The Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel

When American Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her new French husband, Marcel, she believes that nothing can spoil her happiness. She has always thought of Paris as a place of enlightenment and she believes that she will flourish there, especially with Marcel by her side.

She and Marcel begin their lives on the Rue Amélie in an apartment with a terrace. One night, as Ruby sits on the terrace and enjoys the view, she meets Charlotte Dacher, the neighbor’s daughter, who, at age 11, cannot understand why anyone would pick on her for being Jewish. She isn’t a very religious person, after all.

As World War II looms over France, Ruby is becoming more concerned with what it will mean for Marcel’s and her life, but when she tries to talk to him about it he puts her down as a “woman with no idea what is going on in the world.” Ruby is terribly hurt by his disregard for her feelings as well as her intelligence. To make matters worse, the closer they come to the occupation of Paris by the Nazis, the more Marcel ignores her.

When the Germans do take over France and Paris, Ruby promises Charlotte’s mother that she will protect and care for Charlotte if anything happens to them. Over the next couple of years Ruby and Charlotte become much closer as Ruby tutors Charlotte in English.

Meanwhile, Thomas Clarke has given up his dream to become a doctor in order to learn to fly for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and flies regularly over France fighting the Nazis. The loss of his mother during the Blitz strengthens his desire to do whatever he can to help bring an end to the war.

When the war brings Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas together they must find the courage to defy the Nazis, even at a huge risk to themselves. They feel that by doing nothing they are condoning what the Nazis are doing and they will never give up without a fight.

This novel contains a wealth of information wrapped up in a story that is so beautifully written with such wonderful characters that it will stay with you long after you finish the last page with emotions that range from happiness to sadness, love to hate, anger to revenge.  There is also a sense bewilderment at how humans could possibly be as hateful and cruel as the Nazis, while still showing the compassion of so many who risked their lives to stop them.

I very highly recommend this book!

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5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.” 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I received this book free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Secrets of the Dead by Carol Wyer. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Secrets of the Dead by Carol Wyer – Book Review

Detective Inspector Tom Shearer, arrogant and smug, transferred from Derbyshire into DI Robyn Carter’s district. His latest case was a man named Miles Ashbrook who was found dead of a heart attack in the sauna at Bromley Hall where Ashbrook was the manager. The case was closed with the death deemed non-suspicious, but someone Detective Inspector Robyn Carter knows asked her to look into the situation because she has reason to suspect foul play.

Robyn is more than happy to look into the case, as she would love to bring DI Shearer down a notch or two. He goes to their boss to complain, however, and Robyn is told to drop the pursuit of the case.

When a bartender is found murdered with a receipt in his hand stating that his $250,000 debt has been paid in full, Robyn and her team begin searching for any clues about what debt the man could have owed.

Several days later a woman, with seemingly no ties to the bartender, is found dead in her bathtub with the same message left behind.

When a connection is finally made, Bromley Hall is back in Robyn’s scope as past events there may very well be the link between her two murdered victims. She now has more reason than ever to wonder about Miles Ashbrook’s death.

The first book in the series, Little Girl Lost (click here for my review) DI Robyn Carter is just beginning to come to terms with the death of her fiancé and nearly a year later she is still having a tough go of it. She still keeps Ross Cunningham busy helping her out, and dealing with DI Shearer on a regular basis could try anyone’s nerves.

Another solidly good story by Carol Wyer and one that leaves me very interested in the next case that comes Carter’s way. I’ve actually already purchased them and they are hanging on my Kindle patiently waiting their turn!

Books in the Robyn Carter series

  1. Little Girl Lost
  2. Secrets of the Dead
  3. The Missing Girls
  4. The Silent Children

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Drawn from the water by Marian A Jacobs A Propensity to Discuss review.

Drawn From The Water by Marian A Jacobs

When my daughter sent me the link to Drawn From The Water and asked if I would read it and do an Amazon review for the author I agreed. I found there to be one serious flaw: It is a short story and does not last long enough. I really, really wanted to continue reading this story! The writing is enthralling, and even though I knew the story and the outcome I was so taken in by the writing and the setting that I could not have been any more impressed.

This story is the retelling of the Biblical story of Moses in Exodus 1 and 2 – how Moses was spared from slavery and genocide as a baby. But there is a twist: This story is a sci-fi version that takes place on a distant planet and in a distant future and it is magnificent!

