The Good Guy by Dean Koontz – #Audiobook Review – #suspense #TBT

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

Book Blurb:

Timothy Carrier is an ordinary guy who enjoys a beer after work. But tonight is no ordinary night. Instead, Tim will face a terrifying decision: Help or run. For the jittery stranger sitting beside him at the bar has mistaken Tim for someone else—and passes him a manila envelope stuffed with cash and the photo of a pretty woman. “Ten thousand. The rest when she’s gone.”

Now everything Tim thinks he knows—even about himself—will be challenged. For Tim Carrier is the one man who can save an innocent life and stop a killer as relentless as evil incarnate. But first he must discover resources within himself that will transform his idea of who he is and what it takes to be the good guy.

My Review:

From the prolific pen of Dean Koontz came The Good Guy, published in 2007. I’ve read a number of his books, mostly of the Jane Hawk series, which I enjoyed. So, it was time I sampled some of his other books while trying to avoid the hardcore horror that my son attributed to him. This one is billed as suspense.

The Good Guy by Dean KoontzIn this standalone, Timothy Carrier (our good guy) is approached by a man who mistakes him for the hired killer he was to meet, handing him an envelope with $10k and leaves. When the real killer arrives and mistakes Tim for the client, Tim tries to cancel the contract, offering half the money back to drop it.

Oh, wait…I think I’ve heard this one!

Tim, being stuck and checking out the target, decides he’ll warn the unsuspecting woman and together try to figure out why the impending hit. (Cue the violins.) She’s clueless why someone would want to kill her. She’s a simple woman, albeit a bit unusual in her tastes, and they’re both single with baggage and unhappy histories. (I think I can see where this is going.)

Koontz is nothing if not adept at developing his characters carefully, a nuance at a time, right down to nervous tics and tells. Tim is a simple mason—but good at his job. Linda harbors secrets and I’m thinking, “run, Forest, run!.” But no, they are ducking and outwitting the antagonist who is one very nasty guy, free of any moral compass, and so far hasn’t hesitated to knock off those who block his way or just generally piss him off. Krait also has a history,

But you don’t want to know…

Krait anticipates their moves and positions himself very well. He really hates the thought he may be losing cred with his employers and the tension ramps up.

As usual, Koontz kicks in his own macabre sense of humor bestowing it mostly on Krait and the sense of the man rises the hair on the back of the reader’s neck. Some tender scenes with Tim and Linda, natural dialogue, Tim rising to his white knight position, Linda to distressed damsel.

The narrator used a soft sell voice on the antagonist adding to the creepy factor. He is truly going over the deep end trying to save his face on this one and his handlers are cueing in.

The conclusion actually arrives with more of a whimper not a bang but Koontz has one more little surprise for you. If you like suspense thrillers, you’d probably like this, and I’d recommend the audiobook. Do you read Dean Koontz? Did you enjoy his Jane Hawk series? What is your favorite Koontz book? Strangely, I don’t see that many five stars on his books in Goodreads. Well, anyway, I like the pictures of his dogs.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Suspense Thrilllers
Publisher:  Random House Audio
ASIN: B000R34YQ6
Listening Length: 9 hrs 18 mins
Narrator: Richard Ferrone
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Good Guy [Amazon]
 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4 stars

Dean Koontz - authorThe Author: 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.

Richard Ferrone - narratorThe Narrator:  Richard Ferrone is a former lawyer who became an actor in the 1970s. He has appeared on Broadway and in theaters across the country. His television appearances include ”Law & Order,” “Against the Law,” “Guiding Light,” and “One Life to Live.“ He became an immediate favorite of audiobook fans more than 20 years ago with his first audiobook, “The Stranglers” by Loren D. Estleman, and since then he has recorded the works of many bestselling authors including Dean Koontz, Dashiell Hammett, and myself! Although he has recorded books in nearly every genre, from romances to children’s stories to self-help books, he is best known for his mystery and thriller recordings, especially those of John Sandford’s “Prey” novels and the Tim LaHaye/Jerry Jenkins “Left Behind” series. He is an Audie Award winner and is married to actor Cynthia Darlow.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Flea Market Felony: A Cozy Mystery Novel (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries Book 1) by Tricia L. Sanders #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Flea Market Felony by Tricia L Sanders

Welcome to my blog stop for a review of Flea Market Felony by Tricia L Sanders on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

Flea Market Felony (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries) 
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Independently published (April 1, 2021)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8729049523
Digital ASIN: B08ZMBTQ8B

Book Blurb

These new retirees have just hit the road. Will their first campsite’s shenanigans land them both in handcuffs?

Mattie Modesky’s been hankering to start retirement right. Even if it’s in an RV. The sassy senior believes there’s no time like the present after her policeman husband hangs up his badge and they hit the road. 

