Foodimentary by John-Bryan Hopkins

1577151534I am a cookbook reader and collector, and the concept behind Foodimentary intrigued me. Every day a Food Holiday? Hell, yes!

I was not familiar with the author’s blog so opened the book to a cold read through. I found the introduction, where he describes the “a-ha” moment when he discovered the word “foodimentary” and how he built his blog just a little too precious and uninteresting, but I am *not* an “Introduction” reader and usually skip them, so no matter.

What does matter is the content of this marvelous book! Hopkins has produced a readable, fun book filled with interesting facts about food and 365 reasons to celebrate it.

Every. Single. Day.

I’m not entirely clear on how he selected the Food Holidays, but I do like his flexibility in changing them up and his encouragement to readers to decide on their own food holidays. The food holidays described in the book are fascinating to read and will be a blast to celebrate. Since reading this book, I have celebrated Stuffed Mushroom Day (Feb 4), Oreo Cookie Day (March 6), and Potato Chip Day (March 14). There are so many possible uses here – in classrooms, libraries, and most certainly bars & restaurants.

The book itself is big and chunky, and filled with retro illustrations that remind me of old cookbooks. I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but am looking forward to testing a few. This would make a wonderful gift for the foodie in your life, and there is tremendous potential to connect with the author through social media and share your pics of how you’ve celebrated his Food Holidays. Recommended.

A Well-Timed Murder by Tracee de Hahn



A Well-Timed Murder by Tracee de Hahn

“A true page turner…I found the plot fascinating, and de Hahn builds the tension and suspense perfectly to a satisfying conclusion. I was left wanting to read more about Agnes, and I am looking forward to her next adventure “– Charles Todd on Swiss Vendetta

Swiss-American police officer Agnes Lüthi is on leave in Lausanne, Switzerland, recovering from injuries she sustained in her last case, when an old colleague invites her to the world’s premier watch and jewelry trade show at the grand Messe Basel Exhibition Hall. Little does Agnes know, another friend of hers, Julien Vallotton, is at the same trade show—and he’s looking for Agnes. Julien Vallotton was friends with Guy Chavanon, a master of one of Switzerland’s oldest arts: watchmaking. Chavanon died a week ago, and his daughter doesn’t believe his death was accidental. Shortly before he died, Chavanon boasted that he’d discovered a new technique that would revolutionize the watchmaking industry, and she believes he may have been killed for it. Reluctantly, Agnes agrees to investigate his death. But the world of Swiss watchmaking is guarded and secretive, and before she realizes it, Agnes may be walking straight into the path of a killer.

I stumbled upon de Hahn’s first Agnes Luthi book, Swiss Vendetta, quite by accident while browsing in a book store one day. I took it over to a comfortable chair to read a few pages and was hooked after the first chapter. I’ve waited for this, her second in the series, with much anticipation and I was not disappointed. Agnes returns with the same quiet, sturdy, wry spirit, despite the injuries she sustained at the end of Swiss Vendetta. We learn more about Agnes and her family here, as well as about Julian Vallotton, as the two investigate the death of a master watchmaker. I have a fondness for mysteries that include well-researched information about unusual topics; in this case, de Hahn delivers some fascinating information about the Swiss and international watch industry.

The author skillfully develops key characters, and crafts a tricky and surprising plot which fully engages the reader. Tracee de Hahn is quickly becoming a new favorite author and Agnes Luthi a favorite character.

Tracee de Hahn’s mystery, A Well-Timed Murder, is another magnetic mystery that will engross readers from the opening page to the stunning conclusion.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: St. Martin’s / Minotaur

Publication Date: February 6th 2018

Number of Pages: 340

ISBN: 1250110017 (ISBN13: 9781250110015)

Series: Agnes Luthi Mysteries #2

Click these links to see A Well-Timed Murder on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

There was a crowd but none of them mattered. Agnes Lüthi had eyes for only one man, the one she’d nicknamed the Roach. The one she’d only dreamt of finding in Switzerland.

She moved quickly despite her injured leg, focused on her destination, closing her umbrella when she reached the high canopy. A chain of busses discharged passengers in front of the Messe Basel Exhibition Halles, and they flowed past her toward the doors as if the world’s premier watch and jewelry show might sell out of goods if they dallied. She had never before been to Baselworld, but from the look of the well-dressed crowd judged it was a fitting place to find this particular man.

She was within grasping distance of a door handle when Marcel Aubry appeared from behind a kiosk. He was cloaked in a long, belted raincoat and had a finger pressed to his ear, listening. Before she could speak, he grasped her wrist with his free hand, and pulled her behind the advertising stand, out of sight of the glass front of the lobby.

“Slight change of plan,” Aubry said, his voice low and hurried. “The Roach is headed this way.” He frowned, listening to the voices in his earpiece.

Agnes moved closer to Aubry; it felt like stepping into a shadow. He was a big man, not exactly fat, but big enough to make her feel slim. She could hear the scratch of a voice broadcast from his earpiece, but not the words. Her pulse quickened. They’d worked together for years in financial crimes. Despite that, she’d never seen him run a field operation. This was an important arrest for him, one he’d not leave to others. She was thrilled to be included.

