The Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn.
This is the story of Ivy Ames, a well-off New York businesswoman who loses her job, her husband , and her fancy Park Avenue townhouse. She rebuilds a life for herself and her two daughters, renting an apartment over a deli.
Stumped about how to make a living, she takes a friend's advice and starts a consulting business to help rich parents get their kids into preferred private pre-schools. She goes through many moral dilemmas (should she help a mob boss's daughter?), but in the end manages to survive.
A funny, touching read, this book is hard to put down.
Sonnet of the Sphinx by Diana Killian
This is the third book in the Poetic Death series. Grace Hollister is still living in England, working for Peter Fox in his antique store, and doing literary research on Romantic Poets. When Peter buys the contents of a farm, Grace discovers that there may be a previously unknown sonnet written by Percy Bysshe Shelley somewhere in the lot.
Peter's past as a thief comes back to haunt him (and Grace), with the appearance of a Turkish prison guard, and his murder. Grace is suspected of committing the crime in order to protect her friend.
The relationship between Grace and Peter finally seems to be going somwhere. But what about DI Drummond?
Feint of Art by Hailey Lind
Annie Kincaid learned the art of art forgery from her grandfather. At age 10, she painted a perfect likeness of the Mona Lisa, and was declared a prodigy. When she tried a similar stunt at 17, she was called a crook. Now, at almost 30, she is beginning to build a business doing faux finishes for peoples' homes, but she still has an uncanny knack for spotting fakes.
When an ex-boyfriend asks her to authenticate a Caravaggio painting he's just purchased for the art museum he's curator of, she has to tell him it's a forgery. When he disappears, she feels she must help to locate the original.
I met Hailey Lind at the LA Times Festival of Books. Or at least I thought I did. The blurb in the back of the book says that "Hailey Lind is the pseudonym of two sisters, one a historian in Virginia, the other an artist in California." Hmmmmm......
Manor of Death by Leslie Caine
In this, the third in the Domestic Bliss series Erin Gilbert is renovating a Victorian manor house belonging to one of her neighbours. Suddenly, things get very strange: she starts seeing ghosts in the house, and then the owner's babysitter dies mysteriously.
Along with her business competitor, Steve Sullivan, Erin attempts to get to the bottom of the weird occurrences, but not before there are more deaths.
Good, fast read.
The Dark Backward by Julia Buckley
When police officer Lily Caldwell's partner was killed, and she was shot, she "died". But she didn't see white lights or angels, she saw the face of the man who held the gun. He just happened to be the governor of the state. Of course, when she tries to tell her story, she's labelled as having post-traumatic stress, and loses her job and her husband.
But she continues to investigate, and soon the governor's continuing attempts to keep his past a secret get him in more and more trouble.
Loved this book, and want to see more by this author!