Author: Rachael Huszar
Narrator: Jenn Lee
Length: 5 hours and 31 minutes
Producer: Audiobook Empire
Publisher: Rachael Huszar
Released: January 20, 2022
Genre: Historical Thriller
Deadly Summer Nights
A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery #1
Berkley Prime Crime, September 2021
Mass Market Paperback
Shades of Dirty Dancing! Almost from the first description I was transported to the Catskill Mountains where opulent resorts held sway in the 50s. The 1950s, that is. The incessant smoking, the ritzy cocktails—does anyone drink Grasshoppers anymore?—the full skirts, girdles and stockings required even in the middle of a hot, humid summer are part of what strikes me as an entire other age. The cast includes college boys earning money for the next semester’s tuition, and in some cases, grifters and con artists. Mainly, we meet an extremely hard-working staff trying to please women with children whose husbands make enough money to allow an escape from the city heat.
But there’s nowhere, evidently, you can escape murder, McCarthyism, and small-town cops with an ax to grind.
A convoluted revenge story, sometimes it appears everyone–yet no one–has the motive to kill a simple college professor who is in want of privacy to write a novel. Yet he turns up dead. Wild tales spread through the resort population, with hotelier Elizabeth Grady at her wits end trying to keep nasty rumors from ruining the summer season. Determined to discover the murderer herself when the police prove inadequate, Elizabeth is helped not only by her friends, but the dead man’s nephew.
The story has a fine plot, excellent characters, and a wonderful setting. A lot to like in this one, sure to put you in the mood for soft summer days and hot nights.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, February 2022.
Author of The Woman Who Built A Bridge (Spur Award Winner), Ault’s Heir,
The Woman Who Wore a Badge, and Six Dancing Damsels: A China Bohannon Mystery
A Sophie Strong Mystery #1
Lilac Bower Media, September 2021
It’s 1912 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Herald daily newspaper has a single female reporter. Twenty-two year old Sophie Strong reports on garden parties, women’s groups and longs for a serious assignment.
Because she’s bright, capable and ambitious, readers of this debut mystery will assume, and rightly so, that Miss Strong will get herself in trouble pursuing suspicious events in town.
The novel carefully and accurately carries readers into Milwaukee of that time although this reader would have welcomed a few more descriptive passages. Nevertheless the book is tightly constructed and moves ahead at a steadily increasing pace to its climax.
Sophie is delighted to be assigned to report on a huge Spring costume gala at the palatial home of one of Milwaukee’s most important and wealthy families. Naturally there is a disruption. Is that disruption connected to a murder that same night?
Sophie struggles throughout the arc of the story, intersecting with a large number of authentic characters in this well-written novel, to a final well-thought-out conclusion. The story is fun, engaging and this reader looks forward to more adventures with Sophie Strong, early Twentieth century girl reporter.
She’s on the rise to fame and fortune, but her sudden notoriety comes with some deadly consequences.
Annie Oakley thrives as a sharpshooter in the Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save her family’s farm—and make her dreams come true.
But her act misfires when she discovers her Indian assistant dead in her tent. Uncovering a shocking secret from her assistant’s past, the girl with the gun believes it’s murder. Determined to find the truth, she ruffles some horse feathers, making enemies along the trail.
But, when her prized gelding is stolen, Annie realizes she might have been the target all along.
Can Little Miss Sure Shot save her equine friend and find the killer before everything she’s worked for is destroyed?
If you like a cunning mystery, a feisty heroine, and a fast-paced plot that keeps the pages turning, you’ll love this wild ride with the iconic Annie Oakley in the saddle.
Kari Bovee’s first in the series is a charming introduction to the life and loves of Annie Oakley’s story, of course fictionalized but in such a way as to make the star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show very real and accessible. Set in 1885, Annie is presented as just now meeting her eventual husband, Frank Butler, while the two were actually already married when they joined the show but this is, after all, a fictional account and the author has taken reasonable liberties with Annie’s history which is somewhat entangled with the tales she made up for her career.
At any rate, I enjoyed the author’s interpretation and spending time with such real people as Sitting Bull and Lillie Smith. There are several storyarcs, including Annie’s horse, Buck, being sick and the animosity of a few other show members towards the crowdpleasing Annie. Lillie is her primary rival in the shooting exhibitions and it’s fun to watch these two and Frank work out new exciting events.
Then there is the booklong mystery, the death of Annie’s friend and assistant, Kimi. Was her death natural, despite her young age, or was she murdered? If the latter, did someone hate her that much because she was an Indian or could there be some other reason? Annie suspects not all is as it seems and is determined to learn the truth. There are a variety of twists and turns but, on the whole, I felt as though the mystery took a back seat to everything else and could have been left out entirely. The other thing I want to mention is that I’ve seen reviews that pan the book for its non-PC elements such as the words used (squaw, for instance) and the apparent lack of caring for animals used in the shooting exhibitions but Ms. Bovee strikes a decent balance and I recommend that any reader remember that attitudes were very different in 1885.
The narrator, Susanna Burney, was new to me and I found her to be quite easy to listen to. Her evocation of various characters is stronger with the women than the men but that’s certainly not surprising and, when all is said and done, I think she brought the tale to life. Between her narration and the author’s imaginative story, I quite enjoyed Girl with a Gun.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2022.
Book Title: Shoot Like a Girl (A PreQuel Novella to Girl With A Gun) by Kari Bovee
Category: Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 84 pages
Length: 2 hrs, 14 minutes
Genre: Historical Fiction, Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Bosque Publishing
Release date: November 2019
Formats available for review: audiobook (audible download), MOBI (for kindle), EPUB, PDF)
Tour dates: Jan 10 to Feb 4, 2022
Content Rating: PG + M for mature themes and some swearing (damn, bitch)
She would do anything for her loved ones, even if it meant she’d be lost to them forever.
Young Annie Oakley never expected to be saddled with responsibility so soon. Following her father’s sudden death, the spirited girl finds herself shipped to a nearby county working for a couple promising a good wage. But when she discovers they are not what they seem, Annie suddenly fears her life may be in peril.
Determined to help her mother and siblings, she endures the hardships and mistreatment from the couple. But when that cruelty is targeted at the beautiful Buckskin horse who is her only friend, Annie decides to take matters into her own hands.
Will the spunky teen return to her loved ones, or will her decision land her in jail?
Shoot like a Girl is the prequel novella to the Annie Oakley mystery series. If you like a fiercely loyal heroine who won’t be anyone’s victim, then you’ll love Kari Bovée’s thrilling story of America’s best-loved sharpshooting sensation.
She’s outgunned her opponents at every turn, but will it be enough to solve a royal case of murder? Annie Oakley can’t believe her good fortune at an imperial invitation.
Queen Victoria wants Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to perform for her Golden Jubilee. But during the voyage to England, a royal escort is murdered and the gun-slinging star finds herself at the center of an assassination plot against the crown.
Determined to catch the killer, Annie tracks down the clues. And by the time they reach London, she thinks she’s right on course. But when her husband falls mysteriously ill, and an assassination attempt is made on the queen, the sharpshooting amateur sleuth may find herself out to sea before her ship comes in.
Can the clever markswoman solve the double-barreled mystery before it’s too late?
Peccadillo at the Palace is the second novel in the Annie Oakley Mystery Series. If you like a fast-paced mystery with unexpected plot twists that will keep you guessing until the very end, you’ll love this riveting historical mystery featuring America’s favorite sure-shot.
She never misses a target. But unless she can solve this murder, she’ll become one…
Chicago World’s Fair, 1893. “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley is exhausted from her work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. But when a fellow performer scuffles with a man who threatens her harm, she has to keep
her eyes peeled. And when the heckler is found dead under the Ferris Wheel, Annie won’t rest until she proves her defender is innocent.
Before she can rustle up any clues, an old friend asks Annie to protect her young daughter. And as more bodies turn up around the grounds, she’s going to need all her sharpshooting skills just to stay alive.
Can Annie live up to her reputation and put a bullseye on the killer?
Folly at the Fair is the third book in the Annie Oakley mystery series. If you like strong heroines, Wild West adventures, and suspenseful twists and turns, then you’ll love Kari Bovée’s fast-paced
When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her
action-packed novels. Bovee writes the award-winning Annie Oakley Mystery Series and the Grace Michelle Mystery Series, and has more ideas than time for many, many more.
Connect with the author:
Jan 10 – Mystery Review Crew – books spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 10 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 11 – Cover Lover Book Review – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 11 – I’m All About Books – book series tour / giveaway
Jan 11 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 11 – Lamon Reviews – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 12 – Kam’s Place – book series spotlight
Jan 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 12 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS – book series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 – My Bookish Bliss – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 13 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 13 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Jan 14 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 18 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 18 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 18 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Jan 18 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Jan 18 – Literary Flits – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 18 – PuzzlePaws Blog – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 19 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 19 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 19 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Jan 20 – My Bookish Bliss – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 20 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 21 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 21 – Faith And Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 21 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Jan 24 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 24 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Jan 25 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 25 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 25 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of PECCADILLOW AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 26 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 26 – Chit Chat with Charity – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 27 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 27 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 27 – Literary Flits – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 28 – Faith And Books – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 28 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 28 – Books for Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 31 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 31 – Books for Books – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Feb 1 – Buried Under Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Feb 1 – @twilight_reader – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Feb 1 – Books for Books – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Feb 2 – Chit Chat with Charity – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Feb 2 – Adventurous Jessy -book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Feb 2 – @twilight_reader – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Feb 2 – Books for Books – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Feb 2 – PuzzlePaws Blog – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Feb 3 – Westveil Publishing – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Feb 3 – Adventurous Jessy -book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Feb 3 – @twilight_reader – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Feb 4 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Feb 4 – Adventurous Jessy -book review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Feb 4 – @twilight_reader – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Enter the Giveaway:
From the publisher—
A map into the past. A long-lost young woman. And a thirty-year family mystery.
The Hunter Valley, 1880—Evie Ludgrove loves to chart the landscape around her home—hardly surprising since she grew up in the shadow of her father’s obsession with the great Australian explorer Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt. So when an advertisement appears in The Bulletin magazine offering a thousand-pound reward for proof of where Leichhardt met his fate, Evie is determined to use her father’s papers to unravel the secret. But when Evie sets out to prove her theory, she vanishes without a trace, leaving behind a mystery that haunts her family for thirty years.
1911—Letitia Rawlings arrives at the family estate in her Ford Model T to inform her great-aunt Olivia of a loss in their family. But Letitia is also escaping her own problems—her brother’s sudden death, her mother’s scheming, and her dissatisfaction with the life planned out for her. So when Letitia discovers a beautifully illustrated map that might hold a clue to the fate of her missing aunt, Evie Ludgrove, she sets out to discover the truth. But all is not as it seems, and Letitia begins to realize that solving the mystery of her family’s past could offer as much peril as redemption.
A gripping historical mystery for fans of Kate Morton and Natasha Lester’s The Paris Seamstress, The Cartographer’s Secret follows a young woman’s quest to heal a family rift as she becomes entangled in one of Australia’s greatest historical puzzles.
To many people around the world, including me, Australia is an exotic land of fascinating history and a cheeky attitude, always surprising in one way or another. I’ve learned quite a bit about this unique country from previous Tea Cooper books and that continued with The Cartographer’s Secret. Ms. Cooper could and does make a dry account of the land down under turn into a captivating tale.
This story is essentially a family saga taking place in two time periods, 1880 and 1911, and involves two mysteries, Evie’s search for a missing explorer, leading to her own disappearance, and her niece Letitia’s subsequent determination to find out what happened. Evie’s father had had almost an obsession with the explorer and she had a love of maps so she thought her mapping talents and her father’s research could point the way to learning Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt’s fate. Instead, Evie became a mystery herself but Letitia unearths secrets and learns a lot about herself along the way.
Historical mysteries are a breed unto themselves, so to speak, and this one has a basis in fact, always an intriguing element. Here we also have a little romance, a lot of adventure, and a look at two women who were ahead of their times. Ms. Cooper’s in-depth research is very evident and, once again, she has captured my imagination.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2021.
Tea Cooper is an established Australian author of historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling. She is the winner of two Daphne du Maurier Awards and the bestselling author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, and The Naturalist’s Daughter.
Connect with Tea:
Monday, November 8: @smashley.reads
Monday, November 8: Lit and Life
Tuesday, November 9: Books Cooks Looks
Wednesday, November 10: @thebookscript
Thursday, November 11: @transportedlfl
Sunday, November 14: @stumblingintobooks
Monday, November 15: @bookoholiccafe
Monday, November 15: Reading Reality
Tuesday, November 16: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Wednesday November 17: @mommaleighellensbooknook
Wednesday, November 17: @readingwithmrsleaf
Friday, November 19: The Bookish Dilettante
Saturday, November 20: @itsbibliotherapy
Sunday, November 21: Girl Who Reads
Monday, November 22: @heyitscarlyrae
Monday, November 22: Read Eat Repeat
Tuesday, November 23: What is That Book About
Wednesday, November 24: Buried Under Books
Wednesday, November 24: @no.bookend.in.sight
Tuesday November 30: Jathan and Heather
Wednesday, December 1: @lilagracereads on TikTok
Thursday, December 2: BookNAround
Friday, December 3: @mamasgottaread
Sunday, December 5: @booktimistic
TBD: Monday, November 15: @whimsyreadswithshelby
Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 2021
“The Cartographer’s Secret is a galvanizing, immersive adventure following
a family’s entanglement with a vanished Australian explorer through
the lush Hunter Valley at the turn of the twentieth century, forcing the
characters to reckon with the choice found at the crux of passion and
loyalty and the power of shared blood that can either destroy or heal.”
—Joy Callaway, international bestselling author of
The Fifth Avenue Artists Society and The Greenbrier Resort
Hell With The Lid Blown Off
An Alafair Tucker Mystery #7
Poisoned Pen Press, June 2014
I don’t know what number this novel is in the long and winding trail of Alafair Tucker mysteries. It doesn’t really matter, because this author has got the best elements of genre, character development, plot movement and setting so well ingrained in her that every book, every clever plot twist and every resolution is of the highest literary order.
This series of novels also provides a deep insightful look into one of our essentially rural states and the people who live, work love and die within its borders. This novel also provides a clear window into the early Twentieth Century decades of our nation and the many unique qualities of its citizens and troubles that beset.
The author deftly manages a cast of nearly fifty individuals who live through a huge twister in 1916 in Boynton, Oklahoma. One man is discovered dead after the storm leaves and the question then becomes a storm death or did someone take advantage of the storm to rid the town of an evil presence? The resolution may surprise readers as they are so often surprised by the clever mind and talent of this author.
A novel from the unfinished manuscript by Charlotte Bronte
Viking, April 2004
If you are a fan of Charlotte Brontë, a book inspired by and the first two chapters written by the lady herself, will be right up your alley.
Although the book’s main point-of-view character is a Mrs. Chalfont, the story is also told by several other people, including a young girl variously known as Matilda Fitzgibbon, then as Emma Brown—the last being her own selection, taken from a woman who sold her into what miraculously allows the girl to escape becoming a sexual slave. Her real surname remains a mystery until the last, and it takes this lengthy tale to discover it. For one thing, Emma does not remember her name, not even her first name until late in the novel, which, among other things, investigates the role of women and girls of that era.
Beautifully written, the story considers relationships whether familial or romantic. Whether those ties are forged by love or by honor and blood; within the upper class, the lower class and even the dregs of society. Action and danger come in the search for Emma when she disappears while attempting to discover these answers on her own. It seemed almost impossible our investigators would ever discover Emma or from whence she came, but dogged determination, time, and some money prevail in the end.
An intriguing and inspiring story, read it with care to gain all the nuances.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, September 2021.
Author of The Woman Who Built A Bridge (Spur Award Winner), Yester’s Ride,
Hometown Burning and Six Dancing Damsels: A China Bohannon Mystery