Month: December 2020

Book Review: One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One for Sorrow
Mary Downing Hahn

Published: July 18, 2017
304 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Kim’s Review:

Another chilling tale from Hahn! My gosh she is the queen of kids’ horror! This one seemed appropriate for the times since it takes place during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Seems a bit more romantic than covid, but I guess we’ll take what we can get.

I really liked this book. The atmosphere of Baltimore in winter and the cemetery in the snow and the mental hospital were vivid and interesting. The story was unique and satisfying and it gave me goosebumps in several places. And considering how annoying I find kids, I actually really liked Annie. She seemed sincere and relatable. My one issue is my complete and utter discomfort caused by Elsie! Hahn does this thing where she puts the nastiest kids down on paper and I spend half my time wishing they never existed! I know the point is to make them unlikable and downright unbearable … but dang, sometimes it’s just too much! But her horribleness added to the story so I was mostly ok. I would definitely recommend this to horror fans and even to kids who like the scarier stories.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Merry Christmas!

To those who celebrate, Merry Christmas from Jessica, Kim, Sage, Curry, Shiva, and Joad Christopher! We hope you have a great holiday season and finally end 2020. May you find books under your tree or in your stocking! Maybe get some reading in today too.

Please stay safe and healthy for us and bring on 2021! 



Book Review: Contempt by Michael Cordell

Author:  Michael Cordell
 July 27, 2020
202 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 28- December 8, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars     

Book Description:

Lawyer Thane Banning has just been released from prison after serving five years for a murder he didn’t commit.

A free man due only to a legal technicality, Thane must clear his name, repair his fragile marriage, and rebuild the life he once cherished. But his efforts are complicated by death threats from the father of his alleged victim and the tidal wave of public outrage at his release.

As Thane begins to find footing in the free world, a former fellow inmate is accused of murder by the same DA who put Thane behind bars. The inmate reaches out to Thane, who is unable to resist the desperate plea for help. He takes the case, thereby pitting himself against the ruthless adversary who stole five years of his life. And this adversary has a grudge to settle.

But prison has taught Thane a thing or two about survival, and the last time he played by the rules, he landed on death row. This time he’s staking it all – his marriage, his reputation, and even his life – on the outcome of the impending case. Thane is determined to do whatever it takes to uncover the truth, especially when startling links to his own conviction rise to the surface. But will he uncover the truth in time?

Jessica’s Review:

This is my first novel by Cordell and I really enjoyed it!  Thane Banning is a real estate lawyer who served five years on death row for a murder he did not commit, and he gets released on a technicality. Once he is out he is dealing with many things: People believing he got away with murder, his marriage and rebuilding his life, and the father of his supposed victim seeking retribution.  While reading the novel, it really felt like things a person would be living with in this type of situation.  I did want to see more of Thane and his wife dealing with their marriage. 

Then Thane has an inmate contact him who he was in prison with.  This inmate is also facing murder charges from the same DA who put Thane on death row.  Remember, Thane is a real estate lawyer, not a criminal defense lawyer, but he takes the case. Because of this you have to suspend your believability and go along for the ride.

I really enjoyed this novel, a lot of it was that Thane was likeable. I also wanted to see what was going to happen in this case, and it ends up going in directions I never expected.  I hope that Cordell writes future novels with Thane starring.  This is a shorter novel at just over 200 pages and it is very fast-paced. You can tell that Cordell is a screenwriter, this novel would make a very good movie or limited series. If it stayed close to the novel, I would definitely be watching it.

Many thanks to the publisher TCK Publishing for sending me a copy to read and review.

TCK Publishing Website
Michael Cordell Website

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK