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Kathy's (kmartin802's) 2nd 2019 Thread

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Apr 3, 11:28am Top

This begins my April - June thread.

Here's my first thread.

1. Live Bait by P. J. Tracy (400 p.) -- After a lull in murders in Minneapolis, Magozzi and Rolseth find themselves investigating the murders of elderly Jewish, Concentration Camp survivors. It seems that they all had secret lives as Nazi Hunters who killed at least one person a year for the last 50+ years while maintaining the image of mild mannered and civic minded citizens. It was a story about secrets. Magozzi and Grace are beginning a tentative relationship. Monkeewrench has switched the focus of their company from computer games to programs to help the police solve crimes. Love the characters.

2. Dead Run by P. J. Tracy (336 p.) -- 3rd Monkeewrench mystery. Grace, Annie and Sharon are on a road trip to Green Bay when car trouble puts them in an abandoned town and in danger from a militia planning a terrorist attack with nerve gas. Their men become concerned when the women drop out of contact and head to Wisconsin to search for them where they run into the FBI who is also involved with finding the terrorists. High tension in this one.

Apr 3, 12:31pm Top

Happy new thread!

Apr 4, 1:19am Top

3. Snow Blind by P. J. Tracy (323 p.) -- 4th Monkeewrench mystery. Magozzi and Gino are on the case when two snowmen at a contest are found to contain murder victims. They are even more involved when they learn the two men are cops. Then a 3rd snowman is found containing the body of a parole officer near the place where the parolee's abused wife has gone to hide. This one talks about domestic abuse and vigilantism. Magozzi and Gino are conflicted about finding the murders since they are likely part of the group of abused women hiding in Bitterroot. And, besides, despite their conviction that the murderers are in that community, they have no proof.

Apr 5, 10:41pm Top

4. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer (400 p.) -- Fairy tale mashup of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Beauty and the Beast, and Tam Lin set in a Russian/Siberian setting. Echo Alkaev needs to spend a year with an enchanted white wolf to save her father's life. There she explores mirror-books in the library where she meets and falls in love with Hal. She also comes to love the wolf who is under a curse by the Wolf Queen. When she fails to break the curse, she has to travel to where the wolf queen is keeping him and free him using the power of love. The story was filled with magic, lyrical language, and great imagination.

Edited: Apr 7, 12:37am Top

5. Wild Country by Anne Bishop (494 p.) - Reread. This time I listened to the audiobook - 17 hours and 57 minutes long.

Apr 7, 6:48pm Top

6. Lake Silence by Anne Bishop (414 p.) -- This is the audiobook version of a favorite story - 13 hours, 38 minutes.

Apr 8, 5:51pm Top

7. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (480 p.) -- Excellent epic science fiction for YAs. A group of misfits find themselves in the middle of a mess when a stowaway becomes the target of interest. Auri spent 200 years in cryosleep when her ship was lost in the Fold. Now she has new powers and lots of questions about the current time. All the characters are unique and interesting people. The banter among them is entertaining. The story is packed with action. The only problem is that it is the first of series and most issues are left unresolved.

Apr 9, 8:44pm Top

8. Spark by Sarah Beth Durst (320 p.) -- Middle grade fantasy. Quiet Mina finds her voice and her courage when she discovers that the perfect weather the storm beasts bring to Alloria comes at quite a cost to the other countries over the mountains. I loved Mina's relationship with her lightning beast Pixit. I loved that she found a way to make friends at the academy where she is being trained to use her lightning beast to help her country. I loved seeing that even quiet people can do big things.

Apr 11, 3:23pm Top

9. Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell (384 p.) -- 2nd Spellslinger books finds Kellen, Reichis, and Ferius in the Seven Sands region where they find a girl who might also be cursed with shadowblack and her guide who is another Argosi on the trail of a possible plague. The go to Seneira's home town of Teleidos where her father has created and runs the Academy which draws students from all countries. There they find that there is more going on than just a plague of shadowblack. Kellen is torn between another outlaw who promises to teach him how to survive and Ferius who is a very frustrating mentor. Great characters, great worldbuilding.

Apr 13, 6:30pm Top

10. The Dark Bones by Loreth Anne White (444 p.) -- Detective Rebecca North comes home to the town she fled years earlier to investigate the apparent suicide of her father. She is convinced he was murdered because he was getting to close to finding out what happened to two teens who went missing about twenty years earlier. Rebecca needs to work with Ash Haugen, the boy who betrayed her, in order to find out what happened all those years ago and how it caused her father's death. This was an emotionally charged and suspenseful story with well-developed characters.

11. Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist (384 p.) -- Excellent YA paranormal mystery. Lexi has a psychic gift which forces her to see when and how a person will die if she touches them. This gift isolates her. She's achingly lonely and starved for touch. She works in a club that shelters many paranormals in LA. One night she bumps into a girl and sees her brutal death. She can't help her but does go to find her ghost. She promises to help Jane find the person who murdered her. It is something of a mystery that she doesn't remember her death. While they try to figure out who murdered Jane, Lexi falls in love with her but fears that Jane will move on after the mystery is solved. I loved this story and Lexi.

Apr 14, 11:09pm Top

12. Very Bad Deaths by Spider Robinson (352 p.) -- Russell Walker is a suicidal man in his mid-fifties when his college roommate comes to him for help. Zandor, also known as Smelly, is a telepath who overheard a man planning to murder a Vancouver family. Zandor wants Russell to go to the police. After a major runaround, Russell meets Constable Nika Mandic when he foils a thief trying to steal her car. The only problem is that she is a school safety officer. This oddball trio seems overmatched but are determined to stop the murderer. Lots of snark, irreverence, wit, and vivid descriptions make this one a fun story.

Apr 18, 8:19pm Top

13. Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson (384 p.) -- Nice contemporary romance has Literature professor Bonnie Blythe kindling a romance with Theo Wharton whom she met the previous summer. She was attracted to him but was loyal to her fiance back at home. When she walks in on the fiance making love to another woman on a quilt made by her Grandmother Mary, Bonnie breaks the engagement, takes a summer job in Cambridge, and decides to explore her relationship with Theo. Theo is attracted to her too but, as an impoverished Duke, his mother is matchmaking with a vengeance to fins a suitable rich young woman for him to marry. Bonnie doesn't fit the profile. I liked Bonnie's strong group of friends and her love of literature.

14. Dancing with Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas (394 p.) -- Urban fantasy set in a Las Vegas controlled by werewolves. Delilah Street, investigative reporter, comes from Kansas when she sees a TV show where her lookalike plays a corpse. She meets a former FBI agent who dowses for corpses and adopts a wolfhound cross who has powers of his own. While investigating, she runs into a wide variety of paranormals including werewolves, vampires, and reanimated film stars from the Golden Age of film.

Apr 19, 10:38pm Top

15. Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag (503 p.) -- 3rd Kovac/Liska thriller focuses on events around the horrific death of a woman and two foster children. The investigation became an obsession of Detective Stan Dempsey. The accused murderer is Karl Dahl. The judge who is trying the case is Casey Moore. When Casey is attacked in a parking garage, Liska and Kovac get the case and need to try to figure out if the assault has to do with the homicide or if it is a more personal attack orchestrated by Casey's soon-to-be-ex husband. Then Karl escapes after a prison riot and Stan goes off to find his own kind of justice since the court can't be trusted. There were quite a number of possible villains all with plausible motives to sort through. And Kovac is falling for Casey who needs a knight in shining armor.

Apr 21, 10:48pm Top

16. Island of Glass by Nora Roberts (315 p.) -- Werewolf Riley and Immortal Doyle. The final book of the Guardians trilogy brings the six to Ireland where Doyle has to confront his past and deal with his guilt. Riley falls in love with Doyle but Doyle worries that she'll be just one more that he outlives. However, the dark goddess isn't planning to let any of them live more than a few days. They have to find the last star, find an invisible island, and totally defeat the dark goddess before they can have any future. Romantic, lyrical, magical.

Apr 23, 3:02pm Top

17. The Beyond (A Devil's Isle novel) by Chloe Neill (336 p.) -- A new threat has come to New Orleans and it might be the final threat. Seelie's bent of revenge and able to control the wind are going to halt the latest hurricane roaring through the gulf over New Orleans until the land is scrubbed clean. Claire and her companions have to assemble a never-tested weapon to strip the magic from the seelie and save the city.

Apr 23, 11:44pm Top

18. Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri (237 p.) -- 19-year-old Portia Adams meets her new guardian at her mother's graveside. Mrs. Jones is a mysterious woman who knew her grandmother and mother but has never met Portia. She sweeps her off to London where Portia has inherited 221 Baker Street from Dr. John Watson, the grandfather she never knew. Portia is studying law but also doing some detective work with Scotland Yard. This book includes a case about jewelry thefts, a case about a poisoner, and a case of possible kidnapping on a moving train. Portia is an intriguing character as is Mrs. Jones. Secrets are revealed about Portia's heritage that answer a lot of questions she has had about herself.

Apr 25, 8:09pm Top

19. The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair (336 p.) -- Excellent historical mystery set in London, 1946. Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge have set up a matrimonial agency but their fledgling business is in danger of going belly up if they can't solve the murder of one of their clients by another. Great dialog and great characters with lots of depth.

20. The Summer Country by Lauren Willig (480 p.) -- Complex family drama taking place in Barbados in 1854 and flashing back to 1812-16. Emily Dawson inherits a sugar plantation from her beloved grandfather and travels to Barbados to see it. She finds a burned out hulk and a mystery. As she tries to learn why her grandfather left it to her, she falls in love with Dr. Nathaniel Braithwaite who began life as a slave on the neighboring plantation which has a number of connections with her life and her family. The 1812 - 1816 portion tells of Charles Davenant who falls in love with the personal slave of his next door neighbor and their trials and tribulations when she has his child.

Apr 26, 4:16pm Top

21. Death in Kew Gardens by Jennifer Ashley (320 p.) -- 3rd Kat Holloway mystery has her trying to solve the murder of next door neighbor Sir Jacob Harkness who was an old China Hand while trying to keep her new Chinese friend Li Bai Chang from being taken up for the crime. This has to do with a priceless treasure stolen from China but has more villains than just for that crime. The new widow's companions are out to get everything she has and are willing to murder her to get them. I love the cast of characters in these mysteries. In each of them, Kat learns a bit more about the mysterious Daniel MacAdam and her relationship with him grows stronger.

Apr 26, 6:44pm Top

>17 kmartin802: Did you enjoy the Willig book?

Apr 27, 12:05am Top

22. Liaden Universe Constellation IV by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (336 p.) -- 4th collection of Liaden short stories, novellas, etc. I liked the stories that took place on Liad and Surebleak the best, I enjoyed Due Diligence because I've always been curious about Daav's father. This novella tells his story. I didn't care for Excerpts from Two Lives or Revolutionists because I thought they were confusing. I didn't know when they took place or where or who the characters were.

Apr 27, 11:47pm Top

23. The Book Supremacy by Kate Carlisle (288 p.) -- 13th Bibliophile adventure begins with Brooklyn and Derek on their honeymoon in Paris where Brooklyn finds him a rare copy of The Spy Who Loved Me and Derek meets Ned who was a friend from his spying days. Returning to San Francisco, they call on Owen, another former spy, who now runs a spy store named Spectre on Fisherman's Wharf. When Ned is killed and so is an employee of Spectre during an attempted break in, Brooklyn and Derek are on the case. Entertaining but a little repetitive. Liked the recipes and food descriptions. Also liked the idea of escape rooms.

Apr 30, 6:09pm Top

24. The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason (384 p.) -- Historical mystery set in London 1860 about a plot to assassinate Prince Albert before he can add Charles Darwin to the annual Honors List. A group of religious leaders, scientists, and businessmen disagree with Darwin's theories and hire a sociopathic killer named The Chorister to get Albert out of the way. The Chorister is a really creepy villain who kidnaps an assistant and brainwashes him. He has a number of others in his household and around the world who are also in his thrall and even his employers fear him. Inspector Charles Field, whom Dickens used as a model for his Inspector Bucket, has to track down the Chorister before he can execute his plans. Great setting and interesting cameos from some of the greats of the time period.

May 1, 5:25pm Top

25. Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon (288 p.) -- Callie Aspen moves to her new home in Heart's Harbor, Maine, and immediately has a mystery to solve. What happened to Monica Walker who disappeared in 1989? The famous actress was vacationing when she disappeared. The former tour guide has a number of suspects. Is it new arrival Quinn who is asking lots of questions about the actress? What does the newspaper editor know and who killed him because of it?

May 3, 12:16am Top

26. The Old Man in the Corner by Baroness Orczy (224 p.) -- Collection of short stories written about 1909 that are mysteries of a sort. The teahouse detective shares his observations about headlining crimes of the day with a young female reporter in a local teashop. The stories all follow the same format and were actually sort of boring. He uses logic to solve the crimes but doesn't share his information with the police who he thinks are a bunch of incompetents. Of course, he has no evidence or proof to support his conclusions. There wasn't any noticeable character development and we don't even learn the detective's name.

27. The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White (408 p.) -- Entertaining historical mystery that spans time from 1915 to 2015 and tells the story of three women. Caroline is the wife of a wealthy man with a crumbling marriage who is travelling with him on the Lusitania. She is hoping to repair her marriage with a man she deeply loves. He has a number of secrets. Tess Fairweather is also on the Lusitania hoping for a new and better life. After spending years as a con woman and forger with her sister, she is hoping to put all that behind her after this one new job. Also involved on the Lusitania is Robert Langford who has loved Caroline from afar for years and who is on a secret mission for his government. He helps Tess out and she falls in love with him. In 2013-2015, we have the story of Sarah Blake whose great-grandfather died on the Lusitania and who is an author desperately in need of a new book idea. She travels to England and meets John Langford who controls the archives she needs to find out what happened on the Lusitania.

