What Are We Reading And Reviewing in February 2019?
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This is the place to let everyone know the books you are reading this month, and then to leave reviews of these books. You can put up a list of the books you are reading for the month or put a post about a book as you start it, or even both.
A review doesn't have to long. It can be something as simple as a sentence about the book or as comprehensive as you want to make it - whatever is good for you. Our love of books is the reason we are all here.
2//19 - ★
Carol’s Reads For February
The Merchant’s House by Kate Ellis - 2/12/19 - 5★
The Damage Done by James Oswald - 2//19 - ★
Blind Date With A Book
The Diary of Mattie Spencer by Sandra Dallas - 2/2/19 - 5★
Hangman by Jack Heath - 2/3/19 - 3.5★
Grist Mill Road by Christopher Yates - 2/5/19 - 2.5★
When Shadows Fall by J.T. Ellison - 2/7/19 - 4★
Cover Her Face by P.D. James - 2/16/19 - 3 ★
Last Kiss Goodbye by Karen Robrds - 2/8/19 - 3.5★
Boar Island by Nevada Barr - 2/1/19 - 2.5★
Haunted by Randy Wayne White -2/6/19 - 3★
If I Live by Terri Blackstock - 2/10/19 - 4★
IQ by Joe ide - 2/14/19 - 3★
Ice Cold Alice by C.P. Wilson - 2/7/19 - 5★
Stay Hidden by Paul Doiron - 2/15/19 - 3.5★
The Nowhere Child by Christian White - 2/19/19 - 4★
Connections In Death by J.D. Robb - 2/13/19 - 5★
Nothing Stays Buried by P.J. Tracy - 2/17/19 - 4★
Black Seconds by Karin Fossum - 2//19 - ★
Need You Dead by Peter James - 2//19 - ★
Silence The Dead by Jack Fredrickson - 2//19 - ★
Lay Me To Rest by E.A. Clark - 2/17/19 - 5★
February Group Reads
The Merchant’s House by Kate Ellis - 1998
The Damage Done by James Oswald - 2016
The Treatment by Mo Hayder 2001
I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty - 2013
The Treatment by Mo Hayder - 2002
Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchey - 1991
The English wife by Lauren Willig - 2018
Tombland by Sansom, C. J. - 2019
Song of Susannah by Stephen King - 2004
Whiteout by Ken Follett - 2004
The Burning by Jane Casey - 2010
First Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer - 2019
The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton - 2018
Suitcase Charlie by John Guzlowski - 2018
Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic - 2015
The Golden Tresses by Alan Bradley - 2019
Advanced Reading Copy
Help!: The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration by Thomas Brothers
Lynda and Oliver's February Reading Plan
Bitter Season - Tami Hoag
Connections in Death - J. D. Robb
Golden Tresses of the Dead - Alan Bradley
Hide and Seek - M. J. Arlidge
I Am Watching You - Teresa Driscoll
In Deep Voodoo - Stephanie Bond
Righteous - Joe Ide
Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch
Rubbernecker - Belinda Bauer
Serpent's Daughter - Suzanne Arruda
Yankee Doodle Dead - Carolyn Hart
Being Mortal - Atul Gawande
Great Alone - Kristin Hannah
Here Be Dragons - Sharon Kay Penman
Hopeless - Colleen Hoover
Ivy Tree - Mary Stewart
Last Kabbalist of Lisbon - Richard Zimler
Little Shop of Found Things - Paula Brackston
Redshirts - John Scalzi
Boar Island by Nevada Barr
Anna Pigeon series Book #19
Anna Pigeon, in her career as a National Park Service Ranger, has had to deal with all manner of crimes and misdemeanors, but cyber-bullying and stalking is a new one. The target is Elizabeth, the adopted teenage daughter of her friend Heath Jarrod. Elizabeth is driven to despair by the disgusting rumors spreading online and bullying texts. Until, one day, Heath finds her daughter Elizabeth in the midst of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. And then she calls in the cavalry---her aunt Gwen and her friend Anna Pigeon. While they try to deal with the fragile state of affairs---and find the person behind the harassment---the three adults decide the best thing to do is to remove Elizabeth from the situation. Since Anna is about to start her new post as Acting Chief Ranger at Acadia National Park in Maine, the three will join her and stay at a house on the cliff of a small island near the park, Boar Island. But the move east doesn't solve the problem. The stalker has followed them east. And Heath (a paraplegic) and Elizabeth aren't alone on the otherwise deserted island. At the same time, Anna has barely arrived at Acadia before a brutal murder is committed by a killer uncomfortably close to her.
