Welcome to Friday’s edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for books on the shelves.
The first author with a recent review is Mae Clair for her mystery with a touch of humour… In Search of McDoogal
About the book
In search of something ugly…
All Brady Conrad wants to do is earn a few merit points with his artist girlfriend, so he volunteers to cover her gallery when she leaves town. What should be an easy day of sales goes belly up when he mistakenly sells a cherished painting.
With the clock ticking toward Vanessa’s return, Brady has less than a day to track McDoogal down. He coerces his friend Declan to tag along for moral support. How difficult can it be for an investigator and the director of a renowned institute to find a single painting in a town the size of a postage stamp?
Neither Brady nor Declan counted on a suspicious sheriff, rival baseball teams with a longstanding grudge, or a clueless kid trying to win his girlfriend with all the wrong gifts.
McDoogal is smack in the middle. But Brady’s biggest dilemma isn’t the disastrous hunt. It’s confessing to Vanessa her painting is the ugliest thing he’s ever seen
One of the recent reviews for the book.
Anytime I see a new release by Mae Clair, I know it’s going to be a fantastic read. Having enjoyed both her Hodes Hill and Point Pleasant series, as well as, single titles such as Eclipse Lake, I immediately bought a copy of In Search of McDoogle.
While this story is far different from her usual genre, it didn’t disappoint.
Brady Conrad wants to impress his girlfriend. When he accidentally sells her beloved painting, he enlists the help of his friend, Declan, to help retrieve it.
What follows is a trip to a nearby town in search of the elusive “masterpiece”, a cast of quirky characters, a comedy of errors, and lots of laughs. A solid five stars for this one.
A selection of books by Mae Clair
The next book with a recent review is Islands of the Gulf Volume 1, The Journey (The Herbert West Series Book 2) by Audrey Driscoll
About the book
Once, he was Herbert West, superlative surgeon and revivifier of the dead. Now he’s lost his reputation, his country and his name. Rebuilding his life as a country doctor on Bellefleur Island, he struggles with doubts, emotional entanglements and terrible memories of the Great War. Above all, he must forge a new relationship with his old adversary – death – and negotiate with a new one – love.
More Details: Boulogne, France, 1916. Wounded soldier Andre Boudreau awakes to find himself under the care of renegade physician Herbert West of Arkham, who is serving as a medical officer in the Great War. Having lost his memory and reluctant to return to a home and family he cannot remember, at the end of the War Andre gratefully accepts West’s offer of employment.
In Arkham, Andre works as chauffeur, valet and lab assistant, serving with unquestioning devotion the man he calls the Doctor. He remains loyal when West is forced to escape from Arkham by drastic means, changing his name to Francis Dexter. In the course of a bizarre journey across North America, Andre finds himself in charge of their travels as Dexter, his health and judgment impaired, grows increasingly unstable.
Arriving by tramp steamer on the West Coast, Andre is eager to begin a new life, despite his loyalty to the Doctor. A chance meeting brings them to Bellefleur Island, where Andre finds work as a lighthouse keeper. Hoping that the island may offer a chance for the Doctor to begin anew as Dr. Francis Dexter, Andre leaves him in the hands of Margaret Bellgarde.
Married young to ambitious lawyer Richard Bellgarde, Margaret is devastated when he volunteers for service in the Great War and is killed in action. Offered a home on Bellefleur Island by her father-in-law, Margaret gives birth to her son there and becomes absorbed into the island’s life.
With the arrival on Bellefleur of Dr. Francis Dexter, Margaret finds herself questioning him about his past and herself about her future. Showing him the beauties of her island home, sharing conversations and experiences, Margaret comes to find Dexter attractive as well as mysterious. Charming but evasive, Dexter builds a successful medical practice and spends summers exploring the coast with sailor and artist Julian Vernon.
When tragedy strikes, Margaret finds herself in a unique position to help Dexter, but first she must choose between the inclinations of her heart and the principles she has taken for granted all her life. Her choices have unfathomable consequences for her family and the island she loves.
One of the recent reviews for the book
A man of macabre background is described first through the eyes of his valet and then through the eyes of a widow who slowly grows fond of him despite the mysteries surrounding him. This is a well-written story, each paragraph either informing us or teasing us with questions, each paragraph conversational and through it all, you learn as much about the narrator as the subject of their discourse.
This is a well-planned story that has multiple plot points systematically delivering us from Europe, to Canada, to Boston, to New Orleans, to the Gulf of Mexico, and ultimately to the Strait of Juan de Fuca off of British Columbia. Ships and ports and mariners make the journey interesting to the reader, and, you are tempted to stay awake one more hour to get to the next chapter.
I gave this book five stars because of the quality of writing, the unique points of view which were expertly handled, and the unfolding story that kept me reading. Driscoll clearly works diligently on her writing and quite carefully on her editing. This is a very good book!
A selection of books by Audrey Driscoll
The final author today is Apple Gidley with a recent review for the historical novel Transfer
About the book
Transfer traces the lives of those on Anna’s Fancy, the Clausen estate on Saint Croix in the Danish West Indies, handed down through three generations. An historical novel and the sequel to Fireburn (OC Publishing 2017), Transfer sees Niels Clausen, the illegitimate child of a Danish landowner and his black mistress who both died as a result of the 1878 worker revolt, leave his adoptive mother’s sugar plantation and sail to England to continue his education.
With the help of Toby, a British aristocrat, Ivy, a lady’s maid turned lady and her botanist husband, Timothy, Niels challenges the perceptions on the streets of London of a black man at the turn of the 20th century. His development as a writer and political protagonist continues as he travels to Denmark and France where he meets up with childhood friends, Javier and Fabiana Gomez, before returning to Saint Croix.
The Danish West Indies face an uncertain future as the declining sugar industry lessens Denmark’s interest in their colonial outpost. Niels becomes increasingly involved in the future of the islands as war looms and concerns grow that Germany might covet a presence in the Caribbean. Will the islands’ security be guaranteed by the transfer of power to America?
The highs and lows of Niels’ life are punctuated by the crossing of oceans and cultures as well as the political manoeuvrings of a turbulent time in Europe, the United States and the Caribbean.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Loved the book! This was the story of a special group of people – a continuation of the first book, Fireburn. Transfer follows the families/friends through the years following the Emancipation of slaves (Fireburn) to the takeover of St. Croix and the other Virgin Islands by the United States. Ms. Gidley brought the people to life and highlighted the issues of the time. Excellent story!
Books by Apple Gidley
Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.