Bailey Ruth Raeburn, a resident of heaven and a member of the Department of Good Intentions, is given an assignment in her hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma. When she arrives at Goddard College, the site of the murder, young lawyer Robert Blair and assistant professor Iris Gallagher are standing over the dead body of college fundraiser Matt Lambert. Iris is holding the murder weapon but denies being the murderer. Robert disposes of the incriminating evidence. Working with the knowledge of the local police chief, Bailey Ruth appearing as a police officer, a private detective and a fashionable 27-year-old redhead identifies suspects responsible for the murder.
The 9th entry in the Baily Ruth mystery series is a quick fun read. You might want to give all of them a try.
I read the following novels over the last few weeks and am sharing a mixture of historical fiction, mystery, adventure, and just plain fun. Consider giving them a try.
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons
Lonely 85-year-old Eudora contacts an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. She is ready to die on her own terms with dignity. Happily new neighbors move in next door and 10-year-old Rose declares Eudora her new best friend. Soon Rose latches on to elderly neighbor Stanley declaring him to be another new friend of hers. The threesome spend time together and go on a few adventures that give Eudora and widower Stanley a new lease on life as well as some new friends.
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
This is a novel loosely based on historical fact. When Agatha Christie’s husband wants a divorce, Agatha disappears for several days with no clues. Authorities suspect her husband had something to do with the disappearance. Agatha would not leave her young daughter behind willingly.
Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler
Geeky tech expert and building superintendent Micah Mortimer is happy with his life and teacher girlfriend Cassia (Cass) Slade. Until… One day Brink Adams, a college freshman, shows up at his door claiming to be Micah’s son. Micah did have a relationship with the young man’s mother in college, but declares that he is not Brink’s father. Brink stays with Micah for a time. In the meantime, Cass is losing her apartment and Micah does not suggest that she move in with him. Why can Brink stay, but Cass is not invited to move in?
The Artic Fury by Greer Macallister
Based on historical fact, it’s 1853 when Virginia Reeve is hired by Lady Franklin to lead a group of women explorers to the Arctic. Their assignment is to to figure out definitely what happened to Captain Sir John Franklin’s expedition. The conditions endured by the women are dreadful. Unfortunately not everyone returns from the expedition and Virginia is placed on trial for the murder of one of the participants.
It’s 1920 when well-known American adventurer Beryl Helliwell is looking for some peace and quiet. She answers an ad posted by Edwina Davenport in the small English village of Walmsley Parva. Edwina is desperately low on funds and needs to find a roommate. Beryl is the perfect choice. The women knew each other in school decades earlier.
Someone tries to strangle Edwina in her garden. Agnes Rollins, a member of the Women’s Land Army during WWI, disappeared a couple of years ago. The body of Polly Watkins, also a former member of the Women’s Land Army, is found in a field. Are all of these events related? The local authorities are not interested in pursuing any investigations and take the easy way out. However, the likeable self-proclaimed amateur sleuths Beryl and Edwina are up for the challenge.
The first of four entries in the “Beryl and Edwina Mystery” series is a fun read. It reminds me of the “Phryne Mystery” series by Kerry Greenwood.
This debut novel is based on the life of Thelma Morgan Viscountess Furness who was a mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) before Wallis Simpson. In fact, Thelma introduced the pair. Thelma’s twin sister, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, became entangled in a notorious court battle for custody of her daughter, Little Gloria, after her husband died. Little Gloria was the heir to an impressive Vanderbilt fortune, and Gloria was allowed only to spend interest from the fortune to take care of Little Gloria. The Vanderbilts wanted Little Gloria in the United States and her mother wanted them to live in Europe. Thelma was a character witness for her sister at the trial. Everyone wanted to keep Edward away from any publicity which could detract from the royal family and Edward’s future role as king of England. Eventually Edward and Thelma drifted apart.
For enthusiasts of anything royal and fans of the Netflix series “The Crown”. Thelma was a real-life socialite who became part of British upper-crust society with her marriage and later association with Edward.
Best friends cellist Bridget and pianist Will founded the successful Forsythe Trio while attending Julliard 30+ years ago. They are searching for a new violinist again to complete the trio beginning in the fall. For the summer Bridget moves back to her rundown Connecticut country home. She is expecting her author boyfriend to join her for a relaxing summer, but her 20-something twins move home instead. In addition Bridget’s 90-year-old world renowned conductor father announces he is getting married. Due to a fire at her father’s home, Bridget’s dilapidated barn becomes the venue for the wedding, and major repairs commence.
This a heartwarming story filled with secrets revealed, music, friendship, romance, family and chaos. Some issues are resolved, but some aren’t. Here’s hoping for a sequel!
What a fun book! At the age of 10 in 1914, Margery Benson’s father introduces her to the “mythical” golden beetle of New Caledonia, an island in the South Pacific. She is determined one day to find specimens for the Natural History Museum in London. Margery does not give up her quest and in 1950 decides to take the expedition. She needs adequate funds, equipment, and an assistant. Her assistant, Enid Pretty, is an energetic young counterpart to Margery and they have little in common. Also Enid is hiding something in her red valise that no one can touch.
Enid’s outgoing nonstop personality is good for Margery, and Margery’s solid well thought-out plans are good for Enid. As the weeks go by family histories and secrets are revealed. Eventually the two women become friends sharing the ups and the downs on the expedition.
I thoroughly recommend this novel. It will make my list of top ten for the year.
The sugar cane industry is the mainstay for the economic survival of Hilo, Hawaii. The plantations employ many of the residents who are mostly Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese. It’s 1935 when the Mauna Loa volcano erupts and lava starts moving toward civilization, namely Hilo.
Daniel Abe has returned home to Hilo after practicing medicine in Chicago for 10 years. He reconnects with family and friends including former girlfriend Maile. Koji has always been supportive of Daniel and his mother, Mariko, especially after Daniel’s father disappears. As a young man Koji wanted more of a relationship with Mariko, but she chose Franklin instead. Koji’s love and concern for Mariko never diminishes taking care of her during her fight with cancer.
Time moves back and forth between the early 1900’s and 1930’s. There are secrets uncovered along the way that greatly effect Daniel and his relationship with “Uncle” Koji. I enjoyed the historical aspects of this novel including learning about the backbreaking work on a sugar cane plantation, the attempts to unionize, and the ever present possibility of widespread disaster due to the volcano.
The story flips back and forth between the 1950’s and the 1990’s. Beth and her 3 siblings had been told that their mother, Grace, died in a car accident when they were very young. Their father, Patrick, was left to raise four young children. Decades later after their father died, Beth is cleaning out his padlocked attic when she comes across notes written by their mother that indicate something else happened.
Both Beth and her mother suffered from postpartum depression. The way the condition was treated in the 1950’s for Grace is very different than the help Beth receives.Secrets must have haunted Patrick for decades and sadly even at the end of his life he was unwilling and eventually unable to share the truth. His children were left to sort out exactly what really happened to their mother.
This is not a happy-ever-after book, but it’s a good story. It compares the roles of women and their healthcare in the mid and late 20th century.