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Showing posts from May, 2013

Review: Treason at Lisson Grove, A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel by Anne Perry

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Title: Treason At Lisson Grove, A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel
Author: Anne Perry
Publisher: Ballantine Books 2011
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Detective, England, Ireland, Mystery, Victorian Period
Age: Adult
Pages: 336
Rating: 2 Stars

This is the first book written by Anne Perry that I've read.
Have you read her biography? Her life is just unreal! Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
http://www.amazon.com/wiki/Anne_Perry/ref=ntt_at_bio_wiki

Summary:
While Special Branch detective Thomas Pitt, is away on a trip to France. His wife Charlotte, back in London, becomes involved in trying to solve a case with his boss Victor Narraway. Charlotte, and Victor Narraway, travel to Dublin Ireland, hoping to unravel a plot framing Narraway. Meanwhile, Charlotte looses her domestic help at home, she hurries to find a replacement before leaving London. Thomas and Charlotte have two children: Jemima, and Daniel.

My Thoughts:
This is a quick read. It was okay. I found most of the story to be…

Book Blogger Hop, May 31 Through June 6, 2013

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This weeks questions:
"What is your favorite series that you've finished all the books (more than 3 books) to?" This is a great question for me to answer as I've just read all five of David Downing's books on pre, during, and post World War II. The books are set in Berlin, Germany. All the books have a title that ends with station, each station is named after train station in Berlin. I loved all of the books, especially book number four, Potsdam Station.
Links for my reviews:
Book One: Zoo Station
Book Two: Silesian Station
Book Three: Stettin Station
Book Four: Potsdam Station
Book Five: Lehrter Station
Book Six: Masaryk Station will be published June 18

Free on Kindle, Penelope by Anya Wylde

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Review: Lehrter Station, Book Five by David Downing

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Title: Lehrter Station
Author: David Downing
Publisher: Soho Crime Press May 2012/Paperback was published March 2013
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Nazi Germany, World War II, Post War Berlin, Communism, Socialism, Soviet Union, Espionage, Double Agents, Spy, Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 378
Rating: 4 Stars

Lehrter Station is book #5 in the John Russell series.

Summary:
Lehrter Station is less about espionage or spying, more about post World War II, and in particular about how our main characters are since the previous book.
In the previous book Potsdam Station, John was able to secure his family out of Berlin. The people who secured this favor, want payback. 

My Thoughts:
For some reader's book five might be a let-down. The previous book was so dramatic and intense, that the reunions and remembrances of book five might not be exciting enough. I was not disappointed, I was happy to have a respite. Further, I needed to know how my characters were doing post war.…

Review: Potsdam Station Book Four by David Downing

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Title: Potsdam Station
Author: David Downing
Publisher: Soho Crime 2011
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Historical fiction, World War II, Nazi Party, Germany, Berlin, Espionage, Spy, Holocaust
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 304
Rating: 5 Stars

Summary:
April 1945, Berlin, Germany.
In Potsdam Station a sequence of the final weeks of World War II is given. John Russell, his girlfriend Effi Koenen, and son Paul, are each given a voice to their moments in history.
John had left Germany in the previous book. Effi continued to live in Berlin after John left. Her acting career on hold, she began giving aide and solace to those needing to escape the Nazi's. In Potsdam Station, John's mission is to try and make it back into Berlin before the ending onslaught of the Soviet Union. John has not been in contact with Effi, or Paul, since he left. Paul, is age 17, he is a gunner and in the 20th Panzergrenadier Division, he's been fighting at the Eastern Front. Will John be able to find Eff…

Review: Stettin Station, Book Three by David Downing

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Title: Stettin Station
Author: David Downing
Publisher: Soho Crime Press May 1, 2010
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Nazi Germany, Germany, World War II, Soviet Union, Communism, Socialism, Espionage, Spy, Holocaust, Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 320
Rating: 4 stars

Summary:
It is late 1941, Berlin. America has not yet entered into war with Germany. John Russell as an American citizen knows he must leave Germany, but he does not want to leave his son Paul, nor his girlfriend Effi. The clock is ticking and it is the 11th hour. The Gestapo pogrom has heightened. Their rampage and abuse continue, trains leave Berlin with Jew's headed to concentration camp's. Berlin citizens begin to feel the sting of their country at war because household supplies have become harder to find. Anxiety about how long the war will continue is on everyone's mind.

