Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Notes From a Public Typewriter - Michael Gustafson - Review AND Giveaway

Notes From a Public Typewriter, edited by Michael Gustafson and Oliver Uberti, releases on March 27/18 - and I have a copy of this delightful book to giveaway to one lucky reader, courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.

Notes is a collection of  missives left in the typewriter at Gustafson's business - The Literati Bookstore - an indie bookshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

When Gustafson opened his store in 2013, he included a typewriter as a community building experiment.

"What if people could walk into a bookstore and type anything they wanted? Would they write Haikus, confessions, or declarations of love?Would they contemplate the meaning of life? Would they make fart jokes? Would people even know how to use a typwriter?"

The answer is yes to all of the above. Notes From a Public Typewriter is a collection of those thoughts, desires, confessions, hopes, dreams and more. The notes range from heartbreaking to joyful with some laughs mixed in. There are many poignant entries, connection made and lost. All left anonymously. And it's impossible to put down. I read each entry and imagined who would have wrote it? Why they wrote it?  Did things change in their lives?

Here's a sampling:

"So much more effort. And no delete key. Kind of how life used to be.."
"Why does this thing have a hashtag symbol? They didn't have Twitter then #weird"
"Sometimes I get lost just to assure myself someone cares enough to find me."

Gustafson includes his own thoughts in short essays throughout the book. I like his voice and ideas.  And to those who live in Ann Arbor, lucky you - this sounds like a wonderful bookstore - and more.

Notes From a Public Typewriter is a slim volume at just over 150 pages. But, there is lots of food for thought between the covers. What do you think you would type?

Fans of PostSecret and Found would enjoy this book. Enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends March 31/18. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Over the Counter #411

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Learning new languages this week.....

How to Speak Chicken by Melissa Caughey.

From Storey Publishing:

"Best-selling author Melissa Caughey knows that backyard chickens are like any favorite pet — fun to spend time with and fascinating to observe. Her hours among the flock have resulted in this quirky, irresistible guide packed with firsthand insights into how chickens communicate and interact, use their senses to understand the world around them, and establish pecking order and roles within the flock. Combining her up-close observations with scientific findings and interviews with other chicken enthusiasts, Caughey answers unexpected questions such as Do chickens have names for each other? How do their eyes work? and How do chickens learn?"

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The French Girl - Lexie Elliott

The French Girl is Lexie Elliott's debut novel.

Six Oxford students spent a summer vacation together in France ten years ago. They were friends - and friends with benefits.. Their getaway doesn't go quite as planned - a beautiful French girl named Severine who lived next to the villa changes the dynamic of the group. And now she's changing the future. Ten years on, the police have found Severine's body in a well on the vacation property. The group is now part of a murder investigation by the French police.

Kate Channing is one of those six and she is our narrator.  Elliott slowly ekes out the details of what happened that summer week. Something happened that irrevocably changed each of the six. Kate herself sees Severine as a presence and although she does not speak, Kate gives her emotions.

"Severine glances at him with disdain, and suddenly I wonder: if Severine is a creation of my mind, are her reactions my own deeply hidden feelings?"

The friends are still in contact with each other. Our sense of who they are is coloured by Kate's views. I found them to all be flawed and not overly likable. But could one of them be a murderer? It is the relationships between them that takes center stage in the book. Elliott's depiction of those bonds, memories, interactions and current sparring is excellent. She is a gifted writer.

The publisher has described The French Girl as "exhilarating psychological suspense". I enjoyed The French Girl, but found it to be a bit of a slow burn rather than a fast paced suspense read. But, that slow burn absolutely works for exploring the relationships. For this reader, that was more of a draw that the actual whodunit.

"One's and Cosmopolitan's Best Books of the Month."Read an excerpt of The French Girl.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Let Me Lie - Clare Mackintosh

Let Me Lie is the third book from Clare Mackintosh. I devoured the suspense and twists in her first two books and was eager to dig into this latest.

Anna's parents both committed suicide within a year. On the one year anniversary of her mother's death, someone drops a card through her mail slot. Inside is a cryptic message ... "Suicide? Think again."

Anna always questioned their deaths. The bodies were never found and she can't believe her beloved mother would leave her. She decides to check in with the local constabulary on the case. Retired detective Murray Mackenzie is on the desk, now working in a civilian capacity. But old instincts die hard and he decides to look into the case further - on his own.

Murrary ended up being my favourite character. His personal story (his wife is mentally ill) was very well depicted and drew this reader in. Their relationship and how Murray copes were some of my favourite bits of the book. He's kind and intelligent as well as being a clever investigator. Anna's emotions and mental health are also explored. However, I wasn't as drawn to Anna, despite her being the lead character. I questioned some of her actions and decisions plot wise. But on the flip side, without some of those decisions, we wouldn't have as many  questions and avenues to explore. Mackintosh does give us lots of characters that may or may not have suspicious motives, keeping us guessing.

Interspersed are italicized chapters from, well, someone. These are deliberately vague and let the reader decide who it might be. In the beginning, these missives had me thinking things were going to unfold in a certain way (one I wasn't interested in). (Sorry, being deliberately obtuse. )As these entries continue, more and more detail is added, so that their identity becomes evident and the direction changes. Clues to the past are found in these narratives.

Let Me Lie was not as fast paced as the first two novels. I found the first part of the book to be a bit of a slow burn. Things do pick up in the last few chapters and one last final twist was a real 'gotcha'!Read an excerpt of Let Me Lie. I'll be watching for Mackintosh's next book.

Friday, March 16, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #202

 You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another.

