Friday, May 31, 2019

Broken Sword by Phil Tomkins

This story is historical fiction about the conflict between the English and the French on the east coast in Canada and the northern US.  It is also the tale of Lorcan Travis who emigrated from Ireland to fight for the British.  He thought Indians were brutal savages.  They were but they were more than that...

BooksGoSocial and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

The fighting between the French and English was brutal.  I didn't know much about this history so that made it an interesting read for me.  I also enjoyed watching Lorcan learn the Indians were smart.  After he had distinguished himself fighting, he finds himself assigned to be part of an Indian scouting group.  As he learns the way of Indians he begins to respect them.

Both sides had tribes of Indians helping them.  Most of the Indian tribes were enemies anyway, so it was easy to decide which side they fought on.

Lorcan is working with White Owl, who doesn't like his sword.  He throws it on the ground several times but Lorcan picks it up and puts it back in its sheaf.  Then White Owl breaks the point.  He still puts it away, but in time it earns him the name Broken Sword.

Broken Sword falls in love and marries but he loses her and his stepson to smallpox.  He continues fighting.This is a seven year war and it seems it will never end.

I like reading historical fiction.  It fills in the blanks in my education.  I also have an interest in Indians.  I have Indian relatives.  And, no, they are not dumb.

Paper Son by S. J. Rozan

It all starts when her mother sends her to get a relative out of jail.  She's never heard of him so she asks her mother how she can be so sure of his innocence.  It turns out he's part of her father's side of the family.  To her mother, he wouldn't kill his father because he's from an honorable family.  So off go Lydia and Bill, her partner in the PI business, to see what they can do.

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 2nd.

When they get to Mississippi, they find Jefferson has escaped jail which makes him look even more guilty.  They work on trying to clear him and look for him at the same time.  

There are old rivalries in the small community, someone in the cop shop is leaking information, and one family is blackmailing Jefferson into figuring out mathematically how to find winners in horse races.  

The more they find out, the more confusing it gets.  When they find out the truth, it's still very dangerous for them.  Will they get out of here alive?

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Black Death by M.J. Trow

Kit Marlowe gets a message from a man he doesn't like, and he's not even sure he wants to read it.  But when it says someone is trying to kill him, it gets Kit's curiosity up and he goes to visit.  Unfortunately, he's already died.  The autopsy points to a plant based poison.  Who poisoned him?

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

The Black Plague is killing people in the poor part of town, so they close the theaters to avoid the spread of the disease.  It annoys everyone in the theater business, including Kit.  However it gives him more time to find a murderer.

An old woman is killed as well as a young boy.  The woman was strangled, the boy was drowned.  They don't look like the same killer but Kit thinks it is.  As he gets closer to the killer, he decides to take things in his own hands.  He'll kill him himself.  

This has an unexpected ending where Kit finds he was wrong and almost dies.  It's an exciting and suitable ending.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Season of Darkness by Cora Harrison

Inspector Fields showed Dickens and Collins the body of a young woman pulled from the river.  He never expected Dickens to recognize her and get involved in the case.

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

Dickens helps pay for a house where female orphans are taken in.  He met her there but she didn't stay too long.  She was a little too mouthy and mindful to fit in well and she found another home where she could serve as a servant and she and her friend went there together.  How did she end up strangled in the river?

As Dickens works on the case, the other girl sends him off on another path by pretending there are notes hidden in the dead girl's room.  She figures the dead girl was blackmailing someone and she wants that money.

Dickens persists in his investigation and finds out what Isabella knew.  Now he just has to figure out a few more things and he will have the killer's name.  He soon figures out the notes are not from Isabella.  While he's working this all out, the other girl is putting herself in danger.  Will he be in time to save her?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

My Dog Made Me Write This Book by Elizabeth Fensham

Eric gets to have a dog for his eighth birthday.  They go to the pound (he thinks of it as a home for orphaned dogs) and he picks out a puppy.  He expects it to be his new best friend but it loves his mom the most.  He's named it Ugly and when he takes it on walks it drags him along.  He's all discouraged about owning a dog...

Sourcebooks Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published om July 1st.

His Grandpa tries to help him and then asks a lady friend of his to give him lessons in how to control his dog.  She doesn't just train Ugly, she trains Eric, too.  But it is slow going and the dog keeps getting in trouble.  His family gives him a time limit to get it down or the dog has to go.  He now loves his dog and the dog loves him.  Will he be able to do it in time? 

Monday, May 27, 2019

The Chestnut Challenge by Tracey Hecht

They are playing a game a lot like checkers and just having fun.  When one of them declares himself champion, a chinchilla comes out of the bushes to challenge the winner.  They play but the chinchilla distracts everyone...

Fabled Films Press sent me a copy of this book to read and review (thank you).  It has just been published, so you can get a copy now.  I love this series.  The Nocturnals always have message for the young ones.

While everybody is looking away, he moves the chestnuts so he has good plays.  When he's challenged on the placement of the chestnuts, he cries and admits he is no champion, he's a cheat.  He expects them to reject him but you'll be surprised by what they do next. 

Josie Yee's artwork is cool.  Tracey's message is a good one for children.  These stories are always good and this is suitable for Grades 1&2.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Lights Out at the Lighthouse (Hearts Grove Cozy Mystery Book 3) by Danielle Collins

Henrietta is getting ready for a big dance being held by the city as a fundraiser.  She's using antiques from her shop, getting dresses ready to rent out for the night as costumes for the time period, and she even has some customers loaning furniture pieces they've purchased from her in the past.  The Mayor is worried about the turnout but she isn't.

Fairfield Publishing and the author shared this book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

When she hears the lighthouse owner has committed suicide, she doesn't believe it.  He was restoring the lighthouse and planning on attending his daughter's wedding.  But the new cop on the job considers it a closed case  She pursues the case herself.

He had a bad finger and couldn't shoot himself with that hand.  He had too much to live for.  She finds out his daughter is the recipient of a $500,000 life insurance policy and that someone was trying to buy his land and building but he wouldn't sell.  Which one would motivate a killer?  Then they found another dead body at the lighthouse.  They don't know who she is...

As she keeps plugging along looking for clues, more damage is done.  She finally figures out who the killer is.  This is the detective's first lesson in solving a case...

Saturday, May 25, 2019

A Family Affair (Glock Grannies Cozy Mystery Book 3) by Shannon VanBergen

Nikki is settling in with the Glock Grannies.  She might not be able to scale a chain link fence yet but she's trying.  Hattie shows her how by quickly climbing up and over in seconds.  She tries again , swings her leg over and snags her pants on the fence.  Now she's stuck and they call 911.  How embarrassing!  Imagine a man cutting the pants right at your crotch...

Fairfield Cozies and the author let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

There's a lot of humor in these stories.  Sometimes they make me laugh out loud.

There's a murder with the same tattoo as they found on a body three years ago.  That mystery was never solved, so they are determined to solve both cases this time.  One clue they have is that gang members show up after the murders.  Nikki sneaks in with her grandmother to learn what they can.  They don't learn much and just barely escape.  The next time they go back, they find another dead body.  This one is a gang member. 

Then they learn the gang members are hanging out at the tire shop.  Nikki is too scared to talk to them so the Granny who's with her goes in and asks them very direct questions.  They answer them to Nikki's amazement.

When they figure out who the killer is, there's a very dangerous situation before things come back under control.

This is a group of Grannies that don't act like old people.  They are also pretty good detectives.  This was a very good read.  Why don't you give it a try?

Friday, May 24, 2019

Berlin Noir by Thomas Wörtche

These stories are even deeper and meaner than the other two books I read in this series recently.  Even with the wall down, it appears hatred still survives.  These stories are definitely dark enough for noir.

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

There are brand-new stories by: Zoë Beck, Ulrich Woelk, Susanne Saygin, Robert Rescue, Johannes Groschupf, Ute Cohen, Katja Bohnet, Matthias Wittekindt, Kai Hensel, Miron Zownir, Max Annas, Michael Wuliger, and Rob Alef. Translated from German by Lucy Jones.

Of these, more stood out to me than in the previous books.   Several caught my attention:  "Kaddish for Lazar" by Michael Wuliger, "One of These Days" by Robert Rescue, and "Dog Tag Afternoon" by Rob Alef.  The last one noted was the best.  These all came from the Berlin Scenes section of the book.

All the stories were interesting.  Which ones were your favorites?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Milwaukee Noir by Tim Hennessy

Milwaukee is changing.  Old abandoned factories are being rehabilitated or demolished.  Rundown neighborhoods are being refurbished.  These stories are written about the places still in bad shape where people of the same nature (bad) hang out.

Get ready to read dark stories, where people die over nothing and everyone carries a gun or a knife.

