Murder in Connemara (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 2) by Angela M Sanders –#BookReview – #tuesdaybookblog

I won this on a Goodreads Giveaway!  Murder in Connemara by Carlene O’ConnorThank you to the author and the publisher, Kensington Books!

Book Blurb:

Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'ConnorThe bestselling author of the Irish Village mysteries sets her new series in Galway County, where former New York interior designer Tara Meehan finds murder in the ruins.

Former New Yorker and interior designer Tara Meehan is eagerly anticipating the grand opening of her architectural salvage shop Renewals in her newly adopted home of Galway. She’s in the midst of preparations when heiress Veronica O’Farrell bursts in to announce she’s ready for some renewal of her own. To celebrate one year of sobriety, she’s invited seven people she wronged in her drinking days to historic Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in neighboring Connemara to make amends in style.

But perhaps one among them is not so eager to pardon her past misdeeds. Veronica is found lying in the ruins of manor house Clifden Castle with an antique Tara Brooch buried in her heart—the same brooch Tara Meehan admired in her shop the day before, posting a photo with the caption: #Killerbrooch. Now she’s a prime suspect, along with Veronica’s guests, all of whom had motives to stab the heiress. It’s up to Tara to pin down the guilty party.

My Review:

I really enjoy this atmospheric Irish Village Mystery series that manages to plunk the reader right into the middle of the countryside villages and people.

Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'ConnorTara Meehan moved back to her mother’s childhood home in Galway. She is very busy trying to get her salvage shop open, along with the warehouse, but is impatiently awaiting her permit. She is slowly becoming a part of the community as well as trying to progress in her relationship with Danny.

This entry to the series involves an heiress and her history. Veronica has not been a nice person, but she is now prepared to make amends, and dropping into Tara’s unofficial shop engaged her to help pick out the appropriate gifts for each on her list.

Unfortunately, Tara had discovered a body which is quickly tied to Veronica in death as well as life. The murder mystery introduces the reader to castles and intriguing support characters and touches off a treasure hunt for clues, along with twists.

Tara is a subtle but dogged protagonist after discovering her job did not end with the death of the heiress and now includes the discovery of the culprit. It’s a well-plotted and paced narrative and moves into the conclusion with a life or death struggle. I did suspect the perp, but not wholly the reason, which is revealed in the wrap up.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts. You may wish to begin with Book 1, but I read with no problem as a standalone. Currently on pre-order.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point five stars  4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

      • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBF7RJQ
      • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington Books
      • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 27, 2021
      • Print length ‏ : ‎ 283 pages
      • Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries

    Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

    Title Link(s):

    Amazon
    Barnes & Noble
    Kobo

    Carlene O'Connor - authorThe Author: Carlene O’Connor comes from a long line of Irish storytellers. Her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America during the Troubles, and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places across the pond she’s wandered, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork. Carlene currently divides her time between New York and the Emerald Isle.

    If you’ve missed this atmospheric series, now is the time to check them out. This novel currently on pre-order.

    ©2021 V Williams V Williams

Seven-Year Witch (Witch Way Librarian Mysteries) by Angela M Sanders –#BookReview – Witch & Wizard Mysteries – #TuesdayBookBlog

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else…”

Book Blurb:

Finding your feet in a new job isn’t always easy. That goes double for Josie Way, who’s settling in as Wilfred, Oregon’s, new librarian—and has just discovered she’s a witch. But will her fledgling powers be enough to save her from a spell of murder?

Seven-Year Witch by Angela M SandersWhile Josie develops her witchcraft with the help of letters left by her grandmother, there are other changes happening in her new hometown. A retreat center is being built at the old mill site, and rumor has it that the location is cursed. That piques Josie’s interest almost as much as Sam Wilfred, handsome FBI agent and descendent of the town’s founder . . .

When Sam’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Fiona, goes missing at the same time that a bloodied weapon is found, Josie enlists her witchy insight, and her cat familiar, to clear Sam’s name. But then the mill project’s architect is found dead, and it’s clear that someone has been drawing up a vicious plan. Now Josie will have to divine her way out of fatal mischief, before this deadly trouble turns
double . . .

