Review: A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan #19)

Title: A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan #19)
Author: Kathy Reichs
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with a new riveting novel featuring her vastly popular character forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use all her tradecraft to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and why the dead man had her cell phone number.

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.

An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.

To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Tempe’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade?

With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.

But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes… 

Review:

In this book, Temperance enters a world of conspiracy theories. A faceless man turns up at the morgue, which Temperance is forbidden from working in from the new doctor. She starts her own investigation, which leads her to discover child abuse, missing children, and conspiracy theories, all while dealing with her own health issues.

One thing that Temperance always does is follow her own rules. She didn’t have permission to do a lot of the investigating that she did in this book, but she did it regardless. This was sometimes a problem, because she got in trouble or lost valuable clues.

This book also had some eerie mentions of pandemics. Those mentions follow the conspiracy theories in the book, but it was creepy to read mentions about pandemics and SARS in a book when we are currently experiencing a pandemic in the world.

I love learning about the sources for stories. At the end of this book, Kathy Reichs talks about the real new stories that she borrowed from for this novel. She also has a personal connection to Temperance, which was touching to read about.

This was a great Bones story.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker

Have you read A Conspiracy of Bones? What did you think of it?

Review: The Body Under the Piano

Title: The Body Under the Piano (Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen #1)
Author: Marthe Jocelyn
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A smart and charming middle-grade mystery series starring young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector, inspired by the imagined life of Agatha Christie as a child and her most popular creation, Hercule Poirot. For fans of Lemony Snicket and The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency.

Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Adventurous and imaginative but deeply shy, Aggie hasn’t got much to do since the death of her beloved father . . . until the fateful day when she crosses paths with twelve-year-old Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and discovers a dead body on the floor of the Mermaid Dance Room! As the number of suspects grows and the murder threatens to tear the town apart, Aggie and her new friend will need every tool at their disposal — including their insatiable curiosity, deductive skills and not a little help from their friends — to solve the case before Aggie’s beloved dance instructor is charged with a crime Aggie is sure she didn’t commit.

Filled with mystery, adventure, an unforgettable heroine and several helpings of tea and sweets, The Body Under the Piano is the clever debut of a new series for middle-grade readers and Christie and Poirot fans everywhere, from a Governor General’s Award–nominated author of historical fiction for children.

Review:

This story imagines what Agatha Christie would have been like as a child solving mysteries. Along with her new friend from Belgium, Hector Perot, she investigates a body found under the piano at her dance studio.

This mystery was suspenseful and unpredictable. I couldn’t figure out who was the murderer, so I was surprised at the end. One of the most important clues was saved until right before the end, so there wasn’t any way to figure it out until then, but I was still surprised.

I wish this book was around when I was a kid. I loved Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew mysteries. This book combines them, with a young detective, who is also an inspiring writer.

I loved this first book in the Aggie Morton series. I’m excited to read the next one!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket

Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis

Have you read The Body Under the Stairs? What did you think of it?

Review: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce #7)

Title: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce #7)
Author: Alan Bradley
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Flavia de Luce—“part Harriet the Spy, part Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (The New York Times Book Review)—takes her remarkable sleuthing prowess to the unexpectedly unsavory world of Canadian boarding schools in the captivating new mystery from New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley.

Banished! is how twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce laments her predicament, when her father and Aunt Felicity ship her off to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school that her mother, Harriet, once attended across the sea in Canada. The sun has not yet risen on Flavia’s first day in captivity when a gift lands at her feet. Flavia being Flavia, a budding chemist and sleuth, that gift is a charred and mummified body, which tumbles out of a bedroom chimney. Now, while attending classes, making friends (and enemies), and assessing the school’s stern headmistress and faculty (one of whom is an acquitted murderess), Flavia is on the hunt for the victim’s identity and time of death, as well as suspects, motives, and means. Rumors swirl that Miss Bodycote’s is haunted, and that several girls have disappeared without a trace. When it comes to solving multiple mysteries, Flavia is up to the task—but her true destiny has yet to be revealed.

Review:

I love the Flavia de Luce mysteries. She is a hilarious twelve year old girl in the 1950s, who loves chemistry. She stumbles upon mysteries wherever she goes. In this story, she travels to Toronto to attend her mother’s former school. She discovers a body stuffed in the fireplace of her room the first night she is there. She spends the rest of the book snooping to figure out what happened.

I loved this audiobook. The narrator, Jane Entwhistle, was amazing. She had the best voice for Flavia, and the voices she did for the Canadian characters were great too. I really liked how slowly she spoke. It gave me time to listen to the story and understand what was happening. Sometimes audiobook narrators speak so quickly that I have a hard time following the story, but her pacing was great.

