Friday, March 31, 2017

Murder between the Lines by Radha Vatsal

Kitty is a journalist for a lady's paper and she likes to do investigative work.  The problem is that such a thing is not considered appropriate for ladies and she has to be discreet about it.  She's going to write a story on a prestigious girl's school and visits to tour the school and meet some of the students.  What she finds is fascinating and she wants to talk to individual students.  However, the principal won't allow it.

Sourcebooks Landmark and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 1st.  This is the second book in this series so you can read the first book while you wait.

She gets to meet and talk to one student off campus.  The next she hears of her, she's dead.  She is said to have gone out sleep walking and died in the snow.  Kitty remembers how vibrant and full of life she was and how she had big plans for the future.  She doesn't think it was an accident.

Mixed in with the death is an accident at the local submarine test site.  Kitty was there but unharmed.  She also saw a young man she'd seen before.  Was he responsible for the problem?  Was he a killer?

With a war going on, intelligence secrets around and jealousy and bad behavior involved, there's no end of mystery.  It takes a careful reconstruction of events to identify the killer.  It's a good thing Kitty is patient.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Private Prodigy Eye by Russ Hall

There are three cozy mysteries in this book.  This is good because I was intrigued by the characters and the stories read well.  Imagine having a fifteen year old boy who can out think the police.  Imagine him solving crimes in untraditional ways.  That's Adam...

Renegade Rhino 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.

Sylvie hired on as an assistant PI with Adam.  She almost didn't but she wanted a job that would challenge her and this one sure does.  Her first big challenge is to figure out who would have killed the stand in pretending to be Adam at a book award ceremony.  He was an older young man that they used for public appearances but Adam was the author of the book.  Who was the sore loser?  And why did someone shoot Adam's father?

Next, Adam's hormones start working and she loses his mind to lust.  While she tries to keep him on track, one of the judges at the cooking show drops dead.  They have his heart's desire as the murderer until Adam tells them why it couldn't be her.  They think they know the killers but can they find them?

The last story is the best.  They go to a dude ranch to ride horses and check out what's going on.  An informant told them there were shenanigans going on.  While on their first ride, they find the informant dead.  Then Sylvie's cop boyfriend gets shot.  The cops try to move them out of the area but they won't go.  They're going to find the killer.  The problem is that the killer might find them first...

The plots were a bit extreme but I enjoyed Adam's detection skills.  He's very analytical, logical and speculative.  He thinks outside the box.  He takes nothing as a given.  And he's often in the sights of the killer.  It's a good thing he's smart.

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.  It's always a joy to find an interesting read!
 

Black Sheep by Mason Macrae

Dave McCabe rides into town to avenge his father's bushwacking.  He's changed his name, hasn't been there for years, and intends to nose around a bit and see if he can find the killer.  Instead, he wanders into a town torn apart by a rich man who used to be his father's partner who wants to maintain the land he owns and uses and a man who is trying to run a rail line through a section of his property.  It gets even more tense when the railroad man brings in part of his sheep to graze on the free land.  Cattle men hate sheep.  They leave nothing for cows to eat...

Pioneering Press let me read this book for review (thank you).  You can grab a copy now.

The sheriff gets shot, so they appoint McCabe as the new one.  It's like wearing a bullseye, more than one person tries to kill him.  He tries to negotiate with Mallory and Bassett but no one wants to compromise.  Then one of Mallory's twin girls accuses him of a crime after her rescue from kidnappers and he's got more trouble.  Especially since she intends to kill him since he killed the man she was interested in.

There's plenty of action, plenty of gunfire, and even a woman playing a man's role in this story.  It's a classic old western story that still holds its own in this day and time.  I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Afar OGN byLeila Del Duca

She falls from a tree and knocks herself out.  When she awakens, she goes home like usual.  But when she sleeps at night, she finds herself traveling to other planets...

Image Comics let me read this story for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Bortema is the oldest child in the family and she's not happy with her life.  She longs for adventure, for independence, and to get away from her parents.  All they do is let her work for them, she has no fun.  But she has a brother she doesn't want to leave behind.

Her dreams take her to different worlds.  She's a different character in each world and she speaks different languages.  She was in one where someone she was with got hurt.  She wants to go back and see if she can fix that.  But she doesn't know how to go back.

Meanwhile, her brother gets caught by bullies and is made to climb a tall wall.  When he gets there, he overhears a plot.  He's caught and jailed.  It's a good thing his monkey can help save him.  Then her parents agree to go along with a salt train and leave them home alone.  The money runs out and Bortema tells her brother they need to go to the bigger city where there are more opportunities.  They almost die on the way and while it seemed perfect at first, that changed.  

The artwork is gorgeous and the story intriguing.  I'll be watching for future installments in this story.

The Fallen Star (The Nocturnals #3) by Tracey Hecht

As they watch the falling stars and admire the beautiful light show, they notice that one is coming down towards them.  When it hits the earth, they don't believe what happens!

Fabled Films sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 5th.

They meet an aye-aye named Iris who spouts off about danger and how they need to know her secrets.  They're not even sure if she's friendly and maintain their distance.  When they don't respond like she wants them to, she takes off.

As usual, Bismark is being important.  Dawn is really the brains of the group.  Tobin is just along for the ride.  When they notice mounds of dirt everywhere, they wonder what's going on.  As they attempt to find it, it gets more dangerous along the way.

