Monday, October 25, 2021

Book Review: Bluebird, by Sharon Cameron

Bluebird by Sharon Cameron book cover and review
Because of a bit of burnout, it has been a long time since I've read any historical fiction having anything to do with war. Bluebird was a satisfying and gentle foray back into the genre.

Eva leaves Germany in 1946, just after the war is ending. She brings along her best friend, Brigit. Brigit is suffering shell shock after being brutalized by Russian soldiers. It is clear from the beginning that Eva is hiding things. She has papers hidden in her skirt that she carefully guards. It is also clear that Eva is out for revenge for some horrible experiences she witnessed by the Nazis.

We go back in time and hear the story of Inge whose father is a Nazi. He has taught Inge much about the master race, and she has no reason to believe anything nefarious about these lessons. She is in for a rude awakening.

Eva and Inga's stories merge in the way I suspected, but I don't think it's too difficult to discern. Cameron wrote the book for teens, so they may be more surprised than I was.

I quickly became attached to the characters. The people that help Eva when she gets to New York are amazing--almost too good to be believed. I did think the story moved a bit slowly in the middle, but that may be more of my problem than the book's. The climax is tense and exciting, but I was happy that wasn't the end. We get to learn quite a bit about what happened after.

The Author's Note at the end is possibly the part I found most interesting and a bit unbelievable! If you are interested in books about the aftermath of WWII, I think both teens and adults will find Bluebird fascinating. 

Published by Scholastic, October 5, 2021
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
464 pages

Rating: 4/5

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Friday, October 8, 2021

Book Review: Camino Island by John Grisham

Camino Island by John Grisham book cover and review
I'm a Grisham fan, but I've missed quite a few of his books. I saw Camino Island in a stack my mother-in-law was getting rid of, so I grabbed it.

Camino Island isn't a courtroom saga, which is okay. It's more of a who-done-it. The well-planned and successful heist is to steal the original manuscripts of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work from a library at Princeton University.

We then meet Bruce, a bookstore owner on Camino Island.  He's worked hard to become a success, and some of his success is from potentially shady dealings involving rare books.

Mercer is a struggling novelist with a severe case of writer's block. She is unemployed, and when a mysterious woman approaches her with an opportunity to do some undercover investigating involving Bruce and the stolen manuscripts, she can't pass up the money.

Soon she is in deep and learns more than she ever wanted to know. The twists and turns are entertaining, as expected. The story clips along and is well written, which is why I love Grisham. I read Camino Island in one day, but to be perfectly honest, I was on a camping trip, so there weren't many other pressing issues.

Apparently, there is a second book, Camino Winds, that I'll be interested in reading. If you are a Grisham fan, or even if you aren't, this is a fun read.

Published by Doubleday, 2017
Hardback copy given to me
304 pages

Rating: 4/5

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Book Review: Over My Dead Body, by Jeffrey Archer

Over My Dead Body by Jeffrey Archer book cover and review
I've heard of Archer before, and when I saw Over My Dead Body available, I decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed.

William Warwick and his wife are on a much-needed holiday on a luxury cruise ship sailing to New York. But of course, there's a crime committed on board, and Warwick becomes involved. That's just the introductory crime, which doesn't take long but gets you involved in the story.

Back in London, there's a new task force that Warwick is in charge of that is working on cold cases. And just in time, it appears. Miles Faulkner, a millionaire art forger is supposed to be dead. But Warwick has his doubts, even though he attended the funeral. Faulkner's lawyer still has Faulkner as a client and Faulkner's widow is acting strange. So they begin investigating to see what they can find out.

I read this a week ago and really enjoyed it. I was on a trip and flew through it. But honestly, I can't remember much of what happened. I had to read the synopsis to jog my memory. The side characters are interesting and add to the story. There are some intriguing twists and surprises.

I recommend Over My Dead Body, whether you are an Archer fan or not. This is the fourth Warwick book, but it isn't necessary to have read the others. I would like to go back and read them. Just because a book doesn't leave a lasting impression doesn't mean it isn't good!

Published by HarperCollins, October 19, 2021
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
384 pages

Rating: 4/5

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