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Reviews 1 to 25 of 216
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Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling, Bk 13)
reviewed on + 102 more book reviews

definitely a keeper.

The Hanging Tree (Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan, Bk 21)
hardtack avatar reviewed on + 2164 more book reviews

While I enjoy this series, some of the books in it seem over played, in that they are excessively gruesome and convoluted. But I really enjoyed this one. In fact, I think it is one of Doherty's best about Brother Athelstan and Sir John Cranston.

It took me overly long to figure out how the murders in the locked room occurred. You would think after reading so many books with this common plot device, I would have known. Alas, it wasn't until late in the book when Doherty drops the hint I realized how it was done.

And I had to admire how Thibault---the series' most hated good guy---overcame his promise to allow the bad guy off free and eliminated his foes. But what a shame he came off with all the credit too.

Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, Bk 3)
legal22 avatar reviewed on + 125 more book reviews

Another action packed Elvis Cole by Robert Crais

A Vacation to Die For (A Tourist Trap Mystery)
reviewed on + 1432 more book reviews

A Vacation to Die For by Lynn Cahoon is the fourteenth A Tourist Trap Mystery. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series. If you read the series in order, it will allow you to get to know the characters and the town. Lynn Cahoon has a conversational writing style that makes her stories easy to read. Jill and Greg are engaged and living together in Jill's charming seaside home. They are getting ready to take a long weekend to a nearby oceanside town. Jill is glad to getaway because a hotel developer has been bothering her. Max Winter wants to put a hotel on her property and has offered her a sizable amount of money. Jill has no intention of selling her beloved home. Jill and Greg are enjoying their holiday until Greg gets called back to South Cove when a man walks into the police station with a knife sticking out of his stomach. Jill enjoys the rest of her vacation with her bestie, Amy. When Jill returns to town, Greg refuses to give her any details on the case. She does know that they victim has yet to be identified. Jill cannot help it if she happens upon helpful information on Greg's case. Evie, one of Jill's employees, is having trouble with her ex-husband and ex-sister-in-law. They want a clock that was given to her by her deceased father-in-law, and they are do not take no for an answer. The mystery was on the light side. I kept waiting for something (anything) to happen. It all comes together at the end with the reveal. I wanted more mystery and less of Jill jogging with Emma, eating, and reading. I am not a fan of how Greg treats Jill at times. He tells her not to job on the beach because a killer is on the loose or tells her not to investigate (I am not sure why Jill puts up with it). Jill and Greg are working on their wedding plans. They are picking the date and venue. Jill is nervous because they have yet had a discussion regarding their finances. Readers who prefer the cozy over the mystery will enjoy this story. A Vacation to Die For is a sweet story, but I felt it needed some action (a little oomph) and definitely more investigating. I did find one thing a little odd. Jill sat writing out checks to pay her personal bills and then was mailing them out. This is a digital age where everything can be taken care of online. Another item that bugged me is all the ârulesâ Aunt Jackie has put in place regarding Jill's business. If Jill finds them annoying or unnecessary, I do not know why she does not say something. A Vacation to Die For is a charming cozy with a troublesome ex-relative, a weekend away, a determined developer, an importunate mayor, tasty sweets, a mysterious victim, a curious clock, timely repasts, and premarital planning.

Last But Not Leashed: A Veterinarian Cozy Mystery (Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries, 2)
reviewed on + 1432 more book reviews

