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Uncommon Grounds by Sandra Balzo

(Maggie Thorsen, #1)

Independent Mystery Booksellers Association BestsellerRobert L. Fish Award-winning authorAnthony Award-nominated authorPatricia Harper is dead, killed by a hot-wired espresso machine in Uncommon Grounds, her very own gourmet coffee store! Maggy Thorsen wants to know who killed one of her partners. Maggy needs the store to succeed. Starting over after her divorce, she's quit her PR job to open the coffee store. And if things aren't already tough enough, she begins to suspect one of her friends is responsible for Patricia's murder. Maggy joins forces with Sarah Kingstown, Patricia's closest friend, to investigate her killing. Together, they uncover unsavory small-town politics, bribes, kickbacks, and rampant infidelity. Before she's through, Maggy's sense of right and wrong will be shaken to its foundations. For once in her life, she is forced to draw her own line in the sand, and be prepared to defend it.

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

(Hercule Poirot, #6)

A mysterious woman, a legendary cursed jewel, and a night train to the Mediterranean -- ingredients for the perfect romance or the perfect crime? When the train stops, the jewel is missing, and the woman is found dead in her compartment. It's the perfect mystery, filled with passion, greed, deceit. And Hercule Poirot is the perfect detective to solve it...

“You tell your lies and you think nobody knows. But there are two people who know. Yes- two people. One is le bon Dieu - and the other is Hercule Poirot.”

Seeds of Yesterday by V.C. Andrews

(Dollanganger, #4)

The final, haunting novel in the extraordinary story that has enthralled millions!

The horror began with Flowers in the Attic, the terrifying tale of four innocent children locked away from the world by a cruel mother.

The shocking fury continued with Petals on the Wind and If There Be Thorns. Now V.C. Andrews has created the last dark chapter in the strange, chilling tale of passion and peril that has captivated millions of readers around the world.

Cathy and Chris, entwined with the evil that haunts their children, living with the fearful spectre of Foxworth Hall, are awaiting the final, shuddering climax... prisoners of a past they cannot escape.

"I am caught between Heaven and Hell in a kind of purgatory where ghosts of the past roam the hallways at night."

Foxworth Hall has been built again.

I just finished a long-overdue re-read of the finale of the five-book Dollanganger saga. Yes, I'd forgotten most of it, with the exception of the oh-so-sad ending and the return to a manor that once terrified everyone in the series.

While Flowers in the Attic started the journey that destroyed four innocent young lives, the series continued to follow the mains Cathy and Chris who had to cling to each other for sanity and life long after they left the attic. The ending of the book was actually beautiful. It's demented and dark, but it's fitting to go back to where it all started.
Besides the dramatic but perfected finish, Seeds of Yesterday suffered from some of the same things 'If There by Thorns' did. While told only through Cathy's point of view again, thankfully getting rid of the shifting POVs of the boys from the previous book, it still focuses on truly unlikable characters.....Frankly Cathy's kids grew up to be annoying. Whiny, self-pitying, pathetic and in some cases evil messes. I get sticking around for the salvation of a son but it became unrealistic. Seriously, Bart is just too annoying, Melanie is one of the worst excuses for a woman ever, and Cindy's wailing made me want her to face a tragic ending of her own.

Andrews rocked with beginnings, endings, and shredding a reader's hearts to pieces, but she sometimes overplayed the already dramatic tone of the Gothic. This book particularly reads unrealistically when it comes to most of the dialogue. Also, I am definitely getting tired of looming, older men's presences in the house spoiling everyone's fun.
It's weaker in comparison to the rest of the series except 'If there Be Thorns', but it's still a Dollanganger sequel, which wins points on its own. The haunting vibe was still very much alive in the pages, and that ended - while bleak and leaving me feeling like I have some lead sitting in my chest - is in a strange way a beautiful wrap-up of a twisted family line.

"He's up there, whispering in the winds to tell me that's where the purple grass grows. They're all up there waiting for me."

   Book Quotes:

“That's the way all life's battles are won.. You don't look at the overall picture. You take one step, then another, and another... until you arrive at your destination.”

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