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

These are brand-new stories from: Jane Hamilton, Reed Farrel Coleman, Valerie Laken, Matthew J. Prigge, Shauna Singh Baldwin, Vida Cross, Larry Watson, Frank Wheeler Jr., Derrick Harriell, Christi Clancy, James E. Causey, Mary Thorson, Nick Petrie, and Jennifer Morales.

All of the stories were written well and represented noir as they should.  My favorite story was:  "Night Clerk" by Larry Watson.  There's a man at the hotel who came for cancer treatment and was told it wasn't working.  Now he's waiting to die and he just sits in the lobby, looking at nothing and not visiting.  It drives the clerk nuts and he tells him so.  Then the man comes to talk to him and offers to kill anyone he'd like dead.  He picks a professor that derailed his degree and plan to become an author and stole his wife.  The man has him write down where he works and where he hangs out.  The professor does die from a beating and the dying man doesn't come back to the hotel.  He's left him a gift, though.  Never bother a dying man...  This story has a very ironic ending and I like them.

Why don't you give it read and let me know which story you liked?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford

Missy is a young wife in a coma.  She actually died and a spacebeing who was going to DC to help the president finds herself in Kansas with this farm family.  The woman she came to possess survived so she occupied the next available body.  Kansas isn't like DC.  She can barely understand these folks.  She has a mother and father as well as a husband and she doesn't know what to do with any of them...

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  The book has been published and you can buy a copy now.

This story is full of humor.  She doesn't understand their jokes or colloquialisms.  They don't pronounce the whole word and that bothers her.  She learns about sex by watching a porn channel in her hotel room.  

Her story keeps you captivated by all that's happening and I didn't stop reading until I got to the end.  She writes a good story.  

Ann Crawford will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter HERE.


Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE.


Happy reading and good luck! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Prairie Fever by Michael Parker

Prairie fever took their two brothers and their mother was never the same after that.  She spent her life mourning them.   Their father followed all his money making ideas so he was never home.  The two girls grew close and took care of each other.  They went to school with a blanket pinned around them for warmth on the horse.  All was going well until they got a young male teacher.  He's courting the older one and it looks as if they will be married.  She goes off to college with a school debt to pay.  The teacher guaranteed it.

Algonquin Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published today so you can grab a copy now.

Then the younger sister asks him if he has a room in his new lodging that she could use for piano lessons.  She lives too far away for the town folk to come to her.  Here she would be on the way home from school.  He gives her a room, she teaches lessons.  Soon he's having fun talking to her.  Her mind travels in a different path than most and he finds it fascinating.  He goes to visit the older sister with a ring in his pocket but when he stops and stares at nothing, she realizes he doesn't love her anymore, he's fallen in love with her sister.  That begins a better than twenty year estrangement between the sisters.  They each go on with their lives, the young one sends odd letters but her older sister doesn't reply.

It seems the two will never resolve problems but a death in the family brings them back together again.  It will take a lot of bridge building to get close but it looks like it just might happen...

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Return of the Evening Star by Diane Rios

There are speeding ambulances that run over animals and people.  They take people to the hospital but they don't help them.  They eventually take them out in a boat and dump them overboard.  When family members come to check on them, they become victims, too.  When Chloe and her friends hear of it and witness it, they are determined too stop it. 

Luckily they will have help.  Silas, the StarGazer, is creating an animal army to join them.

She Writes Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book (Thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

Chloe and her friends work on infiltrating the hospital because Chloe's mom is there. So is her friend's brother.   She finds them but how can she help them? Then Silas and the animals show up and even more mayhem happens.  With the animals attacking the staff, they may have a chance.

This is an exciting read with magical animals (a horse who can talk?) and magical people.  There's action on each page and no chance for you to be bored.  The characters were realistic and they made me care about them.  This was a very good read.


Houston Noir by Gwendolyn Zepeda

Reading this book makes Houston sound more violent than it looked.  But I was only there in the daytime.  It's always more dangerous at night...

Akashic Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

There are brand-new stories by: Tom Abrahams, Robert Boswell, Sarah Cortez, Anton DiSclafani, Stephanie Jaye Evans, Wanjiku Wa Ngugi, Adrienne Perry, Pia Pico, Reyes Ramirez, Icess Fernandez Rojas, Sehba Sarwar, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Larry Watts, and Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton.

Most of these authors were new to me but they know how to write dark noir stories.

