Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Falcon Always Wings Twice by Donna Andrews

They are putting on a Renaissance Fair with various actors and all kinds of vendors.  There is one actor who gets his laughs by being sarcastic and caustic.  He's always putting everyone down.  Meg offers to speak to him but the victims let it go.  Just as they were getting ready to fire him, They find him in the woods dead.

Minotaur Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It's being published August 4th.

There are so many suspects, it's hard to pick one.  Meg helps the police chief with things she's heard or been told.  Person after person falls off the suspect list.

I was totally surprised about the killer.  The ending is exciting because Meg gets threatened by two men with a gun.  Good thing Grandfather comes to the rescue!

If you have any interest at all in the Renaissance Fair, you'll love this book. That wasn't my thing but I enjoyed the mystery!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Rocky Mountain Redemption by Lisa J. Flickinger

Her father has taken her up to a godforsaken logging camp in the middle of nowhere.  She is to work with her aunt.  It seems that ending her romance was David made him mad.

Wild Heart Books shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  it has  been published and you can get a copy now.

She's not supposed to leave the building.  Unmarried women are not allowed to be there.  She must remain hidden.  But she's hot. Her aunt is gone so she sneaks down to the river and sticks her feet in the cold water.  She's shocked when she hears a male voice.  She's not alone!

He's a big man.  He introduces himself as "Preach", which is his nickname.  He's nice and they chat until her aunt catches them...

She gets punished for the casual meeting, but it's not the last time she sees him.

Her aunt tells her what happened with David wasn't her fault, it was his.  While she's adjusting to that, her father and David show up in camp thinking she's going to marry him.  Someone who wants Preach for herself set her up.

There's a confrontation and much more before the end of the book.  I found this to be a very enjoyable read.

Friday, May 29, 2020

How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior

She's 85, has no family she knows of and has money to will.  When she starts watching a nature program with penguins, she has an idea...

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

Right before she goes on her adventure, she finds out her son is dead but she has a grandson.  She goes to visit him without warning and the visit doesn't go well.  She decides to visit the penguins instead.

The scientists tell her not to come.  There are no charming factors to living on an island in Antarctica.  She shows up anyway and is totally charmed by the penguins.  The food isn't great, neither are her quarters but she doesn't complain.

One night she sneaks out on her own and has an attack.  They take her back to the shelter and call the doctor.  They also let her grandson know.  His boss fronts him the money to go visit.

She's in and out of consciousness and barely recognizes him, but he sits with her.  He repairs a broken solar unit.  Begins cooking, and it's good food!  Soon he and she are spending time together.

He falls in love with the woman working with the penguins.  When he's leaving with his Grandma, he asks her to come with him, but her life is with the penguins.  That's OK, Grandma intends to leave him her money and then he can return and help her with the project.  Everyone loves penguins...

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton

Mace lives on the outskirts of Chicago and is a dog man.  He teaches his dogs to find cadavers (dead people).  He adopts a golden retriever who has more intuition than his other dogs.

Minotaur Books and Net Galley, let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published the 30th of June.

 The new dog is very good at finding bodies.  She also has a talent for picking out killers but it takes a bit before Mace realizes it.

They're after a man who is a serial killer, always looking for a certain type.  After a while they run him down and find he's looking for a woman like his sister, who died.  He slept with her and they had a child.  That child died because he tried to kill Mace.  The cop with him took him down.  Then Mace learns there was another man involved.  He liked his son.  Can he find him?

He knows he's around because he sees him in the trees, but his dog protects him.  Even when he meets him, he doesn't recognize him.  He wears a mask when on a killing spree.

The ending is full of action and weapons and you have no idea who is going to win.

This not a cheery book but it makes you feel good to see the criminals put behind bars...

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

It Cannoli Be Murder by Catherine Bruns

Tessa is prepping her restaurant for her grand opening.  Her cousin is trying to increase traffic at her book store.  She has a book signing scheduled and is all excited about that.

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will publish July 28th.

The author's lover shows up at the event and creates a problem.  Tessa has taken cannoli as a desert along with some biscotti.  She had to go back after the rest of her cannoli.  All seemed go well until the end when the author says it was the worst signing ever and the bookstore was a dump.

In the morning, Tessa goes to visit and finds the lover dead on the floor.  She was poisoned by the cannoli.  The cops try to blame Tess but hers was vanilla and this version was chocolate.

