#ThrowbackThursday – Todd Borg – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! Means I’ll be going back over some of  the first reviews I posted on Goodreads; my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

This week I am highlighting Todd Borg, another terrific, prolific author who has produced Tahoe Chase, #11 in his Tahoe series. I love Tahoe, just up in the Sierra’s from Sacramento and saw this cover. He has actually written fifteen of the Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller series. Tahoe Chase was published by Thriller Press. This particular book garnered 985 reviews and Borg consistently runs approximately 4.5 stars for his books.

Originally posted January 2, 2014 Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Todd Borg – Book Review”

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Bury the Past – a Book Review

Bury the Past by James L'EtoileTitle: Bury the Past: A Detective Penley Mystery by James L’Etoile

Genre: Currently #6197 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: To be released December 12, 2017

Source: Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Bury the Past – Cover hints jail cell block behind title letters

I admit that the setting of Sacramento, California (unusual venue) caught my eye and drew me into downloading this offering from the author and Crooked Lane Books as we lived there almost 45 years. When we moved to Sacramento, it was a low key state capital with Sac State (where hubby was to graduate), and had two active air bases that became important to me after he joined the Navy rather than be inducted into the Army in the middle of Viet Nam. It was a quiet, unpresupposing little town; certainly not the wild, graft-riddled hub of degradation depicted here. (Yes, I suppose we were young and naive.)

Bury the Past follows Sacramento Police Detectives John Penley and Paula Newberry as they investigate stolen street drugs and a homicide that appears connected. The first chapter begins the investigation into the homicide and quickly leads to a conspiracy that includes dirty cops and an old takedown. Continue reading “Bury the Past – a Book Review”

Chained – a Book Review

Chained, a Kate Turner, DVM, Mystery by Eileen BradyTitle: Chained by Eileen Brady

Genre: Currently #138 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Animals

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: To be released December 5, 2017

Source: Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Chained, bear is a small part of the story

Once again, coming into a series at #3, this Kate Turner, DVM mystery, has gotten a start on me, but really could be read as a stand alone. Without a lot of back story, we know that Kate is fairly new to the Hudson Valley town of Oak Falls. When their home town golden boy disappears, everyone thinks he’s made good on his vow to go to Hollywood. Unfortunately, one of her dog patients turns up a bone deemed to be human and it proves to be Flynn. The smashed skull proves murder–but that was ten years ago. Continue reading “Chained – a Book Review”

The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop) – a Book Review

The Plot is Murder by V M BurnsTitle: The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V. M. Burns

Genre: Currently #1139 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy, Crafts & Hobbies

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: To be released November 28, 2017

Source: Kensington and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Plot is Murder – Great cover includes the protagonist’s poodles

Here is a 1930’s British Cozy Mystery within a contemporary American cozy mystery. The protagonist, Samantha (Sam) Washington has lost her husband with whom she shared a dream to open a mystery bookshop in North Harbor, Michigan. She sells the home they owned, collected the insurance money, and buys an older building downtown where she will convert the upper story into living quarters and the main level into her mystery book retail space with hopes of providing a limited assortment of teas and scones. She has a support group that includes her grandmother, Nana Jo, and her grandmother’s friends from the retirement community. Unfortunately, closing the sale was difficult, had to involve an attorney, and left her with major animosity toward the real estate agent–the weasel. Unfortunately, before she can open the store, Clayton Parker, the agent, is found murdered in her back yard. Continue reading “The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop) – a Book Review”

#AmReading – The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V. M. Burns

#AmReading - The Plot is Murder by V M Burns

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting V. M. Burns and her book The Plot is Murder (Mystery Bookshop). I received an ARC from the publisher Kensington and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 28, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, crafts and hobbies, culinary, and animals (really!) and is the debut novel in a new series at 256 pages. It’s a shortie, y’all! (We can DO this!)

I will be presenting my review on Sunday, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb: (Blurb from Amazon)

The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store’s owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . .  

Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store’s grand opening, she’s also realizing another dream—penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling’s charms. When one of Daphne’s suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.  

But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her—after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her?

Author: (From Goodreads author page)

V M Burns, authorV.M. Burns was born and raised in northwestern Indiana, but is now thawing out in eastern Tennessee with her two poodles. She has a BA from Northwestern University, a Masters from the University of Notre Dame and an MFA from Seton Hill University in Writing Popular Fiction. She spent many years working as a trainer and now works as a training manager for an appliance manufacturer. Ms. Burns is represented by Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Contact her at author@vmburns.com ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#ThrowbackThursday – Dr. Jan Pol – a Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! My TT posts will not come from current ARCs or new releases. Means I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

The Incredible Dr. Pol - vet - authorThis week I am highlighting Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet by Dr. Jan Pol. Taking advantage of his popular Nat Geo Wild’s hit show, The Incredible Dr. Pol, “America’s favorite veterinarian” (according to Scratch magazine), he wrote this informative, often amusing, veterinarian eBook gleaned from his four decades of practice in rural Michigan. The result ranked #4 in Amazon’s Medical eBook category.

