Hellhound, Take Me Home by Stu Lane – #BookReview – #warfiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Hellhound, Take Me Home by Stu LaaneSingapore,1942. Ken Hazel, an Australian soldier, is captured during the Japanese invasion and sent to a prisoner of war camp in Japan where years of hard labour, torture and hardship await.

Australia, 1944. Ken’s wife, Ann, a young nurse and mother, encounters an escaped Japanese prisoner of war, Hito Egami, hiding out in the Australian bush. Against all her instincts, Ann takes in Hito and shelters him from the authorities.

Soon, an opportunity presents itself to both of them. For Ann, it is a chance to free Ken from captivity. For Hito, it is to return home and be reunited with his family. This leads to a dangerous journey over thousands of miles against the cataclysmic backdrop of World War Two, with Hito hated by the Allies as an enemy soldier, and by his fellow countrymen for being a coward.

For both Ann and Hito, a perilous and nail-biting adventure lies ahead…

His Review:

No matter what side you are on, war and propaganda indoctrination are the same. The enemy is heartless and ruthless and will show no mercy. As a soldier in the Emperor of Japans’ military it is better to follow the “Path of Bushido” (to die in battle or commit suicide rather than be captured by the enemy). The Battle of New Guinea was such a battle. Torrential downpours and excessive heat were a daily occurrence and yet fresh water was very scarce.

Hellhound, Take Me Home by Stu LaneKen Hazel and his platoon are part of the military divisions assigned with the mission of defending New Guinea at all costs. The Japanese juggernaut was taking the peninsula and this Australian platoon were tasked with stopping them. At this point in the war the Japanese seemed almost impossible to stop. Ken’s platoon is over-run and he and some of the others are taken hostage. They are shipped to prisoner of war camps in Japan and forced to do slave labor with minimum food and drink.

Hitoshi Egami (Hito) is a Japanese soldier who is captured by the Aussies during one of the battles and sent to a prisoner of war camp in Australia. The prisoners of war receive Red Cross packages and occasional letters from home. However, as a Japanese they are required to attempt to escape and not remain in an enemy prisoner of war camp. The Japanese POW’s find that the Australians are not as they were led to believe during basic training.

During a prison escape, Hito is discovered by Ann, an Australian woman who helps him. She discovers that her husband Ken is in a POW camp called Naoetsu POW camp in Japan. She decides to devise a plan to get Hito back to Japan to help her husband. Hito’s brother Noriaki is the camp commandant at the Naoetsu camp. Ann is a trained nurse and volunteers to help and smuggles Hito back to Japan.

Hito did not die for the Emperor nor did he commit harikari. He is a discredit to his family and his brother has no use for him. Trying to assist Ken in getting out of the camp ends in a tragedy. Noriaki hates his brother for bringing dishonor to the family. CE Williams

I highly recommend this WW II saga. It is well written and entertaining. The ends to which Ann works with the military and smuggles Hito back to Japan is astounding. 5 stars – CE Williams 

Book Details:

Genre: War & Military Action Fiction, War Fiction, Action Thriller Fiction
ASIN: B07TMG2V22
Print Length: 306 pages
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link: Hellhound, Take Me Home [Amazon]

 

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Stu Lane - authorThe Author: Hi to all goodreads members, I hope you are well.
My book, ‘Hellhound, Take Me Home’ has just been added to goodreads so with doing that, thought I should also add a bit about me.
I live in the East Midlands region of the UK. ‘Hellhound’ is my second published book. The first, Trolling Jemma Harvey’ was published in 2016 and is available as an e-book on Amazon right now.

The idea for ‘Hellhound, Take Me Home’ gradually formulated in my mind after reading Bill Bryson’s ‘Down Under’ (which is one of the best books I’ve ever read, definitely recommend it!)
In this, he describes an incident that occurred in Australia during World War II known as the Cowra breakout. A large group of Japanese POW’s escaped from their prison camp and fled into the Australian bush. Eventually, all of the escapees were re-captured. However, in my mind I had the thoughts of ‘What if one of them was never captured?, What if one of them was taken in by an Australian woman? And what if her husband is already a prisoner of the Japanese?
I built on the possibilities these questions raised, added various strands to it as I went along and the end result is the book now available on goodreads.
If you choose to read this book, then I hope you enjoy it. Any feedback is gratefully received and I am happy to answer any questions that you yourself have following the reading of this book.
Best wishes,
Stu Lane

©2021 – CE Williams – V Williams

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr – #Audiobook Review – #suspense – #TBT

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr

Book Blurb:

From the vivid opening vista, high in craggy mountains, to the final haunting glimpse of a moonlit canyon, Nevada Barr’s first mystery, Track of the Cat, instantly caught the attention of readers and reviewers. Its popularity gained it both an Agatha and an Anthony Award.