The story tells of Lexi, a date picker slave who loves her baby brother more than anything. Her parents know that if they are caught with him they will all be punished. So in order to allow him to live, they let him go, trusting in the God of All Realms to keep him safe.

Truly this is a beautifully written retelling of a beautiful story of love and faith and takes less than an hour to read. But it is an hour extremely well spent!

Book Details:

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5 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer

You may think at some point when reading Little Girl Lost that you have this one figured out, but trust me, you probably won’t, not until Carol Wyer gives you one last turn of events.

Detective Inspector Robyn Carter has been on leave following the death of her fiancé and her miscarriage soon after. She has been working with her cousin Ross Cunningham, a retired DI who now owns a private investigation firm. Just before she is scheduled to return to work, she gets a missing persons case on a man named Lucas Matthews. His wife Mary doesn’t want to involve the police, but when Mary shows Robyn something incriminating on his computer, Robyn knows she has to take the case back to work with her. The more Robyn looks into the case, the more confusing it becomes and the less concrete the evidence becomes.

During the same time new mother Abigail Thorne is struggling somewhat. Her love for her new daughter, Izzy, is beyond what she could have ever imagined, but she is somewhat worn down by sleepless nights and very busy days. She is even too tired to deal with her husband, Jackson.

So when exhausted Abigail begins to receive threatening letters, texts, and emails about being truthful and not living a lie, her fear is quite irrational. When the messages begin to maker her believe that Jackson is having an affair she starts to mentally fall apart. There are also things from her past that she hasn’t told Jackson, so she doesn’t know if the lies the stalker is talking about are her omissions, or Jackson’s.

Through the course of the investigation Robyn and Jackson meet, but he will tell her nothing until Abigail finally tells him about the stalker. He then contacts Robyn who talks to Abigail and believes her to be dishonest.

With flashbacks to the past of a little girl who was brutally attacked at age 8 and then suffered at her drunken mother’s side until she grew up, you know someone has motive to kill. You just have no idea who the little girl grew up to be. But when the truth comes out chances are it won’t be who you thought it would be.

This very well-written book had me guessing (incorrectly) from start to finish and I was still a bit shocked when it was revealed. I found this book through this review of the 4th book in this series on the Clues and Reviews blog (which I love!) and my interest was piqued. I am so glad that I followed through with the author, Carol Wyer. I will certainly be reading more of Robyn Carter series.

Wyer does a tremendous job of getting into the mind of the seriously troubled girl as she grows up. Even though I knew the evil in her, I still felt so sorry for her and wanted someone to help her, though I am not entirely sure she could have been helped considering all she lived through.

DI Robyn Carter is also extremely likable, very broken-hearted, and although she does not let that rule her work, it does serious damage to her need to stop blaming herself. She is also quite brassy about going after leads and trusting her instincts, which is a character trait I appreciate. I highly recommend this book!

Book Details:

Books in the Robyn Carter series

  1. Little Girl Lost
  2. Secrets of the Dead
  3. The Missing Girls
  4. The Silent Children

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Caroline Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Caroline: Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller

As a child, I loved reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and I still love watching Little House on the Prairie, so when I started hearing about this book I knew that I wanted to read it. Boy, am I so very happy that I did, even though some of what I previously thought to be true about the Ingalls and where they lived was embellished by the TV series. (No spoilers here and it does not change my love of the show, the books or the Ingalls family.)

This book is written from Caroline’s perspective and covers the time from when she and Charles decide to leave the Big Woods of Minnesota and move to “Indian Territory” on the outskirts of Kansas.

Having to cross the Mississippi River, they leave while the river is still frozen and travel in a covered wagon through the winter with as many of their possessions as they could load and that the two horses could pull. Traveling only between 10 to 25 miles in a day, and never on Sunday, the almost 650-mile trip takes more than five months to make. And don’t forget, there are no hotel chains along the way.

They make do at night in unused miners’ bunkhouses, make-shift shelters, the wagon, and the open land. There aren’t any IHOPs or Wendy’s along the way, either, just campfires and the food Caroline makes from flour, dried beans, corn meal, salt pork, and the likes. I can’t even begin to imagine the hardships of this!

Once they arrive Charles has to build a house using only his saw and axe. They also build a barn, and it is on this trip that they meet Mr. Edwards, with whom they become close friends and share the tasks of helping to build each other’s houses. Not only must they build the house and barn, but the land is completely uncultivated and Charles must also establish his farmland.

