Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Return To Lan Darr by Anderson Atlas

Allan has a dream about Lan Darr that seems way too real.  He decides he needs to return because he thinks they need his help.  All he has to do is find the flower that will take him through the portal...

Synesthesia Books shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

He spends a lot of time on the mountain with his Uncle and his girlfriend.  The problem is that the flowers are in limited supply and not easily found.  When he does acquire them and heads off to Lan Darr, he ends up on the wrong planet first.

If he doesn't want to wait for months, he has to go to another planet to get the flower pollen to get where he wants.  He doesn't realize that the world he's visiting plans to trap him and keep him as a slave.  When he figures it out, it's a challenge to escape!

In the meantime, the monster he thought was sent far, far away has returned and he's on earth looking for him.  He doesn't get him but he gets his Uncle.  And the madwoman who started all the problems has captured his girlfriend and her mother.  Everyone is in trouble.

This author has a way of making absolutely incredible beings seem normal.  They are just another character in the story and you feel sorry for them or angry with them just like any other.  I found it hard to worry about the bad guy in this story but it's a tale well told with lots of tension and challenges for Allan and his Uncle.  At least now no one will believe he was making the stuff up anymore. 

This was another exciting adventure in other worlds with Allan and his various friends.  I enjoyed the read and think you will, too, if you like fantasy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

His Royal Whiskers by Sam Gayton, Sydney Hanson

Here's a tantalizing little read with made-up words, an alchemist trainee and boy who just wanted to have fun.  As always, things don't always work like you planned.  It all started when they tried to put the potion on the warlord and it fell on on the prince instead.  The prince turns into a cat.  And the two partners in crime end up in the dungeon...

Margaret K McElderry and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 14th.

The only way they can save their heads is to try to reverse the potion and turn the prince back into a boy.  They have a limited amount of time to do it and it's just not working.  She's the alchemist, he's the brains.  They finally think they might have conquered it, just as the deadline ends.

Life gets even more exciting when they find the Czar dead.  He's sleeping on the prince's cat body and he has no blood left.  Unfortunately, the boy is accused of murder.  Never mind that he's not a vampire.  He was there so he must be guilty.

From here on out the story gets even more fanciful.  The boy is beheaded but he's not dead.  The Czar is trying to raise the dead to head a revolt and kill more people.  The Grim Reaper has been reduced to a pile of bones.  The boy's head travels around.  You never know what you'll encounter in the next chapter.

It was an interesting read and isn't the least bit boring.  If you're willing to suspend disbelief, you can have a good time reading this.

Court of Twilight by Mareth Griffith

She's found a great place to rent.  She has a roommate who loves plants and never goes out if she can help it.  It's in a good area of town, she doesn't mind doing her shopping and the rent is cheap.  So Demi is a bit weird.  Most people are.

Parvus Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

It's when Demi goes missing and she finds an odd man in the flower box that Ivy realizes Demi might be more than a little weird.  The police don't care she's missing.  If anyone is going to find her, it will need to be Ivy.  Where could she have gone?  She decides to check out her computer and cellphone and see what she can find out...

What she finds is that she can see people other people can't.  It's not that they are ghosts; it's that they are other worldly.  They are almost like the fae.  You can't eat their food, you can't touch them or you'll disappear, too, and they have some strange habits.  Each year, someone is chosen as King.  After their year of holding the position ends, someone from the ancient past comes forward and kills the King.  Only one person has ever avoided that responsibility and he won't tell how it happened.  I don't think he even knows how it happened.

Ivy is trying to save Demi.  Everyone says she can't.  Almost by accident, she does.  But at best, all that does is give them another year to try to find a way to keep Demi alive...

Monday, October 16, 2017

Wallace the Brave by Will Henry

This is a whimsical touch from the past.  It's a collection of comic strips about Wallace, who is a typical boy.  He gets in trouble a lot...

Andrews McMeel Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published tomorrow.

Wallace has a friend named Spud, a little brother, and he's friends with a tomboy.  She's really good at throwing things and is a bit of a smart mouth, too.  

