Friday YA- Audio Review: A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes #4) by Brittany Cavallaro

Charlotte and Jamie are on the same coast, both enrolled for some pre-college courses at Oxford. It seems like it’s finally their time to find out if they will work as a couple. However Charlotte is approached to help solve a disappearing person case from a year ago and finds herself the understudy for the roll of Ophelia – and Jamie is cast in the roll of blinded by love boyfriend.

I am a big fan of this Holmes and Watson series. As a fan of mysteries it’s been great fun to be given a behind the scenes look at the screwed up Holmes family. In A Question of Holmes, Charlotte is coming off of rehab and living with her uncle in England, the most normal family life she’s ever had. Written from Charlotte’s POV we are given her insights into not only the mystery but also her true feelings about family, life, and her love for Jamie. At times these vignettes were difficult to listen to, but overall I feel like the author was very true to who Charlotte was, and also realistic in who the future Charlotte was to become. Her voice was narrated by Julia Whelan who did a fabulous job giving her that upper posh British accent, but also gave her a hint of vulnerability that we saw for the first time in this novel.

I have listened to this whole series, which is normally told from Jamie’s perspective (read amazingly well by Graham Halstead) with a final chapter from Charlotte. I really liked the switch in this final novel because Jamie’s character has been revealed to the reader through the previous three novels. We know exactly who he is, but not how he fits into Charlotte’s life. Is he just her sidekick? Or her one true love? What is she really thinking? We discover all of these things in A Question of Holmes.

The mystery in this novel had a few twists and turns that fed some tension into our two main characters relationship but I’m going to avoid talking plot points because I don’t want to run the risk of giving anything away. I will say that it’s deftly done and there is a big reveal in the latter half of the book that creates a path that I didn’t see coming. The conclusion to the mystery was satisfactory and the conclusion to the series although a little confusing, did fit the characters and how they grew throughout the series. Would I change anything if I could? Yes. Do I know what I’d change? Not really. That doesn’t really help does it? LOL. My overall recommendation is that if you’ve read this series A Question of Holmes is a solid conclusion with nothing left unsaid, yet I feel like their story was just not finished. I wish we had one more novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Now, the ending. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it was very ambiguous. It felt like a close to the story while it was still very open for more books if the author decided to revisit it. …Definitely an impressive “retelling” that has earned a spot on my Holmes-focused bookshelf!” BW Reviews

“This story was, in my opinion, way better than the third book in the series, has some surprises to it that might shock you, has a nice mystery to it and of course – most importantly – Jamie and Charlotte.” Blogger Books

Click this link to purchase!* A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chicks Sunday Commentary: BookLoversCon #BLC19 Finale!

I’m sitting in line at the FedEx store waiting for it to open so I can mail home a box of books. I’ve whittled down the stash so that I am bringing the most anticipated, new to me authors, and swag. Most fit in my two bags but for a little 20 book pile. Oh to have those problems, right? This trip has been so much fun and I probably haven’t taken enough pictures to show but here’s a few.

Heather Graham showed up to the Historical Fiction party in her full Voo Doo regalia. She hosts an evening function with a different theme and kind of combo’d the historical dress with the VooDoo head gear. She was charming, beautiful and very down to earth. I loved this chance to chat briefly with her.

This picture shows the set up for most of the functions with one host per table. Some are themed-this was Entangled’s Candy and Spoons game. Always a very popular one as the winner walks away with a stack of about 15 new books. My sister was a lucky winner and her table got super rowdy! All in good fun but they pass out bandaids for a reason! Lol.

This picture shows my day two of swag. I received a few ARC’s at a Berkley Blogger party that I’m very excited about!

Book Fair! Some authors just show up for this super large signing. I took a couple of snapshots of a few I was excited to see!

Jasmine Guillory!

Susanna Kearsley!

Shannon K. Butcher/aka Anna Argent!

other big names including Kristen Ashley, Christina Lauren, Rebecca Zanetti, and so many more! It was overwhelming and fun!

This morning we end with a brunch which I hope to make but first priority mail those books!

Looking forward to next year when Booklovers Con will be in my city! Nashville!

Deborah

Booklovers Con! #BLC19

The first two days at the Booklovers Con have come and gone and my good intentions to post pictures every day has fallen by the wayside because of my need for sleep. Sorry guys! However, today I’ll give you two days of pics to satisfy your book loving needs!

I’ve met some really great authors and taken a few pictures to share. The first night was the kick off party with a Jazz Fest theme, after all we are all in New Orleans! We paraded into the ballroom to a great jazz marching band.

