Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Book Reviews – the October Edition

I once again read five books in October. Next month there will surely be fewer because I’ve only finished one book so far in November. I’d better get with it!

1. All the Devils are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #16), by Louise Penny. ★★★★★ On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.

When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.

It sends them deep into the secrets Armand’s godfather has kept for decades.

The Bug Says: I just love this series. It was a little disappointing that this book took place in Paris instead of Three Pines, but it was still a most excellent mystery. And it had a most satisfyingly schmaltzy ending. Highly recommend!

2. Shadows in Death (In Death #51), by J.D. Robb. ★★★★★ When a night out at the theatre is interrupted by the murder of a young woman in Washington Square Park, it seems like an ordinary case for Detective Eve Dallas and her team. But when Roarke spots a shadow from his past in the crowd, Eve realises that this case is far from business as usual.

Eve has two complex cases on her hands - the shocking murder of this wealthy young mother and tracking down the shadow before he can strike again, this time much closer to home. Eve is well used to being the hunter, but how will she cope when the tables are turned? As Eve and the team follow leads to Roarke's hometown in Ireland, the race is on to stop the shadow making his next move . . . 

The Bug Says: Another favorite mystery series (obviously, since I’m on book 51!). This one included all of my favorite characters, and also had a satisfyingly schmaltzy ending.

3. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, by Holly Jackson. ★★★★ The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

The Bug Says: There are lots of things to love about this book – a really bright female protagonist, her quirky family, some fun dialog, and a couple of plot twists. Also, I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a really good job.

4. In Five Years, by Rebecca Serle. ★★★★ When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

The Bug Says: The premise of this book was really interesting. It caused me to feel propelled toward a destiny that seemed inevitable, but there were some good plot twists here as well. I zoomed through the book because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. It was well worth the read!

5. The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow. ★★★★ In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own. 

The Bug Says: Oh I loved this book! It was part Narnia, part A Wrinkle in Time, and part Indiana Jones, The narrator did a really good job, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I can’t believe I still haven’t finished the latest Harry Dresden book. What the heck. I think I’m partially worried about who may or may not survive until the end, and also don’t want it to end. But really, I just need to buckle down and finish the thing – it’s really really good! What good things have you been reading lately?


  1. Great books. My nightstand has five mostly unread books gathering dust. Been trying to read but I can't seem to get into any of them. One book, I've had since July.

    1. I've had the hardest time getting books read since the pandemic started. I feel like it's easing up a little bit since the election, but I still spend a lot of time doing zoning out activities instead of reading.

  2. So glad you enjoyed A Girls Guide ... & IN Five years... I loved the ending of both of those.


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