This Chick Read: The Secret of Bow Lane (A Below Stairs Mystery #6) by Jennifer Ashley

Kat comes face to face with her husband’s first wife when she comes to her place of employment and asks for Kat’s help in finding some money that she claims Joe may have had. Against her better judgement Kat starts digging around with the help of her friends and love interest Daniel McAdams. She learns many things about the man that she was once married to and must decide whether she should keep the information to herself or turn it in to the police.

We have slowly learned things about Kat’s past, like her “husband” was actually already married to someone else when he married her, but in The Secret of Bow Lane Kat is able to finally able to not only face her past but put it behind her and hopefully move forward with Daniel. Who is this woman who was married to her husband and how did her own “marriage” differ, or were they both treated horribly by the same man. All questions that are answered by solving the mystery of whether Joe had hidden some money away prior to his death.

Daniel and Kat’s own relationship also seems to be at determination point. Will Kat never learn to trust in another man or will her feelings for Daniel override her uncertainties. Some of Daniel’s secrets are also revealed and Kat can finally make a choice on whether she will trust Daniel not to be the same kind of man as Joe.

The mystery was a foil for all of the reveals made propelling the characters forward. I do think they rather needed a little shove and that’s what The Secret of Bow Lane was, a nudge towards a different future. What will those future books look like? I know what I want from these characters but who knows if Ms. Ashley will give that future to me. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* The Secret of Bow Lane

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (7/18/22)

I’ve read two books this week that really resonated with me, but for two completely different reasons. The first was The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult. A friend recommended the book to me because I went to Egypt last winter. The story took place in Egypt and despite the fact the ending left you hanging I really enjoyed the story. It was one of those that sit with you for awhile and I am still thinking about it days later. The second book I finished is the book below. Totally different but also great.

JUST FINISHED

I’m a fan of this author’s witty dialog and quirky characters, but she took Just Another Love Song to another dimension adding an emotional depth that took me by surprise and had me reaching for my tissue. Loved!

JUST STARTED

The Secret of Bow Lane is the sixth book in this historical mystery series about a Chef who solves crimes in Victoria London. I am just about to start this book and hope it will be as good as the other novels in this series. The plot looks to be a little bit more personal for our heroine.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and get a good start to your Monday. Maybe spend a little bit of time reading that book you’re thinking about at lunch today? That’s what I plan on doing!

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong

Mallory is in Edinburgh, Scotland to visit her dying grandmother. A homicide detective in Vancouver, she takes note of a couple of murders that has happened in the area but she never expects to confront the killer when she’s out for a run. Hearing a woman’s cry of distress, Mallory see’s the image of a young woman in Victorian costume being strangled in an alley when she herself finds a rope around her neck. Losing consciousness she wakes up inhabiting the body of the girl she saw, Catriona, a maidservant to an undertaker named Dr. Gray. Trying to find her way back home, she decides she must catch the Victorian killer who almost murdered Catriona while helping Dr. Gray and his detective friend.

A Rip Through Time is a pretty straightforward time traveler novel. What sets this one apart from others is that detective Mallory is actually inhabiting someone else’s body instead of being transported in her own. Once she gets over the shock of what’s happened the story settles in to a bit of sleuthing. Of course, when your a house maid, your time isn’t your own and finding the time to sleuth becomes a bit difficult. Luckily for her, Dr. Gray isn’t just an undertaker, he is also interested in forensic science and has the imagination to listen to her evaluations and ideas. Not something that would normally happen in the Victorian era, prior to women’s rights. The arrival of Dr. Gray’s sister, Isla, a chemical scientist, is when the story takes off. Mallory finds someone she can trust and the story starts to move along a little quicker.

I’ll admit to loving time traveling novels. It’s always interesting to see how our main characters resolve themselves to their new lives in the past. Mallory decides her time will be best spent assisting Dr. Gray until she can find the murderer who will hopefully transport her home. I wish a little more time had been spent on descriptions of her surroundings, the era, and anything else that would help the reader transport themselves along with Mallory, but I find those moments surprisingly lacking. Unless you’re a history professor, that would take a ton of research so I understand, I just wished for a little bit more than what we got. The most enjoyable part of the novel was the actual hunt for the killer and when we got to those scenes it was easier to lose myself in the story, so it was just the first part that was a little light on details.

