Review: Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

I read one of Julie Klassen’s books a few years ago and absolutely loved it. She reminds me of a modern Victoria Holt and by modern I don’t mean her stories, as they are all historical fiction, but modern in that Klassen is a modern woman and she writes strong, vibrant heroines! I was super excited to check out this latest novel from Klassen so when it came up for review, naturally it was a no brainer as a YES!

In the historical fiction world, there are a ton of Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart fans and for good reason. Their novels really took the small ‘Gothic romance’ genre and brought it forward into the modern era. Now tat both of these talented writers have passed away, I know that I am always looking for a new writer to rise to the top of the Gothic romance genre.

Sure there are plenty out there who claim to be similar to Holt or Stewart, however when I think of an author who is most like Holt I always come back to Klassen. I know a lot of people have described this one as Christie meets Austen which I agree with but I still always think of Victoria Holt when I read Klassen’s books! I just love how well done the romances are and how new the mystery or family secrets feel and this book did not disappoint! If you are looking for an excellent gothic romance with a lovely crumbling and possibly haunted abbey—then look no further! I simply adored this book and I am sure you will too!

Continue reading “Review: Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen”

Special Feature: From a Dark Horizon (Gregor Reinhardt #4) by Luke McCallin

It’s no secret how much I love WWI historical novels but so many of them have a strong romance element which is totally fine and in fact I often prefer it, but there are times when I want something a little different to sink my teeth into. When I saw this book I knew this was exactly what I had been looking for—a WWI thriller. I am a bit of a military history nerd and when I saw that this book had a lot of military history as well as a strong mystery/thriller component I was all about it!

This is the fourth book in the Gregor Reinhardt series and while I haven’t heard of this series before this book, I already know this is a series I will be reading in it’s entirety. I am reading this book over winter break, it promises to be a quick read with a lot to sink my teeth into and even if it’s number four in the series, the early reviews I have read are saying you can jump around in the series without much trouble. This book has been getting rave reviews already and I cannot wait to read it. It isn’t the typical WWI novel I would read but at the same time I am dying to read it!

It is out now and a perfect match for the thriller reader on your holiday shopping list! Luke McCallin’s Gregor Reinhardt seris has a big fan following and I am eager to see what all the fuss is about! But many readers are saying many of the same things—that this series is action packed, full of great history, thrills and a mystery that promises to keep readers guessing until the very end. Do not miss this one, it’s out now and I will be finishing it before the year is over I am sure so be watching for my review!

Continue reading “Special Feature: From a Dark Horizon (Gregor Reinhardt #4) by Luke McCallin”

Review: All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M Morris

In my lady murder book club, we are always looking for the hottest new thriller to read. While we really want to read just murder books, we are also open to more of the thriller variety. But lately, we have been looking for thrillers/murder books that are written by POC. To say that the POC pool for thrillers is scant would be an understatement.

We have been looking for months and nothing has been popping up on our radar—-until this book! We were so excited to see this book when it was pitched to me last summer. We decided in July that it would be our November book to read and we couldn’t wait to check out this debut thriller even if it sounded more like a courtroom drama (the main character is a lawyer) but as a group we were all really committed to reading this one.

We expected this book to have a lot to discuss when we were done especially about race in the workplace. One of our book club members is black and her and I also work together so I was especially eager to see what she thought of this book and what she gleaned from the thriller. This one has been receiving a lot of hype across social media and while sometimes that can be off putting, in our case it only made us more and more excited!

Continue reading “Review: All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M Morris”

Special Feature and Excerpt: Down a Dark River by Karen Odden

Down a Dark River by Karen Odden

Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover & eBook; 336 pages

Series: An Inspector Corravan Mystery, Book One
Genre: Historical Mystery

In the vein of C. S. Harris and Anne Perry, Karen Odden’s mystery introduces Inspector Michael Corravan as he investigates a string of vicious murders that has rocked Victorian London’s upper crust.

London, 1878. One April morning, a small boat bearing a young woman’s corpse floats down the murky waters of the Thames. When the victim is identified as Rose Albert, daughter of a prominent judge, the Scotland Yard director gives the case to Michael Corravan, one of the only Senior Inspectors remaining after a corruption scandal the previous autumn left the division in ruins. Reluctantly, Corravan abandons his ongoing case, a search for the missing wife of a shipping magnate, handing it over to his young colleague, Mr. Stiles.

An Irish former bare-knuckles boxer and dockworker from London’s seedy East End, Corravan has good street sense and an inspector’s knack for digging up clues. But he’s confounded when, a week later, a second woman is found dead in a rowboat, and then a third. The dead women seem to have no connection whatsoever. Meanwhile, Mr. Stiles makes an alarming discovery: the shipping magnate’s missing wife, Mrs. Beckford, may not have fled her house because she was insane, as her husband claims, and Mr. Beckford may not be the successful man of business that he appears to be.

Slowly, it becomes clear that the river murders and the case of Mrs. Beckford may be linked through some terrible act of injustice in the past—for which someone has vowed a brutal vengeance. Now, with the newspapers once again trumpeting the Yard’s failures, Corravan must dredge up the truth—before London devolves into a state of panic and before the killer claims another innocent victim.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BAM | IndieBound

Continue reading “Special Feature and Excerpt: Down a Dark River by Karen Odden”

Review: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

I have had this book on my TBR for years. Like years. Every Halloween season, I tell myself that I am going to pick this one up. It’s on all the ‘most scary’ book lists and I have heard such great things about Sarah Waters. Not to mention this book features all the creepy things that I love best in the gothic—a family fallen from grace, a crumbling old mansion, a haunted house. I mean all the things that make the gothic what it is can be found in this book or at least promise to be!

Well this year was finally they year for me to read this one. My sister and I picked this book to read for the month of October, every October we pick a couple of creepy books that we have had on our TBR and do a buddy read for the month and this was our pick. At over 450 pages, I decided to also download the Audible version too, I mean Simon Vance narrates and he always does a great job.

My sister has read other books by Waters and absolutely loves them so I had high hoped for this one and I was fully ready to be scared to death and up all night reading this one. So imagine my shock when I was literally bored to tears. This is my first and only DNF of the year and I couldn’t be more shocked. I went into this one fully ready to devour it!

Continue reading “Review: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters”