Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Can't Wait to Read Wednesday: Calamity / Murder in a Cup / Whispers Beyond the Veil


The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

I do love a good science fiction romance. Add in a misfit crew and space adventure and it's sure to be a hit for me! 

Calamity
(Uncharted Hearts #1) by Constance Fay

(Bramble, November 14, 2023; 320 pgs)
Bramble's inaugural debut is equal parts steamy interstellar romance and sci-fi adventure, perfect for fans of Firefly and Ilona Andrews.

She’s got a ramshackle spaceship, a misfit crew, and a big problem with its sexy newest member…

Temperance Reed, banished from the wealthy and dangerous Fifteen Families, just wants to keep her crew together after their feckless captain ran off with the intern. But she’s drowning in debt and revolutionary new engine technology is about to make her beloved ship obsolete.

Enter Arcadio Escajeda. Second child of the terrifying Escajeda Family, he’s the thorn in Temper’s side as they’re sent off on a scouting mission on the backwater desert planet of Herschel 2. They throw sparks every time they meet but Temper’s suspicions of his ulterior motives only serve to fuel the flames between them.

Despite volcanic eruptions, secret cultists, and deadly galactic fighters, the greatest threat on this mission may be to Temper’s heart.
[Goodreads Summary]


Paranormal cozy mysteries are among my favorite type of cozies, and this series is one I have been wanting to try since the first book came out. 

Murder in a Cup
(A Crystals & CuriosiTEAS Mystery #2) by Lauren Elliott

(Kensington Books, November 28, 2023; 284 pgs)
As an eclectic tea shop owner descended from an Irish witch, intuitive Shay Myers has been living her most authentic life since moving home to California’s scenic Monterey Peninsula. Yet not even her heightened senses can predict how to run a business—or catch a killer . . .

Self-taught “seer” Shay has much to learn as autumn hits the quaint coastal town of Bray Harbor. Since attempting the art of blending herbs at her popular shop, Crystals & CuriosiTeas, she’s set on growing ingredients in the mysterious greenhouse on the second floor—if only she can separate the medicinal plants from the deadly ones. Her new skills are put to the test when she meets pub owner and ex-detective Liam Madigan’s Gran. A psychic from Ireland known for interpreting tea leaves and people, Gran encourages Shay to build upon her natural talents and hold her own group reading . . .

Despite Shay’s reservations about putting herself in the spotlight, the evening goes off without a hitch. At least, until she does a reading and a customer goes from chatty to dead in a flash, poisoned after sipping a toxic substance recently grown in the greenhouse. Worse, Shay’s assistant is suspected of intentionally serving the lethal brew and committing cold-blooded murder. Now, aided only by Liam and her dog Spirit, Shay must exonerate her employee and save the future of Crystals & CuriosiTeas. But when clues start lining up like leaves in a teacup, she’ll need to understand the signs right in front of her to catch the manipulative murderer before it’s too late . . .
[Goodreads Summary]

Do either of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


The Old(er) 
Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight those unread books on my TBR in her Books from the Backlog feature, reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

Paranormal cozy mysteries compete with historical cozy mysteries as my top favorite type of cozy--and this one has both! I actually have the first two books in this series sitting on my TBR shelf. I am not sure why I haven't read this yet other than it is one of many on my TBR shelf that I really want to read.

Whispers Beyond the Veil (A Change of Fortune Mystery #1) by Jessica Estevao
(Berkley, 2016; 349 pgs)
First in a dazzling new historical mystery series featuring Ruby Proulx, a psychic with a questionable past who suddenly finds her future most uncertain...

Canada, 1898. The only life Ruby Proulx has ever known is that of a nomad, traveling across the country with her snake-oil salesman father. She dreams of taking root somewhere, someday, but, until she can, she makes her way by reading tarot cards. Yet she never imagined her own life would take such a turn…

After one of her father’s medical “miracles” goes deadly wrong, Ruby evades authorities by hiding in the seaside resort town of Old Orchard, Maine, where her estranged aunt, Honoria, owns the Hotel Belden, a unique residence that caters to Spiritualists—a place where Ruby should be safe as long as she can keep her dark secret hidden.

