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An Inquiry Into Love and Death
An Inquiry Into Love and Death | Simone St. James
144 posts | 54 read | 64 to read
Oxford student Jillian arrives to settle the affairs of her uncle, a ghost hunter who died under mysterious circumstances, and becomes convinced that a ghost is telling her that her uncle was murdered, as a handsome Scotland Yard inspector arrives to help her.
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Eggs Pretty 🖤🧣👓 2w
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Soubhiville This is a great photo! That place definitely looks like it has ghost potential! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Soubhiville thank you!! This old house is on my dad‘s land and has been there for over 100 years!! I agree! Definitely ghost potential! 👻🖤 2mo
AmyG Yes…great photo. That makes me wonder who lived there and what life was like back then. (edited) 2mo
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @AmyG I can find out!! 2mo
AmyG Let me know. I am always so fascinated by old houses…what went on there. (edited) 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @AmyG I will ❤️ 2mo
Eggs Beautiful photo and great author💙📚🖤 2mo
SusanLee Love the photo 😘 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @SusanLee thank you!! 💗 2mo
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Flew through this one! Decided October was the perfect time for some ghosty stories, and this one fit the bill for sure! A fabulously independent and intelligent heroine, a swoony police inspector, a resident ghost, family secrets, a coastal English town, and murder mysteries to boot! Loved it!

AmyG I really enjoyed this one, too. 2mo
CBee @AmyG I checked out The Haunting of Maddy Clare from the library as well, will probably start it next! Just in the mood for ghost stories I think 👻 2mo
kspenmoll This was so enjoyable as all her books are for me! 2mo
CBee @kspenmoll have you seen that she has a new one coming out next year? (edited) 2mo
kspenmoll @CBee I had no idea! Thanks! 2mo
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Thanks for the tag @hannah-leeloo

I don't have outdoor space at home, so indoors it is near a window.

Am I? Don't ask me how I do it! #sundaybuddyread #booked2021 #pop21 #thatsclassic #foodandlit #bookspinbingo #authoramonth #FairyTaleReadingChallenge and maybe #education21 & #YApril

Care to play? @AlysonCE @Apostcardlife @peanutnine

#thoughtfulthursday @moonwitch94

MoonWitch94 Thanks for playing 😊💗💐📚 8mo
Apostcardlife Haha that first question "in the spring" feels leading! ? I do mostly read indoors and, hadn't thought about it, but mostly at night, but I did just recently put a little table out on my patio & have been wanting to make it a special little "Me" place out there so, who knows! Second, no photo or book challenges for this month... so far! But plenty of reading, nonetheless. ? 8mo
Apostcardlife Also thanks for the tag! 💗 8mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick @Apostcardlife I think you're now obligated to occasionally read on the patio to make up for those of us living the suburban downtown apartment life who don't have patios. 🤣 Thanks for playing along! 8mo
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Inquiry Into Love and Death | Simone St James

My March #bookspin did not disappoint! I‘m a Simone St. James fan, and have enjoyed discovering her earlier titles and strong, independent female leads. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Catching up on reviews from the end of January...

I can‘t say I loved this one as much as the rest of the #SundayBuddyRead crew, but I did still like it a lot. Loved the moody setting and 1920s time period. There were parts that were kind of boring, and I zoned out in the audiobook narration, but the plot was still interesting for the most part. I think the romance worked better with the more ambiguous ending before the epilogue. 3 ⭐️

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Damn it feels good to finally have another 5-star read! This book has everything: mystery, ghosts, strong female lead, a potential love interest, a picturesque English village, and a cozy cottage of you don't mind a ghost potentially being your roommate. (/end of my Stefon impression) This book kept me guessing and gave me just enough to let my imagination run a little wild. I wanted maybe a little more at the end, but that's just nitpicky.

TheBookHippie This one I enjoyed thoroughly !! 10mo
kspenmoll This was wonderful!!! 10mo
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AmyG I loved it. I am reading Queenie now and it makes me miss this book. 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick @AmyG I've seen lots of differing reviews of Queenie. Hopefully it'll at least give us a good discussion. I'll start it Friday or Saturday. 10mo
BiblioLitten @AmyG I almost bailed on Queenie, and wasn‘t sure if I liked the character. She grew on me though and I ended up feeling happy for her. 10mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 10mo
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I am officially a fan of Ms. St. James. This one had a wonderful, sometimes creepy sleepy quiet historical town as its setting. A town with a ghost. Jillian leaves Oxford to come here after the death of her uncle. She stays to unravel the mysteries of the town, her uncle's death, and the ghosts that seem so present.

#sundaybuddyread @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @TheBookHippie

TheBookHippie 🤍🤍🤍welcome to the club! 10mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 📚❤️ 10mo
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10 of 2021. This is my second book by Simone St. James. This book had intrigue, suspense and plenty of twists and turns to keep me engaged in the story. I loved Jillian. Such a strong intelligent woman. Glad I joined the #sundaybuddyread to read this book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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I thank #sundaybuddyread for introducing me to Simone St. James with The Sun Down Motel. This is the 2nd of her books I‘ve read & enjoyed. She writes a good gothic-leaning mystery. I loved the history, ghostly & romantic elements she wove together for a story that kept me wanting to find out what happened from beginning to end. Jillian, our MC is brave, smart & easy to root for & I liked the many turns the story took. Good stormy day/night read.🌫

AmyG This was my second of hers, too. I really enjoyed it! 10mo
Karisa Ha! I didn't realize both books had the same author until I read your post!🤦‍♀️ They felt completely different to me (probably due to time periods) but I liked them both so much! 10mo
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I thank you so much for joining in this month.

We visit Simone again TWICE later in the year!

We are OFF NEXT WEEK and our FIRST discussion of our new book starts February 7.

Librarybelle Loved this book, and I‘m so excited about next month‘s selection! 10mo
AmyG Where‘s Bernie? 😫😫😫 Ha...I really enjoyed this book. I flew through each section to find out answers. My kind of read. Thank you, C!!! 😘 (edited) 10mo
mollyrotondo Such an excellent read! I cannot wait for our other St James picks! And can‘t wait to discuss the next book! 10mo
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DebinHawaii Thank you for hosting and the great discussion. An excellent pick! I have Queenie coming in on library hold this week—it‘s in transit. 🤗 10mo
TheBookHippie @DebinHawaii yay we don‘t meet til February 7 so plenty time 📙🧡 10mo
kspenmoll I am starting backwards. Sorry to miss the discussion - will read thread & comment as I can. 10mo
kspenmoll Just loved this book though- the characters, the eerie misty mystical atmosphere. WWI angles, code books, ghosts, her family secret. 10mo
Sargar114 Lol @AmyG !!!! I love these Sundays!!! I already have the ebook for next months book on hold ready to thaw out to start next Sunday!!! 10mo
TheBookHippie @Sargar114 I love these Sundays as well!!! 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick The ending might have lacked a bit of a twist I was hoping for, but I think this is still a 5-star read for me. It kept me guessing and gave me lots to ponder. Hey, 50% of my wild theories were correct and if I was a baseball player, that is a great average! 😂 I enjoyed the discussions on this one, even if we weren't divided on our views for most of it. I've seen differing reviews of Queenie, so I'm curious to see how that one goes. 10mo
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Huge fears death by fire and water -Jillian almost died from BOTH! Which is worse 😬???

Random thought while reading!!!

Librarybelle I think either one would be equally horrific 10mo
AmyG Fire, to me is worse. Not that I would know. 🤣 Though, now that I think of it....is fire better as you pass out from all thesmoke first, so maybe don‘t feel being burned? I prefer to die in my sleep, please. (edited) 10mo
TheBookHippie @AmyG same 😩 10mo
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mollyrotondo Uhh I don‘t even want to think about it 10mo
DebinHawaii Yeah, that‘s a tough one to choose. 😱 Both are truly awful. 10mo
vlwelser Death itself seems like it might be pretty unpleasant. Maybe fire would be worse. 10mo
BookwormAHN I would think fire would be worse especially if the smoke doesn't get you first. I always think of those poor souls who were burned as witches. I think that sounds like the most horrific death. 10mo
kspenmoll I have a horror about both but water by drowning the worst- maybe because I sawn in ocean & pools at such an early age, drowning seemed more of a real possibility. Also, my brother used to grab my leg & yank me under the sea- 10mo
Sargar114 Yeah...this is terrible and I can‘t imagine she‘ll ever be the same after!!! I‘m going with fire being worse but agree it all sounds terrible 10mo
rjsthumbelina Both seemed terrible! She seemed to suffer more in the scene with the fire, but that may have been bc she was alone 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Both sounds terrible! Can I be licked to death by puppies, please? I think the fire might be a bit worse, as it has potential to get you while you're still fully conscious. I think I might pass out from lack of oxygen before I actually die. Maybe. I haven't experience either and I'm perfectly happy to remain in the dark on this topic, thank you very much. 10mo
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How did you like the authors final note ?

If you‘ve read Simone before how does this book compare?


Librarybelle I appreciated that she took some footnotes in history that are not often discussed - smuggling, etc - and created a story. 10mo
AmyG I like to learn from what I read. And I like that she took a tiny piece of history, unknown to probably most, and wove it into her story. This book was very different than The Sun Down Motel....which is a good thing. Who wants to read the same formula over and over. Though both had ghosts! (edited) 10mo
TheBookHippie @Librarybelle I did too. Made me want to read more WWI history and between the wars other than just Hitler who at this time was on a quick roll to power, no one was paying close enough attention to it. 10mo
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TheBookHippie @AmyG I‘m interested to read the next ones so far all three I‘ve read of hers were different. Broken Girls still my favorite . 10mo
mollyrotondo I loved her note. I love when an author takes a small part of history and asks what if it went like this. Even though the Nazis never got their hands on an English code book it was a strong possibility that it could have happened. 10mo
TheBookHippie @mollyrotondo I like how she writes stories and tells us snippets about back story. 10mo
DebinHawaii I love the historical element & it has me also wanting to read more between-the-wars books. I always judge my historical fiction on how much it makes me want to do additional research or read more on the subject & she did that for me. I have only read The Sun Down Motel although I have Broken Girls on my Kindle & need to start it. I‘m looking forward to reading more of her work. 🤗 10mo
TheBookHippie @DebinHawaii Broken Girls was my favorite to date. I could relate to a lot of it 🤣😩😝 10mo
vlwelser The Broken Girls was really good and I really liked the Sun Down Motel. Ultimately, this book didn't live up to those other two, in my opinion. But I definitely still liked it. I'm also still looking forward to reading the other 2. 10mo
BookwormAHN So far I've really enjoyed all of St. James' books. 10mo
kspenmoll I really enjoyed this book- like @DebinHawaii I loved the historical aspects- esp the WWI bits, smuggling in that area. I have enjoyed all her books Broken Girls especially, Sun Down Hotel after that. This was her 2nd book I think. 10mo
CoffeeNBooks The Sun Down Motel is my favorite of the three St. James books I've read so far, but I really liked this one. I'm looking forward to the others we'll be reading this year. 10mo
Sargar114 Same @CoffeeNBooks but still working on the Broken Girls which I‘m enjoying. I love seeing true similarities in her writing but they are still different stories. Like @AmyG I‘m glad they‘re not formulaic. I like the authors note and knowing what she used and what she took liberty with. 10mo
Sargar114 This story is not my typical pick, but after reading it, I‘ll give pretty much anything by St. James a read. 10mo
rjsthumbelina I really liked it. I enjoyed knowing what she had taken liberties with, vs what was historical fact. I liked both of the St. James books that I have read, probably about equally (this and Sun Down). 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I love seeing that there were a few little historical facts that caused her to say “What if“ and ended up growing into a full story. I've read a few others set in the time period but didn't really address the effects of the war, so this was interesting. I only read Sun Down Motel before, and while both good, I liked this one a little better. I am looking forward to the other two buddy reads this year (and might try to squeeze in Broken Girls). 10mo
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How do you like the ending ?
Can anyone live without attachments?

Librarybelle My hopeless romantic side liked that Drew tracked down Jillian. 10mo
AmyG I loved that he came back. I was invested in Jillian, the character. She loved him and I am happy they are together. Seems something good happenned as a result of all this! 10mo
mollyrotondo I was happy Drew came back. I mean how stupid could he be to just walk away from her. 10mo
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TheBookHippie @mollyrotondo I agree. I‘m also glad she had her own mind . 10mo
TheBookHippie @Librarybelle I too am glad she didn‘t chase him. He came to her 💕 10mo
DebinHawaii Yes, it ended just fine for me. I liked Drew and was happy for him to realize he couldn‘t let her go. His letter was good 😍(OK, minus the somewhat sexist comment about women with legs like hers not becoming Oxford dons!) 😉 10mo
vlwelser I like that he redeemed himself in the end. I also like that she was willing to let him go if he couldn't accept her terms. 10mo
BookwormAHN I liked that Drew came for her instead of her running after him. 10mo
kspenmoll I liked that Drew lived without her in his life & came to realize she was what mattered to him- she seemed to be independent enough to carve her own life out, with or without him. 10mo
Sargar114 I agree with you all, I liked that she knew what she wanted and realized that she wouldn‘t get it on Drew‘s terms so broke it off early so she could move on. I imagine that was why she is more appealing to Drew than the flings of his past and why he realized he couldn‘t live without her. 10mo
rjsthumbelina I liked that Jillian was willing to go on with her life rather than pine and chase Drew. She's definitely a strong woman. I think that Drew realized that he can't live without attachments when he almost had to watch Jillian drown. And he was used to women chasing him, so he probably expected that she would always be there if/when he wanted her. When that wasn't true, he had to go after her 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Jillian seemed pretty awesome so I'm glad my new book boyfriend came to his senses & tracked HER down. I think it's easy to say you don't want attachments when you're fraternizing with boring people, but once you meet someone that ignites a spark in you, it's harder to argue with yourself to stay attachment-free. I'm not sure just how much older he is than her, but I don't think she's looking for a proposal and house tomorrow, so just have fun! 10mo
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Which towns people were you accurate about thinking they were good/bad?

Librarybelle I wasn‘t sure who was good or bad so had not guessed anything. I‘m usually terrible at that! 10mo
AmyG Didn‘t give that any thought. I‘m bad at that, too. 10mo
mollyrotondo I knew William wasn‘t on the up and up. But I hoped Aubrey was a better man than he turned out to be. It seemed as if he was trying to seek penance by becoming a vicar but he had done some bad things with William that he never faced and he also almost killed Jillian with that fire. That was inexcusable. 10mo
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DebinHawaii My main suspects were Aubrey, William & maybe Aubrey‘s wife, & thought everyone else was probably OK (although I assumed Rachel‘s father was guilty of something) but I definitely had Aubrey leading the baddies & not William. But even though he wasn‘t the leader, he was still bad. I feel sorry for his wife. I never thought Drew was on the wrong side but I wondered about his partner—who just turned out to be an arse! 😆 10mo
TheBookHippie @DebinHawaii I wondered about his partner too!!! 10mo
BookwormAHN I figured that Aubrey was bad but I was hoping William wasn't. 10mo
kspenmoll Aubrey seemed fishy to me initially. William i did not see as bad for the longest time- thought he was missing because Aubrey or someone got rid of him. 10mo
Sargar114 I figured Aubrey and William were bad, but thought it was flipped that Aubrey was the worse one. I mean, he still tried biting Jillian alive so still awful...but not a Nazi lover so 🤷🏼‍♀️ 10mo
Sargar114 Most of the rest seemed like townies, and pretty much played their roles accordingly. Glad Drew and Teddy weren‘t “bad”...even though Teddy seems like a tool. 10mo
rjsthumbelina I was pretty sure Aubrey was bad, but thought that Enid would be involved. And didn't peg William as the mastermind behind it. I was afraid for a while that Drew wasn't actually a good guy. 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I was suspicious of everyone, but mostly William, Aubrey, Enid, and possibly the Scotland Yard inspectors. I also thought that while now harmless, Rachel's father likely played into this somehow given the boat situation. I was happy to see that Edward and the detectives were on the right side of things here, even if that means my A. Merriken theory was quickly tossed overboard. 😂 😂 10mo
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What did you think of her taking the cat with her all you cat lovers ?

