Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Keeper by Graham Norton


A Keeper
The big draw for me was the Irish setting, an old house and a mystery about a past life.  The book is divided by chapters titled Now and Then.  We start off in present with Elizabeth Keane returning to her childhood home in Ireland.  Her mother has died and Elizabeth must clear out the house and make a decision regarding selling.

Elizabeth was never extremely close to her mother Patricia, often wishing she had a father figure in her life.  Whenever she asked questions about her father Patricia would always say he was a kind man and he died shortly after they were married.  After college she moved to New York and started her own life, marrying, divorcing and ending up with a son named Zach.

Now she is back in Ireland to see the home she inherited, trying to avoid her nosy cousins, anxious to return home.  Now that wouldn't be me!  I would love to have a home in Ireland and spend half the year there. Anyway, as she's cleaning out a wardrobe she comes across a package of handwritten letters, love letters from her father Edward Foley.

We drift into the Then chapters and see what Patricia was like fifty years ago. As you read the backstory about Edward and Patricia, get to know the horror of Edward's mother (I mean truly) the story that unfolds takes such a neck braking twist that I couldn't out it down.  Trust me, you'll be surprised.

Elizabeth's son Zach and ex-husband have minor roles; mostly they could have been left out in my opinion but it adds slightly to the story.  If you'd like to armchair travel to West Cork Ireland (past and present) and enjoy a mystery you will enjoy this book.

When I requested this book I didn't know the author was the Graham Norton, the Irish television host.  Impressive - I will certainly look for more by Mr. Norton.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

One Little Secret by Cate Holahan


one 

This mystery is good summer beach read with enough edge to be interesting but not too graphic. Three wealthy couples and friends rent a beach house and go on vacation. All of these people have secrets - some about business, domestic abuse, infidelity and insecurities.

 There are quite a few characters introduced quickly so I had a hard time keeping track of which were couples at first.  A side story is about an eighteen-year old au pair who may have been drugged at a party.  The same detective investigating this case ends up involved with the wealthy folks when one is found dead.  This turns into a murder investigation.

 I see from some reviews that people who like this author thought this wasn't her best book but this is my first experience with Cate Holahan.  I would read more books authored by Holahan based one this quick read.  She kept me guessing about the murderer and I would change my mind a few times before the end.  Nice plotting.

 It's not a foodie book but there was a nice dinner at the beach house with fruit salad, roasted halibut, baby potatoes and grilled corn. California Chardonnays and white burgundy wines.

 Publication date was July 19, 2019 and I was kindly given an advanced copy by Netgalley.  Opinions are mine and I was not compensated for my review.

 Sharing with Heather for her July Foodies Read event.

 NetGalley2019 Foodies Read

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