Answering Liberty’s Call: (Ladies of the Revolution Book 1) by Tracy Lawson – #BookReview – Military Historical Fiction

Answering Liberty’s Call by Tracy Lawson 

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Answering Liberty's Call by Tracy LawsonIn 1778, war is men’s business. That doesn’t stop Anna Stone from getting involved in the fight. As the wife of a preacher-turned-soldier, a healer, and mother of three, Anna knows her place in this world. She tends to things at home while her husband and brothers fight for liberty. But when her loved ones face starvation at Valley Forge, she refuses to sit idly by. Armed with life-sustaining supplies, Anna strikes out alone on horseback over 200 miles of rough and dangerous terrain. Despite perilous setbacks along the way, sheer determination carries her toward her destination. When she learns of a plot to overthrow General Washington, her mission becomes more important than ever. With the fate of the American Revolution in her hands and one of the conspirators hot on her trail, Anna races to deliver a message of warning to Valley Forge before it’s too late. Based on events in the life of the author’s sixth-great-grandmother.

His Review:

The best spies and couriers are those that are invisible or fade into the background. Women during the Revolutionary War were almost invisible and considered only good for cooking, cleaning, and childbearing. It is almost unheard of to have a woman leaving her home, let alone ride hundreds of miles to deliver messages to the patriotic armies.

Answering Liberty's Call by Tracy LawsonThe nearly criminal ineptitude of those individuals tasked with supplying arms and foodstuffs to our troops is unbelievable. Congress and others tasked with supporting the army were, at times, grossly and criminally negligent in the prosecution of their duties. Wagons full of clothing, munitions, and food stuffs were often abandoned along the road or kept in warehouses without a thought to distribution. Men starving at Valley Forge without proper food or clothing were enduring this due to the quartermaster’s inefficiency and neglect.

Her husband and some of Anna’s brothers were in Valley Forge where they were wounded or killed. Anna cannot stand by and watch the carnage continue. Benjamin Harrison asks her to take an encoded message to General Washington in Valley Forge. She leaves her children with family and sets out on the journey from Virginia to Valley Forge in Pennsylvania.

Both Tories and Loyalists are against the Revolution and are supporting King George the Third and his armies. General Gates is openly opposing General Washington. Congress barely voted to have Washington be the Commander in Chief and Gates feels he is more qualified. Since many military commissions were bought rather than earned, the conflict was ever present. Meanwhile, Washington had proved himself with a successful career in the French/Indian War among other conflicts. Anna is ruthlessly pursued by the enemy throughout her ride.

CE WilliamsThe exploits of Benedict Arnold are well known but Anna Stones’ contributions were nearly lost to history. Thanks to Ms. Lawson for the extensive research and tenacious enthusiasm for the truth. Anyone who enjoys and embraces history will find this book engaging and entertaining as well as informed. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions and we are looking forward to Book 2. 

Book Details:

Genre: Military Historical Fiction, War Fiction, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: Gray Lion Books
ASIN:  B09VLLD67C
Print Length: 340 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Answering Liberty’s Call [Amazon]

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Tracy Lawson - authorThe Author: Once upon a time, Tracy Lawson was a little girl with a big imagination who was obsessed with telling stories. Her interests in dance, theatre, and other forms of make-believe led to a twenty-five-year career in the performing arts, where “work” means she gets to do things like tap dance and choreograph musicals.

Though teaching dance and choreographing shows was a great outlet for her creativity and boundless energy, Tracy never lost her desire to write. Faced with her only child leaving for college and her husband’s simultaneous cross-country job relocation, it seemed she’d found the perfect time to switch her focus.

[truncated—please read her author’s page to read her full bio.]

Her two most recent works are historical fiction. The main character in The Red Thread (2021) co-authored with Rebekah Pace, is a Holocaust survivor who, after living an unfulfilled life, reconnects with his lost sweetheart in dreams, becomes convinced she is alive–and sets out on an epic journey to find her.

Answering Liberty’s Call (2021) set during the winter of 1778, is based on events in the lives of Tracy’s 6x great grandparents. When Anna Stone hears of the privations at Valley Forge that threaten her soldier husband and brothers, she sets out alone on horseback with supplies. Along the way, she is swept up in the events of a conspiracy to remove General Washington from the commander in chief post, and risks her life to carry a message warning the general of the plot.

Tracy, who is married with one grown daughter and two spoiled cats, splits her time between Dallas, Texas and Columbus, Ohio.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Chill--It's Sunday

Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery by Lida Sideris – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Gambling with Murder by Lida SiderisA late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I.—Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.

The action gets dicey when the missing senior case turns into attempted murder by a criminal mind who’s always one step ahead. Corrie’s hot on the trail, but finds more than she bargained for…when her mother becomes a target.

My Review:

Oops! The fifth in the series and my first. I think I may have missed something. Wannabe PI Corrie Locke (also a newly minted lawyer) is trying her chops at finding a missing person. Villa Sunset is an exclusive retirement home in Santa Barbara and, yes, that is a gorgeous, very expensive area of southern California. The author sets the reader up for beautiful views, ocean-scented air, and palms swaying in the gentle breeze.

Gambling with Murder by Lida SiderisThe novel is a cozy mystery and moves at a laid-back pace. Corrie is joined by her best bud, Veera, a former security guard, and apparently this entry to the series, Corrie’s mother, who proves to be the interesting character (for me). Because it’s a senior community, they need her mother to be their “in.” It appears to work as she is readily accepted and they “temporarily” tag along.

It is supposed to be a senior community, but these seniors are apparently not only “active” but bored and tend to come off more as “geriatric delinquents” than seniors. But nothing is simple, even in a cozy mystery, and things begin, slowly, to become more complex adding characters to the plot, threads, and twists.

The author writes with wit, coining some interesting and funny phrases:

“…he regarded me with the disdain reserved for a virgin eggnog.”

“I can spot a liar like a hawk can spot a grasshopper.”

“I’m not doing it. I’d stick out like a raisin in a jar of mayonnaise.”

At about seventy percent, the narrative begins to heat up and the pacing finds the gas pedal. At this point, there are a lot of issues to clarify which do get ironed out in conclusion following a fairly low-key climax.

I’m not sure whether it was because I started well into the series or there was just too much minutia that didn’t help keep the plot on track, but I found it too slow for me. The dialogue could be humorous at times, however, there were occasions when action got a bit over the top and the residents too juvenile. I am a senior but these characters didn’t ring true for me.

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.

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuths
Publisher: Level Best Books
ASIN: B09QYW2VYG
Print Length: 318 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Lida Sideris - authorThe Author: Lida Sideris first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award for her first book and a Killer Nashville, Silver Falchion Award Finalist for her fourth book – Slightly Murderous Intent. Lida lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens.

“A smart caper with a heroine to match.” – Kirkus Recommended Review

“…An excellent read. It has everything needed for a cozy afternoon curled up on the sofa – murder, mystery, humor, and plenty of action. The plot is extremely detailed and so well written that I found myself hooked on page one.” – Readers’ Favorite

Bio for The Cookie Eating Fire Dog:

Lida Sideris loves baking and eating all kinds of cookies. Never, ever leave her alone with a batch of fresh baked cookies…if you want any left for yourself. She is the author of a Southern California Mystery series. This is her first book for children. When she’s not writing, she’s running a legal non-profit in Southern California. Lida is a lawyer and mother of two human and two canine kids. She is an avid supporter of the three R’s: reading, writing and rescue dogs.

“The story is charming and readers will love Dan.” – Readers’ Favorite

“If you have any little aspiring firefighters at home, Lida Sideris has penned an adorable and motivating tale that is just perfect for them…the lesson is solid, and as Dan learns the value of selfless acts, so will many young readers” – IndiesToday

©2022 – V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Last Night with Tokyo Rose: (Nisei War Series Book 1) by Alexa Kang – #BookReview – #historicalfiction

Last Night with Tokyo Rose by Alexa Kang
Last Night with Tokyo Rose – Lakewood Press – publisher’s banner

Book Blurb:

The land of the rising sun . . .
. . . Or the land of the free
Their survival hinges on his choice

Last Night with Tokyo Rose by Alexa KangLike any other American man, all Tom Sakai wants is a good life and a decent job. But in 1941, a Nisei son of Japanese immigrants could never be American enough. Frustrated, he leaves Seattle, his hometown. He sets out to sea, searching for his place in the world.