Librarybelle Loved it! I would have also taken the cat! 10mo
AmyG Yes, I loved it too. The cat chose Jillian. Jillian had no choice but to take the cat. 10mo
mollyrotondo I am so happy she kept the cat! They have been through so much together in a short period of time. They need each other! 10mo
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DebinHawaii Yes, as @AmyG said, Sultana chose her & she had to take her! And yes, I loved it too & that Poseidon went to Edward! Cat lover here, really just animal lover! 🐱❤️🐶 10mo
vlwelser Ugh. I am definitely not a cat person. But I accept the fact that other people like them. The dog, on the other hand, I may have had trouble parting ways with. 10mo
TheBookHippie @vlwelser ME EITHER 🤣🤣🤣 10mo
BookwormAHN I would of kept both 😸 10mo
kspenmoll I loved it- they were perfect together! She could have a cat more easily than a dog with her student lifestyle. They were bonded. 10mo
CoffeeNBooks I love that she took the cat with her! I wouldn't have been able to leave the cat behind. 😺 10mo
Sargar114 After all they experienced together, how does she NOT take the cat??!! I loved it and the fact that the whole house kinda embraced her, but Sultana ultimately loved Jillian too 🐱 10mo
rjsthumbelina I loved that Sultana got to go with her! And that Caroline loved her, too. I kind of wanted her to adopt Poseidon too, though 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Yay for a loving home for both Sultana and Poseidon! I am more of a dog person myself, but had cats as a kid. They're quieter, less needy of attention, and better suited to a student boarding house setting than a larger dog would. I'm glad that Edward remained one of the good guys and took the dog. He seems like a good fit for Poseidon. 10mo
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Do you think William is a ghost now ?! Did he really drown ?

Did Jillian calm walking John and put him to sleep?

Librarybelle I guess only time will tell! 😂 Walking John seems appeared at the moment. As for William being a ghost...??? 10mo
AmyG I hope William is dead and gone forever. 10mo
mollyrotondo Oooo that is good! Now William is going to haunt this place and make sure the Germans still continue their plot for revenge. Which we know WWII is coming so maybe William continues to commit treason from the grave. Uhhh so creepy! 10mo
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DebinHawaii I hope William is gone but who know in that town! 😱I believe Walking John is Resting John now, that Jillian got the job done & hopefully he & Toby can both rest now. I though her moving the bed back & not feeling a ghostly presence was a good sign, although still, how she could stay in THAT HOUSE!?!?! 😱👻👻👻😱🤣 (edited) 10mo
vlwelser I thought this whole thing was a bit weird tbh. It may have ruined my opinion about the book, actually. 10mo
BookwormAHN With that town possibly but I hope William is gone. 10mo
kspenmoll I think Jillian did get Walking John to rest & be at peace. It seemed her Uncle was at rest too. I assumed William drowned. 10mo
Sargar114 It didn‘t occur to me that William DIDNT drown, so it‘s possible he could be a ghost. I‘m assuming the townsfolk will forever attribute it to Walking John so even though he may actually be gone...his legend will never die 10mo
rjsthumbelina I think that Jillian did put Walking John to rest, so that she finished the work that Toby had come back to finish. As far as William, I hope that he is gone. His suffering should be over. I think maybe Walking John wanted to allow William to "sleep" as well 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I've watched enough movies and TV shows that I'm skeptical when I don't “see“ the dead body. William is likely alive or doomed to haunt the bay and sunken vessels. Hopefully he doesn't haunt the Vicar in his greenhouse every night. I think Jillian was able to make Walking John, Restful John, as @DebinHawaii said. 10mo
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Jillian visited her moms grave...

What do you think of her adoptive parents ?! What the world ?!

Librarybelle There‘s a lot of hurt and pain in that relationship, even from Jillian being somewhat neglected her whole life. Lots of rebuilding. 10mo
AmyG Her adoptive parents....not the warmest people. I believe they did what they thought was right. I will say....their generation and the times they lived in....they weren‘t going to tell her the truth about her parents. I was adopted and my mother wouldn‘t even tell me where I was adopted from. It was all super secretive. That‘s just how it was back then. A different world than today. Yes @Librarybelle lots of rebuilding. (edited) 10mo
mollyrotondo I think it is good that Jillian could come back to this place and visit her mom‘s grace if she ever feels lonely or even angry with her adoptive parents. I don‘t know how she forgives them for pushing her father away because he was alive and wanted a relationship with Jillian. This is why communication is so important!!!!! 10mo
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DebinHawaii I expressed my views on them in an earlier question, but I‘ll say it again. I get the secrecy around adoption then & can more understand why they kept the information from her than I can understand them sending her to take care of settling Toby‘s affairs, knowing that she would probably find out & knowing how hard it would be. That to me is the most unforgivable part. Even if they had no idea they were throwing her into a murder, still so wrong! 10mo
vlwelser I think ultimately the adoptive parents are probably the best thing that could have happened to Jillian. She has had so many opportunities that she wouldn't have had with the young unmarried mother in that small town. I do wish she had been able to spend more time with Toby because he seemed interesting. 10mo
BookwormAHN My main problem is that Toby describes them as really wanting her but they didn't really act like it. 10mo
kspenmoll Her adoptive parents did not seem like they wanted her to me until the phone call she had with her mother. Her mother regarded her as her daughter that she lived. Sounds like the Two brothers had the problem. It is too bad Toby was not allowed to see her. His brother sounded fearful of Toby‘s profession. 10mo
kspenmoll They should have told her the truth & not let her find out on her own her true parentage especially because they sent her to take card of Toby‘s affairs!!!! 10mo
TheBookHippie @BookwormAHN I agree. Weird ppl. 10mo
TheBookHippie @kspenmoll I did not like them at all. Glad it wasn‘t all tied up in a bow either. Ending was good. 10mo
kspenmoll @TheBookHippie I know. Maybe they thought they were supposed to have a child & adopting her made it easy. 10mo
Sargar114 @vlwelser I agree with you. While they are generally awkward and clearly selfish, they had the better capacity to raise Jillian and make her the person she was. I also agree with @AmyG , I don‘t think they planned on telling her about Toby. Her mother almost seemed annoyed that she found out and then tried brushing it aside. 10mo
rjsthumbelina Everyone above has it covered. Her parents were cold and didn't think things through, but they seemed at times like they wanted the best for Jillian. I felt like they didn't see it as a possibility that Jillian would figure it out, and were scared that if they continued to allow Toby to have a relationship with her after he was clearly outside the norm AND wanted her back, they thought they were protecting her. 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Not warm people. As mentioned by others, the time period lends itself to less coddling and just accept it for what it is and move along. Nothing to see here! I found it amusing that they were writing letters, when it seemed like there weren't many previously, almost like a few letters are a decent substitute or peace offering for the event that unfolded. 10mo
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William saying it‘s not over for Germany they will rebuild and go to war again many people said this...
They were right ...

So is he still mentally affected or just evil or full of revenge or what are your thoughts ?

William and the Nazi‘s your thoughts ?
Little eerie as to where we currently are here in the US. Why would he do this?

What did you think of Williams death ? Walking John? Is the ghost good or bad?

