Saturday, July 31, 2021

Haven Point - an interview with author Virginia Hume

Haven Point by Virginia Hume, published by St. Martin's in June, is a debut novel set mostly in an exclusive coastal community in Maine where generations of families have summered together for years, discouraging outsiders.  The story focuses on the Demarests and is brimming with romance, family secrets, and inevitable sorrow, stretching from wartime Washington D.C. to the tumultuous 1970s and concluding in 2008. The book has been getting great reviews and in the midst of her hectic launch, Virginia made time to do this interview with me:

Thursday, July 29, 2021

A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus - another delightful evacuation novel

Title: A Place to Hang the Moon
Author: Kate Albus
Publication: Holiday House, hardcover, 2021
Genre: Juvenile historical fiction
Setting: World War II England
Description: William, Edmund and Anna Pearce will not miss their formidable grandmother but, without her, they realize they are now homeless orphans.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Vanishing Point by Val McDermid

Author: Val McDermid
Publication: Grove Press, paperback, 2013 (originally published 2012)
Genre: Suspense
Description: Stephanie Harker is traveling through O’Hare Airport in Chicago with 5-year-old Jimmy when she is detained at security. During the extended patdown, Jimmy is abducted and Stephanie is tasered by security who misunderstand her agitation.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Fast Girls by Elise Hooper — A Novel of the 1936 Women's Olympic Team

Title: Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women’s Olympic Team
Author: Elise Hooper
Publication: William Morrow, trade paperback, 2020
Genre: Historical fiction
Description: In this novel about pioneering women athletes of the early part of the 20th century, the author focuses on three real-life American heroines:

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Love Always by Harriet Evans — family secrets in Cornwall

Title: Love Always
Author: Harriet Evans
Publication: Harper UK, paperback, 2011
Genre: Fiction
Setting: Cornwall and London
Description: The death of Natasha Kapoor’s grandmother, a well-known artist, brings all of her family back to Cornwall to the funeral and reveals tensions that go back to the tragic death of her aunt Cecily as a teen.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz — be careful what you wish for

Title: The Plot
Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
Publication: Celadon Books/Macmillan, hardcover, 2021
Genre: Suspense
Setting: Present-day United States
Description: Jacob Finch Bonner had always wanted to be a writer, that is to say, a published author, admired by readers. He did manage to produce The Invention of Wonder, which got mentioned in the New & Noteworthy section of The New York Times Book Review and generated some nice reviews but only modest sales.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha Bajaj

Title: Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood
Author: Varsha Bajaj
Publication: Albert Whitman & Company, hardcover, 2014
Genre: Juvenile fiction
Setting: Houston and Mumbai
Description: Thirteen-year-old Abby Spencer is a normal teen living in Houston with her single mother but she has a deep-rooted yearning to know more about the father she never knew.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Children on the Top Floor by Noel Streatfeild - orphans galore on Christmas Day!

Title: The Children on the Top Floor
Author: Noel Streatfeild
Illustrator: Jillian Willett
Publication: Collins, hardcover, 1964
Genre: Juvenile fiction
Setting: 20th century London
US edition which was in my library
Description: On his Christmas Eve broadcast, television personality Malcom Master told his audience that as a bachelor he envied the Christmas mornings they would have with the patter of little feet and the sound of children opening their stockings. The next morning, his one-time nanny/now housekeeper finds four babies left on the doorstep to rectify the nonexistent hole in his life.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge, a suspenseful series launch

Title: She Lies in Wait
Author: Gytha Lodge
Publication: Random House, hardcover, 2019
Genre: Suspense
Setting: Present-day Britain, somewhere near the New Forest
Description: Back in 1983, six teenagers and one younger sibling went camping in the forest. Aurora Jackson was in awe of her older sister’s confident friends and intimidated by their drinking and drug use. She disappeared in the middle of the night and was never seen again.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Forbidden Promise by Lorna Cook - a downed airman in Scotland leads to a family rupture

Title: Forbidden Promise
Author: Lorna Cook
Publication: Avon UK, paperback, 2020
Genre: Dual time line fiction
Setting: WWII and present-day Scotland
Description: Constance McLay is a sheltered 21-year-old when she escapes a groping guest at her birthday party and takes refuge at the loch behind her family’s lovely home, Invermoray House.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Rising Tide, a YA novel of suspense by Mabel Esther Allan

Title: The Rising Tide
Author: Mabel Esther Allan
Publication: Walker and Company, hardcover, 1976
Genre: YA Suspense
Setting: 20th century England
Description: When Fennel Chalfont learns she has inherited three tiny islands near Wales from an aunt, she invites her best friend Sue to go live there with her, as one does.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation – from Eats, Shoots & Leaves to The Thorn Birds

It’s time for #6degrees, inspired by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. We all start at the same place, add six books, and see where we end up. This month’s starting point was a big bestseller when new: Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss (2003). I think the original cover's cute panda was half the appeal but it was certainly popular with comma fans! Most think of Truss as a grammar guru but she also wrote several mysteries.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

June 2021 Reads

What did you read in June?  My reading was quite varied:


* While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams – a legal thriller set at the Supreme Court by the brilliant voting rights activist – my review
The Killing Kind by Jane Casey – psychological suspense about a barrister in this new standalone from one of my favorite mystery writers.  This present for my sister arrived from the UK after her birthday so I decided to read it first.