There were authors stationed around the room and I bee-lined towards Christine Feehan to say hi and take her pic.

Christine Feehan!

I’ll admit that I didn’t want to stand in line for food but there were food trucks galore and the band was fab. My sister and I ducked out to eat at a little Vietnamese place we spotted down the street. Yum!

Thursday was chock full of events. A Harlequin author signing and Indie author soirée were fun! Although the lines…not so much. Lol.

Julia London! (On the right)
Rebecca Zanetti!
Ooohhh my feet!

I really learned a lot from a workshop for bloggers and publishers and will endeavor to meet some new goals!

The evening wrapped up with a pretty amazing Fairy gala with a full dinner. The costumes and decorations were pretty spectacular!

Packaging paper turned into a magnificent dress!

Gorgeous centerpieces!

My sister and I were VIP’s ( we won it in a lottery) and got to sit for dinner at a table with an author. I sat with the wonderful fantasy author C. L. Wilson and she sat with Amanda McIntyre. It was a great hour spent getting to know these authors.

At the end of the day I had a pretty good book haul! Not as much in the past and definitely a smaller amount of swag, but you know what? The experience has been so much better and more intimate!

This is only day 1’s book haul!

I’ll try to get out one more post possibly Sunday from the airport! We are packing in the fun at the BLC19!

Deb

Friday YA: The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter by Caroline Flarity

Anna Fagan’s mother was possessed and killed by a demon when she was a child. Her father never recovered from the loss and buried himself in his work, the exorcism of ghosts from haunted relics. Anna’s home life is definitely not the norm, but when she see’s people from school going off the deep end she starts to wonder if there’s not something going wrong in her hometown. When her own thoughts start to become murderous, she shies away from her best friends Freddy and Dor and tries to salvage the scraps of her sanity. What she doesn’t realize is that her friends lives are also getting blacker and by the time she realizes it, she’s almost too late to save them.

Anna’s home life was a wreck. Her father was not just a ghost hunter, but he was also a hoarder. His things a labyrinth that blocked light and created an even more creepy atmosphere for the setting of this story. Known as the “Goblin girl” at school because of her dad’s job, Anna struggles to overcome that stigma and her feelings of shame. It’s only because of her best friends support that she had any light in her day. It’s when she becomes fixated on a boy at school and her fixation starts to turn unhealthy that I got an inkling that I might become uncomfortable with the direction this novel was headed.

I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but I kept looking for those moments of light in this story where I’d finally get to start rooting for Anna. There was just so much going on, and all of it was pretty dark and depressing. Anna does realize the town has been taken over by an evil demon and she does overcome all odds to save the day, but that only happens near the end of the book. On my wait for that to happen we see her father advance further into depression and hoardom (is that a word?), her friends become suicidal, and the bully at school turn into being bullied (by Anna!). Not to disrespect this author because I could see the work she put into it, but it really just wasn’t for me.

I am a huge fan of urban fantasy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc. and I went into this with my eyes wide open, hoping for the best. If there had been a few more kernels of light or humor I think my feelings would have been different. I will say that I do believe every book has it’s reader and I just wasn’t a good fit for The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter. If you like creepy fantasy-type novels The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter may be the right fit for you, so please give it a try.

❤️❤️❣️

I received a free ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“The thing I loved most about this narrative was the supernatural lore. It was interesting and compelling, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before…. It was a rollercoaster ride of thrills, chills, and despair, and I loved every second!” UnabridgedBren

Click this link to purchase!* The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Happy Easter from The Reading Chick!

Spring is here, the flowers are blooming and even though today was 50° and I am wearing a sweater you can tell by the smiles on everyone’s faces that winter is over. Unless you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, then Winter is Coming. I couldn’t resist, sorry!

For those of us who celebrate this time of year for religious reasons, may you have a blessed holiday!

For those of us who are looking forward to seeing what kind of candy is in our Easter baskets… what number from the graphic below is your favorite Easter candy? Feel free to share your favorite from your own country if these aren’t familiar!

I am a Cadbury mini eggs gal myself!

May your Easter basket be filled with the blessings of your season, and chocolate! Happy Easter from the Reading Chick!

Deb

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (3/25/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Polaris Rising (The Consortium Rebellion #1) by Jessie Mihalik

Last Sentence: “Tomorrow I would endeavor to win a war I wanted no part of, bur for right now, in this one perfect moment, I was exactly where I wanted to be.”

JUST STARTED

When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

First Sentence: “I’ve been stabbed in the chest.”

Now that you know what I’m reading, what are you reading this fine Monday? Let me know in the comments below!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Book-Blogger Mashup!