When they reach their first RV park, the yoga instructor hitting on Mattie’s man turns her peaceful vacation sour. In an effort to stand her ground and confront the sneaky resident, Mattie finds a new friend, a stiff corpse, and her husband as the prime suspect.

She is shocked to her core when her man’s newly purchased pocketknife is the murder weapon. But when the real killer makes the fatal mistake of dognapping her beloved pooch, the silver-haired sleuth sets her sights on solving the crime herself and proving her lawman’s innocence. 

Can Mattie clear her hubby’s name and reclaim their pup before the villain turns their golden years into iron bars? Or will the killer roll away in a motor home with Mattie’s dog in the passenger seat? 

Flea Market Felony is the adventure-packed first book in The Mattie and Mo Mysteries series. If you like irresistible characters, fun surprises, and captivating whodunits, then you’ll love Tricia L. Sanders’s clever read. 

Buy Flea Market Felony to catch a dastardly devil today!

 

My Review

Love it when I get to read a novel of (close) contemporaries and most especially a story about RV’ers as I still get pangs that our Rvving experience couldn’t have been longer. I miss it. It was fun and always held a discovery around the corner.

Much like the discovery Mattie and Mo made when pulling to the entry of the Oldies but Goodies RV Park and Flea Market. Mattie hadn’t started out with the same enthusiasm as I though and given that she and Mo had a 40’ Class A, I can only imagine how much nicer that might have been. The park, however, had seen better days; ah, yes, so many of those. Mo is a retired police chief from Pine Grove, Missouri and they also have their rescue dog, Max, with them.

Mo, usually a bit more reticent than Mattie about meeting new people meets Stan right away (next unit over) who has a boat and is an avid fisherman. Perfect! Mattie also hits it off with Sandi (his wife). The new couple meets several residents, both permanent and temporary (Mattie and Mo constitute temporary) and discover there are some residents with whom they’d rather not get to know.

There is also a contiguous flea market (we called them “craft fairs”) and Mattie, a shopper, was interested in shopping the booths and quickly finds several gifts, one of which she gives her hubby.

When her “gift” is found at the scene of a crime, Mo becomes a person of interest. Mattie can’t have that.

There are few characters other than Mattie and Mo, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to narrow down the suspects. The couple dutifully attend fish fries and get to know their park grounds a bit better, along with the local small town cafe that offers up a down home perfected biscuits and gravy special.

I can see potential here in the further fleshing of Mattie and Mo and their long term marital dynamic and the chance to travel to different states (next stop—Wisconsin). New experiences are wide open as they put on the miles and get to know their new house on wheels. (For first timers in a 40’ RV (diesel pusher with slides?), they seemed to have remarkably few issues.)

I fell in love with that book cover and the blurb and received a gifted copy of this book from the author. These are my unbiased opinions.

Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win two (2) Prize packs (Print Books) containing Book 1 Murder is a Dirty Business AND Book 2 Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn. (U.S. ONLY).
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About the Author

Tricia L Sanders - authorTricia L. Sanders lives in the Austin, Texas area and writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass. A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology, and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.

Website: www.triciasanders.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortricialsanders/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tricia-l-sanders

Cozy Clique Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/599311313773440/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tricialsanders

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/tricialsanders/

YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXRJSRSmTjg

Newsletter Sign Up: https://mailchi.mp/23a87d715dc3/tricia-l-sanders-sleuthscoop

Purchase Links – Amazon – Books2Read 

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

June 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST

June 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

June 3 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST,

June 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

June 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

June 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 6 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

June 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

June 9 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

June 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 10 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

June 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

June 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

June 13 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT Great Escapes Book Tours

 Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

2021 V Williams

Land of Wolves: A Longmire Mystery (Walt Longmire Mysteries Book 15) by Craig Johnson – #Audiobook Review #TBT #westerns

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

Attempting to recover from his harrowing experiences in Mexico, in Land of Wolves Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is neck deep in the investigation of what could or could not be the suicidal hanging of a shepherd. With unsettling connections to a Basque family with a reputation for removing the legs of Absaroka County sheriffs, matters become even more complicated with the appearance of an oversize wolf in the Big Horn Mountains to which Walt finds himself feeling more and more empathetic.

My Review:

You all know I do love the Longmire series and while I’ve reviewed several here, have listened to many more and just enjoyed. I’m sure part of my interest lies in the narration by George Guidall, but you can’t go wrong with a Longmire episode. Also, having devoured the entire series offered on Netflix, I can now see in the minds’ eye these characters who were so well cast in the TV version.

While it’s nice to have some knowledge of the characters, you can start this series most anywhere as a standalone and quickly get up to speed. As mentioned above, I’ve listened to a number of these books, most recently Dry Bones and The Highwayman. The novels are all great, some even better, and George Guidall is consistently excellent.

