Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Solomon's Whisper by Sandra Brannan


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
Rules:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

My teasers come from Solomon's Whisper by Sandra Brannan. It's the fifth book in the Liv Bergen series, released in September of 2014.

"Everyone else has knocked off for the day, except you." He paused for a second before adding, "You know how to eat an elephant don't you?"

I answered with obvious frustration,  "Yes. You've told me.  One bite at a time."

"He" is Streeter, Liv's boss. And the "I" is Liv Bergen an FBI agent. Liv is a bit of a workaholic. She is working 2 cases at this point in the book (40% in on my Kindle). One is a cold case, the murder of her niece Brianna. The other is the murder of a young girl much like JonBenet Ramsey. The teaser comes from 41% through.

So, what's your teaser this week? Leave a link or the teaser in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Silent Murders by Mary Miley

In the The Impersonator, Leah Randall aka Jessie Beckett, took on the biggest role of her life impersonating a dead cousin and working to solve the mystery of her disappearance. The novel was filled with bits of information about what it was like to be in Vaudeville and compared it to the lifestyle her cousin would have had as a young heiress.

Silent Murders by Mary Miley is book two in her Roaring Twenties mystery series. Leah has now officially taken on the name Jessie Beckett and is working in Hollywood as an assistant script girl on the set of a Douglas Fairbanks movie, "Don Q: Son of Zorro."

The differences between Vaudeville and Hollywood are brought up occasionally, but mostly the plot sticks to Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and as a minor character, Myrna Loy and of course the murders. This is the end of the era of the Silent Movies and Talkies are just around the bend.

Mary comes to Douglas Fairbanks attention while she's working on the set of his movie and he asks her to become his personal assistant while his usual one is in Texas comforting her dying father. So it is in this role that Mary first becomes friends with him and Mary Pickford. Jessie ends up investigating a murder at Douglas Fairbanks request and becomes good friends with a policeman named Carl in the process.
From Goodreads: Jessie’s thrilled when Bruno Heilmann, a movie studio bigwig, invites her to a party. She’s even more delighted to run into a face from her past at that party. But the following day, Jessie learns that sometime in the wee hours of the morning both her old friend and Bruno Heilmann were brutally murdered. She’s devastated, but with her skill as an actress, access to the wardrobes and resources of a film studio, and a face not yet famous enough to be recognized, Jessie is uniquely positioned to dig into the circumstances surrounding these deaths. But will doing so put her own life directly in the path of a murderer?
Jessie is indeed put in the path of a murderer and danger will touch her more than once as the number of murders mounts.

The Roaring 20s is a fun time to read about. And the film industry with some of the big names in Hollywood as characters just makes it more alluring. She works for Douglas Fairbanks who is married to Mary Pickford. Her best friend and roommate is Myrna Loy whose close acquaintance happens to be Gary Cooper.

David from The Impersonator also makes an appearance as Jessie tries to solve the mysteries before someone else gets hurt. It's not necessary to read book one to enjoy his appearance. Enough is explained to make it interesting.

While Silent Murders is second in a series, it can be read as a stand alone book. The mysteries were intriguing. Since it is told mostly from Jessie's point of view, we find out everything as she does and it allows the reader to guess along with her as to who is the murderer.

If you like novels set in the 1920s or in Silent Movie era Hollywood, then you will probably enjoy this mystery. I am already looking forward to a third novel in the series. I love the character of Jessie and that her complexities and ties to both Vaudeville and the movies help her to solve the mystery.

I give this novel 4 stars out of 5 for the quality of writing and for the quality of the mystery.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Solomon's Whisper by Sandra Brannan


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
Rules:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Published September 2014
by Greenleaf Book Group
This week's teaser comes from about 7% through the kindle version of the book. 

Tilton dragged her eyes to Sewell's. "Two murders? How could that have been missed?"

"Not a murder from twenty-six years ago. Recently. The neighbor already identified him. This is far from being case closed until I find out who killed Carl Halbrook."

Solomon's Whisper is book #5 in the Liv Bergen series by Sandra Brannan.  More can be found about her books at http://sandrabrannan.com/book/.