The fruit they eat has been poisoned.  The only thing that will offset the poison is a blue flower that only grows in certain locations.  As they try to find the flowers, which are rapidly disappearing as someone steals them, they run into evil lemurs and scorpions that want to hurt them.  It soon becomes apparent that Iris is behind this.

While Iris has her own plans, Tobin ate a bit of the fruit and he has gas, bad gas.  This is best thing that could have happened.  Tobin is their secret weapon...

I have to say that at times the main characters remind me of the The Three Stooges, but they manage to save the day despite that.  Here's a fun, way-out adventure for young readers that will make them laugh.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Land of Nod by Robert Hunter

Mr. Hunter's illustrations of this classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson is lovely.  As the poem moves along, the graphics take you on the journey this young one takes in his mind...

Flying Eye Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

The boy in the story has broken his leg and uses crutches to get around.  When he goes to bed at night, he's well in his dream and travels about the land.  Children's dreams can be great fantasy and this boy is really good at it.  Mr. Hunter's illustrations help you visualize the journey the text takes you on.

This would be a good bedtime story or a good gift for those who are sick and bored with staying still.  It might inspire them to travel in their dreams also.  Robert Lewis Stevenson always writes good poems, so you can't go wrong there.  The artwork might inspire some drawing, too.  I was impressed with this edition of this work.

Mrs Pargeter's Public Relations by Simon Brett

Mrs. Pargeter's husband has been dead for a number of years now but she will let no one say anything bad about him.  He was a wonderful provider, left her plenty of money and a little black book that has all his old contacts on it.  She uses them to help her through life now.  One drives her, one is detective and there are all kinds of other skills within the black book.  She even got one to make her safe secure.  But evil doesn't go away just because you're prepared...

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

It's when Mrs. Pargeter goes to a charity event for cats that she meets a woman who says she's her dead husband's sister.  She'd never heard of her before, doesn't like her much, and avoids her at the event.  However, she calls again.  She thinks she's owed something from the estate.  Mrs. Pargeter tells her to put it in writing and she'll discuss it with her attorney.  She thinks she's taken care of that but then she finds her failsafe safe that only opens with her fingerprint ID has been opened and her black book is missing.  She calls the detective and they go off on the hunt.

The trail goes to Greece and so do they.  But it's a dangerous place to be.  Everyone is related and they're all part of a conspiracy.  The facts get muddled the further they go.  And Mrs. Pargeter's husband was not the most honest and perfect gentleman in the world but she won't hear of it.  She's going to protect his reputation and work with his friends to do so.

This story is a bit tongue-in-cheek but I really enjoyed it.  Mrs. Pargeter is not as dense as she appears because she comes up with a way to nip the trouble in the bud.  You need to be careful around old ladies.  They may not be what they seem to be...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tightening the Threads by Lea Wait

Sarah is an antique dealer here in town and Angie is friends with her.  When Sarah admits she's found relatives in town and is to meet the rest of her cousins, she asks Angie to come to the event with her and help.  She wants her mostly for moral support.  She's going to need it...

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 28th.

Ted runs an art gallery and has some very expensive paintings from his father's work.  What he didn't know was that he had an Aussie relative from war days.  He embraces Sarah, though, and is changing his will.  That's why he invited his family home his for 75th birthday.  However, things don't work out as planned.  Ted dies at the lobster bake.  Then his son-in-law dies during a swim the next day.  Who's the murderer?

Angie works on trying to find the truth.  It's hard for her and Sarah to believe a family member killed them but that's all they had with them that day except for Angie and Patrick.  They weren't killers.

The further they dig, the worse it gets.  No one in this family is a sparkling rose; there are too many thorns.

I was surprised by the ending because there were two different motives.  This is the second book in this series and I'm enjoying it. 

Dream Eater by K. Bird Lincoln

This is fantasy filled with mythological creatures, gods, and a war between good and evil.  Koi has always known if she touches someone and makes contact with them, she sees more than she wants to.  She picks up fragments that make her dream about their wishes and hopes.  Some of the things she sees are real, real bad.  So she stays away from people.  But not everyone wants her to kept her skills hidden; they want her to use them.

World Weaver Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 4th.

Her father was Japanese but her mother wasn't.  What she doesn't know is that she has inherited an ability from her father that's been hidden from her.  What's worse is that the enemy knows she has this skill and he wants to use it.  All she knows is that this professor is a bad man and has killed two people she can see in her dreams.  She doesn't want more dreams like that.  But he's on her trail.

Then she meets a Japanese man who is very nice and willing to help her with her father but she's not sure why she trusts him.  Should she?

She meets more than one monster in this story.  She also finds that the gods have a funny sense of humor and certain rules to follow if you want to not lose something important to you, like her father.

By the end of the story, she's no longer innocent about her power.  She's also concerned about it makes her feel when she uses it.  It will be interesting to see where Koi's story goes next.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Man From Tucson by Mason Macrae

Sam didn't get the letter until almost a year had passed.  He packed up and headed out to help Tom but he was too late.  He'd been shot and was bed bound and didn't speak much.  But Sam could tell something wasn't quite right.  Especially since he caught some Indians picking on a young woman.  They were going to scalp her.  He stopped them, then he found out they weren't Indian, they were white.

