Good Dog, Bad Cop (K Team Novels Book 4) by David Rosenfelt – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

For the K Team, playing “good dog”, “bad cop” is all fun and games… until there’s a body on the scene, in the next K Team Novel by bestselling author David Rosenfelt.

The K Team enjoys investigating cold cases for the Paterson Police Department. Corey Douglas, his K-9 partner Simon Garfunkel, Laurie Collins, and Marcus Clark even get to choose which cases they’d like to pursue. When Corey sees the latest list of possibilities, there’s no question which one to look into next.

Corey’s former mentor, Jimmy Dietrich, had his whole identity wrapped up in being a cop. When Jimmy retired three years ago, his marriage quickly deteriorated and he tried–and failed—to get back on the force. Jimmy was left to try to adjust to life as a civilian.

Not long after, two bodies were pulled from the Passaic River. A local woman, Susan Avery, and Jimmy Dietrich. With no true evidence available, the deaths went unsolved and the case declared cold. This didn’t stop the whispers: an affair gone wrong… a murder-suicide committed by Jimmy.

Corey never believed it. With this case, the K Team has the opportunity to find the real murderer, and clear Jimmy’s name. Bestselling author David Rosenfelt returns in Good Dog, Bad Cop, where there’s little to go on, but that won’t stop Paterson, New Jersey’s favorite private investigators from sniffing out the truth.

My Review:

It’s not true that I request these books because there are dogs on the cover. Of course, that doesn’t hurt as it’s easy to see both dogs are sweet as they can be. I’ll hug the Golden Lab, you can hug the GSD (if he’ll let you). I was happy to jump on this spin-off of the Andy Carpenter series as I’d devoured just about all in that series I could at the time.

Good Dog Bad Cop by David RosenfeltIn this series, Corey Douglas and his K-9 partner Simon Garfunkel, are the main characters with Andy’s wife, Laurie, and several of the Carpenter team also in this team. They are quasi-working with the local police in an unofficial capacity looking into cold cases.

In this case, he’ll opt for looking into Corey’s former mentor, Jimmy Dietrich. But never let it be said that these are cut and dried, find out what happened to Jimmy, one and done. No, this series, as with the Carpenter series manages to run into sub-plots, and plots behind that, and become seriously complicated so it’s necessary to pay attention.

Over the course of the series, I’ve seen a change in Corey and I like it. He’s settling down somewhat, not due in small part to his SO, Dani. She’s an independent lady and hasn’t pushed toward that nasty “M” word that even Corey has been tossing around lately. It’s not all due to her, however, in that the seriousness of the well-plotted and paced storylines has loosened a bit, allowing for just a little of the snark I’d grown to love in the Carpenter series. Somewhere in there all the time was that sense of humor and that easy, happy relationship between he and Dani.

If you are so inclined, you might want to set up a spreadsheet with all the background characters as they come and go in this one, adding one twist after the other and setting the reader’s head to spinning. ACK! But don’t get too excited, you won’t get lost. It’s not a real problem to float in the narrative and just enjoy the ride. In the meantime, there’s a character for everyone including Simon who gets to do his fur missile thing—which he is very good at—by the way.

Don’t need to start with Book 1, although you might just to get the flavor of this particular team. This book is quite capable of being a fun and fast novel as a standalone.

I listened to Book 3 Citizen K-9 (audiobook) in March last year and can also recommend the audiobooks narrated by Fred Berman. I have found each entry to the series more enjoyable as they settled into their own cast of solid characters and storyline.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Private Investigator Mysteries
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ASIN: B09Y46PTQ4
Print Length: 288 pages
Publication Date: March 14, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

David Rosenfelt - authorThe Author: DAVID ROSENFELT is the Edgar-nominated and Shamus Award-winning author of more than twenty Andy Carpenter novels, including One Dog Night, Collared, and Deck the Hounds; its spinoff series, The K-Team; the Doug Brock thriller series, which starts with Fade to Black; and stand-alone thrillers including Heart of a Killer and On Borrowed Time. Rosenfelt and his wife live in Maine with an ever-changing pack of rescue dogs. Their epic cross-country move with 25 of these dogs, culminating in the creation of the Tara Foundation, is chronicled in Dogtripping.

