Mini Reviews – The Talented Miss Farwell & The Devil and the Dark Water

Catching up on some more reviews before the end of the month!

Thanks to Custom House Books and Soucebooks Landmark for the free early copies in exchange for my honest reviews

THE TALENTED MISS FARWELL – Emily Gray Tedrowe (Released September 29th, 2020)

THE DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER – Stuart Turton (Released October 6th, 2020)

THE TALENTED MISS FARWELL – Emily Gray Tedrowe

Book Description:

At the end of the 1990s, with the art market finally recovered from its disastrous collapse, Miss Rebecca Farwell has made a killing at Christie’s in New York City, selling a portion of her extraordinary art collection for a rumored 900 percent profit. Dressed in couture YSL, drinking the finest champagne at trendy Balthazar, Reba, as she’s known, is the picture of a wealthy art collector. To some, the elusive Miss Farwell is a shark with outstanding business acumen. To others, she’s a heartless capitalist whose only interest in art is how much she can make.

But a thousand miles from the Big Apple, in the small town of Pierson, Illinois, Miss Farwell is someone else entirely—a quiet single woman known as Becky who still lives in her family’s farmhouse, wears sensible shoes, and works tirelessly as the town’s treasurer and controller. 

No one understands the ins and outs of Pierson’s accounts better than Becky; she’s the last one in the office every night, crunching the numbers. Somehow, her neighbors marvel, she always finds a way to get the struggling town just a little more money. What Pierson doesn’t see—and can never discover—is that much of that money is shifted into a separate account that she controls, “borrowed” funds used to finance her art habit. Though she quietly repays Pierson when she can, the business of art is cutthroat and unpredictable. 

But as Reba Farwell’s deals get bigger and bigger, Becky Farwell’s debt to Pierson spirals out of control. How long can the talented Miss Farwell continue to pull off her double life?

Mini Review – My Thoughts: 3/5 stars

I was really looking forward to picking this one up the second I read the synopsis. THE TALENTED MISS FARWELL pulls the readers into the art world and all of the back-stabbing and craziness that goes along with it. I so wanted to love this book more than I ultimately did. When I see a book compared to The Talented Mr. Ripley AND Catch Me If You Can, then my expectations are going to be incredibly high.

The writing was great and I liked the plot, but there were parts that felt like they dragged. So something to keep in mind when starting this, remember that its not quite like the two books it’s compared to, I think I would have enjoyed this a whole more if I didn’t have that set in my mind! I will definitely pick up more from Tedrowe in the future!

THE DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER – Stuart Turton

A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.

Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

The breathtaking new novel from Stuart Turton, author of the The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, winner of the Costa Best First Novel Award.

Mini Review – My Thoughts: 3/5 stars

This was my second time picking up Stuart Turton and I wasn’t the biggest fan of THE 71/2 DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE but I’ll always give an author a couple tries! THE DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER is one I’m torn on, while I really enjoyed the story there were some issues with the pacing for me. With this book I felt that there were some parts that dragged and it took awhile for the action to actually start.

I can see the dialogue not working for some readers – if you aren’t the biggest fan of historical fiction type mysteries then this might not work for you. I think when the next book comes along from Turton I’ll give it a shot and see where it falls for me!

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