Land of Wolves by Craig JohnsonWalt Longmire is back from a crushing, almost fatal, trip to Mexico to rescue his daughter Katie. He is still not back 100% physically or mentally when he discovers a sheepherder, hanging, which is labeled a suicide. Longmire is not so quick to agree and, as usual, the plot appears to go multi-level with the infusion of the wolf mystique and the age-old quarrel of ranchers, their livestock, and wolves. The Cheyenne Nation sets a spiritual aura surrounding the sighting of a lone wolf. But wolves have not been seen in Absaroka County for a very long time.

Johnson lays on the prose, waxing philosophical through Longmire, spiritually through Henry Standing Bear, Dog, and the flippant and vitriolic under-sheriff Victoria (Vic) and her unfiltered mouth. Love these characters. Longmire struggles mightily during the narrative, sometimes experiencing black-outs, periods of PTSD, as well as physical exhaustion.

The novel explores family, sacrifice, and strong atmospheric immersion into another way of life. It runs a little dark with the inner and outer struggles of Walt, but the occasional flashes of humor are splashed in irreverently as are Vic’s sexual innuendo. Well, who am I kidding? No innuendo about it. She can turn a four letter word fest into a pornographic hootenanny. So nice being back in Absaroka County, Wyoming, where the Red Pony Bar and Grill is a continuous soirée.

Book Details:

Genre: Native American Literature, Westerns
Publisher:  Recorded Books
ASIN: B07S6525LW
Print Length: 335 pages
Listening Length: 8 hrs 10 mins
Narrator: George Guidall
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Land of Wolves

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

Craig Johnson - authorThe Author: Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix SNCF du Polar. His novella Spirit of Steamboat was the first One Book Wyoming selection. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population 25.

George Guidall - audiobook narratorThe Narrator: George Guidall is a prolific audiobook narrator and theatre actor. As of November 2014, he had recorded over 1,270 audiobooks, which was believed to be the record at the time. Wikipedia

©2021 V Williams

 

happy thursday!

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 –

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

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] 
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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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

The Big Gamble (Dev Haskell Private Investigator Book 28) by Mike Faricy – #BookReview – #noircrime

Mike Faricy is the winner of the 2019 Crime Master’s of America Poison Cup Award.
He is the winner of the 2020 Crime Master’s of America Poison Cup Award for the Best Selling series.
He has been nominated for the 2018, 2019, & 2020 Silver Falchion Award.

Book Blurb:

The Big Gamble by Mike FaricyDev Haskell receives a phone call from an old friend. It’s feared Dev’s old high school flame, Maddie McGuire, has fallen through the ice along the Mississippi River and can’t be found. Dev hasn’t seen her since she married ne’er do well, Colton Ferral. After attending the memorial service and reconnecting with her sisters, he comes away with more questions than answers.

Local crime lord, Tubby Gustafson, has some questions for Dev, too. Amazingly, Colton Ferral’s name comes up. Of course, what better time to offer a spare bedroom on Airbnb, not to mention a surprise guest who arrives on the scene.

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

His Review:

Never abandon a great writing formula. Mike Faricy has done it again with his 28th novel in the Dev Haskell Series. A hole in the ice and an old girlfriend’s personal effects are found on the shore of the river. The family is devastated.

The Big Gamble by Mike FaricyMike had dated Madeline (Maddie) in high school but she married another man. What was she doing on the ice in the river? Everyone knew you should not try to skate on the river because of treacherous ice. Maddie, although a very skilled skater, had gone through a hole in the ice and her body was not found. Her purse, one blue mitten, her identity and drivers license were all left at the shore where she had begun to skate.

Dev is not the most beloved detective in the state. One of his clients, Fat Tubby Gustafson has demanded he investigate each of the people who apply to work for him in illegal gambling enterprises. Mike Faricy provides twists and turns that are entertaining.

Dev went to Maddie’s wedding to Colton Ferral and noticed that the bride was less than thrilled as she left her wedding. Colton and his mother are in collusion. Their intent is to take over the gambling in town and get rid of Fat Tubby. Dev is investigating why two of Fat Tubby’s establishments were robbed. Everyone knows you do not cross Fat Tubby.

Ice on the river and a strong current has probably taken Maddie’s body down stream and it would not be found until spring. The story brings back many of the same characters and relationships in Faricy’s other books. I particularly like the dog named Morton in the series. He provides some lighter moments to the overall tale. 

Can Dev solve the mystery of what happened to Maddie? The reminiscence of a former high school sweetheart adds a romantic twist to the story. Much like the old dime novels, these are a fast and fulfilling read. I also read and greatly enjoyed Book 27, Alley Katz and can recommend both. 4.5 stars – C.E. Williams

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

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

Book Details:

Genre: Noir Crime, Private Investigator Mysteries
ASIN: B091G3XMM8
Print Length: 239 pages
Publication Date: April 21, 2021
Source: Author request
Title Link: The Big Gamble [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.

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.
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