Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Scottish Prisioner by Diana Galbadon

As Mrs. Galbadon states on her website, this is one of the "little" book in between the "great big books".  If you have read the Outlander series this story fills in a few things, if not it is a stand alone novel.
Lord John Grey needs the help of Jamie Fraser, aka Alex Mackenzie, to investigate part of the evidence of a court martial.  Things are never quite that simple of course but it does get the story rolling.
Filled with intrigue, plots, counterplots, spies, a sprinkling of Jacobites and several ah-ha moments.
Very enjoyable read which I highly recommend.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

 A very enjoyable book that brings several themes to the forefront.  Even if you are a descendent of an angel you are not always a good and righteous person.  Love does not solve all problems, at times it creates larger ones.  Prejudice at some level is always present, be it the conditions of a person's birth, mental state, choice of life partner.  The bonds of family can be so strong that logical thinking is impaired.   There is a reason that young people need adults around to temper emotions.
My only fault is it just ended.  Ms. Clare had best be working hard on the next installment.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Unguet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb

Based upon the tale of the Greenbrier Ghost of West Virginia the tale focuses on the murder or a young newlywed woman from the point of view of her mother and an attorney that helped with the defense.  An excellent meshing of different times, people of a variety of social classes, economics and race relations.

As always well written with a nice little twist at the end which will change your entire view of the way the murder was discovered.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Magnus Chase - The Ship of the Dead

Book Three featuring Magnus Chase finds him basically killing himself over and over at the behest of Percy Jackson.  Luckily for Magnus, the pain is only for a bit until he wakes up again in Valhalla whole and complete.  Unfortunately, he will not have that option once he takes off on his quest to stop the Ship of the Dead.

Loki is trying to free the Ship of the Dead so he can go ahead and get started with destroying the Nine Worlds.  It is up to Magnus and his favorite Valkyrie, Dwarf, Elf and his einjerjar buddies to stop him before it is all to late and Ragnarok  begins.

Filled with Nordic mythology, a bit of mystery and plenty of adventure.   There is a little surprise relationship that develops that is very unique and made me stop and think but I really like the twist and am interested in where it will go.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

The first Xanth novel introduces the reader to a land filled with magic and puns.  Bink has no obvious magic and so must leave Xanth and go to live in Mundania.
One thing after another just barely saves him from a series for terrible magical incidents, from slightly painful incidents that cause a little physical discomfort to some that cause acute embarrassment. 
Into Mundania he goes, followed quickly by the smartest yet ugliest woman ever!  They are both captured by Evil Magician Trent, who was exiled many years previously.  Somehow they end up back in Xanth and from there you just have to go and have a magical adventure.

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Percy goes through the twelve major Greek gods and goddesses in a gossip filled way.  Everything is not all brightness and nectar by any means.  In-fighting, back stabbing, cheating, love, abandonment and lots and lots of jealousy.

A fun read with plenty of sarcasm to keep things moving along.  It is not necessary to know about Percy and his history, he just serves as a narrator.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sleep LIke A Baby by Charlaine Harris

Aurora Teagarden and her mystery writing husband have been blessed with a daughter.  The adjustments of a new baby along with a fairly new marriage have both a little stressed but nothing to bad.  When Robin is set to receive an award Roe sends him off with her blessing even though she knows she is getting sick.  Thankfully Robin hires a lady to help at night that had been a blessing when Sophie had first been born.
Unfortunately the sickness is the flu and one night Roe wakes to with the baby monitor in hand to a very upset baby, a missing caretaker and a dead woman in the back yard.  Then things get interesting.
This was the best of the series to date.  Very well done and leaving me wanting another one soon.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Cast of Corbies by Mercedes Lackey & Josepha Sherman

In this Bardic Choices novel a group of musicians team up with a theater company to put on a play.  A series of "accidents" lend that little bit of mystery and intrigue.
A touch of magic, commoner and noble love story, evil group in the church, light, fun reading.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fatal Fortune by Victoria Laurie

Abby gets a call in the middle of the night from Candice, her BFF, telling her to retrieve a file and tell no one.  The next morning she sees a video that appears to be Candice making a hit on a doctor from Vegas.  Believing that Candice would only do such a thing for a very good reason Abby begins to investigate.
The overall story line is good but I admit the lying gets on my everlasting nerves! Why Dutch puts up with her I have no idea. I would have kicked her to the curb long ago.

Nightseer by Laurell K. Hamilton

The first novel written by the author of the Anita Blake series is really good at the end, at the start, not so much.  I kept thinking I had missed something important but going back I saw I had not.  It read like a sequel but after checking several times I am convinced it was the first one she wrote. 
Not bad, just to many characters that really had no part in moving the story forward. 

Shakespeare's Counselor by C. Harris

Lily Bard is finally ready to face her past and how it affects her. After only a couple of weeks of a group counseling session for victims of rape she arrives to find a woman dead in the counselor's office and a member of the group knocked out on the floor.
This is my favorite one of this series so far.  Lily grows as a person and I really start to like her a lot more.  Bobo is once again a player, in more ways than one.  It is neat to see him as a young adult as I first "met" him as an adult in Midnight, Texas.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Deadly Forcast by Victoria Laurie

Abby and Dutch are coming up to their wedding day.  A bombing case comes into their FBI office and although Abby's crew has told her to stay away she does not listen.

Abby soon gets the feeling that Dutch will die and it is going to be her fault.  Add this stress to the stress of a wedding, a house being finished and working a high profile case and things are not going well.

One chapter leads up tot he wedding, the next chapter deals with the two hours approaching the wedding and features M.J. Holliday and Gill from the Ghost Hunters series.  M.J. also featured in one of the earlier Abby Cooper novels. 

The story line is good but Abby got on my nerves with her passive aggressive behavior.  Why her sister Cat does anything for her I have no idea and why Dutch would put up with some of her behavior I also do not understand.  If this was the first in the series I had read I would stop but I will hold out hope the next one will be a bit better.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard stretches herself and goes home just before Christmas for her sister's wedding.  Coming back home is sometimes easier than expected and at others harder than she can imagine. 

The sudden death of a new mother causes changes in plans for the pre-wedding festivities.  Lily then becomes involved in the mystery of a long ago missing child. 

This installment deals more with Lily's history and background and makes her realize that Shakespeare is now home.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris

Lilly Bard is beginning to come out of her self imposed shell.  She has friends now, although she does not always know quite what to do with them.  She also is willing to protect others.
When flyers start appearing on windshields with a white supremacists message she is angry but now sure where to direct that anger.  Of course being a person that cleans houses she learns more than she wants to know sometimes although some becomes useful information
Another quick read and we learn a bit about Bobo Winthrope who appears many years later in the Midnight. Texas series. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard picked Shakespeare based on the name.  She needs to live away from people that know her past and is mostly satisfied living a quiet life as a cleaning lady.  When not working she works out, practices martial arts and when she cannot sleep she walks the streets until she feels she can sleep.

A cozy mystery with a bit of violence, a dark past and a tenacious observer.  A nice, quick read that kept me up late reading.  The solution is not obvious which is also nice.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls by Victoria Laurie

Ghostbusters, treasure hunters, mystery solvers all come together in one package in this paranormal mystery.  Part of a series, not the first, that is a fun light read with just enough suspense to keep the pages turning.
Some is a bit fantastical but it was an enjoyable read.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon

A mystery set in 1757 London featuring Lord John Grey whom we know from the Outlander series.  Lord John has to make a decision about a family member's engagement due to some information he came upon by accident.  While looking into that situation another arises that he is forced to investigate dealing with military secrets and troop movements.

What seem at first to be very different incidents the further he looks into the web the closer the events are pulled together.  Through high society, whore houses and a mollie house, that will give you something to wonder about until you read the book, Lord John moves through the strata to find the solution.

My regret is that I did not read this series earlier as I have been reading Mrs. Gabaldon since her first novel.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

Harper Conley can find dead bodies and determine what caused their death.  She and her brother Tolliver travel the country helping families find closure.  It is a difficult way to make a living but you do what you have to do. 
When called to Memphis to go through and old cemetery as part of a college class, mostly so the professor could prove them fakes, did not work by the way, she comes across the body of a young girl she had actually looked for several years earlier, in Nashville. 
Of course law enforcement is suspicious of both Harper and Tolliver and they must work hard to defend themselves.
Very good read!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

Harper Connley was struck by lightening at 15.  It left her with a spiderweb of red on her leg, a weak left leg, and the ability to find dead bodies and know what they died of. 
With an ability like that you have to make the most of it and she does, along with her brother, who acts as her manager.  They travel the country getting paid to find out what happened to cause the end of life.
When called to find a body in Arkansas things get a bit complicated.  She becomes involved in the town much more deeply than she ever wanted to participate to put it mildly.
If you are a Harris fan you could see Harper living in Midnight, Texas or being friends with Aurora Teagarden solving cold case files.  Very enjoyable read.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vision Impossible by Victoria Laurie