But Ruby’s plan begins to crumble after a psychic investigator checks into the hotel and senses Ruby is hiding more than she’s letting on. Now Ruby must do what she can to escape both his attention and Aunt Honoria’s insistence that she has a true gift, before she loses her precious new home and family forever…
[Goodreads Summary]

Have you read Whispers Beyond the Veil?  Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 


© 2023, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Can't Wait to Read Wednesday: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord / Good Girls Don’t Die / A Distant Heart


The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

I can't wait to read these! They couldn't be more different, but both appeal to me. 

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord
by Celeste Connally
(Minotaur Books, November 14, 2023; 304 pgs)  

Bridgerton meets Agatha Christie in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord, a dazzling first entry in a terrific new Regency-era mystery series with a feminist spin.

When Lady Petra Forsyth’s fiancé and soulmate dies just weeks ahead of their wedding, she makes the shocking proclamation—in front of London’s loosest lips—that she will never remarry. A woman of independent means, Petra sees no reason to cede her wealth and freedom to any man now that the love of her life has passed, nor does she intend to become confined to her country home. Instead, she uses her title to gain access to elite spaces and enjoy the best of society without expectations.

But when ballroom gossip suggests that a longtime friend has died of “melancholia” while in the care of a questionable physician, Petra vows to use her status to dig deeper—uncovering a private asylum where men pay to have their wives and daughters locked away, or worse. Just as Lady Petra has reason to believe her friend is not dead, but a prisoner, her own headstrong actions and thirst for independence are used to put her own freedom in jeopardy.
[Goodreads Summary]


Good Girls Don’t Die
by Christina Henry 
(Berkley, November 14, 2023; 320 pgs)

A sharp-edged, supremely twisty thriller about three women who find themselves trapped inside stories they know aren’t their own, from the author of Alice and Near the Bone.

Celia wakes up in a house that’s supposed to be hers. There’s a little girl who claims to be her daughter and a man who claims to be her husband, but Celia knows this family—and this life—is not hers…

Allie is supposed to be on a fun weekend trip—but then her friend’s boyfriend unexpectedly invites the group to a remote cabin in the woods. No one else believes Allie, but she is sure that something about this trip is very, very wrong…

Maggie just wants to be home with her daughter, but she’s in a dangerous situation and she doesn’t know who put her there or why. She’ll have to fight with everything she has to survive…

Three women. Three stories. Only one way out. This captivating novel will keep readers guessing until the very end.
[Goodreads Summary]


Do either of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


The Old(er) 
Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight those unread books on my TBR in her Books from the Backlog feature, reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

I seem to be collecting Sonali Dev's books, but I have only read one of them (Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors, which I loved). I came across this one while updating my LibraryThing Catalog and was reminded how much I still want to read it. 

A Distant Heart (Bollywood #4) by Sonali Dev
(Kensington Books, 2017; 302 pgs)
Her name means “miracle” in Sanskrit, and to her parents, that’s exactly what Kimaya is. The first baby to survive after several miscarriages, Kimi grows up in a mansion at the top of Mumbai’s Pali Hill, surrounded by love and privilege. But at eleven years old, she develops a rare illness that requires her to be confined to a germ-free ivory tower in her home, with only the Arabian Sea churning outside her window for company. . . . Until one person dares venture into her world.

Tasked at fourteen-years-old with supporting his family, Rahul Savant shows up to wash Kimi’s windows, and an unlikely friendship develops across the plastic curtain of her isolation room. As years pass, Rahul becomes Kimi’s eyes to the outside world—and she becomes his inspiration to better himself by enrolling in the police force. But when a life-saving heart transplant offers the chance of a real future, both must face all that ties them together and keeps them apart.

As Kimi anticipates a new life, Rahul struggles with loving someone he may yet lose. And when his investigation into a black market organ ring run by a sociopathic gang lord exposes dangerous secrets that cut too close to home, only Rahul's deep, abiding connection with Kimi can keep her safe—and reveal the true meaning of courage, loss, and second chances.

Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart. 
[Goodreads Summary]

Have you read A Distant Heart?  Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 


© 2023, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Where Is Your Bookmark: A Glimpse Into Yellowface (& Other Friday Fun)



A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. Hosted by the amazing Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader.


The night I watch Athena Liu die, we're celebrating her TV deal with Netflix. [opening of Yellowface]

Now that opening has caught my attention! Yellowface by R.F. Kuang is next up on my TBR pile, and I am excited to finally be able to start it. 

Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars: same year at Yale, same debut year in publishing. But Athena's a cross-genre literary darling, and June didn't even get a paperback release. Nobody wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

So when June witnesses Athena's death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena's just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers to the British and French war efforts during World War I.

So what if June edits Athena's novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song--complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn't this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That's what June claims, and the
New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can't get away from Athena's shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June's (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

With its totally immersive first-person voice, 
Yellowface takes on questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation not only in the publishing industry but the persistent erasure of Asian-American voices and history by Western white society. R. F. Kuang's novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable. [Goodreads Summary]

Have you read Yellowface? If so, what did you think? Does this sound like something you might like to read? 



Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. It is co-hosted by Linda Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Roberta from Offbeat YA, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About, Berl's from Because Reading is Better than Real Life, and Karen from For What It’s Worth. Join in by answering this week's question in the comments or on your own blog.
What is your favorite season? Why?
My go to answer to this question is usually autumn when the weather starts to change, growing cooler at night with darkness settling in earlier, leaves turning colors and falling from the trees, open windows, the smell of fires in the fireplace, pumpkin bread, walking and driving through the neighborhood to see the elaborate Halloween decorations, all the costumes and children trick-or-treating, painting pumpkins, and many good books.

But then I think of winter (Southern California style) and how it means beautiful snow on the distance mountain tops, the chill in the air, frost on the grass, hopefully some rain, comfy sweaters, cozy socks, cuddling under a blanket, peppermint hot cocoa, holiday music and decorations, our traditional drive around town to see all the Christmas lights, end of the year favorite book lists, setting new reading goals, and even more good books.

Oh, but how could my favorite season not be spring! The time of year I can keep the windows open practically all season long (allergies be damned), blooms on the tree and in the gardens, a sense of newness and freshness in the air,  foggy mornings, hopefully more rain, sunshine, and good books. 

I used to like summer least because of the heat, which is dumb because it's one of the best seasons. No school for Mouse, slightly slower days at work, evening walks, more daylight which make the days feel wonderfully long and like I can do all the things, visits to the mountains, waking up to the sunrise instead of the darkness like the rest of the year, and, yes, plenty of good books!

Now that I think about it, I think they are all my favorite. 

Which is your favorite season and why?


Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

Have you ever become disoriented in a bookstore? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)


 When visiting a bookstore for the first time, I may take a moment to orient myself to what type of books are where, but disoriented? No, I cannot say that I have been. 

Sometimes when I am shopping for books online or in bookstores, I get sidetracked by interesting looking books that weren't initially on my radar--now that's a fun rabbit hole to go down! While maybe not disorienting, I can lose track of time. Does that count?

What about you?

 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!


© 2023 Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Can't Wait to Read Wednesday: The Fatal Folio / Hunt on Dark Waters / Impossible Saints


The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.


The Fatal Folio (The Cambridge Bookshop Series #3) by Elizabeth Penney
(St. Martin's Press, October 24, 2023; 320 pgs)  
In the third in Elizabeth Penney's delightful Cambridge Bookshop series, The Fatal Folio, Molly Kimball is learning that every killer has a story… After moving to Cambridge, England, Molly Kimball has found a lot to love, including—of course—her family’s ancestral bookshop, Thomas Marlowe-Manuscripts and Folios. And though she’s not quite ready to use the “L” word when it comes to her boyfriend Kieran, she’s definitely fallen for his intimidating family’s library.

His family is paying her handsomely for an updated catalog when Molly discovers the original manuscript of a Gothic novel, A Fatal Folio by the pseudonymous Selwyn Scott. Kieran’s cousin Oliver, a professor specializing in Gothic literature, is eager to publish a paper on the mystery—especially because a troublesome student, Thad, is threatening to file a complaint against him and prevent his long-awaited promotion.

On Guy Fawkes Night, Molly, Kieran, and her friends set out to enjoy the costumes, fireworks, and fun—at least until a stray firework starts a panic, and the group stumbles upon a prone body, their face covered by a mask. It’s Thad, and he’s been stabbed to death.

