Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #118: A Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson


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

Due out March 29, 2016, A Muddied Murder is a promising start to a new series coming out by Wendy Tyson through Henery Press.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

When Megan Sawyer gives up her big-city law career to care for her grandmother and run the family’s organic farm and cafĂ©, she expects to find peace and tranquility in her scenic hometown of Winsome, Pennsylvania. Instead, her goat goes missing, rain muddies her fields, the town denies her business permits, and her family’s Colonial-era farm sucks up the remains of her savings.

Just when she thinks she’s reached the bottom of the rain barrel, Megan and the town’s hunky veterinarian discover the local zoning commissioner’s battered body in her barn. Now Megan is thrust into the middle of a murder investigation—and she’s the chief suspect. Can Megan dig through small-town secrets, local politics, and old grievances in time to find a killer before that killer strikes again?
 


Why am I looking forward to this one? For starters, it's from Henery Press and I have yet to be disappointed with my reads from them. Secondly, a small town murder sounds appealing. I like the idea of her having to sift through town secrets to solve the mystery. I have to admit I am hoping there will be at least a tad of humor to it as well since it's coming from Henery Press. 

What book are you waiting on this week? Share the title or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm
Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Expected Publication January 1, 2016
from Sourcebooks Landmark


"A funeral," Gertrude continued. "A town's always at its best at a funeral. Always nice when something happens."
(11% on my Kindle)

What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler

Published December 15, 2015
 by Bantam
In this 12th installment of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, it's chaos in London as Bryant & May seek out a killer who is using different forms of fiery deaths to accomplish his goals. 

"It was as if after a drowsy, sluggish summer, the streets had undergone spontaneous combustion. It had taken just one match to ignite this inferno, going by the name of Mr. Dexter Cornell." (location 203 on my Kindle) The result is crowds of protesters belonging to various groups all over London concentrating in the financial district as Guy Fawkes night approaches. 


The deaths take place under cover of the activities of the protesters. The Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to investigate the identity of the first man killed in front of a bank. From there Bryant starts making connections that are obvious to him, but not so much to the others. 


As the riots continue, the body count rises. What is the connection? Who is responsible? When will it end? Can Bryant & May figure it out before it costs the life of one of their own?

This is a good addition to the Bryant & May series. I'd like to say Bryant is in top form, but there are some days where he's not quite himself. On the days that he is together, he accomplishes more than some of the policemen outside of the unit on a good day. I love the characters that make up the Peculiar Crimes Unit. And the pace of the book is well done. The wit and sarcasm add nice spice to the story.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5. It's well written, well paced, and has interesting characters. It can be read as a stand alone even though it is part of a series. It will just whet your appetite to go back and read some of the others.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #117: Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter


"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 the title I am waiting on is another urban fantasy title: Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter. This is book #10 in the Jane Yellowrock series. It's due out April 5, 2016 from Roc.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Slaying vampires is child’s play for skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. But handling the complicated politics of New Orleans’ supernatural players is another story...

Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her doorstep. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep.

A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit...undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies. Now it’s up to Jane to find out who kept the vampire hidden for so long and why, because the incident could tip already high supernatural tensions to an all-out arcane war.


Why am I waiting on this book? Well, it's book #10 in another series that I've grown to like. I still haven't read all of the novels from the beginning. I picked up the series with book #9, Dark Heir. Dark Heir was action packed, never a dull moment.

Faith Hunter also has a collection of short stories coming out in February 2016 called Blood in Her Veins where all the stories take place in the world of Jane Yellowrock. There are 19 stories in the collection.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our ever-growing TBR lists. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm
Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
If this week's selection looks familiar it's because last week's selection also came from the same book. I haven't quite finished it yet even though I am enjoying it.

During a departmental meeting the following exchange occurred:

"Well thank you for that cheerful summation of the week's events," said Land. "I'll just go and gas myself. Or perhaps I'll go up the Gherkin with a machine gun and wipe out all of the protestors."

"Raymundo, you're sweating," Bryant pointed out. "Are you all right?"
60% through on my Kindle


If you're like me, even though I had seen this building on television and in the movies before, I didn't know it was nicknamed the Gherkin. And in the book there are protesters in the vicinity of that building. Thus Raymond Land's comment "Go up the Gherkin with a machine gun and wipe out all the protestors." 

