Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wild Men by Alan David

He's a young man who loves his father and their ranch.  They have a nice piece of land with good grass and good water and they are starting to build new lives here.  But the past comes calling...

Pioneering Press allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

This is a story of hard men of the west who are used to taking what they want.  When three riders show up at the ranch and his dad doesn't seem very happy about, Steve comes to see what's going on.  It seems his father knows these men and doesn't want anything to do with them.  He sends them on their way.  Then the owner of the abutting ranch shows up and accuses of them of stealing horses from them.  It seems those men arguing with his father were riding them.  They tell them of the visit and the direction the riders took on leaving and things settle down a bit.

It turns out that his father was the leader of that gang twenty years ago.  He never told Steve about it, but now he has to come clean.  He also knows he's probably going to have to leave the ranch.  Steve doesn't want to hear that.

The big rancher wants that grassland and water back and he offers to buy them out.  They won't sell so he decides to run them off.

There's bushwacking, murder, double crossing and more in this tale.  It's about men who likes guns too much.  There's no sweetness and light in this story.  It's a hard cruel world in the west and so are the men that walk it.

Doodletopia: Fairies: Draw, Design, and Color Your Own Super-Magical and Beautiful Fairies by Christopher Hart

Mr. Hart is back again with more doodletopia for you.  This time he's showing you how to draw fairies.  How could the Book Faerie not review this book?

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review (thank you).  It has been published and you can pick it up now.  You might want to look at his other books.  He offers easy designs to try, gives you a template to try, and I'll bet you'll be surprised at what you can do.

He starts you off with heads.  It's amazing how minor changes (ears, head shapes, etc.) can make the fairy look different.  Next is the body.  He teaches you how to draw them facing you or from the side.  He also shows you some magical clothing and accessories.  (You might want to create some of your own.)

Most of the fairy wings he shows us are pretty flamboyant.  I liked the others shown at the bottom of pages in this section best.  The flying poses made me smile.  Then we get to the two main portions of this book in my mind:  Personality and Magic Powers!

Personality is fun.  You can have a happy fairy and with a few pencil marks you have a sad or angry one.  Magical Powers are always intriguing and you might want to create a few more for your fairies.

Then you learn how to draw musical instruments for them.  Those musically inclined will find these whimsical.

My favorite section is the last chapter about fairy dwellings.  I definitely go with the tree.  A small door at the base with a walkway and some landscaping and maybe a garden would be the way to go in my fairy world.  But he offers you other choices.  You might even decide to create your own fairy world in your own way.  Go for it!  Your imagination can help dress it up.

He's done a very nice on this art book, too.  Children will love learning to draw fairies.  If your child embraces this art and has extra copies of their artwork, I'd love to have a copy...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Double Life Of Miranda Turner, Vol. 1: If You Have Ghosts, Story By: Jamie S. Rich Art By: George Kambadais

If you like superheroes, demons, ghosts and impossible things, you'll love this graphic series.

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

Miranda didn't know her sister was the Cat that fought bad guys and evil within the city.  Not until her ghost was standing at her bedside and telling her she needed to find her killer.  Miranda wasn't sure about that but she had her costume.  She might be able to fake it.  Her medallion that held all her power was taken by the killer.  Miranda hopes it might lead her to the perpetrator.

You have all kinds of obstacles to the investigation.  There are all kinds of odd beings that have supersize, super strength and more that want to stop her.  An old dead enemy of her sister's is suddenly alive again and after her.  Miranda is finding things out about herself as she attempts to avenge her sister.

It's a busy exciting adventure that kept me reading.  The art reminds me of comic books from the past.  I liked it and found the story fun.  They still haven't found the killer so there will be a follow-up on this story line, I'm sure.  Give it a try.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner

Kyra is living in a fog.  She was a marine biologist who was diving at Deception Pass with her husband.  She got caught in the current and hit her head causing brain damage.  She now has amnesia and fits of memory.  Her husband has taken her away to an isolated island where she can recover in peace.  But she's not finding peace...

Touchstone sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published December 27th.

Kyra knows there are gaps in her memory.  Jacob keeps telling her what she's forgotten.  It bothers her that some of those memories don't feel right but that's part of the problem with her injury.  It messes up your mind enough, you're not sure about anything.  She's also on medicine that probably doesn't help.

When she goes to talk to a counselor, she tells her to quit taking the medicine and to take her time at letting her memory return.  It's a very good thing she stopped talking the drugs.

Waking up with no memory is one of my worst fears.  I don't want to lose my years of experience, my views of life and my loves.  In this story of psychological suspense, it's not until you get almost to the end of the book that she realizes how much she's being manipulated.  The worst part is that she is on an island and can't escape.  She knows she needs to.  And soon he learns she knows, too.

This is a tense read because it all sounds so reasonable and then it turns into a nightmare.  You'll remember this story even after you set the book down and read another.  I know I won't forget it easily.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Anton and Cecil Book 3: Cats Aloft by Lisa Martin, Valerie Martin

Anton and Cecil have had two great adventures so far and this one is even more spectacular.  After all, have you ever flown in an air balloon?

Algonquin Young Readers and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 27th.

