Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spotlight/Giveaway: The Painter's Apprentice by Laura Morelli

Category: Adult Fiction, 482 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Scriptorium
Release date: November 15, 2017

Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.

Venice, 1510. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away from the only home she’s ever known to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter.

When the painter’s servants uncover the real reason why Maria has been sent away, they threaten to reveal a secret that could tear down her family and the future of their trade. She is forced to buy the servants’ silence, but as their greed steadily grows, Maria resorts to more desperate measures. She questions whether her heart’s desire is worth risking her family, her trade, and her future, but Maria’s sacrifices may amount to nothing if the plague arrives on her father’s doorstep before she is able to get back home.

From the author of the award-winning The Gondola Maker comes a rich tale of Renaissance Venice, a heroine with a lust for life, and love against all odds.
Pre-Order Campaign:
Laura Morelli's new book, The Painter’s Apprentice, is out on November 15, and she is offering a set of great bonuses exclusively to her readers. If you like to delve deeper into the “story behind the story,” you’ll want to take advantage of Laura’s pre-order package (ends Oct 31st), which takes readers behind the scenes of The Painter’s Apprentice with videos, pictures, commentary about Renaissance Venice, and other exclusive content.

 Learn more here and order your copy today!

Buy the Book:

LAURA MORELLI holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy, and currently produces art history lessons for TED-Ed. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and has contributed pieces about art and authentic travel to CNN Radio, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, and other media.

Laura is the author of the Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes the popular book Made in Italy. Her fiction brings the stories of art history to life. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY for Best Historical Fiction and a Benjamin Franklin Award.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Nov 25

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Review/Giveaway: Pleasing Mr. Pepys by Deborah Swift

London 1667. Set in a London rising from the ruins of the Great Fire, Pleasing Mr Pepys is a vivid re-imagining of the events in Samuel Pepys’s Diary. 

Desperate to escape her domineering aunt, Deb Willet thinks the post of companion to well-respected Elisabeth Pepys is the answer to her prayers. But Samuel Pepys’s house is not as safe as it seems. An intelligent girl in Deb’s position has access to his government papers, and soon she becomes a target of flamboyant actress Abigail Williams, a spy for England’s enemies, the Dutch. 

Abigail is getting old and needs a younger accomplice. She blackmails Deb into stealing Pepys’s documents. Soon, the respectable life Deb longs for slides out of her grasp. Mr Pepys’s obsessive lust for his new maid increases precisely as Abigail and her sinister Dutch spymaster become more demanding. When Deb falls for handsome Jem Wells, a curate-in-training, she thinks things cannot possibly get worse. 

Until – not content with a few stolen papers – the Dutch want Mr Pepys’s Diary.

Publication Date: September 28, 2017
Accent Press
eBook & Paperback; 407 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
I have been a fan of Deborah Swift's since reading The Lady's Slipper and The Gilded Lily.  She has that great ability to transport this reader back in time and become fully immersed in her books.

Reading in the 1600's is not a time I visit that often, being unfamiliar with the history and events it is always a treat to learn more especially at the hands of an author who has definitely done the research.  To be honest I really couldn't even have told you who the King was at the time let alone heard of Samuel Pepy, and it's learning about these unknown (to me anyways) figures that I thoroughly enjoy.  Even Deb Willet is from the pages of history, though not much is known and the author does a great job creating her story.

Deborah Swift did not disappoint, her research shines through here.  Told from different POV's I was able to get into the heads of different characters which balanced out the story nicely.  England is still recovering after the Great Fire, it's created dire situations for a vast majority of it's citizens as well as political tension with the Dutch, life isn't easy.  With vivid descriptions it wasn't hard to feel the conditions and despair.

Definitely a book I highly recommend and my thanks to HFVBT for the invite to be part of this tour.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Chapters


Deborah Swift is the author of three previous historical novels for adults, The Lady’s Slipper, The Gilded Lily, and A Divided Inheritance, all published by Macmillan/St Martin’s Press, as well as the Highway Trilogy for teens (and anyone young at heart!). Her first novel was shortlisted for the Impress prize for new novelists. She lives on the edge of the beautiful and literary English Lake District – a place made famous by the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.

For more information, please visit Deborah Swift's website.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed copy of Pleasing Mr. Pepys to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
 – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
 – Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
 – Only one entry per household. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

  Pleasing Mr. Pepys

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Excerpt: Lilac Lane by Sherryl Woods

No one writes about friends, family and home better than Sherryl Woods. Told with warmth and humor, Lilac Lane is a brand-new story in her beloved Chesapeake Shores series, one readers all over the world have waited two years to read!