“Did you ever think you’d see us catch him?” Aubry said to her, still focused on the chatter in his ear.
“No, and I don’t believe it yet today.” She’d had the Roach in her grasp three times, only to have him scurry back into a crack at the last moment. All of Europe and half of Asia was looking for him. In addition to Swiss francs, he’d stolen millions of euros, yen, dollars, and pounds—all electronically. Despite his methods, she’d always believed that he occasionally appeared in person at a place he’d targeted. Now it looked as if her suspicions were proving true.

“This time he’s definitely here,” said Aubry. “Problem is, the place is littered with exits and there’s a record crowd. Feels like half the world’s come to Baselworld. Good for the economy, bad for us, since on-site security doesn’t want a fuss disturbing their clientele.” He nodded. “Anyway, I’m glad you’re here to see it.”

“I was nearby when you called. I left my mother-in-law at the Beyeler Museum like a bride at the altar. She may not forgive me.” Agnes watched the crowd stream into the building, oblivious of the police operation. Aubry had orchestrated a smooth intervention despite having to move quickly.

“Your call was the best news I’ve had in weeks,” she added. “A few days ago one of my kids accused me of missing the criminals.”

Vincent – her oldest – had phrased it more bluntly: that she liked spending time with the bad guys more than with them. Before she could protest, her youngest son had added that at least she wasn’t a criminal herself. They’d all laughed. It was true, she did miss work. Surely that wasn’t a bad message for the boys? Their father had had a strong work ethic.

Aubry pulled his wrist up and spoke into a microphone, asking a question. He looked at her. “When are you officially back on the job?”

“Three days. Monday.” She gave her wool jacket a downward tug and straightened the matching skirt. Her stint in hospital had melted a few kilos away. Nearly being killed wasn’t the easiest diet, but it was no doubt effective. A few more kilos and she would consider thanking the man who had knifed her.

Aubry held up his hand, listening to chatter in his earpiece. “Any minute now,” he whispered, as if they could be overheard. “He’s heading to the lobby. It’s perfect. Fewer civilians and more space gives us an advantage.”

“He’ll run.” Agnes shifted weight off her bad leg. Critically, she eyed the long bank of doors. The building’s sleek overhang soared across the street, sheltering trams, taxis, a restaurant, and a flower stall. She hoped Aubry really did have all exits covered. She had a vague notion that the five or six halls of the Messe Basel facility were connected by upper corridors and enclosed walkways. It was a large complex.

Aubry tapped his thigh impatiently. His gaze strayed to her leg. “How’s life in violent crimes?”

A voice sputtered in his ear and Aubry listened, sparing her the need to answer. “He’s on the move,” Aubry said quietly.

Agnes tensed.

“Now,” Aubry shouted, running to the doors and yanking one open.

Two men in suits moved from another angle and Agnes spotted their earpieces. The men broke into a half run, and a few bystanders gasped while others pulled out mobile phones set to record video. The officers pushed ahead toward the turnstiles leading to the show, and Agnes followed. Aubry put a hand to his earpiece and stopped her. He angled his head down and she could hear voices talking on top of one another. Someone yelled and Aubry flinched.

Suddenly, in the distance, car tires screeched. There was a loud thump and a scream, followed seconds later by other shouts. Agnes turned toward the noise and Aubry followed. They ran to the right side of the building, ignoring the drizzle. The side street was closed to all but exhibitors’ vehicles and Agnes pushed her way through the gathered crowd. What she saw stopped her in her tracks. Aubry, close behind, collided with her.

The street was dedicated to instruments of luxury and speed, and in the middle of the road a gleaming red Ferrari had struck a man. He lay in a shallow pool of rainwater a meter from the front bumper. Both car and man were broken. The hood of the car was dented and smeared with blood. The man’s leg was angled midcalf, and the fabric of his pants was split by a bone. Blood spilled from the back of his head, pooling around his hair, missing with rain and running in rivulets to the curb. Agnes recognized the man immediately. She put a hand to her mouth. A second glance at the unique shape of his ears confirmed it: the Roach.


Excerpt from A Well-Timed Murder by Tracee de Hahn. Copyright © 2018 by Tracee de Hahn. Reproduced with permission from Tracee de Hahn. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Tracee de Hahn

Tracee de Hahn is author of the Agnes Lüthi mysteries, which were inspired by her years living in Switzerland. Prior to writing full time she practiced architecture and was head of university alumni relations at a major west coast university. Born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Tracee lived most of her life in Kentucky. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers. Currently she and her husband live in southwest Virginia with their Jack Russell Terriers.

Catch Up With Our Author On, Goodreads: Tracee de Hahn, Twitter: @LuthiMysteries, & Facebook: TraceedeHahnWriter!

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March Micro-Reviews

B3E3A2C5-0519-43D8-B4ED-A873A61490E8The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This has to be one of the cleverest stories I’ve read in years. It’s a little slow to start, but once it takes off, it’s OFF! Imagine you wake up in someone else’s body and discover you are trapped into living the same day over for 8 days and in 8 different bodies until you can solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. If you can’t solve it in 8 days, you’re doomed to live those 8 days over and over. The deft writing and imaginative, complicated plot make this a surefire hit with those who enjoy a little challenge with their mystery. Ultimately, the plot reminded me of Dante’s Circles of Hell. Blackheath would be one of them.

