*UPDATE*

I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!


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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cover Crush: A Dinner to Die For

Cover Crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.

a dinner to die for

Not only is this a big building (and it obviously is the home of someone in society) but the colors are what grabbed my eye.  I can’t tell if that is traces of snow on the ground and building or just wear and tear on an old, somewhat shabby building.  I love it though!  And it definitely gives off the vibe of a mystery novel.  Also, you should check out the covers of this entire series if, like me, you love covers with big, beautiful buildings on them!

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: (To be updated after they go live)

keep calm and support book bloggers




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Series Highlight: Maggie Hope Mysteries by Susan Elia MacNeal

-the Maggie Hope Mystery series-

About the Maggie Hope Mystery Series

Maggie Hope: An American-born math whiz living in London works as a codebreaker and spy during WWII, aiding Britain in the war against the Nazis.

Titles in the Maggie Hope Mystery Series

mr churchills secretary
Book 1: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary
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May 1940. As England stands alone against imminent Nazi invasion, betrayal and treachery threaten to bring her down from within.

Maggie Hope, a young American in London, finds work as a secretary to the newly appointed Prime Minister Winston Churchill. When the P.M. is threatened by assassination, Maggie is thrown into the worlds of spies, secret agents, code-breaking and betrayal. As she searches for her missing father, she finds herself in the center of a conspiracy to murder the Prime Minister and destroy England.

Racing from the damp streets of London to the hallowed halls of Trinity College to the code-breakers’ huts of Bletchley Park, Maggie struggles with the brute realities of a world at war. She penetrates the heart of an undercover spy ring and, despite revelations of the most horrific kind, carries out one of the war’s most deadly missions.

princess elizabeth's spy
Book 2: Princess Elizabeth’s Spy
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The saga of Maggie Hope continues when MI-5 sends her undercover as a tutor to Windsor Castle, to protect the young Princess Elizabeth, England’s future queen.

When Princess Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting is murdered, Maggie realizes the threat must come from someone inside the castle walls and does everything in her power to protect the (often willful) princess, while searching for clues, mastering royal etiquette, and navigating the upstairs-downstairs nature of a tutor’s role in the castle hierarchy.

his majesty's hope
Book 3: His Majesty’s Hope
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Maggie embarks on a clandestine mission behind enemy lines where no one can be trusted, and even the smallest indiscretion can be deadly.

World War II has finally come home to Britain, but it takes more than nightly air raids to rattle intrepid spy and expert code breaker Maggie Hope. After serving as a secret agent to protect Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, Maggie is now an elite member of the Special Operations Executive — a black ops organization designed to aid the British effort abroad — and her first assignment sends her straight into Nazi-controlled Berlin, the very heart of the German war machine. Relying on her quick wit and keen instincts, Maggie infiltrates the highest level of Berlin society, gathering information to pass on to London headquarters. But the secrets she unveils will expose a darker, more dangerous side of the war — and of her own past. 

the prime ministers secret agent
Book 4: The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent
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World War II rages on across Europe, but Maggie Hope has finally found a moment of rest on the pastoral coast of western Scotland. Home from an undercover mission in Berlin, she settles down to teach at her old spy training camp, and to heal from scars on both her body and heart. Yet instead of enjoying the quieter pace of life, Maggie is quickly drawn into another web of danger and intrigue. When three ballerinas fall strangely ill in Glasgow—including one of Maggie’s dearest friends—Maggie partners with MI-5 to uncover the truth behind their unusual symptoms. What she finds points to a series of poisonings that may expose shocking government secrets and put countless British lives at stake. But it’s the fight brewing in the Pacific that will forever change the course of the war—and indelibly shape Maggie’s fate.