Last but Not Leashed by Eileen Brady is the second novel in A Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries. It can be read as a standalone for those who have not read Saddled with Murder. Eileen Brady has a conversational writing style. It makes her stories easy to read. I found the pacing to be on the leisurely side as we follow Dr. Kate about her day-to-day life. I enjoyed the scenes where Dr. Kate is treating her patients. Mr. Pitt's condition will upset animal lovers (I know it is fiction, but what this dog endured happens in real life). I like the secondary characters especially Kate's office staff, but I feel they need to be fleshed out (a little flat). I did not find the scenes regarding Kate's relationship with Luke to be enjoyable. They were uncomfortable and they added nothing to the book (in my opinion). The mystery had some interesting parts. Sookie Overman, a professional organizer, is murdered outside the community center after giving a lecture (and being rude to some of the attendees). Kate finds herself curious about the crime. When the victim's husband, Glenn offers a reward for certain information, Kate teams up with Rainbow (an unusual woman who is good at mathematics and coding). The reward money would help Kate with her student loans. Kate hopes she can trust Rainbow whose moral compass is skewed. Kate gathers information with help from her friends while Rainbow dives into the dark web. The mystery moves along at a relaxed pace. There are a couple of suspects and a red herring. I thought the clues were pointed. I found that the mystery could be solved long before the reveal. While I knew the who, I was not sure of the why (had an inkling, but I needed more data). I followed Kate as she sought information on the case. Kate, the veterinarian, manages to outwit the police and solve the case. The book does contain mild foul language (I especially detested the use of the word that rhymes with witch). My favorite scene was Dr. Kate treating a chihuahua called Little Man. My family had a chihuahua for almost twenty years, and he behaved similarly to the one in the book (lots of growling with teeth bared). My mother treated him like a baby similarly to Little Man's owner. I enjoyed Kate's conversations with Gramps. They are sweet. The author captured winter with the snow, ice, the bitterly cold temperatures, and travel troubles because you are snowed in. Last but Not Leashed is a cute creature cozy with a slain professional organizer, a curious cashier, a wounded bowwow, a party surprise, romantic woes, a generous reward, and an inquisitive veterinarian.

Back to the Garden: A Novel
reviewed on + 1432 more book reviews

The blurb for Back to the Garden by Laurie R. King had me intrigued. I was looking forward to reading this police procedural (it is not a cozy mystery). The book involves an investigation into a cold case, but our investigator is also trying to identify victims of another serial killer before it is too late. The story goes back and forth between the past (in the 70s) and the present. I had trouble with the author's writing style. She is a descriptive writer which makes the story move slowly. We are introduced to a number of characters. I found Inspector Raquel Laing overshadowed by some of the other characters. Raquel needed more development plus she was boring. The chapters focusing on The Highwayman case were monotonous (they were helpful for my insomnia). I discerned that Raquel is disabled (we are told she uses a cane often enough), she is a lesbian (cue the love interest), she can read micro-expressions (be prepared for mind-numbing details), and she has no qualms about breaking the rules (of course). I did not find her to be a likeable character. There were some characters that were not needed (like the woman who blushed all the time). The 1970s timeline was developed. The author certainly captured the time period and the feel of the era. The mystery was well-done, but it a cinch to solve (before I was a tenth of the way through the book). The mystery is resolved at the end. The ending, though, was abrupt which did not go with the rest of the book (and it felt like it took me years to get to the end). The pacing is agonizingly slow. It does pick up towards the end of the book. The story needed action, suspense, and fewer pages. The story does contain an extensive amount of foul language and crude language (which I found offensive). I struggled to get through Back to the Garden. It is just my type of story. I encourage you to obtain a sample to judge for yourself. Back to the Garden is a police procedural with an extensive estate, strange statues, a dreadful discovery, and a dogged detective.

The First Counsel
ixstitch avatar reviewed on + 13 more book reviews

A thriller, but seems highly unbelievable (aren't most of them). No way that one person to avoid Secret Service so many times. Politics can be seedy and this book definitely leaned toward that. There were some redeeming aspects of the characters, and I enjoyed the book, but in the end I felt it went on too long.

Wolf Wars
reviewed on + 9 more book reviews

An interesting trip through the long, complicated process of environmental activism in returning wolves to the Yellowstone Park wilderness. Other books relate the lives of wolves after they were reintroduced.

Nine Lives
robinmy avatar reviewed on + 1895 more book reviews

A letter arrives in the mail with no return address. Inside is a single piece of paper with nine names. Each name on the list received this letter. No one knows what to make of it until one of the people on the list is murdered. The next day another person on the list is dead. These people are strangers. They have no connections that they know of. A detective who worked the first murder is trying to determine who sent the letters, while an FBI agent is trying to contact every name on the list which includes her own.

This was an interesting premise. The story is patterned after Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Each chapter is devoted to one of the people on the list. Each time I wasn't sure if they'd be alive at the end of the chapter.

I thought the ending was a bit of a letdown. The reasoning for the murders just didn't work for me. But it was an entertaining read nonetheless. My rating: 4 Stars.

Cleaning the Gold
robinmy avatar reviewed on + 1895 more book reviews

Detective Will Trent is on an undercover assignment. He's searching for a suspect in a long-ago murder of a cop. His quarry is working at Fort Knox, where Jack just got a job. Now all he has to do is get some DNA from the suspect...Jack Reacher. Jack is on his own mission at Fort Knox. He is looking for evidence of a criminal ring working out of this location. Eventually the two band together to bring down a criminal organization.

This novella puts together Will Trent and Jack Reacher. I liked the plot. I just wish the story had been longer. My rating: 3.5 Stars.

On Opposite Sides (Texas Cattleman's Club: Ranchers and Rivals, Bk 3) (Harlequin Desire, No 2881)
scoutmomskf avatar reviewed on + 2193 more book reviews

Good enemies-to-lovers book. Chelsea's family is embroiled in a battle with the Thurstons over the oil rights on the Grandin's land. But when Nolan spots Chelsea from across the street, her name is the last thing on his mind. When the two meet, there is no denying the sparks that fly between them. Despite their feuding families, they go out on a date together. Each of them tells their families that the idea is to pump the other for information that can help in the battle.

Chelsea is tired of being underestimated by her father and grandfather. She has devoted her life to the family ranch, but her father intends to leave the running the ranch to her only brother, Vic, because he is a man. It doesn't matter that Chelsea knows more about what goes into it than Vic does. Chelsea's male family members are prime examples of the patriarchal mindset, and it is increasingly evident that Vic can do no wrong. Chelsea believes that if she can acquire information that will save the ranch, her family will have to admit her worth.

Nolan left Royal when he was eighteen because he felt unappreciated. Instead, he found his calling doing location searches for production companies. Nolan returned to Royal to support his brother, Heath, and attempt to make amends for leaving to follow his dreams. Nolan doesn't understand Heath's reasons for pushing so hard about the oil rights, though Heath tries to explain.

I enjoyed watching the relationship develop between Chelsea and Nolan. Because each had entered the relationship with ulterior motives, neither believed anything could come of it. This allowed them to be themselves instead of trying to be what the other person wanted. It wasn't long before they ditched the spying plan and enjoyed being together. I loved seeing them get to know each other, especially how Nolan brought out Chelsea's adventurous side. As their attraction intensified and grew into deeper feelings, both struggled to reconcile those feelings with their duty to their families. I rooted for them to find a way to do what was right for them.

I almost despaired of that happening when family interference caused a rift between them. Fortunately, they realized the truth of their feelings before it was too late. There was a very emotional scene at the end as they found a way to live their lives apart from their families' conflict. I hope to see more of them in future books, and I can't wait to see how the conflict ends.

Sisterhood of Sleuths
BoysMom avatar reviewed on + 503 more book reviews

Sisterhood of Sleuths by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With mystery, family, friendships, and secrets, SISTERHOOD OF SLEUTHS has something for everyone.

Sisterhood of Sleuths is an entertaining middle-grade novel featuring both a mystery and the effects of growing up on friendships. It feels like the main character, Maizy, is faced with change from all sides: at school with her best friend, Izzy, at home with her older brother leaving for his first year at college, and even in her relationship with her beloved Jacuzzi who is definitely keeping secrets.