What's your teaser today? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Thanks for coming by and Happy Reading!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Towns as a form of tourism

There is an article on Atlas Obscura about book towns where books become a sort of tourist attraction. There are cities across Europe, Malaysia, Korea, and Australia that are involved in this. They sell lots of books in places like abandoned storefronts that would have gone unused otherwise. There are some regular bookshops as well. You can find the article here at Atlas Obscura

For me, this is an interesting concept. I love to go into different bookshops when I travel at all. One of my mother's friends travelled with us once and complained about going into yet another bookstore. 

Here is another link to the Association of Book Towns: http://www.booktown.net/  with a list of some of the book towns. "A Book town is a small rural town or village in which second-hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated. Most Book Towns have developed in villages of historic interest or of scenic beauty."

Hay-on-Wye, Wales
And here are more images of outdoor bookstores in this Flavorwire slideshow: 20 Amazing Outdoor Libraries and Bookstores from All Over the World

I'm not sure I would go as far out of my way as some of these book towns, but I certainly will continue to visit local bookstores whenever I go to another city. Do you do book tourism of any sort?



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #116: Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs


"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 the book I am most waiting on is Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs. This is book #9 in the Mercy Thompson series. It's due to be released March 8, 2016 from Ace. 

Synopsis from Goodreads.come
Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Why am I waiting on this book? Well for one thing, it's #9 in the series and I've read all the others. I really enjoy Mercy Thompson and her world. Patricia Briggs writes good urban fantasy. 

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Bryant and May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm
Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Published December 15, 2015 by Bantam

Excerpt from: "Memo from Raymond Land to All Staff":

"The entrance hall's visual recognition system has been removed after Mr. Bryant proved it could be cheated by the addition of a hat. For now, it's back to using a secure code. I've taped it onto the wall above the machine."

~ 4% through on my Kindle

This is par for the course for the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Would you keep reading?

What's your Teaser this week? Please share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Review: Joy to the Worlds by Maia Chance, Janine A. Southard, Raven Oak, and G. Clemans

Joy to the Worlds is a collection of 8 stories, 2 each by 4 authors: Maia Chance, Janine A. Southard, Raven Oak, and G. Clemans.The stories are a mashup of either Science Fiction and Mystery or Fantasy and Mystery. Each story has its strengths. And unlike many anthologies, I found that I pretty much enjoyed all of them. A couple of the stories had a little bit of a YA feel to them, but overall I think this anthology appeals most to adults.

Each story was introduced by a different author than the one who wrote it and had a concluding note by the author of the piece. I found the brief notes interesting, especially the afternotes as they mentioned some of the things that lead the author to write that story. 

The stories are: Wild Hunt by Janine A. Southard, Escape from Yorktown by G. Clemans, Odysseus Flax & the Krampus by Maia Chance, Ol' St. Nick by Raven Oak, Bevel & Turn by G. Clemans,
Death Node by Janine A. Southard, The Ringers by Raven Oak, and Mr. and Mrs. Mistletoe by Maia Chance.

At the end of the book, there is a nice section on the authors including other works and ways they are on the web. So, if you enjoy one of the works by an author and wish to read more by them or know more about them, the information is readily available. 

I had previously only read one novel by Maia Chance, Come Hell or Highball, which was a historical mystery. I wasn't sure what to expect from her in another genre, but she did a great job with both the Fantasy/Mystery  mashup of the Krampus tale and the SciFi/Mystery mashup of Mr. and  Mrs. Mistletoe

Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It's a good anthology with an interesting  premise. And it's a good holiday read. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest  opinion.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #115: Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep


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


Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep is book #3 in the Black Blade series. It's due out April 26, 2016 from Kensington. It's a YA urban fantasy novel.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

In the exciting conclusion to her richly imagined Black Blade series about a reluctant young bodyguard and thief, and her hometown, where magic, mobsters and monsters make for a dangerous mix, Jennifer Estep expertly combines the snark and fast-paced action that have made her a New York Times bestselling author.

