Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Random Things Tour - The Bone Jar

TITLE: The Bone Jar (Detective Lew Kirby #1)
PUBLISHER: Thomas & Mercer


Two murders. An abandoned asylum. Will a mysterious former patient help untangle the dark truth? 

The body of an elderly woman has been found in the bowels of a derelict asylum on the banks of the Thames. As Detective Lew Kirby and his partner begin their investigation, another body is discovered in the river nearby. How are the two murders connected? 

Before long, the secrets of Blackwater Asylum begin to reveal themselves. There are rumours about underground bunkers and secret rooms, unspeakable psychological experimentation, and a dark force that haunts the ruins, trying to pull back in all those who attempt to escape. Urban explorer Connie Darke, whose sister died in a freak accident at the asylum, is determined to help Lew expose its grisly past. Meanwhile Lew discovers a devastating family secret that threatens to turn his life upside down. 

As his world crumbles around him, Lew must put the pieces of the puzzle together to keep the killer from striking again. Only an eccentric former patient really knows the truth—but will he reveal it to Lew before it’s too late?

I love it when I discover new series to love and The Bone Jar is a promising start to the Lew Kirby series.  I mean, what's not to love?  We have murder, an old abandoned asylum and a very snowy setting.  All of these combined to engulf me in a mystery that had me guessing until the end.

The Blackwater Asylum has sat vacant for many years.  It is about ready to be redeveloped when an old lady is found murdered in one of the old wards.  Detective Kirby arrives on the scene and not only is the identity of the victim unknown, but it also seems like she mysteriously appeared in the facility with no trace to who killed her or how she got to there.

Kirby starts unraveling the mystery which initially starts out with very few clues to go on.  He ends up meeting Connie Darke, an urban explorer, whose friend is also missing.  Together, they end up putting the pieces together but will someone else die before everything falls into place?

I really liked Kirby.  He is smart and headstrong and doesn't give up.  We also get a glimpse into his personal life as we meet his current girlfriend, as well as his mother and father.  On top of the main mystery in The Bone Jar, there is also a mystery surrounding Kirby's mother.  Apparently she has some secrets of her own which Kirby never could have imagined. 

As I mentioned, this is a wonderful mystery with a really eerie setting.  It is extremely atmospheric, yet the story never dulls.  I am definitely looking forward to future installments because although the main plot was resolved, there are still some lose ends, and I for one can't wait to see where they land.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SW Kane studied History of Design and worked at the RIBA before taking on a series of totally unrelated jobs in radio and the music industry, where she still works as a freelance music PR. She has an MA in Creative (Crime) Writing from City University. She began reading crime fiction from an early age and developed an obsession with crime set in cold places. A chance encounter with a derelict fort in rural Pembrokeshire led to a fascination with urban exploration, which in turn became the inspiration for her crime novels. She lives London.

Top Ten Tuesday - Anticipated Releases for July - December 2020

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.

This week's topic is an anticipated releases one.  These tend to scare me.  While they are fun to do (even if it is hard to narrow them down to 10), hopping around everyone's blogs make my TBR/Wishlist grow exponentially.  

Formerly Known As - October 6, 2020

The Once and Future Witches - October 13, 2020

The Night Will Find Us - October 20, 2020

The Dark Deception (Daphne and Velma #2) - July 7, 2020

Cross Roads - August 10, 2020

The Dog Who Saved the World - December 22, 2020

The Switch - August 18, 2020

The Devil and the Dark Water - October 1, 2020

Flyaway - July 28, 2020

The Year of the Witching - July 21, 2020

So there you have it.  Have you read any arcs of these already?  Where should I start?

Saturday, June 27, 2020

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Changeless

So this month Stormi and I are continuing on with our buddy read of the Parasol Protectorate series.  I'm so glad we decided to switch series and I'm really enjoying this one even if this installment did madden somewhat.  So read on for my thoughts and then make sure you visit Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

TITLE: Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2)
AUTHOR: Gail Carriger


Alexia Maccon, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears; leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria. 

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. So even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it. 

CHANGELESS is the second book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

I feel like Changeless is a solid followup to Soulless in which the reader really gets to know a lot of the characters better and form greater connections.  When the book begins, a regiment of supernatural soldiers have returned from abroad and are camping on Lord Maccon and Lady Alexia's front yard.  While Maccon clearly expected them, his lack of communication with Alexia means she was caught totally off guard.  Unfortunately for her, this failure to communicate tends to become a theme in the novel and because of it, quite a bit of mayhem arises.