 At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and who, after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what’s next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O’Briens

 Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor’s thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan’s long-lost daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they’re on. It’s Kitchen Wars meets This is Your Life—a recipe for disaster…or a new take on love?

You won’t want to miss this epic return to Chesapeake Shores, a place we’re betting you’ll want to stay forever.

Hardcover, 352 pages 
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 
by Mira Books

be sure to click on icon for more stops on this tour 
(including excerpts and reviews)

“I never miss an opportunity to see the water,” Kiera responded at once. “It’s one of the reasons I found my little cottage so appealing. There’s a glimpse of the bay from the yard.” “There’s an even better view from upstairs in my house,”

Bryan said. “When I leave my bedroom windows open, I can hear the lapping of the waves on the shore.”

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Bryan regretted them. He’d spoken the truth, but it had sounded far too close to an invitation. He couldn’t be certain from her expression if Kiera had heard it that way, but he knew absolutely that the provocative image of her in his room, in his bed, wouldn’t be going away anytime soon. It shocked him just how powerful that image was.


At the questioning note in Kiera’s voice, he snapped back to the moment and realized a waitress had arrived and was waiting for their orders. “An espresso for me,” he said quickly. “Kiera?”

“I’ve already ordered a cappuccino,” she said, her lips twitching as she tried to hold back a smile.

“Well, that’s all, then,” he said, then met her gaze. “Unless you’d like something to eat.”

“The coffee will do.”

“Sure thing,” the waitress said, leaving them alone.

“Was your mind wandering?” Kiera teased. “I have to wonder where it went. It must have been a pleasant place.”

“Nowhere worth following,” he assured her, then focused his attention on the boats chugging along on the bay in the morning sunlight. It was a tranquil picture, far more tranquil than his oddly chaotic thoughts.

It had suddenly occurred to him that he was actually on something that some people would consider a date. When he’d issued the impulsive invitation, he’d given it no thought beyond the momentary desire to have Kiera’s company for a little longer before their day started at the pub. They seemed to do better with each other away from that atmosphere. Now he was realizing it was a step, albeit a tiny one, toward a more complicated relationship, something he’d successfully avoided for years.

Because he and Melody had never divorced, he’d considered himself unavailable for anything more than the most casual encounters. He was always honest with the women he’d dated, making sure they understood he wasn’t looking for anything lasting. But trying to explain why he wasn’t interested in more was too personal to share, so he avoiding anything that might be leading toward that uncomfortable conversation. Was he actually willing to have that conversation with Kiera? He couldn’t quite envision it, which meant he needed to be very careful about any signals he sent to her. “For a man who said his morning had gotten off to a good start not that long ago, you’re looking increasingly troubled,”

Kiera said. “Have I said something to make you uneasy?” “Not at all,” he said at once. “I’m just not used to doing
things like this.”

She stared at him blankly. “Like what? Having coffee?” He nodded, then chuckled. “Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?” “We’ve had coffee before,” she reminded him. “Well,
you’ve had coffee and I’ve had tea, but it’s the same sort of thing.”

“That was at the pub. This is entirely different. Can’t you see that?” Even as he spoke he knew that he was making way too much of an innocent hour at a sidewalk café.

Kiera simply looked puzzled, but before he could attempt an explanation, Mick O’Brien came striding down the street from the direction of his wife’s art gallery and spotted them. He paused at their table, then looked pointedly from Bryan to Kiera and back again. “Well, this is a surprise,” he said, grabbing a chair from a neighboring table and pulling it over without waiting for an invitation. “Imagine seeing the two of you here,” he said, then pointedly added, “together.”


With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Sherryl is best known for her ability to creating endearing small town communities and families.

She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition.

Connect with Sherryl 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Review: The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town’s missing golden girl.

It’s no challenge—her readings have always been faked, but this time she has some insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy—no one would get hurt and she’d get the money she needs to start a new life.

But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark, and Skye realizes the people she’s involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it’s too late.

Hardcover, 320 pages 
expected publication: October 3rd 2017 
by HMH Books for Young Readers

Happy Release Day to Eileen Cook on the publication of The Hanging Girl. Marketed for young readers, I think it fit the bill nicely. The cover was the first thing I noticed when this popped up on Netgally, and I can't really put into words why - it's eerie and begs to be picked up and read.

'trust no one. deceive everyone.' - matches the story perfectly!