AmyG William was not who I thought he was. Do you have to be sick to have crazy beliefs and ideas? Or was he just a flat put bad guy? He sided with the Nazis. We still have hateful people like that today. I liked that she was saved by Swimming John...how appropriate. 10mo
Librarybelle Using William to voice the foreshadowing of the world‘s future was interesting. St James found a good tool in William for that, since so many thought he was destroyed mentally from the war. This was the supposed to be the war that ended all wars, so I would imagine those who heard William would not believe him. As for Walking John...I‘m still pondering him. He saved Jillian, so that was good! 10mo
mollyrotondo Okay so this was the scariest part of the book for me. That speech William gave about Germany and how he is supporting the Nazi Party. He was giving the code book to them as a gift. Uhh it gave me the chills! I thought this part was written so well. How someone like William who was mentally effected by the war and didn‘t recover enough to become a productive member of society could be swayed by the evil of the Nazis and think good of their cause 10mo
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mollyrotondo It was so well done and gave me such a sad feeling while reading. It was so excellent of St James to put these words in Williams‘s mouth. 10mo
mollyrotondo I think Walking John was a good ghost. He saved Jillian and he left when she performed the spell to put him to rest. I like him. He was a very sad character. 10mo
DebinHawaii I had William pegged wrong & thought Avery was more the kingpin of the pair & I am still not sure about him & how much of his mental issue were put on. For sure war damaged him & he had huge anger about his brother‘s death which made him help the underdog (at the time) Nazi party. And it chilled me as an example so real today that this is how we get radicals whose beliefs seem crazy to us but make perfect sense to them.😱 10mo
DebinHawaii I think Walking John was a ghost trying to be at peace Did he save Jillian because he was good or because he knew she would try to help him rest? Either way, it was a good act. 10mo
TheBookHippie @DebinHawaii EXACTLY. They will NOT listen or sway from it. Insane. We aren‘t looking at it enough. 10mo
TheBookHippie @DebinHawaii It was a good story 10mo
TheBookHippie @AmyG Me too. Hateful Nazis still exist. From people deemed “normal”. Who fail to look at WHY they believe such evil . 10mo
vlwelser I think a lot of people were obviously disillusioned by Hitler. But I also think we see a lot of this in the world today. Like the Trump phenomenon. 10mo
BookwormAHN @vlwelser I agree 10mo
kspenmoll William turned out to be another war casualty. But I don‘t think he acted out of PSTD when he wanted to give the codebook to the Germans.That was greed. He did not seem to care whose side he was on. But his prediction of another war & his awareness of the negative impacts of the Treaty of Versailles. 10mo
Sargar114 @DebinHawaii I was like you and thought Avery was the lead, I had an odd feeling about William but couldn‘t place what it was. Didn‘t think it was THAT bad. @mollyrotondo I agree, it was even scarier than I imagined! 10mo
Sargar114 I like how St. James uses ghosts in her stories, almost as supplemental to the main storyline. It makes it even creepier!!! 10mo
rjsthumbelina I think that, had he not had bad experiences in the war and family members who died in the war, maybe William wouldn't have acted how he did. He knew that he would do anything to avoid another war, and he believed the Nazis when they said that they would make it so another world war didn't happen. He, and many others, would take that no matter the cost. It was a no-win situation,but most probably thought they were choosing the best option they had 10mo
rjsthumbelina I loved this explanation of the narrative from St. James. A very poetic and meaningful plot point 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick It could have been any one of numerous people, but I wasn't shocked with the William reveal. I don't have the book with me for the specifics, but one or both parents died while he was at war, as did his brother. It seemed like he was bitter with his country for what the war cost him: beloved brother, at least one parent if not both, and his well-being. I see why this could seem like a good retaliation in theory. 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I also liked that Swimming John helped Jillian. (@AmyG that legit made me cackle) I ended this book thinking he wasn't a malevolent spirit, but looking for peace and locals used the knowledge of his spirit as cover for their own misbehavior. I was absorbed in the scene an it's chilling description, but of course, 100 years later, you know what will come to be. Now, if this was written before WWII that would've been a total mindf*ck. 10mo
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What do you think of Jillian‘s phone call with her mother?

AmyG I felt bad for both. I understand Jillian wishing her parents were truthful and I understand her mother believing she did what was best for Jillian (not that Iagree with her). I also just think Jillians parents weren‘t the warmest people. Not everyone should be parents. 10mo
Librarybelle A tense conversation, but I was cheering on Jillian! 10mo
mollyrotondo That was rough. Her parents are certainly not the warmest people. And I give Jillian a lot of credit for knowing how to keep them at arms length and not simply forgive them. What they did was very selfish and shortsighted. 10mo
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DebinHawaii I am still angry at her parents so I am not surprised Jillian is too!🤣Definitely they are cold people & while I am sure they love her in their own way, I felt like her mother was almost as much fighting about a possession being taken away than a daughter she had time & care for. And still the whole sending her there alone to identify what they knew was her birth father‘s body to me seems almost more unforgivable than keeping the truth from her. 10mo
TheBookHippie @DebinHawaii Her parents 🤯. 10mo
MadDashReading Well said @DebinHawaii . I'm trying to see her mother's perspective, but it doesn't seem like there is a lot of love behind her rationales. I'm also appalled that they sent her there alone when they knew the truth. That's cold. 10mo
vlwelser Obviously the parents are odd. But I agree with @DebinHawaii it's almost like she's a possession to them. 10mo
BookwormAHN I think it was more realistic her not forgiving them to soon. I hate the everyone's forgiven happy endings they always seem extremely ridiculous. 10mo
kspenmoll I too am appalled that they sent her to her uncles with no fore knowledge of anything!!! To me her decision not to forgive so easily is a healthy one. If she wants a relationship with her parents, she needs time. 10mo
Sargar114 I wonder if they sent her there hoping she wouldn‘t found out and that they never would have had to tell her. It doesn‘t seem as though there was any thought given to sending her there to do it, just that it was something needing to be done and they didn‘t have time to do it. It was pretty strange and wonder if that part of the storyline just wasn‘t fully fleshed out. 10mo
TheBookHippie @Sargar114 They could be that obtuse 😩😬 I do know people like this. 😝 10mo
Sargar114 @TheBookHippie the way her adoptive mother “fought” for her it makes me think they did care for her in their own weird way and are just generally obtuse people. Perfect word for it! 10mo
rjsthumbelina Her relationship with her (adoptive) parents is, I think, what gives her the ability to have the character arc that she has. She has to have something to push back against, which for her is the society that her parents are entrenched in. She wants more for herself, and for girls around her, than the women she has seen in her life. 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I understand why they kept it from her, but at this point, she's a 22 year old woman who clearly is enjoying her education, so she should have been told by now. Then to send her along to settle “Uncle“ Toby's affairs alone, not even to join her after a day or two, is unfathomable to me. Yes, Jillian was well provided for, but it doesn't seem like she was cared for. It seems easy to see why she wouldn't forgive her parents so easily. 10mo
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The book!
A spell?!
Julia and Jillian
What do you think of Julia now ?

AmyG Poor Julia. I felt bad for her because of her overbearing mother. Ha..that night was the most exiting thing she had ever done up to that point. 10mo
Librarybelle One can hope that Julia can become her own person after all of this is over! 10mo
mollyrotondo Julia really shined at the end of the story. I was surprised. I think she will start to become her own person after this experience. I ended up really liking her. 10mo
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DebinHawaii I was happy to see her poised to escape the life her mother prescribed for her & applauded Jillian for sending her money for the train ticket. 10mo
MadDashReading I love that Jillian included her. She didn't really have to, but she gave her the opportunity to expand her wings. Big sister vibes for sure. ❤ 10mo
vlwelser Julia definitely shines at the end. I was glad she got away from that mother. 10mo
BookwormAHN I just hope she will be okay in the big city and doesn't get hurt or scared and run home. 10mo
kspenmoll I am glad Julia got away too & that Jillian helped her open her wings.. 10mo
Sargar114 I think Julia would have been stuck in Rothewell if she never met Jillian. I doubt she would have ever thought there‘s be a place in the world for more independent girls like her and Jillian. I think the closest example was Rachel and even she took the more traditional route. 10mo
TheBookHippie @Sargar114 I agree. She liberated that poor girl. 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Way to go, Julia! Sometimes, all it takes is just a little support or some kind words to push you in another direction. I was glad to see Jillian wanted to include Julia in the ritual. It was cute how Julia felt needed since she was a true daughter of Rothewell (and didn't know about Jillian's parentage). 10mo
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“We‘re at peace with Germany Jillian but not everyone in Germany is at peace with us..”
Treason ? Selling codes?!

Sunken ships?!


Well. That‘s a lot to be going on in one little town. Do you think WWII was always inevitable ? Do you look at War as sometimes or Peace as sometimes have you ever thought about it?

Librarybelle I think when you have individuals so angry and hurt over an action, there are consequences, not always peaceful. I know the basics of the post World War I era, but not enough to give a firm opinion. 10mo
AmyG I thought WW II was inevitable...because of the rise of Hitler. I like to think war is sometimes, but it seems like peace is sometimes. While people say we haven‘t been at war for years, I say look in your backyard. We are at war with hate in our own country. 10mo
mollyrotondo I do think there are times when war feels like it is inevitable. I think when you read about how things were left after WWI there was no way the world was going to be at peace afterwards. I sometimes worry about another civil war in our own country because of the intense divide that has been deeply rooted in our own government and the violence it is has already caused. I don‘t want to say it is inevitable but I can understand it feeling that way 10mo
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DebinHawaii I think WWII was fairly inevitable since it made Europe less stable overall, & Germany lost territory, lost face & was essentially blamed for the war & was being made to pay reparations. It left it ripe for the Nazi & other extreme regimes to gain support. Like @mollyrotondo I worry about a civil war here with the deep divides & extremist groups. It‘s a scary world. 10mo
TheBookHippie @DebinHawaii I agree. Scares me too. 10mo
vlwelser WWII was definitely avoidable but only if the Treaty of Versailles had been a much different thing. The depression obviously didn't help anything. But that too could have probably been avoided. Imagine if Germany had an FDR type ruler after WWI instead of Hitler. 10mo
TheBookHippie @vlwelser RIGHT?! FDR. much needed. 10mo
vlwelser @TheBookHippie it makes me hopeful and curious to see what Biden will get up to. 10mo
TheBookHippie @vlwelser Hoping he FDRs the crap out of it 🤣🤣🤞🏻✌🏻 ultimately I hope people see they were lied to by Trump and the alt right grows smaller. I see neither thing happening. So I hope more middle of the road peeps unite. 10mo
BookwormAHN I agree WWII seemed unavoidable. You can't demonize a country and think they won't pick a sociopath to lead them and fight back. 10mo
kspenmoll I fo not think WWIi was inevitable, but the Versailles treaty bled them dry & cut them at the knees. Germans were starving, jobless, so more susceptible to Hilter‘s magnetism & promise. Without Hitler‘s birth, Megalomania, desire to rule the world like a Napoleon, war may have been averted or if not, not as evil. 10mo
kspenmoll Comparisons to Trump & Hitler & are quite apt 10mo
TheBookHippie @kspenmoll Yes they are. 10mo
Sargar114 Knowing what we know now, it seems like WWII was inevitable. As for this country, I too worry what our future entails. I‘m hopeful that the moderate majority will prevail and then we can start moving forward and healing. 10mo
rjsthumbelina For me, the origins of WW2 say something about what happens when we openly shame groups of people. That animosity leading to future conflict is inevitable. An interesting point to consider with Trump supporters today 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Generally, I wouldn't say it was inevitable, but with Hitler being a rising force, he saw an opportunity ripe for the taking and swooped right in. If he wasn't there in that exact time. perhaps WWII could have been avoided. Like @mollyrotondo and @debinHawaii , I worry about a Civil War here. This time, we're less geographically divided and if it comes down to that, it could literally be right in out backyards. 10mo
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My first book for #Sundaybuddyread

