December 15, 2015

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey

__________R E V I E W__________

★★★★★

 Oh my gosh, what an awesome, incredible, brilliant book. After Laila and I read it the first time, we went back and read it again - we loved it that much. Page after page, this story will keep you turning. There wasn't a single night that I read to her where we didn't wish for more time to read this book. Super bonus that it's so beautifully well written, and thought out; it's a strong story, with lots of little twists and turns.
     Not once did we have to stop, not once did we have to slow down, not once did we want to.
     Out of the all the books I read to Laila this year, this one was by far our favorite, so much so, she begged me to buy her copy when it releases so she can share with her friends.
     I intend to hunt down more books by Brian Farrey, so that Laila and are guaranteed more great adventures before bed.


__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________

T I T L E: The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse
A U T H O R: Brian Farrey
P U B L I S H E R: Algonquin Young Readers
P U B L I S H--D A T E: April 19, 2016
I S B N: 9781616205058
Children’s Fiction
A princess and a peasant girl must embark on a dangerous quest to outwit a centuries-old warning foretelling the fall of the Monarchy in this thrilling modern fairytale.
In the center of the verdant Monarchy lies Dreadwillow Carse, a black and desolate bog that the happy people of the land do their best to ignore. Little is known about it, except for one dire warning: If any monarch enters Dreadwillow Carse, then the Monarchy will fall. Twelve-year-old Princess Jeniah yearns to know what the marsh could possibly conceal that might topple her family's thousand-year reign of peace and prosperity.
Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Emberfell, where everyone lives with unending joy, a girl named Aon hides a sorrow she can never reveal. She knows that something in the carse--something that sings a haunting tune only Aon can hear--holds the cure for her sadness. Yet no matter how many times she tries to enter, the terror-inducing dreadwillow trees keep her away.
After a chance meeting, Princess Jeniah and Aon hatch a plan to send Aon into the heart of the carse to unlock its darkest secret. But when Aon doesn't return, a guilt-stricken Jeniah must enter the carse to try and rescue her friend--even if it means risking the entire Monarchy.
The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse weaves together classic fairy-tale elements--a princess, a forbidden land, and a dangerous quest--in a clever, fast-paced adventure that explores the importance of asking questions and the power of friendship.

AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * GOODREADS * GOOGLE PLAY


*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*

December 8, 2015

The Weird Wild West

__________R E V I E W__________

★★★

     Let me begin by saying, I am irrevocably in love with the weird west. This genre absolutely hits a sweet spot for me, and it's heartbreaking that more people aren't spinning tales within this bountiful genre. This anthology offers twelve short stories with full on spectacular weird west. But of course, like any anthology, I had my favorites; Ruin Creek by Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Rattler by R. S. Belcher, Son of the Devil by Jonathan Maberry, Mungo Snead's Last Stand by Robert E. Waters, Redemption Song by John G. Hartness, and Eighteen Sixty by Faith Hunter.
     I'm intrigued to read more from these authors, and plan on hunting them down. A vast majority of these stories are well written, and very easy to follow from start to finish, no matter how long or short. There were only a few that did not really hold up to the others.
     I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in trying the genre. It's the perfect anthology to get your feet wet with.
     Over all, I'm giving this book three stars. The stories I didn't enjoy were really hard to get into and connect with. Those stories I mentioned above, however, I would have totally given four stars had I been reviewing each short story within the book.



__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________

T I T L E: The Weird Wild West
A U T H O R: Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, Margaret S. McGraw, Gail Z. Martin, Larry N. Martin, John G. Hartness, James R. Tuck Jr, Tonia Brown, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Robert E. Waters, Jonathan Maberry, David Sherman, Ken Schrader , R.S. Belcher, Liz Colter
P U B L I S H E R: eSpec Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: December 1, 2015
I S B N: 9781942990017
Weird West, Anthology

The untamed frontier is a challenge, a test of character, a proving ground for the soul. It's a place where pioneers rewrite their future, or end their days…for better or worse. In the spirit of Bret Maverick, Cat Ballou, Kwai Chang Caine, and James West, The Weird Wild West blends western grit with the magical and mysterious unknown that waits beyond the next horizon.

*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*

December 3, 2015

Turning Silver to Gold by Chris James

T I T L E: Turning Silver to Gold
S E R I E S: Alchemy (Nº 2)
A U T H O R: Chris James
P U B L I S H E R: Globe Literary
P U B L I S H--D A T E: December 14, 2015
A S I N: B017W8BKTW
Supernatural Thriller
After finding Jacob Silver's body missing from his grave at Pentonville Prison, Lizzie Weston battles to prove he is immortal - and clear his name.
Detective Inspector George Neville searches for Jacob's missing remains and learns that Nicolas Flamel is not only alive but cooking another brew - and leaving dead bodies wherever he goes.
Portraits and heads in jars, exhibits from Jacob Silver's "trial of the century" cause havoc as Jacob's murdered victims seek revenge.
Sir Robert Weston is honoured by Queen Victoria for services to medicine - after stealing with Jacob's discoveries.
But where is Jacob Silver?
A new trial, the sensation of the next century, reveals all.



     I must say that I am truly enjoying this series so far. This is the second book and it was just as great as the debut novel.
     Though we do see a lot of the story through Lizzie’s eyes, the point of view does switch between several characters at times. However, it is done well and flows wonderfully. The characters were well developed in the first book, but they are more so in this one. I have to say that while I do really like all of the characters, except Flamel of course, Lizzie is my favorite. I must also add that I didn’t see the ending coming and it caught me off guard, which is not a bad thing. I am very curious to see what will happen in the next installment, and hopefully we won’t have to wait too awfully long to find out.
     If you are looking for something different in a mystery that is a bit dark and macabre with some supernatural elements, then you will want to pick this one up. I do highly recommend it but I also recommend that you read the first book Alchemy: The Story of Perfect Murder.

