Guest Review: The Last Paradise – Di Morrissey

The Last Paradise

Di Morrissey

Macmillan AU

ISBN: 9781760781729

 

Description:

In the ashes of her marriage, she finds the truth about his past and the courage to start again in . . . The Last Paradise.

Grace has the perfect life: a job she loves, a beautiful daughter and a rich, successful husband. But one night, when their world falls apart in a shocking disaster, Grace suddenly sees what she couldn’t admit – her marriage and her husband are a fraud.

With the life she knew in tatters, she takes an assignment promoting the launch of a unique luxury hotel, hidden in a stunning, untouched oasis in the heart of tourist-crazed Bali.

Here, in this last paradise, Grace gathers the strength to take charge of her world. And, inspired by a woman’s story from long ago, she discovers a path to a future she’d never dared to imagine . . .

 

Brenda’s Review:

The night her life shattered, Grace knew it was the final straw. Her marriage was over; the man she wondered if she’d ever loved was cold, cynical and cruel – but charming to everyone else. As Grace struggled to get her life back on track, she and daughter Daisy stayed with Grace’s mum, Tina. She couldn’t have asked for a better support network than Tina and Grace’s best friend Melanie. When she finally went back to work, the position she was offered was too good to refuse. It made her excited again; the assignment was right up her alley and with it being on the beautiful island of Bali, she knew she had to make it work.

Gradually it all fell into place; her visions for the new luxury hotel were accepted, the people connected were helpful, generous and enthusiastic. And as Grace learned more about K’tut Tantri, the Scottish American woman who’d adopted Bali as her own many years prior, she found a strength she hadn’t known she had. But was Lawrence going to allow this to happen? His need to see Daisy – or was it something more sinister? – hung over Grace constantly. What was his plan? He was devious, that she knew…

The Last Paradise by Aussie author Di Morrissey is an intriguing and beautifully written novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. Set in both Sydney and Bali, I found myself cheering Grace on; telling her not to trust Lawrence; wishing some not so nice things for him! Morrissey’s writing is exceptional – I felt I was right there by Grace’s side while she worked, explored the island and K’tut’s memories. Such an excellent read, and one I highly recommend. 5 stars.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

Guest Review: The Girl in the Painting – Tea Cooper

The Girl in the Painting

Tea Cooper

HarperCollins Publishers AU

ISBN: 9781489270726

Description:

Maitland 1913. Miss Elizabeth Quinn is something of an institution in Maitland Town. For longer than anyone could remember she and her brother, businessman Michael, have lived in the impressive two-storey stone house next to the church. When she is discovered cowering in the corner of the exhibition gallery at the Technical College the entire town knows something strange has come to pass.

Was it the prehistoric remains or perhaps the taxidermy exhibition that had reduced the whale-boned encased pillar of society to a quivering mess? Or is there something odd about a striking painting on loan from the National Gallery?

Mathematical savant Jane Piper is determined to find out. Deposited on the doorstep of the local orphanage as a baby, she owes her life and education to the Quinn’s philanthropic ventures and Elizabeth has no one else to turn to.

As the past and the present converge, Elizabeth’s grip on reality loosens. Can Jane, with her logical brain and penchant for puzzles, unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late?

Ranging from the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, the bucolic English countryside to the charm of Maitland Town, this compelling historical mystery in the company of an eccentric and original heroine is rich with atmosphere and detail.

 

Brenda’s Review:

It was 1863 when Michael Ó’Cuinn and his little sister Elizabeth left London bound for Australia. Their Mam and Da had gone earlier, leaving the two children with an aunt, but her death meant the journey to join their parents took place sooner than originally planned. Leaving Elizabeth with the Camerons in Sydney while Michael searched for their parents, the shock he faced meant he had to do some rapid growing up.

Fifty years later in 1913, Michael and Elizabeth lived in Maitland, NSW. They were well known and liked in the town; Michael was an astute businessman while Elizabeth controlled the accounting. They had rescued Jane from the orphanage when she was young, her mathematical genius something they wanted to cultivate. Jane called them Aunt and Uncle; she wasn’t adopted but was part of the family.

It was when Elizabeth was affected by an exhibition at the Technical College that things began to change. Elizabeth felt herself fading in and out of reality; her dizziness and fear was overwhelming. The doctor couldn’t find anything physically wrong with her – so what was happening? Jane was determined to find the answers; she owed everything to Michael and Elizabeth. She had to help. But was it a puzzle she could solve?

The Girl in the Painting by Aussie author Tea Cooper would have to be her best yet in my opinion! An exceptional plot, interesting, intriguing and poignant. I couldn’t put this one down; loved Jane’s character, especially when she first went to the Quinn household. I laughed out loud many times at her antics; she was forthright and didn’t hold back. The Girl in the Painting is a thoroughly enjoyable historical mystery novel which I highly recommend. 5 stars.

With thanks to the publisher for my ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review- In the Clearing – J P Pomare

In the Clearing

J P Pomare

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9781869713393

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

A stunning new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Call Me Evie.

