Irish Linen is not a bad book; it just lacks freshness, excitement. I love this series, but I would put this book as my least favorite. I had a very h...moreIrish Linen is not a bad book; it just lacks freshness, excitement. I love this series, but I would put this book as my least favorite. I had a very hard time reading Irish Linen, in fact I set it down twice in order to read, finish and review two other books; I have never done that before. My main problem with this book was while reading it I had a vague sense of Déjà vu.
Nuala and Dermot get 'hired' by some parents to find their missing adult son, Des, who has flown to Iraq. While investigating his whereabouts they discover a memoir in the church basement. The memoir is written by a man named Tim Ridgeland, an Irish ambassador to Germany during WWII. Normally, the historical aspects of Mr. Greeley's stories are linked to the present day stories. I really felt the link between these two stories was weak at best. Des was supposed to be in Iraq for Peace, but I saw it as more of a culture visit.
Dermot acts like an adolescent in his thoughts and actions regarding a certain part of his wife's anatomy. He reminds me of a teenage boy with his first look at the female body. Their love scenes always seem a bit silly and childish to me. Then we have Tim and his Annalise professing love almost immediately after meeting, it was a bit ridiculous.
The ending of the book seemed a bit rushed, in both the historical and present stories. Locating and rescuing Des from Iraq was rather far fetched and anticlimactic; in fact Mr. Greeley himself starts the last chapter by saying just that.
I did enjoy the relationship between the fictional ambassador and his friend, the real life Claus Graf Von Strauffenburg. I thought Mr. Greeley did an excellent job of blending historical fact with fiction.
After all the other books in this series, I was anxious and a little impatient to read the next one. After reading this book I am rather contentedly and patiently awaiting the next one. (less)
I fear that most people will read the title of this book, look at its cover art and think this is some sort of historical romance, when in fact it is...moreI fear that most people will read the title of this book, look at its cover art and think this is some sort of historical romance, when in fact it is not, it’s a brilliant work historical fiction with more than one engaging mystery, one of which revolves around a tragic romance.
Lizzie Manning is a historian and a professor living in Boston, Massachusetts. She is contacted by the Hatton family in Britain to study and document their ancestor, Francis Hatton, and the journal he wrote and the artifacts he collected during his sea voyage with Captain James Cook.
Invited to stay and research the documents and artifacts in the family home, Hedgemont, Lizzie soon discovers this family has a history deep in tradition and tragedy, dating back to the thirteenth century and the Crusades. As she uncovers more about Francis, she discovers more about his family’s tragic past and the women who seem to be affected by that past, fatally. Immersed in the rich detail and history of the family, Lizzie makes several discoveries and unlocks mysteries that have plagued the family and remained unsolved for centuries.
All the mysteries involved with the Hatton family seem to center around one tragic event at the time of the Crusades, and the missing heart that was never recovered from the event. The line between what was and what is becomes blurred as the past starts affecting Lizzie more personally than she ever thought possible when history begins to repeat itself.
It took a little while for the story to fully take off and take shape, but once it did, I was as engrossed in the Hatton family history as Lizzie was. The story is powerful in its details and the tragedies of the past make a great impact on the reader. Both the historical and fictitious stories are fascinating and with each discovery made by Lizzie, I felt like I was watching her put the pieces of a puzzle together. The characters of the story enhanced the journey and each role was played an important part to fitting all the pieces of the puzzle together at the end.
I stated at the beginning of this review that I feared people would think this book a romance and overlook it, or simply not pick it up. The truth is there is enough romance involved to entertain the romance reader, but there is so much more going on in this story that I feel this is a book that fans of most genres will enjoy. Mystery, romance, historical fiction, or just great fiction fans in general would enjoy this tale, immensely, I think. This book looks to be the first in a trilogy featuring Lizzie and her supporting cast, and I look forward to the next adventure and mystery with much enthusiasm.
Life can change in an instant, and for the happy couple in this story, it changed in one afternoon. Sharon and Jim have a typical happy relationship;...moreLife can change in an instant, and for the happy couple in this story, it changed in one afternoon. Sharon and Jim have a typical happy relationship; they have a nine month old daughter, Anna, and a life they both enjoy. When Sharon and her neighborhood friend, Katie, decide to have lunch one day, Jim is happy to stay home and take care of Anna. Unfortunately an accident happens and Anna and Jim are both hurt severely. Sharon feels the need to blame Jim and decides a separation is the only way she can cope.
Sharon moves and gives up her stay at home Mommy status to work as an accountant in a nice firm. Her life is no longer happy and when someone tries to run her off the road one evening it seems someone wants to end her unhappy life.
The storyline seemed interesting enough; unfortunately there are way too many things about it that ended up ruining what could have been a decent read.
The accident itself seemed far fetched and the reason behind it really wasn’t Jim’s fault. The fact that Sharon felt the need to blame him and be so cruel seemed out of character and exaggerated to me. But I tried to put myself in Sharon’s shoes and tried to overlook this.
The dialogue in this book is really bizarre. Every time someone talks I would find myself cringing and thinking “who talks like this?” There was no natural flow to conversations and not one character felt like a real person.
