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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
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- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
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- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
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- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Entry Island Another Absorbing Mystery By Scottish Mystery Master

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When a suspicious death occurs on a remote island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Sime Mackenize finds himself on a bumpy flight to the Magdalen Islands.  A homicide detective for Montreal's Sûreté de Police, Sime is part of an 8-person investigation team (which includes his ex-wife) taxed with figuring out how wealthy lobsterman James Cowell died.  The answer seems pretty obvious.  Not only was Kirsty Cowell discovered with her husband's blood all over her, but her tale of an armed intruder killing James reeks of falsity.  A homicide has never occurred before on tiny Entry Island—what motivated this one?  If Kirsty Cowell murdered her husband, why did she do it?

No one on the investigative team believes Kirsty Cowell's story.  Even Sime finds it far-fetched.  So why does he want so badly for Kirsty to be innocent?  Still mourning the dissolution of his marriage, Sime is also plagued by insomnia.  Does this explain the visions he's suddenly having of himself and Kirsty living a life together in another time and place?  Or is Sime simply going mad?  

Desperate to clear the widow's name, Sime vows to get to the bottom of Entry Island's first homicide.  What he finds are big secrets on a little island.  As he struggles to solve the crime, decipher his visions, and fight his obsession with a woman he barely knows, Sime must convince his team to look closer at a puzzling, more-than-meets-the-eye mystery.  His subjectivity could cost him his job, but he has to find the truth.  Kirsty Cowell did not kill her husband.  Or did she?

I discovered Scottish mystery writer Peter May this year and have been reading through his books as fast as I can.  Like his other novels, Entry Island features a stark and desolate place populated by complex, intriguing characters.  Sime reminds me a little too much of Fin Macleod (the hero of May's Lewis Trilogy); I would have liked him to have a more distinct personality.  That's a minor complaint, though, since I found the rest of the novel so absorbing.  The back-and-forth in time gave it an extra layer of intrigue, which serves to make the plot even more compelling.  As with May's other novels, I whipped through Entry Island and enjoyed it very much.  Bottom line: I'm a fan.  If May writes it, there's an excellent chance I'll read it.  

(Readalikes: Reminds me of other books by Peter May, including his Lewis Trilogy [The Blackhouse; The Lewis Man; The Chessmen] and Coffin Road)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, blood/gore, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

Death Row Drama Inspiring But Forgettable

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Accused of killing her infant son seventeen years ago, 49-year-old Grace Bradshaw has been sentenced to die.  Out of appeals, she knows nothing can stop her looming execution.  Resigned to her fate, Grace desires only one thing—that her daughter know the truth about what happened to her baby brother.  If only Grace can convince Sophie that she's not the monster everyone's made her out to be, Grace can die in peace.

Sophie Logan can't tell anyone about her past.  No one can know she's the daughter of Grace Bradshaw, baby killer.  Not her surgeon husband, not her wealthy friends, not the people on the staff of the hospital where she volunteers.  No one.  If the truth got out, Sophie's carefully constructed life would surely shatter.  She wants nothing to do with her mother, whom she hasn't visited in eleven years.  But when Grace's attorney reaches out, insisting Grace is innocent, Sophie can't help but listen.  Is it possible the lawyer's right?  

As Grace's execution date comes ever closer, Sophie launches a desperate search for answers.  Will she find enough evidence to save her mother?  Or will Grace die without anyone knowing the truth about what really happened to baby William?  

With Love From the Inside, a debut novel by therapist and life coach Angela Pisel, is a gentle story about forgiveness, redemption, and finding peace through love and God's grace.  The characters are pretty run-of-the-mill; they're sympathetic but not unique or dynamic enough to be memorable.  Likewise, the plot hobbles along, suspenseful only at the very end.  So, while I found the novel inspiring, I also found it forgettable.  Overall, With Love From the Inside was just okay for me. 

(Readalikes: Um, I can't really think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:  


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of With Love From the Inside from the generous folks at Putnam, an imprint of Penguin Random House.  Thank you!
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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