 

Amy has only ever known what life is like in the Clearing. She knows what’s expected of her. She knows what to do to please her elders, and how to make sure life in the community remains happy and calm. That is, until a new young girl joins the group. She isn’t fitting in; she doesn’t want to stay. What happens next will turn life as Amy knows it on its head.

 

Freya has gone to great lengths to feel like a ‘normal person’. In fact, if you saw her go about her day with her young son, you’d think she was an everyday mum. That is, until a young girl goes missing and someone from her past, someone she hasn’t seen for a very long time, arrives in town.

 

As Amy and Freya’s story intertwines the secrets of the past bubble up to the surface. This rural Aussie town’s dark underbelly is about to be exposed and lives will be destroyed.

 

 

My View:

What a great way to start the reading year!!  This book is intense, full of twists and surprises and you will be blown away by the reveal.

I loved J P Pomare’s prize winning debut – Don’t Call Me Evie – this new book however surpasses this with its creative storytelling, mystery and faultless writing. This is a read in one go type of book – it is captivating.

 

Review – Alphaprints Australian Animals: Mothers and Babies – Roger Priddy

ALPHAPRINTS AUSTRALIAN ANIMALS MOTHERS AND BABIES

BOARD BOOK

 Roger Priddy

Priddy Books

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781783419418

RRP $12.99

 

Description:

The much-loved Alphaprints animals, created using painter fingerprints and photographs of everyday images, are back with some hilarious results!

 

Alphaprints Australian Animals: Mothers & Babies introduces young children to Australian animals and their cute little babies, using fun rhyming text and engaging artwork to make the reading experience bright, impactful and colourful.

 

With embossing on every page, this delightful board book is filled with adorable Australian animals that children will love to look at again and again.

 

 

My View:

This is a beautifully crafted book with embossing that begs you to touch each illustration. With its colourful cheeky designs you and your toddler will enjoy sharing this read. A book created just for the Australian and New Zealand market, so relevant – I love it! This book is engaging, cheerful, tactile and fun and I love that this is a board book – so easy for little finger to hold and turn pages.

#FridayFeebie – A Murder at Malabar Hill – Sujata Massey

A Murder at Malabar Hill

Sujata Massey

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 97817601529406

This book has won so many *awards!  For your chance to win a copy – I have five to give away, simply tell me ( in the comments) Perveens Mistery’s occupation.   ** Open to Australian residents only, winners drawn randomly on 1/2/020)**

 

*Winner and Top Pick of the 2019 American Library Association Reading List for Mystery
*Winner of the 2019 Mary Higgins Clark Award
*Winner of the 2019 Lefty Award for Best Historical Novel
*Winner of the the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel
*Finalist for the 2019 Shamus Award
*Finalist for the 2019 Harper Lee Legal Fiction Prize

‘Marvelously plotted, richly detailed . . . This is a first-rate performance inaugurating a most promising series.’ The Washington Post

‘Perveen Mistry has all the pluck you want in a sleuthing lawyer, as well as a not-so-surprising – but decidedly welcome – proclivity for poking her nose into the business of others. The pages do indeed fly.’ The Globe and Mail

Introducing Miss Perveen Mistry, the star of an outstanding new crime series. This courageous, likeable and determined young lawyer-turned-sleuth will appeal to readers of Phryne Fisher and Precious Ramotswe in a stunning combination of crime and mystery set in 1920s Bombay.

Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen Mistry has joined her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India.

Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr Omar Farid, a wealthy mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen examines the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What future will they have?

Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X-could she even read the document? The Farid widows live in strict seclusion, never leaving the women’s quarters or speaking to any men. With her own tragic history close to her heart, Perveen worries that the women are vulnerable to injustice.

As Perveen comes closer to the truth, tensions escalate to murder, the widows fall under suspicion and Perveen must figure out what’s really happening on Malabar Hill.

‘ . . . a splendid first instalment in what promises to be a memorable series.’ The Wall Street Journal 

Best Reads of 2019 – Crime Fiction/Mystery/Thrillers

These are my favourite genres to read and review. In this category a couple of reads really stand out – can you guess which I loved so much? Ill share then next and then add a few other great ones for you to consider adding to your TBR.

 

THE BEST crime fiction reads of 2019 are:

 

Darkness for Light

A Caleb Zelic Thriller

Emma Viskic

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760685812

 

Shoot Through

J M Green

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781925713848

These reads were both outstanding –  as were the series they belong to.

 

More great crime fiction/thriller reads that I recommend you add to your TBR:

 

 

 

 

The Chain

 

 

Best Reads of 2019 – Romance/Life Lit/Womens Lit/Rural Fiction

In this category I prefer to read romance with a twist – a twist of social issues, a twist of crime or mystery, a twist of ….humour and fun.  Here are a couple of my favourites from 2019:

 

Love Song

Daughters of the Outback #3

Sasha Wasley

Penguin Random House Australia

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143784562

 

 

When it All Went to Custard

Danielle Hawkins

HarperCollins

ISBN: 9781775541417