US cover
UK cover
Squeee! Linwood Barclay has a new book coming out in July called A Noise Downstairs! Perfectly creepy without even knowing what the plot is@The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Okay, lets get to it. Black on both covers, white title and a difference with the author's name in size and colour. Now when I first looked at the US cover, I thought the image was of blinds with a bit of light seeping through. But on looking at the UK cover, I can see typewriter keys - with a wee bit of blood on one of them. Both covers feature tag lines that entice the reader, but I think the US line appeals to me more. Another hard call this week. I like the colours of the US cover better, as well as the tagline. But I like the image of the UK cover better. A tough choice, but I'm going to go with US this week. No matter the cover, it's going to be a great read!
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Zero Day - Ezekiel Boone

Zero Day is the last entry in Ezekiel Boone's Hatching trilogy.

It's the final showdown. Man against the carnivorous spiders that are threatening the extinction of the human race. The first book was the outbreak, the second the continuing fight and in this last book it's do or die.

"The world is on the brink of apocalypse. Zero Day has come."

Yes, the premise reads like a B-movie plot, but it's great fun to read. And cringe -worthy, creepy, crawly spiders skittering all around.....

 Boone has created an ensemble cast that I've come to know and enjoy over the course of the first two books and this is what kept me coming back. They are an eclectic group with many different outlooks and personalities and I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite. No surprise that there is an ending to this ongoing battle. And I have to say, I quite enjoyed the 'wrap-up' of where the lives of the large cast went. (And in that wrap-up I wonder if I'm the only one that thinks one or two of them might make appearances in the future?)

This trilogy could probably have been told in fewer pages, as the fight against the spiders seems a bit repetitive over the course of three books. That being said, Boone does have a way with words and does spin a good tale. I enjoyed his a wonderfully dark sense of humour. Boone fleshes out his narrative with lots of descriptions and side stories that I enjoyed.

I chose to listen to Zero Day, as I did with the previous books. The narrator was George Newbern, one of my favourites. He has a unique voice - clear, pleasant to listen to and easy to understand. He has a wry tone that matches the book and captures Boone's dark humour. His inflections rise and fall, giving the tale movement. Listen to an excerpt of Zero Day. 

You can connect with Ezekiel Boone on his website or follow him on Twitter. He has a new book coming out later in 2018 called The Mansion - it looks like another fun read.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

If I Die Tonight - Alison Gaylin

If I Die Tonight is Alison Gaylin's newest release. This was a first read of this author for me, but it won't be the last.

Small town USA. An aging pop star who goes by the name Amie Em stumbles in the local police station, saying she was carjacked by a teenaged boy. Another boy named Liam tried to stop the theft and was critically injured. But her story keeps changing and there are gaping holes in her recounting of the crime. The finger is inevitably pointed at Wade - a high school outcast.

Gaylin mirrors today's society - much of the case is debated online in various social forums. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty doesn't figure into the diatribe.. A young man's life is irrevocably changed and the injured teen becomes a downed hero to the town.

But is Wade guilty? He refuses to speak about that night. His mother Jackie knows he is not capable of such an act. Or is he? Gaylin tells this story through many points of view, giving the reader options as to what the outcome might be. I felt for Jackie as she struggled to clear her son's name. Gaylin's depictions of her emotions and relationships with her sons was well done. But my favourite supporting character was Officer Pearl Maze. She has her own issues, but was the clearest thinking character for me. (And I'd really like to see her in another book.)

Gaylin provides red herrings and alternative outcomes along the way to the final whodunit. I admit to having my suspicions about one character, who was just a little too calm and helpful for me. And yes, they did figure into the final reveal. But, that in no way detracted from my enjoyment of If I Die Tonight.  An entertaining read and I will be picking up Gaylin's next book. Read an excerpt of If I Die Tonight.

"Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed and Heartless; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York." Find out more about Alison at her website, friend her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.  See what others on the TLC book tour thought - full schedule can be found here.

I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC book tours.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Over the Counter #409

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? As someone who enjoys sewing the pun in the title caught my eye....

Pattern Behavior: The Seamy Side of Fashion Hardcover by Natalie Kossar.

From Running Press:

"For those who like their humor droll, deadpan, and hysterically funny, Pattern Behavior features more than 100 vintage McCall's patterns--with captions that will leave you in stitches.

Feeling nostalgic for your grandmother's old sewing patterns? Stitch some humor into your distant childhood with Pattern Behavior, featuring vintage covers from the McCall Pattern Company's archives. Based on the popular Tumblr blog, this droll comic collection brings the McCall's models back to life--in a way you haven't seen before! Combining retro fashion and modern wit, Pattern Behavior shines a light on the outdated social ideals of yesteryear--all with a big dose of humor."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Closer Than You Know - Brad Parks

Closer Than You Know is the latest stand-alone from author Brad Parks. Last year's Say Nothing was the first time I'd read Parks and it was a book I couldn't put down. (my review) I was eager to read this latest - and I couldn't put it down either!

As he did in Say Nothing, Parks' premise preys upon a parent's worst fear - their child disappearing.

Melanie Barrick goes to pick up her infant son Alex from the childminder, only to be told that Social Services has taken the child. A large amount of cocaine has been found in Melanie's house. Police are on their way to find her - and Alex is gone. Melanie protests her innocence, but at every step of the way, the evidence against her grows - and her chances of ever seeing her son again lessen.

Great premise and Parks only builds the tension with every new plot development, ensuring that I stayed up much too late, reading 'just one more chapter.' Parks manipulates the reader with some red herrings, alternate paths and more than one 'whodunit' to choose from along the way to the final pages. There were a few plot points that I thought were perhaps a bit far-fetched, but I didn't think too hard about them - instead I just kept turning pages. And although my suspicions were proven out in the end, I really enjoyed the journey to the final reveal.

