Book Review: Peter Straub, The Hellfire Club

As shockingly relevant today as it was when it was published in the late nineties, this book showcases Straub’s strengths: clear storytelling that grows more psychologically terrifying as the novel advances to its inevitably horrifying ending. Nora Chancel battles the ghosts from her past as she faces the beginning of menopause and endures every kind of abuse at the hands of men from her husband’s weakness and refusal to stand up for her to his bullying father to a brutal serial killer who it will turn out shares a common goal: to uncover the truth about a long buried literary mystery. A unique tale that was engrossing from start to finish. Warning: some difficult scenes to read.

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Book Review: Peter Straub, Shadowland

At its core, a story about friendship and betrayal. I couldn’t get into this book as much as other Straub books, not sure why, it has the classic Straub psychological horror element. Perhaps because I couldn’t relate to the boys boarding school, interest in magic, or that it only has one strong woman character, and only two women characters at all…

Book Review: Betty Hechtman, Gone with the Wool (Yarn Retreat Mystery, #4)

A lot going on in this retreat mystery. Casey struggles with whether or not to reveal the identity of Edwin Delacorte’s love child and decides to wait until the excitement of Butterfly Week passes. She agrees to try and clear Dane’s sister Chloe as a suspect in the murder of little liked town busybody and three time former Butterfly Queen who was attempting to extort money from her husband’s tenants without him knowing. Meanwhile, she agrees to pretend to be Doctor Sammy’s girlfriend when his pushy parents come to Cadbury for a visit. All while trying to fix her muffins reputation after two star football players are poisoned, causing the team to lose the big game. No wonder she was barely at the retreat, which focused on loom knitting.