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Monday, October 01, 2018

Kerry Wilkinson, Viveca Sten, Sherry Thomas

Another standalone by Kerry Wilkinson:  The Wife's Secret.  

From Description: Charley Willis was thirteen years old when her parents were killed in their family home and she was found hiding in a cupboard upstairs. 

Fifteen years later, Charley is marrying Seth Chambers. It should be the happiest day of their lives, a chance for Charley to put her past behind her, but just hours after the ceremony, she is missing. 

No one saw her leave. No one knows where she is. 

One thing is for certain…Seth is about to discover he doesn’t really know the woman he just married. And his nightmare is only just beginning. 

Seth is stunned and disbelieving, and the story moves back and forth in time--Seth's story in the present and Charlie's story in the past.  To say that Charlie's family was dysfunctional is an understatement, but fortunately, Charlie's older sister Martha was a staunch support after the horrific event.

Although the truth did occur to me at times, I was never completely sure about what happened that night and there were other complications I didn't foresee.


Mystery/Suspense.  Oct. 10, 2018.  Print length:  338 pages.

The latest translation of Viveca Sten's Sandham novels, In Harm's Way takes place during the Christmas-New Year's season.  

The body of Jeannette Thiels is discovered on the Sandhamn beach, but did she freeze to death or was it murder?  

Jeannette, a journalist with a reputation for courage and relentless investigations of war crimes and corruption, certainly had plenty of enemies.

DI Thomas Andreasson interviews Jeannette's ex-husband, their daughter Alice, and others when the autopsy reveals poison.  I won't go into all of the suspects, but I had a difficult time deciding on the villain--suspecting one person after another. 

Nora Lindstrom, spending Christmas on Sandhamn with her two boys also finds herself in an ethical dilemma.  An attorney for a bank that has recently been taken over, Nora is happy that the new management has kept her on.  When she questions the direction of some practices, however, she finds herself in an ethical dilemma, and the person she counted on for support reveals a side she did not expect.  

Current events are in play for both Thomas and Nora:  an extreme right fringe movement, fear of immigration, and corporate corruption are tangled up in various ways.


NetGalley/Amazon Crossing

Mystery/Crime.  Oct. 16, 2018.  Print length:  416 pages.

I enjoyed the latest in the "Lady Sherlock" series, but would advise readers to begin with the first book.  

As a frequent reader of Sherlock Homes pastiche, I like the originality of the Charlotte Holmes character, who would probably be placed on the autistic/Asperger's spectrum:  brilliant, aloof, focused and persistent, able to recognize patterns, observant of details, etc.

The background of Charlotte Holmes described in the first two books includes her resistance to the expectations of women during the Victorian era.  Gender-flipping both Sherlock and Dr. Watson is part of the fun.  Charlotte's detecting must be done under a male cover and her associate, who takes on the Dr. Watson role, is also a strong woman with a background that doesn't meet society standards.

The Hollow of Fear takes place shortly after the conclusion of the previous novel.  Moriarity has been introduced and plays an off-camera role.  

Lord Ingram, Charlotte's close friend, has said that his wife is in Switzerland, but when Lady Ingram's body is  discovered in the ice house on his estate, the situation looks grim. Charlotte and Mrs. Watson must discover who wants Lord Ingram charged with murder...and why.

Inspector Treadles is placed in a difficult situation, Charlotte's appetite for sweets declines (a serious symptom of fear in Charlotte's case), the relationship between Lord Ingram and Charlotte changes, and the reason for framing Ingram is unexpected.  

Start with A Study in Scarlet Women  (my review of the first two novels) and have fun with this series!

NetGalley/Berkley Publishing

Historical Mystery.  Oct. 2, 2018.  Print version:  336 pages.


  1. I need to convince my library to buy some Viveca Sten novels. They sound so good. At least they have many copies of Thomas's Holmes series, which I can't wait to read. :)

  2. I've got the second Viveca Sten book downloaded. Hope to read it soon. And I'm very excited about the new Charlotte Holmes book. I've decided to listen to it on audio. I loved the first two books.

    1. Charlotte has some prickly problems in the latest installment. Hope you enjoy the Viveca Sten book, Kay!

  3. I wish I've borrowed A Study in Scarlet Women after reading your post; I'd decided to put it down after narrowing down the number of books to borrow (since I'd reached the limit). Maybe next time. In Harm's Way sounds good, too. :)

    1. The Lady Sherlock series cleverly incorporates much from the Canon, then bends the rules to imagine the great Detective under the constraints placed on women. Sometimes funny, but consistently absorbing. :)

  4. I think The Wife's Secret sounds great -- and I like that it kept you guessing so.

    1. It isn't my favorite of Wilkinson's standalones, but there are so many interesting levels. One intriguing theme is the need for public acclaim, deserved or not, faked or not. Charlie's family was a poisonous brew.

  5. I'm halfway through the first Vivica Sten Sandham book and really like the relationship that Thomas and Nora have but can see that there may be some bumps along the road for them? I need to try Wilkinsons books and of course the Sherry Thomas book. So many to try!

    1. I like the relationship between Nora and Thomas and love the island of Sandhamn. Hope you become a fan of the series. :)