Lion on Fire – a #BookReview

Lion on Fire by Ted Galdi

Title: Lion on Fire: a Casino-Heist Thriller by Ted Galdi

Genre: Currently #13 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle ebooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime Fiction, Heist, and #25 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime Fiction, Organized Crime

Publisher: Precipice Books

Publication Date: December 12, 2017

Source: Direct author request

Title and Cover: Lion on FireCover carries the title theme

Little brothers can be a real trial! (Mine kept our entire family hopping.) Brian Rolson, the protagonist/hero in this novel has the same problem that many of us have faced with younger siblings. Brian’s younger brother Kip has gotten himself into a world of trouble–this time selling illegal drugs. Having extra money made him loose and careless and now he is in a world of hurt. Continue reading “Lion on Fire – a #BookReview”

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Shelved Under Murder #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert

I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter the Giveaway!

Book Details

Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018) (Happy Release Day!)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315957
Digital: ASIN: B075QJHPR9

Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.

Add to Goodreads

My Review 

Shelved Under Murder by Victoria GilbertThis is the second of the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series and continues with Amy Webber as the Library Director of the Taylorsford, Virginia library. The library is gearing up for the big annual Heritage Festival which celebrates their local history as well as showcasing residents arts and crafts. Amy is living with her Aunt Lydia and still seeing Richard Muir, who was introduced as a romantic interest in book 1. Richard is a classical dancer, choreographer, and a neighbor, having inherited the house next door.

In conjunction with the upcoming festival, the library will assist in fundraising by offering books as well as local artists’ canvases. Unfortunately, when she and Sunny Fields, her assistant, travels out to the artist’s home to pick up the promised donations, she finds the artist has been murdered and her husband in absentia. As Amy also studied art history, she is recruited to help in the investigation after they discover a hidden cache of forged paintings. Of course, there is a connection–to Amy’s deceased uncle. Now starts a road rutted with misdirection, twists, and turns.

With the exception of the art expert brought in to assess the hidden treasure, most support characters were introduced in book 1 and are not developed more widely in this offering. Amy as a protagonist is not wholly sympathetic, exhibits some insecure issues especially where it concerns Richard and is prone to chewing her “pinkie” nail. The well-plotted story slowly unwinds with Sunny and her beau, Chief Deputy Brad Tucker, the local gendarme charged with investigation. When a second body turns up, all bets are off, and you might be back to guessing the whodidit in the whodunit. Perhaps Kurt Kendrick is of most interest in the plot-driven book, as he cannot be easily pegged. A new addition to the storyline is almost of immediate suspicion.

I felt the original subject, that of the library fundraising took a third chair behind the art history lesson, which quickly took over as the main focus, and the romance. I can definitely do without the romance, and it’s not the first time I’ve found Richard to be a bit creepy. The subject of the art masters and the forgeries they’ve generated is an interesting discussion, however, as well as the formula for divining original artists, paints, and materials.

Still, between the lengthy exploration of forged canvases and the romances, my attention not only sagged somewhat but dropped out completely and I found it difficult to maintain any engagement, making the read longer than it should have. Attention returned somewhat as it progressed to conclusion, but then it waffled again with an unnecessary wrap-up party. Perhaps the plot was just a bit too slow for me.

I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley through the blog tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for those who enjoy an intelligent cozy mystery sans recipes, women and amateur sleuths.

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for your chance to win One (1) signed hardcover copy of Shelved Under Murder “with some swag” on the Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Victoria GilbertVictoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links:

Website/blog: http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/

Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGilbertMysteryAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VGilbertauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/VictoriaGilbert

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N         Books-A-Million      Indie Bound 

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

July 9 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 10 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

July 10 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW

July 10 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

July 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

July 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT

July 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

July 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

July 15 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

July 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

July 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

July 17 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

July 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 19 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

July 20 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST 

Great Escapes Book ToursThanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Dirty Who? – a #BookReview

Dirty Who? by Jerry KennealyTitle: Dirty Who? (Johnny O’Rorke Book 2)  by Jerry Kennealy

Genre: Currently #11870 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Crime

Publisher: Down and Out Books

Publication Date: July 9, 2018 Happy Release Day!

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Dirty Who? Cover perfectly portrays content of book

I’ve touched on the subject of the “hardboiled” genre of mystery-thrillers before, and here is a perfect example–even to the iconic profile of Sinatra. Continue reading “Dirty Who? – a #BookReview”

The Perfect Friend – a #BookReview

The Perfect Friend by Barbara CopperthwaiteTitle:  The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite

Genre: Currently #185 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, Psychological

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: July 5, 2018, Happy Release Day!

