Books to Love: Full Length Maxi-Dress Reads


Well, here in the south, all the grocery markets and stores have been gearing up for the start of the school year. Can you believe how quickly the summer has flown by? However, perhaps you’re like me and you’re not ready to put away your summer wardrobe yet. (Well, here in Tennessee, you’d be plum out of your mind to put your shorts and sundresses away. It’s still hotter than the hinges of hell out there, y’all.) The last few posts, I’ve talked about short stories, correlating them with that all important summer staple, SHORTS. But, maybe you’re a MAXI-DRESS sort of person. (Gentlemen, this does not exclude you- perhaps you appreciate maxi dresses more than shorts…) So, I thought I’d give you a list of some of the full length books that I’m looking forward to reading before the end of the year (I’d love to say summer, but I won’t be able to read through all of these plus the things I NEED to read through before the 21st of September.) 

The Glass Ocean
Karen White, Lauren Willig, Beatriz Williams

First, of course, I have to list the Three W’s latest novel, out on the 4th of September. After seeing what magic could be wrought with their first collaboration in A Forgotten Room, I’m not even going to quibble. I’m buying The Glass Ocean. The plot line sounds decadent and mysterious, but when it comes to Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig, they could write anything and I would snap it up. 

Like with A Forgotten Room, The Glass Ocean tells the story of three separate women. Two find themselves aboard the Lusitania in 1915 on its fated ocean voyage. While those two women- one traveling first class struggling with the aloofness of her husband and the rekindling of an old flame with another man, the other traveling second class on a decidedly more dubious mission- walk out their course, the other woman, entrenched firmly in 2013, unravels a mystery that has been hidden in her family for nearly a century. Each author voices one of the women, but if it’s like A Forgotten Room, Team W will remain mum as to who wrote which woman. And, remarkably, as I’m familiar with all of their works, I cannot tell who wrote which character, either. So, here’s hoping their latest offering will surpass the excellence of their last one. (Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a surprise where this book is concerned...)

Then, of course, there is Dean Koontz’s fourth installment in the Jane Hawk series:


The Forbidden Door
Dean Koontz

Remember that Bette Davis movie: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Well, when it comes to the Koontz’s next publication, the question is Whatever Happened to Jane Hawk? I need to know. I mean, I NEED TO KNOW! 

Just a quick introduction, as I realized I haven’t given you one. Former, and now disgraced FBI agent, Jane Hawk is on a mission to uncover the Machiavellian machinations of the forces of evil that are slowly and secretly infiltrating society. Their goal: to control people by ridding society of those on the Hamlet list- a list compiled via a massive nano-computer program which highlights people who will cause trouble by questioning the system. And how are these troublesome people removed? Ordered suicides. Ordered? Yep. You see, part of this nanotechnology is the creation of an injectable computer that enters through the blood stream, can infiltrate the blood-brain barrier, and reassemble in the brain, making the injected person controllable with the utterance of a key phrase. That’s right. Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk has uncovered a Manchurian Candidate type conspiracy, and three books in, the stakes are higher and the end is even more uncertain. How can one woman stand against such extraordinary odds? Jane might not know how, but she knows she will. She has to so she can honor the memory of her husband- a former Marine who the Hamlet list earmarked for elimination. Sure, the coroner said it was suicide, but Jane knows Nick would never off himself. Then, of course, there’s her five year old son, Travis. She’s doing all this to make the world a safe place for him. So, she can’t fail. But what if she does? Time is running out. The enemy is closing in.

See, I NEED TO KNOW! The Forbidden Door comes out on September 11th, and it can’t come soon enough. I’d also like to mention how happy I am that so many exciting titles are coming out around my birthday. I know what I’m asking for…

Oh, and stay tuned, I have a surprise where Koontz is concerned, but I can’t tell you about that just yet. It’s all very hush-hush over here, but I’m letting you in on the Q-T. (Shhhh…)


The Alice Network
Kate Quinn

I don’t know how this happened, but I completely missed Kate Quinn’s last novel. Spies. I love spies, especially reading about them. If you enjoyed Bletchley Circle or The Imitation Game, I have an inkling that this book is just your thing. Plus, it’s impossible for me to overlook a novel with a line like this one: 

A man with a Bentley has everything he needs, lass.
— Finn

The plot line woven over two time periods. The Alice Network actually refers to a network of spies- male and female- during the Great War. The 1915 story is told from the perspective of Eve Gardiner and is picked up once again, when unmarried, pregnant American Charlie St. Clair shows up hell bent on finding out what happened to her cousin Rose in post-WW2 London. I love when an author weaves two storylines together like that. 

And, since I’ve just discovered Anna Lee Huber, I have added another one of her series to my TBR:


This Side of Murder (Verity Kent #1)
Anna Lee Huber

As I’m writing my way through these novels, I’m starting to see a wee bit of a theme here. The Glass Ocean takes place partially in 1915 because, well, the Lusitania. Then there’s Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network which delves into the Secret Service in 1915 England. Now we come to the first Verity Kent murder mystery, and while it doesn’t take place in 1915, it does take place in 1919, revisiting Verity’s ultra-secret past when she worked for… wait for it… the Secret Service. Hmmm. I wonder if I have a type.

Verity Kent receives a letter that rekindles that pain of her husband’s loss by suggesting that her beloved Sidney may have been a traitor before his death. Verity can’t stand for such slander, not to the name of the man she loved. So, she delves into the past, spending time with the men who he fought beside and uncovering sordid secrets- including a potential murder- in the mean time. Intrigued? I know I am. 


The Almost Sisters
Joshilyn Jackson

I had the pleasure of hearing Joshilyn Jackson talk about this novel before it was published last year. I have not read anything by her yet, however, I so enjoyed her enumeration on this novel’s plot and how it came to be that I am making it a priority to read it before the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, 2019. 

Meet Leia, successful graphic novelist and, for all intents and purposes, the black sheep of her conventional, straight-laced Southern family. One night, at Comic-Con, Leia lets her leash out a bit, enjoying a little slap and tickle with Batman. However, their night of amour results in more than super memories; Leia returns to her home in Alabama pregnant. Grappling with how to tell her family she’s in the family way, and not only that, but that the child is biracial, her sister Rachel’s marriage implodes and she finds out that her grandmother has been hiding her decent into dementia. As if that’s not enough to deal with, in the course of sorting through her grandmother’s attic, she uncovers a secret so massive, it could shake her family’s, as well as all her own, beliefs to their very core. 

Really, I wish I had recorded Joshilyn’s spoken summary. It was hilarious, particularly the part when she asked, how do you tell your parents that the father of your baby is Batman? Doesn’t this sound like a fun read? 


Uneasy Lies the Crown
Tasha Alexander

At this point- 14 novels in- I pretty much pre-order Tasha Alexander’s next Lady Emily installment. While I haven’t adored each and every novel in her series, I did love her last one particularly: Death in St. Petersburg. It took place in Russia and revolved around the murder of a prima ballerina. Having spent so many years in ballet, it was a wonderful revisitation for me. That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing what Emily and Colin get up to in this new book out in October. 

What books are coming out that you’re looking forward to? Or maybe the book has come out already and you haven’t had a chance to read it yet? Let us know, dear readers. We always love recommendations here at Whiskers.