If you like time traveler mystery novels, this one was good! Except for a couple of small issues at the start, I did really enjoy reading the story.

❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase this book!* A Rip Through Time

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Audio Review: Where the Dead Lie (Sebastian St. Cyr #12) by C.S. Harris

Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has become aware that someone is preying on the cities children. After a young boy has been found mutilated and his younger sister missing, Sebastian starts to investigate, uncovering a sadistic world among London’s brothels. Following a trail of rare books by the Marquis de Sade he finds the killer may be among his peers.

There are many things that I love about these audiobooks but first and foremost is the narrator, Davina Porter. She is a talent beyond compare, narrating all of the voices in these novels, handling multiple accents from different countries and even different parts of London. I forget that it is one woman that I’m listening to as I immerse myself in these very well written mysteries.

As this is book twelve in the series, I am completely invested in all of the regular characters. We have seen Sebastian grow from a youthful love for an actress, to an honorably married man and father. What hasn’t changed are his skills as an investigator, which are greatly tested in Where the Dead Lie. This is the first novel where his investigation is taken on because of who he is as a husband and father, not because of his place in the peerage. I found that an interesting contrast as he didn’t throw his title around as much as he’s done in previous novels, in order to get an answer to his question. In fact, that wouldn’t work, would it? His frustrations at being unable to get answers made him dig in even harder and truly use every skill in his toolbox. This made the novel stand out for me, which is hard to do because this author has written a series of great novels.

As Sebastian searches for the killer, his wife Hero undergoes her own interviews of these orphan’s, hoping to write a book to help bring light to their plight as they try to survive on the street. She often pays them for their time speaking with her and I can feel her helplessness as she gives them a little bit of money for their time. I’m sure she’d like to give away all of her money in order to open up a home and I’ve often wondered why she hasn’t done this already as this theme has continued through a few books. Interestingly her interviews often bring to light small nuggets that help Sebastian understand a situation better, or in fact gives him an answer. Despite not wanting her to be in danger he should think of using her more because she has serious skills!

This novel had a gruesome topic and again dredged through London’s darkest corners, which I both love and hate. These dark corners do make a great contrast to the glitter and glam of the peerage and help strike home that some of this world’s cruelties are wrapped up in pretty paper to help disguise it’s dark center. C.S. Harris is an amazing writer crafting a novel where you are both disgusted and made to feel hope at the same time. I think that’s why I keep coming back. Well that and the talent of this author and the estimable Ms. Davina Porter who brings the characters to life in audio form.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to order this book!* Where the Dead Lie (Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery)

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: An Impossible Imposter (Veronica Speedwell #7) by Deanna Raybourn

When Veronica and Stoker are approached by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of special branch, to look into the reappearance of a missing heir Veronica knew she was going to be facing a phantom from her past. She once knew Jonathon Hathaway but had thought him dead in a volcano eruption in Krakatoa six years ago. It’s up to her to identify him for the family but things are never as simple as they appear. If he is the missing heir he would gain access to an incredible fortune in jewels and Veronica is their only hope. During this investigation Veronica must come face to face with a ghost from her past and reveal her secrets to Stoker, the man she now loves.

An Impossible Imposter had the same drama and adventure as previous Veronica Speedwell novels, but what intrigued me and kept me reading was again her relationship with her partner and lover, Stoker. We have gotten to know the two of them over these seven novels but I feel like it’s always Stoker’s secrets that are revealed. This time Veronica’s own past comes back to haunt her making her fearful of what he will think if her past is revealed. This added a fine bit of tension that is sometimes missing from the more personal aspects of these novels.

In addition to the mystery of Jonathan Hathaway and if he is or isn’t the heir to Hathaway Hall is only the tip of the mystery iceberg. The background behind the fortune in jewels becomes the center of the story adding some historical relevance to the fictional story by taking the story briefly back to the past when England occupied India. This background added color to an already lurid mystery making this story a page turner.

