Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Death By the Book

A string of murders draws Drew Farthering to investigate. Who is behind the grisly "hatpin murders"? How are all the deaths related? And why would anyone want to kill all these people? As Drew races against time to stop this ruthless killer, the clues lead him closer and closer to home.
I did not dislike this book, but I did not necessarily like it either. There were some things I did like: the author made reference to Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and Shakespeare which says to me that the author is well read and has at least some appreciation for classic literature. And the conclusion was definitely surprising, and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. I do have a few complaints, however. For one, I found the writing style to be a bit simplistic and I never found myself caught up in the story. It was interesting enough for me to finish reading, but I did not find it riveting. Secondly, I thought Drew's character was perhaps a bit aloof and artificial. Thirdly, I wasn't entirely happy with the ending. It was ok, but I thought it was just a bit odd to me. The killers motive for example, what was THAT all about?!? Final issue, I think the author simply added more to this book than was necessary. Far too much time was spent on Drew trying to woo a girl and win over her prickly aunt. In fact, that almost seemed to take precedent over the mystery at times.
As a reader of classic mysteries, I was simply unable to get into this. If however you like a little suspense mixed with romance, give this one a shot.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 7, 2014

For Such a Time

Hadassah Benjamin is rescued from a Nazi death camp, and is able to persuade the young SS Komandant Colonal Aric von Schmidt that she is an Aryan woman. Hiding behind her false identity as Stella Muller, Hadassah is safe. But how can she watch her people being sent to death camps and do nothing to help them? Did God send Hadassah into favor with the Komandant "for such a time"? And if so, Hadassah must decide if she is willing to make the sacrifice that may be necessary.
I thought that this was a really interesting idea, re-telling the story of Esther in a WWll setting. I really enjoyed the story, and found it to be very well written and engaging. Even though, if you are familiar with the story of Esther you will probably draw parallels between certain characters and have a pretty good idea what will happen to them, there are still enough plot and uncertainty to keep you reading. And for a debut novel, I am very impressed with this book. The only thing I did not like as well as some other historical novels I have read is the simple fact that a lot of the events surrounding the climax were entirely fictional. Granted, they turned out the way we wish history had turned out, but even if it would have made the ending sadder I think that it would have been nice to stick to the historical facts. As a work of fiction with a historical setting, this is a very good book and if you enjoy this genre this book is definitely worth reading. 
    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.