Source:  Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Perfect FriendNot a real fan of the (yellow) cover

“…Still, I’m trying to decide how much truth to tell. This started as little white lies…”

Barbara Copperthwaite is a master of the psychological thriller model. The problem is, if you are like most people, you take on face value what you are told, and the narration is so simple, so natural, you don’t suspect anything is awry. But you’ve been set up immediately with a narrator who tells you up front she is a liar. Continue reading “The Perfect Friend – a #BookReview”

Murder Made to Order by Lena Gregory #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Murder Made to Order by Lena Gregory

I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for Murder Made to Order by Lena Gregory on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter your chance at the Giveaway!

Book Details

Murder Made to Order (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 19, 2018)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104666
Digital ASIN: B075WBZH6L  

Book Blurb

To save her cozy Florida diner, Gia Morelli must choke down a heaping helping of murder.

New York native Gia Morelli is just getting used to life in Florida when she gets word that the town government wants to shut down her pride and joy: the charming little diner known as the All-Day Breakfast Café. A forgotten zoning regulation means that the café was opened illegally, and hardboiled council president Marcia Steers refuses to budge. Gia is considering hanging up her apron and going back to New York, but before she gives up on her dream, she discovers something shocking in the local swamp: Marcia Steers, dead in the water. There’s a secret buried in the books at town hall, and someone killed to keep it hidden. To save her café and bring a killer to justice, Gia and her friends will have to figure out a killer’s recipe for murder . . .

My Review

Murder Made to Order by Lena GregoryAnyone knows a New Yorker can’t make grits like a true Southerner would have their grits. Nevertheless, Gia Morelli is making real progress with her All Day Breakfast Cafe and has a growing number of true and loyal diners. That’s one of the things that makes this second installment of her mystery series so appealing, the support characters.

Unfortunately, her success may have spurred the city council to recall an old zoning regulation and now the local council president is spearheading the drive to shut her down.

Gia has been wrestling with the changes to her life anyway, from the bears and alligators to the bugs and snakes, and she’s been freaking out over the differences the small town of Boggy Creek offers compared to her former NYC life. But then, there was a reason she left the big city behind. Still, she can’t believe she’d be forced to close just when it appears to be taking hold and she’d require some additional help.

Her friend Savannah (perfect name, huh?) is there to interpret everything southern and Gia has managed to make a number of friends along with a possible romantic interest in Tall, Dark, and Compelling. But then as she’s taking Thor, a Bernese Mountain dog who doesn’t walk so much as bound through the tick-infested brush, for a walk she stumbles across Marcia Steers, half in, half-out of the swampy bog and it’s obvious she won’t ever move to try to oust Gia from her restaurant again. She was supposed to have met with Marcia to discuss a private matter. Oh well…

I’ve gotta say, I’ve been plunked into Florida before, and it is definitely an eye-opening experience. I’m not sure why a city girl would choose to live at the edge of bear territory instead of closer to her diner, but she does. And then she takes on a mountain of a puppy, who having walked into the brush would definitely come out with more ticks than Gia, but she does. But who doesn’t love a dog in a cozy mystery and Thor definitely is given some appealing traits. I really enjoyed BFF Savannah as well as Earl, the cafe’s early and first very loyal customer. Reading about him and the characters that comprise her patrons, I’m reminded of a welcome breakfast stop we took when moving to Idaho and overheard the conversation of a group of good ole boys in coveralls at the next table:

“Whar’s Homewood?” “Wahl, it’s out aways.” “How far?” “Wahl, if you get to the river, you’ve gone too far.”

(It still cracks us up.) Well, anyway, the author does a great job fleshing out her characters and you quickly learn to appreciate them all–there is a reason they are in the story.

The protagonist, Gia, follows the breadcrumbs from the murder and thankfully doesn’t sit down with possible suspects and skewer them with questions. She does, however, give us a close-in kitchen account for whipping up breakfasts for groups of eight or more (the last thing I’d ever try), and she seems to have a fine handle on being a short-order cook until she can find one.

This series entry could function as a standalone as details carried forward from the debut answer most questions. Strong character-driven book gives an affectionate look into a small southern town with all the flavors of the season. I might have done without all the short-order lessons, but enjoyed the side-trips into the hinterlands, and the sleuthing is very subtle. Red herrings aside, the conclusion is smooth and not wholly unexpected but was fun to see played out. The plot is well-paced and satisfying and is highly recommended. If you enjoy cozies, you will enjoy this one.

