Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Book Review: 'The Body in the Wardrobe' by Katherine Hall Page

✰✰✰½ As a busy pastor's wife and mom of two who runs a catering business on the side, Faith Fairchild is the person the people of Aleford turn to when things are amiss. So when Sophie Maxwell marries a private investigator and begins her new life in Savannah, GA, Faith couldn’t be happier for her friend. Sophie is quickly enchanted by her new husband’s hometown. Unfortunately, Sophie is left to fend for herself quite frequently as her husband’s job takes him away from her.

Alone in a strange house and a new city during the holiday season, Sophie slowly begins to learn the customs and make new friends when she discovers a dead body. By the time help arrives, the body has mysteriously disappeared, and no one really believes her. The only one who will listen is Faith; however, Faith has troubles of her own. With her daughter being bullied at school and a member of the congregation acting mysteriously, all Faith can do is listen to her friend from afar.

As her life spirals out of control, Sophie begins to wonder if she even knows her husband at all. Is this just a case of new bride jitters or is something really wrong? It’s up to Faith to solve problems both in Aleford and Savannah before things get too out of hand.

The Bottom Line: The latest installment in this charming series of a pastor’s wife gets off to a slow start which matches the main setting of the book perfectly. As the reader gets acclimated to Savannah, GA, we are drawn into the mystery with an anxious new bride, a missing body, lots of family drama, and a bit of the supernatural. With several subplots and small town gossip in two cities, there is plenty to keep the reader entertained.

While I have read a few books in the series, I have not followed the books in order; however, Katherine Hall Page does a fantastic job of filling in the back stories of the characters. Thus, readers can pick it up any book in the series without feeling lost. Recommended weekend or beach reading for mystery fans who love cozies and food. The inclusion of several recipes inspired by the South is a nice bonus.

Details: The Body in the Wardrobe: A Faith Fairchild Mystery by Katherine Hall Page. Hardcover published by William Morrow in 2016. 256 p. ISBN: 978-0-06-243950-5 NOTE: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This was made possible via the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Book Review: 'Library of Souls' by Ransom Riggs

✰✰✰✰ The third installment of the Miss Peregrine trilogy dives right back into the action. The situation is bleak as our heroes Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom along with Addison, a talking dog, continue to search for their beloved Miss Peregrine and the other missing ymbrynes. Their urgent quest transports the trio from modern-day London to Victorian England via a boat ride with the sinister boatman, Sharon, as their guide.

As the trio makes their way through the dark alleys of Devil's Acre, hallowgasts and wights are around every corner. Time to save Peculiardom is running out as Jacob struggles to understand and harness his special peculiar gift. The quest eventually leads them to a library in which the essences of peculiar souls are stored.

It doesn't look good for the Peculiars or the Ymbrynes as they bravely enter a final showdown against their evil nemesis, Caul. Will darkness take control of all Peculiardom or will goodness prevail? You'll be on the edge of your seat as the epic battle is fought.

The Bottom Line: Our peculiar friends are once again faced with adversity and loss. Despite all odds, they persevere and overcome by using their unique gifts and working as a team. This book was packed with adventure and action, while the ending of this trilogy was bittersweet. Riggs has created a hauntingly beautiful fictional world that I have enjoyed immensely. The story along with the vintage photos makes a lasting impression.

Enthusiastically recommended for young adults and adults who enjoy fast-paced adventures with a supernatural twist. To get the most out of this trilogy, I highly recommend reading the books in order. For those of you who long for more stories of the peculiar, Tales of the Peculiar is due out in September, and I can't wait to read it. Enjoy!

Details: Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Hardcover published by Quirk Books in 2015. 464 p. ISBN: 978-1-59474-758-8