 1984) is published, despite operatives from another timeline trying to erase it from existence. This is the second book in the “Of Gods, Royals, and Superman” series. It can be read as a standalone.

This interesting book combines historical fiction with time travel and magical realism in a most unique way. The extrasensory abilities of the villagers, time portals in 1948, and mythical creatures all make sense in this extraordinary novel that reminds us of the importance of great literary works and the magnitude of their impact on history. The characters are well developed and the action flows from one fantastical event to another. Fans of literature, time travel and magical realism will enjoy this historical nod to an important novel.

I received a free copy of this book via Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the book for free on Amazon.

As always be sure and post a review if you decide to read this book. Reviews are so important to authors.

BUY MAN ON THE ISLE OF JURA

BUY OF GODS, ROYALS, AND SUPERMAN (BOOK 1)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Maremaa

Tom Maremaa is the author of twelve novels, most recently Man on the Isle of Jura and Reynkaviik. His novel METAL HEADS from Kunati Books was nominated by the American Library Association (ALA) as one of the Notable Books of 2009. He has also authored short fiction, plays, and works of non-fiction. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he studied languages, literature and philosophy at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and worked on his Ph.D in comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives with his wife in Silicon Valley, California, and works as a software engineer in the Valley. He travels widely to learn about and understand as many cultures and languages as he can.

AN INTERVIEW OF ME ON TOM MAREMAA’S BLOG (Title is Gambler’s Luck)

MY AMAZON REVIEW (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

#Book Review: Death of a Showman

This week I will be posting the reviews I did for the May issue of Historical Novels Review Magazine. I was not able to post them until after they appeared on the Historical Novel Society website on May 1st. They will also be in the May print issue of Historical Novels Review. The first is an outstanding cozy mystery that had me chuckling throughout. It is call Death of a Showman and is set in 1914 New York.

This fun and well-written cozy historical mystery by Mariah Fredericks takes us right to the heart of Broadway. This is the fourth book in the Jane Prescott series. It can be read as a standalone, but events from previous books are discussed in this story, so reading the first three books would be beneficial. In 1914 New York City, Jane Prescott, lady's maid to Louise Tyler, is back in New York after a trip to Europe. Louise has invested in a Broadway Show and Jane begins accompanying her to events and rehearsals as a chaperone. Leo Hirschfeld, Jane's romance from the previous summer, has written this Broadway musical. He has also made some choices that are hard for Jane to accept.  Then a well-known producer is killed in a bathroom of the famous Rector's. Tabloid reporter Michael Behan is on the case. Will Jane help him find the killer?

Mariah Fredericks takes us on a sometimes hilarious journey into the world of Broadway and the elite circles of 1914 New York City. The author's wry humor will keep you chuckling as we uncover more secrets and clues, and we learn that especially in show business, things aren't always as they seem. Jane is an engaging protagonist. Her shrewd mind, adventurous spirit, and clever wit will definitely keep the reader entertained. Jane is perfectly imperfect, and stumbles frequently into mishaps and mayhem, taking us along for the ride. The mystery is multi-faceted and compelling, and the characters all shine. Historical people, places, and events from Gilded Age New York are shown in vivid detail.

This was an enjoyable read from start to finish. Highly recommend.

I received a free copy of this book from Minotaur Books for review in Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mariah Fredericks

Mariah Fredericks was born and raised in New York City, where she still lives today with her family. She is a graduate of Vassar College with a BA in history. She has written several novels for young adults; her novel Crunch Time was nominated for an Edgar in 2007. A Death of No Importance is her first mystery for adults. 

Mariah Fredericks’ Website

LINK TO BUY ALL FOUR BOOKS IN THE JANE PRESCOTT SERIES, INCLUDING DEATH OF A SHOWMAN

LINK TO MY AMAZON REVIEW OF DEATH OF A SHOWMAN (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

Historical Fiction

I’ve been busily reading novels for the May edition of Historical Novels Review, so I haven’t been posting as much. However, I’m finally all done and I wanted to share the names and covers of some of the novels I’ve reviewed. The reviews will be posted in May. Also I found this cool photo of a steampunk lady I had to share above. For those who don’t know, Steampunk combines history or alternative history, science fiction, and 19th Century steam engine technology. It makes for some cool fiction (and cool pictures). There are some who say Steampunk is not historical fiction, but I say the 19th century steam technology and often the Victorian or Wild West setting make it a subgenre of Historical Fiction. Others say it’s Science Fiction. I say it’s a cool combination. What do you think?

But today I’m sharing some of the books I’ve reviewed, just covers and descriptions because I can’t post the reviews yet. (None of them are Steampunk. I just thought the picture above was awesome.)