I intend no pun...well maybe just a small one...when I say Boar Island was..well... boring. Unlike the other books before this one there was very little focus on the Park itself (Acadia in Maine) and almost no involvement of the main character...Anna Pigeon. When she did appear it seemed almost an after thought on the author's part. Many of the characters were drawn from an earlier book and were not very interesting. Nevada Barr has done much, much better and I hope this is just a fluke.
The Diary of Mattie Spencer by Sandra Dallas
No one is more surprised than Mattie Spenser herself when Luke Spenser, considered the great catch of their small Iowa town, asks her to marry him. Less than a month later, they are off in a covered wagon to build a home on the Colorado frontier. Mattie's only company is a slightly mysterious husband and her private journal, where she records the joys and frustrations not just of frontier life, but also of a new marriage to a handsome but distant stranger. As she and Luke make life together on the harsh and beautiful plains, Mattie learns some bitter truths about her husband and the girl he left behind and finds love where she least expects it. Dramatic and suspenseful, this is an unforgettable story of hardship, friendship and survival.
The book gives a first person narrative of what life was like on the frontier from the perspective of a young woman from Iowa. It's 1865 and twenty-two year old Mattie is living with her parents when out of the blue Luke Spenser suddenly proposes to her. Not giving it more than a second thought, Mattie accepts his proposal, and before she knows it, finds herself headed to the Colorado Territory with her new husband. Mattie writes of her life from the time she leaves Iowa until nearly the end of her life. She tells in vivid details their trip by wagon train as well as what happens once she gets there. The diary is found years later by Mattie's 97 year old granddaughter. It's so well written and full of historical facts about the incredible courage and hardships faced by our pioneers.
Hangman by Jack Heath
Timothy Blake series Book #1
A 14-year-old boy vanishes on his way home from school. His frantic mother receives a disturbing ransom call. It's only hours before the deadline, and the police have no leads. Enter Timothy Blake, codename Hangman. Blake is a genius, known for solving impossible cases. He's also a sociopath - the FBI's last resort. But this time Blake might have met his match. The kidnapper is more cunning and ruthless than anyone he's faced before. And Blake has been assigned a new partner, a woman linked to the past he's so desperate to forget. Timothy Blake has a secret, one so dark he will do anything to keep it hidden. And he also has a price. Every time he saves a life, he takes one
The character of Timothy Blake comes across as being the result of a breeding between James Bond and Dracula. Overall he is brilliant at solving puzzles be they kidnappings and murders or crosswords and Rubik's cubes. Timothy is more than just interesting...he's a puzzle that no matter how hard the reader tries to see a reason for "what he is...it just slips through the mind...which is probably a good thing. I really liked the writing style of this author but you need to be willing and able to suspend your disbelief for some parts of it and just go with the flow. I look forward to meeting Timothy again...just not in a dark alley.
Sticks and Scones by Diane Mott Davidson
#10 A Culinary Mystery
3 1/3 *
There is a real old English castle just outside of Aspen Meadow, Colorado, owned by a rather eccentric family for whom Goldy Shultz is catering several banquets including her son’s Elk Prep School fencing team’s banquet. Godly’s Dectective husband, Tom, is out of town on a case involving the theft of extremely rare stamps. Goldy’s Ex is out on parole after only serving 5 months of a 2 year sentence. Godly’s living room window gets shot. Having nowhere safe to go, she is staying at her employer’s castle. While checking out the castle’s chapel for an event, she comes across the body of one of the suspected stamp thieves. She calls 911, and her husband meets her at the chapel. While checking on the body, Tom is shot. He is airlifted to a Denver hospital. Goldy’s world is becoming a very unsettled place. Her house gets broken into, the Jerk is making threats, the stamps are still missing, and the castle may be haunted. Goldy sets out to bring her life back to normal.
Not a bad story. There are lots of quirky and violent characters. Goldy is too snoopy for her own well being, which is very frustrating for me as a reader. But there is enough action and humor to keep my attention.
Grist MIll Road by Christopher Yates
The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends―Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah―are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again―with even more devastating results.
The story had promise and the opening chapter set the events in motion to present a very interesting story. Several things occurred after that. (1.) It was somewhat difficult to follow as every chapter skipped back and forth from 1982 to 2008. (2.) The "crime" itself had serious consequences but it was something you might expect from 12 year old kids given the right circumstances and it seemed the characters were dealing fairly well with it as adults. (3.) I never understood why Hannah suddenly took offense and said she "learned" that Patrick was there when the 'crime" was committed since she and we, the readers, knew that he was there from the start. (4.) What was with Hannah's unexplained relationship with the NY City cop who is completely bereft of any charm but becomes her self-appointed protector for the remainder of the book.??? There is not one single character that you can truly invest in.
Haunted by Randy Wayne White
Hanna Smith series Book #3
The house is historic, some say haunted. It is also slated to be razed and replaced by condos, unless Hannah Smith can do something about it. She’s been hired by a wealthy Palm Beach widow to prove that the house’s seller didn’t disclose everything he knew about the place when he unloaded it, including its role in a bloody Civil War skirmish in which two of Hannah’s own distant relations had had a part, as well as the suicides—or possibly murders—of two previous owners. Hannah sees it as a win-win opportunity: She can stop the condo project while tracking her family history. She doesn’t believe in ghosts. But some dangers are real. And the most deadly of all may be human obsession.
The Hanna Smith character is interesting but I found that I had mixed feelings about her. Somehow she doesn't really come across as one of Randy Wayne White's characters. I can't seriously believe she is that flaky. The story line is good but there is a lot of unnecessary dialog with a lot of characters doing a lot of different things. However about a third of the way through the book that all becomes tempered with a lot of historical background. That is actually what earned the book 3 stars. This is the first book I have read featuring this character and I will have to think long and hard if I will try another.
>3 Carol420: - I just saw IQ on your February book list. I am curious on how you find it. I listened to the audio, which was phenomenal due the narrator, Sullivan Jones. It's very heavy into ghetto culture, filthy language and Rap music. That being said, I've already listened to the second one, Righteous and am starting #3 Wrecked. I will be sorry when I'm done because I love the characters so much.
>15 Olivermagnus: I thought this sounded interesting but wonder if maybe I would like the audio version more??? The library has it. Often I listen to the audio and read the book at the same time...my husband thinks that is weird but he's used to me being weird:) It also...I guess you know...fills a slot on the "letter I" challenge this month:)
>16 mnleona: I was amazed how much I loved this book since 99% of what I read is Mystery & Suspense. It was my "Blind Date With A Book". I really liked the writing style and the short passages that Mattie wrote as they traveled. She also didn't just focus on the terrible things that happened in her life. If you like Janice Woods Windle, (My mother loved her books)...you would really like Mattie Spencer's story.
I loved the Beaumont series that Jance wrote but didn't really care for the others. Again...my mother was just the opposite. My grandmother used to tell us "if everyone liked the same thing there wouldn't be enough to go around." As kids we used to picture someone handing out "likes" from a pail.
When Shadows Fall by J.T. Ellison
Samantha Owens series Book #3
Sam has left Nashville to try to rebuild her life after the death of her husband and her twins. She has moved to Washington, D.C, to teach at George Washington University Medical School. She hopes to start a new life with a new love interest... a handsome former Army Ranger, Xander, and his dog, Thor. A letter arrives from a Virginia man who asks her to investigate his death. Although she knows she should ignore it, she finds herself drawn in when the man's attorney contacts her to tell her she's in the man’s will, along with a cryptic list of other heirs. She,,,Xander and Fletch, a detective friend, set off to solve the puzzle soon running into multiple murders...a cult...and a friend who tries to recruit her for the FBI.
Samantha Owens was one of my favorite characters when she was the coroner in Nashville, Tennessee in the Taylor Jackson series and I always thought she should have a series of her own. Even though she deals with the forensic side of the murder she doesn't seem to have the same role as she did in the Jackson series. Too much romance takes it away from the "thriller" category and puts her series more in the "romance" department. Still a well done, intriguing read.
Ice Cold Alice by C.P. Wilson
They thought that they had all the power, until she took it from them. A killer hunts abusive spouses, blogging about their sins post-kill. Soon the murders and the brazen journalist draws the attention of Police Scotland's CID. This killer works with surgical preparation, precision and skill, using a unique weapon of her own and never leaves a trace of evidence behind. Edinburgh's DI Kathy McGuire, nearing the end of her career, begins the hunt for the murderer as a media frenzy erupts. But McGuire might have met her match. What has led this killer to take the law into her own hands?
Is the woman accountable really a cold-hearted killer or a desperate vigilante?
Alice is a unique killer that you will find yourself cheering for. There are surprises that you would never think of and twists galore. The perpetrator narrates the story and you will soon begin to understand the reasons for her "crimes" and how they are justified. Alice is "Ice Cold" in more ways than one. I am happy to give it 5 big, beautiful stars!
The Last Kiss Goodbye by Karen Robards
Dr. Charlotte Stone series Book #2
Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone has dedicated her career as a psychiatrist to exploring the darkest territory of all: the hearts and minds of serial killers. It’s a job she’s uniquely suited for, thanks to the secret talent that gives her an uncanny edge—Charlie can see dead people, whose tormented spirits cry out to her for the justice only she can provide. This blessing—or curse—gives Charlie the power to hunt down and catch madmen and murderers. It’s also turned her love life upside down by drawing her into a hopelessly passionate relationship with the lingering ghost of charismatic bad boy Michael Garland. But there’s little time for romance with her supernatural suitor when murder comes pounding at Charlie’s door in the form of a terrified young woman fleeing a homicidal maniac. Saving her life places Charlie squarely in the cross-hairs of a sadistic predator nicknamed “the Gingerbread Man,” notorious for manipulating his victims like pawns in a deadly chess game.
Not too sure how I feel about the 'ghost boyfriend" . I love ghost stories but this seems as being a tad unbelievable. Other than that small thing the story is entertaining and the character of Dr, Charlotte Stone is an interesting combination of pathologist and investigator. I just don't quiet get why the dead boyfriend helper. Charlotte appears to be a great detective and a better than average psychologist, but her lack of common sense in her relationship and being pursued by a serial killer is just frustratingly wrong.
Connections In Death by JD Robb
#48 In Death series
Roarke is in the process of refurbishing An Dideon, The Haven, a place to shelter street kids. He hires Dr. Rochelle Pickering to head the counseling team. Rochelle’s brother Lyle is a former gang member, who is successfully turning his life around since released from prison. When Rochelle and her boyfriend return home from celebrating her new job, they find Lyle dead of an apparent OD. Dallas is called in and realizes immediately that Lyle’s death was no OD, he was murdered. The search for Lyle’s murderer takes Dallas, her partner Peabody, Roarke and the rest of the precinct onto the gang turf of the Bangers and Dragons. They follow drugs, killings, and sex trade into the violent underbelly of NYC’s gangs.
Even though this series is set 40 years into the future, it feels very relevant to today. The portrayal of police is done with care and integrity. They are tough, caring, and altogether human. The story was heart wrenching.
>23 Raspberrymocha: I agree with you 100% about how close it comes to today's events. Love this series and the characters. I'm reading it now. I especially like the cat:)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris and is blind by age six. Her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, so she can memorize it and navigate the real streets. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to Saint-Malo on the coast. In Germany, Werner grows up enchanted by a crude radio he finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, which wins him a place with the Hitler Youth. Werner travels throughout Europe, and finally to Saint-Malo, where his meets Marie Laure.
I enjoyed following the separate lives of Marie Laure and Werner as they dealt with changes, difficulties and struggles before, during and after Hitler’s takeover. The characters were well-developed and kept me interested throughout especially in how their lives eventually come together. They both saw some extremely cruel and unfair things happen and both grew up and did some brave things to fight for their survival.
Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves
Jeanie Long was charged with the murder of 15 year-old Abigail Mantel. New evidence now proves Jeanie's innocence. But Jeanie commits suicide in her prison cell, unable to face the people who believed her capable of killing a child. Now Inspector Vera Stanhope is making fresh enquiries. Has the killer returned?
There were many suspects in this story as Abigail was spoiled and not a nice person. Everyone seemed to have a reason they might’ve wanted her dead. Inspector Vera Stanhope was an interesting character who was sloppy, middle-aged, blunt but smart. She uncovered the many secrets everyone seemed to have. I was interested throughout wondering who did it. I’ll read more in this series.
Naked in Death by JD Robb
#1 Percent n Death series
Eve Dallas is a Detective Lieutenant with the New York Police Department in the post Urban Wars mid 21st century. She is tapped for a special murder investigation along with her old mentor Feeney. The daughter of ultra conservative Virginia Senator DeBlass has been found murdered with a vintage 20th century gun. She was a Licensed Companion, a legal prostitute, to the dismay of her family. Eve is continually being hampered in her investigation by the senator and his friend the police commissioner. Eve meets a very rich handsome suspect named Roarke. Roarke is intrigued by Eve’s no nonsense approach to policing and life. As theaters count continues to climb and DeBlass and the commissioner threatening her vet livelihood, Eve presses onward.
This is a reread for me. I haven’t read it in over 20 years. However, it was a nice sentimental trip back to beginnings of the In Death series. There are brief meetings with characters who will become more important in later novels.
>27 Olivermagnus: Order an auto chef for me when you order yours. Be sure that it can make dog food or Oliver won't want it. Of course since he's just trapped in a dog's body...he may not care.
I wonder why these books have never been made into a TV series. There's certainly enough of them to keep it running for years and it would be heads above some of the junk they offer us as entertainment now. I wonder who'd they get to be Summerset...or Roarke for that matter. Gotta be a hunky, Irishman.
If I Live by Terri Blackstock
Book#3 in the If I Run Trilogy
Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for murder. The hunt that began with her bloody footprints escalates, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises are no longer enough. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her. Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once hunted her, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life could force Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking on both their lives, but exposing the real killers is more complicated than they knew. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, but their relationship has consequences. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?
This is the last novel in the trilogy and they do need to be read in order. This one takes up immediately from the ending of the last one. The entire book takes place over a matter of days rather than the months or weeks of the previous novels. That makes the pace rather frantic at times. The book is also written in the first person, with several points of view presented. If you are getting your books from your library...be sure they have all three before starting, because you will go crazy waiting for the complete set. If you like a good thriller series then this is just the thing for you.
The trilogy consists of If I'm Found If I Run and If I Live
Glory in Death by JD Robb
#2 In Death series
LT Eve Dallas is in a relationship with the fabulously rich, powerful and handsome Roarke. She is having trouble coming to grips with it. She’s always been a strong single woman who is one of the best cops that NYC has to offer. She is called out to investigate the murder of PA Cicely Towers, one of the best auttoneys in the city. Cicely was found in a bad part of town with her throat slit. The weasel news anchor CJ Morse was right there to cover a second sensational murder of a well known actress. CJ is a pain in reporter Nadine Furst’s behind. Nadine is an honest reporter who goes to Eve for info and a story on the murders. Nadine and Eve join forces to try to flush out the murderer.
A lot of nice twists and turns in this story, as we get to know more about Eve and Roarke. Street patrol officer Peabody is also introduced briefly. A great fast read.
Immortal in Death by JD Robb
#3 In Death series
Ev Dallas and Roarke are getting married. Eve’s friend Mavis takes Eve to Leonardo, Mavis’s boyfriend, to have a wedding designed. Leonardo is n up and coming designer preparing for his first major fashion show which will feature the famous model Pandora. Pandora has a fight with Mavis, as Pandora wants Leonardo back as a lover. Unfortunately, Pandora is murdered and Mavis is arrested for the murder. With a wedding in the near future, her best friend as a suspect, and a new fatal drug on the illegals market, Eve has her hands full. Eve requests the help of a street cop, Peabody.
This was a fast moving intricate story of love, drugs, murder, and friendship. I really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed the addition of Peabody yo the cast of characters.
The Merchant's House by Kate Ellis
Wesley Peterson series Book #1
DS Wesley Peterson, newly arrived in the West Country town of Tradmouth, has his hands full when a child goes missing and a young woman is brutally murdered on a lonely cliff path. Then his old friend, archaeologist Neil Watson, unearths the skeletons of a strangled woman and a new born baby in the cellar of an ancient merchant's house nearby. As the investigation continues, Wesley begins to suspect that these deaths, centuries apart, may be linked by age-old motives of jealousy, a sexual obsession and desperate longing. The pressure is on if he is going to prevent a further tragedy.
The description is a little misleading but those things do happen in the story... they just aren't tied together quite like it reads. That being said...I read a tremendous amount of books in a year so it's not surprising that I don't remember all the details of some. I don't know how I could have forgotten so much of this one. The story is absolutely captivating. It draws the reader in and allows the mind to soar...as one of my reading friends said. You have to like DS Wesley Peterson and his commanding officer DI Heffernan. They are so believable and don't do stupid things. They are extremely competent police officers. We are reading this series as a group read so I am eagerly awaiting book #2.
>29 Carol420: - is Summerset bald? Lots of possible actors but they have to be thin plus have hair. But I think he could be bald or fading.
Roarke - With longer hair and no facial hair. He's alredy got the Roarke eyes
>34 Olivermagnus: I don't think that I have ever read if Summerset is bald or not. We'd probably have to go back to one of the very early books where the characters are described more. Eve always calls him a skeleton or a bag of bones so he must be tall and very thin. Liking the Roark possibility. He has to be able to do a beautiful Irish accent.
>34 Olivermagnus: Just found this. Seems that the who would play them and the "baby or no baby ever" questions have been addressed some time ago by some people on Goodreads. Here is one of the choices for Roarke and Eve. I don't like the Eve one and she looks too gentle. I'm not even going to tackle Peabody and the others.
>36 Carol420: - That guy has definite possibilities.
I saw someone suggest Jaimie Alexander. I like her better than the other one.
The Guilty Dead by PJ Tracy
I was so glad that PJ Tracy decided to continue writing the Monkeywrench series. This story was a bit different as it highlighted Detectives Gino Rolseth and Leo Magozzi. Leo and Monkeywrench founder Grace MacBride are going to become parents any day now. Grace and her three computer geek friends are in the process of developing a program to help law enforcement more easily deal with terrorist threats. Leo and Gino are called in to deal the possible suicide of a very wealthy influential businessman. Politicians, Revenge, bombers and grieving families make this a very confusing case for the detectives.
I really enjoyed this novel. It wasn’t quite as action packed, but still contained lots of twists and turns to keep me reading. The best thing is that it wasn’t as graphically violent as earlier books in the series. I’m not a fan of overly violent books. I look forward to more of this series.
>37 Olivermagnus: Yes...she's much better. Galahad should be easy. Big, fat orange cat.
Connections In Death by J.D. Robb
Eve Dallas (In Death) series Book # 48
Homicide cop Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, are building a brand-new school and youth shelter. They know that the hard life can lead kids toward dangerous crossroads―and with this new project, they hope to nudge a few more of them onto the right path. For expert help, they hire child psychologist Dr. Rochelle Pickering―whose own brother pulled himself out of a spiral of addiction and crime with Rochelle’s support. Lyle is living with Rochelle while he gets his life together, and he’s thrilled to hear about his sister’s new job offer. But within hours, triumph is followed by tragedy. Returning from a celebratory dinner with her boyfriend, she finds Lyle dead with a syringe in his lap, and Eve’s investigation confirms that this wasn’t just another OD. After all his work to get clean, Lyle’s been pumped full of poison―and a neighbor with a peephole reports seeing a scruffy, pink-haired girl fleeing the scene. Now Eve and Roarke must venture into the gang territory where Lyle used to run, and the ugly underground world of tattoo parlors and strip joints where everyone has taken a wrong turn somewhere. They both believe in giving people a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth. But as far as they’re concerned, whoever gave the order on Lyle Pickering’s murder has run out of chances.
I never tire of this series. The characters...even the side characters...are like family and the reader always looks forward to visiting with them. I believe this is the most "consistent" series in print. Are all the storylines 5 star material? No...but very close and the characters always are. I have only found one book out of the current 48 that I just wasn't as interested in. This one... like all the others...I call "comfort reads". A good story...likable, steady characters...a satisfying outcome...and another one to look forward to. If you are a RIO person start with the first one...and know you have 47 more of this wonderful series.
>41 Raspberrymocha: You're right...but I want him to be orange:) He reminds me of my Scamper who was a big fat orange cat. My last kitty was gray though.
>43 Raspberrymocha: My Margie...the gray one...loved to have her picture taken. She would pose for the camera if she saw you had it. If you didn't take her picture she would look indigently at you as if to say "silly human...are you really going to pass up this photogenic opportunity?"
IQ by Joe Ide
East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he's forced to take on clients that can pay. This time, it's a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.
IQ…Isaiah Quintabe…may be LA’s answer to Sherlock Holmes. He’s a discreet, unlicensed investigator who finds missing people… recovers stolen property… and unravels puzzles too delicate or perplexing for the police to handle. He may be considered by most people as a little eccentric since he has a live chicken named Alejandro wandering around his house as well as a receipt for dispatching said chicken. There was a time in his career that IQ took payment for his work in any form presented. The author Joe Ide…a Japanese-American who grew up in the same type of neighborhood as his IQ character…writes with streetwise lingo that… be warned… some readers will absolutely find offensive. However there is local color and empathy interwoven with the offensive language as well as descriptive humor. As previously mentioned not everyone is going to want to proceed past the 2nd chapter. I admit I had my doubts. I stuck it out with “IQ” …met him on his turf…and found he is straight forward and really likable individual. I will say I have never read anything quiet like it.
>45 Carol420: - I love this series but it's definitely not for everyone. I'm just finishing the third one and the first one is actually the mildest of them all.
>46 Olivermagnus: I also liked it and struggled with how to review it. I knew it would offend a lot of readers. I can't image the chicken in the house.
Stay Hidden by Paul Doiron
Mike Bowditch series Book #9
A woman has been shot to death by a deer hunter on an island off the coast of Maine. To newly promoted Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch, the case seems open and shut. But as soon as he arrives on remote Maquoit Island he discovers mysteries piling up one on top of the other. The hunter now claims he didn’t fire the fatal shot and the evidence proves he’s telling the truth. Bowditch begins to suspect the secretive community might be covering up the identity of whoever killed the woman, known as Ariel Evans. The controversial author was supposedly writing a book about the island's notorious hermit. So why are there no notes in her rented cottage? The biggest blow comes the next day when the weekly ferry arrives and off steps the dead woman herself. Ariel Evans is alive, well, and determined to solve her own “murder” even if it upsets Mike Bowditch’s investigation and makes them both targets of an elusive killer who will do anything to conceal his crimes.
I have read all of the books in the series and found this one to be a little disappointing. I'm not really interested in deer hunting although as a conservation biology I fully understand the need for it. One of the main problems I had with this one was the characters seemed to be off in their interactions with each other. The author used descriptive phases that Mike Bowditch would never have used...but maybe that was because he was constantly thinking of his ex-girlfriend. I'm going to just assume that this was just an off season for Mr. Doiron and move on to the next one in the series.
Cover Her Face by P.D. James
Adam Dalgliesh series Book #1
Sally Jupp was a sly and sensuous young woman who used her body and her brains to make her way up the social ladder. Now she lies across her bed with dark bruises from a strangler’s fingers forever marring her lily-white throat. Someone has decided that the wages of sin should be death...and it is up to Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh to find who that someone is.
Seem the first few books in this series were said to be shorter than the later ones less than 300 pages. Also a great deal of story space was taken up delving into the psychology of each of the characters. As far as I could see this was way too much unnecessary information. As for the story itself...the characters were varied and fairly interesting but I believe Ms. James bore some prejudices and perhaps some very biased views that came through in her writing in spades. However she is obviously a skilled writer that sets up a very complex, worthwhile mystery story.
Lay Me To Rest by E.A. Clark
Devastated by the death of her husband, Annie Philips is shocked to discover she is pregnant with his unborn child. Hoping for a fresh start, she travels to a remote stone cottage in Anglesey, amidst the white-capped mountains of North Wales. She settles in quickly, helped by her mysterious new neighbor, Peter. But everything changes when Annie discovers a small wooden box, inlaid with brass and mother-of-pearl. A box she was never supposed to find. Annie soon realizes that she isn’t alone in the cottage. And now she’s trapped. Can she escape the nightmare that she has awoken, or will the dark forces surrounding the house claim her life – and that of her baby?
I came in procession of this in book format thanks to a good friend...so far I have only seen this book in Kindle format at this time...so book only readers may have a difficult time finding it. If you do find it, don't hesitate to read it...if you have Kindle you are all set. It's a mystery...a thriller..and a paranormal story all rolled into one. The lead character...Annie...is in a really dark mood from the very opening. She's suffering from depression...taking antidepressants after the death of her husband...and just learns on top of everything else, she’s pregnant. I really liked the story but I wish Annie had had been a little more "with it". She accepted the concept of the ghost rather quickly and the ghost showed up once in broad daylight which took away some of the scariness. Still a really good story. I believe it is this authors first book and I plan to search for more.