Along with the regiment's return, a new phenomenon has seemed to follow them.  The supernaturals are no longer able to change.  As quick as the condition occurs, it leaves but it seems to be following Maccon to Scotland, where Maccon's former pack resides.  Alexia, wanting to warn her husband and also in part due to her job as muhjah to Queen Victoria, soon follows with a mismatched crew of her own including her annoying half-sister Felicity and her best friend, Ivy.

I really enjoyed the mystery element of this book which is not surprising.  I was curious to find out why the supernaturals could not change and see what was going to be done about it.  I also really liked learning a bit more about Maccon's history.  As always,  the relationship between he and Alexia is clearly the best thing this series has going for it because their wit and banter with each other is always interesting and quite entertaining.  We also get to meet a new character in Madame Lefoux and I kind of hope she appears in future installments. We could have had a bit more of Lord Akeldama, but when he is present, he is his ever-flamboyant self. He and Maccon's beta Tunstell actually play a pertinent role in the novel despite their lack of page time.

This review would be lacking if I failed to mention Ivy and Felicity.  Their addition to the voyage to Scotland provided added drama and tension and I remember commenting to Stormi once that I wished Ivy had been pulled over the side of the flying dirigible.  She and her hats were THAT annoying.  And while she was at it, she might as well have taken Felicity with her. 

This book has it all.  Great characters, fun action and quick-witted banter.  It also has a sort of cliff-hanger ending which made me wish I could push Maccon off a flying dirigible.  The last few pages have me really worried about the direction the third book might take but I'm anxious to pick it up nonetheless.


Thursday, June 25, 2020

2 Bloggers 1 Book - The Only Good Indians

Stormi and I were both eager to give this month's read a try.  Unfortunately, I think it worked out better for me than it did her.  So read on for my thoughts and then go check out Stormi's at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

TITLE: The Only Good Indians
AUTHOR: Stephen Graham Jones
PUBLISHER: Gallery/Saga Press
PUBLISHING DATE: July 14, 2020


The creeping horror of Paul Tremblay meets Tommy Orange’s There There in a dark novel of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones. 

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way. 

I'm going to be honest, I almost don't know how to review this book.  I knew very little about it going in and you can see, the synopsis doesn't give much away.  The cover initially caught my attention and then the book itself started getting a lot of buzz.  All I knew was that being a horror lover, I couldn't wait to read it.

I think going into this book blind actually increased my enjoyment.  I'll admit that I was kind of confused in the beginning but after the first 50 pages or so, it started to fall into place.  However, it wasn't until the end of the novel that the full gravity of what I had read hit me.  The Only Good Indians tells the tale of four American Indian individuals who as teens, went hunting on sacred land.  When they were caught, they were forbidden to ever hunt again, yet for one of them, the weight of what they did weighed more heavily.  Now these Blackfeet men are older, have moved on and are living their own lives.  But are they safe from what happened years ago??

This book is broken down into different parts and at first, it felt like novellas woven together to form one cohesive tale.  And I guess maybe it could be looked at like that.  The reader is able to see both of the current day activities as well as the past experiences for various POVs.  The format worked well for me as I tend to love it when books show various time periods throughout.  One by one we see these men face their fears and struggle to come out the other side. 

The book is also so strongly founded in Native American culture.  The beliefs and customs are so deeply and play such a pertinent part in the story.  I felt for each character in a different way and even though the book was totally terrifying in places, I still had a hard time feeling completely sorry for what the men were experiencing.  I could see all sides and honestly, this is a tale that will stick with me for a long time.

I think this book is begging to be made into a movie and if it is, I'm there for it.  I'll anxiously sit and watch and probably tell my husband at least a time or two the book is better.  Because honestly, I don't know if a film can truly encompass the atmosphere and tone of The Only Good Indians

If you love horror then you seriously need to consider picking this book up.

I received a copy of the book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


ANIMAL ABUSE TRIGGER WARNING:  There are multiple disturbing and graphic dog deaths/animal abuse in this novel.  I wasn't forewarned and admit that it probably brought my rating down a notch as that is something  that severely bothers me.  However, I would still recommend the book so that tells you how much I loved it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday (277) - And Cassius Has An Issue!

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS: Divided by their castes. United by their vengeance.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom—and vengeance.

Jazmyne is the queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain—except the lengths they will go to win this game.

Deadly, fierce, magnetically addictive: this Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut is a thrilling journey where dangerous magic reigns supreme and betrayal lurks beneath every word.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Um...witches?  Basically that's all I need to see.  Also, I've always wanted to visit Jamaica ever since I was a little kid.


