Sunday, May 20, 2018

A few quick reviews - A Noise Downstairs; Linwood Barclay - The Death of Mrs Westaway; Ruth Ware and Eight Hundred Grapes; Laura Dave

I can't believe it's been almost 3 weeks since I last posted here, just where do the days go? Hope everyone has been doing well.  I've still been reading quite a bit, a few really great reads and a few just okay ones.    Here's a recap:

A Noise Downstairs; Linwood Barclay
William Morrow - 2018

The set up for this psychological thriller is pretty simple, Paul Davis thinks his colleague, Ken, just might be a murderer.

Paul is a college professor who is driving home one night and notices that his colleague, Ken is driving erratically and a tail light is out, when Paul follows him,  he discovers he has two dead bodies in his car. Ken beats Paul up and nearly kills him but Paul recovers, suffering from PTSD as a result of the attack. He feels like he is losing his mind and when his therapist suggests he write about the incident that has caused him so much anguish, his wife and son buy him an antique typewriter to chronicle his thoughts.  Unfortunately, the typewriter seems to have a life of its own at night, typing sounds that only Paul seems to hear. Has Paul lost it or, is something or someone more sinister at play here?

The story is told primarily from the POV of Paul, his wife Charlotte and his therapist, Anna.  An addictive read that reels you in and keeps you guessing.  I loved how the story played out and, I felt the author did an awesome job. This is a must read for psychological fiction fans.

Rating - 5/5 stars

Gallery/Scout Press - 2018

Hal (Harriet Westaway) is a young woman who is struggling to make ends meet.  Her mother died three months earlier, a victim or a hit and run accident. Hal has followed in her footsteps as a boardwalk, physic reading tarot cards for tourists.  She's flat broke and has even borrowed money from a loan shark who is now threatening her.  

One day she receives a letter in the mail stating that a relative has died and that she's in line for an inheritance.  Although she is pretty certain that the letter was sent to her in error and mean for someone else, she's desperate and decides to travel to Cornwall for the funeral of the deceased, a woman who is supposedly her grandmother.  A reading of the will is to follow the services.

An atmospheric, creepy, Gothic type mystery with cranky, suspicious characters. The setting, Trepassen House, a creepy old mansion was ideal for the story to play out. I enjoyed the characters and the way that the story unraveled.

Rating - 4.5/5 stars

Simon & Schuster - 2015

I wanted a lighter story to listen to on my walks and this story was delightful.  Set in Sonoma Valley's wine country, 30 year old, Georgia Ford has learned quite a bit about making wine, her family owns a vineyard there.  Now, living away from home in LA, Georgia's wedding is just one week away when she learns that her husband to be has been hiding a secret.  Unsure what she should do, she returns home to her family for comfort and to sort things out, only to find that her family has been hiding something from her as well. Will Georgia sort things out, marry and move to London as she had planned or will her life take a new path?

This was a nice story about family, dreams and bumps in the road of life. Likable characters and s beautiful setting as well. This audio book was would be a nice summer reading choice.

Rating - 4/5 stars


  1. I've read Eight Hundred Grapes and am adding the other two to my wish list - A Noise Downstairs sounds right up my alley. Glad you're doing well!

  2. Kathy, A Noise Downstairs was awesome and so was Ruth Ware’s book too.

    Hope you’ve been well too. After almost 10 years of blogging (June) I’m losing my momentum LOL

  3. Eight Hundred Grapes sounds appealing.
    Diane, I've been blogging for 10 years as well. But I haven't posted much the past few years!

  4. I've read the Ruth Ware book. The others are new to me. Glad to have you back even though its been quite a while!

  5. These book sound good! I hope you're doing well.

  6. I almost read Eight Hundred Grapes but then didn't, the other two are new to me.

  7. I'm reading Ruth Ware's book right now - very Gothic indeed. And I'm planning on reading Lincoln Barclay's new one. Glad to hear it worked so well for you. I like his books for the most part. Diane, I do understand about losing blogging 'mojo'. Mine has come and gone and come and gone. We'll be around whenever you'd like to share, but I would say - don't feel you must - though I do miss hearing your thoughts. ;-)

  8. Sounds like a relaxing summer read--love the setting :)

  9. I'm going to have to read a Ware one of these days.

  10. I read one Barclay book a few years ago and was not impresses so I have not read another since.

    Good to know that you liked the Ware book.

  11. All 3 of these look really good but I'm especially excited to see your positive review of The Death of Mrs. Westaway. I love Ruth Ware but her latest book was a bit flat for me and I have high hopes for this one.

  12. Well sounds like you are putting your time away from the blog to good use and getting to lots of books :) I like the sound of all of these so they are going on my wish list.

  13. It's that time of year where everyone is busy with gardening, travel and simply enjoying spring/summer weather, right? You've been missed, but I understand. If it weren't for all my travel posts, I don't know if I'd have a lot to blog about since I'm not reading as much as I used to.

    The Barclay thriller sounds like one I'd enjoy. I'm not a big fan of gothic novels and I don't care for Ruth Ware, so I'll probably skip her latest. Eight Hundred Grapes sounds like a fun, light audio. Adding it to my list!

  14. Diane, all these sound great. I've heard good things about Ruth Ware and have been wanting to try one of her books. I know what you mean about the days going by so quickly. It's hard to believe that we're almost at the end of May! I hope that you're having a great summer!

  15. Thanks for the quick reviews. Reading rocks!


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