Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke

Do you know what makes a good mystery? Not figuring out the mystery too soon. When the mystery was solved, all the pieces were there, in plain sight, but I had another character pegged as my main suspect.

I found Maids of Misfortune as a recommendation from Bookbub. If you haven't read my review of the Bookbub site, do so now!

"It's the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie's husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier, and one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns to pay off a debt.

"Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco's most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl's clients, Matthew Voss, has died. The police believe it is suicide brought upon by bankruptcy, but Annie believes Voss has been murdered and that his assets have been stolen.

"Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn't leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior.

"Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted, cozy historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco. Maids of Misfortune, is the first book in M. Louisa Locke's historical mystery series, followed byUneasy Spirits, and Bloody Lessons."Source

As you may or may not already know, historical fiction is my all time favorite genre. I'm not picky on specific time periods, but I love reading of times I did not witness.

Annie Fuller is a woman not normally associated with this 1870's. She is opinionated, loud, and a feminist, of sorts! She calls out the annoyingly restricting clothes deemed appropriate and fashionable of a lady, and when she goes undercover in her investigations, she loves the freedom of exposing a little ankle!

I do not read a lot of mystery, so maybe I didn't see the clues until they were laid out in front of me, but I had a suspect in mind that not even Annie had! Of course, I was wrong, but a good mystery gives many suspects for the reader to.... well.... suspect.

This book is great for any aged reader. There is only one scene that could trigger sensitivity (sexual assault), but the novel isn't heavily descriptive in that scene.

Pick up your copy today! Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery

Find Great EBooks on a Budget

Do you enjoy FREE EBooks? What about great books for UNDER $2.99?

If so, let me introduce you to this amazing site my friend told me about.! I was a little skeptic at first, but it has been a hit!

Signing up is simple.

Give them your email, your favorite genres, and what E-Reader you use.
If you don't have an E-Reader, both the Nook and Kindle apps are free!

The site will automatically give you books in your selected genres that are $2.99 or under!

Each day, you will receive an email with new finds they think you will love.

You can easily change your preferences from daily to weekly, or never. You can log in at any time to change genres, or look at books you may like.

My next review will be from a book I found on this site. So if you want to read it before you see my review, pick up a FREE electronic copy of Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery  by M. Louisa Locke.

Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad

I found Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad as a suggestion from a Buzzfeed post. It’s also an Oprah’s Book Club recommendation too!

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape.Source

I’m so glad I got this book to read between Book Club novels. It was honest, brutal, and tough to read at times. It’s a story that needs to be told especially now, and a part in history many try to forget. The story of Cora is an adventure worth taking.

Each chapter brought me hope, despair, and fear. Her escape gave me such anxiety! Whitehead did an amazing job pulling me through the uphill battle an escaped slave went through trying to get to freedom.

I could not put this novel down. In fact, when I tweeted this out, Colson Whitehead responded:

 If you enjoy historical fiction, I would highly recommend this book. It has some very sensitive subject matter (physical, mental, and sexual abuse), so it may not be suitable for all ages. Whitehead walked a fine line with being overly descriptive. I believe he described just enough to feel the horrors Cora was witnessed to.

The Edge of Lost

Historical Fiction about Alcatraz? Sign me up!
Wow. Can I just say.... wow. This was an AMAZING read. I could not put the book down.
I had a month to read this book for our book club, and let me tell you, I had it read in just a few days.
 And honestly, if I wasn't working full time, I probably would've finished it in one night.
This book opens with a missing girl, a daughter of a prison guard, on Alcatraz. Cut to the next chapter, it's twenty years prior, and we begin the story of Shanley Keagan, a boy from Ireland who hopes to make a better name for himself. How do these two stories relate? When will we be back in Alcatraz?
McMorris does a wonderful job intertwining the two stories.
Shanley Keagan is a lost boy given a bad hand at life. Half American, with two deceased parents, he survives by telling jokes in bars throughout Ireland. He's trying to make the best out of this world and survive.
 This novel travels from Ireland, to New York, to Alcatraz itself.
I found myself loving Shanley's character. Desperate for love, but not understanding it when it's right at his feet. At times I related directly to Shanley, and at other times, I wanted to yell at him. He was so clueless to the fact he was actually wanted, so many times.
The prison life was rough. Being wrongfully put into solitary confinement can make a man go mad. I felt sorry for him, being locked in there for merely trying to survive.
 Mobsters, villains, and good guys, but who is who? Is the priest in on it? Where is the little girl? 
You'll have to read to find out. And how does Shanley fit into this picture?
This novel is wonderful. Full of emotion, and it even made me cry. All I can say is, read it! You won't be disappointed! 

And that ending? Yeah, I'll admit it. I cried.

Buy The Edge of Lost Here!

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Last week was my first book club meeting, and we were discussing Modern Lovers by Emma Straub.

Although not a title I would gravitate toward at the book store, I loved this novel. I am glad one of my fellow book clubbers suggested this title.

Modern Lovers follows the lives of 2 couples, Andrew and Elizabeth, Jane and Zoe, and their two kids, Harry (Andrew/Elizabeth's son) and Ruby (Jane/Zoe's daughter), as they try to navigate different aspects of relationships and growing older.

Throughout college, Andrew, Elizabeth, and Zoe were members of Kitty's Mustache along with Lydia. Elizabeth, Zoe, and Andrew stayed together after the band broke up, moving to New York together. Lydia hits it big, leaving Kitty’s Mustache behind. Although never alive during the novel, Lydia plays a pivotal role in the storyline.

The story is told from multiple points of view: beginning with Zoe's in Chapter one, and swiftly moving to Andrew's in chapter two. Ruby, Harry, and Elizabeth also take turns narrating the novel. For the first few chapters, this is hard to follow, but once you understand Straub's writing style, it is very enjoyable.

I found myself at many points in the novel more interested in Ruby's character than Elizabeth, mentally groaning when I realized I had to read another 4-5 chapters before I'd get back to Ruby's story.

I hope you take the time to read this novel. It’s a wonderful, quick summer read. This is great for a day by the pool or at the beach. Once you’ve read the novel, come back to see what else I thought below!

Buy Modern Lovers Here!