Melody Road | 6 December 2022 | 55 pgs (e-book)
Source: Library 

This novella by Peter Swanson is part of the Bibliomysteries series. So it begins when Henry and his wife, Alice, go for their honeymoon trip and stay in a New England lake house. Upon their arrival, Henry is immediately struck by a sense of déjà vu. After all, it reminds him of their house with shelves full of midcentury-American crime novels. However, there's one book that's caught his attention. The Honeymoon Trap is the title; and the more he reads it, the more he finds that the story has uncanny similarities with his own situation. Such as, the two characters in the book are newlyweds on a honeymoon after a whirlwind romance, just like Henry and Alice. And like the female character in the story, Alice is seen acting suspiciously and Henry soon become obsessed with their whereabouts both in the fiction world and in reality; eventually leading him to believe that murder might be the only way to get out of the trap which he believes he's in. 

This has a great premise. A story within a story, but what was that ending? It left me confused, and a bit perplexed because it made no sense to me. If you've read it, please let me know what I'd missed. 

(3 stars)

William Morrow | 17 October 2023 | 112 pgs
Source: Library 

This is another novella by Peter Swanson which I feel works great for a novel too with more in-depth plots and characterisations. 

In part one of the story, Ashley Smith is spending her time alone on Christmas Day and stumble upon a diary which she'd written thirty years ago in 1989. She was an American Art student studying in London then and was invited to spend the Christmas holiday with her classmate and her family at Starvewood Hall in Clevemoor. Ashley was impressed by Emma Chapman's manor house but most of all, she was attracted by Emma's twin brother, Adam. But there's something secretive about Adam; and Ashley was quite unsettled when she was told that she resembled a local girl who was murdered. 

The second part of the story is the present day in which Ashley reflects on the events happened thirty years ago and this is where the truth unravel and will make you gasp in surprise. I loved that ending; and not to mention the Gothic atmosphere of the English village in Clevemoor. An extraordinary festive read if you don't mind a little thrill to it. 

(4 stars)

Recently I watched this K-drama (The Perfect Deal) about a staged kidnapping case that gone wrong. Three friends (starring Yoo Seung Ho, Kim Dong Hwi and Yoo Soo Bin) met up for a drink after having not seen each other for a while. Two of them faced financial problems and after seeing the other drunk, they decided to "kidnap" him for ransom since his family is rich. But things didn't go well for them and their situation become complicated and even dangerous as the case involves more people and the secrets they're all trying to hide. By the time the two friends have realised their mistakes, they've already reached the point of no return. 

I couldn't recommend this drama high enough. Though short with only eight episodes, it captured the dynamics between the trio and show how desperation could drive one into choosing an unethical decision. Though what the two friends did are wrong and unforgivable, I felt sorry for them for the difficult (financial) situation they're in. If only they've chosen a better and a wiser route, perhaps their fate would've been different. 

(4.5 stars)

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8 Responses
  1. Kay Says:

    Melody, I read THE CHRISTMAS GUEST recently and thought it was good. I too was surprised at the ending, but thinking back there might have been a few clues. I haven't read the other one you mentioned, but I'll keep it in mind. Hope you have a good week!

  2. Melody Says:

    Kay - The Christmas Guest was a good read and I enjoyed it. I'll be curious of your thoughts if you do read The Honeymoon Trap. Hope you've a good week too, Kay!

  3. Lark Says:

    That K-drama does sound really good! :D

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - That drama is one of the few good ones which I'd seen lately. :)

  5. I am considering reading THE CHRISTMAS GUEST soon. I like the sound of the K-drama!

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll enjoy The Christmas Guest when you read it, Wendy!

  7. Melody Says:

    Mystica - Thanks, Mystica!

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