Murder in the City of Liberty is an astoundingly good historical thriller set in pre-WWII Boston. Not only does it capture the feel of the time, it accurately captures the social unrest and ingrained bigotry that was common. While it doesn’t pull punches when showing antisemitism, corruption, and the rise of pro-nationalistic fascist sentiment, the novel also shows the strength and determination of those wanting to bring forth positive change.
Reggie and Hamish start with two seemingly unrelated cases - that of a boatman trying to prevent the building of apartments on his land (which is unsuitable for building), and that of Errol Parker a leading baseball player in the farm leagues who is suffering from harassment. Rachel McMillan does an excellent job threading the separate plotlines together into a more complex conspiracy. I...
by Amanda Flower
Crooked Lane Books
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 12 Feb 2019
Amanda Flower’s Murder and Metaphors is a charming addition to her Magical Bookshop Series. Violet has overcome her regret at coming home and settled in happily as caretaker of Charming Books - but once more murder has come to Cascade Springs, and one of Violet’s friends is the main suspect.
A celebrity sommelier who grew up in the area, Belinda Perkins, is back for a book signing, and to review the new ice wine made by the family of Violet’s first love, the people whose actions forced Violet to leave town. When Violet finds Belinda with a knife in her chest, the police immediately eye Lacey, Belinda’s estranged sister who was seen earlier trying to approach. Violet knows Lacey is innocent, and can’t stand to see her accused, so with her grandmother and the bookshop’s help, she once more sets out to target a killer. But what is the booksto...
I have a little bit of mixed feelings about Where Secrets Lie. On the one hand, the case, which starts out slow becomes more and more fascinating as the layers of truth are discovered. On the other hand, Butler’s depiction of his investigating team is somewhat lacking. For a good part of the novel they were bland cardboard cutouts. More effort was made further in, but I can’t say the characters were particularly compelling. You only got a little bit of what made them tick.
While I liked the plot, I think more could have been done to bring the central characters to life. That being said, I’m willing to try another of D.S. Butler’s novels.
3 / 5
I received a copy of Where Secrets Lie from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
The Alchemists of Loom makes for a promising debut to Elise Kova’s new fantasy series. The novel blends steampunk and fantasy to create a rich and varied world divided between Dragons and humans (called Fenthri). Ari is the White Wraith, an expert thief for hire and militant enemy of the Dragons. When a chance meeting with a Dragon offers her the chance to realize her dreams of revenge, Ari decides to risk everything and help him. Along with her apprentice Sophie, Ari and Cvareh embark on a deadly race against time, evading the Dragon Riders in pursuit.
There are many detailed, cinematic action sequences. The characters on the whole are complex. But somehow I wasn’t as immersed in the story as I would have liked. I think a bit more detail is needed. By the end, however, I was looking forward to seeing what the next insta...