Showing posts with label mystery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mystery. Show all posts
March 19, 2014

Review - Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Thirteenth Mystery

Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Thirteenth Mystery
By Michael Dahl
Illustrator: Lisa K. Weber
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers
Pub. Date: March 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-1434265098
Pages: 214


Arriving in bookstores earlier this month is the third and final book in the Hocus Pocus Hotel trilogy.  I enjoyed reading the first two books in the series, so I was eager to read third installment from author Michael Dahl.

Charlie Hitchcock is pulled out of class by his so-called friend, Tyler Yu, because the magician, Abracadabra, is missing. Abracadabra, or as his friends call him, Brack, is a famous magician that owns the Abracadabra Hotel, and occasionally he does have a habit of faking his death.

Tyler Yu, along with his parents, lives and works at the hotel. Though he isn't exactly friends with Charlie Hitchcock, they do get together to solve the strange mysteries hidden in the hotel. And once again Tyler needs Charlie's help in finding out what happened to Brack.

March 8, 2014

Review - Distortion

Moonlighter Series, Book Two
By Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: March 11, 2014
ISBN: 978-0310283140
Pages: 352
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


I have seen Terri Blackstock's books in book catalogs, but I only started reading her books about two years ago. Her writing style is different than most Christian authors. Most books in the genre tend to be strictly a romantic story, but Terri Blackstock centers the majority of her books (at least the ones I have read) around a mystery of some sorts. Last spring, I reviewed her novel Truth Stained Lies, book one in the Moonlighter Series, and earlier this year I got a change to review a ARC of the second book in the series titled, Distortion.

Distortion centers on Juliet Cole, whose life is completely torn away when she witnesses her husband of fifteen-years gunned down before her very own eyes. Now a widow and the only parent to her boys, she is determined to keep them safe no matter what the costs.

What she thought was a random murder turns into something else when she discovers threatening voice-mails. Afraid for the lives of her children, Juliet turns toward her sisters, Holly and Cathy, for help, but the mystery may be too big for them to handle, so they once again enlist PI Michael Hogan to help them find the killers.

February 28, 2014

Review - Scraps Of Evidence

Scraps of Evidence
Quilts of Love Series (Book 14)
By Barbra Cameron
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: January 21, 2014
ISBN: 978-1426752780
Pages: 240
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


I automatically sign up for books that have an interesting plot, a nifty book cover/jacket or if I'm familiar with the author's other novels. When I receive the books, I stack them in a pile based on the blog tour date. I had just finished reading a book by author Barbara Cameron and then I began reading Scraps of Evidence without knowing until I was about halfway thru it that it was by the same author.

Scraps of Evidence centers on Tess, whom has worked really hard to become a police detective. She is assigned a new partner, Logan, shortly before investigating the death of a young woman, which the manner of death is similar to a high school friend of hers, who had died around prom years ago. Could it be the same killer?

While at first, Logan thinks his new partner is just the typical serious, non-emotional detective, but as he slowly gets to know Tess, he learns she has a completely different side to her. It seems when Tess isn't busy solving crimes and taking care of her Aunt Susan, she likes to spend her time quilting.

The only way to stop the serial killer may in fact lie in Tess's knowledge of quilting, especially the origins of a unique quilt.

February 17, 2014

Review - The Sinners' Garden

The Sinner's Garden
By William Sirls
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: December 17, 2013
ASIN: 978-140168738
Pages: 416
Blog Tour
Buy Link: Amazon


Last year, I reviewed The Reason by William Sirls, so I eagerly accepted to review his newest novel, The Sinners' Garden, which I received a free copy from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest thoughts.

The Sinners' Garden focuses on fourteen-year-old Andy Kemp, a young boy whose life has been in chaos due to his scared face. His father was very abusive, resulting in his disfigurement. Due to his low self-esteem, Andy hides himself from the world; huddling himself in a corner reading a book; trying to hide the fact that  he suffers from anger issues buried below the surface.