One story that stood out to me was Xitlali Zaragoza, Curandera.  Reyes Ramirez writes a tale of a woman who is a witch doctor.  She helps those who see spirits or who have been cursed get well again.  It's an otherworldly story that caught my attention. 

There is a lot of death in these tales.  There is also a look at different races and how life is for them.  Welcome to Texas.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Bobcat by Katherine Forbes Riley

Laurelie was shy and kept to herself at college but one girl decides she's going to be her friend and soon Laurelie has several girlfriends.  They talk, they drink, they go to parties.  Laurelie isn't really comfortable there but after a few drinks it's OK.  Or it was until she was sexually assaulted.  Then she runs.  She finds another college and she doesn't make friends there.  She's hiding from herself in many ways...

Arcade and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 18th.

Laurelie babysits a young toddler that doesn't talk too well.  She is patient with him and talks him for walks in the woods as well as down to the river to play.  All is well until she sees a bobcat while they are out at a rock in the river.  It's cutting off her way back to the cottage.  Then a hiker shows up and pets it and escorts it away.  She heads home with the little one wondering who he is and where he came from.  

It turns out he's camping in the woods.  He's also got odd senses.  He can smell things and see things she can't.  He's also not sure about people.  But when she and the boy get caught in the rain in the woods, he invites them inside his tent.  He stays away from them.  The dog guards the doorway.  They talk a little bit but not much.

In time, they become friends.  He takes them to see the bobcat's kittens and that's fun.  He has a rapport with animals.  Then he takes her to visit his family.  They're a bit strange, too.  It seems he had a bad virus and there was nothing they could do for it but let it run its course.  That was what gave him the enhanced senses.

All is going well until the boy goes missing.  The boy is unhurt and has found a puppy but the bobcat was seen and that creates a problem with her landlord.

They separate but they both go on.  I liked how the book ended.  And I enjoyed the interaction with the bobcat.  Not all wild animals are evil just be careful...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cowboy Summer by Joanne Kennedy

She's going home to see how her dad is doing.  She's looking at a cool promotion at work and hates to leave, but she loves her father.  She loves the ranch, too, but she's not staying.  Especially since Cade is still next door.  She loved him but she wanted to see more of the world.  In the meantime he married someone else.  And it was a woman she didn't like.  So she'll ignore him.

Sourcebooks Casablanca and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 25th.

When she sees bales stacking up outside the barn, she decides to surprise her father.  Imagine her surprise when she finds herself in the arms of Cade instead!  He still felt good, too.  She immediately backs up and apologizes.  He won't tell her about her dad, just sends her to the house.  Her vibrant father looks like an old man.  She's shocked.  He says he's fine but she can tell he's not.

She helps out on the ranch, sometimes with Cade.  She finds out he's divorced and she gets close to him again.  Of course it doesn't go smoothly.  He lets his ex-wife stay for a day or two since her last beau gave her a black eye.  She comes to surprise him and surprises herself when she meets the ex first.  While all this is going on, they are trying to sell the ranch.  They have a couple looking it over and they are no ranchers.  When things start going wrong on the ranch Cade thinks she's doing it.  She's not but he doesn't believe her.

Between Molly trying to help the romance along and Jess' dad having another heart attack, there is a lot of action and reactions to sort through...

I enjoyed this story.  Why don't you give it a try? 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Curse of Greg by Chris Rylander

Greg doesn't have much luck and nothing turns out quite like he planned but he still keeps trying.   Right now the council has sent them out to find monsters and make friends with them.  The first one isn't acting friendly and one of his team kills him.  Then he makes friends with a stone troll. This troll tells him about an elf plan to take over the world.  He talks to the council about it but they take no action.  So he and his team, including the troll, head out to see if it's true and to stop them if it is.

G P Putman's Sons Books for Young Readers  and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on June 18.

Magic is seeping back into the land.  It's bringing the monsters out and killing new technology.  The dwarves think it's OK because they can use the magic and they think it will bring peace in the land.  The elves want to stop it and keep a bit for themselves so they can rule the world.  Neither side will compromise and it's hard to tell which idea is best.

When Greg and his crew get attacked on their trip, he ends up as the elves prisoner.  He meets his old elf friend and he's a bit standoffish but soon they are playing chess again and chatting.  He tells him his plans and that he believes the dwarves are wrong.  

When rival elves show up to fight, that's just one more factor to consider in the proposed rebellion.  What's the right thing to do?  Can Greg be part of the solution?

