Curator Chloe heads to Green Bay to consult on the restoration of an old Belgian-American farmhouse. When she arrives, she can't help but check out a historic summer kitchen - and discovers a dead body in the bake oven! Alongside the the bake oven mystery is the tale of Seraphine, a Belgian immigrant skilled in art of making lace. The hardships she faced forging a new life in Wisconsin in the mid 1800s provided a background for the events in the modern day mystery.
I can think of 2 authors off the top of my head who wreck me with their books and #1 is Kathleen Ernst. I just know this review won't do the book justice, it's so hard for me to detail why this book was so remarkable without giving away what makes it so remarkable! The author's ability to weave an emotionally haunting old-world story with a gripping modern day mystery is hypnotic! Just like Memory of Muskets, it will stay with me for a long, long time. Seraphine's strength in the face of such adversity and heartbreak was inspiring and the very detailed descriptions brings it all to life. It's one thing to read about life in earlier times, but the events are narrated so vividly, it's like being there.
There was a lot packed into this book without feeling burdensome or overwhelming, from Roelke's struggles to Seraphine's heartbreak to Chloe's tenacious investigating, and the lessons are all the same; strength, faith, and family will help you through any hardship. There's no better message for anyone to take away from this and I think it's what sets this series apart from so many others; that it effortlessly entertains, thrills and inspires.
Oh dear, now I'm waxing poetic but really, this was an excellent 5 star read that kept me glued to the pages. Can't wait for the next one!
It’s always a pleasure to sit down with an Ed James book, because I know it will be a deftly plotted, action packed thrill ride and In For the Kill lived up to the hype. Fenchurch has a lot on his plate at the moment, with dealing with the aftermath of finding Chloe, his long ago abducted daughter, his wife nearing the birth of their second child, and a the terrifying case of a college co-ed found murdered in her bed at the same university Chloe attends.
This was a great read, I loved the thrilling fast paced chase through London solving this complex crime. There were one or two points where the pace slowed a bit, but not by much and there was a lot of action to keep my pulse racing and the tense atmosphere kept me turning pages, impatient to see the next bombshell. Although I missed a few books in the series since I read the first book, I was able to get right back into it. Thanks to the great character development and the consistency of the writing, I remembered many of the principal characters, making me feel like I was catching up with people I hadn’t seen in a while. Fenchurch is developing as the sort of hangdog character you can’t help but root for; intense, persistent, stubborn, and fallible, there’s a little Fenchurch in everyone I think. I enjoy watching him methodically pick at the threads of the crime until it all unravels alongside coping with the struggles in his personal life.
Overall, a great read with a fascinating case full of twists and turns to keep me guessing. Definitely recommend for fans of dark and gritty police procedurals.
Better than the first book.
I liked that there's a lot happening; a rescue, mistaken identity, a stalker, a 2nd rescue, and a mystery. I have to admit the "mistaken identity" is one of my favorite tropes. Laurie and Ross do fall quickly, but it felt believable. I liked the 1920s style mystery. I liked Ross and Laurie's comprising. I liked Laurie rescue of Ross in the beginning. Laurie's ability was also a cool one.
What I didn't like/annoyed me: Laurie's stupidity. And her roommate's. The whole, we forget to lock out door! Or if we have to carry a key around we will lose it! Really?! Then, after the office gets ransacked, someone (walks right into) breaks into her home and does the same to her bedroom, and she gets pushed down the stairs; she STILL forgets to look the door? What?! And this leads to an event that later happens to Laurie and she needs to be rescued.
I also thought the ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked to read about Ross and Laurie arriving to the conclusion they did. Earlier in the book, I thought that was a viable solution to Laurie's issue (not the door locking; she's promised her parents she will take over the chair of her family's charitable Foundation when she turns 30). It would have been interesting to read about the "light bulb" moment.
Bruiser, Sheila, Deepika, and Andrew were all decent supporting characters.
Ripped Bodice Bingo: Free Space
Every now and again when I receive new books to shelve, I come across one (or quite a few) that I pull aside to read for myself. That's how I stumbled upon today's book. The Read-Aloud Handbook (7th Edition) by Jim Trelease immediately caught my eye for no other reason than I'm a giant nerd for my profession. :-D The first half of the book is a discussion about the importance of reading and more specifically reading aloud to children from birth to...forever. This is not just Trelease's personal opinion but is backed up by extensive research and a plethora of data on the topic. However, it's not all technical jargon replete with charts and numbers. He uses examples from his own childhood which he describes as 'print rich' with a father who modeled reading habits as well as read to him on a regular basis. He was also fortunate to have a teacher that read aloud to the class each day. (This is a rarity in schools because of the rigorous standardized testing schedules and something I strongly contest.) He also received encouragement from a teacher who sent a note home to his parents praising his behavior and writing capability. (That really can make all the difference, folks!) Trelease also talks about the rearing of his children and their nightly routine of book reading. Perhaps the most compelling parts of this book are the firsthand narratives of the significance of reading aloud throughout childhood and the benefits gained from it. It is chock full of anecdotes from principals, teachers, parents, and librarians and how they did their part to guide the children in their lives to become lifelong learners and readers. I've used quite a few of the 'tips and tricks' that he discusses like using ebooks and audiobooks for visually impaired and illiterate parents in the workshops and one-on-one discussions I've had with parents in my community. (P.S. Wordless picture books are another great resource.) Whether you're a professional in the field of library sciences or education or simply trying to create a love of reading in your own children this is a must have. I bought a copy for myself before I'd even finished reading it! 10/10
Oh and did I mention that the second half contains a Treasury of books subdivided by reading comprehension, age group, genre, and best books for reading aloud? WHY AREN'T YOU READING THIS YET?
What's Up Next: The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs
What I'm Currently Reading: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande