Showing posts with label mystery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mystery. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

[Review]—'Shattered' by James Patterson & James O. Born

It's hard to believe that James Patterson's enthralling "Michael Bennett" series has expanded to 14 books. The last 15 years have flown by, and it only seems like yesterday that I started reading Step on a Crack. Here I am, nearly 41 years old, reviewing the series' most recent volume, Shattered, co-written by James O. Born (his fifth in the series).

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

[Review] - 'Shadows Reel' by C.J. Box

I've seen C.J. Box's novels numerous times in bookstores' bestseller section but was never interested in reading one of his stories until I started watching the Joe Pickett series on Paramount +. The television series debuted exclusively for Spectrum cable services last December. "Exclusively" is used loosely since Paramount + is streaming the show. Paramount Television produces Joe Pickett, so it's a no-brainer why the series is on there. After watching a few episodes, I had the urge to read a Joe Pickett novel, or specifically the first book, Open Season. My first instinct was to check my local library, and there wasn't one single C.J. Box title. There are currently 22 Joe Pickett novels and a short story collection, 5 (soon to be 6) Hoyt/Dewell mysteries, and three standalone novels, all written by C.J. Box, and my library doesn't carry any of them. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

[Review] - A Relative Murder by Jude Deveraux

It might seem strange that I'm reviewing a Jude Deveraux novel, but I grew up with the author's books. My mother was a fan of Deveraux's historical romances and kept the books on a homemade wooden bookcase in the living room of my childhood home. After running out of new books to read - I grabbed A Knight in Shining Armor off the shelf and read it. I believe I was a nine-year-old at the time. Yeah, I was probably a bit too young to be reading romances, but that was my introduction to Jude Deveraux.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

[Review] - Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill

About the Book 

Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves—or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he’s been sent to track down? 

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name--and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors’ threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn’t all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home--and the truth. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

[Review] - The Debutante's Code by Erica Vetsch

Available on Kindle and Paperback

About the Book

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series.

Newly returning from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn't spent much time with her parents and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They've been living double lives as government spies--and they're only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family's legacy.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

[Review] - Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon

Once upon a time, Christian romance mysteries were unique reads for me. Well, that's until the subgenre became crowded with too many new authors, and the stories became too generic for my liking. I tuned out sometime in 2017, around the time Revell published Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon. Revell sent me a review copy, and it's been sitting on a desk collecting dust along with a few other books. At long last, I picked it up, cracked it open, and read it. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Review - On St. Nick's Trail by M.K. Scott

* Goodreads * Amazon *


Old Saint Nick is missing, sparking shenanigans in the town of Santa Claus.

Private Eye Nala Bonne and her trusty crime-fighting rescue dog Max spend their days surfing social media for telltale signs of disability fraud and philandering husbands, but when a lucrative opportunity to investigate something entirely different, Nala readily agrees to take the case. The task: find a missing Santa impersonator.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Review - The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg

About the Book

A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth a rush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times—but from his life in the late 1800s. After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed until he also discovers the meaning of why he was able to be preserved on ice for over a century. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Finding a New Book To Read

*This is a sponsored post.

Reading is a relaxing activity that allows you to live in a different place and time for a while. There are many genres on the market that can hold your attention and keep you entertained. Here are some popular themes to consider.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Review - 'Tis The Season Murder by Leslie Meier

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

'Tis The Seasons Murder
by Leslie Meier

Just in time for the holiday season is 'Tis The Season Murder (Kensington Books; $12.95; 410 pages) by New York Times bestselling author Leslie Meier, featuring two Lucy Stone Holiday Mysteries — New Year's Eve Murder and Christmas Carol Murder.

New Year's Eve Murder

After the annual parade of Christmas presents in Tinker’s Cove has ended, Lucy Stone and her daughter are ready to ring in the new year in style. Elizabeth has won mother/daughter winter makeovers in Manhattan from Jolie magazine! But the all-expenses-paid trip is bound to have some hidden costs—and one of them is murder. Soon it will be up to Lucy to dress down a killer before the ball drops in Times Square . . .

