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#NetGalley #BookReview ~The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk #bibliomystery #mystery

Review

Department of Rare Book an Special Collections Cover

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

A Novel

by Eva Jurczyk

Release date: January 25th, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk from Net Galley and Poisoned Pen Press in order to read and give an honest review.

…I particularly love the authentic protagonist, Leisl, whom I found to be an incredibly relatable character…

When I noticed this book on Net Galley I was thrilled, a biblio-mystery set in Toronto, what could be better? Librarian Leisl Weiss, close to retirement, has been forced to step-in as interim director of the rare books department at a Toronto university when the director, and her immediate boss suffers a stroke. One of her first items on her agenda as acting director is to prep an exhibit highlighting the incredibly rare Plantin Bible set. When she begins to tackle her duties, she cannot seem to find the rare bible volumes and begins searching everywhere, attempting to determine where her boss could have put them for safe keeping. With the department on alert, they search everywhere only to realize that the volumes are nowhere to be found in the library and must have been stolen. The image conscious president of the university is relentlessly pushing Leisl to get results to appease the many donors of the library. On the one hand he emphasizes the need for the donor’s confidence, and on the other, the need for discretion, forbidding her to involve the police. The staff begins to turn on each other and tensions mount as fingers are pointed and innuendos made. When a professor is working on a research project another book is found to be a fake adding to Leisl’s already hectic life.  Leisl, worn down and tired, makes a decision when a co-worker and friend disappears, Leisl is forced to think the unthinkable and contact the police and the investigation takes them in an odd direction.

The author is brilliant at helping the reader is gain insight into Leisl’s thoughts, in particular, about aging and feeling invisible, we see the evolution of her relationships as well as emphasis on the plight of those whose loved ones are suffering from mental illness.

I have to say debut author Eva Jurczyk doesn’t disappoint, The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections is a well-written, authentic feeling story filled with multi-faceted characters as well as an intelligent and intriguing plot. I really enjoyed the plot, the twists, the turns which surprised me at the ending. I particularly love the authentic protagonist, Leisl, whom I found to be an incredibly relatable character. I loved this book and would highly recommend it!

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#NetGalley #BookReview ~ The Greek Histories: The Sweeping #History of Ancient Greece as Told by Its First Chroniclers: Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Plutarch by Mary Lefkowitz & James Romm #AncientGreece

Review

The Greek Histories Cover

The Greek Histories:

The Sweeping History of Ancient Greece as Told by Its First Chroniclers: Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Plutarch

by Mary Lefkowitz & James Romm

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Release date: January 18th, 2022


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Greek Histories: The Sweeping History of Ancient Greece as Told by Its First Chroniclers: Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Plutarch by Mary Lefkowitz & James Romm from Net Galley and Random House Publishing Group in order to read and give an honest review.

…Well-researched, this book is a valuable resource for those beginning their journey to understand our past…

I have recently been studying Ancient Greece and have read quite a bit from Herodotus but have always been interested in hearing from other great minds of the time. Lefkowitz and Romm have produced a wonderful introduction to four distinct and learned voices from ancient Greek historians, Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Plutarch.  Each section begins with an introduction discussing the historian in question and the time before delving into details of momentous events. Each section helps the reader to step back in time and gain insight into what we know of Greek History. 

Well-researched, this book is a valuable resource for those beginning their journey to understand our past. Containing accounts of battles, plagues, and journeys, this book has it all. Each section ends with endnotes containing valuable references and includes an appendix at the end “Warfare and Battle in the Greek World” by Jon E Lendon.

Thrilled to have had the opportunity to read and review and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the History of Ancient Greece.  I found the book interesting, and it will definitely be a book I delve back into time and again. 

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#NetGalley #BookReview of Garden of Sins (#AVictorianMystery No.6) by Laura Joh Rowland #Historical #Mystery

Garden of Sins

A Victorian Mystery #6

by Laura Joh Rowland

 

 

Release date: January 11th, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Garden of Sins A Victorian Mystery Book No. 6 by Laura Joh Rowland from Net Galley & Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.

a captivating read, I still enjoyed the twists and turns which this series is well known for

I have been a fan of Laura Joh Rowland’s Victorian Mystery series since reviewing the first entry, and I have been fortunate enough to read and review all the books in this series. Although I found this book very entertaining, I did not enjoy it quite as much as the previous books in this series, although each are fast paced, this almost seemed to have too much going on.  