This one's not as strong as The Sun Down Motel, but it also is quite a few years older. But one can already see the talent in St. James' writing - she really worked on her skills and that's I think was her newer book that good.

I enjoyed the first half of the book, but then it got a little low for me. The love story wasn't mine at all and the solution was a bit... predictable.

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I really meant to finish up this week but I slept more than read when I wasn‘t working. So having a late🍿dinner & reading to the end for tomorrow‘s final #sundaybuddyread discussion.

Bookwormjillk Seems like a perfect night! 10mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🎉🎊📚 10mo
mdemanatee Popcorn dinner of champions (I also had popcorn dinner last night 😂) 10mo
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Over all this was not my favorite book, but I am also not a huge fan of ghost stories.
I do/ did enjoy the Sunday discussions each week.

Inquiry Into Love and Death | Simone St James
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#joyousJanuary #sundaybuddyread #overbookedclub #audiomystery #Islandlife #sealife
I just realized as I was posting this, that each of these books is either set in the ocean, in islands by the sea, in inlets or rivers. Water and people‘s relationship with it is a predominant theme. As for me, I visit the sea as often as I can, and live within walking distance to a river. Aquarius I am.
Finished 3. Working on Mapmaker‘s goal.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful covers!!! 11mo
valeriegeary I love it when that kind of book serendipity happens! 10mo
TheBookHippie Ocean is my second love of my life 💙 10mo
Andrew65 Doing great. 👏👏👏 10mo
Andrew65 @TheBookHippie Mine too. 10mo
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@Sargar114 wins 🤍🤍🤍🤍

#sundaybuddyread final talk on this book tomorrow and as you can tell Bernie can‘t wait 🤍🤣

AmyG I love this so much! 11mo
kspenmoll Thank you!!!🤣🤣🤣 11mo
Sargar114 🤣😂🤣😂 Still makes me giggle 11mo
GingerAntics 🤣😂🤣 10mo
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Not a book I would normally pick, but so glad I did. After her Uncle‘s mysterious death, Jillian goes to the small town of Rothewell to sort out his affairs and finds herself caught up in a mystery that is much more than she bargained for. Full of twists and turns and touches of romance and supernatural. Would recommend especially if you‘re already a fan of St. James‘ other work. Read for #sundaybuddyread and Bernie cause I can‘t get enough.

Sargar114 Also square 21 for #bookspinbingo 11mo
erinreads I can‘t look at any picture on the internet now without looking for Bernie! 😂 11mo
AmyG This is FABULOUS! @TheBookHippie (edited) 11mo
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vlwelser 😂😂😂😂 this is awesome 11mo
TheBookHippie Omg!!!!!! Peeing myself 🤣🤣🤣✊🏼✊🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 11mo
CoffeeAndABook Perfect 👌🏼😂😂😂 11mo
DebinHawaii Brilliant! 🤣🤣🤣 10mo
JaclynW I still love to see all of the Bernies. 🤣❤️👏 10mo
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Loved it and I can't wait for the discussion on Sunday ladies 😸

kspenmoll Me too!!! 11mo
LibrarianRyan Just FYI I got your box. Yeahhh. I‘ll take pics as soon as I can. 11mo
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ So I love this author. This was yet another fantastic mystery/ghost story. I loved the 1920s England setting and the strong intellectual female main character. All the “suspects” were great. St. James had me guessing until the very end. I very much recommend to mystery lovers! Thank you #Sundaybuddyread for picking another one by this author! This was my #bookspinbingo No. 21 pick

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! 11mo
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I have not been able to sleep for days, and have started listening to this audiobook. The narrator‘s voice is so soothing, but the story is so good it‘s not helping lull me to sleep! So tired.

TheBookAddict Have you tried the Calm app? Melatonin? 11mo
TheBookHippie I feel ya. I just went through a long bout of it. 11mo
Tamra Lavender? 11mo
rachelsbrittain So sorry! I've been having a bad spell of insomnia / poor sleep lately but nothing that bad. Hope it gets better soon 💛 11mo
kspenmoll That‘s awful- so sorry! 11mo
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Sunday!!! Anyone who‘s read the book welcome to join our last discussion on this book.

AmyG Really enjoyed this book. Good choice!!! 11mo
TheBookHippie @AmyG fun read!! 11mo
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A quiet evening - laundry tumbling in the dryer, a current read for #SundayBuddyRead (I‘m enjoying immensely), shortbread cookies and a cup of mint verbena tea. I find I usually sleep better, when my day ends like this. ☕️📖 🛌 Although, this book does have a bit of the spook factor. Reader be warned! 😳

vivastory Hey, what would be the best way to get in touch to discuss date/time for Feb discussion & the discussion questions? Are you on GR? 10mo
catebutler @vivastory I do have GR, https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2064042-catie If you want to shoot me a DM, on there we can figure out the best way to discuss. 10mo
vivastory Great! Thanks 10mo
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#sundaybuddyread #joyousjanuary

Something came from the water.
It lifted from the waves a long, dark, head...

Terrified, frozen, Jillian watched this emerging thing in dread.

Finished this tonight. This is her 2nd book published (2013). The first was The Haunting of Maddy Clare( 2012) which is our May 2021 buddy read.

AmyG Apparently John also swims. 🤣 11mo
kspenmoll @AmyG Love your humor! I laughed out loud. Swimming John!!! 11mo
Andrew65 Well, done👏👏👏👏 11mo
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I‘m ready for SUNDAY and our final discussion on this book! See you then 💚

Kimberlone I had a late start on Sunday and missed the discussion, but I am excited to finish this week for the final discussion! 11mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Kimberlone you can always go to the hashtag #SundayBuddyRead and comment 🤗 11mo
TheBookHippie @Kimberlone people “talk” all week on the previous discussion feel free to go back 💚 11mo
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I definitely liked this but it's not my favorite book by this author. I definitely recommend it if you like a murder mystery or a ghost story.

#SundayBuddyRead with @TheBookHippie and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks final discussion Sunday. Until then 🤐🤐🤐

#BookSpinBingo square 1

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 11mo
TheBookHippie 🤐🤐🤐 11mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💙💙💙 11mo
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I nearly skipped on this #sundaybuddyread when I couldn‘t get a physical copy but I‘m so glad I didn‘t. Thank you for choosing it and for the discussions so far @TheBookHippie - looking forward to the next two in the schedule by same author.

TheBookHippie YAY!!! 11mo
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Another great Simone St. James mystery! Jillian goes to the seaside town of Rothewell to pack up her recently deceased uncle's belongings. Rothewell is haunted by Walking John, a ghost, and Jillian thinks the ghost might have something to do with her uncle's death. #SundayBuddyRead
#LitsyAtoZ @BookishMarginalia

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Equal parts creepy ghost story, mystery, romance, and historical fiction novel--this book does not disappoint! The strong, likeable heroine keeps you rooting for her as the plot keeps throwing things at her. Such a fun read!

It's unputdownable (unless you have to for #SundayBuddyRead 😅).