It soon becomes clear Oliver isn’t the only one with a motive, and Molly must once again put on a few masks of her own to sleuth out Thad’s killer, prove Oliver’s innocence, and discover what Selwyn’s novel might have to do with this most atmospheric mystery… [Goodreads Summary]

Hunt on Dark Waters (Crimson Sails #1) by Katee Robert
(Berkley, November 7, 2023; 336 pgs)  
Evelyn is a witch with a perfect storm of impulses: terrible taste in bed partners, sticky fingers, and a lust for danger. After she steals from her vampire ex and falls through a portal to another realm, she’s fished out of the waters by a band of seafarers and their telekinetic captain. She’s immediately given a choice—join their ship’s crew or die.

Bowen has no memory of his life before he became one of the Cŵn Annwn. He and his band of pirates are bound by vow to patrol through Threshold, the magical sea in between realms, keeping the portals to other worlds safe. When he rescues Evelyn, he doesn’t expect to be attracted to the unflappably brassy pickpocket. The longer he spends in her presence, the more he begins to question if his heart is the next thing she’ll steal.

But as tension heats up between Bowen and Evelyn, the danger at sea escalates as well. Because Evelyn has no intention of keeping her vows to the Cŵn Annwn, and if she betrays the crew, both she and Bowen will pay the ultimate price.... [Goodreads Summary]

Do either of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


The Old(er) 
Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight those unread books on my TBR in her Books from the Backlog feature, reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

If the cover isn't enough to draw me to this book, the description seals the deal. Women's suffrage and a seemingly impossible romance. I hope this one turns out to be as good as it sounds!

Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood
(Pegasus Books, 2018; 304 pgs)
Set in England in 1907, Impossible Saints is a novel that burns as brightly as the suffrage movement it depicts, with the emotional resonance of Tracy Chevalier and Jennifer Robson.

Escaping the constraints of life as a village schoolmistress, Lilia Brooke bursts into London and into Paul Harris’s orderly life, shattering his belief that women are gentle creatures who need protection. Lilia wants to change women’s lives by advocating for the vote, free unions, and contraception. Paul, an Anglican priest, has a big ambition of his own: to become the youngest dean of St. John’s Cathedral. Lilia doesn’t believe in God, but she’s attracted to Paul’s intellect, ethics, and dazzling smile.

As Lilia finds her calling in the militant Women’s Social and Political Union, Paul is increasingly driven to rise in the church. They can’t deny their attraction, but they know they don’t belong in each other’s worlds. Lilia would rather destroy property and serve time in prison than see her spirit destroyed and imprisoned by marriage to a clergyman, while Paul wants nothing more than to settle down and keep Lilia out of harm’s way. Paul and Lilia must reach their breaking points before they can decide whether their love is worth fighting for. 
[Goodreads Summary]

Have you read Impossible Saints?  Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 


© 2023, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Weekly Mews: Bookish Mewsings on Mrs. Morris and the Witch & Mother-Daughter Murder Night

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.






It has been a busy weekend, and so I am getting this post up later than usual. Our neighborhood has been getting in the Halloween spirit, many decorations going up. Ours are still in the garage, but perhaps they'll find their way out soon. This is one of my favorite times of year. 


I currently am reading Starling House by Alix E. Harrow, which so far is as every bit as good as I heard it would be. 


Next up, I will be picking up the October TBR Winner of my TBR List Poll. 


Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn and The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #1) by Laurie R. King tied with 5 votes each, while Yellowface by R.F. Kuang won with 7 votes! I have heard great things about Yellowface and am anxious to start it. Thank you again for all who voted!



My TBR List is hosted by the awesome Michelle  at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and let you vote for my next read during that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 


This past week I finished reading Nightfall (Keeper of the Lost Cities #6) by Shannon Messenger and Mrs. Morris and the Witch (Salem B&B Mystery #2) by Traci Wilton (see below for my thoughts on the latter).

I continue to enjoy the Keeper of the Lost Cities, a middle grade fantasy series, which is one of my daughter's favorites. Although Nightfall got off to a slower start than the previous books in the series, it eventually picked up. Mouse is all caught up with the series, but I still have a way to go. I can see why Mouse adores the series with her love for fantasy and characters she can root for. It's imaginative and action packed. There's tween/teen angst, lots of blushing, magic, animals of all kinds, danger, and kids who save the day. The tenth final book in the series is rumored to be coming out later this year.

