A cozy mystery – the start of something new: Dana’s October suggestion

Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver


Dana says: “Murder at the Brightwell is a cozy mystery set in 1930s England with just the right amount of romance, the first book in a series — and the second [Death Wears A Mask] comes out this month!”

Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman questioning her marriage to notoriously charming playboy Milo. Looking for a change, she agrees to help her former fiance, Gil Trent, not knowing she’ll soon be embroiled in a murder investigation that will test not only that friendship, but upset the status quo with Milo. As the stakes grow higher and the line between friend and foe becomes less clear, Amory must decide where her heart lies and catch the killer before she, too, becomes a victim.

to read a sample of the ebook, click here


Beyond human: Dana’s September suggestion

Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins by Susan Casey

voiceHumans have long felt a kinship with the dolphin, an animal whose playfulness, sociability, and intelligence seem to mirror our own. We’ve learned that dolphins recognize themselves, count, grieve, rescue one another (and humans), adorn themselves, deduce, seduce, and call themselves by name. We still have much to learn about their sophisticated navigation and communication, and complicated brains.

While swimming off the coast of Maui, New York Times bestselling author Susan Casey found herself surrounded by a pod of spinner dolphins. The profoundly transporting experience inspired a two-year global adventure to explore dolphin’s natures, and their complex relationship to humanity.

to read a sample of the ebook, click here

Women making history – Dana’s August suggestions

Liar Temptress Soldier Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

liar temptress coverKaren Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies. Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war with a cast of real-life characters including Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, Walt Whitman, General Stonewall Jackson, and Emperor Napoleon III.

To read a sample of the ebook, click here.

Capital Dames: the Civil War and the Women of Washington 1848-1868 by Cokie Roberts

capital dames coverWith the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social Southern town of Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides. Many fascinating Southern women left the city, leaving friends to grapple with questions of safety and sanitation as the capital was transformed into an immense Union army camp. Cokie Roberts chronicles these women’s increasing independence, political empowerment, indispensable role in keeping the Union unified through the war, and in helping heal it once the fighting was done. She concludes that the war not only changed Washington, but forever changed the place of women.

To read a sample of the ebook, click here.

The Rival Queens: Catherine De’Medici, her daughter Marguerite De Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom by Nancy Bazelon Goldstone

rival queens coverThe riveting true story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de’ Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century.

Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.

To read a sample of the ebook, click here.

Dana’s July Suggestion

Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte by Kate Williams

ambition coverTheir love was legendary, their ambition flagrant and unashamed. Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife, Josephine, came to power during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of France. The story of the Corsican soldier’s incredible rise has been well documented. Now, in this spellbinding, luminous account, Kate Williams draws back the curtain on the woman who beguiled him: her humble origins, her exorbitant appetites, and the tragic turn of events that led to her undoing.

read a sample from the ebook by clicking here

Related Reads:

Napolean: A Life – by Andrew Roberts

England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton – also by Kate Williams

Isabella: The Warrior Queen by Kirsten Downey

Dana’s June Suggestion

An Appetite for Violets by Bailey Martine

violets coverDana says: “Foodies and historical lovers alike will fall in love with this charming book about an irrepressible under-cook named Biddy Leigh who travels across Europe with her master’s scheming young bride. Eighteenth-century recipes are included for those who enjoy the art of historical cooking.”

read a sample of the ebook by clicking here

Three Related Reads

The Queen’s Governess by Karen Harper

Longbourne by Jo Baker

John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk


Dana’s April Recommendation

Destiny of the Republic:  A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard

destiny of the republic“Millard (The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey) presents a dual biography of the 20th U.S. President and his assassin. James A. Garfield and Charles Guiteau were both born into hardscrabble Midwestern circumstances. While Garfield made himself into a teacher, Union army general, congressman, and President, Guiteau, who was most likely insane, remained at the margins of life, convinced he was intended for greatness. When he failed to receive a position in Garfield’s administration, he became convinced that God meant him to kill the President. At a railway station in the capital, Guiteau shot Garfield barely four months into his term. Garfield lingered through the summer of 1881, with the country hanging on the news of his condition. In September he died of infection, apparently due to inadequate medical care. Millard gives readers a sense of the political and social life of those times and provides more detail on Guiteau’s life than is given in Ira Rutkow’s James A. Garfield. The format is similar to that in The President and the Assassin, Scott Miller’s book on President McKinley and Leon Czolgosz. VERDICT Recommended for presidential history buffs and students of Gilded Age America.” – Library Journal

3 Similar Reads

Dark Horse:  The Surprise Election and Political Murder of James A. Garfield by Kenneth Ackerman

The First American:  The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H. W. Brands

Rebbe:  The Life and Teachings of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History by Joseph Telushkin

Dana’s February Recommendation

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

the girl on the train“Melding the voyeurism of Rear Window with the unreliable narration of Gone Girl (2012), Hawkins delivers a riveting thriller. Rachel commutes to London each day, pretending to go to a job she got sacked from months ago for being drunk. Her ex-husband left her for Megan, and now they have a baby and are living in the home Rachel so lovingly decorated. Almost every day, from the train window, she sees Anna and Scott, who live two doors down from her old home. Rachel vividly imagines Anna and Scott’s perfect life (she calls them the golden couple), giving them elaborate backstories; however, one day she sees Anna kissing a man who is not her husband; the very next day, Anna goes missing. Rachel inserts herself into the investigation with a headlong desperation, keen to find a way to give her life meaning, and what she discovers is surprising on every level. The novel is alternately narrated by three equally unlikable women, and Hawkins very deliberately doles out tantalizing information, but what really gives this novel its compulsive readability is the way she so expertly mines female archetypes: the jealous ex-wife, the smug mistress, the emotionally damaged femme fatale. Hawkins makes voyeurs of her readers as she creates one humiliating scene after another with the women’s near-feral emotions on full display. A wicked thriller, cleverly done. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This may well be the next Gone Girl, with foreign rights sold in 20 countries and film rights optioned to DreamWorks.” – Booklist

Does this sound interesting?  Click here for a sample!

3 Similar Reads

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Kind of Cruel by Sophie Hannah

The First Prophet by Key Hooper