Closer Than You Know is told from more than one viewpoint. I was drawn to Melanie and her inner thoughts. I did find her a bit calm in situations that I would have been losing it. The background Parks has drawn for her addresses this. The next door neighbor Bobby Ray was also a character I quite liked. Amy, the Assistant DA was a character I initially had high hopes for, but as the story progressed, her tunnel vision frustrated me. But my hands down fave was Melanie's rumpled, unprepossessing lawyer Mr. Honeywell.

All in all, Closer Than You Know was a fast paced, entertaining read. Fans of Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben will enjoy this one. (And this reader will be eagerly awaiting Parks' next book.) Read an excerpt of Closer Than You Know.

You can connect with Brad Parks on his website, like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Cooking Step by Step with DK

Little Guy has recently expressed interest in the kitchen - helping to make supper and bake desserts.

Cooking Step by Step from DK Canada seemed like the perfect starting place for Gramma and Little Guy to cook together. (Check out the other great book suggestions in the 'Maker March' boutique.) #DKMakerMarch

There are fifty recipes included under the headings Light Bites, Main Dishes, Sweet Treats and Baked Goods.

Musts for a children's cookbook - colour photographs and lots of easy to understand instructions. Check. Cooking Step by Step has a simplified ingredients list that employs pictures of the ingredient and a plus symbol. Perfect for little ones. Basics such as hygiene and safety etc are covered and are good beginner foundations. Measurements are given in both imperial and metric.

Little Guy is at the younger end of the recommended age range (6-8), so we stuck to some simpler recipes. Ones he was interested in eating! Pancakes, Spaghetti and Meatballs. And then the baking section - his favourite. The Lemon Muffins were really good. (Little Guy decided to leave out the poppy seeds though) The favourite of all though, was the Clever Cookies recipe. The dough is a good basic recipe - and the fun comes in adding different bits. We divided the dough into four portions, then added chocolate chips, dried cranberries, raisins and blueberries. Tada! Four different cookies.

There are more recipe choices that would appeal to a more experienced palate and an older child such as Gazpacho, Falafels, Salmon Parcels and a few others. I actually liked some of them for myself - there's a quick and easy Fried Rice, a Quiche recipe and super simple flatbread I'll most likely make for myself.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is a focus in learning in school systems today. Cooking is a great way to explore many STEM principles. So much can be learned and experienced in the kitchen. Measuring, techniques, tasting, new foods and the satisfaction that comes with creativity and sharing. And spending time together! Cooking Step by Step is a book that will grow with Little Guy. Thumbs up.

Friday, March 9, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #201

You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another.

US cover
UK cover
"A gripping thriller about a man who may or may not have dementia—and who may or may not be a serial killer—from a master of twists and turns, in the tradition of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn." Sigh, another one for the teetering TBR pile. Paper Ghosts is Julia Heaberlin's forthcoming novel. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Okay, so both covers employ the colour red - which connotes danger and death. The UK cover illustrates a woman who may or may not be dead with fallen leaves covering her. I'm kind of meh on this pic. But I quite like the image that the US cover has. The black and white definitely evokes a ghostly feel, fitting with the title. Twins make it even more eerie. Hands down the US cover for me this week. What about you -which cover do you prefer? And plans to read Paper Ghosts?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Halfway: A Memoir - Tom Macher

Halfway is Tom Macher's newly released memoir.

Macher came from a dysfunctional home, was an alcoholic youth, a petty criminal and lived in a string of communes, boy's homes, rehabs and halfway houses. All this before he's twenty.

Halfway is a documentation of these times and places with an emphasis on two halfway houses. Macher's recollections are sharp and focused, rattled off with machine gun rapidity. His honesty is admirable, baring his life for all to see. I hurt for the young child ignored by his birth father. Understood the anger and acting out of a growing boy. And the inevitability of the path his life was taking. Macher seems to have given in and given up, but he never loses the hope for something better for himself. He falls many, many times, but keeps getting back up.

We meet other residents, all with a nickname and a story. The groups, interactions and tenacity of the boys/men living together. The expectation that they will fail from those meant to help them. And the hope that they won't. I work in a low income neighborhood of a mid sized city. I interact with many addicted, homeless and marginalized people each day. Macher's memoir gives us a window into what life might be like for some of these people.

I chose to listen to Halfway. The reader was Corey Brill and he was the perfect choice. His voice has a defiant attitude to it and captures the tone and tenor of Macher's memories. His inflection is a perfect match for Macher's story. His voice is clear and easy to understand and the speed at which he speaks captures that machine gun delivery of Macher's almost stream of consciousness narrative. Here's an audio excerpt of Halfway.

Can you put a rating on someone sharing their life story? No, but if pressed, someone's life can be no less than five stars. Halfway is a dark and gritty memoir - one I'm glad I listened to.

"Tom Macher grew up in Georgia, New York, and California and spent his teenage years bouncing around from boys’ homes to halfway houses to communes in Montana, New York, and Louisiana. He attended Riverside City College, San Francisco State University, and The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. He has twice received fiction fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Halfway is his first book."

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Over the Counter #408

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Sadly, one whose subject is always in the headlines....

Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America by Kathy Shorr.

From powerHouse Books:

"The increasing ubiquity of gun violence has become the norm across the world and particularly in the United States, where we have begun to hear horror after horror on a daily basis. So much so that it has started to produce a numbing effect, a helplessness that allows us to hear the news and say, “Here we go again,” and put it out of our mind. Gun violence is now something we expect to happen.

SHOT is about people who have been shot and survived the experience. It portrays 101 survivors, aged 8 to 80, from all races and many ethnicities. They are the representatives of “survivorhood.” Most were photographed in the location where they were shot.

SHOT allows us to explore a dialogue about gun violence and how we are all vulnerable."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Find You in the Dark - Nathan Ripley

Find You in the Dark is Nathan Ripley's debut novel - and if you like suspense fiction, its one you're going to want to pick up!

