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Reviews

Reviews

by Kate Quinn and Janie Chang - Fiction, Historical Fiction

San Francisco, 1906. Two very different women hope to change their fortunes: Gemma, a golden-haired, silver-voiced soprano, and Suling, a petite and resolute Chinatown embroideress. Their paths cross when they are drawn into the orbit of Henry Thornton, a charming railroad magnate whose extraordinary collection of Chinese antiques includes the fabled Phoenix Crown, a legendary relic of Beijing’s fallen Summer Palace. His patronage offers Gemma and Suling the chance of a lifetime, but their lives are thrown into turmoil when a devastating earthquake rips San Francisco apart and Thornton disappears, leaving behind a mystery reaching further than anyone could have imagined…until the Phoenix Crown reappears five years later at a sumptuous Paris costume ball, drawing Gemma and Suling together in one last desperate quest for justice.

by Teresa Dovalpage - Fiction, Mystery

Newly widowed baker Mercedes Spivey flies from Miami to her native Cuba in 2019 to care for her ailing paternal grandmother. Mercedes’ life has been shaped by loss, beginning with the mysterious unsolved disappearance of her mother when Mercedes was a little girl. Returning to Cuba revives Mercedes’ hopes of finding her mother as she attempts to piece together the few scraps of information she has. Thirty-three years earlier, an American college student with endless political optimism falls deliriously in love with a handsome Cuban soldier while on a spontaneous visit to the island. She decides to stay permanently but soon discovers that nothing is as it seems in Havana. The two women’s stories proceed in parallel as Mercedes gets closer to the truth about her mother, uncovering shocking family secrets in the process.

by Hank Phillippi Ryan - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Unfairly accused of having an affair with a powerful client, crisis management expert Arden Ward’s life and dreams are about to crash and burn. Then Arden is given an ultimatum. She has just two weeks to save her career and her reputation. Is Cordelia Bannister the answer to her prayers? Cordelia needs Arden’s help for her husband Ned, a Boston real estate mogul who was recently acquitted in a fatal drunk driving accident. But his reputation is ruined, and the fallout is devastating for his family. Revelations soon begin to emerge about what really happened the night of the accident. And then another car crash throws Ned back into the spotlight. The more Arden tries to untangle the truth, the more she’s haunted by one disturbing question: What if she’s also protecting a killer?

by Lynda Rutledge - Fiction, Historical Fiction

In segregated High Cotton, Texas, in 1964, the racial divide is as clear as the railroad tracks running through town. It’s also where two girls are going to shake things up. This is the last summer of 13-year-old Corky Corcoran’s childhood, and her family hires a Haitian housekeeper who brings her daughter, America, along with her. Corky is quick to befriend America and eager to share her favorite new “grown-up” novel, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. America’s take on it is different and profoundly personal. As their friendship grows, Corky finds out so much more about America’s life and her hidden skill: she can run as fast as Olympian Wilma Rudolph! When Corky asks America to play with her girls’ softball team for the annual church rivals game, it’s a move that crosses the color line and sets off a firestorm.

by Araminta Hall - Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Desperate to escape the ghosts of his failed marriage, Cole leaves London behind for a remote stretch of coast, relishing the respite from the noise, drama and relentless careerism that curdled his relationship and mental health. Leonora has made the same move for similar reasons. She’s living a short walk from Cole’s seaside cottage, preparing for her latest art exhibition. The pair forges a connection on the eroding bluff they call home. Then two young women activists raising awareness about gendered violence disappear while passing through. Cole and Leonora find themselves in the middle of a police investigation and the resulting media firestorm when the world learns of what happened. They quickly realize that they don’t know each other that well after all.

by Claire Cook - Fiction, Women's Fiction

If you're lucky enough to get that bonus time, what are you going to do with it? For Glenda, Harmony and Jan, it's heading south to age feistily in side-by-side townhouses on St. Simons Island. One minute, they're just out of college and working together in Marshbury, Massachusetts. The next, they're using their golden parachutes to land just south of Savannah on the Golden Isles. They're ready for reinvention, not withering on the vine. Plus all this ageism is getting really old. So they hatch a plan to take care of Butt, the dishonest, lecherous head of their HOA. To ramp up their supershero skills, they get jobs working as role players at FLETC, the massive, hot-guy-filled Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Because age is just a number when you’re taking names and kicking butt.

by Rachel Hawkins - Fiction, Gothic, Suspense, Thriller

When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she’s not only North Carolina’s richest woman, she’s also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family’s estate high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But in the aftermath of Ruby’s death, her adopted son, Camden, wants little to do with the house or the money --- and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Ten years later, his uncle’s death pulls Camden and his wife, Jules, back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but the legacy of Ruby is inescapable. And as Ashby House tightens its grip on Camden and Jules, questions about the infamous heiress come to light.

by Catherine Ryan Hyde - Fiction, Women's Fiction

When 19-year-old Jill Moss goes missing near the Utah-Arizona border, everyone has an opinion. Only Norma Gallagher, a search-and-rescue volunteer, knows the real story. Norma already has found Jill, huddled in a cave and terrified that her abusive boyfriend, Jake, will kill her. To protect Jill from a dangerous man, Norma quietly delivers the girl to her grateful parents in California, even though she’s conflicted. Keeping Jill safe and hidden from Jake, the press and the public will be their secret. Five years later, the disappearance stirs a new media frenzy when Jake is arrested for the murder of Jill Moss --- and Norma knows he didn’t kill her. As Jake is about to stand trial, lust for retribution inflames public opinion, and Jill’s family refuses to come forward, forcing Norma to make a life-changing decision.

by Mike Omer - Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

When eight-year-old Kathy Stone turns up on the side of the road a year after her abduction, the world awaits her harrowing story. But she doesn’t speak at all, not even to her own parents. Child therapist Robin Hart is the only one who’s had success connecting with the girl. Robin has been using play therapy to help Kathy process her memories. But as their work continues, Kathy’s playtime takes a grim turn: a doll stabs another doll, a tiny figurine is chained to a plastic toy couch. All of these horrifying moments, enacted within a Victorian doll house. Every session, another toy dies. But the most disturbing detail? Kathy seems to be playacting real unsolved murders. Soon Robin wonders if Kathy not only holds the key to the murders of the past but if she knows something about the murders of the future.

by Ariel Lawhon - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Mystery, Women's Fiction

Maine, 1789: The Kennebec River freezes, entombing a man in the ice. Martha Ballard is summoned to examine the body and determine the cause of death. As the local midwife and healer, Martha is good at keeping secrets. Her diary is a record of every birth and death, every murder and debacle that unfolds in the town of Hallowell. In that diary she also documented the details of an alleged rape that occurred four months earlier. Now, one of the men accused of that heinous attack has been found dead in the ice. While Martha is certain she knows what happened the night of the assault, she suspects that the two crimes are linked. Over the course of one long, hard winter, Martha’s diary lands at the center of the scandal and threatens to tear both her family and her community apart.