Weekly Wrap-Up: January 13th through January 19th, 2019

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page): 

Montauk—review coming June 4th, 2019

Moonlight & Whiskey—review coming March 12th, 2019

In Another Life—review coming March 20th, 2019

The Last Letter—review coming February 26th, 2019

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Hangman’s Secret—review here

Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants—review here

The Perfect Liar—review here

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave—review here

First Grave on the Right—here and here

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap-Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

The Hangman’s Secret (Victorian Mystery: Book 3) by Laura Joh Rowland

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

3 Stars 

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Date of publication: January 8th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Series: Victorian Mystery

The Ripper’s Shadow—Book 1

A Mortal Likeness—Book 2

The Hangman’s Secret—Book 3

Where you can find The Hangman’s Secret: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From award-winning author Laura Joh Rowland, a story about the darkness that lurks within and the deadly secrets that beg to be revealed.

Intrepid photographer Sarah Bain and her motley crew of friends are back to hunt criminals in the dark, seedy underbelly of Victorian London, but little do they know, the darkness may lurk closer than they first divined.

Photographer Sarah Bain and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and sometimes street urchin Mick O’Reilly are private detectives with a new gig—photographing crime scenes for London’s Daily World newspaper. The Daily World is the latest business venture of their sole client, Sir Gerald Mariner, a fabulously wealthy and powerful banker. 

One cold, snowy January morning, Sarah, Hugh, and Mick are summoned to the goriest crime scene they’ve ever encountered. A pub owner named Harry Warbrick has been found hanged and decapitated amid evidence of foul play. His murder becomes a sensation because he was England’s top hangman and he’s met the same fate that he inflicted on hundreds of criminals. 

Sir Gerald announces that the Daily World—meaning Sarah and her friends—will investigate and solve Harry Warbrick’s murder before the police do. The contest pits Sarah against the man she loves, Police Constable Barrett. She and her friends discover a connection between Harry Warbrick’s murder and the most notorious criminal he ever executed—Amelia Carlisle, the “Baby-Butcher,” who murdered hundreds of infants placed in her care. 

Something happened at Amelia’s execution. The Official Secrets Act forbids the seven witnesses present to divulge any information about it. But Harry had a bad habit of leaking tips to the press. Sarah and her friends suspect that one of the other witnesses killed Harry to prevent him from revealing a secret related to the execution. What is the secret, and who hanged the hangman?


My review:

When I first read the blurb for The Hangman’s Secret, I was undecided if I wanted to read this book or not. While I like mysteries, I have to be in the right mood to read them. But, seeing that the book was set in one of my favorite time periods (The Victorian Era), I decided to take a chance on reading it. While I am glad I took the chance on reading it, I was unimpressed with the book. It didn’t surprise me or astonish me. I was a little disappointed in it.

The plot for The Hangman’s Secret was a good one. Sarah and her friends are dispatched to a crime scene by the paper’s owner, Sir Gerald Mariner. There has been a gruesome murder. Sarah, a crime scene photographer, arrives on the scene to find out that the victim was a hangman. Pushed into solving this murder before the police, Sarah finds out that the victim was the hangman for a notorious baby murderer. She also finds out that something happened at that hanging. Whatever that was, someone was willing to kill the people who were at the hanging to keep them quiet. Can she solve it? Or will her reputation, her relationship, and friendships be ruined? Also, will she be able to finally track down her father? Or will she discover something about her past?

While I enjoyed reading The Hangman’s Secret, I felt that it dragged in spots. Mainly in the middle. I was mentally urging the characters to do something to bring the plot out of its lag. Which happened but I almost DNF’d the book before it happened. Also, the beginning was slow. There was too much time discussing the characters backgrounds and storylines from the earlier books. I am here to read this book, not to read about Sarah, Mick and Hugh’s adventures with Jack the Ripper and kidnappers. If that could be cut back a bit, the beginning wouldn’t be so slow.

Sarah bothered me. Because this is Victorian England, I get that she should have been a little reserved. But she wasn’t. She was determined to be an independent woman. Which was unheard of in those days. She was the one that Sir Gerald talked to when he wanted something done. She was the one that took on the job of finding her father. She called the shots in her relationship. It was unheard of in those days for a woman to have as much power as she did. I hate to say this (because I am all about girl power) but I wished she was more like women of that era. Because it was not realistic the way she was.

I liked the mystery angle of the book. The author did a great job at keeping the identity of the killer hidden until the end of the book. I did think it was going to be one person and I was surprised at who it was. I did feel that all the red herrings and false leads weren’t needed. The whole Cross angle of the mystery didn’t do it for me. It actually made me aggravated that one person could be so nasty. As for the mystery of Sarah’s father, it was well done. But there were more questions than answers.

The romance between Bennett and Sarah screamed of dysfunction and took away from the story. While I appreciated that Sarah had someone to love her, I didn’t like that it became a focal point in the plotline towards the end. I also didn’t like how Sarah was judged on her looks. It wasn’t even other people, she put herself down.

The author tied the storylines up nicely at the end of the book. I thought that the ending went on a little longer than I thought. There was no big twist. I also had questions about DCI Reid. Where did he go? There was no mention about him at the end of the book. Seeing that he was Bennett and Sarah’s nemesis, I would have thought there would have been a mention about it. I did like that the author left enough room for another book.

