Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun (The Finlay Donovan Series Book 3) by Elle Cosimano #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

From USA Today bestseller and Edgar Award nominee Elle Cosimano, comes Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun—the hilarious and heart-pounding next installment in the beloved Finlay Donovan series.

Dating. Diapers. And dodging bullets. Who said single moms can’t have fun?

Finlay Donovan Jumps the GunFinlay Donovan has been in messes before—after all, she’s an author and single mom who’s a pro at getting out bloodstains for rather unexpected reasons—but none quite like this. After she and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they may have “borrowed” in the process of saving the life of Finlay’s ex-husband, the Russian mob got her out of debt. But now Finlay owes them

Still running the show from behind bars, mob boss Feliks has a task for Finlay: find a contract killer before the cops do. Problem is, the killer might be an officer.

Luckily, hot cop Nick has started up a citizen’s police academy, and combined pressure from Finlay’s looming book deadline and Feliks is enough to convince Finlay and Vero to get involved. Through firearm training and forensic classes (and some hands-on research with the tempting detective), Finlay and Vero have the perfect cover-up to sleuth out the real criminal and free themselves from the mob’s clutches—all the while dodging spies, confronting Vero’s past, and juggling the daily trials of parenthood.

My Review:

Holy Moses! Finlay is back and again tied in as many plot threads as series books one and two. How can one mommy and crime writer get into so much trouble?

Finlay and her close buddy, nanny, accountant, and crime partner Vero seem to set sparks off wherever they go whether instigated by Finlay or Vero—and Vero certainly is accountable for her share.

These two are almost Laurel and Hardy performing a slap-stick comedy complete with virtual pratfalls, double entendres, smart and snappy dialogue, and threads that multiply as the plot frays. Finlay has an ex, two little ones, and an editor that calls to provide feedback on the last chapter at the worst possible moment as well as arguments as to where the narrative should go. It’s that story in the story concept—Finlay always wrestling with her characters and where she wants them as opposed to what the editor says will sell.

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle CosimanoIn Book 3, the duo are busy trying to identify “EasyClean,” a contract killer working jobs through one of the Russian mob’s website forums because it must be he who tried to kill her ex and is possibly working within the same department as Detective Nick. Nick makes it easy to infiltrate his department when he heads up the citizens’ police academy. Oh, that’s fun!

I really like the support characters. Of course, there must be some sort of romance and that’s apparently boiled down to Nick, that hot, but damaged detective, as well as her sister, also a cop. With what Finlay is into, most of which by accident but certainly illegal, there is that tension of working with them while hiding covert activities.

The writer has managed a scatter-shot of genres, combining snarky comments with humorous suspense(?) or mystery with a crime thriller. The brand of humor has created a staccato-like pattern of hit and retreat, advancing the storyline carefully in well-paced choreography that barrels into a conclusion pocked with cliff-hangers.

I enjoyed this tale as much as the first two in the series I listened to in audiobook format, Finlay Donovan is Killing It and Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘em Dead, approved this time for the ARC. While it would help to read the first two in the series, Book 3 might be read as a standalone that will whet your appetite for the first two. I’m looking forward to Book 4.

 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: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuths
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ASIN: B09Y4666Q4
Print Length: 304 pages
Publication Date: January 31, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Elle Cosimano - authorThe Author: Elle Cosimano is a USA Today bestselling author, an International Thriller Award winner, and an Edgar® Award nominee. Her acclaimed young adult novels include Nearly Gone, Holding Smoke, The Suffering Tree, and Seasons of the Storm. Elle’s debut novel for adults, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, kicked off a witty, fast-paced contemporary mystery series, which was a PEOPLE Magazine Pick and one of New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2021. In addition to writing novels for teens and adults, her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and Time. Cosimano lives with her husband and two sons in Virginia. You can learn more about her at her website: http://www.ElleCosimano.com.

