I have been diversifying my book genres of late, taking a break from constantly reading crime thriller series. Here are some nice-looking reads that I have added to my bookshelf recently:
Mysteries and Thrillers
Literary, General and Women’s Fiction
I excited to dig into these reads. I used to enjoy this genres a while back and so I hope to re-discover my interest in them. I still have my detective thriller series on my TBR but I can’t wait to mix things up a bit.
Do you have any of these titles on your TBR? Which book genres do you enjoy?
When Samantha Claymore doesn’t return home after an afternoon bicycle ride on Martha’s Vineyard, Detective Abby Pearce acts immediately. She knows from experience how quickly a lost girl can become a tragedy. Back on the island for the first time since she ran away as a teenager, Abby hopes solving Samantha’s case will make up for her past mistakes… But, as the media swarm and Samantha’s grieving mother joins the search, the police find no trace of the beloved sixteen-year-old—even when a reward is offered for her return.
Trawling through old case files, Abby discovers that Samantha is not the only girl to have gone missing in the small community of Martha’s Vineyard. She’s convinced more could follow, but her team insists there’s no link to be found. Until Samantha’s best friend is found dead at the bottom of a cliff the next day…
After searching Samantha’s bedroom and trawling through the files on her computer, Abby digs into the death of Samantha’s father five years ago at sea, following the trail to one of the island’s most powerful families. The same people who failed to protect Abby the night she was forced to leave as a young girl. Is there anyone left on this quiet island who Abby can trust? Can she find Samantha before more innocent lives are taken?
I can’t resist a new detective series even though I am already invested in a dozen or so are at the moment.
Her Ocean Grave introduces us to Detective Abby Pearce. She is a new detective at Cedar Cliff Police Department. Abby was previously a decorated homicide detective at the NYPD. She left New York and headed back to her small-town home after the death of her partner. Cedar Cliff is quite different from the NYPD. There are hardly any major crimes and Abby is the only detective at her precinct. However, this all changes with the disappearance of Samantha Claymore.
It took a while to get used to the first-person narrative style used in this story. Once I did, the story started flowing much better. I didn’t enjoy the case as much as most other readers did (going by the reviews on goodreads). I think its something to do with my not connecting with any of the characters, including the Lead Detective. I did like some of the twists though and the ending. However, I hope to enjoy the second book in the series a little better. Fingers crossed, I will be able to connect with Abby and her team better.
Johanna, Birgit and Lotte Eder have always lived quiet lives, working in their father’s clockmaking shop and helping their mother in the house. But like many other Austrians, they find it impossible to ignore the changes in the world around them.
Can three women who would die for each other, also be prepared to die for what is right?
The Edelweiss Sisters is yet another stunning, poignant read by Kate Hewitt.
This is a story of three sisters, Johanna being the eldest. She is always by her mother’s side taking care of their household. It seems that is the plan that her parents have for her life. However, Johanna has different plans and ambitions that do not involve spending her life in a kitchen. Her plans drastically changes though when she meets her father’s new apprentice, Franz.
Birgit is the second sister in the Eder’s family. She spends her days working with her father in the family’s clockmaking business. Birgit is content with her role but that soon changes when her father takes on a new apprentice. Lotte is the youngest sister. She is beautiful, talented and full of life. Her parents have big ambitions for her but she instead yearns for a much more quiet, serene life. These three are the Edelweiss sisters. The normalcy of their lives, dreams and ambitions was soon shattered by the influence of Nazism in Austria.
The story is narrated through three POVs alternating between the sisters. At first, the narratives were separate as each sister had her own life and ambitions. With the Nazis coming though, the stories began to merge. Each of the POVs was captivating. The three characters were so well developed with very interesting stories that I did not favor any over the others.
This was a unique, poignant read. I have read plenty of stories about World War 2 with Germany and France being the setting. However, this is the first story that I have read set in Austria. It illustrates how the Austrians were affected by Nazism. The Eder family was so endearing and I enjoyed meeting other characters such as Franz and Weber through this family.
This is undoubtedly a heartbreaking read. It is quite well -written and utterly captivating. Despite the heavy themes, I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I highly recommend The Edelweiss Sisters by Kate Hewitt to all fans of historical fiction.
When Detective Kay Sharp first left Mount Chester—population 3,823—in her rear-view mirror, she promised never to look back. The town only contained bad memories and dark secrets. But when a brutal crime surfaces, she finds herself home once more, and this time she’s not going anywhere. Kay is called to Blackwater River, where the body of a seventeen-year-old girl has been found. Surrounded by snowy peaks and a forest alive with the colors of fall, the victim floats in the water, a hand-carved locket around her neck.
The locket seems strangely familiar. Digging into cold cases, Kay discovers that three-year-old Rose Harrelson was wearing it when she vanished fourteen years ago. In the middle of the night, the little girl’s bedroom—with Mickey Mouse on the wall and a hanging baby mobile—was suddenly empty. The unsolved case still haunts the town.
But the teenager they have found has been dead for only a few hours. If the girl in the river is Rose, where has she been? Who has been hiding her all these years? Kay knows she must solve the kidnapping in order to untangle the mystery of the dead body.
Then Kay receives a shocking call. The dead girl has been identified—and she’s not Rose. So why is she wearing the locket, and what happened to the missing child from all those years ago? As Kay unearths a web of lies and deceit spun for decades, the close-knit community will never be the same. And Kay will find herself facing a truly terrifying killer… Review
I thought the first book in the series, Girl in the Silent Lake, was good but Beneath Black Water River is the best one yet.
The story begins with a proposal gone wrong. A young woman is excited about her proposal. She knows that her boyfriend is going to propose and practices her perfect ‘surprise face’. It is eerie just how similar my proposal was to hers. I knew it was coming, had accidentally seen the ring before and also knew it was going to take place during a hike. Luckily, that is where the similarities end. The proposal in this story took a morbid turn when a body floated near the waterfall which the young man had picked as the most scenic place to pop the question.
This was another complex case that quickly became twisty following a wrong identification. I had so many questions just like the team of detectives. I like how there were about 4 cases intertwined, a cold case from fourteen years ago, a current case of a missing girl, a domestic abuse case and the murder case. It was intriguing and highly entertaining to see the detectives put everything together.
This was a good, captivating read. The twists and turns had my jaw dropping on every chapter. With suspense, intrigue and good old detective work, this book definitely has everything that has me hooked on police procedural series.
Montgomery, Alabama, 1955 On a cold December evening, Mattie Banks packs a suitcase and leaves her family home. Sixteen years old and pregnant, she has already made the mistake that will ruin her life and disgrace her widowed mother. Boarding the 2857 bus, she sits with her case on her lap, hoping that the driver will take her away from disaster. Instead, Mattie witnesses an act of bravery by a woman named Rosa Parks that changes everything. But as Mattie strives to turn her life around, the dangers that first led her to run are never far away. Forging a new life in a harsh world at constant risk of exposure, Mattie will need to fight to keep her baby safe.
Atlanta, Georgia, present day Ashlee Turner is going home. Her relationship in ruins, her career held back by prejudice, she is returning to the family who have always been her rock. But Ashlee’s home is not the safe haven she remembers. Her beloved grandmother is dying and is determined to share her story before she leaves…
When Ashlee finds a stack of yellowing letters hidden in her nana’s closet, she can’t help the curiosity that compels her to read, and she uncovers an old secret that could wreak havoc on her already grieving family. As she tries to make sense of what she has learned, Ashlee faces a devastating choice: to protect her loved ones from the revelations, or honor her grandmother’s wishes and follow the path to the truth, no matter where it may lead.
I can’t remember the last time that I fell in love with a story like this. Turning the last page, I wanted to hold this one close to my heart and just spend some more time with the characters.
The story begins with 16 year old Mattie sitting at the back of the bus in the segregated ‘colored’ section. She is holding a suitcase in her hands as her thoughts run something havoc. 16, pregnant and unmarried, Mattie knows that her life is about to change, and not in a positive way. Her mama’s dreams of seeing her making it in life are just about to be shattered. In the same bus is Rosa Parks, a remarkable,strong black woman who stood her ground and refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. Rosa’s actions inspired Mattie to rethink her life and make some courageous choices.
