Read It! Nicole Says…Read These Books

By Nicole McManus

The Vanishing Man, by Charles Finch (Charles Lennox #0.5)

Charles Lennox is trying his hand at being a detective. Not for money, but for the delight in using his talents to help others. However, when the Duke of Dorset calls upon him, he wonders if he has chosen the right trade. Lennox knows that London has a dark side, but he is baffled by the missing portrait of the Dorset’s relative. Surely there were more important things for a thief to take, but as Lennox continues to press the details, he finds himself caught up in an intricate plot surrounding a decade’s old secret and…Shakespeare, himself!

Charles Finch has provided a fascinating mystery for fans of historical fiction and detective series. Both Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes would be proud of all the twists and turns throughout this story. The Vanishing Man is a prequel to a well-established series that will have readers hooked by the first chapter. Historical London comes alive in the pages, and readers will feel like they are walking the streets with Charles Lennox. Charles Finch is a definite must-read author!

Do you ever have trouble deciding what to read next? A few weeks ago, I filled a tote bag with books, and I asked Mom and the boys to randomly surprise me with my next read. I have to tell you, this system is fantastic and it has turned into a Sunday tradition! This was my first “blind” read. I had never heard of Charles Finch before, but by Chapter 2, I was hooked! This is considered a prequel to the lengthy series, so I have a lot to catch up on. Trust me; you will be transported to 1860s London as you try to crack the case. For me, what defines an excellent mystery is the fact that I cannot completely guess the ending. I grew up with Nancy Drew and Clue, so I pride myself on my detective reading skills. When a book manages to surprise me, I have to recommend it to others. So before you head to the beach, make sure you bring along this story for an exciting adventure!


Why Mama, by Erika Hoffman

Fancy was told her parents died by murder-suicide, but she doesn’t believe the cops. Forced to live with her sister, Eve, and her wretched husband, Fancy is desperate to find answers. With the help of her friend Judy, who found her parents on that fateful day, the search for the truth, unveils some dark family secrets. Will they ever find out what really happened, or will the secrets of the past put their lives in jeopardy?

Told from alternating points-of-view, readers experience the various perspectives of three very different women. Set in the ‘70s, Hoffman provides a rich atmosphere that comes alive. Filled with tiny details, readers will be duped a few times as they try and solve the mystery. Why Mama is an intense, gripping story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

If you are an avid Sasee reader, you will surely recognize this author’s name. Erika Hoffman is known for her hilarious columns and poignant family tales. She published this book by winning a 2018 contest with the Library Partners Press of Wake Forest University. This dark, coming-of-age, adult mystery is ideal for fans of Gradle Bird and My Sunshine Away.


About this writer

  • Nicole McManus

    Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at

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