The Uncanny Express is a middle grade novel written by Kara LaReau and illustrated by Jen Hill. This is the second book in The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters series. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book with my girls because we enjoyed reading The Jolly Regina, which is the first book in the series.
After their pirate adventure in the first book, Jaundice and Kale are looking forward to returning to their bland lives sitting at home, darning socks, and eating cheese sandwiches. Their plans are thrown off-kilter when they are directed to go to the train station to meet their aunt, and inadvertently end up on a train speeding off to the Uncanny Valley.
Jaundice and Kale agree to help a glamorous magician and serve as her assistants, but then she disappears- even though the train never made any stops. Luckily, one of the other passengers on the train is the famous detective Hugo Fromage. Can he help solve the mystery of the missing magician? Continue reading
The Ghost of Christmas Past is the 17th book in Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy mystery series. I am a big fan of Rhys Bowen, and I have read many (although not all) of the Molly Murphy books. I was definitely excited about the opportunity to read this book.
Molly is trying to recover from some sad news that she received at the end of the last book. She and her husband Daniel think that spending Christmas at a swanky Westchester mansion is just the thing they need to lift their spirits. Upon arrival, they learn that the family suffered a tragic loss when their daughter disappeared ten years ago. There was never any ransom note, nor was any trace of the girl ever discovered. Naturally, Molly wants to investigate, but there are strange things afoot, and strange occurrences too. Continue reading
Murder, Magic, and What We Wore is a young adult novel written by Kelly Jones. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because it is set in the Regency era, one of my absolute favorite historical periods.
Annis Whitworth is a young woman whose life is thrown into upheaval by her father’s death. She did not know her father very well because he was often traveling, and his sudden death prompts many questions about his occupation. This event also seems to serve as the catalyst for Annis learning that she can sew “glamours” that transform garments and the person wearing them. Continue reading
One of Us Is Lying is a young adult novel written by Karen M. McManus. I found it on the new release shelf at my town library.
Five teens walk into detention: Bronwyn is an academic overachiever, Addy is a pretty girl, Nate is a drug dealer, Cooper is a baseball star, and Simon is brooding and aloof. They are all there because they were caught with cell phones during class. There’s just one problem- the phones aren’t actually theirs and none of them have any idea what the phones are doing in their bags. They are a rather eclectic group, and don’t necessarily run in the same social circles. Being in detention for a something they didn’t actually do is the least of their concerns because by the end of detention, one of the five is dead. Continue reading
Elsie Mae Has Something to Say is a middle grade novel written by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because we’ve read Cavanaugh’s last book- Just Like Me.
This book takes us back to the 1930s, and we are immediately introduced to Elsie Mae, a young girl living near the Okefenokee Swamp. The swamp is very dear to her heart; not only do her grandparents and uncles live there, but Elsie has spent the last several summers with her grandparents. As the story begins, Elsie Mae is mailing a letter to the White House because she has heard about a canal project that would cut right through her beloved swamp. Elsie Mae is determined to do something about this, and fervently hopes that her letter will reach President Roosevelt’s desk.
The summer starts out well enough- Elsie’s Uncle Owen presents her with a dog, something she has always wanted. Elsie is looking forward to spending the summer becoming acquainted with the dog, but she faces two obstacles: the arrival of her cousin Henry James (who wants to be a preacher when he grows up) and the news that there are no good hog bandits on the loose in the Okefenokee. Continue reading
The Property of Lies is the second book in Marjorie Eccles’ series of mystery books featuring Detective Herbert Reardon. It takes place a couple of years after the first book, Heirs and Assigns, and this book has our intrepid detective investigating a murder at a girls’ boarding school.
Coincidentally, Reardon’s wife has just accepted a position at the school because the last French teacher disappeared. Not too much later, the missing teacher’s body in a dilapidated corner of the property. Continue reading
Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman is the first book in Tessa Arlen’s Lady Montfort mystery series.
Lady Montfort loves planning her annual summer party. She is happy to have her son home from Oxford, as well as his childhood friends. However, things take a nasty turn when her nephew Teddy is found dead- gruesomely murdered, it seems. Lady Montfort saw her son arguing with Teddy and even shoving him. She knows that her son is not capable of such a heinous crime, but she is also afraid that the investigation will lead back to him. Continue reading