It’s scheduled for U.S. release in September 2018. Highly recommended.

Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy

17D05D96-42C4-4068-8FE4-DC6128B070FEThe Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick

Cornick has delivered another fascinating blend of history, mystery, romance, and time-travel, this time bridging the present time to Elizabethan England. As usual, her research lends an accurate-as-possible element to the story upon which she builds a multi-layered, human-centered tale that captivates the reader straight through. Cornick has a knack for bringing historical characters to life and imagining their daily lives – their routines, their friendships and rivalries, their heartbreak. This story especially brought attention to the restrictive lives led by women, who were less than nothing in the hierarchy of family, friends, and society, which makes this an excellent selection for book clubs. Recommended.

Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Publisher: Graydon House
Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy

660FA8CC-E23D-422E-832D-E1668457F7B5Voices From the Rust Belt by Anne Trubek

Having lived most of my life on the edge of what this book calls the “Rust Belt,” I found these stories at once poignant, heartbreaking, hopeful, and personal. The disappearance of well-paying manufacturing jobs has decimated once thriving cities, towns, and villages and scarred generations of men and women who thought they could achieve the American Dream by working hard and staying loyal. They were wrong. Anne Trubek has done a masterful job of giving voice to people who lost their voices when they were sold out by Big Business and, in my husband’s case, Unions. This was a hard book to read because so many of these stories are similar to those of my family and friends. Recommended.

Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Picador
Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy


Reader Profile – Pat Rapp


FA65079D-59CD-4BD9-AC0F-32449351E2F9Pat Rapp is an avid reader and also spends a lot of time advocating for the Maker movement. She believes art can be used to excite people about science and gives frequent talks on this topic. By day, she works in a public library where she gets to talk to people about what they are reading. Pat is Chair of the Board of Directors of Rochester Makerspace and a co-producer of Rochester Mini Maker Faire. Pat also volunteers for the Burning Man art department each year where she works with artists from around the world to bring their dreams to life.

What are you reading right now? Would you want to visit the setting of this story?
Currently, I’m reading Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith. It’s a nonfiction book about upcoming technology such as cheap, commercialized space travel. Would I want to visit? I’d love to visit the places where this is happening. I visited NASA Ames Research Center a couple of years ago and the sense of innovation and makerism is something I had never experienced. The “Space Shop” is the employee’s makerspace, where everyone – engineers, custodians, techies, security guards, office staff, scientists – is encouraged to use the makerspace because the Ames management believes strongly that “everyone has ideas that can change the world.” I like that. I’d love to visit more innovation hubs.

What’s your preferred choice of reading format? Ebooks, hardcover, paperback? What determines your choice?
Hardcover. Hands down. I’ll read a trade paperback, too, but I love to hold an actual hardcover book in my hands. There’s an odd sense of comfort in that. On a rare occasion, I’ll read an ebook on my phone while I’m in bed. I really dislike the little paperbacks.

What’s at the top of your “To-Be-Read” pile?
I’ve been meaning to get to Robert J. Sawyer’s WWW series for a while now. “Wake” is the next book in my pile. Rob has a sharp insight into near-future trends and his writing is absolutely beautiful. His characters are real, his technology is believable, and his worlds are vivid.

Are there specific titles you go back to again and again? What draws you back?
Yes. I’ve read Frankenstein every ten years since I was 11 years old. It started out as coincidence; I noticed that I’d read it a second time at age 21 and then picked it up again at 31. I discovered that it was increasingly more valuable to me as a reader as I became more mature. It’s an excellent book about loneliness, isolation, and misunderstanding. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend checking it out.

Who would you choose to narrate your favorite book?
I don’t listen to books often. I’m easily distracted and an audiobook usually turns into background noise while my mind wanders. However, I think I could listen to Patrick Stewart and be in awe of his wonderful voice, even if he was just reading his grocery list. So he would definitely be my choice for narrator of any book.

Where do you get your reading recommendations?
I work in a public library. The best recommendations come from our library patrons. One my favorite things about my job is being at the checkout desk when people are returning books. They frequently tell me if they loved it or hated it. I’ll usually write a title down on a scrap paper and stick it in my pocket to add to my list. But sometimes the patron is so excited and animated in their review that I check it out immediately and take it home. This is how I discovered The Rosie Project. The patron was laughing so hard as she described it to me, she had tears in her eyes. And she was right – it was laugh-out-loud funny. The checkout desk is the place to be if you want book recommendations!

Do you have a favorite book that you received as a gift?
Sadly, I almost never receive books as gifts. I guess people assume I will just pick up books at the library. The last book I received as a gift was The Summer of Katya by Trevanian, from my sister, probably twenty years ago. I remember it being a harsh story with strong characters. I love giving favorite books as gifts. For many years, I kept a stash of Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury to randomly give people. It’s a beautiful, nostalgic story of a 12-year-old boy in the summer of 1928. I also love finding a quirky book for someone, like a book of heartbreaking Lithuanian poetry that I found for a friend who likes to refer to himself as a “brooding Lithuanian.” I joined a book group last year, and I discovered a couple of books that may become my go-to gift books: A Gracious Plenty by Sheri Reynolds and The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. Those were probably the best books I read this past year.