She and Gabby look for the killer.  They have relatives and friends in the cop force and they are warned off, but they still snoop.  And they get very close to getting killed, too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Highland Falcon Thief: Adventures on Trains #1 by M. G. Leonard, Sam Sedgman, Elisa Paganelli (Illustrated by)

11 year old Harrison Beck is sent on a train ride with his Uncle.  He's not excited about it.  He appears to be the only kid on board...

Feiwel & Friends and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 28th.

The first thing he sees is another child on board.  She's hiding and everyone tells him he's the only child on board but he knows better.  He finally tracks her down and finds she's the engineer's daughter and is a stowaway.  He visits when he can without being seen.

Then jewelry starts being missing on the train.  Harrison makes up his mind he will find the thief.  The first thing that happens is the loudest man on the train accuses Harrison of stealing the jewelry.  His Uncle defends him.  (The man saw him sneaking in to visit the girl and assumed he was doing something else.)

While he keeps blaming Harrison, Harrison is mounting his own investigation.  He first suspects Milo but he eventually realizes he's in love with the actress' maid.

He could even envision his Uncle doing it.  He had opportunity.  But he knew he didn't do it.

Then he has a clue that puts him on the right track and he makes a public accusation.  The lady he accused gets off the train and takes one of her dogs with her.  There is a train coming.  Can anyone save her?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Nicky's Fire by Richard Trotta Sr.

Nicky never saw his Dad much.  He worked two jobs and was never home.  But when they had to write about a family member, he was the one he chose.  Now if he could just come to the presentation with him...

Black Rose Writing and Net Galley shared this book with me (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

I worked for a city and worked with the firemen on budgets and other things.  This story is very accurate, not just about the training but about the actual experiences fighting fire.

Steve takes Nicky down to the fire station.  He gets to participate in fire training and develops a new respect for what his Dad does.  Then they get called out on a real fire.  Steve wants him to stay at the station but the fire captain invites him along...

The fire is bad and when everyone is out, he still doesn't see his Dad.  They go to look for him and find him under a section of roof that fell.  He's not breathing well, so they unzip his coat to get the mask out.  He has a baby on his chest breathing the clean air from his mask.

He's hauled away in an ambulance with his son at his side.  This creates a much stronger bond between them.  Will his Dad survive?  How about the 1 year old?

Read it and see...

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Love & Other Crimes : Stories by Sara Paretsky

There are fourteen short stories in this anthology.  They are collected from stories she wrote for other collections.  I only recognized two, the others were all new to me.

William Morrow and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 30th.

These stories are about life.  Many are set in Chicago.  These are not happy stories but they have the ring of truth.

From gang shootings to two cousins fighting over one term paper for scholarship, you get the feeling you're living there.  Many of the situations covered reminded me of incidents in my home town.  There, they weren't as big or as public as the ones in the story are.  Small town versus large, I suppose.

Ms. Paretsky's stories stick with you and make you glad that your life isn't that exciting...

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Sunshine by Morrene J. Hauser

This is a sweet story about a girl and her pony.  She loves her pony and her pony loves her.  That doesn't mean they don't have some problems...

Black Rose Writing and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has already been published, so you can get a copy now.

Sunshine is a wonderful pony but she only goes straight.  No turns allowed.  When she goes for a ride with her Mom and there's a turn, she won't do it.  Her Mom slaps her in the butt and the poor girl gets to ride a bucking bronc!  After a few more slaps Sunshine gets the message.  And the daughter has learned to ride an angry horse.

This is a cute book.  The daughter can find no fault with her horse but she has to admit it's nice when Sunshine turns...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Legends from Mom’s Closet by Alyona Olsen

Sasha is forced to stay inside this summer due to stormy weather.  She begins by reading and then burns out on that.  Then she asks her mom if she can dress up in her clothes.  She's going to enact some of the stories she's been reading and others she's heard about.

PR by the Books sent me a copy of this book to read (thank you).  It published May 19th. 

She starts out as Frida Kahlo.  She wore very vivid colors and the photos of this little lass make them look alike.

She goes through about a dozen personalities, borrowing from her mom, her grand mother, and getting her little sister to help.

She's Audrey Hepburn and has breakfast at Tiffany's.  She's even did Cleopatra.

This will be a fun book for children.  They'll learn facts about historical figures and will giggle over the pictures.  Why not have a little fun with them as you read this book?

