Welcome to What I’ve Been Reading Lately, a feature where I’ll be giving short reviews of what I’m currently reading:
The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson
When Detective Anjelica Henley is called to investigate the murder of a popular preacher in his own church, she discovers a second victim, tortured and tied to a bed in an upstairs room. He is alive, but barely, and his body shows signs of a dark religious ritual.
With a revolving list of suspects and the media spotlight firmly on her, Henley is left with more questions than answers as she attempts to untangle both crimes. But when another body appears, the case takes on a new urgency. Unless she can apprehend the killer, the next victim may just be Henley herself. (Credit: Hanover Square Press)
I’m halfway through and it’s safe this is going to be one of my favorite books of 2022! Matheson manages to write a gripping mystery full of authentic characters and gripping plot…a great formula for a thrilling mystery!
The Ruins by Phoebe Wynne
Welcome to the Chateau des Sètes, a jewel of the Cote d’Azur, where long summer days bring ease, glamour, and decadence to the holidaymakers who can afford it.
Ruby Ashby adores her parents’ house in France, but this August, everything feels different. Unexpected guests have descended upon the chateau––friends of her parents, and their daughters—and they are keen to enjoy the hot, extravagant summer holiday to its fullest potential. Far from England, safe in their wealth and privilege, the adults revel in bad behavior without consequence, while the girls are treated as playthings or abandoned to their own devices. But despite languid days spent poolside and long nights spent drinking, a simmering tension is growing between the families, and the sanctuary that Ruby cherishes soon starts to feel like a gilded cage.
Over two decades later the chateau is for sale, its days of splendor and luxury long gone, leaving behind a terrible history and an ugly legacy. A young widow has returned to France, wanting to purchase the chateau, despite her shocking memories of what transpired that fateful summer. But there is another person who is equally haunted by the chateau, and who also seeks to reclaim it. Who will set the chateau free––and who will become yet another of its victims? (Credit: St. Martin’s Press)
Loved Madam and so far I’m finding this not only intriguing but dark and complex. It is slow paced but Wynne does such a wonderful job creating a haunting and atmospheric narrative.
Medusa by Jessie Burton
If I told you that I’d killed a man with a glance, would you wait to hear the rest? The why, the how, what happened next?
Exiled to a far-flung island by the whims of the gods, Medusa has little company except the snakes that adorn her head instead of hair. But when a charmed, beautiful boy called Perseus arrives on the island, her lonely existence is disrupted with the force of a supernova, unleashing desire, love, betrayal . . . and destiny itself.
With stunning, full-color illustrations and a first person narrative illuminating the fierce, vulnerable, determined girl behind the myth, this astonishing retelling is perfect for readers of Circe, and brings the story of Medusa to life for a new generation. (Credit: Bloomsbury YA)
I love reading mythological retellings and this one has been on my TBR pile for awhile, so I wanted to start reading it and so far I’m loving it…including the beautiful illustrations!
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love? (Credit: Oxford University Press)
After watching that disastrous adaptation I wanted to reread the original.
What I Plan to Read Next:
Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard
Expected Publication Date: August 16
Feeling her stardom fading, struggling soap-actress Adele Rafferty is ready to give up on her dreams when she gets a last-minute offer to play the lead in upcoming horror film Final Draft. Could this be her big break? Will she have redemption for what happened the last time she was on a film set? Adele doesn’t think twice before signing the dotted line.
Adele quickly makes her way to set, deep into the isolated and wintry woods of West Cork, Ireland, miles away from civilization and cell service.
When real life on set starts to somehow mirror the sinister events portrayed in the script, Adele fears the real horror lies off the page. Isolated and unsure who in the crew she can trust, is there anywhere or any time left to run? (Credit: Blackstone Publishing)
The Society For Soulless Girls by Laura Steven
Ten years ago, four students lost their lives in the infamous North Tower murders at the elite Carvell College of Arts, forcing Carvell to close its doors.
Now Carvell is reopening, and fearless student Lottie is determined to find out what really happened. But when her roommate, Alice, stumbles upon a sinister soul-splitting ritual hidden in Carvell’s haunted library, the North Tower claims another victim.
Can Lottie uncover the truth before the North Tower strikes again? Can Alice reverse the ritual before her monstrous alter ego consumes her? And can they stop flirting for literally fifteen seconds in order to do this? (Credit: Electric Monkey)
The Retreat by Sarah Pearse
Most are here to recharge and refresh. But someone’s here for revenge. . .
An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation–but the island itself, known locally as Reaper’s Rock, has a dark past. Once the playground of a serial killer, it’s rumored to be cursed.
Detective Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman’s body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn’t a guest–she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.
When a guest drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the guests, and who else is in danger?
Elin must find the killer–before the island’s history starts to repeat itself . . .(Credit: Bantam Press)
The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…
Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper.
One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.
Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.
When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…(Credit: Poisoned Pen Press)
You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa
When Amaya is invited to Kaavi’s over the top wedding in Sri Lanka, she is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years if radio silence. But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: she must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost.
But as the wedding celebrations begin and rumors about Amaya’s past begin to swirl, she can’t help but feel like she also has a target on her back. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, all evidence points to Amaya.
However, nothing is as it seems as Jayatissa expertly unravels that each wedding guest has their own dark secret and agenda, and Amaya may not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after…(Credit: Berkley Books)