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4.5 of five stars

Add to Goodreads

Giveaway

You MUST hurry (like today!) to get in on this one (1) chance to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card in the Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Lena Gregory - authorLena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:

Website:  http://www.lenagregory.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lenagregoryauth/

Purchase Links:

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

June 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

June 20 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 20 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 21 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

June 21 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

June 22 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

June 22 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 23 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

June 23 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

June 24 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

June 25 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST

June 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

June 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

June 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

June 27 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 28 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 28 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 29 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

June 30 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

June 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

July 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

July 2 – A Blue Million Books –  AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 3 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

July 3 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

Great Escapes Book ToursThanks to Lena Gregory, the publisher, NetGalley AND Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

I’ve Been Watching You – a #BookReview

I've Been Watching You by K A Richardson

Title: I’ve Been Watching You by K A Richardson

Genre: Currently #2960 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Publication Date: June 23, 2016

Source: Bloodhound Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: I’ve Been Watching You (The Forensic Files Book 1) – Appropriate setting for subject

Ben Cassidy is a CSI with Sunderland City who is raising four-year-old daughter Grace by herself. She lives with Aunt Aoife who took her in as a child when her parents died in an accident. She has moved back home after living in Dunham and brings with her baggage she is yet to completely resolve. She must wrestle with the lingering psychological and physical damage while Aunt Aoife has a secret of her own.

Jacob Tully is ex-military with experience in combat and physical and mental trauma, but is coping by lecturing in Digital Forensics when Ben attends a class as part of her continuing education. He still wrestles with an occasional flashback or bout of PTSD, though has been making progress. The IUD damage to his leg will continue to cause him pain. Both are damaged individuals and seem destined to find each other. Continue reading “I’ve Been Watching You – a #BookReview”

Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery) by Connie di Marco #BookTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco

I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco on her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Book Details

Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Midnight Ink (August 8, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738751061
Digital ASIN: B075W42GWP

Book Blurb

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but when her former boss and current client asks for help she agrees to go undercover at his law firm. Three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled–the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s astrological expertise provides clues but no one wants to listen. Before she can solve the mystery, two people are dead and her own life is in danger. Julia must unmask the killer before he, or she, takes another life. Continue reading “Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery) by Connie di Marco #BookTour #BookReview #Giveaway”

American on Purpose – a #BookReview

american-on-purpose-cell

Title: American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

Genre: Currently #27 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Humor & Entertainment, Humor, Political

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers

Publication Date: September 22, 2009

Source: BookBub

Title and Cover: American on PurposeCraig Ferguson mixing metaphors

It’s true–I’ve had this one on my TBR for so long I don’t actually remember how I got it. It’s embarrassing, but suffice it to say, it must have been a (free?) BookBub offering, as I can’t usually be spending a lot on something I can’t eat or that keeps the electricity on.

And, just a head’s up, this is vintage Craig Ferguson. (You know Craig Ferguson, and what that means!) If you’ve ever had the misfortune of insomnia or are just a natural late night person, then unless you are 12, you no doubt watched Craig Ferguson on his late night show. (The show ended abruptly December 2014.)

Craig Ferguson - Talk show host, author

He is Scottish

     Profane

            Compelling Continue reading “American on Purpose – a #BookReview”

Confound It by Maggie Toussaint – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway

Confound It - a Dreamwalker Mystery by Maggie Toussaint

I am super-excited today to provide a review for my blog stop for Confound It by Maggie Toussaint on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Confound It (Dreamwalker Mystery #5)

Book Details

Cozy Mystery – Paranormal

  • Series: A Dreamwalker Mystery (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Camel Press (June 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:1603815953
  • ISBN-13:978-1603815956

Book Blurb

Confound It by Maggie ToussaintWhile hosting out-of-town guests at her Georgia home, Dreamwalker Baxley Powell is called upon to help investigate a suspicious fire. One of her guests, close friend and fellow dreamwalker Deputy Sam Mayes, accompanies her to the scene. A meth cook is dead, and when Baxley visits her beyond the Veil of Life, she determines that the woman was murdered. Baxley pities Mandy Patterson, a single mother with aspirations for her teenage son Doodle. Unconcerned about the death of a criminal, the authorities pursue the drug-supply chain angle. Baxley worries about Doodle and vows to find out who killed his mother. As the case grows more baffling, Baxley struggles against her attraction to Sam. Although her husband is missing and declared dead, she does not feel free to love again until she is sure of his fate. Two suspects have the strongest motive, but Baxley has reason to believe they are pawns in a deeper game. And unless she can stop them, the world will never be the same. Book 5 in the Dreamwalker Mystery series. Continue reading “Confound It by Maggie Toussaint – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway”