The premise is deliciously dark....... Martin Reese is obsessed with serial killers, specifically with the victims not found. He's been buying up police reports for many years and has managed to locate (and dig up) the bodies they couldn't find. But, he's doing all of it anonymously and taunts the cops with a tip off of each new body located. Oh, and he takes only photos as souvenirs. Uh huh. He's been branded as The Finder by the cops. And it's all going along as it has for many years got it - a serial killer figures out who Martin is and what he's doing - and......

I know, I couldn't wait to start reading either! Martin knew something would happen eventually with his 'hobby', but "I didn't know yet that I'd made deeper mistakes I wouldn't ever be able to put all the way right." Martin didn't engage me as a person, rather I found myself observing him, somewhat dispassionately.

Now, someone else is after The Finder as well. Detective Sandra Whittal. I loved this description of her...."She was thirty-two and lacked the penis that functioned as a skeleton key to acceptance, but she had the competence and could properly talk shit, which went a long way." Whittal is clever, dogged and determined. This is the character I really liked.

Find You in the Dark is a delicious cat and mouse game. It is a plot driven novel, with numerous twists and turns and some great foreshadowing. Now, yes there are some moments in the plot that I thought were a bit of a stretch, but I quickly let them go and kept turning page after page. For this reader, Find You in the Dark was definitely an entertaining read. I look forward to Ripley's next book. Read an excerpt of Find You in the Dark. (And you know, I think this book would make a great movie.)

"Nathan Ripley is the pen name of literary fiction writer and journalist Naben Ruthnum. His stories and essays have appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt, Sight & Sound, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, among other places. He lives in Toronto. Visit him at or follow him on TwitterMartin is not quite the responsible cit @NabenRuthnum."

Monday, March 5, 2018

Death of an Honest Man - M.C. Beaton - Review AND Giveaway

Death of an Honest Man is the 33rd (!) entry in M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth series. I have a copy of this latest to give away to one lucky reader courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.

Paul English has retired to the Scottish Highlands. He prides himself on his 'honesty'. But that honesty is often cruelty - and one of the recipients of his candor has taken exception - and killed Paul. The murder has happened in Police Sergeant Hamish MacBeth's beat.

For those unfamiliar with this series, Hamish is quite content to live in his remote Scottish village. In fact, he usually solves the cases and lets someone else take the credit, so he doesn't get promoted. Beaton has created a cast of recurring characters from those quirky inhabitants of the village of Lochdubh, to the higher ups in the police department, both friend and foe. His romantic life is an ongoing saga and I don't see any resolution happening now or in the future. The rotating constables and ongoing pet saga are also mainstays of the plotting.

And that's the fun of this series - the continuity and the revisiting of familiar characters. The clues come fast and furious, the logic leaps sometimes mystify me and some of the goings on require a few grains of salt, but again that's also part of the charm of the series. They're quick little reads, perfect for a dreary day.

Hamish had developed a bit of a sharp edge in the last few books that I didn't enjoy. I'm happy to say that's not the case with this latest, as he seems to be back to his old self. Read an excerpt of The Death of an Honest Man.

And if you'd like to read Death of an Honest Man, I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends March 17/18.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig - Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane

I first wrote about Esther the Wonder Pig back in 2016 when Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter inadvertently ended up living with a full sized pig instead of the mini-pig they thought they were raising. Esther changed their lives - and the lives of many others. (my review)

The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig, written by Steve and Derek with Caprice Crane, is a retelling of Esther's story in a children's picture book format. It was perfect for Gramma and Little Guy storytime.

We had to stop at the forward for awhile as there is an actual photograph of Esther in a bathtub that fascinated him. I had to promise that we would go on the computer after we read the book to look at more pictures of Esther.

The first read through had us guessing how big the pig was going to get. And where would she sleep as she keeps outgrowing her beds? What will they do next? There are many themes and ideas to explore with subsequent readings. Love, animal rescue, pets and families of all shapes and sizes. Having read the adult version, I wondered if the picture would touch on veganism, but did not - that's a much heavier topic for a young one.

Cori Doerrfeld's illustrations are playful. She gives Esther expressions that can be 'read' by a child - most of then being happy. Steve and Derek's expressions are also easy to interpret. The colour palette used is bright and appealing, as are the illustrations. Doerrfeld has captured Esther's story with her illustrations.

Little Guy was quite taken with Esther and I am sure this is one book we'll be reading again. And the burning question that we had to investigate after reading? Can a pig really smile? What do you think!?
You can keep up with Esther, Steve and Derek and learn more on : || Website || Esther the Wonder Pig's Facebook Page || Esther's Community Kitchen Facebook Page || Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary || Twitter || Instagram || Fan Club ||

Friday, March 2, 2018

Girl Unknown - Karen Perry

Girl Unknown is written by two authors - Paul Perry and Karen Gillece. I mention this right off the bat as Girl Unknown is told in alternating chapters from a husband and wife and I wonder if each author took on one of the  personas writing the book.

David is a university professor. He is stunned when one of his first year students comes to his office professing to be his daughter. When DNA results prove that she is, he wants her to be part of his family, along with his son and daughter. But his wife Caroline, while welcoming Zoe on the surface, has her own doubts about Zoe's motives. And being privy to both David's and Caroline's take on the situation, the reader does as well.

I did not like David at all. Even though he starts out trying to do the right thing, I found him somewhat entitled and smug. Without giving anything away, as the book progresses, his thoughts and actions became increasingly disturbing to me. Caroline has made mistakes in the past and is far from perfect, but she is the character I was on side with the most. Zoe is a manipulator, beguiling David and toying with his wife, children and friends. I wondered what her end game was.