©2023 V Williams

The Last Camel Died at Noon: The Amelia Peabody Series Book 6 by Elizabeth Peters – #Audiobook Review – #throwbackthursday

The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters

“…Emerson would have been the first to proclaim that we were a partnership, in archaeology as in marriage.”

Book Blurb:

The last camel is dead, and Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, her dashing husband, Emerson, and precocious son, Ramses, are in dire straits on the sun-scorched desert sands. Months before, back in cool, green England, Viscount Blacktower had approached them to find his son and his son’s new bride, who have been missing in war-torn Sudan for over a decade. An enigmatic message scrawled on papyrus and a cryptic map had been delivered to Blacktower, awakening his hope that the couple was still alive.

Neither Amelia nor Emerson believes the message is authentic, but the treasure map proves an irresistible temptation. Now, deep in Nubia’s vast wasteland, they discover too late how much treachery is afoot (and on camelback)…and survival depends on Amelia’s solving a mystery as old as ancient Egypt and as timeless as greed and revenge.

My Review:

Well, mercy! Wasn’t this an exercise in going back—way back?! We’re talking the 19th Century with brilliantly minded Amelia Peabody who possesses a superior knowledge of Egyptology and archeology. As if that weren’t enough, she managed to discover Professor Radcliffe Emerson, a prominent Egyptologist in his own right and they married. Together, they managed to produce a son, Ramses, also another Mensa candidate, too smart for school and sometimes his own parents.

Apparently, twenty episodes in this series, I managed to come in on Book 6, main characters well established (although this could be read as a standalone), and superior child about ten(?). Written in very stilted English, appropriate for the period in style and moral practices (clean read), these two are a hoot.

Well, most of the time.

The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth PetersI must say I did tire of the disdain often laid on those whose IQ didn’t conform, but I did enjoy the intelligent and often educational descriptions of Egypt’s history. Such a vast knowledge deserved to be shared and was usually in an engaging and entertaining fashion—not as dry textbook info dump.

It’s written in a journalist style as if she were speaking to her readers. Indeed, she often stops to speak directly to her readers.

In this entry to the series, they cruise the Nile to Nubia to find an old acquaintance long since lost at the behest of the father. They’ll combine the expedition with the opportunity to explore or excavate new sites.

Along the way, however, they are tricked and abandoned after discovering the last camel was poisoned. They are quietly rescued to a lost city. Oh, the deliciousness! The atmospherics, discovering an ancient people, their way of life, and of course that two half-brothers are vying for the exulted high position. (Oops!) Obviously, there is a keen wit involved in the prose—just reread the name of the title—and the banter between husband and wife is priceless. Otherwise, it’s a long one and there are a few slow passages pocked here and there in an otherwise well-plotted and paced narrative.

I must mention a shout-out, however, for the narrator, Susan O’Malley, who neither stumbled nor slowed over 22 syllable words and pronunciations. Excellent job, and saddened to see both narrator and author now deceased.

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mysteries, Historical Mystery
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
ASIN: B0001O34AI
Listening Length:
Narrator: Susan O’Malley
Publication Date: February 26, 2004
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Last Camel Died at Noon [Amazon]

 

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing: Four stars

 

Elizabeth Peters - authorThe Author: ELIZABETH PETERS, whose New York Times best-selling novels are often set against historical backdrops, earned a Ph.D. in Egyptology at the University of Chicago. She also writes best-selling books under the pseudonym Barbara Michaels. She lives in Frederick, Maryland.

