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


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.

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. 


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

The Islands of Doctor Thomas
By Francoise Enguehard



Published: 2009
Published By: Breakwater Books

Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Canadian Literature

Rating: 3/5


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

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


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.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas


Dangerous Girls

By Abigail Haas

Published: July 2013
Published By: Simon Pulse

Format Read: eBook, Rivited
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 5/5


Anna Chevalier never had many friends until she transferred to an elite Boston prep school and met Elise Warren. Together they were inseparable and began living a wild life of excess. But, before long it would all come crashing down.  While on spring break in Aruba, Elise is found brutally murdered and Anna is suspect number one.

My Thoughts..

Abigail Haas’ Dangerous Girls is a fast paced young adult thriller that I picked up on a whim. Am I ever glad that I gave this one a chance because I couldn’t put it down. This mystery had me hooked from the first chapter.

The story is told from Anna’s perspective and shifts back and forth from when she first met Elise up to Anna’s more present situation. Sometimes books like that are hard to follow, but that wasn’t the case in this instance. It actually made for a really quick and intriguing read. The author also used different formats such as; call logs, text message conversations and television interviews. This book was chalk full of twists and turns that kept me guessing who the killer was right to the end. My suspicions of the characters would change with each page.


Dangerous Girls is easily one of the best books I’ve read in 2017. I would recommend it to fans of young adult mysteries.


Book Reviews · Charlie's Corner

Charlie’s Corner: April-July 2017 Reads

Baby Boy!

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share baby/children’s product and book reviews.


Please click on the link to be directed to Melissa Lee’s Many Reads, where I have posted Charlie’s April-July 2017 Reads.


NOTE: This was a scheduled post for my ML’s Many Reads blog. I will be blogging solely from here (ML’s Red House Reviews) as of September 1.