Andy has distant himself from everyone, including his mother, whom is forced to seek help from the boy's Uncle Rip, who spent some time behind bars, to set the boy straight. Uncle Rip wants to become a father figure to him, but easing Andy's pain is going to take a miracle from God, which is exactly what happens when Andy begins hearing odd music through his iPod.

January 19, 2014

Book review: The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Alexander McCall Smith
Pub. Date: 1998
ISBN: 978-1400034772
Pages:  235
public library sales
Reading Challenge
Buy Link


Let’s stir things a bit here.
I enjoy good vibrant, suspenseful mysteries. As I had not yet read any by the famous Alexander McCall Smith, and felt a bit ashamed about it, I decided to remedy the situation a few months ago, and finally set to read this popular book.
Mma Ramotswe is the only lady private detective in Botswana. She set up her agency with money from her dad’s big cattle sale, when he died. After telling us about her dad and her own education, the author invites us to follow the detective in cases for her first clients. Actually, she always feels she shouldn’t agree on helping with some cases, but ends up doing it anyway, wanting to help desperate clients.
I got quite of a shock, seeing how boring the book was ! 
December 14, 2013

Review - Unforeseeable by Nancy Mehl

Road to Kingdom - Book Three
By Nancy Mehl
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: September 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764209291
Pages: 336


Late one night in the summer of 2012, I couldn't sleep, so I grabbed a book from my TBR pile, which happened to be Inescapable by Nancy Mehl. I was instantly hooked into the intriguing plot, reading nearly 3/4 of the novel before finally falling asleep. Naturally, I was more than excited when I saw Unforeseeable was up for review and I eagerly signed up to review it. Honestly, I thought this was the second book in the Road to Kingdom series, but it is actually the third book. I ended up buying the real second installment, Unbreakable, as I wanted to read it before jumping into the third and final novel.

Set in Kingdom, Kansas, Callie Hoffman is starting to settle down in the small community. She is planning on wedding Levi Housler, who happens to the new pastor of the Kingdom Mennonite Church. She spends her days working at the town cafe side-by-side with her future sister-in-law, Lizzie Housler.

November 12, 2013

Review - Rules of Murder

Rules of Murder
A Drew Farthering Mystery
By Julianna Deering
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: August 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764210952
Pages: 336


In the style of Agatha Christie's classic mysteries, comes Rules of Murder, book one in A Drew Farthering Mystery series by Julianna Deering.

Drew Farthering has always loved reading a good mystery, especially the books by his favorite detective author, Ronald Knox. Little did he realize that he would be thrown into a real murder mystery when returns to his family home n Hampshire, England, where his mother and stepfather are throwing a party on the grounds of their country estate. The estate is filled with interesting guests, including the lovely and intelligent American, Madeline Parker, who happens to be his stepfather's niece.

Suddenly, one of the guests ends up dead. Don't forget this is the early 1900s, so there are no cell phones to call for the authorities. Like the game Clue, Drew Farthering plans on finding the murderer himself, but it isn't going to be easy, as no one wants to confess to the crime.

Luckily, Madeline was with him when the murder occurred, so he can rule her out as a prime suspect. Using the murder guidelines he learned from reading Knox's books, Drew along with his best-friend, Nick, (the family's butler's son) plan on unraveling the mystery before someone else ends up dead.
November 3, 2013

Review - Mrs. Pollifax on Safari

Mrs. Pollifax on Safari
Mrs. Pollifax On Safari
By Dorothy Gilman
(Book 5 of The Mrs. Pollifax series)
Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat
Publisher: Recorded Books
Pub. Date: 1992 - originally published in 1976
Duration: 6.75 hours
Buy Link
Reading Challenge


It is really time to rediscover Mrs. Emily Pollifax, who's been called Miss Marple's cousin. She's a very active grand-mother, member of a garden-club, growing roses and orchids, and practicing karate. She still feels bored however, so ends up going one day to the CIA to see if by any chance she could work for them. A grand-mother always carrying flowery hats, she definitely does not have the regular profile of a spy, and can so be very helpful.

In each book of the series, she is thus sent to special missions in a different country.

