Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Catching Up

I've been working on more mail art envelopes and postcards, answering letters, anticipating cooler weather (today's high is supposed to be 98), thinking about Halloween (after finishing Scaredy Cat and Pumpkin Head dolls, I need a new Halloween Eccentric to work on), contemplating a fall garden, and reading.  

I need to catch up on reviews, so I am making a start.  I wish I could do like Lark and make Haiku Reviews, but these are all pretty short.

Something Wicked by Kerry Wilkinson.  This is my first in the Andrew Hunter series, and I liked it.  Not as much as the Jessica Daniel series, but this was Andrew Hunter's first outing, and often a series improves.  The plot involves a creepy cult and isn't terribly realistic, but  I like Kerry Wilkinson and have enjoyed the Jessica Daniel series and several of his stand-alones.  


Detective Fiction.  2014; 2018.  Print length:  321 pages.

Holy Ghost is the eleventh book in John Sandford's Virgil Flowers series, but my first foray into this series.

A small town in Minnesota is dying--not an unusual plight for small towns anywhere that are off the main highways.  Wardell Holland and teenager John Jacob Skinner come up with an idea to put Pinion, MN back on the map, a sketchy ruse to attract tourists.  They are going to use the Catholic Church, a faked Marian appearance, and turn the town into draw for religious tourists.  ! How's that for a plan?

Unfortunately, a series of shootings, followed by several murders take place.  Virgil Flowers, an investigator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is called in.  What began as two serious injuries turns into a series of murders, and Virgil is at a loss to determine motive.  A number of interesting characters, some humorous conversations, and a long struggle to figure out what was really going on kept me involved.  I mean, one theory after another gets shot down, and Virgil gets frustrated (in a calm, laid back kinda way).

I've never read anything by John Sandford before, but I'll certainly be interested in his other series now--and since I liked all of the odd-ball characters in Holy Ghost, I will be checking the library for more Virgil Flowers.   Thanks to James Thane whose review of a Virgil Flowers book made me try this one! 

NetGalley/Penguin Group

Mystery/Crime.  Oct. 9, 2018.  Print length:  400 pages.

Deathly Portent is the second in the Lady Fan series, and I actually abandoned the first one within a chapter or two, but this was kind of fun.  

Description:  THE DEATHLY PORTENT is the second book in the Lady Fan Mystery series: historical romance murder mysteries with a courageous women sleuth embarking on a traditional British, private investigation in eighteenth-century London. 

Deathly Portent takes place in a small village.  Lady Fan and her husband have carriage trouble and when Lady Fan hears that a young woman is being accused of being a witch and murdering the local blacksmith, she is unable to restrain her curiosity and need to investigate.  Although there are murders, the book makes the most of the eccentric village characters, some humor, and a little romance.  

NetGalley/Sapere Books

Historical Mystery.  August 23, 2018.  Print length:  381 pages. 

I read Divided House by J.M. Dalgliesh last month and went straight into the next book in the Dark Yorkshire series.  Blacklight continues the investigations of DI Nathaniel Caslin--in the current case two women are missing.  One is the daughter of the local MP.

Nate Caslin still has problems, but his character rounds out a bit in this second book.  I'm ready for the next one!

Kindle Unlimited/Hamilton Press

Detective Fiction.  June 1, 2018.  Print length:  319 pages.

Whew!  Shorter than normal reviews, but I enjoyed all of these books.  

As always I love the fan mail James Preller receives from his young fans and his wonderful, gracious replies!   


  1. I've read one Sanford book and enjoyed it quite a bit. One of these days I will read more by him. I am glad you enjoyed The Deathly Portent. You are brave taking on the second book without finishing the first! I am not sure I would have taken that chance.

    1. :) I wasn't paying attention to the author when I requested it. I may have to go back and give the first book a chance.

  2. Short reviews are great, too! And the Dagliesh series sounds really good.

    1. :) I can't imagine how long it would take me to compose a haiku, Lark! The Dalgliesh series has been good, and I have the third book, too. :)

  3. I've been meaning to read a Kerry Wilkinson book but each time a visit to the library, I was too caught up by their new arrivals. ;) Hopefully next time.

    1. It is difficult to read all of the books we want! There is never a possibility of catching up because there are always new arrivals. :)

  4. I have been wanting to try Kerry Wilkinson -- but wasn't entirely sure, so your review isvery timely!

    1. I love the Jessica Daniel series by Wilkinson, and I think my favorite of his stand alone novels is The Girl Who Came Back. :)

  5. You've got a lot going on! Love the mini reviews and of course I haven't read any of these but so curious about these. Especially the Lady Fan series, I think I could totally get onboard with that one. I still owe you a letter. Gah... I so ridiculously behind on everything!

    1. :) I'm all over Halloween. Every year. I've been making Halloween mail and dragging down all my decorations, making a tiny Halloween tree, tags, witches hats, etc. Don't worry about owing a letter, Iliana, I know how busy life can be!