Review: The Address by Fiona Davis

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Genre: 
Historical Fiction
Pub date: 
01 Aug 2017
Buy: Amazon
Rating: 3.5 stars

synopsis:

After a failed apprenticeship, working her way up to head housekeeper of a posh London hotel is more than Sara Smythe ever thought she’d make of herself. But when a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, one of the architects of the grand New York apartment house The Dakota, leads to a job offer, her world is suddenly awash in possibility–no mean feat for a servant in 1884. The opportunity to move to America, where a person can rise above one’s station. The opportunity to be the female manager of The Dakota, which promises to be the greatest apartment house in the world. And the opportunity to see more of Theo, who understands Sara like no one else . . . and is living in The Dakota with his wife and three young children.

In 1985, Bailey Camden is desperate for new opportunities. Fresh out of rehab, the former party girl and interior designer is homeless, jobless, and penniless. Two generations ago, Bailey’s grandfather was the ward of famed architect Theodore Camden. But the absence of a genetic connection means Bailey won’t see a dime of the Camden family’s substantial estate. Instead, her -cousin- Melinda–Camden’s biological great-granddaughter–will inherit almost everything. So when Melinda offers to let Bailey oversee the renovation of her lavish Dakota apartment, Bailey jumps at the chance, despite her dislike of Melinda’s vision. The renovation will take away all the character and history of the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived in . . . and died in, after suffering multiple stab wounds by a madwoman named Sara Smythe, a former Dakota employee who had previously spent seven months in an insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island.

One hundred years apart, Sara and Bailey are both tempted by and struggle against the golden excess of their respective ages–for Sara, the opulence of a world ruled by the Astors and Vanderbilts; for Bailey, the free-flowing drinks and cocaine in the nightclubs of New York City–and take refuge and solace in the Upper West Side’s gilded fortress. But a building with a history as rich–and often tragic–as The Dakota’s can’t hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers in its basement could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden–and the woman who killed him–on its head.

review:

 

There’s nothing like a dual timeline-family secret-mystery plot to suck me right in!

Certainly, the strongest point of this book was its history – this author has clearly done her research and it shows. I loved learning all about the Dakota, as well as the architectural development of New York City in the late 19th century. The Gilded Age is a fascinating time, and having lived in NYC for four years, I love learning about its rich history.

I was definitely engaged in the mystery and wanted to see how the two timelines would come together. It took a strange left turn about halfway through and from that point, I wasn’t as engaged. The resolution didn’t come together as convincingly as I would have liked, but I thought all in all it was a strong story.

Murder On the Orient Express


Well. 

I just read the book last week (I know. It’s been on my TBR for yearssss.) and we just returned from seeing the movie. It has only solidified my opinion: the book is always better. The movie wasn’t terrible, there were just quite a few artistic liberties taken and I am a stickler for detail – I personally think the integrity of the novel and keeping to specifics should be adhered to and made as a priority. 

Just my two cents. Have you seen it yet? Thoughts?

Thriftbooks Delivery


Another day, another Thriftbooks delivery!

I replaced my copy of Act Like It – I got about 100 pages in, then our new rescue dog ate it🙈 looking forward to seeing what happens. I haven’t read many modern romances, but this one sounded really good. 

Also, I grabbed Locked In – the first book in the Jessica Daniels series. I have a rule about not jumping in in the middle of a series, because character development, so I’m looking forward to starting this one. 

Also, what’s a Thriftbooks order without adding to my Christmas book collection🙈

If you’d like to place an order, click here and we both get a coupon for our order!

#bookreview : The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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Genre: Psychological Thriller
Pub date: January 9, 2018
Buy: Amazon
Rating: 4 stars

synopsis:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.

You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.

You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

Assume nothing.

review:

Engrossing and addictive, this little gem of a thriller with a major twist had me second guessing every character and I loved every moment of it!

This is one of those books that is unputdownable – you will be thinking of the characters when you’re not reading and wondering how it will all pan out. I had absolutely no idea who to trust throughout the story, my opinion changed every chapter. This was a deeply intricate plot and all the pieces came together perfectly in the end.

I wasn’t sure how a book written by two authors would work out, but they managed to seamlessly tell this tale. This is a well written, fast-paced story that will keep you guessing all the way to the epilogue. Fans of the psychological thriller – you don’t want to miss this one!

Thank you to Netgalley, Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pakkanen and St. Martin’s press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review: A Christmas Return by Anne Perry

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Genre: 
Historical Fiction
Pub date: 
November 7th 2017
Buy: Amazon
Rating: 2. stars

synopsis:

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.

review:

Anne Perry is a novelist whose books I’ve been wanting to read for ages, I hear she is a master at the historical thriller, however I feel that this was not the book to begin with.

This is not a whodunnit, unfortunately, as I assumed it would be. It is the story of Mariah, an elderly woman, who returns to her hometown to assist an old friend in solving two twenty year old murders. I believe this is a continuation of a family story and therefore I did not have the background or the understanding of the character development.

There was quite a bit of repetition in the dialogue and the Christmas theme didn’t particularly work well with this story in my opinion.

I’m going to start at the beginning with The Face of a Stranger (one of these days!) and I look forward to what appears to be an exciting series. This one was just not for me. 2.5 stars.

Thank you to Netgalley, Anne Perry and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.