Christmas Carol Murder

Lucy Stone is excited about acting in the town’s production of A Christmas Carol. But a real-life Scrooge has everyone feeling frosty. While Tinker’s Cove has fallen on hard times, Downeast Mortgage owners Jake Marlowe and Ben Scribner are raking in profits from misfortune. So when Marlowe is murdered, the suspects are many. But Scribner claims Marlowe’s ghost has come to warn him of his own impending demise—and he’s soon receiving death threats. Now Lucy will have to solve the case faster than she can say “Bah! Humbug!”. . .

Where To Purchase?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fall Reads: A Willing Murder: A Medlar Mystery

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mira Books; 336; $26.99; Amazon
Now available from Mira Books is the murder mystery novel A Willing Murder: A Medlar Mystery by Jude Deveraux, an author who has written dozens of historical romances, such as A Knight in Shining Armor.

A Willing Murder is the first book in a brand-new mystery series. It centers around Kate Medlar, a young realtor who packs her bags and moves to Lachlan, Florida to be closer to her estranged Aunt Sara, who happens to be a bestselling author.Kate had everything planned out: she has a new job at a local real estate business and Aunt Sara has a room already set up for her. However, there is one thing Kate didn't have planned - meeting Jackson "Jack" Wyatt.

Jack is almost like a grandson to Sara, who was good friends with his late grandfather and she's a partner in his construction business. When a freak accident injured Jack and killed his half-brother, he moved in with Sara while he healed his wounds.

After two female skeletons are found buried under a tree on one of Jack's properties, his past comes back to haunt him. He knows who the victims are, a mother and daughter who have been missing for twenty years. Jack has a heartfelt connection to the daughter and he makes it his personal mission to find the murder, with a little help from Kate and Sara.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Summer Reads: The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble

Thomas Nelson; 340 pages; $15.99; Amazon
I was bit under the weather last week with three canker sores, so I spent a lot time indoors resting. While I didn't have a whole lot of energy, I did have enough energy to do some much needed reading, which included The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble. The book is part of the Lavender Tides series. The book has been sitting in my needs-to-be-reviewed pile for awhile now. Actually, I believe I had received the book back in January, but due to a few personal issues in my life, I haven't gotten back into reading until recently, so you'll be seeing more reviews on this blog soon.

Set in the small town of Lavender Tides, the home of four thousand residents, the novel centers on Shauna McDade, a helicopter pilot and widowed mother of one child, Alex. Her husband died in a climbing accident over a year ago and she's still mourning his death. 

Shockingly, Shauna's helicopter charter business partner, Clearance, is murdered in an explosion. Shortly before his death, he had given a package to Shauna with instructions to give it to his wife, Marilyn. While it seemed to be an accident at first glance, Zach Bannister, a firefighter, believes that foul play is at play here. After Marilyn is found murdered, it's obvious that Shauna and her son are now in danger. 

Final Thoughts

Monday, February 19, 2018

Winter Reads: Last Stop In Brooklyn: A Mary Handley Mystery

Broadway Books; 313 pages; $15

I'm always a sucker for a good mystery, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to review the book Last Stop In Brooklyn: A Mary Handley Mystery by Lawrence H. Levy. It's a sequel to Second Street Station and Brooklyn On Fire.

Set in 1894, Last Stop In Brooklyn centers on Mary Handley, a private detective who finds herself traveling to Coney Island on an "adultery" case. Out of the blue, Mary is approached by a man requesting her to help her brother who was convicted of killing a prostitute in a New York hotel room.

Of course, Mary agrees to take on the case, which leads her to Thomas Byrnes, the New York City detective that swears he put the right killer behind bars. As she digs deeper in the case, the more she believes that Jack the Ripper could possible be the real killer.

Mary will have to team up with reporter Harper Lloyd and a few others, as she tries to unravel the murder mystery.

Final Thoughts

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Winter Reads: Long Black Veil

 Broadway Books; 308 pages; Amazon
Typically, I don't read a book right away after receiving a review copy, but that wasn't the case with Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan. The book arrived in the mail on Tuesday afternoon and I ended up reading several chapters that night. I had the story on my mind throughout that night, so I finished reading it yesterday morning.

