by Amanda Flower
Crooked Lane Books
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 12 Feb 2019
Amanda Flower’s Murder and Metaphors is a charming addition to her Magical Bookshop Series. Violet has overcome her regret at coming home and settled in happily as caretaker of Charming Books - but once more murder has come to Cascade Springs, and one of Violet’s friends is the main suspect.
A celebrity sommelier who grew up in the area, Belinda Perkins, is back for a book signing, and to review the new ice wine made by the family of Violet’s first love, the people whose actions forced Violet to leave town. When Violet finds Belinda with a knife in her chest, the police immediately eye Lacey, Belinda’s estranged sister who was seen earlier trying to approach. Violet knows Lacey is innocent, and can’t stand to see her accused, so with her grandmother and the bookshop’s help, she once more sets out to target a killer. But what is the booksto...
I have a little bit of mixed feelings about Where Secrets Lie. On the one hand, the case, which starts out slow becomes more and more fascinating as the layers of truth are discovered. On the other hand, Butler’s depiction of his investigating team is somewhat lacking. For a good part of the novel they were bland cardboard cutouts. More effort was made further in, but I can’t say the characters were particularly compelling. You only got a little bit of what made them tick.
While I liked the plot, I think more could have been done to bring the central characters to life. That being said, I’m willing to try another of D.S. Butler’s novels.
3 / 5
I received a copy of Where Secrets Lie from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Shrill Dusk is an entertaining urban fantasy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. After neatly skirting the apocalypse, Manchester has become infused with magic. Most flee the city, while others, discovering their unique heritage stay. Charley is a professional gambler with a heart of gold. She likes helping people and tends to think of others first, not always to her benefit. What she doesn’t realize is that she has the potential to be a leader, or the firepower to back it up.
Do people need strict laws? Or can they survive with openness and pure democracy? That’s the question at the end of Shrill Dusk, and one that will be important in future novels. Charley is an idealist and has the magic to protect her group. The werewolves have their own protection. Shrill Dusk’s purpose was to create the setting, demonstrate the type of person Charley is, and create a p...
Kingdom of Needle and Bone
by Mira Grant
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 31 Dec 2018
Mira Grant’s newest novel is a chilling vision of the near future, all the more frightening because of its possibility. Already we see the impact of the anti vaccination groups as polio and other diseases long eliminated return in virulent form. We wonder what comes next. Mira Grant gives an answer in the form of a question - what if herd immunity was fractured enough to allow a new form of an old disease to infect most of the population, and what if that disease prevented the infected from developing new antibodies. How do you protect the healthy? How do you save the sick? Naturally there are additional twists, but Mira Grant paints a picture both eminently possible and painful to see. I was captivated from beginning to end.
Kingdom of Needle and Bone is an excellent piece of near future speculative fiction. It is worth reading for many reasons, not the least of which...
Jivaja by Venessa Giunta
Fictionvale Publishing, LLC
Horror , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 15 Oct 2018
Jivaja is a good read, entertaining but not memorable. Still it has potential. Mostly, it’s a typical girl meets vamp, discovers her power to destroy evil vamps, but is also drawn to one of them with his own agenda. Vamps have a war coming and need Mecca’s power. The biggest difference is that Mecca’s father plays a big role, and has the same powers she does. So we have a traditional setup plus the potential build in of a father daughter conflict. Jivaja is definitely setting the groundwork for a series. The big question is will it surpass the cliched masses.
I’d prefer to read the next book before giving my final opinion, but as of now I’d give Jivaja a 3.5 / 5. (rounded up to 4 / 5 )
I received a copy of Jivaja from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Mecca is a murderer. At least, that’s what she thinks...