mrs roosevelt's confidante
Book 5: Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante
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December 1941. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C., along with special agent Maggie Hope. Posing as his typist, she is accompanying the prime minister as he meets with President Roosevelt to negotiate the United States’ entry into World War II. When one of the First Lady’s aides is mysteriously murdered, Maggie is quickly drawn into Mrs. Roosevelt’s inner circle — as ER herself is implicated in the crime. Maggie knows she must keep the investigation quiet, so she employs her unparalleled skills at code breaking and espionage to figure out who would target Mrs. Roosevelt, and why. What Maggie uncovers is a shocking conspiracy that could jeopardize American support for the war and leave the fate of the world hanging dangerously in the balance.

the queens accomplice
Book 6: The Queen’s Accomplice
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England, 1942. The Nazis’s relentless Blitz may have paused, but London’s nightly blackouts continue. Now, under the cover of darkness, a madman is brutally killing and mutilating young women in eerie and exact re-creations of Jack the Ripper’s crimes. What’s more, he’s targeting women who are reporting for duty to be Winston Churchill’s spies and saboteurs abroad. The officers at MI-5 quickly realize they need the help of special agent Maggie Hope to find the killer dubbed “the Blackout Beast.” A trap is set. But once the murderer has his sights on Maggie, not even Buckingham Palace can protect the resourceful spy from her fate.

the paris spy
Book 7: The Paris Spy
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Maggie Hope has come a long way since serving as a typist for Winston Churchill. Now she’s working undercover for the Special Operations Executive in the elegant but eerily silent city of Paris, where SS officers prowl the streets in their Mercedes and the Ritz is draped with swastika banners. Walking among the enemy is tense and terrifying, and even though she’s disguised in chic Chanel, Maggie can’t help longing for home.

But her missions come first. Maggie’s half sister, Elise, has disappeared after being saved from a concentration camp, and Maggie is desperate to find her — that is, if Elise even wants to be found. Equally urgent, Churchill is planning the Allied invasion of France, and SOE agent Erica Calvert has been captured, the whereabouts of her vital research regarding Normandy unknown. Maggie must risk her life to penetrate powerful circles and employ all her talents for deception and spycraft to root out a traitor, find her sister, and locate the reports crucial to planning D-Day in a deadly game of wits with the Nazi intelligence elite.

About the Author

susan elia macneal

Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of The New York Times, Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today-bestselling Maggie Hope mystery series, starting with the Edgar Award-nominated and Barry Award-winning Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, which is now in its 22nd printing. She is currently at work on The Prisoner in the Castle, the eighth novel in the series.

Her books include Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, His Majesty’s Hope, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante, The Queen’s Accomplice, and The Paris Spy. The Maggie Hope novels have been nominated for the Edgar, the Macavity, the ITW Thriller, the Barry, the Dilys, the Sue Federer Historical Fiction, and the Bruce Alexander Historical Fiction awards. The Maggie Hope series is sold worldwide in English and has been translated into Czech, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Turkish. It is also available in large print and audio. Actress Daisy Ridley (Star Wars, Murder on the Orient Express) has bought the film and television rights to the series.

Susan graduated from Nardin Academy in Buffalo New York, and also cum laude and with honors in English from Wellesley College. She cross-registered for courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University. Her first job was as the assistant to novelist John Irving in Vermont. She then worked as an editorial assistant at Random House, assistant editor at Viking Penguin, and associate editor and staff writer at Dance Magazine in New York City. As a freelance writer, she wrote two non-fiction books and for the publications of New York City Ballet.

Susan is married and lives with her husband, Noel MacNeal, a television performer, writer, and director, and their son in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Find Susan Elia MacNeal: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, January 15, 2018

Book Review:The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam

02_The Lost Season of Love and Snow
The Lost Season of Love and Snow
by Jennifer Laam
e-Book, 352 pages
St. Martin’s Press
January 2, 2018
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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from publisher for review tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg.

At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.

Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible.

What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death. With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court.

I always find novels set in Russia to be refreshing – a bit of history that I am least familiar with and it always presents a new time period or historical figure to me that I know nothing about. The fact that a historical novel is set in Russia will give me immediate interest in picking it up to learn more. More than simply bringing me a new historical figure, Laam brings a literary figure who I know nothing but the name coming into the reading experience – Alexander Pushkin. I also love novels that look at an event from a distinctly female perspective, especially when it is one that tends to be male driven.