My Review:

Book two of the series and you know in your heart I didn’t get to read Book one. However, as an introduction to Josie Way, I had no problem “catching up.” Josie is still getting established in Wilfred OR. It’s a little town excited over getting a new retreat center. Coincidentally, or maybe not, Sam Wilfred, a descendent of the town’s founder just moved back home. Josie has the hots for him, but he’s married, don’t you know—with a little one.

Seven-Year Witch by Angela M SandersJosie is a serious librarian, not just a bibliophile, she has a paranormal connection to the books and a deep love for the old mansion-converted library. Her paranormal ability is something she recently discovered and is exploring. She found letters from her grandmother that wrote of the art of witchcraft and full of caution has proceeded with both instructions and lessons.

Sam’s marriage is headed for divorce and the erstwhile wife suddenly disappears, making him the first person of interest. Of course she’ll look into it. He was a FBI profiler and works logically, steady, unemotionally when he can. She uses her abilities to gain clues.

It’s a cozy where no one cooks as they all congregate at Darla’s, the local café and rumor mill. There are a number of engaging characters, including her kitty, Rodney. There is high drama, perceived curses, twists, turns, and torment over the situation with Sam.

I found it entertaining, certainly holding my interest although one scene definitely pushes disbelieving boundaries. Sassy, smart, fun. It will be a series I’ll continue to read.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Witch & Wizard Mysteries, Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Books

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08P81P7NY

Print Length: 222 pages
Publication Date: August 24, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Angela M Sanders - authorThe Author: Angela M. Sanders worked for more than a decade as a congressional investigator before turning author. Her lack of success finding bathtub reading that was indulgent yet smart led her to write the Joanna Hayworth Vintage Clothing mysteries and The Booster Club capers, which center around a retirement home for petty criminals. Under the pen name Clover Tate, she also wrote three kite shop cozy mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. The Witch Way Librarian series of cozy mysteries for Kensington debuts with Bait and Witch on December 29, 2020.

When she isn’t at her laptop, Angela is rummaging in thrift shops, lounging with a vintage detective novel, or pontificating about how to make the perfect martini.

Subscribe to Angela’s newsletter to stay on top of new releases as well as indulge in a taste of the world of her novels, including fashion advice from Edith Head, vintage cocktail recipes, Golden Age detective novel reviews, and more. http://www.angelamsanders.com

©2021 V Williams – V Williams

June Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Steamy July is Upon Us

Rosepoint Reviews-June Recap

The hunt for the house for our daughter continues amid fits and starts, the last being cancelled as she loads a truck ready to drive east. It’s been nerve wracking not to mention expensive and time consuming. However, we’ve switched plans and now she’ll come here while we continue the house search. In the meantime, the garden has suffered as the wildlife has made short work of our sweet peas, eggplant, and beans. The rain this last week has everything thoroughly soggy and the weeds are competing for space. My blog schedule has changed, then changed again, and no doubt will be on a reduced schedule into July until this is all resolved. I hope you noticed I’ve been missing!

It’s good the CE continues to read, though even getting his reviews posted has been a problem. We posted fourteen book reviews for June that included ARCs from NetGalley, author requests, and audiobooks from our local library. They included family fiction, cozy mysteries, historical fiction, crime fiction, and sci-fi technothrillers.

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson The Forever Home - Sue Watson Aftermath by Terri Blackstock The Memory Stones by Lewis Pennington Vicious Circle by C J Box Keeping Guard by Sandra Owens Wolfe Trap by Matt Cost Safe Harbour by Mike Martin Bad Moon Rising by John Galligan Dog Eat Dog by David Rosenfelt Draw and Order by Cheryl Hollon Net Force: Kill Chain by Jerome Preisler Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr

  1. Vicious Circle by C J Box
  2. Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson
  3. Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr
  4. The Forever Home by Sue Watson
  5. Aftermath by Terri Blackstock
  6. Keeping Guard by Sandra Owens
  7. Wolfe Trap by Matt Cost
  8. Bad Moon Rising by John Galligan
  9. Safe Harbour by Mike Martin
  10. Dog Eat Dog by David Rosenfelt
  11. Draw and Order by Cheryl Hollon
  12. Net Force: Kill Chain by Jerome Preisler
  13. Flea Market Felony by Tricia L Sanders
  14. The Memory Stones by Lewis Pennington

Reading Challenges

NetGalley – Maintaining 95-96% on NG, now at 52 towards a goal of 75.

Goodreads has me at 96 towards my challenge of 175.

Only three books in June for the Audiobook challenge bringing the total to 24 but still no problem to reach the goal of between 20-30.

Historical Fiction – One historical fiction book in June, but this goal is completed.

You can check out my challenges progress by clicking on my Reading Challenges page.

As always, welcome to my new followers—and thank you to all my active followers, your likes and comments are appreciated. Hopefully your July won’t be stifling hot and your area has opened back up to a quick and easy  maskless trip to the store.

©2021 V Williams – The CE and I

Dog Eat Dog: An Andy Carpenter Mystery (Andy Carpenter Novel Book 23) by David Carpenter – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Dog Eat Dog by David RosenfeltLawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, work to free a man who risked it all to help a dog in need

Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his wife, Laurie, enjoy walking their dogs, Tara and Sebastian. By this point in their marriage, it’s routine. When out for one of their strolls, their simple ritual isn’t so simple anymore. Across the street, a man is mistreating his dog. Three things happen at once: Andy yells, Laurie runs to stop the abuse, and so does a closer passerby, who so thoroughly beats the owner that both are arrested when the cops arrive.

Andy scoops up the dog and takes him to the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization that’s always been his true passion. Meanwhile, at the police station, the passerby is identified as Matthew Jantzen, and he’s wanted for murder. Andy and Laurie are struck by the fact that Jantzen, a man on the run, would nevertheless intervene to help a dog, and decide to find out more.

Dog Eat Dog, the twenty-second installment in the Andy Carpenter series, features the charming cast of characters – old and new – that David Rosenfelt is known for and the dogs that accompany them.

My Review:

Yes! I was overdue for my Andy Carpenter fix and this is just the book to do it! Although most any in the 23 of the series would do it. Usually I go the audiobook route as the narrator, Grover Cleveland, IS Andy Carpenter—sells it completely. This time I was able to get an ARC from the publisher. And you know—it’s just as good. Must be the writing style.

Dog Eat Dog by David RosenfeltFor those of you who haven’t seen any of my previous reviews, Rosenfelt has created an attorney who, having the benefit of a substantial inheritance, has quit, or tried to several times. (He runs a dog rescue he and a partner call the Tara Foundation. He loves dogs.) But these cases just keep popping up. This one in defense of a man who came to the rescue of a man who was saving a dog from being beaten. Having been arrested, it was discovered he was wanted in Maine for a double homicide. He didn’t do it.

No, really. He didn’t do it. No clue who the victims were and two years ago? Can’t remember that specific night.

These books are just plain fun. Fast, witty, often sarcastic humor coupled with deeply layered well-plotted novels. These are never simple, open and shut cases. And yet—in this case, his DNA was found on the victim. How do you fight that?

Extradited to Maine, Andy will leave his safe haven in New Jersey where he is constantly mistaken as a New Yorker amid the happy discovery of lobster rolls. GEES! Just talking about them got me thinking—lobster rolls—YUM!

Of course he is going his get his team involved, his wife (ex-cop and private investigator) and her partners (part of the Carpenter K-Team spin-off) that includes Marcus who keeps his dialogue minimal (silent and deadly). She brings the (three) dogs, including the one newly rescued and they tie up some suites at the local hotel. He also has a computer guru genius (shhh, don’t tell me how you got this information).

Andy’s self-deprecating sense bounces between that and confirmation of his brilliance and in the meantime uses his wit to keep him safely investigating. Failing that—there’s always Marcus who has his back, not to mention his wife—she legally packs.

I always love it when they get to the courtroom—there are teachable moments, intelligent and full of fancy footwork, maneuvering, not to mention some memorable acting scenes.

I started reading (or listening to) this series back in 2016 and got thoroughly hooked. My last three were Silent Bite, Muzzled, and Dachshund Through the Snow. You can’t go wrong with either the print or audiobook. Thank you Minotaur Books and NetGalley for my ARC review copy. These are (always) my own opinions. Currently on pre-order.

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Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Traditional Detective Mysteries
Publisher: Minotaur Books

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08FZ8RV1W

Print Length: 304 pages
Publication Date: July 6, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

David Rosenfelt - authorThe Author: David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. “Open And Shut” was his first novel; “First Degree,” his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.

©2021 V Williams

Keeping Guard (Operation K-9 Brothers Book 2) by Sandra Owens – #BookReview – #Animal Fiction

Book Blurb:

Finding the future they deserve will mean leaving the past behind…

Navy SEAL Noah Alba is on extended leave after a terrible mistake resulted in the loss of his K-9 partner. He arrives in Asheville, North Carolina, hoping to get his head on straight before he returns overseas. When an old friend recruits him to train service dogs for veterans, he doesn’t feel ready. Still, rambunctious rescue dog Lucky is awfully hard to resist—as is the drop-dead stunning bride Noah encounters while hiking.

When she finds out her fiancé is only marrying her to gain control of her family’s brewery, Peyton Sutton’s I do turns into a hard pass real quick. But Peyton’s father and now-jilted ex are determined to force the match at any cost. Running away can only get her so far, until Noah—and his adorably fierce canine companion—step in as an unlikely protector.

Guarding a runaway bride in the close quarters of her downtown loft is no way to avoid a simmering attraction. But Peyton can’t outrun her ex, and Noah can’t outrun his past; they’ll have to find a way to move forward together, or risk making another terrible mistake.

My Review:

Ask anyone who has been following the blog for some time my favorite and they’d probably say, animal stories. The same readers would know the least favorite is romance. So, yes, the cover got me (the old bait and switch) and here I was, stuck in a romance labeled animal fiction.

Rich girl is controlled by an old-fashioned father (the business should go to a son) and, according to an overheard conversation, a fiancé promised the business if he’d marry Peyton. Not like she’s a dog. Actually, very pretty and smart besides being rich. Also, Peyton managed to become a Master Brewer—she’s no slouch when it comes to the business.

Keeping Guard by Sandra OwensPeyton escaped the wedding, grabbed a couple bottles of champagne, and found a lovely spot to sit, contemplate, and toast to having escaped a man with motives other than love. It is there that Noah happens on her. He’s suffering from PTSD and the guilt associated with the loss of a Seal buddy and military service dog—his fault. And actually, I enjoyed the first few chapters. It is cute.

Then the storyline begins to take shape. Actually, Noah is in horrible shape–mentally. Peyton has escaped her ex-fiancé, but Dalton isn’t that easy to shake. Noah, however, really has nothing to lose and Peyton quickly realizes that Noah gives her tingles. Her first experience with tingles and she’s not going to relinquish that real soon. Yeah, tingles.

I am not overly thrilled with either main character. Noah’s belaboring of his experience overwhelms. Peyton’s tingles get tiresome.

Perhaps the plot would have worked better for me if there had been more service dogs, less romance. The dog that is paired with Noah eventually wins him over—sweet boy. But the pacing slowed in the tingle portions and I would have liked more interest, more atmosphere, more tension. Just… more. Less tingle.

There are few surprises, the conclusion as predicted. I am, however, impressed with the author’s experiences, particularly that she’s also a motorcycle rider–a Harley—but I won’t hold that against her. Just that this is not my genre although I’m sure a romance fan would appreciate it. 3 stars

His Review:

Navy Seals are a close brotherhood. Being involved in close combat and losing fellow combatants can isolate and debilitate even the strongest of men. Noah Alba is a Seal who is home after losing some of his men in an operation. He is on medical leave assigned to a K-9 training operation to help him overcome battle fatigue.

Keeping Guard by Sandra OwensJack Daniels is a disabled veteran who heads up the operation. He knows that having the men help train the dogs also helps to reduce their battle trauma. A good service dog can help de-escalate the tension affecting the warrior. Hopefully it will work on Noah.

Payton Sutton is dressed in a very expensive wedding gown. She overhears the groom telling a friend; “the only reason I am marrying her is to get her father’s micro-brewery.” She grabs two bottles of champagne and escapes before the ceremony. The groom, Dalton, is a real piece of work whose first wife died after their wedding leaving him a small fortune.

