Review: Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit by @Amy_Stewart @HMHCo ‏

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After a year on the job, New Jersey’s first female deputy sheriff has collared criminals, demanded justice for wronged women, and gained notoriety nationwide for her exploits. But on one stormy night, everything falls apart. While transporting a woman to an insane asylum, Deputy Kopp discovers something deeply troubling about her story. Before she can investigate, another inmate bound for the asylum breaks free and tries to escape. In both cases, Constance runs instinctively toward justice. But the fall of 1916 is a high-stakes election year, and any move she makes could jeopardize Sheriff Heath’s future–and her own…

My review:

I’ve been reading this series for a while now and I seriously recommend it to everyone. They’re not really mystery novels, but they narrate the life and adventures of the Kopp Sisters, especially Constance, who is one of the US first deputy sheriffs (based on a real-life character). And it’s definitely a great piece of historical fiction!

Like the other books in the series, Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit moves at a fast pace during its 300 pages and never gets boring thanks to the witty dialogue and its great characters. I loved the way Amy Stewart describes Constance relationship with the female inmates and I really enjoyed learning more about their background.

In Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit, Constance is trying to help a woman who’s been committed to an asylum. But something doesn’t feel right and Deputy Kopp knows that the woman isn’t crazy at all… so why is the husband trying to get rid of her? This is not the first book that I’ve read about a similar topic (The Ballroom), and it never ceases to shock me how women were so easily sent to asylums only a hundred years ago. I still can’t believe this would happen.

Besides that plot, there was also a political storyline that showed how some men treated Constance just because she was a female deputy sheriff. But what does the ending mean? I honestly don’t know how they’re going to continue the series after that. It’s definitely a game changer…

One thing I know for sure is that I always read the books in this series super quickly, and they never take me more than a couple days to finish. In the end, The Kopp Sisters series is an enjoyable, feminist, and fun series that I hope to continue reading for many more years.

Thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Review: The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton @panmacmillan

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In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins. Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river. Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

My review:

“My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows…”

I’ve been a big fan of Kate Morton ever since I read The House at Riverton back in 2008. It was the beginning of a love affair that has lasted over a decade and, after reading The Clockmaker’s Daughter, I can firmly say that the relationship is still going strong. My favorite book of hers will always be The Secret Keeper because of that wonderful twist I will never be able to forget, but I’ve loved all her novels and I truly believe they all have something special. Her last one was my least favorite, perhaps because I thought the ending felt too coincidental, but it was a good story nevertheless.

I had read mixed reviews of The Clockmaker’s Daughter, and I can definitely see why people didn’t love this one as much as her other books, but this is one of those times when I have to disagree with them. Even though I’m perfectly aware that this novel was a bit slow at times, I was instantly captivated, the way I’m always are when I start reading a Kate Morton’s book. And I never lost interest, in fact, I found myself increasingly more intrigued as pages flew by.

The main difference between The Clockmaker’s Daughter and most of her other books is that this novel spans many decades but it doesn’t only focus on two timelines, but instead, it narrates several moments in history. This is the tale of Birchwood Manor and its guests during more than a hundred and fifty years. We, as readers, are witnesses of the effect the house has on every inhabitant, but the main mystery revolves around Edward Radcliffe and his muse, the clockmaker’s daughter. But who exactly is Lily Millington? And what happened on that fateful summer of 1862?

The story is narrated by various points of view, but the title character was my favorite because of her unlikely situation. She takes her time telling us her story, and she also “interacts” with the two present-time characters, Elodie and Jack. Elodie has come across an old photograph of a mysterious woman and the sketch of a beautiful house she finds incredibly familiar, so she decides to investigate why her mother once told her a bedtime story set in that very same house…

Like all Kate Morton’s books, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is full of tragedy, fate encounters, and surprising revelations. This is a complex and multi-layered story that requires you to pay attention to every small detail; otherwise, you might get lost in the way. The author’s prose is delicate and beautiful as usual, and if you happen to love her evocative writing, I truly believe you will enjoy this magical puzzle as much as I did.

Thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Blog Tour: Gallows Court by Martin Edwards @medwardsbooks @HoZ_Books

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1930, London. An enigmatic heiress, a family secret and the thirst for justice. A headless corpse; an apparent suicide in a locked room; a man burned alive during an illusionist’s show in front of thousands of people. Scotland Yard is baffled by the sequence of ghastly murders unfolding across the city and at the centre of it all is mysterious heiress Rachel Savernake. Daughter of a grand judge, Rachel is as glamorous as she is elusive.

Jacob Flint, a tenacious young journalist eager to cover the gruesome crimes, is drawn into Rachel’s glittering world of wealth and power. But as the body count continues to rise, Jacob is convinced Rachel is harbouring a dark secret and he soon becomes part of a dangerous game that could leave him dancing at the end of the hangman’s rope if he pursues the truth.

