Book Reviews - June & July Favorite

I have not had time to read much in the past few weeks! This makes me sad, but that means I’m getting a lot of other things done. (Or maybe it means I’m watching too much TV? More about that below!)

In May, I raved about Holly Tierney-Bedord’s Sweet Hollow Women and promptly picked up her newest release The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club. While the title might make you think this is a breezy chic lit story, that is SO not the case. This is a fast-paced, hidden secrets, murder-mystery, suspense novel set in an uptight, clique-filled small town where gossip abounds and everyone has an opinion about everyone else. (How’s that for a bunch of hyphenated adjectives!) Tierney-Bedord crafts a tightly woven plot that drops hints about the true identity of the killer in a masterful way that reminds me of Gillian Flynn’s writing. The twists in this novel are fabulous! 


~2013~ Idyllic Port Elspeth, Connecticut is rocked by tragedy. Shortly after their high school graduation, Evangeline Maddingly, daughter of one of the town's wealthiest old-money families, and Oliver Prescott, son of one of the town's wealthiest new-money families, are found dead in an isolated cabin in the woods outside of town. The circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths are murky at best, thanks in large part to a sweeping effort from those in power to shut down any negative publicity that could harm the reputation of the pristine, oceanside community.


~Five years later~ A small group of strangers gathers to create jewelry for one of Port Elspeth's many fundraisers. Before long, friendships are forming and old secrets are being revealed. Along with discovering how to make a perfect pair of chandelier earrings or cabochon necklace, these unlikely sleuths find themselves at the heart of solving the murders that took place half a decade earlier.

Buy now:  Kindle   Paperback

Check out the rest of Tierney-Bedord’s titles on her website!

Now, about that TV watching . . .

Even though we are in the middle of trying to figure out how to drop our expensive DirectTV and premium channels, I’m not sure how successful we’ll be as I’ve been drawn into the HBO limited series, Sharp Objects. Usually, I am a firm believer in reading the book before seeing the show or movie; however, I am so glad I didn’t read this particular Gillian Flynn novel. I am so enjoying the gradually unfolding of this story. (I had to be very careful getting the links for this blog post, because I didn’t want to subject myself to any spoilers.)

Amy Adams is doing a tremendous job in the role of Camille Preaker. (An actress who so skillfully handles both the beautiful airy fairy princess role in Enchanted and the damaged, self-harming, alcoholic reporter in Sharp Objects, makes me one of her forever fans.)

I might very well buy the book and read it to see where the differences are AFTER the series is over.


Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

Buy now: Kindle   Paperback

Is anyone else watching Sharp Objects? I have so many questions about weird things in the last episode! Comment below . . . I'm dying to talk about this show.

And happy reading (and watching) to everyone! -- Valerie Biel


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