Originally posted June 12, 2014 Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Dr. Jan Pol – a Book Review”

The Compass Island Incident – a Book Review

The Compass Island IncidentTitle: The Compass Island Incident: November 1963 by Wade Fowler

Genre: Currently #1551 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Assassinations

Publisher: Sunbury Press – Milford House Press

Publication Date: November 22, 2017

Source: Sunbury Press – Milford House Press and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Compass Island Incident – Compelling cover

I was excited to read this book for several reasons; one being yet another theory about the assassination of JFK, (2) it’s about one of our Navy ships, and (3) we certainly have history back then and can well remember the day. (Who can’t)

I’m sure we’ve never been satisfied with the findings of the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. It was too monstrous, too heinous, too difficult to imagine that one disgruntled ex-Marine could have pulled off that act alone. No one believed it and wasn’t particularly surprised when the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded in 1979 that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” It’s not like the barn door has ever closed on that discussion.

Therefore, another conspiracy theory may be laid out as a compelling fictional story and I enjoy those ship details and vernacular, the stories at sea of the roiling mountains of salt water and survival. “The Compass Island was no scat back. Evasion wasn’t her running style.” Continue reading “The Compass Island Incident – a Book Review”

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel – a Book Review

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean KoontzTitle: The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz

Genre: Currently #76 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Publication Date: To be released November 21, 2017

Source: Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley

Title: The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel 

See what I mean? Obviously, I have been living under a rock, as if I’ve read a book by Dean Koontz before, you know I’d have remembered it. The Whispering Room is, yes, the second in the Jane Hawk series, having best-seller The Silent Corner directly preceding it, and apparently preceding it by only a few months(?! Is that even possible?). Apparently so, as here it is continuing exactly where the first left off (so I’ve been told). And–old story–I haven’t read the first one. Holy Moses! Mr. Koontz really puts the prose out prominently, doesn’t he? Continue reading “The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel – a Book Review”

#AmReading – The Compass Island Incident: November 1963 by Wade Fowler

#AmReading - Compass Island Incident by Wade Fowler

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Wade Fowler and his book The Compass Island Incident: November 1963. I received an ARC from the publisher Milford House Press and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 22, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, and assassinations at 317 pages will be a quick one for most of you bibliophiles looking for an interesting Kennedy theory thriller by the anniversary date (54 years)!

I will be presenting my review in the next few days, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb: (Blurb from Amazon)

John Franklin Kincaid clocks out at 4 PM on Thursday, August 27, 1953, after his shift at New York Shipbuilding Corporation’s sprawling shipyard in Camden, New Jersey, never to be seen or heard from again.

A little more than a decade later, a little girl is assailed by a terrible recurring nightmare. She dreams she is a man, buried alive in a dark compartment in the bowels of a ship under construction.

On November 16, 1963, President Kennedy helicopters to that ship, now a US Naval vessel called the USS Compass Island, as it steams off the coast of Florida to witness the firing of a Polaris missile clandestinely targeting Cuba’s Fidel Castro. And so topple the first dominoes in a chain of events leading inexorably to the president’s assassination one week later in Dallas, Texas.

Who killed JFK — the president and shipyard worker? The answers abide on the Compass Island as the old ship casts off on its final voyage to the scrap yard in October of 2003 with descendants of John Franklin Kincaid on board and determined to solve not one, but two murder mysteries.

Author:

Wade Fowler (No info found on either Amazon or Goodreads)

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?

After I released my grandfather’s books on the world, I started reading and then reviewing in earnest. It wasn’t long before I discovered BookBub, and I absolutely loved it, gleaned free books that for the most part turned out to be exceptional, fun, and compelling books. Shortly after came series–lots of them–and I proceeded to read books from one series or another, sometimes exhausting them and looking for more, which might be considered a “con.” The wait for the next in the series–sometimes up to a year–then will you have to get reacquainted?

When you pick up a new book, do you prefer to start a new series or a standalone?

And, if you are starting a series, do you absolutely have to start with #1?

(Yes, sometimes!)

How can you read this? There's no pictures!

Continue reading “Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?”

#AmReading – The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

#AmReading - The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Dean Koontz and his book The Whispering Room. I received an ARC from the publisher, Bantam, and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 21, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as literary fiction and a mystery, thriller & suspense, and is 528 pages. Even so, I see where some advanced readers flew through it in one sitting. (I’m not one of those.)

I will be presenting my review shortly, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.” These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better. In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough. Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

Author:

(Amazon) Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

I might also note that Goodreads has his average rating pegged at 3.91. Remember Goodreads ratings generally run slightly lower because of their own interpretation of star ratings, which is not the same as those of Amazon. Out of 2,054,464 ratings, he’s garnered 77,801 reviews and his books have been shelved over three million times. I figure that at around 3.8%. It’s difficult even for him to get reviews, huh?!)

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

The Tell-All – a Book Review

The Tell-All by Libby HowardTitle: The Tell All (Locust Point Mystery Book #1) by Libby Howard

Genre: Currently #281 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Supernatural, Ghosts, and #968 in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Publication Date: July 24, 2017

Source: Direct request from Erin Zarro, Assistant for Libby Howard

Title and Cover: The Tell All – Cute, obvious cozy mystery

Kay Carrera is sixty and a recent widow with no support network of children or grand-children. Facing a silent home, she stops at a local shelter and picks out what appears to be an independent adult cat (aren’t they all) that shouldn’t require a lot of exercise or attention, but will be a warm body. A journalist prior to being a caregiver for her husband, she has managed to wrangle a position with a local PI as a skip-tracer. It still won’t be enough to forestall foreclosure on her beloved Victorian, so she accepts a suggestion from the realtor/friend to take on a boarder (a judge in the midst of a contentious divorce with two children). Also, she recently had cataract surgery and decides it’s time to learn to knit.

But the eye surgery leaves her with a small, but interesting side effect. Continue reading “The Tell-All – a Book Review”