Monday, August 2, 2021

Book Review: The Ambassador: Joseph P. Kennedy at the Court of St. James's 1938-1940 by Susan Ronald


Title: The Ambassador: Joseph P. Kennedy at the Court of St. James's 1938-1940

Author:  Susan Ronald

Stars: 4


A well researched, and presented, book into Joseph Kennedy's time as Ambassador to England. The reader must realize that this was a turbulent time immediately before and after the beginning of World War II. Kennedy was not a diplomat but a wealthy businessman who felt commerce should come first even if it meant appeasement to the Germans and Italians. However it suited Roosevelt's political purpose to keep him out of Washington and America and in the dark as to what was really going on behind the scenes.

The book can be a little dry and difficult to read but is well worth it in the end. Everything is footnoted and easily referenced for the reader.

I have rated it 4 stars and recommend it to everyone with a liking for historical background on recent current events.

I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.


On February 18, 1938, Joseph P. Kennedy was sworn in as US Ambassador to the Court of St. James. To say his appointment to the most prestigious and strategic diplomatic post in the world shocked the Establishment was an understatement: known for his profound Irish roots and staunch Catholicism, not to mention his “plain-spoken” opinions and womanizing, he was a curious choice as Europe hurtled toward war.

Initially welcomed by the British, in less than two short years Kennedy was loathed by the White House, the State Department and the British Government. Believing firmly that Fascism was the inevitable wave of the future, he consistently misrepresented official US foreign policy internationally as well as direct instructions from FDR himself. The Americans were the first to disown him and the British and the Nazis used Kennedy to their own ends.

Through meticulous research and many newly available sources, Ronald confirms in impressive detail what has long been believed by many: that Kennedy was a Fascist sympathizer and an anti-Semite whose only loyalty was to his family's advancement. She also reveals the ambitions of the Kennedy dynasty during this period abroad, as they sought to enter the world of high society London and establish themselves as America’s first family. Thorough and utterly readable, The Ambassador explores a darker side of the Kennedy patriarch in an account sure to generate attention and controversy.

Expected publication: August 3rd 2021 by St. Martin's Press

About The Author:

Born and raised in the United States, Susan Ronald is a British-American author and biographer. Now living in England for over twenty-five years, she is the author of nine history books ranging across the ages. Her latest book to be published (August 3, 2020 ) is entitled THE AMBASSADOR: JOSEPH P. KENNEDY AT THE COURT OF ST. JAMES'S 1938-1940. She is also the author of CONDÉ NAST, A DANGEROUS WOMAN, HITLER'S ART THIEF, HERETIC QUEEN, SHAKESPEARE'S DAUGHTER (a novel), THE PIRATE QUEEN, THE SANCY BLOOD DIAMOND, AND FRANCE: THE CROSSROADS OF EUROPE. She has also appeared as herself in documentaries and has produced films and has written screenplays.

Susan is working on her tenth book (St. Martin's Press/Macmillan) entitled HITLER'S ARISTOCRATS about the powerful Nazis who charmed the elite in Britain and the United States.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Book Review: Kill a Spy (House of Killers #3) by Samantha Lee Howe


Title: Kill a Spy (House of Killers #3) 

Author: Samantha Lee Howe 

Stars: 4


This is not a stand alone novel at least it wasn't for this reader and review.  It was hard to understand all the different characters and the romance didn't really make any since. That being said Samantha Lee Howe is a must read author. The authors ability to story to tell a spy story will have fan of Jason Borne, and James Bond head over heel in love with her.

The story moves along quickly meeting characters from other books who are in the spy and double spy world.  Each chapter is told though a different character in the book which will take some times getting used (at least for this reader). 

Kill A spy kills in back story that will fill in any questions readers have. The author is at the top of the game with her writing, story telling I can't wait to read book 1 and 2 of the House of Killers series.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advance copy of Samantha Lee Howe Kill A Spy


The house of killers always had one objective: to train a class of warriors that would elevate the Network from the national to the international – the amateur to the elite. It was the perfect poison… Radicalisation by virtue of not knowing any different.