Are you a must-finisher or will you quit a book if it’s not resonating with you?
I’m 99% a quitter. Once in a great while I will push through to the end of a book I don’t like — usually if I am obligated because of a book club or a critique group. There are so many great books out there, it doesn’t make sense to spend time on something I’m not enjoying. I’ll usually give a book about three chapters before giving up on it, in case it just has a slow start. I always have a stack of “to be read” books in my house, so if something isn’t resonating with me, I move on to the next one. Life is short and my list of books is long. 😊

Do you judge a book by it’s cover?
I’m drawn to a book based on it’s cover or title. Cover art can be powerful. I’ve discovered some great books simply because the cover caught my eye. Because most of my reading is done with library books, I have the luxury of picking up anything looks even slightly interesting. If I were buying, I’d be more discriminating.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
I had two favorites that I read over and over. One was a Scholastic book I bought through the school book order form in first grade, called The Man Who Lost His Head by Claire Huchet Bishop. This guy woke up one morning and his head was missing. He walked around town asking people if they’d seen it. Nobody had, but each person was very helpful and gave him substitute heads – a pumpkin, a turnip, a carved wooden head. None of these substitute heads had the bulbous nose and curly hair he was missing. I think I liked that people were so willing to help and so creative in the ways they tried.
My other favorite was The Lonely Doll. As a kid, my dolls were like friends to me with distinct personalities. Knowing that this doll was lonely made me feel almost obligated to check out the book whenever I found it at the library.

Fun fact: I used to go to the old Fairport library on Perrin Street as a kid and I’d go downstairs to the children’s room looking for The Lonely Doll. About 35 years later, while working at the library, this book was on the discard cart. It was headed for the dumpster! I said, “Oh my god! It’s my favorite book! Can I have it?” It’s now on my bookshelf. It might even be the same copy I checked out so many times as a kid.

Is there a book you wish you hadn’t read?
Short answer: No.
Longer answer: I can’t think of a single book where I said to myself, “I wish I hadn’t read that.” Even the assigned reading in school, where I had to push through and finish something I didn’t enjoy, was never a regret. Those books helped me find my voice. They taught me to articulate my opinions.

What book made you laugh out loud? What book made you cry?
As noted above, The Rosie Project made me laugh out loud. It’s a fun book about a guy who I envisioned as very Sheldon Cooper-ish, looking for a wife. I don’t remember specific details, but I remember that I did actually laugh out loud throughout the book.
There are so many books that brought out the tears for me. I’m easily swayed, emotionally, by books with vivid characters in crisis, but they don’t need to be sad stories. Sometimes just the beauty of a well written book can cause me to tear up. Dandelion Wine, mentioned above, is one of those. It’s nostalgic and beautiful and makes my heart ache for the simplicity of being 12 years old on a hot summer day.

Are there books that mark milestones in your life? What are they?
Other than my rereading of Frankenstein, I don’t think any books have purposely marked milestones for me. I have gone through various reading phases over the years, though. As a teenager I was drawn to strange books by authors like Philip K. Dick and Poe. When I worked downtown, I read short stories on the bus to work. As a stay at home mom with the luxury of kids napping, I alternated between science fiction and literary classics. I went through a phase where I read nothing but mysteries when I was trying to tighten up the plotlines in my own writing. I’ve spent a large chunk of time reading technology, science, math, and business-oriented books. Non-fiction has been a big focus for several years now. However, the book club I joined last year reminded me how much I love good fiction, too. I expect my next phase to be a fiction-based one.

What book changed your life?
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I learned about Randy Pausch through a friend who had worked with him on his ETC project and I became of fan of his work at Carnegie Mellon in the field of virtual reality and world-building. I watched his last lecture several months before his death and I began following his blog. His outlook on life was inspiring, particularly his desire to use his work to “enable the dreams of others,” which really resonates with me with regard to the volunteer work I’ve pursued. The book was published shortly before he died and it expands on this lecture. It’s a tiny little book with a powerful, heart wrenching hit. The Last Lecture is an excellent example of a life well-lived. The book is a reminder that life is short. We need to be having fun in our work; we need to be kind and encouraging to others; we need to laugh, and we need to love deeply.

The Knowledge by Martha Grimes

380CD316-64D6-4DA2-B010-797343B95E59Martha Grimes’ Richard Jury returns in a new mystery that is every bit as clever and suspenseful as her earlier books. The plot is intriguing and features the usual cast of characters Grimes fans have come to know and love, as well as a set of streetwise, worldly children that could have come straight out of a Dickens novel.

Grimes opens the story with cabbie Robbie Parsons hijacked by a man with a gun who tells him just to drive. While they drive, Robbie uses his headlights to signal other Black Cabs that he’s in trouble. That triggers a network of “eyes and ears” throughout London who keep watch on the cab. When the man finally exits the cab at a train station, a gang of children who “work” the tube and train stations in London, picking pockets, cadging free lunches, and keeping their eyes and ears open are enlisted to follow the man. One, a young girl named Patty, follows him through Heathrow Airport and all the way to Nairobi. So begins one leg of the story that Grimes will eventually tie up neatly.

Meanwhile, Jury is faced with investigating the murders of two people he’s only just met. Both were shot outside the hottest, most private club in London by, you guessed it, the guy from the cab. Jury works to untangle a vicious web of family deceit, scorned love, and smuggled gemstones. Trusted pal Melrose Plant heads to Nairobi to investigate the gemstones connection, where he conveniently finds Patty, the waif from the gang of kids.

Grimes has a few common plot elements that show up here – the plucky wise-beyond-her-years child, the person or persons Jury meets and likes who then meet a grisly end, and the kind-hearted villain. She also names her books after a pub, and in this case, it’s The Knowledge – a mysterious, unfindable pub known only to official Black Cab drivers. Grimes inserts some fun trivia about The Knowledge, such as a story about how the Queen disguised herself and attempted to get a cabbie to take her there; however, the pub itself really doesn’t play a role in the story.

I had thought for awhile that this series might have played itself out, and there are plot inconsistencies, to be sure (like, if you get picky with the timeline of the series Jury should be in his 80s now) but it doesn’t really matter. Jury, Melrose Plant, Vivian, Carolanne, and Marshall are ageless. In fact, we learn some new things about Marshall Trueblood’s past as he takes a heftier role in this book.

What remains consistent through the series is Jury’s internal struggle to balance good and evil, and his ability to come out of a horrifying case and still recognize goodness in people. Grimes has spent years developing the relationships among the characters, so they feel like old friends.

Grimes’ writing is sharp as usual, blending vivid descriptions with intriguing, likable characters. I, for one, dearly hope she will continue to write many more Richard Jury stories, which are a blend of British police procedurals and cozies.  If you haven’t read the Richard Jury series before, this is not the place to begin. Go back to the beginning and start with The Man With a Load of Mischief and work your way through..

Look for Her by Emily Winslow


Look for Her by Emily Winslow

Lilling might seem like an idyllic English village, but it’s home to a dark history. In 1976, a teenage girl named Annalise Wood disappeared, and though her body was later discovered, the culprit was never found. Decades later, Annalise maintains a perverse kind of celebrity, and is still the focus of grief, speculation, and for one young woman, a disturbing, escalating jealousy.

When DNA linked to the Annalise murder unexpectedly surfaces, cold case detective Morris Keene and his former partner, Chloe Frohmann, hope to finally bring closure to this traumatized community. But the new evidence instead undoes the case’s only certainty: the buried body that had long ago been confidently identified as Annalise may be someone else entirely, and instead of answers, the investigators face only new puzzles.

Whose body was unearthed all those years ago, and what happened to the real Annalise? Is someone interfering with the investigation? And is there a link to a present-day drowning with eerie connections? With piercing insight and shocking twists, Emily Winslow explores the dark side of sensationalized crime in this haunting psychological thriller.

Partners in Crime continues to introduce me to exciting authors who are producing some of the most compelling stories out there. Emily Winslow’s Look for Her is no exception. The plot is gripping and intricate, the characters appealing and multi-layered, and the ending is twisty and unexpected. Winslow captures the immediate raw horror and grief experienced by family and friends when someone you love suddenly disappears, as well as the long-reaching effects that disappearance has on everyone touched by it. An experience like that changes lives, and Winslow’s characters all show evidence of the trauma.

Fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins will enjoy Winslow’s writing, as will any fan of psychological suspense. Highly recommended.

Trade Reviews:

“An intriguing, suspenseful, and briskly paced story with complex characters, evocative descriptions of England’s Cambridgeshire, plenty of clever misdirection, and a satisfying ending.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Using multiple narrators, as she did in The Start of Everything (2013), Winslow spins the plot to a satisfying and humane conclusion, with Keene and Frohmann again proving to be a winning pair.”

“Winslow’s kaleidoscopic narrative technique, employing first-person accounts from multiple characters, makes for engaging reading.”
—Publishers Weekly

Look For Her is a nuanced, thought-provoking portrait of a crime and its aftermath. Beautifully written with an expertly twisty, surprising story, this is a must-read!”
—Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Never Let You Go

“Surprising and satisfying, you won’t be able to stop turning the pages of Look For Her.”
—Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King’s Daughter

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published by: William Morrow

Publication Date: February 13th 2018

Number of Pages: 304

ISBN: 006257258X (ISBN13: 9780062572585)

Series: Keene and Frohmann #4 | Each is a stand alone novel

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

From Chapter One

Annalise Williams (Wolfson College),

University Counselling Service,

recorded and transcribed by Dr. Laurie Ambrose

My mother picked the name Annalise for me because of a girl who was killed. Her name was Annalise Wood, and she went missing when she was sixteen. My mother was the same age when it happened. Annalise was lovely, much prettier than my sister and I ever became. She was the kind of girl you look at and think, “Of course someone would want to take her.”

