mystery

City on Edge by Stefanie Pintoff

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City on Edge by Stefanie Pintoff
Bantam: November 15, 2016
Genre: Thriller
Source: Free From Publisher

Beach Vacation
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City on Edge is the second book in the Eve Rossi thriller/mystery series. In the first book, Hostage Taker, readers are introduced to FBI agent, Eve Rossi and her rather dubious recruits, all of them ex-cons. After the successful events of the previous book, Eve and her team have been given some legitimacy, which comes in handy when New York’s police commissioner is almost assassinated and his daughter kidnapped. Eve and her unusual crew are on the case and hoping to find the commissioner’s daughter safe; however, they don’t count on the numerous hurdles in their path. (more…)

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

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Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier
Roc: November 1, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Den of Wolves is the third and what I hope will not be the final book in the Blackthorn and Grimm series. While I loved Dreamer’s Pool and Tower of Thorns, I can’t help but appreciate the fact that Den of Wolves offers a satisfying conclusion, yet still allows for the possibility of more from Blackthorn and Grim.

Since the first book, I have enjoyed how Marillier combines a fantasy tale with elements that I generally associate more with the mystery genre. In each book, the healer Blackthorn and her man-of-few-words companion, Grimm, tackle a new mystery. That is no different in Den of Wolves. This time Blackthorns helps a troubled young princess, Dalriada, who’s father is building a mysterious house in the woods. Why is this house so important? Why must Dalriada be kept away from the house and the man who is instructing it’s builders? Those are both questions that Blackthorn seeks answers to. And Grimm is uniquely positioned to help as he’s been hired on to help finish the building of the home. (more…)

Another Amish Mystery: “Among the Wicked”

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Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo
Minotaur Books: July 12th, 2016
Genre: Mystery
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Among the Wicked is the eighth book in Castillo’s suspenseful and dark Kate Burkholder mystery series. I first discovered the series on audiobook and binged through the entire series. After the events of book seven, I was anxious to get my hands on book eight. And while I continue to enjoy the series, I was somewhat disappointed with the book with regards to Kate’s character development. It was a great book, but not my favourite in the series.

In Among the Wicked Kate is asked to go undercover in an Amish community where a suspicious death is discovered. A young woman froze to death and no one in the community is talking about what led to the death, and then there’s the reports of child abuse that are making their way to the police’s ears. So, Kate, a former member of the Amish community, is recruited to assit. Kate’s background makes her a perfect candidate for the undercover roll; she understands the Amish community and she has a commitment to discovering the truth behind the young woman’s death. Despite the misgivings of her partner, Tomasetti, Kate decides the going undercover is something that she has to go. Kate is nothing if she’s not dedicated to protecting the vulnerable. Soon Kate is immersed in her role as a widow in the reclusive community; however, her questions soon stir up more trouble than Kate anticipated. (more…)

Company Town and Blender Distractions

20447745Company Town by Madeline Ashby
Tor Books: May 17, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Full disclosure: I was going to focus on this review tonight, but I ended up spending about an hour on the phone waiting for customer service for my high-powered blender. And then a half-hour on the phone with customer service. Some of you may be familiar with this. I won’t name names until the issue is resolved. BUT. This is to let you know that my review may not be … as focused as it might have been otherwise.

Second pre-review note: Jaclyn reviewed this one earlier this week, read her take here. (Hint: she liked it more. She also thought more about the ideas the author explores in the novel).

Right. So I’m reviewing Company Town, which felt very Windswept by Adam Rakusa at the beginning, with a futuristic, unionized town that doesn’t quite fit into our world as we know it. This time, the union is a sex worker’s union – which reminds me, the whole book feels very Canadian. References to cultural things I became familiar with when I lived there, including a progressive attitude toward sex workers and a reference to a “cup” – which many Canadian women, probably a few American women (as in from the United States) will recognize. It’s also obviously set in Canada, but it’s the other details that make it so Canadian. (more…)

Cozy Mystery with “Paw Enforcement”

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

Beach Vacation
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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.

(more…)

Questioning Humanity in “Company Town”

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Company Town by Madeline Ashby
Angry Robot: May 17, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Free From Publisher

Outstanding Adventure!
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Company Town is a science fiction novel that checks all my boxes: great characters, a compelling plot, and complex ideas that aren’t bogged down by didacticism and explanations.