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


November 16, 2015

The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher

T I T L E: The Seventh Bride
A U T H O R: T. Kingfisher
P U B L I S H E R: Amazon Publishing/47 NOrth
P U B L I S H--D A T E: November 24, 2015
I S B N: 9781503949751
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Young Rhea is a miller’s daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don’t turn down lords—no matter how sinister they may seem—Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement.
Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding. Upon arrival, she discovers that not only was her betrothed married six times before, but his previous wives are all imprisoned in his enchanted castle. Determined not to share their same fate, Rhea asserts her desire for freedom. In answer, Lord Crevan gives Rhea a series of magical tasks to complete, with the threat “Come back before dawn, or else I’ll marry you.”
With time running out and each task more dangerous and bizarre than the last, Rhea must use her resourcefulness, compassion, and bravery to rally the other wives and defeat the sorcerer before he binds her to him forever.



     Not at all what I was expecting. According to the description, T. Kingfisher is the pen name used by this author when she writes for grown ups. I was expecting something a little more...well, grown up. That was not at all what I got with this book, so I was somewhat disappointed. This book really should have been categorized as YA. Now, I have nothing against Young Adult books at all. I just need to be expecting a book written for a younger audience. That was unfortunately not clear in the description. I am placing it under a YA category here, because in all reality that is truly what it is.
     I was unable to connect with the fifteen year old protagonist. That is not to say that a fifteen year old reader wouldn’t be able to do so, and in fact, I think this would be a fantastic book for someone of that age group or even younger.
     I think the writing was well done, albeit for a younger audience and the premise a great one. I would have loved this book if it had been written with a more grown up flare, so I am really disappointed that it was not.
     Would I recommend this book? Yes, indeed I would but only to those adults expecting a young adult novel and of course, to young adult readers. I believe teenage girls will love this book. It just wasn’t for me.
     However, I am giving it three stars and not less because as I mentioned earlier I do think the writing was well done and it is a great plot. I was somewhat disappointed so unfortunately, I don’t feel I can give it higher than that because I had a hard time relating to the main character and the fact that it was not at all the grown up book I thought I was going to be reading.

3 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S



November 8, 2015

Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror

__________R E V I E W__________

★★★

    There were some interesting pieces of work in this anthology. All of these short stories offer a unique, and often surprising, take on vampires. I loved that, because frankly, I'm sick of vampires being romanticized.
     As with most short stories, some of them were so good I hated that they ended. Paper Cuts by Gary A. Braunbeck, We Are All Monsters Here by Kelley Armstrong, Mrs. Popkin by Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry were my favorites. It's not a short anthology, it took me a few days to get through.
     As far as horror goes, it takes a lot to stimulate me in that sense, and none of these did that. Some of them fell short, big time - like they were cute more than scary. Still, this is a worthy read, and while it's not my favorite anthology to date, I'm happy to have it in my "read" pile.


__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________

T I T L E: Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror
A U T H O R: Kelley Armstrong , John Ajvide Lindqvist, Laird Barron, Gary A. Braunbeck , Dana Cameron , Dan Chaon, Lynda Barry, Charlaine Harris, Brian Keene, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Koryta, John Langan, Tim Lebbon, Seanan McGuire, Joe McKinney, Leigh Perry, Robert Shearman, Scott Smith, Lucy A. Snyder , David Wellington, Rio Youers,
Edited By Christopher Golden
P U B L I S H E R: Gallery Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: October 6, 2015
I S B N: 9781476783093
Horror

A blockbuster anthology of original, blood-curdling vampire fiction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, including Charlaine Harris, whose novels were adapted into HBO’s hit show True Blood, and Scott Smith, publishing his first work since The Ruins.
Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this stellar collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again. Edited by New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden and featuring all-new stories from such contributors as Charlaine Harris, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Scott Smith, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Kortya, Kelley Armstrong, Brian Keene, David Wellington, Seanan McGuire, and Tim Lebbon, Seize the Night is old-school vampire fiction at its finest.

AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * GOODREADS * GOOGLE PLAY


November 3, 2015

The Ark by Patrick S. Tomlinson

T I T L E: The Ark
S E R I E S: Children of a Dead Earth (Nº 1)
A U T H O R: Patrick S. Tomlinson
P U B L I S H E R: Angry Robot Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: November 3, 2015
I S B N: 9780857664853
Sci-Fi
Humankind has escaped a dying Earth and set out to find a new home among the stars aboard an immense generation ship affectionately name the Ark. Bryan Benson is the Ark's greatest living sports hero, enjoying retirement working as a detective in Avalon, his home module. The hours are good, the work is easy, and the perks can't be beat.
But when a crew member goes missing, Bryan is thrust into the center of an ever-expanding web of deception, secrets, and violence that overturns everything he knows about living on the Ark and threatens everyone aboard. As the last remnants of humanity hurtle towards their salvation, Bryan finds himself in a desperate race to unravel the conspiracy before a madman turns mankind's home into its tomb.



     This book has a bit of everything. Science fiction, mystery, and thrills along with some action thrown in as well.
     The story takes place on a massive ship in space and it is evident the author did some research. He even references some NASA projects in the story which makes it believable. The execution is well done and things progress well without getting bogged down with details that don't have a bearing on the story.
     I found the characters likable but felt that they could have been developed just a bit more. Although, this is only the first book in the series so I am confident that they will grow as the story does and I am interested to see where things go from here.
     It seems no matter how far in the future or how far out in space, mankind still divides itself with the social status and politics. No matter how technically or genetically advanced there are still motives for thievery and murder.
     The plot is excellent and the story moves a great pace. This was a very interesting read and kept me turning the pages up to the very end.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


October 31, 2015

The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

T I T L E: The Sisters of Versailles
S E R I E S: The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy (Nº 1)
A U T H O R: Sally Christie
P U B L I S H E R: Atria Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: September 1, 2015
I S B N: 9781501102967
Historical Fiction, Woman’s Fiction
A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed.
Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear.
Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters—Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne—four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail.
Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot—and women—forward. The King’s scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters—sweet, naïve Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne—will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.
In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie’s stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood—of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.




     I must confess that I do not read many books on the French Court because I prefer the history of Ireland, Scotland, and England. However, I do love court politics. I find it quite fascinating that people got away with some of the things they did just to gain favor from the ruling monarch, even family members. So, when I read this description I was intrigued even though it was about the French court. I didn’t know that the Nesle sisters even existed, but then to find that they were real and that four of the five were mistresses of King Louis XV was pretty interesting. Just goes to show that sometimes life can really be stranger than fiction or, in this case, a bit of both.
     The book held my interest from beginning to end for the simple fact that these characters were based on real women in 18th century France. They were well researched and I felt the author did a great job of developing them to be believable. She brought the French court and all of its dealings to life. However, what I didn’t like was the fact that it kept changing points of view. It is told in first person, but each chapter is told by a different sister and kept alternating between them. It had me thinking it would have been interesting for each sister to have her own book. Though, I didn’t care for the changing points of view, I still felt it was well written and I did like the story very much. I found it quite entertaining from beginning to end. I would recommend this story to those that like historical fiction but are looking for characters that have not been written about in the past.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


October 20, 2015

Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen

T I T L E: Playing with Fire
A U T H O R: Tess Gerritsen
P U B L I S H E R: Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: October 27, 2015
I S B N: 9781101884348
Mystery, Thriller
In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music—the Incendio waltz—and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. The mournful minor key and complex feverish arpeggios appear to dance with a strange life of their own. Back in Boston, when Julia plays the notes for the first time, the music has a terrifying and unexplainable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently transformed. Determined to track down the music score's origins, Julia travels to Venice—and uncovers a dark secret that not only dates back to the Second World War, but also directly involves a dangerously powerful family who will stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.



     Though this book was a bit on the dark and creepy side, it was extremely enjoyable, even if it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I haven’t read this author’s other works so I came into this without any preconceived notions. After reading this book, I believe I will be reading her other novels as well.
     The story flashes back and forth between Julia in the present day and Lorenzo in World War II, it is easy to keep up with and very well done. Some authors are not able to pull that off but with Tess Gerritsen that is certainly not an issue. Both past and present eventually come together in a manner that makes sense, even if the ending seemed just a bit rushed.
     All the characters were believable and sparked emotion. This was a quick fast pace read coming in at around 300 pages. I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it, though I’m not sure that it would everyone’s cup of tea.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

October 18, 2015

Helldiver by Chris Allen

T I T L E: Helldiver
S E R I E S: Intrepid (Nº 4)
A U T H O R: Chris Allen
P U B L I S H E R: Momentum/Pan MacMillan
P U B L I S H--D A T E: November 26, 2015
I S B N: 9781760300616
Thriller, Action
Alex Morgan – policeman, soldier and spy for INTREPID – commits to the toughest mission of his career, and his chances of survival are slimmer than ever.
Sent deep into the shadows of Europe's criminal underbelly, Morgan's mission is to overthrow an oligarch and bring a spy in from the cold. But his target is closer than he knows.
As old friends re-emerge, it becomes clear that the very heart of Morgan's black ops division INTREPID faces destruction, and trust, it seems, is little more than a commodity to be bought and sold.
With INTREPID agent Elizabeth Reigns by his side once again, Morgan must stare fear in the face as his loyalty is tested to its limits.
Helldiver sees INTERPOL's ultra secret black ops division INTREPID brought to its knees, and it's up to Morgan and Reigns to wrest their agency back from the brink.



     I choose the music I listen to by the mood that I am in at the time. I am much the same when it comes to the books I read, especially when it comes to a genre that has no supernatural elements in it whatsoever. I was in the mood for an action thriller and that is exactly what I got. But, not just action, there were good guys, bad guys, a touch of romance, international crime and intrigue with shades of James Bond.
     Alex Morgan is a fantastic character. He has depth, he’s smart, charismatic and pretty bad ass. All the things I like in male lead roles. In fact, all the characters in this story had dimension. Zolner and his wife Kristina were very well written.
     The plot was gripping and I was never bored. There were some scenes where my stomach did flip flops because I wasn’t sure what would happen next. All in all this was a fantastic book. If you like international spy thrillers then you really should read this book.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


October 14, 2015

The Monstrous

__________R E V I E W__________

★★★★

     Another home run anthology on my “read it, loved it” list. (Actually, this list doesn’t exist, but it will.) This collection of Dark fantasy/Thriller/Horror short stories was as enticing to read as the title of collection. Some of these stories lingered in the back of my mind, even days after I was done with the book. Most of them made me question my own perception of monstrous. All of them were good, well-written, dark literature published within the last twenty years.



