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Maureen Stapleton - Editorial Expert

Maureen Stapleton, a writer and journalist, has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Radio Times, Heat, and many others. She is the associate director of the Greenwich Book Festival, and is a prize manager for the Comedy Women in Print Prize. As a proud holder of both British and American citizenship, she is bilingual in hot drinks (coffee and tea).

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Latest Reviews By Maureen Stapleton

The Rich
Secrets and lies play a crucial role in the twisty psychological thriller, The Rich by Rachel Lynch. This is Lynch’s first stand-alone thriller, after writing eleven novels featuring Dectective Kelly Porter, and two featuring Helen Scott of the Royal Military Police. In this, the lives of many people are intertwined and connected, but they all have one thing in common: the psychologist Dr. Alex Moore. She is a successful psychologist in Cambridge, but she has some problems of her own. Mainly, her alcoholic husband and her three troubled teenagers, a son with a casual drug problem, another with ... View Full Review
Went to London, Took the Dog: A Diary
In Went to London, Took the Dog, Nina Stibbe transplants herself and her cockapoo Peggy to London for one year while she tries to figure out her life. Stibbe writes wonderfully about her adult children, the challenge of menopause, the joys of a pub quiz and even drops a name or 92. Forty years after Stibbe first moved to London to be a nanny—the basis for her best-seller Love, Nina-- Stibbe found herself again in the city, as a lodger to the novelist Deborah Moggach. This time, Stibbe is older, wiser and better connected, but still has the same ... View Full Review
Collected Essays: 15th Anniversary Edition
The School of Life was founded by philosopher and author Alain de Botton and its aim was to help people understand their emotional life better. This essay collection, released to mark the school’s fifteenth anniversary, contains ten of its landmark essays, including those on self-knowledge, confidence, love, work and culture. It says that these are its most important essays, and what it would most want to teach a friend. The thoughtful essays certainly give food for thought. Some of the essays are a bit shocking, though perhaps that’s intentional so we will pay attention. “Why ... View Full Review
Seventy Times Seven
Paula Cooper was only 15 years old and a tenth grader at Lew Walland High School in Gary, Indiana, in 1985, when she and two of her friends brutally killed local Bible teacher Ruth Pelke. Cooper received the death penalty, making her the first female to receive the sentence in Indiana, and at the time was the youngest person on Death Row in the U.S.  After her sentencing, Ruth Pelke’s grandson, Bill, was at work at Bethlehem Steel, sitting in his crane high above the molten metal when he had an epiphany: he should forgive Cooper because he ... View Full Review
A Cornish Christmas at the Farmhouse Bakery
Ivy runs a bakery and café with grand plans for expansion when her landlord tells her she can’t expand because she has to move out. Meanwhile, Ivy’s husband Adam is having a career crisis of his own. Ivy’s best friend Jess happens to have a vacancy at the bakery in Renweneth Farm, her farmhouse complex in Cornwall. Could this be the solution to their career problems? The novel follows Ivy and her husband Adam as they make the move west and try to make it work in the weeks before Christmas. This is ... View Full Review
The Wonder of It All
Barbara Taylor Bradford, the doyenne of family dramas and romantic fiction, returns with her fortieth book, The Wonder of it All. James Falconer has volunteered for the trenches of World War One, leaving his London real estate empire behind. At the Battle of the Somme, he is badly injured and he needs to return home, both to recover and put his life back together. Top of his list is to make amends with his estranged daughter Leonie, to whom he wants to entrust his business, having no other heirs. The novel follows his journey to become a happy man. This ... View Full Review
Hades by Mark Knowles, transports readers to Lemnos in Greece, with an action-packed story decades after Jason and the Argonauts sought the golden fleece. This novel follows the quest of Xandros, grandson of the famous Jason, who is trying to find his place in the world and prove himself. The threat of the Sea People, a group of pirates roaming the Greek islands and pillaging as they go, looms large. Xandros decides to try to find the remaining Argonauts on Lemnos to help defend the island. The novel, the third in the Blades of Bronze series, features a very large ... View Full Review
Escape to the Swiss Chalet
Holly Roberts has her future mapped out, so no one is more surprised than her when she’s jilted at the altar on her wedding day. As she hibernates in the aftermath under a duvet at her parents’ house, she accepts a job offer to become a sous chef for the ski season in Verbier, Switzerland, the winter wonderland of the ultra-rich. Holly is wholly unprepared for her move. She doesn’t know how to ski, and she doesn’t even have any warm winter clothes, instead opting to use a vintage pair of salopettes last ... View Full Review
Mrs Plansky's Revenge
From the swamps of Florida to the mountains of Romania, “Mrs Plansky’s Revenge” by Spencer Quinn takes readers on a wild ride filled with cybercrime, international locations and gentle humour. Sprightly 71-year-old Loretta Plansky is trying to enjoy her retirement to the fullest, filling her days with tennis, managing her 98-year-old father and trying to fend off requests for money from her somewhat feckless children. But everything changes after a middle-of-the-night phone call from her grandson Will asking for nearly $10,000 to bail him out of jail. By the next morning, though, she discovers to her shame ... View Full Review
A Poem to Read Aloud Every Day of the Year
A Poem to Read Aloud Every Day of the Year edited by Liz Ison, is a greatest hits compilation of some of the best-loved poets and their poetry through history. It’s got The Williams: Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and Blake; British Poet Laureates Carol Ann Duffy, John Dryden, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson; American poets Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; and some new favourites like Mary Oliver, Lemn Sissay and Spike Milligan. In my experience, the beauty of daily anthologies is that they provide a gift for every day of the year, which is why I love them. ... View Full Review
Storm Watch
The mystery is bigger and more complicated than expected when Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett discovers a murder in a swirling snow storm in Storm Watch by C.J. Box. Chasing an injured elk, which he puts out of its misery once he finds it, Pickett stumbles across an abandoned vehicle on the mountain, and soon after finds a headless body that has been pulled into an industrial fan at a mysterious and remote building. With the snow piling up, Pickett leaves the body behind, but when he starts asking questions, the mystery deepens. Pickett seeks answers, but there are ... View Full Review
The Fortune Tellers
World War One provides the backdrop detailing the lives of two best friends in Blackpool as they make their way in the world in The Fortune Tellers by Maggie Mason. Martha moves to Blackpool with her grandmother to escape the rising tensions in Ireland. She soon meets Trisha, her neighbour, and they become fast friends. Martha and her grandmother, who both have the gift of seeing the future, set up a tent on the Blackpool Promenade selling their personal prognostications to the public.  This sweeping saga has it all: romance, heartbreak, tragedy, triumph, and everything in between. Although challenges ... View Full Review