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

When the woman Sam was in love with years ago (who's Tom's wife now) expresses an interest in him, it makes his ego proud.  She's still a beautiful woman.  And she's also still Tom's wife.

What he discovers is that someone is making a land grab and Tom is in the way.  He knows he's dying so he does a new will and leaves the ranch to original owner's granddaughter.  The judge took the will home with him.  The judge ends up being stabbed, Sam finds the will and hides it, and then he tries to stay away from those who are trying to kill him.  It's hard when most everyone is against you.

Despite the odds, he fights well and comes out ahead.  He's a bit disillusioned about some of the people he thought well of but he has someone else to comfort him.

This is another rip-snorting western with lots of action and a true taste of the old west.

Plain Missing by Emma Miller

Rachel owns the local bed and breakfast but when her mother has breast cancer and must use chemotherapy, she moves home to fill in and help.  Her mother still won't speak to her because she didn't get baptized but Rachel still loves her home and the community.  It hurts but she accepts it because she knows the reason she does it.

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 28th.

Amish parents host singing nights with the young ones.  They provide food and drink and chaperone them until bedtime.  They allow them to sit out by the fire and chat.  Once in a while they have a few beers but nothing bad happens.  At least nothing did until Elsie and Dathan didn't come home after the event.  No one could find them or the carriage they'd been in.  Most everyone thought they'd run off to get married but her family didn't.  Rachel get caught up in it since she was her cousin.  When a senior trooper decides they must have done that, he stops investigating and tells the local trooper is to cease and desist on the case. Rachel's mother, still not speaking to her, lets her know she wants her to pursue the truth, whatever it might be.

First they find Elsie's body, buried in the Amish cemetery in an unmarked grave.  Then they find Dathan's.  He's been hit by a car or a truck.  Who would have done that?  And why kill Elsie?

This is a sad story because the killers committed their crimes more by being stupid and messing around drinking than from actual intent.  Elsie's older sister and Rachel almost die in the story, too.  Bad people are bad people.  

I enjoy Amish stories.  I had cottoned onto the killers a bit early in the story but I enjoyed how the author dealt with the ending.  Not everybody is happy ever after but most of them are.  If you like Amish stories, you'll enjoy this one, too.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi

Oliver is awakened by a big storm on the coast.  When he goes downstairs to see how his father is doing, he finds him gone.  It seems he took off to London, perhaps to see his sister who went there earlier.  But why now?

Algonquin Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 16th.

It's unfortunate that his father has made so many enemies in town.  When they realize his father is gone and he's all alone, they accuse him of being younger than he is and stick him in the poorhouse.  It's not just poor, it's awful!  No food to speak of, work all day, and radical punishments.  As soon as he can, he runs.

He doesn't have very good luck with that either.  He can't use the stage so he's going to have to walk.  The first person he runs into is a highway man.  The second is another highway man who intends to use the boy as a way to get stages to stop.  He's made to do it against his will and he witnesses a strange collaboration between the highway man and one of the men from town.  He can be hung for his crime so now he has another problem to carry.  And he's still trying to get away.

They buy him a new coat, sew his handkerchief to his pocket so it can't be picked and then send him out onto the busy London streets.  They intend to capture the pickpockets and get paid for turning them in.  The first one to show up is his sister and they both run from the men.

Poor Oliver only has bad luck.  Even at the end when he and his sister find his father bad luck comes.  He has a new adventure ahead of him.  He's being sent away for several years to pay for his crimes.  I just hope his luck turns... 

The Endicott Evil by Gregory Harris

Did Adelaide jump or was she pushed?  Scotland Yard thinks it's suicide.  Her sister thinks it's murder.  They're both right...

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 28th.

This was a confusing mystery.  The facts Pendragon and Pruitt come up with are mixed.  The gossip is both true and false.  Those questioned don't want to be involved.  As you watch the main characters dance around and visit people from the past, it doesn't seem like they are making much progress.  But, suddenly, Pendragon calls everyone together to talk about what he has found.

The surviving sister keeps trying to shut him up but the Lord wants to hear what he has to say.  It's a surprising ending that leaves hearts shattered.  Even worse, in another case, the lady that Pendragon wants to capture has taken in Pruitt and manages to skip town again.  I expect we will see her again in the next book.  He won't give up!

This is the first I've read in this series but I like the main characters and how they interact to solve cases, so it won't be the last.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Wingsnatchers: Carmer and Grit: Book One by Sarah Jean Horwitz

Carmer is a magician's apprentice and he enjoys his job and the people he works with.  When he attends a demonstration of a magical new power that can light lamps, he's fascinated.  When his magician is outshined by a performance by an unknown magician, he's amazed.  He's also curious.  Especially since he's noticed mechanical cats wandering around the streets of the city.  Where did they come from?

Algonquin Young Readers and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 25th.

Carmer wants them to win the magician's contest because they are out of money and can't continue without an infusion of cash.  It's not looking good, though.  Then he meets a fairy that has only one wing.  Grit doesn't want to have anything to do with him but she needs human help to figure out where all the fairies are going.

With magic, fairy unrest, and despicable characters the story is entertaining and a bit different from most.  A touch of steampunk, an unusual friendship and a fairy queen who isn't easy to get along with all add to the storyline.