I didn’t like the ending of the story. There wasn’t really any way for the reader to figure out what had happened. It felt rushed, with many of the mysteries being uncovered at once.

I really enjoyed this audiobook! I’ll definitely have to listen to more Flavia de Luce audiobooks!

What to read next:

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d (Flavia de Luce #8) by Alan Bradley

Have you read As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust? What did you think of it?

Review: Bury the Lede

Title: Bury the Lede
Author: Gaby Dunn, Claire Roe
Genre: Graphic Novel, Mystery, LGBT
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October, 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Twenty-one-year-old Madison T. Jackson is already the star of the Emerson College student newspaper when she nabs a coveted night internship at Boston’s premiere newspaper, The Boston Lede. The job’s simple: do whatever the senior reporters tell you to do, from fetching coffee to getting a quote from a grieving parent. It’s grueling work, so when the murder of a prominent Boston businessman comes up on the police scanner, Madison races to the scene of the grisly crime. There, Madison meets the woman who will change her life forever: prominent socialite Dahlia Kennedy, who is covered in gore and being arrested for the murder of her family. The newspapers put everyone they can in front of her with no results until, with nothing to lose, Madison gets a chance – and unexpectedly barrels headfirst into danger she never anticipated.

Review:

This graphic novel follows a reporter investigating a high profile murder in Boston. Dahlia Kennedy is suspected of killing her husband and kidnapping her son. For some reason, Dahlia would only speak to Madison, the intern for a newspaper. Madison springs to fame with her reporting on the murder, but it comes at a cost to her personal life.

This was an exciting story. There was a lot of depth to the story. There were many different aspects of Madison’s life that were shown, including her work and her family life. It often conflicted because her brother was a politician. The murder story was complicated, which kept me guessing until the end.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel.

Thank you BOOM! Studios for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn, Allison Raskin

Have you read Bury the Lede? What did you think of it?

Review: The Widow of Pale Harbor

Title: The Widow of Pale Harbor
Author: Hester Fox
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives with a spinster maid in the eerie Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a twisted person inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbor will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.

Review:

This is a thrilling read for the fall!

I love Edgar Allen Poe stories, especially at this time of year. In this story, someone copied the gruesome murders from his stories in an attempt to scare Sophronia. It was so creepy, but it was also exciting to recognize these elements of his stories.

This story was so fast paced! I couldn’t put it down. There were lots of events that happened quickly, such as the threats against Sophronia. The mystery of Sophronia’s and Gabriel’s secret pasts we’re slowly revealed throughout the story, so it kept me guessing. I loved the twists at the end when the culprit was revealed!

I loved this book! It’s the perfect read for a cold autumn evening!

Thank you Graydon House Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

Tidelands (The Fairmile #1) by Philippa Gregory

Have you read The Widow of Pale Harbor? What did you think of it?

Review: The Secret of the Old Clock

Title: The Secret of the Old Clock
Author: Carolyn Keene
Genre: Children’s, Mystery
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlop
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: 1930
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Nancy, unaided, seeks to find a missing will. To the surprise of many, the Topham family will inherit wealthy Josiah Crowley’s fortune, instead of deserving relatives and friends who were promised inheritances. Nancy determines that a clue to a second will might be found in an old clock Mr. Crowley had owned and she seeks to find the timepiece. Her search not only tests her keen mind, but also leads her into a thrilling adventure.

Review:

It’s been many years since I first read this book. I recently watched the walkthrough on YouTube for the game version, and I wanted to read the book again. It wasn’t my favourite Nancy Drew game, so I was curious to revisit the book.

It may be my modern way of thinking, but I found the characters way too trusting. All of them told Nancy their financial troubles right after meeting her. It seemed strange for them to tell her all of their business immediately. I know it’s fiction, but it was so unrealistic and unusual.

Though some parts of this story were unrealistic, it is still a classic because it is the beginning of Nancy Drew’s mysteries.

What to read next:

The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene

Have you read The Secret of the Old Clock? What did you think of it?

Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Title: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

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 centre of it.

Review:

I was hooked on this story right from the beginning. It was so intriguing. Hal received a letter saying that she was going to receive an inheritance from her grandmother who just passed away, but her grandparents had died years ago. Since she needed money, she decided to play along with the family. However, she ended up getting tangled up in their complicated family.

The story was quite fast-paced. Everything moved quickly with new twists in every chapter. When I thought I had it all figured out, I discovered I was wrong, which kept me in suspense. I also loved that Hal was a tarot card reader. It added to the mystery of the story.

I loved this mystery! I highly recommend it!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Have you read The Death of Mrs. Westaway? What did you think of it?