The young naturalist, Anna Pigeon, has moved to the Southwest wilderness to be a park ranger. There, her days are filled with the physical demands of working in the Guadalupe Mountains and the satisfaction of living in this splendid land. Her peace is shattered one morning, though, when she discovers the body of another ranger deep in Dog Canyon. How did the usually cautious woman die? Although at first the evidence indicates an attack by a mountain lion, Anna soon suspects that there are craftier predators afoot in the wild grasses.

Fast-paced suspense and sharply defined characters will immediately sweep you up in the force of this compelling mystery. By the end, you’ll be nodding in satisfaction at the final twist and anticipating the next book in the Anna Pigeon series. Narrator Barbara Rosenblat’s performance highlights Anna’s savvy courage and determination to catch her prey.

My Review:

Hoping you are sitting down, though not necessary to clutch your heart. Yes, this is Book 1, the beginning of the Anna Pigeon series. Okay, okay, settle down. I did decide to go back to Book 1—on purpose—to see how the whole thing started.

If I had to be honest, Anna Pigeon isn’t exactly a protagonist you’re gonna love. She can feel detached, above it all. She wears blinders and unless the narrative is following her philosophy, she’s not into it. The quintessential maverick, oh, so attractive on the “bad boys,” but not at all on an independent female. Why doesn’t she just conform?

Track of the Cat by Nevada BarrYes, I was attracted to this series because it takes place at various national parks across the US. Oh, I love the descriptions of the parks, winter or summer, the indigenous species, the topo, the uniqueness of the park and the people. Ranger Anna Pigeon detects that her fellow ranger was not killed by a mountain lion—a set up—with the lion taking the defenseless fall. Poor thing.

I’ve read several others in this series, the last being Boar Island. She really doesn’t change. Her sister is an interesting character, also extremely independent, a NY head shrinker. Dang! Those must have been some parents!!

This one is set in the Guadalupe Mountains Nat’l Park in West Texas, dry, hot, arid desert conditions. Just about monsoon season. I’ve been in similar unforgiving conditions .Even in good physical condition, a major challenge, but Ranger Pigeon finds herself in death defying conditions while investigating the circumstances around the death of a fellow female ranger.

As always, I particularly enjoy narrator Barbara Rosenblat’s narration putting you on the edge, hanging on by fingernails into the conclusion. I do enjoy these novels, particularly the autdiobooks and feel each can be read as a standalone.

Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuth Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher:  Recorded Books
ASIN: B0002T8XKS
Listening Length: 8 hrs 27 mins
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat
Publication Date: July 29, 2004
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Track of the Cat [Amazon] 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4 stars

The Author: Nevada [BNevada Barr - authorarr] was born in the small western town of Yerington, Nevada and raised on a mountain airport in the Sierras. Both her parents were pilots and mechanics and her sister, Molly, continued the tradition by becoming a pilot for USAir.
Pushed out of the nest, Nevada fell into the theatre, receiving her BA in speech and drama and her MFA in Acting before making the pilgrimage to New York City, then Minneapolis, MN. For eighteen years she worked on stage, in commercials, industrial training films and did voice-overs for radio. During this time she became interested in the environmental movement and began working in the National Parks during the summers — Isle Royale in Michigan, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and then on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi.
Woven throughout these seemingly disparate careers was the written word. Nevada wrote and presented campfire stories, taught storytelling and was a travel writer and restaurant critic. Her first novel, Bitterweet was published in 1983. The Anna Pigeon series, featuring a female park ranger as the protagonist, started when she married her love of writing with her love of the wilderness, the summer she worked in west Texas. The first book, Track of the Cat, was brought to light in 1993 and won both the Agatha and Anthony awards for best first mystery. The series was well received and A Superior Death, loosely based on Nevada’s experiences as a boat patrol ranger on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, was published in 1994. In 1995 Ill Wind came out. It was set in Mesa Verde, Colorado where Nevada worked as a law enforcement ranger for two seasons.
The rest is, shall we say, HISTORY! Nevada’s books and accomplishments have become numerous and the presses continue to roll, so in the interest of NOT having to update this page, books, awards, status on the New York Times Best Seller List — and more — will be enumerated with the relevant books else where on this website.

Barbara Rosenblat - narratorThe Narrator:   Barbara Rosenblat has been narrating for more than 20 years, and even had the honor of performing the first book ever recorded at Audible in 1999.

She has also appeared on screen such as in the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black as Miss Rosa. Rosenblat was born in London, England and raised in New York City. Upon returning to the US, she read books to the blind for four years at the Library of Congress.[2] On Broadway she appeared in The Secret Garden and Talk Radio. Barbara Rosenblat has narrated more than 400 audiobooks.

©2021 V Williams –

Key West Dead (Jake Wolfe Book 6) by Mark Nolan – #BookReview – #financialthriller – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

When Jake Wolfe attends a wedding in Key West, a mysterious bomb-maker plots to kill the newlywed couple with an improvised explosive device hidden on board their sailboat. The criminal’s manifesto reveals that he plans to relentlessly target sailboats and motor yachts throughout the Florida Keys, while demanding $30 million dollars in ransom from the Monroe County government. Key West Dead by Mark Nolan

Jake volunteers to search marinas with his adopted IED-sniffing war dog, Cody. Together, they follow the twisted trail of an elusive killer whose merciless attacks have stunned the Florida Keys and put fear into the boating community, local residents, and visiting tourists.

Many innocent lives are at stake, along with the potential loss of several billion dollars in tourist income that would devastate the Florida Keys economy and cause mass unemployment and homelessness. With the islands under constant attack and every boater a suspect, the chase is on in a wild race against time, and the clock is ticking toward a final heart-stopping confrontation that will bring Jake face-to-face with death.

Will Jake and Cody be able to hunt down the criminal and stop his bombing spree before he detonates “the big one?” Read Key West Dead to find out what happens next.

His Review:

Jake Wolfe, Sarah and Cody are at a Key West resort to celebrate a good-friends’ wedding. It is a beautiful celebration and the couple are slipping away to start their honeymoon aboard the Mojo, a 36’ Peterson 328 sloop. The scene is very tranquil and the wedding party wish a bon voyage to the happy couple. Suddenly the boat erupts in a huge explosion and they sink into the sea.

Key West Dead by Mark NolanThe local psycho nick-named Orion has set off an I.E.D. and enjoys the fireworks. He is sure that Key West and the state of Florida will pay him $33 million dollars to stop the sabotage and destruction. He has no qualms about the lives he erases nor the people affected. Cody had tried to warn the couple but they would not allow him to search their boat prior to departure.

Jake and another Navy Seal set out to find the bomber and right the injustice. The bomber in turn has taken a vengeful hate for Cody and Jake and decide to target them as part of his campaign. Orion begins to target Jake and anyone who is a friend of he and Sarah. Thanks to Cody his plans are disrupted. The infrastructure of Key West is also a prime target to force the government to agree to his demands and stop the wonton slaughter.

Mark Nolan builds a great deal of tension in this narrative. Having read a number of his books I can see an emerging pattern to the books. There are many twists and turns which keeps the reader engaged. I can see a winning pattern to his writing and find myself vested in his characters.

CE WilliamsI suggest anyone who wishes to have a little escapism in their lives settle down with one of his books. The experience is very entertaining. 5 stars-C.E. Williams

[Note: This is Book 6 of the Jake Wolfe series and how many have we read? ALL OF THEM. The duo of Jake and Cody are engaging, intelligent, fast, cunning, and capable, but tender and hot at the same time! The CE read the last one too; Deadly Weapon, was posted October 2020. Can be read as standalone and all are recommended.

Book Details:

Genre: Financial Thrillers, Travel Adventure Fiction, Sea Stories
ASIN: B08FXVTH2T
 Print Length: 358 pages
Publication Date: March 31, 2021
Source: Author request
Title Link: Key West Dead [Amazon]

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Mark Nolan - authorThe Author: Mark Nolan is the Amazon Bestselling Author of the Jake Wolfe Series. Subscribe to his reader newsletter at marknolan.com for updates, specials, and news.

Mark’s books in order: 1. Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie. 2. Vigilante Assassin. 3. Killer Lawyer. 4. San Diego Dead. 5. Deadly Weapon. 6. Key West Dead.

Click FOLLOW under Mark’s author photo, and Amazon will notify you when a new book is available.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

Gone Too Far (Devlin & Falco Book 2) by Debra Web – #BookReview – #policeprocedural

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

This second entry in USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb’s Devlin & Falco series proves that sometimes the past is best left forgotten.