Photo courtesy of Powell Woulfe Photography

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Alley Katz (Dev Haskell-Private Investigator Book 27) by Mike Faricy – #BookReview – #noir #readingirelandmonth21

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars Five Stars

Book Blurb:

Alley Katz by Mike FaricyDev Haskell is running late for dinner at his girlfriends house when he rear ends a car in the parking lot. Small world, the car is driven by a Dev’s former high school English teacher. . In lieu of paying for damages Dev agrees to work Tuesday and Thursday evenings helping kids with homework. From there he ends up searching for an art forger with ties to local crime lord, Tubby Gustafson.

Along the way he’s beat up by a petit woman in a thong, searches for a missing boy… Oh, and he sets a homeless kid on a career path.

Another hilariously delightful Dev Haskell tale.

A wonderful read to remind you that, actually, your life is pretty good!

As always, Morton, Dev’s Golden Retriever, provides a dose of sanity. 

His Review:

Alley Katz by Mike FaricyDev Haskell is a brow beaten gumshoe! Two fat mobsters push him around like an unwanted relative at a family gathering. Who would want to hire Mr. Milk Toast? This is a perfect primer for anyone who aspires to be a private detective.

Taylor Cummins is a young man who cannot get away from a toxic childhood quick enough. He is discovered in a locked school attempting to keep from freezing to death in a cold Minnesota winter. Dev’s delinquent school years have prepared him and he is enlisted to assist with students who are ne’re-do-wells!

The story develops well and a relationship of convenience develops into a feel-good story of overcoming a difficult childhood. Taylor is a gifted artist who is totally unknown. Dev meets him as a school counselor and takes him under his wing. He helps to pull Taylor out of his shell with the help of Annette, an art curator. She recognizes the potential in Taylor.

Mike Faricy has put together a fun read and two very believable characters. The book is a tad short but certainly does not disappoint. The ending is satisfying if not a little fanciful. Read this novel and enjoy the experience. 5 stars- CE Williams

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

Book Details:

Genre: Noir Crime, Private Investor Mysteries

  • ASIN : B08P7ZBHRX

Print Length: 265 pages
Publication Date: December 27 2020
Source: Direct author request
Title Link: Author request-Alley Katz [Amazon]

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Mike Faricy - authorThe Author: Mike Faricy was awarded the 2016 IACM Silver Award for Best Mystery Author. His books have held the #1 slot in the Kindle Store in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and India. Mike Faricy was listed as the IACM Author of the Month for April 2018. His Dev Haskell tale, The Office, was a finalist for the 2018 Minnesota Book Awards and the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award. He was awarded the Crime Masters of America Poison Cup Award in January of 2019. His Dev Haskell tale, Star Struck, was a mystery finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award.

The Dirty Lowdown called Mike Faricy America’s hottest new mystery writer.
Robert Carraher referred to him as Minnesota’s Master of the Bizarre.
Crime Scene referred to him as the next Carl Hiaasen.
Crime Capers said; “Open at your own risk, you won’t put him down.”
UnderCover wrote; “This guy is nuts and one hell of a lot of fun.”
The Irish Gazette referred to; “The laugh a minute storylines of Faricy’s deliciously engaging worlds.”

Mike’s Dev Haskell series books are stand-alone, they can be read in any order. His Corridor Man series was initially written under the pseudonym Nick James and should be read in order. His Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series was originally written under the pseudonym, Patrick Emmett. His Hotshot series are standalone tales that can be read in any order. Faricy’s novels are filled with the sort of oddballs we’re all curious about, but wisely prefer to keep at a distance. His characters serve not so much as an example as they do a warning. None of them will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to take over the government. Rather, Faricy’s characters inhabit a world just below the surface of polite society. The circumstances they find themselves in are usually due to their own bad decisions, but then bad decisions make for interesting stories.

Reminiscent of the late Robert B. Parker, Faricy’s tightly woven Dev Haskell series is penned with a delightful sense of humor and even some romance. Entertainment is the name of the game as back-slapping, corner-cutting, babe magnet Dev Haskell interacts with such quirky characters as ice cream mogul Mr. Swirlee, The D’Angelo brothers, local crime lord Tubby Gustafson, ‘Fat Freddie’ Zimmerman, former NFL tight end Luscious Dixon, exotic dancer Swindle Lawless, and gorgeous Heidi Bauer. The Dev Haskell novels can be read in any order.

Faricy’s Corridor Man series was originally released under the pen name Nick James. The series is a bit more gritty than the Dev Haskell series and a lot more violent. Disbarred attorney Bobby Custer makes his way back into the legal game. He’s neurotic, psychotic, psychopathic, narcissistic, greedy, unprincipled and . . . always charming.

Faricy’s Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series was originally released under the pen name Patrick Emmett. US Marshal Jack Dillon is sent to Dublin to escort a prisoner back to the US. Things don’t go exactly as planned and trouble ensues. Dillon becomes permanently stationed in Dublin, just to get him out of his boss’s hair. Things take an entertaining turn from there, think of a cross between Dev Haskell and James Bond.

Faricy’s Hotshot series are zany, delightfully entertaining standalone crime tales.
Enjoy the reads!

Originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, Faricy still spends six months of the year in the saintly city as well as six months in Dublin, Ireland. Thanks for taking the time and be sure to tell 2-300 of your closest friends.

Mike’s Links:

Visit Mike on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MikeFaricyBooks
Visit Dev Haskell’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DevHaskell
Email Mike” mikefaricyauthor@gmail.com
Follow Mike on Twitter @mikefaricybooks
Mike’s web site; http://www.mikefaricybooks.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle Lewis – a #BookReview – #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

You’re where you’re meant to be. Run if you can.

Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle LewisHigh school senior Jenny Gallagher’s psychic abilities have made life in her small New England town a rocky one. Her premonitions and déjà vu have given her a reputation, but not one she’s happy with. Tragedy is about to strike again however, and this time she oddly doesn’t see it coming. Is her gift betraying her? Now what’s happening?

Not far from Jenny, Wellesley Professor Maximus Dyer also has a gift. To his thinking, a painful and useless one. Able to see the past, his ability has brought him insight into the field of history, but other than that, he’s never known what to make of it. Overwhelmed by the physic shocks his unprotected hands receive through touch, he’s frustrated that his secrets have made any deeply real, human relationships literally beyond his grasp. But someone new enters his life who doesn’t trigger a vision. A dog?

Sidrah Keeling runs determinedly optimistic through her life trying hard not to ask the big questions. Her foresight, her ability to see glimpses of the future in her dreams, often drive her to follow a path she doesn’t understand, but she listens to them. Recognizing that the guardrails of security she’s erected around her doesn’t mean she’s in control, she reluctantly stays alert, waiting for answers, uncertain if she’ll ever find them.

Lurking deep in his sensory deprivation tank, Turner Black sees it all. Born out of the great chaos of time, he once again feels the forces of good gathering to move against him. Not in this life. This time, his darkness would reign supreme. The hunt for his antithesis would begin again now. He couldn’t wait to feel his opponent in destiny bleed.

My Review:

Yikes! I do get into some douzies! This one set an immediate hook and it was all over until read. I couldn’t find it on Amazon—would the genre be classified as a mystery? Thriller? Suspense? Paranormal? Paranormal mystery thriller. But it doesn’t end at mystical as there might be roots in Greek mythology. An introduction to sibyls—oracles and prophecies of a god.

Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle LewisSuch a pleasant surprise, this book. Mythology, yes, but still the ancient oft-repeated story of good versus evil. A teenager labeled odd and shunned throughout most of her early school years (learned the hard way not to foretell), and two thirty-somethings—a self-made woman cashing in (but sparingly—just sparingly) on her abilities to see the future; and the man, a history professor who wears gloves to ward off the histories of those he touches with his bare hands. (It’s the nineteen-year-old who is labeled “Destiny.”)

Those who believe there is no such thing as coincidence—don’t we have evidence of that phenomenon all the time. The odds so enormous you wonder if the gods aren’t playing with you. In this case, the three are put together carefully, one at a time, the chapters playing with the reader paralleling the timelines, drawing them together.

Each of the characters are powerful, engaging, emotive. Did I mention the Golden? Way too intuitive to be a normal canine—Bones—is a delightful character.

Together they seek to find the reason they are brought together. But as the forces of good gather strength, the evil one watches them and sees his chance to take them all down in a modern-day battle that will see his darkness, this time, win.

