Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Books Read December 2014

Adams, Ellery
  • Lethal Letters 
Fiction.  Sixth in the Books by the Bay series set in North Carolina.  Olivia Limoges finally sets the date for her wedding to Sawyer Rawlings, inspired by the wedding of her chief chef and his bride.  While talking to the local minister, who is overseeing the renovation of his church, a workman interrupts to inform the minister that a box has been discovered under the floor.  It’s a time capsule, one whose discovery puts several people in danger.

Babson, Marian
  • Murder on a Mystery Tour 
Fiction.  American tourists spend a murder mystery weekend at an old English manor expecting to be entertained and challenged to find whodunit.  They’re are a tempestuous group, so there’s no surprise when one of them is found dead.  A blizzard has blanketed the area, and all contact with the neighboring town has been cut off.  Can they find the true murderer before another person is found dead?

Beaton, M.C.
  • The Murderous Marriage
Fiction.  Fifth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha has finally landed James, and preparations for their wedding are going along well.  Agatha is anxious to have James’ ring on her finger, as she hasn’t quite been honest with him.  Just as the couple are saying their vows, the wedding is interrupted by a strange man who claims to be Agatha’s long lost husband.  Suspicious falls on both Agatha and James when the man is found dead in a ditch.

  • The Potted Gardener 
Fiction.  Third in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha returns from her extended vacation only to find that James, her crush, is involved with a newcomer to the village, Mary Fortune.  Everyone in the village seems to like Mary, and once Agatha manages to push her jealousy, she begins to like Mary, too.  But Mary’s facade begins to crack, and when is found dead, Agatha teams up again with James Lacey to discover the murderer.

  • The Terrible Tourist
Fiction.  Sixth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  James has fled to Cypress, but Agatha is still hopeful of a reunion with him, so she follows him to the island.  While there, she meets two British three-somes who are also on vacation.  One of the women, Rose, is quite the flirt, and when Agatha introduces her to James, Rose turns her eyes to him, infuriating Agatha.  They all go out dancing at a disco and are feeling no pain from all the liquor they’ve been drinking, when Rose slips under their table.  As the men help her up, they realize she is covered in blood, and this time Agatha becomes one of the prime suspects.

  • The Vicious Vet
Fiction.  Second in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha has a crush on her next door neighbor, James Lacey, but he has no romantic interest in her.  A new vet has come to town, a very handsome man with whom all the village women cluster around, but when Agatha takes her cat for a checkup, she finds him rough and uncaring with the animal, raising her ire and her suspicions.  When he is found dead, Agatha and James team up to find his killer.

  • The Walkers of Dembley 
Fiction.  Fourth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha returns to Carsely after spending six months working in PR in London, and she’s very pleased to be back in her village.  Having wined and dined clients for months, she has put on a few pounds and decides to take up walking, once she finds out James Lacey has joined a rambling group.  The nearby town of Dembly also has a rambling group led by militant feminist Jessica, who makes it a habit of putting people’s backs up.  When she is found dead in a field from a blow to the head, one of the Dembley ramblers contacts Agatha to help solve the murder.  She and James join forces and pose as a married couple and join the group to figure out who killed Jessica.

  • The Wellspring of Death
Fiction Seventh in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  A water company in Ancombe wishes to siphon off water from a natural spring, inciting a debate among the town council members.  Agatha, ignorant of the issue, travels to the spring to fetch some water for her tea.  To her surprise, she finds a body with a head wound turning the water red.  After the murder has been reported, she receives a call from her old friend, Roy, who works in PR at the London company that Agatha used to own.  He’s offering her a PR position with the very same water company, which Agatha agrees to in order to help solve the  murder.   

Berry, Steve
  • The Balkan Escape
Fiction.  Short story in the Cotton Malone adventure series telling how Cassiopeia Vitt meets Lev Sokolov in an ancient Thracian tomb.

  • The Emperor’s Tomb
Fiction.  Sixth in the Cotton Malone adventure series.  This time Cotton is drawn in by a video of Cassiopeia Vitt undergoing waterboarding.  She is being held by a nemesis of Cotton’s, and he must go to her rescue.  Cassiopeia has gotten involved with the kidnapping of a young Russian/Chinese boy, whose father has asked for her help.  The boy’s Russian father is in hiding in China, being sought by various parties who want the knowledge he has that can alter China’s future in the world arena.  Deception and murder follow, and Cotton isn’t sure who he can trust other than Cassiopeia, herself.

