Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Poisoned Chalice Murder: A 1920s English mystery by Diane Janes

Tom's aunt asks him to come and look into a local murder.  He brings his detecting companion and they start asking questions and seeing what they can see.  They get answers but it doesn't tell them who the killer is...

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

One thing they notice is that the victims had complained to the bishop about the current priest in their church.  Some people think their deaths are an act of God.  Tom and Frances don't agree.

Tom and Frances are in love, but Tom married his brother's girlfriend to save her the embarrassment of having an illegitimate child.  Frances is divorcing her husband who is living with another woman and has gotten her pregnant.  At this point, it doesn't look good for Tom or Frances to have a relationship.

They go home with no answers but Frances visits with her girlfriend, Mo, and they finally figure it out.

Don't get too rabid over your beliefs...

Happy Halloween! (A Changing Faces Book) by Nathan Thoms, Pintachan

Here's a fun book for little ones.  As they turn the pages the pictures on the page change...

Abrams Appleseed sent me a copy of this book to read and review (thank you).  It has been published.

Even I found this fun to read.  There's a ghost looking at you through the cover.  When you open the book, the ghost turns grey and fades away...

There are five "scary" illustrations like this in the book.  I liked the one where the witch disappears and a black cat takes her place.  It looks good in her hat!

Books make a great Halloween gift.  They last longer than candy and they don't give you cavities.  I know I would have rather had a book than a whole bag of candy...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Reluctant Warrior by Mary Connealy

The war is finally over and he's come to retrieve his daughter and nephew.  He doesn't expect them to be afraid of him...

Bethany House and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can pick up a copy now.

Cameron doesn't like Gwen because the children love her.  His daughter loves her and is scared of him.  How's he going to fix that?

The man who, with his gang, wiped out the wagon train and killed his brother is still around and still trying to kill them.  He wants no witnesses.  When he burns down the cabin and tries to burn the bunkhouse, too, it's a good thing that Cam sleeps lightly.  He saves them all.

Cam's sister is a tomboy and she's going to homestead her own land.  Gwen works with Cam to calm the children down and teach him to speak more quietly.  Suddenly, he's growing fonder of Gwen.

With a Pinkerton agent on their trail, a killer trying to end their lives, and a search for love, there's plenty of action.  There's also a happy ending.  What more could you want?

Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim

Her sister is getting ready to go to America.  Her parents and a matchmaker have found her a husband that she will meet as they get married.  Mei Ling has accepted the fact that there is no choice in the matter.  They are in bad financial condition and they need less mouths to feed.  But she's very unhappy when her sister gets ill and they send Mei Ling in her place.  She doesn't want to go but she must...

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

Mei Ling is a "paper" wife.  The man she is marrying has a small boy.  His wife has died.  He can use his wife's passport to get Mei Ling into America.  But she has to memorize all the details his wife had told the customs people.  They don't want Chinese especially, so if you fail to answer the questions the same, you are sent back. What Mei Ling finds is that there are several more "paper" people on board.  Even children.

The marriage ceremony goes well, they spend their honeymoon in Hong Kong, and then they are on their way.  The men are sent to one part of the ship and the women and children to another.  Mei Ling makes a few friends on the way.  One little girl takes care of their little boy and becomes part of the family.  When it's time for them to go through customs, Mei Ling must answer the questions right, be checked out out by a doctor and then wait to see if she's approved.  The facility she's in is more like a prison than anything.  She's also pregnant.  That makes the customs approval a little harder.

My grandparents immigrated from Czechoslovakia.  Grandma had a three year old girl with her and they questioned her a lot, too.  I think that's why these stories appeal to me.

Mei Ling learns things are different in the states and not everyone is a good person.  She's also afraid her husband might leave her over the baby since she's been told it's a girl.  She worries a lot, but all is not lost.

This historical read was very good and very authentic.  I'd highly recommend this one.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Midsummer Mayhem: A Potting Shed Mystery by Marty Wingate

There is going to be a live performance at the house down the lane.  Pru has never seen the gardens because the grounds are fenced and locked.  But the gardener there has walked off because of the crowd and the disruption and Pru has been asked to fill in.

