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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Mix of Genres

The Last Trial by Robert Bailey proved even better than the first book in the series.  I really liked The Professor, the first book, but somehow missed the second in the series.  This is a legal thriller, but most of the book is about the crime, the characters, and the attempt to discover evidence of innocence. 

The main characters, Professor Tom McMurtrie and Bo Haynes, will have you rooting for them and worrying about them as they involve themselves in a dangerous situation.  Rick Drake, McMurtrie's partner, plays a smaller part in this book because of a personal tragedy. 

Football fans will find a comforting element as both the fictional McMurtrie and Bo Haynes played for the legendary Bear Bryant.  Real players like Jo Namath and Kenny Stabler who also played for Alabama under Bear Bryant get a mention for verisimilitude.  

I really liked this one and will have to get a copy of Between Black and White.  

From the description:  Former law professor Tom McMurtrie has brought killers to justice, and taken on some of the most infamous cases in Alabama’s history. Now he’s tackling his greatest challenge.
McMurtrie’s old nemesis, Jack Willistone, is found dead on the banks of the Black Warrior River. Willistone had his share of enemies, but all evidence points to a forgotten, broken woman as the killer. At the urging of the suspect’s desperate fourteen-year-old daughter, McMurtrie agrees to take the case.

NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer

Legal Thriller.  May 8, 2018.  Print length: 400 pages.

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews was recommended by Literary Feline who has been following the series.  It was something of a palate cleanser after the drama of The Last Trial to switch to a light and fun romp with werewolves, vampires, other magical creatures, and a sentient Bed and Breakfast.

Dina is the Inn Keeper who manages the Victorian B & B (The Gertrude Hunt) for otherworldly creatures.  She's a feisty woman who wants her Inn to be a success, but has some difficulty abiding by the traditional neutrality of Inn Keepers-- especially when some monstrous creature begins killing neighborhood dogs.  

Dina has a back story that is introduced and will be influential in future books, but mostly this is a kind of mashup of urban fantasy and science fiction with a light touch and plenty of humor.

I look forward to Sweep in Peace.  Yep, Dina has a magic broom.  :)

Kindle Unlimited.

Fantasy/Science Fiction.  2013.  Print length:  235 pages.

Alter Ego by Brian Freeman is the 9th book in the Jonathan Stride series, but the first one I've read.  

A film crew is making a movie of one of Stride's old cases and Stride is invited to the set.  Watching the filming is a little problematic for Jonathan because it reminds him of the terrible case in which he was able to save only the last victim.

The actor playing Jonathan Stride in the movie is a Hollywood legend and the screenwriter is the son of the man convicted of the murders.  While Jonathan is initially impressed with the actor's apparent warmth, he quickly realizes that career and image mean more to Dean Casperson than anything else.  

When an intern goes missing from the set, Jonathan is asked to find her.  As events develop, there are actually two story lines that may or may not be connected and plenty of twists and turns.  

Alter Ego functioned perfectly well as a stand alone.   I'm interested in more about Serena, Cat, and Maggie Bei, but only because I know they have been part of earlier books.  Their characters are pretty well-defined in this novel, but since I liked them, I will be checking on earlier novels.  There is also a character that is evidently a lead in another series (Cab Bolton), but helps Maggie when she is in Florida.

Read in March.  


Police Procedural.  May 1, 2018.  Print length:  400 pages.  


  1. I think it is great to find a series that one likes with other books already published and ready to be explored. I have a handful of series that I am working my way through I rely on them for when I am looking for a “guaranteed” good read.

    1. :) It is always good to have a guaranteed good read available!

  2. I want to try the Ilona Andrews series; it sounds like a lot of fun. :)

  3. I'd like to read the Ilona Andrews series, too. It sounds like a fun one. :)

    1. I enjoyed it. A fun supernatural caper. :)

  4. You always intriduce me to some wonderfully new mystery writers! The Stride series and The Last Trial are new to me and sound fantastic!

  5. You had some great variety! I read a Freeman book ages ago. It might have been the first one in the series actually. I remember thinking it was quite fast-paced.

  6. I am glad you enjoyed Clean Sweep. :-) It is a light refreshing change, isn't it? I am glad to hear you enjoyed The Last Trial. I've heard only a little bit about it, but think I might want to read it as well.