‘Fall’ing for Books

Next round of book reviews rolling your way… still trying to catch up! Let’s do this!


Lost and Found in Paris by Lian Dolan was unexpected… I was expecting a lighthearted, romance-y romp, but this had much more to it than that. Joan, an art historian couriering some sketches to Paris, is mulling the loss of her artist father on 9/11. Upon arrival in Paris, the sketches vanish, and the questions start. This ended up being part travelogue around Paris, part mystery by clues, part romance, and part family drama. Unexpected, but good.

Alias Emma by Ava Glass was just big fun from the first minute I started listening to the last! Emma Makepeace works for “The Agency” in London, and is charged with delivering an innocent man to MI6 by sunrise… but obviously, with CCTV all around London, Russian goons on their tail and an untrusting charge, Emma’s night isn’t going to be an easy one. This was just fast-paced start to finish, with interesting backstories, LOTS of running and action, and a winsome heroine. I hope there’s more Emma to come – this was fun to listen to!

The Boys by Katie Hafner is a weird one. Ethan and Barb are fostering two boys when the pandemic hits, and the boys drive a wedge between them. As you read, it was easy to unpack what the twist would be, but it was still interesting getting there. Quirky and odd, but not in a bad way.

My Summer Darlings by May Cobb didn’t quite have the same hook and spark at her debut, The Hunting Wives, for me despite some of the same players – East Texas, richie-riches, women of a certain age… then throw in a man who just moved into the neighborhood and sparks will fly. This felt sinister throughout and while I enjoyed listening to it, it didn’t engage me quite as much as her previous one. Still good escapist summer suspense though!

The Island by Adrian McKinty was a super weird one, and not in a good way. I’m glad I listened to this one at 2x speed. A family vacation in Australia, an island excursion to what sounds like the cast of Deliverance living on it, and a lotta drama and trauma. Yeesh.

The Old Place by Bobby Finger got lots of positive reviews, but I must not have been in the right space for it when I read it, because it was just ‘eh’ to me. Two neighbors linked together in friendship by the loss of a son apiece, then lots of secrets and drama being unpacked in a small Texas town. This was… fine, but I won’t remember a thing in a week after reading it.

Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro is the first fiction of hers I’ve read after the amazing memoir Inheritance. Family secrets, complex characters linked together by fate, and luminous writing. This one is hard to describe, but definitely worth the read.

The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead had such a good sounding hook, but I legit couldn’t even finish it. Ugh.

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