May 8, 3:55pm Top

28. Gabriel's Road by Laura Anne Gilman (146 p.) -- This story tells about Gabriel's adventures after he leaves Isobel and finally comes to terms with his relationship to water, especially Grandmother River.

29. Written in Red by Anne Bishop -- re-read

30. Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop -- re-read

31. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs (368 p.) -- With preparations underway for a meeting between officials of the US Government and the Grey Lords, this isn't the time for a new group of witches who practice black magic to come to try to disrupt things. But Mercy needs to stop the witches - one of whom makes zombies - before their plans succeed. She calls on old friends Zee and Tad among others and even recruits old enemies. Coyote has plans of his own and recruits Mercy as his agent too.

May 9, 8:31pm Top

32. Tightrope by Amanda Quick (320 p.) -- 3rd Burning Cove historical mystery stars former trapeze artist turned owner of a B&B Amalie and Matthias Jones who is an engineer and investigator with supposed mob connections. When Amalie's only guest is murdered onstage by the robot he created, Matthias knows there is more to the story. Amalie wants to save the reputation of the business she sunk all her money into. As the investigate, the discovers a stolen cipher machine and a spy out for revenge. And Amalie has problems of her own as the partner of the man who tried to murder her wants to finish his partner's work. Lots of interesting characters and a nice romance too.

May 11, 12:55am Top

33. Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop -- re-read

34. Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop -- re-read

May 12, 12:27am Top

35. Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop -- re-read

May 12, 4:16pm Top

36. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (416 p.) -- First book in new fantasy series based on Japanese mythology. Half-kitsune Yumeko has to carry a piece of the dragon scroll to a hidden temple after the temple where she was raised was burned down and all of her guardians killed. Kage Tatsumi who carries a cursed sword and is possessed by a demon who tries to take over has been sent by his clan to get the piece of the scroll any way he can. They travel together with Yumeko keeping the secret of her heritage and her possession of the piece of the scroll he wants and find all sorts of enemies who also want the pieces of the dragon scroll. They also gather allies along the way. Lots of excitement, battles, and mythological creatures fill the pages.

May 13, 5:03pm Top

37. Shoot to Thrill by P. J. Tracy (402 p.) -- The Monkeewrench gang and Magozzi and Rolseth are looking into a series of killings that are videoed for the Web and are advertised before they are committed. This one talks a lot about the Dark Side of the Web. It had a lot of action and a lot of interesting characters.

May 14, 11:52am Top

38. Straight by Dick Francis (426 p.) - Steeplechase jockey Derek Franklin inherits his brother's life after Greville dies in a freak accident. Greville and Derek had only reconnected a few years earlier. Because of a large age difference, they weren't close until Derek grew up. Greville was a gemologist with his own business and a magistrate. Derek learns that Greville had bought diamonds for a client and that the diamonds are now missing. Derek has to find them or the business is ruined. There is also some sort of issue with the racehorses his brother also bought. Derek is a Francis hero - honorable, smart, and stoically brave.

May 15, 1:12pm Top

39. The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre (271 p.) -- First in a paranormal romance series. Pru and Dom both had other loves before Pru saved him from himself which bring both of them a lot of guilt and insecurity. Their relationship can't be the foreground though because the peace accords are breaking up and their refuge is under siege. Engaging and spicy.

Edited: May 16, 5:31pm Top

40. Shout of Honor by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (86 p.) -- Novella stars Yxtrang Ambassador Vepal and takes place on a space station where is recruiting fair is going on. Perdition Enterprises is recruiting for a mission they don't want to share details about. Vepal is suspicious. Vepal meets Jinjee Sanchez who is also suspicious about getting her mercenary troop involved. Together, they thwart this plot by the Department of the Interior and begin a romance. Vepal also gets rid of his traitorous pilot and learns more about the strengths of his Rifle. At the end, he's off to Surebleak.

Edited: May 16, 5:31pm Top

41. Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong (304 p.) -- Twisty thriller when suburban housewife Aubrey sees a young boy abducted and no one believes her. She's separated from her husband because she feels guilt for her secret past and worried that her involvement will jeopardize her custody of her 3-year-old daughter Charlotte. But as a mother herself, she needs to step up and do something no matter the consequences. I liked Aubrey even though I thought she was lacking in confidence about her relationship to her husband and her skills as a mother.

May 18, 12:48am Top

42. Off the Grid by P. J. Tracy (320 p.) -- 6th in the Monkeewrench series deals with stopping a flash mob of terror on US soil and kidnapping Native girls to work in the sex trade. Grace is sailing off the Florida coast with John Smith when their ship is boarded and two Saudi Nationals attempt to assassinate John. Grace kills them and dumps their bodies overboard. They head back to Minneapolis to alert the rest of the Monkeewrench gang and ending up fleeing to the Elbow Lake Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota for a battle between Natives and terrorists. Fast-paced and engaging.

43. The Sixth Idea by P. J. Tracy (315 p.) -- Monkeewrench #7 has Magozzi, Gino and the Monkeewrench gang dealing with a plot that has its roots in a scientific project that began in World War II but finally has the technological power to be implemented now. Descendants of the original scientists are being murdered and a secret group is planning to unleash their new weapon in the near future. Fast-paced and twisty.

44. A Spell of Trouble by Leighann Dobbs (353 p.) -- Paranormal mystery that begins a self-published series. Issy and her cousins are all witches in a small town filled with paranormals. When a local troublemaker is murdered by dark magic, they need to find the killer before the FBPI can sweep in and take all the paranormals they can find to a secret location to experiment on. Issy falls for Agent Dex Nolan who doesn't really believe in magic or paranormals.

May 19, 2:15pm Top

45. The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald (417 p.) -- Space opera based on Australian folklore. Lt. Jodenny Scott has survived an explosion on her previous ship that killed hundreds including most of her friends. She was gravely injured and still has holes in her memory. She finagles her way onto a new ship and finds herself on an unhappy ship with all sorts of mysteries and secrets. She falls in love with Sergeant Terry Myell who was falsely accused of rape and is the victim of systematic bullying. Their romance is a problem because of their different ranks. Interesting worldbuilding with a FTL system left by aliens who also left strange monuments on the planets they terraformed for humans. Full of danger and action and first in a series.

May 19, 6:53pm Top

46. Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer (368 p.) -- Angst-filled YA contemporary. Rob's father was charged with stealing millions from his clients including parents of people at Rob's school. Then he tried to commit suicide, failed leaving himself brain damaged and helpless, and left his wife and son to take care of him . Rob's become a social pariah at his school and lost all his friends. Maegan is an A-student in tons of AP classes but a moment of pressure caused her to cheat on the SATs. She was caught which made all the scores at that session invalid. She is also struggling when her older sister comes home from college pregnant and refusing to tell her parents who the father is. Her sister also doesn't know what to do about her pregnancy. Then Rob and Maegan are assigned to be partners in a school project which forces two kids who didn't know each other and already having enough on their plates, to work together. They find support in each other and fall in love. Excellent and very readable.

May 20, 4:05pm Top

47. Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (368 p.) -- First Maggie Hope mystery. Great World War II setting and entertaining mystery. Maggie, despite her summa cum laude degree in Mathematics, finds herself working in the typing pool for new Prime Minister Winston Churchill where she encounters spies, codes, IRA terrorists, and some romance.

May 21, 2:00pm Top

48. Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger (288 p.) -- FBI Agent Nell Flynn comes home to Suffolk County to spread the ashes of her father Homicide Detective Martin Flynn and finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and a prostitution ring. At one point, she even considers that her father could have been the murderer. She's certain that the Police Department is rife with corruption. Fast-paced and filled with tension.

May 22, 9:12pm Top

49. Mary Russell's War by Laurie R. King (300 p.) -- This anthology of ten Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell stories fill in some of the missing pieces in the series. I enjoyed the story of Sherlock and Mary's marriage. I liked seeing their first meeting from Sherlock's point of view. I liked learning more about Mary's childhood.

May 22, 9:32pm Top

50. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanna Fluke (336 p.) -- 1st in Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series has Hannah solving the mystery of high school big man on campus and current dairy truck driver. It introduces Hannah and her business partner Lisa, Hannah's matchmaking mother and real estate agent sister, her brother-in-law the cop and two potential love interests. Lots of great cookie recipes too.

May 23, 10:24pm Top

51. Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews (400 p.) -- Siren Catalina Baylor is now the Head of House Baylor and feels like she's out of her depth. The House is coming out of their three-year protection period and it's time to form alliances. Taking on Runa Etterson's case investigating the death of her mother and sister is not necessarily a good move. But it is the right thing to do and Baylors always try to do the right thing. Catalina finds herself in lots of danger and finds that she also has a guardian angel in Alessandro Sagredo her long-time crush - who isn't the useless but beautiful playboy his Instagram shows. Alessandro is a man with all sorts of secrets of his own. His secrets and her fear of beguiling him make their romance a perilous and tentative thing. The banter is wonderful. There is all kinds of cool magic and action. Seems to be the first book in a new trilogy as it has some dangling plot threads including the romance.

May 25, 12:46am Top

52. Thrice Burned by Angela Misri (314 p.) -- Portia is coming to terms with the fact that she is the granddaughter of both Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes and her guardian/grandmother is the formerly notorious Irene Adler. She is busy in law school but there are still mysteries that she is working on: an arson case, a bold thief who calls out his crime, disappearing prostitutes, and a fake Consulting Detective P. C. Adams. She is also making more friends among the gentlemen including Constable Brian Dawes, Dr. Gavin Whitaker, and her grandmother's favorite who happens to be the son of a Duke.

