We carry our families like anchors, rooting us in storms, making sure we never drift from where and who we are. We carry our families within us the way we carry our breath underwater, keeping us afloat, keeping us alive. I’ve been lifting anchors since eighteen. I’ve been holding my breath since before I was born.
Simon Watson is cursed. His sister is cursed. His whole family is cursed. He just doesn’t know it. Until a strange book shows up on his doorstep and leads Simon down the rabbit hole of circus life and family history. In a small coastal town, Simon is watching his parents’ home slowly fall into the sea. His sister is off somewhere with a circus and his employment at the local library is about to end.
With unemployment comes free time that Simon fills with pages and pages of his family’s strange history. Amongst the stories of mermaids and wild boys, he find an unusual commonality. The women in his family are dying…always on July 24th. When Simon’s sister, Enola, announces she’s coming home, Simon searches the pages of the old book for a clue as to how to save her from meeting the same fate the other women in their family have.
You guys know that The Night Circus is one of my all-time favorite books. Seriously, I will rave about it for hours if you let me. So when I picked up The Book of Speculation, I was curious if I would enjoy it as much as I did The Night Circus. In short, no. But not because Erika Swyler isn’t a fantastic novelist. More because comparing the two is like apples and oranges. The Book of Speculation alternates between past and present as it intwines two stories of family, magic, and the curses that follow us.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I had a few moments where I wished Swyler would just get to the point. You could see the pieces of the puzzle fitting together but she just wouldn’t put in the last piece. And honestly, I’m so glad she waited. The ending of this book was so satisfying, and while it could have been shorter, the journey to it was so enjoyable! I highly recommend picking up The Book of Speculation if you’re looking for a novel with a touch of magic to it.
I’ve been a little lax in my reading habits lately and I’m trying to rectify that. But I just have so many books I want to read and I’m trying to do it all at once. Obviously, it isn’t working.
A woman seeks the assistances of Sherlock Holmes to discover where the man she loves has gone. An uptight noblewoman has lost her maid and requests the help of Lucy James to find her. Sherlock and his daughter are at it again in the gripping mystery with all the familiar characteristics of the classic Holmes we love.
Die Again, Mr. Holmes is another Holmes/James mystery that is sure to keep you turning the pages. I was skeptical when I received this book for a review. As someone who loves Doyle’s classic character as well as Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayals of the detective, I wasn’t sure that this book could stand up to such a large character. But I was pleasantly surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed following Holmes and his daughter on their adventures as they try to track down the two missing people and suddenly find that their cases are related.
In true Sherlock fashion, there is plenty of intrigue and plots that Holmes has neglected to share with his counterparts. Among the staple characters of Holmes and Watson, we’re introduced to quite a few new ones as well. While this is not the first book of this series, it makes me want to read from the beginning and explore the history of Holmes and his daughter.
**I received a copy of this book from Smith Publicity for an honest review.**
When Jordanian student Siwar Salaiha is murdered on her birthday in College Park, Maryland, her consciousness survives, finding refuge in the body of a Seattle baby boy. Stuck in this speech delayed three-year old body, Siwar tries but fails to communicate with Wyatt’s parents, instead she focuses on solving the mystery behind her murder. Eventually, her consciousness goes into a dormant state after Wyatt undergoes a major medical procedure.
Fast-forward twenty-two years. Wyatt is a well-adjusted young man with an affinity towards the Middle East and a fear of heights. While working on his graduate degree in Middle Eastern studies, Wyatt learns about Siwar’s death, which occurred twenty-five years ago. For reasons he can’t explain, he grows obsessed with Siwar and spends months investigating her death, which police at the time erroneously ruled as suicide. His investigation forces him to open a door he has kept shut all his life, a spiritual connection to an unknown entity that he frequently refused to acknowledge. His leads take him to Amman, Jordan where after talking to her friends and family members and through his special connection with the deceased, he discovers a clue that unravels the mystery of her death. Will Siwar get justice after all?
Let me just say, They Called Me Wyatt is not something I would have picked up on my own. However, reading the synopsis seriously intrigued me and I found myself sucked into this strange and unique story of Siwar and Wyatt. They Called Me Wyatt was an entertaining read for sure and lovers of supernatural mysteries will love it! However, I felt like I was drowning in the details of Siwar’s life. While I enjoyed getting to know her, and she was a well-developed character, I couldn’t get attached to her or to Wyatt for that matter. The chapters interweave between Siwar stuck in Wyatt and her time in Jordan as well as in the US before her death. That is until halfway through the book when the story is picked up by Wyatt solely.
Dying was not the worst part. It was what came after dying.
I’m a stickler for well-edited books and this one definitely needs to be edited as there were many grammatical issues I found that distracted me from the story. Still, Natasha Tynes has created a remarkable and unique mystery that I think many will enjoy! I have never read anything quite like what she has written. The way she manages to fit the pieces of the puzzle together are outstanding and I look forward to reading many more of her works!
**I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.**
“I am not a murderer.”
Welcome to St. Aiden the Great School, better known as S.T.A.G.S. and run by a group of prefects known as the Medievals. A cruel group that doesn’t believe in the latest technology and is filled with old money. Greer MacDonald is privy to their punishments until one day she receives an invitation to spend a weekend with them at Longcross, Henry de Warlencourt’s palatial home. As she falls head over heels for the stunningly handsome Henry, she must also find her way out of a deadly game that is centuries old.
Filled with intrigue and mystery, S.T.A.G.S. took me by surprise. I did not expect such a well thought out story. Bennett had me staying up late just to see what happens next. I love a book that can keep me on my toes and S.T.A.G.S. did just that. I never knew what would come next for our protagonist or the two friends she finds along the way. And the ending left me wanting more in the best way possible. I hope M. A. Bennett gives us more from this world!
This review was a long time coming. It took me a bit to get through this book but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan tells the story of a group of friends who are connected by a haunting experience that changes them forever. There are a plethora of characters to follow who each have their own story. It was difficult for me to keep track of them all as the chapter jump between characters as well as time and location. I never fully fell in love with any of them. Because of this and the story jumping around so much, I quickly lost interest and would have to take long breaks from the book.
Boylan’s quite creative in her story and I think the concept is brilliant but it was poorly executed. The ending seemed rushed and thrown together. All in all, there was too much going on in the short 290 pages.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for review.
I picked up A Study in Charlotte a while back and have been looking forward to reading for quite some time. I’m a huge Sherlock fan and this book lived up to the legend, but don’t be confused. It can easily stand on its own as a whole new take on the Holmes-Watson relationship.
Brittany Cavallaro brings her own spin on the history of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson with all new characters to love. Even though it’s a retake on a classic, Cavallaro doesn’t leave out the wit and mystery that we’re so fond of from previous Holmes stories.
A Study in Charlotte brings to life Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great-granddaughter of the famous Sherlock Holmes. Studying in Connecticut at a boarding school, she meets her counterpart James Watson (yes, that Watson). It isn’t long before the two have found themselves in the midst of a murder case and they are the key suspects. In true Holmes fashion, Charlotte takes the lead in trying to get to the bottom of things while James becomes her sidekick. While Cavallaro borrows some stories from the original adventures, she manages to write her own version and the twist of a possible romance between Watson and Holmes adds a whole other layer to this novel.
Lovers of the original Holmes stories would do well to pick this one up! A Study in Charlotte is the first of a planned trilogy. I can’t wait to pick up the second installment to see what Cavallaro has planned for our tag team.
When I picked up The Thirteenth Tale, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The blurb on the back doesn’t give much for a reader to go on which I suppose adds to the mystery of the book itself. I’d never read any of Diane Setterfield’s work and was curious as to her writing style and storytelling abilities. Honestly, I’m so glad that this is the first of her books that I picked up.
The Thirteenth Tale is an intriguing novel of twins. We’re introduced to Margaret Lea, a young woman who works in her father’s antique bookshop as well as being an amateur biographer. One day she is contacted by the elusive Vida Winter, the world’s most prolific storyteller. Miss Winter has also never told her true story to anyone. But suddenly, she’s decided to tell everything to Margaret. As her story unfolds, Margaret finds that amidst the mystery of this author, they have something in common.
Setterfield manages to create a web of intrigue among all of the characters. She picks at your brain and carries you through this mystery until the very end. All in all, a very unique story and one I would highly recommend, especially to book lovers.
I’m not big on mysteries. Unless you count those “library mystery” books. You know the ones. They’re around 200 pages long, usually involve a cat and a very bookish owner. Anyway, that’s about as far as my affection for mystery novels goes. I’ve never even read any of The Hardy Boys books!
But The Girl on the Train is the first mystery novel that I’ve delved into and I’m glad it was my first. It was an easy read and kept me entertained. Unfortunately, about two-thirds through the book, I had figured out the ending. The characters, while relatable, were very frustrating. There wasn’t a single character that I absolutely fell in love with. Paula Hawkins manages to highlight every character’s flaw and amplify it. They almost become like those annoying flies that buzz around your head in the dead of summer.
The Girl on the Train had been on my list for quite some time and I especially wanted to read it after seeing that there was a movie coming out. I like to read novels before seeing the movie. This is one instance I think the movie will be much more interesting than the book.
If you’re looking for a mystery novel to kill the time with, The Girl on the Train is a good choice. But don’t expect it to shock you.