At work the other day someone described a friends personality as you would describe a fine wine. You know “she’s bold with an undertone of ripe raspberry’s growing on the coast of California, with a hint of salt”. It got me thinking, I have been following many of you for a few years and after reading some of your reviews, can almost provide my own Book-Blogger Mashup.

First, I’ll start with myself. because why the heck not?

THE READING CHICK: She is as inquisitive as an In Death novel, has an undertone of snarky Hating Game dialog, and is rounded out by her From Lukov with Love of romance.

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricanes: She writes with The Astonishing Color of After drenching the pages, her words throw light in The Dark Vault while her heart screams This is What it Feels Like!

Bree @ In Love & Words: Her writing voice is as smoky as A Week of Mondays while she tries to use Hopeless Magic to Listen to Your Heart and find her next book boyfriend.

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog: Her book worlds collide in Serious Moonlight with her virtual eyes reflecting Cinder as she is bound by ‘no spoilers’ but wanting to scream “They Both Die at the End”!

That was so much fun! So, ladies (Marie, Bree and Jill) I challenge you to create your own Book-Blogger Mashup!

Here are the rules: 1) You have to Mashup up your own blog, 2) pick three of your fellow bloggers to Mash and please tag them, and 3) tag me because I want to read them too!

Of course, if you don’t want to do the Book-Blogger Mashup, you don’t have to but I thought it was fun and kind of a neat exercise. I really got to know your blogs and reading style’s better!

If I didn’t tag you but you think this sounds like fun, feel free to join in! Please tag me so I can have fun with you and read your own mashups.

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chick Read: Watcher in the Woods (Casey Duncan #4) by Kelley Armstrong

Investigator Casey Duncan and her boyfriend Rockton Sheriff Eric Dalton again find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation. This time investigating a Federal Marshall who tracked his criminal to their small, hidden town. Rockton, a safe haven for victims and criminals who have paid to hide out is not unfamiliar with mysterious crimes. What is unfamiliar is that as Casey investigates she narrows it down to a surprising person.

In the previous novel, This Fallen Prey, one of their townspeople and leader of their militia, Kenny was shot in the back. Casey and Dalton reach out to her sister April who despite their lack of closeness does agree to come to Rockton with them for a brief time to operate and help Kenny in his recovery. Watcher in the Woods shifts focus from Casey and Dalton’s relationship to Casey and her sister April. What Casey finds out about her sister explains their lack of closeness in the past and this opportunity gives them a chance to part on better terms. I thought this sub plot revealed a lot . about Casey’s character in the past and showed her emotional growth. She was in a place where she could “see” her sister clearly and was able to understand her better. I really enjoyed their interactions and added an emotional punch to an otherwise kind of unemotional mystery.

The mystery of who killed the Marshall was interesting but kind of lackluster for me. I don’t know if it was because he was only introduced and then killed in the first couple of chapters and I really didn’t care? Or because a lot of the book was an exploratory into a few newer characters, but the pages didn’t fly by as much as they have in the previous three books. Kelly Armstrong writes a great mystery and I didn’t guess who had done it, it just took a long time to get to the conclusion. I’m sure my feelings are in the minority on this one, but it is how I felt.

Watcher in the Woods is one of those books in a series that you need to read because it reveals things about characters that you will probably need to know in a future book. Despite it’s slowness, I really did like the sub plot between Casey and her sister and am looking forward to seeing where that leads in future novels but the mystery just didn’t knock it out of the park for me. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free ARC of this novel for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“In the end, Watcher in the Woods is a lovely and intriguing read. It has action, a bit of romance, murder, and quite a few plot twists and reveals. It tightens the overall series arc and sets things up for the final installment, while still developing the characters and keeping the world-building and setting fresh.” Owls Reads

“All of the Rockton tales are action packed and full of secrets, double backs and, yes, romance. That is what makes them so entertaining to read. This one, however, was a bit slow for me in the beginning and I suspect that it was because there was a great deal of minutia laid out for readers who might be joining here at book four rather than at the beginning.” Macsbooks

Click this link to purchase!*Watcher in the Woods: A Rockton Novel (Casey Duncan Novels)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: The Get to Know you Book Tag

I thought it would be fun to do a book tag today! This one is pretty simple and I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had putting it together. I’ll admit a couple of these were tough!

Favorite Book of All Time

I had quite a few of the Wizard of Oz books as a child. I loved how Frank L. Baum created this whole world that my imagination could get lost in. I have memories of reading these books with my mother and watching the movie and wanting to find friends like the cowardly lion, scarecrow and tin man. 

