Monthly Archives

February 2021

reviews

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

 The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places. (publisher)

Odile’s dream comes true when she lands in her dream job as a librarian at the American Library in Paris (ALP). She has sort of an obsession with the Dewey Decimal System and likes to classify things that happen with those system numbers. Everything seems to be well: she has her dream job, new friends from her job and a boyfriend. But then WWII and Nazi occupation started and everything changes. In the 1980s Montana Lily has recently lost her mother and her father soon remarries. Missing her mother and feeling lonely, she befriends her reclusive, elderly neighbour. Fascinated by everything French, she uses her school assignment as a way to get to know her mysterious neighbour.

I don’t think I’ve read a fiction book where a library plays such a big role in the story. And it was interesting as I hadn’t heard of ALP before. We see how the library continued to deliver books to their Jewish subscribers since they could no longer use the library. The book is by no means action-packed but there were no dull moments. The book focuses heavily on the library and we don’t really see how the war affected the city under the occupation or the horrors of concentration camps or such.

I was surprised by how much I liked the 80s timeline. It gave glimpses that Lily’s stepmother might not have had an easy time as the “curator of the Brenda museum” as Lily at some point puts it. It was nice to see their relationship get better as time went on. Each library staff member were wonderful characters on their own right. I would have liked to know more about Buck and Marc as they were only mentioned a few times.

I really loved this book, and it was a bit different WWII book than usually. A book about books, libraries and the Dewey Decimal System. What’s not to like?

5/5

Published: Atria Books (February 9, 2021)
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

reviews

The Canterbury Murders by E.M. Powell

The Canterbury Murders (Stanton & Barling 3) by E.M. Powell

A fire-ravaged cathedral. An ungodly murder.

Easter, 1177. Canterbury Cathedral, home to the tomb of martyr Saint Thomas Becket, bears the wounds of a terrible fire. Benedict, prior of the great church, leads its rebuilding. But horror interrupts the work. One of the stonemasons is found viciously murdered, the dead manís face disfigured by a shocking wound.

When Kingís clerk Aelred Barling and his assistant, Hugo Stanton, arrive on pilgrimage to the tomb, the prior orders them to investigate the unholy crime.

But the killer soon claims another victimñand another. As turmoil embroils the congregation, the pair of sleuths face urgent pressure to find a connection between the killings.

With panic on the rise, can Barling and Stanton catch the culprit before evil prevails againóand stop it before it comes for them?

THE CANTERBURY MURDERS is the third book in E.M. Powellís Stanton and Barling medieval murder mystery series. Combining intricate plots, shocking twists and a winningñif unlikelyñpair of investigators, this series is perfect for fans of Ellis Petersí Brother Cadfael or C. J. Sansomís Shardlake.

The story starts soon after the events of the last book. Barling is desperate to do a pilgrim to the tomb of Thomas Becket for past sin and hopes to get a peace of mind. But things don’t go as planned and once again they are thrown into a murder investigation, much to Barling’s dismay. There’s still a rift in Barling and Stanton’s relationship because of those events in the last book which doesn’t help their investigation.

We learn more about Stanton and Rosamund’s affair. I’ve been curious to learn more about how the relationship came to be, and just under Henry’s nose. Rosamund’s portrayal was different than I was expecting but oh well. Maybe now Stanton is ready to move on in life.

The best part of this series is the friendship between Barling and Stanton, who have very different character. Even if I sometimes wonder how they manage to solve any murders, that makes for it. Characters and the writing style make up for it.

It was a quick read and I wonder what’s up next for them.

3,5/5

Published: Crosshaven Press (November 12, 2020)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

E.M. Powellís historical thriller and medieval mystery Fifth Knight and Stanton & Barling novels have been #1 Amazon and Bild bestsellers.

The third Stanton & Barling mystery, THE CANTERBURY MURDERS, will be released in November 2020.

Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she lives in northwest England with her husband, daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog.

E.M. Powell is represented by Josh Getzler at HG Literary.

Find out more by visiting www.empowell.com. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 11
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, January 12
Review at Reader_ceygo

Wednesday, January 13
Feature at Words and Peace
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Thursday, January 14
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Friday, January 15
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Saturday, January 16
Review & Excerpt at Older & Smarter

Sunday, January 17
Interview at Reader_ceygo
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, January 18
Feature at I’m Into Books

Tuesday, January 19
Review at A Book Geek

Wednesday, January 20
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, January 21
Review at Novels Alive
Interview at Madwoman in the Attic

Friday, January 22
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, January 25
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, January 26
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Wednesday, January 27
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, January 28
Review at the.b00kreader

Friday, January 29
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Monday, February 1
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Wednesday, February 3
Review at Impressions In Ink
Review at Debjani’s Thoughts
Interview & Excerpt at Books & Benches

Thursday, February 4
Review at Bookramblings

Friday, February 5
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Jessica Belmont
Review at Donna’s Book Blog