Murder in the City of Liberty is an astoundingly good historical thriller set in pre-WWII Boston. Not only does it capture the feel of the time, it accurately captures the social unrest and ingrained bigotry that was common. While it doesn’t pull punches when showing antisemitism, corruption, and the rise of pro-nationalistic fascist sentiment, the novel also shows the strength and determination of those wanting to bring forth positive change.
Reggie and Hamish start with two seemingly unrelated cases - that of a boatman trying to prevent the building of apartments on his land (which is unsuitable for building), and that of Errol Parker a leading baseball player in the farm leagues who is suffering from harassment. Rachel McMillan does an excellent job threading the separate plotlines together into a more complex conspiracy. I...
Kevin J Anderson has a gift for writing fantasy that leaves you laughing out loud. Services Rendered features Anderson’s renowned PI, Dan Shamble, oops Chambeaux, a zombie investigator working in the Unnatural Quarter, Sheyenne his ghostly gf/office manager, Robin Deyer a lawyer who wants justice for all monsters, and his BHF Officer Toby McGoohan - placed in the unnatural quarter for his unfortunate sense of humor. The cases they face range from the serious to the absurd, and each and every one is entertaining. From a gorgon who wants to participate in a beauty pageant, to a headless man who believes his head was stolen; from a missing Mayan wish turkey to a newt with a stolen eye, there is no zombie investigator more suited to the case than Dan Shamble, I mean Shambeaux.
4 / 5
I received a copy of Services Rendered from the...
Christmas is upon us once again, the cold winter nights making us long for a warm blanket and a cozy read. Slay Bells is the perfect choice for readers tired of Christmas reruns, and looking for something fresh and seasonal. Christmas Village is a magical place, far removed from the city, and steeped in tradition. But when a troupe of carnies visiting the town begin dying one by one, it’s time for Mrs. Claus to step in. Yes she might or might not be that Mrs Claus, but she is one heck of a perceptive lady, which is a big help, as the hapless sheriff is not equipped for a real investigation. Part of Slay Bells charm is Wescott’s kindness in depicting the villagers’ quirks and foibles. It makes the characters endearing, even though you know someone will be unmasked as a killer.
Slay Bells not going to win any awards, but I can say the novel brought a smile to my f...
Ten Thousand Thunders
by Brian Trent
Flame Tree Press
FLAME TREE PRESS
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 18 Oct 2018
Ten Thousand Thunders is an innovative and immersive science fiction novel, that will appeal to those who enjoyed Altered Carbon and those who like reading about complex worlds, unusual cultures and strange beings.
Gethin Bryce is an investigator who just died in a shuttle explosion. When he is resurrected, he’s tasked with finding the truth behind that and the other mysterious anomalies that have been occuring. There is a vast differential in the way humanity lives - those in enclaves living a virtually immortal existence with every luxury, and those in the wasteland struggling to survive. Between terrorists, unbelievably advanced AIs and greedy corporations struggling to supercede government, there is a lot of potential for conflict and for plot development. This is part of the reason why I was a bit disappointed by Brian Trent’s reliance on deus ex machina to resolve t...
A Catered Cat Wedding
by Isis Crawford
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 25 Sep 2018
I will give almost anything that centers around cats a try. A Catered Cat Wedding is not a “cat cozy” per se, but the story revolves around a wealthy cat lover known for behaving badly and her precious cats - who also showcase the worst of behaviors. Susie Katz loved her cats, but didn’t care much for the local humans. Anyone who complained about her cats or her outrageous decor was targeted. Bernie and Libby have been hired to cater the wedding of her two showpiece Russian Blues. Needless to say nothing the day of the wedding goes as planned, Susie is found dead, and the event is followed by a chaotic interlude in which the crime scene is irreversibly compromised. The police chief gives them an ultimatum- Bernie and Libby have one week to find the killer, or they will be the ones behind bars.
The cozy is a cute one, and the humorous escapades of Bernie and Libby ma...
