Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Close to Death - Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is one of my favorite authors. I've been eagerly waiting for the fifth entry his Hawthorne and Horowitz series. It's here - Close to Death

I can't recommend this series enough. It's clever in so many ways. The protagonist is the enigmatic Hawthorne, let go from the police force and now working as a P.I. Hawthorne is such a great character - a brilliant detective, but somewhat lacking in personal skills. I quite like him. And playing Watson to his Holmes? Anthony Horowitz. Uh huh - Horowitz has written himself in as a character in the series! He plays himself, writing about Hawthorne's cases. The relationship between the two is quite interesting...

In this latest, the publisher is after a new book in a short time. Hawthorne currently has no case on the go. Well, not anything he's going to share with Horowitz. So....a past case is going to be used. But its already been solved, so Horowitz have to use the case notes that Hawthorn provides. But (yes there is another But) - Horowitz can't help himself. He decides to track down and interview anyone that was involved - after Hawthorne warns him not to.

What's so great about this series you ask? An actual author playing a character in his series. I just think what the writing process would entail. The enigmatic Hawthorne. With each entry, we learn more about him. I hope we've not heard the last of this pair. The clues and the case. Horowitz is so very, very clever. As I read, I try to keep a lookout for anomalies, lies, seemingly innocuous comments and actions and more. And I'm quite happy to say that I've not solved one yet! I really appreciate Horowitz's intricate and devious plotting. 

I highly recommend this series!  Fingers crossed for number six! See for yourself - read an excerpt of Close to Death

Monday, April 15, 2024

Daughter of Mine - Megan Miranda

Daughter of Mine is Megan Miranda's new novel.

Hazel Sharp hasn't been back to Mirror Lake for almost a decade. There are just too many memories there - especially the disappearance of her mother. Why didn't she take Hazel with her? It's the death of her father that brings her back to the family home in Mirror Lake. Old disagreements and resentments rear there ugly heads as Hazel and her two brothers argue over the will. And other secrets are exposed as the water level in the lake drops...My answer for whodunit changed frequently.

Daughter of Mine is a bit of a slow burn in the beginning as the scene is set, the characters introduced and the crux of the matter is exposed. Family matters, old hurts, actions, secrets, and more keep the narrative moving forward. I thought Miranda did a great job of drawing the relationships between all the players. The headers of each chapter lists the days without rain - and the level of the lake keeps dropping.

I chose to listen to Daughter of Mine. The narrator was InĂ©s del Castillo. I've enjoyed other books she's read. Her voice matched the mental image I had created for Hazel. She provides many other voices, including men's, that are believable. The speed is good. She enunciates well and her voice is pleasant to listen to. She interprets Miranda's work and uses her voice to capture the emotions and action of the book.  A good performance. Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt for Daughter of Mine.  Runtime is 10 hours and 20 minutes.

Friday, April 12, 2024

The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians - James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians is the newest compilation between James Patterson and Matt Eversmann.

The sub title is True Stories of the Magic of Reading. I actually liked this better than the 'secret lives'.

Having worked in a library and a bookstore, I eagerly picked up the book and dove in. I was hooked by the first story, so I read another and another and...

I found so many relatable outlooks, memories, experiences and more from many view points. Shop owners, book buyers, school librarians, public libraries, booksellers and more. All with a love of books and reading. Finding the book for someone is a wonderful feeling. I've found bookstores and libraries to be my happy places.

I enjoyed the stories that were included. I wonder if some additional tales could have been also included. Such as visiting libraries for those who can't get to the bricks and mortar building. Prison libraries. Little Free Libraries, etc.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. Short entries let you have a beginning and ending when you're busy. And I really connected with many others. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Gathering - C.J. Tudor

You just never know what you're going to find in a book from C.J. Tudor - other than a great read! I never read the flyleaf of her books - I just know that I'll like it! But have a second look at that cover of the newly released The Gathering to get an idea.  

The book is set in the town of Deadhart Alaska. There's also a Colony of vampyrs further out.  When a teen boy is found with his throat ripped out, it seem pretty easy to know who is responsible - right? But the law needs to be followed as vampyrs are a protected species. 

Detective Barbara Atkins is called in as she is also a specialist in vampyr killings. She is a the perfect protagonist - she's older, heavier and is often discounted by someone's initial assessment of her - which actually works for her. She's intelligent, reads people well and doesn't give up easily. 

There's a large cast of supporting characters. The one thing that all have in common is that they all lie
 - about the past and the present. Barbara has to deduce who the killer is, and do it before anyone else dies - including the vampyrs. Tudor has created her own set of traits, abilities and more for the vampyrs. (Hint - don't bother buying any garlic.)