Mouse is currently reading Holes by Louis Sachar in school, a book I have not had the chance to read. It seems to be well loved though, and perhaps I will find my way to it at some point. She's been sharing with me what's going on in the story each evening, and so I feel like I am reading it alongside her. 


Mrs. Morris and the Witch
 (Salem B&B Mystery #2) by Traci Wilton (Kensington Books, 2020; Mystery/Cozy; 219 pgs)
Source: from the publisher via NetGalley; all opinions are my own.
"All Hallows' Eve--Salem's most celebrated night of the year," Charlene Morris said to Jack Strathmore, seated next to her on the love seat in the privacy of her personal suite. ~ Opening of Mrs. Morris and the Witch
I read the first book in this series, Mrs. Morris and the Ghost, three years ago and enjoyed it. Widowed Charlene Morris bought a mansion sight unseen with plans to turn in into a bed and breakfast. Little did she know it came with its own resident ghost, Jack Strathmore.

Mrs. Morris and the Witch, picks up soon after the events in the first book of this cozy mystery series. Charlene is excited about hosting her first guests over Halloween and has planned an unforgettable evening Halloween night with a tour of Salem and a cemetery, led by a local ghost expert. Unfortunately, the night takes a turn for the worst when Charlene finds Morganna, a local Wiccan, dead in her shop. One of Charlene's guests is a person of interest, and Charlene is determined to clear his name. Charlene's inquiries lead her down the path to find the murderer, learning about the modern day Wiccan community and coven politics in Salem along the way.

It was a pleasure to spend time with Charlene again as well as her friendly household ghost, Jack. She uses him as a sounding board quite a bit in the novel, and he offers some helpful suggestions along the way. Her friend and detective, Sam, seems quite capable at his job, and it's obvious he is frustrated with Charlene's interference--not to mention the way she puts herself in danger. I can't really blame him. There is one scene in the novel in which Charlene does something very dumb, in fact; but I had to laugh because not too long after that scene, Charlene is reading a romantic suspense novel and describes the heroine as "smart and savvy, not the too-stupid-to-live kind, like she'd been the night before." Kudos to authors Traci Hall and Patrice Wilton for calling their own character out! I do like Charlene though even if her curiosity gets the better of her sometimes.

I was along for the ride in this paranormal cozy mystery and did not figure out who was behind the murder until the end. The cast of characters, some familiar from the previous book, and others new, had interesting backstories of their own, and I am enjoying getting to know Charlene's Salem through her eyes. I look forward to reading more of the series. I believe it's set around Christmas time--so perfect for the upcoming winter season!

Challenge Met: COYER / Mount TBR / Backlist / Cruisin' Thru the Cozies


Mother-Daughter Murder Night
 by Nina Simon
 (William Morrow, 2023; Mystery/Thriller; 352 pgs)

Source: from the publisher via NetGalley; all opinions are my own.
Beth knew she couldn't leave for work until she dealt with the dead body on the beach. ~ Opening of Mother-Daughter Murder Night 
Earlier this month, I read Mother-Daughter Night and loved it. This was more than just a mystery/suspense novel, but also a novel about mother and daughter relationships, the choices we make as parents-- as humans, really--and how they can impact the other.

Lana Rubicon is as ambitious as they come, putting her career in real estate above all else. She learned the hard way how a person can only depend on themselves. A diagnosis of cancer and the stresses treatment put on her body mean Lana must turn to her daughter, Beth, for help. Lana finds Beth to be an enigma. She seems to be everything Lana is not. Beth lives a quiet life as a nurse in a sleepy coastal town with her teenage daughter, Jack. Jack is fiercely independent and longs for a different life than the one she's living. She loves her grandmother and mother and wishes they got along better.

When Jack finds a dead body while leading a kayak tour, the police are quick to name her as their main suspect. Lana and Beth are beside themselves with the accusations made by the police. Lana is quick to realize the police are not up to the task of finding the real killer, and, in an effort to prove her granddaughter is innocent, she begins to look for other possible suspects on her own. Beth, on the other hand, is not keen on the idea of her mother conducting her own investigation, especially not while she's in such a weakened state and should be focusing on her recovery. It soon becomes clear though that there is no stopping Lana, and Jack and a reluctant Beth lend her a hand.

