Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review of "Watching Edie"

Watching Edie

by Camilla Way


Beautiful, creative, a little wild… Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. And she had dreams back then—but it didn’t take long for her to learn that things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.

Now, at thirty-three, Edie is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. And when she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there’s no one to turn to…

But someone’s been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once again what a perfect friend she can be. It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie’s doorstep, just when Edie needs her the most. So much has passed between them—so much envy, longing, and betrayal. And Edie’s about to learn a new lesson: those who have hurt us deeply—or who we have hurt—never let us go, not entirely…

My Review:  Friendship....forgiveness....humans....pride.....betrayal....selfishness.....envy.....worship...desire to please others.   Edie and Heather hit it off right away when they met.  Heather had never really had any friends.  She couldn't believe that Edie chose her, the beautiful, popular, self-absorbed Edie.  I recall my nephew saying that girls always look for another girl who is not as pretty as them, weighs more, and doesn't attract attention like them.  They choose a girl who will make them look better to others, especially to boys.  They are looking out for number one.   The chosen ones work hard to please this girl, this unexpected friend, but can they?  Can they ever really please this popular, beautiful "friend"?  
      All the way through the story, I wondered what had happened and who had participated in the big event at the quarry?  The story centers on this unforgettable event that took place at the quarry many years ago, while Heather and Edie were in high school.  It was confusing to me that the author chose to have the book constantly speaking in Edie's voice about the "after" and Heather's voice speaking about the "before".  I found myself having to look back to see who was "speaking" through out the book.  I think this may be a big turn off to this book, particularly for any readers who have difficulty in reading.   I found myself invested in the story and while I figured out a part of the reveal of the "event that happened at the quarry", I was surprised by much of the ending.  This will hold readers attention and many readers may not find it confusing to switch voice with every chapter. They may not care as much as I do about knowing important details of the mechanics of books.   
       I am rating this book 4 stars and recommend it to readers who enjoy psychological thrillers.
      I received a copy of this book from netgalley and HarperCollinsUK.  I was encouraged to write a review if I chose to do so.   

About the Author:
Camilla Way

Camilla Way was born in Greenwich, south-east London, and studied Modern English and French Literature at the University of Glamorgan. Her father was the poet and author Peter Way. Formerly Associate Editor of the teenage girls' magazine Bliss, she is currently an editor and writer on the men's style magazine Arena. Having lived in Cardiff, Bristol, Bath and Clerkenwell, she now lives in south-east London.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review for "What the Bishop Saw"

What the Bishop Saw 

(The Amish Bishop Mysteries #1)

by Vannetta Chapman


Somewhere in the Embers Lies the Truth

A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike.

When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.

Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?

What the Bishop Saw is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.

MY REVIEW:  Fires, blazes, mysteries, lost buildings, lost lives, lost livelihoods, and the main question and major concern:  Who is Doing It????   The small Amish community of San Luis Valley, Colorado, already struggles to maintain the farms and allow families to feel the move was a good one, and now fear may drive some of the families to leave.  Bishop Henry Lapp is anxious to calm the fears of the families he loves.  He is a good leader and the Amish under his leadership have great respect for him, but he is stumped and just wants the perpetrator caught and stopped.  The local police are involved and the Amish often choose to handle matters without allowing the police to interfere, but this time they have little choice if they want the guilty party apprehended.  
       Vannetta Chapman is one of my all-time favorite authors and this book is no disappointment for me.  I feel sure readers will be excited about her new Amish mystery.  Even those who do not typically read this genre will likely find themselves unable to stop reading til they reach the very last page.  Those who enjoy mysteries and thrillers will want to try to figure out who is causing havoc for Bishop Lapp and the Amish community.  Henry has much support and eager helpers, including the widow Emma, a dear friend of many years who shares meals and smiles with him. He is a widower and they are close in age and neither has looked for a new spouse even though the Amish encourage remarriage when a spouse dies.  Check out this exciting mystery and join the many readers who are joining me in recommending this book, the first in The Amish Bishop Mysteries Series
     Books are rated on a scale of 1-5 among reviewers with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent or I would rate this book a 10, but I am confined to give it an excellent rating of 5. Thank you, Vannetta Chapman, for giving me some delightful summer reading.   The lake is fun, but this book made it even more so.
       I received an ebook of this selection from netgalley and the publishers, Harvest House, and while I was encouraged to publish a review, it was not required.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of many novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, and Plain and Simple Miracle series. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She currently writes Christian suspense, Amish romance, and Amish mystery. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. For more information, visit her at www.VannettaChapman.com. 

For more information, visit her at http://vannettachapman.com

Monday, July 3, 2017

"Threads of Suspicion" Book Review

Threads of Suspicion Book Review

(Evie Blackwell Cold Case #2)

by Dee Henderson


Dee Henderson Pens Another Compelling Cold Case Mystery
Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results--and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

MY REVIEW:  I love shows like Cold Case, Criminal Minds, and CSI on television and this book is a wonderful one to fill my desire as it combines elements of each of these shows as Evie attempts to solve some unsolved missing person cases.  While she would love to find the missing person alive, it's been a long time and she knows that the best thing she can do for the families is to recover the body and give them resolution. Dee Henderson has truly given readers a sense of the hard work, determination, and compassion of investigators. Add a bit of romance to the mix and you have a great read.   Romantic decisions must be made:  one isn't sure she is ready to commit to love and marriage while one is eager to marry but his partner is not a Christian and he refuses to be unequally yoked.  
         The faith of the characters is woven naturally into the lives and conversations so that it is not contrived as is often the case in many works of Christian fiction.   There were too many details and characters at times for me to follow the story, but this may be due to the fact that I did not read book one in the series.  
         I rate this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to readers and I do recommend reading book one before tackling this one.   
        I received a complementary e-version of this book from netgalley and the publishers.  I was encouraged but not required to write a review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

About the Author:
Dee Henderson

Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online.