Friday, January 19, 2024

The Divine Proverb of Streusel is a 'Must Read' for 2024

 Author Sara Brunsvold's exceptional debut novel The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip topped my favorite reads of 2022 list. I had great expectations for her newest book and was eagerly anticipating her newest story, The Divine Proverb of Streusel. I read this book in three days and would have finished it sooner had life responsibilities not gotten in the way. Three chapters in I had an inkling that this story would land on my "favorite reads of 2024" and I am happy to say that it definitely did!

Devastated and reeling from her parents' divorce, literary teacher, Nikki Werner seeks comfort on her uncle's farm in Missouri. Spending the summer there, she discovers a longing to know more about her lineage and finds an old handwritten German cookbook among her grandmother's belongings filled with knowledge and long-forgotten recipes. As she cooks her way through the recipes, inviting townsfolk to share in the meals and memories of the town and her grandparents, Nikki starts to heal from her parents' divorce.

Emotions ranged from tears of sadness to tears of joy coupled with laughter. While I enjoyed Nikki's story, I found myself slightly more invested in her uncle's story. That's all I want to say because I don't want to give any spoilers. You'll have to read the book. 

There are so many aspects I loved about this book, the characters, the way the story will make you long for a simpler time, wanting to know more about your own ancestors and the cadence of the brilliant writing. Ms. Brunsvold is an accomplished writer, and her stories speak to your heart and soul and stay with you long after you've closed the book. A few of my favorite quotes can be found on pages 100, 165, 296, and 306. 

The overall theme of "do the next thing" resounded with me that life will have hard trials and challenges and sometimes all we can do to move forward is to do the next thing. 

The Divine Proverb of Streusel had so many intricate layers to dealing with heartbreak, family, redemption, the wisdom found in the book of Proverbs and healing. I feel like I needed to re-read it a second time to fully appreciate all the subtle nuances. This book is a must read for 2024! 

~~I purchased a paperback copy of The Divine Proverb of Streusel from Baker Book House in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.~~

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Juliet Code is Whodunnit Mystery


Fellow bookworms have raved about author Pepper Basham's books to me for a few years and after reading The Juliet Code I can see why. I'm a little late in jumping on the Pepper Basham bandwagon, but better late than never. 

The Juliet Code is the third book in A Freddie and Grace Mystery following The Mistletoe Countess and The Cairo Curse

Fredrick and Grace Percy are finally on their delayed honeymoon in Italy when they are unwittingly pulled into an art heist mystery when they discover their friend Detective Jack Miracle is in the city asking for their help. 

I loved Grace's passion and recall of the novels including referencing characters and places. This trait made her such a unique and delightful heroine. 

Freddie and Grace as a couple, I so enjoyed their quick-witted verbal interactions and how well they know each other, but also have a deep love and affection for one another. Their relationship was probably my favorite feature of the story. Not sure if this was the author's intention, but Fredrick and Grace reminded me of the fictional silver screen husband and wife sleuths Nick and Nora Charles portrayed in the Thin Man movies.

 As we begin a new year the theme throughout the book of Christ being the Author of our lives and in control of all struck a chord with me and I thought was a good reminder going into 2024. 

Author Pepper Basham's style of writing in The Juliet Code reminded me somewhat of popular mystery author Agatha Christie. If you're a fan of this author whose name is synonymous with mystery you need you check out The Juliet Code. I will definitely be adding The Mistletoe Countess and The Cairo Curse to my TBR pile!

Have you ever read any Agatha Christie books? Did you like them?  

Reading is an adventure, 


Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Double Take is a Solid Suspense Read


Starting off the new year in 2024 with a suspenseful thriller by USA Today bestselling author Lynette Eason promises an exhilarating journey into the world of heart-pounding suspense and gripping mysteries that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Double Take kicks off her newest Lake City Heroes series following Physician's Assistant Lainie Jackson who survives an attempted murder plot by her ex-fiancĂ© in which she managed to defend herself killing him in the process. Nightmares and PTSD from the incident follow her and she "thinks" she's seeing her dead ex-fiancĂ©. Is he returning to finish the job? 

Detective James Cross was that tough, run-to-the-rescue good guy that you want him to be when you're reading a suspense thriller. I loved that he was always there when Lainie needed him and that his character was actually masculine which I feel is being lost in a lot of the current writing scene. 

I like how the author paces James and Lainie's relationship. It's realistic considering the intense circumstances the author put the characters in and also their relationship history (how long they've known one another.) I also liked that neither James or Lainie was perfect. They both have moments in the story that make you see they are human and it made you as a reader feel like you can relate to your characters more.  

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you know I like to be honest with my book reviews overall, so with that said, Double Take was a solid suspense read, however there were a few things that took me out of the story: 

  1. There were a few written moments where props were suddenly just gone. You didin't know what happened to them, but suddendly, when least expected they were brought back into the dialogue. Without revealing any details, there was a horse that just kept coming and going, lol. 
  2. There were also a few times where the dialogue was too tell instead of show. This limited your ability to get into the characters head and it slowed the story down. 

Whenever I read Christian fiction, a clear faith thread/element is important to me and I felt that the author was able to weave this into the story. I didn't feel it was added as an afterthought and I appreciate that. 

Double Take will have you turning pages in this suspense-filled dangerous cat and mouse game.  It was a good "curl up with on a snowy day underneath my bookcase quilt" book (Thanks, mom ; ) 

~~Double Take was provided to me by the publisher in return for my honest review. I received a complimentary copy of the book.  I was not required to write a positive review. All viewpoints expressed are my own. ~