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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (1)
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- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
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- Massachusetts (2)
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- New York (2)
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- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
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- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (1)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
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- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (8)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 50 books. 32% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 50 books. 86% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

22 / 100 books. 22% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

60 / 165 books. 36% done!
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Enjoyable Historical Mystery Series Off to a Promising Start

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Although the world's newspapers are buzzing about the sinking of the Lusitania and the shooting of J.P. Morgan's son, aspiring reporter Capability "Kitty" Weeks has not been assigned those stories.  Instead, the 19-year-old is stuck writing about society soirees and fashionable apparel for the New York Sentinel's Ladies' Page.  It's a start, but Kitty longs to be on the front lines, writing the stories that really matter. 

Kitty's shocked—but secretly thrilled—when a murder happens at a high society picnic she's attending.  The victim is Hunter Cole, a blue-blooded gambler married to a fortune-less outsider.  Intrigued, Kitty vows to find his killer.  Not only will justice be done, but she'll finally have a real story to prove her mettle as a reporter.  The more she digs, however, the more she begins to realize just how big and dangerous a conspiracy she's uncovering.  With her life on the line, Kitty must get to the bottom of the affair before her own murder becomes someone else's big story. 

A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal is the first book in a new mystery series starring the intrepid Kitty Weeks.  With an atmospheric New York setting and a colorful historical backdrop, the debut novel offers an effortless, entertaining read that is both compelling and enjoyable.  While the book isn't terribly original or memorable, it's a promising start.  I'll be back for more Kitty Weeks, for sure.

(Readalikes:  Vatsal's books have been compared to those by Rhys Bowen.)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

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

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of A Front Page Affair from the generous folks at Sourcebooks.  Thank you!

For Witch Trial Descendants, History Always Repeats Itself in Salem ...

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

With a surname like Mather, you're bound to get some attention in Salem, Massachusetts.  Even 300+ years after the Witch Trials.  Samantha, a 16-year-old descendant of Cotton and Increase Mather—key players in the Trials—isn't so keen on moving away from New York City in the first place.  When she almost immediately becomes the target of a group of mean girls nicknamed The Descendants, she's even less thrilled with her new hometown.  Can these kids, whose ancestors were convicted as witches with the help of Sam's forebears, really be holding a centuries-old grudge?  Apparently so.

As if that's not bad enough, there's a ghost haunting Sam's grandmother's home.  Elijah Roe is handsome (for a dead guy), but he's not exactly the chillest (pun intended) house guest.  The only bright spot in Sam's move is her next-door neighbor.  Unlike her classmates and resident apparition, Jaxon is kind and welcoming.  It doesn't hurt that he's good-looking enough to make Sam blush.  

Sam just wants to settle in and get on with life, but it soon becomes apparent that Salem has other ideas for her.  She, like everyone in town with a connection to the Trials, is at the center of an age-old curse.  To stop it, she'll have to enlist the help of her handsome haunt as well as The Descendants.  Only then, can Sam stop the ruinous cycle that ensures history always repeats itself in Salem.

Ever since I heard that a descendant of Cotton Mather was writing a YA novel about the Salem Witch Trials, I knew I had to read it.  How to Hang a Witch, Adriana Mather's literary debut, also boasts an intriguing, spine-tingling premise that seems to guarantee an exciting, engrossing read.  Imagine my disappoint then when I found the story to be just ho-hum.  While I liked its creepy, atmospheric setting, the novel's characters fell flat for me, never developing past cardboard teenage clichés.  The plot also struck me as choppy and clumsy, dragging in some parts, and making no sense at all in others.  These irritants combined with stilted dialogue, insta-lovey romance (x2), and some major melodrama soured me on How to Hang a Witch.  I wanted to adore this one, but it turned out to be pretty meh for me.  Since I can't resist books about the Titanic, I might give its sequel a go, but probably not.  Oh well.

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


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, and blood/gore

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of How to Hang a Witch from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.
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