My favorite part of the comics was Wallace's interaction with his dad.  His father is willing to discuss silly things and imagine things most adults wouldn't.  It was sweet to watch them together.

It doesn't take too long to read and made me laugh here and there.  I bet middle graders will love it.  What would you do with a muffin left in the room since school let out last?  Wallace gave it to his tomboy and she nailed a wasps nest.  You can guess what happened next...

Sleep No More by P. D. James, Peter Kemp

Here are six tales that look at murder from various angles.  Whether is from revenge, selfish greed, anger or even apathy, these people commit murder and expect to get away with it.  Some do, some don't.  But that doesn't help the victim...

Knopf and Edelweiss gave the me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 14th.

They are all a fascinating look at morality, character, and desires.  No one in these stories is very kind or understanding.  P D James saw the world the way it was, there's no sugarcoating here.

The one that got my attention was the tale where Santa Claus got killed.  It's a provocative mystery with lots of players.  Justice was done but not in a court of law.  I like irony in my stories.

If you like P D James, you'll be glad to get this new compilation of some old and some stories.  Give it a read.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bear Hug by Susanna Isern, Betania Zacarias

This is a very sweet story about a young girl who found a baby polar bear...

NubeOcho and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 14th.

He's a new baby and she can't find his mother anywhere so she takes him home with her.  He's cold, so she feeds him and then they sleep in her bed together.  She plays with him during the day and all is well until someone has raided the fish for the village.  They accuse her bear.  She knows he didn't do it but she also knows if she doesn't take him into the wild, they will kill him.  She takes him away and tells him he has to stay there and cries all the way home.

The illustrations are lovely and the story has a happy ending.  She gets reunited with her bear and the wolves are the thieves and the village wants the bear back home again.

Why not give your child a white bear to sleep with and read this story to him/her as a bedtime story.  It'd put me to sleep, especially with a bear hug at the end.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Seeds of Revenge: A Greenhouse Mystery by Wendy Tyson

Megan is working on farming all year.  If she can sell fresh greens to the various restaurants, she'll be busy all year and have a steady income.  On her way home after leaving samples at the restaurants, she finds a car in the ditch.  The snow is deadly and started late, so she drives carefully looking for the driver.  Sure enough, she finds her.  And that's where her troubles begin...

Henery Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 14th.

The driver is a woman who was invited to visit her aunt and set up a shop in town.  When she gets her to her destination, there's a man on the porch chatting with Merry.  Her passenger bolts out of the rig and accosts him.  She tells him to leave, she wants nothing to do with him.  Megan watches until Merry waves her off.  She's not sure what happened but it didn't look good.

It seems the man was the driver's father. She hates him and believes he killed her mother.  She's very vocal about it.  The death was ruled an accident.  No one knows enough about it to take one side or the other.  But someone kills the father and it appears they're going to have to figure out who.

This is the story of a very dysfunctional family.  There are emotional wounds everywhere.  No one in the family line was safe, they all suffered the impact.  There was a previous marriage, and there was also a lover.  The father was not a nice man but someone else in the family isn't either...

Friday, October 13, 2017

Canal Days Calamity: A Dog Days Mystery #2 by Jamie M. Blair

The last thing Cam wanted to was find another dead body.  Her husband won't like this at all...

Midnight Ink and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 8th.

Cam's sister is starting a new business, Cam is heading up the Canal Days celebration, and Cam has her stepdaughter living with her.  When they arrest Andy, her handyman, for the murder, the little mystery solving group she has forms again and they go after the real murderer.

This is a light cozy mystery that was a pleasure to read.  Cam and her husband are separated but they still love each other.  He wants her to stay out of murder cases because it's dangerous.  He's right, she almost gets killed herself.  Between playing politics, trying to keep her mother from running her life, and keeping Canal Days moving forward and getting her sister's business ready for opening, she really shouldn't have time to do much investigating.  It's a good thing she's a snoop...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Gift: The Amish of Hart County by Shelley Shepard Gray

She's making a new start in a new community but the people seem stand-offish.  She wants to find out why but when she does, she'll wish she hadn't.