Gone Too Far by Debra WebbAs veteran detectives of the Birmingham Police Department, Kerri Devlin and Luke Falco have seen it all. So when the city’s new hotshot deputy district attorney turns up dead as part of a double homicide, the partners immediately get to work.

But this is no ordinary case. Devlin and Falco quickly link the murdered DDA to one of their own: former BPD detective Sadie Cross. But Sadie’s fractured memory is yet another puzzle to decipher, as she only recalls bits and pieces of her violent past…a past that may hold clues to the motive behind the murders.

As the group slowly begins to unearth the truth, they soon discover that the more secrets are revealed, the more fatal the consequences.

His Review:

Evil people seem to be everywhere. When a young girl falls down a staircase in high school, the girls that were around her are suspected of murder. Brendal Meyers, a local bully, will not be missed by her classmates. But that does not matter because it appears there is a murderer in the school.

Gone Too Far by Debra WebbKerri is a local homicide detective who is investigating the case of a respected local businessman and an Inspector with the major crimes’ investigative division. Kerri and her partner Falco are on the scene to investigate the crimes. Kerri is pulled from the case because her daughter was one of the girls at the top of the stairs when Brendal Meyers falls. She is torn because she wants to investigate but is forbidden to get involved. Her daughter is one of the suspected students who pushed the bully down the stairs. Can she clear her daughter?

Debra Webb’s characters point out some of the competition, prejudices, and jealousies that exist in most large organizations including the investigative division of the Birmingham police department. A third complication is the existence of a large criminal element in the city. The ADA and a local businessman are killed who seem to have connections to the drug criminal element.

There are twists and turns that kept me guessing as I read the story. How could the head of the division expect Kerri to stay away from her daughters’ problem? Could a local pillar of the community and a young ADA be involved in the importation of drugs?

There are secrets in any community. One of the girls at the head of the stairs seems to be connected to the international drug cartel, however, there is no proof. Do we really know who our neighbors are and how they earn a living?

I found the twists and turns in this novel a motivation to continue reading. The death of a young person and the saving of Kerri’s daughter and solving the crime kept me continually engaged. 5 stars-CE Williams 

Book Details:

Genre: Murder, Women Sleuths, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
ISBN : 1542091772
ASIN: B089GSGGRL
Print Length: 381 pages
Publication Date: April 27, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Gone Too Far [Amazon]
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Debra Webb - authorThe Author: DEBRA WEBB is the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of more than 160 novels, including reader favorites the Shades of Death, the Faces of Evil, and the Colby Agency. She is the recipient of the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense as well as numerous Reviewers Choice Awards. In 2012 Debra was honored as the first recipient of the esteemed L. A. Banks Warrior Woman Award for her courage, strength, and grace in the face of adversity. Recently Debra was awarded the distinguished Centennial Award for having achieved publication of her 100th novel. With this award Debra joined the ranks of a handful of authors like Nora Roberts and Carole Mortimer.

With more than four million books in print in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood when, at the age of nine, her mother bought her an old typewriter in a tag sale. Born in Alabama, Debra grew up on a farm. She spent every available hour exploring the world around her and creating her stories. She wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the Commanding General of the US Army in Berlin behind the Iron Curtain and a five-year stint in NASA’s Shuttle Program that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has expanded her work into some of the darkest places the human psyche dares to go. Visit Debra at www.debrawebb.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

Once Upon a Rhyme: One Week-Three Lives-Three Deaths-a Lifetime in Limericks by Antony L Saragas – #BookReview

Book Blurb:

Once Upon a Rhyme by Antony L SaragasThis book is not about poetry, even though the title and limericks sprinkled within might lead you to that notion. This book is not about sports, though many of the characters connect as coaches or teammates. This book is not even about a father and son, even though it deals with a man and his recently deceased father.

This is a familiar tale of family, friendship, community, loss, and the renewal of faith. Even though the book takes place over the course of only one week, its message delves deeply into life and living.

We all question the usefulness of our past, the course of our present, and—on our more challenging days—the point of our future. We wonder about the significance of our efforts. In other words, this book poses the question we often ignore through activity, defy with arrogance, or accept as unanswerable: “What’s the point?” In the vein of film classic It’s a Wonderful Life, author Antony Saragas reminds you that life is worth living and that sometimes your friends and family are your angels.

His Review:

Once Upon a Rhyme by Antony L SaragasDylan nicknamed Oskie is a budding baseball star. His father is the coach. Each of the characters in this novel went by a different nickname. The coach meant well but the overall presentation left a lot to be desired. The cover alludes to “One Week, Three Lives, and Three Deaths,” not a happy premise going in.