Nothing Stays Buried by P.J. Tracy
Monkeewrench series Book #8
When Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are called to a crime scene in a heavily wooded city park, everything about the setting is all too familiar. And when they discover a playing card on the victim's body, their worst fears are confirmed—there’s a serial killer operating in the city for the first time in years. Across town, Grace MacBride and her unconventional partners at Monkeewrench Software find themselves at both personal and career crossroads. Weary of the darker side of their computer work for law enforcement, they agree to take on a private missing-persons case in a small farming community in southwestern Minnesota. As the violence accelerates in Minneapolis, Magozzi and Gino soon realize their killer is planning to complete the deck, and they enlist Monkeewrench to help stop the rampage. As a baffling tangle of evidence accumulates, the cops and Monkeewrench make the unlikely connections among a farmer’s missing daughter, a serial killer, and a decades-old stabbing that brings them face-to-face with pure evil.
I was so happy to see the daughter continue their work by giving us this addition to the series. The Monkeewrench Software computer geeks are asked to reopen a missing person case which rapidly turns into a case of serial homicide. The only thing I can say that was "off" about this one is if someone new to the series were to read this one first they wouldn't form the same connections to the Monkeewrench investigators and software team that we long-time readers do...because it just didn't seem to be there. However the few chapters that were from the killer’s perspective were excellent and gave us a very dark and twisted view of this individual. Still a great series and the "gang" is certainly worthwhile becoming acquainted with.
Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson
A Culinary Mystery #11
Goldy Shultz, owner of Goldilock’s Catering, has a booming business. Things have gotten so busy that she hired a new assistant, Liz Fury. Liz is a great cook and caterer, but her children cause her massive problems. Her son Teddy is a thief and is banned from the local upscale mall. Goldy, Liz, and Julian, Goldy’s original assistant and chef in training are catering a big preferred customer sale in the mall. Goldy was hired by the mall manager Barry, who is an old college friend of Goldy. Unfortunately, Barry is having problems with new mall construction, which is going at a snail’s pace, as well as multiple girlfriend troubles. Lots of accidents have been happening in and around the mall. Goldy suspects that Barry hired her for catering due to the fact that Goldy is a snoopy person. However, before Goldy can find out what is going on, Barry is found murdered in the shoe store of the mall; killed with one of Goldy’s new knives. Julian, who discovered Barry and a unconscious Goldy is arrested for murder. Goldy not only wants to free Julian from jail, she also got custody of Barry’s young Basset Hound named Latte.
This was a good read. Lots of new characters combine with the extensive original cast of characters. I still get tired of Goldy constantly renumerating the clues to the murder. It gets old very quickly for me as the reader. However, there is enough action to satisfy me, with lots of red herrings thrown in.
The Nowhere Child by Christian White
Kimberly Leamy is a photography teacher in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-six years earlier, Sammy Went, a two-year old girl vanished from her home in Manson, Kentucky. An American accountant who contacts Kim is convinced she was that child, kidnapped just after her birthday. She cannot believe the woman who raised her, a loving social worker who died of cancer four years ago, crossed international lines to steal a toddler. On April 3rd, 1990, Jack and Molly Went’s daughter Sammy disappeared from the inside their Kentucky home. Already estranged since the girl’s birth, the couple drifted further apart as time passed. Jack did his best to raise and protect his other daughter and son while Molly found solace in her faith. The Church of the Light Within, a Pentecostal fundamentalist group who handle poisonous snakes as part of their worship, provided that faith. Without Sammy, the Wents eventually fell apart. Now, with proof that she and Sammy are in fact the same person, Kim travels to America to reunite with a family she never knew she had. And to solve the mystery of her abduction―a mystery that will take her deep into the dark heart of religious fanaticism where she must fight for her life against those determined to save her soul.
A very good first novel. The pace was a tad slow to begin with but it soon picked up and the story grabbed my attention...specially when Kimberly went to America to meet the family she hadn't had any contact with in 28 years. It's difficult to say very much about the story without giving away a lot of spoilers...but I will say that I never saw the plot line coming that tied it all together. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes mystery...suspense...and a little crime.
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