Archive for May, 2014

SworntoSilence   PrayforSilence   BreakingSilence  

It seems so weird to me to actually put this into writing, but I really enjoy reading this series of mysteries that are based on … murders in Amish country, Ohio.

Kate Burkholder is the chief of police in a small town in Ohio, and has to deal with some pretty gruesome murders that relate to the Amish community.  Lucky for her she used to be Amish and so she speaks Pennsylvania Dutch.  The Amish people still don’t completely trust her because they don’t trust any English, but she is the best of the worst, so to speak.

To add a bit of tension and some romance, Kate gets the help of John Tomasetti, an agent sent by the state to assist with the investigations (John and Kate both have some dark secrets in their past).  The books are quick reads, the mysteries and murders are hard to figure out, and there are always twists and turns.  If you are looking for a page-turning murder-mystery, I recommend the Kate Burkholder series as something a little out of the ordinary!

  1. Sworn to Silence
  2. Pray for Silence
  3. Breaking Silence
  4. Gone Missing
  5. Her Last Breath (haven’t read this one yet!)
  6. The Dead Will Tell (release date June 2014)

Note – Sworn to Silence became a made-for-TV movie on Lifetime (titled “An Amish Murder” and so of course I watched it (really? that title?)).  It was starring Neve Campbell of Party of Five fame, and was pretty hilariously done.


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What can I say about this book? I have actually been avoiding posting a review of The Goldfinch because I am nowhere near a good enough blogger to write a description or synopsis that can do it justice.  When books have praise blurbs written by the likes of Stephen King, they don’t need little old me telling the Internet my thoughts.  But, I jotted down some thoughts anyway:

  • How about this: The Goldfinch recently won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and it is easy to see why.

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The Signature of All Things is in no way similar to Eat, Pray, Love. In fact, it is in no way similar to any book I have ever read before!  I can honestly say that The Signature of All Things left a very deep impression on me and I would put it at the list of my top books that I have recently read.  I find myself going through my days when all of a sudden I will recall something from this book – now that is a memorable book!

The beginning of the book follows Henry Whittaker, a poor boy who grew up in England in the 18th century, eventually making his way on a ship working with a captain and a scientist, and then ultimately moving to Philadelphia and becoming the richest man there due to his trade and pharmaceutical business.  The book then passes to Henry’s daughter Alma, a brilliant girl born in 1800who ultimately becomes a botanist focusing on moss.  Alma resigns herself to her science and living on her father’s estate as a spinster until she meets and ultimately marries Ambrose Pike.  Ambrose is the expert on exceptional paintings of orchids.

Amazingly, The Signature of All Things starts in England, works through Peru, goes on in Philadelphina for a while, then travels to Tahiti and ultimately ends up in Amsterdam.  Each of these locations feels like a different story in itself, but does not make the book too unwieldy.  What a wonderful trip!

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WOW this book!

This is actually the best way that I can sum up my reaction to Life After Life. It is a wonderful novel that is so hard to explain I’m afraid to try.

Ursula was born in 1910 and is the third child of a wealthy English couple living in the English countryside. Life After Life shows Ursula’s life how it could have been in so many ways.  She lives various lives and dies various deaths, with each story semi-related to the previous one, but not enough so that you know how the current life will play out.

Many of Ursula’s lives are lived during WWII, and there is an especially poignant life with Ursula living through the blitz and working as a warden on a rescue team.  I loved the characters and the character and strength within Ursula herself.

I can honestly say this book is a unique experience!

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What a cute, quick, suspenseful read! I never thought I would use those three adjectives to describe one book, but they are perfect for The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.  A.J. Fikry lives in the type of small town where I have always wanted to live – on the east coast where everyone knows everyone – and he owns a bookstore (also my dream!).  Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a grump because he has had some pretty bad things happen recently in his life (mainly having his wife die).

But something happens that turns his life upside down, and turns the book 180 degrees.  The characters in the book are delightful, from the smalltown sheriff who feels some comradeship/responsibility for A.J. to his dead wife’s sister who still checks in on him, to the publisher’s representative who tries to get him to buy their new books each season.

If you are looking for a nice summer read, this book is it! LOVED it!

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