Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Antiterrorist (Jake Corby 0.5) by Al Macy

written by Al Macy
short story

I found this short story a bit unusual, considering it begins with action fully engaged with an already captured Jake, an FBI agent with beatings and bondage attacks perpetuated on him, a man who reacts with a taunting comedic attitude. Who are these brutal terrorists? Where is his backup? Once rescued, Jake belittles his abilities, even with his serious injuries. Personally I found his demeanor to be much like the old '40s movie detectives I so enjoyed in the past, especially Sam Spade.

What he really is trying to do is take down terrorists, who happen to be attacking the satellites surrounding the earth, including Soyus and the Space Station. Of course with so many now circling above us, the fact that they are disappearing one by one does make it necessary to actively react to this type of attack to save the lives of those on the station. How he is going to do this with all his injuries is moot, he's going to do it anyway. The race is on to locate the beam that is destroying the satellites, it's known that it is originating from earth, but where? Will he be in time?

A fun look at governing agencies and quirky adventure, I enjoyed the book, even the 0.5 title.

An Invitation to Murder (Lady Katherine Regency Mysteries Book 1)

written by Leighann Dobbs and Harmony Williams
review from e-book

What a different time and life in Regency England. What an interesting story within the time of Regency! What a surprise that the main character is the daughter of an Earl and her heart's desire is to become a detective! I enjoyed reading this unique story with so much historical accuracy of the life and times. No wonder Lady Katherine wishes to escape the norm and become a detective like her father.

It is a time of invisibility of females as persons, a time of seeking "approved" marriages for young maidens and of course that means seeking a high society and rich suitor to marry them. Mothers pushing their daughters to marry well, often calling on matchmakers to arrange a perfect match, as in seeking title and wealth, never mind compatibility.

I loved the blossoming of Annie, as well as the compatibility of this particular pairing. Annie is the downtrodden believed by everyone to be the one no one would want for a wife yet she alone will marry well. I also found it hilarious how the system worked in those days! Matchmakers, mothers, daughters, Lords, Earls, Dukes, everybody wants to be part of the aristocracy, I would say mostly mothers for their daughters with no thought to what these men might really be like. Even more, they seem to switch around. Who is with who? Who would rather be with someone else? Love certainly doesn't seem to be a part of the picture. But what is the picture? Murder seems to play a pretty big part in all this. Why? Can Katherine find the murderer before anyone else is attacked? Or will she be the next victim. Lots of red herrings in this search for a murderer. For that matter, it's pretty "fishy" trying to find out who is where with maidens all changing partners.

Will Lady Katherine get her wish?

Spies and Spells by Tonya Kappes

written by Tonya Kappes
reviewed by e-book

This book was fun to read, especially when our pre-witch is getting frustrated and wants to become whatever is her future when Witchy Hour comes. In the meantime, she has her "familiar" which of course is a black cat...NOT! Maggie must be the first witch-to-be with a non-animal familiar named Vinnie and he not only gets her where she's going but makes sure she is safe, because Vinnie is a car. And not wanting to give spoilers, I won't say more about this familiar other than to say with him along, this book really picks up speed and laughter, my laughter. I loved the book, completely entertaining. Not quite your usual cozy witch, impatient, often bored waiting for her own particular magic to kick in. When it does, she will be very surprised at what her future is meant to be.

Mad as Hell - Do You Want to Know a Secret?

written by Paul Casselle
first published on Amazon 

One thing about Paul Casselle, he really knows how to tell a story and keep the reader involved. This thriller is no different. Many thrillers are based on either actual cases, old cold cases, murder and/or conspiracies and as such contain strong or offensive language, so reader be prepared.

This is the second book I've read by Paul Casselle and it is full of conspiracy theories, particularly those that are well-known, thrills, murder, characters representing CIA, MI6, and other groups, especially BIG money. But what draws me in the most is the feeling that I am watching a play! This is in no way meant to belittle the book, but an enhancement to the spell it casts. An interesting thing for me to think, but it definitely gets me involved in the story. I find myself engrossed with what is happening as though I am there. Somewhat as in the first book, characters appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. Once again the matter of who is with which group, who is dead (or "deleted"), who is alive to play their parts in these conspiracies is fascinating but constantly changing. Just when you think you've "got it" it slips away again.

The book is not just another thriller, it has a life of its own. Reading it not only grabbed me quickly, but it presents with a sense of humour at times. I really enjoyed this book, the second in the "Bedfellows" series. If you've read and enjoyed the first, you are sure to enjoy this one.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Trell by Dick Lehr

written by Dick Lehr
published by Candlewick Press

Very well and precisely written, having finished this book, all I can say is "Wow!" I am breathless and full of admiration for both the players in the original case upon which this story is based, and even more so this fictional telling of the background of the case, realistic and what feels like the actual case unfolding. Kudos to Dick Lehr for his rendering of this original story, reading it was almost like being there.