__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________

T I T L E: The Monstrous
A U T H O R S: Jeffery Ford, Peter Straub, Dale Bailey, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Gemma Files, Livia Llewellyn, Adam-Roy Castro, Kim Newman, Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois, Carole Johnstone, Brian Hodge, Stephen Graham Jones, Adam L.G. Nevill, Sofia Samatar, Terry Dowling, Glen Hirshberg, A.C. Wise, Steve Rasnic Tem, Christopher Fowler, John Langan,
Edited by Ellen Datlow
P U B L I S H E R: Tachyon Publications
P U B L I S H--D A T E: October 27, 2015
I S B N: 9781616962067
Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Horror
The horror genre’s most acclaimed editor reveals twenty modern stories of evil more terrifying than monsters: The Monstrous.
Collected here are unnerving creations from the masters of fear, including Peter Straub’s vengeful kindergarten teacher, Kim Newman’s exhausted witch hunters, and Caitlín R. Kiernan’s obsessive devotee of swans. Creatures of darkness struggle to adapt to modern living and ordinary people are horrifyingly transformed in these inexplicable, deadly reflections of our day-to-day lives. From one seemingly harmless elderly man to a family reunion bent on unspeakable evil, the monstrous are far closer than they appear.


AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * GOODREADS * GOOGLE PLAY 


*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*

October 13, 2015

A Land Divided by K.M. Ashman

T I T L E: A Land Divided
S E R I E S: The Blood of Kings (Nº 1)
A U T H O R: K.M. Ashman
P U B L I S H E R: Thomas & Mercer
P U B L I S H--D A T E: October 1, 2015
I S B N: 9781503945241
Historical Fiction
1081. William’s bloody conquest is over and Britain is under Norman rule. But one bastion of resistance remains: Wales. A divided land where brother fights brother and kings battle for power. The English use this to further their own ends, and while one king is tempted by an offer he cannot resist, the others wage war over long-forgotten feuds. Gruffydd ap Cynan, true heir to the kingdom of Gwynedd, is in exile across the sea. When he hears of the betrayal of the Welsh people by the imposter in his throne, Gruffydd unites with Tewdwr, a monarch deposed by the traitors, and they forge an army from the ashes of their kingdoms. But Tewdwr’s wife and daughter—the source of much of the allies’ strength—are a weakness their enemies will exploit. Betrayal, treachery and war await, but both men know they must fight to the bitter end, when the sundered lands of Wales are drenched...in the blood of kings.


     There aren't a lot of novels out there that are written about medieval Wales, whether fiction or nonfiction. That is one of the reasons that I was interested in reading this particular story. Anyone who knows me knows that I am fascinated with anything that has to do with the medieval time period. As far as my knowledge on medieval Wales goes, I would say it is limited. I do know that the country had its struggles with England just as Ireland and Scotland did. Another reason for my desire to read this particular book.
     The story was interesting and it was evident that the research had been done. I have no complaints about the writing. It was done well. The battle scenes were excellent and the intrigue did have me on the edge of my seat. I've always found intrigue and the dynamics of court, along with medieval alliances in that time period very compelling.
     Unfortunately, I thought the characters could have had a bit more development. It was hard for me to feel anything for any of them. And at times they were a bit stale. If they would have had a bit more dimension I think I would have enjoyed this book a bit more.
     I did like this story and did enjoy it to some extent. However, I didn't love it and, therefore, can only give it three stars instead of four.

3 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


October 3, 2015

Boundary Lines by Melissa F. Olson

T I T L E: Boundary Lines
S E R I E S: Boundary Magic (Nº 2)
A U T H O R: Melissa F. Olson
P U B L I S H E R: Skyscape/47 North
P U B L I S H--D A T E: October 12, 2015
I S B N: 9781503947061
Urban Fantasy
Fitting into the Old World isn’t going very well for Boulder boundary witch Allison “Lex” Luther: she may have earned a place in a vampire’s service, but now it seems as if every supernatural creature in town has found a reason to hate her. And when Lex and her partner are assigned to investigate the suspicious disappearance of two vampires during the night of the full moon, they find themselves with more questions than answers.
Was it murder…or mutiny?
The crusade for answers will lead Lex all over the Colorado Old World, from a prison cell for a broken werewolf to a haunted Denver brothel. And when Lex determines the responsible party, the hunt is just beginning: something has been awakened in Boulder, something as old and powerful as it is terrifying. Only the woman with death in her blood can stop what’s coming.


      I opened this book on my kindle, started reading and didn't put it down until I finished the entire thing. Yes, that's right, done in one night. And now, I'm looking forward to the next one.
     The thing I liked about Lex is that she is not wimpy in any way. The males in the book know that as well. While they may care for her, they don't coddle her and get over protective. I appreciate that in a story. But, the fact that she is tough and can kick ass with the best of them is not the only reason I like her. She is very believable and not one dimensional.
     The supporting characters are just developed as Lex and you can't help but like most of them. Except for Lily and Simon's older sisters, but then that is the way it is meant to be.
     Just enough action with unexpected twists and turns to keep the pages turning. This was a fun and exciting read. I recommend this book to all those urban fantasy fans out there. Pick this one up, you won't be disappointed.
     I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

October 2, 2015

Malus Domestica by S.A. Hunt

__________R E V I E W__________

★★★★★

     I seriously feel like I should be ripping petals from a flower while professing my love for this novel. As with most of my five star reviews, I'm at a loss for the right words. I'm not sure why this happens to me. Maybe it's because I have so much I want to say, I can't possibly get it all out.
     Let's start at the opening of the book . . .
     Not only did it suck me in, but it also knocked my socks off. So much so, I had to do a social media status update to tell the world what just happened. That was the best introduction to a story I have read in a long, long time. Bravo.
     This novel also reminded me that some time has past since I've read such an array of unique characters. There are several, and vary greatly in ages, yet, I loved every damn one of them. Even the witches in their most grotesque forms. They all make strides - good and bad - during the story. And honestly, I feel like if you removed any one of them, it would change everything about the overall feel to the story.
     From the beginning to the end, I was entertained with story and action. I cannot tell you how many times I Oh shit'd, and really, I'm censoring there. I did a lot more shouting of far worse words than that. There were some days I was busy, and could not get to the book; those days, all I did was think about this story.
     It is that kick-ass.
     Books like this that make me wish I had all the money in the world. This way, I could buy every single book S.A. Hunt has written.
     I have a gazillion other things I could say, but really, I think the five stars says it all, because I only give these stars to epic-fucking-stories.


