Wednesday, December 30, 2020
2. It is supposed to be a series featuring LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan and murder suspect Sam Easton, but as it turns out, Nolan plays a pretty minor role. Sam and Melody Traeger take over the novel.
3. I knew the villain on his first appearance. That's fine if the author intends for you to, but I think it was supposed to come as a surprise.
Deep into the Dark kept my interest because of Sam and Melody, but the plot was not believable. Either plot, I guess, because there was a secondary plot thread.
The eccentric and endearing characters that helped make Monkeewrench such a fun series are absent in Deep into the Dark, which is more of a straight forward crime novel.
If I had not been hoping for some of the fresh and funny aspects of Monkeewrench, I would have liked it better, but the author (whose mother and partner for the Monkeewrench series has died) is entitled to take a new path with a different vibe.
Read in August. Blog review scheduled for Dec. 30, 2020
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press.
Crime. Jan. 12, 2021. Print length: 352 pages.
Monday, December 28, 2020
Another attempt to catch up on reviews.
Ashley mentioned the Between books by W.R. Gingell a while back. I knew I'd really liked Wolfskin by Gingell (Intisar Khanani recommended Gingell's books) and had also enjoyed Masque. So I thought I'd give the Between series a chance.
How embarrassing. I'd already read the first two and didn't realize it until I started reading Between Jobs, book 1, but the first page brought much of it back...well, certain scenes and the characters back, there was much I didn't remember. I raced through it again and went for Between Shifts, book 2, which I'd also read.
I moved on to books 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7! Book 3 (Between Floors) was even better, and I couldn't stop! They were all free from Kindle Unlimited, and they carried me through December. Briefly: a teenage human's house is taken over by 2 Fae and a Vampire (investigators). Murder mysteries in an Urban Fantasy. If you enjoy Urban Fantasy, this may be for you, too!
Far Gone is the second book in the series, and I haven't read the first book. Maybe that would have helped, but it still worked fine as a stand alone.
When a North Dakota couple is shot down in their home in cold blood, the sleepy town of Hagen wakes with a jolt. After all, it’s usually such a peaceful place. But Detective Kylie Milliard knows better.
Despite not handling a homicide investigation in years, Kylie is on the case. A drop of blood found at the scene at first blush promises to be her best evidence. But it ultimately only proves that someone else witnessed the murder—and the results are shocking: the DNA reveals a familial match to a crime involving local nurse Lily Baker from over a decade ago. This unveiling stirs new nightmares for Lily as she’s forced to reckon with the most traumatic time in her life.
I'd give this one a 3/5. Maybe if I'd read the first book, I'd have been more invested in the characters.
NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer
Detective. July 6, 2021.
I love Gardner's D.D. Warren series, but I'm not sure about this one.
from description: Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will--searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.
From description: A lyrical novel set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution that follows a father’s quest to reunite his family before his precocious daughter’s momentous birthday, which Garth Greenwell calls “one of the most beautiful debuts I’ve read in years.”
I've read Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress and Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China and maybe a couple of others about the Cultural Revolution, but those two made the most impression.
Swimming Back to Trout River is an excellent and worthwhile addition for anyone interested in the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) or interested in just reading a beautifully written book. This is another NetGalley book and won't be published until May, so when I review it, I'll schedule the review for later.
Sunday, December 27, 2020
A cozy mystery set in the 1920's with Nell Drury as the chef in a historic old mansion. I found Nell a little annoying, especially at first. The dialog is a little stiff, the humor, forced.
New neighbors to Wychbourne Court are not quite fitting in. Sir Gilbert and his wife Lady Saddler host an artistic event. A murder, a friend of Nell's who suffers from shell shock is arrested. The Wychbourne Court crowd, both upstairs and downstairs, are sure that Mr. Bailey is innocent.
Cozy mysteries are hit or miss with me. This one was a miss.
Read in Sept.; blog review scheduled for Dec. 27.
Cozy Mystery. Jan. 5, 2021. Print length: 224 pages.
I read Goldberg's first Eve Ronin book (Lost Hills) in January and enjoyed it.
In this second entry, a brush fire reveals scorched bones and further investigation reveals more bones. As Eve and her partner Duncan investigate, the situation may prove dangerous as secrets are uncovered. The relationship between Eve and Duncan, who is due to retire shortly, helps make this series more engaging. Eve needs Duncan's experience; she is aware of her own inexperience, but she does tend to annoy others and is insistent when she feels she is right.
There is already a good deal of resentment over Eve's promotion, add to that her suspicion about corrupt members of the department, and Eve finds herself in a dangerous position.
I look forward to the next book.
Read in Sept.; blog review scheduled for Dec. 27.
NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer
Police Procedural. Jan. 5, 2o21. Print length: 287 pages.