Alibi and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 6th.

Pru works on figuring out which plants and trees to use.  She also works on playing matchmaker between an estranged couple.  All is going fairly well until one of the actors is found dead.  Someone locked him in a room with a jar of bees and he was deadly allergic to them.

Pru snoops about on the set trying to find out who would have killed him.  Her husband, Christopher, is there in his official capacity.  No one is getting close to the truth.  Then, all of a sudden, Pru is too close... 

The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome

They want to develop the hilltop above their bed and breakfast and they are trying to buy everyone below it out.  Emily has no desire to sell the bed and breakfast.  Her mother is thinking maybe they should and go elsewhere to make more money.  Then Emily's best friend who is like a father to her falls from a house he re-roofed.  He never regains consciousness and passes away.  Emily thinks he was murdered...

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

It gets worse.  She's going on a tour with three folks from the village.  They are related but don't get along.  One of them even leaves early.  Emily knows something strange is going on but no one will admit anything.  Then the older one of the group ends up dead on the tour.  She can't get the cops interested in the deaths so she works on finding the killer herself.

Her romantic interest at home knows how her friend died but doesn't tell her because he doesn't want to upset her.  She's still upset and even more so after she finds out the cause. Her ferreting brings her to close to the truth and she almost becomes the next victim.  

There are plenty of suspicious characters, odds and ends of clues to check out, and the killer surprised me.  Did you guess right?  

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Unquiet Souls (a DS Gus McGuire Case book #1) by Liz Mistry

He's still recovering from knife wounds where he was trying to prevent the death of a woman and her child.  He survived but his friend with mental issues didn't.  Now he's trying to recover from the impact on his mind, too.  If  only he could go back to work...

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

The subject matter is not very pleasant but the police action makes up for it.  Almost by accident, the police run across a home housing children that are rented or sold to sexual predators.  Most of them are from foreign countries and don't speak English.  All of them are terrified and hurt.  They wish they had Gus back because he's so good at these cases.  The psychologist isn't sure he should tackle that but she's getting pressure to let him come back to work, so she signs off.  He still has to visit her, though, for regular visits.

As they dig for information about where the children came from and who transported them as well as trying to find all the participants in this ugly plot, they find it's hard going.  Most of them have had experience at it and know what to do but this group is good at covering its tracks.

While all this is going on, they have a missing teenager.  It turns out she's part of the witness protection program and her mother had let the cops bug their house to get proof her husband was part of the group.  They got him and other participating individuals but not those at the top.  Now the man at the top has found them and he intends to make her pay.

Sex is a predominate subject in this story but the investigation is what keeps your attention.  You can't be sure how it will turn out, if Gus can hold himself together until the end, and you worry about the kidnapped children.

It's full of suspense and will keep you reading.  I'd read another in this series.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Olivia is coming home for Christmas for the first time in many years.  She's a doctor and has been working in Africa on epidemic currently.  Since she's coming back to Britain she has to stay in quarantine for a week.  That means her family must, too.

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

It's hard enough spending a day with family when everyone has grown older and has their own interests.  Benjamin Franklin said that guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  I agree with him.  Imagine trying to make it through a whole week...

There's a lot of drama in this story.  Odd coincidences happen, old and new secrets are exposed, and most of the relationships are improved.  Each new revelation adds to the story.

The chapters are the various characters voices and experiences and they are short, which made it a quick read for me.  It's easy to set down and pick up again, if you can.  I read it straight through.

There's joy and and sadness both in the story, a time of reflection for all, and the family emerges stronger than ever.

How would you and your family do?

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Beyond the Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin

He's chasing down two robbers, first by car, then by foot.  When one pulls a gun on him, he shoots back.  He kills the shooter but they find no gun at the scene.  Suddenly the cop finds himself under fire for shooting an unarmed boy.  His fellow cops believe him and think the second suspect took the gun with him.  The administration is trying climb further up the ladder and is ready to sacrifice him.  The cop is between a rock and a hard place...

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 30th.

