A Review of Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance

Remains of Innocence (Joanna Brady #16)

by J.A. Jance

I have been planning on reading this series for a long time, but I just never got around to it. I enjoyed this mystery. Sheriff Joanna Brady is an interesting character, but I’m sure that she would feel more complete if I had read some of the previous books in the series. I liked the way that Ms. Jance tied together the stories that were set on opposite sides of the country. The writing was descriptive enough that you got a feel for Cochise County and the surrounding area. She also draws you into the perilous story of Liza Machett. She finds a lot of money in her dying mother’s belongings. Once her mother dies, she cleans out her mother’s house, filled with trash and horder’s treasures. Then bad things begin to happen, and she has to flee for her life.  Sheriff Brady has to solve some local murders and figure out what is going on with Liza Machett.

I liked this introduction to the writing of JA Jance, but think that it would have worked somewhat better if I had started the series at the beginning, but having said that, I still was able to understand most of the backstory, and enjoy jumping in to the series at this point. I like it when an author allows you that freedom.

I give Remains of Innocence 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up. I plan on reading the next book in this series, Dance of the Bones, in September.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

File Jul 29, 2 51 57 PMSheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that may be tied together in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s thrilling tale of suspense that brings to life Arizona’s Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty and mystery.

An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred-dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner.

Tracing the money’s origins will take Liza on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. And now there is the mystery of Liza and the money. Are the two disparate cases connected? It’s up to Joanna to find out.

Book Details

Series: Joanna Brady Mysteries (Book 16)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; 1st Printing edition (July 22, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062134701
ISBN-13: 978-0062134707
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

About the Author

J.A. Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

Never Seen Anything “Quite Like You”

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My granddaughter has such a great blog. I just thought that everyone should check it out. She will be 13 next month. Her drawings have such a great sense of style. Check them out.

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I think I want you more than want
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I wanna hold you more than hold
When you stood in front of me

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A Review of Noise by Brett Garcia Rose

Noise

by Brett Garcia Rose

What is Noise? It is a story told from the point of view of a person who loves his sister. A sister who was with him in an orphanage in Nigeria. Lily is missing somewhere in New York City. Leon will do anything to find her. Oh, by the way Leon is deaf, but that won’t stop him. Leon and Lily spent many years on the streets, and Leon will kill anyone who gets in his way.

Mr. Rose writes with a scalpel rather than a pen. His prose is trimmed down and tight. He gets his story across with a concise style that works very well to tell Leon’s story. This allows the story to proceed quickly, and keeps the reader wanting more. You don’t get bogged down with unnecessary details. He still manages to fill out the major players so that they feel real. Just not a person that inhabits my reality. Anyway, I hope that they don’t. I don’t want to live in this New York City.

I give Noise 4 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! This was a very good first novel. Mr. Rose has something to say, and you may want to listen.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

noise book coverThe world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.

Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.

Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.

A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.

He will not stop until he knows.

Where is Lily?

Book Details

Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Velocity Imprints (June 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0991549406
ISBN-13: 978-0991549405
Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces

About the Author

brett headshotBrett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. He is the author of two books, Noise and Losing Found Things, and his work has been published in Sunday Newsday Magazine, The Barcelona Review, Opium, Rose and Thorn, The Battered Suitcase, Fiction Attic, Paraphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. His short stories have won the Fiction Attic’s Short Memoir Award (Second Place), Opium’s Bookmark Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, and have been nominated for the Million Writer’s Award, Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home. To learn more, go to BrettGarciaRose.com, or connect with Brett on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads.

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A Review of Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild

Blood Ties

by Nicholas Guild

This book grabbed me from the first page. It was exciting and horrifying, and I couldn’t put it down. The murders were shocking. They drew you into the story. You wanted Ellen Ridley to do whatever she needed to do to get this psychopath off the street. She had suspicions and maybe went a little out-of-bounds trying to get evidence against her prime suspect, but you didn’t care.

The first half of Blood Ties was bordering on a horror, mystery, thriller. It was so intense that I had to stop reading, because it was getting late and I didn’t want to have nightmares. I was expecting some really horrific twists and surprises; but when I picked up the book the next day, I was disappointed. It had changed from a mystery to a chase. You knew who the bad guy was. All that was left was catching him. That wasn’t easy, but still, that wasn’t what I was expecting.