I can't wait to read the next book in this series!   

Make Your Own Damn Cheese by John A Chuback, MD

Earl is a mouse who is unhappy with the maze he's in.  It's nice and quiet, he gets fed cheese every now and again, but it's boring.  He finally finds a way out under the structure he's housed in and he tries to tunnel to freedom with no success.  Then he meets an old mouse...

PR by the Book shared a copy of this book with me for a review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

The first old mouse shares some knowledge with him and finds he's an excellent student so he asks him if he would like to meet his friends.  They are knowledgeable, too.  Earl says yes.  They tell him there is no way out of the maze but that's OK.  You just have to learn how to understand, navigate and master the 3 mazes of success.

They give him ways to do it and he understands and is thankful.  They also reveal one more thing that was a real surprise to Earl and to me.

Not only does he give you hints in how to be successful in life, he gives you a surprise.

This is a fairly easy read with good hints for life.  Give it a try.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Cutting Room by Ashley Dyer

They have a serial killer who goes after young men and uses their body parts to make artistic displays.  He even alerts the cops when a new one goes up.  He obviously wants attention.  But who would be so wicked?

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 28th.  

This is a creepy story because body parts are used and while the artwork spoke to others, it was just gross to me.  The cops have to use DNA to identify slices of brain and hearts.  The detectives want to find him badly but one of them is afraid it might be Adam Black.  She doesn't explain that he is her estranged brother she hasn't seen for years.  She hopes he's not the killer.

With that on her mind and trying to protect her partner who has flashbacks to  his injury in the past, she's busy.  But she doesn't give up.

There are more deaths and more displays.  The hunt grows more desperate.  When she finally finds a clue, she realizes her brother is in danger.  

The final confrontation is dramatic, dangerous, and you aren't sure how many will die before it ends.

One thing I can say with confidence:  You won't be bored!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Adventures of Bella & Emily Devon Revisited - Week One by Michelle Holland

Bella and Emily are visiting Aunty Pam for three weeks this time.  They meet new rescue animals, visit with the ones they knew before, and Emily works with one horse so she can turn in a class paper that needs to be done.  Emily has her chores but she has free time, too, so it all works out.

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

Her Aunty is still rescuing horses and more.  I think my favorite characters are the little goat that likes to pop out from under her bed, jump out of her bathroom and scare her and plays on trampoline outside and the little donkey that thinks she's great.

When her Mom and Dad surprise her with a visit on her birthday, she loves it!  Then they stay the weekend and her Dad goes on rides with her.  Nothing could get better.  Then her Mom wants to adopt the little goat and the little donkey.  Emily can't believe it!

This was just week one.  I wonder what will happen in the next two weeks!

The stories of animal rescue are sad and eye opening.  Don't get an animal if you won't commit to taking care of it.  That goes for all animals.

I'm looking forward to Bella and Emily's further adventures.

The Things She's Seen by Ambelin and Ezekial Kwaymullina

She died in a traffic accident but she won't leave her dad.  She has to help him recover from his grief.  Getting a new case to work on is a start in the right direction.  She'll help him solve it.

Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

This story is a bit creepy.  There are ghosts and murder to be found.  What had seemed to be a gracious gesture to help orphaned homeless kids is actually evil...  

When the orphan's home burns, all the children escape.  It appears to have been started by faulty wiring.  Unfortunately they find a dead adult in the home they will have to identify by dental records.  The director and the nurse are missing, it might be one of them.

The only potential witness they find is a young girl walking in the woods but she seems confused, so they take her to the hospital.  After her father visits the home, he goes to the hospital.  She goes with him.  The conversation with this girl is almost other worldly.  She tells her stories in poetry and uses attributes to describe the players.  Her father understands her better than she does.

The final day of questioning gives him the hints he needs to solve the case.  That's when she finds the girl is also dead, just came back to right a wrong.

This was an odd book but it has as good an ending as it could in the circumstances.  These ghosts will haunt me for a good while.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Adventures of Bella & Emily in Devon by Michelle Holland

Bella and Emily are going to visit Aunty Pam and stay for a week.  Emily is going to help her with farm duties.  Emily will get to meet the rescued horses, too.  She finds out that's not all her Aunty rescues.  She has lots of dogs and even a goat, and they all live in the house, goat included.  It's good to close your door at night or you get blanketed by dogs!