In some ways this book reminds me a bit of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner. A female character, this time one that isn’t that well known, who is reviled for her actions and she is trying to sort of set the record straight with her side of the story. Natalya has her own set of circumstances that she is up against from the beginning, her goals don’t exactly align with those of her mother or sisters, and she has to push back to get what she wants. I found her enjoyment of the literary things in life to be something that I could particularly connect with and I was able to quickly understand who she was.

Jennifer Laam’s writing is beautiful. It flows naturally from one thought or scene into the next effortlessly. I felt I was on a constant wave throughout my time spent with the book, being continually pushed forward. You can easily get caught up in the whirlwind of it all. The Russia of that time brilliantly came to life right from the pages and enveloped me in that world.

I have Laam’s other two novels and I am sliding them higher up the TBR pile based on my experience with The Lost Season of Love and Snow.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Also by Jennifer Laam:

the secret daughter of the tsar
The Secret Daughter of the Tsar

the tsarinas legacy
The Tsarina’s Legacy

Find Jennifer Laam: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


Tour Wide Giveaway

As part of the tour I have the opportunity to share the Tour Wide Giveaway.  Up for grabs are 2 paperback copies of The Lost Season of Love and Snow! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.  If you have any questions please contact the HFVBT tour coordinator. Good luck!

Giveaway Rules

  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open to US only.
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


Lost Season of Love and Snow


Follow the Tour!

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On the HFVBT Website or on Twitter: #TheLostSeasonofLoveandSnowBlogTour

Monday, January 8
Review at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, January 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, January 10
Review at Creating Herstory

Thursday, January 11
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, January 12
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, January 15
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, January 16
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, January 17
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, January 18
Review at Peppermint Ph.D.
Review at Just One More Chapter




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cover Crush: Murder on Christmas Eve

Cover Crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.

murder on christmas eve

It has been well established through this series that I LOVE covers with big, old houses on them.  Add to that the beauty of the snow on the trees and garden and I’m right there!  Not my typical genre, but this cover is a beauty!

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: (to be updated as they go live)

keep calm and support book bloggers




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Book Alert: Earl Interrupted by Amanda Forester–Excerpt & Giveaway

CVR Earl Interrupted
Earl Interrupted by Amanda Forester
Book 2 in the Daring Marriages series
e-Book & Mass Market Paperback; 386 pages
Sourcebooks Casablanca
January 2, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
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Book Blurb:

After restoring his fortune as a notorious privateer, Captain Robert Ashton, Earl of Darington, goes to London in search of a bride. Instead, he finds unexpected dangers and unknown assailants. He is shot and left for dead. Life on the high seas was far calmer.

Enter Miss Emma St. James. She may appear sweet and demure, but she quickly proves herself to be equal to any challenge, including saving Darington’s life. Just when Darington is sure he has found his perfect bride, she reveals she’s betrothed to another.

Now things REALLY start to get complicated…

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | RJ Julia

Earl Interrupted graphic 2

I have a wonderful “first kiss” excerpt for you today!

“First sailed at twelve, joined right after my father’s death. First tour saw action at the Nile with Nelson,” said Darington in his understated manner.

“You were with Nelson at such a young age? Why, you are quite the hero,” exclaimed Emma.

“I ran powder. Tried not to get shot.”

“An admirable goal. I fully support it!”

Dare turned back to her with warm eyes. “Considering my recent experience, I quite agree.” His dark features gleamed a roguish enchantment in the moonlight.

A shiver ran down her spine.

Dare shrugged out of his greatcoat and, ignoring her murmurs of protest, put it around her shoulders. The heavy wool coat was warm from his own heat and stoked a fire within her. His scent lingered and she breathed deeply, feeling a little giddy at being draped in his coat as if wrapped in his arms.