They've been away from home for a while, so they decide it's about time to return.  They know they'll have to take a train and ride on a ship to make the journey but they aren't quite sure how to make all the connections.  It's good thing the mice are their friends and they send messages down the line so the cats are met at their destination and then directed forward to the next leg of journey.  Things are going well.  But when they see a huge fair, they just have to visit.  And, after some excitement for Cecil, they find out that there is a dognapper at work.  The bloodhound asks if they would be willing to help solve the case.  Sure!

Before long, the cats are separated, Cecil gets a ride in an air balloon that goes down, Anton has to find his way to the circus and he meets a tiger and a spider monkey.  They also have to face a lot of rats.  The story is fun and exciting and you have animals everywhere.

One thing about it, Anton and Cecil won't bore you!

Glow of Death: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery by Jane K. Cleland

It all begins with a beautiful Tiffany lamp.  She's asked by the wife of a wealthy man to appraise their lamp.  She's surprised to see it displayed in their library for use (most are displayed securely) but she's more than happy to do so.  She gets the owner's husband to allow her to move the lamp to her facility to do the survey.  Everyone is happy to find out it's genuine.

Minotaur Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 29th.

Josie is very excited by the find and by the money value the antique holds.  The only problem is that when she does follow up on the lamp, she finds the police at the residence.  Her friend, Ellis, is in charge of the investigation and he asks her if she can identify the wife.  She says yes.  When she looks at the body, it's a complete stranger.  She knows she's been conned.  She runs up to the library to check on the lamp but it's there.  Only in time does she realize it's a reproduction and the original lamp has been stolen.  The part that really burns her is that they used her to get it.

This is a well constructed mystery with a variety of things to sort out.  The husband has had a vasectomy but the wife is pregnant.  Who's the father?  Who wanted to sell the lamp?  And, if it was the wife, why is she dead?

I had no clue where this story was going until the end and it was a surprise for me.  The best part of the story though is where more than one couple decides to get married because it was such a dangerous case and they almost died.  It's nice to know that love can overcome evil.  I still believe in happy endings.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Agatha Parrot and the Heart of Mud by Kjartan Poskit

Agatha is a great character.  She's bound and determined to get what she wants and she's not above nudging things in the right direction.  Needless to say, that gets her in trouble...

Clarion Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 27th.

The illustrations are fun and show how different Agatha and her friends are.  The story line is silly and fun to read.  Young ones should really enjoy this book.  It made me smile.

Agatha's friend has spoiled another soccer jersey and her Mom won't buy her a new one until she takes on something educational as an extra thing.  She thinks she has soccer on her brain (she's right).  Agatha suggests the spelling contest.  While they are talking about it, one of the snooty girls tells her that her friend is too dumb to win.  Doesn't that sound like a challenge to you?  Agatha not only signs up her friend, she signs up the other girl, too!

At home, her brother has gotten an email from a girl.  She's a cousin and of the same age and wants to chat.  He's horrified and refuses to.  So Agatha sends her an email posing as him.  When the girl writes back she talks about winning the spelling contest.  Agatha asks her what words she had to spell.  When she tells her, she realizes they were the same ones her school was using, only a day earlier.  All she has to do is ask what the words are each day and she can help the other girl prepare for the test.  She doesn't consider it cheating.

All her good intentions fail at once.  Her friend lets the snooty girl win because she wasn't cheating.  The cousin shows up at the house and wants to meet her brother.  What's Agatha to do?

This story will make you laugh and also make you want to see what great adventure waits for Agatha next.  I'm sure she'll find another way to get into trouble.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Something Foul at Sweetwater by Sandra Bretting

Missy has always admired the Sweetwater mansion.  It's big but not huge, has beautiful columns and mahogany and wonderful touches of old architecture.  And it's not priced too high.  She tours it and then goes to find Ambrose, her business partner.  By the time she gets back with him, she finds the real estate agent dead in the cottage she was going to turn into her shop...

Kensington/Lyrical and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 20th.

She has her shop in Louisiana but she's never met the voodoo and the swamp folks before.  She will before this adventure is over...

She went to school with the cop on the case, so she tries to help solve the mystery.  It doesn't make any difference if the cop or her boyfriend/partner tell her to stop getting in so deep.  She wants to right the wrong and feels that she owes her sorority sister that much.  She should have listened to them...

Using a pirogue to get to the place the old woman who she met at Sweetwater lives was scary.  She had to walk through mud, worry about the creatures, and wonder about just what she got into when she got there.  The old woman saw something but Missy thinks she's talking about her partner.  That's enough to get her in a deadly position.

This is a cozy mystery so it's light and a bit romantic but it was a good mystery.  She makes the mistake of trying to make her suspects fit the case and ends up being embarrassed.  By the end, she hopes someone will embarrass her with a rescue... 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Days Like These by Sue Margolis

She's a widow who is still mourning the loss of her husband.  When her daughter and her husband have the opportunity to go overseas and help those trying to recover from a natural disaster, she agrees to take care of her grandchildren.  She's raised her own, how hard could it be to raise two more?  Harder than she thinks...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 6th.

Judy is a very nice lady who doesn't realize how school has changed from when her children went.  These children are in a private school, they have sports and lessons after class, and they never really have any time to relax and be a kid.  That bothers her but everyone else is doing the same thing and that's what her daughter wants, so she lets it go.  In time, it becomes an even bigger problem.