Kudos to Perry and Gillece for creating such strong reactions in this reader. Their depiction of this couple's interactions is really well done. And I liked the back and forth of the chapters, seeing the same events through different eyes. As the cracks in their foundation widen with the addition of Zoe, the reader knows that things are not going to go well. And it was here that I grew saddened (and a little frustrated) with the inability of this couple to actually be honest with and listen to each other and to actually see what is going on in their lives.

Those looking for a fast paced thriller won't find it in Girl Unknown. Instead it is a slow burn, with the tension and the inevitable outcome building with every chapter.  But, I was caught unawares by the final turn the ending took. An unsettling, literary family drama. Read an excerpt of Girl Unknown.

Cr: Edmund Ross
Karen Perry is the pen name of Dublin-based authors Paul Perry and Karen Gillece. Together they wrote Girl Unknown.

Paul Perry is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books. A recipient of the Hennessy Award for New Irish Writing, he teaches creative writing at University College, Dublin.

Karen Gillece is the author of several critically acclaimed novels. In 2009 she won the European Union Prize for Literature (Ireland). Connect with them on Facebook.

See what others on the TLC book tour thought - full schedule can be found here.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover # 200

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another.

US cover
UK cover
I love Anthony Horowitz's writing - his plotting is deliciously intricate. The Word is Murder is his latest - already released in the UK and coming to NA in June of this year. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. So, the colour scheme is the same on both covers - white, red and black. But the emphasis in on the black with the US cover. A knife and a pen captures the title quite succinctly. But I like the British phone box images on the UK cover - especially the dripping bloody one on the word murder. The UK cover seems to have a 'retro' feel to it. I'm torn this week - the US definitely catches the reader's eye, but I truly enjoy UK mysteries and the UK cover also catches my eye. If pressed to choose, I will go with the US cover. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Word is Murder?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Giveaway - Barbed Wire Heart - Tess Sharpe

Barbed Wire Heart is Tess Sharpe's debut adult novel. It releases on March 6/18 and I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader!

From Grand Central Publishing:

"A character-driven thriller with an incredibly tough young female protagonist--think Lisbeth Salander set in the world of Hillbilly Elegy--for readers of Winter's Bone and Bull Mountain.

 Never cut the drugs--leave them pure.
Guns are meant to be shot--keep them loaded.
Family is everything--betray them and die.

Harley McKenna is the only child of North County's biggest criminal. Duke McKenna's run more guns, cooked more meth, and killed more men than anyone around. Harley's been working for him since she was sixteen--collecting debts, sweet-talking her way out of trouble, and dreading the day he'd deem her ready to rule the rural drug empire he's built.

Her time's run out. The Springfields, her family's biggest rivals, are moving in. Years ago, they were responsible for her mother's death, and now they're coming for Duke's only weak spot: his daughter.

With a bloody turf war threatening to consume North County, Harley is forced to confront the truth: that her father's violent world will destroy her. Duke's raised her to be deadly--he never counted on her being disloyal. But if Harley wants to survive and protect the people she loves, she's got to take out Duke's operation and the Springfields.

Blowing up meth labs is dangerous business, and getting caught will be the end of her, but Harley has one advantage: She is her father's daughter. And McKennas always win.

From a powerful new voice in suspense fiction comes the unforgettable story of a young woman facing the most difficult choice of her life: family or freedom." Read an excerpt of  Barbed Wire Heart. 

"Born in a mountain cabin to a punk rocker mother, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural Northern California. She lives deep in the backwoods with a lot of dogs and a growing colony of slightly feral cats. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed YA novel Far From You and the co-editor of Toil & Trouble, a feminist YA anthology." You can connect with Tess on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

And if you'd like to read Barbed Wire Heart, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends March 10/18.

Over the Counter #407

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? A wartime tale done a bit differently...

The War Bride's Scrapbook by Caroline Preston.

From Ecco Books:

"A World War II love story, narrated through a new bride’s dazzling array of vintage postcards, newspaper clippings, photographs, and more

Lila Jerome has never been very lucky in love, and has always been more interested in studying architecture and, more recently, supporting the war bond effort on the home front. But in the fall of 1943, a chance spark with a boarder in her apartment sets Lila on a course that shakes up all of her ideas about romance.

Lila is intoxicated by Perry Weld, the charismatic army engineer who’s about to ship out to the European front, and it isn’t long before she discovers that the feeling is mutual. After just a few weeks together, caught up in the dramatic spirit of the times and with Perry’s departure date fast approaching, the two decide to elope. In a stunning kaleidoscope of vibrant ephemera, Lila boldly attempts to redefine her life in America as she navigates the heartache and longing of a marriage separated by ocean and war.

In her second scrapbook novel after the lauded Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Caroline Preston has once again pulled from her own extraordinary collection of vintage memorabilia, transporting us back to the lively, tumultuous 1940s and introducing us to an unforgettable, ambitious heroine who must learn to reconcile a wartime marriage with a newfound self-confidence."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

If You Knew Her - Emily Elgar

If You Knew Her is Emily Elgar's debut novel.

Cassie Jensen is out walking her dog late at night when she is struck by a car. She lands in an intensive care unit under the watch of Nurse Alice. Also in the ward is a patient named Frank, locked into his body, unable to communicate that he can hear and see. And as family and friends stop by the ward to see Cassie, Alice gets the feeling that something just isn't quite right. And Frank? Oh, Frank knows something isn't right - but he has no way of telling anyone.

What a great premise! We learn more about what led to this moment from Cassie's memories. There are two other POVs - Alice and Frank's. Bit by bit, the story is pieced together. Those rotating POVs had me listening to just one more chapter late into the night, seeing if I could guess the final whodunit. And guess what? I didn't! I love not being able to guess the final reveal. Each chapter does add to the mystery plot, but also explores each character's personal life though a development in the present.

