Dakota Diva Book Reviews


  • 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....


  • Dear Fahrenheit 451  by Annie Spence
    NON-FICTION / April 08, 2018

    Some titles just say "read me," so I do. Dear Fahrenheit 451, a non-fiction book by Annie Spence, is one librarian's collection of thoughts on books from Frog and Toad Storybook Treasure (love me some Frog and Toad) to The Hobbit (never read it), The Crucible (endured it in my 9th grade literature class) to the Harlequin Romance Novel section (no judgment from me, I've read them.) Written in short....


  • 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 Best of Adam Sharp  by Graeme Simsion
    FICTION / March 28, 2018

    This author has stories and a writing style that speak to me. Graeme Simsion's The Best of Adam Sharp kept me turning page after page. I am still reflecting on it now. There are questions posed and insight given- i.e. how significant others interact, or don't, whether marriages are able to withstand infidelity, whether lost love should stay lost, and will one person sacrifice for another? All of t....


  • The Advice Column Murders  by Leslie Nagel
    MYSTERY , ADVANCE READING COPY / March 07, 2018

    After talking about the subgenre "cozy mystery" with a co-worker I got curious and decided I had to read one.  So when The Advice Column Murders by Leslie Nagel came to my attention as an Advance Reading Copy I requested it immediately.  And I wasn't disappointed.  I feel it was a great introduction to the format of crime fiction with less emphasis on sex, violence, and gore. Charley Carpenter is ....


  • 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 ....


  • What the Dead Leave Behind  by David Housewright
    FICTION , NON-FICTION / February 09, 2018

    The fact that author David Housewright is living somewhat locally, in relation to me, is what originally caught my eye about this novel. In fact, the cover art of What the Dead Leave Behind depicts a park that is somewhat of a local landmark.  The book starts off quick, with retired police officer McKenzie being asked to investigate an unsolved murder.  Which, of course, he does. As readers we fol....


  • 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....


  • Let Me Lie  by Clare Mackintosh
    FICTION , MYSTERY , ADVANCE READING COPY , RECOMMENDED FOR BOOK CLUBS / January 16, 2018

    Anne is a young mother who has lived through the suicide of both her parents. Then she receives a note making her think it wasn't suicide at all. Were her parents really murdered? This book has many twists and turns, great secondary characters, and a plot that picks up speed as it goes, making it hard to put down. My only complaint is a bit of a glum final wrap up for the characters. Otherwise thi....