Book Notes: Of Mystery and Manners by Anastashia Hastings

Of Hoaxes and Homicide
A Dear Miss Hermione Mystery Book 2
by Anastasia Hastings

Summary here

My Thoughts

Violet Manville is the person behind Miss Hermione, the most popular agony aunt in Britain. It is a role that has also led to a side career in solving murders. This time, Violet receives a letter from a troubled mother. Her daughter has gotten caught up in a cult, the Children of Aed. This case will also draw in Violet’s half-sister, Sephora.

Sephora is the opposite of Violet, and this relationship kept me reading even after deducing the murderer’s identity fairly early in the book.

Sephora, unlike Violet, is an heiress. (Violet and Sephora had the same father.) The important things in her life are fashion, penny dreadfuls, and the boredom she’s fighting because the social season hasn’t started yet. Sephora’s character embodies society’s expectations of young woman born to wealth and class—to marry well.
Violet, however, hasn’t inherited a fortune from her mother, and she must work for a living. Thanks to her Aunt Adelia, Violet is now England’s most popular agony aunt, (Sephora is a huge fan) Miss Hermione. Adelia, the original Miss Hermione, dropped the job on Violet when Adelia left England for the Continent with her latest paramour. Compared to the exhilaration at solving a murder, the letters are driving Violet to distraction. Until the letter from the distraught mother, her daughter in a cult, and Violet is on another case.
This time, though, Violet isn’t on her own. Sephora is determined to help Violet, even if Violet doesn’t want her help. As the case unfolds, each character learns something new about the other. The growth of each character and the unfolding of their relationship is really what kept me engaged in Of Hoaxes and Homicide.

I enjoyed reading and following the changes in Violet, Sephora, and their relationship.


Thanks to #NetGalley and #Minotaurbooks for providing a copy of #OfHoaxesandHomicide in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Publishing Info
Imprint: Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250848581
Page Count: 304
Genre: Mystery
On Sale:01/30/2024

Book Notes: Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day by Kate Bowler






Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day



Have a Beautiful Terrible Day
by Kate Bowler
Convergent Books
Pub Date Jan 23, 2024

Excerpt here


Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day! is packed with bite-size reflections and action-oriented steps to help you get through the day, be it good, bad, or totally mediocre. This is a devotional for the rest of us—which is to say, the people who don’t have magical lives that always work out for the best. As she composed these meditations during a season of chronic pain, Bowler understands how every day can be an obstacle course. She encourages us to develop our capacity to feel the breadth of our experiences. The better we are at identifying our highs and lows, the more resilient we become.

Like modern-day psalms, Bowler’s spiritual reflections look for the ways we can expand our capacity for courage, love, and honesty—while discovering divine moments with God. With bonus sections to use during the seasons of Advent and Lent, this is an easy book to read along with other people too.

If you want to build your daily habit of spiritual attentiveness, this book is here to say: May all your days be lovely. But for those that aren’t, have a beautiful, terrible day!

My Thoughts

Kate Bowler acknowledges suffering is very much a part of life. Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day is Bowler’s way of reconciling both her suffering (she writes about her current battle with chronic pain) and her faith.

Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day can be read straight through or bit by bit. The reflections begin with a Bible verse, pulled from various translations. A reflection follows, written in Bowler’s unique style, which is honesty and humor. Prompts follow many of the reflections. Reflections vary in length, but none of them are long.
Bowler’s writing is conversational, not preachy. Her way of her writing grants the reader permission to acknowledge how difficult life can be at any given time. Meditations are followed by reflection prompts. The reflections are practical ways to put the meditations into practice.
There are 89 meditations split into three sections. The first section covers different situations for day-to-day living. Section two mediations are devoted to Lent and the last section covers Advent, for those that practice Lent and/or Advent.
Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day is a book I will revisit again and again.


Thanks to #NetGalley and #ConvergentBooks for providing a copy of #HaveaBeautifulTerribleDay in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are more own.

Book Notes: Where You End

Where You End

By Abbot Kahler

Summary is here

My Thoughts

Where You End is a wild ride (in a good way.)

The chapters alternate between Kat and Jude’s points of view, revealing a tug-of-war between what Jude wants Kat to believe about their childhood and Kat’s determination to discover the truth. Flashback chapters reveal the truth about their childhood and the reader begins to understand why Jude makes the choices she does. But those choices backfire, and their lives begin to spiral out of control.
This novel went in a direction I didn’t anticipate, which kept me turning the pages until I was done. I completed this book in one sitting. The alternating chapters combined with the flashbacks can be a bit confusing at first, but eventually I got used to the format. Where You End is a hard to put down debut novel.

Publishing Information

Imprint: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 9781250873255
Publication Date: 01/16/2024
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 336

Thanks to #NetGalley and #HenryHoltandCompany for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.