“You should keep your coat. It is cold and you are still recovering,” Emma protested.

Dare gave her another of his shrugs and stepped close to her, reaching into the pocket of his coat that was wrapped around her. “This is for you.” He held out his hand, revealing a small, white shell.

Surprised, Emma took the small shell from his hand. It had a light gray, curved outside shell and a glossy, smooth, pink surface within. She looked up at him, wondering its significance. He continued to stare at her with an expectant air. She wished she understood the meaning of the gesture.

“Thank you.”

“It is for you,” he explained. “A gift. There are no flowers in January and your guardian is not present so…”

“Oh! A gift for me?” Emma realized this was his attempt at wooing her and her heart cracked open. “But how did you…? Please do not tell me you walked all the way to the beach to find me a shell.” She looked down from the edge of the cliff to the beach below.

“I confess Jonathan assisted me.”

“But you should not attempt such a thing. You are still recovering.”

“You said the purpose of the gift was not the object but the effort involved in the giving.”

“Oh, Dare!”

“Did I do it right?” The earnestness in his eyes made her heart ache.

“Yes, yes, you did it very well. Thank you. I will cherish it always.”

“Good.” Dare opened his mouth to say something but turned away instead, staring out over the ocean. She could not begin to guess his thoughts. Without his greatcoat, he appeared thin and lonely in the pale light, leaning on his walking stick.

Clearly, he had not given up his attempt to convince her to marry him. She would never take advantage of the situation to accept an offer made only out of obligation, but what if his heart had been truly touched? He certainly had gone to great effort. Would he act the same way out of a sense of honor? Given what Emma knew of the enigmatic man before her, he probably would.

Though she was already standing next to him, she stepped closer. “I must insist you take back your coat. I do not wish you to catch cold in your condition. And truly, you should rest.”

“No, no, my condition is very well, thanks to you.”

“But that does not mean you should freeze. Here, take back your coat. I am very warm, I assure you.” She stepped forward and attempted to place the coat back around his shoulders.

“No, I insist you keep it,” he protested, trying to keep the coat around her. Somehow, they ended up with one shoulder of the coat on him and one on her, standing so close their bodies brushed against one another.

Emma froze at the contact, looking up at the dark eyes of the Earl of Darington. His eyes burned with a fierce intensity, his lips parted. His dark look was similar to when he had defended her from the highwaymen. This was the true Darington. He kept a calm, distant facade, but raging beneath the surface was something wild and dangerous. Her heart pounded, but instead of pulling away, she pressed closer.

He slowly wrapped his arms around her, inside of the greatcoat, pulling her closer to him. Her hands flew to his chest, but she did not push him away. Without a word, he slowly lowered his head. He stopped just inches away from her lips. She waited, the air between them crackling with anticipation. Was he going to kiss her? Was he going to come so close and not kiss her? Waiting was agony.

Swiftly, he put an end to the debate and claimed her mouth with his. His lips pressed against hers and he pulled her closer, parting her lips with his tongue and deepening the kiss. Emma reached up and wrapped her hands around his neck, holding on tightly as her heart soared. She had never experienced anything like the sensation of kissing Darington. It was like flying, though her feet never left the ground.

When they finally parted, they both took deep breaths. His great coat slid to the ground, forgotten. She was certainly more than warm now. When his hand slid away from her waist, she noticed that it trembled.

“Forgive me,” he murmured, turning to face the crashing waves once more, holding his hands rigidly behind his back.

Emma took several more breaths before attempting speech. “That was…” She had not the words to describe it.

“An imposition on your person,” finished Dare without turning to her.

“No, no, that was not what I was going to say.”

“It was not?” He turned to her, a note of hope in his voice.

“No,” she replied firmly. “That was…quite remarkable.”

amanda forester

AMANDA FORESTER holds a PhD and worked for many years in academia before discovering that writing novels was decidedly more fun. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. Amanda lives near Seattle, WA.

Find Amanda Forester: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

 
Tour Wide Giveaway!