Fate has Payton meeting Noah down near a river where she is enjoying the champagne and being thankful for realizing the situation in time. Dalton is not so easily put off and intends to complete the marriage no matter what! He will have the brewery and the owner’s daughter. Elk Antler Brewing will be his or else. He doesn’t care that Payton has become a Master Brewer.

Recognizing the bullying tactics of Dalton and Payton’s father, Noah steps in to help her. She is enamored with his physical prowess and like any white knight, he is not about to allow the situation to proceed. Sandra Owens keeps a very energetic dialogue going between herself and this seasoned veteran.  Noah is not looking for a relationship but circumstances dictate otherwise.

I found this read very entertaining; the storyline didn’t lag. I suggest it to any one who wants an easy, enjoyable read. 5 stars – CE Williams

FTC Disclosure: We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are our honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: 4 stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Military Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
ASIN: B08L82T3YM
Print Length: 277 pages
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Sandra Owens - authorThe Author: A best selling, award winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.

A member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll, Sandra is a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.

You can connect with Sandra on Twitter @SandyOwens1 and Facebook at SandraOwens.94043. Her website is: http://www.sandra-owens.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams The CE and I

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!

Money Bear: A Nick Tanner Crime Thriller by Kerry K cox – #BookReview – #crimethriller

Rosepoint Rating: Five stars5 stars

“…the lowest branch on a big redwood is higher than the tallest branch of almost any other tree, in any other forest, on the planet?” 

Book Blurb:

Money Bear by Kerry K CoxWhen Redwoods Park Enforcement Ranger Kathleen Shepherd finds a third dead bear in the forest, its paws and gallbladder harvested, she contacts U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services for assistance. They send Nick Tanner, one of an elite cadre of undercover USFWS Special Agents.

Highly valued in Traditional Chinese Medicine, bear gallbladders fetch the type of money that attracts dangerous and desperate criminals. When the killing of bears escalates to a series of equally macabre human murders, Nick and Kathleen follow the clues that lead them into a lethal trap—all under the darkly surreal canopy of the world’s oldest known living organisms, the old-growth redwoods.

My Review:

Money Bear by Kerry K CoxOrick Enforcement Ranger Kathleen Shepherd gets in over her head when she finds the third bear killed for its gallbladder and paws. It’s obvious they have poachers harvesting bears for their valuable gallbladders used in TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine. Unfortunately, the killing has extended into human murders and Shepherd contacts the US Fish and Wildlife Service. They send Nick Tanner, a USFWS Special Agent.

Love the location of Northern California, the redwoods, the coast, such a gorgeous, uniquely wild area. The atmosphere is palpable; the well developed characters (both sides of the law) are engaging.

Gripping out of the gate, the author introduces information woven through the well-plotted narrative that is both fascinating and startling leading to the underbelly of Chinese medicine in Hollywood. The primary characters are super and I loved Tanner’s “kitty,” a blind bobcat he named Ray Charles. The prose is crafty, strongly masculine appropriate to the wild area of California, mules, wild animals. There is action, humor that lightens just a bit of the gravity, suspense, and an immersive storyline right to the conclusion. A great start to a new series and I’m looking forward to Book 2!

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Crime Thrillers, Suspense
Publisher: Level Best Books
ASIN: B08WBXGHKT
Print Length: 323 pages
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Kerry K Cox - authorThe Author: [Kerry K Cox] When I was a kid, I didn’t want to be a policeman, or fireman, or astronaut, or major league third baseman. I wanted to be a forest ranger.

Okay, also a major league third baseman. Y’know, as a summer job.

But it turned out my inability to comprehend biochem made a career in wildlife management as realistic as my chances of starting for the Dodgers.

So, after four years at Oregon State University I declared myself graduated, and returned home to Southern California. There I taught swimming, karate, and pre-school while I sold articles to various magazines, wrote children’s shows for The Disney Channel, and eventually became a full-time writer.

And because one of my childhood dreams lives on, I now write novels focused on the dark underworld of wildlife trafficking, and work with various wildlife, marine mammal, and feral cat/kitten groups as a rescue volunteer along California’s Central Coast.

I’m still waiting on that call from the Dodgers.

I live by the ocean in Cambria, California with my wife and a clowder of cats.

©2021 V Williams – V Williams