My Husband’s Wife

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

So I was checking this book into the library and as I flipped through the pages to see if there was any damage, I read a bit and then of course had to check it out myself.

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So the book is told in two points of views. It starts in 2000, when Lily and Ed MacDonald have just married. Lily is a solicitor with a past she longs to run far away from, remaking herself.

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New me!

Ed is an artist that seemed romantic and kind-but controlling, narcissist, and in love with another woman.

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They are very, very unhappy.

Guy you suck!

And to make things worse Lily’s job moves her to working with criminals as she goes to do an appeal for a Joe Thomas, convicted for murdering his girlfriend. Lily is working long hours, which annoys Ed, and to make things even worse- Lily feels something for this enigmatic man.

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Four doors down lives nine-year old Carla Cavoletti and her mother. Her mother is tiny and beautiful and a mistress to Larry. They moved from Italy to get away from something and Carla hates being here. All the kids pick on her, she is different, and she has no friends.

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One day she comes home early, injured, and her mother is out. The teacher is going to force her to go back when Lily comes home and agrees to watch her. Carla loves spending time with Lily and Ed-Lily who is kind and helpful and Ed who sketches her, making her feel beautiful and a star.

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Soon every Sunday she is staying with them, as her mother works on the weekend. Lily likes having her there, a child to buffer the fights between her and Ed and take their minds of their woes.

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But things change when Lily finds out a horrible secret her husband has kept from her-and when she stumbles and reveals another, Carla and her mother’s life changes too.

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15 years later Carla returns to England a beautiful, svelte, law student. She and her mother have been living under the thumb of her grandfather and she has returned to England to make Larry, Lily, and Ed pay for what became of her life.

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She inserts herself into the MacDonald life and intends to turn it all on its head.

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Then Ed is murdered…

WhoDoneIt?

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Thoughts After Reading:

The first few chapters moved slow and I almost stopped reading but then it sucked me in and I had to finish it!

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I wouldn’t say this is a good book, but very intriguing. Ooch! What an ending!

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For more mysteries with artists, go to The Blood Stained Pavement

For more mysteries, go to The Case of the Goblin Pearls

He’s Gone

He’s Gone by Deb Caletti

So I read a book by this author before, Stay, and it was very sad, but compelling and kept me turning every page.

So when I spotted this one, I checked out the back and felt drawn to it, just like her other novel.

So one morning Dani wakes up and finds that her husband Ian is gone. At first she doesn’t think much of it, hoping he went out for coffee or maybe to cool off as they had a disagreement the night before. They went to a work party for Ian, but Dani was a bit too much under the influence and wasn’t up to Ian’s standards.

Ugh! One of those guys!

But everything changed that night when Ian didn’t return. His car stayed parked in the same place all day. None of his clothes or things are missing. No one has seen him. And Dani has no memory of what happened after the party.

They and everyone she knows searches and searches but to no avail, what happened to Ian?

Between the modern day of the disappearance and the searching we also have Dani recounting how they met and how they unraveled.

Dani was married to an abusive man, always getting a fist or a kick-life was unbearable. She wanted out. She wanted to be rescued. And Ian felt the same feelings of being trapped in his marriage that was solely superficial-he made money and his wife spent it all on countless shopping trips and she flirted with everyone.

Ian saved her, and everything was good-until it wasn’t. Ian had a lot more faults than Dani had originally seen. In fact-he turned out to be just as abusive-except emotional and verbal instead of physical. He blamed her for his loss of friends, children, money, stuff in the divorce-taking no blame for something he instigated.

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The two began fighting more and more-unraveling faster than a ball of yarn.

So now the question is: did Ian leave? Or is he dead?

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was compelling and kept you turning page by page to see what happened to Dani and Ian.

It was so sad how Dani left one abusive relationship, only to find herself in another. I think it is a travesty that more people aren’t educated about the many levels of abuse, only thinking it is physical or verbal.

For more disappearances, go to Deadly Intent

For more Not in a Series Mysteries, go to The Wife Between Us

On a sad note, given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

Death by Desire

Ready for our next Christmas mystery?

Death by Desire (Caribbean Murder #4) by Jaden Skye

This time Cindy and Mattheus head to St. Bart’s a few days before Christmas. A senator’s daughter, Tiffaney, disappeared from her engagement party and wound up dead on the beach.

As they delve into the case they meet Tiffaney’s boisterous and demanding father; an obsessed and controlling mother, Tiffaney’s twin who hated her guts, a fiancé that is the complete opposite and depressed, Tiffaney’s strange soon-to-be parents-in-law, a Russian mogul who wants to take the Senator down, and the rest of the fancy, conniving, secret-filled crowd they spend time with.

