February 2016

1. This fits none of the Reading Challenge Categories, but I read it during February.

Flesh and Blood

It’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s birthday, and she’s about to head to Miami for a vacation with Benton Wesley, her FBI profiler husband, when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their Cambridge house. Is this a kids’ game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Her cellphone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells her there’s been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music teacher has been shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. No one has heard or seen a thing.
In this 22nd Scarpetta novel, the master forensic sleuth finds herself in the unsettling pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except fragments of copper. The shots seem impossible, yet they are so perfect they cause instant death. The victims appear to have had nothing in common, and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast of South Florida, where Scarpetta investigates a shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze. And it is there that she comes face to face with shocking evidence that implicates her techno genius niece, Lucy, Scarpetta’s own flesh and blood.

I have read nearly everything Patricia Cornwell has written. In the past two years when I was not reading for pleasure, I got behind reading her Kay Scarpetta series and decided it was time to catch up… so I had a binge of reading her last two books. As usual, I became Scarpetta as I read. I don’t always become a character when I read, but I always identify with one particular character. Each of the Kay Scarpetta books have transformed me into Kay when I read and this one was no exception as was the one to follow.

To preview and purchase Flesh and Blood follow the below link:



2. ​This fits none of the Reading Challenge Categories, but I read it in February.

Depraved HeartPatricia Cornwell delivers the newest engrossing thriller in her high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.
Depraved Heart: “Void of social duty and fatally bent on mischief.”
—Mayes v. People, 806 III. 306 (1883)
Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer genius niece Lucy. But how can it be? It’s clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago.
As Scarpetta watches she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece, whom she has loved and raised like a daughter. That film clip and then others sent soon after raise dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn. She doesn’t know whom she can tell—not her FBI husband Benton Wesley or her investigative partner Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.
In this new novel, Cornwell launches these unforgettable characters on an intensely psychological odyssey that includes the mysterious death of a Hollywood mogul’s daughter, aircraft wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in the back of a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta’s entire world and everyone she loves. The diabolical presence behind what unfolds seems obvious—but strangely, not to the FBI. Certainly that’s the message they send when they raid Lucy’s estate and begin building a case that could send her to prison for the rest of her life.
In the latest novel in her bestselling series featuring chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Cornwell will captivate readers with the shocking twists, high-wire tension, and cutting-edge forensic detail that she is famous for, proving yet again why she’s the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer.

I am in Scarpetta withdrawal waiting for the next book, but I feel satisfied in the catching up with this series. I will not comment more about either of these books in case you want to read for yourself — no spoilers!

To preview and purchase Depraved Heart follow the link below:



3. Another that doesn’t fit the challenge – at least not that I can determine.

Coal River

In this vibrant new historical novel, the acclaimed author of The Plum Tree and What She Left Behind explores one young woman’s determination to put an end to child labor in a Pennsylvania mining town. . .

As a child, Emma Malloy left isolated Coal River, Pennsylvania, vowing never to return. Now, orphaned and penniless at nineteen, she accepts a train ticket from her aunt and uncle and travels back to the rough-hewn community. Treated like a servant by her relatives, Emma works for free in the company store. There, miners and their impoverished families must pay inflated prices for food, clothing, and tools, while those who owe money are turned away to starve.

Most heartrending of all are the breaker boys Emma sees around the village–young children who toil all day sorting coal amid treacherous machinery. Their soot-stained faces remind Emma of the little brother she lost long ago, and she begins leaving stolen food on families’ doorsteps, and marking the miners’ bills as paid.

Though Emma’s actions draw ire from the mine owner and police captain, they lead to an alliance with a charismatic miner who offers to help her expose the truth. And as the lines blur between what is legal and what is just, Emma must risk everything to follow her conscience.

An emotional, compelling novel that rings with authenticity–Coal River is a deft and honest portrait of resilience in the face of hardship, and of the simple acts of courage that can change everything.

I read a review of this book and a new to me author online — not sure where — but the plight of breaker boys is something I want to know more about. The hardship of coal mining and what it did to people, their lives, and their communities is something I feel a need to read more about that period of history.

​She has other historical novels that I will be reading soon.

Preview and purchase Coal River by following the below link:



4. Another not on the category list, but I felt compelled to read it as well!

Mercy Snow

In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne’er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her–and the town–nothing but grief.

June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out-of-town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town’s past.

I picked this book up at my local dollar store. The cover drew me in and the jacket summary did as well. Tiffany Baker is a new to me author like the author of Coal River, but I will be looking for her other books.

Like mining towns and families, mill towns have similar issues. Both have created issues with ecology yet the backbone of our country was formed on these two industries. While Coal River is historical, Mercy Snow is more contemporary. Both have underlying currents of destroying the ecology of their areas at the same time being the economical foundations.

I am reading these two books at the same time which is something I frequently do. It is a bit interesting that they both came to me roughly at the same time and have far-reaching implications related to our country’s ecology and economy.

To preview and purchase Mercy Snow, follow the link below:


February is rapidly coming to an end. These two books will carry forward into March for me to complete reading them.

I am not sure what I will be reading in March, but I do have a couple of ideas that actually are on the Reading Challenge List!

Hopefully I can encourage people to start reading by sharing what I am reading this year!

Copyright © 2016 Annie Commentary
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie


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