Buttonholed Book Reviews


companionably invites you to these Tours & Spotlight readings:

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 The Wicked Girls


Alex Marwood

On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two eleven-year-old girls meet for the first time.  By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder.

Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon.  For Kirsty and Amber, it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since that dark day so many years ago.

Now with new, vastly different lives—and unknowing families to protect—will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?

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My review  -  The Wicked Girls

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The Girls Are Gone


Michael Brodkorb  &  Allison Mann

“The Girls Are Gone” tells the true story of two sisters who went missing, the father who kept searching, and the adults who conspired to keep the truth hidden.

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On the evening of April 19, 2013, Samantha and Gianna Rucki disappeared. Two of five children born to David Rucki and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, the teenage sisters vanished in the midst of their parents divorce.

The girls father, David Rucki, worked tirelessly with law enforcement to search day and night for his two missing daughters, following every lead while raising three remaining children at home. Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, used her newfound freedom to vacation around the world, abandoning her children. And as the investigation intensified, catching the attention of the media, Sandra also disappeared.

On November 18, 2015 – 944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement.

Criminal charges were filed against four people, including the girls’ mother, for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. “The Girls Are Gone” chronicles key events during the criminal trials of the people who were later convicted or pleaded guilty for their involvement in this heinous crime. The book examines the other adults who aided in the conspiracy to hide the truth and the Rucki sisters.

 To learn more, go to

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 Salt to the Sea


Ruta Sepetys

For readers of Between Shades of Gray and All the Light We Cannot See, Ruta Sepetys returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloffthe greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity and love can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

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 More Died On This WWII Ship Than On The Titanic And Lusitania Combined

This paperback edition includes book club questions and exclusive interviews with Wilhelm Gustloff survivors and experts.

Click here

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The Iron Line


L. M. Merrington

“There’s a ghost train that runs along here at night. They say it carries the souls of those bound for hell.”

Jane Adams is only twenty-three, but she’s already a widow.  A daughter of the railway, after her husband’s death she takes a job as a level crossing gatekeeper in the little town of Tungold, out at the end of the line.  But all is not right in Tungold.  The townspeople are frosty and unwelcoming, and Jane’s only ally is the new young police constable, Alec Ward, an outsider just like her.

When a railway official is murdered, Jane and Alec become determined to get to the bottom of the town’s secrets.  Who killed Brian Mathieson?  And what is behind the mysterious ghost train?  But Jane is also hiding a secret of her own — one that will put her life and everything she cares about on the line.

My review

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L. M. Merrington

L.M. Merrington is an Australian author, freelance writer and consultant.  Her books include two Gothic mysteries, Greythorne and The Iron Line, and a non-fiction communications handbook, Communications for Volunteers: Low-Cost Strategies for Community Groups.  She is fascinated by the Victorian era and particularly enjoys writing Gothic stories and steampunk.

Join Ms. Merrington's mailing list on her site & receive a free short story, Reset.
You'll also get access to exclusive behind-the-scenes content, first-look book excerpts and more.

For those book clubbers, over on Ms. Merrington's site

Free Book Club & Teaching Notes – Greythorne

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Poison by Punctuation


Kelley Kaye

High school teacher Emma Lovett is finally recovering from her first year of teaching when she discovers another dead body.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, this time, someone has killed a student, Kisten Hollis.

Emma and her best friend, Leslie, are desperate to solve this murder.  But suspects abound.  The perpetrator could be a teacher, an administrator, a member of Kisten’s zealous church community, or even another student.

Emma must juggle her teaching responsibilities, her new romance with handsome Hunter Wells, and interest from a hunky second suitor, all while searching for evidence to bring a killer to justice before someone else dies.

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Death by Diploma

Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.

Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest.

As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.

Here's my review of  Death by Diploma

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Give Kelley a shout ~

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Kelley's Site

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The Predator: Hunters And Hunted Official Movie Prequel


James A. Moore


The official prequel leading directly into THE PREDATOR, available the film and introducing key concepts that then will explode onto the screen in the movie.

For centuries Earth has been visited by warlike creatures that stalk mankind's finest warriors.  Their goals unknown, these deadly hunters kill their prey and depart as invisibly as they arrived, leaving no trace other than a trail of bodies.

When Roger Elliott faced such a creature during the Vietnam War, he didn't expect to survive.  Nor did he expect that, decades later, he would train the Reavers, a clandestine strike force attached to Project Stargazer.  Their mission: to capture one of the creatures, thus proving its existence, disassembling its tech, and balancing the odds between the HUNTERS AND HUNTED.

The Predator, Alien, and Aliens TM & © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

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The Myth of Perpetual Summer


Susan Crandall

From the national bestselling author of Whistling Past the Graveyard (2013) comes a moving coming-of-age tale set in the tumultuous sixties that harkens to both Ordinary Grace and The Secret Life of Bees.

Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life.  She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders.

If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost.  When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California.  The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again.  There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.

Read my review of  Whistling Past the Graveyard (2013)

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Alone …

For the first time in her life, Allie Prescott is alone.  She’s left her husband, Jack, and moved out of their comfortable home.  Now she’s living in a small second-floor apartment in a not-so-nice part of town and working as a waitress in a downtown restaurant.  She’s struggling to figure out what she wants to do with the next stage of her life.

As much as Allie wants to be alone, what she doesn’t know is that even when she’s in her apartment … especially late at night … she is not alone.

She is never alone.

Unseen eyes are watching her.  Pale, ghostly shapes slip in and out of view.  Faint, whispering voices tease her in the darkness.

The spirits who haunt her apartment have been there for a very long time … alone and waiting.
Now they’re beginning to manifest themselves because they know — and Allie will soon learn — that they have been waiting for her and her life will never be the same …

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Haverhill House Publishing
and our imprints are committed to delivering the very best titles to our readers and we are therefore thrilled to announce the following forthcoming projects:

Strangewood and The Ferryman by Christopher Golden
Published by Haverhill House Publishing
Debuting at StokerCon 2018

The Moore House by Tony Tremblay
Hardcover and Digital Editions (with Paperback to follow) published by Twisted Publishing
Coming July 2018

Twisted Book of Shadows
Edited by Christopher Golden and James A. Moore
Published by Twisted Publishing

Cyclops Road by Jeff Strand
Published by Twisted Publishing
* "Not written in stone, yet, but the publisher is determined."

The Ocean Dark by Chris Golden
Published by Haverhill House Publishing

Haunted Haverhill
A five-book series published by Haverhill House Publishing

Whittier Than Thou
A humorous anthology to support the John Greenleaf Whittier Museum in Haverhill, MA
Published by Haverhill House Publishing

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Deep Zero
 (A Dana Hargrove Legal Mystery)


V. S. Kemanis

It's one a.m. Do you know where your teenagers are? Prosecutor Dana Hargrove makes it a point to know. But one night, in the dead of winter, she should have known more.

In February 2009, Dana is the newly-elected district attorney of a suburban county north of Manhattan, where she lives with her husband, attorney Evan Goodhue, and their two teenage children.  The Great Recession has seen a rise in substance abuse and domestic violence.  It's also the era of burgeoning social media, an intoxicating lure for wayward and disaffected teens who find new methods of victimization: a game to some, with no thought of the consequences.

During an arctic cold snap, the body of a high school student is discovered, lodged in the ice floes of the Hudson River.  People are crying for justice, but there doesn't seem to be a law that fits.  Days later, in one hellish night, Dana's children are sucked into a criminal investigation against several of their classmates, making her a convenient target for community outrage.

In Deep Zero, the fourth standalone legal mystery featuring the dynamic prosecutor, Dana walks the tightrope like never before in her tricky balance between professional ethics and family loyalties.

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Recycled Love


George Henry

 A dream journey across India turns into a nightmare for Dan Palmer when escaping from a dangerous past he encounters murderers, cops, drug traffickers, a vengeful woman and the future president of the United States. Falling in love with Charlie, a young and oddly behaved American woman traveling with her aunt and cousin forces him into a life-changing decision—for both him and Charlie.

Escaping from a dangerous past that’s catching up with him, Dan Palmer hides in a tour group in Mumbai for a trip across India to see the massive fortresses of Rajisthan, the red palaces of Akbar the Great, the Taj Mahal, the holy city of Varanasi, Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini and the living goddess in Kathmandu.

The journey of a lifetime turns into a nightmare when he runs afoul of murderers plotting a kidnapping, a cop chasing a drug trafficker, an Indian detective’s amorous attentions, a vengeful woman and the machinations of the future president of the United States.

When he falls in love with Charlie, a young and oddly behaved American woman traveling with her aunt and cousin, he has a life-changing decision to make: should he grasp his last chance at love when it may break Charlie’s heart?

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