School is out for the summer, and my evening rehearsals are down to once per week. I have more time to read, and I indulged myself this month! Here are my reviews for this period:
What If… By Anne Perrault
This was the May selection for a book club started up by members of the Inspirational Readers and Authors group on Facebook. Since the author of this book is the person who started the group, I decided to check it out. Emily is a pediatrician who’s been unlucky in love. After being unceremoniously dumped by the last boyfriend she decides to accept a temporary position at an orphanage in Pakistan. But her trip to the orphanage is interrupted when the bus she’s riding is hijacked by terrorists. This book was full of action, but I had a difficult time reading it. I’m not certain whether it was because Emily kept making stupid decisions (like facing a gunman alone, armed with nothing but a scalpel) or whether the violence throughout was difficult to handle. Anyway, I got through the book.
Flame and Fortune by Jana DeLeon
Miss Fortune Mysteries, Book 22
It’s New Year’s Eve in Sinful, Louisiana, and competition is brutal for the title of New Year’s Queen. Fortune has been recruited to be the pageant entry for the Protestants, but only in exchange for free housekeeping services and baked goods. Fortune’s rival, representing the Catholics, is a trouble-making woman who’d left Sinful right after graduating from high school and only comes back when she needs money. Of course, nothing in Sinful ever goes according to plan, and before the parade is over there’s a fire, ruined evening gowns, and of course, a murder. Fortune and the Swamp Team 3 aren’t hired to investigate, but they do so anyway in order to keep innocent friends from being incriminated. As usual, there are lots of laugh-out-loud moments and red herrings to keep me on my toes.
A Summer to Cherish by Josie Riviera
Cherish Series, Book 6
Josie was my guest on June 13. I had read the first 25 percent by the time she posted, but it took nearly a week to finish the rest. The writing is good, and the conflict is compelling, but I just couldn’t make myself sit and read for more than a few minutes at a time. The story, as Josie related, is about David, an artist who is losing his sight and Ashley, an art teacher who wants to find out why he hasn’t been painting lately. She finds his remote cabin near Cherish, North Carolina, and then pretends to have car trouble so that she can get into his home to wait for her friend to come and pick her up. They’re instantly attracted to each other, but she knows she’s deceiving him about why she’s in town. This is a nice, gentle romance, though I found it hard to understand why he got so angry about her knowing about his vision problems when it seemed the townspeople in Cherish all knew.
Thai Die by Monica Ferris
A Needlecraft Mystery, Book 12
The Monday bunch gathers on a Wednesday to welcome Doris back from her trip to Thailand. She brings a suitcase full of souvenirs to show them, including a Buddha statue that a manager at a silk factory had given her to deliver to a shop owner nearby. The statue is wrapped in a piece of dirty fabric, which Doris assumes is a rag and she throws it away. But things get messy when the shop owner is murdered, and then Doris’ apartment is ransacked. Betsy is on the job, but when Doris is the victim of a personal attack, things get messy. The villain was totally unexpected, and I felt this was one of the better books in the series.
Murder at the Country Club by Helena Dixon
A Miss Underhay Mystery, Book 9
Kitty and her fiancé Matt receive an invitation to an afternoon tea at a new country club in the area. Their host, Lord William, has told Matt that he needs his services as a private investigator, but before they can speak privately, he’s murdered. Matt and Kitty are on hand to assist the local inspector interview all the possible suspects: the not-so-grieving widow, the younger brother who expects to inherit the entire estate, the sister who’s been working as an unpaid secretary, and a pair of Russian dancers who are sponsored by Lord William’s wife. I’ve enjoyed reading this series, and managed to read this book in two very late evenings. I love the elegant but not pretentious settings and the cast of secondary characters is fun, too. I’ve preordered Book 10, but I’ll have to wait another four months to read it!