Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in 2016, 4 stars, Book Review, Jeffrey Archer | 0 comments

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer
<strong?Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer

Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Ebook and Hardcover
Series: #1 in the Clifton Chronicles Series
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 360
Source: Purchased (ebook) and Library (hardcover)

The Book:
From the publisher:

The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the words “I was told that my father was killed in the war.” A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father and expects to continue on at the shipyard, until a remarkable gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys’ school, and his life will never be the same again…

As Harry enters into adulthood, he finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to question: Was he even his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore, or the firstborn son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line? From the ravages of the Great War and the docks of working-class England to the streets of 1940 New York City and the outbreak of the Second World War, this is a powerful journey that will bring to life one hundred years of history to reveal a family story that neither the reader nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

My Thoughts:
Oh this was just the kind of family saga I was in the mood for. Archer is a long time favorite author of mine for books that are entertaining and interesting. It’s been a long time since I’ve read one of his and I’m glad I finally pulled this one out of my ebook files.

The Clifton Chronicles was originally planned to be a five book series following the life of Harry Clifton. Plans change and the final (and seventh) book will be published in November. So by waiting so long to read this one I have done myself a favor. This first book ended on a huge cliffhanger and from what I have read so do the rest of the books. At least I won’t be stuck waiting for the next one to be released.

Starting in 1920 and ending just as Britain declared war on Germany in 1939 the story is primarily about Harry Clifton but also about several other members of the Clifton and Barrington families.

Each section of the book focuses on one of the several main characters. Each begins with a short first person introduction from the character and then follows that character for varying periods of time. The time frames of the sections overlap so along with multiple viewpoints there are multiple time periods.

It’s an interesting way to tell the story. Things mentioned early on in a part about Harry’s mother might be fully understood several parts later in one about Harry’s friend and mentor Old Jack.

Archer is great at rags to riches stories and those that highlight the differences between the haves and the have-nots.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit and look forward to continuing with the series.

4 stars Rating 4/5

Read More

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell – Audio Edition

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in 2016, 3.5 stars, Audio, Book Review, Juliet Blackwell | 0 comments

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet BlackwellHexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell narrated by Xe Sands

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Series: #3 in the Witchcraft Mysteres Seires
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date: 2012
Length: 7 hours, 42 minutes
Spource: Purchased

The Book
From the publisher:

With her vintage clothing store taking off, Lily Ivory is finding that life in San Francisco suits her just fine. But her ability to sense vibrations from the past, so useful in locating secondhand gems, has landed her in the middle of a new mystery….

Lily gets called away from Aunt Cora’s Closet when the police need a witch’s take on a strange case. Malachi Zazi was stabbed to death in his apartment, under a ladder, surrounded by the number thirteen, a broken mirror, and a black cat-superstitions that the victim, as head of a rationalist society, was devoted to discrediting. When the police identify a suspect from the Serpentarian Society, Lily is shocked to learn it’s someone she knows.

But with bad luck plaguing all its members, she begins to wonder if there’s more at work than mere coincidence. And while there aren’t many clues from the crime scene, Lily finds evidence of dark witchcraft and a hex on her friend’s doorstep. With her friend’s safety at stake, Lily is determined to use magic to find the murderer before everyone’s luck runs out.

My Thoughts
This is an entertaining cozy mystery series with a touch of paranormal fun.

Lily is the owner of a vintage clothing shop in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. She also happens to be a natural born witch.

I’m not usually a big fan of paranormal stuff but this series has fun characters (some of whom are not human) and interesting mysteries set in a city I know fairly well.

This time around Lily’s detective friend actually asks her to unofficially take a look at a murder scene because of all the strange bad luck symbols in the room. As Lily (naturally) continues her own investigation of the murder the suspect list soon includes people she knows.

I love Lily’s goblin familiar who transforms into a pot-bellied pig when in public.

In his natural state, my shape-shifting familiar was a cross between and imp and a gnome . . . or maybe a goblin. Whatever he was, Oscar was garrulous, perpetually hungry, and opinionated. He had large batlike ears, a face that resembled a grimacing monkey’s, claws on his hind feet, oversized hands . . . and all of it was covered in greenish gray scales.

He was so ugly he went clear around the bend into adorable.

The little guy had burst into my life not long ago thanks to Aidan Rhodes, male witch. Before I knew quite what was happening, Oscar was stuck to me like white on grits.

Trust a misfit witch to wind up with a drama queen for a familiar.

The narration by Xe Sands fits perfectly with the story. Her voice has a soft somewhat dreamy quality that suits the mood of much of the story (told from Lily’s point of view and in her light Texas accent). She does an excellent job of giving distinct voice characterizations to all of the characters whether female, male or goblin.

3.5 stars 3.5/5 for the book

4 stars 4/5 for the narration

Read More

It’s Monday What Are You Reading #61

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 7 comments

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Continuing in Print

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer

This first of a series has been in my ereader files for ages. I decided it was a good time to dive into one of Archer’s family sagas. It’s an enjoyable read.

I would probably have finished it by now but we went on vacation. It’s tough to keep my eyes on my book when this is outside the window.


Finished on Audio

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell narrated by Xe Sands

This is the third book in a cozy mystery series featuring the owner of a vintage clothing store in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district. She also happens to be a natural born witch. The series is a lot of fun and I enjoy Xe Sands narration. I really enjoyed this one (review coming Thursday).


Started on Audio

How to Betray a Dragon's Hero by Cressida Cowell narrated by David Tennant

How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero by Cressida Cowell narrated by David Tennant

This series is just fun and they have been fabulous road trip audiobooks for The Hubster and I. This is the penultimate book in the series that we started last week. We’ll probably finish it up this weekend and start the final book.

What are you reading?

Reviews since my last update:

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan

Jack of Fables Vol. 9: The End by Bill Willingham

What are you reading?

Read More

Weekend Update – The Bookish Nostalgia July 2016 Edition

Posted by on Jul 24, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Bookish Nostalgia, Weekend Update | 2 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia July 2016

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
This was the first time I read this classic. Even though I knew the story it was plenty creepy.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
I read this one because so many of my friends loved it. Unfortunately it wasn’t my thing.

I continued with my Alphabetical by Author reading challenge.
Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson I liked this one but not quite as much as her first (gods in Alabama)
The Death Collectors by Jack Kerley He does creepy, twisty disturbing so very well.
The Devil in White City by Erik Larson Both The Hubster and I enjoyed this one.
50 Harbor Street by Debbie Macomber This was part her Cedar Cove series.
Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund I wanted to like this one more than I actually did.
The Tea House On Mulberry Street by Sharon Owens A pleasant little story centered around a tea shop in Belfast.

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
This was the first (and so far only) book of hers that I read. I need to read more.


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Read More