What the River of the Cherokee Did Not Tell: Jonathan’s Story by James Short – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

What the River of the Cherokee Did Not Tell

Book Blurb:

Jonathan Asher hides in a hollowed log with his sister while his family’s cabin on the River of the Cherokee burns. There is complete darkness. Outside, a boy’s voice promises, “I’ll come back for you.”

What the River of the Cherokee Did Not Tell by James ShortThis early memory haunts Jonathan Asher as he comes of age in the epic decade leading into the American Revolution.

Raised at the Asher Trading Post, his world changes with a blood payment for his life to the Seneca.

He takes to the road, first as an itinerant preacher, too young to be not led into temptation,

Then as a peddler and vagabond traveling through a country increasingly at war with itself.

His fortune turns. He becomes a merchant, smuggler, and friend of a fellow smuggler, Benedict Arnold,

And the beloved of a girl who wants to hear every story in the world.

Under the cover of a war profiteer, he offers to spy for the Continental Army in New York.

And before Jonathan becomes the avenger that he believes he must be, the boy, now a man, keeps the promise made on the River of the Cherokee.

My Review:

I enjoy books regarding the Revolutionary War and always appreciate the efforts of our great-greats back then to survive a war no one thought the colonies capable. This novel presents a tough scenario that hooks and leads into the story of Jonathan Asher as his brother enabled his survival first from Native American attack and later as a privateer.

My problem is that my interest lagged. I kept reading, waiting for the direction expected only to discover it wasn’t going there.

What the River of the Cherokee Did Not Tell by James ShortJonathan first discovers God, then the realization of his lack of religious education. As a boy, he ventures where his nose points and discovers ways of living as a peddler and odd jobs. When he is introduced to Benedict Arnold, he discovers many more ways of survival—that of a merchant, smuggler, privateer, and later as a war profiteer.

Not that he’s happy with himself by working the latter. Through the latter, he is recruited to spy for the Continental Army in New York. He takes that job as a way of pursuing the vengeance he has sworn to avenge the torture and death of his beloved.

I’m not sure where the espionage comes in as most of the narrative focuses on his efforts at finding the three men responsible for her ultimate painful death.

He has, however, in the space of Book 1, managed to find one of the men. His older brother appears to be haunting him as well as he appears to surface at most agreeable times, though that thread does not end happily.

And then…”to be continued” appears. Well, talk about cliffhangers. Unfortunately, I was not able to engage sufficiently with Jonathan. The war is ugly and it would appear nothing changes from war to war; there are always those who would profit from the suffering of the many. I’m sure this odyssey will appeal to Revolutionary War buffs, the saga apparently continuing in Jonathan’s efforts to seek the remaining two of the three and there are still years of war to survive. Just not for me.

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: Three-point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: US Historical Fiction, War & Military Action Fiction, Action & Adventure Romance Fiction
ASIN: B09TQ1Q7ZP
Print Length:368 pages
Publication Date: June 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): What the River of the Cherokee Did Not Tell [Amazon]

What the River of the Cherokee Did Not Tell by James ShortThe Author: For me, one of the great pleasures of writing is having a character come out of your head and begin to speak with a mind of its own. I’ve written WHERE FORTUNE LIES, a time-slip novel where the vehicle to the past is the human heart, which may be just as magical as stones or gems or other methods of transportation. As for my curriculum vitae, I graduated from UCLA with a bachelors in Spanish taking a circuitous route through the University of Santa Cruz and the University of Barcelona. In an alternate universe where my life has gone wrong, I would be devoting the time of my long prison sentence to translating Don Quixote into English. I’ve run my own business selling Spanish language gift items. I am married with two grown daughters.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery 1) by Ellen Byron – #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron

Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Bryon

I am delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Orleans Louisianna
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (June 7, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593437616
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593437612
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FPJHVGK

Book Blurb

A fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Ellen Byron.

 Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.

 Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.

 The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.

 Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?

 

My Thoughts

It’s difficult to leave an old favorite like the Cajun Country Mystery series behind when the author pulls the plug and begins a new series.

But if we must, at least we get to enjoy her new series set in Louisiana, as the author favors us with the sounds, scents, and majesty that is the local mystic of New Orleans.

Bayou Book Thief by Ellen ByronRicki (Miracle Fleur di Lis James-Diaz) has returned to New Orleans where she was born after suffering the loss of her husband and a scandalous end to a job n LA in which she was a naïve and innocent pawn.

She has landed a position with the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum where she creates a gift shop containing vintage cookbooks and kitchenware. Unfortunately, a trunk containing a donation of vintage cookbooks turns out to contain a body instead. The body is that of a former Bon Vee employee fired for being a book thief and all-round scoundrel.

Becoming a little put off by the local detective, Ricki begins using her tracking skills to investigate on her own.

“NOPD stands for ‘Not Our Problem, Dude.’”