As part of this tour, I am happy to be able to present the tour wide giveaway.  This giveaway is for one of FIVE copies of If the Earl Only Knew, book 1 in the Daring Marriages series!  If you have any questions please contact the tour coordinator.  Entries are made via the Rafflecopter below or on any of the participating sites.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, January 8, 2018

Book Review: The Duke of Ice by Darcy Burke

duke of ice
The Duke of Ice
by Darcy Burke
Book 7 of The Untouchables series
ARC, e-Book, 262 pages
Darcy Burke Publishing
December 26, 2017
★★★★☆
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Heat Rating:
3 flames

Genre: Historical Romance

Source: Received from Publicist for Review

Everyone Nicholas Bateman ever loved has died. Except Violet Caulfield, which must mean he never loved her. Nine years after she threw him over to marry a viscount, Nick is a widowed duke who prefers isolation. When a friend convinces him to leave his lair of self-imposed solitude, he considers taking another wife, provided she agrees to his terms: no emotional attachment of any kind.

Now widowed, Lady Violet Pendleton hopes for a second chance with the man she’s always loved. But she isn’t prepared for the desolation in his soul or the animosity he still bears toward her. Despite those obstacles, it’s clear their passion hasn’t dimmed. However, the heat between them isn’t enough to melt the Duke of Ice, and this time Violet may find herself the jilted party. Can love, once so tragically lost, finally be found?

You certainly can see why Nick is nicknamed the Duke of Ice in this book! All of the male characters in the Untouchables series have had the qualities of their names, but Nick certainly fully inhabited his! Due to this in part, I found it a lot harder to get into this relationship than I have in other Untouchables books. I really didn’t like him that much throughout much of the book, and even later on, I liked him, but didn’t love him. While that might normally be something that would bring down my enjoyment of a romance novel, in this case it felt right specifically because he is supposed to be stand-offish. Violet on the other had I did like. Both of them suffered bad things in their past, but she chooses to move beyond that and be happy, which is my personal perspective on life. This is a story of second chances, resolving misunderstandings, and moving beyond what you think fate has dealt you. In some ways, it’s even about third or fourth chances. Can they change enough to be able to be together? Are these stumbling blocks too big to overcome?

I enjoyed reading about the house party that is held throughout the first half of the novel. I don’t think that I have read many books that have a large group of people staying for multiple weeks at a country estate, so it was fun to see the types of things that they would have done to occupy themselves.

This book also heavily introduced the two main love interests that will be in the next book in this series, The Duke of Ruin. Typically they are just passing characters, but events in this novel will have a significant impact in the next book based on the book description. I really enjoyed these characters (possibly more than Nick and Violet) and look forward to meeting them again and seeing where life takes them.

The romance factor here was hot enough. As this is a story of second chances, we are treated to romance flashbacks as well as on the current timeline. It was interesting to see how they have changed based on life’s circumstances, but are still the same in many of the ways that matter.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia |


Also by Darcy Burke:

Other titles in this series include:

the forbidden duke
The Forbidden Duke
(Book 1)

the duke of daring
The Duke of Daring
(Book 2)

the duke of deception
The Duke of Deception
(Book 3)
[My Review]

duke of desire
The Duke of Desire
(Book 4)
[My Review]

duke of defiance
The Duke of Defiance
(Book 5)
[My Review]

the duke of danger
The Duke of Danger
(Book 6)

Burke%2c Darcy- The Duke of Ruin (final) 800 px %40 72 dpi low res
The Duke of Ruin
(Book 8)
Coming Soon

Find Darcy Burke: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Woman in the Camphor Trunk by Jennifer Kincheloe

Anna Blanc Camphor Trunk 1
The Woman in the Camphor Trunk
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Book 2 in the Anna Blanc Mystery series
Unabridged, 10 hr. 52 min.
Jennifer L. Kincheloe, Ltd
Moira Quirk (Narrator)
December 6, 2017
★★★★ ½☆
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Genre: Historical Mystery/Thriller

Source: Received audio download for review as part of the tour with Audiobookworm Productions

Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former sweetheart, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. Her lover has fled. If news gets out that a white woman was murdered in Chinatown, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna plan to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret. So does good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent Chinese leader who has mixed feelings about helping the LAPD and about Anna.
Meanwhile, the Hop Sing tong has kidnapped two slave girls from the Bing Kong tong, fuelling existing tensions. They are poised on the verge of a bloody tong war that would put all Chinatown residents in danger.