Dark Lava (Lei Crime, Book 7) – a #BookReview

Dark Lava - a Lei Crime Novel by Toby Neal

Title: Dark Lava (Lei Crime, Book 7) by Toby Neal

Genre: Currently #1712 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals

Publication Date: July 7, 2014

Source: BookBub

Title and Cover: Dark LavaCover obviously depicts lava flow

I started reading the Lei Crime series back in 2014 with book 1, Blood Orchids, and have loved them all. Lei Texeira is a damaged but strong female protagonist. I’ve followed her journey in the Maui (Hawaii) Police Department as she’s climbed through the ranks. Along the way, she met Michael Stevens, also with the MPD. Their relationship was explosive, but they were obviously meant to be a couple. In book 7, they are newlyweds (finally!) and extremely committed to each other as well as their work. But Lei’s work has found her being volunteered for the bomb squad and that’s not a match that’s working well.

This installment sees Stevens participate in a much larger proportion of the story, while a parallel storyline follows Lei. In addition to the cases each encounter individually, they are met with major life-changing situations on both sides. On Stevens side, the baggage he brought with him into the relationship following their reuniting. On Lei’s side, her own family matters and the predicament presented by Stevens recent history. And that’s in addition to an underlying threat to them both regarding her previous police work.

Ms. Neal always incorporates scenes of Maui, the flora and fauna, the sights of the ocean’s unrelenting waves glistening in the sun, and the patois of the local population putting you square in the middle of the action. Information about the island and the native peoples figure heavily in this installment with Stevens investigation into the desecration of priceless artifacts.

Lei has progressed well through the series installments, becoming stronger, more confident, and less neurotic. The characters that surround Lei were well developed in previous installments, have become solid fixtures, and are beginning to feel like old friends–including her FBI contact and previous partners. Stevens is a confident, self-assured, partner. I particularly enjoy their large and sweet Rottweiler, Keiki.

Blood Orchids - A Lei Crime Novel by Toby NealI received this download from BookBub and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. I’ve enjoyed this series and watched the characters grow. Each book brings new surprises, fascinating tidbits about our fiftieth state and leaves you looking forward to the next in the Lei Crime series. (This was no exception, although somehow I jumped to book 9, so I’ll have to go back and pick up no. 8.) If you haven’t discovered Toby Neal and her Hawaii-based novels and the Lei Crime series, you owe it to yourself to give them a try. Start with Blood Orchids.  Recommended for all who enjoy mysteries, thrillers and suspense, women sleuths, and police procedurals.

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4.5 of five stars

Toby Neal - authorThe Author: Award-winning, USA Today bestselling social worker turned author Toby Neal grew up on the island of Kaua`i in Hawaii. Neal is a mental health therapist, a career that has informed the depth and complexity of the characters in her stories. Neal’s police procedurals, starring multicultural detective Lei Texeira, explore the crimes and issues of Hawaii and are so popular that they’ve spawned a licensed fan fiction world on Amazon.

Neal focuses on mystery, but also writes romance and a line of apocalyptic romance thrillers, the Scorch Series, with Emily Kimelman.

Get two FREE award-winning Toby Neal books by signing up at: http://www.subscribepage.com/TobyNealNews

©2018 V Williams V Williams

A Steep Price – a #BookReview

A Steep Price by Robert Dugoni

Title: A Steep Price (Tracy Crosswhite #6) by Robert Dugoni

Genre: Currently #57 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime Fiction, Murder

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Source: Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley

Title and Cover: A Steep PriceCover hints dark plot

I found Robert Dugoni with number five of the Tracy Crosswhite series, Close to Home, and enjoyed enough that when I saw this offering, jumped on it. Dugoni delivers an intelligent police procedural, explaining certain courses of action that might otherwise give pause. This plot, as well as the last, is multi-layered with parallel investigations dividing the Violent Crimes A-Team, Seattle, Washington.

