Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

This has a flavor of a cross between Star Wars and Star Trek.  Ana was found floating in a space pod with a robot taking care of her.  The pirate ship salvaged her and then adopted her.  She's happy being a pirate.  Then she finds out she's royalty...

Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 27th.

Her best friend is her robot.  She loves him and he'd follow her anywhere.  But when they find a derelict ship and find danger on board, he dies by killing the malware in the computer.  Her captain carries him back to the ship and they leave but they don't get away.  They get captured.  They also happen to have the son of the empress on board but it wasn't because they kidnapped him.  He was trying to escape on their ship.  It's not looking good.

It looks worse when he reveals who Ana is.  Now they want her to be the new empress on the planet.  She doesn't want to do it but she has no choice.  Then they decide to kill her and things get even more dangerous.  But Ana is not without skills.

The malware in this book is a malevolent virus that wants to rule the world.  With artificial intelligence and the many virus and worms out there now, it's not totally unbelievable.

The story has many dimensions and lots of intrigue and game playing on the part of officials.  Humans and machines have been combined.  This is a war to the death (many have died already) and it's not going to end well for anyone.  There will be more in this series, I'm sure.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Fast and the Furriest by Sofie Ryan

When an attractive female shows up at Sarah's store looking for Mac, she tells her he's out on a boat and won't be back until later.  She leaves her cell number and emphasizes she must talk to him.  Before she gets a chance to talk to him, she ends up dead.  The worst part is that cops think Mac did it!

Berkley and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 6th.

Sarah just knows Mac wouldn't do that.  But how can she prove it?  She and her cat, Elvis, talk to the local PI and soon all the old ladies are on the case.  They drive the cops nuts, but they usually solve their cases...

It seems that Mac's past he never talks about is coming back to haunt him.  He has a wife.  She's in a coma and her family sued to become her guardian.  He moved away but the woman that came to visit was his wife's best friend.  What had she found out?

As they dig into the past, they find out all kinds of secrets but the hunt for the killer is elusive.  Was it her sister?  Her sister's husband?  The half-sister who is running her business in the ground? Or someone else?

This is good cozy mystery with a cat that has a sixth sense and two men who want Sarah so there's romance as well as mystery.  I'll have to read the next book in this series to see what happens with the romance.  I know which man I'd choose!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong broke my heart.  Shadowsong healed it.  These stories grab your soul and make you care about the characters, even the ones of legend...

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

Liesl is hoping music will save her from her sorrow.  She's tried hard to help her brother in his musical career.  But they're not a team anymore.  He's hiding something from her.  It doesn't help that  he's in Vienna and she's home.  She's about to lose her mind trying to keep the inn going and dealing with no income.  Then she gets invited to a party.  She and her sister are going to go and see if they can find her brother.  His mentor has died and they don't know where he went.

What they find is an odd woman and her husband.  They tell them it's time for the hunt and they want to keep her safe.  She doesn't know what's true but she's not sure she believes them.  They know she's the Goblin Queen, so it will take all she knows and all she can do to get away from them.

The hunt is coming for a life.  Whose should they offer?  Who will make a difference?

They all make sacrifices before the end of this story.  The good news is that it ends well.  There's a bit of sadness but there's more happiness.  That's what life is made of.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Death of an Honest Man by M. C. Beaton

Hamish meets the new resident in his district and immediately is put off by his comments.  He indicates he thinks Hamish dyes his hair red and tells his deputy he must be gay.  They don't visit long.

Grand Central Publishing and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 20th.

Paul is really a bully and blackmailer.  Hamish wished he'd moved someplace else.  But while Paul makes trouble for him, his boss is even more dangerous.  The man he reports to wants to kill him because he keeps solving all the cases he gets.  The boss wants to put his name on them and get the credit.

If that's not enough conflict for you, Hamish goes to visit his wildcat at the sanctuary and sees it get shot.  He races home with it and gets the vet to work on it.  No one knows if it will live or not.  And when it does, everybody else tells him it's not his cat.  He doesn't listen to them.

Paul ends up dead.  No one saw anything and no one will say what they did see or hear.  Hamish's deputy is quitting the force.  He ends up with two others during the course of the story.  There's another death and Hamish is getting fed up with all the various stresses.

He eventually gets down to who the killer was and almost dies during the confrontation.  It's surprising how he gets saved.

Hamish's life is always messed up and it doesn't look anything is going to make it much better.  But these stories are entertaining and the author takes you unusual places.  I'll be reading the next book, too.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Boggart Fights Back by Susan Cooper

Set in Scotland, this is the story of a developer who only sees what money he can make from a development.  He's bought the farm that was there, is working on buying the castle, and he makes their grandfather a generous offer for his little grocery store on the water front.  But grandpa isn't selling.  So the man intends to drive him out.  The problem is that he doesn't understand that some of the legends in Scotland are real...

Margaret K. McElderry Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 27th.

Allie and Jay are visiting and they are willing to help their grandfather fight back.  They take around petitions, remove the ribbons from trees that are to be cut, and eventually ask the boggarts for help.  The noise from the developers construction and destruction has awakened the sleeping boggarts.  They are shapeshifters.  One of them had been the Loch Ness monster for a while but now they are almost invisible and only have shapes when they take them.

The boggarts begin by scaring him with Nessie but all that does is inspire him to build quicker and more.  They come up with other ideas and they get scarier as they go.

All's well that ends well, but the best part is that the boggarts aren't done bothering him.  If he has another close up encounter with them, he might even retire...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley

CeCe is adopted and has five sisters.  She's very different from them because Pa Salt brought her home from Australia.  She and her sisters are devastated after their father's death.  They still have Ma, but Pa was their champion.  CeCe drops out of the college art classes and thinks about what she wants to do next.  She decides to look for her family.  After all, she has a picture from the past.  Maybe that will help...

Atria Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd.

What she finds is that her relatives in Australia were amazing.  She's of mixed blood and it shows but she's content with who she is.  She decides to visit Australia and trace the parts she can.  On the way, she meets a man who intrigues her and she stays with him.  She even thinks she might love him.  But she's going to Australia to look for her heritage so she leaves.  She invites him to come with her but he's hiding out and won't come now.  She asks one of his guards to develop her film and she'll live to regret that.

The story is part hers and part her great grandmother's.  It's fascinating to see how Australia was in the past.  I also found CeCe to be a complex interesting character.  She's not sure about her sexual orientation but she's open minded about it.  She has a love of painting and finds that Australia opens the door for her and her painting is even better than it was before.  All in all, this is great historical read with joy and sorrow both intertwined.  CeCe is going to do have a good life.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lucy Castor Finds Her Sparkle by Natasha Lowe

Lucy spent her summer with her relatives and is back and ready to go to school.  She can't wait to see her best friend again.  They work on magic together.  But her friend has changed.  She's joined a new group and isn't interesting in the games they used to play.  Now Lucy is all alone again and hates it.  She gets invited to be a sparkle girl but that's not what she wants to do.  So she sits at lunch alone...

Paula Wiseman Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 20th.

I could feel Lucy's pain.  When I went to parochial school, all the girls were from the city but one.  We country ones became friends but the others already had their own friends.  Then for a few years her parents couldn't pay the fees and I was alone.  It's not fun.

Lucy is lucky, though.  She finds two unusual friends who are much nicer than she imagined.  One of them reads all the time and one of them is her neighbor girl who is older and weird.  She never imagined weird could be nice.

Lucy's biggest problem was that she didn't like change.  So when her mother is sick and then her parents make the announcement another baby was coming, she's not thrilled.

Lucy has lots of adventures this year and she's learning to almost accept change.  Some of us still have that lesson to learn. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn

When Stoker's expedition partner from the past suddenly goes missing with a valuable diadem, it's beginning to look like Stoker might be charged with murder.  After all, he was back in the local area with his wife, who used to be Stoker's wife...

Berkley sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published January 16th.

Veronica Speedwell is not a shy retiring Victorian lady.  She's full of spit and vinegar and cares less about what people think of her.  But she's fond of Stoker and she doesn't like him being maligned.  Then the owner of the diadem asks them to look into the case.  She's happy to!

This story started a bit slow and didn't really build up momentum until you read over half of it.  But once it begins moving, I couldn't set it down.  The man who asks them to investigate used to have a partner, so he's on their list.  Veronica tells Stoker they need to talk to his ex-wife.  He's not happy about that.  It's a good thing he goes, though, or she wouldn't have found anything out.  His ex-wife is a good actress.

The story is full of human foibles, greed, thievery, and regret.  The criminal was closer than you might think.  

One thing I'm really enjoying is watching Stoker and Veronica dancing around each other.  They're falling in love but they don't want to admit it.  She almost told him at the end of the story but they were interrupted.  I hope the next book continues the romance.

