Saturday, March 24, 2018

So Pretty a Problem by Francis Duncan

He's an amateur sleuth but he reminds me of Hercule Poirot.  He's slow and deliberate in his actions and he uses his brain to solve the crime.  The big difference between the two detectives is that Mordecai is a bit of a romantic and sometimes he has to fight his emotions.  He was taking a nap on the beach when his neighbor wakes him with the news she has shot her husband and he's dead...

Sourcebooks Landmark and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 1st.

The victim is an artist who is very talented.  He's working his way up to more notice and more sales but someone has ended his career.  It's definitely not suicide.  The wife has confessed but her story doesn't add up.  When she changes it, it's still not right.  What's she not telling?

This little cove is hiding a lot of secrets.  Neighboring men love the wife, the women love the husband, and although they act attentive and sweet in public, it's not so nice in private.

This is tangled web of mystery where everybody had a part and most of them were around when the murder happened.  It's just trying to determine who the actual killer was that was troubling for Mordecai, but he figures it out.

I find tales like these comforting.  It's like visiting with an old friend and helping them solve a problem.  If you like Agatha Christie, you'll like this story, too. 

The Secret Lab by A.B. Carolan

The trouble all started with the cat.  I could have told them that since I've been living with cats for years but they look so sweet, love to be petted and they purr.  It doesn't take long before you feel fond of them and then watch out.  They're great manipulators.  In this case, the cat is really the innocent one...

The author and Booksprout allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

This is a fun fantasy about kids growing up on a space station. This is unusual but earth has been going by the wayside so the parents brought the children with them.  They are smart, still receive schooling and they know almost too much about the space station.  They begin playing with things.  And when the oldest girl meets the cat who sits on her lap and purrs while she's doing her homework, she doesn't know what secrets the cat will bring to life.

The captain maintains strict control on the station.  She has secrets.  Their livelihood and station improvements are maintained by money from corporations and politicians.  This leads to special interests and strange missions the general public doesn't know about.

This is an interesting tale with a talking cat and the young ones being prominent in the storyline.  It's busy, fast paced and entertaining.  If you like science fiction/fantasy, you will enjoy this book.  Give it a try. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

West by Carys Davies

He's a widower.  He's tired of moping about and sleeping too much in his sorrow.  When he reads about dinosaur bones being found in Kentucky, he decides to go find himself one of those big animals.  It'll be an adventure and then, rejuvenated, he can head for home again.  He asks his sister to watch over his child.  She says no but he talks her into it.  He tells his daughter the trip will probably take two years but he'll be back.  He's wrong.

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

Her father travels alone, asking directions along the way.  He's following the Lewis & Clark trail but it's really only general directions so he seeks aid on the way.  By the time the second winter rolls around, he's worn down, has lost weight and has a young Indian guide.  

Meanwhile, his daughter is on her own for the most part.  Her aunt lives there but she has her own interests and Bess isn't one of them.  Without realizing it, she has attracted the attention of two pedophiles.  She's independent and resourceful which is a good thing.  Her instincts keep her away from them.

The story ends with a sadness and a sense of justice.  The old west was tough and not all survived.  But those that did were strong and stubborn and didn't back down.

Paper, Scissors, Death: Book #1 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series by Joanna Campbell Slan

The story begins with the death of her husband.  She can't believe what the cop is trying to tell her.  He was in good health and still young, how could he die?  They believe it was a heart attack but she doesn't.  But who would have killed him?

The author shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can pick up a copy now.

It gets worse.  Despite living well and having plenty of money to spend, she finds out he was in debt and she will have to liquidate everything.  If that's not bad enough, his mother is trying to take her little girl away from her.  Life is definitely treating her nice right now.

When she finds out he was still sleeping with his old girlfriend, her life topples over again.  Then the lover turns up dead and the cops think she did it.  Could it get worse?  Yes and it does.