Tracy is finishing up a trial when she gets a call from a colleague with whom she has previously worked regarding missing person Kavita Mukherjee. While the missing person Detective Katie Pryor referred to her may not appropriately be in her department or jurisdiction, she agrees that the missing student doesn’t fit the normal profile and she calls in her partner, Kinsington Rowe, for some support knowing the window of time with which they are dealing is acutely short. But it is Tracy and Pryor who find Kavita’s body and that investigation escalates with Kins. Continue reading “A Steep Price – a #BookReview”

Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway

Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch

Title: Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery #1) by Dana Dratch

Genre: Mystery, Cozy, Amateur Sleuths

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: HAPPY RELEASE DAY – May 29, 2018

Great Escapes Book ToursSource: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley

Pages: 336 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1496716569

ASIN: B075C8FDT5

I am super-excited today to participate in the Publication Day for Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Book Blurb:

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list.
And Alex is on it. Continue reading “Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch – a #BlogTour #BookReview and #Giveaway”

Ray vs the Meaning of Life – a #BookReview

Ray vs the Meaning of LifeTitle: Ray vs the Meaning of Life by Michael F. Stewart

Genre: Currently # 147 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Metaphysical

Publisher: The Publishing House

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Ray vs the Meaning of Life – Fantastic cover–totally gets the subject

When I read the review by Nicole over at The BookWorm Drinketh for Ray vs the Meaning of Life, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. (TY, Nicole, you nailed it!) Fortunately, it was still available (now archived) on NetGalley, though it was termed Humor, Teens, and YA. What?! Heaven knows I’ve violated several of my rules recently, why not this one? Well, I’m so glad, once again, that I stepped beyond my own comfortable genres to sample this “YA” novel. But really, YA? Amazon classifies the genre as Metaphysical and Visionary (oh, and Coming of Age).

Too bad.

It should have just stopped at Brilliant Literature. Continue reading “Ray vs the Meaning of Life – a #BookReview”

Charlie Mac – a #BookReview

Charlie Mac by Maria McDonaldTitle: Charlie Mac: A Story of Ordinary People Who Lived in Extraordinary Times by Maria McDonald

Genre: Currently #37389 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction

Publication Date: March 30, 2018

Source: Direct request by author

Title and Cover: Charlie MacThe chair holds significance but doesn’t wholly convey the tragedy that it included.

This is the fictional account of the life and death of Charlie McMullen, great-grandfather of the author which follows three generations through one of the most tumultuous times in the history of Ireland–specifically in Belfast.

Charlie was born in 1873 and died just after the Irish Home Rule Campaign ended with the establishment of the border dividing Ireland. A city fella, he married a country girl, Mary Jane from County Down. Her life experience was totally opposite his, as was her religion; hers being Catholic. We can’t help who we fall in love with and sometimes that will forever shape our destiny. But neither his Belfast neighbors nor their respective families were happy with the marriage. The couple thought, however, that the strength of their union would overcome objections. It couldn’t and didn’t, resulting in tragedy. Continue reading “Charlie Mac – a #BookReview”

Area 51: Redemption – a #BookReview

Area 51 - Redemption by Bob MayerTitle: Area 51: Redemption (Book 10 of 11) by NY Times Bestseller Bob Mayer

Genre: Currently #174 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, War & Military

Publication Date: April 24, 2018

Source: Won a copy on a Goodreads Giveaway!

Title and Cover: Area 51: Redemption – Cover continues the dynamite series covers

Area 51: Redemption is a continuation of the series regarding alien direction and population on earth and how their presence affected the human race through the millennia, leaving only the most subtle of reminders of their possible existence on the planet. In this, the tenth of the series, Mike Turcotte, is back as the ex-Special Forces officer who helped free the earth of the Airlia while winning WWIII. But Turcotte kept a secret–far worse than that of the Airlia domination.

(From the Amazon book blurb: “The continuation of the series that has sold over 2 million copies, screenplay written by the man who penned Alien, Total Recall and produced Minority Report and is Cool Gus approved. This book will be followed by Area 51: Invasion on 14 July 2018.”)