Favorite Book Five Years Ago

This series and the heroine Mercy Thompson has been one of my all time favorites. This novel in particular was when my love for the strength and resilience of Mercy was born. The series is still ongoing and I love how her character has grown and become an even greater role model for a woman’s strength and honor in every aspect of her life. Yes, this is a fantasy series, but there are truths in character that can be applied in any realm.

Favorite Duology/Trilogy Series

What can I say? This series is magical and the characters fabulous.

Last Book You Read

This was a great wrap up to Britta’s story. I’m looking forward to reading Once a King which is Aodron’s follow up. 

Last Book of Poetry I’ve Read

Oh Boy. I don’t think I’ve ever read a complete book of poetry. Sorry!

What Book Most Influenced Your Life

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”  Those were the first words that started my love of fantasy novels.

Book that Made You Ugly Cry

This was a really different well written YA novel about three friends.  It was a tearjerker, but uplifting too.

Book That Made You Laugh

This one ran the gamut of emotions, but Kate Daniels and her snarkiness has always made me smile.

Character You’d Like to Be for a Day

Jasmine Santos has known heartbreak, but she’s a fighter, a winner, and when she finds her man he loves her with the strength she has always needed. She is also sarcastic and kind of mean, but when you get to know her you love her.

Book So Good You Dreamed About It

The culmination of an amazing series and really action packed. I battled dark forces when I dreamed that night. And won!

Book You DNF’d

It just wasn’t for me. 

What Book Are You Excited to Read

It comes out on 11/27 and I can’t WAIT! If you haven’t read any books my Mariana Zapata…. what are you thinking? LOL.

Well, I hope you got to know me a little bit more. I have pretty eclectic tastes in books don’t I? 

I’m going to tag a few bloggers, but if you don’t have the time or aren’t interested don’t worry about it. If I didn’t tag you and you want to try out this book tag, feel free! Please tag me in your post so I can read your answers. Thanks!

Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Marie’s Book Boutique

Marie’s Book Boutique

Bionic Book Worm

Shalini’s Books and Reviews

This Chick Read: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

The Women in the Castle tells the story of three widowed women in post World War II, Germany. Even though each woman comes from a different level of society their history ties them together. All three are widowed wives of resisters, men who had hoped to assassinate Hitler and stop the war. When their plot failed, these women were left behind; Marianne to carry on in her husbands name to save the wives and families of other resisters, tragically Benita was left in the hands of the conquering army, and Ania and her two boys were left as refugees in a war camp. They come together and live in Marianne’s husband’s castle in Bavaria, each of them moving on in different ways.

Marianne was kind of the leader of this troop of women and children. It was her castle they resided in, so she did have the authority to make commands, but also because she had the strongest personality of the three. Her view of the world was very black and white. What their husbands fought for was good and pretty much everything else was evil. It was interesting to see her character grow and learn that there are many shades of grey in the world that don’t represent evil.

Benita was the widow of Marianne’s closest friend. She was stunningly beautiful and where beauty usually makes your life easier during a war it brings a ton of unwanted attention. Her story was the hardest to read as she endured some absolute horrors following her husbands death. As we viewed Benita mostly through Marianne’s eyes, she seemed so fragile against the strength of character that was Marianne’s backbone.

Ania was a mystery through most of this novel. She was sturdy, strong, and seemed to have a back breaking work ethic. Every time something needed to be done Ania had the strength and knowledge to complete the task. She and Marianne became best friends and partners, I think mostly because she buckled down and got the job done without complaint.

Reading a novel about World War II is so difficult because of all of the atrocities of this particular war. What set this novel apart from others I’ve read was that we see the war through these German women’s eyes. Their feelings about what Hitler and the Nazi’s did and the reaction of the people around them- or lack of reaction in a lot of cases. I think this might be the first novel where I read about the German people’s apathy. That most Germans had buried their head in the sand when it came to Hitler’s propaganda and escalating spewing of hatred towards Jews or embraced his theology.  This book came out in the beginning of 2017 and now reading it a year and a half later I was stunned by the comparisons I could make to politics in the US right now. I don’t want to get political in my review, but those similarities are pretty scary.

I listened to the audio book of this novel. It is narrated by Cassandra Campbell who does an excellent job of reading  and emoting while speaking in German, Polish, Russian and American accents. She was truly amazing. She read at a pace that fit the mood of the story and delivered each woman’s dialog with the deft skills of one of the best actors. Bravo, Cassandra! If you have 13+ hours to spare, I’d recommend listening to this book! Regardless if you are reading or listening, this book was truly excellent.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Women in the Castle

Click this link to purchase!* The Women in the Castle: A Novel

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate