Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books Read - December 2015

Bassett, JoAnn
  • Livin’ Lahaina Loca ****
Fiction.  Second in the Islands of Aloha cozy mystery series starring Pali Moon, wedding planner extraordinaire.  The biggest wedding Pali has scheduled for the whole year is coming up in a week when one of the bridesmaids disappears.  Her long red ponytail is left in Pali’s back seat, and Pali realizes it isn’t a case of a party girl gone missing.

Battista, Jeannette
  • Leopard Moon *****
Fiction.  First in the Moon shapeshifter series.  Kess is on the run from her family and her brother’s dark desire.  She stops in a small town in North Carolina to work for awhile and build up her savings for when she’d need to run again.  But she’s not the only shifter in town and soon finds herself up a tree trying to escape from a pack of werewolves.

Blackwell, Juliet
  • Give Up the Ghost *****
Fiction.  Sixth in the Haunted Home Renovation paranormal cozy mystery series.  Mel has been hired to re-renovate a mansion that was already renovated by another contractor into a modern monstrosity.  The problem is that the home is haunted, and the current owner wants to sell it, but the ghost keeps scaring off potential buyers.  The owner believes if Mel can restore some of the original elements of the house, the ghost will be appeased.

Cook, J.J.
  • Fat Tuesday Fricassee ****
Fiction.  First in the Biscuit Bowl Food Truck cozy series.  Zoe Chase owns the Biscuit Bowl food truck with dreams of opening her own restaurant someday.  Her father has been elected King Felix during the carnival season, and Zoe accompanies him to all the balls thrown by his secret society.  At the last ball of the season, Zoe finds a dead body, and suddenly she and her family are being threatened.

Galenorn, Yasmine
  • Moon Swept *****
Fiction.  Collection of short stories detailing the sisters’ first loves.  Camille and Shamas, Menolly and Keris, and Delilah and Chase.

Harrison, Thea
  • Dragon Bound *****
Fiction.  First in the Elder Races urban fantasy.  Pia lives as quietly as she can, staying out of trouble, keeping a low profile.  When her ex-boyfriend blackmails her to steal from a dragon’s hoard, she knows that she’s put her life at risk, as well as her great secret.  When Dragos finds out that someone has invaded his hoard, he’s headed out to catch the thief and kill her.  When he does catch up to her, their lives are both in danger.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann
  • The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary *****
Fiction.  Eighth book in the Ghost of Granny Apples cozy series.  An offshoot book starring PI Jeremiah Jones who looks into the disappearance of a woman on Skid Row as a favor for a friend.

Lavene, Joyce & Jim
  • Looking for Mr. Good Witch ***
Fiction.  Second in the Retired Witches series.  More witches are being killed in the Wilmington area, but only young male witches.  The council has informed the ladies that they need to find out who the murderer is, their quest takes them to meet the Bone Man, who will only help them if they agree to find his wife and return her to him.

  • Spell Booked ***
Fiction.  Three elderly witches are nearing the end of their power and are looking for new recruits for their coven.  They have their eyes on a young librarian who has a lot of raw energy, but she’s unaware that she is a witch, and they can’t exactly walk up to her and tell her.  They’re also dealing with the thefts  of magical items in the witching community, not to mention a few witch death.

MacInerney, Karen 
  • Beads of Doubt (w/Barbara Burnett Smith) ***
Fiction.  Second book in the beading series begun by Barbara Burnett Smith.  Kitzi Camden is an ex-senator who lives in a mansion in Austin, which is owned by a family corporation.  She is notified by her cousin’s attorney that her residence is being challenged by the corporation, and she and her mother might have to move out of the Manse.  While she is trying to solve that problem, her cousin’s partner in the firm is murdered, and Kitzi needs to find out if the two situations are related.

  • Berried to the Hilt *****
Fiction.  Fourth in the Gray Whale Inn series.  Business is slow, so Natalie is pleased to have two groups of people staying at the inn.  One is from the University of Maine, and the other is from a company from Florida.  Both are invested in pulling up treasure from a sunken ship near Cranberry Island.  Their rivalry, though, might cost someone his or her life.

  • Blueberry Blues *****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Gray Whale Inn series.  Short story of a clambake that went wrong when several islanders got sick after eating Nat’s blueberry pies.  Luckily for her, a photographer got a picture of the culprit.

  • Brush with Death *****
Fiction.  Sixth book in the Gray Whale Inn cozy mystery series.  Nat’s niece, Gwen, is getting ready for her first art show, and two famous artists are arriving to spend time on the island.  Gwen’s mentor, Fernand, throws a party for one of the artists, but the next day Nat finds him at home.  Alone. Dead.

  • A Dash of Midnight ****
Fiction.  Collection of three cozy mysteries.

  • Dead and Berried *****
Fiction.  Second in the Gray Whale Inn cozy mystery series set on Cranberry Island.  Natalie and her best friend, Charlene, are on the outs, because Natalie doesn’t fully trust Charlene’s boyfriend, the new, and very handsome, priest in town.  Keeping busy at the inn is helping Nat keep her mind off best friend problems, but as the laundry piles up, she wonders where her helper, Polly, has been for the past two days.  It’s not usual for her to miss a day without calling in, so Nat sets off on her bike to ride to Polly’s  house near the bog.  What she finds devastates her.

  • Death Runs Adrift *****
Fiction.  Seventh in the Gray Whale Inn mystery series.  Nat and John are planning a Florida wedding, and John’s mother, Catherine, is living in their carriage house.  Nat has been gathering blueberries for one of her delectable desserts, when she sees a skiff floating in the water.  When she approaches it to haul it back to shore, she’s shocked to find a dead body in it.

  • Howling at the Moon *****
Fiction.  First in the Tales of an Urban Werewolf fantasy series.  Sophie Garou is a busy auditor with a handsome attorney boyfriend and a gorgeous best friend Lindsey.  Her life is busy...and complicated.  Unlike most women, her mother is a witch, and her father, who abandoned them when Sophie was a baby, is a werewolf.  Four times a year Sophie goes into hiding to turn into a wolf.  Things become even more complicated when a love potion that her mother sells a local politician ends up killing him, and she is charged with murder.  Sophie and Lindsey work together to find the real killer.

  • Killer Jam ****
Fiction.  First in the Dewberry Farm cozy series set in Buttercup, TX.  Lucy has left her job as an investigative reporter to return to her grandmother’s old farm to see if she can make a living homesteading.  Even though she visited with her grandmother as a child, Lucy is viewed as an outsider in the small town when she is the prime suspect in a murder.

  • Leader of the Pack *****
Fiction.  Third in the Tales of an Urban Werewolf series.  Sophie hasn’t seen her father in twenty-eight years, so when he walks into her office, she is suspicious.  He says he wants her to join him in the Paris pack, but she wants no part of it.  But she can’t refuse to help him when he is accused of murdering another werewolf.  Punishment if he is found guilty will be death, and Sophie is determined to have him set free.

  • Mother’s Day Out ****
Fiction.  First in the Margie Peterson cozy  mystery series set in Austin, TX.  Margie is a full-time mother and part-time PI-in-training.  While working on a case of infidelity, she follows the target to a gay bar, where she gets involved in a drag queen contest.  During a quick break to the ladies’ room, she finds one of the other contestants...dead.

  • Murder Most Maine *****
Fiction.  Third in the Gray Whale Inn series.  The inn is hosting a weight-loss retreat, but Nat is dismayed to find that one of the leaders is an old flame of John’s, and they seem to be making up for lost time.  The other leader, Dirk, is jealous of the time Vanessa is spending with James, but nothing is more shocking than him being murdered, and James being named as a suspect.

  • On the Prowl *****
Fiction.  Second in the Tales of an Urban Werewolf series.  Sophie has landed a big client for her auditing firm, but during her first meeting with Mark, she senses that he is interested in more than just a business relationship, and with the current situation of her relationship with boyfriend Heath up in the air, Sophie is sorely tempted.  Unfortunately, the Houston pack is now aware of her existence and sends her an email requiring her presence at a meeting.  She wants to negotiate a deal allowing her to remain in Austin in exchange for some tax and audit advice, but the pack leaders have something much more dangerous in mind.

  • Pumpkin Pied *****
Fiction.  Short story in the Gray Whale Inn series.  Cranberry Island is getting ready for the harvest festival, but spirits are low, since it seems that this will be their last one.  The owner of the land has passed away, and her children are selling it to a rich mainland family who want to build a large home there.  If only there’s some way the islanders can prevent that from happening.

McRae, Cricket
  • Deadly Row to Hoe ****
Fiction.  Sixth in the Home Crafting cozy mystery series set in Washington.  Sophie Mae is hard at work at the local co-op, when she hears her best friend scream for help.  Sophie rushes to her side only to find Meghan staring at the compost pile.  She doesn’t understand what’s wrong until her friend points to the boot sticking out of the bottom of the pile.

Sharp, Deborah
  • Mama Does Time ****

Fiction.  First in the Mace Bauer cozy mystery series set in Florida.  Mace and her sisters have their hands full keeping track of Mama, and the night Mama calls Mace to say that she was at the jail, because a body had been found in the trunk of her car only adds to Mace’s stress.  The family bands together to solve the mystery, as Mace comes up against the gruff new detective in town.

Books Read - November 2015

Adams, Ellery
  • Writing All Wrongs ***
Fiction.  Seventh in the Books by the Bay cozy mystery series.  Olivia and Rawlings are headed to Palmetto Island for a few days to celebrate their honeymoon.  The rest of the Bayside Book Writers group will then join them for the local festival celebrating pirates.  A film crew will be there promoting their pirate-themed TV show.  Olivia wakes in the middle of the night to hear the sound of a ship’s bell off in the distance.  She looks out her window to see a woman in white walking along the shore.  The next morning Olivia is walking her dog on the beach, when she suddenly sees the body of a woman dressed in white lying in the sand.

Allen, Conrad
  • Murder on the Lusitania ***
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery series set on cruise ships around the world.  George Porter Dillman has been hired by the Cunard line to protect their interests on the Lusitania’s maiden voyage.  He makes himself well known to the other passengers, learning as much about them as he can.  His first case comes about when a disliked journalist is found dead in his cabin.

Beaton, M.C.
  • The Case of the Curious Curate ****
Fiction.  Thirteenth in the Agatha Raisin series.  A new curate has come to town and won over the hearts of many women.  Even Agatha is taken by him, though she thinks there is more to him than he is revealing.  After dining with him, she heads home, only to be woken up with the news that he had been murdered, and the chief suspect is none other than the vicar himself.  Mrs. Bloxby begs Agatha to investigate and prove her husband’s innocence.

  • The Day the Floods Came ***
Fiction.  Twelfth in the Agatha Raisin series.  James and Charles are gone, and Agatha is away on an island vacation.  A young couple she sees at the hotel are caught up in tragedy, when the wife is drowned, and the husband is accused of the murder.

  • The Deadly Dance ****
Fiction.  Fifteenth in the Agatha Raisin mystery series.  Agatha finally opens her own detective agency and hires her new next door neighbor, Emma, as another detective.  When Emma meets Charles, she sets her cap for him, but as he pays more attention to Agatha, Emma begins to have murderous thoughts toward her employer.

  • The Fairies of Fryfam ****
Fiction.  Tenth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha rents a cottage in Fryfam, as she feels she needs a break from James Lacey.  Colorful lights in her garden that no one will talk about, make her wonder if there are fairies about.  At the big manor, a Stubbs painting has been stolen, then the owner is murdered, and Agatha and Charles begin investigating.

  • The Haunted House ***
Fiction.  Fourteenth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  A woman in a neighboring town claims that her house is haunted, and Paul wrangles Agatha into investigating it.  What they find is not paranormal, just plain old murder.

  • Kissing Christmas Goodbye ****
Fiction.  Eighteenth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha hires a young girl to work on the easy cases of lost pets, but Toni proves herself to be more capable than that.  An elderly woman tells Agatha that she thinks her family is trying to kill her, and after she does die, Toni assists Agatha in tracking down the killer. 

  • The Love from Hell ****
Fiction.  Eleventh in the Agatha Raisin mystery series.  Agatha and James have finally tied the knot, but the marriage it floundering.  James thinks Agatha is sleeping with Charles, and James is actually sleeping with Melissa, a newcomer to the village.  He has also been told that he has a brain tumor.  James is attacked and disappears, and Melissa is found dead.  Agatha and Charles try to solve both the murder and the disappearance.

  • Love, Lies and Liquor ***
Fiction.  Seventeenth in the Agatha Raisin series.  Agatha’s ex-husband, James, invites her for a holiday along the coast, and envisioning a lush tropical climate, Agatha packs her most romantic and skimpy outfits, only to find that they’re staying in a cold, dreary England seaside town.  James, who remembers the town as being fun and sunny, is also depressed at the reality.  While there, Agatha has an argument with another woman at the hotel who ends up murdered on the beach, strangled by Agatha’s scarf.

  • The Perfect Paragon ****
Fiction.  Sixteenth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha’s detective agency is doing good business when a young girl in the neighboring village disappears.  Agatha is determined  to find the girl and gets all of her crew working on the case.

Blake, Deborah
  • Veiled Magic *****
Fiction.  First in the Donata Santori urban fantasy series.  Donata works for the NYPD as a Witness Retrieval expert.  Her special witchy skills allow her to speak with the dead, and speaking with recently departed victims is one of the best ways to solve murders.  In this particular case, Donata speaks with the murderer who accidentally died trying to steal a painting that was being restored.  After he departs, Donata is surprised that the murdered art restorer who was working on the painting follows her home with a desperate cry for help.