Mr. Guild really knows how to write a tension filled story. He brings his characters to life. I guess that maybe I’ve read too many thrillers where the tension slowly builds, and then about halfway through the book, all hell breaks loose. I figured that was what was going to happen in Blood Ties. So I was a bit disappointed. I was so impressed with the start of the book, and was hoping for more. Don’t get me wrong, the story was still very good, but I really thought that I was reading a 5 Star book. I had very high expectations.

I give Blood Ties 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. If you like mysteries with an edge to them, that approach horror, but never quite cross the line, I think you should give this book a try.

I received a hardcover copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

blood ties hc mech.inddHomicide detective Ellen Ridley of the SFPD is tracking a serial killer terrorizing young women in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ridley is sure she’s cornered her most likely suspect: Stephen Tregear, a hacker and code breaker who works for U.S. Naval Intelligence. But Tregear is not the killer… he’s the killer’s son.

Ridley and Tregear team up to look for Tregear’s father, Walter, in an elaborate game of murderous cat and mouse. As the body count rises, Ridley must race against the clock to stop Walter before he kills any more women–and Tregear must finally confront the father who has been trying to kill him for twenty years. Blood Ties is an elegant and frightening thriller from Nicholas Guild.

Book Details

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Forge Books (May 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765378450
ISBN-13: 978-0765378453
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

About the Author

nicholas guild 2NICHOLAS GUILD was born in Belmont, California and attended Occidental College and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at Clemson and Ohio State before turning full-time to writing fiction. He has published a dozen novels, several of which were international bestsellers including The Assyrian (1998), Blood Star (1989), and Angel (1995). Guild now lives in Fredrick, Maryland.

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A Review of Double Mint by Gretchen Archer

Double Mint (Davis Way Crime Caper #4)

by Gretchen Archer

Davis Way has gotten married, but that hasn’t changed much. Well maybe just a little. Her husband is the new manager. She now gets to live in a super deluxe penthouse suite at the Bellissimo Resort and Casino. Unfortunately the previous resident turned it into the worst nightmare scene from New Orleans, complete with voodoo, or ghosts or something. Who knows what is going on in that monstrosity. Think haunted refrigerator. No more “Home, Sweet, Home” for Davis.

Davis Way Cole still has her job, at least for the moment. If she doesn’t clear up this mess, her new boss and husband, may fire her, but this mystery is so messed up, it doesn’t seem possible that it can ever be fixed. So many hilarious antics, so many unexpected turns. This book won’t disappoint anyone who has read the previous Davis Way books.

I give Double Mint 4 Stars out of 5, and a Big Thumbs Up! If you like lovable characters, some ridiculous fun, and slapstick humor mixed into your mysteries, then you better get on the Davis Way bandwagon. You won’t be sorry!

I received a Digital Review Copy from the Publisher.

Book Description

25556614It’s convention season at the Bellissimo Resort and Casino and Davis Way Cole barely notices. It’s hard to pay attention when you live in a Jambalaya Junkyard. But when Special Events Coordinator Holder Darby walks off the job just as five hundred Alabama bankers pour in the front door, Davis steps up.

Or would that be in? Definitely in. Davis steps in.

It.

Not only has the convention director vanished, but a certain Bellissimo guest is missing. One who forgot to pack the million dollars he left in the bathtub. It looks like our redhead newlywed Super Secret Spy’s lazy summer is over when the Bellissimo vault is robbed. Can Davis connect the dots before it’s too late? Can she get her Taser gun back from Bianca Sanders? Will she be stuck with Eddie Crawford’s 1962 Cadillac forever? What Davis needs is a little faith. And a lot of luck.

DOUBLE MINT.

New money. Old sins. Back to jail. And a cat.

(A cat?)

Break the Bank.

Book Details

Series: A Davis Way Crime Caper
Paperback: 267 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (July 21, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1941962777
ISBN-13: 978-1941962770
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces

About the Author

GretchenArcherGretchen Archer is a Tennessee housewife who began writing when her daughters, seeking higher educations, left her. She lives on Lookout Mountain with her husband, son, and a Yorkie named Bently.