This is a story that points out just how much can go wrong with politicians that want to advance themselves and parents that will lie for their children.  With no support from management, a school that won't let the cops talk to the students, and a hit out on the cop, it's almost impossible to solve this case.  But they don't give up...

The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher

"Kick" Kennedy played sports with her brothers, learned to dress well while shopping with her mother, and learned about politics through conversations with her father.  One thing she didn't know that much about was love...

Penguin Random House sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can pick up a copy now.

I was in eighth grade when President Kennedy was shot and killed.  The Kennedy family was charmed but had several moments of sorrow.  This story is about one of the Kennedy's I was not familiar with.  Kick was an independent strong woman who attempted to make her own way in the world instead of following her family's guidance.  This is historical fiction and the author has written it well.  Here's an easy way to follow the story of this Catholic Irish family and their successes and failures...

Kick finds she's more fascinated by the English lads that the Americans but it causes a conflict because they are Protestant.  She persists in seeing her favorite despite that.  This is during the two world wars and there are war casualties.  Life is not easy in wartime.

Her father's political views aren't shared by all.  Her older sister has mental problems and they do a lobotomy on her and she disappears into an institution.  Kick's life isn't easy but she doesn't give up...

Friday, October 26, 2018

Do No Harm: A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery by Dawn Eastman

He's been beaten up and ends up in the emergency room.  Katie checks him out, patches him up, and asks him what happened and finds out he just got out of jail.  It seems some of the locals still think he's guilty even though he denies it and has served his sentence.  When she offers to be his doctor, she doesn't imagine it will put her in the middle of murder...

Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 11th.

People are stalking him.  A young high schooler dies because she is looking into his case and believes he's innocent.  They try to pin that on him again.  He's got Katie on his side but it's hard to prove who did it.  There doesn't appear to be any clues.

Her patient disappears.  When he returns he comes to her house for protection.  She convinces him to talk to the cops.  Then his old girlfriend and her child come up missing.  And he's on the run again.

Is he innocent or guilty?As Katie investigates she finds some facts that seem to support his innocence.  But then who did it?

This was a convoluted complex case that kept my attention the whole way through the book.  Did you know who the killer was before the end? 

Yeast of Eden by Sarah Fox

Wally Fowler moves in as the waffle king and he's competition for the pancake shop.  When he comes in her shop and talks his up, Ivan, the chef, sends him on his way.  Not much later he's found dead in his shop.  Almost everybody hated him but who killed him?

Lyrical Underground and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 30th.

When Marley's best friend, Lisa, becomes a suspect, Marley starts looking for another suspect.  There are plenty around.  She even suspects innocent people for a while.  Then there's another murder.  Will she find the killer or will the killer find her?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Deadly News by Jody Holford

Molly wants to spruce up the paper with better reporting and more info people will read.  Most of her employees don't say much, but Vernon isn't going along with it and he says so...

Lyrical Underground and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 30th.

Molly forces him to go visit one of the town's prominent citizens to get a personal touch in the story.  He takes a day off.  The next day he doesn't show up.  She goes to check on him and finds him dead...

She worries that her assignment got him killed, so she starts snooping at the murder.  Her boyfriend starts to worry about her, the cops tell her to stop but she's still digging.  Even when his son confesses to killing him, she doesn't believe it.

She finds the right person but inviting them to her home might not have been the smartest thing...

Hazelet's Journal: A Riveting Alaska Gold Rush Saga by John H. Clark

He's been a successful businessman but then the economy turns and he loses everything.  He's heard of gold in Alaska and decides to go get a stake so he can start another business.  The first thing he learns is that the weather doesn't always cooperate and it's hard work!

BooksGoSocial and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 26th.

This is written in journal form and is from the man who dared this dangerous journey.  He misses his family, gets depressed at how little gold they find, and works hard at recovering from lack of food and traveling conditions.  They are almost always wet.  Their claims get jumped and they have to fight legally to get them back.  The animals they use for packing goods die from accidents or starvation.  Alaska is a tough country and especially back in the early 1900's.

I don't read a lot of non-fiction but my grandfather was part of the gold rush and I thought I'd learn more about what he'd been through.  This book is very insightful.  And once again Hazelet loses his venture.  The good news is that he and his partner still have some land there.  They've lost the gold claims to the bank but gold doesn't last forever.  Land still has value and it gets more valuable later.

Hazelet does find a calling that fits him, rejoins with his family and he stays in Alaska.  They made 'em tough in those days...

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Christmas Revelation by Anne Perry

Worm is out making his rounds in the neighborhood when he sees a beautiful woman.  He begins following her until two men show up and grab her.  He's got to save her so he goes home and tries to convince the old accountant to go with him.  Squeaky would rather not, but there's no changing worm's mind...

Ballantine Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can buy a copy now.

Squeaky uses his many contacts to find out who they are and what they are doing.  They're after gold and once they find it, they intend to kill the woman.  Worm knew she was in danger.  So Squeaky comes up with a plan.  He'll imitate her dead father and make them think he's a ghost.  Worm and the lady will tag along and make sure they're going where they want them to.  Worm learns his pretty lady is not as nice as he thought:  She wants revenge.

It has a very interesting ending.  It's fitting but it's not kind.

The Way Back by Bill Whiting

His wife has died, his son lives far away, and he hates living alone.  When his son asks him to invest some money in a new enterprise, he does.  When it fails, he loses his house.  So he has to go to a nursing home...

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

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up.  Now I'm getting older and see some signs on me that I saw on them.  (Wrinkles for example.)  I enjoy chatting with older people, they always have interesting stories. The old man featured in this tale has an interesting story, too.

He's to the point of considering suicide when he decides to run away from the home.  He'll find himself a place to stay (he could always camp) and he'll figure out how to make it on his own.  He has saved up money, checked where the cameras and guards are and he readies himself to make his escape.

The first obstacle he runs into is a dog who appears to be aggressive.  He feeds him the sandwiches he had packed for himself and almost runs away.  The dog follows but he's limping and not moving fast.  When he gets to the caravan park, he pays for the one he rented and moves in with his few belongings.  Soon the dog shows up.  He tries to run him away, ignores him and eventually invites him in.  He's got a friend now.

He meets the woman in the caravan next door.  She has a cat.  He likes her and they chat.  He's spent half his savings on the dog who needed vet care.  Now he has to worry about the dog and cat getting along.  

This is a sweet tale of old people finding a companion late in life that gives them conversation, shared meals, and affection.  They still have some rough spots ahead of them but with someone who cares it's often easier to get past the point of trouble.

I enjoyed reading this book.  It was like visiting my grandparents again.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart

She and her husband have separated because all he is interested is work and he's not being loving with her.  She still loves him and hopes to get him back.  She just wants him to make some changes.  Having a cop tell her he was found dead is just unbelievable...

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

The description doesn't sound like him but when she and her father go to check, there's no doubt.  This sends her oldest boy into a spin and confuses the youngest.  The funeral is tough.  The worst part is that she's not sure it was a hunting accident.  He didn't hunt and he'd never been there before.

The more she searches through his stuff and tries to make sense of his notes, the more she thinks he was investigating something.  The problem is that one of her friends is involved in it and that person is no friend of hers...

The Pumpkin Seed Massacre: Ben Pecos Mysteries Book 1 by Susan Slater

Ben comes home to spend some time with his grandmother and learn more about his Indian heritage.  He certainly didn't expect Indian legends to come true.  When they decide to expand the cemetery, the legend says making it bigger will cause deaths to fill it.  Unfortunately, that seems to be true...

The author and Columbine Publishing shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published.

It starts with elders dying and then the disease hits the younger ones, too.  It's a form of respiratory illness and it takes little time from onset to death.  They don't know what it is or how it is spreading.  When his grandmother dies from it, he decides to find answers.

He meets a journalist who is also researching the case and he develops a romance interest with her.  They have different plans for their future, though, so it looks doomed.  Then the tribal governor dies.

The only common thing they've hit on is that the governor ate pumpkin seeds and it might be the cause.  How, no one knows.  Then they begin to suspicion it's not an accident; this was deliberate and the disease was created in a lab.