Joe orders Anna out of Chinatown to keep her safe, but to atone for her own family's sins, Anna must stay to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.

Oh dear Anna Blanc, how you get yourself into even bigger scrapes in this book than you did before! One might have thought you would have learned something…but it is just as hilarious, so keep bringing it. That is one thing that I have to mention – while this book is a historical mystery and sometimes thriller, there is so much comedy in the writing and dialogue that it keeps me listening hour after hour!

Book 2 picks up just a short time after the culminating events of the previous installment – Anna is figuring out even more how to navigate the working class world on her own, without her father’s money. But what she lacks in know-how she makes up for in spirit! As she gets herself wrapped up in a case of kidnapped Chinese women and a simmering war in Chinatown, she continuously bests the “real” cops is solving the crime. She knows a little more about the seedy world than she did before, but Chinatown is WAY out of her experience zone, so she is constantly playing catch-up. Through this storyline the author explores many Chinese customs as well as the barriers and stereotypes that the Chinese faced at this time.

I still loved Joe Singer and Anna’s relationship – that push-pull is there no matter how much they fight it, avoid it, and move on, but they are still SO hung up on each other that their working together is HILARIOUS. I loved the scene where Joe is in jail and Anna is intent on taking on solving this crime herself – he is having NONE of it! They are from such different worlds and really want different things in life, but something keeps pulling them back together and some of their best scenes are when they are looking out for each other.

The plot was pretty tight and covered A LOT of ground. There were a couple spots in the middle where I felt we didn’t need to be off on this tangent (while still relevant), but the banter and relationship growth moved me quickly through it enough that I don’t feel that it much affected my enjoyment of the novel. I would pick up another installment in a heartbeat! There is still so much unresolved!

audiobookimpressions

★★★★★

Much like the first book, this was one of THE best audio productions I have listened to. It is excellently narrated. Moira Quirk is someone that would now lead me to pick up a book I’m not even interested in because she could interest me in it through her performance (believe me, I have already went and shelved a few of her other works in my Audible wishlist that are paranormal in genre, which isn’t my typical thing). And a performance it truly is. Quirk doesn’t just read the novel, but imbues Kincheloe’s characters with even more life. As I stated above, Kincheloe wrote some amazing characters that I loved, but Quirk brings out their complete nature to where you feel like they are standing in the room next to you. Yes, each character has their own unique voice, but many narrators do that. However, Quirk not only brings a different voice, but you can envision their mannerisms as well just from the way they are speaking. I’m not sure how she does this, but whatever it is, keep doing it! There is quite the range of nationalities and type of personalities in this novel and Quirk makes them all feel truly real, not cookie cutter or stereotyped. And there is singing! Actual singing! That is one of the things that always disappoints me is when a part that is clearly intended to be sung is instead simply read. And while I know that there are often legitimate reasons this has to be done, it does take away from the experience of the book and colors my perception of it.

Loved the book, loved the production, loved the narrator! Go pick up this book in print (if you don’t listen to books), but I HIGHLY encourage you to check out this audiobook production, it is FANTASTIC and you will not regret it!

You can check out a sample of the audio production by clicking the play button below.

Play symbol 85x85

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:


Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Also by Jennifer Kincheloe:

The SecretLifeofAnnaBlanc audiocover art Final_thumb[1]
The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
(Book #1)
[My Review]


Find Jennifer Kincheloe:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Find Moira Quirk: WebsiteTwitterFacebook

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Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court