They are about 15 miles from the nearest town, Independence, Kansas, which makes it a full day’s trip one way. In Little House on the Prairie, the Ingalls are established just outside of Walnut Grove with plenty of neighbors. However, in this trip to the prairie, which author Sarah Miller wrote based on records, census information, and many other historical documents and research, the Ingalls are just beginning life on the Prairie and there are very few neighbors, but the Osage Indian Tribe is close enough to strike great fear in Caroline, though true to his nature, Charles only sees the good in everyone.

For fans of Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, or just historical fiction novels, I highly recommend this book. For me, there was awe, laughter, tears (both happy and sad) and revisiting the Prairie from Caroline’s perspective was very eye-opening and inspiring. If you haven’t ever been a fan, this book may change your opinion. This is a great historical fiction story about life around the 1870s and will give you a new appreciation for the modern conveniences that we take for granted every day.

What about you? Could you have left home like Charles and Caroline and struck out to a land where you knew no one and had to build everything from scratch?

Book Details:

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4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

Ellery “Ellie” Hathaway has a few secrets. Some would destroy her career in the small, low-crime town of Woodbury, Massachusetts where she works as a police officer. Some would destroy the life she has made for herself over the past 14 years. Because 15 years ago she was not Ellery Hathaway, she was Abby Hathaway, who was abducted on her birthday and is the only survivor of serial killer Francis Michael Coben.

Now 28, she believes that the three people who have gone missing close to her birthday over the past three years are the work of someone who knows who she is. Someone who is taunting her, but the Chief of Police and the one detective on the force don’t see any connection – not even the Ellery connection – because they don’t know her secret.

Agent Reed Markham, however, does know her secret. He knows almost everything about it because Reed Markham is the agent who found her alive all those years ago. He is now all but washed-up after his last case; a case that he blew, leaving a little boy dead. But when Ellie calls him for help, he goes to her, but not officially. Ellery doesn’t concern herself with his mistakes. He saved her once. She is willing to put her hope in his hands to save her again before another person is taken during The Vanishing Season.

To be a relatively short novel, Schaffhausen included a good bit of information. The back story of Ellie and the Coben case is skillfully woven in among the details of the current case, giving just enough information to help lead the reader to a few details without giving away too much at one time.

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Ellie and Reed are both damaged. Ellie is damaged by the Coben case, obviously, and Reed by all of the cases on which he worked. They not only damaged him but is marriage as well. As he put it “I did not cheat on my wife with any live women…I saved the best parts of myself for the job.” So when I read about both of them I immediately had a strong desire to help them, keep them both safe, and see that they were both better at the end of this case. You’ll have to read the book to see if that happened.

This is a really good book by a new author and I look forward to any future books by her. Have any of you read it? If so, what do you think?

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Wow. This was not at all what I was expecting, and it was really, really good and quite intense. Lane and her mother Camilla lived a very unhappy existence right up to the point When Camilla ends her own misery, sending Lane to live at Roanoke, the place her mother described as a nightmare.

It is at Roanoke that she meets her cousin Allegra, who looks so much like Lane and her mom, and also where she learns that all the Roanoke babies are girls and they all either leave forever or die very young at Roanoke. It is the Roanoke Curse. Ten years later Lane is one of those who left, but she is called back because Allegra, who would never leave on her own, is missing.

The chapters alternate between “Then,” which is about Lane’s time at Roanoke and “Now” which is ten years later, as well as brief excerpts from the thoughts and lives of other Roanoke girls. Through past and present, the stories of Lane, Allegra, and their grandparents (the grandfather who is doting and caring and the grandmother who is inattentive and aloof) come to life.

Lane knows something bad has happened to Allegra, there is the Roanoke Curse, after all, but she must muddle through her own issues which have shaped her past and continue to damage her present and, most likely, her future. Having known only bitterness and hatred from her mother, Lane has no way to understand, much less accept love and kindness, unless she can break the curse that has plagued their family for three generations.

This book, though not for the faint of heart, is extremely well-written and quite intense. Lane is emotionally scarred and psychologically traumatized even before she comes to Roanoke where secrets are what hold the family together. And oh the tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive. This story will shock most, but it really is a story of exactly what it takes to break the ties that bind in order to heal. I highly recommend this book.

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogging for Books in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”