I’ve begun posting book reviews to BookBub and suddenly thought, “Why not share them with my BCN readers?”
That said, here’s a selection of books I’ve read and reviewed. If I couldn’t give it a five-star review, I didn’t rate a book. I was afraid I might invite the slings and arrows of angry authors vis a vis my books and didn’t want to take that chance.
Writers and Lovers (Lily King)
Mystery Author Kathy Manos Penn and Lord Banjo: Above.
As a writer, I was, of course, attracted to the title and the description about the travails of a struggling author. The story has humor and sad moments mixed together, much like real life. Casey, the main character, is witty and quick with a comeback and doesn't have all the answers, though she's trying to find them--trying to make good choices and stay afloat while enduring tremendous amounts of stress. You'll find yourself rooting for her.
A Divided Loyalty (Charles Todd)
The mother-son authors never disappoint. In this latest installment in the Inspector Rutledge series, the main character's integrity and persistence once again pay off as he pursues a killer even at the risk of his reputation at Scotland Yard.
Set in post-WWI England, this series reflects not only on the trauma of those who served and survived the war but also the struggle to cope with its after-effects. The mystery of two dead women found in two different villages depicts village life in ways that stay with the reader.
Rutledge must first find out the identities of the women and then unmask the killer or is it killers? I highly recommend this book.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)
I couldn't put this book down and stayed up way too late several nights wanting to know how Evelyn's tale would end. Yes, it's a fictional Hollywood Tell-All, but more than that, it's the story of what one woman does to get ahead--from her escape from Hell's Kitchen to starting out in Hollywood in the 50s. Is she simply cold-hearted and calculating? Does she have a heart? Does she make sacrifices? Does she use people and get used too?
It may be the story of a star, but it has some parallels for what woman endure no matter the industry. No, I didn't witness quite this drama in my corporate career, but I certainly witnessed some women throwing others under the bus!!
The Monogram Murders ( Sophie Hannah)
The author does an excellent job of extending the Hercule Poirot narrative. She nailed his demeanor and his dialogue. It makes me want to go back and read more Agatha Christie, and I will look for the author's other Hercule Poirot books. Suffice it to say I had a difficult turning out my bedside lamp each night while engrossed in this book.
The Guest Book (Sarah Blake)
Though I'm a British mystery addict, I do read other genres from time to time. This was one of my forays into a family saga. I could not put it down.
The more I read the more I learned about the consequences of poor decisions made by well-intentioned people--perhaps it would be better to say decisions they thought were well-intentioned.
In so many ways, we are products of our upbringing, and shaking off old prejudices is a challenge--never more so than in the lives of the characters portrayed in this book. This is a book that stayed with me--I thought about it for weeks. I highly recommend it.
Perhaps one or more of these will resonate with you. Happy reading!
Award-winning author Kathy Manos Penn is a native of the “Big Apple,” who settled in the “Peach City” — Atlanta. A former English teacher now happily retired from a corporate career in communications, she writes a weekly column for the Dunwoody Crier and the Highlands Newspaper and is the author of the Dickens & Christie cozy mystery series. Find her books Amazon and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.