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Little Mole Finds Hope by Glenys Nellist, Sally Garland, (Illustrated by)

Little mole is feeling sad in his dark cave.  It's been a long winter.  His Mom suggests they go on walk.

Beaming Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

As they go out, he sees a bulb hanging above him.  He tells his mother it's dead.  She says no and tells him to remember the daffodils that bloom.  He thinks the trees are dead.  She tells him to picture them with leaves.  He smiles.  Then he finds a chrysalis and thinks that's dead.  No, his mother says.  Soon it will open up and let a butterfly out.  Do you remember butterflies?  He smiles and says yes.  Soon he has spring in mind and he's no longer sad.

This is a very sweet little book that would be good to share with your child at winter's end.  Maybe you could go on a walk like mother mole did.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Mysterious Messenger by Gilbert Ford

Maria is actually a psychic while her mother pretends to be one.  It's when she steals a ring from an old lady that Marie has Edward telling her to help the old woman.  He even gives her hints on how.

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 21st.

Her mother watches her like a hawk.  Her only freedom is to go to the library and bring home some books to read.  She says she's going to the library and follows the old lady home.  She gives her the message from the ghost.  It starts a beautiful friendship.

Then she meets Sebastian in the library and learns he lives above her in the other apartment.  She wouldn't be allowed to play with him, so she keeps him secret.  Then she finds he's following her everywhere.  She gets angry and tells him he's no friend of hers.

Her life gets more difficult when the librarian come to see her.  She gets accused of telling them about her mother's scam.  She also finds out that she isn't really her mother.

She sneaks out the window and hides with Sebastian.  They leave without her so she goes back for the few belongings she had.  Madam Destine is waiting for her.  She tries to force her in the van but the librarian and the police are there.  Who will win this argument?

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Sienna, the Cowgirl Fairy : Trying to Make it Rain (2nd Edition) Alayne Kay Christian, Brian Martin (Illustrated by) Series: Sienna the Cowgirl Fairy (#1)

This book is fun to read!  Your children will love it, whether they can read it or you read it to them.

Sienna is half-human and half-fairy.  She wants to go to cowgirl camp.  She loves being a cowgirl.  Instead, her mother sends her to fairy camp...

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

She refuses to wear pink, refuses to go to fairy size and sets off on her own quest.  She's going to make it rain in Texas.  She's got a hard road ahead of her.  It doesn't rain in Texas a lot.  When she lassos some clouds and brings them back, the rain never touches the ground and the clouds disappear.

Then she finds another fairy that wears boots.  She's her neighbor and they work together trying to make it rain.  No luck.

She finds herself having to apologize for being rude to one of the fairies.  The fairy accepts her apology and then helps her on her quest.

Do they manage to bring rain to Texas?  You'll have to read the book to see...

Monday, May 18, 2020

Little Sister by Patricia Walsh Chadwick

As in all religions, you sometimes run into those over zealous demanding leaders.  They can be charismatic, overbearing or just someone you want to please so you can gain heaven.  Sometimes they pull the rug out from under you.

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

Her parents put her in school with them.  Soon they had all the children enrolled and even her parents joined the faith.  Then odd things started to happen.  The girls and the boys were separated.  Never mind if they were brother and sister.  Then they couldn't see their parents.

This priest spread the word if you weren't Catholic, you couldn't go to heaven.  The girl who was used to brothers, played with boys during recess.  She was disciplined and that stopped.  They had ugly ways of beating them.

The home was dreadful.  Some of the other places they used weren't that bad but you had to be careful.  Her little sister wasn't eating and got punished for that.  Once she ate what she didn't to save her but she didn't get to sit next to her again.

They even made her parents take vows of celibacy so they no longer slept together.  The only good news was that the priest got excommunicated eventually.

When the girl was eighteen, she refused to become a nun.  They threw her out.

This religious group was a lot like a cult.  It was radical, mean, and eventually was shut down.  Trying to live as a family again was hard.  They all felt like strangers.  But they survived.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

River of Dreams by Jan Nash

Finn is finishing high school and can't wait for college.  If only her little brother, Noah, would come out of his coma.  Doctors find no reason for it.  They just have to wait.  Then she finds out they are Dreamwalkers.  Something is holding him back from awakening...

Roaring Brook Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 21st.