If you’re a fan of this series you MUST pick up this novel. There is plenty of angst and passion between our two main characters and the mystery while not very mysterious, had all the drama of a good soap opera. I keep expecting this series to taper off, but this author is skilled at making me want to read the next installment. Unfortunately I know I’ll have to wait another year for the next one to appear.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase this book!* An Impossible Impostor (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery Book 7)

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/24/22)

With a couple of weeks of reading for pleasure I’ve gotten to re-read and read quite a few great books! It’s funny how if I’ve reserved a book to review mentally I put it in a different mental category, even though they may be books I’ve anticipated reading too. The mind is a tricky thing. LOL. Here are the books that are on my radar.

Again, I’d like to thank Book Date who has started this topic for other bloggers to join in and keep the conversation going.

JUST FINISHED

I love Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, enjoyed the first novel in the series, and it still took me almost two years to read this book. Now that I’ve caught up with Squad 312 I am not letting another two years go by without finishing out the series. This is fast-paced, has a lot of emotional punch, and a great sense of humor. I really do love this writing team.

JUST STARTED

I love great historical mysteries and this series is fantastic. I’m mid-way through and love the direction this plot just took! Book #7 in the series and it’s still fresh and fun.

These are the books that are on my nightstand. What are you reading today?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: A Counterfeit Suitor (Rosalind Thorne Mystery #5)

Rosalind is brought in undercover to determine if a determined suitor of a young heiress is honorable or if he is a fortune hunter. While making this determination her estranged father shows up in London in the hands of a man who has threatened Rosalind in the past. She and Russell Thorne have crossed paths many times, and her sleuthing efforts have cost him money. What is her doing with her father? Does this have anything to do with her client’s unsuitable suitor?

A Counterfeit Suitor had a much quicker pace than the previous novel and I have to wonder if it doesn’t have something to do with the change in scenery. Back in London, Rosalind seems to be racing from one place to the next as she follows the twists and turns of her investigation. The underlying threat that Russell Thorne represents to her life and livelihood also adds tension to an already dramatic storyline. With the addition of her love interest Investigator Adam Harkness, I found myself engaged and enthralled with this plot and eagerly turning each page.

There was really a LOT going on in this novel, which helped to capture my attention and hold it. Rosalind’s living depends upon her respectable reputation and it ran the risk of being irredeemably damaged throughout this novel. This time in history is not a favorable one to unmarried women, the details of which are fascinating and really disturbing. It also makes for some great reading.

A Counterfeit Suitor could be read without having any of the background you would know from having read the previous books but I really wouldn’t recommend it. You need to know the history behind each character’s actions, which only add to the reasons Rosalind makes certain decisions, as well as why these people stand by her side. If you are already a fan, don’t wait to pick this book up, it is one of the best in the series to date. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase this book!* A Counterfeit Suitor (Rosalind Thorne Mystery Book 5)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (11/1/21)

It was a perfect fall weekend, just begging for me to spend time outside, so I spent it inside reading! LOL. I was a serious couch potato this weekend and enjoyed it so much!

JUST FINISHED

A really entertaining and quick read. A Twist of Fate was a haunting mystery and our heroine had an enduring love that survived throughout the centuries. What more could you ask for?

JUST STARTED

I started this audiobook on my walk this morning. I’ll admit this one’s a re-read. I really enjoy the mysteries in this series and Anna and Charles as a couple evolve over the length of the series. It’s deftly written and really great!

Have a wonderful Monday! I hope you don’t miss that book you put down last night too much. 🙂

Deb

This Chick Read: A Twist of Fate (A Stitch in Time #2) by Kelley Armstrong

New mother and beloved wife, Rosalind Courtenay, likes to ride horses late at night. When her horse is found dead after falling over a cliff, it’s feared that Rosalind has died from the fall but her body is never found. What has happened is that she has found a stitch in time and has traveled to the 21st century. Four years have passed and despite returning monthly to the scene of her time travel, Rosalind has been unsuccessful in returning to her life in the past. Until one night her attempt is successful and she needs to figure out how to reveal herself to her son and her husband August. She travels to his estate in disguise and ends up as her sons new governess and becomes embroiled in a mystery filled with specters, missing governesses, and a little boy who can see and speak with ghosts. Rosalind needs to solve the mystery and reveal who she is to her family without becoming one of the missing herself.