With tribal superstitions, greedy developers, and ruthless killers there is plenty to keep you reading.  This is no mystery disease, it was done on purpose.  The reason is chilling...

Monday, October 22, 2018

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

It was snowing out and Virgil drove off a bridge.  He would have been down at the bottom in his car if a man hadn't been scavenging on the bank and saved him.  He still has some problems with words and thoughts, but he's alive.

Grove Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can buy a copy now.

Virgil lives in a fairly small town where everybody knows everyone else.  When he finds a stranger in town, he introduces himself.  Rune is an older man who builds kites and who came to town to find a son he didn't know he had.  The son is dead but the wife and his grandson are still here.  He invites Rune to share his apartment.  It will be warmer than his camper.  They soon become good friends.

Between trying to keep a young man from drowning himself on a sturgeon that killed his father, to opening a theater that runs a loss, to watching the man next door so he doesn't commit suicide, Virgil is busy.  And he'd like to stir up a love interest, too, but he's cautious...

This is all small town snoopy and small town take-care-of-you.  There's a lot of love in this town as well as plenty of odd characters.  This tale will keep you amused.

A Picture of Murder: A Lady Hardcastle Mystery by T E Kinsey

A group of actors and the director have come to town to show off a moving picture.  It's a Halloween theme and the locals are all excited to see it.  There is a religious group who is protesting the picture because it has a witch in it and it's evil with most of the actors dying.  People try to ignore them.  But when actors do start to die, they become part of the several prospects for murder...

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

Lady Hardcastle has the movie group at her house because the original place they were to stay had a fire.  When the oldest actor is killed, she gets involved in the investigation.  Her assistant, Armstrong, has a good mind and has worked with her before, so she's included.

Actors and actresses alike are dying like flies.  Then the coroner's building burns down and he has no bodies left to examine cause of death.  There's lots of gossip about past events, current arguments, and various clues that lead you down one road and then another.  I had no clue who was doing all the killing.

This was good read with a very interesting twist to the tale.  I really enjoyed Lady Hardcastle and Armstrong.  They get along well but also have smart comments they make to each other.  The two of them do ferret out the truth but they almost get killed doing it.  You won't be bored by this mystery.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Story of Little Horse & Traveler by Frank A. Reed Jr.

This is an account of two Indian boys born close together whose fathers were best friends.  They grew up together and watched the White man change their world.  You can either be part of the change or be left behind.  These two tried to embrace the change and keep their old traditions at the same time.

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

I was impressed by this read.  It's factual, doesn't hide the tragedies the Indians faced but doesn't dwell on them either.  They take them in stride and keep moving forward.

The book is written for middle graders and they should find this account very interesting.  There's lots of Indian activities.  The Lakota don't want to fight wars but they will defend themselves.  You follow the young ones to old age and watch their families grow and change on the way.  They even become friends with a White man.

The story sounds very realistic.  I have Indian relatives because my grandfather's brother married an Indian woman.  When we played cowboys and Indians, I was the Indian and the Indian boys were the cowboys.  We liked it that way but it made our parents laugh.

Here's a great way to introduce your young ones to an age that has almost disappeared in present times.

Murder at Archly Manor by Sara Rosett

Olive badly needs a job so she volunteers to check out her cousin's new boyfriend.  They plan to marry and her aunt is not sure about him.  She's not either and the money will come in handy.  In the middle of the investigation, he falls from the balcony and dies.  Her cousin is accused of murder.  She might not know about him but she knows her cousin didn't kill him...

Kobo Writing Life and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been  published and you can grab a copy now.

Olive steps up her investigation and tries to find proof it wasn't her cousin on that balcony with him watching the fireworks display.  She's got two men who are flirting with her, the women are being snippy and she knows some are lying.  When she finds out he's a blackmailer, she thinks she has a motive for death.  But who did it?

The story began in the past and with various alias names and unknown history together, it takes some effort to find the killer.  When Olive sets a trap for them, she almost gets caught in her own trap.  They've already killed once, what's another body or two?

This was a good mystery that was very busy.  No one in the story is an angel, but some are more evil than others...