Lana and Beth's relationship is mired in the past by slights and misunderstandings. I found myself siding with one or the other at various points in the book, but ultimately hoping they would find common ground between them. They are so much alike even as they think they are so different. And I really felt for Jack being in the middle. The relationships between all three women do grow over the course of the novel. I found all of them extremely relatable. (Not to mention I love the idea of a Mother-Daughter Murder Night! Read the book and you'll know why.)

From wealthy ranchers to land trusts, family vendettas and secret deals, Lana, Beth and Jack find themselves in dangerous territory. While not a fast paced mystery in the way some mysteries are, Mother-Daughter Murder Night was a compelling read. The mystery itself was made up of a complex web of conflict and characters that had me wanting to know where each thread would lead. While the final whodunnit was not a real surprise, the fun was in getting there.

Challenge Met: COYER

I hope you have a great week! Let me know what you have been reading!

© 2023, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Where Is Your Bookmark: A Glimpse into Starling House (& Other Friday Fun)



A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. Hosted by the amazing Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader.


I dream sometimes of a house I've never seen.

I mean, pretty much nobody has. Logan Caldwell claims he ding-dong ditched the place last summer break, but he's an even bigger liar than me. The truth is you can't really see the house from the road. Just the iron teeth of the front gate and the long red lick of the drive, maybe a glimpse of limestone walls cross-hatched by honeysuckle and greenbriers. Even the historical plaque out front is half-swallowed by ivy, the letters so slurred with moss and neglect that only the title is still legible: 

Starling House 


A weekly meme in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading. Hosted by the wonderful Freda of Freda's Voice.


Arthur Starling becomes aware--gradually, in reluctant stages--that someone is watching him. His first clue was the nervy shiver at the back of his skull that told him there was a stranger on Starling land. [excerpt from 56% of Starling House]
I have just begun Starling House by Alix E. Harrow and am not too far in.  It's off to a promising start with the kind of opening I fall right into. And the second teaser, which I have not yet reached in the book, has me eager to read more. Who is watching him? What do they want? I look forward to finding out! 
A grim and gothic new tale from author Alix E. Harrow about a small town haunted by secrets that can't stay buried and the sinister house that sits at the crossroads of it all.

Eden, Kentucky, is just another dying, bad-luck town, known only for the legend of E. Starling, the reclusive nineteenth-century author and illustrator who wrote The Underland--and disappeared. Before she vanished, Starling House appeared. But everyone agrees that it’s best to let the uncanny house―and its last lonely heir, Arthur Starling―go to rot.

Opal knows better than to mess with haunted houses or brooding men, but an unexpected job offer might be a chance to get her brother out of Eden. Too quickly, though, Starling House starts to feel dangerously like something she’s never had: a home.

As sinister forces converge on Starling House, Opal and Arthur are going to have to make a dire to dig up the buried secrets of the past and confront their own fears, or let Eden be taken over by literal nightmares.

If Opal wants a home, she’ll have to fight for it. [Goodreads Summary]

Have you read Starling House? Does it sound like something you would like to read?



Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. It is co-hosted by Linda Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Roberta from Offbeat YA, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About, Berl's from Because Reading is Better than Real Life, and Karen from For What It’s Worth. Join in by answering this week's question in the comments or on your own blog.
Zombie Apocalypse: What would you do?
Ideally, my family and I would join together with other people to form a civilized community that works together to protect each other and survive. I would learn to farm, hunt, and make medicine. I think I would be well suited to teach or counsel children and adults in the community. 

Let's be honest though. I would likely be among the first or second wave of zombies. Or die tripping over a branch into a mud puddle only to be caught by zombies and eaten;  or fall off a cliff, being decapitated by a branch from the force of the fall, all the while trying to get away from the zombies or lawless evil humans chasing me. 

What would you do in a Zombie Apocalypse?


Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

Do you read anything specific in the fall? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)


It certainly feels like the time of year when a more somber, spooky or atmospheric thriller might be in order. This time of year screams for all things Gothic. Or perhaps a paranormal mystery or romance. Something with ghosts or witches, perhaps. Or maybe just a book set in the fall. I sometimes pick up something to read that fits into one or more of those categories. I just finished a fun paranormal cozy mystery set around Halloween that featured ghosts and witches, which I was motivated to read because of the season, in fact. Still, I'm likely to read any of these types of books year round because I enjoy them so much. 

