The House Guest

Alyssa is shocked when her wealthy but nasty husband Bill demands a divorce; she definitely didn’t see it coming. To drown her sorrows, she visits a neighborhood bar one night and makes a friend, Bree, who is on the run from an abusive boyfriend. Alyssa offers her a place to stay: in her guesthouse (there is serious money here). Together they try and track down Bree’s only relative, a brother that she just found out about. The story spins on and on, and Ryan completes it with a neat ending. This author is a master at storytelling, I forgot how much I enjoy reading her work. Good choice for mystery lovers…

A Murder at Balmoral

Chris McGeorge has penned a novel on the premise of what would have happened to the English royal family had King Edward VIII not abdicated the throne in 1936, and given that his bride would have been chosen for him. As the book begins, the premise that this is part of a film is suggested, which will make sense once one finishes reading it in its entirety. The mystery will deepern as one reads further on. In the opening scene, King Eric appears to be poisoned and dies while at a Christmas dinner he had planned in advance. He had wanted only his immediate family, one chef, and one security guard to be present, in order to encourage a family bonding. So eight members of the royal family are gathered in an isolated castle, one being a dead King, and a raging blizzard all around them, so no one can leave. All their cellphones had been collected by the security guard, and taken to the guard shed at the gates of the property. This was done so that no one could leak on social media the fact that they were all alone with only one guard to defend the king. Then another murder occurs, which further complicates this “whodunit”. I did very much enjoy this novel; if your taste includes reading about the shenanigans of royal families, and a “locked room” mystery, this one’s for you.

The Girls Who Disappeared

Jenna Halliday is a journalist who is investigating the twentieth anniversary of three girls who vanished from a car wreck in southwest England.. Olivia Rutherford was driving her friends home one rainy night when a figure suddenly appeared in the middle of the road. As Olivia swerved to miss the person, the car skidded up the bank and flipped over, pinning Olivia’s leg. When she came to, her three friends were missing and never found up to the present day.. But someone doesn’t want Jenna to stir up old wounds, and leaves her threatening notes to stop interviewing the locals. Will she find out the truth before it’s too late? I enjoyed this mystery; the ending was a surprise.

The Rising Tide

I’ve read a few Vera Stanhope novels before and enjoyed them; this is the latest one. Vera is an older Detective Inspector who dresses quite frumpy, but underneath it all lies a very keen mind. She has a current murder to solve: a man is found hanging in his room on Holy Island. Several singles and couples meet every 5 years on Holy Island to reconnect, after having crossed paths as teenagers on a retreat here. One of the singles, Rick Kensall, is the victim. Vera doesn’t agree with an initial verdict of suicide, and it quickly becomes a murder case. Her two right hand detectives are Joe and Holly, and they are both called in to help. Spoiler alert: the ending is a SHOCKER for anyone who has read previous novels written by Cleeves. It’s a bit slow at times, but still worth a read.

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

This book was great on at least two accounts. The writing was very good! The voice has a way of being very identifiable and digestible. The book also has a suspenseful atmosphere that pulls you along at an exciting clip wanting to read more and more. 4/5 stars.

–Trine Giaever, adult Summer Reading participant