Judy meets Ginny, another grandmother, and they talk about the children and the incidents that seem to crop up.  Judy manages to get crossways with most influential mother in the school and things keep happening that make her worry about what's going on with the children.  The simplest thing said or done is broadcast over the entire school.  The snooty mother thinks the children need counseling.  Judy disagrees.

When she meets an attractive grandfather, she's says no when he asks her out for coffee.  Her mother gives her a bad time and she finally says yes.  Unfortunately, he's the father of the snooty mother from school.  Her interest grows and she starts spending nights over while her mother watches the children.  He's even told her he loves her.

Then her grandson is accused of stealing an iPad at camp.  He says he didn't do it.  There are witnesses who say he did.  One of them is the snooty mother's son.  And his grandfather believes in him.

This women's fiction story is filled with trauma and drama and tension that finally comes to a head at the end of the book.  Things finally settle back down and all ends as well as it could.  Most times life doesn't go as we plan it and this book is a fine example of that.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Miss Silver Mysteries: Grey Mask, The Case Is Closed, and Lonesome Road by Patricia Wentworth

I've read Miss Silver in the past and have enjoyed Ms. Wentworth's mysteries.  When I saw this offer on the first three books, I couldn't pass it up.  I'm also glad I read it and got to know Miss Silver again!

Open Road Integrated Media and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab the ebook now.

The first case begins with a man who been away on his own adventures before coming back to the family home.  When he arrives home, his attorney tells him his help takes this day off, so he shouldn't return to the house until the next day.  He had taken a room so he had no problem with that.  But he wasn't tired and couldn't sleep so he decided to take a walk and just look at the estate he has inherited.  He can't believe it when he finds the back gate unlocked, the kitchen door unlocked, and a light in the library.  Nobody is supposed to there.  He knows how to snoop without getting caught (an old childhood spy hole).  What he hears is disturbing.  It sounds like a plot to steal an inheritance and to murder the only person who is standing in the way.  She's only 18, they might be able to prove she's illegitimate, but if not...

He's in a quandary because his ex-fiance seems to be part of this plot.  He can't think badly of her.  He's still in love with her.  But how is he going to figure out who wears the Grey Mask?  Miss Silver is willing to help...

The Case is Closed is where a man is framed for a murder and his wife knows he's innocent.  No one else will handle it because it's a done deal.  Miss Silver isn't so picky.  It takes a lot more questions but she does foil the bad ones.

My favorite is Lonesome Road.  A young woman has inherited a lot of money.  She's going to honor her father's wishes and bequeath it the way he put in the will.  But not right away and not just because they think they deserve it.  It's to be shared upon her death.  And now deadly things are happening around her.  If it isn't bad enough to be living with vultures and nagged all the time, life is getting dangerous for her.  The more questions Miss Silver asks, the more agitated they get.  When the youngest one runs, her life is in danger, too.  But Miss Silver is on the case and so are the woman who inherited and her new love.  The ending is very, very ironic.  Justice does prevail.

These don't read as fast as cozy but they are full of character development, emotions, and good deductive reasoning.  I find them enjoyable.  There's almost a touch of Christie here.  If you haven't met Miss Silver yet, you should.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Killer Location by Sarah T. Hobart

Sam Turner is hoping to be the next great real estate agent.  She hasn't garnered her first big sale but she's going to host an open house and she has high hopes.  Her boss tells her no one has ever sold a house during the first open house, but she's not discouraged.  She should be but for a different reason...

Alibi and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

She encounters the horrors of open house.  The next door neighbor tells her they need to trim the overhanging trees or he's going to sue them.  The couple next door come to snoop and smell up the bathroom.  There's a lady with a dog that gets the white carpet and couch dirty.  And let's not forget the young eager couple who exit with half the household goods.  If that isn't enough, when she tries to make cookies to give the place a nice homey smell, she finds a decapitated finger with a wedding band on it.  It has her boss' initials on it, so it must have been from one of this wives.  If that isn't enough to put you off eating cookies, the woman's dog finds a buried body in the backyard.

With this strong opening, the rest of the story settles down to a slower pace.  Her sister shows up on her doorstep.  She has paid for part of the down on the house so she has access to the little cottage in the back.  She's also Sam's current boyfriend's ex.  Sam hasn't told her sister about that yet.

In the meantime, her son has found a part-time job and is growing into a mature young man.  Her ex is back in town trying to make friends with his son but he's not making much progress.

She's busy asking questions and trying to solve the murder because her boss was thrown in jail and she can't do real estate anymore.  She could get another job but she likes where she works.  She's real good at getting herself in odd situations.  Most people don't question suspects in a sauna.  Especially since she started questioning the wrong man.

But then most people don't solve crimes, do they?

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Kill Sign: A Jamie Sinclair Novel by Nichole Christoff

Here's another hold-on-to-your-seat thrill ride through the fast paced life of Jamie Sinclair.  She learns some things about her past that she doesn't want to know...

Alibi and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank  you).  It will be published December 6th.  This is the third book in the series, so you may want to read the first two while you're waiting.

Jamie is going to spend the weekend with her lover.  They have big plans to stay in their hotel room most of the time and enjoy each other.  However, they have to attend a dinner first.  When a man she's put in jail before is at the same dinner, she goes on high alert.  The young man she met when visiting the base is there with his girlfriend.  Another guy butts in and when they get in a fight, everyone goes to stop it.  The first man she saw throws a duffel bag over the side, she rushes to see what where it went.  It was a dirty bomb and explodes.  The young soldier dies, and her lover becomes in charge of the case.  So much for their sexy weekend...