Go to My Grave
by Catriona McPherson
St. Martin's Press
General Fiction (Adult)
Pub Date 23 Oct 2018
Go to My Grave is a chilling, suspenseful tale of long kept secrets and revenge. Donna Weaver and her mother have put everything into setting up The Breakers as a bed and breakfast, and the first guests are due to arrive. Oddly, the house is familiar to the party that arrives, as they had stayed there one fateful summer many years before. Tempers quickly fray, and minds unravel as sinister “pranks” remind the visitors of events. Donna is the only one that doesn’t know what happened, but the narrator tells us, piece by piece, leading readers down a path of discovery - and murder. Go to My Grave is an incredible novel, cleverly composed to maximize the impact on the reader. If you like mysteries with a strong dose of the gothic and more than a few knife sharp twists, pick up a copy of Go to My Grave.
The Spectral City
by Leanna Renee Hieber
Rebel Base Books
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 27 Nov 2018
The Spectral City is an enticing blend of fantasy and mystery set against the backdrop of turn of the century New York. For those intrigued by the idea of spiritualism - seances, ghosts, mediums etc.., it is a perfect fit.
The New York City Police has an additional department headed by Eve Whitby. This group of young women are mediums who use their abilities and their spiritual contacts to obtain clues and help solve cases. Both their gender and their profession receive little respect, but they are successful and have a powerful patron in Roosevelt.
The novel is somewhat uneven. The prologue is suspenseful, but the first few chapters are correspondingly dull. The focus is primarily on the secondary mystery of a missing young girl, as opposed to the corrupt Prenze family (introduced in the prologue) and how and why they are trapping spirits (also discov...
Séances Are for Suckers
by Tamara Berry
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 30 Oct 2018
I enjoyed Seances are for Suckers immensely. Not only was the story fascinating but the main character, Eleanor Wilde is a refreshing change from the average female lead. First she is a fake medium, who realizes most ”ghostly “ problems can be solved by a combination of mundane and theatrical means. She may technically be a fraud but in reality she is much more, and her career does pay for her sister’s care..When she is approached by a very rich and very handsome Briton, Eleanor is at first reluctant to take his case. He wants her to prove that the “ghost” that is haunting his ancestral estate and influencing his mother is no such thing. Alternately, he wants her to banish the spirit. Eleanor is faced with a crumbling estate, worn furniture, terrible food - and a dead body.
Seances Are for Suckers is an excellent mystery with a compelling lead. The novel is refreshi...
Murder in the Dark A paranormal mystery
by Simon R. Green
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 Dec 2018
Beware of monsters - but you just might find that humans are more deadly. Penny and Ishmael are sent by the Organization to protect a group of scientists studying a hole that is not a hole. The question is, are they in danger from something from the other side of the hole, or from one of their crew. As always, the newest Ishmael Jones novel is deliciously creepy, with lashings of nebulous horror, plenty of bodies (who die in suspicious, possibly unnatural circumstances) and a dash of humor.
When an archaeologist falls into a hole and disappears, a group of scientists are sent to investigate the issue. Is it a doorway to another dimension? A path for potential invaders or a natural recurring event? Each of the scientists has their own pet theory, and squabbling as opposed to cooperation is the name of the game. Ishmael and Penny are an unwelcome dist...
by Amanda Bridgeman
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 06 Nov 2018
Normally I enjoy science fiction/noir blends, but I didn’t enjoy The Subjugate as much as I expected.
Amanda Bridgeman does a good job juxtaposing the technology free world of the Children of Christ and the rich in technology world of Detectives Salvi Brentt and Mitch Grenville. The detectives are fish out of water investigating the murder of a young woman of the Children of Christ. Suspicion falls on the Subjugates of the Solme Complex. ( Subjugates are violent criminals or sexual predators conditioned and neurally edited to find violence and sexuality anathema. Those who successfully complete the experimental program become Serenes. Serenes and certain Subjugates are allowed into the town of the Children of Christ to work. )
I quickly became frustrated with the detectives, particularly Mitch, as they stubbornly pursue pet theories and ignore evidence. Boredom followed frustration. Much...