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

I read the first book in this series and fell in love with Bella and Emily.

This is a good read.  Emily learns a lot about the rescued horses and falls in love with another one.  When she gets to go on a horse rescue, it breaks her heart.  They are in such poor condition, but they get better.

It's Bella's birthday and she has presents and a card.  Bella and Emily each get a special surprise for her birthday and it makes them both smile.

She's even made a new friend, a girl her age with the same interests. who is her Aunty's neighbor.

She's had a great week, got to ride Bella a lot, loved her surprise and now it's time to go home.

Another great adventure with Bella! 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Arches Enemy by Scott Graham

When an arch falls in the park, it takes a woman to her death.  She wasn't supposed to be there but that was harsh punishment.  Everybody assumes it was from the petrochemical blasting in the area.  But Chuck finds evidence to prove that was not the cause.  Then the evidence disappears.  If that's not enough to ruin his vacation, his mother is in the area and wants to meet his wife and the grandchildren.  He doesn't want to, but he does.  It's as bad as he thought it would be and they leave quickly.

Torrey House Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 18th.

He's been estranged from his mother for years and it's easy to see why.  Right now she's playing the part of a seer and messing up the local townfolk.  She's always meddling and never does anything unless she gets something out of it.

There are more deaths and more challenges for Chuck and his family.  He's trying to protect antique Indian art and he succeeds in that but the killer gets killed before he can be charged.  His mother has contributed to his problems.  She was manipulating people.  She's just a general hazard.  She's going to move on and everyone is relieved.  I bet Chuck isn't going to visit again...

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Old Man in the Corner: The Teahouse Detective: Volume 1 by Baroness Orczy

She has a favorite table at the restaurant.  It has a magnificent view and is in the corner so no one bothers her.  Then an old man comes and joins her table  She finds him to be an annoyance until he begins talking to her about crimes.  He knows all the big cases and talks about those never solved and reasons out the solutions.  He even points out the ones solved incorrectly.  He tries to get her to solve them but she doesn't see what he does.

Pushkin Vertigo (#1)and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (Thank you).  It will be published June 11th.

As the stories continue, she begins to pick up on the nuances in the stories that he sees.  When he tells his last story, she turns the tables on him, solving the crime.  It's a very ironic ending.

I found the tales fun to read and it was fascinating to watch his mind work.  He reminds me of Sherlock Holmes.  This was a good read.

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Body in the Castle Well by Martin Walker

Claudia is a young American visiting France and studying art there.  When she disappears, Bruno goes looking for her.  His dog tracks her to the well they were repairing.  He hears a cat meowing and goes to rescue it.  He's chilled to find a body down there, too.  When it's retrieved, it turns out to be Claudia.  Was it an accident?

Knopf and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (Thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

The man she's studying with has a mixed past.  She wanted to buy part of his art he had acquired.  His housekeeper is a relative and thought she'd inherit it all, so she's not happy to hear that.

When the autopsy report comes through, they find she was on opioids which could have contributed to the fall, but then they identify another drug and they don't think she took it voluntarily.  It was probably in a cup of tea someone gave her.

Bruno looks at the teachers she had, the housekeeper and the ex-con she befriended, her roommate, and her friends.  He finds no answers there, so he looks back in history for potential motives.

It's a long investigation but he sets a trap for them and the killers come.  He finds justice for the young vibrant woman who had a lot of potential before death cut it off.

I like Bruno as a character.  He's a good detective even if his love life is unsettled.  This was a good read. 
 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

What's that Terrible Growl? by A. H. Benjamin, Merel Eyckerman

When he hears a growl, his imagination takes off on him.  Is it a bear, lion, or even maybe ten eyed spotty creature from outer space?  He thinks of a bunch more creatures it could be but it's something in much smaller package...

NubeOcho and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (Thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

This is a really cute story young ones will want to read again and again.  The illustrations are eye catching and lovely.  This was a real joy to read.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Death in Kew Gardens by Jennifer Ashley

It all begins when she runs into Mr. Li on the street.  She knocks him down with her parcel and she apologizes.   He does, too.  Then he brings her a present in apology.  She didn't want to take it because she knocked him down.  He insists.  It's a beautiful box of tea.  It tastes like ambrosia.  She loves it. She's shocked when the man next is knifed to death in his bed She is even more shocked when Mr. Li is accused of killing him!

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (Thank you).  It will be published June 4th.