This is a story that should be told, and I am glad I was fortunate to be sent a copy in a LibraryThing giveaway. I dived into it immediately and could not put it down, it grabbed me to that extent. Taking place in Boston in the 1980s, a young girl is accidentally shot and killed in what was probably a gang shoot-out. Now in the 21st century, this type of violence is still accidentally killing innocents. How sad that so little has changed. But maybe it has changed, at least by the standards of this book. This story is more about police corruption than what goes on in the streets, or around the world for that matter.

A young girl at the beginning of the book, we follow her very brief visits with her father, who is incarcerated for life without parole for the shooting. Trell and her mother visit him every week, and this is very much a story of family unity and love as it is a corrupt sentencing. As Trell ages from a small child to a young teen, she begins to question the sentencing. From this point the book really takes off. Trell will not accept what has happened and begins searching for what is true and what is not regarding her father's sentencing. She and her mother know he did not do the shooting and was nowhere near when it happened. She resorts to working with a lawyer to learn how law works and to learn how it didn't work for her father. Trell is an exceedingly bright girl, filled with determination. I will not give away any spoiler on how this connection leads to other connections. I leave it that this is an awe-inspiring book, one that grabs you and leads you (and Trell) through the darkness of gang warfare, drug dealing, corruption, but in particular, searching for the truth. I was truly mesmerized by this book. Thank you Dick Lehr and Candlewick Press. This book is deemed suitable for age 12 and up. I would agree with that description. I also believe it could help this age group to realize they can make a difference in the world. Review based on ARC (Advance Reading Copy).

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Murder Is No Accident (A Hidden Springs Mystery #3)

by A.H. Gabhart
published by Revell Books

I have just started this book and already am enjoying it. Is it wrong to enjoy a book that almost begins with a death? I don't think so, having quickly discovered that the author writes with a thread of humor throughout and the death may simply be a deadly accident. This story, which as I mentioned I have just begun, is pulling me in quickly with its small town, cozy but with its fair share of seniors and dementia added to the mix. Old, well-hidden secrets also seem to be woven into everyday life. This is my first book by A.H. Gabart, and I'm looking forward to what will come to light in this quirky town. Mystery, history, dementia, family, faith and secrets seem intertwined with what should have been and what is. Who is in such a hurry to sell the old Chandler house while the owner is still living, though not occupying the house? What does Miss Fonda know, trapped in her mind? Most importantly, who is hiding in the house and searching for what?

Maggie, a young girl who cleans the old house, is terrified; though she finds a dead woman, she did not see her fall, nor how she died. Why does she feel so threatened? But this story is not just about death, fear or possible murder. This is a town of curiosity, longing, and life. A town of close neighbours and caring, yet fear has invaded, love and living put on hold. Hidden Springs, a lovely name, what was a lovely town. Secrets and mystery have taken it over. I love this book! In many ways it is uplifting even in light of the "incidents" that are trying to shake up the townspeople. Are these incidents accidents or murder?

I love the determination of the life of Miss Fonda, with her dementia and the forms it has taken. She is a major focus, for all her confusion. There is always something important if the time is taken to understand it, and what is important to her is home and the deceased sister she believes still lives there. A.H. Gabhart is a gifted writer that makes a story sound and feel real with all its foibles, friendships, caring and grace.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Last Lullaby by Alice Walsh

by Alice Walsh
published by Vagrant Press
imprint of Nimbus Publishing

A heart-rending story of love and loss, placed in Newfoundland. The story begins with professionals that have young children and infants. So many variations on a theme of the difficulty of raising a child, a baby, while working, taking classes or single motherhood. This is an unusual mystery that happens to brings out several difficulties these people often face. Post-partum depression, crib death (SIDS), law, adoption, and suspected homicide. It also brings out what happens when trying to prove innocence when there is little to work with. So many possibilities, but what will be the outcome and how much truth is there in the testimony of witnesses who may or may not have seen something amiss?

This is a very good story with a lot of insight and emotion with an almost confusing number of mothers and infants. It also has many truths that often aren't talked about, but should be. A student gone missing along with her baby, a young woman with little to live on; a professor who is a suspect in the death of her baby; a new mother found murdered; so many crimes but there are many surprises, possibilities and probabilities as well. This may appear to be a strange story to some, but it is in fact a police procedural investigation, with assistance, though not particularly requested, provided by some concerned citizens...professors, psychologists, actors, relatives, friends, with the usual interference and lack of compassion by the press. Who is the blonde woman that shows up around the crime scenes? What is the secret behind the two professors who are keeping a low profile? The outcome of this story was completely unpredictable and shocking. I thought it was well-written and suspenseful, even with a confusing number of babies, and did not put it down until I finished.