Rowan finds her dream nanny job on a remote Scottish estate updated with all the modern smart home fixtures in the Turn of the Key.
The book is a series of letters to Rowan’s prospective attorney while she is in jail awaiting her murder charge to be adjudicated. It explains her side of what happened at the estate.
I listened to this book on Audible. It was a fantastic and compelling listen. I live near Los Angeles. I face start and stop traffic driving to and from work but this book made the hours fly by. This book is a modern gothic tale where you want to scream at the heroine, “Don’t go into that room!” just like those old fashioned gothics like Rebecca and anything by Mary Stewart. The less you know of the plot, the better to appreciate the frequent twists and turns interspersed freely within Turn of the Key. I do have to commend the narrator, Imogen Church. Never once was I confused who was talking thanks to her work with varying the characters’ speech patterns and accents.
Overall, highly recommended to mystery, but not thriller, fans. If you like gothic-style mysteries, so much the better. 4.5 stars!
Posted in Audiobooks, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: Aug 6 2019, gothic, mystery
Terns of Endearment brings the whole Meg Langslow crew aboard a cruise ship to Bermuda where both murder and secrets abound!
When called upon to be a wildlife lecturer, Meg’s grandfather Dr. Blake brings the whole family along on the questionably run Pastime cruise line. The ship’s crew is disorganized and unfriendly. The ship itself is falling apart. When Meg meets a group of authors, she learns they suspect another writer, Desiree, of plagiarism and causing a friend’s suicide. When Desiree disappears, presumed drowned, Meg and her family investigate. But there is more than one mystery aboard this cruise.
I can’t believe we are up to the 25th Meg Langslow mystery. Having read them all, I feel like part of the Langslow family now. My favorite character continues to be Meg’s curmudgeonly grandfather so it is nice to see him away from the house and spreading his large quantity of wildlife knowledge. While reading previous books in the series will increase your enjoyment, you can easily begin right here.
An enjoyable day or two joining the Langslow extended family on a cruise is a pleasant way to spend your time. It would be a perfect beach read. 4 stars!
Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: Aug 6 2019, cozy mystery, series
This beautifully photographed cookbook contains 100 Super Low-Carb Snacks.
By lowering the carbs, something has to go up. I was hoping it would be the protein but most of these self-described “fat bombs” are well over 50% fat. In addition, most of the recipes have high calorie counts due to this excessive fat. If you are keto and trying to keep below 50 net carbs, just two snacks may use that up leaving nothing for your meals.
However, there is good news. The food looks delicious in full color pictures. Almost every recipe has its own picture. All the recipes are gluten-free and indicate when they are also nut, dairy and/or egg-free. The nutritional information includes carbs, protein, and fat by weight and percentage. It also shows calories and fiber.
While there are many fat bombs of nut butters and cheese balls, there are also crackers, snack bars, and candy. But my favorite is Green Deviled Eggs & Bacon, which are kind of avocado toast for grain-free folks. 68% fat but at only 164 calories for two halves, it’s not too bad a hit especially with 10 grams of protein.
Overall, Super Low-Carb Snacks may, or may not, work for your diet—only you can decide. Regardless, the beautiful photographs, clear instructions, and comprehensive nutritional information makes this a 4 star cookbook.
Thanks to Fair Winds Press and NetGalley for a wished for copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: Aug 6 2019, Cookbook, gluten-free, keto, paleo
We are alongside the narrators, Sadie who is investigating her brother’s death and Henley who just wants to escape the small rural Kansas town hit hard by the opioid crisis, in the Wolf Wants In.
Shane, Sadie’s brother, dies from a heart attack under mysterious circumstances. No autopsy is done possibly because Shane’s wife Crystle can barely afford to keep her body and soul together. The local police are preoccupied with a child’s skull found nearby.
Henley has no dad and an occasionally drugged-out mom. She is also dating the town’s rich boy, Jason Sullivan, as well as being Crystle’s cousin. She knows what her life holds if she stays in Blackwater so she plans to leave.
The Wolf Wants In is a great character study of a town victimized by opioids, the residents’ own bad behavior, and the two women mired in it. It is a slow quiet burn of a read—not really a thriller. However, I still liked it until the too quickly tied-in-a-bow conclusion. However, if you like literary fiction, you will enjoy the complexity of the characters and the excellent prose of this tale. 4 stars!
Thanks to Spiegel & Grau and NetGalley for a wished for copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Literary Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: Aug 6 2019
Watch out Lincoln Rhyme and Amos Decker, there is a new crime-fighter in town! In a City of Windows, how do you determine where a sniper shot from? Ask Lucas Page, a damaged but extraordinarily gifted crime solver in New York City.
When university professor Lucas Page is called on to assist his old employer, the FBI, with finding a sniper, he hesitates to comply. His career there was over years ago when he lost a leg, an arm, and an eye in the line of duty. However, when they say that the victim was his former partner, Lucas agrees. He uses his genius-level math skills to hunt down the sniper. Unfortunately, before he can find him, the killer strikes again. When the sniper threatens his family, Lucas must act quick and decisively to save them from death.
I just loved this (hold on why I pick up my Thesaurus) praiseworthy, spine-tingling thriller. It is everything you want (and need) in a thriller. Compelling plot, surprising twists, well thought-out characters, and an excellent ending are all here. Seriously, you can’t go wrong selecting this book. It’s great! 5 stars!
Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Diane's Favorites, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: Aug 6 2019
Lost You is a thriller about the dangers of using surrogacy as a way to have a child.
Libby can’t have a child. Her husband, Mason, is fine with adopting. However, after four years on a waiting list, the couple start looking for a surrogate. Using an expensive surrogacy matching service, a surrogate named Anna is found. Anna is a young waitress desperate for a new start in life. The $75,000 for having Mason’s baby plus living expenses seems like a chance of a lifetime. Then, all three of their lives spiral downward.
The beginning of Lost You is fast-paced. It opens a door into the shady world of paid surrogacy. Unfortunately, the book then slows down the pace to a crawl. It feels like it takes nine months in real time to get to the birth. Once there, it picks up again. But it was a case of too little, too late for me. By that point, I disliked all the characters and figured they deserved whatever horrible end the author had in store for them.
If you have an interest in either side of surrogacy, then you might like this book. It just wasn’t for me. 3 stars.
Thanks to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: Aug 6 2019, surrogacy
You know that something is wrong when your mo-fo’s (aka human’s) eye falls out of his head and he isn’t concerned. So begins the totally original post-apocalyptic tale of the Hollow Kingdom.
S.T. is a pet crow. His mo-fo, Big Jim, is sick and won’t stop poking his finger at the wall. Eventually, Big Jim gets hungry for a live dinner forcing S.T. to leave home with Dennis, his none-to-smart bloodhound brother. As S.T. and Dennis search for a cure for Big Jim’s illness, they encounter both domestic animals and zoo escapees.
Filled with both humor and pathos, Hollow Kingdom is a unique post-apocalyptic tale. This must be the only book written from the point of view of a domesticated crow. It is strongly recommended for anyone looking for something different to read. 4 stars!
Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Horror, Humor, Literary Fiction, New Books Tagged with: apocalypse, Aug 6 2019
Abbie is beautiful, creative, and smart. But is she the Perfect Wife?
Tim is the intelligent and driven founder of a tech firm designing robots that include state-of-the-art artificial intelligence. First, the robots are used for phone call centers. The next step is shopbots to replace salespeople in high-end clothing stores. Tim is also socially awkward. It surprises his staff when he starts romancing the free-spirited artist-in-residence Abbie. Could Abbie fit into his work-obsessed life?
Wow, just wow. The Perfect Wife is the perfect merging of science fiction, science fact, and thriller. The best thing is not to learn anything about the plot before reading this excellent thriller. However, I can guarantee you will enjoy it so much it will be as difficult to stop reading as it is to stop breathing. Don’t start reading it a half-hour before work begins unless you plan to call in sick. It is that good!
Again, I can’t recommend this tale highly enough. I also enjoyed the expert use of tenses to delineate timeline and foreshadow the extremely clever ending. 5 stars!
Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Diane's Favorites, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books, Science Fiction Tagged with: AI, Aug 6 2019, robots