 

A Review of Revenge of the Kremlin by Gérard de Villiers

Revenge of the Kremlin

by Gérard de Villiers

This is the third book in Gérard de Villiers’s Malko Linge series that is available in English in the US and Canada. Malko Linge is a very popular series in Europe, but since Gérard de Villiers died a couple of years ago, there won’t be any new books in the series in French.

Revenge of the Kremlin is a typical spy thriller with a lot of action and sex thrown into the mix. The story feels rather formulaic and the characters are pretty flat. The story is somewhat interesting, since it is very current and feasible and the pacing is good. Some of the story elements feel like they have been used for years in everything from James Bond to bad 1960’s spy movies. It was a quick read, and will hold your attention, but be forewarned the sex is rather graphic.

I read Chaos in Kabul last fall, and really liked it, but Revenge of the Kremlin didn’t impress me. I give it 3 Stars out of 5. It’s not bad, but not anything special either. If you want to try out this series, read Chaos in Kabul, it feels much more authentic

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

Revenge of the KremlinThe 3rd of Gerard de Villiers’s novels published by Vintage Canada finds Malko Linge secretly helping the CIA investigate the suspicious death of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky–a death which may have been ordered by Vladimir Putin himself.

In this gripping, tightly plotted tale of espionage, Malko Linge investigates the suspicious death of a Russian oligarch in London.

Boris Berezovsky is living in exile in London to avoid the wrath of Vladimir Putin. One morning, the unlucky oligarch is found dead in his bathroom, an apparent suicide.

Their suspicions aroused, MI5 opens an investigation—but Prime Minister David Cameron orders the case closed. Alarmed at the renewal of Russian Cold War tricks and Moscow’s increasingly close ties to London, the CIA dispatches Malko Linge to investigate Berezovsky’s death and the British cover-up. With help from an alluring former CIA handler, Malko dives into the search for hard evidence of the Kremlin’s involvement in the affair—putting himself directly in the crosshairs of the world’s most efficient assassins.

Book Details

Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Vintage (April 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0804169357
ISBN-13: 978-0804169356
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces

About the Author

Photo © Christophe Mourthé
Photo © Christophe Mourthé

Gérard de Villiers (1929–2013) is the most popular writer of spy thrillers in French history. His two-hundred-odd books about the adventures of Austrian nobleman and freelance CIA operative Malko Linge have sold millions of copies.

Malko Linge, who first appeared in 1965, has often been compared to Ian Fleming’s hero James Bond. The two secret agents share a taste for gunplay and kinky sex, but de Villiers was a journalist at heart, and his books are based on constant travel and reporting in dozens of countries.

On several occasions de Villiers was even ahead of the news. His 1980 novel had Islamists killing President Anwar el-Sādāt of Egypt a year before the event took place. The Madmen of Benghazi described CIA involvement in Libya long before the 2012 attack on the Benghazi compound. Chaos in Kabul vividly reflected the upheaval in Afghanistan. Revenge of the Kremlin lays the assassination of an exiled Russian oligarch in 2013 directly at the feet of President Vladimir Putin.

A Review of The Suspicion at Sanditon by Carrie Bebris

The Suspicion at Sanditon
(Or, The Disappearance of Lady Denham)
(Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries #7)

by Carrie Bebris

When I opened a package that I had received in the mail and saw The Suspicion at Sanditon inside, I thought to myself, “Well, I would never have picked this book up at the bookstore. I wonder if I will make it through this one.” Luckily I have had some extra time available for reading lately, and was able to squeeze it in near the publication date.

The Suspicion at Sanditon was something that I don’t normally read. True it is a mystery and I read a lot of mysteries, but this book takes place in England in the early 1800s. It is written in the style of Jane Austen, or so I’ve been lead to believe, having never read any Jane Austen, I’ll just have to take their word for it. The writing is very old-fashioned, as are the characters. Everything must be proper. You must follow protocol and be very aware of any impropriety. I had a real hard time getting into it, but something just made me keep reading. Once I got about half way though, the pace of the story seemed to pick up. Then by the end of the book it was flying. I’m not sure, but I think that Ms. Bebris may have simplified the language a little, either that or I just got used to it and no longer had to think as hard while reading. I don’t know which it was, but it was much easier to read near the end of the book than it was at the beginning.