It doesn't take long until Jamie realizes her old mentor is somehow connected to this.  She's very good at snooping and as she starts removing layers and looking at what's hidden behind them, she's torn.  She wants to help her boyfriend but she also wants to protect Ray.  Ray was more of a father figure to her than her own father.  That makes it harder to do her job.  Of course, no one is paying her so it's not really a job; it's a desire to find the truth.

Jamie's emotions are running high in this investigation.  Her lover wants to get his life back on track (he got in trouble with the service on his last case) and then he wants to marry her.  She knows she loves him but she's got an allergy to marriage.  When the DEA agent she's got the hots for shows up, she's got real problems.  She needs him to watch her back while she does dangerous things but she won't go to bed with him.

The romance part is still up in the air at the end of this story.  I wish Jamie would settle down and get her own life together.  If she's wishy-washy much longer, she may end up alone.  That wouldn't be good for anybody.  However, no matter what she does now, someone will get hurt.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

When All The Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

Charlotte tries to contact her sister about a friend who died.  The cops say it was an overdose, but Charlotte doesn't think so.  However, her sister is in a "no tech" retreat center.  She asks Max, the private investigator on Louise's death, to help her.  What he finds is that her sister is not even on that island.  She checked in and then checked out.  She's hiding...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will published November 29th.

Max is only working with Charlotte because his client has given him permission to do so.  They all want to know how Louise died and who was responsible.  It doesn't take long for them to realize something is going on with this investment club they belong to.  It also appears that a monster from Jocelyn's past has come to life again.

Death is cheap in this story.  No one is quite what they seem.  Money covered up a rape years ago and it's still buying protection.  There's a stone cold killer here.  Greed and a need for power is what is driving the killer.  There's no remorse and no guilty conscience.  Just pleasant memories...

Charlotte and Max are attracted to each other but they both have baggage.  Working together makes them bond and when they are almost killed and only barely survive, that bonds them, too.

There are twists and ties in the story but somehow it all connects together.  The ending is intense and suspenseful.  Jocelyn's nightmare is over but Max still has his nemesis out there.  Maybe in the next book Charlotte and Max can track him down. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Maggie Dove's Detective Agency by Susan Breen

After solving one murder, Maggie has decided to open a detective business.  She's not getting any cases but she's hopeful.  Then when a case is offered, she turns it down.  Her business partner gets very angry with her and tells her to apologize and take the case.  She does, but she'll be sorry.

Alibi and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It's being published today, so you can grab a copy now.

Racine asks her to get her long lost sister, Domino, to go home.  She's come to visit with her husband, a maid that sleeps with both of them, and a desire to get some of the money their father left them.  Mom is still alive and she says no.  Domino tells Maggie sometimes people change their minds.  Her sister thinks she's evil.  Maggie isn't sure but she knows she's weird.  She's a witch but she's pursuing black magic.

When she goes to a planned Halloween event, Domino goes to the top of the tower and then falls.  Or was she pushed?  Trying to find anything out around there is impossible.  And the police chief decides it was suicide and quits investigating.  Maggie doesn't.  Not even when her client cancels the contract.

This was a bit of an odd mystery with the witches thrown in.  The people she wanted to talk to didn't want to talk to her.  She keeps working on it, though.  Even when she's not being paid for it.  

She does find the killer but she almost dies in the process.  Domino was not the one that was evil...

Centurion and Emperador by Rob Schneider

Centurion and Emperador are baby horses the storks misdelivered.  They got blown off course and they drop the babies off at the next available barn.  The other animals tell them it's a big mistake, but the duck has been pining for children and she adopts them!

Magnetic Press 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 Gamble Ranch owners decide they should be race horses.  They're growing up healthy and good looking, they'd be great at that.  But children don't always live up to parent's plans...

They enter them in the race at the fair but they both come in dead last.  They move a lot in their running and don't run that fast.  They feel awful because they've let everyone down.  But they hear a band playing and suddenly they find their hidden talent.  They might not be able to run, but they can dance!

The illustrations are done by Francisco Herrera and they're lovely.  There are actually horses named Centurion and Emperador at the Gamble Ranch and you can visit them.  The best message here is that you might not be able to do what others think you should but we all have our own talents.  Follow your passion and you'll succeed in the world.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Twilight Zone: The Shadow by David Avallone

The Shadow is part of my past.  In the great days of radio, there was a regular show about him.  I bought some of the old broadcasts on tape and when we camped, Mom and I would listen to them while doing puzzles.  The thought of him returning was fascinating and then when they combined him with a Twilight Zone theme, I knew I had to read this one.

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

He's killing Nazis and just barely gets away when the car is hit.  When he opens his eyes again, he's in a new place and is a new person.  He's not a crime fighter.  He's a professional voice on the radio.  He has no idea how he got there...

As the story goes on, his life keeps changing.  He's wearing more than one look (he refers to them as masks) and he knows something is wrong but he doesn't know how to fix it.  Which personality is really his own?  Why does his typewriter try to eat him?  Will he ever get out of this mess?