Long Black Veil is a murder mystery thriller that spans over thirty-five-years. It all began in 1980 when six college friends (Jon Casey, Rachel Steinberg, Masie Lenfest, Tripper Pennypacker, Wailer Curtin, and Quentin Pheaney), a boy (Lenny Lenfest), and a college professor (Nathan Krystal) went inside the abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania in the middle of the night. They only wanted to take a look around the supposedly "haunted" prison, but they ended up staying the entire night, as someone traps them inside the place. Eight people went inside the prison, but only seven come out the next morning.

Thirty-five-years later, a body is found inside a prison cell's wall and the prime suspect is celebrity chef John Casey. As the media gets a hold of the story, the remaining survivors of the1980 incident come aware that one of their friends died that night. If Casey is innocent, then who is the murderer?

The answer to the truth might lie within Judith, a fifty-something journalist who knows a bit too much about what occurred that miserable summer night in 1980.

The paperback edition has a Reader's Guide and a few recipes in the back of the book.

Final Thoughts

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review - The Black Book by James Patterson & David Ellis

Little Brown & Company; 448 pages; $28; Amazon

For anybody who follows this blog regularly, it should be no surprise to find me reviewing a James Patterson novel.

Yes, I like reading mysteries, and yes, Mr. Patterson happens to be one of my favorite authors. Of course that hasn't always been the case, as I started reading his books around 2003 or 2004 after my grandmother gave me a few Patterson titles to read. I would buy each new title, read it, and then pass it on to her. After my grandmother's death in 2009, I've continued to buy every new Patterson title, well, the ones that I don't receive a review copy for on here.

This week I finished reading The Black Book by James Patterson & David Ellis. Despite being disappointed with Never Never (read my review here), my expectations for this one were high, mostly due to the fact that I had heard good things about the novel before I even started reading page one.

The Black Book starts off with a bizarre crime scene involving one male and two female victims. The male is the only one to survive the crime, and he happens to be Detective Billy Harney, the son of Chicago's chief of detectives, and the twin brother to Hatti, who is also a cop.

The novel flips back and forth from the past to present. In the past, Billy and his adrenaline-junkie partner, Detective Kate Fenton, are investigating a murder that leads them to an exclusive Chicago brothel that caters to rich and powerful. Their only lead to the killer might be inside a black book containing all the brothel's clients, but of course the book is missing.

In the present, as Billy recovers from his wounds, he tries to piece together the final hours that lead to the death of two women (I'm not naming names here as I don't want to give away too many spoilers!), but proving his innocence isn't going to be easy as he can't remember what actually happened that fatal night.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Spring Reads: Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies

Putnam; 320 pages; $27.00; Amazon
Available today in bookstores from Putnam is Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies written by Ace Atkins, which marks the 45th title in the popular Spenser series. (Well, the 46th if you can't 2009's Chasing the Bear: A Young Spenser Novel.)

Created by the late Robert B. Parker, the Spenser novels centers on a Boston private detective named Spenser, who's first name is never mentioned in the books. The first novel in the series, The Godwulf Manuscript, was published in 1973, and quickly became popular with mystery readers. Many sequels followed, as well as a short-lived television series called Spenser: For Hire (1985 - 1988) starring Robert Urish as Spenser. A spin-off television series, A Man Called Hawk, aired for only 13 episodes. Four made-for-TV sequel movies aired during the 1990s. The novels Small Vices, Thin Air, and Walking Shadow were later adapted into made-for-TV movies on A&E starring Joe Mantegna as Spenser.

After Robert B. Parker's death in 2010, journalist/writer Ace Atkins was picked to continue writing the Spenser novels. Little White Lies marks the 6th Spenser novel written by Mr. Atkins. The other Spenser titles written by him are: Lullaby, Wonderland, Cheap Shot, Kickback and Slow Burn.

Spenser's newest case in Little White Lies has him helping Connie Kelly, a woman who gave a three hundred thousand dollars investment to her online boyfriend, Mr. Brooke Welles. Of course right after she gave Welles the money, he broke all ties with her and disappeared without a trace. After confiding with her shrink, Dr. Susan Silverman, Connie contacted Spenser to investigate Welles.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Reads: Never Never by James Patterson

Little Brown & Company; 400 pages; Amazon

Yes, keeping up with each new James Patterson release can be a little difficult with at least two books, as well as the Bookshots ebooks, being released every month. The author's thriller Never Never, co-written with Candice Fox, was released in January, and it introduced a brand new character, Detective Harriet "Harry" Blue - well sorta, since technically the character was first introduced in the "Black & Blue" Bookshots novella.

