Find You First

Find You First by Linwood Barclay -- I couldn't read quick enough. This fast-paced story had me on the edge of my seat.

Book Review

Find You First by Linwood Barclay

Rating: 4 out of 5.

About Find You First:

(From the publisher) Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of—except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and there is a fifty percent chance that it can be passed on to the next generation. For Miles, this means taking a long hard look at his past . . .

Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids—nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him—maybe his fortune, or maybe something much worse.

As Miles begins to search for the children he’s never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father, armed with the knowledge that twenty-two years ago, her mother used a New York sperm bank to become pregnant.

When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles’s other potential heirs are vanishing—every trace of them wiped, like they never existed at all.

Who is the vicious killer—another heir methodically erasing rivals? Or is something even more sinister going on?

It’s a deadly race against time . . .

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The Last Thing He Told Me

Book Review

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

About the book:

The Last Thing He Told Me book cover

(From the publisher) Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, and a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

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A Gambling Man

A Gambling Man -- "Well set, and with interesting and likable characters, A Gambling Man was 400 pages of entertainment."

Book Review

A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Easy to read and packed with adventure, I always enjoy Baldacci’s stories. And A Gambling Man was no exception!

About A Gambling Man:

A Gambling Man book cover

(From the publisher): Aloysius Archer, the straight-talking World War II veteran fresh out of prison, returns in this riveting new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.

The 1950s are on the horizon. Aloysius Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal—or all three.

Along the way, Archer stops in Reno. A stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and an eye-popping blood-red 1939 Delahaye convertible—plus a companion for the final leg of the journey, an aspiring actress named Liberty Callahan who is planning to try her luck in Hollywood. But when the two arrive in Bay Town, California, Archer quickly discovers that the hordes of people who flocked there seeking fame and fortune landed in a false paradise that instead caters to their worst addictions and fears.

Archer’s first stop is a P.I. office where he is hoping to apprentice with a legendary private eye and former FBI agent named Willie Dash. He lands the job and immediately finds himself in the thick of a potential scandal: a blackmail case involving a wealthy well-connected politician running for mayor that soon spins into something even more sinister. As bodies begin falling, Archer and Dash must infiltrate the world of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and long-hidden secrets, descending into the rotten bones of a corrupt town that is selling itself as the promised land—but might actually be the road to perdition, and Archer’s final resting place.

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The Agatha Christie Mystery Challenge

The 52 Book Club's Agatha Christie Challenge

She’s called the Queen of Crime. And with over 70 mysteries to her name, it’s little wonder why. Agatha Christie has long been a favourite author over here at The 52 Book Club. (She was our author of the year on our very first challenge!) Her mysteries include favourites like And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our very first author challenge — the Agatha Christie mystery challenge!

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21 Book Covers With Women Facing Away

21 Book Covers featuring women who are facing away

The 52 Book Club’s annual challenge is made up of fifty-two fun and unique prompts. Every year, three of these categories are randomly drawn from suggestions made by our 52 Book Club Facebook group members. And one of the 2021 challenge‘s winning categories was “a cover with a woman who is facing away.”

This cover trend has been fairly popular over the past couple of years — particularly with historical fiction. Taking a quick browse around a library or bookstore will produce countless options for this category. But, if you need some inspiration, here are twenty-one covers to get you started!

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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Book Review

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

It’s December 1926 and Agatha Christie has disappeared. For eleven days, England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt. And then, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, she reappears — claiming amnesia.

Was it an elaborate stunt to promote her newest book? A hoax? A “fugue” state? Or something more? While we may never know the truth of those missing eleven days, Marie Benedict explores one of the many possibilities in this carefully crafted work of historical fiction.

A master storyteller whose clever mind may never be matched, Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.

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The Open House

Book Review

The Open House by Sam Carrington

Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…

In the midst of a divorce, Amber and her ex-husband Nick are selling the family home. But for such a desirable location, it’s curious that there’s been no interest.

When her real estate agent suggests an open house, Amber is less than enthusiastic. The idea of nosy neighbours snooping around her home leaves her uncomfortable. But Amber is motivated to sell — a newly blossoming relationship means that she’s ready to pack up her sons and move on.

But Amber has more problems than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people go into her house that afternoon, but only twelve come out.

Soon, the strange events in Amber’s home set her on edge. Is someone trying to prevent the house from being sold? Could it be her overstepping mother-in-law? A shifty real estate agent? Or the neighbourhood gossip?

Amber doesn’t know why, but someone will do everything they can to stop the sale. And after the open house, nothing will ever be the same again.

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Five Little Words

Book Review

Five Little Words by Jackie Walsh

Laura Caldwell arrives home from the hospital with her newborn baby, Shay in tow. But amidst the congratulatory cards, there’s a note that makes her blood run cold. Those five little words — your husband is a murderer — change everything. Could her husband, Conor, really be behind the brutal murder of a local barmaid?

In this tiny village in Ireland, where everyone knows everyone, Laura is the newcomer. Her husband was once the town’s most eligible bachelor, and not everyone is happy with their new marriage. Was this card nothing more than an attempt to scare her off? Or is there something darker lying beneath the surface of her new husband?

But as Laura digs deep into the town secrets, she grapples with her own hidden past coming to light. What looks to be perfect, may just be covering something dark.

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Our Very First Unboxing Video (& Giveaway!)

The Unboxing

I’m pretty sure that the only thing better than #bookmail is SURPRISE book mail. And today, I’m super excited to share with you all, my very first book unboxing video! (I’m even giving away a couple of the books inside.)

I was sent this generous box of Christian fiction reads from Graf-Martin Communications. Thank you! After you watch the video, be sure to head back here and read the rest of this post to enter the giveaway!

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Set the Stars Alight

Set the Stars Alight cover image set against white background

Book Review

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

As a young child, Lucy Claremont is fascinated by the tales her father weaves by the firelight. Each night, in an aged brick cottage in London, the family of this humble watchmaker, uncover a world of light and wonder. But it’s one story in particular that captures Lucy’s imagination — two hundred years earlier, a ship vanished into the night along with the traitor who stole her. Dedicating her life’s work to the finding of this lost ship, Lucy learns she needs the support of her childhood friend Dash to help unravel the puzzle.

Her evenings, however, were magic. Each day, as the sun began to set over Candlewick’s towers and the stars began to appear, and the flats across the courtyards were coming to life with the blue glow of tellies, she returned to the glass house and felt the rush of the city drop away. The cottage was a place where tales spun inside every dusty shaft of golden-hour sunlight. Where each evening, stories and riddles were told around flickering flames — crackling hearth fire in winter months, pirouetting candlelight in the summer.”

Set The Stars Alight, Amanda Dykes

Over two centuries earlier, the young son of an Admiral finds himself bound for a life on the seas. But a chance encounter with a shepherd forever alters his life and sets him off on a course charted for betrayal and heartbreak. As Frederick finds himself in a world of trouble, he will do anything to protect the family he’s built — even if that means sacrificing himself.

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