In Manila, he meets his soulmate, Fumiko, a Nisei from Los Angeles with a heartbreaking past. Together, they begin a new life, leaving behind the path of prejudice they walked at home.

Until the Pearl Harbor attack shatters their dreams.

Their dual identity now forces them to take a side. The wrong choice could cost them their lives.

Stranded in occupied territory, Tom must now decide where his loyalty lies. Should he swear his allegiance to Imperial Japan, the instigator of war and violence?

Or America, the country that deserted him when the world’s darkest hour begins?

His Review:

As a boy, I remember our war games were always against the Japanese or Germans. I harbored a definite dislike for the people who had initially bombed us. I felt self-righteous indignation towards both nationalities but particularly the Japanese. Then I was stationed in Japan on my first tour of duty in the navy and discovered quite a revelation.

Last Night with Tokyo Rose by Alexa KangTomio Sakai is a second-generation American of Japanese descent who is marooned in the Philippines after the attack on Pearl Harbor. His parents were sent to an internment camp for the duration of the war. The Japanese had been denied citizenship during the 30s and although Tomio was born in America he had received real prejudice from the people in Seattle because of his heritage.

In the Philippines, he is commandeered by the Japanese to help interrogate and spy upon the U.S. military. General MacArthur had promised to return. But when? Nisei or second-generation U.S. Japanese were considered viable spy conscripts. Therefore, they were segregated and treated poorly. Japan considered them Japanese citizens no matter where they lived. Tomio and his lady friend Fumiko work for the Japanese as disaffected American citizens.

This well-written story points out the prejudice encountered by second-generation Japanese-Americans. Stranded in foreign occupied countries, they were disillusioned by their treatment and the encampment segregation of their families. As with many of them who discover they have no choice, Tomio and Fumiko become embroiled in a class struggle. They do not see America as supportive of them or their families as citizens.

CE WilliamsI felt sympathy for these characters recalling my time in Japan and my initial prejudice and animosity towards that country. An engrossing and entertaining read, atmospheric, with strong characterization. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Japanese Fiction, Historical Asian Fiction, Historical World War II Fiction
Publisher: Lakewood Press
ASIN: B08S36L6FL
Print Length: 438 pages
Publication Date: January 22, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Last Night with Tokyo Rose [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble

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Alexa Kang - authorThe Author: Alexa Kang is an author of WWII and 20th century historical fiction. Her works include the novel series “Rose of Anzio”, an epic love story that begins in 1940 Chicago and continues on to the historic Battle of Anzio in Italy; and the “Shanghai Story” trilogy, a saga chronicling the events in Shanghai leading up to WWII and the history of Jews and Jewish refugees in China. Her current work, the “Nisei War Series”, is a collection of stories about second-generation Japanese-Americans in war situations around the world during WWII. Alexa’s other works include the WWII/1980s time-travel love story “Eternal Flame” (a tribute to John Hughes), as well as various short stories, including those in the fiction anthologies “The Darkest Hour” (a USA Today Bestseller”), “Pearl Harbor and More: Stories of December 1942”, “Christmas in Love”, and “Wartime Christmas Tales”.

You can sign up for Alexa’s newsletter for new release announcements, sales, and special content at her website: http://alexakang.com/newsletter

You can also contact Alexa and her team at info@alexakang.com

Alexa grew up in New York City and has traveled to more than 150 cities, and she loves to explore new places and different cultures. She loves writing larger-than-life love stories and 20th century historical fiction, and hopes to bring you many more.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Have a Happy Mother's Day!

 

Somewhere in the South Pacific (The Todd Ingram Series Book 7) by John J Gobbell – #BookReview – #historicalthrillers

Somewhere in the South Pacific by John J Gobbell

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Somewhere in the South Pacific by John J GobbellInspired by the true story of John F. Kennedy’s daring naval mission at the height of World War II, this historical thriller brings the unanswered question of the past to life with fast-paced action and vivid detail.

