A Christmas Return by Anne Perry

A Christmas Return

‘Tis the season of giving–and with this wonderful book, New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry shares a brand-new holiday mystery filled with bygone relationships and hidden secrets.

As Charlotte Pitt’s grandmother Mariah Ellison finds herself investigating a long-unsolved slaying, it becomes clear that grappling with intrigue and foul play runs in the family. A festive Christmas package left on Mariah’s doorstep contains an ominous present, sparking memories of a twenty-year-old murder that shattered her friendship with the victim’s widow. Though the gift is a bitter reminder of that tragic time, in the spirit of the season Mariah travels to Surrey in hopes of reconciling with her estranged friend and solving the crime that drove them apart.

On arrival, Mariah joins forces with the murdered man’s grandson, a sleuth in his own right who’s discovered promising evidence as well as a suspect. But Surrey’s picturesque hills conceal dark doings and shocking revelations that could make the holiday anything but calm and bright.

Decked with intrigue and trimmed with Yuletide spirit, A Christmas Return is a holiday treat wrapped in the glorious storytelling talents of the reigning master of Victorian mystery.

A bit related to the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, this is Ms. Perry’s Christmas novella for this year. A Historical Fiction murder mystery, one that happened many years ago.

When a mysterious package arrives for Mariah, with a letter that an old friend needs her assistance, Mariah must go back to the past and relive some not so pleasant times.

Mariah has never been the most pleasant person on the block, and here we find out why. A lot of secrets and the power of standing up and telling the truth no matter the consequences.

It was a delightful and short read!

Netgalley/Ballentine  Nov. 7,2017

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A Weeks Worth of Reading!

   From a writer who’s been praised for her intelligence, heart, wit” (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls),The Ice House follows the beleaguered MacKinnons as they weather the possible loss of the family business, a serious medical diagnosis, and the slings and arrows of familial discord.

    If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

 

 In 1858 Savannah businessman Charles Lamar, in violation of U.S. law, organized the shipment of hundreds of Africans on the luxury yacht Wanderer to Jekyll Island, Georgia. The four hundred survivors of the Middle Passage were sold into bondage. This was the first successful documented slave landing in the United States in about four decades and shocked a nation already on the path to civil war.

  Occupy Wall Street did not come from nowhere. It was part of a long history of riot, revolt, uprising, and sometimes even revolution that has shaped New York City. From the earliest European colonization to the present, New Yorkers have been revolting. Hard hitting, revealing, and insightful, Revolting New York tells the story of New York’s evolution through revolution, a story of near-continuous popular (and sometimes not-so-popular) uprising.

These are the ones I need to finish this week. Pretty diverse group there! But I’m sure they will be a nice change from the Biology portion of the new SAT books.

xx Patricia   Enjoy your read and let me know if you received any Netgalley reads I should jump on!

 

THE PRAGUE SONATA BY BRADFORD MORROW (Atlantic Monthly Press)

The Prague Sonata

From the critically acclaimed author Bradford Morrow, a literary quest novel that travels from Nazi-occupied Prague to turn-of-the-millennium New York as a young musicologist seeks to solve the mystery behind an eighteenth-century sonata manuscript

Music and war, war and music—these are the twin motifs around which Bradford Morrow, recipient of the Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has composed his magnum opus, The Prague Sonata, a novel more than a dozen years in the making.

In the early days of the new millennium, pages of a worn and weathered original sonata manuscript—the gift of a Czech immigrant living out her final days in Queens—come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. To Meta’s eye, it appears to be an authentic eighteenth-century work; to her discerning ear, the music rendered there is commanding, hauntingly beautiful, clearly the undiscovered composition of a master. But there is no indication of who the composer might be. The gift comes with the request that Meta attempt to find the manuscript’s true owner—a Prague friend the old woman has not heard from since the Second World War forced them apart—and to make the three-part sonata whole again. Leaving New York behind for the land of Dvorák and Kafka, Meta sets out on an unforgettable search to locate the remaining movements of the sonata and uncover a story that has influenced the course of many lives, even as it becomes clear that she isn’t the only one after the music’s secrets.

Magisterially evoking decades of Prague’s tragic and triumphant history, from the First World War through the soaring days of the Velvet Revolution, and moving from postwar London to the heartland of immigrant America, The Prague Sonata is both epic and intimate, evoking the ways in which individual notes of love and sacrifice become part of the celebratory symphony of life.

Music and War. All wars begin with music her father tells her just before he leaves to never return. Entrusting her with a portfolio with a mysterious sonata.

A look at Prague during WWII. The story is less a history lesson than a personal memoir of Otylie, who protects the piece the best way she knows how as her country is overridden by Nazis and neighbor turns against neighbor. While her own husband goes underground to join the resistance, she is left to survive and protect the sonata the best way she knows how.

In New York, many years later a chance meeting with an old woman from Prague brings Meta, a musicologist, into that same world. By giving her the piece of the sonata that Otylie entrusted her with and begging her to find the other two parts and return them to Otylie.