I love this series and this is another good read.  Veronica gets my vote for being smart and not being afraid of danger.  If you haven't met her yet, start with the first book and watch her in action.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Claws for Concern by Miranda James

Charlie loves his new grandson and between volunteering at the library and then babysitting, his life is full.  Diesel helps him with the babysitting.  He's always loved the library so it's no hardship.  When he sees a new patron, he thinks he looks familiar, but he's no one he knows.  Then he finds out that they are related...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 20th.

Discretely working around what he's been told by the man, he finds that his uncle, who had been briefly married to another woman before he married his aunt, had had a child with the first woman.  She didn't tell him.  When he finds out where the man is living, he thinks he should probably let the man stay with him.  His aunt would have.  But first he wants to make sure he won't bring trouble with him.  Unfortunately, he has been involved with law.

Twenty years ago, a whole family was killed.  He was accused of being the killer but there was no proof.  Everyone involved with the case is keeping their silence.  But when someone tries to kill the man in town, Charlie gets involved.  Something is going on with the cold case and he wants to get to the bottom of it.  He still can't learn anything from the man, so he starts trying to track down other people familiar with the case.

This is the tale of dysfunctional family that finally blew up.  The facts were put together almost backwards, so it's hard to sort out.  It's a good thing Diesel can set him straight.  Charlie comes close to death himself.  

It's a good read with Charlie, Diesel, and his loving family around him.  It's funny what people will do in high stress situations.  Then they pay their whole life for it.  Read it as a cautionary tale...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

When they graduated from college, they went on a vacation to celebrate.  Celebrate they did and some of them hooked up in relationships, but it would come back to haunt them later in life.  Finding a dead body in a well will do that for you...

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

This was a very interesting read.  It looks back at the personalities of the students, the things they wanted in the past, and how much they want to save what they have at the present time.  They've changed.  Some for the better, some for the worst.  But if the French girl never left, who was on the video camera footage wearing her clothes?  And if a stranger didn't kill her, it must have been one of the group.

There's a real chameleon in the batch.  It is determined to get all it wants no matter who gets hurt on the way.  It's hard to realize that someone would kill for that.  It's even harder when you are looking at all your friends and trying to figure out who could have done it.

Add in the ghost of the dead girl who happens to be haunting Kate and it gets even more interesting.

I had no clue who it was until it was almost too late.  What's worse is that the killer can't be convicted.  There's not enough proof.  But, not to worry.  Karma comes around and justice prevails.

This story is haunting me a bit but at least I don't see ghosts...

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Snake Mistake Mystery: The Great Mistake Mysteries by Sylvia McNicoll

His father is running a dog walking business and Stephen and his good friend, Renee, work for him.  They love the dogs, have fun walking around town and they use liver treats to make them behave.  All is going well until someone accuses the father of stealing from the houses.  He has the keys and they weren't broken into so it had to be him, right?

Dundurn and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 20th.

Stephen knows his dad didn't do it.  So he and Renee start looking for clues.  Renee's brother gets in trouble for graffiti and part of it wasn't his.  They are trying to find a pet to feed him and eventually they realize the snake is missing.  (They didn't even know it was a snake.)  Renee decides to adopt a mouse.

There's lot of action, fact finding is confusing but at the end, Stephen works out what happened and gathers the involved people together to tell them.  He manages to turn a disaster into good promotion for the company and that's a win win for them!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Death by a Whisker: A Cat Rescue Mystery by T. C. LoTempio

They are having a big event at the bookstore to raise money for the cat rescue facility.  It's not good news when the author that was coming to sign has an accident and can't make it.  However, they find another one that is willing to come and donate part of the profits on the sales of the books.  The bad news is that the woman who is coming, while she's a big star, is hated by several people in town.  Then she dies at the book signing...

Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 23rd.

I've had my share of rescue animals and I love cats, so this book was written for me.  Having a mystery in it just made it better.

It seems the woman author was a bully and mean during her school years.  She's made trouble for almost everyone in town.  Some got hurt more than others.  So trying to find a killer is no easy task.  Syd is trying to puzzle it out because she knows her friend is not the killer.  The problem is that she was one of the victims and she showed up at the event when she said she wouldn't come.

Syd's boyfriend is a local cop and he's working with another detective who is trying to get the job of top cop.  Syd doesn't like the other guy.  He even threatens her with jail time for interfering in the investigation.  He should have behaved better, she's the one who solves the case.