So, what was  your teaser this week? Leave a link or the teaser in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Tomes of Terror by Mark Leslie

Published September 27th 2014
by Dundurn Group 
Do you like ghost stories? What about ghost stories that are supposed to be true? I do. Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries by Mark Leslie is full of such reported hauntings. Many of the stories have first person accounts of encounters.

I can easily believe that a library or bookstore could be haunted. I worked in one bookstore where the general consensus was that we had a resident ghost with no idea who or why it was there. Many of the occurrences attributed to ghosts in this volume are similar to what we experienced: books that fall onto the floor for no reason, alarms that go off when they shouldn't, doors that swing open or shut with no one there. Others have more intricate hauntings including footsteps and even apparitions. One haunting even seemed to be specifically for a particular book.

Mark Leslie covered bookstores and libraries in both Canada, the United States and a few abroad. There are footnotes and appendices backing  his information. In particular I enjoyed the Further Reading and Additional Resources for the Bookish at Heart.

If you enjoy reading about things that go bump in the night, then this book might be for you. The only thing I might have changed in the book would be to group the hauntings further by geography. For example, all the hauntings that take place in a particular city or state grouped together instead of just by country. That way it would be useful for people who might want to visit the spots close to where they will be.

Otherwise I think that Tomes of Terror is an excellent book on accounts of hauntings in bookstores and libraries. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I like it very much and would share it with my fellow bookish people.

Have you ever been in a bookstore or library that was supposed to be haunted? Have you ever experienced a haunting at all? Feel free to share in the comments.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in order to give my honest opinion.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #61 - Quicksand by Gigi Pandian


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.


This week I am waiting on Quicksand by Gigi Pandian. This is the third Jaya Jones mystery from Henery Press. It's due to come out March 10, 2015. 

The Jaya Jones mysteries are a little bit historical, but also part Indiana Jones-ish. She has a mystery to solve in the present day, but it is always affected by some sort of history that is often crucial to her solving the mystery. This mystery takes place in France. Settings include places like The Louvre and Mont Saint-Michel.

From the publisher: 
A thousand-year-old secret room. A sultan’s stolen treasure. A missing French priest. And an invitation to Paris to rekindle an old flame....
Historian Jaya Jones finds herself on the wrong side of the law during an art heist at the Louvre. To redeem herself, she follows clues from an illuminated manuscript that lead from the cobblestone streets of Paris to the quicksand-surrounded fortress of Mont Saint-Michel. With the help of enigmatic Lane Peters and a 90-year-old stage magician, Jaya delves into France's colonial past in India to clear her name and catch a killer.
I am looking forward to it because I enjoyed the first two Jaya Jones mysteries. And because I like the Indiana Jones-ish quality to these mysteries.
What book are you waiting on this Wednesday? Tell me in the comments or share a link. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quickie Review: Black Swan, White Raven edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

I read this first in hardcover several years ago. I just read it again in Kindle format. It was just as good the second time through. I liked some stories better than others, which is par for the course in an anthology, but I did like it overall. Even the stories I didn't like so much were interesting to read for their take on the retelling of the tale in question.

I think that one of my favorite picks is "Godmother Death" by Jane Yolen. The language and rhythm go well with the story. It's short, but a pleasure to read and makes you think. Can Death be cheated? Also I liked that for a change Death was personified as a woman. 

I would recommend this book and the others in its series specifically for people who enjoy fantasy and retellings of fairy and folk tales. Datlow and Windling are great editors for this series of anthologies. 

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Teaser Tuesday - Hollow City by Ransom Riggs



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
Rules:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Published January 14th 2014 by Quirk Books
This week's teaser comes from Hollow City - the Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children  by Ransom Riggs.

"We sat together and looked into the ice for a long while, at the forms trapped there, blurred and distorted in the darkening light, suspended like ancient eggs in blue amber. We sat, and I could tell from the silence collecting between us that this was going to be a hard conversation - one neither of us wanted to start." p.356

The book picks up where the first one left off. The children are still at sea and on their way to London where they hope to find the last free ymbryne, Miss Wren.  The quotation above is from a scene with Emma and Jacob close to the end of the book.

I'm liking the book. It keeps me turning pages and wondering what will happen to the children and just what will they face next. And the pictures in the book are as interesting as they were in the last one. There seem to be more of them as well.

What's your teaser this week? Tell me about it in the comments or leave a link so I can check it out.