Both Carmer and Grit are in danger and almost die along the way.  The ending is a bit upbeat and a bit sad, but when the queen tells Grit she should get some more worldly experience you can see another book coming.  I wonder what adventures they will share next?


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Death in the Abstract: A Katherine Sullivan Mystery by Emily Barnes

She's living in New Mexico now that she's retired and she loves it.  She paints at an artist colony that she has reserved a home in and life is good.  Then a phone call comes in from a friend's office saying that he's missing and hasn't shown up for work...

Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 9th.

Nathan Walker is an old friend and someone she's even thinking of romantically since they are widow and widower now.  She doesn't want to lose him so she heads back to where she was police chief before and starts searching for him.

As they try to follow his movements, they eventually locate his car but it doesn't tell them anything.  Even his cell phone doesn't help much.  But his security company and Katherine don't give up, they just keep digging.

The police chief is a bit distracted because a woman was murdered and they found a dead man who had been run over.  A missing case doesn't take priority with him.  So Kathleen is free to snoop on her own.

When she finds Nathan (who looks like Denzel), he's not in the best shape but he's OK.  The mystery isn't over yet.  There's bad stuff going on in town and it takes them to run it down.

This was an interesting mystery and I like the two main characters. All Nathan's employees are "different" and I enjoyed that, too.   I hope to read another in this series.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan by Patricia Bailey

Life in a mining town is never easy, but Kit has more to feel guilty about than most.  She got too busy watching the people in the dance hall and didn't get the doctor in time for her mother.  When she dies from her cold, Kit wishes she'd died instead.  As she and her father struggle on, he gets hurt in a mining accident.  She wants to tell everyone about the unsafe mining conditions, so she tells the newspaper reporter about it.  He prints it.  Then the mine owner kills her father.  Everyone said it was self-defense, but she knew it wasn't.  How can she prove that?

Albert Whitman and Company and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 25th.

Kit moves in with the next door widow lady, gets a job at the newspaper by pretending to be a boy, and starts trying to gather information.  The mine owner has almost everybody in town in his corner.  He buys loyalty.  But not everyone is sold on him.

Kit is determined to get at the truth and she will do anything necessary to ferret it out.  While she does all this, she grows up along the way.  The new friend she found is handsome and nice and she has a crush on him, so she's hurt when he likes someone else.

I enjoyed how Kit developed and how she accomplished her goal.  She also made friends along the way and has a new "family" that she has gathered together of all types of people.  I felt her sorrow and guilt and I also felt her jubilation at vindicating her father.  She walked a sad road but she came out happy at the end.  You'll even learn a bit about gold mining on the way.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Noemi is seventeen and is getting ready to die.  She's going to be one of the suicide squad breaking up the gate (worm hole) from her world to earth and other planets.  It's a sacrifice required for the greater good.  By blocking the gate it will give her country more time to build weapons to defend themselves.  But the war starts early...

Little Brown Books for Young Readers and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 4th.

When enemy ships come through gate while they are practicing their approach, she's suddenly fighting for her life early.  What's even worse is that her friend who is observing the action is hit.  She tries to save her and ends up on a deserted space ship from the past.  The first thing that happens is that the mech on board tries to kill her.  Abel looks like a man but he's a machine.  Once she says the right thing, he becomes her aide and protector.  Unfortunately, the other girl won't survive because she chooses to die instead of accepting synthetic parts.  Now Noemi and Abel will have to decide what to do next.

Noemi wants to go back to Genesis and close the gate.  Abel agrees to help her.  The adventure while doing so is space opera.  There's theft, disguises, false identities and more used to gain the equipment they need to use.  They are being pursued.  Abel's creator wants him back.  And, without either one of them realizing it, they're falling in love...

I'm going to be watching for the next book in this series.  I can't wait to see where the author takes this story.  Just make it a happy ending, OK, Ms. Gray?

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White

She's newly divorced and she and her children are going to make a fresh start.  She's moved to a small house near the woods, right behind the big house of her landlord.  She's a bit hesitant but it's cheaper and not far from her ex so visitations won't be a hassle.  But she's got a sore heart and isn't ready to enter the dating world or even the "mom" world at school.  Sometimes you just don't have any choice.

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 11th.

Merilee finds her new landlord, Sugar, to be old and irascible.  She wants nothing to do with them.  Yet, she keeps showing up with baked goods and tries to get them to eat better meals.  In time, a dubious friendship grows.

As if living in a strange town isn't bad enough, there's an anonymous blogger that knows about her past and the gossip going around town.  She's trying to maintain a low profile but folks talk anyway.  She tries to make friends but doesn't have as much success as she would like.  She's happy the most popular and beautiful woman in town as taken her under her wing.  She's even buying things for her as a friend.  That would quirk my worry button.  Nobody ever does stuff like that without wanting something in return.

When she goes to a fancy party at Heather and Dan's house, she does whatever Heather asks her to do.  Finding Dan drowned at the end of the dock is more than she can take.  Then they try to charge her with murder.  It's a good thing she has Sugar and Wade on her side.

