Book Reviews · Read-a-thons · Recommendations

The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5) by Louise Penny


The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5)

By: Louise Penny

Published: 2010
Published by: Grass Roots Press

Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Mystery, Short Story, Series 

Rating: 3.5/5
♥♥♥.5

Synopsis

While out on a morning jog in the woods a man stumbles across the body of a man hung from a tree. What looked like a suicide is determined to be much more and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to the small secluded town to investigate.

My Thoughts

The Hangman is part of a collection of short stories that is geared towards encouraging people to read. At under 100 pages, I picked this up for a read-a-thon and flew through it.

The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series has been on my TBR for quite a while now, so I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this at my local library.

This was a fairly simple story, in the ‘locked room’ style. However instead of a ‘locked room’ it was set in a secluded town called Three Pines. The author included a detailed backstory for the suspects that fit well into its short length. Although I did enjoy it, I wish that there were more clues throughout instead of having the reader find out many facts when the truth is revealed. I am hopeful that the full length installments for the Armand Gamache series will allow for more of a build up.

I recommend The Hangman to mystery fans who are looking for a quick read.

Advertisements
Book Reviews

The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Blessing
By Melody Carlson

Published: September, 2017
Published by: Fleming H. Revell Company

Format Read: NetGalley, eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Rating: 3/5
♥♥♥

I was sent a copy of The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson, from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis 

After a brief whirlwind romance, Amelia and James decide to marry, but are separated before tying the knot when he is called to report for duty as a pilot during the second world war. Shortly later she discovers that she is expecting his baby, then news arrives that his plane had been shot down over the Pacific. Alone and afraid, Amelia gives birth to a son she names Jimmy and decides to turn to James’ family for help. The Christmas Blessing follows her as she makes her way penniless to search for a family who doesn’t know that she or baby Jimmy exist.

My Thoughts 

The Christmas Blessing was a quick holiday story set in the home front of 1944 as war rages on.  Amelia’s life was riddled with tragedy, however the tone of the writing was quite light.

While I was able to relate to our main character was a single mother, but I didn’t quite feel enough emotion was conveyed as well as I would have liked. The World War II era time line was my favourite part of this story. However I enjoyed the characters and plot in Melody Carlson’s The Christmas Joy Ride, much more.

That being said it was a cute story that would make for a nice holiday movie and I would recommend it to fans of this author.

 

 

Book Reviews

The Islands of Doctor Thomas by Francoise Enguehard

20170818_142356
The Islands of Doctor Thomas
By Francoise Enguehard

 

 

Published: 2009
Published By: Breakwater Books

Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Canadian Literature

Rating: 3/5
♥♥♥

Synopsis

A successful architect returns to his childhood island home; St. Pierre et Miquelon. There he and a young family friend become fascinated with the discovery of a collection of photographs by a Dr. Louis Thomas dating back to 1913.

My Thoughts

I came across The Islands of Doctor Thomas at my local library and was intrigued by the setting. While St. Pierre et Miquelon are French islands, they are located very close to Newfoundland on the Atlantic Ocean. Even though it is on my bucket list to visit, I know very little about them.

So naturally this book interested me from a geographical point of view. It also compared the culture of these islands and how they differ and compare to that of France and North America (specifically Newfoundland).

The authors writing style (which was translated from French) is reflective and rich in metaphors. The story is very connected to the nature of the islands and the mood of those who live there.

Although the overall tone was quite melancholy it was still beautifully written. Unfortunately some of these traits went over my head and I don’t think that I was able to truly appreciate the meaning behind Enguehard’s words.

I would recommend The Islands of Doctor Thomas to those who enjoy literary fiction.

 

Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Luxe (Luxe, #1) by Anna Godbersen

2731125
The Luxe (Luxe, #1)

By: Anna Godbersen

Published: October, 2008
Published By: Harper Collins Canada

Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: 3/5
♥♥♥

Synopsis..