Each of the chapters ended in small poems or more accurately simple rhymes. I wanted to get more enthusiastic about the book but the entire presentation seemed rudderless and scattered. The development of young men with a strong character in their lives is important. Team sports certainly helps to develop those characteristics but I felt the thread of that development was broken in many places.

As the book rambled through many phases of the young players’ development I was hoping for a more concrete plot. I was hoping that a couple of them would join the military and have further direction in their lives. This didn’t happen and the lives lost were avoidable. 3.5 stars-CE Williams

Rosepoint Publishing: Three Stars three stars

Book Details:

Genre: Limericks and Humorous Verse, Literature and Fiction
Publisher: Archway Publishing
ASIN: B08K3VZYX6
Print Length: 136 pages
Publication Date: September 10, 2020
Source: Author requestTitle Link: Once Upon a Rhyme [Amazon]
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Antony L Saragas - authorThe Author: [Goodreads] Antony L. Saragas is a father, coach, attorney, judge, and writer. He has worked as a sports journalist and radio broadcaster and founded the Harlan County Boys & Girls Club in his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. He now lives in Savannah, Georgia, where in addition to his career and writing, he enjoys any time with his kids, any nearby weight room, and any sunrise at the beach. His newest venture is The Average Man’s Adventures podcast. He is the author of Tales of a Small-Town King, which was published in 2018. –This text refers to the hardcover edition.

©CE Williams – V Williams

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding – #Audiobook Review – #psychologicalthriller – #TBT

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Book Blurb:

A Pretty Woman tale turns toxic and deadly in this provocative thriller of sex, obsession, and murder from Robyn Harding, the “master of domestic suspense” (Kathleen Barber) and the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Swap and Her Pretty Face.

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

Emotionally powerful and packed with page-turning suspense, The Arrangement delves into the sordid, all-too-real world of shadowy relationships between wealthy, powerful men and the young women who are caught in their web.

My Review:

How do you spell naïve?
S t u p i d

Pretty woman meets Richard Gere(?). Nope.

But wait, this is a thriller. I suspect something will go wrong. And indeed it does. Natalie is a struggling art student in New York. She is clear across the country from her family and funds are running out. So is the patience of her two roommates. School fees are coming too. She can’t go asking for her mother’s help—her mother remarried and started a new, young family. No way to help with New York expenses. So when a classmate suggests the Sugar Daddy website, she is that desperate.

The Arrangement by Robyn HardingA Sugar Daddy site! Take a pic, write a bio, upload. She hasn’t taken the time to research the whole thing and with only the instructions, suggestions from her knowledgeable school friend, meets Gabe. Thirty years her senior. She is now an official Sugar Baby and the fun begins.

Food, drinks, plays, a limousine complete with chauffer and eventually, she and Gabe enter into an exclusive “arrangement.” (Of course, he fudged just a bit on his bio too. He’s married.) And right off the bat she makes the very mistakes she is warned against. ARGH! At this point I’m arguing with the narrator. GEES! How stupid can you be?!

Now she visualizing a life with Gabe—it’s not the money—nooo–they are in loooove. But he’s done this before and when push comes to shove—he shoves. She’s out. No, wait! That can’t be! She is sure he can’t be serious, but he is oh, so deadly, serious. Still, she refuses to give up. I am SO losing patience at this point. She goes from being naïve to obsession and revenge. He has no clue just how far off the rails she’s gone, but he’s getting the idea and he’ll put a stop to it. Uh oh.

Oh the conclusion, perhaps a bit of disbelief, but bad-ass Gabe can’t always be the victor and Natalie can’t be a winner. This went too far. But that little twist at the end—you know, the one you don’t see coming? You won’t see this one either, but it is, oh so sweet.

This one should be in your library by now. Quirky, maddening, might just be that weirdy you’ve been looking for.

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Fiction, Psychological Thrillers, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
ASIN:  B07NHT69CY
Listening Length: 9 hrs 15 mins
Narrator: Amanda Dolan
Publication Date: July 30, 2019
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Arrangement [Amazon]

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4 stars

Robyn Harding - authorThe Author: [Goodreads] Robyn Harding is the author of several books and has written and executive produced an independent film. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and two children.

To learn more about Robyn’s books visit: http://www.robynharding.com. Or follow her on Instagram: @rhardingwriter
or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRobynH…

 

Amanda Dolan - narratorThe Narrator: [Goodreads] Amanda [Dolan] is a New York City based actor, improvisor and voiceover artist, who has recorded over 100 audiobooks. She has an MFA in acting from Brown University, and is a member of Actors’ Equity.