Evanovich, Janet
  • Tricky Twenty-Two *****
Fiction.  Stephanie Plum works in bonds enforcement at her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds office.  Lately she’s been co-habitating on and off with her boyfriend Morelli, a police detective.  He stuns her by dumping her without notice, but he can’t stay out of her life.  In the meantime, Stephanie calls upon Ranger, co-owner of an elite security company, to help her catch some of her FTAs, and her feelings for him are ramped up again.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann
  • A Body to Spare *****
 Fiction.  Tenth in the Odelia Grey mystery series.  Odelia and her mom are waiting at the car wash for her car to be ready, when suddenly a scream rings out.  As everyone rushes toward the screamer, Odelia realizes he’s standing behind her car with the trunk open.  A trunk with a dead naked body in it.

  • Booby Trap *****
Fiction.  Fourth in the Odelia Grey cozy series.  Odelia and Greg have finally tied the knot and set up housekeeping at Greg’s house in Seal Beach.  A serial killer is loose in the area, and a woman who believes the killer is her son asks Odelia for help in proving that it isn’t him.  With killings mounting up, Odelia is on overdrive trying to find out if the famous plastic surgeon is or is not the Blond Bomber.

  • Corpse on the Cob *****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Odelia Grey cozy series.  Odelia has tracked down her estranged mother whom she hasn’t seen in 34 years.  Although Greg urges her to call Grace first, Odelia decides to fly to Massachusetts and surprise her instead.  At the autumn fair, Odelia searches for her mother, only to find her kneeling over a dead body.

  • Hell on Wheels ****
Fiction.  Ninth book in the Odelia Grey series.  Odelia and her husband, Greg, travel down to San Diego for a quad rugby tournament in which some of their friends are playing.  While they are there, a friend of theirs is on the court, when a member of the opposing team wheels up to him and whispers something.  A fight ensues, and when the other players are able to separate the two men, one of them lies dead on the floor.

  • Hide and Snoop *****
Fiction.  Seventh book in the Odelia Grey cozy mystery series.  Odelia’s new boss, Erica, brought her 3-year-old niece, Lily, to work and foisted her off on Odelia all week.  At the end of the week, Erica brings the child’s clothes, toys, and car seat into Odelia’s office and announces that Lily is Odelia’s responsibility for the weekend.  Since Odelia needs her job, she takes Lily home with her, not knowing there is a price on Lily’s young head.

  • Love Bytes ****
Fiction.  Short story of a BBW who meets a man through a personal add on the Love Bytes website. 

  • Secondhand Stiff *****
Fiction.  Eighth book in the Odelia Grey series.  Odelia’s mother has come for a Thanksgiving visit, and they all gather at Greg’s parents’ house for the feast.  Greg’s second cousin, Ina, is a troubled teen who finds herself accused of murder.  The family bands together to prove her innocence.

  • Thugs and Kisses ****
Fiction.  Third in the Odelia Grey cozy mystery series.  Odelia’s boss, Mike Steele, has gone missing, and her firm assigns her the task of finding him.  While she and Greg are trying to work out the differences in their relationship, she attends her 30th high school reunion with her friend, detective Dev Frye.  While there, her old nemesis is shot, and she is high on the suspect list.

  • Too Big to Miss *****
Fiction.  First in the Odelia Grey cozy mystery series.  Odelia is shocked when she hears that one of her good friends has killed herself, and she can’t believe that’s true.  At the memorial service, Odelia meets Greg Stevens, a fellow mourner and another of Sophie’s friends.  He doesn’t believe she committed suicide either, and the two join forces to try to learn the truth.

  • Twice as Dead *****
Fiction.  Sixth in the Odelia Grey mystery series.  Odelia’s half-brother, Clark, has come for a visit after retiring from his job as chief-of-police back home.  Odelia’s best friend, Zee, is hosting her daughter’s wedding at a private club, and she and Odelia have gone to the cloakroom for a minute to de-stress.  Somehow Odelia’s “curse” is once more in action, when they find another dead body sitting on the floor in the cloakroom.

Katz, Marcus and Tali Goodwin
  • The Tarot Shaman: Connect to Your Animal Spirits *
Non-fiction.  Instructions on using the tarot to connect with animal spirits.

Ventura, Varla
  • Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night: Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts ***

Non-fiction.  Historical look at legends of banshees, werewolves, and vampires.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Books Read - October 2015

Armstrong, Kelley
  • Bitten *****
Fiction.  First book in an urban fantasy werewolf series.  Elena Michaels is trying to live her life in Toronto with her boyfriend, unencumbered by her past.  But she has a secret she is terrified to reveal, because she wants so much to continue this life.  This human life.  But her other half struggles to come to the fore, and when it does, she must RUN.

Baker, Deb
  • Murder Passes the Buck **
Fiction.  First in the Gertie Johnson cozy series set in Michigan.  It’s hunting season, but the unexpected happens when a hunter is shot inside his own blind.  Gertie quickly assumes that it’s murder and sets forth to solve it herself.

Banks, Maya
  • Golden Eyes ***
Fiction.  First in the Eyes shapeshifter series.  Aliyah has been captured in Africa and shipped to Colorado for the pleasure of trophy hunters.  She’s a cheetah shifter running for her life.  When Duncan finds her, she has an arrow in her haunch, and he takes her home to see if he can help her.  He leaves her lying on the floor in the mudroom, but when he returns, he is shocked to find a beautiful, and very naked, woman lying there with an arrow sticking out of her.

Bassett, JoAnn 
  • Maui Widow Waltz ****
Fiction.  First in the Islands of Aloha cozy mystery series starring Pali Moon, a wedding planner struggling to keep her business running.  With all the overdue bills crowding her desk, she is thrilled to see a prospective customer.  But when the woman tells Pali that her husband has been lost at see, but she still wants to go through with the wedding using a stand-in spouse, Pali wonders if this is really a job she wants to take.

Beaton, M.C.
  • The Witch of Wyckhadden ****
Fiction.  Ninth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha is tired of waiting for James Lacey to come home, where she’s sure he’ll want to rekindle their old romance.  She drives to the coast to the small fishing town of Wyckhadden to stay at the Garden Hotel.  She meets some local residents including the police inspector, Jimmy Jespers, which whom she finds herself enamored.  On the advice of one of her new friends, she visits the town witch to buy a potion to restore her hair, but she comes under scrutiny when she finds the witch dead.

Bevill, C.L.
  • Deadsville ****
Fiction.  Detective Octavia Stone went out on a call, and the next thing she knows, she wakes up in a strange town called Deadsville, where all of the inhabitants are dead.  She accepts the job of being sheriff of this town, and her first case is investigating the murder...of a dead man.

  • Death Twitches *****
Fiction.  Fourth in the Lake People series.  Melisandre has a special gift that allows her to read minds.  She has learned to use that gift to make money playing poker.  But she has come to the attention of an evil man who hires her to read minds for him, so that he can make business decisions, some of which include murder.  Meli is in danger, and Rousseau hears her all the way from Unknown and comes running to save her.

  • Dial ‘M’ for Mascara *****
Fiction.  Mary Grace is a graphic designer living alone in Texas.  As she’s traveling home one day, the brakes on her car give out, and she is lucky to make it out okay.  Her car, not so much.  But this is just the beginning in an odd and humorous story of this young woman.

  • Iron Moon ****
Fiction.  Fifth book in the Cat Clan shifter series.  Lena is on the hunt for Martinez, a rogue shifter who kidnaps and sells other shifters into captivity.  She tracks him to Peru but is caught and held prisoner in a pit.  To her surprise, another shifter is thrown down with her, a wolf shifter from Paris.

Bishop, Erzabet
  • Samhain Shadows ****
Fiction.  Erotic novella in the Erotic Pagans series.  Brigit is trying to move past her mother’s passing, and running her mom’s witchy shop does help. Samhain is here, and when her covenmate, Jasmin, tries to get her to go to the Samhain celebration, Brigit just doesn’t feel up to it.  She’s lonely and sad.  But when Julia, her cat’s vet, stops by to drop off Bathsheba, Brigit feels herself responding to Julia’s presence.  Julia feels the same way, and Brigit isn’t lonely any more.

  • Yuletide Temptation ***
Fiction.  Erotic novella in the Erotic Pagans series.  Jasmin spies her high school crush, Shane, working at his mother’s florist shop, and as she needs some evergreen swag to decorate for Yule, she stops in at his shop, where she is flattened by a big hairy beast.

Blake, Heather
  • Ghost of a Potion ****
Fiction.  Third book in the Magic Potion paranormal cozy series set in Hitching Post, NC.  Carly plans to hibernate over the Halloween weekend, because her gift of communicating with ghosts frightens her.  The one social engagement she does attend is a ball at the Ezekial mansion celebrating its grand opening after a historical restoration.  She didn’t count on a murder that night or on the newly departed haunting her into solving his murder.

Bright, Vonette & Nancy Moser
  • The Sister Circle ****
Fiction.  First in the Sister Circle Christian series.  Evelyn’s husband has died and left her without any money, just the house that has been in the family for one hundred years.  She’s at her wit’s end, since her husband was the one who had made all the decisions in their family, but now she needs to figure out what she’ll do for money and with the rest of her life.  Her life changes drastically when she hangs up a Rooms 4 Rent sign, and within two days, all three of the spare rooms have been rented.  She and the other women have to learn how to live together with all their different personalities.

Byrne, Kerrigan, Cindy Stark, Tiffinie Helmer, Cynthia St. Aubin
  • Which Witch is Wicked? ***
Fiction.  Second in the Witches of Port Townsend urban fantasy series.  The four witches are still at war with the four Horsemen, which is proving to be complicated, as each of the witches has fallen for a Horseman and vice versa.  Meanwhile, Lucinda, better known as Satan, has been busy infiltrating the witches’ home and wreaking havoc in their town.

Chopin, Kate
  • The Awakening *
Fiction.  Published in 1899, this is a story of a woman who flirts with infidelity.

Connolly, Sheila
  • An Early Wake **
Fiction.  Third in the County Cork series.  Maura Donovan inherited a pub and house in tiny Leap along the shore in County Cork.  She’s still learning how to run the business and how things work in Ireland.  Tim is a university student down from Dublin, who is researching the old music tradition at Sullivan’s pub, and when the old musicians hear about his interest, they come from far and near to hold a musical event that brings in good business.  But it also brings murder.

Evans, Misty, et al
  • Every Witch Way But Wicked ***
Fiction.  Anthology of short stories in the paranormal romance genre.

Galenorn, Yasmine
  • Autumn Thorns *****
Fiction.  First in the Whisper Hollow urban fantasy series.  Kerris Fellwater returns to Whisper Hollow to fulfill her duty as a spirit shaman after the death of her grandmother.  The town, the lake, and the forest surrounding them are teeming with unseen entities who are walking the earth, and her job is to help protect the town.

Gregory, Philippa
  • The Lady of the Rivers *****
Fiction.  Third installment of the Cousins’ War historical fiction series.  Jacquetta of Luxeumbourg is given in marriage to John, Duke Bedford, a man old enough to be her father.  While he admires her youth and beauty, what he wants is not a bedmate but a virgin with the powers of Melusina, who can foretell the future in his quest to keep his king on the throne.  After his death, Jacquetta marries for love, Richard Woodville, former squire to the Duke.  She becomes friends with Margaret of Anjou, the wife of the new king and, like her husband, does her best to see the throne remains in Lancaster hands.

Hirahara, Naomi
  • The Summer of the Big Bachi ***
Fiction.  First in the Mas Arai series.  Mas is a Japanese gardener in Los Angeles.  He is a survivor of the Hiroshima atom bomb.  When he hears the name Jijo Kimura, it takes him back to the day the bomb landed, and a mystery began.  When he comes face to face with the man who calls himself Jijo, Mas realizes he is a very different man.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann
  • The Curse of the Holy Pail ****
- Fiction.  Second in the Odelia Grey cozy mystery series.  Odelia can’t decide whether she should or shouldn’t marry Greg.  She loves him, but she’s afraid of making another mistake like she made with her first fiance.  She tries to concentrate on work, but when a client dies unexpectedly after showing her his lunch box collection, she’s swept up in the investigation of what happened to him, as well as what happened to his prize lunchbox worth $100k.

Neal, Toby
  • Twisted Vine ****
Fiction.  Fifth book in the Lei Texeira mystery series set in Hawai’i.  Lei is a federal agent working on O’ahu.  She is trying hard to fit in at work after some stumbling blocks during her training period.  Her boyfriend, Michael Stephens, has been promoted to Captain at the local police force on Maui, and they’re dealing with a long-distance relationship.  Lei’s current case involves assisted suicide, and her team as been tasked with finding out who is running the ring and stopping him.

Roberts, Nora
  • Irish Thoroughbred **
Fiction.  First book in the Irish Hearts trilogy.  Adelia’s aunt has passed away after a long illness, and the farm in Ireland has been sold.  Paddy, Adelia’s only remaining relative, has invited her to live and work with him on a horse farm in Maryland.  When she arrives, she marvels at the beautiful horses and the great expanse of the property, not to mention the glorious owner of the property, Travis, who sets her blood rushing.

Singh, Nalini
  • Angel’s Blood *****
Fiction.  First in the Guild Hunter urban fantasy series.  Elena is a vampire hunter.  In her world, angels Make vampires, and when the vampires go rogue, angels hire Elena and her fellow vampire hunters to hunt down the vampires and return them to their angel masters.  Raphael is an archangel, one of ten in the world.  He hires Elena to hunt down a fellow archangel who has gone bad.  Terrifying and beautiful, he mesmerizes Elena, who fights his attraction as she fights to not get lost in terrors of her past.