I loved the characters in this story. Mattie and her whole family melted my heart. I admired her mama’s dreams and resolve to offer her a different life. Working as a servant for a white family, mama was determined not to let her daughter live the same way. When Mattie’s life took a different turn, it was her mama’s strength that carried her. Other support characters such as Sadie, Ransome and Mattie’s cousins found their way into my heart too.
Narrated in two timelines, we have one story-line following Mattie’s life in 1955. The second story-line set in the present follows the life of Mattie’s granddaughter, Ashlee. There is so much strength, love, passion and determination flowing through the chapters as illustrated by a number of memorable, strong female characters. I was inspired and challenged. This story sure did move me.
The themes are undoubtedly heavy. Racism is one of the most despicable things in the world and I can’t imagine what life was like, under the Jim Crow laws. It still baffles me how people can hate each other just because of skin color. My heart bleeds for everyone who has ever been discriminated against. It further breaks my heart to know that although times have changed, some of the ugliness from the past is still alive today.
The story is so well narrated with deftly crafted characters. It is moving, captivating, haunting, heartbreaking yet beautiful. This is undoubtedly a book that I recommend to everyone.
When nine-year-old Charlotte Standish goes missing from her street in the small town of Rydale Falls, it sparks a media frenzy. Detective Morgan Brookes leads a frantic hunt for the girl, but little Charlie seems to have vanished into thin air.
Chasing up a lead at Charlie’s school, Morgan is chilled to learn that this isn’t the first time a child has gone missing on this street. Another girl disappeared fifteen years ago, and Morgan is the only one who thinks the cases could be related. But in the moment that she takes her eye off Charlie’s case to investigate the link between the two girls, another child, Macy, goes missing.
TheMorgan must solve the case before more innocent lives are taken…
The Hiding Place by Helen Phifer is the third book in the Detective Morgan Brookes series. I enjoyed the two previous titles and was a fan of the young, rookie detective who earned a place in a team with very experienced officers.
This was a good, solid read. It was a complex case as the detectives seemed to have only one real suspect (who they mercilessly hounded). Whilst, I enjoyed the investigations in the first two books in this series. I felt like the investigation took a bit of a back seat to the cop’s personal lives in this installment. Maybe my frustration came from having sussed out the Perp’s identity quite early in the story and hence not understanding why it was so hard for the detectives. I have also never been a fan of the ‘one detective solves the case alone’ trope which was strong in this one.
This installment is not my favorite in the series. However, I still like the team of detectives and can’t wait to catch up with them in the next case. If interested in this series, please read other reviews as I am definitely in the minority.
With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India.
The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers–a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village–will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.
As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.
It has taken me a while to review this book. However, this was quite a memorable read, the kind of book that haunts you long after you turn the final page. Sometimes I think about the characters and it takes a minute for me to remember that they are not people I know in real life but fictional characters. Has that ever happened to you? You sit and remember this guy who used to be obsessed with hair and so you take a second trying to remember how you know him only to finally recall that he is a book character and not someone that you’ve ever met in real life. Anyway, I hope you get what you mean.
This is a story about four friends; Dina, Ishvar, Om and Maneck who are forced together due to circumstances. They come from different backgrounds but they end up forming an odd yet enduring friendship that helps them weather the storms. The story is set in India in the 1970s. There is a background story of the political climate at that time. I don’t know much about India’s history but some of the other readers have commented that the politics are based on real events and the female prime minister is inspired by a politician who ruled that country during that time.
This book tackles so many difficult themes. One that stood out for me is the caste system that assigns social status to citizens. The lives of the lower castes are so depressingly portrayed in this book. The suffering is unimaginable. The caste is not allowed to do some jobs or even vote. It seems like they don’t have basic rights even the right to life. There are stories of life in slums. This reminded me of Slumdog Millionaire. The human suffering depicted through the pages is unimaginable. At some point, it was getting frustrating because it seemed unending. I kept looking for the light but the darkness prevailed through each chapter. I guess that’s life though.
