Nancy's Reviews

After working in several word-related fields: copy writing, editing, freelance voice talent and theatre--followed by a long career as a stay-at-home mom I started working at the bookstore almost nineteen years ago, and was fortunate enough to be the manager for eighteen years. From my first day at work I had a sense of being home among the books and fellow book-junkies and that feeling only grew with the ensuing years.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a terrific team of booksellers and customers, and I am especially indebted to my fantastic family who supported my choice of jobs despite work hours that were definitely not conducive to family and social activities. I'm just now learning what all the fuss about weekends is all about!

My thanks to all of you who supported the store, who mourned its closing, and who asked us to establish this forum so that we can continue our tradition of exchanging opinions and ideas about books.

What We Did                                         

 Author:  Christobel Kent                    Fiction                        

Bridget Webster hasn't felt safe, not in years, even though she, Matt, and their much-loved son Finn have a wonderful life, far from Bridget’s past, far from Anthony Carmichael and all the other men he allowed to hurt her. None of that however, is enough for Bridget, because the terror that her shame will be exposed haunts her; even the idea that Matt and Finn will find out fills her with horror. So when the worst happens, when Anthony Carmichael shows up at her dress shop with a very young Isabel on his arm, Bridget knows that her carefully protected life is about to be shattered and that she must do everything she can to keep that from happening, not only to keep her secret safe, but to also put a stop to Carmichael’s abuse.





 Author:  Fiona Barton                            Fiction       

Kate's son Jake has been gone two years, ostensibly rescuing turtles in Phukat, but Kate realizes that she really doesn't have any idea where he is or what he's doing, since the only contact she has with him is on the rare occasions that he gets in touch, when he avoids answering her questions. And, as a reporter, questions are something Kate is really good at.

At least Lesley knows where her daughter Alex is: in Thailand, with her sort-of friend Rosie, spending the months before they go off to university. At least, Lesley is almost positive that’s where Alex is, since it's been more than a week since her last call. Even her Facebook posts have stopped, although the last of them make it clear that she's having a wonderful time. But it's scary, not knowing for sure, not being able to reach her, so Lesley agrees to an interview for the newspaper to generate interest in Alex and Rosie, hoping that someone has seen or heard from them.

Alex has dreamed of this trip forever, and when her best friend Mags cancelled, allowed Rosie to talk her into including her, which has turned into a complete disaster, something Alex only shares in her emails to Mags. From their arrival in Thailand, where they got lost and ended up in a hostel that houses drunks and druggies, Rosie seems determined to stay drunk, drugged, and in bed with whatever guy she can find, which leaves Alex angry and frustrated.

One of my pet peeves is a plot so weak that one damn phone call could solve the problem driving the story, and this book is the best (or worst) example of that that I've come across in a long time. What a complete and utter waste of time it is. Pass.


Never Tell                                           

 Author:  Lisa Gardner                     Fiction                           

Evie walks into the bloody aftermath of her husband's murder, but by the time the police get there Evie is holding the murder gun with which she has just fired twelve shots into his computer. With the blood and the gunshot residue, though, it's almost impossible to convince anyone that she didn't also fire the shots that killed Conrad, even given that eight minutes had elapsed between the gunfire being reported, and the arrival of the police, which coincided with the last twelve shots. Certainly, it doesn’t add to her credibility when detective D.D. Warren shows up and recognizes Evie from a case sixteen years ago, when young Evie, blood-spattered and in shock, admitted to the accidental shotgun death of her brilliant, beloved father. “Nothing but an unfortunate accident,” claimed Evie's mother, and Evie allowed her father's best friend, renowned attorney Dick Delaney to use that as her defense. Is it possible that the same defense will work again, especially when CI Flora Dane remembers meeting Conrad during the time she was held captive by sadistic rapist and murderer Jacob Ness? Flora's memory of Conrad is of a man in a bar who seemed ready to continue the ugly abuse Jacob subjected her to. Now that Evie is pregnant, is it possible that she discovered something about Conrad so terrible that she needed him dead?


All the Wrong Places                         

 Author:  Joy Fielding                        Fiction                           

It may be that just about everything in Paige Hamilton's life has fallen apart. Her much-loved father has died, her lovely mother is so lonely that she thinks she might be having a stroke, Paige’s job was downsized out from under her, her best friend is beginning to realize just how unfaithful her horrible husband is, and her jealous, insecure cousin thinks nothing of seducing Paige’s fiance, which means that Heather will show up at the huge celebration of her uncle's birthday on the arm of the man Paige had expected to marry. It has never been enough for Heather that she looks almost exactly like Paige; she has to have everything , and more, that belongs to Paige.

Determined to at least find a suitable date for the party, Paige agrees to meet a man she's connected with online, ignoring the rumors of young women disappearing after using online dating forums. One date, then invite him to the party. How bad could it be?


Author:  Renee Knight                       Fiction 

Twenty years ago, Christine Butcher was the best temp ever to work for Appleton's, one of the best supermarket chains in England. So good, in fact, that Mina Appleton herself offers her a permanent position, a job that Christine enthusiastically accepts, willing to sacrifice everything: her husband, her child, her home, to earn the trust and acceptance of one of the most powerful, manipulative, women in the country. It all seems so innocent at first: a late evening here, a weekend there; soon, Christine's every moment is consumed by Mina's demands, all nicely phrased as requests, until they aren't. Christine, however, is so much more than a personal assistant: she is the keeper of secrets, the only person who knows everything about Mina, the secretary who can either save Mina, or destroy her.