The ending is dramatic and you're not sure who is going to be alive when the fight is over.  Old wrongs sometimes rise up in the present.  Karma is a bitch. Merilee had carried guilt since high school over an incident but she didn't expect it to try to kill her...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Curiosity House: The Fearsome Firebird by Lauren Oliver, H. C. Chester

In this odd museum, you have all kinds of oddities.  There's a flea circus, genetically altered children who have strange abilities, a cowboy, a pilot, and more.  There are regularly scheduled performances and spontaneous performances.  The whole group is living happily together.  Then someone poisons the fleas.  After the funeral, the General goes to brace the character selling flea poison out in front of their business.  He's sure he's involved.

HarperCollins and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 11th.

When the police show up to arrest the General for the murder of the flea spray seller, everybody knows he didn't do it.  But how can they prove it?

The professor asks a private eye to help.  She does but she doesn't accept the circumstantial evidence the children have found.  She's looking for solid evidence to show a judge.  Of course, then the children decide to solve it themselves...

These stories are a bit overboard in fantasy but they are great fun to read.  This is my most favorite one in this series but I'm sure there will be more.

How can you not like a story has a Phoenix in it?  Or strong men?  Or a dirigible?

It's exciting and fun.  I really enjoyed it.  Give it a try!

Thomas Haftmann, Private Eye: The Short Stories by Robb White

This collection is full of stories about walking around on the dark side of town.  No cozy mysteries here.  Everything is tense, mean, and dangerous.  And Mr. White's character, Thomas Haftmann, walks in fearlessly and with his gun.  He's an ex-cop now a PI, and he's willing to do what he has to if it pays well.

Mr. White sent me a copy of his book for me to read and review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now either in ebook or print.

These are stories you won't easily forget.  The Kneeling Woman is grotesque story about of a survivor who meets her enemy in her new land.  A missing person case turns into a female murderer who doesn't want to give up her new found enjoyment.  Mr. Haftmann is judge and jury on her case.  

The pace doesn't slow down throughout the fifteen short stories.  None of the stories are nice but they hit you in the solar plex and fill your brain with thoughts with you'd rather not have.  After reading this book, I'm glad I live where I do and don't have to fend my way through the characters in the stories!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman

Bernie is at the big basketball game in Shiprock watching the current players playing the alumni.  She suddenly feels the earth shake a bit and goes outside to see what's going on.  A car in the lot has been blown up.  She's not on duty, but she takes charge and calls in help.  When the scene finally settles down, there's a young man close to the car who dies from his injuries.  Was he the bomber or an innocent person just walking by?

Harper and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 11th.

The car belonged to a mediator who is working with the Indians and the developers about a plan to develop a big resort at the Grand Canyon.  While the developers are all for it, the rest of the crowd is all against it.  It seems that someone opposing the development might have done it but they aren't finding the tie to it they need.  Then they found out the name of the boy who died.  And it ties back to the mediator.

This is not only a story about environmental and sacred grounds concern but of a family that fell apart.  With everyone estranged, the mediator has no idea who might be after him.  They find him, though.

Even Bernie almost dies.  She gets an up close and personal visit with a mountain lion but she sings to him and he leaves her alone.  The next person he meets isn't so lucky.

It's another exciting read in this series with lots of Indian culture in the tale.  When I read these stories it's like visiting old friends.  I enjoyed it.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Souls of Men (An Elaine Hope Mystery #1) by A.R. Ashworth

Elaine Hope and her superior investigate a case were a young woman was brutally beaten to death.  They find her on the cameras to the point where she exited the bus.  A guy with a hoodie on followed after her.  Once they identify him, Benson believes they've found their killer.  Elaine is not so sure.

Crooked Lane Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published April 11th.

They question Peter, check his statements and Benson is positive he did it.  He gets so worked up about it he suffers a heart attack.  They promote Elaine to his position.  She's been working a long time hoping to be promoted and thanks them.  Then when she finds Peter's story does hold together, she's forced to let him go.  None of her new supervisors are happy.  Especially since she doesn't have anybody to replace him as the guilty party.

The rest of the story is about dedicated police work: talking to anyone around the area, following certain people, looking into the business where she was murdered and more.  What they find leads them into very dangerous territory.  The people she's dealing with think nothing of murder.  And she and her female detective friend met the killer inadvertently and he wants them both.  If he gets them, they won't be alive either...

This was a good police procedural with a lot of misdirection.  Elaine has one cop that hates her and intends to get even.  She's also traumatized by the case because the killer got too close.  

I'd be interested in reading the next in this series.  Mr. Ashworth writes a good tale.  

The Prince and the Porker by Peter Bently

Pignatius Pig loves good food and when he sees ten buns cooling on the windowsill, he's sure he can steal one and no one will notice.  But once he has one, he eats them all!

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

When the buns are gone, he sneaks into the kitchen.  Before he can do much damage, the cook finds him.  He runs into the castle to escape her.  With various servants after him, he hides in a bedroom.  There's a dress-up chest in there with clothes and wigs.  He dresses up and tries to escape again.  But it's not to be.  He gets caught.  Imagine how he feels when they think he's the prince!  Now he's really in hog heaven.  And, boy, does he eat!

Now imagine his despair when the real prince shows up...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dream Magic by Joshua Khan

When Lily uses the magic she's learned to save Thorn from death, her whole castle turns against her.  There's an old tale about women having magic that started all the trouble through the ages.  It doesn't help when the trolls on their way, people in villages have been disappearing and the undead are walking.  What's worse is when they are going to autopsy a couple of dead villagers, they erupt.  They were full of crystal spiders...