They never expected their most notorious child to claw his way back to the beating heart of MI5. Consumed by hurt and rage, Michael Kensington has his own objective: Neva.

But as the body count rises like a tide that will sweep them all into oblivion, Neva will stop at nothing to make him understand that everything is at stake.

Because there’s only one way to push back against the tide… Together.

Kindle Edition
Published July 23rd 2021

About The Author:

USA TODAY bestselling author and screenwriter Samantha Lee Howe began her professional writing career in 2007 and has been working as a freelance writer for small, medium and large publishers, predominately writing horror and fantasy.

Samantha’s breakaway debut psychological thriller, 'The Stranger In Our Bed', was released on 14th February 2020 (digital) and 16th April 2020 (Paperback) with Harper Collins imprint, One More Chapter. The book rapidly became a USA TODAY bestseller.

In June 2020, Samantha signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter for her explosive spy thriller series, 'The House of Killers'. The first three books will be published in March, May and July of 2021. Pitched as 'Killing Eve' meets Jason Bourne this is a nerve shredding, enemies to lovers tale that is simmering with obsession and espionage.

To date, Samantha has written 20 novels, 3 novellas, 3 collections, over 40 short stories, an audio drama and a 'Doctor Who' spin-off drama that went to DVD.

In August 2020, Samantha signed a deal with production company Buffalo Dragon for the option and screenplay for The Stranger in Our Bed. The feature film went into production in November 2020 and is due for release in Summer 2021.

A former high school English and Drama teacher, Samantha has a BA (Hons) in English and Writing for Performance, an MA in Creative Writing and a PGCE in English.

Samantha lives in Lincolnshire with her husband David and their two cats Leeloo and Skye. She is the proud mother of a lovely daughter called Linzi.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Book Review: Unfinished Business (Ali Reynolds #16) by J.A. Jance


Title: Unfinished Business (Ali Reynolds #16)

Author: J.A. Jance 

Stars: 4


I haven't read a lot of the Ali Reynolds series but the author does a  job of wonderful job of keeping readers well informed without slowing down the story.

J.A. Jance has the ability to bring readers into her world holding on to the point readers feel a personal connection to the characters at every turn of the page. The story is well paced and readers will be able to put down the book but drawn back quickly to see what is happening with the characters.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of J.A. Jance Unfinished Business.


Mateo Vega, a one-time employee of Ali Reynold’s husband, B. Simpson, has spent the last sixteen years of his life behind bars. According to the courts, he murdered his girlfriend. But Mateo knows that her real killer is still on the loose, and the first thing he’s going to do when he gets a taste of freedom is track him down.

After being granted parole, a wary Mateo approaches Stu Ramey of High Noon Enterprises for a reference letter for a job application, but to his surprise, Stu gives him one better: He asks him to come on board and work for B. once again. Just as Mateo starts his new job, though, chaos breaks out at High Noon—a deadbeat tenant who is in arrears has just fled, and tech expert Cami Lee has gone missing.

As Ali races to both find a connection between the two disappearances and help Mateo clear his name with the help of PI J.P. Beaumont, tragedy strikes in her personal life, and with lives hanging in the balance, she must thread the needle between good and evil before it’s too late.

About The Author:

Judith Ann Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Book Review: Home to Texas (Brides of Rough Creek Texas #2) by Kaki Warner


Title: Home to Texas (Brides of Rough Creek Texas #2)

Author: Kaki Warner

Stars: 4


This is a difficult book to place into a specific catagory. Is it a romance story and the answer has to be yes. Is it a war story and the answer is yes as that is the premise for the story. Is it a crime novel and the answer is yes as that is how the heroine and hero initially meet. Is it an action adventure story and the answer has to be yes in the finale. I enjoy all of the above and was not disappointed in any of the genres I have mentioned. My attention was grabbed in the first chapter and never waivered. 

I consider this to be a well told story and have rated it 4.5 stars. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book where the good guys win.


