The Mine by John A. Heldt
In “The Mine,” Joel Smith enters an abandoned Montana mine shaft in the year 2000 and ends up in 1941, six months before the start of World War II. Finding himself stuck in the past, he travels back to his hometown of Seattle and tries to make a new life. The action starts off slowly but it picks up toward the end. I particularly enjoyed the climax of the story where Joel has to face the difficult choice of keeping what he has built in 1941 or possibly returning to his own time. Mr. Heldt also paints a lovely picture of the Pacific Northwest and the surrounding scenery. My one complaint would be that, at times, the writing felt anachronistic, which drew me out of the story. I will admit that I probably would not have picked up this book left to my own devices, but, overall, the story was satisfactory.
*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*
A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie
“A Share in Death” is the first entry in the series. A quaint, country manor house full of vacationing tourists turns into a house full of suspects when one of the staff turns up dead in the pool. This book has a comforting Agatha Christie-esque feel to it. Although she’s originally from Texas, Ms. Crombie has a great sense for British culture and writing. Her protagonists Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid & Sergeant Gemma James are smart and audacious. And while I don’t expect these modern mysteries to continue to have so much in common with Christie’s novels, this one had the makings of a decent English countryside who-dun-it. I can say definitively that I will read more of Ms. Crombie’s mysteries.
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Man, am I a sucker for happy endings and this one is completely swoon worthy! “Isla and the Happily Ever After” is the final book in Stephanie Perkins’ trilogy which also includes “Anna and the French Kiss” and “Lola and the Boy Next Door.” Ms. Perkins’ prose is sassy, escapist and romantic without being saccharine. I wanted to float away with her two protagonists, Isla and Josh, while they fell in love. This novel is a satisfying end to the trilogy, complete with fun cameos by the main characters from the previous entries. I tore through this book and was slightly sad to see it end, but mostly it left me with a fuzzy, warm feeling. I suggest you read Stephanie Perkins’ books and experience it for yourself.