Monday, July 24, 2017

Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood's Revenge by Susan Vaught

Max spends most of her time sprucing up her wheelchair.  She paints on it, tinkers with the controls to make it go faster, and she pretends she's a super hero.  She knows she's not but we all have own little fantasies and creating great feats in her mind doesn't hurt anyone.  She lives with her grandfather and life is good.  But then things start to go wrong...

Paula Wiseman Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 29th.

Someone has created a fake Facebook page for her grandfather.  It has all kinds of nasty comments on it.  Soon more social media accounts appear.  All effect her grandpa negatively.  Whoever is posting it is hiding his identity and the comments are antagonizing the town and the mayor.  While Max is worried about that, she also finds out the abandoned mansion behind them has someone in it.  She can see lights over there.  Might it be the one doing the malicious social media assault?

Max has trouble getting around on rough ground but she and her girlfriend do some reconnaissance with her friend's mother.  They get in the house and look around but all they find is a footprint and it's a common sneaker pattern.

As things get weirder and weirder and business websites go down and the bank gets hacked into and loses its money, it appears grandpa may end up being fired.  Then what would Max do?  She doesn't want to live with her mother.  She keeps searching for the bad guy but she's not happy when she finds out who it is.  

I liked this story because Max doesn't let her disability slow her down.  She keeps on going and does what is necessary to survive.  Some people give up.  Not Max.  The author kept me reading and the story ends well for all except the guilty party.  Max and her mom still have some things to work out so there may be more in this series.  I'd read 'em. 

The Late Show by Michael Connelly

Renée is a new character and I like her very much.  She's tough, determined and won't let anything get her down.  She's been treated badly before, so now she's being much more careful but she still pursues cases that intrigue her.  She just covers her butt better.

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

As is usual, this is a fast paced read with casualties along the way.  Renée accused her supervisor in the past of harassment.  He wanted more than just good police work.  However, even her own partner wouldn't back her up.  She gets stuck on the night shift which is where old police officers go to die or retire, whichever comes first.  What she finds is that's where the interesting cases show up.  Her new partner tells her she needs to turn it in to the squads that handle those cases.  But she's invested in the transvestite that took such a beating with brass knuckles he/she might die.  And she hates the fact that a young waitress was shot in the bar.  Especially since she thinks a cop was involved.  So she keeps snooping.

She does find the guilty parties but one of them finds her and almost kills her.  When she fights back and kills him, they try to make her look like she used excessive force but she survives that.  It helps that she recorded the cop talking to the reporter and feeding him false information.

She also finds evidence left for her by her previous partner.  Someone has killed him in his garage, and he knew he was skating close to death.  Now she has the information to take down a bad cop.  If only she lives long enough to do it...

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Crime Scene by Jonathan Kellerman, Jesse Kellerman

Clay works as the coroner's investigator.  He's seen all kinds of dead bodies but this one just doesn't feel right to him...

Ballantine Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 1st.

Clay thinks there may be more to the story than a simple fall down the stairs.  What he doesn't realize is that by digging into the case, he opens up old troubles.  This professor was tied up in a murder in the past and the case was closed but it was never really solved...

They put a big black student in jail for the murder of the Asian girl.  The cops basically forced his confession.  He's out now but he didn't kill the professor.  Clay begins looking into the other players and finds the instructor that worked with the black student is dead too.  He also fell down the stairs.

While investigating the deaths (were they murder?), Clay is also sleeping with the professor's daughter.  He doesn't do too badly at solving crimes, even if everyone else is bucking him, but he has no love life sense.  I expect he will get better with that as time goes on.  He does figure out what happened so many years ago.  And he's working on helping the disabled innocent man build his life again.  He's an interesting character and I'd read more in the series.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Joe and Dulcie have kittens.  Joe is very much the proud papa but he wants to get back to his investigative work.  He stays home like a good boy until murder happens, then he goes back on the hunt.

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 15th.

The cats always dominate this series and I find it fun to read.  Joe and his buddies are very protective of their humans and they also want to stop crime and help the police chief.  He's not aware they speak to humans yet, but he accepts their phone calls and wishes he knew who the informers were...

When Joe heads out to the crime scene, he doesn't realize the two male kittens are following him.  By the time he finds out, they're almost in trouble.  Trying to send them home does no good.  They're determined to be involved!

With two boys and a girl, Dulcie is plenty busy taking care of kittens.  But investigating is in her blood, too.  Soon she's in on the hunt.

