Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Last Train by Michael Pronko

He works for the Tokyo police department following white collar crime.  He likes that.  He can work alone, even nap at his desk, and it's satisfying to prove where and how they were stealing.  Unfortunately, he can also speak English so he gets drawn into any investigation that has to do with American foreigners.  This time it's suicide.  Or is it?

Raked Gravel Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 31st.

With the various characters all having names that sound similar, it takes a bit of concentration to keep up with the plot.  You also get a personal tour of the night clubs and their hostesses.  I've always found Japanese people dignified and quiet for the most part.  Evidently the tone changes at night!

The dead man was hit by an express train.  It was thought that he either jumped or fell in front of it.  Hiroshi doesn't think so.  The man worked in an investment firm and was going on to a new position in another location soon.  Why jump?  If he has any doubts, the train driver tells him he knows he was thrown.  Than it becomes who and why?

Even worse, they find there are more deaths of the same sort and it looks like it's all one killer.  It appears to be one of the hostesses from one of the clubs.

This is a tale of revenge against actions a long time ago.  The killer is very good at what she does and she is in excellent physical condition.  She even grabs one of the cops.

The ending is shocking.  It's also ironic.  It will make you look back at the story with new eyes.  Her motivation is not what you thought it was...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Crazy About Cats by Owen Davey

I love cats so I couldn't let a chance go by without reviewing this book.  It's full of facts about big cats as well as small and all of them are wild.

Flying Eye Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published the first of June.

With tidbits on each page and big illustrations, you can see spots, stripes, and other distinguishing marks on the different breeds.  The tiger is the biggest but the other big cats all have their own specialties.  The lion is a strong predator.  The cheetah runs the fastest.  There's a fishing cat that has webbed feet.  You'll find something you don't know in here even if you are a fan of big cats.

I especially liked the pages where the author shows you the size of the cats and how they relate to each other.  You won't want to be a small cat around a big one.  They might eat you!

This is a fun way to learn about the cats without having to leave the comfort of your home.  Why not dip into the book and see how many things you learn on the way?

Raisins and Almonds by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne has her eye on a young man.  He dances well, he's handsome and he has an eye for her.  Her lover is away on business so she's free and planning to fill her bed with him.  Then it appears he's being summoned away.  To her surprise, his father wants to see her, not his son...

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 6th.

He asks Phryne to investigate a death.  A woman has been charged with the murder but she's his tenant and he knows she wouldn't have done it.  After she thinks it over and names her price, she does what he wants.  In almost no time, she's decided the woman is innocent also.  The cop doesn't want to admit it but his evidence is almost non-existent.  It's just that she was too calm about the death.

She finds herself drawn into the Jewish world.  The history of Jews involves years of persecution.  Now the various Jewish factions are splitting into their own special interest groups.  There are plans to fund guns, get back riches lost and get even for past insults.  Knowing nothing of Jewish customs, I found it interesting but a little off topic for me.  I prefer sticking to the murder investigation.

The murderer was a surprise.  It appeared that Phryne's young man was going to die along with several others before the confrontation was over but an old Rabbi suddenly appears and upsets the balance.

This one was not as satisfying to me as her past adventures but it was a good read.  Ms. Greenwood always manages to teach me some new things along the way by doing a good job of research for her story base.  Give it a try!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

About a Dog by Jenn McKinlay

Mac is finally coming back to town.  When her fiance left her at the altar for another woman, she left town and moved away to make a fresh start somewhere else.  Now she's coming back for her best friend's wedding.  She's not sure how she feels about it.  They'll be marrying in the same church she was using.  She'll see the man she shared her sorrow with after being left at the altar.  And she might even run into the ex and his wife.  But she's going to face all that to be there for Emma.

First to Read shared this ebook with me for review (thank you).  It will be published May 30th.

Gavin still remembers the night he spent with Mac.  He's tried to move on but he's stuck on her.  She still has an interest in him but has been seeing someone else.  The fact that someone is else isn't anybody she wants to spend her life with doesn't matter.  At least she's not being a spinster.

There's much to do about the wedding, Mac's friends are all a little bit nuts, and they party as much as they get ready for the wedding.  It gets even more complicated when Mac finds a puppy that needs rescue.  She does, Gavin is the local vet, and things start to get complicated between them.  She's trying to fight her feelings so she doesn't ruin Emma's wedding.  He's trying to behave, too, but it's not working well.

Not only that, her aunts have gone nuts.  They're buying a hot new car, playing loud music, planning a surfing trip, and more.  Mac just looks at them with wide eyes!

Then some guy tells her the puppy she's adopted is his.  He has the paperwork to prove it.  So he takes the pup.  She finds it all alone in his back yard and tries to steal it back.  She ends up in jail.  The real nail in the coffin of her previous relationship is driven in when she finds out why the guy took her dog.

The story ends well, the puppy is back with Mac and she's with the man she loves.  The dog was what drew me in to read the story but it was a good romance with lots of laughs in between.  I liked it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Child by Fiona Barton

She left her hospital room for a few minutes to take a shower.  Her baby was sleeping peacefully and she wouldn't be gone long.  But when she came back, the baby was gone!

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 27th.

When the reporter was looking for general interest stories, she ran across a small article about baby bones being found at demolition site.  That sounded intriguing and she began digging into it.  What she discovers will change her life.

The body is found in an area that has been deteriorating over the years.  It has been acquired for new development but finding a body slows it down a bit.

Kate is a bulldog about her stories.  She has contacts all over and utilizes them to find out how many babies were reported missing forty years ago or so.  She finds three and decides the most recent might be her baby.  She finds the mother with more inquiry and goes to visit her.  Soon she's convinced the baby must be Alice but why would someone murder a baby?

The story gets more complicated.  With a woman obsessed with a man, sexual predators and drugs, a grieving family and another mother grieving a dead baby there's lots going on.  As the story plays out, you begin to realize no one is innocent.  

The final twist at the end is what makes the story unforgettable.  The story twists and ties around itself but at the end there are no secrets.  Now everybody has to pick up the pieces and move on.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Birdwatcher by William Shaw

When his next door neighbor is killed, he's involved in the investigation and they use his house as a base during the investigative work.  He doesn't do murder investigations.  He stays as far away from them as he can.  He has a secret he doesn't want anyone to know...

Mulholland Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 27th.

South lives on the Kentish coast and watches birds in his spare time.  He enjoys the wide open desolate land.  Birds migrate and the birders keep track of how many, when, and watch the climate change make the birds come sooner or later.  He keeps track of all the birds he sees.  His life is well-ordered and he's a good cop.  But he has a big problem from his past that is touching his life again.

Despite the fact that the man blamed for the murder committed suicide (South doesn't think it was suicide) also took the fall for his father's murder, he still tries to keep his secret.  However, when he figures out who the killer was, he has no choice.   If anyone is going to survive, he needs to do it.

This is to be a new series.  I'm hoping South will serve some jail time and come home.  He's an interesting character and he's paid the price for his sin now.  He should have a good life from here on out.  Where are you going with this story, Mr. Shaw?

Monday, May 22, 2017

My Aunt Manya by Jose Patterson

This children's story is based on a true story.  My father's parent immigrated here from Czechoslovakia so a story like this was easy to relate to.

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

Sarah's father has gone to America to live with his sister and work with the intentions of bringing Sarah over later.  Russia isn't a safe place to live as a Jew anymore.  The problem is that he gets killed in a road accident and Sarah loses her only parent.  (She hates her new stepmother.)  However, Aunt Manya sends her a ticket and tells her to come live with her.  Her father's friends help her escape Russia and get on the boat for America.

Sarah's fears and worries sound authentic.  She came into the same port of entry as my grandparents.  When my grandmother finally arrived, she had a three year old daughter with her.  It took that long for grandpa to make enough money for passage.

Sarah's troubles aren't over yet, but she has the strength to go on and keep hoping.  This story will let your child look at how things worked in the past and how little people had or could bring with them.  Much of what we have today was non-existent then.  But everybody did what they had to do to meet their goals.  There's a lesson to be learned here.