[Goodreads]Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote as Barbara Michaels as well as her own name. Born and brought up in Illinois, she earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. Mertz was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. She lived in a historic farmhouse in Frederick, western Maryland until her death (August 2013).

Susan O'Malley - narrator - artistThe Narrator: [Goodreads] Susan O’Malley (1976–2015) was an internationally exhibited artist and curator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As curator and print center director at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, she worked with hundreds of artists and organized more than fifty exhibitions and public programs. As an artist, she made work that brings a sense of interconnectedness into our lives, from conversations with strangers to installations in public places. The impact of her work has traveled far and wide. O’Malley’s artwork has been exhibited in public projects across the United States—San Francisco, New York, Nashville—and around the globe in the United Kingdom, Poland, and Denmark. She exhibited at alternative spaces and cultural institutions including, in California, the Montalvo Art Center, Kala Art Institute, and Palo Alto Art Center, as well as the Contemporary Art Museum (Houston, TX), and the Parthenon Museum (Nashville, TN). Her participatory installation Finding Your Center, a collaboration with Leah Rosenberg, was recently featured in Bay Area Now 7 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and her project A Healing Walk is permanently installed at Villa Montalvo. The powerful optimism of her work lives on.

©2023 V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday

Sea Castle: A Thriller (Underwater Investigation Unit Book 4) by Andrew Mayne – #BookReview – #suspenseactionthriller

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars

Book Blurb:

A Wall Street Journal bestselling series. A deep-diving investigator is pulled into the depths of a string of unsolved serial murders in a riveting thriller by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Sea Storm.

Sea Castle by Andrew MayneWhen a young woman washes ashore on a Fort Lauderdale beach, Sloan McPherson of the Underwater Investigation Unit is called in to consult. Sloan’s instinct says murder, but even then, there are too many questions.

For answers she reaches out to Gwen Wylder. The Miami homicide detective is notorious for being manipulative, bitter, a tyrant to her peers, and wicked smart. And she demands something in return from Sloan: fresh insight into seemingly unrelated cold-case murders and disappearances—and a possible serial killer trolling the Florida coast.

As loose ends of the old files begin to come together, another woman disappears. Sloan and Gwen are certain she’s the newest link in a deadly chain. They are determined to track her down before she dies, but they soon find themselves in uncharted waters. And the deeper Sloan and Gwen go, the stranger the case gets.

His Review:

Sea Castle by Andrew MayneShe was laying on a beach with a rope around her neck. The forensic team felt she had been in the water for at least twenty hours. Sloan McPherson could not reconcile that in her mind with the condition of the body. Nothing had been nibbling on it!

Killers are not always prudent. Sometimes it seems like they are trying to get caught. Why would someone leave the victim’s clothes and other crime evidence in a black plastic bag near the body? And although the victim was chocked with the rope attached to her body, why were there no self-defense marks or evidence of a struggle?

CE WilliamsAndrew Mayne has put together a very illuminating study of killers and the law enforcement personnel who set out to apprehend them. This is a very good example of fine police procedural work. The book is witty and at time disarming as the various characters are developed. The end result is a very engaging and entertaining book that I couldn’t put down.  5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Action Fiction, Mystery Action & Adventure, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
ASIN: B09Q825MSK
Print Length: 312 pages
Publication Date: February 21, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble

 

Andrew Mayne - authorThe Author: Andrew Mayne is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author whose books include The Naturalist, a Thriller Award finalist and Black Fall an Edgar Award finalist Black Fall. He’s the star of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week special Andrew Mayne: Ghost Diver, where he swam alongside great white sharks using an underwater invisibility suit he designed and also was the star of A&E’s Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne.

@AndrewMayne
AndrewMayne.com

©2023 CE Williams – V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

When Irish Eyes Are Lying: The Kilteegan Bridge Story-Book 4 by Jean Grainger – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

#1 New Release in Historical Irish Fiction

Book Blurb:

Kilteegan Bridge, Ireland. 1975 

Despite the best efforts to the older generation to maintain standards, short skirts, long hair and loud music are all the rage in Kilteegan Bridge.  