The author subtly portrays how individuals mature at different rates, with their interests evolving along the way. She shows how friendships also change over time. For some, the changes are gradual and gentle but leave others, sometimes, sorrowful and bereft. I loved how that theme was developed to include the three generations of women in Maizy's family, how those relationships were damaged, and how they are eventually resolved.

I felt the Nancy Drew plotline was brilliant: how it connected the generations and the actual history of the series, its beginnings, the revisions of the 50s, and Mildred Wirt Benson's entire story. I particularly liked the parallels Maizy could draw between herself and Benson's experiences.

With its emphasis on friendships, especially at the middle-school age range, the mystery of Jacuzzi's old photo, Cam's rejection of stereotypically feminine dress and assignments, and the sprinkling of that unique style of middle-school boy humor from Link and Ben in the school project, the story has a little something for everyone. I recommend SISTERHOOD OF SLEUTHS to middle-grade fiction readers, especially those who enjoy the Nancy Drew series and those experiencing changes in their childhood friendships.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author or publisher through NetGalley and TBR and Beyond Book Tours.

The Sisters of Glass Ferry
ixstitch avatar reviewed on + 13 more book reviews

Well written in terms of verbiage, but a little hard to follow as it keeps bouncing from 1952 to 1972 and between a couple of characters. Some total suspension of disbelief regarding one character in particular. I was left confused by the ending - didn't seem to fit to me.

Mr. Zero
hardtack avatar reviewed on + 2164 more book reviews

This is one of Patricia Wentworth's many stand-alone novels, no "Miss Silver" here. It's a very engaging mystery with numerous interesting characters. One, Lady Colesborough, may be the mystery genre's biggest air-head.

Despite the description on the book's page and its back cover, Gay Harkwicke plays only a minor role in proving Algy Somers' innocence. Plus, there is more than one surprise development in this novel.

Sudden Prey (Lucas Davenport, Bk 8) (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
oldrockandroll avatar reviewed on + 208 more book reviews

Another great John Sandford novel with Lucas Davenport. This one was better than the last one in my opinion. You get to know more about the other characters in his inner circle. The story line was good and the characters believable and down to earth. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

The Earl's Unsuitable Bride (Sweet Chase Brides)
jjares avatar reviewed on + 2806 more book reviews

This story is pleasing because the characters seem to live and breathe. Amethyst Goldsmith is engaged to marry Robert Stanley, her father's apprentice. The Goldsmiths and Stanleys are jewelers. Hugh Goldsmith's dream is to keep the Goldsmith and Sons Company afloat for more generations. Even though he did not have a son, he thought marrying Robert Stanley to his gifted daughter would ensure the continuation of the line. The only problem is that Robert has no intention of allowing Amy to continue being a jeweler after they marry. Amy knows this, but Hugh does not.

With the wedding drawing close, London bursts into flames and destroys 2/3 of the city. A former customer, Colin Chase, saves Amy (with her box of jewels). He also gathers up nine bereft children about being unable to find their parents. Colin gathers them all to escape the flames and misery. At the story's heart are the class differences between a jeweler and an aristocrat, especially one close to the king. Both Amy and Colin are engaged to other persons. However, they are attracted to each other, despite their knowledge that their relationship won't work.

I thought the story was rather long, but the authors filled the pages with an exciting account. This story is well-written and engaging because so much research went into this book. Overall score = 4.5 stars.

The Weight of Blood
sixteendays avatar reviewed on + 119 more book reviews

Imagine writing a retelling of a Stephen King story and writing something better than he's ever done.

Before She Was Found
mirandapenn avatar reviewed on

It was not as good as I had hoped.

Winter Sisters
Winter Sisters
Author: Robin Oliveira
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
boomerbooklover avatar reviewed on + 359 more book reviews

Story of Dr. Mary Sutter and her family during the time of a NY blizzard. The daughters of friends are lost during the snowstorm, and 'rescued' by predators. How this happened, and who is behind it, is resolved in a courtroom drama.

