Monday, September 12, 2022

Alias Emma


“Alias Emma” by Ava Glass

Published by Bantam

Finished 9/11/22 – 3/5 stars


This is the first in a series of books with the main character being a female MI6 agent, Emma Makepeace (hate the character name but it’s a series so too late now).  I thought the concept of the storyline was good – MI6 trying to bring in the son of a former Russian spy to protect him from Russian agents trying to capture and possibly kill him.  And I thought she did a good job giving the main character a backstory to get to know her a little better but the story itself was predictable and a little too farfetched at times.  This is the author’s first novel though so I assume the books will improve as she continues the series.       


Thank you to NetGalley and Bantam for gifting me with an advanced copy to read and review.


#Alias Emma





Friday, August 12, 2022

The New Neighbor


“The New Neighbor” by Karen Cleveland

Published by Ballantine Books

Finished 8/12/22 – 4/5 stars


This is my first book by Karen Cleveland, but it will not be my last.  Although I felt it started off a little slow, once it got going it turned into a page turner.  It’s a spy thriller that had me constantly questioning characters and their motives.  I always love it when a book has me change my mind multiple times as to “who done it”.  I believe the author’s history with the CIA definitely came into play, making it a believable story.  I just wish the main character’s son had gone to VT rather than UVA – go Hokies!


Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for gifting me with an advanced copy to read and review.







Thursday, August 11, 2022

Things We Do in the Dark


“Things We Do in the Dark” by Jennifer Hillier

Published by Minotaur Books

Finished 8/10/22 – 5/5 stars


Wow!  You know it’s a good read when you finish a book in a day and a half.  Yes, I was on vacation, but still….that’s quick for me.  This book keeps you on your toes with multiple mysteries all thrown into one story.  Plus there is quite a dysfunctional family element as well.  It all begins with a woman being arrested for the murder of her famous, older husband.  Afterall, she was found next to the body, holding the assumed murder weapon so why wouldn’t you assume she killed him?  And then immediately you are told she’s not who she claims to be and that she’s been using a fake identity.  What?  Why?  I can’t tell you any of that.  It would spoil the book.  You’ll just have to read it to find out more.


Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for gifting me with an advanced copy to read and review.








Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy

 “The Many Daughters of Afong Moy” by Jamie Ford
Published by Atria Books
Finished 8/9/22 – 4/5 stars

 I really wanted to love this book because I think Mr. Ford has a true talent in writing.  And I did love the characters, just not all of the storyline that takes place in the near future.  Because this is a multigenerational book that begins with the first Chinese woman in America, it needed to start at a certain time in the 1800s.  That means the final characters’ storylines had to be in the future.  I just couldn’t fully wrap my arms around parts of the 2046 storyline.  The rest of the book was wonderful, although it tore at your heartstrings multiple times.  Essentially, it is a book of multiple short stories tied together genetically, showing how a family history can shape the family’s emotional future.

 Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for gifting me with an advanced copy to read and review.



Saturday, July 9, 2022

Into the Water

“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins

Published by Riverhead Books

Finished 7/9/22 – 5/5 stars
I finished this book in just a few days!  Yes, I’m on vacation so I have more time to read but still.  That’s how good of a book it is.  Initially I thought it would be hard to follow along with all the different characters that have individual chapters but it really wasn’t.  It just gave you more perspectives into the storyline. 
The story is set at a “Drowning Pool” in England, where the river slows enough to create a deep pool of water for swimming.  In the past it was used to test women to see if they were witches.  Recently there have been more drownings.  Were they suicides, accidents, or murder?  Or a combination of all 3?  I can’t tell you.  You’ll have to read it to find out.  And trust me, you’ll change your mind a few times regarding at least one.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Helltown: The Untold Story of Serial Murder on Cape Cod


“Helltown: The Untold Story of Serial Murder on Cape Cod”
By Casey Sherman
Published by Sourcebooks
Finished 7/7/22 – 4/5 stars

Helltown is a work of fact told with elements of fiction storytelling.” – Casey Sherman

Non-fiction can be hit or miss for me but I greatly enjoyed this one.  Whereas I knew about other historical events/information included within this story, I had never heard of the serial killer Tony Costa.  My parents hadn’t heard of these murders either.  Granted they had moved away from Western Mass about 5 years prior, Vietnam was still going on, and Charles Manson hit the west coast by storm before Costa went to trial so that might have taken away some of the attention.

There are a few storylines within the book but the main topic is the gruesome murders of 5 young women.  Some were locals and others were not.  All were lives taken way too soon by a drug addict with an alter ego controlling his actions.  I thought all the stories were well told and blended together nicely so I would say it was well written.  I definitely recommend it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for gifting me with an advanced copy to read and review.


Sunday, July 3, 2022

The Lies I Tell


“The Lies I Tell” by Julie Clark

Published by Sourcebooks Landmark

Finished 7/2/22 - 3.5/4 stars

This is the book of two women, told in alternating points of view.  One is a woman who is a con artist, seeking revenge against a man who ripped her family home out from under her mom, changing their lives forever.  The other is a journalist, chasing a story about the con artist she was first made aware of 10 years prior and has been obsessed with since.  When the con artist suddenly resurfaces, she befriends her to try to get the inside story.  Is she just setting herself up to be conned as well?  Can you ever truly trust a con artist?

Whereas I enjoyed the story, I felt at times it was a little far fetched.  But then again, maybe some people are just more gullible and trusting than I would think.  Or maybe it’s because of my banking background that makes me more skeptical.  Regardless, I found it entertaining, just not very believable at times.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me with an advanced copy to read and review.  And also thank you to Book of the Month  for making in an option so that I could have a hard copy for family to read as well.