Friday, May 18, 2018

Review: Mr. Flood's Last Resort by Jess Kidd

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 19433 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1501180630
  • Publisher: Atria Books (May 1 2018)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

Book Description

The spellbinding tale of a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder with a house full of secrets.

Maud Drennan is a dedicated caregiver whose sunny disposition masks a deep sadness. A tragic childhood event left her haunted, in the company of a cast of prattling saints who pop in and out of her life like tourists. Other than visiting her agoraphobic neighbor, Maud keeps to herself, finding solace in her work and in her humble existence–until she meets Mr. Flood.

Cathal Flood is a menace by all accounts. The lone occupant of a Gothic mansion crawling with feral cats, he has been waging war against his son’s attempts to put him into an old-age home and sent his last caretaker running for the madhouse. But Maud is this impossible man’s last chance: if she can help him get the house in order, he just might be able to stay. So the unlikely pair begins to cooperate, bonding over their shared love of Irish folktales and mutual dislike of Mr. Flood’s overbearing son.

Still, shadows are growing in the cluttered corners of the mansion, hinting at buried family secrets, and reminding Maud that she doesn’t really know this man at all. When the forgotten case of a missing schoolgirl comes to light, she starts poking around, and a full-steam search for answers begins.

Packed with eccentric charms, twisted comedy, and a whole lot of heart, Mr. Flood’s Last Resort is a mesmerizing tale that examines the space between sin and sainthood, reminding us that often the most meaningful forgiveness that we can offer is to ourselves.

Praise for Mr. Flood's Last Resort
“A magically entertaining read…Jess Kidd has a gift for creating characters you’ll love with a few cleverly chosen words.” Good Housekeeping (UK), Book of the Month

“A rare delight.” —Cosmopolitan (UK)

"An enchanting thriller that disarms and delights...will appeal to fans of Tana French and Sophie Hannah, as it charms and unsettles in equal measure."—BookPage

"The gothic plot of this murder mystery (following Himself) about an Irish caregiver and her client, a cantankerous, widowed hoarder, boasts Kidd’s darkly comic sensibility, atmospheric writing, and colorful characters...there are plenty of twists and perilous turns to keep the narrative moving. Kidd’s novel features a winning combination of descriptive writing, black humor, and biting dialogue." Publishers Weekly

"Irish magical realism saturates this double mystery with saints, mistaken identities, and a hoarder’s creepy house… The author of Himself has prepared a fine Irish feast for the literary crowd; she simultaneously delights and appalls with her odd and troubled characters, never resorting to formula."Library Journal

"[This] compelling second novel weaves love, betrayal, and forgiveness with humor, mystery, and a bit of magic...[an] absorbing mix of paranormal tragedy and heartfelt triumph will appeal to a broad swath of readers.” Booklist

"It won’t be like any other novel you’ve read this year—or maybe ever—but it’s worth it."Kirkus

About the Author

Jess completed her first degree in Literature with The Open University, and has since taught creative writing and gained a PhD in Creative Writing Studies. She has also worked as a support worker specialising in acquired brain injury.

Jess was brought up in London as part of a large family from Mayo, and plans to settle somewhere along the west coast of Ireland in the next few years. Until then, she lives in London with her daughter.

Jess is now completing her second novel, starting her third, and working on her first collection of short stories – many of which are either set in Ireland or have Irish protagonists. HIMSELF is Jess’s first novel, and will be published by Canongate in late October 2016.

My Review

Mr. Flood's Last Resort by Jess Kidd is a brilliantly unique book. Maud is a lonely caregiver who is hired to look after Mr. Flood...a fascinating older man who is a hoarder of everything. He has a massive home in London that is filled to the rafters with stuff...and cats...and mystery.

I usually do not enjoy books that include any form of the supernatural but in Mr. Flood's Last Resort, Maud has suffered a childhood trauma that allows her to see the spirits around us, in particular, saints. The saints actually add quite a lot to the story and I enjoyed their involvement.

Mr. Flood's Last Resort is a treat. It is hard to put down. It is extremely well written. And my goodness it is lovely to read something so unique.

I don't want to give too much away but this book is for everyone. I highly recommend Mr. Flood's Last Resort.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Review: The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1394 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (March 1 2018)
  • Sold by: Harlequin Enterprises Limited
  • Language: English

Book Description

In 1992, a car accident kills a young man and forever changes the lives of three people… Now, twenty years later, they’ll all come to regret the choices they made that day, as the secrets and lies they’ve told to protect each other become the very things that tear their lives apart.

After a night of fun, Abby was responsible for the car crash that killed her beloved brother. It is a sin she can never forgive herself for, so she pushes away the man she loves most, knowing that he would eventually hate her for what she’s done, the same way she hates herself.

Twenty years later, Abby’s husband, Nate, is also living with a deep sense of guilt. He was the driver who first came upon the scene of Abby’s accident, the man who pulled her to safety before the car erupted in flames, the man who could not save her brother in time. It’s this guilt, this regret that binds them together. They understand each other. Or so Nate believes.

In a strange twist of fate, Liam (her old lover—possibly her true soulmate) moves in with his own family next door, releasing a flood of memories that Abby has been trying to keep buried all these years. Abby and Liam, in a complicit agreement, pretend never to have met, yet cannot resist the pull of the past—nor the repercussions of the dark secrets they’ve both been carrying…

About the Author

I was born in the UK and grew up in Switzerland. Unsurprisingly I love chocolate, mountains and cheese, and books, of course.

When I moved to Canada with my husband and three sons in 2010 I went through an (early) mid-life crisis.

Maybe it was the failed attempt at a start-up company or the fact I suddenly found myself in my forties, but one morning I decided to follow my oldest passion; I started writing and never wanted to look back.

My first novel, Time After Time, a lighthearted, romantic read, was published by HarperCollins AVON in June 2016. My second novel, The Neighbors is a domestic suspense story, and will be published by MIRA in North America on March 13, 2018.

To find out more please visit or follow me on Twitter @HannahMMcKinnon or Instagram @HannahMaryMcKinnon

My Review

 The Neighbors is the latest book by Hannah Mary McKinnon. It is the first book of McKinnon's that I have read.

I enjoyed The Neighbors. It was an interesting book. When Abby's old boyfriend Liam moves in next door, Abby's world is thrown into turmoil. Abby's husband Nate has no idea the new next door neighbor is Abby's old boyfriend. Nate thought that he and Abby had a great relationship. They had bonded over her brother's death 20 years earlier. Nate had saved Abby from the burning wreck but was unable to save her brother. 

Everything in The Neighbors goes back to that tragic night and the decisions Abby made as its result. Will Nate and Abby work on this together? Or will Abby give into her desires for her old boyfriend? 

The story is told from everyone's viewpoint. That made it interesting but it was also hard to get attached to any one character.

Good book. Looking forward to more from Hannah Mary McKinnon.

Review: A Howl of Wolves (Sam Clair, #4) by Judith Flanders

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5813 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 15 2018)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B076PLP9RP

Book Description

“Whip-smart” (Louise Penny) amateur sleuth Samantha Clair returns in the newest mystery from Judith Flanders, the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author of A Murder of Magpies.

Sam Clair figures she’ll be a good sport and spend a night out at the theater in support of her upstairs neighbors, who have small parts in a play in the West End. Boyfriend (a Scotland Yard detective) and all-round good sport Jake Field agrees to tag along to what is apparently an extra-bloody play filled with dramatic, gory deaths galore. So Sam expects an evening filled with faux fatalities. Until, that is, the curtain opens to the second act, revealing a dummy hanging from the rafters, who’s been made up to look suspiciously like Campbell Davison, the director of the production.

When Sam sees the horrified faces of the actors onstage, she realizes that this is indeed not a dummy, but Davison himself—and this death is not part of the show. Now everyone wants to know: who killed Campbell Davison? As Sam learns more about the murdered man, she discovers that he wasn’t all that well-liked amongst the cast and crew, so the suspect list grows. The show must go on—but Sam knows a murderer must be apprehended, so she sets out to find out what happened, and why.

New York Times bestselling author, Judith Flanders once again brilliantly fuses mystery with humor in the fourth installment of her critically acclaimed ­Sam Clair series.

About the Author

Judith Flanders was born in London, England, in 1959. She moved to Montreal, Canada, when she was two, and spent her childhood there, apart from a year in Israel in 1972, where she signally failed to master Hebrew.

After university, Judith returned to London and began working as an editor for various publishing houses. After this 17-year misstep, she began to write and in 2001 her first book, A Circle of Sisters, the biography of four Victorian sisters, was published to great acclaim, and nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. In 2003, The Victorian House (2004 in the USA, as Inside the Victorian Home) received widespread praise, and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards History Book of the Year. In 2006 Consuming Passions, was published. Her most recent book, The Invention of Murder, was published in 2011.

