Dakota Diva Book Reviews


  • The Burning Girls  by C. J. Tudor
    MYSTERY , WOMEN'S FICTION / February 28, 2021

    I always grab C. J. Tudor's books. I loved the Chalk Man so much and always hope the author's latest effort will live up to the Chalk Man in elements of mystery and character. The Burning Girls is the story of Jack (yes, that's her name- Jack) and her daughter and their move to a small English village. A group of quirky, mean, and secretive characters greet Jack when she arrives and she quickly b....


  • The Priest  by Tiffany Reisz
    FICTION , WOMEN'S FICTION / March 29, 2020

    Three steps forward, two steps back. The Priest was on its way to be my favorite of Tiffany Reisz’s The Original Sinners series. The characters are starting anew in New Orleans after leaving New York City. The story opens with Soren gone, this is not unexpected to the regular reader, new readers might be puzzled. Nora has gained a dog and the pair seem to be thriving together, no small feat for a....


  • The Family Upstairs  by Lisa Jewell
    FICTION , WOMEN'S FICTION / March 02, 2020

    Things can really go off the rails in life! The Family Upstairs is a twisting tale of children caught in circumstance created by parents who seem lost and gullible. Enter in a man and women who take control of these lost parents and also the children.  As the reader swings back and forth between the chapters we are taken through the story by Libby, who has just inherited a huge house, then by Lucy....


  • The Peacock Emporium  by Jojo Moyes
    FICTION , WOMEN'S FICTION / February 05, 2020

    This was almost a DNF.  I found it somewhat slow. No, really slow. I know readers love her other novels, but based on this one I don't think I'm a fan. Save yourself and your time : read something else.


  • Once Upon A River  by Diane Setterfield
    FICTION , MYSTERY , WOMEN'S FICTION / January 14, 2019

    This book is fascinating. The type of book that you want to read a second time. Like a river there are so many bends and runs, so many facets. This is a "story of stories" with family love at the center of three distinct families and their potential relationship with a mute girl who turns up in a small town. The characters of the novel are somewhat simple people. Some more or less educated than ot....


  • The Miniaturist  by Jessie Burton
    HISTORICAL FICTION , WOMEN'S FICTION / April 14, 2018

    Recently I noticed a librarian had propped up The Miniaturist on her desk, it sat with a little sign that said, "Ask me about his book." When I did, she smiled and said that it was a great read and that I should add it to my TBR list, and then be sure to read it as soon as possible. Of course my TBR list is long, so it took me awhile to get to it, but I have to say it was fascinating. The story be....


  • Summer Hours at the Robbers Library  by Sue Halpern
    WOMEN'S FICTION , AUDIO BOOK / April 05, 2018

    I admit it, I couldn't resist. Summer Hours at the Robbers Library just had to be read, or rather listened to, as I downloaded the audio cd to help me get through some miles on my treadmill. Cute and simple on the surface, only to reveal deeper issues as the story progresses, it is the story of Sunny, a teenage girl who is doing community service at the local library where she meets Kit, a quiet l....


  • The Chalk Man  by C.J. Tudor
    FICTION , MYSTERY , WOMEN'S FICTION / February 21, 2018

    Years ago a girl was brutally murdered, dismembered, and her head placed in a backpack for unknown reasons. What the reader does know, is that the crime, although solved, is really probably unsolved. That is the beginning of The Chalk Man by new author C.J. Tudor. The novel uses a familiar pattern of past and present to engross the reader in the youth of Ed and his childhood buddies and Ed as a mi....


  • After Anna  by Lisa Scottoline
    FICTION , WOMEN'S FICTION , ADVANCE READING COPY / February 19, 2018

    After Anna is the latest novel from Lisa Scottoline.  The story is about how Maggie is suddenly reunited with her daughter, Anna. It was years before that Maggie was declared an unfit mother, but now Maggie has the chance to be in the life of the daughter she has always loved. Things go bad almost immediately, and Anna is murdered. Wow, right? Maggie is crushed, no, she's beyond crushed, when her ....


  • The Jane Austen Project  by Kathleen A. Flynn
    FICTION , SCI-FI / FANTASY , HISTORICAL FICTION , WOMEN'S FICTION / January 25, 2018

    This book started slow, but ended up being both sweet and philosophical. A team of time travelers are sent to see if they can meet Jane Austen. They are assigned to befriend her and to locate a manuscript that is thought to be lost.  Of course the directive to alter history as little as possible and the social customs of 19th century England made this somewhat difficult.  Overall I am glad I stuck....