What I liked about The Hangman’s Secret:

  1. The plotline. I enjoyed it
  2. Being set in Victorian England
  3. The end of the book

What I disliked about The Hangman’s Secret:

  1. It dragged in spots and was slow to start
  2. Sarah. She didn’t match the stereotype of women of that era
  3. Sarah and Bennett’s romance

I gave The Hangman’s Secret a 3-star rating. The plotline and the mystery angle of the book was enjoyable to read. I also liked how the book was ended. But, the story was slow to start and the plotline lagged in spots. Also, I didn’t think that Sarah fit the stereotype of women of that era. I also thought that Sarah and Bennett’s romance was dysfunctional and brought no added depth to the story.

I would give The Hangman’s Secret an Adult rating. There is sex but it is not graphic. There is violence, sometimes graphic. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Hangman’s Secret. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Hangman’s Secret.

All opinions stated in the review of The Hangman’s Secret are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Weekly Wrap Up: September 23rd through September 29th

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

The Rain Watcher

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

A Spark of Light

 

Mr. Nice Guy

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

A True Cowboy Christmas—review coming October 31st, 2018

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman’s Secret—review coming January 9th, 2019

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review here

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane—review here

The Ancient Nine—review here

The Ancient Nine

Mr. Nice Guy—review coming October 16th

Mr. Nice Guy

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review coming September 26th

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses, #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Freebie Sunday

WWW Wednesday: September 26th 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Nothing much. All is good with my family. Readingwise, I have fallen slightly behind on my reviews. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed by doing some reviews over the weekend. Another reason I have fallen behind…I forgot that I had blog tours. So, I had to rearrange my schedule to get those down asap.


What I am currently reading:

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

click on the picture for Amazon link


What I finished reading:

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

 

Click on the picture for Amazon link


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

The Rain WatcherAfter the FireRough & Ready (Lightning, #3)First Earl I See Tonight (Debutante Diaries, #1)The Wartime SistersAmerica's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

WWW Wednesday: September 19th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Unlike the eastern part of North Carolina, my area didn’t get hit that hard by Florence. We had some branches down and rain. Which I am thankful for. Week 3 progress reports are coming home. Miss B is not doing that well in ELA or Science. Mr. Z seems to be doing well in his classes. Miss R is enjoying preschool. They had a field trip to an apple orchard yesterday and she came home with a bag of apples. This weekend, we have comic con. It was supposed to be last weekend but Florence happened. So it was rescheduled for this weekend. I can’t wait to go.

Reading wise, I surprised myself. I ended up finishing all of my What I’m Reading Next and wrote reviews for them. Go me!!!


What I am currently reading:

Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Magically gifted aristocrats rule–and commoners are doomed to serve. But a rebellion threatens the old order. The dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage and Tarnished City concludes.

In a world where the lower classes must endure ten years of forced service to unfairly advantaged, magically powered rulers, a teenage boy dreams of rebellion, his older sister yearns for love and knowledge, and a dangerous young aristocrat seeks to remake the world with his dark gifts. In Bright Ruin, the final book in the trilogy set in modern-day England, our heroes will lead a revolution that will transform–or destroy–the world.


 

 

What I finished reading:

Our Life in the Forest

Click on the picture for Amazon link

In the near future, a woman is writing in the depths of a forest. She’s cold. Her body is falling apart, as is the world around her. She’s lost the use of one eye; she’s down to one kidney, one lung. Before, in the city, she was a psychotherapist, treating patients who had suffered trauma, in particular, a man, “the clicker”. Every two weeks, she traveled out to the Rest Centre, to visit her “half”, Marie, her spitting image, who lay in an induced coma, her body parts available whenever the woman needed them.

As a form of resistance against the terror in the city, the woman flees, along with other fugitives and their halves. But life in the forest is disturbing too—the reanimated halves are behaving like uninhibited adolescents. And when she sees a shocking image of herself on video, are her worst fears confirmed?

Our Life in the Forest, written in her inimitable concise, vivid prose recalls Darrieusecq’s brilliant debut, Pig Tales. A dystopian tale in the vein of Never Let Me Go, this is a clever novel of chilling suspense that challenges our ideas about the future, about organ-trafficking, about identity, clones, and the place of the individual in a surveillance state.


 

 

What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)Mr. Nice GuyA Spark of LightThe Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)The Rain Watcher

 


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Weekly Wrap Up (July 8th through July 14th)

Books I’ve Read:

Dark Alpha's Hunger (Reaper, #6)

Snow (The Black Ice Trilogy, #1)

Project Prometheus (Assassin Fall, #2)

The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior, #3)

The Remnant

Hot & Heavy (Lightning, #2)

Deep Cover (Love Over Duty, #3)

Books I’ve Reviewed:

Rough Ride (review coming July 24th, 2018)

Rough Ride (True Brothers MC, #4)

Inconclusive Evidence—review here

Inconclusive Evidence (McAllister Justice Series #3)

 

Jilliand—review here

Jilliand

Set the Night on Fire (review coming July 31st, 2018)

Set the Night on Fire (Cottonbloom, #6)

I Think I Love You—review here

I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5)

The Dream Daughter (review coming October 2nd, 2018)

The Dream Daughter

The Subway Girls—review here

The Subway Girls

Moon Blood (Book 2) by Carol McKibben—review here

Moon Blood (Book 2)

 

Lies by T.M. Logan (review coming September 11th, 2018)

Lies

NetGalley Haul:

I Do Not Trust You

The Ancient Nine

Limits

Foundryside (Founders, #1)

I Hate You, I Love You

Swagger (Milwaukee Dragons, #2)

The Hangman's Secret

Dagger's Edge (Brute Force #2)

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

Email Request:

Worldwielder

Strange Circumstances

The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2)

Weekly Posts:

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Weekly Wrap Up