My Thoughts:
All throughout Stettin Station I can feel the tension and fear leap off the pages. This feeling made for …

Review: Silesian Station, Book Two by David Downing

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Title: Silesian Station
Author: David Downing
Publisher: Soho Crime Press May 1, 2008
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Nazi Germany, Germany, World War II, Soviet Union, Communism, Socialism, Holocaust, Espionage, Spy, Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 320
Rating: 4 Stars

Book Two in the John Russell Series

Summary:
Berlin 1939. John Russell and his 12 year old son Paul have just returned from a trip to America. Paul has been exposed and indoctrinated to Hitler's Jungvolk, his trip to America was an eye-opening experience and he came home with different feelings about his Germany. John has now been approached by a Nazi Party spokesperson that wants him to engage in spying. In Silesian Station, John has perilous meetings with unsavory people. Each opposing side are looking for people who are willing to take a risk in giving them information. John fears arrest. He fears for his family. He fears for Effi. He knows that he should leave Germany, but is torn.

My Thoughts:
T…

Review: Zoo Station, Book One in the John Russell Series by David Downing

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Title: Zoo Station, First Book in John Russell Series
Author: David Downing
Publisher: Soho Press, Inc. May 2007
Genre: Fiction
Labels: World War II, Holocaust, Nazi Germany, Berlin, Spies, Communism, Journalism, Espionage, Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 304
Rating: 4 Stars














Zoo Station, is book one in a series of five books that I've read over the past three weeks. Book six Masaryk Station will be available @ Amazon June 18. I plan to read this book as well. I've loved all the Station books by David Downing, they are just my type of read. 

Summary:
Berlin, Germany 1938-1939
John Russell is American born with strong English ties, World War I Veteran, divorced with one adolescent son named Paul, in a committed relationship with a German actress, an ex-patriot living in Berlin, and working as a journalist.
When the book begins 1938 will end in a couple of hours. There is an "absence of a festive spirit." People are uneasy in what the new year w…

Review: Freud's Sister by Goce Smilevski

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Title: Freud's Sister
Author: Goce Smilevski
Interpretor: Translator from the Macedonian language, Christina E. Kramer
Publisher: Penguin Group August 28, 2012
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Sigmund Freud, Holocaust, Nazi Germany, Germany, Austria, Family Dysfunction, Freud's Analysis and Beliefs
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 272
Rating: 3

Before I begin my review, Freud's Sister is FICTION. It is not a work of non-fiction. It is not a memoir, nor biography. I even hesitate to call it historical fiction. The author states in the Author's Note that little is known about Freud's sister Adolfina. There is a lot of freedom for artistic expression or interpretation by the author in Freud's Sister. The author chose to use the first person voice of Adolfina (I'll explain more about that underneath My Thoughts).

Summary:
Adolfina was born Esther Adolfine (Dolfi) Freud on 23 July 1862 and died 5 February 1943. She was a younger sister to Sigmund Freud. Sigmund, or S…

Review: The English Monster, Or, The Melancholy Transactions of William Ablass by Lloyd Shepherd

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Title: The English Monster, Or, The Melancholy Transactions of William Ablass
Author: Lloyd Shepherd
Publisher: Washington Square Press 2012
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Ratcliffe Highway Murders, 19th Century, Murder, Suspense, Investigation, Slavery, Historical Fiction, Serial Killer
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 432
Rating: 3-4 Stars (Sorry still can't make up my mind if it's a 3 or 4)

I recently read and reviewed Murder As A Fine Art by David Downing. Last Saturday I was in my favorite used book store and came across a copy of The English Monster, with the same subject of the Ratcliffe Highway Murder's.
I had to read it:
I was intrigued by the subject. I wanted to see where the author would take me in "their" story. I wanted to compare the two fictional stories. I could not pass up a chance to read both books in the same week. Summary:
The story has two pivotal points in its history, beginning in the late 1500's, and then traveling forward to December 1…

Book Blogger Hop, May 17 Through May 23, 2013

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This weeks question:
"What is your guilty pleasure read?" I don't have a guilty pleasure read. Nor, am I really sure what would define a guilty pleasure read. 
I have eclectic taste in reading. I will read almost any type of book. It is rare for me to NOT finish a book, I'll hang in there and finish it, rather than give up.