  • The Paris Vendetta
Fiction.  Fifth in the Cotton Malone adventure series.  Cotton is contacted y his best friend, Henrik, who needed his help.  Henrik is determined to kill the man responsible for his son’s death two years  ago, but he needs Cotton to steal a book from a museum to help trap the man.  The book is one that Napoleon included in his will and was supposed to go to his son when the son turned sixteen.  That never happened.  It supposedly holds the clue to where Napoleon’s long lost vast treasure is located.  But Henrik isn’t the only person who want the book. 

Charles, Ann
  • Better Off Dead in Deadwood
Fiction.  Fourth book in the Violet Parker paranormal cozy mystery series set in Deadwood, South Dakota.  Things are looking up for Violet’s relationship with Doc Nyce, though she fears her children might chase him away.  While recovering from the death of her employer, she is surprised to find that the woman’s ex-husband is now taking over Calamity Jane Realty, and Violet has to prove to him that she can do her job.  Not easy when the spooks around her won’t play fair.

  • Jackrabbit Junction Jitters
Fiction. Second in the Jackrabbit Junction cozy mystery series set in the Arizona desert.  Claire is helping out at the general store in the RV park while her grandfather and Ruby are getting ready for their wedding.  Everything is disrupted when Claire’s sister, Kate, arrives with their overly-controlling and overly-critical mother in tow.  While Deborah tries to derail the upcoming wedding, Mac sends Claire into a panic when he utters, “I love you,” to her.  To further discombobulate her, Claire finds a mummified hand  in Ruby’s safe and is determined to find the owner.

  • The Old Man’s Back in Town
Fiction.  Short story introducing a new series set in Nevada.  Montana owns a bar in an old gold mining town.  Her cousin, Buffalo, is at the bar still drinking, although everyone else has long gone and Montana is cleaning and closing things down.  The door opens, and in walks her ex-boyfriend, the one who had left her to move to Las Vegas.  This story is told in three parts with a surprise ending.

Gilad, Suzanne
  • Copyediting and Proofreading for Dummies
Non-fiction.  The skills needed for copyediting and proofreading careers, tips on getting those first jobs, books essential to the field, and many resources, both in print and online.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann
  • Early Retirement
Fiction.  Short story about a lawyer, George Waring, and his sister, Edna Brewer, who worked as his office manager.  George is late coming into the office one morning, and Edna is surprised when two police detectives arrive to ask her about George’s secretary and lover, Sarah, with whom George had spent the weekend in Las Vegas.  Edna is duly shocked when the detective shows her a picture of Sarah, who is obviously dead.  The detective informs her that Sarah was found in the trunk of George’s car at LAX.  Edna promises to let them know if she hears from George, and after they leave she begins making phone calls.

  • Ho Ho Humbug
Fiction.  Two Christmas-themed short stories in the Odelia Grey series.  In Ho Ho Humbug, Odelia takes her step-mother to the mall for some shopping.  Taking a break, she sits on a bench when Santa sits beside her.  Then dies.  She is accused of killing Santa.  In Ho Ho Hell, Odelia takes her mother to the mall to pick up a gift for her niece.  There is an altercation in the parking lot involving a TV star and a stolen golf cart.

Roberts, Nora
  • Dark Witch 
Fiction.  First in the Cousins O’Dwyer fantasy trilogy.  Iona Sheehan was born and raised in America, but at her grandmother’s knee, she learned much about the land her family comes from, and she longs to visit Ireland to meet her relatives there.  She arrives at the castle she will be living in for a week, but after meeting her cousins, she is invited to live with them.  She is hired at the local stable, quickly falling in love with the owner.  While she is getting used to her new life, her cousins are teaching her the family magick, as one day soon, they, along with their friends, will be facing a terrible enemy.  One who has waiting centuries to reap their power.

Weiland, K.M.
  • Outlining Your Novel
Non-fiction.  How to outline a novel.  What questions to ask yourself and your characters.

  • Outlining Your Novel Workbook
Non-fiction.  Workbook detailing how to create a winning outline.

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