I chose to listen to If You Knew Her. The reader was Katey Stobey. I quite enjoyed her voice. It's pleasant to listen to, easy to understand and I thought she interpreted Elgar's work well. Her inflections and tones match the content and characters well. Listen to an excerpt of If You Knew Her.

This was a fantastic debut and I can't wait to read what Elgar writes next!

“Emotionally charged and tautly plotted, Emily Elgar’s debut is a stunning example of psychological suspense.”—Clare Mackintosh, international bestselling author of I Let You Go and I See You

Monday, February 26, 2018

Surprise Me - Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me is Sophie Kinsella's latest novel - and (no surprise) - it's another delightful read!

Sylvie and Dan have a storybook marriage, a lovely home, good jobs and twin daughters. But, an offhand remark about longevity has them suddenly panicked. How can they keep their marriage fresh over the course of the years to come? Surprises, that the ticket! 

Well, surprises can be unpredictable can't they? Uh huh."...I thought we couldn't surprise each other anymore. Well, that shows how much I knew."

In her trademark style, Kinsella has concocted more than one laugh out loud situation for Dan and Sylvia. And just as fun are her characters. In Sylvie we have the slightly flustered, lovable lead that you'd want to have as a friend. Dan, well, he's the perfect partner for Sylvie. The supporting cast is always quirky and left of center and just as endearing. I loved the little museum Sylvie worked at - and its odd office practices.

With a great rom-com read, come missed cues and misunderstandings. The reader knows that some choices made are not quite the right ones...but in the end there will be a 'happy ever after.' And no surprise, that the case in this novel. There was a plot thread involving Sylvie's father that was a little bit heavier - but quite timely.

Kinsella's books are engaging, entertaining, humourous and just so much fun to read. If you need a pick-me-up, pick up this latest from Sophie Kinsella. You'll have a smile on your face in no time. Read an excerpt of Surprise Me.

Friday, February 23, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #199

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another.

US cover
UK cover
It was the description of The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J. Harris, that caught my attention - "In the tradition of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." "Perfect for fans of bestselling authors such as Fredrik Backman and Graeme Simsion." The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Colour is a big part of the plot, so of course it would figure prominently on the cover. I don't like the blue and orange combo on the UK cover. And I find the 'blacking out' of the boy's face somewhat disturbing. In contrast I liked the sense of searching and wonder(?) that the image of the boy on the US cover connotes. The wide open sky is a more appealing backdrop as well. And lastly, the colours are more engaging and I like the 'swirly' movement of them vs. the slapped on blue of the UK cover. So, an easy choice for me this week - US. Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

North of Normal - Cea Sunrise Person

North of Normal is Cea Sunrise Person's own story.

Cea was born to a teenaged mother, living off the grid, in a tepee in the wilderness, alongside her counter-culture grandparents. No electricity, running water, formal schooling and few, if any rules. Drugs were a daily part of the life of the adults around her. The approach to sex and nudity is casual and open. When she is five, Cea's mother Michelle takes her on the road with her latest boyfriend, living a nomadic life. And this life is just as chaotic and unusual. As Cea grows, she begins to question the lifestyle - and yearns for a more 'normal' life. She makes her own way - at thirteen years old.

Wow. The most intriguing, gut-wrenching, amazing stories are not fictional, but those that are true. Cea's upbringing, life and the changes that she herself implements are almost unbelievable. My heart broke for this young girl, who has no idea that her life isn't 'normal' until she grows older. I was torn on my feelings for Michelle. Her hedonistic ways are a product of the way she has been parented. Papa Dick (her father) is the force behind the step back from society. While seeing this as an idyllic lifestyle, he has damaged all four of his children irrevocably.

Person narrates this audiobook herself. And it brings to much to the listening, knowing that she is recounting her own story. Her voice is clear and easy to understand, with a slight gravelly undertone. The emphasis and inflections given to passages and events reflect Cea's reliving and retelling of her life. Listen to an excerpt of North of Normal.

I was entranced by Cea's story from start to finish. Highly recommended.  Those who enjoyed The Glass Castle will enjoy Person's memoir. And there's more to Cea's story - it continues in her follow up book, Nearly Normal.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Over the Counter #406

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Stylin' (and inspired) this week...

Advanced Style: Older & Wiser by Ari Seth Cohen.

From powerHouse Books:

"The follow-up to our bestselling Advanced Style features more senior street style and inspiration from all over the globe. In this new edition Cohen shares his work from the past few years and now including some of the world’s best-dressed older gentlemen.

Similar in format to the original, with dozens of images from cities all over the world including: Los Angeles, London, Cape Town, Rome, Florence, Tokyo, San Diego, Palm Springs, Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Stockholm, and Geneva.

The book will also feature around 10 short essays (by the subjects of the book) distilling the wisdom and lifestyle secrets of some of Cohen’s favorite Advanced Style ladies. Plus an introduction from the always fabulous and witty Simon Doonan makes for a celebration of smashing senior style!

“…I must tell you that I am not really an old lady; just cleverly disguised as one. Art and colour keep me young, keep me sane. Working as I do as an untutored ‘outsider’ artist is my therapy, my medicine, my joy and my purpose in life.

Colour surrounds me: I revel in it, splash it everywhere, gulp it with a spoon. I am immersed in art. I make it, collect it, it fills and defines my existence. Childish, shamanistic, wild and anarchic, it is as far outside the box as it is possible to be. Box?? There is no box!

Be bold, be adventurous. Do profound things, dazzle yourself and the world. Don’t wear beige: it might kill you. Contribute to society, and live large. Life is short, make every moment count. It is never too late to find your passion.” — Sue Kreitzman"

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place - Alan Bradley

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place is the ninth entry in Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series - a series that I absolutely adore!