There will be future anthologies that will continue this series.  The graphics are colorful and intense.  They are also appropriate for the time period of the Shadow.  All in all, this was a good, interesting read.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I Want That Love by Tatsuya Miyanishi

A Tyrannosaurus stalks the prehistoric world looking for food.  Anything small makes a great snack.  But when he runs across a little Triceratops who doesn't know what he is, his life changes.

Museyon and Net Galley let me read this book for a review (thank you).  It will be published November 20th.

The Triceratops babies think the big boy is great.  He works against his nature protecting them.  They feel sorry for his wounds and love and admire him.  He can't understand it; he never knew love.  But now that he's found it, he's not willing to let it go...

When the baby Triceratops grows up to be a father, he teaches his children that violence is wrong.  Love is what matters in the world.  And that's a fact.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I Will Love You Anyway by Mick Inkpen, Chloe Inkpen

This story is illustrated by Mr. Inkpen's daughter, Chloe.  The illustrations are just as whimsical as Dad's and combined with a cute story this is a delightful book.  Have you ever had an animal that didn't behave?

Aladdin and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 6th.

As you can tell from the cover, this puppy is big eyed and innocent and doesn't have a thought in his head.  That's not true.  Whatever they tell him to do something, he does the opposite.  When he finds a way to get out of the yard, he runs all over.  They have to rescue him and retrieve him and take him home.  Finally the parents have had enough.  They're ready to get rid of him.  But his little boy loves him.  

Sometimes a child can act just like this dog. Sometimes loving them anyway is the only way to get through it.  Luckily they give this dog another chance.  If you know anyone like this, give them a chance, too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Composition in Murder: A Cherry Tucker Mystery by Larissa Reinhart

Cherry teaches art at the local retirement home and she enjoys her job.  Her only real worry is the fact that her brother is in jail.  It was a trumped up charge by a the family that hates her family.  (It's like the Hatfield and McCoy war.)  They don't like each other and that won't change.  She wants to help him and she's worried about her love life.  He's a stepson on the other side.  Can she live with that?

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

While Cherry worries about those issues, she should be worried about what's happening in the old folk's home.  These oldsters are misbehaving.  They like to drink and smuggle bottles in.  They sneak into one another's room and have sex.  There's a man who dances with everyone for $1 a dollar a dance or so.  And unbeknownst to her, they sell drugs on the side.

If that isn't bad enough, she's asked to witness a new will.  She does and the lady hires her to find out who the "snake in the grass" is in her business or family.  Then the woman dies a couple of days later.  They say it's a heart attack.  No, it's murder.  Cherry decides her "snake" she was searching for won.  But that's not the last death!

This is a moneyed family with a large business.  That family gets along almost as well and Cherry and her boyfriend's family.  No one wants to tell her anything.  She manages to get crosswise with the drug dealers and they come after her.

This is full bodied mystery with unique characters.  I wish the story was a bit more succinct.  The characters were almost overdone with detail.  Some times less words say more.  That's just a personal preference on my part.  The book was well done and I hope Cherry makes up her mind on marriage.  Luke is a good one and I'd hate to see her lose him, even if it might cause her some family problems.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Lake District Murder: A British Library Crime Classic by John Bude

The story begins with the death of a garage man.  He turns out to be one of the only good men in this story so it's an unfortunate death.  His fiance is devastated.  He was moving on to a new life and never made it...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 6th.

Inspector Meredith begins by trying to figure out if the death is murder or suicide.  They determine it's murder.  When he starts digging for suspects, he finds odd pieces of evidence that points to another crime.  It appears something is being smuggled but he can't figure out what or how.  As he and his supervisors discuss the case and review the evidence, two or three possibilities arise and half the police force is involved.  

They believe the dead man was involved in whatever scheme had been worked out.  He had a lot more money in his checking account than the garage could account for.  But what was it from and why was he killed?

The deeper he digs, the more complex the case gets.  Hidden passage ways, waste dumped in the raging river to hide it, and underground stills come to light.  To catch the gang they will have to set up the sting very carefully.

It's complex story that required intelligent cops to solve it.  They go off in the wrong direction here and there, but then they regroup and head right again.  I still feel sorry for the young man they killed but I didn't have any sympathy for the bad guys.  Sometimes money is the root of all evil.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Red Ribbons by Louise Phillips

They find one missing girl dead and buried, but she's been positioned in a strange way and has her plaited with red ribbons on the ends.  She didn't own that ribbon or wear her hair that way.  She also wasn't on her own for every long.  Who took her and why would he kill her?  Only a couple of days later, another young girl is found and she's in the same position.  It appears they have a serial killer.

Hachette Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 15th.

There's really nothing for the police to go on.  The killer is a loner and tells no one about his life.  He does leave a shoe print behind but it's not unique by any means.  They bring a criminal psychologist to help them get an idea of how this killer's mind works and what he might do next.

This story is written in an interesting way.  Each character tells his own story in various chapters.  You get the criminal's story from his point of view.  You find that the psychologist's marriage is foundering because of her work load and the fact they are growing apart.  You hear the other cop's frustrations.  And then there's a call about a woman in a mental hospital that says she knows who the killer is.  She's in jail because she murdered her daughter but she says she didn't do it, a man did it.  She saw him around before she set the fire to kill herself for not being a better mother.

