In the aftermath of the Depression, some wealthy families scaled back on ostentatious displays, but others continued to party despite the breadlines. Former debutante Elizabeth Adams has done the unexpected in taking a job at a local paper. Ostensibly the girl Friday for the Society columnist, Elizabeth is given a unique opportunity to fill in for an absent photographer. Partnering with the paper’s crime reporter, opens doors at the paper, but it’s her society connections that give her an opportunity to investigate when the step mother of this season’s IT girl is murdered. Asking questions and digging up secrets doesn’t make her popular, and the people she is investigating can do a lot of damage.
Murder She Reported is an excellent historical cozy, full of glamour, excitement and even a bit of romance. Elizabeth is a heroine t...
The Corpse at the Crystal Palace A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery
by Carola Dunn
St. Martin's Press
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 03 Jul 2018
The Corpse at the Crystal Palace is a charming 1920s mystery set in Britain. Unlike many set in the time period, it doesn’t focus on glamorous flappers and decadent society, instead focusing more on middle and upper class family life. The entire Dalrymple clan, as well as quite a few friends and relatives, play major roles in the case. When Daisy, her children, their young cousins and a few close friends visit The Crystal Palace, the last any expect is to be drawn into another murder. While exploring, Belinda and her cousins see Nanny following another nanny. Perplexed, they follow. Nanny is found unconscious in a fountain and another nanny is found dead in the ladies restroom. (*small spoiler*) It is soon discovered that the nanny found dead was not a woman at all, but a man in women’s clothes - a man with a history of lurid p...
by George R. R. Martin
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 12 Jun 2018
Low Chicago is a collection of interrelated wild card stories. It begins with a high stakes card game that descends into a Wild Card firefight. Players and their companions, Wild Cards and Jokers alike are transported to different times in the past. But as a result, a time storm develops making it necessary for the remaining pair of Wild Cards to travel back to the past and prevent history from changing too much. As a premise it has a lot of potential. The authors do a decent job of weaving Wild Card history with US history, and the stories are competently written, but somehow I found the end result lacking. The characters are shallow, making it difficult to care what happens to them. That is the biggest weakness of this anthology. I wasn’t given much reason to care one way or another.
DEATH OF A CLONE by Alex Thomson
Mystery & Thrillers , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 12 Jul 2018
One part murder mystery, one part speculative fiction, Death of a Clone examines the nature of identity and its reliance on memory. Hell is a small mining colony on an asteroid far from earth. The workers are genetically engineered clones divided into families according to purpose - 5 Ays, 6 Bees, 6 Jays, and 2 Ells. All family members are identical in appearance, but there are also deeper similarities which become clear as you read. In addition to the clones, there are three human overseers who manage the groups. It is important to remember that all of the clones believe they will be sent to earth at the end of their 7 year tenure.
When her sister is killed, Laila begins investigating her murder, using the techniques she learned from reading Agatha Christie’s mysteries. Haunted by elusive memories and troubled by the strange inconsi...
Blood Ghast Blues Standalone Sequel to Black Box Inc.
by Jake Bible
Bell Bridge Books
Horror , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 13 Apr 2018
If the A-Team were able to kick butt with magic as well as munitions, then they would probably look something like Chase Lawter and his team. An omnisexual yeti, a Fae trained assassin, a zombie business manager and Chase - the only known worker of dim - make for a group as vibrant and varied as the iconic 80s commandos. It”s difficult to say whether I enjoy the action or the banter more. Despite having the occasional squabble, Black Box Inc works as a team, and will always stand up for each other.
In Blood Ghast Blues, Chase is given an offer that he can’t refuse. The day starts like any other. A client who hasn’t paid his bill needs Chase to open his “box”. To facilitate things, a local crimelord, The One Guy offers to pay the bill. But this is only the first odd event. Someone has summoned blood ghasts and they are leaving blood and ter...