Saturday, October 20, 2018

If This Were a Story by Beth Turley

Someone is bullying Hannah.  If that isn't bad enough, her parents keep fighting.  What about a happy ending...

Simon & Schuster books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can buy a copy now.

The school works hard on trying to find the bully.  As time goes on, they discover Hannah wrote those notes to herself.  She gets suspended over that.  When her parents ask her why, she tells them she can't stand to watch them fight.  They agree to stop fighting.  Her friends agree to stop bullying and she works on being kind.

This might not be a story but things are resolving themselves.  Hannah just had to learn to express herself and it made things better.

You Can't Iron a Wrinkled Birthday Suit by Sharon Phennah

This title caught my eye when I saw it.  It's unfortunately true.  Aging brings wrinkles and the best you can do is try to hide them.  This story offers more truths about aging and it's very realistic if a bit sad in places.  One lady's mother has cancer and is dying.  One lady's boyfriend has been accused of molesting the boy next door.  Getting older doesn't make life easier...

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

Imagine a group of older women climbing a ladder to get on the roof of an old building to save it from being demolished.  Now imagine them coming down with the press present and journalists taking pictures.  One of them gets a real good "bad" picture...

The women friends meet for lunch, have cocktail hours, and work together through personal issues as well as worldly issues.

The fun thing for me was that their dogs talk to each other and they try to tell the humans things.  One lady is always picking the wrong men so her dog decides to take care of this one.  She succeeds.  You'll need to read it to see what she does.

Despite all the problems, the women keep a stiff upper lift and things turn out happily at the end.  This story shows you that while things change in life as you grow older, you don't have to give up.  You just make adjustments.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Atone in Darkness by Alexis Morgan

She took this job because it will pay her school debt and offers a decent wage.  She never expected to find herself trying to keep a man alive after they torture him.  He heals himself, she helps him along.  But she also knows they don't plan on keeping either one of them alive.  How could they escape?

Pocket Star and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can purchase a copy now.

They can tell the guards are getting ready to clear out, so they dress up as guards and attempt to escape themselves.  The guards are after them.  His workmates are trying to rescue them.  Before he's saved, he's shot by a guard.  They haul him off for medical aid, she's not trusted.  When he calls for her, she's brought in to help him recover.

It's a good thing they have love to carry them through.  His family and friends will just have to adjust.

The Secret of Dinswood by Ellen Alexander

Emma's mother died when she was small.  Her stepmother is nice but her children take priority in her life.  And it seems like Emma's father is more interested in them, too.  So she's happy when she wins a scholarship and can go away to school.

BHC Press and Library Thing shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It will be published February 26th.

Emma enjoys most of her classes, makes new friends and likes the routine of school.  She's boarding there so she's left her family problems at home.  She's even got a new guy that she likes and wouldn't mind having for a boyfriend.  All is going well.  But things change.

The school is having problems with financing.  It may have to shut down because there is not enough money to stay open.  There's a rumor of a treasure belonging to a pirate in the past and the group of four decides to try to find it.  They don't have any luck and the clues are riddles.  Are they not getting the right answers to the riddles?  Is there really a treasure?

They do a dance for the students and her fella dances with everyone but her.  She gets mad at him and he's embarrassed by what he's done.  They end up not speaking to each other.  Then he finds out the school is going to shut down at the end of term.  Now they all have to start the treasure hunt again and they need to find it for the school.  What they don't know is that they are not the only ones looking...

This is a great book for middle graders and adults both.  I enjoyed this read and bet you will, too.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Adventures of Anatole by Nancy Willard, David McPhail

Anatole and his cat, Plumpet, have a lot of adventures together.  Some are dangerous.  Most are mind-boggling.  Are you ready for adventuring?

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

He's trying to find fennel for his grand mother's asthma and he has a ride on a ghost train,  then he meets a soldier who can't remember his name or where he grew up, he gets to ride a flying horse and more.  He plays a game of checkers with a man that cheats and manages to get him to take off his magic glasses.

His adventures aren't boring and he does his best to help everyone along the way.  His cat helps, too.  

This was a fun read.  Give it a try!


Decked Out for Christmas! by Ethan Long

The Christmas mice are loading up Santa's sleigh with all kinds of decorations...

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

When the mice are done, the sleigh looks very festive and so does Santa.

The illustrations are lovely and add to the charm of the board book.  This would make a lovely Christmas gift.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly

Bosch isn't really a cop anymore but he still investigates cases.  When he runs into Ballard, the case he's working intrigues her and she starts working on it in off hours.  They make a good team but it takes a while for trust to develop.  Can they solve a cold case nine years old?

Little, Brown and Company and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 30th.

Bosch has the mother of the dead girl living with him.  She's off drugs and she's still dealing with her daughter's death.  He's trying to help her but she's beyond help.

Ballard is still living with the sting of being shifted to the night crew because she turned her supervisor in for sexual harassment.  He's still got his position.  It doesn't seem fair but who cares except her?

They are going back through 3" x 5" cards the various cops made on cases hoping for clues.  There's boxes and boxes to go through.

Ballard takes Bosch out on some of her calls:  They found three boys on top of a strip club looking through the skylights.  Most of the calls were more serious than that.

There's a Mexican gang member trying to kill Bosch, Ballard is going after the killer and she gets caught in the garage  with the killer.  

Will either one of them be alive at the end of the story?  Read it and see. 

Murder Over Kodiak by Robin Barefield

Jane is standing on the dock awaiting arrival of the float plane.  Her assistant has gone to gather some clams they can test to see if that was what killed a woman who recently died.  The plane is overdue.  The longer it's overdue, the more she worries.  She didn't go because she's afraid to fly but now she feels guilty.  She hopes Craig makes it back safely.  He doesn't...

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

The description of the Kodiak area makes the story a pleasant read even if it's about murder.  That's beautiful country up there.

When Jane and the owner of the charter plane find it, it's apparent it has been blown up.  Who was the target and how did the bomb get on board?

It seems everyone on board except her assistant and the pilot had enemies.  One of the passengers was a Senator.  One owned the cannery.  One made business deals that unemployed a lot of people.  Any of them could have been the chosen victim but why kill them all?

As Jane asks questions, she finds herself getting answers she doesn't like.  She liked the Senator's son but he thinks she has the briefcase his parents had with them.  She tells him no but he doesn't believe her and there are bad men after him.  He gives her name up and now they're after her.

There's plenty of action, lots of danger and enough odd and maybe crazy people to keep your attention.  You can visit Alaska, learn about the flora and fauna and solve a mystery all at the same time...

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Black Pearl Dreaming by K. Bird Lincoln

Koi is taking her father back to his homeland of Japan.  She thinks he has dementia and wants to help him.  The closer they get to Japan, the more antsy he gets.  He tells her to stay away from the Black Pearl.  She has no idea what that is...

World Weaver Press sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

She soon learns there are warring political factions and they are using her father as a hostage to make her do what they want.  The Black Pearl is a dragon and they want to move it.  They want her to wake it enough so they can do that.  She almost loses herself in the dragon's dreams.  Her father comes to help her and he becomes unconscious but he's alive.  She gives the dragon peace which messes up the political factions.

Her boyfriend has lied to her, her father is comatose and she has to talk fast to get to go home.  Home is full of trouble, too.  Hope her dad wakes up soon!

Dig Your Grave by Steven Cooper

Someone is killing people and making them dig their own graves first.  The signs left are cryptic and indicate there will be more deaths.  There is no reason apparent for why they would they would be killed...

Seventh Street Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published October 30th.

When the next victim shows up, they try to tie the two men together.  They find they were students at the same university and they hung together in spring breaks and the like.  That doesn't mean they need to die.

Alex asks Gus to help.  Gus has visions but he doesn't always understand them.  He helps as much as he can, but the Spanish music he hears and the woman he sees falling don't make much sense at the moment.

Not only that:  Gus is being stalked by a rabid fan of his girlfriend.  Trying to solve a crime is hard to do when you have somebody after you.

In the meantime, Alex is trying to talk to a senator who might be the next victim.  The senator won't speak to him.  However, he changes his mind when he gets face-to-face with the killer.  That's where Alex finds the reason for the deaths...