This is a well written cozy with a new romance blooming and the main character being threatened with death.  I'd love to read more in this series.  The author give you characters you can like.  The only problem is the murderer is still alive...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Twenty-One Days: A Daniel Pitt Novel by Anne Perry

Daniel is a relatively new attorney and he's trying to save a man from hanging.  He's making an impassioned plea when someone tries to interrupt him.  His boss has sent him a message to leave the case he's on and go to another.  He refuses and finishes his plea.  Then he waits to see what the jury decides.  They find his man not guilty.  Then he runs on to the next case.  He's not so lucky there.

Ballantine Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 10th.

This client also says he's not guilty but Daniel isn't so sure that's true.  The man's wife has been killed and he shows no sorrow over it.  He's working with another lawyer who is experienced and has won many cases.  Still, the jury finds the client guilty.  The head of the firm tells the more experienced lawyer to see if there were any mistakes in the proceedings; he tells Daniel to investigate the case.  If he's not guilty, someone else must be.  They have twenty-one days to do it.

What Daniel finds make him question his father, his personal beliefs, and he has to find his moral compass.  There are accusations made in a book the jailed man wrote that are very dangerous.  There is more background about the man that makes him even more vile.  But Daniel meets a woman who can do pathology and she gives him some important clues about the victim.

This was a complex read that I found very satisfying.  Ms. Perry never disappoints me.  I'd like to read more about Daniel.  He's just beginning his career and I can see that it will continue to be very challenging.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Murder at the Mushroom Festival by Janet Finsilver

Kelly is hosting a cooking class in her bed and breakfast to promote her business.  Instead of promoting business, it promoted murder...

Lyrical Underground and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 17th.

When a obnoxious reporter is killing on sacred Indian ground, Kelly's Indian friend is taken into custody.  She knows he didn't do it.  So she and the Silver Sentinels set out to solve the crime through old fashioned fact finding.  

One of the uncommon facts Kelly learns is that the sunken cedars under water are worth big bucks.  The minerals in the water change the color of the wood and it can be carved into unique pieces that sell well.  She has her suspicions about who is harvesting this old protected wood that you need a permit to remove but she can't prove it.  What she doesn't know is how dangerous this quiet community is.

When a man attending the cooking class collapses, they find he has been poisoned by mushrooms.  He was the only one that got the bad ones and a doctor at the scene managed to save him but who wanted to kill him?

There are more questions and not many answers until the end of the book.  I enjoy older people helping solve mysteries.  Kelly was a well developed character and the story was enjoyable.  This was a good cozy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Enne's mother is missing.  She told her if she wasn't back in a month, it would be because she was dead.  It'd been two months and Enne was going to find her or find out what happened to her.  She was all she had left.

Harlequin Teen and Edelweiss let me read me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 10th.

She's going to the City of Sin and everything she's read about it makes her want to stay home.  The first thing that happens is that she goes to ask the local police about her mother.  They attempt to retain her and try to question her.  The boy they were harassing before she spoke up tells her to run.  She does but they are after her.  He tells her to dump her luggage and leads her off from the dock.  She has no choice, she follows.

She finds herself joining a bunch of young ones that are gang members.  She only knows one name here and they tell her he'll be back that evening.  She decides to wait since she doesn't know what else to do.  Levi is obnoxious and anxious to get rid of her.  He takes her down a street of prostitutes and other sexual trade to shock her.  It does but she's no shrinking violet.  She's embarrassed but she goes along with him. 

She's entering a world she never imagined existed.  She was going to a finishing school at home and intended to make her debut the following year.  Those skills don't help here.  She learns a lot about herself, she finds herself falling in love with Levi, and she's going to find her destiny here, too.  It's not what she thought it was.  Neither was her mother...

This is a fanciful, exciting read with danger all around.  Just to survive here is a great accomplishment.  As you read, you wonder who is going to die next.  

I enjoyed the suspense and the bits of magic in the tale.  I'm hoping there may be another in this series.