BAD THINGS ALWAYS COME IN THREES…

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families—and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

Why am I waiting on this book? It's the third one in the series and I've loved the previous two. If you like YA urban fantasy you should consider checking this series out. I'd start at the beginning though. The second book showed changes in the characters as they matured. 

You can read an excerpt of the book at the author's website here.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Nightwise by R.S. Belcher


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm
Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Published August 18, 2015
by Tor books

It's part of my legend, the myth of a rock star. "He raised the dead at the age of ten." The part of me that had all the feeling burned out is kind of proud when I hear that, and that is very sad. Only I ever view the event in its proper context, as, "He took a human life and damned a good soul at the age of ten."
~ p. 131 Nightwise by R.S. Belcher

What's your teaser from this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Some Christmas Reading

Around Christmas, I find I get the desire to read stories that take place during the holidays. What I read each year depends on what's available and what I feel like reading just like anyone else.

In the past, I've read The Stupidest Angel: a Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore. It's quite an offbeat tale involving a child with a wish for Santa to come back from the dead and an angel with a less than bright halo looking for a child to grant a wish to. Humor and craziness abound.

Last year I read a novella, Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb. It takes place in the same setting as her ballad novels. There is both a plot from Christmas past and one from Christmas present. "When someone buys the old Honeycutt house, Nora Bonesteel is glad to see some life brought back to the old mansion, even if it is by summer people. But when they decide to stay through Christmas, they find more than old memories in the walls. On Christmas Eve, Sheriff Spencer Arrowwood and Deputy Joe LeDonne find themselves on an unwelcome call to arrest an elderly man for a minor offense. As they attempt to do their duty, while doing the right thing for a neighbor, it begins to look like they may all spend Christmas away from home. In a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware, Sharyn McCrumb revisits her most loved characters who know there is more to this world than the eye can see, especially at Christmastime. " (Goodreads)



This year I've read the novella Bryant & May and the Secret Santa by Christopher Fowler. It's a  mystery from the Peculiar Crimes Unit. "The streets of London are covered in twinkling lights and freshly fallen snow, but the mood inside the Christmas department of Selfridges is decidedly less cheery. Bryant and May have arrived there to investigate the death of an eleven-year-old boy who inexplicably fled the store after a routine visit to Santa’s Wonderland. Their only clue is a torn scrap of blue cloth discovered at the scene. Now, Bryant and May are making a list of suspects, but they’d better check it twice to catch a shifty culprit in disguise." (Goodreads)

Currently, I am reading Joy to the Worlds - Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays by G. Clemons, Maia Chance, Janine A. Southard, and Raven Oak."Joy to the Worlds brings together eight short works that explore mysteries across time and space. Ranging from dark dystopian worlds to comedic retro-futures, four diverse writers find new ways to combine these disparate worlds." (Goodreads)

What do you like to read during the holiday season? Do you have some books that you reread every year? Or do you read whatever is new in the genre? What are you reading this holiday season?


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Review: Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Published November 10, 2015
by Grand Central Publishing
Crimson Shore is #15 in the Pendergast series. Pendergast and his ward Constance take on a mystery that on the surface seems to be about purloined wine, but ends up being about a much bigger mystery. They find a remnant of a skeleton that had been walled up in a wine cellar from a distant past. Who retrieved the skeleton and why? Who put it there in the first place? There is a mystery of the past as well as of the present. Exmouth, Massachusetts isn't the sleepy, idyllic town it would appear to be on the surface. The city has a seriously twisted past.

Was this a good book? Basically yes. But, I did find something problematic with it for me. The first two-thirds of the book was a well-written mystery book with a nod to Poe. It progressed swiftly and I read it eagerly. The mystery seems to be well wrapped up, then boom! There is a supernatural-ish plot tacked on for the last third of the book. The two parts of the story only seem loosely related. I still enjoyed the writing in the second part,  but was dismayed as to what seemed to be added on for specific purposes rather than to further the plot of the book. I guess I would say it most likely furthers the plot of the series.

If you've enjoyed books in this series in the past,  you will most likely mostly enjoy this book as well. I would not start reading the series with this book though.