The mystery portion of the story was than a little weak. I had pegged one of the culprits from the moment they entered into the story and before the mystery began. Also, the two detectives that are assigned to the case were like the Keystone Cops. They bumble their way through the case with jokes that fall flat and questionable crime solving skills. How they actually solved the case was the real mystery to me.
I hate writing bad reviews on debut books, especially when I seem to be in the minority with my opinion. But there really wasn’t one thing about this book I feel I could rave about or recommend to another reader. It definitely lacks polish.
Retired Librarian, Rachel Lyons, has begun a new chapter in her life. With her retired Marine husband, Matt, they have started a Private Investigating...moreRetired Librarian, Rachel Lyons, has begun a new chapter in her life. With her retired Marine husband, Matt, they have started a Private Investigating business and recently relocated to California. When Rachel stumbles across a dead body it is assumed by most that he is just another victim of the recent forest fires that tore through the county. But Rachel isn’t so sure.
Rachel is a hand quilter and has wanted to find a group of women to sew with. Because she hasn’t made any real formal attempts at finding a quilting bee, and really hasn’t expressed an interest publicly, she is a little concerned when she receives a phone call inviting her to join a quilting bee. After a little research on the internet about the bee that call themselves Quilted Secrets, Rachel decides to join the group. What she finds is a group of women, of various ages and interests, full of secrets and bonds that Rachel only gets a brief glimpse of before she is asked to look into the recent death of their quilting friend, Ada. She is handed Ada’s last quilt and a genealogy of the Stowall family to begin her investigation.
Unraveling Ada is a complex and intriguing read that had me fighting myself so I wouldn’t skip to the end and spoil the outcome. With every discovery Rachel makes it seems to add a dozen more questions to life of Ada and the lives of the Stowall family. Each discovery is met with either hostility or help from the other members of the Quilted Secrets, making the reader all the more interested into the why’s of the story.
I am not a quilter so I thought I may get bored or lost whenever that entered into the story, instead I found the opposite happened. The author does a fantastic job of informing the reader and at the same time keeping them entertained. It’s not a ton of quilting jargon thrown at the laymen, just enough to entice, enlighten and enhance the mystery. Quilting was a big part of Ada’s life and her last legacy before dying; it’s an essential element to the story. The lives of the women, the Stowall family, the tragedies of the past and present, are all tied together in this wonderfully written tale. I really loved it.
I still have a few more questions after closing this book, but hope the next book will come with some answers for me. The characters in this story leave an impression and I look forward to unraveling the next mystery with them.
After witnessing a horrible tragedy at the age of three, Cadence Jones was never the same. Raised in a mental institution and suffering from multiple...moreAfter witnessing a horrible tragedy at the age of three, Cadence Jones was never the same. Raised in a mental institution and suffering from multiple personality disorder, Cadence thinks of her other two personalities as her sisters, her family. Cadence is sweet and never swears. Shiro smokes and is sarcastic, and Adrienne is well, violent.
Luckily there is a relatively unknown little branch of the FBI that hires the strange and unusual; they feel agents that are kleptomaniacs, have multiple personality disorder or any other strange psychosis can lend a unique perspective on capturing killers or any other cases. So far this strange group of agents is highly successful. Right now Cadence and her sociopath partner, George, are trying to catch a serial killer known as the ThreeFer.
Only in MaryJanice Davidson’s imagination could any of the above be thought up, and written out. The fact that she can get the reader to eat up every page and have them believe that everything is entirely plausible makes her a master at her craft.
I love MaryJanice Davidson’s humor and wit. Her characters always charm me and Cadence and her sisters did, too. While Cadence, Shiro and Adrienne’s background is tragic and sad, you can see why they are reluctant to get rid of one another. It’s a dependency that was born in heartache but has been helpful and reliable.
This is a weird and wonderful little murder mystery filled with a colorful cast of characters and hilarity. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next two books! I love Cadence and ALL her personalities!
When Drucilla receives a letter from her newly wed friend, Celeste, she is immediately concerned. Celeste asks for Drucilla to come and visit her and...moreWhen Drucilla receives a letter from her newly wed friend, Celeste, she is immediately concerned. Celeste asks for Drucilla to come and visit her and the whole tone of the letter has Celeste sounding frightened and worried. Drucilla talks her elderly aunt into chaperoning her voyage and two of them start on a long journey to Cornwall.
Upon arriving at Celeste’s imposing new home, things are stranger and more serious than she had imagined.
This was a very entertaining mystery novelette. I can honestly say I was riveted from the get go. I was invested in this story from page one and wasn’t about to put it down until it ended. The writing really speaks to the reader, I felt like I had a front row seat to the authors imagination.
My only gripe is I felt the beginning and the end of this story were a little rushed. I would have like to have spent more time with Celeste and with her fears. I think the author should have developed that aspect more; it would have upped the chill, the mystery and the wonder. Where the ending fell a little short was the fact that Drucilla wrapped things up way too quickly. There was no logical way she could have possibly have solved everything come to the conclusions she did without an insider tip from a consultant at the Psychic Friends Network. I think with just a couple extra pages at both the beginning and the end, this would have easily have been a 5 star short story.
The writing was solid, the storyline and the characters were equally solid. While the mystery wasn’t perfect, the story as a whole came awful close to perfection. This was an enjoyable afternoon read and definitely an author and story I would recommend to a friend. I look forward to reading more from this author.