Sunday, March 03, 2024

February 2024 Additions to My Digital Security Blanket


February was a  month of restraint, even though it doesn't look like it on the surface. I managed to avoid adding titles to my Kindle just because I had all the other books in the series on there already. (I'm determined to get the ones I have read before I load up on more. Who knows? A series may sour at some point, and I won't want any of the newer ones... at least that's what I'm telling myself.)

The ones I did buy are the results of killer sales and shifting from audiobooks back to eBooks. I still have several audiobooks to listen to, but no matter how I try, I'm basically a print reader. I like my own voice to tell me a story, if that makes any sense, although Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch in Michael Connelly's books is an exception...

Let's see the books I couldn't resist last month. I've grouped them by genre, 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.

=== Non-Fiction ===
Synopsis: "From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment,
The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.
█  This is a book that I originally had on audiobook, but I've learned that the audiobook format doesn't really work well for me when it comes to non-fiction. I've been wanting to read it-- not listen to it-- so when it went on sale in eBook format, I snapped it up.

== Amateur Sleuth ===

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose. Set in a big city hotel.
Synopsis: "Molly Gray is not like anyone else. With her flair for cleaning and proper etiquette, she has risen through the ranks of the glorious five-star Regency Grand Hotel to become the esteemed Head Maid. But just as her life reaches a pinnacle state of perfection, her world is turned upside down when J. D. Grimthorpe, the world-renowned mystery author, drops dead—very dead—on the hotel’s tearoom floor.
When Detective Stark, Molly’s old foe, investigates the author’s unexpected demise, it becomes clear that this death was murder most foul. Suspects abound, and everyone wants to know:
Who killed J. D. Grimthorpe? Was it Lily, the new Maid-in-Training? Or was it Serena, the author’s secretary? Could Mr. Preston, the hotel’s beloved doorman, be hiding something? And is Molly really as innocent as she seems?
As the high-profile death threatens the hotel’s pristine reputation, Molly knows she alone holds the key to unlocking the killer’s identity. But that key is buried deep in her past, as long ago, she knew J. D. Grimthorpe. Molly begins to comb her memory for clues, revisiting her childhood and the mysterious Grimthorpe mansion where she and her dearly departed Gran once worked side by side. With the entire hotel under investigation, Molly must solve the mystery posthaste. Because if there’s one thing she knows for sure, it’s that secrets don’t stay buried forever.

█ I enjoyed the character of Molly Gray so much in Nita Prose's first book, The Maid that I used some of my Amazon rewards to buy this.

=== Thriller ===

The Last Word by Taylor Adams. Set in Washington State.
Synopsis: "Emma Carpenter lives in isolation with her golden retriever Laika, house-sitting an old beachfront home on the rainy Washington coast. Her only human contact is her enigmatic old neighbor, Deek, and (via text) the house’s owner, Jules.

One day, she reads a poorly written—but gruesome—horror novel by the author H. G. Kane, and posts a one-star review that drags her into an online argument with none other than the author himself. Soon after, disturbing incidents start to occur at night. To Emma, this can’t just be a coincidence. It was strange enough for this author to bicker with her online about a lousy review; could he be stalking her, too?

As Emma digs into Kane’s life and work, she learns he has published sixteen other novels, all similarly sadistic tales of stalking and murder. But who is he? How did he find her? And what else is he capable of?

Displaying his trademark command of rapid-fire pacing, unnerving atmosphere, and razor-sharp characterization, Taylor Adams once again delivers a diabolically disturbing—and deadly—game of cat and mouse.

█ This is a sale purchase made to switch over from audio to eBook format. How could the subject matter NOT appeal to me?

=== Historical Mystery ===

The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee. Set in India.
Synopsis: "Calcutta, 1923

When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can the officers of the Imperial Police Force—Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant “Surrender-Not” Banerjee—track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath?

Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this remarkable series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

█ More Amazon rewards were spent on this, the next in one of my favorite historical series. Due to the main character's drug addiction, I was uncertain about continuing, but what happened in the book before this kept me on board. I have few hot buttons when it comes to my reading, but I have to admit that I have little patience for alcoholism or drug addiction in main characters.

=== Detective ===

Death Under a Little Sky by Stig Abell. Set in England.
Synopsis: "When Jake Jackson inherits his reclusive uncle’s property in the country, the detective seizes the opportunity for a new life away from the hustle of London.

The new home in this charming rural idyll is beautiful and the surroundings are stunning. While the locals are a bit eccentric, they’re also friendly and invite the newcomer to join their annual treasure hunt.

When a young woman’s bones are discovered, Jake finds himself pulled back into the role of detective, and on the trail of a dangerous killer hiding within this most unlikely of settings.

█ Between the atmospheric cover and evocative title, AND the synopsis, this book has been on my radar for awhile. Sale and Amazon rewards? Bingo!

Well, how did I do? Have you already read any of these? Or did I tempt you to add any of them to your own lists? Do tell! Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. You've got some great choices here, Cathy! I'll be interested in knowing whether you prefer the e-reader version of The Great Migration to the audio. The topic really interests me, and I look forward to your comments on that one.

    1. eBook non-fiction always works better for me. My mind seems to absorb more information when I'm looking at actual words.

  2. I've got The Mystery Guest and The Last Word on my Kindle - both unread. I do look for those 'great' deals, but I'm finding myself being pretty selective. I have so, so many books on my Kindle and I need to catch up on some series. I seem to mostly be using the audiobooks for my 'in the car' time and also when I go for my walks. And I've been re-reading some fave books that way. Enjoying that a lot. Hope you have a good time with these!

    1. Yes, I've found myself being much more selective myself.

  3. That's not many for you, but your choices all look great. And what another great cover that is for Under a Little Sky, really catches the eye. I haven't read or purchased any of these yet, but I suspect that I'll get to one or two of these eventually. My own buying was way down in February, compared to January when I went kind of nuts. BTW, have you ever had an author give you a hard time about a review? (I had one bad experience several years ago that Amazon had to get involved in.)

    1. I've only had one author give me a bit of a hard time about a review of her book, but it turned out to be a short-lived series, and I've liked all of her other books that I've read. We've met a few times since then at The Poisoned Pen and at Left Coast Crime, so it's all water under the bridge.

  4. The Last Word looks like a good one. And I just finished reading The Mystery Guest; I enjoyed it almost as much as the first one. Molly is such a fun character. (And I'm definitely more of a print reader myself.)

  5. My reading group chose Death Under a Little Sky for March. We meet near the end of the month - I'll have to share the results.

  6. I am reminded that I am remiss in not having read "The Warmth of Other Suns."Is the Mukherjee series pro-India's independence? That would matter to me.On to good reading and reviews.

    1. Yes, Shadows of Men is pro-independence. The white officer has an Indian subordinate, and as the series progresses, his eyes are opened to many truths about the British Raj.


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