1952 England. Tragedy struck in the last book and Flavia and her sisters are still coming terms with the new direction their lives have taken. When faithful family retainer Dogger suggests a small getaway trip to help, they (unusally) all agree to go. The four are drifting down the river near Volesthorpe, with Flavia dangling her hand in the water when....she snags something.

"My fingers were inserted firmly in the corpse's open mouth, locked behind it's upper teeth."

Voesthorpe also just happens to have been the scene of a triple murder two years ago. And suddenly things don't look quite so bleak for our twelve year old detective.

Bradley's mysteries are always well planned and executed, but it is the irrepressible Flavia who is the main draw for me. Her curiosity, her quick cleverness, her inner dialogue, the way she views herself and the world around her. And her desire to solve the crimes before the local constabulary does have me reliving my desire to be Nancy Drew. Her skill with poisons is always helpful as well. ;0)

"I cannot pretend that it was unpleasant to be questioned by the police. I had in the past become quite accustomed to occasion quiet chats with Inspector Hewitt: chats during which, as often as not, I was able to set the inspector straight on some of the finer points of chemistry and even, on one or two occasions, certain other matters as well."

"To me, an unexamined corpse was a tale untold: a knotted ball of a tale that was simply crying out to be unraveled until the last strand had been picked free. The fact that it was also a study in progressively putrid chemistry simply made it all that much more lively and interesting."

I've always been fond of the enigmatic Dogger. Bradley gives him a larger role in this latest and we learn a bit more about him and his background. Flavia's relationships with her sisters are also growing and changing, in a direction Flavia couldn't have predicted. They too play a larger role in this ninth entry.

With these changes comes a new avenue for Flavia - one I think is going to open up all sorts of new possibilities for our intrepid sleuth.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...."Flavia is one of the most endearing, captivating, curious, beguiling, precocious characters I've ever discovered in the pages of a book."

Absolutely, positively recommended! If you haven't read any of this series yet, I encourage you to start at the beginning. For established Flavia fans - you won't be disappointed. Read an excerpt of The Grave's a Fine and Private Place.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Stowaway - Laurie Gwen Shapiro

I am not a winter person at all. But a recent cold, blustery week seemed like the perfect setting to listen to Laurie Gwen Shapiro's latest book - The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica.

While adventures and tales can by imagined by authors, sometimes the most intriguing and captivating stories are those plucked from real life. Such is the case of Billy Gawronski. In 1928, Billy was a seventeen year old high school student. Explorer Richard Byrd was putting together an expedition to Antarctica. Over sixty thousand people volunteered to go along with Byrd. And Billy? Well, Billy stowed away on one of Byrd's ships, determined to go along. His attempt to join was not smooth sailing though. But his spunk, determination and heart captured the public's interest.

Shapiro's telling of this fascinating story is really well done, bringing intimate details of Billy's life and family to the story, through interviews and mementos shared from family members. The details surrounding the actual expedition, time period and players are equally captivating.

Jacques Roy was the reader. His voice is well modulated and pleasant to listen to. His enunciation is clear and easy to understand. His accents were believable. Roy's interpretation is understated, letting the listener absorb the details and imagine the time and events. Listen to an excerpt of The Stowaway.

This armchair adventurer quite enjoyed The Stowaway, imagining the tenacity, fearlessness and courage it would take to follow such a dream - all from my comfy chair by the fireplace.

Friday, February 16, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #198

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another.

US cover
UK cover
Find You in the Dark is the debut thriller from Nathan Ripley. Surprise! It's on my TBR list. "Martin Reese is an average guy who just happens to be obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of serial killer victims." Well, with that line from a publisher's description, the dark, ominous colours, tones and images see to capture the feel of the book. For me this week it comes down to which image I prefer. I do like the dark woods and dark figure in the US cover. And the title font peeking out from behind the trees is clever. But I think I prefer the more graphic image of the bloody shovel in the UK version. And the tagline is clever..."There's a villain in every hero. You just need to dig a little." So, UK for me this week. Which cover do you prefer? And plans to read Find You in the Dark?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Robicheaux - James Lee Burke

Of all of James Lee Burke's novels and characters,  Dave Robicheaux is my favourite. The latest, (#21), featuring this iconic character is Robicheaux.

Burke takes us back to Louisiana. Now semi-retired as a cop with the New Iberia force, Dave is struggling with the loss of his beloved wife, his battle with alcohol and the ghosts of the past. He loses the battle with the bottle one night, blacking out with no memory of anything the next day. A murder took place that night, one that has ties to his life. He couldn't have done it, could he? He's not sure, despite assurances from his daughter Alafair. And Clete - Dave's former partner and life long friend. There's so much more to the plot - drugs, the mob, bent politicians, an assassin, low life thugs and so much more. Burke's plotting is impeccable. Clete too is in trouble, having made some bad financial decisions, and now finds himself indebted to the mob.

But the biggest draw for me is Burke's descriptions and characterizations. His prose are beautiful, bringing time and place vividly to life. The good, the bad and the ugly of his beloved Louisiana. The social commentary woven into his stories are thought provoking. Dave's inner dialogue is raw and real. I love the sense of justice, right and wrong, that Dave and Clete share, even though justice sometimes takes a step over the line the wrong way.  The friendship between the two is unbreakable. But I worry as the two grow older. Burke has moved his books along in real time.

I chose to listen to Robicheaux. The narrator was Will Patton - and he was fantastic. His voice for Dave Robicheaux was perfect - measured, contemplative and easily evoking his thoughts and view of his world. But he also ramps it up into tightly controlled anger and rage. The voice for Clete is wildly different, but absolutely perfect - quick talking, sharp and caustic. I almost thought it was a completely different reader. The most chilling is the assassin. He speaks with a lisp that is truly terrifying. Again, another completely new tone, cadence and voice. All were clear and easy to understand. I appreciated having such distinct voices for each character. Listen to an excerpt of Robicheaux. 