Don’t look at me like that. I know that what happened to her was awful. It just seems a very fine line between being the kind of person that others want to be with and be like and treat well, and being the kind of person that some others, just a few, sick others, want to take for themselves. That’s the same kind of person, isn’t it? The loved and lovely. Isn’t that from a poem somewhere? That’s what she was like. That’s the risk when you’re the kind of person who’s wanted. Good people want to be close to you, but the bad people want you too.

There were two photos of her that the media used most: her most recent school portrait, and a snapshot of her laughing, with the friends on either side cropped out. Taken together, they presented the two sides of a beautiful and perfect person: poised and thoughtful, and spontaneous and bubbly. The kind of person who deserves help and attention.

Realistically, if they wanted these pictures to help strangers identify her if they saw her out and about with the bad man, they should have used photos of her frowning or looking frightened. Either there weren’t any (which may well be the case; who would take a photo of that?), or they couldn’t bring themselves to advertise a version of her that was less than appealing. The narrative is important. If you want the “general public” to get worked up, you have to persuade. Attractiveness and innocence must be communicated, even if emphasising those traits makes the real person harder to recognise.

In the end, she was already dead, so it’s a good thing, I suppose, that they used the nice photos. They’re the images that everyone remembers. My mum was a teenager when those pictures were in the paper every day for weeks, then weekly for months. Annalise Wood was the most beautiful girl in the world. Everyone cared about her. It’s what any mother would wish for her child, to be the kind of person that everyone would care about and miss if she disappeared.

It wasn’t until Mum was over thirty that what really happened to Annalise Wood was discovered.


Excerpt from Look for Her by Emily Winslow. Copyright © 2018 by Emily Winslow. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Emily Winslow

Emily Winslow is an American living in Cambridge, England. She trained as an actor at Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious drama conservatory and earned a master’s degree in museum studies from Seton Hall University. For six years she wrote for Games magazine, creating increasingly elaborate and lavishly illustrated logic puzzles. She lives with her husband and two sons. She is the author of four novels and a memoir.

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Emily Winslow and William Morrow. There will be 1 winner of one (1) physical copy of each of the 1st three books in the Keene and Frohmann Series: The Whole World, The Start of Everything, and The Red House AND there will be 5 Winners of one (1) physical copy of their choice of ONE of the 1st three books in the Keene and Frohmann Series: The Whole World, The Start of Everything, and The Red House. The giveaway begins on February 12 and runs through March 18, 2018. This giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only.

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The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley

DAC8DC0A-0732-4704-BC55-BE0DD6800046We’ve all known them. People for whom life seems golden from the moment they’re born. They have all the friends, all the good looks, all the personality, luck, and wit that we lack. Maureen Lindley calls them “The Beloveds.” Her story of two sisters – one a Beloved and one not – is a frightening look at sibling rivalry and one woman’s descent into madness.

Betty Stash, the elder sister, immediately recognizes a Beloved when her little sister Gloria is born. From a very young age, Betty believes Gloria is somehow More – more beautiful, more loved, more everything – and relishes committing little (and big) transgressions against her sister. Betty longs to be alone, away from her sister, and comes to see their home, Pipits, as her special place. Indeed, she feels the house is alive and has “claimed her.” Betty’s resentment of Gloria continues to fester as they grow up, as Gloria slowly takes everything from Betty, including her boyfriend who becomes Gloria’s husband, and eventually the house, Pipits. When their mother commits the ultimate betrayal and bequeaths Pipits to Gloria instead of Betty, the eldest child, Betty spirals even faster into madness.

There aren’t many books that give me chills right from the start. This is one of them. The dynamics between Betty and Gloria are tense as only sisters will understand, but Lindley takes the tension to new levels of crazy by immersing the reader completely into Betty’s psyche. The skill with which Lindley envelops the reader in that crazy desperation is laudable and puts this book on the same level as Rebecca. So much fodder for book discussions here, as well as a totally gripping story. Highly recommended.

Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy

Aru Shah and the End of Time

EAFF298A-3849-4A3E-B4E3-BF84134D7CEEThis is the first in the “Rick Riordan Presents” series, where Riordan turns the wheel over to Roshani Chokshi for an entertaining romp through Hindu mythology. The basic premise is similar to the Percy Jackson series, only this time it’s the Five Pandavas (demigods) who are reincarnated and must save the world. The interesting twist here, and a somewhat controversial choice for a book based on Hindu mythology, is that this generation of the Five Pandavas consists of girls. And these girls are Heroes for sure! We follow the adventures of Aru and Mini as they are claimed by their parent gods, go on a quest, enter the Underworld, and attempt to save the world from The Sleeper, who is destined to bring about the end of the world.

It’s all good storytelling, with a compelling plot, entertaining characters, and a fascinating villain. The relationship between Aru and Mini drives the story forward as it develops. The writing is more juvenile than Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicle series, but no problem there – it’s just aimed at a younger audience. What I did find annoying and disappointing, though, were the many references to current pop culture (BuzzFeed, Donald Trump) which will ultimately date the book. The Hindu mythology is fascinating, and I have been prompted to learn more about it. Overall, this is a good start to a new series. Recommended.