In 1899 New York City’s high society appearances are everything. Gossip columnists report their every move. The Holland sisters grew up in the lap of luxury until their father’s death left their family in a financial crisis and their reputation rests on keeping this a secret.

My Thoughts..

I am writing this review after reading The Luxe for the second time. I first read it shortly after its release, but didn’t get a chance to continue on with the series. Now that I have refreshed my memory of the story, I plan to read book two; Rumors.
My thoughts after rereading this book mirror those that I had after first time I read it. The late 1800’s New York City setting remains my favourite part of The Luxe. The upstairs/downstairs story also drew me to this book.
Unfortunately it wasn’t very detailed in terms of the time period. Especially in the case of the dialogue or language. These aspects felt too modern for me. Although I wonder if the author took this approach in a bid to attract young adult readers.
With the exception of Diana, I didn’t really like any of the characters in this book. I also thought that the decisions Elizabeth made weren’t really I line with her character traits.
I would still recommend Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe series to fans of young adult with a light hint of historical fiction.

Articles

A Day in the Life of a Digital Media Publisher

Last month a good friend of mine was featured in an article on the blog State of Digital Publishing, written by Vahe Arabian.

In the article, Tammy gives some good advice for those who are just starting out in the industry. Although her focus is on travel writing the tips she gave can also be applied to small blogs like mine as well.

Click the link below to read the article.

tammy-burns-e1502722914427
Tammy Burns; Urban Adventures by Vahe Arabian

Articles · Recommendations

For Fans of Gilmore Girls..

gilmoregirls_1sht_girls_us
Source: Gilmore News

If you are anything like me, you were super sad to see the Gilmore Girls end in 2007 after 7 seasons. And likewise you were super excited for its revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, that was released last year on Netflix.

But now you are back to missing our favourite mom and daughter duo, right? Me too!

Well I recently stumbled across a 2016 article by Johanna Golden (from Book Bub Blog) entitled:

14 Books to Read if You Love ‘Gilmore Girls’

And while these books may not replace our favourite show, it may provide us with some great reading.

Several of these books I’ve had on my TBR for a while including: Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple and Empire Falls by Richard Russo. Now, with this list of recommendations my TBR has grown again.

I can’t wait to read some of these books and see how they compare to Gilmore Girls.

Have you read any of the books from the article? Which were your favourite and did they compare to the show? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave me a message in the comments. 

Currently Reading · Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: August 2017

September 1st already! Wow this summer just flew by.

Here are some of my high’s and low’s in August…

  • I decided to move on from my first blog Melissa Lee’s Many Reads and create a fresh new start here on WordPress with ML’s Red House Reviews.
  • I’m pretty sure my laptop bit the dust. So I’m writing this post on my Dad’s computer, so I apologize for the lack of creativity in this wrap-up. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I didn’t lose all my files and photos.
  • I had my best reading month so far this year.
  • Joined a local Mommy group and have met some wonderful ladies.
  • Charles turned 4 months old. He is such a happy baby and loves to babble and laugh.
  • Spent most of the month of August nursing a bad back, which is never fun. It is even less fun when you have a little one to care for.

Now lets talk books..

Books Completed

2 of these books were re-reads and the other 2 were for Bout of Books, which I failed miserably.

♥♥♥ 3/5
The Luxe ( Luxe, #1) by Anna Godbersen
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA Lit
RE-READ

♥♥♥3/5
The Islands of Doctor Thomas by Franchoise Enguehard
Genre: Canadian Literature

♥♥♥♥ 4/5
The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5) by Louise Penny
Genre: Mystery, Short Story

♥♥♥♥♥4/5
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by JK Rowling 
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
RE-READ

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 4
Total Number of Fiction: 4
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read From My Shelves: 2
Total Library Books Read: 2

Formats Read
Physical Books: 4
eBooks: 0
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2017: 19

Currently Reading

10468550

 

 

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and wishing you all the best in September.