My review:

Gallows Court is a mystery novel that reminds us of classic detective stories. Only this one is much more twisty and full of despicable characters. What I loved more about this book at first is that it gets interesting as soon as it starts. You’re the witness of a conversation you don’t really know what’s about and you read about a crime that’s not your traditional one. And then there’s Rachel, of course. The woman at the centre of it all, as the blurb appropriately says.

Jacob Flint is the hero of this book, our dear main character and the victim of a conspiracy that seems too big to understand at first. He’s likable, he’s fun to be around and he’s tenacious, he will never stop trying to find out what’s really going on. When he becomes obsessed with Rachel, we know he’s determined to uncover her secret, even if it seems impossible at first.

I found Rachel’s character to be completely fascinating. It’s one of those situations where you don’t really know if a person’s pure evil or there are actually good reasons behind their actions. But you can’t wait to find out. But Rachel’s not the only female character I loved here. I really appreciate how Martin Edwards has created such multi-layered female characters in Elaine and Sara as well. Even if it’s the 1930’s, women also have things to say. This is one of the details that made me appreciate the book even more.

Although I did guess part of the mystery, the story was incredibly twisty and full of surprises. If you enjoy traditional mysteries with compelling characters and a dose of psychological suspense, then Gallows Court is perfect for you!

Martin Edwards

Martin Edwards is internationally recognised as an expert on crime fiction and has won the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating, and Dagger Macavity awards as well as being shortlisted for the Theakston’s prize and the CWA John Creasey Dagger. He is President of the Detection Club, Chair of the CWA and consultant to the British Library’s bestselling classic crime series.

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A personal post…

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So first of all, I wanted to share this image because I found it hilarious and fitting. I think all book bloggers will love it 💘 I don’t know where it’s from so I can’t give credit, though.

So, a few things:

I don’t know if you have noticed it, but for the past couple months, I haven’t been as active as I would’ve wanted here. This means sharing posts, commenting, answering comments, writing reviews, and even reading. Maybe it was the summer, or maybe it wasn’t… because lately, I can’t seem to spend more than an afternoon per week at home. I’m always out. And that’s good, I guess, and I’m happy, but the blog (and my writing) have been definitely affected. And I don’t really know what to do.

So I wanted to ask you to be patient with me while I slowly try to get my blogging mojo back. Please don’t think I’ve abandoned you all, and if I have interacted less, it’s not because I’m not interested in your posts. Basically: it’s me, not you.

At the same time, I feel like I need some changes here. Maybe a complete redesign would work (have you checked my friend Renee’s amazing redesign?), but I’m not sure. So I’m open to recommendations about anything. If you know a great WordPress theme website, if you feel like I should write more reviews about x, or fewer reviews about y, if you’d want me to write different type of posts… I’m all ears.

I will be thinking about this for the next few weeks and I will try to decide what I want this blog to become. During 2016 and the first half of 2017, The Misstery was my haven, my happy place, and maybe because of that passion, my views kept growing. Now it’s not like that anymore.

Thank you for following and thank you for reading this post 💙 Love you all.

Review: The Fifth To Die #4MK by @jdbarker @HMHCo

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Release: 2018
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.

Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

Last year, I read The Fourth Monkey and while I enjoyed it, I felt it ended up being a little predictable. Still, I wanted to keep reading this series because of the mystery and the serial killer theme, which I love, so when the publisher sent me this copy, I quickly began to read it and I was definitely curious.

Soon enough, I realized I was enjoying Fifth To Die way more than its predecessor. I still can’t explain why exactly, maybe it was my mood, or maybe because I didn’t feel like I knew what was going to happen, but I found this sequel to be an amazing mystery novel and I couldn’t stop thinking about the story and its characters.

There are two cases here: 4MK and the salt water deaths, but you quickly realize the two cases are related. How? I had no idea.  But I sure wanted to find out. And what about the parents and the obituaries? My mind was going crazy! Some of the aspects I loved the most about this book were the short chapters and the fast pace. This basically meant there wasn’t a moment of boredom and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. It doesn’t matter if the book is long: you will devour it!

I also enjoyed the way the story was told, how Porter followed a clue while his team continued to investigate the other case. I was equally invested in both storylines. Besides, I really like Porter, Nash, and Clare and I love the way they interact as a team. Some additions were a nice touch as well. I did guess a couple of things but nothing could prepare me for that explosive ending. I can’t get over it!

The Fith To Die ended with a major cliffhanger and I seriously can’t believe the author could leave us like this. TFTD was definitely one of my favorite reads this summer and I’m counting the days until the third installment is released. Don’t miss it!

Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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