Saturdays at the Café

Saturdays at the Café - Body

Saturdays at the Café is a weekly feature hosted here to talk about and discuss the books I’ve discovered during the past week, added to my shelf and am excited about reading. They may be new/scheduled releases I’ve seen on NetGalley, at the library, or from publishers or they may be older titles my friends have reviewed and shared on Goodreads or blogs.




When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how? The trail leads Lottie to St. Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal. As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger? Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.

Berit @ Audio Killed the Bookmark reviewed a later book in this series and I found the series intriguing. Of course, I’ve got to start at the beginning.




Down with love! Ever since she was fifteen, shy wallflower Elspeth Douglas has pined in vain for the attentions of dashing Brody Girvan, Laird of Invermackie. But the rakish Highlander doesn’t even know she’s alive. Now she’s twenty, she realizes that she’ll never be happy until she stops loving her brother’s handsome friend. When family and friends gather at Achnasheen Castle for Christmas, she intends to show the world that’s she’s all grown up, and grown out of silly crushes on gorgeous Scotsmen. So take that, my gallant laddie! Girls just want to have fun… Except it turns out that Brody isn’t singing from the same Christmas carol sheet. Elspeth decides she’s not interested in him anymore, just as he decides he’s very interested indeed. In fact, now he looks more closely, his friend Hamish’s sister is pretty and funny and forthright – and just the lassie to share his Highland estate. Convincing his little wren of his romantic intentions is difficult enough, even before she undergoes a makeover and becomes the belle of Achnasheen. For once in his life, dissolute Brody is burdened with honorable intentions, while the lady he pursues is set on flirtation with no strings attached. Deck the halls with mistletoe! With interfering friends and a crate of imported mistletoe thrown into the mix, the stage is set for a house party rife with secrets, clandestine kisses, misunderstandings, heartache, scandal, and love triumphant. …

I just finished the first book in this series and am definitely keeping up with this series.




For the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin-unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation.Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can’t. She’s a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, a rich train passenger-all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she’s been assigned to nab.But is the woman she’s becoming-capable of lies, swapping identities like dresses-the true Kate? Or has the real disguise been the good girl she always thought she was? As the tensions between the north and south escalate, Kate takes on a job in which the stakes have never been higher. The nation’s future is at risk, even as the lines between disguise and reality begin to blur.

I read a book recently that featured a female Pinkerton agent and my friend, Phrynne, recommended this book, which features more about women in the agency.



Alva Smith, her southern family destitute after the Civil War, married into one of America’s great Gilded Age dynasties: the newly wealthy but socially shunned Vanderbilts. Ignored by New York’s old-money circles and determined to win respect, she designed and built 9 mansions, hosted grand balls, and arranged for her daughter to marry a duke. But Alva also defied convention for women of her time, asserting power within her marriage and becoming a leader in the women’s suffrage movement. In A Well-Behaved Woman, Therese Anne Fowler paints a glittering world of enormous wealth contrasted against desperate poverty, of social ambition and social scorn, of friendship and betrayal, and an unforgettable story of a remarkable woman. Meet Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont, living proof that history is made by those who know the rules—and how to break them.

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader featured this title this week and since I have an interest in the business titans of that era, this was a natural to add to my shelf. 




Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland, in this stunning new standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper. They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

Jane Harper is my auto read having gotten hooked on her Aaron Falk series.




Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact. The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .Never mention The Pact to anyone. Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples–and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

This book recently showed up at my library and the reviews among my friends are all over the place, which just makes it more interesting.

What books did you add to your shelves this week?

19 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. I hope you love A Well-Behaved Woman, Jonetta! I am pending on the Jane Harper- fingers crossed! It will actually be my first from her, but I negligently own the other two books. The Marriage Pact- I was so-so with it. I really tried to highlight the strengths, but many people loved it much more than I did. Happy reading, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really looking forward to listening to that one (A Well Behaved Woman). I’ve recommended it for purchase at my library. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the Harper books. Yes, it’s about a 50-50 split on friends’ reviews of The Marriage Pact and that’s one of the reasons I added it😏

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  2. I really need to read Jane Harper! I have The Force of Nature (I’m not sure why I bought it and not The Dry too, LOL), but I need to get her new one since it’s a standalone although I’m a series addict. I have The Marriage Pact too but haven’t gotten around reading it. And I have to read A Well-Behaved Woman! Jen’s review was amazing, and I love the Vanderbilt family. Plus, I grew up a few hours from Biltmore, so we spent my childhood going there every season to see what it looked like with all the changes. I used to dream of living there, lol. What an imagination I used to have…wild for sure! Great books on your list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’ll really like Jane Harper when you decide to read one of her books. Force of Nature doesn’t have a story arc connection to The Dry, nor are there any recurring characters other than Aaron Falk (well, there’s one other but it’s so, so minor). However, you learn a LOT about him in the first book, which I found helpful. Jennifer’s review was amazing and she’s killing my shelves☺️

      Oh, Stephanie, it must have been wonderful visiting The Biltmore, especially at Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I’ve heard such great things about the books and need to read them! And great things about Aaron Falk! Jennifer is killing my shelves too since I had my eye on so many of those books any way but exerted my willpower to NOT ask for them on NG, but then I read the review and end up buying them, lol.

        It is so gorgeous at Christmas! We live outside of Raleigh now so it’s only about 4 hrs to there now and Asheville is one of our favorite places to go, especially at Christmas and we have to visit Biltmore whenever we do! It never grows old even 30 plus decades later.

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