"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Sunday, December 31, 2023

December Books

Happy last day of the year! Hope next year is a good one for you! 



In the Blood by Lisa Unger -- Lana comes from a troubled family to put it mildly. Her dad is on death row after being convicted of murdering his wife. Lana has spells where she can't remember what happened. As her college studies wind down she takes a job helping a single mother care for her eleven year old son who has ... issues. He's part of a school that specializes in helping troubled children. Pretty good story.

From a Far and Lovely Country by Alexander McCall Smith -- another adventure featuring Precious Ramotswe and the loveable cast of characters that make this series worth reading - even if the plots are rather bland compared to other books. I enjoy these trips to Botswana through these characters!

The End of Her by Shari Lapena -- Stephanie and Patrick are exhausted parents of twin girls with colic. One day a beautiful woman from Patrick's past comes into his workplace under the pretense of applying for a job. Patrick is stunned at the request and claim Erica has, and Erica seeks to tell Stephanie about her husband's past. Is Patrick telling Stephanie the truth? Should she be wary of him?

A Killer in the Family by Gytha Lodge -- I feel like this is part of a series that I walked into, but it was stand-alone enough to be pretty interesting. It takes place in England with a lot of Irish names thrown in. News of the Bonfire Killer spreads and unfortunately the DNA matches someone in Aisling's family. Her dad left the family when she was a child - could he be the killer setting women (and a mare) on fire?

Nineteen Steps by Millie Bobby Brown -- Nellie lives with her close knit family in the East End of London where they use their tube station at Bethnal Green as a shelter when the Nazis bomb their area. The mayor wants to improve the entrance to the station because someone reported how dangerous it could be based on the steep stairs, very low lighting, and other things.

A Twisted Love Story by Samantha Downing -- Ivy and Wes have the weirdest on-and-off relationship, but they seem to thrive in it. Things are ok until Detective Karen decides to look into both of their pasts. OK book.

American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton -- an interesting story about Alice Roosevelt, the oldest child of President Theodore Roosevelt

She Lies In Wait by Gytha Lodge -- I had walked into the midst of a series (see book above by same author) so I decided to start with book one in order to properly "meet" these English detectives, Jonah, Juliette, Ben, and the gang. When bones are found at a campground Jonah remembers three decades ago when Aurora, a fourteen year old, went missing. Soon the team is trying to solve the mystery of her disappearance that night. 

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena -- Olivia is worried about her son who has been a good kid up until he confesses to breaking into houses to look at people's computers. Meanwhile something more troubling happens in the neighborhood when a missing lady is found in a car that was driven into a lake. Fast-paced mystery!

The Night Before by Wendy Walker -- Laura has had a tough time meeting the right guy, and when she finds a promising match on a dating app, her sister is excited for her - but wary, too. When Laura doesn't return from her date, Rosie and her husband Joe and their best friend Greg help retrace Laura's steps.

I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died by Amanda Flower -- This is "an Emily Dickinson mystery" featuring Emily and her family, friends, and peers, but told from the perspective of Willa, the family's maid and a sort of companion to Emily.  Pretty good.

The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner -- Tash's son has struggled fitting into playgroup so Tash is happy when Laura and the gang of "perfect" moms invites her to join them. Meanwhile Tash is also investigating the death of a nanny who had ties to the playgroup her son attends. Pretty good. 

Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison -- After her parents are killed, Ash moves from Oxford, England, to attend a private all-girls school in Virginia where bad things still happen to those close to her. Is she part of the problem or does she just have really bad luck?

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena  --  Anne and Marco are at a birthday dinner next door when their daughter disappears. What happened to baby Cora between the time Marco checked on her and they came home for the evening?

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner -- Helen is attending her prenatal class alone - husband out of town again - when she meets Rachel, a vivacious young lady who drinks and smokes and laughs just a little too loudly. Rachel keeps popping up everywhere so she and Helen hang out. Things are ok, but not great. Then Rachel vanishes.  Pretty good.

The Professor by Lauren Nossett -- Now that she's lost her job as a detective, Marlitt has all the time in the world to help her mother's friend, a professor who is being investigated because her student died under suspicious circumstances. Meanwhile we learn some of the background of the professor, a German-Turkish lady who is teaching German at the University of Georgia.

Watching From the Dark by Gytha Lodge -- Another in the series I started earlier this month. When Aidan is waiting for his Skype call with Zoe, he believes he witnesses her murder.  Though he can't see anything, he hears things. Yet he's reluctant to call the police due to things he wants to keep secret.  A lovely book to read on Christmas Eve, right? 

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena -- Guests are looking forward to a wonderful stay at a quaint hotel, but when a storm turns into an icy mess leaving them without power, they are dismayed. Especially when someone winds up dead - a murder? Maybe!  Another good one to read at Christmas!

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent -- When Sally's father dies and she quite literally follows his instructions about taking him out to the trash, the town realizes "weird" Sally Diamond is as strange as they thought. This book explores Sally's bluntness, her inability to fit into "normal" life,  her past, and the story of Peter and his father, a dentist in Ireland, who fled with his son to New Zealand when a burglar made quite a discovery. Interesting story and characters!