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Owe You One, an utterly delightful novel about a woman who ditches her dating app for a writer's retreat in Italy--only to find that real love comes with its own filters

Call Ava romantic, but she thinks love should be found in the real world, not on apps that filter men by height, job, or astrological sign. She believes in feelings, not algorithms. So after a recent breakup and dating app debacle, she decides to put love on hold and escapes to a remote writers' retreat in coastal Italy. She's determined to finish writing the novel she's been fantasizing about, even though it means leaving her close-knit group of friends and her precious dog, Harold, behind.

At the retreat, she's not allowed to use her real name or reveal any personal information. When the neighboring martial arts retreat is canceled and a few of its attendees join their small writing community, Ava, now going by "Aria," meets "Dutch," a man who seems too good to be true. The two embark on a baggage-free, whirlwind love affair, cliff-jumping into gem-colored Mediterranean waters and exploring the splendor of the Italian coast. Things seem to be perfect for Aria and Dutch.

But then their real identities--Ava and Matt--must return to London. As their fantasy starts to fade, they discover just how different their personal worlds are. From food choices to annoying habits to sauna etiquette . . . are they compatible in anything? And then there's the prickly situation with Matt's ex-girlfriend, who isn't too eager to let him go. As one mishap follows another, it seems while they love each other, they just can't love each other's lives. Can they reconcile their differences to find one life together?

CASSIUS'S ISSUE:  Why is this dog jumping out of a window?  And look at its people!  Do they not care?  What kind of book promotes this on a cover?  I refuse to accept that that dog is dumb enough to jump out a window.  His people must be so stupid that he's willing to do whatever he can to get away.  This greatly disturbs me.  Apollo irritates me to no end but I would never allow him to jump out of a window!


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Random Things Tours - The Silent Wife

TITLE: The Silent Wife (Will Trent #10)
AUTHOR: Karin Slaughter
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
PUBLISHING DATE: June 23, 2020


Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognizes the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there. 

As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake . . . 

I've only read two other thrillers by Karin Slaughter but I'm going to be honest.  I found both of them to be some of the darkest, suspenseful thrillers I've ever read.  So when I had a chance to be a part of this tour, I knew I wanted to participate.  Also, I'll add that even though I have not read any of the other Will Trent novels, it did not diminish my understanding or enjoyment of The Silent Wife.

Eight years ago a man was imprisoned for a brutal and ruthless murder.  Daryl Nesbitt has always claimed his innocence and now a victim has surfaced under similar condition.  Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent takes on the new case and in doing so, may finally uncover what really happened eight years ago.  He teams up with medical examiner Sara Linton, who also has a stake in what happened eight years ago.  There is a possibility her now deceased husband was a corrupt cop responsible for imprisoning an innocent man.

This book is full of all kinds of twists and turns.  There is also plenty of tension and suspense.  Slaughter definitely has a way with words and is a master at creating dark and atmospheric reads. In The Silent Wife she has created a killer who doesn't care who they hurt or what havoc they wreck.  In fact, they seem to get pleasure from it. 

I also really enjoyed the alternating past and present timelines.  It's a trope that almost always increases my enjoyment of a book.  I love the relationship between Will and Sara and was anxious to see if it could be held together throughout the developments of the investigation.

I hope to go back and start this series from the beginning one day.  I'm sure there were characters and references in this book which I missed out on having not read the previous installments.  However, I definitely didn't miss out on much else.  Both old and new fans of Slaughter will surely be singing high praises to this book for months to come.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 19 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant Sunday Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her.

The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television and Pieces of Her is soon to be an eight-part Netflix adaptation, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men), and produced by Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland) and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies).

Karin is the founder of the Save the Libraries project- a non-profit organisation established to support libraries and library programming.  She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Top Ten Tuesday Anniversary!

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.

This week is Top Ten Tuesday's 10 year Anniversary.  There were a couple of options but I decided to go back and do a topic I haven't done.  At least I don't remember doing it.  

Books That Are Linked to Specific Moments in My Life!

So The Shining was the first King book I ever read.  I remember having a special note from my mother so I could check an adult book out of the library. I couldn't put this book down which is probably why I sneaked it into my 6th grade history class and read it mashed up inside my textbook.  My teacher, Mr, Hodges, was a dolt and never caught on and I still managed to get an "A" in the class.

So technically I never finished this one but I still remember it.  When I was a Sophomore in high school I worked a summer flea market one week for a friend of my mom's.  It was set up in an old 
4-H barn.  I was bored to tears so there was someone selling used books so I ended up buying this.  I kind of got creeped out sitting in a barn with very few people as it got later so I never picked it back up. Possession books still tend to freak me out.

