I requested The Ghost of Hollow House from NetGalley, then realized it was the fourth in a series. I read a little of the first chapter, and decided to go back and read the previous books before reading this most recent in the series.
This is the quote from The Ghost of Hollow House that was in the first few pages and convinced me to put it aside and read the earlier books:
"Mrs. Honeyacre, the second of that name, was the former Miss Kitty Betts, aged thirty but admitting to twenty-five. She had once enjoyed a glittering careeron the popular stage as Princes Kirabampu the oriental contortionist, but had been looking for something a little more permanent. Although Kitty lacked great beauty, she more than compensated for this with her cheerful and engaging personality, coquettish charm and a remarkably supple spine."
That quote amused me, perhaps more than reasonably, and I expected the earlier books to have much the same humor. In that I was a little disappointed, but I did fall in love with Mina Scarletti, who never lets her disability determine her life. The influence of spiritualism provided another reason to continue the series.
Known as a skeptic, Mina is invited to Hollow House to determine whether or not the house is haunted. Accompanied by Nell and Dr. Hamid, Mina sets out to discover what is causing the disturbances in the Honeyacre home. Complications: her incorrigible brother Richard shows up, Nell's husband has a detective spying on her, a flood that cuts off the road into Hollow House, and the arrival of a character from a past investigation.
Having saved The Ghost of Hollow House until last, I am now caught up with the series.
Historical Mystery/Spiritualism. May 24, 2019. Print length: 320 pages.
Thin Air by Lisa Gray has an intriguing premise: a message about investigating a missing child leads PI Jessica Shaw on an investigation that is intensely personal.
from description: Private investigator Jessica Shaw is used to getting anonymous tips. But after receiving a photo of a three-year-old kidnapped from Los Angeles twenty-five years ago, Jessica is stunned to recognize the little girl as herself.
Shifting points of view keep the reader adding information a little at a time.
Thin Air was an Amazon Prime First Read book. The author has a second book planned, and I'd be interested in seeing what happens next in Jessica's life. I had a few problems with Jessica's character, but the mystery kept my interest. I'm curious to see what I think of Jessica and of the writing in the next book.
Mystery/Private Detective. June 1, 2019. Print length: 288 pages.
The Night Before by Wendy Walker is certainly a page turner, although at times I would put it down in pure frustration with Laura Lochner.
from description: Riveting and compulsive, national bestselling author Wendy Walker’s The Night Before “takes you to deep, dark places few thrillers dare to go” as two sisters uncover long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control.
Definitely twisty and told from two points of view--Laura's and her sister Rosie's--also partly through excerpts from Laura's conversations with her therapist.
Events in the past have influenced Laura's life in ways that prevent her from interacting in a healthy manner, especially where men are concerned.
A lot of folks are going to love this one, but Laura's behavior was frustrating and her running conversations with herself became tiresome, slowing down the action.
The Night Before has an intriguing premise, but felt a bit too contrived. It isn't that the book didn't hold my interest; I definitely wanted to find out what actually happened, but Laura's self-destructive behavior annoyed me.
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press
Psychological. May 14, 2019. Print length: 320 pages.