Monday, December 21, 2020
Their Frozen Graves by Ruhi Choudhary, Cold Wind by Paige Shelton, Noose by Eric Red, They Disappeared by Joy Ellis
I'm trying to catch up with some reviews before 2021!
Their Frozen Graves is the second book in this series featuring Detective Mackenzie Price. Although I've not read the first book, the book works as a stand alone.
A twisty plot and an engrossing read. I liked Mackenzie and may look for the first book.
"When two bodies are found dumped in a vast lake in Lakemore, Washington, Detective Mackenzie Price is first on the scene. She identifies one of the victims as Katy Becker, a local known for her work helping the community. The other victim looks strikingly similar.
Still grappling with a shocking revelation from her past, Mack is only too happy to throw herself into the case. But when she goes to break the news to Katy’s husband, the investigation takes an unexpected turn: Katy is very much alive, and has never met the women who resemble her so closely."
Mystery/Police Procedural. Jan. 7, 2021
Cold Wind is another "second book" that provided enough background that it wasn't necessary to have read the first book.
from description: "Beth Rivers is still in Alaska. The unidentified man who kidnapped her in her home of St. Louis hasn’t been found yet, so she’s not ready to go back."
Benedict, Alaska seemed a safe place for Beth to stay hidden because her kidnapper is still at large. Secure in the fact that only a few people know about Beth and her situation, she is able to continue writing her thrillers under a pseudonym.
When two eight-year-old girls knock on the door to her office, Beth realizes that they either cannot or will not explain who they are or how they got there. They are silent.
Oh, and the body of a woman is found in a trapper's shed. Beth gets busy trying to solve both mysteries. She wants to find the girls' parents and to discover who the dead woman is why she was killed.
I liked most of the book, but found the plot complications too far-fetched. Not that you know this until the conclusion, but still.
The characters and setting appealed to me, but the resolution was disappointing because I couldn't get past all the coincidences in the explanation.
Netgalley/St. Martin's Press
Mystery. Dec. 8, 2020.
The cover really speaks to you, doesn't it? <grin> In many ways the book lives up to the cover. More Louis L'Amour than Larry McMurtry, it is a pulp fiction Western with lots of violent deaths.
Joe Noose is a bounty hunter who brings culprits in alive. Not all bounty hunters want to bother with the "alive" part, and a group of twelve bounty hunters follow Noose. When Noose finds and captures the bank robber, they charge in. Killing the bank robber and taking his body in for the bounty.
Noose follows them into town. The bad guys end up killing a U.S. Marshall then frame Noose for the murder. Now, Noose has a bounty on his head and twelve men in pursuit.
Uh oh. For Noose to save his own life and to get justice, a lot of bad bounty hunters are going to have to die.
They Disappeared is the latest in the Jackman and Evans series by Joy Ellis.
Ellis is a favorite of mine for her books set in the fens on the east coast of England.
In this latest installment, Orac, the IT boss, has gone missing and everyone is concerned.
The second thread involves three missing urban explorers. Who is targeting these young men and why?
Joy Ellis' plots keep my attention, and her characters have dimension. I always speed right through her books.
Police Procedural. Nov. 30, 2020.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Defending the Galaxy, the final book in the Sentinels of the Galaxy trilogy by Maria V. Snyder, offers another fun and exciting adventure. Snyder is able to take a pretty odd and fantastical premise involving the terra cotta warriors and turn it into a multi-planet space conspiracy full of suspense.
Funny, bawdy, farcical, with a lot of bloody incidents, The Blacksmith Queen is...well, I'm not entirely sure how to classify it. Parody/Fantasy? Fun!
Friday, December 11, 2020
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Alexandra has just taken charge of her new team, a motley crew of screw-ups at the Arizona Field Office, the latest in a series of forgettable assignments.
Friday, December 04, 2020
I read this about two weeks ago after Les mentioned it. An epic tale of the Old West that concentrates not on the romantic aspects of the Western genre, but on the difficulties of making a life in a dangerous land.
Tuesday, December 01, 2020
Jumping from one holiday to the next. Our Thanksgiving was surprisingly good, but now the countdown to Christmas which, I think, will be harder for us. We are taking it one day at a time. We've started decorating in hopes that color and memories will keep us cheerful throughout the season.
We finally got some cold weather, so my husband built a fire and put on Christmas music. Fee also bought me some Christmas pajama bottoms. Size XS. I laughed and laughed! In fact, every time I think about it, I cackle. Fee is a wonderful and thoughtful husband, but not very observant :) I've been debating putting them in with the Goodwill stuff...or sewing up the bottoms of the legs and hanging them for a Christmas stocking!
I'm really behind on reviews. Because I'm so busy. ??? Well, busy reading, anyway.Chasing the Shadows was another fun romp with Lyra, who has survived the attack on her life. To keep Jarren from realizing that Lyra is still alive, she has been given a funeral and a new name--Ara Lawrence, and Ara has a new job in security.