Review: Transcription, by Kate Atkinson

transcription kate atkinson

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Historical Fiction, WWII, Mystery

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In Transcription, Juliet Armstrong is recruited to join MI5. The year is 1940 and the war has just begun – she believes she can make a difference with her work, and finds the reality of her job alternatively boring and terrifyingly exciting. In 1950, Juliet is a different woman – she works at BBC and has a rather dull life. One day, she sees someone from her past. Little by little, all the people she used to know from her obscure work during the war seem to reappear, and something dark she thought she left behind is coming back to haunt her and make her pay.

I loved this book so much. Juliet is such a witty, funny character who constantly gets underestimated. She’s a talented liar and finds herself a quite accomplished spy as well, whether she wants to or not. Reading about her time as a typist and a spy during World War II was so interesting! The pacing of this novel is fast and it reads almost in a light-hearted way. For people who would like a historical fiction without the sobbing (especially rare for a WWII book), this is it. Continue reading

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Resenha: Caixão Fechado, por Sophie Hannah

caixao fechado sophie hannah

Nota: ★★★★☆

Gêneros: Mistério, crime

Este é o segundo livro de Sophie Hannah continuando a nova série de livros com o detetive Hercule Poirot, de Agatha Christie. Na verdade, eu não ia ler esse livro, já que li Os Crimes do Monograma e achei bem meh. Mas no fim me emprestaram este livro e pensei: por que não?

A minha impressão imediata é que Caixão Fechado tem um estilo muito mais parecido com o de Agatha Christie do que o primeiro livro. Isso já me deixou mais animada para ler, e acabei me envolvendo com a história e o mistério. Tanto a história como os personagens tinham um ar bem nostálgico com uma senhora rica mudando o testamento e logo depois disso… um assassinato ocorre! Me lembrou um pouco O Natal de Poirot, entre outros. Continue reading

Review: Bitter Orange, by Claire Fuller

bitter orange claire fullerRating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Historical Fiction, Drama, Mystery

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This kind of story is such a recipe for success for me – it’s dark and twisty and feels so personal, with how close you get to the characters. It gave me Tender is the Night vibes and also a bit of Tangerine. I think if you enjoyed either book, you’ll like this one too!

It’s a hot summer, and Frances is moving into a grand but decadent house to write a report. This is going to be her home until late August – and then she meets her neighbors. Gorgeous and dark-haired Cara, and Peter, so very handsome. It is 1969, and Frances is excited for her new life after taking care of her mother for 10 years. Cara and Peter are incredibly charming, and she is drawn by their magnetism and their offer of friendship. But there are dark secrets between them and Frances doesn’t know what she got into… Continue reading

Review: The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey

the widows of malabar hill sujata massey

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction

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The Widows of Malabar Hill is a mystery set in India, and our protagonist is Perveen Mistry, a lawyer in Bombay who works with her father as a solicitor. After coming back from Oxford, she is the first female solicitor, which puts her in a position to deal with some of her father’s clients – a group of widows who wish to leave all their inheritance from their late husband to a charity, leaving them in a very bad financial situation. When Perveen talks to them to make sure they understand what they’re giving up, many mysteries and tensions start showing.

Continue reading

Review: Based on a True Story, by Delphine de Vigan

based on a true story delphine de viganRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary, Mystery

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Based on a True Story is the elegant story of the relationship of Delphine (the author) and a woman named only as L. throughout the novel. As Delphine deals with the writer’s block and depression after her last autobiographical book about her mother’s mental illness and eventual suicide, L. becomes very close to her. Little by little, L. starts taking over Delphine’s life, becoming her.

What an interesting book! I wouldn’t call this a thriller, this book is a slow burner, and most of the it is about the relationship of the two women, and discussions about fiction and fact, autobiography and bias. Continue reading

Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer oyinkan braithwaite

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

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This is such an interesting book! I heard lots about it before I picked it up, and it did not disappoint.

My Sister, the Serial Killer is the story of Korede and her sister, Ayoola. Ayoola has always been beautiful, gorgeous skin, lovely smile, charming personality. She’s full of curves, where Korede is not. She’s full of charm, where Korede is bitter – and for good reason. Ayoola is a serial killer. Her latest victim is her boyfriend Femi, who Ayoola swears attacked her, and she killed him in self-defense. But Korede has doubts about that. When her sister sets her eyes on the man Korede has been in love with for a while, she fears for his life… Continue reading

eARC Review: The Impossible Girl, by Lydia Kang

the impossible girl lidia kang

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

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The Impossible Girl is the story of Cora Lee, a half-Chinese girl who makes a living as a grave robber. To do her dangerous job, Cora dresses up as Jacob at night, her body padded to fake muscles and her chest bound. The bodies she and her crew dig up go directly to universities, and they are valuable for the medical students because of the anomalies in them. But she has a secret: she has two hearts. In the wrong hands, this information might cost her life.

This book gives me Audrey Rose (from Stalking Jack the Ripper) and Elizabeth Barnabus (The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter) vibes. Cora is headstrong, with callused hands from passing for a man for years and constant physical labor as a resurrectionist, and a sharp tongue. Still, despite the difficult life she leads, her heart is in the right place, and refuses to steal and sell the bodies of the poor. I liked Cora a lot, she’s so smart and resourceful. Continue reading

Mini-Review: Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries #1), by James J. Cudney

academic curveball james j cudneyRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Cozy Mystery

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I love a cozy mystery. It’s such a nice thing to read on a chilly weekend and you have nowhere to go. Academic Curveball is the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, and my second James J. Cudney book. I was excited to see he had written a cozy mystery!

Kellan Ayrwick is going to Braxton for his father’s retirement party. But things take a much darker turn when he finds the body of a professor on the night of the party. Who murdered her, and why? Kellan finds himself entangled in the mystery, finding out that several of his father and his friends have ties to the murdered woman and getting himself deeper and deeper into the college’s politics.

I really enjoyed this book! The characters are so interesting, each being very unique and full of personality. My favorite is Nana D, who reminds me of a more sharp-tongued Miss Marple. She’s such a cool character and I look forward to seeing more of her in the next books, hopefully! While the prose can get a bit verbose at times, it’s a very pleasant read. And the ending! I seriously doubt you’ll ever see it coming. The last 10% of the book completely BLEW my mind.

Review: The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins

The Woman in White Wilkie Collins

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre: Classics, Gothic, Mystery

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I am not sure what compelled me to start reading this book, really! I have a personal mission to read as many classics as I care to do, since they interest me much in terms of understanding the society of that time and exploring different writing styles, and also because I like to start drawing similarities/differences between modern literature and classics of the genres. So maybe that’s why?

Also it was free on Kindle (see Amazon link above!), which is always an encouragement. Continue reading

Review: Neverworld Wake, by Marisha Pessl

neverworld wake marisha pessl

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery

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I am not sure even how to start this review: how do I write about this book without just yelling to you all to just read it because it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year and I can’t get it out of my mind?

Neverworld Wake tells the story of five teenagers. Beatrice hasn’t seen her friends since the mysterious death of her boyfriend Jim a year before. They decide to see each other and go for a concert, and Beatrice hopes she can get answers out of them: they are all hiding secrets and know more about Jim than they tell. It all goes terribly wrong when they drive back and get into an accident – and enter the Neverworld Wake. A man knocks on the door, explaining they are all hanging between death and life, and must choose only one to survive. Continue reading