Speare, Elizabeth George
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond *****
Fiction.  Kit Tyler left behind the only home she knew in Barbados.  With her grandfather dead, her only remaining relative is her aunt who lives in a small town in Connecticut.  Kit’s upbringing was very different from the Puritan life her cousins know, and the town never lets her forget that she’s an outsider.  She struggles to find her place in this harsh land and befriends an elderly woman who lives alone in a shack in the meadow next to Blackbird Pond.  The townsfolk call her a witch, and Kit finds herself under their scrutiny as well.

Wilds, Elissa
  • Between Light and Dark ***

Fiction.  The Gods of Light are seeking a new council member, and Axiom, a Grey God, wants the post.  They send him on a mission to the Earth Realm to impregnate the human woman who will bear the Earth Balancer.  He doesn’t have much time to complete the mission.  Laurell is seeing to her grandmother’s estate when she runs into Axiom, who kidnaps her to keep her close and safe from the Umbrea who seek to destroy her.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Books Read - September 2015

Abbott, Victoria
  • The Marsh Madness ****
Fiction.  Fourth in the cozy mystery series set in Harrison Falls, New York.  Mrs. Van Alst is invited to the Summerlea, the Kauffman estate, to look at some first edition Ngaio Marsh books.  Jordan and Kev accompany her to the luncheon, and the deal is made.  The next day, the police show up and accuse them of murdering Chadwick Kauffman.  While they’re trying to stay out of jail, Jordan learns that people are not what they seem, but that doesn’t prevent the police from concentrating on Jordan, Vera, and Kev as the prime suspects.

Allen, Jenny Jo
  • Connecting with Crystals ****
Non-fiction.  Information on creating crystal divination sets for divination.

Allende, Isabel
  • The House of the Spirits *****
Fiction.  This family saga set in South America is centered around three unique women, Clara, her daughter Blanca, and her granddaughter Alba, and the men in their lives.  In the midst of political unrest, these women are simply trying to keep their families together.

Beaton, M.C.
  • The Wizard of Evesham ****
Fiction.  Eighth book in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series set in the Cotswolds of England.  Agatha is bored and tired of waiting for James Lacey to return home, so she looks around for any mysteries to solve.  Her hair is showing some grey roots, so she takes herself off to a hairdressing salon in Evesham that she’d heard good things about.  Mr. John’s has a lot of good energy, and Agatha is just relaxing when the owner, John, comes to work on her hair.  He’s handsome and flirty, and before she knows it, she finds herself falling for him.

Bevill, C.L.
  • The Flight of the Scarlet Tanager *****
Fiction.  Teddy is on the run for her life, but seeing a young boy fall off a bridge into the ocean makes her forget her own danger, and she leaps off to save him.  Unfortunately, the ensuing news  coverage has film of her face, and the danger she fears hunts her down.  

  • The Life and Death of Bayou Billy ***
Fiction.  Bayou Billy was an infamous thief who spent time living in two towns on opposite sides of the Mississippi river.  When he died, a feeding frenzy erupted, as both towns tried desperately to gain access to his remains, in the hope that it would be good for tourism.

  • Missile Rats *****
Fiction.  Rick Skeets decides to join the military, and after interviewing several recruiters, he chooses the US Army.  Missiles are what interest him, so off he goes to basic training.  The Army isn’t everything the recruiter told him it  would be, in fact it’s very different.  As his eyes are opened to life in the military, he goes through advanced training, and then more training to become a Nike-Hercules technician.  As bizarre as his life becomes, he still prefers it to going home to live with his ma.

  • Shadow People *****
Fiction.  Urban fantasy set in Texas and Oregon.  Penelope Quick is a creeper, a sneak thief, a cat burglar.  She had planned to wait on her friend, Jeremy, to do the creep together, but she needs money quickly in order to pay her blind mother’s quarterly fees at the retirement home, and Jeremy is out of town.  This house isn’t like most houses, it has a reputation of behind haunted.  It’s been known as a murder house since a man who lived there killed his wife, their four children, and even the family dog, before turning the gun on himself.  Penelope doesn’t believe in ghosts, something she reminds herself as she’s emptying the safe in the basement.  Until she hears a sound behind her.

Blackwell, Juliet
- The Paris Key *****
Fiction.  Genevieve is ending her marriage, and her elderly uncle in Paris has just died and left her his locksmith shop.  Genevieve had spent a summer there when she was 14 and recovering from her mother’s death, and to keep her mind occupied and the sorrow at bay, her uncle Dave had taught her how to open and work with locks.  Trying to have a fresh start in her life, she moves to Paris to take over Dave’s shop, and in doing so, learns who she is, and who her mother was.