I'll take this question a bit further.
"What is my guilty pleasure?" I love Tex-Mex food! Most Friday nights are date nights for my husband and I. I usually order a frozen Margarita no salt, queso dip, and small fajitas nachos with chicken. 
I work-out hard most days of the week at the gym. I run on a treadmill and weight train. Most days of the week I eat as healthy as I can, filling up on lean protein, vegetables, and fruits, Greek yogurt, brown rice, etc. My free day to loosen up in my eating begins Friday night and extends in to Saturday.
Tex-Mex food on Friday nights is my guilty pleasure.





Review: Murder As A Fine Art by David Morrell

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Title: Murder As A Fine Art
Author: David Morrell
Publisher: Little Brown and Company/Mulholland Books May 7, 2013
ISBN-10: 0316216798
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Historical Mystery Fiction, Suspense, Murder, London, 19th Century, Ratcliffe Highway Murder's, Serial Killer
Format: Advanced Reader Copy/Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 368
Rating: 5 Stars

Summary:
Thomas De Quincey, wrote an essay in 1827, On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts.The subject of his essay was on the Ratcliffe Highway Murders of 1811. There were two sets of murders that occurred in early and mid December of 1811. A John Williams, was arrested, later he committed suicide in his jail cell. The Ratcliffe Highway Murders were gruesome, violent, and dramatically displayed for the people who witnessed the bodies. Thomas De Quincey, also wrote Confessions of an English Opium-Eaterin 1821.
Author, David Morrell, has written a historical fiction crime novel based on the Ratcliffe Highway Murders. Using Thomas De Qui…

Book Blogger Hop, Week of May 10 Through May 16, 2013

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Book Blogger Hop is a re-creation of


This weeks question is, What was the last book you re-read, or name a book you would you like to re-read?

I do re-read books. Not as often as I'd like to, because my TBR pile is HUGE. The last book I re-read was The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Another book I've re-read in the last several months is, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.



Review: Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith

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Title: Royal Mistress
Author: Anne Easter Smith
Publisher: Touchstone, Simon and Schuster May 7, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Labels: Jane Shore, England, Royalty, Edward IV, Richard III, 15th Century, House of York
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 512
Rating: 4 Stars

#5 Book on the War of the Roses

Summary:
Jane Lambert is the daughter of a textile mercer. At age 22 she is unmarried. Her parents, especially her pious and controlling father wants her to be married and out of his home. Any sexuality in his view is despicable and sin. When he looks at his daughter his eyes show hatred. On the other hand Jane's younger sister Isabel is the father's darling. Jane is happy to be unmarried; although she pines for love, or rather a lover who will sweep her off her feet and out of the controlling home of her father. Jane's romantic nature, coupled with her sensual and beautiful body, as well as her charming personality, makes her intoxicating to any virile man.
Jane's fa…

Review: Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani

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Title: Equal of the Sun
Author: Anita Amirrezvani
Publisher: Scribner, Simon and Schuster Paperback March 19, 2013/Hardcover June 5, 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
Labels: Historical fiction, Iran, Conspiracy, Islam, Muslim Women, Safavi Dynasty, 1500's, 16th Century, Royalty
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 464
Rating: 4 Stars
Summary:
The Safavi dynasty ruled in Persia 1501-1722. It was the first ruling empire after the Muslim conquest. Shi'a Islam was the authorized religion. Their empire encompassed not just modern day Iran, but also Iraq, Armenia, Georgia, Afghanistan.
In 1576, a young princess named Pari Khan Khanoom, wanted to be ruler after her father died and the empire was in turmoil because a will had not been written. Pari was intelligent, insightful, and knowledgeable about the responsibilities of being a ruler. She had a unique blend of personality that set her apart from other princesses and other women of her era. She was also as skillful and calculating as…

Currently Reading

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For the merry month of May I'm currently juggling several books:
Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani.
A Story of a princess in Iran, and her eunuch servant/friend. A Story about a tumultuous era when it was unclear who would and could rule.

Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith.
This is the story of Jane Shore, the long-term mistress of King Edward IV, and her perilous life after his death.

Lehrter Station, A John Russell Thriller by David Downing
This is a World War II/communism and espionage/thriller. 

Queen of Scots, The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy.
John Guy's well-researched and introspective look at Mary Queen of Scots.

And an eBook Flames in the Field, The Story of Four SOE Agents in Occupied France by Rita Kramer
this eBook is currently only $3.99!
I've just begun reading this book and it is a jewel. Well researched. The author consulted with Vera Atkins, who practically ran SOE.  

Soon I'll need to begin reading Murder As A Fine Art by David Morrell…