A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins

As a young widow in Victorian England, Lady Katherine’s social station provides her with more opportunities than a less-connected widow in the same position, but nevertheless, there are some things that are frowned upon, such as using her journalistic skills to uncover a serial killer

NB: The text doesn’t refer to the perpetrator as a serial killer, but there’s a clear pattern between a series of killings around London.

When Kate runs afoul of Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham, she retires to the countryside and runs right into (quite literally) another victim.

And guess who shows up to investigate? Yes, that’s right—none other than infuriating…handsome Detective Eversham. At first, this development annoys Kate, but perhaps Andrew is not so bad after all.

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Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass


I want to begin this review by saying that I have followed Adam Sass on Twitter for quite awhile and when I saw Surrender Your Sons pop up on NetGalley, I immediately “wished” for it. When my wish was granted a couple of months, I literally shrieked out loud.

Connor Major trusted his boyfriend when he suggested that Connor come out to his family, but it turns out to be an utter disaster. Connor’s religious mother strongly objects to the revelation, confiscates his phone, and ultimately has him shipped off to a conversion camp on a secluded island near Costa Rica.

In theory, if Connor follows all the directions, he can leave after a week.

But no one ever leaves after only a week. Read more

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp



Before I Let Go is a young adult novel by Marieke Nijkamp. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I enjoyed reading her first book, This Is Where It Ends.

Corey grew up in a small town in rural Alaska. Really small. As in, 246 people. She and her family moved away, but she has planed to go back and see her best friend Kyra. Two days before Corey’s arrival, Kyra is found dead, and everyone seems convinced that it was a suicide because of Kyra’s mental health diagnoses.

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People Like Us by Dana Mele


People Like Us is a young adult novel written by Dana Mele. I read this book a while ago, but I am woefully behind with my review writing. I had heard about this book, and so I requested it via my library network.

It is an absolute nightmare when the body of a student turns up in the lake on the campus of the exclusive Bates Academy, but for Kay Donovan, it’s just the beginning. She receives a message from the dead girl, instructing her to confront her friends, and if Kay fails to comply, there will be consequences. It seems as though everyone is keeping secrets, but the biggest secret of all is how the girl ended up in the lake in the first place. Could Kay be implicated for the crime? Read more

Where the Dead Lie by C.S. Harris


I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

When it comes to the mystery genre of fiction, I prefer historical settings to contemporary. I have not read any of C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries, but I’m always pleased to discover new authors/series.

Where the Dead Lie is the 12th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. Sebastian finds himself immersed in London’s sordid underworld after the body of a boy turns up in a hastily dug grave. The boy has not just been murdered; he has been brutalized, and Sebastian becomes obsessed with finding out who would be depraved enough to such horrible things to a child. As he progresses with his investigation, Sebastian discovers that multiple children have gone missing from some of London’s poorest neighborhoods. Did these street children simply leave in search of better opportunities or is there something more sinister at play? Read more

The Amateurs by Sara Shepard


I’ve enjoyed several of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars books, so I was excited when I found her latest book The Amateurs at the library.

Speaking of Pretty Little LiarsThe Amateurs begins in a similar fashion. The details are different, of course, but the bottom line is that Helena Kelly, a pretty girl in an affluent suburb disappears and is found dead.

Five years later, Seneca Frazier is a college student who is obsessed with the Helena Kelly case. She connects with Maddy, an online friend from a true crime/amateur sleuth website. Maddy, who is from Dexby, the town where the crime occurred, invites Seneca to come visit for Spring Break. What better way to cross-reference the details of the case? Perhaps they can uncover some clues that the police missed! Read more

The Queen’s Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal


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

I have read several of the books in Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope series, and I was looking forward to reading The Queen’s Accomplice, which is the newest entry.

For those of you unfamiliar with Maggie Hope, she is a young woman living in England during WWII. She’s very clever, and this leads to government positions working with powerful people, like Winston Churchill.

As the book begins, Maggie has returned from her American sojourn, and is working with British Intelligence translating the encoded messages the office receives from agents working in Occupied France. Some of her superiors are less than thrilled about female agents, and they ignore Maggie’s concerns that one of the female agents may have been captured.

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Brightwood by Tania Unsworth


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

Brightwood is a middle grade novel written by Tania Unsworth. This was originally published under the title The Secret Life of Daisy Fitzjohn, but the name was changed for the American edition.

Daisy Fitzjohn is a young girl living in a manor house in England. Her life is quite unconventional. To begin with, she has never left Brightwood Hall; this is a modern story, so never having left her house is unusual. Daisy has wondered about the outside world, but she is content to remain at home while her mother leaves the house for provisions. And if being isolated from the outside world was not enough, it is immediately clear that Daisy’s mother is a hoarder. Daisy is unfazed by the unconventional lifestyle; after all, she doesn’t know that anything is amiss. She is content to converse with her friends, like the rat named Tar and a topiary horse. Read more

Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty

51mm8vlj1dlI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was thrilled beyond belief when I found out that there was going to be a sequel to Robert Beatty’s middle grade novel Serafina and the Black Cloak. I had been impressed with Beatty’s debut last year, and I wanted to find out what was going to happen to our plucky protagonist next.

It should be noted that Serafina and the Twisted Staff reveals information about the first Serafina book and its infamous black cloak, including the identity of the person wearing the black cloak. This review will skirt around such spoilers.

Serafina and the Twisted Staff begins relatively soon after the events of the first book. Young Serafina struggles to find her place in the world; she is not wild enough to survive in the forest, but she feels too wild to live amongst the civilized folk at the grand Biltmore estate. Read more

Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

41u7xy0kizlI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Beware That Girl is a YA psychological thriller by Teresa Toten. Kate O’Brian is a girl with a past. When we first Kate, she’s living in a hovel, but preparing to start her senior year at Waverly, a Manhattan girl’s school. Kate is confident, and Kate has aspirations for greatness. Part of Kate’s plan involves befriending Olivia Sumner, a former “it girl” who is now only a fragile shell of what she used to be.

It seems clear that Kate plans to use Olivia to further her own agenda, but that’s not quite what’s happening at all. As Kate becomes comfortable moving in Olivia’s circle, there is a dangerous new staff member whose obsession with the girls might ruin everything Kate has worked so hard to achieve. Read more