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After reading some of the theories in today‘s #sundaybuddyread discussion I just had to see what happened. I was enthralled with this book as soon as I saw the colors on the cover, and it hasn‘t disappointed. This is my second St. James book, and I‘m now convinced that she‘s a master teller of scary stories. I‘m looking forward to reading more of her work!

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I had to complete this after today‘s #SundayBuddyRead discussion! St James is fast becoming a go to author for me with her stories of mystery and a fine layer of creepiness.

Jillian is sent by her parents to a small town in England where her uncle, a ghost hunter, recent passed away. Almost immediately odd things happen and literally go bump in the night. Add to this a dashing playboy inspector, and you‘ve got a truly captivating story. Loved it!

Librarybelle #Zeke and #Xander have kept me company while I finished this. #catsoflitsy Much thanks to @TheBookHippie and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for this month‘s selection! 11mo
TheBookHippie We visit St James again in May and in August!! 11mo
Flitter Oooh sounds like one for my TBR pile 11mo
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Crazeedi Cant wait to read this week, just got audiobook from library 11mo
Librarybelle And, I forgot to mention it‘s my Letter I for #LitsyAtoZ ! @BookishMarginalia 11mo
Librarybelle @TheBookHippie Looking forward to it! 11mo
Librarybelle @Flitter It is really good! 11mo
Librarybelle @Crazeedi I bet this will be fun on audio! 11mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💞💞💞 11mo
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Think Toby reveals the answers ?! See you next week for the final discussion on this mystery.

ALSO BURN THE BOAT?!?!?! No answer yet.

CoffeeNBooks I think Toby has the answers written down somewhere, Jillian just has to find them. 11mo
Librarybelle Oh...good theory, @CoffeeNBooks ! 11mo
Helen19 I wonder if the boat is being sold but is secretly storing something else and that‘s why they want it burned. 11mo
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Sargar114 I‘m wondering if burning the boat is the key to Walking John finally sleeping? 11mo
mollyrotondo There‘s definitely evidence on that boat 11mo
Karisa 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️❓ 11mo
AmyG I have no clue. I just hope enough of the answers are revealed to make this a satisfying ending. 11mo
MadDashReading The boat has me totally confused! 11mo
BookwormAHN I also wonder if the boat is hiding something @Helen19 11mo
vlwelser ❤❤❤❤ 11mo
kspenmoll Maybe red herrings? The boat... 11mo
JaclynW I'll say it again, THAT DANG BOAT!!!! 11mo
DebinHawaii The boat is the smoking gun—or smoking boat since they want to burn it! 😉 11mo
TheBookHippie @DebinHawaii 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 11mo
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Final thoughts for the week are


Predictions anyone ?

Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I've already shared my final weird theory about Drew 🤣. I'm eager to find out what happens and how this ends. I truly can't say that I'm suspecting any one particular person in all of this, even this far along. 11mo
CoffeeNBooks There's still so much, and I can't figure any of it out! Looking forward to seeing how everyone and everything connects in this story! 11mo
Librarybelle I plan to finish this today! I need to know what happens! 11mo
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Helen19 I‘ve never read anything by this author so I‘m keen to find out if any of the ghosts actually are ghosts! 11mo
Sargar114 @helen19 I‘m wondering that too, I think there may be one or two but majority of it will be fabrication of the smugglers. Which I think have to do with Rachel‘s father, Aubrey, and William. I think Drew is who he says only because Edward was the one who contacted them...but who knows 11mo
mollyrotondo I love this book! I love how we are getting more and more information each week. It does not slow down. I don‘t think it‘s just one person involved. I think it‘s several people working together. But I don‘t know what the end game will be. 11mo
Helen19 @sargar114 I trusted nearly everyone until all these discussions. Every week I get more suspicious because of everyone else‘s comments haha. 11mo
Sargar114 Also, I want to add how initially I didn‘t like the landlord lady, but now appreciate her as a device to believably provide random information as the town gossip. I also loved how her daughter finally got to speak up. 11mo
Karisa @Sargar114 Oh yeah, maybe the daughter is one more Jillian can kinda trust. She seems to be honest but just doesn't care much 🤷‍♀️🤣 11mo
Karisa And I want to know why no one can leave the town, even back to Elizabeth. What the heck? If it's because the smuggling business is lucrative, they don't seem so well off. Supernatural seems a little far-fectched even in this ghost story. . . So why? 11mo
AmyG I love this book, too. The not knowing and not being able to figure things out...make me want to read it. My kind of book. I just hope the end doesn‘t disappoint! 11mo
MadDashReading All of this ⬆️! I do feel like some aspects of the hauntings are real, but there are also some devious people at work too. I'm intrigued by the hold the town has over its citizens. I'm curious to see how that plays out. I loved Elizabeth's comment that it is a place that dreams. I think that is a lovely and tragic description based on everything we know. Grabbing my coffee and getting ready to read now! 11mo
BookwormAHN I can't wait to finish 😸 11mo
vlwelser I have no predictions. But @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick seems to have it all figured out. It'll be interesting to see if she's right. 11mo
IndoorDame Excited to read the rest! 11mo
JaclynW @Sargar114 Good point about Edward contacting Scotland Yard... But were the "real" Scotland Yard dudes intercepted?? 11mo
JaclynW @Sargar114 Town gossips are the best! I liked how we got to hear from the silent daughter too. Poor girl! With such a loud mouthed mother! 11mo
kspenmoll Picking the book up soon! Cannot wait! 11mo
JaclynW @Karisa I wonder why no can/wants to leave too. Interesting. 11mo
JaclynW @AmyG Agreed! Such a fun book to read! 11mo
DebinHawaii OK. I‘m still leaning to the ghostly presence of Walking John wanting to be put to rest but also being used by the smuggling ring to cover their crimes. Drew is going to be on the right side of this & the investigation is legit although the jury is still out on his partner. And the vicar is running things, maybe with his wife, & William was involved but the vicar crossed him or vice versa. And, with all the twists, I‘m sure I have a lot wrong!🤔 11mo
JaclynW @kspenmoll I can't wait to finish! So exciting! 11mo
DebinHawaii And yes, loving the book! May have to finish it tonight but I may try to hold off too. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 11mo
AmyG @DebinHawaii Yes, I think the Vicar and William had a “fallig out” of sorts, too. I also wonder if William is just fine- not what his sister says about him. Or not to that extent. 11mo
TheBookHippie @kspenmoll ME EITHER!!! I have to know! Ha. 11mo
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What do you think of Jillians parents ? They‘re in London now why? Why did they send her? To find out her true parents ? What‘s their story and are we going to find out?

Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I wonder if they agreed that Jillian would find out about her true parentage should Toby die and that's why they sent her to settle his affairs. To be somewhat nearby and not reach out (or to reach out at all, given the situation) doesn't sit well with me. Do they expect she'll be pissed? They just don't seem like loving parents from what we've seen. She might have been better off with Toby. 11mo
CoffeeNBooks @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I agree that they sent her to deal with Toby's death knowing she'd be finding out the truth. I can't figure out why they'd change their schedule without her knowing, though. They seem like such odd parents. 11mo
Librarybelle Jillian‘s parents are hard to fathom. They seem so aloof, and for a couple who desperately wanted her, they have a funny way of showing it. I think they knew Jillian would find out the truth, but I suspect they feel they raised a strong young woman who could handle the news. 11mo
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Helen19 They may be worried about her reaction towards them once she finds out, but they don‘t even know how much she‘s going through! 11mo
Sargar114 @Librarybelle I agree with you. Not everyone is outright nurturing, but they clearly cared about her and raised them to what seems the best of their abilities. I have more sympathy for them knowing the situation. I agree it would have been better to tell Jillian earlier while Toby was still alive but they thought they were doing what was best. 11mo
mollyrotondo Maybe they are the leaders of the drug ring! 😂 I honestly have no idea what is going on with her parents. 11mo
Karisa Ugh, I am not a fan of those two... 11mo
AmyG Part of me wonders if her parents are just the aloof kind. Nothing more. Perhaps we are reading into themore than is there. 11mo
MadDashReading I cannot believe they would not want to be present when she learned this news. It seems cowardly and childish to me. 11mo
BookwormAHN @Karisa I'm not a fan either. 11mo
vlwelser The parents are weird. They kept Toby away from her but then they seem really blasé about the whole Toby thing when she's an adult and he's dead. 11mo
DebinHawaii Yes, they are odd & I‘m not sure what to make of them! 🤔 Jillian may be independent & capable but it was a total cop out on their parts not to be with her settling Toby‘s affairs & when she found out he was her father. 11mo
JaclynW I'm not sure what to think of them! Part of me wants to give them the benefit of the doubt and think that they are raising a capable, intelligent girl but they do seem oddly absent. I hope we learn more. 11mo
kspenmoll Agree with you all. Her parents are so withdrawn from her. Its hard to understand that they are letting her deal with all of Toby‘s legalities. She is so young. But maybe they are cowards & hope she discovers her parentage. 11mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick @mollyrotondo I hadn't considered that... her parents being involved would be an amazing twist! 11mo
mollyrotondo @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I really want the parents to play some sort of role. They are mentioned just enough to make me feel like they must play a part in our conclusion. 11mo
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So William ?!
The vicar is he evil?
Think Rachael‘s father and Sam are safe ?

