Review: In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II by Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen is probably best known for her Royal Spyness Mysteries series and her Molly Murphy Mysteries. She typically writes cozy mysteries, so when this book came across my desk for review, it sounded like something completely new for her which is why I decided to try it.

I’ve been reading a lot of cozy mysteries lately and welcomed a little break. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this one. The title suggests more literature, ‘A Novel of World War II’ says more literature rather than mystery to me. But yet the description sounded more mystery. Either way, I liked what I saw for the description and ultimately said yes to the book.

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy.

The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.

As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?

Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal (summary from Goodreads). (more…)

Review: No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien

So an embarrassing full literary disclosure….I have never read any of The Lord of the Rings books so I have no first hand knowledge of JRR Tolkien’s writing abilities but the popularity of the series speaks for itself. Many have praised this debut novel by Simon Tolkien (JRR’s grandson), as worthy of the Tolkien name in the literary world.

When this novel came across my desk for review, the last name of course immediately captured my attention and I was eager to see what the novel was about. Obviously the Tolkien name carries a lot of clout in the literary world but I wondered if this new author would be able to live up to the famous family name?

The title and cover imply that it’s a WWI period novel so right there it was an easy ‘yes I’ll review the novel’ response! Edwardian era and WWI England are a sure way to my literary heart.

From the slums of London to the riches of an Edwardian country house; from the hot, dark seams of a Yorkshire coalmine to the exposed terrors of the trenches, Adam Raine’s journey from boy to man is set against the backdrop of a society violently entering the modern world.

(more…)

Review: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

I am going to preface this post by saying that Queen Victoria is absolutely my favorite queen! I’ve had my eye on this book for MONTHS waiting for it to come out.

When this came up for review I literally jumped for joy. So I was already geared up to love this one but my biggest fear was that because I was so excited to read it that I didn’t want to be let down if it wasn’t good.

Well my fears were entirely unfounded! This was an excellent read!

Less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, a young Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle has died and she is now Queen of England.

The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman can rule the greatest nation in the world. Surely she must rely on her mother and her adviser, Sir John Conroy, or her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who are all too eager to relieve her of the burdens of power.

She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.

Everyone keeps saying she is destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.
(more…)

Review: Love You Dead (Roy Grace #12) by Peter James

This is the fall of more modern thrillers for me, particularly ones set in England. I love love love British thrillers and when I heard this one was set in Brighton, I was all over it! I haven’t read anything by Peter James or heard anything about him, so this was a completely new author for me.

Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life – to be beautiful and rich. She’s achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she’s working hard on the second.

Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it’s getting rid of the husband afterwards that’s harder, that takes real skill.

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back.

But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.

(more…)

Review: Friday on My Mind (Frieda Klein Mystery, #5) by Nicci French

It’s just another day on the River Thames. Commuters are avoiding the Tube by taking the water ferry when a body catches the attention of the passengers.

The body is that of a man who has had his throat slashed and while he lacks any other identification, he is wearing a hospital ID tag that reads Dr F Klein.

The police quickly discover that Dr F Klein is actually a women, Dr Frieda Klein psychotherapist to be exact, and one who has helped the police in many investigations before this.

Dr Klein identifies the body as her former lover, Sandy. Dr Klein quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder. Sensing that her arrest is imminent, Freida does the only thing she can……she runs.

Frieda knows the only way to prove that she is innocent is to find the murderer herself…..but when it’s proven that her prime suspect isn’t the murderer, she realizes she is playing a more dangerous game than she knows.

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: