February Micro-Reviews


2ED6F538-8B91-493B-9F3B-DEC5DB1984D6The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick – There have been so many books out lately that revolve around things that are lost and found and I didn’t expect a much different story here. Silly me. Phaedra Patrick has given us a story about a middle-aged woman who never says no…until she does. What happens next is one of the most poignant stories I’ve read in a long time.

Martha’s whole life has been shaped by a single incident from her childhood which she knew nothing about, until a mysterious book full of her own childhood stories, with a dedication written by her grandmother, shows up out of the blue at her library. That the stories are her own, written as a child, is one thing, but the dedication is dated three years *after* her grandmother supposedly died. This mystery sets off a string of explosions in Martha’s life, leading her on an unforgettable and sometimes painful journey.

Somewhat reminiscent of a favorite from last year (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine) this one will leave you with a bunch of crumpled tissues and stuffy nose, but also a soaring spirit. Book clubs, take note. This is a sure hit for your monthly meetings.

Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Publisher: Harlequin
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy

13896A93-B0D4-441A-B853-CC6334F53416Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe – Howe’s Physick Book of Deliverance Dane was a favorite of mine in 2009 so I was thrilled to get this ARC, which continues the story of Connie Goodwin and her search for truth in her past. Howe’s writing is wonderful as usual, and the story is as captivating as I’ve come to expect from the author. The primary plot line is somewhat reminiscent of Practical Magic, but Connie’s relationships with both the past and present make this one well worth reading. Howe writes with an engaging style that makes the reader feel as though you know the characters. As I read, I could feel Connie’s rising panic about her child and Sam. Her drive to safeguard her family forces her to reopen old wounds and the scene with her former mentor Manning Chilton was chilling.

I was delighted to see Connie’s mother, Grace, play a larger role here and develop into a very interesting character. The Dane lineage becomes much clearer here, and Grace becomes a more well-rounded figure of power. New character Esperanza is also a welcome addition, bringing yet another strand of “women’s work” to the bigger story of cunning women.

Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy

839B253E-B026-455D-9D02-CC129100BDB2A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn – Raybourn has delivered another rollicking good mystery in the Veronica Speedwell series. The flirtatious relationship between Veronica and Stoker continues and moves into serious territory, all the while they are working to solve a clever and villainous mystery in a spooky castle on an island off the Cornish coast, complete with a poison garden and a raft of prevaricating people. Really, all you need for a few hours of fun reading! With the popularity of Victorian era TV shows, I think this one would make an excellent show!

Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy

89B3A1FD-7C09-4939-BFC5-62D927132855Rough Music by Robin Blake – Coming into a series not previously read can be difficult, but that is not the case here. Like Anne Perry’s mysteries, this one stands alone while featuring characters that have appeared in previous novels. The writing and plot here are what you’d expect for a story set in this time period – it’s rough and sometimes shocking. I admit that the prologue, which featured a husband and wife being publicly humiliated on a “stang ride,” was graphic enough that I put the book away for a few days and debated whether to finish. However, I did go back and finish and found an interesting and clever plot and very appealing main characters. I enjoyed Titus Cragg very much, and would recommend this for libraries in which Blake’s previous Cragg stories have been popular.

Publication Date: April 1, 2019
Publisher: Severn House
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy

9EFD418D-AEAE-4D84-ADE4-B8AFF26179FABlack Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James – Overall, not my cup of tea, but I recognize skillful writing and storytelling when I see it. This will be a welcome addition to library collections and will appeal to adults who enjoy a blend of fantasy and mystery with a good dose of mythology. However, it is not for the faint-hearted.

Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Penguin Group, Riverhead Books
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy