“A Death in the Dales” by Frances Brody

“A Death in the Dales” is the first book by Frances Brody that I have read.  I wasn’t sure that I would like a British mystery, especially because the colloquial speech of Britain is so different.  Phrases and words were foreign to me and forced me to search for the meaning of the words, foods, and other jargon that was new to me.  I loved it!  Because this book is set in one of my favorite time periods and is full of murder and mystery, I am determined to read more books by Frances Brody.  I found that the story line was not as important to me as what I learned about British life in the 1020’s.  I read because I love to read, I am twice blessed when I read a book and learn so many new things.

The character of Kate Shackleton, private investigator, is a strong woman, but still feminine.  Her insights in dealing with suspicious characters are very revealing of her intellect.  I especially enjoyed the minor characters in this novel.  They were quite charming in their own way.  I thought that the way they were presented gave me more suspects for the misdeeds and made the book much more interesting.

I would like to thank NightOwlreviews.com for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free print copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

“When Tides Turn” by Sarah Sundin

I have read all of Sarah Sundin’s books that she has written about America in World War II, the Wings of Glory series, the Wings of the Nightingale series, and now the Waves of Freedom series.  I have been eagerly anticipating the third book in her Waves f Freedom series, “When Tides Turn”.  Finally!  This third book in the series follows another member of the Avery family as he fights the Nazi U-boats in the Atlantic.  The shipping lanes have been hounded by German wolf packs that terrorize merchant ships trying to ferry needed supplies to England.  Lt. Dan Avery is a no-nonsense naval officer who is stuck on land when he really wants to go to sea.  Tess Beaumont is a beautiful woman who longs to contribute to the war effort.  Since Dan is “married to the navy”, Tess has to be content to be his friend although she would like to be something more.  She decides to join the WAVES to do her duty for her country.

Along with the give and take between Dan and Tess, Ms. Sundin provides us with terrorism, espionage, treason, suspicion and a feel for life in the 1940’s during wartime.  Ms. Sundin’s extensive research is evident in her writing as she brings real history into her fiction.  She has also given a history of the WAVES along with the storyline.  I find her books to be interesting, true to actual events and romantic.  My wait for this book was rewarded with a wonderful story.  I am now eagerly waiting for the debut of her next series.  Don’t keep me waiting too long, Sarah!

I received a print copy of this book from RevellReads.com in return for my honest review.

“Her Secret” by Shelley Shepard Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series, The Amish of Hart County with “Her Secret”.  Hannah Hilty and her family, mother, father, brother and sister, have been forced to move from their home in Ohio to a small town, Munfordville, Kentucky.  Their reason for selling out and moving is to get away from someone who is stalking Hannah.  Some in the family think that Hannah is over reacting to notes, flowers and unwanted gifts.  However, the stalker was getting more brazen and scary.  Hannah’s brother and sister, especially, are having problems adjusting to a smaller town with all that small towns bring with them.  Hannah does not venture out unless it is necessary.  She is a virtual prisoner in her own home because of her fear of being the target of the stalker again, when she befriends a young man who is her neighbor.  She is trying to let herself become her own person again and not be afraid of her own shadow.  However, things start happening to make her think that her pursuer is back.  She knows who it is and she seems to think that he has followed her and her family to their new location.  She is not mistaken though, and her fears increase as the stalker comes closer and closer to her.  She has to decide whether or not to let him take over her life or overcome her fears and choose to let people into her life who can help her.

I thought that this was a really good Amish thriller.  It didn’t take me long to read it because I enjoyed it so much.  I received a print copy of this book from Litfuse.com in return for my honest review.

“A Stolen Heart” by Amanda Cabot

Amanda Cabot’s Cimarron Creek Trilogy begins with “A Stolen Heart”.  Lydia Crawford is a Northerner…this she knows because of the way she is treated by the Southerners she encounters as she travels to Cimarron Creek, Texas to reunite with her fiancé, Edgar.  Even though it is fifteen years since the Civil War ended, feelings still run high in the south.  When Lydia steps off the stagecoach, she immediately meets Marshal Travis Whitfield.  She finds that her intended has vanished and that he has left behind a pregnant wife.  Lydia is stunned by this news and needs to find a place to stay and a means to support herself.  The Marshal is part of one of the founding families of the town.  He takes Lydia to his Aunt Bertha who welcomes her with open arms and insists that she stay with her.

Marshall Whitfield is having troubles.  Even though the town is small and for the most part has no crime to speak of, there have been a few instances lately that are troubling.  In light of Edgar’s disappearance, these small infractions are beginning to add up to a miscreant in their midst.  Not only that, but the town’s citizens are full of secrets.  Travis comes to care for Lydia, but with her experience with men, she is not the trusting sort when it comes to affairs of the heart.

I enjoyed this book as I do all of Ms. Cabot’s offerings.  This particular novel has it all, romance, mystery and murder.  Will Travis arrive at the truth before something more occurs?  This book will keep you reading to the very end…you will not want to put it down.  I received a print copy of this book from RevellReads.com in return for my honest review.

“An Unwilling Husband” by Tera Shanley

Margaret “Maggie” Flemming was happy.  She was on a train bound for Rockdale, Texas, to stay with her “father”, Roy Davis.  Maggie’s mother was a socialite who had gotten in trouble.  Roy took on Maggie as his own daughter and loved her as such.  Maggie’s mother was not happy in her role as a rancher’s wife and took her young daughter and herself back to Boston to live with Maggie’s aunt.  Aunt Margaret was a crochety, nasty old woman who was unkind to the young girl and harassed her at every turn.  Maggie had enough and after her mother’s death headed west to live with her father.  Sadly, shortly after she arrived at his ranch, he had an unfortunate accident and passed away.  As he lay dying, he wrung a pledge out of his neighbor and former playmate of Maggie, Garrett Shaw, to marry her and protect her.

Theirs was not a happy marriage, because although Maggie had always loved Garrett, he thought that she had abandoned him when her mother took her from Texas.  He did not think that she was capable of living on a ranch and doing what ranch women had to do.  Her salvation came in the form of a young Indiana woman, Lenny, who taught her what she needed to know.

Garrett’s ranch was mortgaged to a despicable bully and he was trying to make enough money to pay it off.  Maggie had her hands full trying to make Garrett love her and accept her as his wife.  The story has a lot of twists and turns and is very engaging.  I particularly liked the other ranch hands and Maggie’s way of speaking her mind.  I didn’t mind the occasional swear words either.  It made her bigger than life.  “An Unwilling Husband” by Tera Shanley was a very appealing book for anyone who loves a good western novel.

 

I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for my honest review.

“The Sisters of Sugarcreek” by Cathy Liggett

I loved “The Sisters of Sugarcreek” by Cathy Liggett.  It is the story of three women who have suffered devastating losses.  Two of the women are part of a secret society that tries to bring cheer to those in need – spiritually, financially, or personally by delivering gifts to those in need anonymously.  One of the members of the Secret Stitches Society has passed away in a deadly fire that also took the life of a volunteer, the Amish husband of Lydia.  Jessica inherits her Aunt Rose’s knit and quilt shop although she doesn’t know how to do either.  Liz was a partner in the shop along with Rose and misses her terribly.  When they secretly gift Lydia, they unknowingly bring her into their fold.  These three women who have lost so much, decide to continue the good works of the secret society.

I thought this book and its story-line was a message of hope and love in the aftermath of terrible tragedy.  Lydia was totally inept at anything except keeping house and taking care of her husband.  He was a strong minded man who thought a woman’s place was in the kitchen.  Liz and Jessica come along at just the right time to help her come into her own.  Liz and Jessica and Lydia also are given second chances at new love in their lives.  I loved the dialogue among these three.  I thought the book was a very comforting story.  I highly recommend it.

I received a print copy of this book from the Tyndale Blog Network in return for my honest review.

“Montana Snowfall” by Caroline Fyffe

“Montana Snowfall” by Caroline Fyffe was a very good read.  In her novel, Ms. Fyffe portrays a young St. Louis girl from a big family who is desperate to leave.  She concocts a story about visiting her sister and husband in Y Knot, Montana, even though she has not let them know that she is coming.  Her reason for going away is to spare her family the shame she feels for the predicament she is in.  Personally, I think her refusal to let her family help her is misguided.  However, it does make for a good storyline.

Sally travels to Montana by train and stage and at one point during the journey, the stage overturns and she rides for help on one of the mules.  She is caught in a blinding snowstorm and just manages to find a hunter’s cabin where she takes shelter.  Also caught in the storm is Roadie Guthrie, a ranch hand for the McCutcheon family who is more like a son to the patriarch and his wife.  All of their children and families live in or near the main ranch house and are protected by each other.  Roadie finds the hunter’s cabin and he and Sally are forced to remain together for three days waiting out the storm.  Roadie and Sally form a friendship, and Sally’s predicament causes Roadie to come to her rescue again.

I thought this story was well-thought out and I loved the characters.  Roadie was a kind and gentle person and Sally, although misguided, was a lovely girl caught up in circumstances beyond her control.  I think you’ll like this book.