Our May Author Takeover is by Cat Clarke, whose latest YA novel, “Girlhood”, is a darkly compulsive story about love, death, and growing up under the shadow of grief. Set in a boarding school in Scotland, the familiar halls are the perfect place for “Potter” fans to escape to in this compulsive, addictive read. Yet there are some sinister secrets that threaten to tear friendships apart.
Return to the delightful world of the Sinclair Department store for the fantastic second book from Katherine Woodfine, “The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth”. With gangsters infiltrating Chinatown, Debutantes embroiled in dastardly marriage schemes, and one cursed gem worth more than a quick pinch, “Jewelled Moth” ups the ante and adds a lovely array of new characters to join our friends Sophie and Lil in the adventure to beat the Baron. Sparkling, fun, and a jolly good yarn.
Mark A. Latham’s “The Lazarus Gate” is a gripping story about a paranormal activity occurring in 1800s England, forming around a mystery.
“The Chessman” is the ninth book in the “Jack Haldean Mystery” series. Set in the 1920s, Jack, a detective novelist, is called in to help solve a murder case involving a body, a church, and a ton of lilies. When one murder spawns into many more, each marked with a chess piece, Jack must track down the serial killer before all his pieces are wiped off the board.
BEWARE! This story will creep under your skin, make you fall in love, and won’t leave your thoughts. “The Accident Season” is a danger-laden trip through a family’s unspoken fears. With the sense that peril is around every corner, I was utterly gripped and had to keep reading even with a distinct sense of unease. Filled to the brim with secrets, hidden love, and dark pasts – you never quite know where you stand with Cara and her family. Not quite contemporary, not quite fantasy, this story tiptoes the borders of genre like a girl balancing on a slippery log over a fast-moving river.
Remember being a child and going to a glitzy store around Christmas time, when the lights are dazzling and everything is possible? That’s the feeling you get reading The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow. Part detective story, part historical fiction and all heart….and hats.
Robert Galbraith’s first novel enjoyed great financial and critical success even before he turned out to be J. K. Rowling, she of the Harry Potter series. The excitement of being a first-time author all over again seems to have spurred her imagination, bringing us this second Cormoran Strike mystery. I think it is as scintillating as the first installment, and if you’ll forgive the slight spoiler, I look forward to following what promises to be an ongoing series.
It’s been quite a few years since I read “Enchanted, Inc.” because, frankly, I’m a guy, and chick lit isn’t my thing. But it was such a funny and magical book that continuing with the series has often been on my mind. And now I find that the “Katie Chandler” series has grown to seven books. Based on the adventures of a Texas belle who finds adventure, romance, and professional fulfillment in New York, it combines the appeal of a “Sex and the City” spoof with the charm of a modern, urban fairy tale.
If Famous Witches and Wizards Cards featured beloved wizards from the pages of literature, you know there would be a card each for J.K. Rowling’s Dumbledore, Tolkien’s Gandalf, Peter Beagle’s Schmendrick, and John Bellairs’s Prospero… I’ve already got quite a long list in mind. Now that I’ve read this brief book by the Newbery Medal- and National Book Award-winning author of the “Prydain Chronicles”, I have another name to add to that list: Arbican. He doesn’t do much magic in this book, and most of what he does goes wrong, and on first acquaintance he may seem a bit brusque and grumpy, not very lovable at all. But in the last few pages of this book, he earns his Chocolate Frog Card, wands down. In fact, for the sake of one paragraph, a single speech in which he finally sets straight what is and isn’t true about fairy tales, he’s a shoe-in.
The fifth and final book of “The Parasol Protectorate” confronts Lady Alexia Maccon, née Tarabotti, and her team of supernatural sleuths, with a mystery that reaches back into ancient Egypt. Intertwined with this mystery are a present-day murder case, a dark secret that threatens to break up the pack of werewolves led by Alexia’s Alpha husband, and the lingering puzzle of the father she never knew. And so a racy, funny series of romantic whodunits, blending vampires, werewolves, 1870s steampunk, and complex but convincing world-building, comes to an exciting and richly satisfying conclusion.