James Lee Burke is a consummate storyteller. Five stars for this latest.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Over the Counter #405

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Eating out...outside, that it.......

A Year of Picnics: Recipes for Dining Out in the Great Outdoors by Ashley English.

From Roost Books:

"Savor good food and good company while lounging beneath the shady canopy of trees or under the sparkle of a starry sky. With just a picnic blanket and a little inspiration, you can transform mealtimes into an opportunity to relax, connect, and enjoy the outdoors. A Year of Picnics presents everything you need to picnic through the seasons, with over 70 picnic-perfect recipes, tips on selecting your location, advice for packing your basket, and creative ideas for outdoor activities. Through 20 themed picnics—celebrate the bounty of summer produce with a Table to Farm Picnic or revel in the colors of autumn with a Falling Leaves Picnic—you’ll discover the ways food can be elevated by your surroundings. From mountaintops to meadows, rooftops to formal gardens, let your picnicking take you to new places."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Undertaker's Daughter - Sara Blaedel

Sara Blaedel has been called Denmark's 'Queen of Crime'. I've enjoyed her Louise Rick mysteries. Blaedel herself has moved to the US, and her newest novel mirrors that move.

In The Undertaker's Daughter, Dane Ilka Jensen inherits a funeral home from the father she hasn't seen in over thirty years. It's in Wisconsin, but she decides to travel to the US - perhaps she will learn more about her long absent father.

The book is set in and around the funeral home and funeral practices. This was a decidedly different setting, one that opens up lots of possible avenues for plotting. I was initially drawn to Ilka as she arrived in Wisconsin, but that changed a few chapters in. I allowed for cultural shock, but viewed her  thoughts, actions and reactions odd in many situations. The two employees of the funeral home treat her badly and chastise her for not immediately jumping in and conducting business right away. She does, and I found it a bit of a stretch. The same with her non-reaction to their attitudes. I can't believe that the funeral business in Racine would operate in the manner depicted, but hey, who knows. Ilka discovers Tinder and finds some sexual outlets, but I found this part of her character felt forced and I never really bought it.

There is a murder of course, but I found it weak as was the investigation into it. Every supporting character seems quite enigmatic and I found the non-answers grew tiresome after awhile.

I had not realized that this was the first book in a planned series and found the ending rather abrupt and unsatisfying. It literally ends with the words..."To be continued." I'm not sure if this was written in Danish and then translated? It just didn't flow and felt very awkward, both in language and plotting. Sad to say, but this one was just okay for me. Read an excerpt of The Undertaker's Daughter.

Elmore - Holly Hobbie

Holly Hobbie has just released a new picture book called Elmore.

Elmore is a porcupine, looking to make some friends. But when his quills fly off, the other animals don't want to be close to him. Elmore feels rejected, but the animals figure out a way to work around the quills and friends are made by the final pages.

This was the perfect time for Little Guy and Gramma to read this book. There are lots of discussion points that are quite pertinent to his age in Elmore, as he has just started nursery school. It is sometimes hard to make friends - how can we do that? How do you feel when someone doesn't want to be friends? Elmore has those quills which is a great way to illustrate 'differences'. Working together with others to find answers. Kindness and love.

The illustrations are sweet and so appealing. The facial expressions and body language of Elmore are relatable and 'readable', mirroring the words on the page. The colors and tones of the illustrations are warm, soft and inviting.

Little Guy enjoys reading the same story many times. With each telling, the opportunity arose to ask one of those questions and talk about his thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences.

Elmore is a wonderful picture book, lovely to look at and a joy to read. Thumbs up from Gramma and Little Guy. Read an excerpt of Elmore.

Monday, February 12, 2018

This Fallen Prey - Kelley Armstrong

It was -21°C (-6°F) the day I sat down to begin the This Fallen Prey, the third installment in Kelley Armstrong's City of the Lost Series. The cold and snow falling outside was the perfect setting to immerse myself in the Yukon town of Rockton. An off the grid town that doesn't exist on any map, where people go to disappear...

Protagonist Casey Duncan is one of those who came to Rockton to hide. She's a former cop and is now the only detective on Rockton's small police force. Maintaining law and order in a town where everyone is hiding something isn't easy. And it's made even harder when 'the council' sends a serial killer to Rockton for the small force to imprison.

I really enjoy this series. Why? Casey is a great protagonist - she's tough, smart and determined, but isn't perfect. The setting allows for a large cast of supporting characters. They're all just as interesting and fleshed out. The other lead is Sheriff Eric Dalton. He's the only resident actually born in the area. He's also Casey's love interest. I'm not a big romance reader, but Armstrong does it well. Their relationship is believable, not 'over the top' and enhances the book, rather than being the main focus.

The mysteries are always intriguing and not easily figured out. The plot in This Fallen Prey was excellent. I honestly had no idea who was telling the truth and who was lying. There are a number of twists and turns that changed the direction of the investigation - and the final whodunit - which was a surprise to me. This Fallen Prey is action filled with danger always around the corner. (And on the next page. I admit it - I did flip ahead a few times....)

"It's a puzzle of configuration, and each place in it has two sides - guilt or innocence - and the meaning changes depending on which side I place up....Two ways of looking at everything, leading to two ways of investigating."

The premise of a hidden town full of residents with shady (to say the least) backgrounds is brilliant. It allows for so many avenues of possibilities. But not just in the town of Rockton. Outside of the town limits there exist others - a settlement, loners and those referred to as "Hostiles'. We've been given a closer look at these groups in This Fallen Prey, but there is more to discover.

The case is solved by the final pages....but the door is open for more. More questions, more lies, more deceit and more cases to come. And this reader cannot wait. Write faster please Kelley! Read an excerpt of This Fallen Prey.

You can connect with Kelley Armstrong on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.