In the novel, Harry Blue is a detective for the Sex Crimes Department in Sydney, Australia. She is shell-shocked when she learns that her brother, Sam, has been arrested for the Georgia River Three murders.

Despite wanting to do anything she can to prove her brother's innocence, her boss orders not to get involved with the case and gives her a new assignment out of the city. She's assigned a simple missing-person case, but there is one catch - she has to work with a new partner, Edward Whittaker, who is more or less there to babysit her while the Feds are investigating her bother.

Final Thoughts: Honestly, it took me over a month to read Never Never, which is probably the longest it has ever taken me to read a James Patterson novel. The problem for me is that I couldn't connect with the main character, aka Harry Blue. Her, along with most the other characters, felt very flat and one-dimensional with absolutely no character development; just a wooden by-the-book character similar to the ones on television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Reads: Murder Is No Accident by A. H. Gabhart

Revell; 351 pages; $13.99; Amazon
Now available from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, is the murder-mystery novel Murder Is No Accident, book three in the Hidden Springs Mysteries, by author A.H. Gabhart.

Probably like many book lovers, I have always enjoyed reading a good mystery, especially when there is a cat on the cover. (Note: I'm also a cat lover.) If you happened to notice, there is a cat on the cover of Murder Is No Accident, which kinda explains why the novel appealed to me to begin with. Though, actually, I have read a few of the Shaker novels by the author, so I was already familiar with her writings.

This novel centers on a teenager named Maggie Greene (no she's not the same character from The Walking Dead) who happens to be at the right place at the wrong time. She had gotten permission to stay at the old Chandler mansion from Miss Fonda, an elderly woman who is now in a senior living facility. Maggie happened to be in the mansion the same day that real estate agent Geraldine Harper is murdered there. Yes, she could go to the police and tell them what she knows, but she thinks everyone would believe she was trespassing.

On the case to solve the mystery is Sheriff Michael Keane, who at first thinks the murder was a tragic accident, but he quickly believes otherwise after another body is discovered.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Review - Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

Revell; 352 pages; $15.99; Amazon
Now available in bookstores from Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group) is the crime thriller Justice Delayed, book one in the Memphis Cold Case series, by author Patricia Bradley.

I have a habit of picking out new books to read just by their cover arts alone, but this isn't the case with Justice Delayed, as I don't think the cover art is very good for it. To me, it looks very bland. The only reason I signed up to review the novel is because I had read a couple other titles by the author in the past.

The novel centers around Andi Hollister, a crime reporter who's sister was murdered eighteen years ago. After a letter surface with evidences that suggests the murderer might be innocent, Andi teams up with Will Kincaide, a detective at the Memphis Cold Case Unit, to seek out the truth.

With the accused murderer's execution date looming just around the corner, Andi and Will race against time to unravel the mystery and track down the real killer.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Winter Reads: Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering

Bethany House; 320 pages; $14.99; Amazon
Probably like most reader, I do enjoy reading an old fashioned mystery; you know, the kind that have an Agatha Christie's plot and Sherlock Holmes-like detective.

The closest books that I have found that resemble the old classic mysteries is the Drew Farthering Mystery series by author Julianne Deering. With an early 1900's stylish cover art on every title, I have been intrigued with every new entry in the series.

The fourth installment, titled Dressed for Death, was released last year by Bethany House. Sadly my review copy somehow got on the bottom of my to-be-read pile on my desk and I'm just now getting around to reviewing it.

Set in December 1932, the novel centers on Drew Farthering, a man who always happens to be at the right place at the wrong time. This time up, Drew and his wife Madeline are attending a Regency-ear house part at the Winteroak House, where he plans on reuniting with an old Oxford classmate, Talbot Cummins. However, it seems death is always following Drew, as someone dies at the party - Alice Henley, who happens to be Talbot's fiancee.

After the police arrest a possible suspect, Drew takes it upon himself to unravel the mystery behind Alice's death.