When Irish Eyes Are Lying by Jean GraingerEmmet Kogan has set his sights on an education at the prestigious Stanford University in California, while his cousin Nellie also longs to get away, but for very different reasons. If she’s to escape too, it will mean wrapping herself in a web of lies, but it’s a price she’s willing to pay. 

Lena and Eli are terrified they will lose their boy to the bright lights of America forever, while Emily and Blackie make a decision to keep a dangerous secret, despite knowing the damage such duplicity can do.  

On the exciting streets of 1970s San Francisco, two young Irish people have to learn to navigate this new world of wonderful opportunities and dangerous vices, and learn that no matter how open and accepting a society is, there are always rules.  

Rules that if broken, carry a heavy penalty.

My Review:

This installment in the Kilteegan Bridge series had me ripping one direction and then another. I felt at the beginning like it might have been a bit of déjà vu with Lena.

Several storylines in this episode that included Nellie (déjà vu Lena), Nellie’s cousin Emmett and his birth dad Malachy, as well as Fintan Slattery’s misunderstanding of the power of the “Good People.”

Granted, I loved the insight into the “fairy” tales (the Good People) who can get downright dangerously vindictive when crossed. So many origins in our customs today that stem from ancient myths, gospels and superstitions handed down and still observed. (Leave the Hawthorn tree alone and do not violate the fairy ring!!)

When Irish Eyes Are Lying by Jean GraingerTo escape Nellie’s unhappy experience, she is invited and allowed to go to Palo Alto where Malachy is living with his birth father in preparation for going to Stanford. Another very eye-opening storyline that had me remembering my grandmother’s dread of what was happening in San Francisco. Totally involved in our own drama at home, however, none of that scary scene really touched me at the time. The drug and free love culture was spreading far afield, but I don’t remember it hitting Sacramento quite that hard. Or, maybe I was just that far removed.

Meanwhile, back at home in Kilteegan Bridge, Lena and Eli immersed in helping family Emily and Blackie takes a tragic turn, one that was gut-wrenching. I haven’t recovered from that yet and not happy with the turn the narrative has taken also hope it doesn’t go the way I suspect Book 5 will lead. Ms. Grainger pulled no punches in this one!

I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed each of the entries in the series, the last one More Harm Than Good, following each of the characters so well developed they are part of the neighborhood, I know and love them, each with immersive stories of their own. But this one hurt.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Irish Fiction, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Saga Fiction
Publisher: Gold Harp Media
ASIN: B0BLTP1YCY
Print Length: 285 pages
Publication Date: January 17, 2023
Source: Author ARC
Title Link(s): When Irish Eyes Are Lying [Amazon]

 

Jean Grainger - authorThe Author: JEAN GRAINGER is a USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.

WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE

Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!

I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi..

My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.

[truncated—please see author’s page for full bio]

Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.

©2023 V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

The Huntress by Kate Quinn – #Audiobook Review – #ThrowbackThursday

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Goodreads Choice Award Nominee

Rosepoint Publishing:   Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

From the author of the New York Times and USA Today best-selling novel The Alice Network comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted….

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, 17-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes home with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past – only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family…secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth. 

This audiobook includes an episode of the Book Club Girl Podcast, featuring an interview with Kate Quinn about The Huntress. 

My Review:

I was diverted to this novel by a blog buddy who wrote a glowing review of another work by this author. That one not being available at my library (unusual, I know!), I chose this one instead and from the moment I had my earbuds comfortably embedded could find it almost impossible to turn it off for anything. Finally, I didn’t bother, and just sat and listened to it.

This turned out to be one very mind-blowing audiobook, I’m sure in no small part owing to the amazing narrator who slid Russian names off her tongue as easily as German or English.

The Night WitchesThis masterful work carries a sinister, skin-crawling aura of suspense from the first chapter to the triumphal conclusion. This is a profoundly compulsive read that begins with the story of Nina Markova that gradually evolves into an extremely powerful protagonist—formidable in her staunch unwavering focus, passionate in her role as one of the first Soviet women pilots of WWII known as The Night Witches and extremely profane in expression. Oh, God, she is amazing and I loved every chapter that was hers!

The Huntress by Kate QuinnNina, however, is but one of three main POVs that take turns in chapters devoted to each character and the timeline that evolves over years from the war to 1950s Boston that sees seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride—equally passionate in her exploration of photography goals at a time most young girls were thinking marriage and babies. It is her widowed father who marries a German widow, Annaliese, who brings along a four-year-old daughter, Ruth. Jordan captures a photo of Annaliese that sets her hackles up and fires potent suspicions.

Following the end of the war, Nazi war criminal hunter and British war correspondent Ian Graham is joined by his buddy and Nina in the hunt for die Jagerin, The Huntress—a deliciously disturbing woman who escaped her palatial lakeside estate, site of decadent Nazi retreats.

The pace is frenetic. Each chapter reveals more about the protagonists and the dark Annaliese. Jordan, who knows she captured the real woman behind the façade, Nina with as much incentive to find her as Ian, gradually reveals more about her own harrowing war efforts piloting a plane made of wood and canvas.

This could be a suspense thriller that takes place seventy years ago as much as a historical thriller. It is an incredible narrative that hooks, revs, and speeds to a satisfying conclusion, producing a hugely character-driven story that will reverberate long after you’ve finished the book. Will easily be a memorable favorite that straddles years.

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts. Whether or not you like historical fiction, this is intense reading and is heartily recommended.

Book Details:

Genre: World War II Historical Fiction, War & Military Fiction, Espionage Thrillers
Publisher:  HarperAudio
ASIN: B07GXZNPSB
Listening Length: 19 hrs 4 mins
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Huntress [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

 

Kate Quinn - authorThe Author: Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice Network”, “The Huntress,” “The Rose Code,” and “The Diamond Eye.” All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with three rescue dogs.

Saskia Maarleveld - narratorThe Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld is an experienced audiobook narrator and voice-over actress based in New York City. Raised in New Zealand and France, she is highly skilled with accents and dialects, and many of her books have been narrated entirely in accents other than her own. In addition to audiobooks, Saskia’s voice can be heard in animation, video games, and commercials. She attributes her love and understanding of reading books aloud to coming from a large family where audiobooks were the only way to get though car rides without fighting! Visit saskiamaarleveld.com to learn more.

©2023 V Williams

Book hangover

Night Witches attribute: History.com

Born and Bred Texan (Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles) Book 9 of 9 by Jinx Schwartz – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Born and Bred Texan by Jinx SchwartzBlue Bonet, widowed and in mourning, returns to Magnolia Bluff in her home state of Texas. Her grandmother had bequeathed an old lake house to her, and she cherishes childhood memories there. She arrives at the lake and finds the house she remembers as being grand, is now in disrepair.
She tackles the repairs, and is determined to make a new life for herself,
It seems like an uphill battle.
A rollercoaster of ups and down conspire to destroy her dream, and she begins to wonder if you really can’t go home again.

My Review:

I was notified, as I am occasionally, by Amazon telling me one of my favorite authors is releasing a new book, this one by Jinx Schwartz. Oh my stars! Well, it’s been ages since I read and reviewed the last Hetta Coffey book, so of course I jumped on it. Even (gasp) paid for it and I don’t do a lot of those. I loved those Hetta Coffey books. I had so much fun with those short and sweet novels, most read prior to this blog, but I did review Just the Pits as a #ThrowbackThursday post back in 2017.

So, somehow I was thinking a new book, new series, I’d get in on the first of the series. Nope. It’s Book 9. Boy, I hate when that happens.