In Mrs. Pollifax on Safari, Emily is sent to Zambia. The CIA knows that an assassin nicknames Aristotle is preparing a coup against the president of that country, but they only have one clue: that he will meet with an accomplice on a safari, to discuss the details on their plans. So Emily's mission is simple: to go on that safari, and pretending to take lots of pictures of the wild animals around her, to take pictures of all the members of the safari, to try to identify the future murderer.

As in all her previous missions, things do not turn out that simple.

September 23, 2013

Review - Deadly Heat by Richard Castle

Deadly Heat
By Richard Castle
Published By: Hyperion
Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401324803


The fifth installment of the Nikki Heat series by Richard Castle (aka a fictional character on ABC's Castle) was released last week, somewhat tying in with tonight's sixth season premiere of Castle. All the characters in the books are inspired by characters from the series, like Jameson Rook is fictional character of Richard Castle and Detective Nikki Heat is loosely based on Detective Kate Beckett. The basic plot also resembles the series with journalist Jameson Rock shadowing Detective Nikki Heat on her murder cases, so he can get inspiration for his next Pulitzer Prize-winning article.

Deadly Heat opens up with a corpse in a pizza restaurant's oven (taken from the episode "Slice of Death"), in which Detective Heat, Rook, and her Twentieth Precinct team of investigators (Detective Ochoa - based on Castle's Detective Esposito, Detective Raley based on Castle's Detective Ryan, and medical examiner Lauren Parry based on Castle's Dr. Lanie Parish) are determined to track down a serial killer, but Heat has other things on her mind besides the case.

Another plot ripped from the television show is the mystery behind Nikki's mother's death, which turns out her mother was an ex-spy. Nikki is still hunting down the former CIA station chief who gave the order to murder her mother. With the help of Rook (who is now her lover), she goes on a quest to track down a rogue spy, who will hopefully give her answers, so she can  finally put her past to rest, but the spy may have bigger plans Nikki.

July 20, 2013

Review - Rosemary Cottage

Rosemary Cottage
By Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: July 9, 2013
ISBN: 978-1595547828
Pages: 336
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


In this sequel to last year's Tidewater Inn, Amy Lange (a midwife) travels to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to mourn the death of her brother, Ben, who was lost at sea from a surfing accident, at least that is what everyone else has told her happen to Ben. Amy does her own investigation and starts to wonder what actually happened to her brother, while at the same time she helps out the local community as a midwife.

Her only help in finding the truth behind her brother's disappearance may come from a coast guard officer, Curtis Ireland, who may not be up to the task as he currently has his hands full raising his young niece, Raine, after his sister, Gina, died in a boating accident. Normally, he wouldn't go out on a limb to help a complete stranger, but there is something special about Amy and he agrees to help with her investigation.

April 30, 2013

Review - Truth Stained Lies

Truth Stained Lies
Moonlighters Series
By Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: March 12, 2013
ISBN: 978-0310283133ASIN:
Pages: 320


In the murder mystery Truth Stained Lies from bestselling author Terri Blackstock, an ex-lawyer, Cathy Cramer, spends her day as a investigate blogger, writing posts on high-profile homicides. She uses her knowledge to help her brother, Jay, who is the #1 suspect in his wife's, Annalee, murder. To make matters worse, Cathy receives threatening notes on her blog.

Cathy is determined to find the real killer and enlists the aid of her two sisters, Holly and Juliet, and a private investigator, Michael. Holly is a taxi driver and Juliet is a stay-at-home mother of two little boys, but they act as private investigators to help clear Jay of murder. Michael is the brother of Cathy's ex-fiancé who was killed by a drug dealer. Together, they are determined to solve the mystery.
February 26, 2013

Review - Firefly Island

Firefly Island
By Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Pub. Date: February 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764208232
Pages: 384
Buy Link:
Blog Tour: 


Mallory Hale came from a wealthy family and pretty much had everything great happening in her life. She works on Capital Hill as a legislative assistant for a senior congressman. Out of nowhere, Daniel Webster Everson bumps into her as she is trying to grab the Clean Energy Bill papers that fell out of her grasp. Sparks fly instantly between the two. Before she knows it, she is now married to Daniel and she is now a step-mother to his three-year-old son, Nick.

