The Solitary House by Lynn Shepherd

From Goodreads:


London, 1850. Charles Maddox had been an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career. Now he works alone, struggling to eke out a living by tracking down criminals. Whenever he needs it, he has the help of his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary “thief taker,” a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come.

On Charles’s latest case, he’ll need all the assistance he can get.

To his shock, Charles has been approached by Edward Tulkinghorn, the shadowy and feared attorney, who offers him a handsome price to do some sleuthing for a client. Powerful financier Sir Julius Cremorne has been receiving threatening letters, and Tulkinghorn wants Charles to—discreetly—find and stop whoever is responsible.

But what starts as a simple, open-and-shut case swiftly escalates into something bigger and much darker. As he cascades toward a collision with an unspeakable truth, Charles can only be aided so far by Maddox. The old man shows signs of forgetfulness and anger, symptoms of an age-related ailment that has yet to be named.

Intricately plotted and intellectually ambitious, The Solitary House is an ingenious novel that does more than spin an enthralling tale: it plumbs the mysteries of the human mind.

I liked this book, but I wish I would have read it at a different time.  I think I would have liked it a lot more. I think the author wove a good plot, but it was a bit confusing to me to follow. And, for the star of the story, Charles, to be a detective, he was not very observant. It was frustrating at times.  It did all come together at the end, but even the ending I found confusing, but maybe that’s just me.  If you are into historical fiction, I think you would like this book.


Island Passage by Sherry Hartzler

From Goodreads:


Francine Durrett discovers the receipts for jewelry and a room at the Blue Moon Motel at the bottom of her husband’s underwear drawer. She thinks he’s amazingly stupid. Or…he wanted to get caught. Devastated by her husband’s infidelity, Francine flees her upscale suburban home with her angry fifteen-year-old daughter and returns to the Lake Erie island of Middle Bass, where she spent childhood summers with her best friend, Claudia Angelo. Francine hopes to heal a broken heart, re-connect with her daughter, and attempt to rediscover the simple, uncomplicated love she had known as a child.

Not long after Francine’s return to Middle Bass, Claudia arrives unannounced on the doorstep of the island house. Francine has not seen her friend for over five years. Claudia is rich, brash, and stunningly beautiful, but unlike Francine, her childhood memories recall nothing but lies, poverty, and neglect. For Claudia, the subject of her past is a dead issue. She comes to the island to repay a long-standing debt, rooted in deception.

Alan Bromsley grew up on the island, a free-spirited boy who once challenged the world and had little fear of any consequence. He now operates a small island flight service. No stranger to grief, Alan is a loner, a man at war with himself. In this tender-hearted story, Alan is confronted by the two women he once loved and lost twenty years ago.

Island Passage brings to life the reuniting of three estranged friends, torn apart by unforeseen circumstances, and then brought together in a tragedy that inadvertently unravels an old secret—a secret that could ultimately destroy them all.

I really enjoyed this book. My mother-in-law lent it to me as she is friends with the author who lives in our area. I decided to read it because it was based on Middle Bass Island up in Lake Erie – almost like home turf.  The author ended up making me want to buy a home  and live full time there! I was surprised at how much I liked the story. The characters were more than one dimensional.  I cared about them and what happened to them.  She really delved into character development  and it made for a richer story. I definitely recommend this book. You will enjoy it.