What‘s going to happen?!?!!

Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick The boat has to factor in here, right? The fact that Rachel wants to sell it and all this activity make me think it's a key to this. I don't know how evil they all are, but I think someone will die because of all this. 11mo
Helen19 I have no idea but when I got to the end of 29 my partner asked me why I was making frustrated noises. “I‘m not allowed to read any more!!” 11mo
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Sargar114 Jillian seems to have a weak spot for William, I don‘t trust him. But don‘t know what to make of the sudden disappearance 🤔 11mo
mollyrotondo Yeah I don‘t trust William either @Librarybelle ! I don‘t think we should underestimate his part in all of this. 11mo
Karisa @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Yep, I feel like the boat is key too. It's a clue that Jillian also doesn't trust Drew completely that she kept that, the photo, and Toby's journal from him. 11mo
AmyG I wonder about the Vicar. Is he involved somehow? And does William know? Or is he involved? I just want to finish this today so I can learn what is going on. And I hope Jillian doesn‘t get hurt. 11mo
MadDashReading @AmyG I feel your comment! I am so excited to read straight through to the end now! This one has been difficult for me to resist racing through. 11mo
BookwormAHN I think William's disappearance is quite suspicious. I wonder if he set the fire? 11mo
TheBookHippie @MadDashReading I don‘t think we‘d catch everything or have as much fun if we read it straight through I am really excited to finish it! 11mo
vlwelser I really like this book. 11mo
DebinHawaii It‘s got to be the vicar! I still think he & William are working together on the smuggling but I am wondering if William got in the way somehow or crossed the vicar & that‘s why he‘s missing? ? And the boat has got to be involved in the smuggling. It‘s the smoking gun in all of this. 11mo
JaclynW @Sargar114 The sudden disappearance makes me think he's a good guy that didn't go along with the evil plan... 11mo
kspenmoll Worried about William too. Has he disappeared to help the vicar or was he made to disappear?? @BookwormAHN I wondered that too. 11mo
Sargar114 @JaclynW you may be right, I was suspicious of him up until that point. He doesn‘t seem the type to up and leave his dog 11mo
JaclynW @Sargar114 Exactly. 11mo
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“Do I look different would anyone be able to tell?”
Why do a lot of young girls feel this?

Is all this sidetracking Jillian ? Is it on purpose to keep her off guard??

Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick This is a growing concern I have of Mr. A.Merrikan. Is he "taking one for the team" and trying to keep her off her game or is he just bedding her for sport? I don't know!! 11mo
Librarybelle OMG this graphic!! 😂 It really does make you wonder of Drew‘s motives with Jillian. Lots of questions left to be answered, including the mystery. 11mo
TheBookHippie @Librarybelle 🤣🤣👏🏼👏🏼couldn‘t help myself 😝 11mo
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Sargar114 I wanted to think it was genuine attraction before this mornings discussion 🤣😂🤣😂 Now I‘m questioning everything!!! 11mo
mollyrotondo Haha yeah I never got the “feeling different” thing. Uhhh I hope Jillian isn‘t letting down her guard. I feel like she is a walking target so she cannot get distracted! 11mo
Karisa I felt like it was a good reminder of how young she is. She has kept things from Drew though--Toby's journal, the photo of Elizabeth found in the archive, Rachel's father's talk of a boat (or did she tell him that last one--zoomed through the chapters at the beginning of the week and forgetting 😅). 11mo
TheBookHippie @Sargar114 🤣👏🏼 I love our discussions they make the books so much more. Same thing happens to me things I didn‘t catch or think and I change my mind again 😝 (edited) 11mo
AmyG Ha. I so felt this. I remember looking in the mirror to see if I looked different. I am not so sure about Drew‘s motives with Jillian. She is very i dependant but also very young and naive. 11mo
MadDashReading If Drew is dirty, I hope Jillian is the one to give him what he deserves. She does seem very distracted with this budding romance, but I think she's still on her game. If he is a farce intended to derail her, this may be another instance where the men have underestimated her. 11mo
vlwelser Sidetracking Jillian seems like a legit conclusion. 11mo
DebinHawaii I still think Drew is attracted to her & even reluctantly falling for her & not trying to distract her. I think it‘s actually throwing him off his inspector game a bit in fact. 11mo
JaclynW @Sargar114 Me too! I'm questioning everything I thought was going on. The adventures of reading! (with a group!) @TheBookHippie 11mo
JaclynW @mollyrotondo She does seem to be a walking target. Yikes! 11mo
JaclynW In regards to "feeling different" and wondering if people will notice I think has a lot to do with how society views sex and females - even now. The whole purity thing, not having sex before marriage, not enjoying it, it is for procreation only, only men enjoy it, etc. It is all such a double standard, it makes me sick. We need to create healthier sexual attitudes! Educate! 11mo
JaclynW Spooning and mooning. 😂😂😂😂 11mo
kspenmoll I too am glad Jillian is keeping some info to herself. Sometimes I forget how young she is because she handles many things so well. The romance reminds me of her youth. 11mo
TheBookHippie @kspenmoll I assume it is partly her age. 11mo
TheBookHippie @JaclynW I assume you were taught back then that GOOD GIRLS DO NOT therefore GUILT is more likely 'Do people know' means circumstances of being labeled 'that' kind of girl etc etc. I think in this case it's age and guilt and religiosity of what is 'virtue' . It all makes me crazy. Especially since it is 2020 and STILL GOES ON.... argh (edited) 11mo
JaclynW @TheBookHippie Yep. Yes. Exactly. Argh indeed! 11mo
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Okay confession
I laughed right out loud

“I don‘t know much about this,” I said
“It‘s alright”, he said moving me under him.
“I know everything”
And to my amazement he did.

I have to say I don‘t really care about the romance do you?