This was a good cozy with lots of animals helping the case along the way.  The characters all seem real and have good depth to them.  The ending is bit like Karma.  What goes around, comes around.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine, Ann Aguirre

She's following a different drummer.  She had horrendous headaches when she was young and her father thought it was all an act.  She's been in out of hospitals, been in mental health care facilities and she survived.  But when her mother and her sibling moved to Mars to get away from her father, she stayed.  A dome on Mars just reminds her of a jail cell.  So she moves to the Zone.  It's an outlaw land that all the losers hang out in.  And she was surviving just fine until she stole the purse from a moneyed man's daughter...

Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 13th.

When the man hires assassins to go after her and her friends, she turns herself in to a halfway house.  When one of the other inhabitants tries to kill her, she decides she's going to go farther away to hide.  But she finds herself suddenly being offered a place she'd never dreamed of.  They were going to make her an Honors student and send out on an intelligent space ship.  Maybe that would be safe.  Not really...

I really enjoyed this one.  The ship she's on is young and doesn't know all the ins and outs of the Leviathan ships.  You learn that as you get older and keep passing tests.  Zara can meld with her ship which is very interesting.  

Trouble starts when the ship goes into a deep sleep that it shouldn't.  The old warrior ship comes after it and is taking it in for punishment.  Zara and her partner manage to get their ship free and they hide.  But when the ship hears another of his kind sending a distress call, he has to go to help.  And it gets even worse.

This is an exciting story with all sorts of aliens, danger to everyone, and a plague of trouble that needs to be stopped.  I wouldn't be surprised if this is the beginning of new series...

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

In Deep Water: A Cat Connolly Thriller by Sam Blake

When her friend doesn't show up for practice, she knows something is wrong.  Sarah is very organized, has her day and life planned out and would have called if she wasn't coming.  Where was she?

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

Cat knows something has happened to Sarah, but nobody has seen her for a bit.  Where did she disappear and why?  Her mother said she working on a story and she had a fight with her father, who said it was dangerous.  What kind of story?

Despite the fact that they live in a fairly quiet village, it turns out her story is of international significance.  It takes Cat and the special team she's part of some time to find out just what was going on and who was involved.

When they tell Cat they've found a body, she's fearful it will be her friend.  The killer cut the hands and head off the victim to stop identification.  It's not Sarah but it's someone similar to her.  

This is an ugly story about human trafficking and how men who have money always want more.  It's a difficult case and some of the women don't want to be saved.  But even when they've broken that part of the case, they still haven't found Sarah...

This is a tense, stressful read about unpleasant facts of life.  I'm glad this sort of stuff doesn't touch my world.  I'm impressed by Cat's team and her intelligence.  She's tough even after being hurt and then rehabilitating.  She'd be good to have as a friend.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sunday Silence by Nicci French

Frieda Klein is emotionally restrained.  She's been through a lot in her life and she knows there will be more to come.  What she didn't expect was that the man she was hunting for would be able to get to her so soon and so well.  No one believed her, except for one cop.  They all thought the killer was dead.  The dead man under her floorboards proved that she was right and they were wrong...

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published today.

This is a creepy read.  Bodies are showing up all over and she feels it can't be the original killer.  She and the supposedly dead killer have a connection.  It's like they recognize each other.  He sees her dark side and she sees his.  But he wouldn't be doing this random killing.  There must be another killer.

The story is tense and suspenseful.  She's trying to keep her family and friends safe and they aren't.  She realizes the punishment they are taking is going to end with her death, so she has to be careful.  When she's pretty sure she's identified the killer, the police say they don't have enough evidence to pull him in.

The story flows quickly and has a stunning ending.  The awful part is that the original killer is still out there.  I'll be waiting to read the next book in this series.

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Swedish Girl by Alex Gray

Her father buys her a big, roomy apartment with several bedrooms and then picks her roommates for her.  Eva likes them all.  There are three boys and one girl.  Everything is going along swimmingly when the girl comes home from school and finds Eva dead on the floor in the living room by the fireplace.  Who did it?  The answer to that is complicated.

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 9th.

It seems like this should be a fairly easy case to solve because the door was shut and locked when the other girl came home.  No one was home besides her, but it must have been one of the boys since she had been hit on the head and then strangled and they were the only ones that had keys.  It gets more complicated when you find out she's been sleeping with them all...

They choose a killer and jail him.  The young woman who roomed with them doesn't believe it could be him.  She's even brave enough to talk to her father's boss about it.  Having a policeman for a father has honed her intuitions and she knows how the system works.  She doesn't believe Colin could do it.

When other women start dying in a similar manner, they don't know if it's a copycat or the real murderer... 

There's a surprise ending that made me sit up straight and pay attention.  You never know just who could be a killer...

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Lullaby Road by James Anderson

The desert is a lonely place if you don't have company.  Some people like it that way.

Ben drives the desert route every day.   He picks up supplies and delivers them to the homes and businesses.  In the winter, the road is deadly.  No one will else will go there.  He does it because it pays and he knows the road and it nuances.  He never expected to get stuck with a child at the local gas station.  The proprietor tells him he has a present at pump eight.  He finds a very small child with a note on it.  It's from Pedro telling him to keep his son safe.  The gas station door is locked, it's snowing and he doesn't have much choice.  He wasn't going to take the dog, too, but if he likes his hands he's going to have to...

Crown Publishing and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 16th.

I live in the desert, too, and sometimes the road looks like it never ends.  The towns are small and not too close to each other.  There are abandoned buildings, dead animals with buzzards on them, and ghosts out there.  I could relate to this road that Ben travels on.  Somehow, he never manages to stay out of trouble.  He's still having problems at this point in his life.  

The little boy turns out to be a little girl.  She doesn't speak.  He leaves her with a woman who can care for her (along with the baby he was forced to babysit) and heads back to the service station.  Carlos isn't there.  Pedro isn't there.  He doesn't have time to look for them.

All the characters in this book are eccentric.  They're odd, have their quirks, and they listen to a different drummer.  Those folks were fine even if they were a bit hard to deal with.  But when Ben finds out that the out-of-the-way service station was stealing tires and then moved to other endeavors, he's angry.

This is a dark tale about just how awful the world can be.  Sometimes folks have to have a place to hide from the world.  And sometimes bad people travel through there, too.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Flower Moon by Gina Linko

They are "mirror twins" and they even know what each other is thinking.  But things are getting strange and no one will explain...

Sky Pony Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has already been published so you can grab a copy now.

They've always done everything together but now they seem to be separating.  Tally can't understand it and doesn't like it.  Tempest figures it out first but she's looking for a solution and isn't including her twin in the search.  There's something that happens to the twins in this family and they view it as a curse but they don't talk about it.

As time goes on, they find out that they act like magnets.  They are not attracting each other, they're pushing each other away.  They are also going through the change much sooner than other relatives.  They only have a number of days to figure it out.

The good news is that they are smart and they learn to use their powers together. This is a good choice for those who like fantasy.

Friday, January 5, 2018

In the Shadow of Agatha Christie by Leslie S. Klinger

Since I'm so fond of Agatha Christie stories, I had to read this book.  It was good.  It was almost like having tea with Ms. Christie...

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published.

All the stories had the flavor of the past because the authors were from the past and most of their work was forgotten.

The stories are listed below:

“The Advocate’s Wedding Day” by Catherine Crowe
“The Squire’s Story” by Elizabeth Gaskell
“Traces of Crime” by Mary Fortune
“Mr. Furbush” by Harriet Prescott Spofford
“Mrs. Todhetley’s Earrings” by Ellen Wood
“Catching a Burglar” by Elizabeth Corbett
“The Ghost of Fountain Lane” by C. L. Pirkis
“The Statement of Jared Johnson” by Geraldine Bonner
“A Point in Morals” by Ellen Glasgow
“The Blood-Red Cross” by L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace
“The Regent’s Park Murder” by Baroness Orczy
“The Case of the Registered Letter” by Augusta Groner
“The Winning Sequence” by M. E. Braddon
“Missing: Page Thirteen” by Anna Katherine Green
“The Adventure of the Clothes-line” by Carolyn Wells
“A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell

Mrs. Todhetley's Earrings by Ellen Wood was amusing.  Her husband and the maid think that the old woman she visited with at the gate took her missing earring.  The wife didn't.  The police said they would look into and told her husband not to advertise for it.  He ignored them as much as he did his wife and the ending is quite ironic.  I loved it.

The Statement of Jared Johnson by Geraldine Bonner was another good one.  Finally someone listened to him.

Missing: Page Thirteen by Anna Katherine Green is a bit of a shocker.  She was looking for a missing manuscript page but that's not all she found...

The last story in the book, A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell" has another ironic ending and is good reading.

