Horror and thriller combine

A desperate young woman pretends to be a nanny so she can have a place to live after her boyfriend and best friend hook up and kick her out of their lives in “The Nesting” by C.J. Cooke.

Dealing with mental illness, Lexi just came off a suicide attempt when her boyfriend dropped the bombshell on her. She overhears a woman talking about a job opportunity to be a nanny for two kids going to Norway, so she pretends to be the nanny and gets the job. Once there, Lexi discovers something happened to the girls’ mother, Aurelia, and while everyone says it is suicide, it may not have been. The family seems lovely and the two family friends welcoming, but underneath it all, lurks darkness. Just like the basement Lexi has been warned not to go into. And who is the Sad Lady the oldest daughter keeps talking about?

There is gothic scares, Nordic folktales and even a vicious Mother Nature at play here. There were some plot holes and a few missteps that stuck out to me, but might not to others.

“The Nesting” is published by Penguin Random House. It is $16.


Hercule Poirot lives again in “The Killings at Kingfisher Hill” by Sophie Hannah, in Agatha Christie’s style. Poirot has been summoned to the exclusive estate by Richard Devonport to prove that his fiancee, Helen, didn’t kill his brother as she has confessed to. An added layer of oddity is he must disguise his business there, and Poirot does, pretending to be an enthusiast of the board game, Peepers, which the Devonport family had a hand in. But things get off to an even weirder start, when a woman on the train freaks out and claims that someone told her she’d die if she sat in a particular seat, and when Poirot takes her chair, the woman next to him, claims to have murdered someone – and then is also at Kingfisher Hill. Who really killed Frank Devonport and why? It will take all the “little gray cells” to figure this case out. I really enjoyed the board game aspect, as a board gamer, and overall it was a good mystery. I just can’t help but feel it wasn’t as good as Agatha’s though.

“The Killings at Kingfisher Hill” is published by William Morrow.


A young adult historical mystery novel comes with a twist — the main character is Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes’ much younger sister, Enola Holmes — in “Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess” by Nancy Springer.

When her father died when she was young, Enola hasn’t seen her older brothers since, though she has heard stories about her brother Sherlock. It has been just she and her mother at the old manor house with a small group of servants. But on the day of her birthday, her mother disappears and in desperation, she turns to her older brothers, who seem to only want to call their mother odd and Mycroft wants to put Enola into boarding school. Enola is determined to find out where her mother went all by herself!

With the Netflix movie coming out, this is a brand new story for those who haven’t read the book yet (it originally came out in the early 2000s) and Sherlock fans will not be disappointed by his spirited sister. A fun read for adults and young teens.

“Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess” is published by Penguin Young Readers. It is $7.99.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com.


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