Born and Bred Texan by Jinx SchwartzNow, I’m wondering, if this seemed like the intro to a new series, what have I missed? Blue Bonet is widowed and in mourning returns to Magnolia Bluff in Texas. Her grandmother has bequeathed an old lake house to her and she remembers the home with fond memories as a child. Now, maybe not so much. It’s sadly outdated, in need of some serious repair and remodeling.

Well, mercy! The old place has good bones and she finds the perfect handyman (Handy) to fix it up—apparently a general contractor, carpenter, electrician, and plumber rolled into one. This guy is super and I loved his character, could easily picture him. Of course, there is a dog, Toto, seeking a new owner after hers’ is found deceased on the back forty, which introduces (at least to me) Sheriff Leslie.

Having gone to school locally, Blue has a network of old school chums that make for some interesting support characters (Gloria or Glory), as well as family not too far from Grams’s old place.

“…my neighbor raises chickens and the damned things live in Clucker Taj Majal.”

“I take a drug to help with depression, and then feel depressed that I need a drug?”

“…I need immoral support…”

As always with Schwartz’s books, there is that snarky sense of humor, although Blue dials back on the boozing, she’s up for hijinks and doesn’t balk at getting to the bottom of the mystery of the bodies on her property. I enjoyed the description of the area, the property, the lake, and the surrounding environs—including the wildlife. The work on the house sounded amazing and I would have loved a tour of the home and her separate studio.

I felt the pace of the book was a bit slow as I waited for something to happen and then it stayed low-key anyway while life went on. Maybe I was used to the pacing set by the Hetta Coffey books, but this seemed to veer a bit off the mystery several times as it delved into unrelated matters. And by the way, cousin Hetta does manage to make an appearance—loved it—with her dog Po Thang and SO Jenks.

The conclusion was likewise rather low key, already suspected. Fast and furious mop-up in the epilogue. You might appreciate a more domestic type of undercurrent mystery, interesting characters, and the Texas setting. You may not appreciate the edit misses or the insta-love.

These are my honest thoughts. I may try one more book in this series, but definitely prefer the pace and setting of the Hetta Coffey mysteries.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Women’s Detective Fiction, Amateur Sleuths, Cozy Animal Mystery
ASIN: B0BKX1SY36
Print Length: 258 pages
Publication Date: December 20, 2022
Source: Verified Purchase
Title Link: Born and Bred in Texas [Amazon]

 

Jinx Schwartz - authorThe Author: [Goodreads] Jinx Schwartz is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of the award-winning Hetta Coffey series.

JUST ADD WATER, first in the series, introduces Hetta, a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she’s not afraid to use it. JUST ADD SALT, JUST ADD TROUBLE, JUST DESERTS, JUST THE PITS, JUST NEEDS KILLIN’, AND JUST DIFFERENT DEVILS get her into hot Mexican Waters. JUST PARDON MY FRENCH, BOOK 8, FINDS HETTA IN FRANCE and Book 9: JUST FOLLOW THE MONEY, takes a wild ride on two continents, and JUST FOR THE BIRDS, Book 10, gets her afowl of exotic bird smugglers. Book 11 finds her in Texas, and living in an RV until her boat goes missing back in Mexico, and in Just On Porpoise (12 ) her attention is drawn to the almost extinct Vaquita, and JUST SO WRONG (13) finds Hetta taking on the dogfighting trade. Her other books: The Texicans (Texas 1806-1836 Historical Western), Land of Mountains, a YA/TWEEN set in Haiti in the 1950’s, Troubled Sea, a thriller in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, and BAJA GET AWAY, suspensful romance in Mexico.

Jinx spends equal time in Arizona and Mexico.