I gave this book 3.5 stars out of 5. It's well written, but there is that problem with plot.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #114: The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins


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

The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tomkins is expected to be out March 1, 2016 from Viking. 

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
An epic novel of magic and mysticism, Celts and faeries, mad kings and Druids, stalwart warriors and the goddess struggling to reign over magic’s last outpost on the Earth
 
Aisling is a goddess in a human form, born to rule medieval Ireland and reunite the earthly realm with the Middle Kingdom—home to powerful faeries. With her counselor, Liam, and her lover, Conor, she stands between warring clans of Celts, Vikings, and darkly magical otherworldly beings. Meanwhile, even greater forces muster beyond Ireland’s enchanted shores. Jordan, a Vatican commander and clandestine student of forbidden magic, is already torn between duty and desire when he meets Najia, his captive, and a slave. Beneath the chains and spells that bind her, she is an enchantress who draws him closer to what he loves. But the Vatican and England have given Jordan a crucial role in a war they are determined to win—the battle to drive magic from Ireland, and all lands, forever. As kings prepare and exorcists gather in Rome, Aisling, Jordan, and Najia must come to terms with powers given and withheld—and a world that can foster magic hangs in the balance. Loyalties are tested and betrayals sown, yet the coming battle is not to be the last. The repercussions for magical beings ripple centuries later, in today’s world.

Why am I waiting on this book? Well, to be punny, it sounds enchanting. From the author's website, it looks like a lot of research went into the making of the book. And it has some good blurbs from famous authors like Karen Joy Fowler and Geraldine Brooks. The introduction of the Vatican into this sort of story seems original to me and I wonder how it will  play out.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our ever-growing TBR list. Thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm
Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.


He felt a strange mixture of emotions - shock, repulsion, worry, anger... and embarrassment. This was not the way he wanted outsiders to think of Exmouth.

61% through on my Kindle

What are your teaser sentences this week? Share them or a link in the comments so we can check them out. Happy Reading!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Review: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep is book #2 in the Black Blade series. It was published October 27, 2015 by Kensington.

Lila Merriweather has been appointed Devon Sinclair's bodyguard. This is a new role for this former thief. All kinds of surprises are in store for her in this book including being placed into a tournament along with Devon and several other Sinclair family members against selected participants from the other families. This puts Lila into an uncomfortable place in the spotlight. Meanwhile, Victor Draconi is plotting against the families, especially the Sinclairs.And someone is killing monsters in Cloudburst Falls.

This book is a good follow up to Cold Burn of Magic. The characters are portrayed in greater depth. And they are allowed to grow and change - especially Lila. Even Victor is portrayed in greater depth since the first book. He is turning out to be quite the bad guy in more ways than one.

It's a good plot with plenty of action scenes. It will keep you turning pages to find out what's going on with Lila, Devon, and the monsters. And it looks like there is a human who is more of a monster than the magical monsters.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. It's a good urban fantasy book. Cloudburst Falls, VA is an interesting setting. The characters are well developed. It is considered a YA title, but I think it can be enjoyed by adults as well.

An excerpt is available on the author's website. Just click on the title above.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday # 113: These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas


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


Expected publication: February 9, 2016
by Swoon Reads
This week the book I am waiting on is These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. It's due out February 9, 2016 from Swoon Books. 

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.
 

Why am I waiting on this book? The first sentence of the synopsis intrigues me. It sounds like it will be an interesting read. 

You can read an interview with the authors at the Swoon Website.

What book are you waiting on this week? Please share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our TBR lists. Thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm
Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Published October 27, 2015
by Kensington
William Reginald eyed the three of us and our persimmon-spattered clothes, his nose twitching with obvious distaste. "I take it things didn't go so well with the tree troll?" an English accent colored his voice, making him sound exactly like the butler he was.
...
Felix threw his arm around Devon's shoulder, making bits of persimmon slide off both their T-shirts. "Oh, it went just fine and dandy. Can't you tell?"

13% through on my Kindle

The teasers are told from Lila Merriweather's perspective, as is the rest of the book. It's a good YA urban fantasy title. There is some snappy dialogue and definitely sarcasm as well as great action scenes. This is book 2 in the Black Blade series.