I found it a bit confusing and it took me longer to read.  The plot is well done, there's lot of psychological discovery about the killer, and the crime started when he was just a child.  His mother was not a good person.

The ending is very scary.  He's captured the psychologist and her son and she's to be his next victim if she doesn't behave right.  He has her in a cave no one knows about.  Will she be able to save her son?  Will she be able to survive?  You'll hold your breath until you get to the end of the story.

All in all, it was a good read.  I wasn't fond of the style of the writing but the story was good.  Give it a try and tell me what you think about it.

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson

I've read many picture book renditions of this tale but this is the first time I've seen the seven different stories that create the whole tale.  It's an interesting look at a classic fairy tale and Ms. Annukka's artwork makes it even more unworldly.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

This story starts with the tale of a broken mirror and how it impacts two good friends who live close to each other and like to visit their rooftop garden.When a piece of the mirror goes in his eye and in his heart, Kay begins to get cold.  He goes sledding and manages to run into the Snow Queen.  She decides she likes him and takes him home to her castle.

In the meantime, Gerda is trying to find him.  He's her best friend and she's not going to give up.  So she starts out on a journey that puts her in danger along the way.  It's a good thing the animals are on her side.

When Gerda does find Kay, he's almost all frozen.  She cries to find him in such condition and it melts his ice and brings him back to life.

This is a classic fairy tale that will endure as long as we have written words...

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Charlie the Tramp by Russell Hoban

Charlie has an idea that will sound good to any child.  He's going to be a tramp.  He can just walk where he wants, nap when he wants and he can sleep in the great old outdoors.  He's not going to learn to be a beaver and work everyday.  His parents and grandfather don't hold him back.  They just tell him to be home for dinner.

Plough Publishing sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

This is a classic story that is having its 50th anniversary this year.  I read it a long ago and wanted to see what this new edition looked like.  It still has Lillian Hoban's illustrations, which are really sweet.  The story hasn't been updated.  And I still like it very much.

Despite Charlie's big plans, he does go adventuring but not very far.  Everyone is willing to give him some freedom and it works out well.  Until the night he can't sleep.  The creek doesn't sound right.  It bugs him enough, he finds himself doing the same things he said he wouldn't:  He dams the creek.  Now it sounds right.  Then he crawls in a rotted out tree stump and goes to sleep.

When he doesn't show up for breakfast, they go looking for him...

This is sweet story about how you can't go against your nature.  If you're a beaver, you're going to build dams.  Why not share this cute classic tale with your child?  It would also be good opportunity to talk about what their talents are or what they would like to be.  Celebrate life!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Hilda and the Bird Parade by Luke Pearson

Hilda and her Mom have moved to town.  She's not content there.  She's tired of staying in her room and amusing herself.  She tells her mother she's going out to explore, but her mother won't let her.  She's afraid of danger; they don't know the town yet.  But when the schoolkids show up at the door, she lets her go.  Hilda has quite an adventure!

Nobrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 15th.

Hilda finds the schoolkids are not so very nice.  They're bored, too, and they ring doorbells and hide.  She doesn't do well at the games.  The worst part is when they throw stones at the tree with birds in it.  They hit  a raven and injure it.  They run away and she stays to help it.  The only problem is that she can't remember how to get to home...

As she and the raven walk across the town, she finds it's much bigger than she thought.  She also looks from up high and finds out she's been going the wrong way.  At this point, her mother is getting frantic.  She was supposed to be home for an early meal and then they were going to watch the parade.  Where could she be?

When she finally gets home, her mother isn't there.  Where could she be?

Hilda is going to be thankful she helped that raven before this story is over.  This was another enjoyable adventure with Hilda, who means well but often goes about things the wrong way.  I was a bit like that as a child.

The Rage of Plum Blossoms by Christine M Whitehead

She's surprised when cops show up at her office.  She has to interrupt an interview with a client to deal with them.  When they tell her that her husband has committed suicide, she can't believe it.  She just had breakfast with him.  He wasn't suicidal...

Ms. Whitehead sent me a copy of her to read for review (thank you).  You can buy a copy on Amazon now.

Quinn continues to tell them it couldn't be suicide.  They disagree.  Nobody who has a happy marriage and a good life would suddenly jump off the balcony.  He wasn't even wearing the clothes he had on when she left in the morning.  He didn't own the clothes he was wearing.  He also wouldn't have ended up on his head if he had jumped.  When no one looks for any more evidence.  She starts digging.  She's warned not to by everybody she talks to, but she wants answers.

This is a complex story with international intrigue and back door CIA activities.  It's not long before she's no longer welcome in Chinatown.  Not even his friends are willing to talk to her.  Then she's almost killed three different times.  It's a good thing she has survival skills.

As she goes along, she makes male friends along the way who are willing to help her with her case.  She needs them and they need her.  It's a good team and they have each other backs.  She has to figure her husband's past and present to make sense of his death.  Even then, it doesn't make much sense.  But she finally gets to the point of letting go, knowing he's been avenged.  She has new goals now.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

In The Land of Broken Time: The Incredible Journey by Maria Evan (Author, Illustrator), Max Evan (Author), Helen Hagon (Translator)

A young boy named Christopher wants to go visit the circus that has come to town.  His mother tells him no.  He's been ill with a cold and has a doctor visit tomorrow.  She wants him cleared by the doctor before he goes around a crowd.  He's disappointed until he figures out how to get what he wants.