Here are the three novels that I liked the best, along with their Amazon book descriptions:

OPHIE’S GHOSTS: Historical Fiction/Magical Realism

Ophelia Harrison used to live in a small house in the Georgia countryside. But that was before the night in November 1922, and the cruel act that took her home and her father from her. Which was the same night that Ophie learned she can see ghosts. 

Now Ophie and her mother are living in Pittsburgh with relatives they barely know. In the hopes of earning enough money to get their own place, Mama has gotten Ophie a job as a maid in the same old manor house where she works. 

Daffodil Manor, like the wealthy Caruthers family who owns it, is haunted by memories and prejudices of the past—and, as Ophie discovers, ghosts as well. Ghosts who have their own loves and hatreds and desires, ghosts who have wronged others and ghosts who have themselves been wronged. And as Ophie forms a friendship with one spirit whose life ended suddenly and unjustly, she wonders if she might be able to help—even as she comes to realize that Daffodil Manor may hold more secrets than she bargained for.

THE FAR AWAY GIRL: Coming of Age Historical Fiction

Georgetown, Guyana 1970. Seven-year-old Rita has always known she was responsible for the death of her beautiful mother Cassie. Her absent-minded father allows her to run wild in her ramshackle white wooden house by the sea, and surrounded by her army of stray pets, most of the time she can banish her mother’s death to the back of her mind.

But then her new stepmother Chandra arrives and the house empties of love and laughter. Rita’s pets are removed, her freedom curtailed, and before long, there’s a new baby sister on the way. There’s no room for Rita anymore.

Desperate to fill up the emptiness inside her, Rita begins to talk to the only photo she has of her dead mother, a poor farmer’s daughter from the remote Guyanese rainforest. Determined to find the truth about her mother, Rita travels to find her mother’s family in an unfamiliar land of shimmering creeks and towering vines. She finds comfort in the loving arms of her grandmother among the flowering shrubs and trees groaning with fruit. But when she discovers the terrible bruising secret that her father kept hidden from her, will she ever be able to feel happiness again?

SHADOWS OF LIONS: Historical Fiction/Psychological Thriller

Catherine Kensington is in the midst of high society Regency era. She is an unmarried heiress with accomplishment, wit, and grace. But very few are aware she has recently returned from Africa in a desperate attempt to escape her murderous mother who sits far too close on the chaise. No one suspects Lady Kensington of violence, however, not even Catherine’s soul mate Captain Ashmore. Sarah Hope also sits among them dizzily longing for intrigue and adventure but is soon overwhelmed when she unwittingly throws herself into the midst of the Kensington’s trouble. And Mebalwe stands alert in the corner, but he is no ordinary serving man, he is an African warrior, sent to protect Catherine from all that threatens to kill her.

If any of the above books look interesting to you, check them out. I’m back to my normal reading schedule and will be posting again soon. Sorry for the delay.

Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers

Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second  book  in  the  “A  Woman  of  World  War  II”  mystery series by Tessa Arlen. Although it is the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone. It is 1942 and Poppy, employed by the London Crown Film Unit as  a scriptwriter during the war, is sent to work on location at an airfield.   The film she is working on is about       the  Air   Transport Auxiliary   pilots,   or   “Attagirls.”   This   amazing   group   of   female   pilots    flew  many   different types   of   planes   and   transported   them    to    airfields    all over Britain during    World War II. Sometimes  these  transports  occurred  during  severe  weather  conditions.  Poppy begins to work on the film and starts to get to know this intriguing group of talented and professional female pilots. When two “Attagirls”  are  killed  in  accidents  during  seemingly  routine  flights,  Poppy  and  her boyfriend Griff begin to investigate.

This was such an interesting read, especially since I had never heard of the “Attagirls.” The history of these brave  women  is  fascinating, and the author provides more facts about them in a historical note at the  end of the book.  The  murder  mystery  is  well  done,  with  many  twists,  turns,  and  red herrings.  The  villain is not easy to figure out, so the reader is surprised at the end. The characters are compelling and well developed. Our heroine, Poppy, proves to be a witty and clever sleuth. Her relationship with her boyfriend Griff is complicated at times, but that just makes it more interesting. This is a great combination of World War II historical fiction and cozy mystery. I would recommend this book to fans of both genres.

The first book in the series is Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders.

I received a free copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via Netgalley for Historical Novels Review. My review is voluntary.

BUY THE BOOK

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

BOOKBUB

APPLE BOOKS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tessa Arlen is the author of the critically acclaimed Lady Montfort mystery series—Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman was a finalist for the 2016 Agatha Award Best First Novel. She is also the author of Poppy Redfern: A Woman of World War II mystery series. And the author of the historical fiction: In Royal Service to the Queen.

Tessa lives in the Southwest with her family and two corgis where she gardens in summer and writes in winter.