A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain
This is such a fun series because the main character takes everything in stride refusing to act the part of a lady and instead doing the unthinkable - using her brain to solve a murder! Kendra is once again using her FBI skills to help get her boyfriend Alec off for the nasty murder of his ex-mistress who happened to be with child - aghast! Using all of the Duke's connections and help from her female friends in the Ton she will place herself in great danger and have to fight crime wearing uncomfortable shoes and too many petticoats. My only thought was in wondering how long it will be before Kendra finally bends to society's rules and marries Alec. For those who did not read the first book, there are enough hints for the reader to figure out that Kendra was a former FBI agent who traveled back to Regency England and for reasons unknown, can't return to the present.
Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor
A sweeping historical look at the Great Fire that burned most of London in the 1600's. The city was on fire and so was the politics. A young man runs into a burning St. Paul's and as another tries to save him only to find out he is a she and his cloak is lost. Marwood is looking into a series of murders and searching for a young woman, Catherine Lovett who the king is hoping will lead them to her traitor father. Cat is searching for her father as well while trying to stay just ahead of rapists, family members who wish her harm and will take her inheritance away from her. She dreams of working with Christopher Wren and other architects who have been given the task of pulling a new London out of the ashes. Cat-and-mouse political intrigue where one's loyalty to family means disloyalty to the crown and can have fatal results. Fans of Hilary Mantel will enjoy this well-researched mystery.
Many of the WWII books that have been published recently deal with the common victims - the Jews who were run off their property imprisoned or worse, the brave resistance fighters who fought next to
the dashing Americans and the stoic British forces. This novel is about another kind of victim, that of three German women whose lives changed when their husbands were executed for treason for their part in the attempted assassination of Hitler. After the war, they banded together in the crumbling estate of one of the women to raise their children and keep each other upright. Rich in character development, the book is narrated by each of the women and we get a clear sense of their loss, inner strength and the love they have for each other. It is a guidebook on the human side of war where the
lines are blurred between hero and victim.
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
Helen, Yoshi and Sergei have been trained and working their whole lives for this trip - to be the first group of humans to go to Mars. Prime, the company that is handling the mission, agrees that they are the exact perfect team to go but first they must face one last test - to exist in a simulation that will last the year and a half it will take to complete the mission. This simulation is actually in the desert but these three astronauts must rely on themselves and their wits to get by in what could be certain death or the most incredible experience any human has undertaken. We see them work through problems dealing with sleep deprivation, boredom and missing their loved ones. Each chapter alternates between the three astronauts and their family members and gives us an understanding not of what it is like to be in space but what astronauts and their family must deal with before the mission even starts. Each crew member has things they must personally overcome and it is funny to hear them spouting Prime propaganda before too long. It is a character study of what makes a great astronaut and team member, the finding out if you have the right stuff to make it in space.
A couple who are writers accept an unusual invitation to be caretakers to their old college professor's estate. It turns out that some may have an ulterior motive for having them there and soon they are both writing and reigniting their old relationship with the professor. Clare begins writing a story about one of the estate's ancestors and his affair with a local girl who is said to haunt the estate . Soon Clare begins feeling the pull of the house and as her marriage begins to fall apart the dreams of a happy life on the estate may be threatened and the price to live there may be too steep. A bit of a ghost story and a bit of a modern day mystery with small town secrets this novel builds the tension well until the ending you don't see coming.
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Fantasy / Sci-Fi
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