And so begins a journey that is told through various characters eyes. At times difficult to read, even knowing how this war would turn out, I cried for the people of Prague. One of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to and now have a much deeper appreciation for.

A story of hope and love and the power of music. Every one of the great composers is here as well as the great writers. We travel from WWI to the end of the Nazi regime.

It is a long read but well worth reading especially today.

Thank you Mr. Morrow!      Netgalley/Atlantic Monthly Press

The Books Just Keep On Coming!

The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross (The Curious Affair Of, #2)  A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings, #1) Little Secrets

The Slave-Trader's Letter-Book: Charles Lamar, the Wanderer, and Other Tales of the African Slave Trade Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America Strange Practice (Dr. Greta Helsing, #1)

Just a few of the books I’m reading now and the ones TBR. I am actually reading 2 books from 2 different genres so I’m not getting mixed up on who is who! So far the Strange Practice is quite good! This new series from Kevin Hearne is a slow starter but we’ll see how it goes!

What has everyone else got on the TBR shelf that I need to get?

xx Patricia

 

A MURDER TOO SOON: A Jack Blackjack Tudor Mystery by Michael Jecks

A Murder Too Soon: A Tudor Mystery

Jack Blackjack is ordered to eliminate a spy in Princess Elizabeth’s household in this engaging Tudor mystery. 

June, 1554. Former cutpurse and now professional assassin Jack Blackjack has deep misgivings about his latest assignment. He has been despatched to the Palace of Woodstock, where Queen Mary’s half-sister Princess Elizabeth is being kept under close guard. Jack’s employer has reason to believe that a spy has been installed within the princess’s household, and Jack has been ordered to kill her.

Jack has no choice but to agree. But he arrives at Woodstock to discover that a murder has already been committed.

As he sets out to prove his innocence by uncovering the real killer, Jack finds the palace to be a place steeped in misery and deceit; a hotbed of illicit love affairs, seething resentments, clashing egos and bitter jealousies. But who among Woodstock’s residents is hiding a deadly secret – and will Jack survive long enough to find out?

Jack is one of my favorite characters. No longer a common street thief, he is living well due to the fortune of his benefactor. Only now his benefactor is demanding payment in the form of killing a Lady who is believed to be a spy planted in Princess Elizabeth’s court.
Jack balks at this assignment and tries his best to get out of it, but he must pay the piper.
When he arrives, he must be sharp and stay focused as he tries to figure out who killed who and why. At the same time, he’s trying to keep himself from ending up a corpse.
This is such an entertaining character and series. I enjoy the Templar series as well but Jack is just a great character.
Give it a try and you will soon see why!
Netgalley/Severn House  Release Date is September 1, 2017

September is giving us some seriously good books! Here are just a few!

Sing, Unburied, Sing  A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

Lie to Me  They built a life on lies 

 

A Murder Too Soon: A Tudor Mystery  Jack Blackjack is ordered to eliminate a spy in Princess Elizabeth’s household in this engaging Tudor mystery. 

Odd & True   Hunting Monsters!

Protocol (A Maggie O'Malley Mystery #1) “A page-turner! Smart, fast-paced and surprising.” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Mary Higgins Clark Award-Winner, Author of Say No More

These are just a few of the many books coming out in September! I think I have a total of 20 reviewed. The first one Sing, Unburied, Sing was a difficult book for me to read. The truth often is. It is set in a place in Mississippi that I am very familiar with and know these things to be true. Ms. Ward is an amazing writer!

Have a good Saturday. Luckily, we only had leaks and line back ups to deal with up  here yesterday. But our hearts were with everyone in Texas and we will continue to keep you right there, close to us.

What I’m Reading This Week!

I just finished reading a rather long book called The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow. If you get a chance to snag a copy, give it a read! For Musicians and Musicologists it is a rare gem!

This week I must drag myself out of Prague and WWII to enjoy the three books that I need to finish.

Enigma (An FBI Thriller Book 21) by [Coulter, Catherine]   From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter comes the heart-stopping 21st installment of the electrifying FBI Thriller series. I’ve followed this series since the beginning and they are some of my favorite characters! Release is Sept. 12th

The Girl in the Tower: A Novel by [Arden, Katherine] Another gorgeous book cover from the author of The Bear and The Nightingale.A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the backwoods of Russia to the court of Moscow, in this enchanting novel by the bestselling author of The Bear and the Nightingale  Due out Dec. 5th

Wicked Deeds (Krewe of Hunters) by [Graham, Heather]   Another skillful thriller by Ms. Graham and the Krewe of Hunters     Due to Release on September 19th.

And of course I have a couple of Cosy Mysteries and a few cookbooks as well. So this week is packed and thank goodness it is with all the craziness going on in the real world!

Happy Reading!   Next week I have a special someone coming to talk to you about Children’s Books!