The melding of a murder case alongside with the race issues kept me interested from first page to last. There's also a number of pages that are the inner dialogue of an unnamed captive. We have no idea who she is and when this is happening. I really like it when I don't know what's going to happen on the next page and the next chapter etc. I like being kept on the edge of my seat. Kudos to C.J. Tudor - that last page is perfect!

See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Gathering. Gentle readers, there are some triggers in this book.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Kill for Me Kill for You - Steve Cavanagh

Kill for Me Kill for You is Steve Cavanagh's latest book - and it's a doozy!

Have you ever watched Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 movie called Strangers on a Train? The premise is that two strangers will execute a murder for the other, thereby creating an unbreakable alibi for each another.

But Cavanagh puts his own spin on things, with more characters, more killing, and my favorite - more twists and turns! Just when I thought I had nailed down my choice for the whodunit, I was proven wrong. I love it when I can't guess how a plot is going to unfold. There's no down time in Cavanagh's writing!

I chose to listen to Kill for Me Kill for You. The narrator was Stephanie Cannon and she was fantastic! There are many characters in the book, but Cannon has created a voice for every last one - male and female - that are believable. You'd swear that there are two people having a conversation. I don't know who she can flip back and forth. Cannon speaks clearly and enunciates well. The speed was just right. She captured the tone of Cavanagh's work. A wonderful performance! Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt of Kill for Me Kill for You. And I'll be watching for Cavanagh's next book. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

A Body at the Dance Hall - Marty Wingate - Book on Tour!

A Bookworm's World is happy to be one of today's stops for Marty Wingate's new book - A Body at the Dance Hall

This is the third book in The London Ladies' Murder Club series, but it can absolutely be read as a stand alone. 

The book is set in 1922 London England. Wingate does a wonderful job of bringing the setting to life  with her detailed descriptions of shops, clothing, food, societal mores and so much more. I have a fondness for this time frame and place and the 'keep calm and soldier  on' attitude. 

What else? Oh, the characters for sure! I loved Mable, the lead character. Her job is with the Useful Women Agency. (Don't you love the name?) Assignments can be just about any thing. In this tale, Mable is to be a companion for a young woman from the US. They go out one evening - and that's where the body comes in.  And where the private investigating also comes in. Mable is smart, tenacious and determined. She's backed up with a wonderful cast of supporting characters. They're just as likable as Mable. And what does a cosy need? Yes, you got it - a dog. You'll love Gladys.

The plotting of the whodunit was good as well. The final reveal was not who and what I expected. A Body at the Dance Hall was a fun read. I'll definitely pick up another book from Marty Wingate!

"Marty Wingate is a USA Today best-selling author of both mysteries and historical fiction. Marty enjoys weaving humor into her books and creating characters—from quirky and loveable to sinister and duplicitous—that leap off the page. Before embarking on her series about the London Ladies Murder Club with Bookouture, Marty published three contemporary cozy mystery series (the Potting Shed, Birds of a Feather, and First Edition Library books). She has also published two standalone books of historical fiction and found stories of the past to be compelling. She’s delighted to combine her penchant for both mysteries and histories to bring her readers more satisfying stories. Marty currently resides near Seattle, Washington.'

You can find Marty on her website, find her on Facebook and follow her on X as well. 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Kate's War - Linda Stewart Henley

If you like historical fiction, you're going to want to pick up Linda Stewart Henley's new book - Kate's War.

What's it about? 

"Set in a London suburb during the first year of WWII, KATE’S WAR by Linda Stewart Henley gives us the moving story of Kate Murphy and her family as they grapple with possible bombings and invasion. This novel is inspired by a little-known event from 1940 in which Henley’s father participated.

At twenty, after much preparation and while still mourning the end of her first romance, Kate is ready to leave home to pursue a singing career, long her dream. Her biggest hurdle is overcoming severe breathing problems that plague her when nervous.

But just when she is ready to tell her family of her imminent departure, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declares that Britain is at war with Germany. 

As Kate re-orients to staying home and once again teaching choir at the local school, she’s approached by the mother of one of her pupils, a Jewish German refugee. The mother asks that Kate take care of her daughter if anything happens. When the little girl’s parents are deported in the dead of night and the child comes to her for help, Kate taps into a core of courage she never knew she had.

In her finest book yet, Linda Stewart Henley explores the challenges of new adulthood in the midst of war, the protection of children during violent conflicts, keeping dreams alive, and young love. Kate’s War is beautifully written, poignant, and a gripping tale of bravery and hope."

You can connect with Linda on her website. As well as on Facebook