__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________

T I T L E: Malus Domestica
A U T H O R: S.A. Hunt
P U B L I S H E R: S.A. Hunt
P U B L I S H--D A T E: July 20, 2015
I S B N: 9781515157861
Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Horror

Robin Martine has come a long way.
She's not your usual college-age girl. More often than not, Robin's washing a load of gory clothes at the laundromat, or down at the lake throwing hatchets at pumpkins. She lives in an old van, collects swords, and dyes her mohawk blue.
Also, she kills witches for a living on YouTube.
You see, Robin's life was turned upside down by those hideous banshees from Hell. She spent high-school in a psych ward, drugged out of her head for telling the cops her mother Annie was murdered with magic. Magic from a witch named Marilyn Cutty.
After a 3-year warpath across America, she's come home to end Cutty for good.
But she'll have to battle hog-monsters, a city full of raving maniacs, and a killer henchman called the "Serpent" if she wants to end the coven's reign over the town of Blackfield once and for all.


AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * GOODREADS


*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*

September 30, 2015

Death Comes to Kurland Hall by Catherine Lloyd

T I T L E: Death Comes to Kurland Hall
S E R I E S: Kurland St. Mary Mystery (Nº 3) 
A U T H O R: Catherine Lloyd
P U B L I S H E R: Kensington Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: November 24, 2015
I S B N: 9780758287373
Historical Mystery
As wedding bells chime in Kurland St. Mary, a motley group of visitors descends on the village—and with a murderer on the prowl, some of them may not be returning home…
Lucy Harrington has returned to Kurland St. Mary to help with her friend Sophia Giffin's wedding. But her homecoming is made disagreeable by the presence of Major Robert Kurland, whose bungled proposal has ruffled Lucy's composure, and a meddling widow who has designs on her father, the village rector.
Wary of the cloying Mrs. Chingford from the start, Lucy has doubts about the busybody's intentions with her father. But everyone else seems to think they make an ideal match—until the courtship is curtailed when Mrs. Chingford is found dead at the bottom of a staircase. It's clear that it wasn't an accident, and in hopes of finding the culprit, Lucy and Robert call a truce and begin scrutinizing the wedding guests.
But the widow left behind plenty of enemies, and when one of them is the next to turn up dead, Lucy and Robert discover that the truth is far more scandalous than anyone could have imagined…



     My favorite mysteries to read are those that take place in historical eras and this one is during the Regency period. It was a fun read and in fact, I read it in one night. That is not to say it wasn't well written, it was, and very enjoyable.
     The interaction between Major Kurland and Lucy was humorous at times but also frustrating at times. They both had their stubborn streaks which had me telling them out loud not to be so. However, that is only because I not only wanted them to be together as a crime-solving duo but also as a couple.
     When the victim met her demise, I found myself smiling. I know that may make me seem a wee bit on the evil side, but she was so despicable that I couldn't help it. In my defense that just means the author did what she was supposed to do. When characters are written in such a way that they evoke emotion then it's a job well done. I found that to be true in this story.
      As far as the mystery itself goes, it was one that kept me guessing. I can't say I didn't suspect the culprit before the murderer was revealed, but I did also suspect others. So, nothing was really given away until it mattered.
     There are some harrowing on the edge of your seat scenes and some sprinkles of humor here and there and just the right touch of romance. I look forward to reading more from this author.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


September 27, 2015

Robbed of Soul by Lois D. Brown

__________R E V I E W__________

★★★

  I enjoyed this book a lot. It opens with quite the bang, and keeps a nice steady pace from that moment forward. This novel is an easy read that will hold your interest until the very last page.
     The mystery in this book is very well written. You only know what Maria knows, and nothing more. All too often, I know exactly where a story is going, and more often than not, I figure the mystery out before it’s revealed in the novel. That is so not the case in this story. Well done.
     All the characters are very likable, and the ones you’re not supposed to like, you won’t. The hint of romance along the way is not overbearing, and the development of the relationship stays very true to the characters involved. Another well done.
     I have full intentions to follow this series to see where it goes.


__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________

T I T L E: Robbed of Soul
S E R I E S: Legends of Treasures (Nº 1)
A U T H O R: Lois D. Brown
P U B L I S H E R: Levanter Publishing
P U B L I S H--D A T E: February 3, 2015
I S B N: 9781940576053
Mystery, Romance
Rescued but psychologically damaged from a failed mission, ex-CIA officer Maria Branson takes the job of police chief in the quiet town of Kanab, Utah. Rest and relaxation are the doctor’s orders. She gets neither. Instead, a missing mayor, the spirit of a dead Aztec warrior, and the over-confident-yet-attractive head of Search and Rescue await her in a town whose past has almost as many secrets as her own. As Maria investigates a modern-day murder, she disturbs a world of ancient legends and deadly curses. Yet most lethal of all is Maria’s fear someone will discover just how empty her soul really is.
Whether you’re interested in the treasures of Montezuma, enjoy squeaky clean mysteries, or have a soft spot for light romance and suspense, Robbed of Soul fits the bill.

AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * GOODREADS

September 26, 2015

Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell

T I T L E: Time to Die
S E R I E S: Detective Jennifer Knight (Nº 2)
A U T H O R: Caroline Mitchell
P U B L I S H E R: Bookouture
P U B L I S H--D A T E: September 24, 2015
I S B N: 9781910751428
Mystery, Thriller

He will predict your life… and your death.
Don’t ever cross his palm with silver.
He will reveal your most shameful secrets.
He will predict your death.
He is hiding a secret.
He is hiding a monster.
And all his predictions come true.
Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven.
As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all …
Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards.