Website – http://jinxschwartz.com

Twitter – @jinxschwartz

©2023 V Williams

Happy New Year - 2023

Guild Boss by Jayne Castle – #Audiobook Review – #audiobookreview

Guild Boss by Jayne Castle

Book Blurb:

Welcome to Illusion Town on the colony world of Harmony—like Las Vegas on Earth, but way more weird.

Living in this new, alien world doesn’t stop the settlers from trying to re-create what they’ve left behind. Case in point—weddings are still the highlight of any social calendar. But it’s the after-party that turns disastrous for Lucy Bell. Kidnapped and drugged as she leaves the party, she manages to escape—only to find herself lost in the mysterious, alien underground maze of glowing green tunnels beneath Illusion Town. She’s been surviving on determination and cold pizza, scavenged for her by a special dust bunny, when help finally shows up.

Gabriel Jones is the Ghost Hunter sent to rescue her, but escaping the underground ruins isn’t the end of her troubles—it’s only the beginning. With no rational reason for her abduction, and her sole witness gone on another assignment for the Guild, whispers start circulating that Lucy made it all up. Soon her life unravels until she has nothing left but her pride. The last thing she expects is for Gabriel Jones to come back to town for her.

The Lucy that Gabriel finds is not the same woman he rescued, the one who looked at him as if he were her hero. This Lucy is sharp, angry, and more than a little cynical—instead of awe, she treats him with extreme caution. But a killer is still hunting her, and there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to heroes. Despite her wariness, Gabriel is also the one person who believes Lucy—after all, he was there. He’s determined to help clear her reputation, no matter what it takes. And as the new Guild Boss, his word is law, even in the lawlessness of Illusion Town.

My Review:

I’ve been known to start a series with Book 15 (or otherwise well into the series) before, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’d try a Harmony Novel well into a long-running series. Well, according to Amazon, Book 15; according to Goodreads, Ghost Hunters series, Book 14. I’m confused from the beginning.

I’ve tried other paranormal series before but I think what attracted me in this instance is that Sweetwater and the Witch (Harmony Novel Book 16—according to Amazon—is the Editors’ pick for Best Romance. Hmmm, you say, but you don’t read romance. Well, yes, that would be true. Or for that matter, “Paranormal Vampire Romance”?? Thought I’d test this novel first—then see if I didn’t want to swing right into the Editors’ pick. So, do I?

Guild Boss by Jayne CastleThis is like almost no—well, okay, none of the paranormal books I’ve read before. And no, you can’t pick this up as a standalone. Totally lost, my first problem was the “dust bunny.” Is this supposed to be a dog substitute? If so—how does he have six legs? Four eyes? (What was I reading?) Confusion reigned supreme.

The paranormal tendencies were also “gifts” of a nature I’ve heretofore never read, nor imagined. Lucy Bell is a weather (goddess) channeler—she can summon–at will–weather patterns that would disrupt any unhappy situation.

She was rescued following her kidnapping by Gabriel Jones, a Ghost Hunter and now the new Guild Boss of the area. This is Illusion Town—a Las Vegas by any other nightmare. It’s an alien world. Of course there is romance. Who doesn’t love the white knight who rescued you?

It’s a futuristic world with a dark underbelly and antagonists who harbor a conspiracy that threatens to harness the very power source of Harmony with “tuned amber.” Otis, the dust bunny, seems to be fairly capable, but communicates with annoying and constant chortles and has an amazing affinity for pizza.

I could do without the romance and attendant sex and was ready to find a powerful vacuum to rid myself of the dust bunny but had to admit to enjoying the imagination it took to fashion scenes in a tour bus of an alien world, the underworld, the inhabitants, and extremely bizarre weather patterns.

The storyline does hook as well as hold engagement. The explanation of society as it evolved in this world was simplistic while sensible in the setting and the descriptions of marriage and law were interesting. There is an eclectic mix of characters from the techno-wizards to evil doers—the push-pull of good versus evil. The narrative is complex and entertaining.