FBI, CIA, CISI if it has initials it is in this installment of the Abby Cooper Psychic Eye mysteries.
Abby and Dutch are sent in as spies to retrieve a new weapon that can "see" a persons aura.  Think James Bond with a psychic element.  The last twist is a bit unexpected which always makes for good reading.
Not as good as some of the others but not a bad read, probably better if I had not been reading the series so quickly.  Sometimes a break is a good thing.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

After reading bad reviews I was a bit worried about buying the book. Thankfully I did. Well written as always, enough twist and turns to keep the pages flipping and a fun read. Yes, I had my suspicions about the outcome but unless you are reading Agatha Christie that is going to be true and really, it is a mark of a good writer to give all the clues.
Looking forward to the next installment in the series of Aurora Teagarden.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Killer Inisight by Victoria Laurie

Abby is disappointed in Dutch.  She had put so much into Valentine's Day and he gives her a phone, a two for one deal on a phone in fact.  After telling him to leave after he said he needed to concentrate on a case she decides to attend the wedding of a childhood friend in Denver.  Not the best plan after a breakup but she figures a change of scenery may be just what she needs.
Then the bridesmaids start disappearing, one by one.  Abby is trying to stay alive, deal with her feeling for Duffy, another friend growing up, and analyze how she feels about the breakup with Dutch. 
A bit more emotional read with disparaging self-analysis by Abby.  The ending is quick and dramatic.

A Vision of Mufer by Vitoria Laurie

Abby invest, along with handyman Dave and sister Catharine, a fixerupper house to resale.  All goes well until the ghost appear and try to kill Dave.  When Abby and Dutch go to the house they see the ghost of a young woman, laying in a pool of blood.  Needless to say Cat is not happy her money is not working for her.
Abby may be psychic but she is not a ghost hunter at all.  They creep her out as much as the next person.  By using her gift she is able to solve the mystery and avoid being killed herself.

Better Read Than Dead by Virtoria Laurie

Abby Cooper has to pay back a favor to a psychic friend, doing readings at a wedding. What she does not know at first is this is a mob wedding.  After leaving in a hurry Abby is forced to read for the mob boss, who is dying, in order to protect herself and her family and friends.  Luckily Dutch is there to help her out and he and Milo come up with a plan to help Abby save the day. 
A bit edgier than the first book which means sometimes you have to step away for a moment or two before diving right back in.

Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie

Abby Cooper is a psychic, making her living giving readings to customers as helping others makes her feel good about what she does.  She lives a quiet live with her dog Eggy, working on her house remodel and getting through the day.
With a cozy feel and just enough psychic info to more the story along the first of this series is a page turner.  Of course she gets into more than she should, meets a really handsome detective and adds gray hairs to her sister's head. A fun read that keeps you turning the pages.

The Dangerous Day of Daniel X by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Co-authored by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge this face paced novel has humor, adventure and aliens, what more could you ask for?
The first of a series we are introduced to Daniel, no last name, as he travels the country looking for aliens that are trying to destroy humankind.  He of course has some special abilities but is still in a lot of ways the typical 15 year old. 
Appealing to the middle school age group, especially boys.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Firebrand by Kristen Briatain

Karigian G'ladheon returned from Blackveil broken physically and emotionally.  She also came with a mirror eye that shows the past and future to ones that view it.  The castle is attacked by an ice elemental, sent by Grandmother of Second Empire, and of course she is in the middle of the turmoil.
Even though she is not truly recovered she is sent with an Eletian to look for mythical creatures from their dark past.  Traveling with her is also her friend Estral who looks for her father, The Golden Guardian.
After she leaves King Zachery disappears leaving Estora, heavy with twins, to run the country.  That little fact gets very interesting as far as Riders are concerned.
Enough about the story line, the really important part of this review is the writing.  Things got so intense several times I had to stop reading.  Of course though that lasted for just a short time before I was called back to the book. I had also thought this one might end the series but the ending left more questions than answers, including the reappearance of a character that had not appeared in all of the previous 800 pages.  Cliffhanger!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Poppy Done To Death by Charlaine Harris

Roe Teagarden discovers her SIL murdered, her brother shows up from California and things are getting interesting with her and Robin Caruso.  All of these things combined make for an interesting Thanksgiving. 
Another enjoyable read with a wonderful ending.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sackett by Louis L'Amour

William Tell Sackett is not looking for trouble, gold or a woman and finds all three in an orderly fashion.  Classic L'Amour western with my favorite character.  Fast paced and action packed, a quick read that does not require a lot of thinking.