     So often the second book in a series is a let down from the first. Not so with this second installment of the Jennifer Knight series by Caroline Mitchell. I really loved the first book and was looking forward to reading this one. I was not disappointed.
     I was happy to see that the characters continue to develop and are still as likable as they were in the first book. There are a couple of new ones introduced and I liked them as well, at least for the most part. One gets the feeling that there is more to Zoe than appears so far. I am interested to see just what that may be.
     As in the first novel, the villain is quite disturbing and the ravens lend a lot of overall creepiness to the atmosphere of the story. They brought a very Edgar Allen Poe feel to it. Next time I see a raven, I think I will be compelled to steer clear. There are lots of page-turning scenes throughout as well as an ending that I didn't see coming taking me completely by surprise. Loved it.
     This was a thrilling read and provided fantastic supernatural suspense. It was well executed and I can't wait to read the next one.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


September 25, 2015

Lightless by C.A. Higgins

T I T L E: Lightless
A U T H O R: C.A. Higgins
P U B L I S H E R: Random House Publishing Group/Del Rey Spectra
P U B L I S H--D A T E: September 29, 2015
I S B N: 9780553394429
Sci-Fi
The deeply moving human drama of Gravity meets the nail-biting suspense of Alien in this riveting science fiction debut. With bold speculation informed by a degree in astrophysics, C. A. Higgins spins an unforgettable “locked spaceship” mystery guaranteed to catapult readers beyond their expectations—and into brilliantly thrilling new territory. Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship's electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship. While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner—the enigmatic Ivan—may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities' most relentless surveillance—and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden. As the ship's systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner's layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan's mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever—if it doesn't kill her first.




     The description was the reason I was drawn to this book but, I am not quite sure that it really is a case of Gravity meets Alien. Perhaps it’s just me but I didn’t see the comparison. Although, I did like the book it wasn’t quite what I expected.
     The book started a bit slow for my liking. Thankfully the pace did pick up in about the last third of the story or so. I would have liked to see that happen much earlier. I think Althea could have used a bit more development, but then I like my heroines a little more on the stronger side. The interrogations got to be a little too tedious as well and I never really felt that much was resolved from them.
     I did like the concept and the plot idea was a good one. The unexpected twist in the last part of the book did make it worth the read and I did enjoy the small bits of science that were incorporated into the story. I was expecting a bit more though since the author has a degree in physics. Having said that I still really liked the book. Unfortunately, I didn't love it but I am interested to see what the next installment in this series will bring. Honestly, I did waver between three and four stars but since I didn't quite love this book, I'm going to have to go with three.

3 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

September 21, 2015

The League of Unexceptional Children by Gitty Daneshvari

__________R E V I E W__________

★★★★

     The moment I read the title of this book, I knew Laila was going to enjoy it. I was elated upon approval to read and review this book.
     “The description of the book doesn’t do it justice. It’s way cooler than what that description said, mom,” Laila told me when we finished reading it. I agree. When we read books like this, the one chapter a night rule is a real bummer. If I didn’t have that rule in place, we would have read it all in one sitting.
     You find out, rather quickly, that the unexceptionals, are actually exceptional, but in a very different way. Jonathan and Shelly are quite the pair. Shelly was by far our favorite of the duo, but we loved Jonathan too.
     Living close to Washington D.C., where the story takes place, made the book that much more enjoyable for us. The whole novel from start-to-finish was an exciting, and fun read for both Laila and I. We laughed every single chapter. She really enjoyed the "Top Secret" bits.
     As far as reading it goes, Laila would get caught on the dialog tags, which was an odd thing. At one point she asked me, “What happened to good ole’ he said-she said?” To which I had no reply. Other than that, it was easy for her to read and follow. The ending led us to believe this might be a series in the making, and both of us are excited at the thought.
      Both Laila and I agree, this book gets four stars and a big thumbs up because kid spies are cool.



__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________

T I T L E: The League of Unexceptional Children
A U T H O R: Gitty Daneshvari
P U B L I S H E R: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
P U B L I S H--D A T E: October 20, 2015
I S B N: 9780316405706
Children’s Fiction
Are you average? Normal? Forgettable? If so, the League of Unexceptional Children is for you! This first book in a hilarious new adventure series is for anyone who's struggled to be noticed in a sea of above-average overachievers.
What is the League of Unexceptional Children? I'm glad you asked. You didn't ask? Well, you would have eventually and I hate to waste time. The League of Unexceptional Children is a covert network that uses the nation's most average, normal, and utterly unexceptional children as spies. Why the average kids? Why not the brainiacs? Or the beauty queens? Or the jocks? It's simple: People remember them. But not the unexceptionals. They are the forgotten ones. Until now!



AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * GOODREADS * GOOGLE PLAY


*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*

September 19, 2015

Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore by Rose Pressey

T I T L E: Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore
S E R I E S: A Haunted Vintage Mystery (Nº 3)
A U T H O R: Rose Pressey
P U B L I S H E R: Kensington Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: October 27, 2015
I S B N: 9781617732539
Mystery
A hot-ticket charity fashion show is the perfect chance for Cookie Chanel, proud owner of It's Vintage Y'All, to show off her stylistic savvy for a good cause. But when a famous fashionista is fatally flattened, and the ghost of a former private investigator asks for Cookie's help, she has to scurry to sew up a solution. With clever clues from Wind Song, her psychic cat, and sassy suggestions from Charlotte, her ghost-in-residence, Cookie must unravel the sinister stitches of a deadly design--before she becomes the next fashion victim...