Avon Inspire and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

Susanna hears gunshots while she's on her trip home and tries to hurry her horse along.  One of the shots comes too close, and she's thrown off the carriage.  She almost dies from the exposure, but a man shows up and saves her.  She thinks it was an accident but all of a sudden the family seems to be having a lot of them...

They purchased a farm from a family that was forced to sell.  That's why the community isn't sure about them.  The worst part?  Her savior was the son of the farmer that had to sell and he wants nothing to do with her when he hears her last name.  She's sad but she also knows it's not her family's fault.

Both of them have some growing up to do.  Neil learns some things about his father that he didn't know.  Susanna is busy trying to keep her family safe.  There's one more crisis that happens on Christmas day and it makes their Christmas bittersweet.  But there's hope for the future.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Down and Out in Purgatory: The Collected Stories of Tim Powers Tim Powers

Here's an interesting read in fantasy and science fiction.  This collection of stories takes you out of this world.

Baen and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on November 7th.

This is a mix of time travel, religion, and other nebulous things in the universe.  He travels through a portal to a time where he already was once earlier but he has no knowledge of it because he hasn't done it yet.  If you can get your head around that, you'll have no trouble with the other stories in the collection.

The stories are eclectic, not many of them are satisfying, and some are downright weird.  Can you imagine dying so you can go hunt down your enemy and remove him from purgatory?  He thinks he'll be able to come back but it doesn't turn out that way.  Even the woman he was willing to kill for wasn't what he thought.

All these stories will give you cause for thought.  It's an odd but entertaining collection. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Sorcerer's Appendix by P. J. Brackston

Gretel is back and on another adventure.  She better be careful though.  They have to go into the deep dark forest they just barely escaped from in the past.  She doesn't want to find the witch is still alive!

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

I love this series.  Both Gretel and Hans are pigs.  They always get involved with another nursery rhyme character.  There's humor, silliness, danger, and Hans drinks too much.  I'm surprised they survive until the next adventure!

Their case this time is a missing sorcerer.  All that was left of him in his locked shed was his appendix.  His wife thinks he's dead.  The insurance company won't pay without a body.  The wife hires Gretel to find him, dead or alive...

The journey is dangerous, Gretel's heart is broken because her boyfriend is engaged to be married to someone else, and she's determined to solve this case so they have enough money to make it through winter comfortably.  However, she's not enthused about camping on their journey.  They have no choice...

With attacks coming from all around on the journey, I wasn't sure they'd make it all the way back alive.  Only Gretel gets hurt and that's because Hans jumped on her and broke her leg.  Sometimes brothers are not that big of a help.

The ending is great.  And I'm ready to go detecting with Gretel again in another story!

Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan

Imagine a Christmas tradition that has gone on for years.  The host is a bachelor and he invites his friends over.  There are songs, games, and presents for everyone.  There's also an undercurrent of tension.  It gets worse when they find Santa dead in front of the tree...

Sourcebooks Landmark and Edelweiss gave the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

There's an extra guest this year.  He's a former tobacconist that dabbles in amateur sleuthing.  He was curious about the extra note on his invitation and came to find out what it meant.  It's hard to find anyone alone to talk to them.  And it's obvious there are a lot of secrets being kept in the household.

Santa should have been the host.  He's the one that decorates the tree.  But it's his business partner, not him.  Who killed him and why?

As Tremaine digs for answers, he finds all sorts of odd bits that show the host is not what he seems.  He desires power over other people so all those dear "friends" who come to Christmas were there because they had to be.  His Christmas presents were blackmail demands for money!  Then Tremaine figures out how the death happened.  Now he has to determine the killer...

This a good mystery with lots of clues, lots of misdirection, and an almost deadly confrontation with a killer.  I enjoyed reading it. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Blackbird by Michael Fiegel

This is a very unusual read.  Why would an assassin pick up an eight-year old and take her with him after a kill?  He doesn't even know why he did it...

Skyhorse Publishing and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

This is written with two voices.  His is a bit larger print, hers is a bit smaller.  These two voices talk about the difficulty of a man who has never even been married trying to raise a child.  He can't let her go to school.  The things he teaches her will never get her a regular job.  But she wants to please him and enjoys learning the skills.

As she grows and learns she can also kill, the chemistry between them changes.  They move a lot, they change their appearance constantly, and they find out that the group that uses them for kills is trying to take over other cells.  Soon they are on the run from the killers.  But when they are killers, too, it's hard to hide.

It comes to a breaking point and she walks over a fine line.  He leaves her.  But she's not through trying to find him.  The problem is that someone finds her first.  He's created a monster...

This is full of psychological suspense.  Killers don't have a conscience and don't ask questions.  They also don't talk much.  But silence can say a lot, too.

Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind by Darlene Foster

Amanda lives in Canada and they are taking a school trip to New Mexico to visit the Taos area.  She and her classmates are excited to see the historical sites and buy some trinkets to take home.  Now if her roommate would just quit thinking she's seeing ghosts, all would be well.

Central Avenue Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

I live in New Mexico and I don't see ghosts, but I can hear them.  I've heard soldiers talking at an old deserted fort and Indians drumming and dances right below some petroglyphs.  I don't really believe in them but how can you ignore what you can hear?

In this story, Amanda's friend Cleo sees a young girl.  She's afraid to be in rooms where ghosts are rumored to be around.  And she ends up spooking Amanda, too.

When a wind knocks Amanda into a cemetery, she's scared.  The man who yells at her for trespassing isn't pleasant either.  Suddenly, it seems Amanda is in trouble everywhere.  When Amanda and Caleb find bones in one of the forbidden buildings, it gets even more eerie.  

This visit to New Mexico is well documented and shows some of the legends of the Land of Enchantment.  You feel like you visited the facilities the children did.  You also find out some of the history of people there.

Learn about New Mexico in the comfort of your favorite chair and you won't have to worry about ghosts visiting you...

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Lost Frost Girl by Amy Wilson

Owl not only has an unusual name, she only has a Mom.  Her Mom won't tell her who her father is.  Then an odd boy starts attending school and he's in all her classes.  He looks at her all the time but she's not sure she likes him.  Then he tells her she's just like him.  She pressures her mother for her father's name.  She finally says Jack Frost.

Katherine Tegan Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

She's beginning to notice that she can turn things to ice, which is odd.  At least it is until you consider who her father is.  Her life gets a lot more complicated when she goes to visit with him and gets caught by the Kings and Queens of the Elements.  The fae don't usually let you go.  But the only way she can save her father is by taking his place...

This is a fine fantasy tale with lots of magic, greed and rivalries.  She doesn't know the history or background but she does know Jack Frost is not a bad man and she's willing to stand up for him.  

There's tension, anger and lies involved but my favorite part is when the "human stain" that is her friend defends Owl and her father and changes the court's decision.  Life may never be the same again for Owl but now she knows why.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Easy Errors by Steven F Havill

This is a tale of the days when Robert Torrez was a rookie.  He's out on a ride along observing night time activity.  He doesn't realize he's beginning one of the worst days of his life...

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

Undersheriff Gastner is at home in his adobe and he's enjoying the silence.  When he hears a crash despite the 2' depth of his walls, he knows it's bad.  He calls it in and then responds.  As he looks at the accident his heart sinks.  He's pretty sure they have all died.  Then the other cops show up, including the rookie.  What makes it even worse is that two of the dead are the rookie's younger brother and sister. Gastner tries to Torrez to go home and comfort his parents but he won't go.  He wants to figure out how this happened.  So begins a sad story that has little comfort for the characters or the reader.

There's more than one group who had been drinking and shooting in the same vicinity.  They shot up a water tank and the windmill at a farm.  It was a good place to party but mixing guns and alcohol is a mistake.  The kids won't live to regret it, but the adults do.  Especially when one more dead girl shows up on the property...

Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be deadly.  This story emphasizes that point.  The only joy in the story was the detective work Torrez used to make sense of what happened.  He was a very smart and dedicated rookie and later became a very good cop.  There are several books in this series as these two characters grow older and solve cases.  Check them out for more to read. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Christmas Return by Anne Perry

Charlotte Pitt’s grandmother Mariah Ellison helps solve a long unresolved murder that the murderer is trying to blame on her friend.  The doctor wants to marry and he wants his past behind him.  Mariah is not going to let him sweep it under the rug...

Ballantine Books and Edelwiess gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

It all starts when she gets a Christmas gift.  It's a big heavy Christmas pudding.  But when she tries to cut it, there's something baked in it.  It's the cannon ball that killed a man she cared about.  He was her friend's husband and he was a good friend of hers, too. She still mourns his loss.  Who sent this and why?  It was from his son, Peter, and he wants Mariah's help.  There's gossip going on about his mother and she's not strong enough to fight back.

Mariah goes.  And she plans to stop the gossip and find out who really killed the fourteen year old girl so many years ago.  The husband was defending the doctor and then quit, the same day he died.  His bookcase and the cannonball fell on him at his desk.  Mariah doesn't think that was an accident.

I really enjoyed this read.  I've been reading Anne Perry novels for years and she always make them interesting and feeds you clues in small bites.  I can see how Charlotte turned out as she did when her grandmother can still solve a case and get the people who wouldn't testify before to come forward.

While this is set at Christmas time, the doctor gets more than a lump of coal...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dead of Winter: A Lily Dale Mystery by Wendy Corsi Staub

Bella and her son moved to Lily Dale after her husband's death.  She still can't hardly believe he's gone but she's trying to move on.  Lily Dale is a community of psychics and ghosts.  She has a woman who lives in her house and offers suggestions on home improvements.  Late one night, she sees someone who look like Elvis outside near her property.  She thinks it just another ghostly visitor.  It's not, it's a murderer...

Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

Bella has no idea she's in danger.  She doesn't even know about the murder until the next day when the body washes ashore.  And that's not the most important thing on her mind now.  The little boy who lives next door and plays with Max has gone missing.  Someone kidnapped him after he got off the schoolbus.

Jiffy told Max he was going to be kidnapped.  Max was sick that day and the snow was falling heavily and no one calls with a ransom demand.  Then his mother goes missing.

With Elvis looking for his golden rings and ready to kill for the third time, Jiffy gone and no one's sure where, and now his mother out in the snowy night with no winter clothes on, it looks like lots of sorrow coming up.

In the end, everything comes together.  It takes a certain type to live in the community that talks to spirits.  Could you do it?

Crime and Nourishment (Angie Prouty Nantucket Mysteries #1) by Miranda Sweet

Angie's boyfriend cheated on her and presented her ideas as his own instead of giving her credit.  She's hurt badly, so she quits her job and moves home.  She has the opportunity to open a bookstore and sell some pastries that should be more rewarding.  Besides she's working next door to friends from childhood.  She trusts them.  But should she?

Freebooksy gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy today.

When the landlord makes the rounds of the businesses on his property, he tells them he's raising the rent on the buildings.  It's not just a little bit either.  Everyone is shocked and concerned.  They're just making it as it is, now they'll have to work harder to hold onto the sites.

A day or so later, they find the landlord in his study, dead.  There's a gun on the floor next to him but it seems the bullet angle tells them it's not suicide.  Who killed him?  Was it one of the renters?  Or maybe his son or his estranged wife?

This is an interesting mystery with lots of details about the characters lives and even a new romantic interest for Angie.  It's not quite as straightforward as some mysteries.  There are more suspects from the past and no one is willing to talk about what happened then.  Angie keeps piecing the story together but then she begins to suspect her aunt may have killed him.  She doesn't deny it.

The truth finally comes out and the ending gives hope for the future.  I enjoyed this read, it was a good cozy mystery.  Give it a try!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dark Asylum by E. S. Thomson

Angel Meadow Asylum is where they confine the mental patients that aren't easily cured.  The doctor there tries experimental surgery on the patients.  He believes the size of their head and how the bones are formed influence their mental problems.  The people he operates on sometimes die, sometimes never speak again, and he sees nothing wrong with this.  But the others in the asylum do...

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

Jem and Will are more herbalists than doctors but they do what they can to help.  The bit they make there and from their shop keeps them going.  But the murder of the doctor gets their attention because he's been sewn up.  His ears are in his mouth.  His mouth and eyes are sewn shut.  This is not normal behavior.  So the doctors want to blame an inmate.  The one they chose would never have done it.  Can Jem and Will prove it?

Everybody in this asylum has secrets, especially the doctors.  Jem has her own secret:  She's masquerading as a man.  This whole story is full of despair and abuse.  It's set in 1851 and life wasn't fair for women.  You could still confine a family member there if they weren't up to your standards, just pay a little more money.  I probably would have gotten hung if I lived in this era because I'd have defended myself.  Of course, women were not raised that way then.

This really is a sordid little tale but Jem manages to make sense of it and identifies the murderer.  Her solution to the problem is unconventional but it gets the job done.  Get ready for a dark walk down history lane...

Black Dragon by Adam Boustead

He's heard that the black dragon is dead, so he comes to check it out.  Dragon parts are worth money.  With his soldiers along, he hopes he'll have no trouble.  But when one of the soldiers says he found the body and the wizard goes in to check it out, it's only an old skin.  He's caught...

BooksGoSocial and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

The dragon tells him if he can tell better tales than she can, she'll let him go.  It's his only chance to stay alive (he should have left those dragon eggs alone), so he agrees.

The tales they tell each other are fun to read.  Not everyone survives in the tales and it becomes quite a contest to outdo each other.

I enjoyed this read.  I imagine you know how it turned out but it was a quick and interesting read and I'd read more in this series.  After all, you know I like dragons.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne has agreed to be the Flower Queen in a new event being held in town.  When she meets the girls who have chosen to be princesses, she notices one is acting older than her age.  As time goes on, she learns why...

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 7th.

Her problems this time are mixed.  It involves a girl outside her house and one inside, too.  Ruth has never known who her father was and she wants to find him.  She actually gets her mother to tell her his name and then she's off on the hunt.  When someone leaves flowers outside the house, Phryne thinks it's probably a potential suitor.  It's more dangerous than that...

Phryne finds an old friend at the circus.  He's willing to help her find the missing girls.

Phryne is an interesting creature.  She sleeps with whomever fascinates her at the moment, but she holds onto her Asian lover.  She goes about dressed as a man so she can wander freely when women wouldn't be normally out.  And she's determined to get justice.

Before she's through investigating, several men are going to jail, the girls are safe again and they even get to ride elephants.

Phryne won't bore you.

Ragged Lake: A Frank Yakabuski Mystery by Ron Corbett

Frank is a well seasoned character.  He's been in the military, knows his way around the wilderness and has been an undercover cop in a biker's group, and now he's a cop.  He's going to encounter the strangest case ever in this story.  History comes back to bite him.

ECW Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

When Frank gets a call about a cabin with a dead family in it, he gets ready to head out.  It's winter, there are no roads maintained in the area so he and the two cops with him will have to go in by snowmobile.  They do.  The snow slows down the progress of the case but they do have dead people in the cabin:  Husband, wife and child.  It's an ugly death, a shotgun was used.

The area they are in used to be a logging camp.  A lot of Cree Indians lived and worked there.  But that had gone by the wayside and it was vacant now.  The lodge and the bar were still active though.  Not many visitors but some.  He wonders why they stay open but it doesn't take long to find out.

After he interviews everyone in the lodge and they have seen the bodies up close and took pictures, it's time to check the other building that may be occupied.  It's an adventure group but when they approach the building, they get shot at!  Frank has a solution for that.  He gets his man posted where he wants him and sneaks to the back to send some flares in.  He has a suspicion of how the building is being used.  He's right.  His flares set the meth lab on fire and the boom can be heard all across the landscape.  That's just the beginning of the problem.

This is a tense deadly tale with more bodies all the time.  It's a sad tale without a happy ending but justice is served.  Frank had already seen a lot of death.  Now he's seen a lot more.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors by Casey Daniels

Evie manages her brother's museum.  She got caught in a scandal at home, her mother threw her out of the house, and her brother offered her sanctuary.  Now if her sister-in-law had been more pleasant, it might have worked out better.  But she did have a home and a job even if her sister-in-law was match-making to get her out of the house...

Severn House and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 1st.

When an old friend shows up at the museum asking for her help, she tells him she doesn't have time.  She doesn't want to go home and doesn't want to bring up the past.  She expects he'll be back later.  He is, but he's not talking anymore.  Someone has killed him.  The cop accuses the Lizardman.  He's not in his room, he's moved on, so he must be guilty.  She knows he's not and starts her own investigation.

This is complex story with pieces of the past mixing with present events.  By accident, Evie uncovers a human trafficking venture.  She almost loses her life three different times.  The Lizardman dies.  More will die before justice is served.

The ending is most intriguing because Evie has just found the man that caused her scandal and he tells her he still loves her...  What's next?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

World Enough: A Boston-based noir mystery by Clea Simon

Tara has lost her husband and is divorced.  She has a good job but it's boring.  So when she runs into an old friend and he offers to have her write a story about the bands and music they grew up with, she says yes.  She sees no danger there but there are secrets hidden in the past...

Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 1st.

Tara remembers the music setting her free, letting her dance in wild abandon, drink what she wanted and to admire the men on the scene.  She felt like they were a tight group.  She also knew they were a bunch of misfits.  They loved their music, they didn't care much about jobs, and they drank and took drugs randomly.  They were living that song title:  Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll.

She's on a quest to see if the lead singer who died those many years ago killed himself or if someone else did.  Then another member of her circle of friends dies at the foot of the basement stairs in the present day.  Was he alone or was he pushed?

The deeper she digs, the more she finds out what kind of pit they were living in.  Everyone ignored things.  If you didn't see it, you didn't have to worry about it.  Her fantasy land of the past had some ugly pieces of life in it and she finds all that when she rehashes the past.

I did my own share of drinking and dancing when I was in my early twenties, so I could relate to the story.  I avoided drug scenes and the people who used them.  But it's a fine line.  And Tara is too close to the line...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Little Red Wolf by Amelie Flechais

This is a twist on The Little Red Riding Hood tale.  I like it a lot.  The little wolf loves to wear red and his mother sends him out to take his grandmother a rabbit...

Lion Forge and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on October 3rd.

The illustrations are delightful.  Lots of color, big woods, and a trail he's supposed to follow.  

Being young, he chases small animals and butterflies and moths and ends up off the trail.  As he tries to find his way back, he manages to snack on the rabbit until there's nothing left.  He might as well go back home but he still can't find his path.  Then he finds a young girl who says she will take him home with her and feed him.   She sings a song that her family taught her.  It's about how her mother was killed by wolves.  She locks the little Red Wolf in a room in the cabin and waits for her father to come home.

Her father returns and brings his big gun in.  It looks like it's all over for little Red Wolf.  But his father comes to his rescue.  On the way home, he sings the song he learned from the girl and his father says the wolves have a similar song but it has a different ending.  Then you learn the truth about what happened to the little girl's mother.

This story will stick with me because it's so true about life.  Your point of view might be 180 or 360 degrees different than the one of the person you're speaking with.  This story demonstrates that.

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig

She's working as a chimney sweep, just like her mother used to.  Her mother is ill.  Last Christmas she wanted gifts and she got them.  This year she just asks for help for her mother.  The problem is that Santa never shows up and her mother dies.  Then she's stuck in a workhouse and that's all she gets to do.   It's hard to keep hope alive under continual work and punishment.

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 31st.

Santa is having his own problems.  The toys were ready, he was ready to head out for Christmas and the whole village came under a troll attack!  They'd signed a peace agreement three years ago but it didn't seem to make much difference.  They even destroyed the sleigh!

Now no one believes in Christmas and he's still trying to recover from the troll attack.  His magic isn't working.  And there's a traitor in the village...

You find yourself worrying about Amelia and Santa both.  It's a good thing Santa has Blitzen to help him.  I found this an enjoyable read with lots of excitement for young readers.  Why not read about how Christmas started before the big day?

