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Monday, July 03, 2017

The Wilding Sisters by Eve Chase and Nothing Stays Buried by P.J. Tracy

Eve Chase's The Wildling Sisters combines family dynamics and long-held secrets.  

     Four sisters. One summer. A lifetime of secrets.

In 1959, the Wilde sisters (Flora, Pam, Margot, and Dot) arrive at Applecote Manor to stay with their aunt and uncle while their mother is out of the country.  Applecote Manor is a beautiful home, but the disappearance of Audrey Wilding, five years earlier has left little of the joy the sisters felt during their previous summer stays.

 Margot, now fifteen, was especially close to her cousin Audrey and has a consuming need to know more about what happened.  Did Audrey run away?  Is she dead?   It is the uncertainty of what happened to her beloved cousin that drives Margot's curiosity about her cousin's disappearance.

The sisters, who have always had a close bond even while dealing with sisterly rivalries, are distracted from the gloom and boredom of the summer by the arrival of two handsome neighbors.  The rivalries increase with the boys as a focus.

Fifty years later, Jesse falls in love with Applecote Manor, and she and her husband Will make the move to the beautiful Cotswolds.  Jesse's stepdaughter Bella, who has not recovered from her mother's death, frequently and deliberately frustrates Jesse.  Both Jesse and Bella, in different ways, are haunted by echoes of the past.

Two stories, one in the past and one in the present, intertwine.  What happened to Audrey?  What tragedy occurred that has the four Wilde sisters attempting to dispose of a body in the book's prologue?  How do past events influence Jesse and her family in the present?

It is easy to get wrapped up in the plot(s), the characters, and the prose in this novel.  I found myself tense and anxious frequently, unsure about who did what and when, but I sympathized with all of the characters.  

The Wildling Sisters proved an interesting read--evoking the beauty of the of Applecote Manor, the angst of adolescence, and the many ways individuals deal with grief.

Addendum:  Several weeks after I read this, I saw that the British version has a different title and cover:  The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde.
Much better cover!

Read in Feb.; blog post scheduled for July 3

NetGalley/Penguin Group

July 25, 2017.  Print length:  384 pages.






 Nothing Stays Buried (Monkeewrench #8)

For those unfamiliar with the series, Monkeewrench is a software company run by an unconventional group of geeks. The four partners, Grace, Harley, Annie, and Roadrunner, might seem completely mismatched, but have become more close-knit than many families.  Frequently called on by police and others to use their software and computer skills to solve crimes, the four unusual partners often work in conjunction with Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth.

In this adventure, the Monkeewrench team searches for a missing woman in a small country town, while Leo and Gino work a serial killer case in Minneapolis.  

Entertaining characters, compelling plot--  Nothing Stays Buried was as entertaining and gripping as previous works.

I've followed this series since the first book, and although each one functions perfectly well as a stand alone, the series benefits from being read from the beginning.  The books are a great mixture of computer geeks and police procedural with quirky characters and intriguing plots.

 Read in Feb.

NetGalley/Penguin Group

Mystery/Police Procedural.  Aug. 1, 2017.  Print length:  320 pages.  

8 comments:

  1. I can't believe the Monkeewrench series is up to 8 books. I'm so far behind. :)

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    1. :) It is so hard to keep up with all of the series we follow!

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  2. I think I would like the Monkeewrench books. I've not read any of them! Thanks for the review. I agree that the British cover seems more apropos for the first book. I stay behind on my reading! :-//

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    1. I've eagerly awaited each new addition to the Monkeewrench series. :)

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  3. I agree the British cover is much more eye catching. And I haven't read the Monkeewrench books! I keep hearing so many good things about this series so now I'm really intrigued. ;)

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    1. Start with the first one if you decide to read it! I think you'd like it, Melody. :)

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  4. I agree, the British cover is more interesting. I like these family type dramas so this is one I'm looking forward to. Glad to hear you are also still enjoying the Monkeewrench series! I've only read one of those books and it was fun.

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    1. I still have not read Chase's Black Rabbit Hall, but I did like The Wilding Sisters! The oddball characters in the Monkeewrench gang continue to entertain me. :)

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