I enjoyed the story and the characters, but I probably won’t be reading any more books in this series. If you are a Jane Austen fan, I would imagine that you have already heard of this series. If you haven’t, then I think that you should try to get a hold of this book. Even though this is book 7 in the series, it works quite well as a standalone book, and if this is the kind of book you enjoy, there are six other books available.

I give The Suspicion at Sanditon 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. I know there are a lot of people out there that would rate it higher.

I received a hardcover copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

The Suspicion at SanditonSuspicion at Sanditon, a new adventure in Carrie Bebris’s award-winning Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series takes Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy to Sanditon, the setting of Jane Austen’s final work. There, accompanied by their friend Miss Charlotte Heywood, they encounter an array of eccentric villagers and visitors. Among Sanditon’s most prominent residents: Lady Denham, a childless, twice-widowed dowager with a fortune to bequeath and a flight of distant relations circling for a place in her will.

The Darcys have scarcely settled into their lodgings when Lady Denham unexpectedly invites them to a dinner party. Thirteen guests assemble at Sanditon House-but their hostess never appears. As a violent storm rises, a search for Lady Denham begins. The Darcys, like most of their fellow attendees, speculate that one of her ladyship’s would-be heirs has grown impatient .?.?. until the guests start to vanish one by one.

Does a kidnapper lurk in the centuries-old mansion, or is a still more sinister force at work? As the night grows short, the dwelling’s population grows thin, and tales of Sanditon House’s storied past emerge, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy find themselves leading a desperate effort to discover what has happened to Lady Denham and the missing guests, before they all-perhaps even Elizabeth and Darcy themselves-disappear.

The Regency era’s answer to Nick and Nora Charles, the Darcys once again demonstrate their quick wits and signature wit as they search for the truth-universally acknowledged and otherwise.

Book Details

Series: Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries (Book 7)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765327996
ISBN-13: 978-0765327994
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces

About the Author

CarrieBebris-biopicAward-winning author Carrie Bebris is best known for her Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series. Set in Regency England, the novels entangle some of Jane Austen’s most beloved characters in intrigue.

Carrie began her career in publishing after previous roles as a journalist and college English teacher. As an editor for fantasy publisher TSR, Inc., she developed supplements for the Dungeons & Dragons® roleplaying game before striking out on her own as a freelance writer and editor. She wrote two fantasy novels, Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (2001) and Shadowborn (1998, with William W. Connors), before making her mystery debut in 2004 with Pride and Prescience. The novel made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list and was named one of the five best mysteries of the year by Library Journal. Successive Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mysteries have earned starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, and other publications. North by Northanger won the Daphne du Maurier Award, which honors excellence in romantic suspense, and a Reviewers Choice Award from RT Book Reviews magazine for Best Historical Mystery of 2006. The seventh book of the series, The Suspicion at Sanditon (or the Disappearance of Lady Denham), releases in Summer 2015.

In addition to her novels, Carrie is a contributor to the short fiction collection Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart. She pens articles for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine, writes other nonfiction, and has edited such books as Tea with Jane Austen (by Kim Wilson) and Walking with William Shakespeare (by Anne-Marie Edwards). She speaks nationally and locally about Austen, writing, and publishing, including serving as a faculty member and guest lecturer for the Antioch Writers Workshop.

Carrie holds a master’s degree in English literature with an emphasis on 19th- century authors and studied Austen on the graduate level with one of today’s most respected Austen scholars. She is a life member and regional officer of the Jane Austen Society of North America, and travels to England to enhance her understanding of Austen’s life and work. Reviewers praise her for capturing not only the spirit of Austen’s writings, but also the historical details of the Regency era; in the name of research, she has engaged in experiences that range from dancing at Regency balls to firing a dueling pistol.

When not writing, Carrie enjoys traveling, watching costume dramas that send her husband fleeing the house, and indulging in her love of all things British. Originally from Wisconsin, she now resides in Ohio, where she is currently working on her next novel.

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