May 27, 5:59pm Top

53. No Matter How Improbable by Angela Misri (322 p.) -- 3rd in the Portia Adams historical mystery series. Portia works on a number of cases and uses her unique skills to help Scotland Yard. She helps a princess who is being blackmailed, prostitutes who are worried by some colleagues who supposedly committed suicide, and the suicide of one of her police mentors. She also deals with a broken relationship when her boyfriend begins hanging out with unsavory colleagues. Of course, she might have a new relationship with her downstairs tenant Constable Brian Dawes now that he has broken up with his girlfriend Annie who is still one of Portia's friends. Portia also gets to know her grandfather Sherlock Holmes better.

54. Nothing Stays Buried by P. J. Tracy (317 p.) -- A Minneapolis serial killer, a missing farmer's daughter, and drug cartels combine for the mystery in this one which involves the Monkeewrench gang going to rural southern Minnesota to try to track down a missing woman and Magozzi and Rolseth trying to find a serial killer targeting women in the Twin Cities.

Jun 1, 10:02pm Top

55. Written in Red by Anne Bishop -- reread

56. Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop -- reread

57. Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop -- reread

58. Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop -- reread

59. Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop -- reread

Jun 2, 10:27pm Top

60. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King (357 p.) -- The first Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes novel introduces 15-year-old Mary to retired Sherlock Holmes. He takes her as his apprentice and this story covers a span of 4 years as she learns from him and goes to Oxford to study theology. The cases include a kidnapping of a six-year-old and attempted murder of Sherlock, Mary, and everyone close to Sherlock by a villain who has ties to his past. I loved the period detail and changes in Britain during WWI. I loved the way Mary and Sherlock become friends. I like that they challenge each other.

Jun 3, 10:31pm Top

61. The Pawful Truth by Miranda James (288 p.) -- Librarian Charlie Harris and his cat Diesel find their next case when Charlie decides to audit a class on medieval history. First, the only other "mature" student in the class is found murdered after Charlie overheard an angry exchange between her and the professor. Next, the professor is found murdered. Charlie, having more than his fair share of curiosity and an in at the college, helps the police figure out who did it. This was a gentle Southern cozy with a couple entertaining cats. Charlie is older and a devoted grandfather. I liked that his knowledge of literature helped him solve the crime.

Jun 5, 7:07pm Top

62. Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg (330 p.) -- Wonderfully engaging story of a young woman who learns that she was kidnapped by her father and that the mother she thought dead had been searching for her for 15 years. Ally Smith loves her life in small town Wisconsin. Her dad is her best friend but she has a wide circle of other loyal friends. The deception doesn't come to light until she applies for college. Then her dad is arrested, her mother sweeps in to take her from her home and friends and remove her to Florida where she wants her to be the daughter she had envisioned during all the years she was lost. Ally is angry at her father and at her mother and deeply, deeply unhappy. I loved the way she reclaimed her identity and her future now with the addition of another family or two.

63. Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh (398 p.) -- SnowDancer Lieutenant Alexei discovers Empath Memory imprisoned in a bunker on SnowDancer land. She was captured at age 8 by a psychopath who used her abilities. He's had her 15 years. He's also convinced Memory that she is a monster. Alexei brings Memory to an Empath training center. She has a very rare ability. Meanwhile, the PsyNet is failing and powerful Psy are trying to find a way to fix it. If they fail millions of Psy will die. Alexei and Memory fall in love but Alexei has a fear that he will go rogue as his brother and father did and kill anyone who gets close to him.

Jun 7, 11:18pm Top

64. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (352 p.) -- Excellent and funny contemporary romance. Nina Hill is content with her life working in a bookstore and hanging out with her friends. But when the father she never met died, he left her something in his will and a family including two ex-wives, three sisters and one brother, nieces and nephews, and even great-nieces and great-nephews. From being the only child of an absent, globe-trotting mother to part of a horde is quite an adjustment for anxiety-prone Nina. Then there's the cute guy who is a member of another trivia team who would like to get to know her better. At work, the owner is in danger of losing the bookstore which is Nina's security blanket. I loved all the references to books. I loved Nina as she tried to get used to having a family. The book was laugh-out-loud funny.

65. The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey (366 p.) -- New Valdemar series starring Mags and Amily's children. Mags takes his oldest son Perry with him when he goes to investigate some disappearances on the border of Valdemar and the Pelagirs. Perry has the gift of animal mindspeech which comes in handy when he becomes the companion of a kyree named Larral. They discover that an insane person with very powerful mindspeech is kidnapping people and has even mindcontrolled a troop of mercenaries. Against Mags' orders, Perry goes undercover inside the kidnapper's fortress in the guise of a mentally challenged Dog-Boy to uncover what is going on. The story was exciting and fast-paced. I enjoyed getting to know Perry.