Soon after the marriage, Mallory and her new family packed up their belongings and left our nation's capital for the small town of Moses Lake, Texas. Her lifestyle has completely changed as she now lives in a seen-better-days ranch full of rodents and other creepy crawlers. Mallory plans on making the ranch a home for her new husband and step-son as she adjusts to living in a small community that is full of secrets.

February 23, 2013

Review - Shattered

Alaskan Courage Book 2
By Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Pub. Date: Feb. 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764209833
Pages: 368
Buy Link:
Blog Tour:


In this exciting sequel to last year's Submerged, Piper McKenna is in for a surprise when her estranged brother, Reef, shows up at her doorsteps covered in blood. The very same night, not too far away, a young woman is found murdered and two witnesses confirm that Reef was at the scene of the crime. Despite the fact that Reef claims he is innocent of the murder, the sheriff arrests and charges him with murder.

Piper's relationship with her brother has many flaws, but she believes that he is telling the truth. She tries to get her friend, Deputy Landon Grainger, to help her prove Reef's innocence, but Landon is bound to enforce the law and is put in an awkward position.

To help her brother, Piper must uncover a mystery that will take her deep into the backcountry of Canada as she tries to unravel who the real killer is.

December 18, 2012

Review - Merry Christmas, Alex Cross

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
By James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pub. Date: November 12, 2012
ISBN: 978-0316210683
Pages: 352


It’s been several years since I have read a James Patterson novel. My grandmother was a huge fan of his books and after her death I have continued to buy each new release. The latest Alex Cross novel has been sitting on my coffee table for a few weeks. With some free time on my hands, I started reading it yesterday afternoon.

In his nineteenth outing, Detective Alex Cross is looking forward to spending a quite Christmas Eve with his family, but one phone call will change his holiday plans. A distraught man, Henry Fowler, forced himself into his ex-wife's home on Christmas Eve. Henry has taken her hostage along with her new husband, Dr. Barry Nicholson, and her three children. Alex knows that man is on a short fuse and could begin killing the hostages at any second, but Alex is their only hope of surviving the night.

Just as Alex is ready to return home to his family, an enemy from his past emerges from the shadows and intends on bring deaths millions.
November 26, 2012

Review - Resurrect

By David E. Stevens
Publisher: Monarch Books
Pub. Date:October 2, 2012
ISBN: 978-0857212498
Pages: 384
Buy Link:
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Resurrect has been sitting on my desk for a few months, as I received a free copy from Litfuse Publicity Group and Monarch Books in exchange for an honest review, and I recently got around to reading it. The book is written by Commander David E. Stevens, a navy fighter pilot, and by the fighter jet on the book cover, I thought Resurrect might be a war novel, but I was completely wrong. I don't want to give away too many spoilers, so I'll leave the synopsis short.

Navy Commander Josh Logan is the main character in Resurrect and he is testing out a new fighter jet. After a malfunction, Logan quickly avoids crashing into civilians' homes, but ejects from the jet a few moments too late.
November 20, 2012

Review - No Safe Harbor

No Safe Harbor
by Elizabeth Ludwig
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0764210396
Pub. Date: October 1, 2012
Pages: 336
Buy Links:
Blog Tour Link:


Set in the year 1897, Cara Hamilton thought that her twin brother, Eoghan, was deceased until she gets an unexpected letter from him, in which he urges her to come find him and warns her to trust no one. She boards the ship called the Servia and travels across the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland to America.

When Cara arrives in New York, she meets a stranger named Rourke Walsh. She takes refuge at a boardinghouse where she befriends most of the women whom are living there, all except Deirdre. Why would a woman that hardly knew her, hate her so much? There has to be here than meets the eye about this woman. Cara is determined to learn more about Deirdre, especially when she catches Deirdre prying in her room.
November 5, 2012

Review: Broken Build

Broken Build
By Rachelle Ayala
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 978-1480010512
Pub. Date: October 5, 2012
Pages: 330


From the author of Michal's Window comes a new suspenseful thriller titled Broken Build, set in the high-tech world with backstabbing and deception around every corner. The author, Rachelle Ayala, had sent me a free copy to review after I had previously reviewed her biblical romantic tale, Michal's Window. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect since this book is set in modern times.

