Monday, September 14, 2020

A Ring of Truth: The Henrietta and Inspector Howard Series, Book One ~ Audio Book Blog Tour Review & Giveaway!

THE HENRIETTA AND INSPECTOR HOWARD SERIES
BY MICHELLE COX


Genre Adult Fiction (18+)
Category Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Michelle Cox

Release dates: November 2017; April 2017; April 2018; April 2019; April 2020

Content Rating: R: Books 1-2 do not have any sex scenes, though there is sexual reference, Books 3-5 do have explicit sex scenes (tasteful). There is periodic swearing and violence, but not a lot. There are some dark themes (though not graphic examples) of suicide, prostitution, mob involvement, rape, drinking, homosexuality.



BOOK TWO: 
A Ring of Truth
Narrated by: Jayne A Entwistle
Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
Genre:  Adult Fiction (18+)
Category Historical Mystery
Publisher: Michelle Cox
Audio Book Release Date: May 18, 2020

Content Rating: R: Books 1-2 do not have any sex scenes, though there is sexual reference.There is periodic swearing and violence, but not a lot. There are some dark themes (though not graphic examples) of suicide, prostitution, mob involvement, rape, drinking, homosexuality.

Book Description:  
In this second book of the series, Henrietta and Clive delightfully rewrite Pride and Prejudice―with a hint of mystery! Newly engaged, Clive and Henrietta now begin the difficult task of meeting each other’s family. “Difficult” because Clive has neglected to tell Henrietta that he is in fact the heir to the Howard estate and fortune, and Henrietta has just discovered that her mother has been hiding secrets about her past as well. 

When Clive brings Henrietta to the family estate to meet his parents, they are less than enthused about his impoverished intended. Left alone in this extravagant new world when Clive returns to the city, Henrietta finds herself more at home with the servants than his family, much to the disapproval of Mrs. Howard―and soon gets caught up in the disappearance of an elderly servant’s ring, not realizing that in doing so she has become part of a bigger, darker plot. 

As Clive and Henrietta attempt to discover the truth in the two very different worlds unraveling around them, they both begin to wonder: Are they meant for each other after all?
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Book Review: 

HALL WAYS REVIEW: AUDIO/PRINT COMBO BOOK REVIEW: A Ring of Truth, the second book in the delicious Henrietta and Inspector Howard Series by Michelle Cox, begins right where the first book, A Girl Like You ended. Yes, delicious. I’ve used that word in every review because I devour Cox’s stories like a tray of sweets. (I started the series with the fifth book, A Child Lost, and had to go back to the beginning and am steadily working forward.)

In A Ring of Truth, Henrietta and Clive realize that being passionately in love may not be enough to overcome the realities of their vastly different worlds – and the seventeen-year age gap between them. They both are guilty of not being forthcoming with each other and having unrealistic expectations. Again, here’s where I love Henrietta’s sassy-self. She says things like she sees them and doesn’t shy away from telling Clive how it is. She is often wise beyond her nineteen years, so at times it’s hard to remember that her more immature actions are because she’s literally still a teenager, albeit one who’s had an enormous amount of responsibility. Readers must be more patient in getting to know Clive. His upbringing, the loss of his first wife and child, his service in the war, and his experiences as a Chicago policeman have made him slow to reveal his core. As layers are peeled away from his character, his actions and reactions make more sense. And it’s clear that Henrietta is a balm to soothe his wounds.

“A lady is not thought to possess strong opinions … as her proper place is to always find herself in support of her husband’s opinions.”

Ah, Antonia. Readers get to know Clive’s highbrow mother a little more through not only her conversations with Henrietta, but also because there are sections of the books told from her point of view. There’s more to her than meets the eye, and while it’s easy to take her at face value – and dislike her immensely -- those parts of the story where readers know her thinking reveal that she’s complicated and not quite the cold person she appears to be. I love Alcott (my second favorite side character), Clive’s father, and he loves Antonia, but readers will have to also be patient here, as her heart is revealed.

Narrator Jane Entwistle is back to voice familiar characters and new ones as well. In A Ring of Truth, my favorite of Entwistle’s performances is of the elderly and endearing Helen Schuyler. With her heavy and heavily expressive Scottish accent and her “ooh aye” and “ach, noo,” Entwistle brings Helen off the pages and into vibrant life. She does a beautiful job in performing all the characters, young and old, male and female, loveable or loathe-able.

I’ve now read one full book only in print, listened to one full book only on audio, and done a combo read of a third. The combo is probably my favorite approach because a) gorgeous cover and the books look great on the shelf, but also b) when it could be deemed rude to have the audio playing in shared spaces or to wear headphones, I can flip open the book and not have to take a break from the story, and of course c) I can read with my eyes much faster than reading with my ears. (Recall the devouring thing?)