The story opens with newlyweds Crime Scene Photographer, Sarah Bain and her new husband Detective Sergeant Thomas Barrett traveling by train through London when the train suddenly derails. Being true to their natures Sarah and Thomas begin searching the wreckage for other survivors stumbling across the body of a woman who perished in the crash, upon closer inspection they realize that the woman was had been strangled. They immediately begin to investigate the case and when it leads them to a member of the Royal Family, Scotland Yard recruits them for a top-secret mission to uncover the truth while preserving the reputation of the monarchy. During the investigation they learn the victim was a Pinkerton detective who had traveled to England in search of a missing American heiress. Clues lead them to Cremorne Gardens, a combination of part freak show, part circus and part theatre which hides murderous secrets.  

Grittier than her previous books in the series Garden of Sins, I feel, the author overwhelms with too many incidents occurring. In addition to the investigation Sarah faces, an incident with Thomas and his ex-fiancé which places a heavy strain on their marriage, she is trying to uncover the truth and save her father who is on trial for the murder of a young woman twenty years prior, Hugh is despondent and malingering after the events from Portrait of Peril, and nasty Inspector Reid is out for vengeance doing everything he can to get Sarah to share what she knows about Jack the Ripper. Although it was not my favourite in the series it was still a captivating read, I still enjoyed the twists and turns which this series is well known for. The book is an entertaining fun read I would highly recommend. It would work as a stand-alone, however I really recommend reading the books in order. 

 

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Yoga Prescription: A Chronic Illness Survival Guide by Cory Martin #Health #Yoga #ChronicIllness

Review

The Yoga Prescription:

A Chronic Illness Survival Guide

by Cory Martin

Release date: January 11th, 2022

The Yoga Prescription Cover

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Yoga Prescription: A Chronic Illness Survival Guide by Cory Martin from NetGalley and Write Out Publishing in order to read and give an honest review.

“….an amazing book for those of us who struggle with chronic illness, it doesn’t make empty promises but helps us gain tools to help us live our best life possible…”

As someone with a chronic illness I wish this book had been around ten years ago when I was struggling. Cory Martin does an incredible job at describing honestly the overwhelming thoughts and feelings one goes through upon hearing a diagnosis that can change your life. Suffering from MS and Lupus herself, Corey sums up perfectly the things that it took me over a decade to learn by myself. I came to yoga late in my illness and I still struggle to maintain the perfection of a pose even though I usually suffer afterwards by going too far. Cory teaches one how to adapt postures and manage possible symptoms through a series of simple poses, explaining their purpose and how they will help you.

Cory speaks “with” the reader not “to” the reader, offering easy to understand, non-intimidating advice that comes from someone who has walked the path. Looking for relief over the years I have read book after book on the benefits of yoga, gleaning some information but always walking away feeling disappointed that I cannot do everything as suggested. With what I have learned from The Yoga Prescription I definitely feel that I can take my practice to the next level. This is an amazing book for those of us who struggle with chronic illness, it doesn’t make empty promises but helps us gain tools to help us live our best life possible.

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#NetGalley #BookReview A Three Book Problem, (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #7) by Vicki Delany #Cozy #Mystery #CrookedLaneBooks

A Three Book Problem 

A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #7

by Vicki Delany 

Release date: January 11th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Three Book Problem, (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #7) by Vicki Delany from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

… an intriguing and solid entry filled with twists, turns and plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing to the very last chapter! …  

Gemma and crew are at it again in this entry in the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore Series. When Donald enlists Jayne and Gemma to cater for his friend David Masterson’s Sherlock Holmes themed Weekend at Suffolk Gardens House, a notorious estate, it’s all hands-on deck. David a dedicated devotee to the Sherlock Holmes franchise throws a mysterious weekend for friends and family to revel in the greatness of all things “Sherlock.” Gemma assists with the weekend which is supposed to be an opportunity to highlight her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and the neighboring Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, run by Jayne, but instead it turns out to highlight the mysterious murder of the host David. When all in attendance become suspects Gemma steps up to do some sleuthing despite being asked not to. In the past Gemma has been accused of sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong causing quite a bit of animosity on behalf of the police, including Gemma’s boyfriend, Ryan, and his partner Detective Estrada. As the weekend progresses it becomes evident that David had a lot of enemies and Gemma is on the hunt for the one who hated him enough to want him dead.  