A Fine Balance by Rohinston Mistry is the kind of book that I recommend to everyone. It is very well written; the prose is poignant, flawless, compelling. It is just beautiful. The characterization is great. The characters are so well developed that it is hard to forget them. However, it is only fair that I warn you that this book is heart wrenching. It will mess with your emotions and it may make you cry. It angered me. Life can be unfair and humans can be heartless. However, the question of a fine balance was thought provoking. How do you stay sane in a crazy, cold world when life is continuously throwing punches at you? I think this is a perfect book-club read due to all the discussion points. If you are not in a book-club, you can still read it and perhaps try to work-out the answers and let me know so that we can discuss it.
A wave of apparent suicides hits a string of seaside resorts, but when a police officer is named as the latest to die, DI Amy Winter suspects there may be more than mere coincidence to these tragic deaths. But what dark motive could cause someone to throw themselves into the cold depths of the North Sea?
Someone in the community knows more than they are letting on, but Amy’s questions are met with resistance. A group of mysterious teenagers might hold the key, but why are they so afraid to talk? Meanwhile, after the release from prison of her serial killer mother, Amy is fighting her own demons.
In her toughest investigation yet, Amy must confront her dark past if she is to put an end to the carnage. What secret is so terrible that it’s worth killing a police officer for? Amy needs to find the answer, before the sea washes up any more bodies.
DI Amy Winter is back! In this installment, Amy and her team travel down to a Seaside town where a series of suicides are starting raise red flags. The detectives suspect that there is more to the story especially when a police officer becomes the latest victim.
This was quite a complex case with red herrings abound. The Seaside setting is interesting. A picturesque town that draws seasonal tourists sounds like a happy place, right? So why would anyone travel there to die? What made the police officer, a wife and mother of two, take a plunge into sea in the dead of the night? I had so many questions and enjoyed my time with the detectives as we worked together in search of answers.
The character development in this series just keeps getting better. I enjoyed getting to know Molly better. She is one of the detectives in Amy’s team who takes a bigger role in this case. As usual, Amy’s character and complex background is always compelling. In this story, her serial killer parents are not so much in the forefront although there are mentions. However, we get an angle about her sister that I found to be quite captivating and emotional.
Flesh and Blood is yet another captivating read by the author. It captured my attention from the first to the last page. Some news about the lead character at the end of the story caught me by surprise. I can’t wait to see how her story develops in the next installment.
There is nothing as powerful as a “girl” with a mind for money-making coupled with a purpose.
This is not an ordinary wealth-building book. Your wealth is beyond what sits in your bank account — it embodies your relationships, your craft, and your faith. Through the pages of A Wealthy Girl, you will be shaped by a new wealth conversation, rooted in both the tangible and intangible aspects of wealth, told through the lens of Charisse’s inspiring life journey and the stories of other powerful women.
Through this book, Charisse will give you the 7 key steps to live a wealthy life, from developing an investor mindset to building a faith muscle, to running wealthy experiments. Through it all, Charisse shares openly about her journey with a common-sense approach, grit, and dozens of great tips to implement immediately.
Get started now and build your life of wealth from today.
For a while now, I have been feeling stuck. I am stuck in an endless cycle of earning, spending and failing to achieve my financial goals. This is what drew me to this book. I felt ready for some fresh insights that could help me change my situation. Thankfully, I got that and more.
Charisse encourages readers to look at wealth not just in terms of financials. Going through the chapters of this book, I discovered that I am a wealthy girl. Beyond the assets and bank account, I have talents, family and above all, I have faith. I liked her perspectives about different types of mentorships and some of the things that she said made me start looking into getting a career coach and a therapist. I created a Vision Board this year and packed it away. Thanks to Charisse, I feel more equipped to get it and begin some visualization and realization of goals.
There is a lot of inspiration to be gained from this book. I like that the author used practical examples and her real-life stories to illustrate the journey to becoming a wealthy girl. Although there is a lot about this book that made me feel like it was written for an audience in the West, there is still a lot that I could resonate with. I just took the practical examples set in America and applied them to my own situation.
I am definitely wealthier after reading A wealthy Girl by Charisse Conanan Johnson. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a good, inspirational read on wealth (tangible and intangible).