After surviving a near suicidal mission on Mondo Mondo Island, Lieutenant Commander Todd Ingram is sent back to the States on a thirty-day leave—but the war waits for no one, and trouble is already rippling through the Pacific Theater.

Fresh from Stateside training, Lieutenant JG John Kennedy takes command of the PT 109, a torpedo boat in desperate need of repairs, for the upcoming mission to retake the Western Solomon Islands. But the war isn’t the only thing on Kennedy’s mind: he’s torn between his family’s expectations and his forbidden love for Inga Arvad, a beautiful Danish columnist who narrowly escaped Nazi occupied Germany.

When a disastrous attempt to interrupt Japanese supply lines slices Kennedy’s PT 109 in half, Ingram and his six destroyers must pick up where Kennedy left off. Can Ingram save Kennedy and his stranded men while defeating the Japanese? Ingram is prepared to fight to the end, but victory comes at a steep price behind enemy lines…

His Review:

Nineteen hundred forty-three is a major turning point in the war in the Pacific. John Gobbell writes a very interesting account of the PT boats which attacked and harassed Japanese shipping around the Solomon Islands. This narrative focuses on the cadre of officers and men who executed this part of the war. They were in wooden ships approximately 30 feet at beam and 80 feet long. With a complement of thirteen men, they had to be mostly self-sufficient.

Somewhere in the South Pacific by John J GobbellAmong these was a young Lieutenant Junior Grade named John Fitzgerald Kennedy. This account of his service cast an entirely new light on President Kennedy and his actions in the South Pacific! He was a bit of a rounder and a rascal taking care of his boat and shipmates with the actions of a scrounger.

Being assigned to the PT 109 was being assigned to a boat that was dry-docked with holes in the hull and many operational issues. Thirty-plus days were required to get her sea-worthy. Lt. J.G. Kennedy replaced the boats’ three Packard 1600 engines with those pilfered in shipping crates at the naval repair docs. Nothing seemed to be nailed down where Kennedy was concerned. He took care of his craft and crew like a jealous mother-in-law took care of her daughters.

Jack Kennedy was rather irascible in the treatment of others. He finally had his tail feathers clipped when a senior officer informed him that he was headed to the brig if any further ordinance or supplies were purloined from the supply area. By this time the PT 109 was one of the best equipped of the PT boats. This served him and his crew admirably in the months to come.

The function of the PT boats was to harass and attempt to sink Japanese shipping going through the slot in the Solomon Islands. This sea corridor was a major route for the Japanese supplying their troops in the Pacific theatre and sinking Allied Ships. Many islands in this island chain had thousands of Japanese entrenched in the hills and mountains through this passage.

CE WilliamsThe author has painted John F. Kennedy as a very likable commander and a champion for his men. He was also a very tenacious practical joker. The Japanese found him a worthy foe. The book is fun to read and shows another side of our very famous 35th president. I could not put it down. 5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Book Details:

Genre: Sea Adventures Fiction, Historical Thrillers, War Fiction
Publisher: Severn River Publishing
ASIN: B09KMHG4MS
Print Length: 404 pages
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Somewhere in the South Pacific [Amazon]

 

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John J Gobbell - authorThe Author: JOHN J. GOBBELL is a former Navy Lieutenant who saw duty as a destroyer weapons officer. His ship served in the South China Sea, granting him membership in the exclusive ATonkin Gulf Yacht Club.@ As an executive recruiter, his clients include military/commercial aerospace companies giving him insight into character development under a historical thriller format. A Code For Tomorrow is the second of four stand-alone novels in the Todd Ingram series. Altogether, he has written six novels involving U.S. Navy action and is currently at work on his seventh. He and his wife Janine live in Newport Beach, California. He can be reached at john@johnjgobbell.com

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Have a great weekend!

Rosepoint Reviews – April Recap—Welcome May! (at last)

Rosepoint Reviews – April Recap

Rosepoint Reviews Recap - April

Spring bulbsFinally, the trees are blooming and the tulips and other bulbs have bloomed. Haven’t had a freeze for several nights, but as we’ve been taught, that can turn on a dime.

The squirrel wars--I'm losingStill, in my usual early spring exuberance, I started the seeds (indoors). They usually do fine right up until I try to harden them off in preparation for transplanting. I no longer have to start tomatoes—they volunteer now like crazy. The bulbs are blooming in the back flower bed too. The fairy garden is a total winter mess and still WAY too wet to venture down there. Like my son says, not a fairy garden, it’s a swamp. And the squirrel war? I’m losing.

April was a fun month with visitors—our son and his wife, our daughter and her SO, and my granddaughter, her other half, and our great-grandbaby, David, four months. He is WAY too sweet, too cute, and very mellow. It was sure a fun, whirlwind visit, doing the Chicago thing (I’m not a fan), as well as a number of other sites close by. We keep trying to talk them into moving east—closer to our family—but apparently not his.

Monthly cup giveaway winnerAnd, I received the cup that I won in the monthly Giveaway by the author Annabelle Lewis, who wrote and I read and reviewed back in January 2021, Dead Cat Run. I love my new large-capacity cup! And by the way, that book is a hoot. If you missed it, check it out here.

Despite all the excitement, prep, shopping, breakfasts and dinners, we did manage to read or listen to sixteen books in April, most from NetGalley. I’ll be working on that badge all year no doubt, but I’m getting closer with a current count of 448 and my ratio continues to be 95%.

Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander The Promise of the Pelican by Roy Hoffman The Darkest Web by Kristin wright The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi Mining for Murder by Mary Angela A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane They Will Be Coming for Us by Kim Catanzarite Family Money by Chad Zunker - author The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James Souvenirs from Kyiv by Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger Cold Snap by Marc Cameron Dark Sky by C J Box Dark Seas by Jerry Borrowman The Art of the Decoy by Trish Esden

Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander (blogtour)
The Promise of the Pelican by Roy Hoffman (CE review)
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi (audiobook)
The Darkest Web by Allison Barton (CE review)
The Art of the Decoy by Trish Esden (blogtour)
Mining for Murder by Mary Angela (blogtour)
A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane (audiobook)
They will be Coming for Us by Kim Catanzarite (CE review)
Family Money by Chad Zunker (CE review)
A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James (audiobook)
Souvenirs from Kyiv by Chrystyna Lucyk Berger (CE review)
Cold Snap by Marc Cameron (CE review)
The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton
Dark Sky by C J Box (audiobook)
Dark Seas by Jerry Borrowman (CE review)

 

Reading Challenges

Reading Challenges

Okay, so I read and reviewed but didn’t get my challenges caught up. Soon come.  My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page but so far I’m four books ahead on my Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 63.

Kindle Spring Challenge

Kindle spring challengeHave you noticed this little zinger when you open your Kindle app lately? The challenge, in case you needed another, lists days read, books completed (broken into categories), and mysteries (also broken into categories). I achieved “Voyager.” But there’s more… I just achieved a “Perfect Month” a one-month streak. This was something that I was apparently volunteered for in 2021 and never noticed. Not sure what that’s going to achieve. Maybe an attagirl/boy? Have you noticed it before?

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson is winding down. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner will be next and we’re already voting on the one after that. If you’ve read The Lost Apothecary, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Soap Box Soap box

Okay, the gurus, in their infinite wisdom have gone through and reformatted most of anything I thought I’d conquered.

Yahoo mail.

Yahoo new email formatThey’ve been at me for some time to graduate to the “new and improved” or better yet—something I’ll have to pay for–email. Not choosing to do either, the new email as it comes out no longer works on my cell phone leaving my blog posts looking like Twiggy. I mean, really? This was a banner on my computer screen. The pics are ruined and the text is plain. Who wants to open that?

Goodreads

And the sign-in for Goodreads? Changed. Mine changed. Did yours? Did they get together with Yahoo?

And wait.

I finally downloaded several books to the NetGalley Shelf. And before I got to them all-expired? What? Seriously? A time limit on the Shelf books?

Is it truly a conspiracy? Has anyone else had a problem with either of these two innovations? Changes don’t work real well for non-techy seniors.

One more (off the soapbox) observation: Wordle is now heavily messing with my morning wake time. Supposed to be a calm time with my mocha—not frantically trying to find the word before I give up yet another streak (two now!). Remember how I took up Pokémon to see what all the fuss was about? Will I never learn? Are you playing? Are you doing as well as the US VP? 100%?! Gawd! I’m competing against my daughter and daughter-in-law. Yeah—I’m masochistic.

I hope you are all doing well, excited for your own version of spring. Welcome to my new followers and a hardy thank you to those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. I do so appreciate you!!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Chill--It's Sunday

Dark Sky (A Joe Pickett Novel Book 21) by C J Box – #Audiobook Review – #crimefiction

Dark Sky by C J Box

Dark Sky by C J Box

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett must accompany a Silicon Valley CEO on a hunting trip – but soon learns that he himself may be the hunted – in the thrilling new novel from number-one New York Times best-selling author C. J. Box.

When the governor of Wyoming gives Joe Pickett the thankless task of taking a tech baron on an elk hunting trip, Joe reluctantly treks into the wilderness with his high-profile charge. But as they venture into the woods, a man-hunter is hot on their heels, driven by a desire for revenge. Finding himself without a weapon, a horse, or a way to communicate, Joe must rely on his wits and his knowledge of the outdoors to protect himself and his companion. 

Meanwhile, Joe’s closest friend, Nate Romanowski, and his own daughter Sheridan learn of the threat to Joe’s life and follow him into the woods. In a stunning final showdown, the three of them come up against the worst that nature – and man – have to offer. 

My Review:

Yes, not my first Joe Pickett. This entry to the series has Pickett accompanying a bigwig Silicon Valley CEO on an elk hunting trip. The man has decided he must do the thing himself, not ever having hiked a trail that wasn’t a flat concrete path through a park, much less the Bitterroots. These mountains are serious; elevation, dense, full of wildlife, and treacherous. It’s beyond me how someone without hunting experience is even allowed a gun, much less something powerful enough to bring down a bull elk.

A social media event, the governor has given Pickett the assignment as “Steve2” is trying to decide on a location for a major extension into Wyoming. The gov wants the deal.

Dark Sky by C J BoxSounding suspiciously familiar, I ventured into the book because I like the series, the characters, and the stunning, majestic, and rustic location. But, yes, I think I’ve read this plot before, maybe at Book 21 there are no new plot ideas.

Still, Steve2 is exactly what you’d expect of a clueless (and fabulously rich) Silicon Valley media baron and the various characters surrounding him on this quest are exactly the clueless people you’d NOT want to be accompanying anyone.

You won’t read a Picket series novel without Nate Romanowski running at least a sub-plot and he does so here, providing his shoot first, ask questions later style of justice.

Predictably, it’s one disaster after the other, dodging the bad guys, confronting dangerously severe early winter weather, and experiencing more than the average savage death of bit players. But Joe is, after all a game warden, and experienced in these here mountains. He does, fortunately, have a budding and forceful Joe Pickett Jr in his youngest daughter and she’s coming fast to help save dead old dad.

The well-plotted and fast-paced narrative races to the conclusion in a flurry of Western blood and guts. But hey, in the meantime, it’s been an engaging and entertaining novel, one that the narrator enhanced in the telling this time. I listened to Long Range last year and could have happily exchanged Chandler for the lady who narrated The Bitterroots (another series also by the same author).

Still, I’ll be looking to listen to Book 22, released in March this year (coincidence? I think not), Shadows Reel. No, you don’t have to worry about starting with Book 1. 

Quote from Walter Kirn

I obtained a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stock library.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.  
ASIN: B08F2SLBZN
Listening Length: 9 hrs 31 mins
Narrator: David Chandler
Publication Date: March 02, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Dark Sky [Amazon] 

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Rosepoint Publishing: Four stars 4 stars

C J Box - authorThe Author: C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over twenty-two novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award (twice), the Western Heritage Award for Literature, and 2017 Spur Award for Best Contemporary Western. The novels have been translated into 27 languages. Open Season, Blue Heaven, Nowhere To Run, and The Highway have been optioned for film and television. Millions of copies of his novels have been sold in the U.S. alone.

Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. In 2008, Box was awarded the “BIG WYO” Award from the state tourism industry. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and is currently serving on the Wyoming Tourism Board. He lives in Wyoming.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

The Lost: A Mace Reid K-9 Mystery by Jeffrey B Burton – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton

Book Blurb:

The Lost is the next mystery from author Jeffrey B. Burton starring an extraordinary cadaver dog and her handler.

The Lost by Jeffrey B BurtonGlencoe, Illinois: A home invasion turned kidnapping at the mansion of billionaire financier Kenneth J. Druckman brings Mason “Mace” Reid and his cadaver dog, Vira, to this wealthy northern suburb of Chicago. Druckman was assaulted, left behind while his wife and young daughter were taken for ransom.

Brought to the scene by the FBI, Reid specializes in human remains detection, and Vira is the star of his pack of cadaver dogs he’s dubbed The Finders. After Vira finds the dead body of the mother, former supermodel Calley Kurtz, everyone is on high alert to find Druckman’s missing daughter before the five-year-old disappears forever. But the trail Vira finds on the property’s dense woodlands leads right back to Druckman himself.

With the help of Detective Kippy Gimm, Reid and Vira must race against the clock. Nothing is as it appears to be . . . and the red herrings could be lethal.

My Review:

I passed the Lassie level dog books as I got older and these days I look for working dog books. This series does the trick for HRD (human remains detection) dogs. The various abilities of dogs and their bonded relationships with their handlers hold an endless fascination for me. And Vira, the cadaver dog in this series is almost on a paranormal level with her handler, Mace Reid.

The Lost by Jeffrey B BurtonIn this series entry, a financier’s wife and daughter go missing and Mace is called in by the FBI. Vira finds the body of the mother, alright, but when everyone else is supplying theories about the little girl or who killed the mother, Vira disappears back to the mansion.

Mace lives outside of Chicago and has worked with the Chicago Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies before. His budding romantic interest is Detective Kippy Gimm. I gotta say, theirs is a unique relationship, but…whatever.

Anyway, Mace gets to work on this one, keeping most of the other dogs in his pack at bay, the GSD and Maggie May both now on permanent disability (all in the line of duty).

There are lots of twists and turns, Vira (Elvira) not getting the accolade she deserves. If only she could speak. Well, she does, but it’s still in Canine-ese and Mace isn’t quite the brainiac Vira is, although he does have his moments.

There are some well-developed personalities here, human as well as canine, each with their own signature and I enjoy the humorous aspect of Mace’s persona. The well-plotted narrative gets complex—nothing is ever simple—and the surprise in the conclusion caught me off-guard. I enjoy getting some down-low on each of the dogs, their specific roles. The race to find the little girl is truly a matter of beating the clock with themes that go beyond abduction.

It’s a fast-paced mystery, filled with the flawed Mace growing a bit with each episode. I was fortunate to begin with Book 1-The Finders and Book 2-The Keepers and have enjoyed each, although with background and flashbacks this might well be read as a standalone.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review; no bias, just my honest thoughts. This one currently on pre-order and I’m looking for Book 4.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Amateur Sleuth
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ASIN: B09CNFDZ9P
Print Length: 288 pages
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Jeffrey B Burton - authorThe Author: Jeffrey B. Burton was born in Long Beach, California, grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received his BA in Journalism at the University of Minnesota. THE FINDERS, the first in Burton’s K-9 mystery series, came out in June of 2020 (St. Martin’s Press). THE KEEPERS, the second in his K-9 series, came out in June of 2021. And THE LOST comes out in June of 2022.

Novels in Burton’s Agent Drew Cady mystery series include: THE CHESSMAN (MacAdam/Cage, 2012; paperback Harlequin Suspense, 2015), THE LYNCHPIN (MP Publishing, 2015), and THE EULOGIST (The Permanent Press, 2017). His short stories have appeared in dozens of magazines.

Jeff is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Horror Writers Association. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, daughter, an irate Pomeranian named Lucy, and a goofball/sweetheart of a Beagle named Milo.

Visit http://www.jeffreybburton.com to see more about Jeff’s novels and short stories.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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