Waiting on Wednesday: March 1

I am participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

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murder-between-the-lines-by-radha-vatsalMurder Between the Lines

by Radha Vatsal

Series: Kitty Weeks Mystery #2

Genre: Historical Mystery

Publication date: May 2

Synopsis: Intrepid journalist Kitty Weeks returns to unearth a murderous conspiracy in this WWI saga

In the second book in the acclaimed Kitty Weeks Mystery series, Kitty is tasked with writing a story about Westfield Hall, a prestigious girls’ boarding school. Tragedy strikes when a student named Elspeth is found frozen to death in Central Park. The doctors proclaim that the girl’s sleepwalking was the cause, but Kitty isn’t so sure.

Determined to uncover the truth, Kitty must investigate a more chilling scenario—a murder that may involve Elspeth’s scientist father and a new invention by Thomas Edison.

For fans of Susan Elia MacNeal and Jacqueline Winspear, Murder Between the Lines is a rich and spirited novel with irresistible charm, combining true historical events with a thrilling mystery.

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The reasons this book appeals to me:
  • I read the first book in the series and really enjoyed it. Kitty is an interesting character. She’s a journalist trying to be an investigative reporter–hard to do for a woman in this time period.
  • Such an interesting and important time in history–during WWIl. Lots of stories can come from this era.
  • Beautiful cover!

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Review: A Test of Wills by Charles Todd

a-test-of-wills-audioA Test of Wills
by Charles Todd
Narrated by Samuel Giles
Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge #1
Genre: Historical Mystery (Great Britain, 1919)
Published by Recorded Books, 2012 (originally published 1996)
Audiobook, purchased
305 pages
10 hours, 28 minutes
Grade: B+
Narrator Grade: B
Synopsis: Ian Rutledge returns to his career at Scotland Yard after years fighting in the First World War. Unknown to his colleagues he is still suffering from shell shock, and is burdened with the guilt of having had executed a young soldier on the battlefield for refusing to fight. A jealous colleague has learned of his secret and has managed to have Rutledge assigned to a difficult case which could spell disaster for Rutledge whatever the outcome. A retired officer has been murdered, and Rutledge goes to investigate.  

“Tell me something. Why is everyone so determined to believe Wilton is innocent?”

Surprised, Davies said, “He’s a war hero isn’t he? Admired by the King and a friend of the Prince of Wales. He’s visited Sandringham, been received by Queen Mary herself! A man like that doesn’t go around killing people!”

With a wry downturn of his lips, Rutledge silently asked, “How did he win his medals, you fool, if not by being so very damned good at killing?”

Cheers

  • A very good story. Well written.
  • This is as much about WWI as it is about the murder mystery.
  • Ian Rutledge was a soldier in WWI and is still suffering from shell shock though he has come back to work for Scotland Yard. He hears a Scottish voice in his head. The voice of the soldier he executed during the War.
  • This case involves Army officers and someone suffering from shell shock. This doesn’t help Inspector Rutledge who is trying to survive in the world and work through his problems. Which is the reason a resentful colleague suggests Scotland Yard send Inspector Rutledge to investigate this case.
  • Scotland Yard does send Rutledge to investigate this difficult case, because they decide he’s expendable since he’s just started work again after the War.
  • Rutledge isn’t sure he has what it takes to solve crimes anymore. And he has flashbacks from the War. This is a difficult case for him, but he perseveres.

Jeers

  • The book had a lot of characters so it was a little hard to follow the narration.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I enjoyed this book so much and I want to read more books in this series.

Literary Awards

  • Barry Award for Best First Novel (1997), Anthony Award Nominee for Best First Novel (1997), Dilys Award Nominee (1997), Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel (1997)

About the author

  • Charles and Caroline Todd are the mother-son writing team who use the pen name Charles Todd. They also write the Bess Crawford series about a WWI nurse.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge–hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • COYER Winter Reading Challenge–hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun and Michelle @ Because Reading (audiobook)

Review: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

I’m participating in the 2014 New Author Reading Challenge hosted at the Literary Escapism blog. I’m also participating in the TBR Pile Challenge hosted at the Bookish blog and in the Book Bingo Challenge. This is an audiobook so this is also part of the Audiobook Challenge hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs.

maisie-dobbsMaisie Dobbs
by Jacqueline Winspear
Narrator: Rita Barrington
Series: Maisie Dobbs, Book 1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by Soho Press, 2003
E-book and Audiobook, Purchased
294 pages (10 hrs.)
Book Grade: A-
Narrator Grade: A-

Synopsis: Maisie Dobbs isn’t just any young housemaid. Through her own maisie-dobbs-bknatural intelligence — and the patronage of her benevolent employers — she works her way into college at Cambridge.

When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

“Truth walks toward us on the paths of our questions.” Maurice’s voice once again echoed in her mind. “As soon as you think you have the answer, you have closed the path and may miss vital new information. Wait awhile in the stillness, and do not rush to conclusions, no matter how uncomfortable the unknowing.”

and

“Stay with the question. The more it troubles you, the more it has to teach you. In time, Maisie, you will find that the larger questions in life share such behavior.”

What worked for me:

  • Maisie is a wonderful character. The book is a mystery, but it’s also Maisie coming to terms with her life and her past.
  • This is such a powerful book. For me the middle part–about the WWI was very strong. So heartbreaking to read (hear) about. It made me think about our America’s time in Afghanistan.
  • The middle part of the book goes back to the time Maisie is 12 years old to the time she’s grown up and during the war years of WWI. I don’t normally like flashbacks, but this takes up much of the book. It’s very absorbing and often horrific and sad during the war years.
  • The book is a mystery, but it is more than a mystery. It’s also a character study.
  • I like the narrator of the audiobook. Even though she’s British and I sometimes have trouble understanding British English Ms. Barrington’s narration is excellent. She’s able to create the different characters, dialects and voices.
  • The narrator sings fragments of songs such as “It’s a long way to Tipperary.” Very nice.
  • A lovely, wonderful story.
  • The book did have flashbacks to her early years and WWI and these parts are important to the plot and to understanding Maisie.

What didn’t work:

  • I can’t think of anything!

My thoughts:

I’ve had the paper book for a number of years and hadn’t read it. I bought the Kindle book almost a year ago and hadn’t read it. Finally, I bought the Audible edition of the book in February and listened (read) this book. I’m so happy I finally read this book and I’m counting it as part of my TBR books since I’ve had so many versions for so long!

I bought the second book in the series and hope to read it soon. I like Maisie Dobbs very much!

Have you read this book or others in the series?