Trouble in Bay Town is just what it aims to be - a modern mystery featuring an old-school private eye. Sonny Knight is a soft-boiled pi - a gentleman with a moral code, a willingness to act when he sees a wrong being done who is unafraid to act even if it puts him at risk. He may call his office manager Angel, but he’s far from being a misogynist. Another way he differs from “hard boiled” pi’s is in his positive outlook and sense of hope.
Trouble in Bay Town reminded me a bit of Doyle’s The Redheaded League. Hortense Oglethorpinger hires Sonny to discover why she hasn’t received an inheritance she expected, and why she is no longer being paid to play the piano on Tuesday nights at Go Fly a Kite - a restaurant where noone who plays on Tuesday nights normally gets paid. The case is odd and doesn’t interest Sonny as much as the disappearances of a number of women - disappearances t...
Till Death do us Bark by Stella St. Claire
Mystery & Thrillers , Women's Fiction
Pub Date 22 Jun 2017
I tried Till Death do us Bark for two reasons - I love animals and the first novel showed promise. I have mixed feelings about Till Death do us Bark. Olivia (Stella St Claire’s lead) is frustrating. She is a stubborn commitment-phobe with an inability to listen to others, but Stella St Claire manages to make her antics somewhat entertaining. While I would cringe at meeting someone like Olivia in real life, I was willing to give the fictional Olivia a chance.
After using a murder investigation to delay a proposal in the first novel, Olivia is finally moving forward with her wedding plans (and using that to avoid other commitments) - at least until she discovers the dead body of her wedding planner. Now everyone thinks she is cursed and refuses to work with her. Intent on proving otherwise and determined to steamroll her wedding forwar...
When you consider the current political environment, the rerelease of Passion Play makes all the more sense. In this dystopian version of the US, the government is controlled by ultra conservatives who force their version of Christian Fundamentalism on the public. Vigilantes are prevalent and “sins” are violently punished. Diane Fletcher is an investigator, an empath whose abilities allow her to solve crimes through understanding the nature of the perpetrator. When Jonathan Mask, a Fundamentalist Icon and celebrity is killed, Diane is brought in to determine whether the situation was an accident or murder. The case is a difficult one, made more so by Mask’s nature. He was a celebrity, the voice of fundamentalism, but as Diane discovers he was also far more than that.
Passion Play questions the nature of judgment and justice. The society is supposedly Christian, but it i...
Integral isn't bad once you get into the story. It gets off to a rocky start not because it's badly written, but because you aren't given much of a reason to care. It took a long time to connect to the protagonists - two Vampire investigators (similar to FBI agents but the country is run by corporations rather than a federal government). The initial half of the novel are seemingly unrelated cases, giving it the feel of an anthology or serial. There’s more meat when you get to the core story of a Mage who breaks out of their university (prison) and is forced to assassinate a vampire leader. The duo, plus a warden from the university and the Mage herself are forced to deal with the fallout.
There are numerous loose ends left - the drug jester, the individual bitten who may or may not be an undiscovered Mage left to turn into a vampire after an attack by a drug mad va...
Uggh. I expected more of Caloric. What I got was drivel. There is minimal substance. A group of teens are imprisoned, two boys and two girls. They discover they are going to be killed for their elemental powers. The leader of an ancient cult wants all of the powers for himself. The four have to train their powers so they can make an escape. Phoenyx instantly falls in love with SebastIan - they have dreamt about each other after all. It's pretty boring. I got 70% through - no real action, no sign yet of baddie, and no change of scenery apart from a hallucinatory beach sequence intended to further the romance. If you are looking for an urban fantasy this isn't much of one. It's not even a decent romance. There are plenty of good urban fantasies and many paranormal romances that would be far better choices.
2 / 5
I received a copy of Caloric from the publisher and Netgalley...
Dead on Arrival by Dorothy Simpson
Open Road Integrated Media
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 06 Jun 2017
Dorothy Simpson’s Dead on Arrival is an intriguing mystery, but the victim is almost too easy to hate. Steven Long makes it his business to make everyone miserable, from his half-siblings to his wife. His self absorption and self pity is so great that he takes absolutely no responsibility for his actions. I hated hIm so much that part of me wanted to put the mystery aside. That his twin Geoff had positive things to say about him was suspicious from the very beginning. Everyone had a reason for wanting him gone. I felt for DI Thanet and his sergeant having to investigate the murder of such a horrible fellow. I enjoyed the interactions between Thanet and his family. You could easily see the affection he has for his wife and children. It makes a startling comparison to Long’s lifetime of destructive self absorption. I anticipated one of the two major twists - it was almo...
Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog by Samm Hodges, Phinheas Hodges
Animal Media Group
Animal Media Group LLC
Entertainment , Humor
Pub Date 06 Jun 2017
I’ve never seen Downward Dog, but now that I’ve read this wonderful book I feel I have to. Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog warms the heart, bringing smiles and sometimes tears to your eyes. I thought the haiku were beautiful, a perfect concise expression of canine emotion and thought. I loved the simple and beautiful illustrations. In its entirety, Downward Dog: VSH from a VSD, sums up everything I love about dogs. It is a beautiful book that any dog lover would treasure.
5 / 5
I received a copy of Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
A book of haiku and illustrations from the mind of Martin, the talking, angst-ridden, introspective dog from the ABC TV se...
I’ve long enjoyed the Sarah Boothe Delaney books, so it was with great anticipation that I picked up The House of Memory. It was a well done historical thriller with a believable dose of spiritualism (Spiritualism was quite popular before and during the jazz age). Pluto’s Snitch is an investigative agency that tackles cases of a supernatural bent. Raissa can see spirits and Reginald not only has a keen insight into human nature, he has the ability to charm even recalcitrant witnesses.
In The House of Memory they are hired by Zelda Fitzgerald (yes wife of F Scott Fitzgerald, flapper and innovator) to aid a close friend. Camilla is in a mental institution after attacking her fiance. Camilla fears she is going mad, but Zelda suspects a supernatural cause. If the cause of Camilla’s sudden violent outbursts cannot be found by Plu...
by Diane Kelly
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 27 Jun 2017
The Paw Enforcement series is delightfully different, depicting the day to day experiences of Megan and her k-9 partner Brijit. As uniformed officers, most of their day is spent on writing citations, investigating robberies and other non-homicide crimes. The stories have just the right balance of seriousness and humor. And Brijit is a dog lover’s dream. I love the chapters that are written from her perspective. Even the romance aspect between Seth and Megan is perfect, neither over nor under done.
Enforcing the Paw is an excellent addition to the series, tackling a difficult case of ex vs ex. The woman insists her ex is stalking her but her ex insists the same thing. The evidence is inconclusive, but the situation is escalating. There is realism in that there are situations which aren’t clear cut. Police officer...