When I received the ARC of this book I was so excited! I love Kelley Armstrong and have read almost all of her books. Then I saw it was book #2- oh no! Luckily I was able to get a copy of A Stitch in Time at my library so that I wasn’t reading these books out of order. The basis for these characters time travel is set up in the first novel so I’m really glad I was able to quickly read that book so I knew all of the characters, and past history needed to read this novel. Truthfully, I probably could have done without but I like to read books in order and I do think it helped my feelings towards the characters, knowing their past history.

What I love the most about this series is the fact that these books are historical mysteries, have a bit of fantasy thrown in with the time travel, and ultimately that they’re love stories. In a Twist of Fate, Rosalind had a head on her shoulders! Her character used lived in the future for four years helping her evolve from a modern woman in her century to an evolved woman from the 21st century and use that knowledge upon her return. She has read up on medicine and understands germs, etc. but is by no means a nurse or a doctor. She just has more sense. Overall she was easy to relate to, Rosalind had a lot of fortitude, was fun, and when danger comes Edmund’s way, she was a mama bear and very protective. She also very much loved her husband August.

Kelley Armstrong has a great sense of fun, and uses fantasy, to enmesh her readers in familiar worlds which are slightly different. This ghostly mystery was quick and entertaining but it was also really well written and engaging. I can’t find any faults at all other than that I hope this isn’t the end of the series because I want to read more!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* A Twist of Fate (A Stitch in Time Book 2)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: The Vanished Days (The Scottish Series #3) by Susanna Kearsley

Set in 1707 in Scotland the citizens are unsettled at their union with England. In order to appease them, England has gone to their coffers to pay those families of men who died in the Darien expedition eight years earlier, an event that made Scotland all but bankrupt. When a young widow of a Darien soldier comes forward to claim her husband’s wages an investigation takes place to determine if they were actually wed. Set at the cusp of the eighteenth century during a politically motivated time, Adam Williamson finds that there is more involved than the meager wages of a sailor and must set aside his own growing feelings for the widow to figure out the truth.

Other than reading the Outlander series which is set slightly later than this book, I don’t know that much about this time in Scotland’s history. Set during the Jacobite rebellion with flashbacks to the late 17th Century you get a good feeling of what it was like to live during this troubled time when the change in monarchy also meant a change in accepted religions. You also learned a lot about what it meant to be female during this times and were made glad that you live now versus then. Narrated through the investigator, Adam Williamson’s eyes, we learn of Lily’s life from childhood to adult and as we do we serve as judge and jury in deciding if we believe in her story.

During the flashbacks we learned about Lily’s life. Her mother died when she was very young and her father sent her to his mother to be raised in the country where she met her childhood best friend Jamie. Although they were from different levels of society her country upbringing allowed her a closeness with his family that she wouldn’t have had in a city environment. When she moved to Edinburgh and her father dies she is raised by her Stepmother but circumstances force her into becoming a maid to help bring in money. As she grows older her circumstances change again but she still stays on that lower rung of Scottish society and it was really interesting to read, especially in how she viewed herself at these different times of her life. Did it help Adam Williamson determine the truth? You’ll have to read this one to find out. I will say I became very engrossed with her story.

When I read a historical mystery I like a nice methodical pace and The Vanished Days was a slow moving book. Despite the author stating this is book 3 in the series, the characters are not interconnected and this can be read as a standalone novel. If you are like me and really like historical mysteries with a hint of romance I think you’ll really enjoy this novel. The characters were believable, had emotional depth, and I got invested in their story very quickly. This was a good book!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Vanished Days (The Scottish series, 3)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- If you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.