As they continue they discover there is much more to Tiffaney than what met the eye. Drugs, lovers, and lots of secrets and hidden pieces to this case.

Thoughts After Reading:

I didn’t care for it. Poor storyline and grammar.

Ugh!

Cindy and Mattheus were very annoying with each other-Mattheus seemed to belittle and ignore Cindy. The ending was  dumb, the villain picked almost at random and everything too easily wrapped up with a “twist”. And they pretty much copied Laura’s character from Twin Peaks

For more Caribbean Murder Mysteries, go to Death by Marriage

For more Jayden Skye, go to Death by Divorce

For more Christmas mysteries, go to Wuthering Heights

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The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

Are we ready for our first Christmas Countdown mystery? Let’s celebrate 20 days until Christmas with:

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus: A Novel by Beth Moore

Thoughts Before Reading:

This is Beth Moore’s first novel after years of nonfiction. It was something new, but something she had been thinking about doing for a while.

It was suggested by my sister blog after she read it for book club. It isn’t a Christmas centered mystery, but does have important scenes that take place at Christmas, so I thought I would set it out for our first review.

Jillian Slater is living in San Francisco in an controlling and very bad relationship. But when she discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her she is hit hard and unsure of what to do.

Then she receives a call that her long estranged father is dead.

And that her grandmother, the ice queen, who she also hasn’t seen in over twenty years is offering to pay her way to New Orleans so she could attend the funeral.

As her life is currently in shambles, Jillian decides to take it.

However, there is a lot that was kept from her. It turns out that the housekeeper, Adella Atwater, came up with the idea for a family reunion, not her grandmother, Olivia.

It also turns out that she lives in an church turned boarding house-full of all kinds of characters. There is David a forty-year old bachelor and music teacher; Carrie a student in medical school and always studying or working; and an elderly dementia suffering woman.

With no money, no reason to go back to San Francisco, and not sure what to do…she remains in the house.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Police Department have been looking into the murder of Jillian’s father, Raphael. But while they try to uncover a killer, a lot of other strange things start happening. Baby things are left outside the house, someone tries to break into the house, things go missing, etc. The NOPD spend a lot of time coming to the house trying to figure out what does this all mean? A sentiment shared by the rest of the residents.

Besides that Saint Silvanus holds a secret from its first beginning as a church. Will it be revealed?

Will Jillian ever learn the truth about her fathers death? Will she grow to enjoy living in Saint Silvanus? Will her family rifts be mended? Or torn further apart?

Through in a life changing Christmas concert and last supper, and this book has everything.

Thoughts After Reading:

I didn’t love this book.

Jillian bugged me, a LOT. First she is unsure what to do when she comes across the homeless. She has never had to deal with such things and finds the “sour smells” of the city unbearable. Come on now. I am from California and have been to San Francisco many times. I have been everywhere from the high price areas to the touristy ones and there are homeless EVERYWHERE. They hide in bushes and jump out to surprise you; walk out into traffic; are on every street corner along with “sour” smells. I don’t know what San Francisco Moore encountered but that sounds nothing like the one in California. Jillian should have experienced this numerous times and know how to deal with it.

And what happened with the church?

So throughout the novel, Moore has the story of the church’s beginning and the first pastor intersecting with the story of Jillian. But she never really says why this matters to the characters as they have no connection to each other and they never say who killed the minister. Was it suicide or murder?

There were also a lot of little details missing as Moore doesn’t always describe her characters. For instance she calls Jillian “dark”. Dark hair? Dark skin? Mexican? African-American? Greek? Spanish? Italian? Black hair? Brown? Chestnut? I know it is her first time writing a “novel” so it makes sense there are a few kinks.

The mystery also isn’t very mysterious. I knew as soon as the character entered the picture. It was extremely obvious the way they acted was not normal.

But there was something I did like: the characters.

The characters were amazing! I loved every single one and each felt extremely lifelike and ones you would meet in real life.

They all had their own hangups, issues, and backgrounds that were relatable-either to you or reminded you of someone you know. They made the book interesting, a page turner, and had you feel at home in Saint Silvanus.

This in itself made the book worth reading.

For more Christmas mysteries, go to Gingerbread Cookie Murder

For more mysteries not in a series, go to The Manchurian Candidate

For more Christian mysteries, go to Everbody Loved Roger Harlan

For more mysteries set in New Orleans, go to Triple Six