She's insistent that it wasn't him because he was visiting her at the supposed time of death.  However a witness saw a Chinaman leave the house near that time so Li gets arrested.  Then a Chinese boy is killed in the Kew Gardens.  It was the man's son.  Had he killed his dad?  Kat doesn't think so.  She and Daniel start their own investigation.

In the meantime a new housekeeper has been hired and she's a real pain.  She dislikes everybody and threatens to fire everybody.  They are thinking of quitting anyway.  Kat tries to keep her team together and get rid of this housekeeper as well as try to solve this mystery.

She does solve the mystery but it turns into a knife fight in Kew gardens and you're not sure who's going to be alive at the end...

I had no idea who the killer was.  This was a good mystery! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Yankee Widow by Linda Lael Miller

She's a young woman staying at home on the farm with her child and the hired help.  Her husband is fighting in the Civil War.  He gets injured and she's going after him to bring him home.  He awakens to tell her how much he loves her and then he dies.  She's a young widow now...

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

It's a good thing she has her hired hand.  He protects her just like Jacob did.  She tries to go on as life did before but she's sorrowful over the loss of her husband.  The first thing that happens is that the hired hand saves a slave that's being pursued by a slave catcher who wants the reward on her.  Enoch, the hired hand, disagrees and ends up killing the man.  When the rest of the slave catchers show up, they have the pregnant girl hidden in a secret compartment.  They had been part of the Underground Railroad in the past.  

Then soldiers come to her farm and settle on her grounds.  They don't bother her but she can't listen to the men moan and not help with the injured.  As she does, she gets to know the man in charge and she grows to like him a lot.  It's almost love.  But then he gives her a Confederate to take care of and she takes him in the house because he's injured so badly.  Then he manages to kiss her and that creates a real problem for her.  She beginning to love him, too.

She doesn't give up or break even when things are bad.  There are some good things happening, too.  

You really get a good view of the war and how deadly it was.  It was bloody, horses and men were killed or maimed.  Many of the men were missing limbs.  As she helped them as best she could, she got worn from the worry and care required.  You can feel her despair as so many die.  Eventually the war is over.  Will either man come back for her?  Read the story and see.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Let's Go On Safari! by Kate Williams and Michelle Campbell

This is a precious book.  It's written by an 8-year-old who's gone on a safari and met many animals.  The sad part is that almost all of them are endangered.  This book shows you why they need our help.

P R by the Book sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published now so you can grab a copy now.

The photographs are outstanding.  You can tell that by looking at the front cover.  You can feel how much Kate cares just by reading her words.  This is a spectacular look at what animals remain.  You see their beauty and their power.  Let's not lose our big magnificent animals to poachers or big game hunters.  If possible, donate to the wildlife foundations mentioned in the book. You can even foster an elephant if you want.  Doesn't that sound like fun?

I'd prefer to foster a cheetah myself.  I'm a cat lady.

Let's save these animals before more become extinct. 

Here are some questions and answers from Kate:


1.Where did you grow up /live now?  Austin, Texas.

2.What do you want to be when you grow up?  A Broadway actor.

3.What is your education/career background?  I am in third grade at Trinity Episcopal School.

4.Do you have any pets?  I have three dogs and one bunny. 

5.Where/When do you best like to write?  I like writing on my couch in the evening.

6.When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?  Reading back over my writing.

7.What do you think makes a good story?  Interesting characters and lots of dialogue.

8.Is there a message/theme in your book that you want readers to grasp?  That saving African animals and not poaching is important -and I want to tell kids they can make a difference, too.

 9.What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?  How long it took to find a publisher.

10.What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?  Figuring out how to start it -and how to end it!

11.On the weekend, what are you most likely to be doing?  At the gym playing volleyball, reading, and having a playdate.

12.Who are some of your favorite authors?  J.K Rowling and Stuart Gibbs

13.Do you have a bucket list? What are some of the things on it?  Traveling to Paris, and publishing some of the other stories I’ve written.

14.What person(s) has/have helped you the most in your career?  Michelle, who I wrote this book with, and my mom.

15.What’s the best writing advice you have ever received?  Don’t give up!

16.What was your favorite book as a child? The Harry Potter books.

17.What is the one book no writer should be without? Let’s Go On Safari!

          18. How does your family feel about your writing career?  They are VERY
          proud of me. 
      
          19.If your book was turned into a movie, who would you like to play you? 
           Emma Watson – she played Hermione in the Harry Potter movies.