Ricki is a smart woman, although deemed less than confident after her recent losses, and treads lightly. There are some wonderfully diverse support characters, from Madame to Lyla and Cookie, the latter “a recovering children’s librarian.”

Little sub-plots or threads take the story in different directions and introduce the reader to some interesting practices in the book world. Lyla becomes a suspect, but then there are several lesser characters also vying for the position and it’s difficult to nail down who among them has the greater reason for offing not one, but a second, victim. Ricki’s imagination tends to go wild with motives most of which are tossed immediately.

The red herrings were narrowed and fed into the conclusion, which settled most of any loose threads remaining, and I must admit I was surprised by the culprit. As in most cozy mysteries, there is a fostering romance and one big thread strongly hinted that will be carried forward. It’s a douzy.

Also, as in many cozy mysteries, appropriate recipes, in this case vintage southern recipes are shared after the epilogue with this note that gave me a chuckle:

“Onions, celery, and peppers are affectionately known as the “holy trinity” in Cajun and Creole cooking.”

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Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win (1) PRINT COPY – Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery) by Ellen Byron (U.S. Only) Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Ellen Byron - author
Ellen Byron – author

About The Author: Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.

Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WingsJust Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at https://www.ellenbyron.com/

Author Links

Newsletter: https://www.ellenbyron.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ellenbyronauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/CateringHallMysteries/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/ellenbyronmariadirico/

Bookbub:

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ellen-byron

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maria-dirico

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/23234.Ellen_Byron

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19130966.Maria_DiRico

Purchase Links

Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Books – Alibris – IndieBound – PenguinRandomHouse

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour! Great Escapes Book Tours

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

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Pryor & Cummings: The GAIA Incident by Rod Pennington – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Pryor & Cummings by Rod PenningtonLate at night, a hacker sneaks into the subterranean lab of a celebrity scientist known as the “Earthquake Whisperer.” There he makes a startling discovery which gets him murdered. The police soon learn surveillance video shows no one had left the facility since the homicide and a thorough search for the killer comes up empty.

To solve this locked room techno-thriller-mystery, an old-school detective and his retired K-9 reluctantly partner with a young high-tech rookie. This quickly escalates from a cut-and-dried homicide to something much more ominous.

This story is populated with relatable characters with interesting relationships. The dialogue is witty, there are whiplash inducing plot shifts and it has a surprise twist ending you won’t see coming.

My Review:

This book starts out with quite the hook but then settled into the plodding of everyday investigative work. Of course, it’s a locked-room mystery, although that part is discoverable fairly soon and becomes a techno-thriller—which is okay by me—an opportunity to learn.

Pryor & Cummings by Rod PenningtonFirst, I had a problem with Pryor, mid-life macho coming off a suspension well deserved. He can be short, rude, and sometimes reminded me of the Bosch character in the TV series of the same name. Once linking that image, it was tough not to see Welliver in scenes involving Pryor.

I’m pretty torn on this one, about evenly distributed between liking and not. Interesting plot premise (note the cover), but since I wasn’t a particular fan of Pryor, it was tough to balance that with those characters I did like. Pryor is also ex-special ops military. Cummings is young, a grandson of Pryor’s academy instructor and, wait for it: formerly dated Pryor’s daughter.  (How small IS this world?) Cummings is also sharp computer, technology generation. I had the promise of an active canine in the storyline as well, even if a retired police dog, and it wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped.

The murder of the hacker in the special underground computer lab links Pryor through the ownership of the lab, who is the second husband of his ex-wife. Just too many close links here to buy.

With any threat to the country, the FBI will get involved and because the consensus this might be (a threat), they did. More characters and they all tend to clash with Pryor. When the technology kicks in, I get a chance to read what currently exists and that projected. The plot steers into the future of bots and the manipulation we’ve confronted before. Then postulation goes beyond that.

I did enjoy some of the dialogue as it produces more than one chuckle and lightens the serious mood, although there again is tempered with soapbox discussions that veer into current political hotbed issues. Relationships tend to get entwined and there are plot puzzlers that eventually get channeled into a satisfying conclusion on a twisted plot course.

Interesting and well-paced, however, a protagonist not everyone will love with espoused philosophies sure to raise eyebrows.

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 Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Technothrillers, Hard-boiled Mystery
Publisher: Integration Press LLC
ASIN: B09T3VTLZP
Print Length: 267 pages
Publication Date: May 24, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble

 

Rod Pennington - authorThe Author: Rod Pennington writes a mixed bag of suspense stories filled with quirky characters, rapid-fire dialogue and whiplash inducing plot shifts. With his off-beat sense of humor and original storylines that do not fit comfortably into any established genre, he has developed a hard-core group of fans.

In addition to fiction, Pennington has either sold or has had optioned seven screenplays and also writes regularly in national publications such as the Wall Street Journal.

You can reach Rod at AuthorRodPennington@Gmail.com

[truncated—see the list of Books by Rod Pennington in the author’s bio: The Fourth Awakening Series, The Family Series, Stand Alone Books]

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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