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Thursday, May 04, 2017

April Reads

The Devil's Cup by Alys Clare 

King John has sent for some of his more trusted knights as he faces challenges from all sides.  You remember King John, Richard's younger and very unpopular brother.  Josse d'Aquin answers the summons.  

Josse's daughter Meggie also sets off on a journey in hopes of preventing a tragedy.

While I like medieval mysteries, this novel was slow and depended on characters keeping of secrets from each other.  Much of the explanation was kept until the very end, and I got tired of the characters telling each other that they couldn't tell.  

NetGalley/Severn House

Medieval Mystery.  August 1, 2017.  Print length:  240 pages

The Body in Ice is set in 1796 in the Romney Marsh area of England.  The first chapter had me wondering if I'd finish the book, but each successive chapter got more interesting, and I liked the characters.

The late 18th c. setting is quite interesting.  Twenty years have passed since America gained independence, but relationships between the two countries are still tense; the French Revolutionary Wars that followed the revolution keep England on edge with the threat of spies and invasion; the Bluestockings, led by Elizabeth Montague and Elizabeth Vesey, were encouraging intellectual activities for women; the abolitionist movement was growing; and smuggling was part of Romney Marsh's culture.

In addition to the mystery, all of the above events played a part.  When Amelia Chaytor mentioned that someone was a bluestocking, I was surprised--I had no idea that the term dated back to the 18th c.  A little research made me think that a series of historic mysteries featuring bluestockings would an excellent idea.

The book is uneven, but I enjoyed it.

NetGalley/Bonnier Zaffre

Historic Mystery.  April 20, 2017.  Print length:  368 pages.

Whew-The Weight of Lies was suspenseful and creepy.  

Brief description:  In this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty-year-old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies.

Strangely, the excerpts from the bestselling cult novel were less interesting than I would have expected, but the story of 
Meg Ashley's digging into her mother's past and her attempts to discover how much truth was involved in her mother's "fictitious" account of a murder was suitably Gothic, convoluted, and weird.

Carpenter is no Stephen King, but I was glued to the pages.

NetGalley/Lake Union Publishing

Mystery/Suspense.  June 6, 2017.  Print length:  382 pages.


  1. The whole bluestocking angle in The Body in Ice intrigues me; I'd definitely read a historical mystery series centered around a few clever Bluestockings. :)

    1. :) I had to Google the origin of bluestockings because I didn't realize the term was so old! As a mystery lover, I immediately thought that real or fictional members of the group would make great detectives in a fascinating time period!

  2. I'm leaning more towards The Weight of Lies due to the suspense. Plus, it's about an atmospheric family drama. ;)

    1. :) I think we will be hearing more from Emily Carpenter.

  3. The Body in Ice sounds interesting, even if uneven. I really like the cover of The Weight of Lies and it sounds good too!

  4. You are on a roll with so many good mysteries/thrillers! I especially like the sound of The Weight of Lies.