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Mailbox Monday – 7/31

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Tell us about your new arrivals by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky at mailboxmonday.wordpress.com.

EBooks

I may have gone a little NetGalley crazy this week – but they all look so good!

Mailbox Monday – 7/31Weycombe by G. M. Malliet
Narrator: Allan Corduner, Samantha Bond
Published by Midnight Ink on October 8, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
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Weycombe is the chocolate-box village of everyone’s dreams. For American Jillian White, a gated life of pleasure and comfort with her titled English husband was a fantasy come true.

But the murder of a local estate agent mars the village’s so-pretty surface. Are people actually dying to live in Weycombe? Jill investigates, piecing together clues along the snaking paths and winding lanes of her adopted village. She knows truth has many versions, depending on who is doing the telling. And that few can be trusted in Weycombe, where nothing is as perfect as it seems.

Mailbox Monday – 7/31Impossible Views of the World by Lucy Ives
Published by Penguin Press on August 1, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
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Stella Krakus, a curator at Manhattan's renowned Central Museum of Art, is having the roughest week in approximately ever. Her soon-to-be ex-husband (the perfectly awful Whit Ghiscolmbe) is stalking her, a workplace romance with "a fascinating, hyper-rational narcissist" is in freefall, and a beloved colleague, Paul, has gone missing. Strange things are afoot: CeMArt's current exhibit is sponsored by a Belgian multinational that wants to take over the world's water supply, she unwittingly stars in a viral video that's making the rounds, and her mother--the imperious, impossibly glamorous Caro--wants to have lunch. It's almost more than she can overanalyze.

But the appearance of a mysterious map, depicting a 19th-century utopian settlement, sends Stella--a dogged expert in American graphics and fluidomanie (don't ask)--on an all-consuming research mission. As she teases out the links between a haunting poem, several unusual novels, a counterfeiting scheme, and one of the museum's colorful early benefactors, she discovers the unbearable secret that Paul's been keeping, and charts a course out of the chaos of her own life.

Mailbox Monday – 7/31Much Ado About Murder by Elizabeth J. Duncan
Series: Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery #3
Published by Crooked Lane Books on November 7, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Format: eARC
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Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest performance of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, Much Ado About Nothing. The company's steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright.

Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner's secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund's plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way?

Mailbox Monday – 7/31A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow
Published by Blue Rider Press on March 20, 2018
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
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We all say there is no justice in this world. But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to return briefly to this world, inhabit adult bodies and wreak ultimate revenge on the monsters who had killed them, stolen their lives?

Such is the unfathomable mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde, fresh out of rehab and finally able to find a job running a Cold Case squad in suburban Detroit. When the two rookie cops assigned to him take an obsessive interest in a decades old disappearance of a brother and sister, Willow begins to suspect something out of the ordinary is afoot. And when he uncovers a series of church basement AA-type meetings made up of the slain innocents, a new way of looking at life, death, murder and missed opportunities is revealed to him.

And I got one Kindle Freebie. I love Christmas novellas. I think it’s 99¢ now.

Mailbox Monday – 7/31I'm Scheming of a White Christmas by Kate O'Keeffe
Published by Wild Lime Books on January 30, 2017
Source: Purchased
Genres: Christmas Romance
Pages: 65
Format: eBook
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Tilly Grayson is finally back in the city she loves, New York. She's exactly where she wants to be and is loving every moment as a personal shopper at the prestigious Marlowe Department Store. That is until Brady McKinnon walks in one cold December day. Brady may have been Tilly's high school crush, but he publicly humiliated her back in the day. Something she's never been able to forget. So, when the perfect opportunity presents itself - a Christmas party at a chic New York apartment - it could be time to get her revenge... But has Brady changed? And will Tilly realize it before it’s too late?

Audiobook

I picked up Magpie Murders with an Audible credit.

Mailbox Monday – 7/31Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Narrator: Samantha Bond, Allan Corduner
Published by Harper Audio on June 6, 2017
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 15 hrs 47 mins
Format: Audiobook
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When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

Untimely Death by Elizabeth J. Duncan

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Untimely Death was my last read for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril this year. I do enjoy this event. Thanks goes to the Estella Society for hosting this year.

Untimely Death by Elizabeth J. Duncan Untimely Death by Elizabeth J. Duncan
Series: Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery #1
Published by Crooked Lane Books on November 10, 2015
Source: Kaye Publicity
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon or Audible
Add on Goodreads

A Catskills resort’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes a wickedly ironic turn when the leading lady, Lauren Richmond, is first poisoned and then stabbed. Who would extinguish the life of such a beautiful young thespian? Who wouldn’t? Seems like just about everyone had a motive to pull the ropes on her final curtain call.
At the center of this Shakespearian tragedy is Charlotte Fairfax, formerly the costume mistress of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Upstate New York is a long way from the royal stage, but Charlotte is always the queen of her domain. As this small production’s costume designer, she has stitched her way into everyone’s lives, learning more than anyone could possibly imagine about the rise and fall of Lauren Richmond. But curiosity killed the cat. And it might well kill the costume designer.

Untimely Death started out a little rough for me. Foreshadowing’s all well and good, but phrases like  “but this year was going to be different; changes were coming. She could feel it.” and, on the very next page, “And although she’d never been part of a real-life murder, that was about to change,” are a bit heavy-handed, especially for what is quite clearly a cozy murder mystery. Happily it improved.

There are certain settings I tend to enjoy, and behind the scene at a play is one of them. Charlotte, a talented costume, is our amateur sleuth who just so happens to be dating one of the local policemen. I liked her a lot. She just seemed like a good, nice person, who knows her job and the theater well. the other characters are well-developed, especially her assistant Aaron, and a few of the actors. There wasn’t really much gossip or petty jealousies in the cast though. Most of the actors are relatively fresh out of school and the one’s who know what they’re doing seem more helpful than not. There’s one affair, but no one is really betrayed by the infidelity. The hotel’s guests were not a part of this story; the focus was on the theater.

As a mystery is was okay. There was one big clue, and a couple of others that we were shown. It was kind of impossible to pick up on a couple of things though, as an American, but, thankfully, Charlotte is British, so could piece it together.

I felt the characters were a bit stronger than the plot. I’m looking forward to the next in the series. It’ll be interesting to see where the idea Charlotte puts together at the end of the book goes.

About Elizabeth J. Duncan

After graduating from Carleton University, Ottawa, with a BA in English, Elizabeth J. Duncan worked as a writer and editor for some of Canada’s largest newspapers, including the Ottawa Citizen and Hamilton Spectator.

The author of two traditional mystery series, Penny Brannigan set in North Wales and Shakespeare in the Catskills featuring costume designer Charlotte Fairfax,
Elizabeth divides her time between Toronto, Canada and Llandudno, North Wales.

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