Jun 8, 9:22pm Top

66. Eye Spy by Mercedes Lackey (368 p.) -- Mags and Amily's daughter Abi has been well-trained by her parents to become a spy and a protector for her friends in the royal family. She discovers a unique talent that lets her feel, and later see, the stress in non-living things when she sees a bridge collapse just before it happens. She is sent to be trained as a Artificer which makes her an enemy in Dudley Remp who is a bully. When he attacks her, she breaks his finger and a truth spell shows his intent which gets him expelled. She helps discover a hidden treasure and, for her Master Work, designs a new bridge to replace the one that collapsed. She's sent with other Masters to fix things in a land area that borders Valdemar and is thinking of joining. There the company meets enemies and Abi needs to use her talents as a spy to solve that problem. Great coming of age story.

Jun 9, 12:37pm Top

67. The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig (371 p.) -- Historical mystery about three women from different times and a ruby necklace that links them. Olive (1892) poses as a housemaid to clear the reputation of her father and falls in love with a son of the house. Lack of faith causes her to leave him and marry another man. Her daughter Lucy (1920) takes a secretarial job in a law firm to learn whether or not the son of the house was her father, meets another man looking for clues about his father's past, falls in love with him but marries another when she learns that he has a wife and son. her daughter Kate (1944) is a doctor who cares for war wounded Captain Cooper Ravenel who carried a miniature with a picture that looks like her. The woman in the miniature is also wearing the ruby pendant Kate inherited from her mother. Together they try to unravel the past.

Jun 10, 5:27pm Top

68. The Demon Prince by Ann Aguirre (348 p.) -- 2nd book in Ars Numina series. This is the romance between Prince Alastor and Dr. Sheyla Halek. Two different cultures and personalities give lots of opportunities for clashes. They get to know each other as they rush to the rescue of the town of Hallowell and fight battles along the way.

Jun 12, 1:54pm Top

69. Deeper than the Dead by Tami Hoag (421 p.) -- Twisty thriller about a serial killer hiding behind a perfect outer facade. When 4 of Anne Novarre's 5th grade students fall over a body, she finds herself in the middle of an investigation. Vince Leone, on leave from the FBI's Behavioral unit after a gunshot to the brain, comes to add his expertise and falls in love with Anne.

Jun 12, 5:24pm Top

70. Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag (449 p.) -- When an artist and single mother is found brutally murdered. Anne steps in to try to help her traumatized 4-year-old Haley while Vince and the Sheriff's Department try to find the killer. There are lots of suspects because Marissa had an active social life. There are lots of questions about Marissa too. Who is the father of her daughter? What is going on with her patron Milo Bordain? Are any of her men friends suspects? Add in Anne's work with 12-year-old psychopath Dennis Farman and danger is coming at her from a number of directions. Meanwhile, Tony is crushing on Sara Morgan who is the wife of one of the suspects in the See-No-Evil murders.

Jun 13, 5:27pm Top

71. Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag (421 p.) -- Lauren Lawson's perfect life fell apart when her 16-year-old daughter Leslie was kidnapped. She became obsessed with finding her; her husband committed suicide; and her younger daughter Leah feels abandoned. She moves to Oak Knoll to stalk the man she is sure committed the crime. Tony Mendez would like to help her but law enforcement has limited options because Roland Ballencoa has never been convicted of committing the crime and is also very quick to sue police departments he feels are harassing him. Multiple viewpoints. Great suspense and well-developed characters.

Jun 14, 3:07pm Top

72. Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal (384 p.) -- 2nd Maggie Hope adventure. This time Maggie is undercover as Princess Elizabeth's math tutor and looking for German spies in Windsor Castle. She solves a murder, unmasks spies, and prevents a kidnapping. She also learns more about her parents and their past.

Jun 16, 12:48pm Top

73. A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King (303 p.) -- 2nd Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell mystery takes place just as Mary is claiming her inheritance. She has graduated from Oxford with degrees in Theology and Chemistry. She meets old friend Ronnie who introduces her to Margery Childe who has started a church/social reform organization. Mary is intrigued with Margery's theology but has concerns about her organization since a number of wealthy young female supporters have died in "accidents" after willing money to Margery's cause. When her friend Ronnie is almost killed and Mary is kidnapped, Sherlock steps in to find Mary and the two solve the case. This one also concerns Mary and Sherlock's relationship now that Mary is an adult.