BeaG 😂😂😂 I‘m not a fan of romance novels. LOL 11mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Get it, girl!! I like a good romance and Drew seems like the cocky kind of "Johnny Football Hero" that I find amusing (and attractive). I think this was done tastefully enough that it wasn't filthy, but gives you an idea of who they are. 11mo
CoffeeNBooks I'm not a fan of romance novels, so I think the story would have been perfectly fine without the added romance. I'm much more interested in the mystery of the story. 11mo
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CoffeeNBooks That statement did make me laugh though, lol! 11mo
Helen19 Honestly I just found myself confused as to how he took her knickers off before her tights. But then, he does know everything. 11mo
Librarybelle Confession: I read this scene yesterday morning, right before I found out I had to unexpectedly go into work. It was quite often on my mind yesterday...😂 It probably was not needed, but I agree with @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick that it was tastefully done. 11mo
Sargar114 I don‘t mind it. It‘s a little cheesy, but the storyline adds another layer to this complicated story. So judges will accept. I like that Jillian has the sense to keep him at arms length when it comes to her personal family discovery. 11mo
mollyrotondo 🤣 This was definitely a bit much. I was fine with their romance at the beginning but now it‘s becoming a bit over the top. This part was just so cheesy and not needed for this mystery. Drew is one of those male characters that I can‘t really fully get behind. He‘s too cocky and not worth the trouble 😂 11mo
Karisa @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick @Sargar114 I'm rooting for the relationship on this one just because she feels so alone otherwise and she does really seem to like him. Yes, a bit over the top but fun nonetheless. Without the little bit of romance spice, the book might feel flat. 11mo
Sargar114 @Karisa I think the other thing Jillian now has going for her is that she is a confirmed “daughter of Rothewell” she has some of the good people of the town to look out for her...if there are any lol 11mo
MadDashReading @TheBookHippie I have to agree. Romance is not her strength as a writer. Lol. I felt the same way in The Sundown Motel. The scenes are awkward. 🤣 I don't mind them though. It is almost like comedic relief (but I'm not sure it is supposed to be!). Her haunting scenes are so much better. She slows down time in her hauntings which helps them to burn and linger. With the romance scenes, they always feel rushed and tossed in which is why they don't... 11mo
MadDashReading Quite sit right. I think. Anyway, I thought Drew was awful bossy and demanding. But, I don't think Jillian minded. 11mo
Karisa @Sargar114 Maybe, or maybe now they will never let her leave. She hasn't told the townsfolk yet, right? It'll be interesting to see how they react. 11mo
AmyG This whole scene read like a movie script. Makes Drew just seem like a player. Maybe he is just that. 11mo
TheBookHippie @AmyG my thoughts were well now she‘s pregnant and she‘ll have to stay 🤣🤣😆or give up her baby too (edited) 11mo
AmyG @TheBookHippie You know, I thought the same thing. She feels comfortable there. Does she get pregnant and buy the house she is staying at? With Tobey‘s inheritance? Not much but enoughh to buy the house? 11mo
BookwormAHN I could do without the romance as well. That scene was rather cheesey. 11mo
TheBookHippie @MadDashReading it does break it up and make you giggle ... 11mo
vlwelser It does seem like a weird afterthought. Is this her first novel? 11mo
TheBookHippie @vlwelser it might be however this is the third novel of here I‘ve read... they‘re all like this with romance 😬 11mo
vlwelser @TheBookHippie The weird romance thing seems to be normal for this genre. But this one seems particularly corny. 11mo
IndoorDame I agree it‘s not her strength as a writer. I almost always get invested in the Romance side plots when I read, but this one does feel cheesy. 11mo
DebinHawaii I‘m OK with the romance here because it is secondary to the mystery & while the scene was awkward & funny & cheesy, I like the breakaway from all the tension. Like @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I like Drew. Redeemed rakes are kind of hot & I hope that‘s what he turns out to be.🤞🏼 11mo
JaclynW @Helen19 😂 11mo
JaclynW @DebinHawaii I'm with you. Romance is often slightly (if not outright) comical. And awkward. And cheesy. Sometimes it fits and works out fine. I think it does here. I'm glad it's not the focus. 11mo
kspenmoll @MadDashReading Very well said! Romance just a momentary relief from ghosts & creepiness but that story line is so much more fleshed out- like your observation in slowing down time in those scenes. So true. 11mo
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Aha! She was born to Elizabeth and Toby! What did you think of Tobys letter?

Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick It's a shame Jillian didn't find out until he was dead, and that he didn't share a little more about Elizabeth, but at least she knows. It's weird that her "parents" wanted a child, did they'd take Jillian as their own, fight to protect her from the truth, but still seem so distant from her. Maybe it's the time period, maybe we only see part of the story, but they seem largely aloof in regards to Jillian. 11mo
CoffeeNBooks @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I was thinking the same thing about how odd it was that they'd wanted a child, but then left her on her own so much. I feel bad for Jillian that she didn't find all of this out until after both Elizabeth and Toby were dead, and that Toby didn't tell her much about Elizabeth. 11mo
Helen19 I felt sorry for Toby that he didn‘t know how to have a relationship with her, even as an uncle. But then found it a bit selfish that he wouldn‘t give any details of Elizabeth up. 11mo
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Librarybelle It is a shame she didn‘t know the truth while Toby was still alive. It‘s also sad too that even in his final letter, Toby wouldn‘t divulge more about Elizabeth, keeping the memories of her to himself. 11mo
Sargar114 It makes me wonder how much Toby really knew about Elizabeth. They were both so young so I can‘t imagine the relationship was for very long. 11mo
Sargar114 I wonder if her “parents” wanted a child and were better suited to take care of her so did, but then never really formed a connection. It‘s seems she was well taken care of and was given the necessary survival skills, some people just don‘t have the nurturing instincts and given the circumstances maybe her parents weren‘t fully prepared to drop everything to take care of her. But cared for her enough to fight to keep raising her. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 11mo
mollyrotondo @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 It is very sad though that she couldn‘t have known the truth about Toby. He was there all along and could have still told her he was her father but just couldn‘t take care of her. That happens sometimes. The parent stays in the child‘s life but it adopted and raised by family that is able to care for a child. Uhhh the choices we make! 11mo
Karisa It does just make Jillian's story even more sad. Bio-parents are both passed away and adopted parents seem so distant. Makes me root for the love story against all the odds. Here's hoping Drew's a double-agent and really a good guy! 🤞 11mo
MadDashReading I agree with the comments above. I wouldn't have seen this coming without @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick 's prediction. This was a sad and satisfying outcome for that part of the story. I still can't believe that her parents wouldn't want to be there with her when she would presumably learn this information from his will. They just sent her along blind. Ugh. 11mo
AmyG Great call @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick! I agree with what everyone wrote. I wish she could, too, have had more of a relationship with Tobey. 11mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick @Karisa Now that you say it, maybe that's why I hope Drew is ultimately a good guy. @MadDashReading I hope my wacky theories don't spoil the books for you! Maybe next time I'll have to spoiler tag them, just in case. 11mo
MadDashReading @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick not at all! I welcome all theories at any time! It's fun to see of they play out. 😊 11mo
BookwormAHN I also like your theories @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick 11mo
vlwelser By the time the letter turned up, it was fairly obvious. It was almost unnecessary at that point. In the novel. I'm sure Toby had great intentions. 11mo
DebinHawaii Yes, I wish she could have known more about her mother but maybe now that she knows she can find out more from the older townspeople who remember her like the lady in the post office. I think Toby couldn‘t deal with the heartbreak & being a parent but yes, it does make you wonder why her parents bothered to want a child & sent her there on her own. Poor Jillian has some very bad parenting models all around. 11mo
JaclynW I agree with many above. It's such a shame she didn't know earlier on. Her and Toby seemed to definitely have a connection. The parenting in this book is odd. But maybe not exactly odd for that time period? 11mo
kspenmoll I agree with all of you! So sad she never knew Toby was her father- she had pleasant memories. I winder if her parents wanted her only because they thought a bachelor ghost hunter was not a good choice for a dad. I guessed to because she looked like Elizabeth & Toby wrote her name in his journal. It‘s like she is orphaned all over again. 11mo
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Snuggling ring WOW

The Great War And The Cocaine Panic in Britain -https://volteface.me/feature/great-war-cocaine-panic/

I do love learning new history
I don‘t read much WWI I need to change that. Anyone have knowledge about this? You think it‘s cocaine they wouldn‘t discuss??

Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Interesting! I wouldn't have guessed that cocaine was even around that long. I don't know much about WWI (so much gets focused on the second) do this is news to me but not totally unfathomable. 11mo
TheBookHippie @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick it‘s just nuts ... 11mo
Librarybelle I had no clue about this - thanks for the info! It doesn‘t really surprise me that this was occurring. 11mo
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Sargar114 Yeah I‘m very curious, drugs, weapons, supplies for the Germans 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️ 11mo
mollyrotondo This just leaves me with more questions about our book! Is Drew working with British intelligence and the letters he gets sometimes say DORA which was the name of the act to stop the spread of cocaine to British soldiers? Or is Drew involved with the German smugglers? Are they smuggling in cocaine in order to weaken the British? All very interesting 11mo
MadDashReading This is all new history to me! @mollyrotondo that's a good point! Now, I'm definitely thinking the women's names are code. Maybe Drew is a double agent? Eastbrook is crooked but Drew is playing both sides, undercover? This could explain why Eastbrook really thinks they are messages from women. He comments about Drew not being "thrown over/bumped off" because he never joins the guys for drinks due to women. The insinuation from Eastbrook here... 11mo
MadDashReading Could be more sinister than I originally thought. 11mo
MadDashReading Because Drew truly is not one of them, though they think he is. I sure hope so. He does seem keen on getting Jillian out of there. 11mo
AmyG Good points @mollyrotondo @MadDashReading. I look forward to reading the last part to get this all explained. 11mo
BookwormAHN I didn't know cocaine was that old. 11mo
IndoorDame Fascinating article! 11mo
DebinHawaii Fascinating article! I knew it was around then but not how widespread it was! Interesting about the “DORA” thing @mollyrotondo 🤔I still think Drew is on the right side & is working against the Germans not for them but who can be sure?! 🤷🏻‍♀️ 11mo
JaclynW Wow! What an article! I never knew. It reminds me of the meth used in WWII to create a super soldier. 😬 11mo
JaclynW @DebinHawaii I'm hoping Drew is the good guy too! 11mo
kspenmoll @mollyrotondo So many questions- I hope we get answers! 11mo
kspenmoll Great article! 11mo
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