It starts with car thefts and graduates to murder.  One of the thieves gets identified but the finger prints on him do not match with the prints of the man Wilma has identified.  What's going on?

It's mix of crime from the past and in the present and it doesn't take too long for the combined crime fighting team to take them down.

Having cats use a telephone is a bit much, but there are a lot fun cat antics and people bonding going on, too, so it's OK.  If you like cats, you'll enjoy this series.

Blacksmith's Christmas Bride (Sweet Town Clean Historical Western Romance Book 9) by Sarah Christian

Therese would really enjoy being able to go on adventures and have fun.  Unfortunately, her mother is ill and she has to run their hotel with almost no help from her father.  He's good at telling her what to do and is contemplating her future.  All she can do is live from day to day and try not to get too tired.

The author shared this ebook with me for a review (thank you).  The book has been published and you can get a copy now.

She's friends with the blacksmith but he never seems to see her as a woman.  Still, having a good friend is what she needs if she's going to keep her sanity and the hotel running.  As they dance around each other and try to decide how they really feel about each other, her father is trying to arrange a marriage for her.  He picks one of their countrymen who needs a wife and is rich.  Therese has no desire to marry him but she can't say no to meeting him.

When Hunter finds out about it, he's upset.  He tries to run off the other suitor and that just makes Therese angry.  But before things get worse, a snow storm hits.  Therese and Hunter agree to take food stuff out to the outlying cabins to help the folks that can't get to town.  Of course, the other man says he's going along, too.  But he gets lost.

Therese gets her adventure and very nearly dies from the exposure to the cold.  She also finds her love and that's the best part of the story.

This was a very pleasant read and I enjoyed it a lot.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Moon Princess by Barbara Laban

Sienna is unhappy.  Her mother is missing (everyone else thinks she's dead) and now her father wants to move her to Shanghai.  It's bad enough she's lost her Mom, now she's going to lose all her friends.  She has no choice and he's grieving her Mom, so she goes without too much protest.  After all, that's where her mother went missing...

Chicken House and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you). It will be published July 25th.

The first person they meet is the housekeeper, Ling.  Her father spends so much time working he doesn't realize that Ling isn't very nice to his daughter.  She feeds her traditional Chinese food that poor folks eat, won't let her go out, makes her learn the Chinese alphabet, and punishes her for any little thing.  She manages to ask her Dad if she can go out with the cook on her shopping trip and he says yes.  Ling isn't happy but she can't stop her.  That's when she meets Feng.

You see, Sienna has an invisible dog named Rufus to keep her company.  He comes and goes, he's very opinionated, and he has no patience with her.  She loves his company but she likes her alone time, too.

When she talks to Feng, he tells her he used to have one, too.  His was a small dragon.  Before the story is over, there are more animal friends involved.  This story requires a vibrant imagination but I have one so it was no problem.  My pets were real but I depended on them as much as these children do.

This is a grand adventure that mixes myths and superstition with current events and culminates in an exciting tale with good ending.  I enjoyed this read.  It's written for middle graders.  Anyone who likes fantasy will like this story.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol

She's been looking forward to being a witch her whole life.  Now they are being tested at graduation time.  The testing machine goes nuts and the school head determines it's because she's not good enough to be a witch yet.  She tells her she's an apprentice.  She also assigns her to a little town out in the boonies that hasn't had a witch for a long time.  She thinks she can do no harm there...

Chicken House and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 25th.

Arianwyn starts her new career trying to get snotlings out of someone's home.  That doesn't go well.  Arianwyn doesn't have a lot of self-confidence and not all her spells work, so she's cautious and only stuns them.  But when another one runs out, she uses a stronger spell and it doesn't work.  It destroys the nest and sends the remaining snotlings out into the house.  A big mess is made, one of the children gets bit, and the mother is now her mortal enemy.  Not a great start...

My favorite part of the book is how she makes friends with the odd creatures of the woods.  She has a Moon Hare that she saved and healed that won't leave her.  She makes friends a little blue fey, and she has a secret glyph she knows that has some significance, but she doesn't know what or why.

As the story goes along, the monsters get bigger and meaner, her powers get stronger and she fights for right.  It doesn't help that her enemy from school comes to town to live with the Mayor.  She messes up spells, sets things lose she shouldn't, and lies about it saying Arainwyn did it.

This is written for middle school children but I really enjoyed it.  I wouldn't mind reading more about Arainwyn.  She's survived and done well so far.  What will her new challenges be?