She dreams about Noah and even her father who has been dead for years.  Noah is asking for help.  She tells her grandmother about it and she tells her she's a dreamwalker, too.  She asks Rafe to tell Finn how it works and what could happen, and he does.  Finn doesn't like him, but she listens. 

She learns who the enemy is in her dreams.  Her boyfriend asks if he could come with her in her dreams.  She's not sure but they try and it works.  They go to rescue Noah.

Will they survive?  Will they really save Noah?  Read the book and see...

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Beetle & the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

You have sorceresses and goblins and magic in all forms in this comic book.  Beetle has been good friends with Kat who was sent to witch school.  Beetle doesn't know how she'll be now that she's back home.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 21st.

Beetle finds that Kat's Aunt is going to tear down the old mall.  That's where Ghost Blob lives and he's a friend of Beetle's.  He can't leave so she has to come up with a plan to save him.

In the meantime, Kat and her Aunt are fighting.  That causes problems between Kat and Beetle.  When it comes down to a showdown between Kat's Aunt and Beetle, Beetle calls her Grandmother for help.

Goblin magic is impressive.  Kat and Beetle can be friends again and Ghost Blob hangs out with them.

The artwork is impressive and the story isn't bad either...

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Daring of Della Dupree by Natasha Lowe

Della Dupree is training to become a witch.  She goes to school for it and has no real problem until they are all asked to write a paper about the founder of the school.  Who just happens to be named the same as she is...

Paula Wiseman Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 21st.

She sees a reference to a spell book, so she goes to the library to look it over.  It doesn't tell her what she'd like to know.  Then she remembers one of her teachers coming back into a room like magic.  She had used a time travel necklace to visit her dog when he was just a puppy.  (He has passed away.)  She decides to go way back to the 1200's to visit the beginning of the school.  She sneaks a necklace, takes her wand and away we go...

She ends up on the ground in the forest.  It doesn't take her long to find out these people hated witches.  It seems the school hasn't started yet.  She goes to get a job at the castle.  She gets one as a housekeeper/kitchen crew.  She has to hide her magic or she will get in trouble.Then the comedian, Tom Foolery steals her necklace and refuses to give it back.  Will she ever get home again?

This was a very good read and I enjoyed it.  It even has a nice ending.  What more could you want?

Living on a Spare by Shannon VanBergen

Nikki's boyfriend has moved on without her and the Grannies are trying to cheer her up.  The fact that her Granny had a heart attack doesn't make it easier.  She worries about her.  But a new case brings everyone back to life, even if they aren't supposed to be investigating...

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

One of the ladies from the other Granny group has been murdered in the bowling alley.  The cops pick up the homeless man who has the bowling trophy in his possession.  It was the murder weapon.  They jail him.  But the Grannies don't think he's the killer.

Before you know it they have the big cop dressed as a prostitute and they do up Nikki so he doesn't have to go alone.  As a cop, the homeless won't talk.  As a prostitute, they chatter.  The only problem was the cops came around and when everyone ran, Owen fell because he was wearing wedgies.  He'll never live it down.

But Granny gets a good clue and the group goes bowling again to break the case...

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Of Mutts and Men by Spencer Quinn

Chet the Dog makes stories about Bernie Little, PI, complete.  He adds to the story, usually saves Bernie, and he shares his thoughts with you, no matter how disjointed they may be.

Forge Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 7th.

They have been invited to see Wendell in his work location.  He's making records about the aquifers in the area.  When they get there they find him dead.  His throat has been cut.  Bernie picks a suspect and finds him with the dead man's wallet.  The suspect said he was dead when he got there and he wouldn't need his wallet, would he?  The cop  sent is none too brilliant and he books the guy and closes the case.  Bernie isn't satisfied and keeps looking and asking questions.

His girlfriend has found a new man and is getting married.  She's also working for a new company.  As he checks this new company he has new questions but no one will answer them. 

They meet one lady that says she likes dogs but Chet knows different.  She may be a professor but she's wicked.  She tries to seduce Bernie but Chet puts an end to that.  The lady is a killer and she plans to kill Bernie, too, but Chet takes care of her.

I really like Chet...


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Shadow Garden by Alexandra Burt

This is the story of a family that started out sweet but as time passed they became dysfunctional...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 21st.

Donna has a husband and a daughter.  Her husband moves her to a new home and leaves her.  She hears nothing of him or her adult daughter.  He sends her a housekeeper.  She's not sure if he's divorcing her or what.  She wishes her daughter would call.