As you can read from the synopsis above the premise for this story is intriguing, with false tarot cards, a kidnapping prank along with Skye's inside info, but then everything starts to go terribly wrong. As I dug deeper realized there are many layers here and secrets of the past always come to light one way or another.

Once I started reading it didn't take long to be sucked right in, especially getting to know Skye, she is honest in her untruthfulness and one can't help feel sympathy towards her (though at times she is hard to even like), she has a hard life and it appears will do anything to change that and get out of this small town.

There were many twists and turns to the story that kept me guessing and just when I thought I figured things out there would be another flip. The ending I didn't see coming and I love it when an author does that.

This is my first book by Eileen Cook and I am anxious to read more.

Thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley for an advanced copy).

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review: The Return (Amish Beginnings #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family's rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her.

Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans's hunger for revenge.

When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa? 

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

Paperback, 332 pages
 Published August 1st 2017
 by Fleming H. Revell Company

The Return is the third book in the Amish Beginnings Series, it takes place 20 years after The Newcomer and Anna's Crossing.  Well it does work fine as a standalone I recommend starting from the beginning just because it's a great series and you really get to know the characters.

When Indians attack close to Anna and Bairn's emotions run amok, for Hans it is heartache, anger and helplessness, for Tessa's guilt and confusion. There is soul searching in store for both, but not always with a positive result.

Playing off of real historical events the author has again written a captivating novel full of emotion and intrigue, keeping me glued to the pages. It wasn't hard to feel the atmosphere and visualize everything taken place, from the wild stallion to the Indian reserve and just sitting around the kitchen table. A real eye opener to what what newcomers had to endure and the relationship with Indians (both good and bad).

Again Felix was one of my favorites, now a widower raising twin boys on his own brought me back to the crossing and his antics – just adding that extra spark to round out a great story. 

Faith plays a big role here, a lot of soul-searching takes place and it's through these dire situations where one is tested they discover who they truly are. 

I am so glad to have discovered this author my thanks to Graf Martin Communications (Nuts About Books) for the opportunity to review this one.

click on cover to take you to my review

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Review & Giveaway: Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I by Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor

New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

August 1914. England is at war.

As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently… Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. 

Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. 

Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

Publication Date: October 3, 2017
William Morrow Paperbacks
Paperback & eBook; 384 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

I have been a fan of both of these authors for a while now and was thrilled when I heard they were working together on a new book. Seems to be a thing these days, to collaborate and I always go in with a bit of hesitation because it doesn't always work. Can they deliver a smooth story without it sounding choppy making the reader aware of two different writing styles? With the Last Christmas in Paris it worked wonderfully and to be honest I couldn't tell which author wrote what. 

This book begins at the dawn of World War 1 with Evie writing letters to her brother Will and his best friend Tom. As the letters continues through the war years the authors were able to give the depth of character needed to deliver a realistic story of heartache and love. It's a brutal time and not always are the wounds visible, worry and depression are common and a sense of uselessness for those left at home, there is the urge to do something but what?

The book is divided into war years with more time spent at the beginning years rather than the last few. I would have loved to have seen more of the last years of the war and (I can't really say too much for fear of giving anything away), but I found it a little rushed there at the end and it was the part I was most looking forward to. But don't get me wrong I still loved the book and highly recommend it. The research involved was evident, it's a wonderfully written book of strength, love & loss and the power of human endurance.

HEATHER WEBB is the author of historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin's Lover, and the anthology Fall of Poppies, which have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more, as well as received national starred reviews. RODIN’S LOVER was a Goodreads Top Pick in 2015. Up and coming, Last Christmas in Paris, an epistolary love story set during WWI will release October 3, 2017, and The Phantom's Apprentice, a re-imagining of the Gothic classic Phantom of the Opera from Christine Daae's point of view releases February 6, 2018. To date, her novels have sold in ten countries. Heather is also a professional freelance editor, foodie, and travel fiend.

HAZEL GAYNOR is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel The Girl from the Savoy was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris will be published in 2017. Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages. Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland.


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 copies of Last Christmas in Paris!

To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

  Last Christmas in Paris

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: The Newcomer (Amish Beginnings #2) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier.

On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It's a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn's shipboard romance to blossom.

But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World--isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father--his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?

When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not--bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not. Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

Paperback, 336 pages / Audio 9 hours 6 minutes
 Published January 31st 2017
 by Fleming H. Revell Company

Book 2 in Suzanne Woods Fisher's Amish Beginning Series, I highly recommend going back to the first book, Anna's Crossing before reading this one, it gives a good picture of where this group came from and who they are.

