AMERICA’S MOST HAUNTED HOTELS by Jamie Davis Whitmer

hauntedhotels
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Release Date: October 8, 2016
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★½


Phantom footsteps pace the stairs at the Myrtles Plantation. A seductive spirit tugs on the sheets at the Copper Queen. Ghost children whisper and giggle at the Kehoe House. Journey into the mysterious world of haunted hotels, where uninvited guests roam the halls, supernatural sounds ring throughout the rooms, and chills run along the spines of those who dare to check in for the night.

Join Jamie Davis Whitmer, author of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums, as she explores some of the most haunted hotels across the United States. From the Jerome Grand Hotel in Arizona to the Palmer House in Minnesota, each hotel is discussed in great detail, covering everything from the building’s history and legends to first-hand accounts of spooky sounds and smells, ghost sightings, EVP sessions, and more. You’ll also find photos, travel information, and everything else you need to plan your own visit to these iconic hotels.


AMERICA’S MOST HAUNTED HOTELS would be a fun travel guide to have on a cross-country ghost tour road trip. This book highlights ten of the country’s notable haunted hotels, some familiar to me and some not. The author gives readers a brief history of the properties and why each is thought to be haunted. She also shares her own experiences at the hotels, and whether or not she got a feel for their resident spirits ― though no in depth ghost hunting takes place. I was a bit disappointed it wasn’t spookier, but it gives plenty of info to stir up interest. Each hotel’s chapter concludes with reservation and contact information if you’d like to plan a visit.

My two favorites were the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, which was Stephen King’s inspiration for The Shining, and the Crescent Hotel in Arkansas, which I’ve visited many times. Love it. The ghost tour was great spooky fun.

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

HER NIGHTLY EMBRACE by Adi Tantimedh (Audiobook)

hernightlyembrace
Series: Ravi PI, #1
Publisher: Atria/Leopoldo & Co
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★½


The first in a trilogy of whip-smart novels—currently in development as a TV series set to star Sendhil Ramamurthy (NBC’s Heroes and Heroes Reborn)—about a destructive private investigator and his eccentric coworkers, who handle cases so high-profile that they never make the headlines.

Ravi Chandra Singh is the last guy you’d expect to become a private detective. A failed religious scholar, he now works for Golden Sentinels, an upmarket London private investigations agency. His colleagues are a band of gleefully amoral and brilliant screw-ups: Ken and Clive, a pair of brutal ex-cops who are also a gay couple; Mark Chapman, a burned-out stoner hiding a great mind; Marcie Holder, a cheerful former publicist; Benjamin Lee, a techie prankster from South London; David Okri, an ambitious lawyer from a well-connected Nigerian immigrant family; and Olivia Wong, an upper-class Hong Kong financial analyst hiding her true skills as one of the most dangerous hackers in the world—all under the watchful eye of Roger Golden, wheeler-dealer extraordinaire, and his mysterious office manager, Cheryl Hughes.

Thrust into a world where the rich, famous, and powerful hire him to solve their problems and wash their dirty laundry, Ravi finds himself in over his head with increasingly gonzo and complex cases – and the recent visions that he’s been having of Hindu gods aren’t helping. As Ravi struggles to stay ahead of danger, he wonders if the things he’s seeing are a delusion – or if he might, in fact, be an unrecognized shaman of the modern world…


I heard a lot of buzz about this book, so I decided to give it a listen on audio. HER NIGHTLY EMBRACE is the first in a series that follows the investigations of Ravi Chandra Singh, P.I.

I enjoyed Ravi’s character. He’s smart, witty, flawed, and conflicted. He can see visions of Hindu Gods, or are they really there? They even tweet about him to each other. Ravi was once a religious scholar, but left his studies to become a teacher, a career that didn’t last long. Eventually he landed a job with an exclusive detective agency called Golden Sentinels.

This book is set up differently than I expected. Instead of having one central plot, the book is a collection of stories covering a different case Golden Sentinels is investigating. I think it worked pretty well. I do wish the secondary characters had been fleshed out a little more, which was probably harder to do jumping from story to story.

One note of caution: there is a lot of bad language in this book. A lot! After a while it became jarring and distracting. Swearing is fine when it’s called for, but this was a bit over the top for me.


Audiobook • 7 hrs, 30 mins • Sendhil Ramamurthy, Narrator

As the blurb says, this book is “currently in development as a TV series set to star Sendhil Ramamurthy,” so it makes sense that he would narrate the audiobook! Loved his performance as Ravi, and also did brilliantly with the other characters’ accents and mannerisms. I will definitely keep an eye out for HER NIGHTLY EMBRACE to come to the small screen.


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

THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES by Sarah Maine

The House Between Tides
THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES by Sarah Maine
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

THE HOUSE OF TIDES drew me in with its eerie crumbling mansion complete with a mysterious skeleton hidden inside. The story is set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and the land upon which Muirlan House sits is only accessible when the tides are out. The author created a wonderfully creepy Gothic atmosphere with this tumbledown house and isolated location.

The story alternates between different time periods – 2010, when Hetty inherits the house, and at the turn of the last century, when artist Theo Blake lived there with his young wife, Beatrice. While the murder mystery was intriguing, I had a hard time clicking with the characters, especially Hetty, who acted like a meek doormat a lot of the time. Beatrice was my favorite by far, she had spirit, though all the talk about Theo’s bird obsession slowed the pace down.

This book is a nice mix of quiet mystery/suspense, romance, and historical fiction. A bit slow in parts, but still kept me curious about the ending. 3.5 stars.

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