The main character, or should I saw heroine, is Jennifer Cruz, a woman with a rocky criminal past, who has now gone to great manners (plastic surgery, etc) to disguise herself into a new identity, Jen Jones. She takes a job as a computer techno whiz for David Jewell, a software CEO, a man she deeply hurt six years ago in her past life. Of course he doesn't recognize her now. As she spends time with David, their old romantic feelings start to resurface, but she can never erase her past.
October 25, 2012

ARC Audio Review - Killer's Law

Killer's Law
By L. Ron Hubbard
Directed by Jim Meskimen and Tait Ruppert
Voice Cast: Jennifer Darling, Brooke Bloom, Corey Burton, Bob Caso, R.F. Daley, John Mariano, Jim Meskimen, Enn Reitel, Richard Rocco and Tait Ruppert
Studio: Galaxy Press
ISBN-13: 978-1592122769
Release Date: October 22, 2012
Running Time: Approx. 2 hours


The 1930s and 1940s were known as the golden age, a time when many unknown writers published their work in Pulp Fiction magazines as they were paid around a penny a word. Unlike the higher-class magazines that were printed on glossy paper with higher production values, pulp magazines were published on cheap brown pulp paper and featured adventures, science fiction tales, mysteries, and many other stories.

Galaxy Press has been releasing the short stories written by author L. Ron Hubbard that were published during the golden age under the Stories of a Golden Age line of paperbacks and audiobooks. They nicely sent me a free audiobook of the "Killer's Law" for this review.

"Killer's Law" was originally published in the September 1947 issue of New Detective Magazine, where Sheriff Kyle travels from Deadeye, Nevada to Washington D.C. to personally deliver evidence against a rich copper king to Senator Meringue. Suddenly, Kyle is knocked unconscious. When he awakes he is surrounded by policemen asking questions and reporters snapping pictures. It seems that the Senator was murdered and Kyle is holding the murder weapon.
October 4, 2012

Review - Submerged

By Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0764209826
Pub. Date: May 1, 2012
Pages: 320


In this debut novel by Dani Pettrey, Bailey Craig finds herself returning to her hometown of Yancey, Alaska to attend her aunt's funeral, who died in a plane crash. Coming back home is not easy thing to do as she had a bad reputation of being "easy" when she left. She turned her life around after leaving Yancey and now is a devoted Christian, but forgetting her past mistakes is a difficult thing to do.

While she is grieving for her sudden loss, she runs into an old flame, Cole McKenna. She broke the guy's heart years ago. Cole is now a devoted Christian himself, but he can't come to forgive Bailey for the way she treated him. He owns a successful business with his siblings and he also helps out with the local Search & Rescue crew as a diver.

Two more bizarre deaths occur and Cole suspects that the deaths are related to her aunt's murder. The police then determined that her aunt's plane was tampered with. Bailey and Cole work together to unravel the mystery that is behind the murders, but in order to this they must resolve their feelings for each other.
October 1, 2012

Review - The Twisted Window

The Twisted Window
by Lois Duncan
Publisher: Open Road Young Readers
Pub. Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 194
Buy Link:
The Twisted Window (Laurel-Leaf Suspense Fiction)


The Twisted Window is written by the teen thriller-master, Lois Duncan. The book was original published back in 1987, but has been released onto Kindle with a few minor changes, the mention of cell phones, DVDs, etc. I've been a Lois Duncan fan every since I read I Know What You Did Last Summer (the book, not the movie) when I was a teenager, so when I saw this book up on Netgalley, I had to review it.

Tracy Lloyd had recently lost her mother, her father practically abandoned her, and she now resides in a small town with her aunt and uncle. The plot begins with a strange boy named Brad started staring at her during lunch hour at school. Brad is from Albuquerque, but he doesn't exactly go to her school. He follows her around and eventually asks her out. She thinks it is a date, but it isn't what he had in mine.


Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

Not that good but at least read the blurb.

Leave it on the shelf!

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