It's 1737,  Anna and her friends have docked in Port Philadelphia and are ready to begin their new life. It isn't as easy as they thought and one can just picture the first impressions of this vast land as far as the eye could see. This has been an enjoyable series, a realistic story of the early Amish in North America, with the many trials and tribulations they went through getting there and all they really want is a new beginning and the freedom to worship as they please.

The author's notes showed the many characters direct from the pages of history as were events that took place.  It wasn't an easy go for the Amish or any new settlers but they had their faith, believing God would supply the needs, both physical and emotional to adjust to an untamed land.

While I really enjoyed the historical details here it was the people that really brought the story to life. The characters are believable, the struggles are real, the wilderness is scary and the Indians are not always bad. Not everyone is as they seemed and as events unfold there were enough twists and turns to make this book a pleasure to read. Definitely a series I recommend.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Excerpt: To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

From #1 CBA Bestselling Author Tamera Alexander Impeccable historical research woven with heart-gripping fiction!

                     To read an excerpt from this book, click here

With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society’s expectations must work together to achieve their dreams – provided the truth doesn’t tear them apart first.

Seeking justice . . .

Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father’s name. One man holds the key to Sy’s success–General William Giles Harding of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. .

Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville’s society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he’s found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison’s fiancé–and has shattered her world.

Struggling to restore honor . . .

Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen’s university in the United States. But family–and Nashville society–do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both.

Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy’s roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor?

Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn’t count on is having to wager her heart to do it.

Set against the real history of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a powerful love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in American history when both were tenuous and hard-won. It’s Tamera Alexander – impeccable historical research and heart-gripping fiction – at her best!

Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Zondervan

click on banner to see tour page with links to reviews and more

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times… 

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Baseball coach and English teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are admirable advocates for their autistic son, Gabe, and well-respected throughout town—that is, until one of the many reporters who arrives to investigate the odd bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar… and leaving Alicia to wonder if she ever really knew her husband...

And when Lucia Hamm suddenly disappears, the police only seem to have one suspect: Nate.

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: September 26th 2017 
by Atria Books

It was both the author and cover that drew me towards this book, it has that ominous feel which peaked my interest.  I read the author's previous book, The Vanishing Girl, in audio format and really enjoyed that one also (click title to take you to my review).

The Blackbird Season is a very character driven story. There are four different points of view, Nate his wife Alicia, their friend Britney and the troubled student Lucia.  All flawed characters and at times unlikable to some degree, well I did feel for Alicia here but each seemed rather self possessed, which made the story work.

The author did a great job with their story lines, as the plot developed she unveils things at a pace that kept me glued to the pages, at the conclusion of each chapter I just wanted to continue reading wondering what the true story was. I was keep guessing as the twists and turns took place totally keeping me on my toes.

Taking place in a small town in Pennsylvania that thrives on rumors and gossip. The day it rained dead birds gives it a Gothic feel, setting the mood.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an advanced copy. This book releases next Tuesday and I highly recommend it.

Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year, Thought I Knew You, and Binds That Tie. 

She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and kids. Find out more at katemoretti.com.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Audio Review: The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry

His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective.

But the accident that felled him has left him with only half a life; his memory and his entire past have vanished. As he tries to hide the truth, Monk returns to work and is assigned to investigate the brutal murder of a Crimean War hero and man about town.

Which makes Monk's efforts doubly difficult, since he's forgotten his professional skills along with everything else...

First published 1990
Audio 13 hours 23 minutes

This book has it been on my TBR pile for a long time, once I found out the author was going to be a presenter at a conference I am attending next month it got boosted closer to the top, then it became an audible 2/1 deal and I jumped at the chance to go that route. Read by Davina Porter I knew I was in for a treat (this is coming after finishing an Outlander book which she also read, it took me a bit to realize that Jamie and Claire weren't going to show up).

It's the 1850's when William Monk wakes up in the hospital, at least they are telling him that is his name, he has no recollection of who he is or anything about his past. Victorian London is brought to life here as Monk manoeuvres his way as a police detective to solve a murder while at the same time trying to discover any info about himself. He is also hiding the fact his memory is gone from workmates and just the general impression he might not have a nice guy.

The Face of a Stranger is a well written mystery and the first in the William Monk series. With vivid descriptions, life during this era is displayed showing not just the distinctions of class but the way of life. The mystery itself was interesting, a decorated English office from the Crimean war is brutally murdered and as Monk digs deeper into the investigation he starts to learn more about himself as well. There were twists and turns and a surprising, yet fitting conclusion. Definitely a series I will continue to read.

This book is part of my 'Reading my TBR 2017 Challenge"