You would be correct in that if this is a sci-fi, I probably had my associate reviewer read and contribute his review to mine. Also, as always, I’ll post his review here first. Continue reading “Area 51: Redemption – a #BookReview”

Dying Truth – a #BookReview

Dying Truth by Angela MarsonsTitle: Dying Truth (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 8) by Angela Marsons

Genre: Currently #36 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense, Crime, Serial Killers, and #47 in Mystery/Police Procedurals, AND an Amazon Author ranking of #4 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: Happy Publication Day – May 18, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Dying TruthDark, compelling

OMG, maybe it’s good I’ve never been wealthy! In this, the 8th in the DI Kim Stone series, the reader is introduced to life for the super elite school child. These privileged kids go to Heathcrest Academy. Education for uber snobs–maybe, but not all of them–there are some who have not been enrolled in money. And kids can be cruel. But I digress… Continue reading “Dying Truth – a #BookReview”

Go Home, Afton – a #BookReview

Go Home, Afton by Brent JonesTitle: Go Home, Afton: Afton Morrison, Book 1 (The Afton Morrison Series) by Brent Jones

Genre: Currently #3470 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense

Publication Date: To be released June 25, 2018

Source: Direct author request

Title and Cover: Go Home, AftonGorgeous cover totally reflecting tension-filled thriller

Animus: basic attitude or governing spirit: disposition, intention. 3: an inner masculine part of the female personality in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/animus (including an outrageous motivation to do…something).

The title reflects a mantra within this periodically socially unacceptable protagonist. Afton Morrison is an educated, competent small town children’s librarian, more than capable of presenting an intelligent and patient twenty-six-year-old woman within the pseudo-academic life of Wakefield. She has quashed the animus within her successfully (whom she has named, quite appropriately Animus)…until now…when the demand to kill meets reason and she’s found the perfect victim. Afton can both satisfy that persistently deranged alter-ego while ridding the public of a vicious sexual predator. Continue reading “Go Home, Afton – a #BookReview”

Pick and Chews – a #BookReview

Pick and Chews by Linda O JohnstonTitle: Pick and Chews (Barkery and Biscuits Mystery #4) by Linda O. Johnston

Genre: Currently #695 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Cozy, Animals

Publisher: Midnight Ink

Publication Date: Release date: May 8, 2018 Happy Publication Day!

Source: Midnight Ink and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Pick and Chews – Beautiful cozy cover complete with dogs and kitty

First, let me thank the publisher and NetGalley for granting me an ARC of this book. I was thrilled to receive the download and went into the book with high expectations, happy with checking out a new author (to me) and her series that promised to be amazing. And, of course, it features dogs. How could you go wrong? Well, ***spoiler*** alert, something went very wrong. First, I’ll quickly list what I did appreciate here in the “upper fold.”  

Looking at the cover (and there I go again…must repeat mantra…cannot judge a book, blah, blah, blah). Absolutely too cute. Appeals to both dog and cat lovers. And the blurb? Well, okay, it sounded interesting. A woman who owns two howlingly successful businesses? Could happen. Her also being a part-time vet tech. Hmmm, now we may be stretching things a bit.

The Barkery and Biscuit is definitely a unique name for a bakery catering to healthy food and treats for animals. Also appreciated that she wrote about holding rescue animal adoption events. Super.

However, you should be warned that I periodically invoke my rule not to note less than three stars and, therefore, will not rate the book on this blog, although I’m compelled to leave a short review for Goodreads and the publisher.

So what set up the hackles? Continue reading “Pick and Chews – a #BookReview”

The Mirror Shop – a #BookReview

The Mirror Shop by Nicholas BundockTitle: The Mirror Shop by Nicholas Bundock

Genre: Currently #2205 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, British & Irish

Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers

Publication Date: To be released May 14, 2018

Source: Publisher request

Title and Cover: The Mirror Shop – Attractive cover hints at contents

Luke is a mirror shop owner who lives quietly in a small English countryside village. It would appear that although a bachelor, he leads a happy middle-age and tranquil life with a partner of almost 20 years, Eva, who is a psychotherapist. But Luke Brewer has hit that age and mid-life crisis slams into him with a poker-hot vengeance when an attractive young woman enters the shop and he falls teacup over kettle. Continue reading “The Mirror Shop – a #BookReview”

Better Off Read – a #BookReview

Better Off Read by Nora PageTitle: Better Off Read: A Bookmobile Mystery

Genre: Currently #2790 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Amateur Sleuths

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: To be Released June 12, 2018

Source: Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Better Off Read – Beautiful cozy cover

Pretty hard to resist any cozy mystery with that cover! Okay, the cover and the premise. The blurb describes a septuagenarian librarian who is forced to race around in a converted school bus now bookmobile after her Catalpa Springs, Georgia library suffers major storm damage. (And she tends to speed. Who pays for her tickets?)  Continue reading “Better Off Read – a #BookReview”