The Maid

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 1/2 Molly Gray is a charming โ€œold soulโ€, someone we would likely recognize as on the autism spectrum were we to meet her, who lives her life by a closely-held moral code largely based on back-in-the-day wisdoms taught to her by her much-loved Gran. Abandoned as an infant and…

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The Ex-Husband

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ A twisty and suspenseful tale, this story weaves around two main characters. Charlotte (Lola) Wilson, our narrator on this dark and winding road, is a complicated woman. A lover of luxury (and in particular, fabulous jewels), orphaned as a teen and estranged from her sole remaining (and deceitful) sibling,…

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Finn and Fredโ€™s Arctic Adventure

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ (Agest 3 to 8) A delightful and poignant picture book, universally accessible in melodic and simple rhyme, packaging an environmental message so endearingly told that it will reach even the youngest child. Gorgeously illustrated with pictures so pure and vibrant they could be original cartoon celluloid, this book will…

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The Language of Food

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 1/2 โ€œWhy should a recipe book not be a thing of beauty?โ€ Perhaps not such an outrageous concept - but in the year 1835, in a town such as Tonbridge, Kent, where poverty, disease and the harshness of scratching out a living can overwhelm much of the populace, while…

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Hangmanโ€™s end

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ Book 5 in the DI Jack MacIntosh series, this was the first in this series that I had read, and I found it worked well as a stand-alone mystery. (A few blanks, though, would definitely have been filled in more fully with a reading of the entire series). When…

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Blood Games

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 1/2 The fourth in the DS Nikita Parekh series, this book can be read as a standalone novel (although, in the case of this reader, there is an evolving backstory with Nikkiโ€™s family that is begging for more background. I will have to find a way to catch up…

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Blind Manโ€™s Labyrinth

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ What is โ€œgoodnessโ€ when everyone around you is โ€œevilโ€? With a tone, a message, and a story, that feels remarkably authentic - heartbreaking, bloody, terrifying and poignant - set in an ancient and barbaric time of history, when war, conflict, hate, violence and religious tyranny reign supreme, is there…

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Below Torrential Hill

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ โž• If the Earth itself (wait, make that the โ€œUniverseโ€) could write, this would be its creation. Deeply wise, thereโ€™s a core of truth captured with such aching beauty that the images, ideas, and feelings so seamlessly poured into this work surround you, in the manner of something eternal…

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Mainely Power

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 1/2 Murder, mayhem, and all-around almost gleeful nastiness make this book a fun and crazy read, deeply reminiscent of the hi-jinks found in the best of Elmore Leonard. When Goff Langdon, mystery bookstore owner, hangs out his shingle as a PI in rural Brunswick Maine, little does he expect…

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That Certain Spark

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ Anyone who has been through a painful divorce, or a bad break-up, or really, faced any sort of momentous romantic rejection (and which of us hasnโ€™t?) will relate to the main protagonist of this book, Claire Everett, and the emotional quandary she faces, heart-wrenchingly detailed in these pages. A…

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