My Name Is Mary Sutter
boomerbooklover avatar reviewed on + 359 more book reviews

Story of a young woman who wants to be a surgeon. Her dream is realized when she helps another surgeon during the Civil War.

Golden Admiral
Golden Admiral
Author: F. Van Wyck Mason
Genre: History
Book Type: Hardcover
boomerbooklover avatar reviewed on + 359 more book reviews

Good adventure story of a young man who works as a mate on a merchant ship. On a trip to Spain, he and the captain realize there are no British boats in the harbor, and then that there are no merchant ships at all in the harbor. They later realize the Spanish have captured all the merchant ships and imprisoned their crews. The Brits escape to later serve in the fight against the Spanish Armada.

Act One: An Autobiography
boomerbooklover avatar reviewed on + 359 more book reviews

Autobiography of a New Yorker who was raised in poverty who fulfills his dreams of working on Broadway.

Maverick Justice (Law in Lubbock County, Bk 2) (Harlequin Intrigue, No 2085)
scoutmomskf avatar reviewed on + 2193 more book reviews

Good book that kept me turning the pages. The story opens as Delaney, who has escaped the hospital, drives toward the only person she believes can help her - her fiancé, Cash Mercer. She's terrified that someone is following her. Cash is stunned to see her, since she broke their engagement a year earlier. He recognizes that something is wrong and puts her to bed. Though she's regained her memory by morning (after some awkward moments), she is still convinced that someone wants her dead.

Cash is wary of Delaney and her story. She broke his heart when she left and doesn't intend to risk it again, but he can't help feeling protective of her. He'll do his best to keep her safe but keep his heart guarded while he does so.

The suspense was great and kept me hooked from start to finish. I could feel Delaney's fear from the first page, and her relief when she reached Cash. Cash can tell that she believes she is in danger, while others tell him it is all in her mind. But it isn't long before the threats to her life become obvious. Then it's a matter of figuring out who it is. There are several suspects, from the escaped murderer who blames her for his conviction to her own father, who disapproves of Delaney's relationship with Cash. The author excels at making each suspect look like the guilty one with logical motivations and ease of opportunity. I was on the edge of my seat as the attacks increased in intensity the closer Delaney and Cash came to finding out who it was. The final confrontation was a nail-biter as the three top suspects converged on Cash's ranch. Several twists occurred before the real bad guy was figured out and the threat stopped.

I enjoyed seeing the rekindling of Delaney and Cash's relationship. Cash's wariness was understandable but resisting the sparks between them was impossible. Delaney had had her reasons for breaking their engagement and still feels guilty about how she hurt him. She still loves him but staying away is the only way to keep him safe. I ached a bit for Delaney because everyone keeps warning Cash against her. The more time they spend together, the harder Cash fights his feelings but it is a losing battle. There are obstacles to overcome, such as their fathers' feud, but this time love has a better chance of winning if they can stay alive long enough. I loved the ending and seeing love win.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold
VolunteerVal avatar reviewed on + 408 more book reviews

Cafe Fenniculi Funnicula, a tiny windowless spot located below street level in a Tokyo alley, is an unusual place. The clientele is consistent, one seat is especially popular, and the temperature of the coffee is very important.

You see, people don't visit the cafe for the beverages, but for the ability to time travel. If they follow a very strict set of rules, customers can briefly travel in time to be with someone who previously visited the cafe. This book shares the stories of four visitors, each with a different relationship they hope to mend.

I've heard lots of praise for this title, but as I began reading, I was skeptical about how impactful this little book could be. But as I read each visitor's story, I became more emotionally involved in their lives, and in the end, I was completely hooked into the power of these 200 pages.

I look forward to reading the two sequels to meet more patrons of this magical cafe.

The Stories You Tell: A Mystery (Roxane Weary)
reviewed on + 3042 more book reviews

One of the most boring books I've ever tried to read!

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