     I was looking for something fun to read when I came upon this book. And I was correct in assuming that this would fit that bill. It was a great quick read that was quite enjoyable.
     This was a pleasing cozy mystery with just a splash of romance and a good plot. It held my attention and made me smile which is why I like to read this type of book from time to time. It didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat the way mysteries do, but it was still a fun read all the same.
     The characters were very likable, even the weird psychic cat. I did however, feel that all the descriptions of the clothes became a bit tiresome and even annoying at times. Even though Cookie was a boutique owner and fashion blogger, I think a little less clothing details may have been in order. I also figured out who the murderer was, so unfortunately there was no “wow, I didn’t see that coming moment.” I did still enjoy it though.
     Those readers out there that enjoy cozy mysteries will probably love this book. For those that like a lot of suspense with some scary moments then this may not be for you.


4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

September 17, 2015

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone

T I T L E: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss
A U T H O R: Max Wirestone
P U B L I S H E R: Redhook Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: October 20, 2015
I S B N: 9780316385978
Literary Fiction (Adult)
The odds of Dahlia successfully navigating adulthood are 3,720 to 1. But never tell her the odds.
Meet Dahlia Moss, the reigning queen of unfortunate decision-making in the St. Louis area. Unemployed broke, and on her last bowl of ramen, she's not living her best life. But that's all about to change.
Before Dahlia can make her life any messier on her own she's offered a job. A job that she's woefully under-qualified for. A job that will lead her to a murder, an MMORPG, and possibly a fella (or two?).
Turns out unfortunate decisions abound, and she's just the girl to deal with them.



    The description was what attracted me and subsequently request this book for review. I love humor and that was the number one selling point for me. I was looking for something that was a bit different to read and that is what I got with this story. While I didn’t laugh out loud, it did make me chuckle quite a lot.
     The characters are a little on the zany side and I don't think there was one that I didn't really like. Dahlia seems to get herself into some odd situations, but she never gives up. She finds herself investigating the theft of a three-dimensional spear from an online RPG, then uncovers a murder using said missing object. Not your average murder or weapon which made this a unique mystery. Kudos to the author for this creative plot.
     I found this book to be entertaining and a fun read. I think it will appeal to those that enjoy a chuckle, love a good but quirky mystery as well as those that are gamers or just a bit on the nerdy side. I'm giving this one four stars.

4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


September 11, 2015

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights by Salam Rushdie

T I T L E: Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights
A U T H O R: Salman Rushdie
P U B L I S H E R: Random House Publishing Group/Random House
P U B L I S H--D A T E: September 8, 2015
I S B N: 9780812998917
Fantasy, Literature Fiction (Adult)
From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush, richly layered novel in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.
In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub–Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor's office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.
Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.
Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia's children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights—or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.



     Jinn are not creatures that you see often in stories which is one of the reasons that I was drawn to this book. One of the other reasons was that it is written by Salmon Rushdie, a well known if not sometimes controversial author.
     It took me longer to get through this book than it normally would. And so, I'm finding it a bit difficult to actually write this review. The reason for that is not because I didn’t like it or because the writing wasn’t well done, but because the language is formal therefore a bit wordy in some places.
     The information given in the beginning about the Jinn was interesting. However, I never became all that interested in the characters. It was a fantastic concept but the story itself just didn’t grab me. Despite the fact that I felt it was a bit too wordy for my liking I still think it was well done. And I did like the main idea of the story so I am going with three stars on this one.


3 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S

September 7, 2015

A Perfect Curse by Shereen Vedam

T I T L E: The Perfect Curse
S E R I E S: Rue Alliance (Nº 3)
A U T H O R: Shereen Vedam
P U B L I S H E R: Belle Books/ImaJinn Books
P U B L I S H--D A T E: July 31, 2015
I S B N: 9781611946567
Paranormal Romance
Who needs a prince, when you’ve got a huntsman?
Nevara Wood is desperate to change her life. Plagued by shifting sight, which skews her normal vision and shows her disturbing visions, she’s always felt odd and unlovable. And she greatly wants to be loved—especially by Mark Dimas, the man she has hero-worshiped since the day he saved her life. Her only chance at happiness lies in breaking the curse that afflicts her—and all clues to the source of her torment point to a town in Southern Spain. Unfortunately, her every attempt to travel to that war-ravaged continent is impeded by the very man whose love she wants to win...
Mark Dimas Alvaro is the last in a line of wizards charged by his ancestor, a magical huntsman, to secretly protect Nevara's family. But Mark chafes at his role because it has cost him everyone he loves, most recently his beloved brother. He is certain that if Nevara would simply stay in England and not create any unnecessary magical waves, they could both survive for another generation. Instead, his stubborn charge’s persistent investigation into her past lands Nevara in imminent danger. Mark instantly prepares to wage a magical war to protect the woman he has sworn to protect...and has come to deeply love.
But Nevara's innocent probing has awoken an ancient evil that has held a grudge against her charmed family for three centuries. And it will do everything in its power to ensure that this princess never gets to live happily ever after…



     I requested this book because the description intrigued me. The fact that it was the third book in a series I hadn’t yet read didn’t deter me. Perhaps it should have, but most often you do get a bit of a recap throughout the books so that it is easy to follow along. And truthfully that did happen with this book. However, I found it difficult to connect with the characters. Maybe if I had followed this series from the beginning it would have been easier to do that.
     To be fair, the writing was well done. It was a great twist to the Snow White story and there was much that I did like about it. Having said that it is difficult for me to love a story when I don’t love the characters. For me they seemed to lack the depth that I look for when I read a book. I realize that Nevara and Mark knew each other when they were young, but the description of how he saved her didn’t quite cover the reason why they were so enamoured with each other from the beginning. At least from my perspective. I think I would have liked to see their relationship develop a bit more slowly before they were so head over heels for each other. I can understand a feeling of being drawn to each other quite soon, but again I didn’t read the first two books. I got the feeling from this one though that this was the first time there was contact with one another since they were very young.
     I would recommend this book to those that are looking for a different take on an old fairy tale as well as those that would like to read something other than vampires and shifters for paranormal romance. I do however suggest that you read the first two books in the series before picking this one up.