I would say that the books I’ve read thus far (one, two, and five) can all be read as stand-alone (but WHY?!), but the open-endedness of A Ring of Truth might niggle a bit more than the others for readers who don’t want to be forced into reading a series to get answers. Admittedly, this might bother me if I had to wait a year for the next installment, but I already have A Promise Given, book three of the series, loaded for listening! Stay tuned for the next review!

Though I already owned the print copy, I thank the author and iRead Book Tours for the audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. 



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OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:


BOOK ONE: 
A Girl Like You
Click to read the Hall Ways Blog Audio Book Review!

Book Description:  Henrietta Von Harmon works as a 26 girl at a corner bar on Chicago’s northwest side. It’s 1935, but things still aren’t looking up since the big crash and her father’s subsequent suicide, leaving Henrietta to care for her antagonistic mother and younger siblings. Henrietta is eventually persuaded to take a job as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall—and just when she’s beginning to enjoy herself, the floor matron turns up dead. When aloof Inspector Clive Howard appears on the scene, Henrietta agrees to go undercover for him—and is plunged into Chicago’s grittier underworld. Meanwhile, she’s still busy playing mother hen to her younger siblings, as well as to pesky neighborhood boy Stanley, who believes himself in love with her and keeps popping up in the most unlikely places, determined to keep Henrietta safe—even from the Inspector, if need be. Despite his efforts, however, and his penchant for messing up the Inspector’s investigation, the lovely Henrietta and the impenetrable Inspector find themselves drawn to each other in most
unsuitable ways.

 Buy the Book:
Audible  ~Amazon.com
Chirp ~ Apple ~ Kobo
 ~ Google Store

BOOK THREE: 
A Promise Given
This third book in the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series provides a delightful romp through the English countryside and back. Anxious to be married, Henrietta and Clive push forward with their wedding plans despite their family differences, made worse now by Oldrich Exley’s attempts to control the Von Harmons. 

When the long-awaited wedding day arrives, there is more unfolding than just Clive and Henrietta’s vows of love. Stanley and Elsie’s relationship is sorely tested by the presence of the dashing Lieutenant Harrison Barnes-Smith and by Henrietta’s friend Rose―a situation that grows increasingly dark and confused as time goes on. 

As Clive and Henrietta begin their honeymoon at Castle Linley, the Howards’ ancestral estate in England, they encounter a whole new host of characters, including the eccentric Lord and Lady Linley and Clive’s mysterious cousin, Wallace. When a man is murdered in the village on the night of a house party at the Castle, Wallace comes under suspicion―and Clive and Henrietta are reluctantly drawn into the case, despite Clive’s anxiety at involving his new bride and Henrietta’s distracting news from home. Delicately attempting to work together for the first time, Clive and Henrietta set out to prove Wallace’s innocence, uncovering as they do so some rather shocking truths that will shake the Linley name and estate forever.

BOOK FOUR: 
A Veil Removed
Murder is never far from this sexy couple . . . even during the holidays! Their honeymoon abruptly ended by the untimely death of Alcott Howard, Clive and Henrietta return to Highbury, where Clive discovers all is not as it should be. 

Increasingly convinced that his father’s death was not an accident, Clive launches his own investigation, despite his mother’s belief that he has become “mentally disturbed” with grief.

Henrietta eventually joins forces with Clive on their first real case, which becomes darker―and deadlier―than they imagined as they get closer to the truth behind Alcott’s troubled affairs. Meanwhile, Henrietta’s sister, Elsie, begins, at Henrietta’s orchestration, to take classes at a women’s college―an attempt to evade her troubles and prevent any
further romantic temptations. When she meets a bookish German custodian at the school, however, he challenges her to think for herself . . .even as she discovers some shocking secrets about his past life.
 Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Chirp ~ Apple
Kobo
~ Google Store



A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl . . . When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank
Davis for a case, he is assigned to investi-gating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables.

What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta―much to Clive’s dismay―begins to believe the spiritualist's strange ramblings. Meanwhile, Elsie implores Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel.

When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results.
Buy the Book:
Audible ~ Amazon.com
Chirp ~ Apple ~ Kobo


MEET THE NARRATOR : Jayne Entwistle was born in the North of England and lived in a myriad of places (Vancouver, San Francisco, Tucson, Sequim, Seattle) before landing in Los Angeles. She is an avid improviser who hitched her space-work wagon to Patrick Bristow’s company, Improvatorium, where she studied, taught, directed and performed improv. She is an award-winning audio book narrator best known for her narration of the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. She also received the 2015 Odyssey Honour Award for The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry and the 2016 Odyssey Award for The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.   When not inhaling books for work or pleasure, Jayne works in film, television and commercials. The biggest star she has ever worked with is Shaquille O’Neal. He is quite literally THE biggest star she has ever worked with. Ever. He’s really big!

MEET THE AUTHOR: Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. Coincidentally, her books have been praised by KirkusLibrary JournalPublishers WeeklyBooklist, and many others, so she might be on to something. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade.

Website    Facebook   Twitter 
Instagram   Goodreads


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! 
$100 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Michelle Cox,
author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard Mystery Series 
(ends Nov 8)


Tour Schedule:

Aug 31 - Bookish Paradise – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Aug 31 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of A Girl Like You / giveaway

Aug 31 - Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of A Girl Like You / guest post / giveaway

Sep 1 – Lamon Reviews – audiobook review of A Girl Like You / giveaway

Sep 1 - Rebecca Graf on Medium - audiobook review of A Girl Like You

Sep 2 – Bookriot – audiobook review for A Child Lost / author interview / giveaway

Sep 2 - Rajiv's Reviews - audiobook review of A Girl Like You / giveaway

Sep 2 - Library of Clean Reads - audiobook review of A Girl Like You / giveaway

Sep 3 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of A Girl Like You / giveaway

Sep 3 - Amy's Booket List - audiobook review of A Girl Like You

Sep 4 - Rebecca Graf on Medium - audiobook review of A Ring of Truth Sep 4 - Rajiv's Reviews - audiobook review of A Ring of Truth / giveaway

Sep 7 – Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of A Ring of Truth / giveaway

Sep 7 – Books for Books – audiobook review of A Girl Like You

Sep 7 - Rajiv's Reviews - audiobook review of A Promise Given / giveaway

Sep 8 – Sefina Hawke's Books – series spotlight

Sep 8 - Rebecca Graf on Medium - audiobook review of A Promise Given

Sep 9 – Jazzy Book Reviews – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Sep 9 - Rajiv's Reviews - audiobook review of A Veil Removed / giveaway

Sep 9 - Library of Clean Reads - audiobook review of A Ring of Truth / giveaway

Sep 10 - Amy's Booket List - audiobook review of A Ring of Truth

Sep 10 - Rosepoint Publishing - audiobook review of A Girl Like You

Sep 11 – Books for Books – audiobook review of A Ring of Truth

Sep 11- Rebecca Graf on Medium - audiobook review of A Veil Removed

Sep 14 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of A Ring of Truth / giveaway

Sep 14 – Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of A Promise Given / giveaway

Sep 14 - Rajiv's Reviews - audiobook review of A Child Lost / giveaway

Sep 15 – Olio By Marilyn – audiobook review of A Girl Like You / giveaway

Sep 15 - Rebecca Graf on Medium - audiobook review of A Child Lost

Sep 16 – Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of A Veil Removed / giveaway

Sep 16 - Library of Clean Reads - audiobook review of A Promise Given / giveaway

Sep 17 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of A Ring of Truth / giveaway

Sep 17 - Amy's Booket List - audiobook review of A Promise Given

Sep 18 - Books for Books – audiobook review of A Promise Given

Sep 18 - From the TBR Pile - audiobook review of A Girl Like You

Sep 21 - Books for Books – audiobook review of A Veil Removed

Sep 21 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of A Promise Given / giveaway

Sep 22 - Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of A Child Lost / giveaway

Sep 22 – Olio By Marilyn – audiobook review of A Ring of Truth / giveaway

Sep 23 – Book Corner News and Reviews – audiobook review of A Veil Removed / giveaway

Sep 23 - Library of Clean Reads - audiobook review of A Veil Removed / giveaway

Sep 24 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of A Promise Given / giveaway

Sep 24 - Amy's Booket List - audiobook review of A Veil Removed

Sep 25 – Books for Books – audiobook review of A Child Lost

Sep 25 - From the TBR Pile - audiobook review of A Ring of Truth

Sep 28 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of A Veil Removed / giveaway

Sep 28 - From the TBR Pile - audiobook review of A Promise Given

Sep 29 - Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of A Veil Removed / giveaway

Sep 30 – Olio By Marilyn – audiobook review of A Promise Given / giveaway

Sep 30 - Library of Clean Reads - audiobook review of A Child Lost / giveawaySep 30 - From the TBR Pile - audiobook review of A Veil Removed

Oct 1 – Olio By Marilyn – audiobook review of A Veil Removed / giveaway

Oct 1 - History from a Woman’s Perspective  - audiobook review of A Girl Like You

Oct 1 - Amy's Booket List - audiobook review of A Child Lost

Oct 2 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of A Child Lost / giveaway

Oct 2 - From the TBR Pile - audiobook review of A Child Lost





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