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Velma gone awry

🌟🌟🌟🌟 A new series from the author of the much-loved Clay Wolfe series, this is a very different kind of tale. Set in 1920’s prohibition-infused Brooklyn, the tone is darker, and disquieting, with themes that are both troubling and intense. The story is also historically rich, jam-packed with real-life characters…

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I’m glad my mom died

🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2 An engaging memoir (often horrifying), dealing with the crazy, funny, and deeply tragic world of a Nickelodeon TV child actor, Jennette McCurdy, and the hidden depths of the appalling family life that defines her existence. Hard to put down, it’s even harder to imagine some of the things the…

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Again and again and again

πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸβž• A slim volume packed with luminous insight, cleverly recursive in its themes of time, love and death, and surrounding it all - a haunting ode to awareness, and the infinitely contradictory path a lifetime of self-reflection, (peppered with the unconscious memories and associations of decades spent learning) opens us…

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Silent Cry

πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸ’« An interesting character-based crime story - more a meandering, engaging, mystery-rich novel rather than a more typical police procedural, this book also serves to introduce DC Gabrielle Darin in the first of a series featuring Gaby and her Wales-based detective team. The story of Izzy, a twenty-something, pretty but…

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Cosmic Trap

πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸ’« Q: What do you get when you combine the camaraderie of the gang in the Oceans Eleven series, the plotting and intrigue of a newish James Bond movie, the hard-boiled romance of an old time Humphrey Bogart flick, and the epic-action-adventure-mayhem of a Marvel comic-book? A: this latest installment…

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The Queen of all Poisons

πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸ’« Quite likely the most uniquely-textured female heroine one is likely to meet between the pages, Dr Lily Robinson is a rare treat. A brilliant and beautiful pathologist and toxicologist, Dr Lily is one smart cookie - albeit one who is also deeply morally conflicted and suffering from a buried…

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Cerebral Palsy – A Story

🌟🌟🌟🌟 This book is a somewhat unexpected departure from a more β€œtraditional” memoir, as the author, Ilana Estelle - a lifelong sufferer of what was eventually (in her late forties) diagnosed as Cerebral Palsy complicated by Autism (two conditions which often co-exist), takes the reader on a thoughtful journey consisting…

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The Mother I Never Had

πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸ’« How would you handle it - in the blink of an eye, your entire world turned upside down? Not once, in fact, but actually, twice - first, the overwhelming (and somewhat expected) devastation driven by grief-stricken loss, followed by a revelation, hidden and spectacularly unsuspected for decades, life-altering in…

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On Account of Darkness

πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸ’« β€œSports and war are two of the world’s greatest equalizers”. A Canadian author/teacher’s exhaustively and beautifully-researched treatise into the history of sport, focusing on the systemic racially-abusive treatment of black, indigenous and other marginalized communities (including Japanese-Canadians) from the earliest days of organized amateur and professional leagues, to what…

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The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 As much a sweet and immersive love-story as it is a cracking-good small(ish)-town detective story, this book got under my skin and into my heart in a way that was totally unexpected. Ben Ames, our first-person POV narrator, is an ex-cop, now running a one-man PI agency in Calgary,…

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