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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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Review: Poison or Protect (Delightfully Deadly #1) by Gail Carriger

I have been a huge fan of Gail Carriger since reading Soulless  way back in 2011! Carriger has a wonderful whit that translates so well onto the pages of her stories.

When this short story came across my desk for review, I was thrilled to read another book set in the same world that Carriger has crafted so well!

Over the years she has written the Parasol Protectorate series which is more of an adult read, and then the Finishing School series which is more of a YA read but both are set in the same world that the PP series begins.

This latest novella is also set in the same world…..a steampunk universe full of manners, spies, and of course the supernatural not to mention a few familiar characters from the other books.

Lady Preshea Villentia, the Mourning Star, has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn’t know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea’s employer. And Preshea has one final assignment.

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