Micro Reviews

August Micro-Reviews

whiskeyWhiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison

Just finished this gorgeous, heartbreaking book and am still trying to process it. All I can say is get your hands on a copy when it’s published in August. Reminiscent of the best coming of age westerns, this one blows them all away. It’s News of the World meets The Sisters Brothers meets McCabe & Mrs. Miller meets Butch Cassidy, with a little bit of Peace Like a River thrown in. One of the best of the year.

Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Publisher: Viking
Thanks to Edelweiss for the review copy


songSong of the Damned by Sarah Rayne

Coincidences and pure luck abound in Sarah Rayne’s “Phineas Fox” series, which helps create a satisfying and ulta-readable mystery. Phin always seems to be in the right place at the right time, to pick up exactly the book he needs in whatever library he’s exploring, or visit the right person at exactly the right time. All those lucky discoveries might annoy some readers, but I love this about the series. All the loose ends get neatly knitted up while Rayne focuses on telling an absorbing, inventive mystery. It’s the story that counts in this series, and Phin and the other characters are just pawns used to convey love, betrayal, grief, joy, and heartbreak. It helps that Rayne incorporates meticulous historical research that she blends into a narrative featuring truly likable or truly horrible characters. It was also a treat here getting to know more about the perspicacious Arabella and her budding relationship with Phin. Recommended.

Publication Date: November 1, 2018
Publisher: Severn House
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy

awesomeFind Your Awesome by Judith Clement Wall

Everything about this book makes you feel like there are endless possibilities to be happy and productive and…awesome! Wall has assembled a collection of perky, optimistic, self-affirming activities that will help you become more aware of yourself and the people and things around you. The list and calendar format provide fun and appealing starting points for turning your attitude around, and will appeal especially to the bullet journal crowd.

Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: HCI Books
Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy


0EEE1908-A35B-42CB-A9CC-CD0E93678E3CA Moment in Crime by Amanda Allen

Fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy this offering from Amanda Allen which focuses on Madeline Vaughn Alwyn, a member of the illustrious Astor family. The story, set in 1920s Santa Fe NM, follows Madeline as she is pulled into the exciting and glamourous world of movie-making by her cousin Gwen. Maddie has retreated to Santa Fe after losing her husband in WWI. She’s found her paradise, where she can paint and live outside the drama of her family back in New York. She has a gentle and comfortable love interest and rounds out her household with a spunky and capable housekeeper and her twin daughters. Maddie’s keen mind and curious nature has gotten her into trouble before, and she is inexorably drawn into the fray when an odious movie producer/director is murdered and all fingers point to cousin Gwen.

Allen is a capable and clever writer, successfully delivering a captivating and puzzling mystery peopled with engaging characters. Second in a series that promises to be every bit as fun and exhilarating as other Jazz Age mysteries out there, A Moment in Crime offers you several tempting and enjoyable hours away from real life. I suggest you take it! Recommended.

Publication Date: December 21, 2018
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy


His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Anyone who longs to go back and live in the past, read this and count your blessings that you live in the 21st century.

The Black Macrae’s could have been my McDonald family. Thank god they had the sense to cross the Atlantic when they did.






Thieves on the Fens by Joy Ellis

Really clever plot overshadowed by clumsy writing. Seriously, how many people refer to their friends and colleagues, in normal conversation, by their first and last names? This is the 8th in a series, so the author has been writing for awhile. Unfortunately, the clunky phrasing and dialogue will keep me from checking out the earlier books.