The Silkworm

The Silkworm

by Robert Galbraith

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Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…

(originially published 10/01/2015)

The Silkworm is the second novel in Robert Galbraith’s (aka JK Rowling) Cormoran Strike mysteries. Feel free to check out my review of the first novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling

I read these novels because I love Cormoran Strike! I like that he’s tall, rough, awkward, and stands out in EVERY crowd. I like that he’s stubborn, irritable, and steadfast in his investigative techniques. The characteristics that would turn most people off make me love him all the more! I would definitely grab a pint with him.

Still, I was not really a fan of The Silkworm. There are two big points that just made the plot ‘eh’ for me. One: the relationship between Robin and Matthew just pissed me off. I just don’t understand why such a smart, independent woman would be with someone as insecure and mean as Matthew. Luckily, Robin stands up for herself and the story ends with what seems to be a healthier future for the couple. But I still found myself yelling at Matthew while reading.

Two: the main storyline, aka the mystery, was too slow for my taste. It drug on and on about Quine’s terrible novel and depressing writing career. I had a difficult time sympathizing with ANY of the ‘literary world’ characters. NONE of them were remotely likable!! Quine’s death was the most interesting aspect of the character! I feel like Galbraith was attempting to humorously releave frustrations with the literary industry but it left The Silkworm’s plot less engaging.

I still recommend the book because of Strike and his character development. Strike is no longer struggling to survive and we are able to see him fully interact with family and friends. I love that his relationship with Robin is bluntly honest and surprisingly full of trust. His self confidence is strengthening since his split with Charlotte and we meet characters that truly love Strike. We see him communicate with his aunt and uncle, who beg him to visit for Christmas. We meet his old school buddy, Chum, who’s willingness to help Strike with no strings attached leaves you wanting to buy them both a beer. And we get to meet Al, the one sibling who adores Strike just the way he is (sister Lucy constantly trying to change him gets old) All of these points make The Silkworm a worthwhile read!

Plus, the ending is AWESOME! Have you read The Silkworm? Share your thoughts!

Lindsay

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Too Many Women

Too Many Women

by Rex Stout

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Celebrated sleuth Nero Wolfe is renowned for cracking tough cases — and never leaving his New York apartment, where he quaffs beer and cultivates orchids. For legwork, Wolfe employs a fast-talking, wisecracking assistant named Archie, who also serves as our narrator.In Too Many Women, Wolfe and Archie are charged with investigating the mysterious goings-on at a big engineering supply company.

Work has been crazy the last few weeks. I always find myself needing a good cozy mystery when I’m stressed. I was struggling to find what I wanted, so I decided to stick with a solid favorite, Nero Wolfe.

Too Many Women did the trick! Archie finds himself working in an office setting surrounded by beautiful women and conniving men. A man was run down by a car and Archie is asked to prove it was murder. What follows is humorous account of Archie’s attempt to survive in the office world, full of lies and manipulation.

Of course I adore Archie and Wolfe, but I was even more pleased at how the women are presented. Sure some of them are flighty and manipulative (which is accurate based on my personal experience) but there were a number that were smart and self reliant. I didn’t figure out ‘who dunnit’ until right before Wolfe made his big reveal. And the banter between Inspector Cramer and Wolfe always makes me smile!

Nero Wolfe always makes my day and Too Many Women didn’t disappoint. What is your go to comfort read? What historic cozy mystery do you recommend?

Lindsay

OCTOBER!

My favorite month has finally arrived! The 1st of October signals the start of fall (despite Florida holding on to the 90s), the start of the holiday season, and an excuse to indulge in all things creepy! My Halloween decorations are up, my seasonal fall scents are out, and my corny Halloween movies are on!

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So what can you expect from History and Mystery this month? Reviews on gruesome murder mysteries, macabre paranormal historical fiction, and circus stories! I am so excited to be sharing my favorite month with y’all!

Go ahead and check out last year’s spooky reads:

What spooky books are on your TBR this month? Please feel free to share your favorite October reads, movies, TV shows…just know I fully plan on binging Stranger Things!

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Happy October!  Lindsay

 

Three Year Anniversary

Hey everyone! Last month was my three year blogiversary! I can not believe that I have been sharing book reviews on this site for three years!

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Here is a brief history for those new to History and Mystery. Three years ago I was finally finishing grad school and struggling with a reality that no longer included reading for fun. Days and nights filled with academic writing and reading had left me burned out. So much so, that I struggled with even selecting a book to read. A friend recommended Goodreads, which unfortunately left me even more discouraged. I had made the mistake of reading the mass reviews. How could one book be ‘the best thing ever written’ and ‘bad enough to be burned’ at the same time? The reviews were all over the place and the majority far from constructive.

I had just finished my Masters degree in history and considered myself a semi-expert on both giving and receiving constructive criticism. I decided to write a few helpful book reviews…and so Sand Between the Pages was born!

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Starting a review site is still one of the best decisions I ever made. For over two years I rediscovered old favorites and found new ones. I made extra time to hit the beach just to enjoy reading outside. And I met some wonderful book lovers! Through it all I read everything and shared it here.

And then last year I gave the site a makeover. The name changed to History and Mystery and I decided to focus on specific genres: historical fiction, mystery, and non-fiction. (I’ll go into greater depth concerning that decision in later posts.) It’s been nice challenging myself and reading something different. So what can you expect now from History and Mystery?

  • at least one book review per week
  • one bookish/life post per week

I may eventually post my book reviews on YouTube, but for now, I just look forward to sharing my love of all things books here with you! Do you have any good historical mystery stories I need to pick up? Any nonfiction books you recommend? Let me know! And have a great weekend.

Lindsay

What to Expect: January

January

Happy 2016 fellow readers!

Those who read my other site, LBoitnott, will know that 2015 was just an ok year for me. Now, I’m not being ungrateful or whiny, because 2015 had a few wonderful moments, but, certain events left me with less time than desired for my passions. I had precious little time and energy for reading and providing reviews. Proof is in the numbers!

May – December 2014: 57 books reviewed

January – December 2015: 47 books reviewed

Ideally, the numbers should have been reversed. I still begin 2016 with 104 books and short stories reviewed on Sand Between the Pages! I started this site in May 2014 because I desperately needed to escape the stress of grad school and regain my love for reading. Sand Between the Pages has helped me do just that, and so much more. It has pushed me to read more, enhanced my writing and editing skills, and introduced me to so many wonderful people!

I do have goals for the coming year and feel free to read about them here. Just know that I plan to once again embrace my passion for reading and reviews in 2016. So many books and so little time! I can’t wait to share them all!

It is finally starting to feel like winter in Florida, so you can look forward to some wintery thrillers and mysteries this month. We all know how much I love my arctic survival stories! (though I have no idea why. I am such a wheeny when it comes to real snow) Plus, you may hear a bit about the upcoming Alaskan dog sled races 😛

Happy 2016 everyone! And happy reading friends!

Lindsay

What to Expect: JUNE

What to Expect: JUNE

Today is June 1st and like most people I am shocked that 2015 is zipping by so quickly! I am still adjusting to my new schedule and workload but am doing better with keeping up with my reading. June promises more posts and here is what to expect.

I have a few books that I have needed to read and review for some very patient friends.  The following are three you will definitely hear about this month!

1. A Time to Live by Jonas Lee

2. Akarnae by Lynette Noni

3. Identity Theft by Laura Lee

Plus, there will still be a few mysteries left over from May!

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Thank you all for being so patient with me the last few months. Things here at Sand Between the Pages are getting back to normal, so be ready for plenty of reviews coming your way!  Here’s to summer and lazy beach days spent reading!

Lindsay