‘Nine Liars’ by Maureen Johnson is another engrossing Stevie Bell mystery

On the cover of Maureen Johnson's latest Stevie Bell mystery, "Nine Liars," are the words: When everyone lies, somebody dies. This little epigram becomes important in the story, and I am embarrassed to admit that I neglected to read those important words before finishing this twisty and cleverly crafted novel. Here Stevie is called upon … Continue reading ‘Nine Liars’ by Maureen Johnson is another engrossing Stevie Bell mystery

‘Defy the Night’ and ‘Defend the Dawn’ are the first two books in Brigid Kemmerer’s fabulous new series

I admit that sometimes, I am spectacularly uninformed about the books I read. Take Brigid Kemmerer's new series which begins with "Defy the Night" and its sequel, "Defend the Dawn." I was sure that this was a duology, and I was thrilled that I would get to read both books in a row. I was … Continue reading ‘Defy the Night’ and ‘Defend the Dawn’ are the first two books in Brigid Kemmerer’s fabulous new series

‘Flight Risk’ by Cherie Priest is her second murder mystery featuring a psychic travel agent

A quirky travel agent who also has psychic talents is the star of "Flight Risk," the stand alone sequel to "Grave Reservations" by Cherie Priest. These fast-paced and clever mysteries feature Leda Foley, the aforementioned travel agent whose paranormal abilities are sometimes an asset and sometimes a frustration. In this novel she continues working with … Continue reading ‘Flight Risk’ by Cherie Priest is her second murder mystery featuring a psychic travel agent

‘The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights’ by Kitty Zeldis is about the bonds we form and finding family

In "The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights" Kitty Zeldis sweeps us back to experience a time after the Great War, when women not born with a silver spoon in their mouths were limited in their options. This lovely historical fiction presents us with strong female main characters who all also have flaws that make them very … Continue reading ‘The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights’ by Kitty Zeldis is about the bonds we form and finding family

‘The Winners’ by Fredrik Backman is a heartfelt conclusion to the ‘Beartown’ trilogy

The first thing you notice about "The Winners," Fredrik Backman's conclusion to the "Beartown" trilogy, is that it's huge—over 650 pages. But that's because Backman has a lot to tell us, and we are immediately immersed in the small towns of Beartown and Hed, it's neighboring town, watching as hockey brings the townspeople together and … Continue reading ‘The Winners’ by Fredrik Backman is a heartfelt conclusion to the ‘Beartown’ trilogy

‘Never Meant to Meet You’ by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans is a charming story of friendship, loss and love

In "Never Meant to Meet You," authors Alli Frank and Asha Youmans tell the story of two women, both of whom are single and both of whom most definitely did not want to be alone. Marjette Lewis relates the tale in first person narrative, so all we learn about her and her neighbor, Noa Abrams, … Continue reading ‘Never Meant to Meet You’ by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans is a charming story of friendship, loss and love

‘So Long, Chester Wheeler’ by Catherine Ryan Hyde is an exploration of what lies underneath our outward personas

We all know that how we present to the outside world is not how we necessarily feel about ourselves inside; in "So Long, Chester Wheeler," veteran author Catherine Ryan Hyde explores just that concept. Lewis Madigan is a young software developer who, instead of receiving the generous raise he had been told to expect, receives … Continue reading ‘So Long, Chester Wheeler’ by Catherine Ryan Hyde is an exploration of what lies underneath our outward personas

‘Before You Knew My Name’ by Jacqueline Bublitz is a reflective story of breaking free

"Before You Knew My Name" is an unusual novel, not quite a murder mystery and certainly not a love story. Alice and Ruby, the two protagonists, are women who arrive in New York City on the same date. Alice arrives by bus from Wisconsin with a stolen camera and money she took from her former … Continue reading ‘Before You Knew My Name’ by Jacqueline Bublitz is a reflective story of breaking free

‘A World of Curiosities’ by Louise Penny is a brilliant and gripping mystery with many twists

Louise Penny's latest entry in her Chief Inspector Gamache series is brilliant and addictive. While it begins slowly as Penny is creating the backstory, that narrative becomes all-important later in the novel when the action and the connections are so fast and furious that it's almost impossible to put the book down. We feel compelled … Continue reading ‘A World of Curiosities’ by Louise Penny is a brilliant and gripping mystery with many twists

Two must-read middle grade novels are ‘Attack of the Black Rectangles’ and ‘Island of Spies’

Two books published in 2022 that on the surface seem quite different, but share an important theme, are "Attack of the Black Rectangles" by Amy Sarig King and "Island of Spies" by Sheila Turnage. Both are about children who are determined to deal with problems that they are told are best left to adults. One … Continue reading Two must-read middle grade novels are ‘Attack of the Black Rectangles’ and ‘Island of Spies’

‘Big Chicas Don’t Cry’ by Annette Chavez Macias is about family, forgiveness and following your path

"Big Chicas Don't Cry" by Annette Chavez Macias is a sweet tale about four cousins who were once as close as sisters, but through life experiences, romantic relationships (or lack thereof), and professional pursuits have lost a bit of that closeness. One of them, Marisol, is not speaking to her cousins. Erica was just dumped … Continue reading ‘Big Chicas Don’t Cry’ by Annette Chavez Macias is about family, forgiveness and following your path