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The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders

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The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders
Narrator: Anna Bentinck
Series: Laetitia Rodd Mysteries #1
Published by Dreamscape Media on October 25, 2016
Source: Library
Genres: Historical Mystery
Length: 10 hrs 35 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged fifty-two, is the widow of an archdeacon. Living in Hampstead with her confidante and landlady, Mrs. Benson, who once let rooms to John Keats, Laetitia makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator.

Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister living in the neighboring village of Highgate with his wife and ten children. Frederick finds the cases, and Laetitia solves them using her arch intelligence, her iron discretion, and her immaculate cover as an unsuspecting widow. When Frederick brings to her attention a case involving the son of the well-respected, highly connected Sir James Calderstone, Laetitia sets off for Lincolnshire to take up a position as the family’s new governess—quickly making herself indispensable.

But the seemingly simple case—looking into young Charles Calderstone’s “inappropriate” love interest—soon takes a rather unpleasant turn. And as the family’s secrets begin to unfold, Laetitia discovers the Calderstones have more to hide than most.

The Secrets of Wishtide is fine. I really just don’t have much to say about it. Letty is a competent investigator, but I wanted her to have more of a personality I guess. She’s a little bland, which does allow her to fit in unobtrusively, but I wished she had more of a spark to her. Ido have some hope for her and Inspector Blackbeard though.

I liked the Victorian Britain setting, both London and the countryside. We see the seedy side of the city and the drawing rooms of the rich. We see inside of Newgate and the country manor. I do think it did a good job of portraying how women were treated and the (lack of) options in that era.

As far as the mystery goes, what started as a short trip to look into an unacceptable love interest turns more complicate and dead bodies start to pile up. The story got a little complicated and I’m never much of a fan of the “oh look, he wasn’t really dead after all” plot line. And it’s funny that just about all of Letty’s hunches pay off. It was well-plotted though, with enough clues and witnesses. There’s no grand revelation, but there is a good scene where the bad guy is cornered.

I guess The Secrets of Wishtide draws a lot of it’s inspiration from Dickens’ David Copperfield, but since I’ve never read it I totally missed that part.

Will I read the next in the series? Maybe, if my library gets it on audio and I don’t have anything else lined up.

About Kate Saunders

Kate Saunders is an author and journalist. She has worked for The Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Express, Daily Telegraph and Cosmopolitan amongst others, and has contributed to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Start the Week. She has written numerous books for adults and children, including the bestselling Night Shall Overtake Us, and her follow on to E Nesbit’s Five Children and It stories, Five Children on the Western Front, which won the Costa Children’s Book Award in 2014. She lives in London.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

A Fine Year for Murder by Lauren Carr

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A Fine Year for Murder by Lauren Carr A Fine Year for Murder by Lauren Carr
Narrator: C.J. McAllister
Series: Thorny Rose Mysteries #2
Published by Acorn Book Services on February 6, 2017
Source: iRead Book Tours
Genres: Mystery
Length: 10 hrs 17 mins
Format: Audiobook
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After ten months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in the darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family while visiting family at the winery near-by, and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

A Fine Year for Murder is the second in the Thorny Rose Mysteries. From the first, we know that Jessica has nightmares, and this time around we learn why. Once again, the coincidence that bring everyone into the investigation seems a little forced. Jessica and Murphy attend a family dinner where investigative journalist Dallas Walker is describing a cold case she is investigating that is known as the Pine Bridge Massacre – a brutal killing of a family. Jessica realizes that she witnessed the death of the young girl but has been suppressing the details causing her violent nightmares. What are the chances, really, first that Jessica was a witness to the massacre, and that a family member’s girlfriend happens to be investigating it? But let’s just ignore that and get on with the rest of the book.

I thought the mystery was well done. I liked how Carr blended the “real” clues with Jessica’s memory. The family at the winery, Jessica’s adoptive family as she’s quick to point out, is beyond dysfunctional. Actually, there are a few very nice people, but the other side is just nuts – dangerous, sneaky, immoral. Beyond the original crime that Jessica remembers, we’ve got kidnapping, embezzlement, and more murders. It’s a pretty convoluted mystery, in a good way.The twists keep coming.

I listened to the audio and the narrator did a good job with all the characters. His tone keeps the tension going. He also manages to make a computer amusing.

I did make a note as I was listening. “Fade to black sex scenes that felt out-of-place.” There were too many “my life was just in danger, but I survived, now take me” moments for my taste. And yes I know Dallas, Jessica, and Murphy are gorgeous, I don’t need told again. Actually I think that’s my problem with the book in general. We are told things we don’t need to be told, little details that would be understood, and other pieces of info are repeated over and over. Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed in print, as I tend to scan occasionally, but on audio it was very noticeable.

Overall, it’s a good book, just not one I loved.

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About Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Kill and Run by Lauren Carr

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Kill and Run by Lauren Carr Kill and Run by Lauren Carr
Narrator: C.J. McAllister
Series: Thorny Rose Mysteries #1
Published by Acorn Book Services on October 14, 2016
Source: iRead Book Tours
Genres: Mystery
Length: 11 hrs 1 min
Format: Audiobook
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Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.

Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.

Before long, the case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.

In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Lieutenant Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?

The mystery in Kill and Run was good. Carr lets you think you know who the bad guy is, right up until you’re wrong. Everything tied together, although some of the coincidences were a little tough to swallow. I don’t know why I thought this was going to be a cozy mystery, because it’s got a harder edge than that, which is not surprising considering Murphy is with NCI and a member of an elite secret force called the Phantoms. The tone of the narrator made it seem more like a thriller and less cozy, too. It does have a bunch of quirky animals, though, which is a cozy trait and the amateur sleuth – Jessica – who puts herself in dangerous positions.

There are a lot of characters in this. From Murphy and Jessica’s families to the military folks, it’s a lot to keep track of. I listened to the audio, I guess print and ebook versions have a cast of characters in the front, but I didn’t have access to that. For the most part, I could keep track of everyone, but it is a large cast. We do get to know the main characters well.

Jessica and Murphy are obviously in love and make a good couple. They’re both smart and their own people. I did find their pet names for each other a bit annoying. Oh, and let’s not forget that Jessica’s eyes are violet, as we’re told more than once.

It was a good mystery with lots of action and just enough clues. My main complaint is that it does rely a lot on coincidence to get everyone involved in the case. A solid read.

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About Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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