Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater
Multicultural Interest , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 31 Oct 2017
Solace is exciting fluff. What it lacks in plot, it more than makes up for in action - lots of explosions, gunfights, sneaking past enemies, space combat, etc… By keeping the action going nonstop, readers don’t have much time to notice plot holes or question inconsistencies. Drinkwater does a better job developing his two central characters - Opal (a former soldier) and Clarissa ( the experimental AI on the ship Opal stole). It would have been nice to have been given more of Opal’s background and how / why she was able to hack into Clarissa. Too much hand wavy magic ( technology) can do anything.
Simply put, Opal is looking for a lost ship to find something in particular - yup that nebulous. She finds one in the process of falling into the gravitational well of a neutron star. Of course lots of alien stuff tries to a) stop her from boarding b) kill her. And the...
The Death Beat by Fiona Veitch Smith
Lion Hudson IP Limited
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 20 Oct 2017
The Death Beat is a fantastic historical mystery set in the 1920s. Part of the novel occurs on the boat from Britain to the US, but the bulk of the novel is set in the US. Although The Death Beat is a historical mystery, it brings up issues that are important today, including the treatment of immigrants, human trafficking, the use of immigrants as slave labor, and the sexual abuse of female immigrants. These issues were as much a problem historically as they are today. Fiona Veitch Smith does not preach, immigration and the treatment of women are of central importance in The Death Beat.
When Rollo, The Daily Globe’s owner, gambles away his position, Poppy is furious- until she discovers they will both be going to New York to work their. Poppy’s best friend, Delilah, is going as well, as she has been promised a role in a radio drama and may even go...
Firewalkers: A Recondito Novel Chris Roberson
October 3, 2017
One part invasion of the body snatchers, one part Lovercraftian horror story, Firewalkers is an exciting urban fantasy. A small group of determined heroes, a police detective, a city pathologist and two FBI agents, know the truth behind the drug Ink and those who seek to spread its use. Something from another dimension is using Ink to spread its control over the city of Recondito. Those it takes over are little better than zombies, hollowed out by the shadows pushing through their mind. Knowing of the shadows is enough to put Patrick and the others in danger. But the real question is how to defeat the shadows and prevent their takeover.
I definitely recommend reading Firewalk, the first novel of the series, before you delve into Firewalkers. Otherwise you will be at a loss. Firewalkers is a solidly written sequel, and an excellent piece of sci fi invasion f...
Heir Ascendant surprised me, it is far from easy to write a science fiction novel where a 9 year old girl is the central figure. No matter how intelligent she is, she is still a child. Matthew Cox did a superb job of making Maya authentic. Though she is intelligent, she is naive and starved for affection and that makes her vulnerable. Some may question her sudden deep attachment to Genna, but in a way it’s realistic. Genna may have been one of her kidnappers, but she also protected Maya, and Maya being starved of any kind of female attention was drawn to that and what Genna represented - a strong but emotional female figure.
I won’t be giving too much away by saying that the majority of the novel focuses on Maya’s attempts to find and rescue her new mother. She doesn’t intend to be a hero or an agent for change, she is ju...
Sitting Murder A Baffling Victorian Whodunnit
by A. J. Wright
Horror , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 12 Oct 2017
Sitting Murder is a competently written but somewhat lacklustre Victorian mystery. From the start you know that not all is kosher with Alice Goodway and her seances. She knows more than she otherwise should, but DS Michael Brennan does not believe in ghosts. When Goodway’s husband’s Aunt is murdered, he must unravel the threads of the past to find a clever and determined killer.
Conceptually the plot is acceptable. The problem is that the characters are difficult to empathize with. There is no one that is remotely interesting or in the least likable. Brennan seems to simply plod along. As an investigator he isn’t a compelling or unique figure. When you don’t care about the characters, you don’t care what happens.
On the whole, I can’t recommend Sitting Murder. There are many far better historical mysteries.
THE NINJA'S ILLUSION
A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery by Gigi Pandian
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 03 Oct 2017
Don’t be put off by the slow start to The Ninja’s Illusion. It takes a bit of time to get to the meat of the mystery, but once you are there the novel becomes impossible to put down. Jaya Jones is a treasure hunter/researcher. Alone she isn’t that exceptional but together with her unusual friends and associates that is another matter entirely. Jaya travels to Japan to meet up with her friend Sanjay who is performing with Japan’s most controversial magician, Akira. Akira intends to perform the impossible - a rope trick that was witnessed long ago and no one has been able to perform since. But his show preparations are first plagued with sabotage, and then murder. The situation is desperate but Jaya is determined to unravel the mystery before Sanjay unravels. What does the impossible illusion have to do with a missing ship...
Rita Mae Brown’s novels are always entertaining, and Crazy Like a Fox is no exception. The characters, both animal and human are fascinating, and the story is unique. There is a murder, which lies at the heart of the story - but that isn’t where the plot begins or ends. The dapper, charming horseman Wesley Carruthers disappeared in 1954. Rumors flew, but noone knew the truth. Now, a man who is the spitting image of Wesley, down to his carriage and voice has stolen Wesley’s hunting horn. “Sister” Jane Arnold doesn’t believe in ghosts, but someone very like Wesley is visiting those who were present at the time of his disappearance. It is an unusual mystery rich in Virginia history and fox hunting lore. Before I read Crazy Like a Fox, I did not realize that fox hunters didn’t seek to kill the fox and that some did all they could to...
The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 31 Oct 2017
I was definitely impressed by The Secret Book and Scone Society. Its central characters are genuine and the development of their friendship is believable - particularly as its first test comes when Nora and the others (Hester, Estella and June) begin their investigation of a suicide they are certain is murder. I loved the idea of bibliotherapy - healing your issues through books, both fiction and non. Any reader can tell you that books possess the power to touch and to transform. That along with Hester’s ability to create personalized scones that bring back pleasant memories give the mystery a touch of magic. I believe it is the characters and their personal backgrounds and interactions that make this novel stand apart from other cozies. The villains on the other hand are roughly sketched and obvious from the get go. It’s less of a whodunnit focusing more on th...
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave A Novel
by Darynda Jones
St. Martin's Press
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 31 Oct 2017
If you are looking for a fast paced urban fantasy with plenty of snark and a delightfully quirky cast of characters look no further. The Trouble with Twelfth Grave is the newest addition to Darynda Jones’s long running series featuring grim reaper Charley Davidson. It’s been a while since I’ve read one of Jones’s novels, but I was able to quickly catch up and understand what is going on. Still I highly recommend reading the novels in order. If you like one you are likely to enjoy the others. Charley Davidson is a character with a unique outlook on life. Her narration is hilarious, which makes up for weaknesses in the plot.
Basically most of The Trouble with Twelfth Grave involves running from one place to another hoping to find and stop Reyes who has become an angry and unpredictable god. Charley’s godhood is repeatedly expressed, though...
A Dangerous Language The Rowland Sinclair Mysteries: Book 8
by Sulari Gentill
Historical Fiction , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 Oct 2017
A Dangerous Language is a profoundly affecting historical mystery. The amount of time Sulari Gentill spent researching shows. This is one impeccably plotted mystery. Politics, particularly the conflict between communism and fascism, play an important role in this complex story.
Rowland Sinclair has experienced firsthand the threat of fascism and seen the rise of the Nazis in Germany. His experiences have led him to support many of the communist ideals and he is friends with communists, although he is not a party member himself. There are two distinct but merging plotlines. A communist agent is murdered on the steps of Parliament House moments before meeting with a friend of Rowland’s. The murder is clearly politically motivated, but anticommunist sentiment makes justice unlikely to occur. Rowland,...