Only six books read this month; half my usual amount. Two 3.5's, a 4 and three 4.5's. Another Irene Kelly mystery, Kidnapped, by Jan Burke was one of the 3.5's. The other was Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini. I see I rated this Chiaverini book slightly higher than I did The Spymistress.
I really enjoyed learning more about Southern sympathizer, slave-owning Julia Dent Grant and her relationship with her Northern abolitionist husband, General Ulysses S. Grant. I did hope that by the end of the book she might have once again seen her former slave, the successful Madame Jule.
Kidnapped, as noted, is another Irene Kelly mystery, this one about missing and/or kidnapped children. Our library has two more Jan Burke books, neither of them featuring Irene Kelly. I may or may not read them, just wish they had more of the Irene Kelly series.
A Fireproof Home For The Bride by Amy Scheibe is my 4.0 rated read. I could really relate to this late 50's story about a sheltered young woman expected by her family, neighbors, church members and every one else to marry the neighbor boy upon graduating from high school thus uniting two ancestral farms.
When one of her high school teachers encourages Emmy to open her eyes to the wider world around her she begins to wonder what else might be 'out there'. She breaks her engagement which causes her mother to kick her out of the house. Emmy starts working as the telephone receptionist for the Fargo, ND newspaper. Her natural curiosity about some fires makes her suggest to one of the reporters that the fires may be related and eventually leads to the identity of an arsonist. Emmy moves up to being a reporter, too. Her investigation of a murder endangers her own life. Like I said, I related to this story which may be why I liked it so well.
My 4.5 ratings are all by favorite authors and all have dream in their titles. First, the one by my adopted author, Elizabeth Berg:
Berg said she became interested in learning more about the French author, Aurore Dupin, better known as George Sand, but that she could not find the kind of book she was looking for, so she wrote it herself. The Dream Lover is Berg's imagined novel of what Sands' life was like. I enjoyed it immensely. Two quotes from Sands' writings: "If we are pained by memories of what we have loved and lost, then we are also gifted by them."
"The light is amber, the air still; the day lilies have folded in on themselves. Soon the hooded blue of dusk will fall, followed by the darkness of night and the sky writing of the stars, indecipherable to us mortals, despite our attempts to force narrative upon them."
When the train Molly & Liam are on derails on a curve due to high speed, Daniel wonders if Molly was the intended victim. Someone on the train was, because Daniel receives another note: "next time".
Molly's detective instincts lead her to discover the links between victims which also puts her in danger. It was so ironic that I started reading this book a morning after all the news was about the Philadelphia train derailment due to the same circumstances as in the book - too much speed on a curve.
Once they are in Japan, Sherlock & Mary are asked to help retrieve a valuable book for the Emperor of Japan. King's mysteries are just as intriguing, or even moreso, than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's. Holmes & Russell are a great pair.
Each chapter begins with a new haiku. This is my favorite: "Roads go ever on. Travelers may turn away - But the road goes on." I hope this series goes ever on.