Lieutenant KD Whitcomb had mapped out her career from West Point to the Pentagon. But when an injury under questionable circumstances forces her to leave the army, her dreams fall dead at her feet. Feeling lost and needing to rediscover the tough woman beneath the uniform, she heads back to the family ranch in Rough Creek. Only two things get her through the nightmares and sleepless nights: the support of her family and the CID officer investigating the incident in Afghanistan. He infuriates her. Makes her laugh. Gives her hope.

Richard Murdock is struggling, too. There’s something fishy about this last case…and the threats coming from Afghanistan aimed at both him and KD. He’s ready to leave the army and make a new start. But how will he protect KD? And what should he do about the growing attraction between them? He’s been burned before. But there's something about KD's vulnerability and strength that calls to him, and he'll do whatever it takes to protect her and give her a chance to build new dreams…including helping her start a PTSD equine therapy program at the Texas ranch.

If they can overcome the threats against them and heal old wounds, this second chance might be better than they ever dreamed.

About The Author:

Kaki Warner is an award-winning author and long time resident of the Pacific Northwest. Although she now lives on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, Kaki actually grew up in the Southwest and is a proud graduate of the University of Texas. Her years spent riding horses and enjoying the expansive views of Texas became the Historical Romance Author, Kaki Warner inspiration for the backdrop of her novels - the wide-open spaces of historic New Mexico Territory.

Several years ago after their two children had left for college, Kaki and her husband, Joe, moved from the city to their hilltop cabin overlooking the scenic Methow Valley. Kaki now spends her time gardening, hiking, reading, writing, and soaking in the view from the deck with her husband and floppy-eared hound dog.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Book Review: The Whitby Murders (Yorkshire Murder Mysteries #6) by J.R. Ellis

Title: The Whitby Murders (Yorkshire Murder Mysteries #6) 

Author: J.R. Ellis 

Stars: 4 


The author utilizes his extensive knowledge of Yorkshire to transport the reader to Whitby where an apparent murder and suicide has taken place. Our main character, Detective Chief Inspector Oldroyd is not the principal investigating officer and is there because his daughter was a witness and friend of both victims. Neither are satisfied with the apparent straight forward details. The investigating DI is a former DS under him and welcomes his non interfering input. His keen observations soon have them rethinking the event with successful results.

This is the second book by this author I have read and I have not been disappointed by either. I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a British police procedural mystery. I have rated it 4 stars.

I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.


A murder with three witnesses. But one of them doesn’t believe what she saw…

Halloween, Whitby. DCI Jim Oldroyd’s daughter Louise is in town with friends for a goth festival. But their visit to an escape room ends in bloody murder when one of the group stabs his girlfriend and flees the scene. It’s a crime with three witnesses—but Louise refuses to take what she saw at face value.

Oldroyd and DS Carter are called in to solve the case, assisted from the sidelines by Louise. But the closer they investigate, the more complex the web of deceit appears. This is no straightforward crime of passion.

With a violent murderer on the loose, it’s only a matter of time before they strike again. And this time it’s personal. Oldroyd must expose the truth, protect his daughter and stop the horror before it’s too late.

May 27th 2021 by Thomas & Mercer

About The Author: 

During a long career teaching English, I wrote plays for children and occasional ghost stories. I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and by mysteries, conspiracy theories and unexplained crimes.
My love of my native county is deep and the settings of my Yorkshire Murder Mysteries within Yorkshire's varied landscapes are important. I have made a study of the sub-genre of the Locked Room Mystery during the height of its popularity between 1930 - 1960 in the stories of writers such as John Dickson Carr, Clayton Rawson and Ellery Queen. I was an avid watcher of BBC's "Jonathan Creek" in its heyday. I believe the element of puzzle is essential to crime fiction and my novels contain a double mystery: the standard "who dunnit?" but also "how dunnit?!"
I avoid the dark and gruesome in my writing and I strive to include some humour and elegance in style, a vivid sense of place and a compelling mystery! My characters both innocent and guilty are mostly ordinary people.
I am a member of a writers' group in Otley which has inspired me to write poetry and various forms of short fiction.

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.