Archive for the ‘IT’S A MYSTERY TO ME’ Category

shadow dancercatherinefoyer

SHADOW DANCER by Addison Kline

Posted: September 13, 2014 by BA Dillon in IT'S A MYSTERY TO ME

shadow dancerReviewed by Lizzie McDee

Gone Readin’ was given this book to read in turn for an honest review. This is a tough book to review without giving away the story. At Gone Readin’ our policy is to never publish a review with spoilers. So here’s just enough to wet your appetite, peak your interest, so that you can have a seat to watch this terrific romantic, suspenseful mystery unfold before your very eyes.

Secrets are secrets for a reason, and some should never be unearthed. The day Tristan Morrow is born, her mother goes missing, and Tristan is raised by an extended family. Fifteen years later, the Morrow family hasn’t found closure – they still do not know what happened to Catherine Morrow. Being the youngest and only girl of five children, Tristan has lived her life protected by her father and brothers. She even hides her first crush with Cole, fearful or what her father and brothers will do to him. When Mr. Bernard Kendricks, the strictest English teacher at Steeplechase Academy assigns Tristan to write a biography on her mother, all she can write is what she’s heard from others. She was beautiful. She was crazy. She didn’t stick around. The assignment, however, leads her to the truth. She didn’t leave her, she is dead. Tristan’s mission becomes finding the person responsible, but these actions put her own life at risk. Her father, Jack Morrow promises to share with his children all that he knows, but before that family meeting takes place, Tristan ends up missing as well. The family has their own theory who might be responsible for Tristan’s disappearance, and hopes to find her before she meets the same fate as her mother. The story takes place in rural Fox Hollow, Pennsylvania, and the mystery unravels a web of lies, deceit, madness and corruption. Who is responsible for the disappearances? The only thing we know for sure is Tristan Morrow holds the key to solving the entire riddle.

Here’s what we loved about this story. At Gone Readin’ we love dialogue driven stories about families, and that’s exactly what we have here. We also want our main characters to show strength but also unveil their vulnerabilities as well. The plot itself is intricate, taking so many twists and turns you’ll feel like you just rode the best roller coaster of your life. Ms. Kline does a wonderful job creating characters that readers will both love and hate.

We are calling this a 4.5 for two reasons. There were so many characters; we had trouble distinguishing between them all. As a result, this reviewer read the prologue and first three chapters several times. This is however, typical for most books of this genre. The prologue was slightly confusing because the “voice” wasn’t clear. It’s important to pay attention to the chapter headings and dates, to clarify the character “voice” for that chapter. The changes from third person to first person POV, and changes in tense keeps the book from reading seamlessly. The storyline – the plot is interesting, and held my interest. I was truly invested in the entire Morrow clan and Tristan’s future. If you are looking for a well-written, dialogue-driven, suspenseful mystery about an interesting family, look no further. Shadow Dancer is the book for you!

how the light gets in

115 journals

At the beginning of her new novel, Louise Penny thanks Leonard Cohen for generously allowing her to use a line from his song “Anthem”. Cohen tells us in that song that “There is a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in.” I have read all nine of Penny’s novels, so, presumably, I must have enjoyed them. And those lines by Cohen struck me from the first time I heard them as a neat summation of how good comes out of bad. Why, then, do I dislike their use as the title of her ninth and latest Armand Gomache mystery, How the Light Gets In?

Reviews, including one in the New York Times ranged from very positive to rhapsodic. Fans told of staying up half the night, of being totally emotionally engaged, of how they had waited breathlessly since the dire conclusion of book 8, The Beautiful Mystery

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As always, MHC delivers another real page turner and the end was not what I expected. Could someone commit murder while sleepwalking? That’s one of the premises of Clark’s story which is set in the suburbs of Manhattan. Kay Lansing, is the daughter of the former landscaper of the Carrington estate, and Peter Carrington, one of the wealthiest men in America. They find themselves in court accused of murder while sleepwalking. This fast-paced suspense novel has cliff-hangers at the end of every very short chapter that makes you want to turn the page! Most of the action takes place at the Carrington family home in New Jersey. Kay Lansing holds a fund-raiser for her literacy program at Mr. Carrington’s estate. After they meet, a whirlwind courtship ensues, Kay finds herself married the the much older Carrington. He has been living under a cloud of suspicion for two decades after the disappearance of his neighbor,Susan Althorp, as well as the drowning death of his first wife. What I love about MHC books is the face-paced short chapters, and the dialogue driven storyline. But this one isn’t as strong as many of the other Clark novels. While I appreciate dialogue driven stories, this dialogue is beyond weird because NO ONE talks like that! I also noted that the writing style changes throughout. The story begins in first person (Kay) and switches to third person (everyone else), which makes it a bit difficult to follow. MHC books are famous for having many characters, and this one stays true to that recipe. This is the first time I found myself a little lost with just TOO MANY people. The mystery is satisfying, but the romance is disappointing.

WHERE ARE YOU NOW? by Mary Higgins Clark

Posted: November 24, 2013 by BA Dillon in IT'S A MYSTERY TO ME



In Mary Higgins Clark’s Where Are You Now? the author answers one of her most frequently asked questions in the acknowledgements – Where do you get your ideas for your books? Many come from newspaper articles, and this book was developed from exactly that. MHC read an article about a young man who disappeared from his dorm over thirty-five years ago, but continues to call his mother every Mother’s Day refusing to answer any questions or offer information as to where he is now. His mother still waits today, hoping that he will return home before she dies.

MHC, the Queen of Suspense, created this story from the above article that details a terrifying tale of a psychopath shadowing women on the streets of Manhattan near the SoHo nightclubs. Four women are missing as is Charles “Mack” MacKenzie, Jr. but he continues to call his mother every year on Mother’s Day. Mack’s sister, Carolyn, is about to graduate from law school. She’s been through two family tragedies – Mack’s disappearance, and the death of her father on 9/11. Even her father’s death did not bring Mack home, or change his pleas to be left alone. Carolyn, however, resolves to find him. Mack sends her a message via a note dropped into the collection basket at mass. Her uncle – the Monsignor Devon MacKenzie is the recipient. His message is clear – please tell Carolyn she shouldn’t search for me.

As only MHC can do, red herrings are placed throughout the entire story, and most readers will begin to suspect anyone but the actual predator of the missing young women. This thriller is a fascinating story with a plot that has so many twists and turns, it’s almost impossible to predict the outcome. It has a great deal of action, characters that are easy to relate to, and so many surprises it’s difficult to put down. The cast of characters is indeed long, and sometimes I felt like I needed a flowchart to keep track of everyone, but the plot more than makes up for that. We get a little romance as always, and there is a big surprise in the end for this multi-suspect mystery!! In my opinion the older MHC books are much better than the newer ones, and this one is one of my favorites.

I’LL WALK ALONE by Mary Higgins Clark

Posted: November 19, 2013 by BA Dillon in IT'S A MYSTERY TO ME



Alexander “Zan” Moreland  is living every mother’s worst nightmare – her three year old son is taken from his stroller while his babysitter sleeps nearby. Two years later, nearing her son Matthew’s fifth birthday, something happens to given Zan hope that her baby boy is still alive. A surveillance video surfaces that suggests Zan herself may have taken Matthew. Shortly after the video emerges, Zan’s bank accounts are hacked and her identity is stolen. It looks like someone is trying to steal her entire life! Now, Zan has become the number one suspect in this cold case. I’ll Walk Alone features the recurring character, Alvirah Meehan in a supporting role, but still an important one as an amateur detective. There are many other characters, as in all MHC books, including her ex-husband Ted and Father Aiden. The plot moves along at a quick clip, with the average chapter being only 3 pages long. Some reviewers claim to have known the identity of the kidnapper early on, but I was kept guessing until the bitter end. This novel is a quick and easy read – but not one of Clark’s best. The premise is good, but I have to wonder has MHC lost her MoJo? As always, we’re given a glimpse of romance between Zan and Kevin.The romance however, is underdeveloped, and the love story itself was too abrupt – almost unbelievable. As a character, Zan does not generate much sympathy from the reader. She comes across as a beautiful, sweet, very naive young woman who is basically pretty annoying.She spends so much time crying and doubting herself that I just didn’t care who did it! I’ve been a fan of Mary Higgins Clark for a long time. I loved Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Just Take My Heart, and Remember Me! MHC – It’s time to step up to modern times and create a love story that sizzles alongside a mystery that keeps all your readers guessing!!