A Gentleman's Murder Christopher Huang
FRONTLIST | July 31, 2018
Trade Paperback | 300 pages
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
$14.99 USD, $19.99 CAD
I was immensely impressed by A Gentleman’s Murder. Rarely have I come across a historical mystery that truly captures English life in the aftermath of WWI, particularly for those who came back after fighting in the trenches. Those men returned to a world where they no longer belonged, and Eric, the half-Chinese protagonist knows better than most what it means to struggle to belong. The Britannia Club is an oasis for former soldiers, a bastion of stability and propriety, until a new member is murdered. While the others want to sweep the death under the carpet, Eric becomes determined to both find justice for Benson and right the wrong that Benson was so eager to undo.
Christopher Huang’s masterful prose kept me glued to the page, eager to make discoveries alongside Eric. The character...
Jack Gilmour: Wish Lawyer by Ed Ryder
General Fiction (Adult) , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 12 Jul 2018
There are many who would say that lawyers are from hell, but this one might just be your only chance of getting out of a demonic contract alive. Jack Gilmour is Las Vegas’s first and only demonic contract lawyer. In a city all too eager to sin where you can get anything if you are willing to sign on the dotted line - he’s the last line of defense. The novel starts with this unique premise, introducing a very different kind of hero in a world where demons readily interact with humans. Jack Gilmour is middle aged and balding, but he knows his demonic law. He also has friends, including a suave gambling wizard with major mojo. Don’t expect dry courtroom scenes. There’s plenty of action and more than a touch of dark humor.
When Eddie Malfitano’s naive nephew signs a contract guaranteeing the interest of the fiancé of one of Las Vegas’s biggest players, Jack...
The Skaar Invasion by Terry Brooks
Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 19 Jun 2018
I’ve always had a soft spot for Terry Brooks’ Shannara novels, as they were part of what made me love fantasy and science fiction from an early age. Although the newer ones were of varying quality, I still remained a loyal reader. The Skaar Invasion is one of the better of the recent installments in the series. The novel picks up from where The Black Elfstone ends. Drisker Arc is trapped in limbo inside the Druid fortress of Paranor. Dar Leah is seeking Drisker’s apprentice Tarsha in hopes she can help free Drisker. Meanwhile, the Skaar advanced force is moving further into the Four Lands and is manipulating both the Federation and the elves, and Clizia Porse is plotting the death of Drisker Arc and a new Druid order of her design and under her control.
The style of narration allows the reader to be privy to each character’s thoughts and...
by Betty Webb
Poisoned Pen Press
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 02 May 2018
Betty Webb’s newest Gunn Zoo mystery is frighteningly pertinent in the current commercial environment that pits lovers of nature against those in search of profit despite potential ecological cost. It also tackles the issue of sexual harassment. Despite its weighty background, The Otter of Death is still a cozy, and an appealing, well written one at that.
The annual otter count is vital, as it shows the health of the community and provides information about the impact of pollutants. When zookeeper Theodora “Teddy” Bentley acquires a cell phone from an otter playing with the device she finds a suspicious photograph that looks like it shows a murder in progress. Soon after, the body of Stuart Booth, a local marine biologist, is discovered. His reputation is an unsavory one with numerous allegations of sexual harassment. Suspicion immediately falls on Lila, a young...
by Ellie Alexander
St. Martin's Press
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 02 Jan 2018
Ellie Alexander’s newest cozy, Another One Bites the Crust is entertaining and has a likable cast of central characters that is easy to cheer for and care about. While these items are essential to a well written cozy, Another One Bites the Crust has one weakness - the plot. For the most part, the story flows smoothly. The end, however is haphazard and the motive for the crime comes out of thin air. While readers might make a guess who, there is no way they can figure out why. Even Jules is in the dark until the last moment where the culprit is revealed and the trap is sprung - and she is the lead. Still, Another One Bite the Crust is a cute, fun read.
In Another One Bites the Crust, Lance, the town’s artistic director, is at wits end, frustrated and angry with the young actor playing Anthony in Anthony and Cleopatra. When Anthony is found dead, La...