3 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S


September 5, 2015

The Humanity of Monsters

__________R E V I E W__________

★★★★★

    Wow, what a book.
     Rocked my socks!
     I can honestly say there isn’t a story in here that isn’t epic. Relentlessly, each of them takes you on a short journey with someone (or something); all of them hold onto you, making it almost an arduous task to stop reading. I read it, walked away, and then went back and read it again. My favorites (Dead Sea Fruit, The Emperor’s Old Bones, Six, Ghostweight, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream, Never The Same, Mantis Wives, You Go Where It Takes You, and Theories of Pain) I read a third time. The thing is, it wasn’t just because each of these short stories are fan-fucking-tastic stories, but because my eyes were so glued to them the first time I read them, when done, I literally asked myself, “What the hell just happened?” I’m not exaggerating.
     I mean, even the Introduction to the book is great. Side note: heed its warning.
     It’s a must read. And for me, a must own. I will own this book; it will sit on my shelf, all pretty like, as soon as they print a hardcover. I may go out and buy a paperback just so I can send it to every person I know. I must infect the world with these outstanding pieces of literature.
     Thanks to anthologies like this, I’ve come to love them. I have so many authors I need to read now. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.



__________B O O K__D E T A I L S__________

T I T L E: The Humanity of Monsters
A U T H O R: Chinelo Onwualu, Kaaron Warren, Catherynne M. Valente, Gemma Files, Peter Watts, Indrapramit Das, Leah Bobet, Sofia Samatar, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Sonya Taaffe, Yoon Ha Lee, Neil Gaiman, Joe Lansdale, Rachel Swirsky, Maria Dahvana Headley, Sunny Moraine, Berit Ellingsen, Polenth Blake, Kij Johnson, Laird Barron, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Livia Llewellyn, Nathan Ballingrud, A.C. Wise, Meghan McCarron. Introduction by: Michael Matheson.
P U B L I S H E R: Diamond Book Distributors/Chizine Publications
P U B L I S H--D A T E: January 12, 2016
I S B N: 9781771483599
Dark Fantasy, Thriller

We are all of us monsters. We are none of us monsters. Through the work of twenty-six writers, emerging to award-winning and masters of their craft, The Humanity of Monsters plumbs the depths of humane monsters, monstrous humans, and the interstices between. In stories by turns surreal, sublime, brutal, and haunting, there are no easy answers to be found, no simple nor uncomplicated labels to be had. Only the surety that though there be monsters, you will name them false. And when you meet those who truly are, you will not know them.

AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * GOODREADS * GOOGLE PLAY


*I received an advanced copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review*

September 4, 2015

Bryant & May and The Burning Man by Christopher Flower

T I T L E: Bryant & May and The Burning Man
S E R I E S: A Peculiar Crimes Mystery (Nº 12)
A U T H O R: Christopher Fowler
P U B L I S H E R: Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine/Bantam
P U B L I S H--D A T E: December 15, 2015
I S B N: 9780345547682
Mystery, Thriller
No case is too curious for Arthur Bryant and John May, London’s most ingenious detectives. But with their beloved city engulfed in turmoil, they’ll have to work fast to hold a sinister killer’s feet to the fire.
In the week before Guy Fawkes Night, London’s peaceful streets break out in sudden unrest. Enraged by a scandal involving a corrupt financier accused of insider trading, demonstrators are rioting outside the Findersbury Private Bank, chanting, marching, and growing violent. But when someone hurls a Molotov cocktail at the bank’s front door, killing a homeless man on its steps, Bryant, May, and the rest of the Peculiar Crimes Unit team are called in. Is this an act of protest gone terribly wrong? Or a devious, premeditated murder?
Their investigation heats up when a second victim is reported dead in similar fiery circumstances. May discovers the latest victim has ties to the troubled bank, and Bryant refuses to believe this is mere coincidence. As the riots grow more intense and the body count climbs, Bryant and May hunt for a killer who’s adopting incendiary methods of execution, on a snaking trail of clues with roots in London’s history of rebellion, anarchy, and harsh justice. Now, they’ll have to throw themselves in the line of fire before the entire investigation goes up in smoke.



     This is the first Bryant & May mystery that I’ve read. Even though I’ve not read any of the others I had no problem keeping up. Not once did I ever feel lost or had any difficulty understanding who the characters were or the dynamics between them. I have one other Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery on my To Be Read List, which, unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to yet. However, after reading this one I will make a point to make sure the other one gets read and soon.
     I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was funny and thrilling at the same time. The plot very clever and well crafted. There were some odd twists that kept me guessing right to the end.
     All of the characters of the Peculiar Crimes Unit are a bit peculiar themselves but very likable. Especially the main characters of Bryant & May who are well-seasoned detectives. Their idiosyncrasies make them all that much more endearing. In a way, they are a bit of an odd pair and very different from each other, which works quite well. I also liked the fact that there was a bit of history thrown in here and there via Arthur Bryant who seems to have quite an amount of knowledge tucked away in that brain of his.
     This story was a great read and I look forward to reading more Bryant & May. I do recommend this book to those out there like reading a good mystery with some slightly eccentric characters.


4 STAR


A M A Z O N          B A R N E S & N O B L E          G O O D R E A D S