I am a devoted fan of the series, and this book did not disappoint me. Although not my favourite in the series it was still an intriguing and solid entry filled with twists, turns and plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing to the very last chapter!  

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#NetGalley #BookReview of The Maid by Nita Prose #mystery #PenguinRandomHouseCanada

The Maid

by Nita Prose

Release date: January 4th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Maid by Nita Prose from NetGalley and Penguin Random House in order to read and give an honest review.  

I absolutely loved everything about this book, clever, quirky, and refreshingly unique

Molly Gray is not your usual protagonist, unique, interesting, and quirky. She definitely stands alone in a sea of cookie cutter characters usually found in the cozy mystery genre.  Molly, a 25-year-old maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, is seen as different to everyone who meets her and is invisible to most.  Molly’s job is her life since her only family and anchor, her Gran, passes away.    Molly struggles with basic social skills, she tries to be kind to everyone she meets but lacks a real connection with anyone.  When her Gran was alive, she was Molly’s mentor who helped her navigate through any difficulties she experienced but now that she is gone Molly is on her own which leads to crossed wires and social faux pas. Molly’s job makes sense to her and defines who she is in her life. Molly loves being a maid, clean and orderly is her life, but soon her life turns into anything but. Although extremely intelligent in some ways yet she lacks the ability to understand certain situations. When Molly stumbles upon the body of Charles Black, one of the hotel’s regulars, her orderly life goes off the rails. Due to her lack of social skills, Molly lacks the ability to see through people’s facades and uncover ulterior motives which gets her in a world of trouble and makes her number one suspect in Mr. Blacks Murder.   As Molly becomes entangled in a web of lies, she quickly learns who her real friends are and who does not have her best interests at heart. 
 
I enjoyed hearing Molly’s voice; she definitely isn’t invisible to the reader. I absolutely loved everything about this book, clever, quirky, and refreshingly unique. If this is the author’s debut, I can’t wait to see what she writes next.  
 

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#NetGalley #BookReview How to Book a Murder (Starlit Bookshop Mystery #1) by Cynthia Kuhn #Mystery #Cozy #CrookedLaneBooks

How to Book a Murder

Starlit Bookshop Mystery #1

by Cynthia Kuhn

Release date: December 7th, 2021  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of How to Book a Murder, Starlit Bookshop Mystery #1 by Cynthia Kuhn from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

Filled with literary references I really loved this series debut; it offered a cozy mystery with a touch of dark academia, as well as a cast of quirky interesting and dynamic characters that made this an entertaining and intriguing

How to Book a Murder, the first book of the Starlit Bookshop Series, begins when Emma hears that her sister Lucy is struggling to keep the family business, Starlit Books in business after the death of their parents, she returns home to Silvercrest, Colorado to help. After earning a PhD, Emma sacrifices a teaching position which could have led to a tenured position and begins planning events for the bookstore hoping to bring in more business. Along with their Aunt Nora, a professor at the local college and well-known mystery author, what is left of their family is together again.

When her old high school nemesis and Silvercrest’s resident “Mean Girl” Tabitha, drops by the store for her husband’s birthday gift panicked that her event planner for a murder mystery themed party had to take an emergency leave Emma bites the bullet and offers the stores event planning services. When the party results in the actual murder of Tabitha’s University Dean husband, life imitates art, and they are faced with their very own murder mystery. When an old rivalry kicks up Tabitha starts accusing Emma and her family of being the guilty murderers, in order to save the store and their reputation Emma has no choice but to solve the murder and clear their names.

Filled with literary references I really loved this series debut; it offered a cozy mystery with a touch of dark academia, as well as a cast of quirky interesting and dynamic characters that made this an entertaining and intriguing read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

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#NetGalley #BookReview of A Murder Like No Author (Main Street Book Club Mysteries #3) by Amy Lillard #CozyMystery

Review

A Murder Like No Author

(Main Street Book Club Mysteries #3)

by Amy Lillard

Release date: November 30th, 2021

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Murder Like No Author by Amy Lillard from NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press in order to read and give an honest review.

“…a cute and quick read but has a solid mystery, quirky characters, just enough action and a touch of romance…all the hallmarks of a good cozy…”

With the success of the book Missing Girl from deceased author and Sugar Springs native Wally Harrison it was only fitting that the Missing Girl movie be premiered in little old Sugar Springs. The whole town is abuzz, including bookstore owner Arlo and her notoriously inquisitive book club. The town is going crazy preparing for its big day, especially the historical Coliseum Theater which they are attempting to restore to its former glory. It is time for Sugar Springs to shine in the spotlight, but they are face with a major snag. When a stranger is intent on exposing that Wally Harrison did not really write the bestseller is silenced, the town is put under a different kind of scrutiny and puts the premiere in jeopardy. When the body is found in the Coliseum and freak accidents began to occur many are to ready to accept that the haunted reputation of the theatre is responsible, but Arlo and her book club featuring, three octogenarians are not completely convinced. As usual the book club goes into snoop mode with Arlo desperately trying to keep the reigns on the feisty trio and let the police do their job…without interference.

In reading the series a part of me admires these feisty women but I also feel Arlo’s frustration, I am sure in so many ways baptizing a cat would be easier than keeping the book club trio out of trouble. Especially after Arlo is injured and is pulled in so many different directions, I was actually getting annoyed for the character, which is unquestionably a testament to the author.

A Murder Like No Author, is a cute and quick read but has a solid mystery, quirky characters, just enough action and a touch of romance…all the hallmarks of a good cozy. which I would definitely recommend.

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Trees for Jane! #WATWB #TreesforJane #Environment #ClimateChange #BringBackOurForests

Welcome to the “We are the World Blogfest” (#WATWB ). The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference, we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there. We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit. #WATWB was started in 2017, this month marks our fifty-second opportunity to share positive uplifting stories to inspire, give hope and motivate others. The last Friday of every month bloggers share their stories led by two co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are Eric Lahti and Sylvia Stein. Due to the upcoming holidays, we will be taking the month of December off, resuming the last Friday of January 2022. To learn more about #WATWB or to join us please click here!


“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.” ~Munia Khan

I love nature and living in a condominium in the city I really miss being surrounded by trees and wildlife…okay not spiders, I hate spiders😝 lol, but I do miss trees the most.  When I noticed a post about Jane Goodall’s “Trees for Jane” campaign I knew that it would be perfect for me to share for this month’s #WATWB. Often we don’t think about trees but perhaps we should. Trees provide food, water, shelter, medicines and even the oxygen we breathe by absorbing and converting carbon dioxide which threatens our climate. However, trees and entire forests are at risk, destruction of our forests which are cleared in massive numbers is slowly killing our planet which has already lost a staggering three trillion trees, meaning approximately half of all our forests are now gone. If we keep up this rate of destruction, by the end of the century little will be left, and we will tragically lose nature’s most effective climate change solution. 

 Jane Goodall offers a quite simple practical solution which everyone can take part and we can all do our part by simply planting a tree or two or supporting people who do. If we protect forests and plant trees it will help de-escalate the climate crisis, it’s that simple.  

So, here’s Jane’s challenge:   

Jane asks that we work together to plant a trillion trees by the end of this decade, but she needs everyone’s help…that means governments, companies, organizations, communities…all of us not just for the sake of climate but for the sake of all living creatures and especially for the sake of future generations. There is no time to lose our natural resources are vanishing and it’s up to us to properly restore our fragile ecosystems, let ‘s work to make planet earth whole again. 

 To learn more about Trees for Jane or to join the trillion-tree challenge please check out the video and links below. 

Learn more about Jane’s initiative on her site here: https://www.treesforjane.org/ and on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/treesforjane