Born in Astoria, New York, but lucky enough to have been transplanted to sunny Orange County, CA, Amanda’s upbringing was a perfect mix of East meets West (And by East she means bagels, not sushi).

Amanda loves to develop new plays and musicals. She has workshopped new work with Trinity Rep, Pipeline Theater Company, Soho Rep, Marginal Man Theater Company, The Lark Play Development Center, Playwrights Rep, Brown University and many more.

In addition to stage and film work, Amanda can be heard voicing hundreds of characters in over 100 audiobooks for Audible, Inc., AudioGo (BBC Audiobooks America), Blackstone Audio, John Marshall Media, HarperCollins, and Tantor Media.

©2021 V Williams

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The Decagon House Murders (Pushkin Vertigo Book 32) by Yukito Ayatsuji – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

The Decagon House Murders by Yukito AyatsujiA hugely enjoyable, page-turning murder mystery with one of the best and most-satisfying conclusions you’ll ever read: clever enough that you’re unlikely to guess it, but simple enough that you’ll kick yourself when it’s revealed. That’s what has made it a classic in Japan, and what readers of this first ever English translation will love too.

The members of a university mystery club decide to visit an island which was the site of a grisly, unsolved multiple murder the year before. They’re looking forward to investigating the crime, putting their passion for solving mysteries to practical use, but before long there is a fresh murder, and soon the club-members realise they are being picked off one-by-one. The remaining amateur sleuths will have to use all of their murder-mystery expertise to find the killer before they end up dead too.

This is a playful, loving and fiendishly plotted homage to the best of golden age crime. It will delight any mystery fan looking to put their little grey cells to use.

His Review:

The island is a perfect getaway for 7 members of a murder solving group. Isolated from the mainland, accessible only by boat and uninhabited. A large blue mansion once stood on the island but was destroyed by fire. The only structure remaining is a decagon shaped building with seven bedding areas and a kitchen, store room and restrooms. It’s a perfect place for a group of university students to spend a week and solve some mysteries.

The Decagon House Murders by Yukito AyatsujiThe students have taken the names of famous English mystery writers; Poe, Ellery, Orczy, Carr, Agatha, Van Dine and Leroux. Two of the students are females including Agatha and Orczy and the remaining are males. Leroux prides himself as the best of the mystery solvers. They begin the task of solving some of the worlds’ great mystery crimes. They are all fairly competitive and set out on their tasks with gusto. Except their first problem is the death of one of them. Two deaths quickly follow.

I found the read entertaining but also a bit perplexing. Why would a group of students stay on the island when even one death occurred? Each of them work individually to try to figure out who is the culprit. This was my first problem with the writing. An isolated island with someone being murdered would be the last place where I would stay. Rather than work together they individually try to solve the crimes. Who would continue to act this way when people are dying around you?

They suspect each other and lock their doors and windows and yet the murders continue. Red herrings abound as the author leads the reader down false trails. I found the overall writing to be a bit frustrating in the way the group reacted. Self-preservation dictates that an immediate distrust of everyone would prevail, certainly as the murders are not all done in the same way. This adds to the complications of solving the mystery.

I can recommend the book to those who enjoy a good puzzle. 4 stars – CE Williams

 FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my unbiased opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four Stars 4 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Psychological Thrillers
Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo
Print Length: 234 pages
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
ASIN: B08H16VR2L
Hong-Li Wong (Translator)
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: The Decagon House Murders [Amazon] 
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Yukito Ayatsuji - authorThe Author: [Goodreads] Yukito Ayatsuji is the original creator of Another. He is a famous writer of mystery and Japanese detective fiction. He is also one of the writers that demands restoration of the classic rules of detective fiction and the use of more self reflective elements. He is married to Fuyumi Ono, author of The Twelve Kingdoms and creator of Ghost Hunt, Juuni Kokuki, and the author for a few other manga.

►●

The Decagon House Murders is a milestone in the history of detective fiction. Published in 1987, it is credited with launching the shinhonkaku movement which restored Golden Age style plotting and fair-play clues to the Japanese mystery scene, which had been dominated by the social school of mystery for several decades. It is also said to have influenced the development of the wildly popular anime movement.

This, the first English edition, contains a lengthy introduction by the maestro of Japanese mystery fiction, Soji Shimada.

©2021 – CE Williams – V Williams