 “I’ll see you again, my friend, in the next life. And then, heed my words, dead cat. Run.”

The storyline just whips along, sweeping the reader with it, chapters trading advances into the well-plotted, fast-paced conclusion. No, I’m beginning to note just the tiniest hole in the evil one’s plan; Turner Black hasn’t reckoned with Bones—no ordinary dog—Black was busy trying to manipulate the humans. WHERE did that dog come from? I’m still clearing the dust from the conclusion—we were already stretching disbelief—but something there was just a bit too tidy.

This is just quirky enough to catch the imagination. (Some adult language.) FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest opinions. High entertaining and recommended.

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Mystical, Crime Thriller, Suspense
ISBN: 9781734375
Publication Date: March 1, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 
Title Link: Dead Cat, Run [Amazon]

Annabelle Lewis - authorThe Author: Annabelle Lewis lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Regrettably? Perhaps. She still believes she’s a Texan even though the math no longer supports that. Nor her birthplace. Nor her residence. No offense, Minnesota. You’ve got your good points too, but only about six months of the year.

In her youth, Annabelle was a complete failure. Ask anyone who knew her. Any of her teachers and family would tell you this. High school graduation was a sad day for all when Annabelle walked proudly off the high school stage, her thoughts consumed with boys, beer, and after-parties, and later into the arms of her parents. Her father’s laughter and singular remark? “I didn’t think you’d make it. Get a job at the post office, they have a good retirement plan.”

A high bar and words to live by, but Annabelle wanted more. She needed to flunk out of college too. But damn, she sure did have a good time. Arrest records not-withstanding, it was a growth period for our girl. And if you look closely, you’ll see a bit of what was to come when she majored in criminal justice. Her lifelong aspiration was to become a judge. Hmm.

For better or worse, Annabelle didn’t graduate from college, but did find gainful employment and a fulfilling career. This path ended when she became a mom. Married to her wonderful George, who to this day can hardly remember an actual proposal, Annabelle finally became a mother. She didn’t have a clue how hard she would need to work to keep those self-imposed requirements of Downey-fresh, iron-pressed sheets, home baked meals, and mom-of-the year awards arriving. She composed a small self-affirmation song and made her children sing it to her for money. She was a very good mom.

After clearing the largest hurdles of motherhood and regrettably, begrudgingly, and not-without-tears, launching her children onto the world, she looked around and realized she had a lot to say. Picking up a laptop, she got to work.

Annabelle spends her days continuing to tackle the challenges of motherhood, for both her humans and canines. She also writes. And reads. And cleans. And cooks. And bakes. And cleans again. She also supports her husband, George, in an administrative capacity. Not necessarily in the home, but for their small business. She’s in charge of payroll and cuts George’s checks. This leads to no marital acrimony.

At the beginning, with the blank page staring at her and possibly in a hostile mood after being literally mauled by a dog and by the world in general, she had an idea. What if she could wield a force of good upon unsuspecting evil-doers? What if she had the resources to get the job done without dealing with committee and anyone else’s whiney-ass opinions?

It was gold. It took off. Annabelle sat down and began to write and couldn’t stop. To date, having written almost a million words in the Carrows Family Chronicles, several items have become quite clear. Annabelle had a lot to say. Annabelle really enjoys writing. And although she hates all things technology, she begrudgingly pounds her head on her desk daily as obstacles are put in her path. Almost a hero.

Since adopting the Carrows Family and becoming one with them in her mind, she has rebelled against all intrusion of real-world responsibilities. Her house is a mess, but she tries. Her family is fed, but more often than not, on takeout. She vows to shower every day, but no, it’s a vow she’ll never keep. Her friends are neglected, but not in her heart.

Leave her alone or you’ll end up in her blog. Annabelle Blogs is another communication vehicle she uses to not only rant at the world, but at her family. She regularly sets them up for failure when they forget to read her diatribes and report back their response in a timely manner. Shame on you, Annabelle. They’re good people and they have to live with you.

The Carrows are her second family. They are on the streets as we speak, deceptively and cleverly taking out the bad guy. And he doesn’t see them come. https://www.theannabellelewis.com

©2021 V Williams

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