I enjoy short stories and those that twist around and challenge me are even more fun.  This book is full of good stories that will make you both laugh and cry but you won't be bored. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

False Witness by Andrew Grant

Cooper was accustomed to seeing dead bodies because he's a cop, but this one is sad.  It's beautiful young woman who is nude and has been strangled, then tied up in sheets like a birthday present.  There are no clues...

Ballantine Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published.

There is another death before they develop a suspect.  He's a bit slow but he does what he's directed to do.  He delivered her car to her right before her death.  They find some other connections and decide to bring him in.  Right before they enter the house, it blows up!  The fire investigator said it was just his misfortune for lighting a cigarette in a house with a gas leak.  The cops wonder if that was true.  The suspect is in the hospital and may not survive.  He can't speak well.  Before they get to him he's flatlined.  Did someone help him again?  He was recovering...

When a third death happens, they know they were wrong.  The problem is that they don't know who it could be but they start searching again.  There's a nest of vipers in town and the one manipulating everyone is smart and hides well.  But Cooper doesn't give up...

In the meantime, his girlfriend needed some "space" and he's leaving her alone.  He hopes their relationship will improve but he doesn't know if it will.  He finds out more about his family secrets and that doesn't help resolve the problem.  I want to read the next book in this series and see what she decides.  I know what I'd do but she's not so sure.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

What if you got a wish on your eighteenth birthday?  What would you wish for?  Eldon is trying to figure that out...

Sourcebooks Fire and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published.

What Eldon finds is that most people aren't happy with their wishes.  You have to phrase wishes very carefully or you might not get what you want.  And, even if it was what you wanted, will you want the same thing in adulthood that you asked for at eighteen?

He's lost his girlfriend.  He might win her back.  His mother wants him to use it for his sister; get money so they can try more treatments.  Nothing is appealing to him.  And he has to tell the Mayor what his wish is before he can do it.  He's even thinking about not making a wish.

He's squabbling with his friends, disappointing his father at football, and still struggling about his wish.  Then he meets these new people at the gas station and he does something he knows he shouldn't.  He tells them about the town's secret.  He even takes them there and they break in.  The result is that the mayor tells him he can't have his secret wish for exposing them to the public like that.

But he's not sure that's what he wants.  And what he decides that will shock you...

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley

She's a cook, a good cook.  When she goes to a new house, she knows she'll have to see who the other servants are and how they act.  But she didn't expect to land in a hotbed of illegal activity...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today so you can grab a copy now.

This is a Victorian read with servants below and the family above.  The first odd note is that the older sister (who is a spinster) wears men's clothing.  She hates being confined by a dress and she likes to pop into men's pubs and the like and pretend she's male.  Kat is not sure what to think of her.  

The man of the house is out most of the day but expects dinner to be ready upon his return.  His wife stays in bed.  The servants are varied.  Some are nice, some are greedy, and some have been there for years.  Her cooking assistant is pleasant enough and when she finds the master of the house likes to take advantage of her, she takes his tea up instead.  She's astonished to find an old friend up there with him but she says nothing. That evening, her cooking assistant is killed...

I enjoyed the story as a whole.  Kat is smart and she begins investigating.  Her friend is also investigating, so they work together.  Daniel is a mystery.  He can act like he's a member of the Ton or he can be a common street laborer.  He won't tell her who he works for.  But they are beginning to care for each other and that was the best part of this book.

When the murder leads to a plot to kill the Queen, the tension and danger both ratchet up.  It's not until the end that you find out just how big the plot was and how many people were involved.

I'd read another book in this series.  Ms. Ashley has a fresh look at the past with honest emotion.  I want to see how this romance turns out and how many more cases Kat and Daniel solve.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Murder Has a Motive by Francis Duncan

Mordecai is going to visit friends.  He loves the village they live in as soon as he sights it.  It looks so peaceful and quiet.  He wasn't expecting to find murder...

Sourcebooks Landmark and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Mordecai is an amateur sleuth and he can't resist looking into the girl's death.  As he asks questions here and there, he learns the village is not as sweet as it looked.  There's an undercurrent of evil there.

Soon, there are more deaths.  He and Boyce from Scotland Yard are working together but getting no answers.  When a third body is found, the Inspector is frustrated and upset both.  There doesn't seem to be a killer but they know it's someone local.

Mordecai has more than one suspect in mind and as each is eliminated, he finally settles on one.  But how to prove it?

These mysteries are a lot like Agatha Christie stories and I enjoy them.  Watching Mordecai weed through the facts is just like watching Hercule Poirot solve his cases.  I enjoy this read a lot.  Give it a try.