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Graphic Canon of Crime and Mystery, Vol. 1 by Russ Kick

This is an unusual presentation for crime and mystery stories but I like it!  Most of them are highlights of the story and quickly read.  Some I spend more time looking at the graphics then I did the text.  There's also a mix of artistry and styles in the graphics, so even as you read it, the book changes.

Seven Stories Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  it will be published October 31st.

What caught my attention was how well The Adventure of the Speckled Band presented itself in graphic form.  Since I have read the story before many times, I almost didn't want to see it in that form but it was done discretely and read well.

Another thing that caught my eye was a story I remember from the bible and still quote today when I think it applies.  I never imagined finding Jesus as a character in these tales.

The stories are from all over and they are unique in presentation.  It's very nicely done look at older stories that never had any graphics in the past.  I found it enjoyable to read.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Lead Law by John Russell Fearn

Clyde was building himself a ranch and had big plans for his land.  Then the railroad came close enough to his land for them to create a spark while laying the line and he lost his property value in one big fire.  Summerville didn't care and refused to take responsibility for it.  Bad blood between them results in a battle to the end...

Pioneering Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.

Clyde does things lawfully and refuses to shoot anyone except in a fair fight or defending himself.  Sommerville buys his way along and doesn't care who dies on the way.  He sets up a bank robbery and blames it on Clyde.  Then he buys the Mayor of the town and works on getting Clyde hung.

Clyde's girlfriend breaks him out and then they are both on the run from Sommerville.  The good marshall gets murdered by Summerville, that way he can't testify.  It looks like Clyde might not be able to escape the noose...

Sommerville knows all the dirty tricks and no matter how much money he has he wants more.  At least justice finally gets him in the end...

The Empress by S. J. Kincaid

Tyrus and Nemesis are ascending to the recently vacated throne.  It's still touch and go in their life.  The danger seems to have subsided but it's just hidden under the politics.  Life is not going smooth and it isn't going to get better.  They made it this far but it's going to be tough from here on out.

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 31st.

While it says it's for young readers, there's so much death and torture I'd recommend they be a mature reader.  Some things that happened offended me.

She and Tyrus go to find their equivalent of God.  He's snug in space on the edges of a black hole and they really find him by accident.  They visit, find that Tyrus' ideas of the future development of the kingdom agree with the long ago leader's ideas and he offers to send help.  But they can only travel during the periods the black hole is open so it will be three years in the future.

They go home, get ready to be married, and go through ugly ceremonies that have become the norm in their world.  Then, before the marriage is complete, everything goes to hell.  Nemesis gets away but Tyrus stays because she wasn't strong enough to take him too.  Then the ruling politicians force him to do drugs.

She escapes to the black hole again.  And can't return for three years.  She has plans, but all of them are thwarted.  She does finally get to marry Tyrus.

The ending in this story disappointed me.  It goes with the overall theme of the story but I just couldn't believe the author would do that.  Let me know what you think about it.  And leave drugs alone!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Give Me the Child by Mel McGrath

This story is thought provoking.  It's a nightmare come true.  What's worse, is it could be true...

HarperCollins and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 24th.

She's a doctor who helps children find their way.  She tries to guide them to their good side and give them hope without committing them to state facility.  In her first big case, she made a bad judgement call and a young woman was killed as a result.  She's moved past that and is in a new facility doing a slightly different job now.  That and the fact that she became unbalanced while pregnant are things her husband won't let her forget.  But he has his own secrets.

One day the doorbell rings and when she opens it, she finds a cop, a social worker and a little girl standing there.  It seems this little girl is her husband's daughter.  Her mother has died and she needs a new home.  Her grandmother won't take her.  The child is shy, lies, is sneaky and is doing bad things in the household and influencing her daughter's life in a negative way.  He refuses to give her up.

When she went to the girl's old home to get her some clothes, she notices some odd things.  Even chatting with the neighbor doesn't make her feel better.  There's something not quite right about the death.  What she doesn't know is that there is something not quite right about her husband, too.

What do you do when you find your married life was a lie?  It's a hard row to hoe but it's worse when you're married to a lying manipulator...