Tag Archives: © 2023 Book Chatter

Review: Exiles


By Jane Harper
Flatiron Books, 9781250235350, January 31, 2023, 368pp.

The Short of It:

This is a light, enjoyable mystery.

The Rest of It:

Federal Investigator Aaron Falk is on his way to a small town deep in Southern Australian wine country for the christening of an old friend’s baby. But mystery follows him, even on vacation. ~ Indiebound

In this mystery, the baby doesn’t go missing, but her mother does. As Investigator Falk is visiting with friends one year after the disappearance, the details of Kim’s disappearance continue to plague both Falk and those who knew Kim, particularly her grown daughter. Kim would never leave the baby like that, parked in stroller at a summer festival, unsupervised and alone. It was completely out of character for her, and yet no one witnessed anything or can remember seeing her that night.

As the family gathers for the child’s christening, they decide to use the time together to try to re-enact what happened that night. They are all desperate for answers and something feels off to Falk. The memories from a year ago are vague but as they all talk through that night, new details come to light.

This is a sleepy little mystery. It’s not fast paced but the characters are likable and the setting of a wine festival was rather enjoyable. I’ve read one other book where Investigator Falk was featured and it was quite enjoyable as well. I’d say that there aren’t any big revelations in this one, but somehow it all comes together nicely. I liked it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Whatnot – 02/08/23

HollyYou guys! Look what comes out on my birthday this year! Holly by Stephen King! Yes, THAT Holly. Holly Gibney, one of King’s most resourceful and likable characters. I cannot wait for September 5th! I clearly need to take that day off so I can make my Labor Day weekend extra long. 

In other news, I’ve been in a weird place. After my bloodwork came back positive for numerous autoimmune disorders, I was feeling pretty lousy and sorry for myself. But now, I feel motivated to take better care of myself. I really do not take good care of myself. I’m not making any bold statements here but I am trying to focus on health and rest. We’ll see what role medication plays when I see my new Rheumatologist on 2/13. 

I blew through two books recently, both reviews will be posted soon: Exiles by Jane Harper and The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani. Both were quite enjoyable. That leaves me with my book club pick Black Cake which we will discuss next week. I am only a few chapters in so far but it’s also very good. February is going to be a good reading month. 

You might remember how my husband is NOT a reader, well, we’ve established a new routine in the evenings and it’s so nice and relaxing. I set my diffuser up with some lavender and then we both sit and read. He is working on a Bible in a Year plan and I will either read my Bible stuff or whatever else I have going if my Bible plans are all caught up. It’s been so nice! We do this before bed. Even the pup likes it. 

It has been so pretty here. Cool mornings and evenings but bright blue skies and sun. I am historically low again on Vitamin D so trying to get a little sun each day. I will most likely be prescribed a high dose supplement again but trying to get some natural D in before then. 

Do you have plans for the Super Bowl? We do not at this moment. We will probably stay home and enjoy some chili and hot dogs. I am not that into who is playing but my church is a huge fan of KC. Don’t hit me but I think Phil will win. If you added one finger food to chili and hotdogs, what would you add? I feel like I need something else. I still have student ministry on Sunday but will be out by 1pm. 

That’s it from me. I hope you are all doing well. I know some of you are battling health issues too and many of you are still trying to get your homes situated after all the weather damage. Hang in there. I am thinking of you and praying for you too.