Do you have a favorite fall read you like to turn to this time of year? Do you gravitate towards a certain type of book this time of year?


 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!


© 2023 Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Can't Wait to Read Wednesday: Murder by Degrees / Murder in Drury Lane / Map of the Heart


The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

Historical mysteries are my favorite types of mysteries and when I came across these titles, they immediately went onto my wish list.

Murder by Degrees by Ritu Mukerji
(Simon & Schuster, October 17, 2023; 304 pgs)  
For fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd, Murder by Degrees is a historical mystery set in 19th century Philadelphia, following a pioneering woman doctor as she investigates the disappearance of a young patient who is presumed dead.

Philadelphia, 1875: It is the start of term at Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lydia Weston, professor and anatomist, is immersed in teaching her students in the lecture hall and hospital. When the body of a patient, Anna Ward, is dredged out of the Schuylkill River, the young chambermaid’s death is deemed a suicide. But Lydia is suspicious and she is soon brought into the police investigation.

Aided by a diary filled with cryptic passages of poetry, Lydia discovers more about the young woman she thought she knew. Through her skill at the autopsy table and her clinical acumen, Lydia draws nearer the truth. Soon a terrible secret, long hidden, will be revealed. But Lydia must act quickly, before she becomes the next target of those who wished to silence Anna.
[Goodreads Summary]

Murder in Drury Lane (Lady Worthing #2) by Vanessa Riley
(Kensington, October 24, 2023; 320 pgs)  
Pressed into a union of convenience, Lady Abigail Worthing knew better than to expect love. Her marriage to an absent lord does at least provide some comforts, including a box at the Drury Lane theater, owned by the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Abigail has always found respite at the theater, away from the ton’s judgmental stares and the risks of her own secret work to help the cause of abolition—and her fears that someone from her past wants her permanently silenced. But on one particular June evening everything collides, and the performance takes an unwelcome turn . . .

Onstage, a woman emits a scream of genuine terror. A man has been found dead in the prop room, stabbed through the heart. Abigail’s neighbor, Stapleton Henderson, is also in attendance, and the two rush backstage. The magistrate, keen to avoid bringing more attention to the case and making Lady Worthing more of a target, asks Abigail not to investigate. But she cannot resist, especially when the usually curmudgeonly Henderson offers his assistance.

Abigail soon discovers a tangled drama that rivals anything brought to the stage, involving gambling debts, a beautiful actress with a parade of suitors, and the very future of the Drury Lane theatre. For Abigail the case is complicated still further, for one suspect is a leading advocate for the cause dearest to her heart—the abolition of slavery within the British empire. Uncovering the truth always comes at a price. But this time, it may be far higher than she wishes to pay.
[Goodreads Summary]

Do either of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


The Old(er) 
Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight those unread books on my TBR in her Books from the Backlog feature, reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

Books set in and around--or about--World War II are likely to catch my attention and Susan Wiggs' was no different. Add in a little romance, family drama and the mention of secrets, and it is sure to land on my TBR shelf, which is exactly how this one landed there. While my recent reading mood means this one won't make it to the top of my TBR, I know it's day will come.

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs 
(William Morrow, 2017; 368 pgs)
Susan Wiggs—an author “who paints the details of human relationships with the finesse of a master” (Jodi Picoult)—returns with a deeply emotional and atmospheric story of love and family, war and secrets that moves back and forth across time, from the present day to World War II France.  
An accomplished photographer, widow, and mother, Camille Palmer is content with the blessings she’s enjoyed. When her ageing father asks her to go with him to his native France, she has no idea that she's embarking on an adventure that will shake her complacency and utterly transform her. 
Returning to the place of his youth sparks unexpected memories—recollections that will lead Camille, her father, and her daughter, Julie, who has accompanied them, back to the dark, terrifying days of the Second World War, where they will uncover their family’s surprising history. 
While Provence offers answers about her family’s past, it also holds the key to Camille’s future. Along the way, Camille meets a handsome American historian who stirs a passion deep within her she thought she’d never experience again. [Goodreads Summary]

 

Have you read Map of the Heart?  Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 


© 2023, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.