So when Mr. Barb and I started dating, I would read in my car waiting for him to get off work.  He saw me reading this one and I explained there was a spoon making a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands and a bean can who is always coming up with philosophies about things.  He looked at me like I grew horns and to this day, when I comment the book I'm reading is really weird, he sometimes mentions it can't be the book with the spoon.

So when I started working my current job, I had to travel out of town for training.  I didn't know anyone there so I took a book to read because I usually arrive places early and for during lunch if needed.  Little did I know that after orientation, our training was moved to a local church where I proceeded to read a book called Demon Lover.  My boss looked at me oddly, but I continued to read it proudly.  

Another one I haven't read but I really want to.  However if I do, I'll need to buy another copy.  Mr. Barb got me the hardback for Christmas the year it was released.  It was sitting on the end table the day that Cassius and Booker T had their fight (those of you who have been here long enough knows how traumatic that was for me).  So even though the book is in decent shape still, it has Booker T's blood all over it in several places and I know it would probably trigger something if I tried to read that copy.

So there you have a few of my book related memories.  I have some more but I don't want this post to be too long.  I've always been one to kind of associate books with times of my life so it was fun to share a few that stick out.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

What's Happening (06-20-20)...

So I'm doing things a tad bit differently this year and will be combining all of my regular weekend posts.  This will enable me to add more content on Fridays and it is just starting to make more sense.  I'll still be linking up with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.  Both blogs are awesome so make sure you check them out. 

So I hope you all have had a great week and a wonderful weekend.  Much of our time this weekend has been spent redoing the privacy fence in our backyard.  Mr. Barb hired a guy to do it but his helper didn't show up so Mr. Barb has been busy assisting.  It's looking good though.  The dogs don't like strangers around though so that's been tough on them.

We watched a few movies this week.  First up was "Da 5 Bloods" on Netflix and I enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated.  I can see me watching it again sometime.  We also watched "Ghosts of War" which was a really decent horror flick.  There was a twist at the end I had no idea was coming so it's worth checking out just for that.  We finished up the movies with "You Should Have Left" with Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried.  It was strange but not horrible.  I do love Kevin Bacon and it definitely gave me "Stir of Echos" vibes.  Oh and I almost forgot I finished "13 Reasons Why."  I found the fourth season kind to be lacking something and I don't know that it was needed.  I just have a hard time grasping those teenagers having such problems.  I was worried about finding the right prom test and how to get my trumpet case on the bus comfortably, not about committing a murder or covering one up.  

I kind of hit a reading slump this week and I can blame a book which you'll see reviewed at the end of the month.  It should not have taken me as long to read it as it did but hey, I finally finished it this afternoon so I hope my mojo returns.  It's not like I considered DNF'ing it, it just drug.  I have a few books I want to get finished before the end of the month.  They include the following:

I also did a curbside pickup at one of my local libraries as some holds came in.  I'm really excited to get to all of these...I just need more time right? #bookwormproblems

So there you have it.  How was your week?  Let me know what you're reading and watching!  And Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Random Things Tours - This Is Not a Love Story

TITLE: This Is Not a Love Story
AUTHOR:  Mary Hargreaves
PUBLISHING DATE: June 11, 2020


Maggie Gardiner isn't good enough. She had six glasses of wine at a work conference, woke up covered in curry and has accidentally ended up living with the boring guy who was supposed to be a one night stand. Something has to change. Every other twenty-something on Instagram seems to have their sh*t together, so why doesn't she? And so she makes a list. When she's ticked off every item, she'll become Maggie 2.0 - the best version of herself, and the one she wants to be. Won't she...? 

1. Go vegan. It worked for that girl on Twitter. 
2. Take up yoga - that woman she hate-follows swears by it 
3. Start practicing mindfulness - all those people can't be wrong... 
4. Quit smoking. It's not 1999. 

This Is Not A Love Story is a book for anyone who's ever wished they were perfect. It's a book for anyone who feels like a failure. And it's not a love story, it's a real story. And it's hilarious. 

So let's just get this out of the way first.  I have to give Hargreaves some credit because I can't remember the last time I despised a character so badly in the beginning of the book and made a complete 180 turnaround to end up loving them in the end.  But that's just what happened with Maggie.

Maggie is a 27 year old miserable person.  She has a live-in boyfriend she doesn't like, a job she doesn't even try at, and a lot of bad habits she thoroughly embraces.  However, Maggie has decided she needs to make some changes.  Like I said, I didn't really like Maggie at first.  I even told my friend that I was more mature at 12 than Maggie was at 27.  But deep down, Maggie did have some reasons.  For one, she had very little self esteem.  She grew up with a brother and sister and for whatever reason, always felt like she came in 3rd place.  Maggie also has a group of friends whom have been together since school, and she also feels like she doesn't measure up to them.  Because of this, and add in a tendency to get very drunk and make poor decisions (heck, she doesn't even really need to be drunk) and Maggie often comes across as a mean girl - in the beginning.

As the book progresses, Maggie starts making some changes.  She meets some new people and realizes she really wants a better relationship with her family.  She also wants to really have the plant her dear grandmother gave her to live - pay attention, the plant is very important.  As is her relationship with her grandmother which was one of my favorite things in the book.

So needless to say, about halfway in I started cheering Maggie on.  I wanted her to succeed and I also wanted her to realize all the things she had going on her when the book first started.  This Is Not a Love Story will sometimes make you laugh and sometimes make you cringe but I dare you to read it and believe that it really isn't a love story.  I beg to differ.  I think it's one of the best love stories of all - learning to love yourself!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Mary Hargreaves lives in Manchester and enjoys writing and reading things that cleverer people have written.  She hates waiting, musicals and Pinot Grigio.  This Is Not A Love Story is her debut novel.

You can follow Mary on Twitter at @MKHarg

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday (276)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS: Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I fell in love with the cover and even though I've not read the author, I am familiar with her other works.  I love the idea of magic and a secret grimoire.  


SYNOPSIS:  It’s margaritas, Mariachi, and murder in Mexico!

Cameron Cripps Hayman is on vacation in the Yucatan Peninsula, taking a break from life as an amateur sleuth in Metamora, Indiana. With her crew back home busy running their shops in the little canal town, Cameron relaxes by the pool, walks along the beach, and tours Mayan ruins—until her whole trip gets ruined by a murder.
She should’ve known something was up when a little chihuahua started following her around the resort. When Cameron follows the feisty little dog to a secluded area of rocks and palm trees, she discovers her new acquaintance lying dead with her head buried in the sand.

Cam’s police officer husband might be used to her sticking her nose into his cases, but the State Investigation Police in the Yucatan aren’t so welcoming of Cameron’s help. The other American tourists staying at the resort, however, happen to be more than happy to chat about the murder, their theories, and rumors they’ve heard about the victim.
Spending her vacation solving another murder wasn’t on Cameron’s travel agenda, but when a sweet little dog drags her into the case, how can she refuse?

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  Mom used to love this series but the author has been releasing them so fast that she's now about 4 books behind (maybe more, she won't tell me).  

I think this dog has the right idea.  I need a drink!  And I could go for some lounging on a beach - as long as there is social distancing.  Better yet, I think I deserve my own private beach.  "Cassius's White Sand Pawprint Resort."  What do you think? 


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Stranger in the Lake Blog Tour

TITLE: Stranger in the Lake
AUTHOR: Kimberly Belle
PUBLISHING DATE: June 9, 20202


When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned. 

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two. 

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water. 

Stranger in the Lake was such a great summer read and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to pick up a thriller this summer.  Charlotte, or Charlie in her childhood, grew up in lower income session of a Lake Crosby.  She ends up marrying Paul, a wealthy architect and widower.  Many in the small town believes Charlie married for money but her and Paul really are in love.  However, one snowy morning Charlie finds a female body floating in the lake by their dock, the same lake Paul's wife died in four years ago.  What makes the scene even more terrifying is that the day before, Charlie saw Paul talking to the lady in town.

I have to admit that about half-way through the book I began to have my suspicions about who was actually responsible for the woman's death.  However, I had no idea how it all fell into place and I couldn't read fast enough to find out what happened.  And that doesn't mean that Belle didn't blindside me with a few things.  The story alternates between current time and Paul's high school days when he and his two best friends would run the town with nothing to worry about other than who they would party with on the weekends.  His life was much different than Charlie, who grew up with a father in prison and an addict mother.  She spent her days struggling to take care of her younger brother.  And the differences between Charlie and Paul's childhood become more evident as the plot progresses.

And speaking of Charlie's brother, the relationship between Charlie and Chet is probably one of my favorite things about the book.  Chet is the typical younger brother who jumps from job to job and seems to wander aimlessly through life. Yet Chet is utterly devoted to his sister and his devotion shows in the support and assistance he provides his sister throughout the book.  I can't help but compare them to Sookie and her brother Jason from the HBO series True Blood - minus the supernatural elements of course.

I'm so glad I picked up this book and I really thing it will be one of the big hits of the summer.  Other than being a tad predictable, I have no real complaints with Stranger in the Lake and I will definitely pick up more from Belle in the future.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Social Links:

Twitter: @KimberlySBelle
Instagram: @kimberlysbelle