But will I progress to Sweetwater and the Witch? Probably not. If you, however, are looking for a unique paranormal romance, this may be the book or series for you. There are themes that include

politics and friendships—

as well as those imagined hurdles future colonists may confront.

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts. (Oh, and by the way, I also stumbled on this author and series because I was looking for books narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Barbara Rosenblat, and she didn’t disappoint.)

Book Details:

Genre: Action & Adventure Romance, Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.
ASIN: B0973HH8HX
Listening Length: 8 hrs 48 mins
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat
Publication Date: November 16, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Guild Boss [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four stars 4 stars

 

Jayne Castle - authorThe Author: The author of over 50 New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 35 million copies of her books in print.

[Goodreads] She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

Ms. Krentz is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.

©2022 V Williams

Christmas typewriter

Medicina, Cultura, e Legge.

Articoli su Medicina, Legge e Diritto, ma anche Aforismi, Riflessioni, e Poesie.

Kiran ✨

Reading And Writing is the best Investment of Time ✨ ( Motivational Thoughts) "LIFE IS A JOURNEY"

Taking On a World of Words

Homepage for fledgling writer Sam A. Stevens

Reading Is My SuperPower

BOOK REVIEWS, GIVEAWAYS, AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Psychic Devis

Lane is mine!🚦🚙😊

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

Learning with Life

A learner for life….wants to live fully….destination matter so does the journey…every movement to feel alive…and die with peace in eyes…being me…

Premier Tech Studios

You press Digital, We Do The Rest

Akwafrigeria

Truth to Light

Reading with My Eyes

lots of tales from the spine, your place for book reviews of all kinds

Oma's Minute

The heart and thoughts of man is broad. I share reasonings that alot of people out there needs to hear and hopefully adds value to their world***

beauty care products

I am a blogger of beauty care products

skyy

Short Story Blogger

Emma's Writing Things

A place to share the things that I write

An Amyzing Journey

A spiritual journey with adventures & side quests

coolpeppermint

memories and musings

Scribbles 'n Bits

Original poetry, short stories, and other bits.

BEST WEB DESIGNING INSTITUTE

BEST WEB DESIGNING INSTITUTE

Let's talk

Vibe alone for a while

Barbara Crane Navarro

Rainforest Art Project - Pas de Cartier !

RealStuff by RealMe

Before, After, Then, Now and NEVER!

Islamic Dua and Wazifa For Love back and Solve All problems

Love problem Solution in just 2 Days: Lost love back, ex love back, ex husband back, ex boyfriend and other all love problem Solution. Call and Whatsapp +91 9571300113

Poetic reflections

Poetry and expression of ideas

Julia's Bookshelves

Book Reviews and Book Adventures

stephiebooks.wordpress.com/

Book Reviews, Tags, Vlogs, & More.

a.mermaid'spen_

I read, rant and write ;)

Beneath The Bones

seeking inspiration

Learning Thursdays

It is hard to fail, but worse to have never tried - Abraham Lincoln

ARBIND KUMAR BLOG

arbindkumar475151597. wordpress.com

Bhuvana Chakra

The Power of Living God Ministries

The Wild Coach

You are an important nexus of energy

Virtualidades

Blog do jornalista e professor Solon Saldanha

Happiness for a moment with you....

I'm glad I learned to express my thoughts clearly and everyone loves to read them. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking power to think about the surroundings. Someone who likes it, someone who enjoys it, appreciates that he is writing very well. Reading and commenting on the post I wrote would give me a lot of bullshit and I would get new ideas to write new ones. I'm really glad I got your response.

Brian Cook's Blog

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers. - Oscar Wilde

Writing Roses

Welcome to the Roses

Sophrosyne

I'm a Doctor with so many random thoughts, so I decided to blog.

Scott Clark | Teaching, Writing, Research

Portal to primary school blogs, research and resources | Middle Years/Young Adult story writing

UNITBALL

a medical education website

%d bloggers like this: