Sunday, December 03, 2023

November 2023 Additions to My Digital Security Blanket


My acquisitions this month look a bit worse than they really are since four of them are short stories. (At least, that's what I tell myself.) Another one leaped at me out of the blue, and since it is by a Must-Buy Author, I didn't even blink before I pre-ordered it. I'm reading one of this author's books right now, and I'm positive it's going to be appearing on my Best Reads of 2023 list.

Since that book is screaming at me to pick it back up, I'm going to get right to the list of eBooks that I couldn't resist. Covers and synopses are courtesy of Amazon, and if you click on the link in the book title, you'll be taken to Amazon US where you can learn more about the book.

=== Cozy Mystery ===

Synopsis: "At last St Mary's church is going to have its own vicar! Not only that, the gorgeous Reverend Pritchard is sixty, single... and in need of a wife.

But when he spearheads a campaign to restore a derelict chapel - rumoured to be haunted by a German Luftwaffe pilot- in a far-flung corner of the Honeychurch estate, the Dowager Countess puts her foot down. But nobody quite understands why...

Meanwhile, a fierce bidding war at an auction of military memorabilia ends in Kat's female adversary being murdered and Kat being held as the prime suspect. And then it turns out that several of the auctioned items are connected to Operation Tiger, a doomed rehearsal for the D-Day landings that took place in nearby Slapton Sands all those years ago. And Kat begins to realise that the vicar, the Luftwaffe ghost and all the World War II weaponry may all somehow be related...

▲ My consumption of cozy mysteries has been drastically reduced over the past few years, but this is one series that I truly enjoy and have no intentions of abandoning. The mysteries are fun, I really like the main character, and I always learn something about antiques and life on a rundown English country estate.

=== Historical Mystery ===

Synopsis: "Philadelphia, 1875: It is the start of term at Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lydia Weston, professor and anatomist, is immersed in teaching her students in the lecture hall and hospital. When the body of a patient, Anna Ward, is dredged out of the Schuylkill River, the young chambermaid’s death is deemed a suicide. But Lydia is suspicious and she is soon brought into the police investigation.

Aided by a diary filled with cryptic passages of poetry, Lydia discovers more about the young woman she thought she knew. Through her skill at the autopsy table and her clinical acumen, Lydia draws nearer the truth. Soon a terrible secret, long hidden, will be revealed. But Lydia must act quickly, before she becomes the next target of those who wished to silence Anna.

▲ I had to get this one because I'd heard so many good things about it and because the synopsis intrigued me.

=== Thriller ===

The Wiregrass by Adrian Hyland
Synopsis: "Nash Rankin is a disgraced cop trying to escape his past – his career was destroyed when he chose to take justice into his own hands. Now he’s living a quiet life in a small town, caring for the local wildlife and trying to stay away from trouble.
Jesse Redpath has a new job in a new town: Satellite. The stormy weather that greets her first few days on the beat seems like a sign of what’s to come. A local has died in what looks like an accident, but Jessie isn’t so sure that the ‘accident’ wasn’t planned. All the evidence points to Nash, but Jesse’s not sure about that either.
Seems like Nash has enemies. And what looks like a close-knit community might just be a cover for dark secrets.

▲ Adrian Hyland is a Must-Buy author for me. He and Jane Harper are my two favorite Australian writers. When this title popped up out of the blue, I immediately pre-ordered it and then grumbled because I'd found out about it too late to include in my November new release post. Since this the second book to feature Jesse Redpath (Canticle Creek was the first), I'm hoping that this means he's starting a series.

=== Short Stories ===

Synopsis: "The Rise is a gleaming residential tower, newly constructed from steel and blackened glass, that stands on some of London’s most prestigious real estate. Looming imposingly over Hyde Park, only multi-millionaires need apply for one of its sumptuous apartments. But when the young night concierge is found murdered in the building’s lobby, the elite residents quickly find their gilded lifestyles under unwelcome police scrutiny.

Investigating officer DS Gish has her work cut out. The only suspects, those who live in the building, aren’t accustomed to police interrogation. But it seems horribly certain that one of them must be the killer. Could it be the Russian oligarch? Or the lonely actress? Maybe it’s the family of the career criminal? Or perhaps it’s the building’s reclusive developer who lives alone in the penthouse?

Obstructed continually by locked doors, governments both foreign and domestic, and an apparent absence of motive, can DS Gish solve this impenetrable mystery and apprehend the murderer—before they slip away forever?"
▲ I enjoy Rankin's writing, but I seldom find myself reading one of his books. Strange, but true! I thought it was high time to do some Rankin Reading, and this short story should fit the bill. 

The Bookstore Sisters by Alice Hoffman
Synopsis: "Isabel Gibson has all but perfected the art of forgetting. She’s a New Yorker now, with nothing left to tie her to Brinkley’s Island, Maine. Her parents are gone, the family bookstore is all but bankrupt, and her sister, Sophie, will probably never speak to her again.
But when a mysterious letter arrives in her mailbox, Isabel feels herself drawn to the past. After years of fighting for her independence, she dreads the thought of going back to the island. What she finds there may forever alter her path—and change everything she thought she knew about her family, her home, and herself.

▲ I like Hoffman's writing, and what bookaholic could resist a title like The Bookstore Sisters?!?

Murder at the Royal Ruby by Nita Prose
Synopsis: "The curtain rises, and the chandelier falls—taking the star of the show down with it. An ambitious young usher working at the theater sets out to find who killed the leading lady in a crackling short story by #1 New York Times bestselling author Nita Prose.
Grace is an usher at the stately (and possibly haunted) Royal Ruby Theater. She’s also an aspiring actress ready for her big break. Vanessa is the glamorous yet spiteful star who’s made more enemies than friends on her rise to the top. When Vanessa winds up dead in act one, Grace is determined to find the killer. But is she seeking justice, or something darker?

▲ I felt I couldn't pass this short story up after enjoying Prose's The Maid so much.

Partners in Crime: Five Holmes on the Range Mysteries by Steve Hockensmith
Synopsis: "Saddle up for adventure with the eccentric cowboy detectives, Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer, as they embark on a thrilling journey to establish their dream detective agency in the Wild West.

In this action-packed collection of five stories, join the brothers as they navigate disastrous homecoming trips, strange newspaper feuds, supernatural kidnappings, deadly Christmas celebrations, and a high-stakes conspiracy threatening to tarnish their budding careers.

With their Sherlock Holmes-inspired wit and determination, can they crack the cases and outsmart the culprits?"

▲ Me? Pass up a chance to saddle up with the Amlingmeyer brothers to solve mysteries in the Old West? Not hardly! *snort*
Since there are still several things taking up quite a bit of time in my schedule, I'm going to leave you with visual proof of the eBooks I couldn't resist back in September. "Only" a half dozen, and I've already read and reviewed Dead Mountain and Riding with Cochise.


  1. Oooh, an Adrian Hyland I haven't read! I have got to check that out, Cathy. I loved his Emily Tempest books. And it's odd; I was just thinking about the Honeychurch Hall series not long ago; that's such a great, fun series to read. You got you some good 'uns here.

  2. Wow, Cathy. I see several here that I really want to find out more about, and I actually have a couple of them myself already. I enjoyed the Rankin book but still found myself wishing it were a new John Rebus book rather than a standalone...but it's very good. The other I have is The Bookstore Sisters, and I plan to read that one soon. Of course, I was not going to pass up a book by that level an author with that kind of a title. :-)

    Of the others, the one I find most intriguing is the Holmes on the Range novel. That sounds like a whole lot of fun.

    1. You've got that right, Sam. Holmes on the Range is a whole lot of fun.

  3. I had not heard of Ritu Mukerji before reading this, and agree that the synopsis of that book is intriguing, do it's going on the list :)

    And I've already read a couple of your September acquisitions, so I think you'll enjoy the new Bruno mystery, and will see why S.A. Cosby is getting such acclaim.

    1. I've already read one of Cosby's books, which is why-- when it went on sale-- I snapped it up. :-)


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