The author sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and is available in Amazon Kindle form.

Christopher decides to sneak out.  After all, his parents are busy and won't notice he's gone.  He'll go, have fun, and be home before they know it.  Like all plans, this one goes awry quickly.  He gets there, manages to sneak in without a ticket, and when it seems all is lost a girl grabs his hand and ducks under the big top with him.  Her name is Sophia.  They are enjoying the show until a cleaning woman shows up and runs them off.  To hide from her, they climb in an air balloon basket.  She still finds them.  When they set the basket free to get away, they have no idea what kind of adventure they will have before they get back... 

This is a good story with a mix of magic and imagination that will make it fun to read for young ones.  The illustrations are colorful and add to the whimsical story.  There's a talking dog named Duke, two brothers who represent good and evil and a time machine.  They have to learn how to use the clock to set time back and quickly!

With a cute story line and a bit of magic and fantasy this is good tale for all young ones.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Serpent in the Pines by Oscar Patton

The Civil War is over but the fighting isn't done.  The local mill is run by Yankees who want the lumber money that can be made.  The southerners want to keep their farms and raise their animals and crops without losing all their trees.  Even land titles are subject to court cases.  How does a newly widowed woman survive in those circumstances?

The author sent me a copy of his book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.  He also has other books written in this time period about some of the characters you meet here.

Mr. Patton writes well.  His words flow smoothly and there's enough action to keep your attention.  It's historical fiction based on fact and you feel like you're living there in that time.

His characters are interesting and human.  The widow knows how to use a gun and she'll need to before the story is over.  She has a crush on the sheriff but he's got a problem from things he saw and did in the war.  The man who wants to marry her daughter is crooked but he wants her badly.

There are conspiracies within conspiracies.  A good man is killed.  The wicked ones eventually get what they are due but not until more bad things have happened.  It's all believable and despicable.

As this story closes, life goes on.  Some people are settled, others are not, and some end up in jail.  This is the end of this part of the story but there's still more that could be written.  I enjoyed this enough, I'd be interested in more of the tales about Satilla County.  Give a try and see what you think.

Chasing Nathan by Jeanette Hubbard

Claudie is out camping by herself and enjoying it.  When a small RV is the local bookstore owner's and he comes for a visit, she enjoys chatting with him.  She also, despite her misgivings, invites him to share her dinner.  After a pleasant dinner their quiet time is interrupted by a rude young man who wedges his horse trailer in a spot too small for it and then yells on his cellphone.  They decide to retire for the night and ignore him.

Read for Review shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.

When Claudie wakes in the morning, the RV is gone and so is Nathan.  He was coming for coffee but she decides he changed his mind.  In reality he's been kidnapped by the bad guys. This is about seniors who aren't so old they're willing to give up.  Claudie always thought Nathan was a bit boring but there's more to him than is apparent to the eye.  He also has dangerous friends.

It seems the horse trailer was full of marijuana that was stolen from a legal farmer.  Besides the folks coming after them for the theft, they also have a motorcycle rally going on and the bikers are sniffing about.  There's a lady undercover and unidentified except for her first name that is in the middle of the bikers and comes to help Nathan.

The story is lively, the characters are odd, and I really enjoyed reading this one.  Especially since Nathan and Claudie become a couple before the story ends.  I guess everyone assuming she was Nathan's girlfriend might have had something to do with it.  However, stress can make you bond real good, too.  Claudie had plenty of both those in this story.  It's a fun read, despite the danger.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Shrew that Flew by Julia Copus

Every one of these is good but this one is my favorite (I think).  It has a touch of "impossible" in it and I like that.

Publishing Push and the author sent me copies of these books to read for review (thank you).  It has been published.

Everyone is invited to a birthday party and they are all to wear hats.  You'll never see these hats at any party you go to!  

Lil has her normal hat and is getting ready to put it on when the wind grabs it and takes it up until it snags on her chimney.  She and Harry have no way to get it down.  You'd have to fly to do that.  So Lil starts experimenting.  Each time she gets a bit higher but she doesn't get close enough to grab it.

Then a deer goes by wearing a fancy hat and a balloon.  Can Harry and Lil figure out how to use the balloon to get her hat? (The balloon is a big hit at the party, too.)

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Hog, the Shrew and the Hullabaloo by Julia Copus

Harry can't sleep.  He hears a big odd noise and he calls Lil to tell her about it.  She comes over to protect him.  Picture that:  a little bitty shrew is going to protect a hog?  Really?

Publishing Push and the author sent me a copy of this book to review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

You can see by cover that Harry is concerned.  It takes Lil peering out the window to see who's out there and what they are.  What they find are a bunch of nocturnal animals making regular animal noises.  Harry keeps saying that wasn't what woke him up.  When he finally hears the noise again, they look.  They can't tell what they see at first.  When you look at the illustration, see if you can figure it out.  It's not really a monster but you'll have to read the book to find out just what it is!

The Body on the Lido Deck: A Toni Day Mystery by Jane Bennett Munro

Toni is on vacation with her husband, mother and stepfather.  A cruise is a great way to relax, visit, and enjoy yourself.  At least that's the idea.  It's a bit hard to do when you notice that you have blood dripping by you on the lido deck.  It's hard to read your book when a body almost falls on you.  If that's not enough to shock and scare you, it's even worse when her head falls in the pool.  The body has been decapitated by the roof on lido deck...

Book Review Buzz gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and is available now on Amazon.

Toni is no shrinking violet since she's a pathologist by trade.  She examines the body, takes pictures, and then gets help.  Things are different on cruise ships.  The local police came and looked but the boat has to leave to continue the cruise.  The first thing that happens is the woman's head disappears from the pool.  They're not sure if they believe Toni or not.  The Royal Barbados police just know she's American and they're all questionable.

When the ship gets underway, she and her stepfather decide to do some investigating themselves.  After all, he's retired from Scotland Yard.  She looks over dead bodies for a living.  They don't like mysteries and this one is a good one.

There are two more deaths, bodies appear and disappear in the cooler, and everyone is a suspect.  There's a long tradition within the crews of such ships that not only do the parents work there, their sons do, too.  With connections to a murder 25 years ago, it seems the answer to the mystery is in the bowels of the ship.  But the murderer really doesn't want to be found.

There's action all the way through the story, the pace is fast, and the story flows smoothly.  This is well-written and done nicely.  Toni almost doesn't make it, but she does.  That's good because I'm looking forward to reading more about her and her family crime solving unit.
 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hog in the Fog by Julia Copus


This is a new children's picture book series I was invited to read and I'm so very glad I did!  Harry and Lil have great adventures and Eunyoung Seo's illustrations are wonderful.  They're whimsical and fun and go right along with these sweet story lines.

Publishing Push and the author sent me the books.  They have been published so you can grab a copy now.

In this first story Lil, a little shrew, has invited Harry, the hog, over for afternoon tea.  She waits and waits.  It is foggy out there but surely he'll show up?  When he doesn't she goes looking.

Along the way she meets up with other animals.  They all decide to search with her.  Each of them has seen something funny in the fog but it doesn't sound like her friend.  And, yet, when she does find him, he's been all those things they saw.  They just saw a part of him.

The story is very cute, the pictures adorable and I know little ones will love it.  Give it a look, I bet you take it home.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cherringham - A Lesson in Murder: A Cosy Crime Series by Neil Richards, Matthew Costello

Jack and Sarah are hired to find out who is doing the nasty pranks at a fancy girl's school.  They don't want the publicity that police would bring.  They just want the pranks to stop.  It didn't sound too tough but there was more going on than just pranks.

Bastei Entertainment and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published.

I enjoyed the two private investigators.  They have a good friendship, work well together and they normally solve their cases.  This time, there's even some good pay attached to the work.  They come in hopeful and then find that no one wants to talk to them.  They also notice that several are lying.  Just what's going on?

This private school lives on tuition and donations.  There are secret pay offs, favoritism is offered to some girls and not others, and even those within the school are not all friends.  As Jack and Sarah sift through the facts, the things not said, and try to meet up with the teacher involved, they begin to see the skeleton of the problem.  When the teacher falls in front of a train, they don't believe it was suicide.  Sarah picks the lock on the teacher's room and finds some telling letters she held onto.  That looks like a reason but was it?

This is a cozy mystery that isn't too long but is complex and holds your attention.  I enjoyed this read and would be happy to read their next case.  They aren't constricted by the law but they aren't protected by it either.  They're learning to be careful and protect each other.  Who would have imagined such danger in a girl's school?

Miss Nigella by Hamarkan, Elise Madderom

He's a young male bunny that wants to have a girlfriend but he's not sure how to go about it.  It's a good thing he found a magic flower in the Nigella flowers that can give him advice!

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

Being sweet and shy, it's hard for him to be forward.  However, offering an acorn nut isn't too hard to do and it might open up a conversation.  Unfortunately, that doesn't work.  He keeps following the flower's advice and approaching more rabbits but they all are more interested in someone else.  As he's bemoaning to the flower about this, he discovers it wasn't the flower talking to him...

Ms. Madderom's illustrations are very simple, as is the story line, and I'm sure young ones will love this story and want to read it more than once.  It's a very pleasant tale and has a nice ending.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Toward the Golden Age: The Stories That Turned Crime to Gold by Mike Ashley

I love old mysteries.  They mainly used brain power to solve their crimes.  Now we have all these fancy techniques but in the early 1900's they only had their own personal skills.  This collection has the first Father Brown mystery, several stories only in magazines, and some new authors for me as well as characters I enjoy reading about.  This is a good compilation for those of us who like short stories and mystery stories both.

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

I was pleasantly surprised to see so many women as detectives.  This was an era where women should be seen but not heard.  However, these ladies are not short in brain power and many of them use intuition to help solve cases.  I liked that.  I'd never met Lady Molly before, but I'd read more about her.

There are fifteen stories, all written from 1905 to 1921.  They are well written and enjoyable to read.  My favorite was The Crime at Big Tree Portage by Hesketh Prichard.  I hadn't read his work before and his style reminded me a bit of Jack London.  There's been a murder but there's no evidence.  He reasons out who it must have been, but when he's heard the whole story it changes things.  Stories that end unexpectedly add to my reading enjoyment.

All of these are worth the read.  Some are more entertaining than others.  As I settled down and read, I found characters I'd met before and it was like visiting with an old friend.  Maybe you'll find a few in here, too.