Mini-Reviews: Butterfly Palace


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Title: Butterfly Palace

Author: Colleen Coble

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Lilly Donnelly arrives at the Cutlers’ famed Butterfly Mansion in 1899, the massive house and unfamiliar duties threaten to overwhelm her. Victorian Austin is lavish, highly political, and intimidating, but with the help of the other servants, Lilly resolves to prove herself to her new employers.

Then, while serving at an elegant dinner party, Lilly recognizes one distinguished guest as Andrew, the love of her life, who abandoned her without a word back home. He seems to have assumed a new identity and refuses to acknowledge her, leaving her confused and reeling.

Before Lilly can absorb this unwelcome news, she’s attacked. Could it be the sinister Servant Girl Killer who has been terrorizing Austin? Or is it someone after something more personal–someone from her past?

Does she dare trust Andrew to help or is he part of the danger threatening to draw Lilly into its vortex?

I hate to say it, but this book wasn’t my cup of tea. The characters act strangely and not suitable to their station. Lilly is your typical Mary Sue, and everyone seems to like her. The snobby characters act too snobby and the character’s personalities aren’t consistent. I did like the mystery part though, but the characcters made this a not-so-pleasant read for me.

Title: What She Left

Author: T.R. Richmond

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Rating: DNF

Purchase: Amazon

Gone doesn’t mean forgotten.

When Alice Salmon died last year, the ripples were felt in the news, on the internet, and in the hearts of those who knew her best.

But the person who knows her most intimately isn’t family or a friend. Dr Jeremy Cook is an academic whose life has become about piecing together Alice’s existence in all its flawed and truthful reality.

For Cooke, faithfully recreating Alice’s life – through her diaries, emails and anything using her voice – is all-consuming. He does not know how deep his search will take him, or the shocking nature of what he will uncover…

What She Left had such an interesting premise. A story told from an unique POV, adding in flashbacks through which Dr. Jeremy Cooke recreates Alice’s life…it could’ve worked so wonderfully. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work at all. The story drags on, the characters are impossible to connect to and Jeremy is just plain creepy. I couldn’t finish the book, and had to finish at about 30%. Apparently this book seems a hit or miss to reviews in general and for me, it was a miss.

Title: The Winter Foundlings

Author: Kate Rhodes

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Psychologist Alice Quentin has been looking forward to a break from her hectic London life. She has vowed to stay clear of police work. The previous cases she helped the police with have left her scarred. So, when Alice is given the rare opportunity to study treatment methods at Northwood high-security hospital outside of London, she is eager to get to work.

But then a young girl is discovered, dressed all in white, on the steps of the Foundling Museum. Four girls have recently gone missing in North London–this is the third to be found, dead. The fourth may still be alive, and Alice Quentin may be able to help. Britain’s most prolific child killer, Louis Kinsella, has been locked up in Northwood for over a decade. Yet, these recent kidnappings and murders are clearly connected to Kinsella’s earlier crimes. It seems that someone is continuing where he left off. So, when Detective Don Burns comes asking for Alice’s help, how can she refuse? Alice will do anything to help save a child–even if that means forming a relationship with a charismatic, ruthless murderer. But Kinsella is slow to give away his secrets, and time is running out for the latest kidnap victim, who is simply trying to survive. In her quest to save a life, Alice finds she has put her own life on the line.

The Winter Foundling is Kate Rhode’s exciting thriller featuring Alice Quentin following Crossbones Yard and A Killing of Angels

I’m amazed I haven’t heard more about this author before because her book is pretty amazing.The Winter Foundling offers an interesting setting (a psychiatric hospital), where Britian’s most prolific child killer is locked up, an engaging main character who is a psychologist (rather than the usual detective) and a plot that is fast-paced and ruthless. A gripping thriller that I’d recommend to all thriller fans.

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