Publication Date: March 27, 2017
Published by: Disney Book Group
Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy

Shadow Crimes by EJ Moran


Shadow Crimes by E. J. Moran

The year is 1978, and the New York fashion industry is an orgy of glitz, glamour, and decadence. New models—especially those as beautiful as eighteen-year- old Anna McKenna—are prime targets for all kinds of predators.

Anna is already aware of the men who enjoy preying on models. She knows a woman represented by her modeling agent was found raped and murdered—but she tells herself that, tragic though it was, this is New York. Such things happen. Mickey Gallo is less sanguine about the killing, but he’s both a police detective and Anna’s protective uncle. In Anna’s mind, she doesn’t need his protection. Or so she thinks.

When one murder becomes two, Anna’s confidence is shaken, but she’s determined to accept an offer to model in Italy. There, surrounded by beauty, Anna will confront the darkest side of the fashion industry. It’s an encounter she may not survive.

This reminded me a bit of early Lois Duncan, but much edgier. The plot is suspenseful and the characters are engaging – either you love them or you hate them. However, this story has been told countless times – the beautiful young girl “discovered” by a big modeling agency, then stalked by the creeps who people that industry. Fortunately, Moran adds some warmth and intrigue to the plot through the characters of Anna and Mickey. The relationship between the cop and his niece lends a nice flair to the story and pushes things along. The end was not a surprise, but I liked how the woman ended up “in charge” of the villain.

The author’s experience as a fashion model lends an appealing authenticity to the story. The writing, at times, is a bit awkward and unpolished. There are some parts where I felt like I was reading a screenplay, where the description was plain and technical, like the staging directions you’d find in a script. In fact, I could see this as a Lifetime Movie, and it would be a good one! Overall, this is an enjoyable, quick read for mystery & suspense fans.

Book Details:

Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Mystery & Detective

Published by: TreeLane Press

Publication Date: December 2017

Number of Pages: 250

ISBN: 0999523503 (ISBN 13: 9780999523506)

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Part 1

New York City, 1978

April Night

The buzz of the intercom surprised Rhonda. It was 11:00 p.m. and she was about to go to sleep.

“Hello?” she said.

“Hello, Rhonda?”

The man identified himself and she recognized his name immediately. “What are you doing here?”

“Sorry. I know it’s late. I wanted to speak to you earlier but couldn’t because there were too many other models around. I may have a potential opportunity just for you.”

“Oh?” She was dead tired and the last thing she wanted was unexpected company. Nevertheless, she didn’t feel she could say no to any possible break that presented itself. She was desperate to make it in the modeling world.

“OK. Let me buzz you up.” She opened the front door and waited for the rickety vintage elevator at the far end of the hall to set in motion. It was completely black, so she turned on the hall lights. She thought about how crazy she had been to rent an apartment in a building that was mostly for commercial use. The building was totally empty at night, as was the surrounding area. It was the meatpacking district after all. No one ever showed up until around 6:00 a.m. Yes, the rent was dirt cheap, but in hindsight it was a huge mistake. How could she know any better though? She was only eighteen—a complete babe in the woods. Not only that, no one taught her anything. Growing up, her mom worked every day, and most nights, to support her and her younger sisters. Her father was nowhere in sight, never had been, so with no money and no father she knew very little about how to make decisions; she just had pure ambition. That’s what lead her to NYC, hardly a penny in her pocket, to become a model.

The clattering elevator came to a halt. Its passenger opened the scissor gate, then the double door, and exited. “Thank you for letting me up,” he said as he walked toward Rhonda.

“Hi,” she said sweetly. “Come on in.” Rhonda motioned him through the door. “I’m really sorry but I’m already in my nightgown. I was about to go to sleep.”

“Of course, it’s late.” He glanced around the miniscule studio. It was neat and barren, apart from a tiny, decrepit kitchenette, a single bed, and a small side table lined with a few of Rhonda’s modeling photos. “So, this is the apartment you were talking about?” he said, shaking his head in dismay. “You can do better than this. It’s horrible here.”

“It is, isn’t it?” Rhonda said, putting her head down with embarrassment. “Unfortunately though, I couldn’t afford more.” Regaining her composure, she smiled softly. “Anyway, the good news is I pay month-to-month, and as soon as I make some decent money modeling I’m going to move out.”

“That’s what I wanted to speak to you about.”

“Well, have a seat,” she said, laughing as she motioned to a corner at the far end of the bed. “Can I get you something to drink first?” she asked as he sat down.

“No, nothing, thank you.” He looked at her intently, following her every gesture as she perched herself down near the head of the bed.

“So you want to be a famous model?”

She nodded in agreement.

“Let’s talk about what I can do for you.”

“Terrific” she said, overjoyed by his interest in helping her.

“I think you have a lot of potential. I really do.”

Rhonda smiled eagerly and took in a big breath of air, emphasizing her svelte, perfect figure.

“It’s not easy though to make it as a model. Beautiful girls are a dime a dozen,” he said.

“I know. It’s true. I see so many beautiful models every day.”

“Exactly. That’s why you need someone with connections, someone with power, to help you.”

“You’re right,” Rhonda said. She could hardly believe she may be about to get her lucky break, one that could launch her to stardom in the modeling world.

Suddenly, he reached for her arm and pulled her toward him.

“Hey, what are you doing?” Rhonda’s eager smile faded. Confused, she tried to pull away.

“You know what I’m doing, Rhonda.”

“No I don’t. You said you wanted to speak with me.”

“You want help? You want to make it big?”

“Yes, but not this way.” She struggled to get away, but her resistance made him angry.

“You know you want this. I could see it in your eyes earlier.”

“No I don’t,” she said, still trying to pull away as his fingers dug into her arms.

He didn’t loosen his grip. “You are so sexy, don’t you know that?”

“Stop. I don’t want to do this. I’m still a virgin.”

“A virgin?” He pushed her back and held onto her tightly with outstretched arms, his piercing stare locking onto her terrified eyes. “I don’t believe you.”

“I am, I swear!” She tried to loosen his grip and get up from the bed. “You got the wrong impression.”

“Then why are you such a cockteaser?” His large almond-shaped eyes began to shrink as he held her firm and squinted at her with the most evil look she had ever seen.

“I’m not. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Pulling her closer, he kissed her hard as she desperately made futile attempts to get away.

“You slut!”

Rhonda squirmed and dodged his attempts to kiss her, shrieking in terror. He wrestled her down on the bed, straddling her hips and pushing her down against the pillow. He smothered her face with one of his large hands, both to shut her up and hold her still. Terrified she froze.

“Cockteaser! You’re like all the others,” he hissed.

Using his free hand, he undid his trousers and forced himself inside her. Rhonda could only whimper, too paralyzed with fear to do anything else. He grew more and more excited with each thrust, mumbling incoherent words of disgust and hatred until he reached his climax.

Rhonda bled to death in her own bed, her throat sliced with a seven-inch combat knife.


“Looks like she’s been dead a few days,” Detective Tansey said as he stared at Rhonda’s decomposing body. The ruggedly handsome man held his cool demeanor while the two officers from the crime lab covered their noses—the room was beginning to have a foul smell.

“Do you think she was a model?” Officer Kasinski asked.

“Maybe.” Tansey glanced over at the professional-looking photos of Rhonda on the nightstand. “Definitely not a famous one though if she was living in a place like this.”

“Unless she was a druggie. Could have spent all her money on cocaine or something,” Officer Smith added.

“True, seen that before.”

Kasinski checked out the bathroom and returned. “No signs of drug paraphernalia.”

Tansey searched Rhonda’s outstretched arms. “No signs of track marks either. She must have been living in this shithole because it was cheap.”

The men shook their heads in disgust at the level of violence.

“Killer didn’t just cut her throat, he damn near took her head off,” Smith said.

“Looks like she’s been raped too, judging by the bruising,” Tansey added.

“My guess is that she let him up here,” Kasinski continued. “The intercom works, and there are no apparent signs of forced entry. That is, unless he was already in the building and snuck into her apartment while she slept. The lock is a joke.”

“Or maybe she brought him home with her,” Smith countered.

“Possibly. OK, let’s get to work. We don’t need to stare at her anymore.” Tansey glanced away from the dead girl and began assessing the room for more evidence.

A few hours later, he picked up Rhonda’s telephone and called the coroner’s office. The men had collected everything that could be useful; now it was time to have the poor girl removed from the putrid, blood-soaked bed and taken to the morgue.


Excerpt from Shadow Crimes by E. J. Moran. Copyright © 2017 by E. J. Moran. Reproduced with permission from E. J. Moran. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

E. J. Moran

Born and educated in the United States, E. J. Moran began a career as an international fashion model at the age of eighteen when she was scouted by a top modeling agency based in Milan, Italy.

Moran’s move to Italy set in motion the rest of her career. She signed with top agents and modeled for famous fashion designers and photographers. Her work took her to Milan, Tokyo, New York, and Paris.

After marrying and starting a family, she retired as a fashion model and continued life as an expatriate in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, and Italy, where she divided her free time between teaching English and volunteering for multiple international organizations.

Recently, she decided to put pen to paper and make fictional use of the plethora of experiences she gained during her globetrotting life. Moran and her husband currently divide their time between Europe and the United States.


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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for E. J. Moran. There will be 1 winners of one (1) Giftcard. The giveaway begins on February 1, 2018 and runs through March 3, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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on Tour February 1 – March 3, 2018

24 in 48 Readathon!

0595C70A-75E1-4F76-A2F2-5D1643404AB3Who needs an excuse to read, right? Well, if you do, here’s a fantastic opportunity! Over the weekend of January 27-28, participate in the 24in48 global readathon where you read for 24 of the 48 hours of the weekend, share your progress on social media using #24in48 and win fabulous prizes while you spend your time doing what you love best – reading!

This whole thing started a few years with a handful of people who connected online over  their love of reading. It has grown to a worldwide phenomenon, with thousands of people participating in the last event in 2017.

You can learn more and sign up to participate here:

I know what I’m doing January 27-28. I hope you’ll join me!