Review

Anna Lee Huber: A Certain Darkness

A Certain Darkness

Published: Kensington
Date: 30th August 2022
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

March 1920: Life has turned unsettlingly quiet for former British Intelligence agent Verity Kent and her husband, Sidney. But even that false calm is about to end. As threats remain, the French authorities soon request Sidney’s help with a suspect who claims to have proof of treason—shortly before she is assassinated. And Verity, too, is called to investigate a mystery . . .

The murder of a Belgian lawyer aboard a train seems at first to be a simple case of revenge. But the victim was connected to British Intelligence, and possessed papers detailing the sinking of a gold-laden German ship during the war.

As Verity and Sidney dig deeper, they discover their cases are intertwined—and a lethal adversary persists. Officially, the Great War may be over, but this is a battle of nerves and wits they cannot afford to lose . . .

Verity and Sidney are off on another dangerous adventure.  While World War 1 is over, not everything is over! There are still hang overs from that time in more ways than one. One of those left overs has the pair travelling to France and Belgium.

The journey is fraught with danger and a few murders along the way that they have to figure out who and why. It’s hard for them to know who to trust and even those they may have trusted in the past – they too are in question.

What they eventually discover will send Sidney spiralling and have Verity thinking things she hasn’t considered before. It brings into question too those in political power and how genuine they were in seeking peace rather than war.

It’s only historical fiction I kept reminding myself. But… it could have some kernels of truth. As we well know in this age the power of being misinformed.

It is action packed and ends with another assignment in the future that will likely take this pair right into the heart of their ongoing quest.  I’d advise starting with the first book in this series to fully understand what is at stake.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Welcome all. Hope you are all enjoying life. Mine was a good week filled with all the things I like to do. I took some days off from blogging and visiting and that was great too!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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I am still listening to In the Middle of Hickory Lane and my slow and steady read is A Gentleman from Moscow.

Up next:

I usually listen on audio to this series by Allison Brook but this one I am reading from NetGalley.  It’s a series I do enjoy. This is #6.

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Last Week’s Posts

None this week.

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#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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And August sure is well on its way! We have been promised a cold winter week. We shall see. Snow down in the South Island, but maybe we won’t see much snow up on the Ranges, but you never know.

I don’t seem to have been doing much reading, I just don’t know what I do all day!! I do know on a Sunday I sit there and think, even though I have been retired a few years now, I don’t have to worry about school and teaching for Monday. Soooo good!

What I read last week:

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What I am reading now:

I thought I would have this read by now but my reading has been a bit slower this week. Plus this book is a little complicated with its mystery. It’s stretching my brain! I should be finished by the end of today though.

A Certain Darkness

Up next:

Books from the library are piling in on me. I can see I am not going to most likely get my quota of books off my actual shelf read this month. But… thank you library. I am going to try out this one first as lots of reserves waiting for it.

The Summer Place Last Week’s Posts

July Reading Round Up

August books on my Radar

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August Books on my Radar

August is also a good month for books coming out or just out. My five top books are…

Quarter to MidnightThe latest book in this romantic suspense series, Quarter to Midnight. However it is the start of a new wing of it and set in New Orleans. This means a reader could start here.  I have it ordered.

It features tough end investigators who are after justice – no matter what they have to do with it.

I’ll probably read this and then go back to my reading through the series as well.

Storm EchoThe latest in the pys/changeling series, Storm Echo, and I really like Nalini Singh series.  I know I thought I wasn’t into these kind of books until … I got invested in them. I already now have this one sitting on my shelf and even have it signed by Nalini Singh as I got it from a bookshop in Auckland where she lives.

You most likely don’t want to know what its about and that’s okay! Go read your books.

Other BirdsI don’t mind what Other Birds is about because its the authors name I go by here. However this is what it is about and I am in line for it through the library.

When Zoey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment on an island outside of Charleston she meets her quirky and secretive neighbors, including a girl on the run, two estranged middle-aged sisters, a lonely chef, a legendary writer, and three ghosts. Each with their own story. Each with their own longings. Each whose ending isn’t yet written.

The Secret of Bow LaneAnother series book The Secret of Bow Lane – which is set in England and has a little Downton Abbey feel to it.

A stranger who appears on Kat’s doorstep turns out to be one Charlotte Bristow, legal wife of Joe Bristow, the man Kat once believed herself married to—who she thought died at sea twelve years ago. Kat is jolted by Charlotte’s claims that not only was Joe murdered, but he had amassed a small fortune before he died. Charlotte makes the cook an offer she cannot refuse—if Kat can discover the identity of Joe’s murderer, Charlotte will give her a share of the fortune Joe left behind.   Sounds like a good read. At this point I am in line at the library for it.

book coverGirl Forgotten was definitely not on my radar, however a couple of good reviews plus hearing an interview on the radio has convinced me to give it a go. So have put myself again in the line for it at the library.

