Sorry for the double post, all, but today is such a big day in the publishing world! For whatever reason, today, October 6, seems to be the day to publish books. For my small contribution, I would like to talk about the ones I have had the pleasure of reviewing ARCs for, ranked from my favorite to least (I know this is mean, but just for clarity).
1. A Death Long Overdue, by Eva Gates
It’s summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James’s college class is having their 40th anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what’s scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.
Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn’t much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she’ll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she’s left high and dry…and right in the killer’s crosshairs.
Why should you read it?
It is no secret I love the Lighthouse Library mysteries – these books combine everything I love into one cozy mystery package (a library, a book club, a lighthouse, and a cat). This installation of the series, book 7, breathed new life into the series, and I found it to be one of the best. While it is a cozy mystery and not for everyone, I have recommended this to general women’s fiction lovers too because the gorgeous beachside setting and Outer Banks history makes this series a lot more than just an amateur sleuth murder mystery. It got 4.5/5 waves from me. Order here and here.
2. The Archive of the Forgotten, by A.J. Hackwith
The Library of the Unwritten in Hell was saved from total devastation, but hundreds of potential books were destroyed. Former librarian Claire and Brevity the muse feel the loss of those stories, and are trying to adjust to their new roles within the Arcane Wing and Library, respectively. But when the remains of those books begin to leak a strange ink, Claire realizes that the Library has kept secrets from Hell–and from its own librarians.
Claire and Brevity are immediately at odds in their approach to the ink, and the potential power that it represents has not gone unnoticed. When a representative from the Muses Corps arrives at the Library to advise Brevity, the angel Rami and the erstwhile Hero hunt for answers in other realms. The true nature of the ink could fundamentally alter the afterlife for good or ill, but it entirely depends on who is left to hold the pen.
Why should you read it?
The Hell’s Library series is, as of yet, a duology, and both books really slammed out of the park. The premise is one of the more original ones I have read in a while – there is a Library in Hell where all books that authors never finish go to called the Unwritten Library. Each other religious and/or mythological system has other branches of the library, including letters never sent, words never spoken, and artifacts that should not be in the general public. The characters are diverse and compelling, the books come to life, and the mythologies are fascinating. While Archive wasn’t *as* good as the first book, I still recommend reading the series. This got 4/5 waves from me. Order here or here.
3. On Borrowed Crime, by Kate Young
Lyla Moody loves her sleepy little town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia. She likes her job as receptionist for her uncle’s private investigative firm, her fellow true crime obsessed Jane Doe members are the friends she’s always wanted, and her parents just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. But recently, with her best friend Melanie on vacation, and her ex-boyfriend and horrible cousin becoming an item and moving in next door to her, her idyllic life is on the fritz. The cherry on top of it all is finding Carol, a member of the club, dead and shoved into a suitcase, left at Lyla’s front door.
Unusual circumstances notwithstanding, with Carol’s heart condition, the coroner rules Carol’s death undetermined. But when they discover the suitcase belongs to Melanie, who had returned from her vacation the following morning, Sweet Mountain police begin to suspect Lyla’s best friend. Determined that police are following the wrong trail, to clear her friend’s name, and to not allow Carol to become one of the club’s studied cold cases, Lyla begins to seek out the real killer. That is, until she becomes the one sought after. Now, finding the truth could turn her into the killer’s next plot twist, unless she wins the game of cat and mouse.
Why should you read it?
Not going to lie, this one was not a hit for me. This was my first Kate Young experience, and I wasn’t impressed. However, I was in the minority of reviewers to say so – many people loved On Borrowed Crime. The premise, a women’s murder mystery book club that helps solve crime, was fun and the whole reason I picked this up, and many other reviewers thought it was executed well. If you like your mysteries with a distinctly southern flair, you may like this. I gave it 2.5 waves, but again, a minority rating. Find it here or here.
4. The Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths, by Olivier Barde-Cabuçon
When a gruesomely mutilated body is found on the doorstep of the Versailles Palace in 1759, the Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths is called to the scene. His ensuing investigation is thwarted at every turn by shady figures such as notorious seducer Casanova, a mysterious Italian gentlewoman who knows more than she lets on and a secret order harbouring revolutionary sentiment.
As the body count rises, the Inspector is brought even further into a web of deceit that he soon suspects may go all the way to the very top of society.
Why should you read it?
Ah, another book I cannot unequivocally recommend. The Inspector had a lot of potential, but I did not love the premise. I do recommend that lovers of French 18th century history give it a go, particularly those interested in conspiracies against the crown and the debauchery of the court. I would also recommend that French readers give it a go in the native language, because I believe there may have been some loss in translation. This was 2/5 waves for me. Find your copy here or here.
Honorable Mentions – Books I Haven’t Reviewed, but am Excited for , Coming Out Today:
- Magic Lessons, by Alice Hoffman. The prequel to Practical Magic, one of my favorite books of all time. I am getting this in my BOTM box today, and I don’t know if I can resist reading it right away.
- Murder on Cold Street, by Sherry Thomas. Book five of the Lady Sherlock series, this is the Sherlock Holmes pastiche I never thought I needed. This series is in my auto-preorder, and I can’t wait to get it.
- The Invisible Life of Addie LeRue, by V.E. Schwab. I confess I haven’t read any Schwab, but all of her books are in my TBR, and this one looks particularly compelling.
- The Searcher, by Tana French. I love French’s books. I love Ireland, murder mysteries, and chilling psychology, and she packs it in.
If you needed a reason to go on a book shopping spree today, here it is! What are your most anticipated releases?