Mini Reviews of one historical mystery and two middle grades

October 15, 2020 Audiobook Reviews, Book Reviews 2

Mini Reviews of one historical mystery and two middle grades

I received this book for free from Library, Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Murder at Queen's Landing by Andrea Penrose
Length: 12 hrs and 54 mins
Published by Kensington Books/Kensington Publishing Corp. on September 29, 2020
Pages: 304

Narrator: James Cameron Stewart
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Illustrator: Jaime Zollars


The murder of a shipping clerk . . . the strange disappearance of trusted friends . . . rumors of corruption within the powerful East India Company . . . all add up to a dark mystery entangling Lady Charlotte Sloane and the Earl of Wrexford in a dangerous web of secrets and lies that will call into question how much they really know about the people they hold dear—and about each other . . .

When Lady Cordelia, a brilliant mathematician, and her brother, Lord Woodbridge, disappear from London, rumors swirl concerning fraudulent bank loans and a secret consortium engaged in an illicit—and highly profitable—trading scheme that threatens the entire British economy. The incriminating evidence mounts, but for Charlotte and Wrexford, it’s a question of loyalty and friendship. And so they begin a new investigation to clear the siblings’ names, uncover their whereabouts, and unravel the truth behind the whispers.
As they delve into the murky world of banking and international arbitrage, Charlotte and Wrexford also struggle to navigate their increasingly complex feelings for each other. But the clock is ticking—a cunning mastermind has emerged . . . along with some unexpected allies—and Charlotte and Wrexford must race to prevent disasters both economic and personal as they are forced into a dangerous match of wits in an attempt to beat the enemy at his own game.

Also by this author: Murder on Black Swan Lane, Murder at Half Moon Gate

Today I have one historical mystery and two middle grade mysteries for ya! 🙂

I so love this series! It’s probably tide for second place with the Kat Holloway series in my favorites as I can’t decide which one I like most. (First place being the Veronica Speedwell series)

A lot has happened since the very first book when Lord Wrexford first met Charlotte Sloane (who because of some things that happened in the previous book has to act more of her station in life which is actually Lady Sloane) though she still does her news satire drawing under the name of AJ Quill.

In the previous book Wrexford and Sloane made the acquaintance of Lady Cordelia during an investigation and they have become good friends. So when some rumors start about concerning fraudulent bank loans and some other secret trades that could threaten the  British empire and at the same time their friend and her brother go missing, it doesn’t look good for them.

When your friends reputations are on the line sometimes it can get a little tense as Wrexford and Sloane each have their own ideas of what happened. I really enjoyed this one especially because we are seeing Wrexford and Sloane getting closer together which made a for a great ending!

If you like historical mysteries you should try this series but do start at the beginning!

Mini Reviews of one historical mystery and two middle gradesGreenglass House by Kate Milford, Jaime Zollars
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery
Published by Clarion Books on August 26, 2014
Pages: 376
Source: Library

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It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.

Milo lives in a Bed and Breakfast with his parents, it’s known as the smugglers inn because it caters to a lot of those kinds of people but it’s winter break and suppose to be quiet. Milo is looking for a nice quiet break but then all of a sudden the door knocks and it’s an unscheduled guest, then another and another and before to long the inn is full of people and his break is pretty much ruined.

Everyone in that house has a secret though a reason for why they have suddenly turned up to the smugglers in and it’s up to Milo and another young girl who happens to be there to try and figure out what is going on. First Milo finds a map, then it’s stolen, then some of the guest things are stolen, then Milo finds them and then more things go missing. The two make a game up find out what is going on.

For the most part I thought this was a decent middle grade book but there was some things that kept it from being a great read and one of those things is that Milo was adopted at birth but instead of calling his parents mom and dad he would call them Mr or Mrs. Pines when its his  inner monlogue and it bugged me. I know part of the story is he is having a bit of identity crisis because he is Asian and they are not but still they are his mom and dad and it just bugged me. There was also just some slow parts in the story that kept it from being a better MG mystery for me. I did love the twist at the ending as I didn’t see that one coming!

Still a decent middle grade mystery and I am curious about what else will happen in the series.

Mini Reviews of one historical mystery and two middle gradesSmall Spaces by Katherine Arden
Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 25, 2018
Pages: 218
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

Narrator: Renee Dorian
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New York Times bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic
After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn't think--she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with "the smiling man," a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 
Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she's been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn't have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: "Best get moving. At nightfall they'll come for the rest of you." Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie's previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 
Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver's warning. As the trio head out into the woods--bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them--the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: "Avoid large places. Keep to small." 
And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

I thought this was a fun middle grade horror great for this time of year!

One day Ollie finds a woman getting ready to throw a book into the pond and she rescues it. Ollie starts reading the book that seems like of like a journal. Her school is getting ready to take a trip to a farm and while they are there she finds some graves that have the same name as those in the book. She starts to wonder if maybe it’s not a book at all but really a journal and if they are real then maybe the Smiling Man that is written about it also real.

Then the bus breaks down and the creepy bus driver tells them they should get off the bus and leave but most of the kids stay on it. Ollie isn’t sure what is going on but she thinks maybe she should listen to the bus driver and her and two others get off the bus and from there it’s a race against time to try and save her school mates from the creepy scarecrows and Smiling Man!

It was just a lot of fun and I would recommend it!

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2 Responses to “Mini Reviews of one historical mystery and two middle grades”

  1. Katherine

    Andrea Penrose is high up on my TBR. This book sounds so good! Small Spaces (and really anything by Katherine Arden) is high up on my list too. I enjoyed Greenglass House but it wasn’t a 5 star read for me. I hadn’t forgotten about how he referred to his parents until you mentioned it but it didn’t set well with me either on reading it.

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