It’s a thriller and not my usual line of reading as I am a bit sensitive! However I can see what I think. Karen Rose books are pretty gritty so I might withstand this one!

It’s about who killed Emily Vaughan?

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Month in Review

July Reading Round Up

Total books read this month:  13

Book Ratings

Nightwork. Nora Roberts 4.5 stars
Point Last Seen 4.0 stars
Out of the Clear Blue Sky 2.75  stars
Murder Spills the Tea 3.5 stars
Birds of a Feather 4 stars.
An Island Wedding 5 stars
With Love from London 4.25 stars
A Room at the Manor 3.75 stars
Nora Goes Off Script 4.5 stars
The Summer Melt (audio novella) 3 stars
The wishing Quilt. 3.75 stars
The Big Four. 4 stars
Book Lovers 4.25 stars

New to me authors:

Vicki Delany *
Annabel Monaghan*
Lori Wilde

  • authors I’d read again.

Top Book for July

Because it belongs to a series I love and told on audiobook lifts it a notch up. I wasn’t that happy with the ending though and I read somewhere its the last. Hope its not.

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Looking forward to reading in  August

Review of Reading Goals  for July

Read my five books from my shelf. Plus really got my speed up on The Annotated Version of Pride and Prejudice.

Main Reading Goals for August

Read  five books from my shelf.

Finish Pride and Prejudice and choose my next slow read.

Linking up with Nicole from FeedYourFiction Addiction.

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Review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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What I read last week:

Well hello August! Arrived so quickly! Or July went by so fast.

Not much to report. Except for wet weather. No flooding where I live but so much of it in harder hit places. I don’t know how people manage being struck again and again. But anyway sunny today, freezing frost and a possibility I might be able to get some washing dry outside (I don’t own or want a dryer). Then some sitting in sun and reading!

Both very good reads.

What I am reading now:

Just starting.

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And still listening to Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen and enjoying it.

Up next:

A Certain Darkness Last Week’s Posts

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Books from Countries I Haven’t Visited

The informal reading challenge from Emilie Richards Facebook Readers’ Page calls for a book with a country setting you haven’t visited as the August theme. So I have been scrambling around. I am not in the mood for something too serious so looking for mainly light!

book coverI haven’t been to Italy so this book The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane which publishes in September and I have from NetGalley through Bookoutre.

When Lily is called to a lawyer’s office in London, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. There, she is told that her grandmother was born at Hope House, a home for unmarried mothers, and is given a box containing the only clues to her true heritage. Peeling back the delicate layers of paper she finds an Italian recipe and a theatre programme.       And off she goes to Italy.

book coverI’ve not been to Russia either, and this book has been sitting on my bookshelf waiting.  It could be a possibility although I think it might be my next slow read where I read a book over a few months. Will think and consider it though.

book coverI haven’t got this one but its very appealing and is fairly cheap on Kindle.  Divorced and on a deadline, bestselling novelist Bea Pinkerton has a serious case of writer’s block. With her agent breathing down her neck, Bea will do ANYTHING to avoid writing another word.

So an invite to a reunion with her old school friends at a beautiful chateau in France, is Bea’s perfect chance to escape. Surely here, relaxing with old friends and drinking cold fizz, Bea will find inspiration?chateaux in France.  I haven’t been to France either.

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I haven’t been to Scotland and it would be a country I’d like to visit. A Secret Scottish Escape looked like a light Scotland read that would be good to try.

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.   I could get this through our local library. I read one of her books recently and it was decent enough.

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Set in Japan and I’ve not been to that country. So The Little Teashop in Tokyo could fit the bill.

Grab your passport and escape to the land of dazzling skycrapers, steaming bowls of comforting noodles, and a page-turning love story that will make you swoon!

For travel blogger Fiona, Japan has always been top of her bucket list so when she wins an all-expenses paid trip, it looks like her dreams of the Far East are coming true.

So a decision to make in August.

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Review

Point Last Seen. Christina Dodd.

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Published:  HQN books
Date: 21st June 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

LIFE LAST SEEN

When you’ve already died, there should be nothing left to fear… When Adam Ramsdell pulls Elle’s half-frozen body from the surf on a lonely California beach, she has no memory of what her full name is and how she got those bruises ringing her throat.

GIRL LAST SEEN

Elle finds refuge in Adam’s home on the edge of Gothic, a remote village located between the steep lonely mountains and the raging Pacific Ocean. As flashes of her memory return, Elle faces a terrible truth—buried in her mind lurks a secret so dark it could get her killed.

