Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book Review

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List

CW: Self-harm, suicidal ideation, abortion It’s difficult to review a book that is so, so good, but you don’t want to reveal too much for fear of ruining it for others. The Guest List is one of those books; it’s a thriller that is so superbly plotted that I’m afraid to say anything about it because I want other readers to enjoy every reveal as much as I did. I just want to shove it … Continue reading The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Lightning Review

The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore

The Companion

I’m a huge fan of Gothic and of creepy shit in general, so I was super excited to read The Companion. While this book has Gothic elements, it doesn’t follow the Gothic convention of having the heroine vindicated, and frankly it turned out to be a depressing read in general. Part of the book takes place in 1855 as Lucy Blunt awaits the verdict of her murder trial. While she is imprisoned, Lucy reflects back … Continue reading The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore

Book Review

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

The Lost Ones

CW: The death of a child, sexual assault, suicidal ideation The Lost Ones by Anita Frank lured me in with the promise of a Gothic set in WWI, but the pacing was massively slow and the characters largely unlikeable. As a result, I only finished the book because I needed resolution on the ghostly portion. This book actually made me grind my teeth, and at one point my cat, Dewey, shut the book on me … Continue reading The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

Book Review

Pursuing Pandora by Maggie Brown

Pursuing Pandora

When I read the blurb for Pursuing Pandora I was overcome with a burst of excitement. I immediately messaged Shana, with the comment “this book sounds so bananas that I’m tempted to check it out” and she agreed that I must. Check this out: Corporate lawyer Winter Carlyle is the first to admit that she’s become jaded with romance after a very messy public breakup. When her bossy aunt asks her to visit a high-end … Continue reading Pursuing Pandora by Maggie Brown

Lightning Review

The Leper of Saint Giles by Ellis Peters

The Leper of Saint Giles

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m making my way through the Cadfael mysteries. Whenever the quarantimes get too overwhelming, I head off to Wales-adjacent England in the 1100s to hang out with a former solider now monk who brews wine and herbal remedies, solves murders, and often unites star-crossed lovers (and sometimes flirts with ladies, too). There’s a soothing, slow-paced atmosphere to the Cadfael series, like the literary version of dust sparkles over a … Continue reading The Leper of Saint Giles by Ellis Peters

Book Review

A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber

A Stroke of Malice

I’ve read most of this series, and it’s among my favorite comfort reads. I’ve mentioned this before, but I started reading this series in Japan, when jet lag would gift me with a hard wake-up at 3am and I’d have no ability to get back to sleep. My memories of these characters are indelibly mixed with being wrapped in a duvet, hiding under the covers so the light from my e-reader wouldn’t wake everyone up. … Continue reading A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber

Book Review

Problem Child by Victoria Helen Stone

Problem Child

Content warnings: childhood sexual abuse, murder, sociopathy I have read and reread Jane Doe (Book 1 in the series) more times than I can feasibly count. So it was with an intense case of Grabby Hands that I dove for Problem Child, a novel that follows Jane during the next step in her life. And…well…. It pains me to say this, but it was okay. It’s a solid, capable book, but it never reaches the … Continue reading Problem Child by Victoria Helen Stone

Book Review

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

The Sun Down Motel

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James was the feminist, cold-case mystery I didn’t know I was waiting for. It has everything. It has intrepid amateur detectives. It has vengeful female ghosts. It has delicious justice and women coming together to deliver it. Added to all of that, the mystery was executed perfectly. In fact, here’s the one-line review I posted on Twitter: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James is so good … Continue reading The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Book Review

Galileo by Ann McMan

Galileo

CW/TW: child sexual assault in the book, and discussion thereof in the review. If you were to ask me who my favourite author is, I’d hem and haw and, after squirming and setting aside my guilt for not naming a dozen others, tell you it’s Ann McMan (if you’ve read my review of Hoosier Daddy, this is unlikely to be a shock). A large part of that is her versatility, how she hops genres with … Continue reading Galileo by Ann McMan

Lightning Review

The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by KJ Charles

The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter

Caution warnings: Misgendering; references to forced sex work; threats of violence, acid attacks, and torture. The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter is a prequel to KJ Charles’ historical romance Any Old Diamonds. The focus is not on the Lilywhite Boys themselves, although they are an integral part of the story, but on their fence Stan and the music hall performer he admires, Miss Christiana. Their relationship is very sweet, and a stark contrast to the horrible things that … Continue reading The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by KJ Charles

Book Review

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

A Madness of Sunshine

CW: Domestic violence, violence against women, violence against animals, references to sexual assault A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh is a tightly plotted thriller that has pervasive feeling of rage coiled around it. Every character in this book feels angry and on edge, on the verge of snapping. This creates a superb tension that carries throughout the novel and, when combined with a perfectly plotted mystery and well-developed characters, results in a fantastic reading … Continue reading A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Book Review

Jane Austen’s Ghost by Jennifer Kloester

Jane Austen’s Ghost

Jane Austen’s Ghost is a ghost story and a mystery of sorts, with romantic and historical elements. There is a satisfying romance in the middle, and there is a lot of humour, but, as befits a ghost story, there will be parts that make you cry, too. It’s quite a gentle, comforting sort of story to read and comes together in a very satisfying way at the end. I enjoyed it a lot. The story … Continue reading Jane Austen’s Ghost by Jennifer Kloester

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