Cozy Mystery with “Paw Enforcement”

18404165Paw Enforcement by Diane Kelly
St. Martin’s Paperback: June 3, 2014
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Free From Library

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Diane Kelly’s Paw Enforcement series came on my radar because of something I read on a blog. Said blog mentioned the fourth book in the series. Me being me, I couldn’t simply start with book four, no, a true dedicated readers starts with the first book in the series, always.

Paw Enforcement introduces readers to Megan Luz, a rookie cop with anger issues working in the Fort Worth area of Texas. Megan’s got herself into a spot of trouble after tasering her offensive partner. As a result Megan finds herself with a new partner…of the canine persuasion. Brigit is a big dog and Megan drives a smart cart and lives in a tiny apartment. How this partnership is going to flourish is anyone’s guess; yet, Brigit’s skill in taking down criminals does seem to impress Megan.


A Murder of Mages: Sherlock, a Woman Investigator, and Crimes Against Magic

murder of magesA Murder of Mages, by Marshall Ryan Maresca
DAW, July 7th, 2015 (Fantasy / Mystery)*

suitcase suitcase suitcase
Beach Vacation

A Murder of Mages straddles fantasy and police procedural (crime drama) genres. For readers like Jaclyn, who enjoy both mysteries and fantasies, this might be an excellent choice.

Set in the crime-ridden district Inemar of the city of Maradaine, this novel closely follows the work and personal lives of two criminal investigators: veteran and oddity Minox “Jinx,” and the woman who becomes Inspector Rainey, a.k.a. “Tricky.”

Satrine Rainey boldly walks into the stationhouse where Minox works, with a letter from the Commissioner giving her a position as Inspector Third Class. What no one knows is that the document was forged – because her husband, previously an Inspector, is chronically ill and cannot help support their family.

Minox is ridiculed at the stationhouse for being too intellectual and almost never satisfied with the resolution of any case the stationhouse takes. Like Sherlock Holmes, he has incredible powers of observation, and can read secrets in body language and tone of voice. He is also an untrained mage, which makes this case extraordinarily difficult for him. His coworkers call him Jinx because his partners keep dying, and when he’s assigned to be Inspector Rainey’s partner, everyone assumes she’ll be next.


Procedural Mystery with Promise: “The Burning”

10769683The Burning by Jane Casey
Minotaur Books: September 2011 (Mystery)

Beach Vacation

Picking up The Burning is the continuation with my latest obsession with the mystery genre. I don’t recall what put this one on my radar, but as far as British crime goes, this first novel in the Maeve Kerrigan series was a solid read, although I found it darker and less character focused than I expected.

Maeve is a twenty-eight year old detective constable who is dedicated to her job, where she is a member of an elite team within the police. The Burning throws readers right into the middle of an investigation. A serial killer is plaguing London; young woman are being killed and their bodies burned. When a new body appears, Maeve is convinced that the woman, Rebecca, does not fit the profile. Have the police got a copy cat on their hands? Maeve thinks this is the case and is given leeway by her boss to treat Rebecca’s murder as a separate investigation. (more…)

Setting the Stage in “The Harvest Man”

23281833The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian
G.P. Putnam’s Sons: May 19, 2015 (Historical Mystery)*

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After the explosive Devil’s Workshop I was quite excited to return to the adventures of Inspector Walter Day and his sidekick, Nevil Hammersmith. While I did enjoy The Harvest Man, it did not have the same suspenseful momentum as the previous book. That said, The Harvest Man ends on a high note, setting the stage perfectly for the next book in the series. I can only imagine that there will be many developments in this mystery series; it has gone in a direction I did not expect. (more…)

Inaugural Audio with “Broken Monsters”

20706269Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Mulholland Book: September 16, 2014 (Mystery; Thriller)

My rating: The plane was delayed, the luggage lost, and the museums closed vintagesuitcase3

I’ve recently changed jobs, and as a result I have about an hour long commute to work. Naturally, I was quite put out that this cut into my reading time, so I hesitantly checked out my first audiobook. I’ve never had any desire to listen to an audiobook, but listening to music got old real quick in my car. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Broken Monsters and since the audio version was a new arrival, I decided that this would be my very first audio experience. I’m not sure that this was a good choice, since I didn’t actually finish listening to the book…

Broken Monsters starts off like a generic, hard-boiled crime thriller. There’s a murder and a detective investigate. But it soon becomes clear that there is something off about this murder. For starters, the upper body of the murder victim, a little boy, is found fused together with the legs of a deer. It only gets stranger from there. (more…)

Jack the Ripper Returns in ‘The Devil’s Workshop’

18667978The Devil’s Workshop by Alex Grecian (The Murder Squad #3)
Putnam Adult, May 20, 2014 (Historical Mystery)*

My rating: I’d go there again! (4/5)

I’m not generally one for mysteries, but there’s something about those set in a historical period that keeps me coming back for more. I discovered Alex Grecian a few years ago when I won book 1 of The Murder Squad series in a Goodreads giveaway, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting each installment since then.

The series is set in London following the Jack the Ripper murders and follows the changes to Scotland Yard after the horrific murders. Namely, the formation of the Murder Squad. Walter Day is one such inspector that forms the new Murder Squad and he’s been changing the approach to investigation ever since. At this point in the series, with The Devil’s Workshop readers are fairly familiar with Day and his team, including constable Hammersmith and Doctor Kingsley; however, the team is put sorely to the test in the latest installment. (more…)

Dirty Magic – a dark tale where magic is a drug

dirtymagicDirty Magic by Jaye Wells
Orbit, January 21st, 2014 (Urban Fantasy)

My rating: Outstanding adventure!

A volatile brew of magical alchemy, crime drama, and potential romance, this urban fantasy is a welcome change from the genre norms. Its premise of a “war on magic” really stands out among the other inter-species, supernatural conflicts in urban fantasy. Whether the methods used by law enforcement are any different or more effective than those used in the war on drugs doesn’t really matter – the comparison is still interesting. The world-building is convincing, the characters multi-dimensional, and the plot fast-paced right from the beginning.

The setting revolves around the slums of the city of Babylon on Lake Erie. Called the Cauldron, this neighborhood is home to magic addicts, the homeless, and the poor. “Dirty” magic, made on the streets and distributed as potions that purport to solve the same problems we use drugs to treat (Think you’re ugly? Get a vanity potion! Poor? Buy a greed potion. Need to win a bike race? Take a speed potion). “Clean” magic, dirty magic’s legal counterpart, works like legal medicines. People are divided into two generally antagonistic groups: Mundanes, who have no ability to cook potions or use magic and who usually end up the addicts, and Adepts, who have an affinity for magic and are able to use magic to cook, read, and transform potions. Magic use relies on alchemical processes.