Judith also contributes articles, features and reviews for a number of newspapers and magazines.

My Review

A Howl of Wolves is the 4th Sam Clair Mystery written by author Judith Flanders. It can easily be read as a stand alone if you have not read the earlier books in the series.

Sam Clair is a book editor in London. Her partner Jake is with Scotland Yard. Sam's neighbor is appearing in a play so they attend. During the play, the director is found dead...hanging from the rafters when the curtain opens. The dead director, Campbell Davison, had many enemies.

With a big suspect list and a few twists, Sam sets out to solve the mystery. With plenty of humor along the way, this well written mystery is very enjoyable.

Highly recommend A Howl of Wolves.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 29 2018)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B078MDQ4FB

Book Description

Nearly three million copies of Ruth Ware’s books sold worldwide.
The highly anticipated fourth novel from Ruth Ware, The Globe and Mail and New York Times bestselling author of the In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

About the Author

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

Find her on twitter at, on facebook at or via her website -

My Review

The Death of Mrs. Westaway is Ruth Ware's 4th book and the 4th book of hers that I have read. Like the first 3, The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a compelling read.

What I like about Ruth Ware is that her books have all been very different. The Death of Mrs. Westaway is set in an isolated old country home near the sea in the south western area of England. The book had a gothic creepy feel to it at times. You could feel the cold and the dampness.  And it was set during a funeral and the days following. We also saw back into the past with diary inserts from the past.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway had lots of twists. The reader is taken down a few wrong paths in the pursuit of the truth. I thought that all of the characters were very well written. Harriet or Hal Westaway is someone that you can root for. You want her to find the truth and to find her family. I enjoyed this book immensely but I don't want to give anything away.

I highly recommend The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

Review: Always Enough, Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding, and Start Living Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (April 24 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031009156X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310091561

Book Description

Discover God’s wild freedom as you find your identity in Jesus with 100 devotions that will help you target and banish lies and insecurities. Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, bestselling authors of Wild and Free, walk you through the gift of truly knowing who you are in Christ in Always Enough , Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding, and Start Living Wild and Free.  

We’ve all been there. We know that sneaking, small voice in our heads all too well—you’re too loud. Too quiet. Too young. Too old. Too unimportant. Too ugly. Too silly. Too serious. You’re not as successful as she is—look at her perfect family, look at her high-powered job, look at her great hair and size 4 skinny jeans. Why can’t you be more like her—be more in general? Why do you expect so much from everyone? Why can’t you take up less space? Ask for less? Be less? The lies track well-worn paths in our minds and our hearts, wearing us down and making us question our role in God’s kingdom.

Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, founders of the Influence Network and bestselling authors of Wild and Free,reject those lies, and you can too with Always Enough, Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding, and Start Living Wild and Free. Through the Scripture and the devotions, find the tools you need to claim the fullness of Jesus in your own life and soak in the encouragement of two girls who will never stop cheering you on!

With a unique flip-book design, these 100 devotions are topical, so you can choose what you need most every time you open the pages. This book is designed for you, the woman who feels like she can be both too much and not enough—sometimes on the same day.

Always Enough, Never Too Much is the daily marching orders after the anthem cry of Wild and Free. Join Jess and Hayley on a journey toward freedom with this beautiful new devotional.

About the Author

Jess Connolly is a gal who is in the thick of it herself. She is the founder of the Naptime Diaries print shop, co-founder of the Influence Conference + Network, and she is passionate about using her words to point women to Jesus through writing and speaking. She and her husband planted a church in Charleston, South Carolina, where they live with their four children. Blog:

My Review

Always Enough, Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding, and Start Living Wild and Free  by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan is a very interesting book. In the first place it is like two books in one. The front cover focuses on Always Enough. There are 50 devotions to quit comparing, stop hiding and start living wild and free. Then you flip the book over and the cover focuses on Never Too Much. It also contains 50 devotions to quit comparing, stop hiding and start living wild and free. So you can decide which type of devotion you need that day...are you feeling like you are always enough for the Father or are you feeling like you are never enough...

This is the first book that Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have written that I have read. I feel like I need to read their book Wild and Free now. The devotions begin with a bible verse then the devotion. They are written alternatively by Jess and Hayley. I found the devotions to be meaningful and encouraging. I think most women would enjoy and find comfort in this book.

I highly recommend Always Enough, Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding, and Start Living Wild and Free  by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan.