Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Reading Ahead: August 2015, part 4

Historical fiction? Check. Mysteries? Check. Several soon to be best sellers that you should add to your reading list right now? Check!

The Marriage of Opposites, by Alice Hoffman. In the tradition of The Museum of Extraordinary Things and The Dovekeepers, Hoffman brings readers another extraordinary woman's story, this time, that of the woman who would be the mother of Camille Pissarro, Father of Impressionism. Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France. I adore Hoffman's work, and am eagerly anticipating this one!

The Taming of the Queen, by Philippa Gregory. Gregory, who has written about all of Henry VIII's queens, has at last come to the last of them. Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives—King Henry VIII—commands her to marry him. Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn’s trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent. But is this enough to keep her safe?

Candy Corn Murder, by Leslie Meier. A sure sign that even in the full heat of summer, pumpkin-spice lattes are just around the corner? A fall-themed cozy, brimming with sweets, goblins, pumpkins...and murder. Local reporter Lucy Stone is covering Tinker Cove's annual Giant Pumpkin Fest, only to find herself with some major sleuthing to do when her husband's best friend turns up dead, and her husband Bill is at the top of the suspect list. (This is twenty-second in the fan favorite series. If you're new to it and want to start at the beginning, Book One is Mistletoe Murder.)

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