Her daughter has done some bad things in her life and it has affected her mental health.  When she brings home a dead woman in her car, her father returns the body to the lady's car.  He attends the autopsy and finds she was hit but seemed OK.  Then she had internal bleeding in the car and died.

Donna is having problems with her daughter.  They tangle and go over the banister.  The outcome of the fall is so awful she refuses to remember it and drives her husband up a wall.

This is a sad story but there is a ray of light at the end...

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu

Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden have been cursed by a witch.  It's not for something the princesses did wrong, it's to get even with their father.  But it doesn't work.  He's not remorseful that his daughters might die...

Simon Pulse and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on July 14th.

The Queen is imprisoned in a box.  It would take a witch undoing the spell to let her free.  She's been in the box as long as the princesses have been under the spell.  The bad part is that one of them cannot eat and is nothing but skin and bones after five years.  If they don't break the spell, she'll die.

Reagan is the young witch that bespelled them.  Their father wronged her mother.  But she's disappointed he doesn't care what happens to his daughters.  So she tells them how to break the spell.

They head out across the moat to get the things they need.  It's not that easy though.  They finally get all but their father's crown.

One of the girls inadvertently casts a spell that puts all the women (except the witches) in glass boxes.  She didn't know she could cast a spell.  The oldest witch told them all the women are witches and so are some of the men.  The princesses are amazed.

The King refuses to give his crown up.  His daughter tells him he doesn't deserve to wear it.  He downplays her but suddenly the crowd below takes up the chant.  Will he give up his crown?

Monday, May 11, 2020

Muzzled by David Rosenfelt, Series: An Andy Carpenter Novel (#21)

Andy is a lawyer who wishes he wasn't one.  But when his good friend Beth, asks for his help, he can't say no.  Especially when a dead man is coming after his dog...

Minotaur Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has already been published so you can get a copy now.

Three men who worked together were going out on a boat owned by one of them to talk about setting up their own pharmaceutical business.  Two are shot, one hides.  Then he hears them say the boat is going to blow up, so once they are gone he sneaks out and escapes on his dingy.  He doesn't trust the cops and thinks he has killers on his trail, so he goes further down the waterway and sneaks out.  When he comes to get his dog, the cops nab him.

He asks Andy to represent him and he agrees because he doesn't think he's a killer.  Then Andy calls in the rest of the team and they start searching for information.  It turns out that the man in jail was dating a bigwig's girlfriend.  She forgot to mention that.  So they take a look at Russo.  He may hire killers but he's not a killer himself.

Then two of Russo's men get killed with a single shot to the back of the head.  Who did it?  Big Tony says it was Victor.  He's the next one found dead.

Victor doesn't care how many he kills.  He's part of the Russian Mafia.  He even snipes the prisoner when he's brought to court.  Now Andy and his crew are after him...

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Freda and the Blue Beetle by Sophie Gilmore

Freda is always told to be more careful.  When she finds a wounded beetle, she takes it in to heal.  It does.  And it keeps growing!

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

She and the blue beetle are best friends and they are inseparable.  But he is getting huge and has a hearty appetite.  When a ewe goes missing they blame him.  So she takes him to the woods and lets him know he can't come back to town.

Then they find the ewe but they don't apologize.

When they have an awful storm and the building they took refuge in has the roof fall in they are trapped.  But they hear something chewing.  It's the blue beetle saving them.

After all this, the blue beetle and Freda leave town.  Who knows where they settled?

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer by Gillian Goerz

Jamila doesn't want to spend her summer in a science class anymore than Shirley wants to go to a dance class.  When they run into each other at a garage sake, they come up with a plan that may save them.  Shirley tells her mom about it and then gets her mom to talk to talk to Jamila's mom.  The agree but they have to sign an agreement that that's what they will do.

Dial Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 14th.

Jamila loves basketball so they walk down to the big basketball courts and she practices.  Shirley reads books.  But one day they see trouble over at the swimming pool and Shirley is off detecting with Jamila assisting.  Someone stole his backpack and it had his lizard in it.  They've had other things stolen, too.  The only problem with this is that this was not part of the mom's agreement.

Shirley finds the culprit and they work out with her.

Now they have to work things out with their moms...

Friday, May 8, 2020

The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay

Abi's Dad marries the boy's mother and Abi has to adjust to having brothers.  It's not easy...

Margaret K. McElderry Books sent me an ARC if this book to read for review.  It will be published July 7th. 

Along with being a new family, they are moving into a new house.  It has ivy all over it.  Her Grandma says it's green magic...

There are surprises.  Abi reads nonfiction stories and she finds herself living them.  Not as imaginary but as really being there on the Kontiki raft and in the snow outside of Anne Frank's house.  Her textbook got wet on the raft and when she comes out of her room she has snow in her head!

But there's more than that going on.  Louis has opened his window hoping an owl would come in.  Instead, he gets a cat.  A cat that keeps growing until it's bigger than him.

When Abi founds out she starts looking for what he read.  It turns out to be the textbook that the older student who comes in for the afternoons until Dad gets home has.  And she's going back to France.  How are they going to get the book to get the huge cat back in it?

This is a great fantasy read and I enjoyed it.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Berkeley Noir by Jerry Thompson and Owen Hill

This is a book of dark tales.  After all, crimes aren't Easter egg colored are they?

Akashic Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review.   This was published May 5th.

Theses are brand new stories by well known authors and they all talk about a certain neighborhood in Berkeley.  None of the tales are bad.

My favorite one was "Eat Your Pheasant, Drink Your Wine" by Shanth Sekaran.  What made the story fun to read was a pet rat.  He even takes part in the murder to save his owner...

There are sixteen stories.  Give it a read, get caught up in the noir, and then tell me which story you liked best.

These are good stories even if they are dark.  Give it a try!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

She's thinks she is getting married to a wonderful man and has picked the perfect venue:  an old home on an island.  She's spent a lot of money on her dress and the cake but she can afford it.  He's a TV star and she owns a magazine.  But as perfect as it seems, there are little cracks running through the big picture.

William Morrow sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published on May 5th.

She got a note saying Will was not what he seemed.  She decides to ignore it. But there is truth there.

Will screwed his best buddy by telling the producer of the program he didn't feel he could do it.  Then he tells his best bud they said no, they didn't want him.

He got her half-sister pregnant but he was called Steven then.  Someone else recognizes him as  Steven, too.

They don't tell the bride that, though.

The festivities continue everyone gets drunk, they decide to do a frat joke he avoided in school.  He doesn't appreciate it but he makes it back. Things go on and later in the evening they notice Will is missing.  They find him out on the grounds dead.  Who killed him?

The killer is really ironic.  It's the last person I would have suspected...

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

Natalie is getting an award at work that she wishes her mother could see.  Her boyfriend is a pilot and he's doing a test flight.  When she hears of a small plane crashing, she checks.  It was his and he had a woman passenger.  She's thinking mean thoughts about how he's two timing her and then she finds out it was her mother!  They are both dead.  Her world has just blown up...

William Morrow and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you),  It will be published July 7th.

She quits her job and goes to work in her mother's bookstore.  It's a disaster.  Every drawer she opens has more unpaid bills.  It will take selling a lot of books to get out of the hole.  Especially since she finds the building belongs to her grandfather who will not sell.  She really doesn't want to, but she can't see how they will settle all that debt.

She decides to do author signings in her store.  The first one she calls on, tells her the next appointment is for two years away, he's booked until then.  But her repairman's daughter writes to him and he shows up in her shop.  He's willing to do it in his off time.  He comes and it gives her a nice spot of cash, even if it's temporary.  Then he starts dating her.

She likes him but she's not sure she's as invested in the relationship as he is.  His mother comes in the shop, she says he's a fake.  She gives her his real name and then he comes in and retrieves her.  She's homeless.  When he comes back to do damage control, it's too late.  She asks him if the background he gave her was fake and he admitted it was.  She told him goodbye.

She also has her grandfather who has Alzheimer's.  He keeps calling her by her mother's name and is forgetful.  She has to keep a close eye on him.  He finally agrees to go to an assisted living unit and says she can sell the bookshop.  She doesn't want to but what else can she do?

Then her repairman tells her he loves her...

Monday, May 4, 2020

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz

Julieta is excited!  She gets to go with her father to the Louvre where he will be collecting artwork for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  She'll finally have  her own purple pin to put in their map at home.   And she gets to visit the wonders of Paris.  What fun!

Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It's being published May 5th.

Julieta is a bit clumsy, so she tries to touch nothing when they are in the Louvre.  However when the lady asks her if she would like to hold the very expensive diamond, she can't resist. It's mesmerizing. 

Her father is asked to take it back to the states because the courier never showed up.  He agrees.

Then one night when she and her father are in the Louvre looking over the artwork they will be returning with, they hear someone in the room with the diamond.  It's a burglar.  She runs for help but can't find anyone until she pulls the fire alarm.  They're angry at her for doing that and it takes a quick explanation before they come with her.  Her father has been clobbered but he has the robbers boot.

They think her father was the thief until they look at the camera footage.  Some of the cameras were shut off but they still get a view of the thief.  Unfortunately he's totally hidden in black.

Julieta starts coming up with suspects but none of them had done it.  Her father loses his job.  She wants to help.

The fun part is that she figures it out and proves it beyond a doubt.  She's a pretty smart kid!

The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard

She's marriageable age but has found no suitors she loves.  When a man her brother-in-law needs favor from is suggested, she's not enthused but agrees to meet him.  They meet at a big party and he takes her off by herself to an island she's always wanted to see.  She didn't know there was a building there.  She also didn't know what he had in mind.  He wouldn't marry a penniless orphan, but he'd take what he could get from her...

Simon & Schuster and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you. It will be published the fifth of May.

Her sister finally gets her to tell her what happened.  To save gossip and her husband's career, she writes a letter saying the matter will be forgotten and makes her sister sign it.  The man uses it to say she's blackmailing after she tried to seduce him.  Her reputation is ruined...

Her governess from the past tells her about brideships that are going to Canada.  You don't have to marry.  There you can be your own woman.  She goes to look at land available and picks out the ground she wants.  Her one regret was the man she met and loved had to go back to England to handle his father's affairs.  He'll have to stay.  She won't return...

With her landlord's help, she gets her house built.  Then fire hits the town and when she tries to go out, a man she knows blocks the door.  He's been sent by the man that ruined her reputation.  He won't move.  She gets out her gun to threaten him and it goes off.  She still can't get out the door and runs to the window where there is a ladder down.  She gives her friend's baby to the landlord and then attempts to use the ladder herself.  She falls...

Despite all this hardship the story does have a happy ending.  The Victorian times were hard on women...

Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Lion Queens of India by Jan Reynolds

This book is a good look at the remaining lions in India.  The women rangers work on being friends with them.  I don't mean petting them but getting them used to their presence.  They watch for any injuries or illnesses.

Lee & Low Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  The book will be published April 8th, so you can get a copy now.

The pictures are brilliant and give you good insight on how they do their work.  They also give you nice views of the lions.

They work with the locals teaching them how to get along with their lion neighbors.

All in all this is a nice look at a good conservation program.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Settling Scores: Sporting Mysteries by Martin Edwards

Murder is just one way to settle an argument.  It takes detectives to find all the facts in the arguments.

Poisoned pen Press and Edelweiss let me read this anthology for review (thank you).  It will be purchased on July 2nd.

I enjoyed reading about Mr. Quarles and, an old favorite of mine, Mr. Fortune.  They are very good at weeding out the truth.

None of these stories were bad.  All  of them were interesting.  One man rowed himself to death.  One player was kidnapped.  You never know what the next story will bring.

They play all kinds of sports.  These are classic tales so it takes brain power to solve the crime.

If you like sports or just like a good mystery, these stories will work for you.

Friday, May 1, 2020

CHENDELL: A Natural Warrior by Leslie I. Landis

This is a very interesting story.  It's about two unusual teens who become boyfriend and girlfriend and how they finally confess their differences.

This book is published by Waldo and PR By The Book sent me a copy to read for review (thank you).  You can buy a copy now.

Jamie talks to trees and plants.  Robin talks to insects.  Robin's skills have helped her several times.  Men try to kidnap her and she attacks them with bugs.  Wish I had that skill!

They met each others families and love them, too.  It's when they make a trip to Peru to the rainforest, that things get funny.  They are running from men that after them.  Jamie makes the trees and vines grab them, Robin send biting bugs after them.  They come to an old camp that looks deserted.   There is one old person there making a soup and lets them have some.  Soon they find themselves as one person who is much stronger, has both their gifts and is quite formidable.  The old person tells them how to become two again and how to merge into Chendell again.

They are able to evade the men after them.  They have more adventures awaiting them...