Jun 17, 1:42pm Top

74. A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King (304 p.) -- Mary and Sherlock's next mystery begins with a visit from an old friend they met in Palestine. Dorothy Ruskin is an amateur archaeologist who has uncovered a potentially church-shaking letter from Mary Magdalene indicating that she was one of Jesus's apostles. When Dorothy dies in a suspicious hit-and-run, Mary and Sherlock try to discover who killed her and why. Excellent historical detail and intriguing plot.

Jun 19, 5:39pm Top

75. The Moor by Laurie R. King (319 p.) -- Mary and Sherlock return to the setting of the Hound of the Baskervilles to investigate a new case of supernatural carriages and one-eyed dogs. Sherlock has an old friend there - Sabine Baring-Gould - who is dying but would like the case solved before he does. Great descriptions of a difficult terrain and great partnership between Mary and Holmes.

76. The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson (277 p.) -- Lawyer brothers rent the offices once rented by Sherlock Holmes and find themselves the recipients of letters sent to the famous detective. One 20 year old letter sends younger brother Nigel to LA and to the rescue. Older brother Reggie follows after to find his brother who might have murdered the law firms clerk before he left. Reggie is the main character and we follow his investigations as he tries to track down his brother and solve the 20 year old mystery which has modern implications.

Jun 20, 5:35pm Top

77. A Highlander Walks Into a Bar by Laura Trentham (336 p.) -- Contemporary Romance. Izzy Buchanan is a little surprised when her mother Rose brings back a man from her vacation in Scotland. Gareth seems like a nice guy but Izzy is concerned that he may be interested in her mother's land instead of her mother. Besides the two of them should be busy planning the annual Scottish games in Highland, Georgia. When Alasdair comes looking for his uncle Gareth fearing the Earl has been taken in by someone who wants his land and money, he doesn't expect to fall in love with Highland and with Izzy. Fun romance.

Jun 21, 12:24am Top

78. The Duke Is But a Dream by Anna Bennett (320 p.) -- Entertaining historical romance. Miss Lily Hartley is the secret author of the advice column for debutantes that's setting the Ton on its ear. The Duke of Stonebridge is a man who had a tragedy in his past and doesn't trust his heart. When he rescues her from a bar fight and takes her home, she awakens with no memory of her name or her past. They fall in love while trying to find out who she is. Sublot: his younger sister has fallen for a very unsuitable suitor in part based on advice from Lily's columns.

Jun 21, 9:57am Top

Congrats on racing past the goal!

Edited: Jun 23, 10:45pm Top

79. Death in a Budapest Butterfly by Julia Buckley (300 p.) -- Story steeped in Hungarian culture, language and food at the expense of the mystery. Hana Keller and her family run a tea house. When one of their guests sips from one of Hana's favorite cups and dies, Hana and family help the police discover who wanted her dead and who killed her. There is also a romance between Hana and Detective Erik Wolf and a psychic element too. Also Hana has cats which adds pets to the story.

Edited: Jun 26, 3:05pm Top

80. Lake Silence by Anne Bishop (414p.) -- reread

Jun 26, 3:05pm Top

81. Reflex by Dick Francis (404 p.) -- Steeplechase jockey and photographer Philip Nore finds himself in the middle of a mystery when he is given a file of photographer George Millace's mistakes after Millace's accidental death. He learns that the photographic puzzles conceal blackmail materials that Millace had on a number of racing world wrong-doers. Now Philip is their target because they don't want their secrets revealed. Meanwhile, Philip is uncovering secrets of his own about the family he didn't know he had as he searches for the younger sister he didn't know he had before the grandmother who threw his pregnant 17-year-old mother out of her home and refused any contact with her. Philip is a fascinating character.

Jun 27, 4:49pm Top

82. The Chase by Janet Evanovich (303 p.) -- 2nd Fox and O'Hare mystery. Kate and Nick need to break into the Smithsonian to steal a forged artifact before it can cause embarrassment to the US when it is returned to China. They have to find the original which was stolen for a former Chief of Staff who now runs a black ops organization. Lots of fun in this fast-paced story. I liked the quirky side characters and the sexual tension between Kate and Nick.

Jun 28, 1:08pm Top

83. I, Robot: To Protect by Mickey Zucker Reichert (385 p.) -- Hard Science Fiction based on Isaac Asimov's I, Robot. Dr. Susan Calvin is a psychiatry resident in Manhattan in 2035 when she meets N8-C (Nate) who is a robot who could pass for a man and who was created by the company her father works for. Nate is pretty much confined to the hospital and menial work because of the number of protesters who fear robots. Susan is a genius who gets involved with a research project which is injecting nanobots into the brains of psychiatric patients to try to find out ways to better treat them. When some of the patients behave as terrorists with bombs strapped to their bodies, Susan and the rest of the team need to find out if it is an effect of the study or sabotage. There is also a romance with a fellow doctor who dies a hero.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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