Disney Hyperion and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 11th.  This book is even better than the first book and I liked that a lot.

Lily finds out that the original crystal spiders came from a cave in a small town.  She and Thorn go on a trip to the town to see it and see if that is where they are coming from.  Lily finds a dangerous ghost at the cave that tries to burn her up.  When she finds her old lady in waiting in the town, she finds out the history of the ghost and the spiders.  The worst part is that she learns her father was involved.  He's dead now but she wishes she could ask him about.

Spiders are one of my worst nightmares so I shuddered as I read the description of how they blew out of the sky down on the unsuspecting people.  As the story goes on, they get even stronger and more of them.

What Lily discovers is that she has a half-brother.  She wants to make peace with him but he's for of revenge.  The ghost in the cave was his mother who was burned to death.  No matter what she offers he refuses.  She has one last desperate attempt to save her land and her people.  Thorn tells her no, all her friends tell her no, but she uses the spider venom to enter the dream world...

This is an exciting busy story with lots of detail and adventures.  I enjoyed reading it (despite the spiders) and the ending is dramatic.  Give it a try!

Burials: A Faye Longchamp Mystery #10 by Mary Anna Evans

Faye and her husband, Joe, are going back to his home town for his father's sake.  He wants to spread his wife's ashes from years ago and is going to have an informal gathering to do it.  Joe is just barely getting along with his father and this isn't a convenient time but he needs to go.  Faye goes along and signs on for a temporary archeologist job in the same town.  She's going to be sorry she did.

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

What Faye and the other employees find is a buried body from almost 30 years ago.  The missing woman isn't missing anymore.  But her killer must be one of those in that small circle of people looking at her body.  Even Joe's father comes under suspicion.

It's hard to look back thirty years and find the truth.  It's also hard to fathom anyone in that small circle of friends could be a killer.  It gets weirder as it goes along.  They get shot at on site, the police woman left as a guard is murdered.  The artifacts are stolen.  Suddenly two of the workers get shot at when they're at home.  Another one ends up dead.

With sexual lust and jealousy at the base of the problem, it kept growing up and out.  Everyone has secrets.  When she finally thinks she may have some answers, she finds herself at a stand off between two men with an innocent man in the middle.  How do you diffuse that?

There's local Indian history woven into this story and it makes it fascinating.  Joe and Faye love each other dearly but they have limits on trust and other issues.  This case bordered on breaking them up but they survived.  I'm looking forward to reading another in this series.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dead Man's Rapids by William Durbin; Barbara Durbin

He's thirteen and working with his best friend and his dad on the wanigan (the floating cook shack).  All is going well, his father is a good cook, and he's having fun even if it is a lot of work.  Then his father fell in love and decides to quit the job; he's staying.  Ben and Never go to work as cooking assistants.  They'll be grabbing a new cook shortly...

University of Minnesota Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 11th.

The old fashioned ways of logging are part my personal history.  Washington state was full of big trees, lots of logging and there was a lot history you could still view.  Huge stumps, waterways coming down the mountain to the river and more.  The story of two young boys going on their portage to Canada sounded good to me.

This is a very authentic tale of what it's like to control a group of logs.  The rivers has wide and narrow spots, there are rapids, and it's easy to get caught in the logs.  The boys discover this truth when they practice on the logs.  The water is cold and they got several baths before they got better at it.

The new cook is dirty, ugly, and only cooks stew.  Fish stew, chicken stew, beef stew.  Whatever comes on board goes in the soup pot.  The men don't like it but they're hungry so they eat it.  Then the cook meets a German widow and decides to stay with her and quits.  That leaves the two apprentice cooks in charge of meals.  They manage to do it but it's a lot of work!

As you follow them along the river and learn about the difficulties of log work, you'll begin to care about them and the men they work with.  The boys' friendship manages to stay in place even after a bout of poison ivy.  People were tougher then.  We could use some of that these days, too.

The Crane Girl by Curtis Manley, Lin Wong

A young Japanese boy helps a crane escape a trap.  Her leg was caught but he was able to free her and pet her a bit before she leaves.  He is surprised to find a young girl at his door a days later but he takes her in to meet his father.  She's looking for a place to stay and offers to clean and work around the house.  The father tells her as long as she works, she can stay.

Shen's Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this story for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so you can grab a copy now.

When the father bemoans the fact that no one is buying what he is selling lately, he mentions silk is selling for good money.  She tells him she will weave him silk cloth if he stays out of the room that she works in.  He and the boy agree and she makes them beautiful cloth.  The problem is that the father begins living a life of leisure, eating and drinking all day.  He begins demanding more silk.  When she's worn and tired and can't make it as soon as he likes, he shoves her in the room and tells to make more.  When she takes too long, he opens the door and they find that the girl is actually the crane, who is using her feathers to make the silk.  She runs away, the boy follows.

The illustrations are magical, the tale one that has been retold in various ways but this is the first time I came across this version.  It has a happy ending and it's a good story.  I really enjoyed it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Bridge Across The Ocean by Susan Meissner

This story begins during WW1.  The Queen Mary is taking war brides to the states to reunite with their husbands.  Not everyone on the boat is what they seem...

Berkley Books allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

The story is a bit broken up at the beginning because you are getting the back story of the two main characters of that era.  You can piece it together, though and it smooths out as you read further.

Three women are roommates on this trip and they become friends on the trip over.  At the end, they go on with their lives.  All but one.  One committed suicide.  Except a person from the present day doesn't believe it was suicide...

Brette can see ghosts.  She's rather not and tries to fight it but the ability is there.  When a friend from high school asks her to visit the Queen Mary and see if the ghost of his wife is there, she says no.  But his little daughter believes she is and won't go home willingly.  She finally says yes.  But the ghost she finds is not the girl's mother.  For the first time, Brette feels like she needs to help this ghost to put it at peace.  It's not easy to do.

You learn about the ugly price of war, it's toll on women, and what women will do to survive.  You also learn about friendship:  What true friendship is and how fulfilling it might not make you happy.

The story ties together and the child is satisfied.  Brette is still adjusting to her talent but she feels much better about it at the end.  This one will keep you reading.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kill Devil Falls by Brian Klingborg

Helen is a US Marshall and she's been sent to pick up a fugitive.  While in route, she gets a call that tells her she has a new destination.  It's a small jail in Kill Devil Falls.  When she arrives, she finds it's a ghost town with very few residents.  She also knows someone sabotaged her tire at the restaurant she stopped at.  The only thing she can figure is that it must have been her fugitive's boyfriend.  So she's on the watch for him.  She should be on the watch for the town residents...

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

Everybody in town is strange and a bit crazy, as well as dangerous.  She intends to grab her fugitive and get back on the road, but her car won't start.  So now she has to sit and wait for the sheriff.

In the meantime, the lights go out and she has to visit the odd guys in the trailer who do jobs around town.  They also grow pot.  While she's doing that, the prisoner gets away and someone cut her throat.  That's just the beginning of trouble...

Everybody is trying to kill her.  They don't want their secrets to go public.  As people start dropping like flies, she's trying to piece together what they were doing and who's killing who.  There's a lot of tension in this story.  Adrenaline only lasts so long.  She loses her gun along the way.  They run through mining tunnels.  It'll wear you out before you get to the end.

I liked the way the author ended it.  It was the best way for it all to come out.  You won't be bored if you read this one. 

Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender by S.D. Nelson

Indian history always fascinates me.  It's sad, it's a clash of cultures, and differences still exist today.  But it's American History and I hope we can learn from it.

Abrams Young Reader's sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published tomorrow.

This book has the look of a journal and includes photographs and paintings.  It's a story of people fighting for their land and their way of life.  It's also full of soldiers who think they are less than human and consider them savages.  The Indians did get nasty as the war kept going on.  They had the mistaken impression that by scalping the men and breaking their arms and legs so their spirits wouldn't wander would put off the soldiers.  It just made the soldiers meaner.

Even when the Indians' surrendered, the promises the white men gave them were broken.  Often they didn't have enough food, they got white men's diseases, and they got introduced to whiskey which by itself killed a lot of Indians.

Red Cloud planned his fights well, had lots of victories but he could also read the writing on the wall.  No matter how many soldiers they killed, more came to replace them.  The white swarm was moving across North America and no one could stop it.  The only way to live was peacefully.  At least as peacefully as you could get at that time.

Here's a look back at the past for young readers.  The quotations in the book are haunting.  Even today, cultures clash.  Let's work on peace.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Called to Justice: A Quaker Midwife Mystery #2 by Edith Maxwell

Rose is enjoying the evening fireworks with her boyfriend when the evening is ruined by the death of young lady.  Her boyfriend is a doctor so he goes to her aid and finds she has been shot.  There is no sign of a gun so she didn't shoot herself.  Who did?  Rose knew she was pregnant and the father would have nothing to do with the child nor would he marry her.  But she didn't know who he was.

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

When the mill manager says he witnessed a local free slave shoot her, the police take his word for it.  Her friend ends up in jail and she's determined to find the real killer.  She knows he wouldn't do that.  It's harder than you'd think.  In the dark with fireworks going off, no one saw anything.  She believes the mill manager is lying but he's a pillar of the community and that's hard to fight.  

In the meantime, she's delivering babies and counseling young girls and thinking of marrying her boyfriend.  But her proposed mother-in-law tries to break them up, one child is born blind due to gonorrhea, the mill manager tries to run her over, and the killer is still out there.

It comes down to a stand off and I worried about Rose and her friends.  I was surprised by the identity of the killer.  Did you figure it out before the end?

I wonder what mystery Rose will encounter next? 

No Way Home: A Zoe Chambers Mystery by Annette Dashofy

Zoe is going on a ride with clients using her horses.  When everyone gets saddled up and ready to go, a horse comes back to the stables, riderless.  She cancels the ride and goes out to find the rider.  She finds him, dead.

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

Zoe feels an obligation to help with the investigation because the man died in her woods.  He's an important person in the fight over fracking.  Might that have been the reason he died?  After all, he'd been shot, not just injured in a fall from the horse.  She's looking forward to working with Pete, the local police chief and her boyfriend.  But she gets involved with a friend whose son is missing.  He had gone to New Mexico to stay with his girlfriend's parents but both he and he and she had been missing for days.  When they find her dead body, it's almost like the boy must be dead, too.  Rose refuses to give up hope and takes Zoe with her to New Mexico to try to get some answers.  With Pete home in Pennsylvania trying to solve his murder, Zoe is on her own.

