In post–World War I England, a young woman inherits a mysterious library and must untangle its powerful secrets…
With the stroke of a pen, twenty-three-year-old Ivy Radcliffe becomes Lady Hayworth, owner of a sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors. Ivy has never heard of Blackwood Abbey, or of the ancient bloodline from which she’s descended. With nothing to keep her in London since losing her brother in the Great War, she warily makes her way to her new home.
The abbey is foreboding, the servants reserved and suspicious. But there is a treasure waiting behind locked doors: a magnificent library. Despite cryptic warnings from the staff, Ivy feels irresistibly drawn to its dusty shelves, where familiar works mingle with strange, esoteric texts. And she senses something else in the library too, a presence that seems to have a will of its own.
Rumors swirl in the village about the abbey’s previous owners, about ghosts and curses, and an enigmatic manuscript at the center of it all. And as events grow more sinister, it will be up to Ivy to uncover the library’s mysteries in order to reclaim her own story—before it vanishes forever.
Lush, atmospheric and transporting, The Last Heir to Blackwood Library is a skillful reflection on memory and female agency, and a love letter to books from a writer at the height of her power. [Goodreads Summary]
I am a Weyward, and wild inside.2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family's grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart's Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world. [Goodreads Summary]
A spellbinding tale about two daring women who hunt for truth and justice in the perilous art of conjuring the dead.1873. At an abandoned château on the outskirts of Paris, a dark séance is about to take place, led by acclaimed spiritualist Vaudeline D’Allaire. Known worldwide for her talent in conjuring the spirits of murder victims to ascertain the identities of the people who killed them, she is highly sought after by widows and investigators alike.Lenna Wickes has come to Paris to find answers about her sister’s death, but to do so, she must embrace the unknown and overcome her own logic-driven bias against the occult. When Vaudeline is beckoned to England to solve a high-profile murder, Lenna accompanies her as an understudy. But as the women team up with the powerful men of London’s exclusive Séance Society to solve the mystery, they begin to suspect that they are not merely out to solve a crime, but perhaps entangled in one themselves… [Goodreads Summary]
Killers of a Certain Age was a bit different than other books by Deanna Raybourn, but I was no less excited to read it. Who wouldn't with a description like the one above?! Billie, Mary Alice, Natalie, and Helen were the first all female assassin team, known as the Sphinxes, working for an organization that originally got its start going after Nazis and later other people deemed to be a threat to social justice. Now their employer has invited them on an all expense paid cruise to celebrate their retirement, but nothing is ever quite what it seems, is it? The four women are lounging on the deck of the ship one minute and on the run the next, in this clever thriller. Just why did the organization turn on them and how can they save themselves?Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that's their secret weapon.They've spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they're sixty years old, four women friends can't just retire - it's kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller. [Goodreads Summary]
The author takes the reader back and forth between the past and present, sharing how each of the women became the skilled assassins they are and their current predicament. They aren't sure who they can trust, if anyone, other than each other. They draw on all their experience and prove that the old school ways can be just as effective today as they were back then.
Witty and tension filled, Killers of a Certain Age was an enjoyable read. Perhaps with more aches and body creaks than they once had, the four heroines in the novel are nothing to be trifled with. While the mystery behind the who and why did not come as a complete surprise, I enjoyed it just the same. The backstories of the characters were interesting, and one of the strengths of the novel was the relationships between the women.
Put the kettle on, there’s a mystery brewing…
Tea-shop owner. Matchmaker. Detective? [Goodreads Summary]
I finally caught up and finished Dead to Me. I love Christina Applegate in general and she does such a good job in the series. I think my favorite character though is Judy, played by Linda Cardellini. It's a fairly dark comedy, and very well done.
I took the plunge and watched the post-apocalyptic series Sweet Tooth. My daughter said the main character Gus reminds her of a couple of the anime characters she and I love for his innocence and seeing the good in others. I have not read the original comic book series and so am not able to compare the two. I like the show, although cannot say I love it.
My family and I watched the finale of Ted Lasso. The third and final season has gotten some criticism, but I enjoyed it overall. It's such an uplifting show and seeing the characters grow and their relationships evolve over the course of the series was among the best parts of it. A person does not have to be a soccer or sports fan to appreciate the show.
We are diving back into the X-Files, slowly making our way through season one after having stalled for a little while there--too interested in other things.
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