POINT LAST SEEN

Everyone in Gothic seems to hide a dark past. Even Adam knows more than he will admit. Until Elle can unravel the truth, she doesn’t know who to trust, when to run and who else might be hurt when the killer who stalks her nightmares appears to finish what he started…

Point Last Seen by Christina Dodd is set in Big Sur in California, in an imaginary town that is close to a wild beach and mountainous terrain. It’s an odd kind of town with a variety of inhabitants with many different quirks.

Adam Ramsdell lives there, he has come to hide, to recoup from wounds inflicted by others. He seems to be a loner but… many in the town like him and would most likely call him friend. He is now an artist working with metal.

Elle is rescued one day by Adam, from the sea. When she regains consciousness she has lost her memory. While she is healing Adam takes her in and watches over her. Rune the local psychic (with a back story of course) starts to work with her to help her recover her memory.

The book is very readable, I found myself chuckling and thinking well… what next! There are some shoot outs, fighting and really much skulduggery. The townsfolk are entertaining and provide a great cast of characters. At times as a reader I had to suspend belief, but with appreciation of the story.

There is action and romance with a satisfying conclusion with all the ins and outs neatly wrapped up. I’d almost call it cozy romantic suspense.

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Buy Links:

BookShop.org
Harlequin
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Powell’s
 

Social Links:

photo of author

Author Website
Twitter: @ChristinaDodd
Facebook: Christina Dodd
Instagram: @christinadoddbooks
Goodreads


#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hope all the northern hemisphere readers are managing the heat. It seems very hot. I was just listening to a quilt podcast where I asked the podcasters what is the plus and minus of living in Nevada. It made me curious as to why people live in the desert. Well I learned no personal tax but also they seemed to prefer the heat to the snow conditions. I was also thinking this morning not many to no trees so I guess no forest fires? Well that would be a plus.

Anyway its winter here and we do have taxes! I prefer the cold to the heat, although it hasn’t been quite so cold this winter, but well enough for heating and a fire at night.

I had a rinse and repeat kind of week and enjoyed it very much, today is overcast and I have planned to drop books off for a book fair, drop clear out stuff to the Salvation Army shop and then to pick up groceries and then home to hibernate!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

About to start both of these.  The Agatha Christie one helps me along in an informal reading challenge and this is the one I found at the library.

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Time to listen to another in this series.

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Up next:

This one because it came in at the library.

 

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Book Connections

Books Read from my Shelf in July

I’m aiming this year – 2022, to read five books of my print shelf each month, and I have already achieved that for July.  Three were from 2022, one from 2021 and one from 2018.

NightworkAbout one quarter of the way through Nightwork I was ready to fire this book into the “get rid of pile” and concede I’d made a buying mistake. A hero who is a thief just didn’t wash with me.

But Its Nora Roberts! Plus at this point I read Debbie’s review at The Reading Frenzy and that sort of encouraged me.

And within a few more lines I was hooked. The plot turned a little, I became more involved with the characters and I increasingly liked this thief. And what a gifted one at that. Only 4.5 stars though for giving me a “poor start.” Which probably says more about me the reader than the book, but there you are!

book coverI so wanted to love it, but Out of the Clear Blue Sky did not provide me with the reading I desired. Everything is going down the drain and very little of it is uplifting. The main character Lillie is a hot mess of a victim who does some downright retaliative mean and nasty things. I think they were meant to be funny but I thought they were so sad. Melissa the “other woman” has very little going for her, although there is a little hope she might improve. Lillie is a homemaker for sure and I guess she and Ben will one day be a great pair, but we just had to read and read all the whiny victim stuff. KH has been up until now an automatic buy, now I will most likely read the next one, but will be via the library. And hubby? Well what. a wet blanket! Best characters – the dogs! Cover does not relate to the book at all.  2.75 stars.

book coverBirds of a Feather by Australian author Tricia Stringer drew me in well at the beginning and then ensnared me in the day to day lives of three women. One in her seventies, one mid life and one the mother of two young children. They find themselves together and slowly some sincere and important relationships are formed. As well as that each of the three share and come to terms with what has been eating at them from the past and enables them to embrace their futures.  4 stars

A delightful book, With Love From London was one that is both full of love and loss, so both heart warming and tinged always with a sense of sadness. If only relationships could have worked out perfectly, but no. However what lasts, lasts and in a way in the end love wins. Plus a charming bookstore, books loved and a bookstore cat. Good reading.  4.25 stars.

book coverAn enjoyable story set in Scotland and involving a manor and a teashop and some fun characters. It has family and romance and new beginnings, nicely told, warm and cozy. The cover is especially delicious and does match the book! 3.75 stars.

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