by Gail Z. Martin
Mystery & Thrillers , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 13 May 2018
I have mixed feelings about Tangled Web. The plot is complex, with quite a few interesting twists. I was intrigued by Charleston as a hub of spiritual activity, and I did like how Gail Z Martin blended types of myth and magic. What threw me off, was how every time Cassidy met one of the central characters she went into an exposition about them and their activities. While it was valuable information, it felt awkward at times, and interfered with the flow of the story. Also, I think that too much was discovered only at the very end. There were numerous clues that Cassidy and the others overlooked. Despite this, Gail Z Martin does an excellent job of building suspense throughout. On the whole, it is a fascinating urban fantasy, even if the writing is a bit awkward at times.
4 / 5
I received a copy of Tangled Web from the publish...
It is never easy to keep a long running series fresh and interesting. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of repetition. Rita Mae Brown’s success as an author is a testament to her ability to move forward and allow her characters- both human and animal, to develop with time. As in her previous novel, Probable Claws has two related storylines separated by over two centuries. The narrative alternates between present day Crozet and post Revolutionary Virginia. It is a fascinating and unusual storytelling method.
In the present, Harry and a friend are present when their friend Gary, a local architect, is gunned down. Anger and devastation make her nosing in on the investigation a certainty. Before Gary went into private practice, he worked for a major developer, and its possible that something from his past made his elimination a neces...
A Passion for Haunted Fashion by Rose Pressey
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 29 May 2018
I have mixed feelings about A Passion for Haunted Fashion. Cookie Chanel’s haphazard and somewhat neurotic approach to investigating is painful to watch and funny simultaneously. The nonstop chatter of her ghosts, Charlotte and Peggy, is more of a hindrance than a help, and is often distracting. It is easy to understand why Cookie isn’t completely “with it”. At the same time she does things so profoundly stupid that they are difficult to accept. Still, it is easy to like Cookie.
When I started A Passion for Haunted Fashion, I at first thought I was missing a chapter. The novel begins with Cookie exploring the basement of the theatre, finding a ghost (Peggy) and hearing a scream. The scream turns out to be Heather standing over a dead body, blood on her hands. There was no introduction to the victim, no hint of what led to his murder - unusual for a cozy mystery...
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...
IT TAKES DEATH TO REACH A STAR by Stu Jones & Gareth Worthington
Literary Fiction , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 22 May 2018
It Takes Death to Reach a Star depicts a dystopian future where the last of society is divided between the Graciles, genetically engineered individuals who live in luxury above, and the Robusts, the plague survivors who struggle in the frozen habitats below. The Robust population of Eytom is divided into walled segments according to belief. Travel between is dangerous, as violent, cannibalistic outcasts live between sectors. The two central characters are Mila, a courier and Demetri, a gracile struggling to keep a secret that could lead to his death. As you might expect, they end up working together to stop a plot that would result in the destruction of life as they know it.
I have mixed feelings about It Takes Death to Reach a Star. I did like how the authors went counter stereotype, portraying the very real fear a person like De...
Lestrade and the Giant Rat of Sumatra by M. J. Trow
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 24 May 2018
The first word that comes to mind when considering Lestrade and the Giant Rat of Sumatra is “weird”. It is an unusual book that has its own distinctive charm. Set in the early years of the 20th century, this quirky police procedural is both funny and disturbing at once. I’ve never read anything quite like it.
Chief Inspector Walter Dew is writing his memoirs, and it has finally come time for him to share a perplexing case headed by Superintendent Sholto Lestrade. Lestrade, Dew and their new constables Bang and Olufsen are tasked with solving an array of murders from an insane man wandering the streets to an investigative reporter and a prominent doctor. Each were killed by arsenic - administered in two small wounds. What links the victims? What is occurring in the sewers beneath? The answers are far stranger - and the killers are far...
Joy Ellis’s newest novel Fire on the Fens demonstrates why she is one of the foremost authors of British police procedurals. The cases that challenge Nikki Galena and her team are believable but never formulaic or repetitive. As you read the Nikki Galena novels and come to know her, Joseph Easter and the rest of her team, they become like family. They care about their job and readers care about them.
In Fire on the Fens, an arsonist is on the loose, first tackling structures then moving on to murder. Each fire targets a particular individual, and there are no apparent links between victims. Moreover the victims appear to have lived spotless lives and were known as generous and caring. Meanwhile, a group identifying themselves as Luciferians has settled in town, led by an affluent and charismatic businessman.
Eminently readable and far from straightforward, Fire on the Fens is a terr...
Reborn’s writing may not be perfect, but the story is a good mix of entertaining and thought provoking. In essence, it is the story of two journeys. One, of an artificial being’s evolution of independent thought and feeling. The other of a man’s descent through obsession and the need to possess and control. There is the overarching issue of women’s treatment in the workplace, in science, and as individuals. Reborn is a modern Pygmallion, where what starts as love is degraded and abused.
Bits and pieces are too cliched or too unbelievable in presentation - the repeated use of the term “android apocalypse”, Synthia’s ever evolving abilities which are of course “perfect” plus her ability to change face and body type. She faces challenges, but they are almost too easy to surmount. Machten, on the other hand is the “evil professor”, shallowly depicted, with no redeeming qualities. P...
Linda O Johnston’s novels are always a safe bet for lovers of animal cozies. While not the most innovative, Her books are entertaining, and pets, dogs in particular, play a central role. Pick and Chews is a good, solid cozy that makes for a pleasant afternoon read.
Carrie Kennersly, vet tech and pet baker extraordinaire, is once more drawn into a murder investigation, this time to clear her boyfriend, Reed’s name. When a former veterinary colleague is found murdered after badmouthing the Knobcone Heights Veterinary Clinic - and opening her own competing clinic - suspicion falls on Reed and the other veterinarians. Raella was an unpleasant woman, and only a moderately competent vet, but she was beautiful and she had a talent for manipulation. Having solved murders in the past, and being worried about Reed’s future, she immediately st...
Armistice Book 2 in the Amberlough Dossier
by Lara Elena Donnelly
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 15 May 2018
Armistice is not the easiest book to delve into if you haven’t read its predecessor Amberlough. It is a complex, politically driven novel with hard bitten characters focused on their own agendas. There are no clear “good” guys. All sides were grey. I expected more action. Instead, there was a lot of double dealing discussed and a lot of whining.
I had a hard time identifying with any of the characters. Cordelia was an unlikely rebel leader, with a patois that was unbelievable. Aristide spent his entire time getting drunk, whining, and causing problems. Lillian was the easiest to empathize with. Her devotion to regaining her son is understandable.
I normally like political/espionage novels but Armistice wasn’t my cup of tea. There wasn’t much of the Art Deco flavor that was touted in the description, and the action was onl...