With public meetings and arguments over fracking, a new drug problem in town and a murder with hundreds of suspects, Pete's plenty busy.

Zoe is trying to find some hope that Logan is still alive.  His sister Allison says she can find out, so they arrange to slip away together and go to talk to someone who has information.  It turns out that someone is an Indian.  He says he's safe but he won't tell them where he is.  They finally convince him to show them Logan.  He takes them out in the boonies and they find Logan alive and haunted by the killing of his girlfriend.

The murder here ties to the drug problems at home.  Wolf is a very dangerous drug dealer who'll kill anyone in his way.  Logan wouldn't transport drugs so he killed Logan's girlfriend to convince him he should.  Then he left him for dead.  

Trying to hide is no good; they find him and Zoe.  The cat and mouse chase scene is intense.  So is the ending.  I'd read more in this series.  It's written well and keeps your attention riveted.  Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

She goes away to a business conference for a day and when she returns her boyfriend isn't there.  Neither are any of his belongings.  After four years together, he disappears in a day without even saying goodbye?  All of her things are back where they used to be before he brought his stuff in.  Even the quilt that was on the bed when she left has been exchanged for an old one of hers.  It was his, you see...

Berkley and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published April 11th.

Hannah can't believe Matt would do that so she decides to call him.  His number isn't on her phone anymore.  The photos she had have been deleted.  Any emails or texts to him have been deleted.  The same thing on her computer.  Then she finds out he's shut down all his social media.  When she calls his work, she finds out he wasn't there for the past week.  He quit.  She devastated, what's going on?

Her work suffers, her friendships suffer, and she becomes obsessed with finding him.  But when she does, things quickly spiral out of control.

This author takes you into the mind of Hannah and her desire to find Matt again.  He's the bad boy, the mean one, the one that left her.  It's a shock when you find out why.  Her other boyfriend left her for the same reason.  She has a temper she can't control and she conveniently forgets the damage she does as soon as she calms down.  Only this time she didn't calm down soon enough...

The most chilling part of the whole story is the ending.  The story isn't over.  It's just beginning again... 

Blood and Circuses Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries #6 by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne is bored.  When a person from her past knocks on the door and asks her to look into the various "accidents" at the circus, she's not sure she wants to.  He asks her if she'd bored, she says yes.  Then she says yes to going undercover at the circus.  It will be very different for her.  She's rich, has servants,  has beautiful cothes and a wonderful home.  She'll be transitioning to a life where she owns nothing, not even her name.  She's going to become a horseback rider in the circus...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and is available now.

I found it fascinating to read about the circus life.  When a young man is killed in a boarding house, his murder seems impossible.  He's locked in his room and there is no way to access it except through the window.  The window is high and the police officer almost falls off when he tries to peep in the window.  The lady with him saves him.  She used to be an acrobat.  The cops decide she must have been the one to kill the man.  Then the man turns out to be part woman.  Mr. Christopher was in the circus, too.

Phryne's teacher was Mr. Christopher's love and she's mourning her loss.  She has no friends, no one around knows who or what she is.  Phryne has the morals of an alley cat.  It isn't long until she's sleeping with two of the men at the circus.  She needs them as friends, though.  She's heard too much and has figured out how the circus is being used.  When they capture her, it appears death is near.

With gangs in the city, hidden plans at the circus and lots of odd characters, you have plenty to take in and sort out.  The plot is complex and interesting.  This was a good mystery, even if Phryne has too many fellows. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Horror on the Links by Seabury Quinn

This is an anthology of horror stories that were published in Weird Tales magazine.  They were written in the 1920's.  There will be more compilations as this author contributed to most of their magazines.  Read this and you will get a blast of the past...

Night Shade Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 4th.

The French doctor reminds me a whole lot of Hercule Poirot.  He, too, uses his little grey matter to figure out what extraordinary thing is going on.  He tackles any case, no matter how strange.  Dr. Trowbridge, the American doctor, is the straight man in this friendship.  He doesn't really believe in supernatural things but he can't deny what his eyes can see.

With gorillas, werewolves, vampires, poison darts, and spirits everywhere it's almost like another version of The Island of Doctor Moreau.  You can't be sure what supernatural or paranormal thing will show up next.

The Frenchman has done some extensive traveling so he recognizes most of the symptoms and can help solve (apparently) any mystery.  These stories are written in the more reserved tone of the '20's but the themes still appear in today's writing.

Weird Tales always had stories like these and sold well for a number of years.  It's nice to see the old stories gathered up and being shared again.  Stories never die as long as there's still one storyteller left...

The Road Home by Katie Cotton, Sarah Jacoby (Illustrations)

This is a sweet book about animals.  The illustrations are pastel and peaceful.  It's always a long road home when you're away and this rhyme recognizes that.

Abrams Young Readers sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Winter is setting in and the animals are getting ready for it.  The birds fly south, the mice gather food and get ready to hunker down.  Even the wolves are catching prey so they can sleep away part of the winter.  There are more animals to visit with in the story.  Despite the wolves, the tone is calm and some of the words repeat so young ones should enjoy the read.  This would make a good bedtime story.  After all, their bed is "home", right?