Book review: The Girl Behind the Wall

The Girl Behind the Wall

The Girl Behind the Wall:
Edgar Allan Poe, the Girl and the Mysterious Raven Murders
by Bruce Wetterau
382 pages
Historical mystery


Buy the book

Words And Peace is ten years old. Among other things, it means I receive a lot of review copy offers every week. And I say no to probably 99%. When I saw the subtitle of the book Bruce Wetterau was offering me, I paid more attention. Once I had read the synopsis, I was hooked. And I am so so happy I said yes to The Girl Behind the Wall: Edgar Allan Poe, the Girl and the Mysterious Raven Murders. Click to continue reading

2019: November wrap-up


📚 It’s really unusual for me, but I had a rather meh reading month, as for quantity and content. Actually, I tend to read more slowly when the books are not that great.
But I listened to a lot of audiobook content!

📚 AND I have so far already read more books than my yearly goal of 100 books. So it’s not all that bad.

📚 PLUS, November saw my 5,000th follower! As promised, I sent a book to the lucky new follower (Shalini at Shalini’s Books & Reviews – please go and visit her). That ended up being quite an adventure. I talked about it here.
I promised another giveaway for all my current followers, I will post it in a few days.

📚 I actually did read/browse some gorgeous books published by Rockridge Press and received through The Callisto Publisher’s Club, but as they are mostly cookbooks and children activity books, I do not count them in my statistics.
Some bloggers disagree with that. I don’t mind what other bloggers do, I personally only count books what I really read from A to Z, no word skipped.

📚 Thankfully, it was #Nonficnov, so I visited lots of blogs featuring fascinating nonfiction titles.

📚 And I’m currently reading 2 great books – come back tomorrow to know more about them!

So here are the few titles I read in November:

6 books:
3 in print 
with 862 pages, an average of 28 pages/day
3 in audio
= 25H10
, an average of 50 minutes

5 in mystery:

  1. Scare Me, by Richard Jay Parker – free ebook won in a giveaway
  2. Sharko, by Franck Thilliez – French audiobook
  3. The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe – audio, for The Classics Club
  4. A Noël Killing, by M.L. Longworth – received for review for Criminal Element
  5. The Mystery of the Hansom Cab, by Fergus Hume – audio, for The Classics Club

1 in nonfiction:

  1. Tom Brown’s Guide to Healing the Earth, by Tom Brown – free book won in a giveaway


  My Preschool WorkbookSad, but none of the books I completely read is worth being featured as a favorite. Let me tell you a few words about the ones I have not reviewed.

The Masque of the Red Death
I listened to this short story by Edgar Allan Poe for The Classics Club.
I was actually rather disappointed by it. I didn’t think there was much to it, probably because of the short story format. I even listened to an analysis of it, that was actually longer than the book itself, to be sure I had not missed something major. I didn’t even find suspense in it, as the end was obvious from the get go.

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab
And I listened to this one also for The Classics Club. I was really curious, as the author lived for a long time in New Zealand.
I was also rather disappointed. Even though it’s only 260 pages, I felt it was dragging for the resolution of the mystery. However, it was interesting to read about Melbourne in the 1880s. “A man is found dead in a hansom cab, and one of Melbourne’s leading citizens is accused of the murder. He pleads his innocence, yet refuses to give an alibi.” The reason why was also quite clear from the beginning.
I wanted to try this author, who supposedly really influenced Conan Doyle, but I don’t think I’ll read more by him.

A Noël Killing
If you want to try a Christmas mystery with a Provence setting, you may find A Noël Killing enjoyable. It was too slow for me, and as I notice the same criticism applied by other readers to the first book in this series, I don’t think I’ll stay in the company of Verlaque and Bonnet. It also contained inexact details about the region.
This is an excerpt of my review that will be published on Criminal Element mid December.


Classics Club: 6/50 (until September 2024)
2019 Calendar of Crime Challenge 20/12?
Where Are You Reading?: 21/50 – to be finished in ??
Total of books read in 2019 = 104/100 – FINISHED
Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 26


Guide to Healing the Earth  My Preschool Workbook Healing with Apple Cider Vinegar Feng Shui


The open giveaways are on my homepage


click on the cover to access my review (2013!)


Nonfiction 2019 Book Pairings


The Mommy Island
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Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Karen at Booker Talk
Silvia at Silvia Cachia


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Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in December.

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How was YOUR month of November?


Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!


WWW Wednesday November 13, 2019

  WWW Wednesdays 2

 WWW Wednesdays

I prepared a whole video, and then, for whatever reason, I discovered that the audio and visual were not in sync, so here is a traditional post!


click on the covers to know more about them


Scare Me


The Parables


A Monks guide

Scare Me:
Probably one of the most scary books I have ever read, with some horrific scenes. Endeavour Media, where I got it for free for signing up to their newsletter, presents it as psychological mystery, It’s that too, but I would first classify it as horror.
I have to admit it was well written and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time, though I guessed early who was behind it all.
I only would give it 3 stars, just because horror is really not my thing, and I think some overdone details could have been avoided.

““When did you last google yourself, Mr Frost?”
Will Frost, successful businessman and happy family man, is woken to a disturbing midnight caller who asks him just that question.
Unnerved, but hoping that he was simply a victim of a twisted prank caller, he goes back to sleep in readiness for his pregnant daughter, Libby, and her boyfriend’s arrival at Gatwick the next morning.
When Will goes online, he finds a website has been set up in his name, showing photographs of the inside of his home, along with photographs of six houses he’s never seen before.
In the first of these strange houses, a gruesome murder has already taken place.
Will is then told that his own family is in mortal danger.
The only way he can keep them safe is to visit each of the houses on the website in person – before the police discover what has happened there.
Seven houses.
Seven gruesome homicides.
Seven chances to save his daughter’s life…”

To counterbalance, I read two very deep and thoughtful books:
The Parables
I will soon review it on my Orthodox blog. I hadn’t read any book by this author, and it’s really excellent, easy yet deep commentary on Scripture. The author wrote several volumes.

A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind
I’m not Buddhist, but I found this little book so good. It’s written by a Buddhist monk, and gives practical and easy ideas to clean things. I really enjoyed all the parallels between cleaning things where you live, and the impact on your inner life, as long as you do things in awareness, living in the present moment – definitely Christian concepts as well, alas often forgotten in the way many Christians live in our Western world.
The richness of Orthodoxy is that it kept this early Christian wisdom alive today.



Guide to Healing the Earth





Tom Brown’s Guide to Healing the Earth:
Won in a giveaway organized by Penguin Random House
It’s good, inspired by Native American spirituality. I’m about half done, but so far I’m a bit disappointed, because I was expecting some more practical ideas to help me do more than I already do – based on the title of the book.

Received for review through Netgalley
I had thoroughly enjoyed the first 3 books in this series on Giordano Bruno, a fascinating figure. Then this volume 4 was announced several years ago, but didn’t seem available. So glad it’s finally coming out in December, and I have been enjoying its first chapters.

Another scary one, by a French author I had yet to discover.
The main idea of the plot is great: Lucie privately wants to investigate a case her dead uncle had been working on. She goes to the house of a guy, without telling her colleague cops, and ends up killing him (Ramirez) in self-defense. So Franck, Lucie’s husband and also a cop, goes to mask the crime scene to make it look worse and to send his police department on another track.
I’ve really been enjoying the suspense, and I am learning a lot (on all kinds of scientific, historical, and legendary details related to blood!), but what that horrible Ramirez was into is really horrific and chilling.
Not available in English



A Noel Killling


If You Cross the River


The Masque of the red death

A Noël Killing
Received for review 
“Christmastime in the south of France is as beautiful as ever, but when a shady local businessman drops dead in the middle of the festivities, Verlaque and Bonnet must solve the case while keeping the holiday spirit alive.
Antoine Verlaque, examining magistrate for the beautiful town of Aix-en-Provence, doesn’t like Christmas. The decorations appear in the shops far too early, festive tourists swarm the streets, and his beloved Cours Mirabeau is lined with chalets selling what he regards as tacky trinkets. But his wife and partner Marine Bonnet is determined to make this a Christmas they can both enjoy, beginning with the carol sing at the Cathedral Saint Sauveur, a beautiful service in a packed church.
Just as the holiday cheer is in full swing, a man is poisoned, sending the community into a tailspin. The list of suspects, Verlaque and Bonnet quickly discover, almost fills the church itself, from the visiting vendors at the Christmas fair to the victim’s unhappy wife and his disgruntled business partner. In A Noël Killing, with the help of an ever-watchful young woman named France, the pair must solve the murder while the spirit of the season attempts to warm Verlaque’s stubborn heart.”

If You Cross the River
Received for review through Edelweiss
From celebrated Belgian author Geneviève Damas, a modern fable about friendship, self-determination, and the power of words.
Illiterate, isolated, and held at arm’s length by a bitter father, François Sorrente has spent his seventeen years within narrow confines. By day he tends the family farm’s pigs; by night he manages the household chores. Still, François can’t help but wonder about the wider world and his place in it. Who was his mother, who he remembers not at all? And why is the opposite shore of the river, where his beloved older sister disappeared many years ago, forbidden to him?

The Masque of the Red Death
Short story, For The Classics Club
“The story follows Prince Prospero’s attempts to avoid a dangerous plague known as the Red Death by hiding in his abbey. He, along with many other wealthy nobles, has a masquerade ball within seven rooms of his abbey, each decorated with a different color.
In the midst of their revelry, a mysterious figure disguised as a Red Death victim enters and makes his way through each of the rooms.
The story follows many traditions of Gothic fiction and is often analyzed as an allegory about the inevitability of death, though some critics advise against an allegorical reading. Many different interpretations have been presented, as well as attempts to identify the true nature of the titular disease.”


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And I have books available for swap!