A DEADLY THAW by Sarah Ward

A Deadly Thaw (Inspector Francis Sadler #2)
A DEADLY THAW by Sarah Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book in a series, centering around Inspector Francis Sadler and his detectives. A very intriguing mystery here, but be prepared to suspend disbelief to make it work.

The set up was good. The body of a murdered man is found in an abandoned morgue, except everyone thought he had died over a decade earlier. In fact, his wife had only recently been released from prison for committing the original murder. So, who was the first victim, and why would she lie about him being her husband? Then when she disappears, it’s up to her sister Kat to help police figure the whole thing out.

This was an okay police procedural, just kind of hard to believe once the big secret is revealed. The last third or so of the book seemed to drag, probably could have wrapped up quicker after learning the who and why. I enjoyed Kat’s character, but the others seem to blend together. It might have helped to have read the first book and already known the backstory of the cast.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS by Emily Carpenter

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls
BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS by Emily Carpenter
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

First, I have to say that this is an impressive debut novel! The blurb intrigued me, though I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I got was gut-wrenching emotion, complicated characters, a puzzling mystery, and a dash of magical realism.

Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Set in Alabama, the story centers around Althea, a troubled young woman who’s come home to visit her ailing father. It seems that she, too, carries the burden of a curse that strikes the women in her family on their 30th birthday. With her 30th birthday just a couple weeks away, Althea is faced with the seemingly impossible task of saving herself. What is her family’s dark secret? With just a cigar box full of clues her mother left her, Althea sets out to solve the mystery.

The story alternates between Althea in the present, and her great-grandmother Jinn back in the 1930s. I was easily wrapped up in both of their suspenseful tales, on pins and needles waiting to know their fates. The author knows how to build a suspenseful feeling of dread. Great book, would recommend to anyone.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA by Laura DiSilverio

The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala (Book Club Mystery, #3)
THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA by Laura DiSilverio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun cozy mystery starring amateur sleuth Amy-Faye Johnson and the members of her Readaholics book club. Amy-Faye is an event planner, and she’s organized the Celebration of Gothic Novels for the local bookstore. It appears to be a smashing success, until one of the guests is murdered. Who was he? Why was he there? The book club has their work cut out for them to solve the complex mystery.

I enjoyed the characters and murder mystery, though once again we have the protagonist in a relationship with the police detective. Not my favorite cozy element, after reading so many. At least they had a good relationship, and Amy-Faye never stepped over the line in her investigation.

Of course, one of my favorite things about the book was all the Gothic novel talk. If only the Celebration of Gothic Novels was real! I’d be there, for sure. This is the third book in the Book Club Mystery series, and I’d love to take a look at the first two.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

THE TAXIDERMIST’S DAUGHTER by Kate Mosse (Audiobook)

The Taxidermist's Daughter
THE TAXIDERMIST’S DAUGHTER by Kate Mosse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jackdaws, magpies, crows, and more, I love birds from the Corvidae family, and they were the perfect Gothic inspiration for Kate Mosse’s gruesome historical novel, THE TAXIDERMIST’S DAUGHTER. This dark mystery centers around Connie, the daughter of a taxidermist – she, too, is one – and her quest to solve the mystery of a young woman’s murder. The story hooked me right away with its Poe-esque atmosphere. Chilling! The mystery itself was puzzling, twisty, and complex. Taxidermy give me the creeps, as did this book, so really it was a fitting backdrop to the story. Nice blend of murder mystery and old fashioned Gothic.


Audiobook • 10 hrs, 20 mins • Michelle Ford, Narrator

Parts of this book I listened to on audio, borrowed from the library. I enjoyed Michelle Ford’s performance. One thing that stood out was her ability to inflect a subtle feeling of dread into her voice, which was perfect for the subject matter of the book. She definitely enhanced the eerie Gothic feeling of the story!


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

THE SINNER by Amanda Stevens

The Sinner (Graveyard Queen, #5)
THE SINNER by Amanda Stevens
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Really good! THE SINNER was creeptastic from the very beginning. This one takes place about a year after the previous book. Amelia has taken a job restoring Seven Gates Cemetery in Ascension, South Carolina. While taking a stroll through the surrounding woods, Amelia makes a shocking, gruesome discovery. Gave me chills. The mystery surrounding her discovery puts her paranormal abilities to the test. Suspenseful, very spooky, and ends with an intriguing tease of what’s to come.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.