New Book Goodness

Three books I’m going to write about today!  THREE!!!  Two were from my Book of the Month books, and one was just a continuation of my favorite series.

So, we’ll start with that one.

I’ve written about the Maggie Hope series before, and this is the latest installment in the series.


The Paris Spy by Susan Elia Macneal

Maggie Hope is dropped into the middle of occupied Paris on the search for her missing half-sister and a fellow spy who had recently gone missing as well.  We learn early on in the book that the spy has been compromised and flung herself off the Avenue Foch, home of the German secret police.  Paris is changed by the occupation, and the author does a good job in describing how gray the city looks and how fortress like it feels with the police, army, and swastika’s strewn about.  Maggie witnesses a horrible incident while on her way to take cover as an Irish National, and it clouds the story from there.  Alternating between the various spies in Paris and the head of the Gestapo, one gets a sense of the particular horror of WWII and how people cope (or didn’t cope) with it.  It was a great addition to the series, and it felt a little darker.  It ended on such a cliffhanger that I’m dying to find out what happens next to intrepid Maggie Hope!

Now, for a complete change of pace.  How about a horror-like book.


Final Girls by Riley Sager

Apparently, this was one of Stephen King’s best books of 2017 so far.  I heard so much buzz about it that when it was offered as part of my BOTH membership, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  And boy, I’m glad I did.  Twisty, turny, not all that horror-y.  It was a great.  Final Girls refers to the women who survive massacres.  In this particular book, it’s tied between three woman who went through very different experiences, but who all were the sole survivors of mass murder.  The main story revolves around Quincy, a woman who survived an attack in the woods that left several of her college friends dead, and her with an inability to remember anything about that night.  She thinks she has successfully moved on from her trauma, but it’s brought right back to the forefront of her life when the first “final” girl is found dead of an apparent suicide.  Then, another “final” girl arrives on her doorstep forcing her to try and relieve the memories.  Each time I think I figured out what was going on, I was thrown for a loop.  And let me tell you…..I did not see the end coming AT ALL.  The reveal is bananas.  I had to finish this book in a day b/c I wanted to know the truth!

Okay, and finally….from an author I wrote about before:


The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

I was a big fan of her other book “The Woman in Cabin 10″…super suspenseful and whatnot.  This one was just okay for me.  It centers around four women who all met at a private school and all left the private school under strained circumstances.  They hadn’t spoken in a while when they get a mysterious “I Need You” text from one of their members.  Isa is the character that we follow through the story, and we learn about the circumstances that all led them to leave the school in suspicious circumstances.  Of course there is a dead body.  And of course we don’t really know what happened.  It was very reminiscent of “I know what you did last summer”…mysterious notes, vague threats, and a moody atmosphere.  So, it was okay.  The twist at the end was ‘meh’.  Not as good as the other book….definitely read that one if you have the chance.


The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

I’m not going to profess to know all that much about the history of Norway, or even the history of Vikings, but this book was fascinating.  In my head it’s almost like a real life “Game of Thrones”….but without dragons.  You got a little bit of everything….Vikings, fights, raids, revenge, strong women.  It ticked a lot of boxes for me.


The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

One of the benefits of following book bloggers on twitter is learning about books that might not normally speak to me.  This was one such book.  I’ve read recommendations for it all across the twit-o-sphere and decided to pick it up from the library.  I’m glad I did.

It’s the story of a young man who loses everything early in the book and claws his way back to his rightful position by the end.  There is a lot of killing….lots of raiding….but lots of story as well.  The story is woven together with the story of his sister and her journey to be a traveler like her brother and finding love along the way.  It’s a book that kind of transcends genre, b/c there is romance, murder, war, and even a little bit of mystery thrown in.  It definitely made me more interested to learn about the history of Norway and the surrounding countries.  Maybe even try to learn more about the Vikings themselves.  Some of the names were hard to get around, but the author provides pronunciations in the back of the book that helped.  I also found it fascinating that the author was descended from one of the characters in the book.

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor


The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

A) I didn’t know this was based on a true story

B) I was fascinated by the setting and the story

C) I totally believe in the Fairies now

Hazel Gaynor is one of my most favorite historical fiction writers.  I started with her “Girl from the Savoy” and have read just about everything she has written since then.  This book is her newest and I fell in love with the characters.  It centers on the story from during WWI/WWII of two girls who professed to find fairies in the English countryside.  They re-created pictures to show the family and it spins out of control even eliciting reaction from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  We meet these people through the written words of one of the girls, Frances.  Gaynor uses the present to ground the story, and I also fell in love with the “Something Old” bookshop.  It’s exactly the type of place I’ve always dreamed about working at/owning.

Even my Madeline enjoyed the book!


Also, Hazel Gaynor is a great follow on Twitter!  When I was in Ireland this past spring, I tweeted her for bookstore recommendations in Dublin and she responded!  Unfortunately I didn’t get to any of them this trip (damn jet lag sickness), but next time!

This coming week I’ll be at the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC and I’ll be pitching my book again.  Hopefully it’ll attract some attention!