What book are your teasers from? Please share them or a link in the comments so we can check them out.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Review: Lowcountry Bordello by Susan M. Boyer

Published November 3, 2015
by Henery Press
What if your friend thinks she has found a body in the house she shares in ownership with her Aunt? And what if your investigation is complicated because it turns out the house is a bit of a high-class bordello?

Lowcountry Bordello is book #4 in the Liz Talbot series published by Henery Press. Liz and her fiance agree to look into the murder because, among other things, Olivia who found the body is one of Liz's bridesmaids. And the wedding is a week away. Couple that with a few ghosts in the bordello and her friendly ghost who is a guardian for all things Stella Maris, and you have an entertaining story.

The characters are interesting. How can you miss when you have an 80 something Aunt who runs the bordello? And with Liz, her family and friends just help to characterize her more. It would be easy to overuse the helpful ghost to solve the mysteries, but she has rules she must obey so that she can't reveal everything and spoil the story.

The plot moves along at a good pace, a little faster towards the end. It gets complicated at times like when they are reviewing the timeline for the murder and are trying to figure out who is a serious suspect. Overall though it's well done. The mystery is good and satisfying.

It's a southern mystery. Some might categorize it as a cozy even though Liz is a PI, probably because of the number of people involved that she knows and how homey it can get. I liked it in part because of the southern small town atmosphere.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #112: Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep


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


Expected publication: February 23,  2016
by Pocket Books
This week the book I am waiting on is Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep. This is book #14 in her Elemental Assassin series featuring Gin Blanco aka The Spider. 

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?

It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in. 

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.

An excerpt of Chapter One is available on Jennifer Estep's website. 

Why am I looking forward to it? I like the Gin Blanco series. And I love urban fantasy.

What book are you waiting on this week? Please share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Dead Ringers - a novel by Christopher Golden


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm
Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

Released November 3, 2015
 from St. Martin's Press

What happened in that gloomy restaurant in the back of the Nepenthe-what she had seen in the apparition box- had been like stepping across the threshold from one world to another. Like crashing her house down on a witch and opening the door into a world of bright and frightening colors she had never known existed. She couldn't stand the idea of being in that world alone.

~ p. 77 in the hardback copy

What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden

Published November 3, 2015
by St. Martin's Press
In Dead Ringers, Christopher Golden manages to take an old idea, doppelgangers, and make it new. What if you saw someone that you were close to on the street,  but they claimed not to know you? What if you even saw someone who looked just like you, but maybe a little better? They say everyone has a twin somewhere in the world. Is this just a case of that, or is it something more sinister? Factor in a haunted object and a house with a malign presence and you have Dead Ringers.

The characters are well realized. Each has a personality and is sympathetic. You want to root for them. The doubles, on the other hand, are easy to dislike. Who wouldn't dislike someone who was better at being them than themselves - more pulled together, more successful? If that's not enough of a problem, maybe they want to assume your identity as well, no longer content to merely exist.

The plot has twists and turns. The haunted object and the house with the malign presence among them. There is also an eyeless man who seems to be sniffing out either the originals or the copies. The plot is fast paced. I couldn't put the book down. I read it all in one day.

This is a 5-star horror book. Snowblind was good. Dead Ringers is even better.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Quickie Review: Bryant and May and the Secret Santa by Christopher Fowler

Bryant & May and the Secret Santa by Christopher Fowler is a short story available November17, 2015.

It's Christmas time in London with the cold, snow and slush expected with the season. Department store Santas have been hired and perform their tasks. But, after one boy visits Santa he becomes frightened and runs out of the store and winds up under a bus. Why did the boy react this way? Who is responsible for frightening him? Bryant and May are quickly called to the scene and begin to investigate.

I don't know much about boarding schools, so I couldn't really anticipate where the pair was going with their line of questioning. But, I didn't mind. All the clues are given that you need to solve along with Bryant and  May. There were a few twists.

I gave this story 4 stars out of 5 possible. Overall, it's a good, entertaining short story. It's worth your time. It can be read whether you are familiar with Bryant and May or not, but it's certainly more enjoyable knowing them from the novels.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this story in exchange for my honest opinion