Hwa is a young woman living on an oil rig. On this self-contained ecosystem Hwa stands out. Hwa is one of the very few who does not have any augmentations that enhance her humanity. Hwa can’t fix herself with tech. As a result, Hwa constantly strives to be work harder than anyone else, a skill that lends itself well to her job: bodyguard to the prostitutes that work the rig. Hwa is dedicated to her job; however, when the Lynch corporation takes over the rig, the man in charge offers Hwa a new job as the bodyguard to Joel, the son and heir to the head of the Lynch empire. Why would a seemingly all-powerful corporate bigwig want Hwa, who cannot afford the most basic of upgrades, as bodyguard to his son? What does Hwa have that other bodyguards do not? Well, with technology comes certain vulnerabilities: (more…)

“Deep Dark” Begins with a Bang

25814336.jpgDeep Dark by Laura Griffin
Pocket Book: May 24, 2016
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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I’ve been a fan of Griffin’s Tracers series since I discovered her on audiobook. When I had the chance at an advance copy of book ten, well, there was no waiting on the audio format. Everything I love about Griffin’s series was here: romance, mystery, and suspense. And, Griffin hooks readers from page one, immersing readers into the terrifying experience of a home invasion.

Laney Knox was attacked in her home two years ago. Laney managed to escape, but so did the intruder and it seems that other woman have not been so lucky. When a former co-worker is murdered, Laney reaches out to the investigating officer, Reed Novak. Unfortunately, Reed is less than impressed with Laney’s methods and her penchant for evasion. Despite their differences, it soon becomes clear that Laney does have essential information about the case, but she wants to participate fully before giving it all up. Needless to say, detective Novak isn’t pleased with Laney’s withholding of information, while at the same time he feels drawn to the young woman. (more…)

Weirdly Compelling: “It Takes One”

26030701.jpgIt Takes One by Kate Kessler
Redhook: April 26, 2016
Genre: Mystery
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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It Takes One is the series opener featuring criminal psychologist Audrey Harte. The twist in this thriller is that our heroine is a murderer herself.

Okay, so the label is a little more complex than that.

When she was a girl, Audrey helped her best friend Maggie murder Maggie’s father. Maggie’s father had been sexually abusing her and Maggie turned to Audrey for help. When no one believe either of them, the girls, in desperation, hatched a plan. After the murder both girls were charged. Maggie was sent to a criminal hospital because of her trauma, and Audrey was sent to a juvenile detention centre. And with that, these two best friend slowly drifted apart until one of them committed an unforgivable transgression. (more…)

Prison Sentence, With Ghosts: “Fellside”

26030697Fellside by M.R. Carey
Orbit: April 5, 2016
Genre: Thriller
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Jess Moulson is recovering from severe facial burns when she is transferred to Fellside, a women’s prison. Jess wakes to discover that her face has been burned beyond recognition and she has been charged with murder after setting her apartment ablaze. Learning that the fire she apparent started killed the young boy that lived her building, Jess doesn’t put up a fight when she is sent to Fellside, and in fact, chooses to end her own life. However, soon after arriving at Fellside Jess begins to have doubts about her guilt in killing Alex, especially when his ghost tells her that she did not kill him. But, how can Jess investigate when she has turned down the support of her lawyers and is locked away? (more…)

The Visitor

17204332The Visitor by Amanda Stevens
MIRA: March 29, 2016
Genre: Mystery
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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The wait for Steven’s fourth installment of her Graveyard Queen series has been a long one. The last book was published in 2012 and it’s only now, several years later that readers are treated to a new installment that follows graveyard restorer Amelia Gray. I don’t know why there was such a long delay, but I can tell you that The Visitor is worth the wait. From the start readers are dropped into the highly atmospheric and haunting setting of the old South.

Amelia Gray has come a long way since her introduction in the first book in the series. Most notably she has decided to stop following her father’s rules; she’s no longer ignoring the ghosts that are attracted to her, and this has severe repercussions for both her personally as well as in her new relationship with John Devlin. In The Visitor Amelia is followed by a ghost that could be her identical twin, except for one thing, this ghost has gouged out her eyes. This visitor is only one of many that come to Amelia, but each of them compel her to Knoll cemetery, a place that only came to be after the violent mass death at a commune many years ago. For Amelia, there is a personal connection to that cemetery and only by listening to those ghosts that Amelia will find out what the connection is. (more…)