  • Spellcasting in Silk *****
Fiction.  Seventh in the paranormal cozy mystery series set in San Francisco.  Lily Ivory runs a vintage clothing store with a side business of helping the police solve otherworldly situations.  The magical issues in the city is ramping up, and the police need her help in resolving a situation in a local botanica, where the owner has been jailed in relationship to the suicide of a woman.  Lily must also find the owner’s granddaughter, who has gone missing.

Blake, Heather
  • Some Like It Witchy *****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Wishcraft paranormal cozy mystery series set in Enchanted Village.  Darcy’s aunt Ve is running for mayor, and the town is arguing whether part of the forest should be razed to build more houses.  The forest, being sacred, is very important  to the Crafters in the village.  Darcy’s current assignment is to help her friend, Calliope, find a house to buy, and Calliope has her heart set on the Tavistock, but she has tough competition, and a bidding war has started.  Raina, the realtor, is late for the showing, so Darcy and Calliope decide to look around by themselves, only to find Raina’s corpse stuffed into a closet.

Galenorn, Yasmine
  • Night Shivers *****
Fiction.  Sixth in the Indigo Court series.  Cecily and Grieve face another danger in the form of a giant wolf.  Fenrick sees her as a young and untried queen and hopes to take over her throne.  Cecily is determined to send him back from whence he came.

Greiman, Lois
  • Unplugged ****
Fiction.  Second in the Chrissy McMullen cozy series.  Chrissy’s geeky acquaintance has gone missing, and Laney, her best friend, has asked Chrissy to find him.  Much to Chrissy’s chagrin, Laney has fallen for the millionaire geek and is desperate to know why he’s gone missing.  Rivera is brought back into her life when she goes to the police department to missing J.D. as missing, and he knocks her hormones out of kilter once again.

  • Unzipped ****
Fiction.  First in the Chrissy McMullen cozy series.  Chrissy is a psychologist with a practice in Los Angeles.  She is treating one of her patients for impotency, when she suddenly finds out in a brutal way that he has been lying to her all along.  Unfortunately for her, the patient dies in her office, and she has to convince  police lieutenant Rivera that she is innocent of the murder.

Lavene, Joyce & Jim
  • Be My Banshee *****
Fiction.  First in a new paranormal cozy mystery series set in Norfolk, Virginia.  Sunshine Merryweather owns the Purple Door Detective Agency.  Her lover has been murdered, and she has to solve the case and hire someone to replace him.  When a bean sidhe walks into her office during the interviews, Sunshine isn’t sure what to do with her.  The bean sidhe, Aine of Ulster, is not here to apply for the job, but to hire Sunny to find the last remaining O’Neill of the family she had been guarding for hundreds of years.

LoTempio, T.C.
  • Meow If It’s Murder ***
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery series set in Cruz, California.  Nora Charles has left a crime reporting job in Chicago to take over the family deli.  At first, she thinks she’s left that whole world of crime and mobsters behind her, but as she becomes entangled in trying to solve a murder, her old skills come into play.

Roberts, Anthony H.
  • The Beautiful Shore ***

Fiction.  Short story about Jonah, a father who had lost a son and a faith, and how he found them again.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Books Read - August 2015

Bevill, C.L.
  • Brownie and the Dame ***
Fiction.  Third in the Bubba cozy series.  Brownie is staying at the Snoddy Mansion for  his spring break, and Janie Gray has joined him for the week.  Brownie has taken on the persona of a gumshoe, and with Janie’s police expertise, the two of them hunt around town looking for a mystery to solve.

  • Bubba and the 12 Deadly Days of Christmas ***
Fiction.  Second in the Bubba cozy mystery series set in small-town Texas.  Bubba lives  with his out-of-control mother, Miz Demetrice in Snoddy Mansion.  He has an old basset hound named Precious and is in love with Deputy Willodean Gray.  But Bubba keeps finding himself in trouble with the law, because it seems that everyone in town wants to frame him for murder.

  • Bubba and the Missing Woman ***
Fiction.  Third in the Bubba cozy mystery series.  Bubba is frantic with trying to find Deputy Willodean Gray.  They were all set for their first date, when she suddenly disappeared.  Her cruiser was rammed into, and there is blood on the steering wheel, but the deputy is nowhere to be found.  Bubba fears the stalker she had when she lived in Dallas has followed her to Pegramville and kidnapped her.

  • Bubba and the Mysterious Murder Note ***
Fiction.  Miz Demetrice is busy organizing the murder mystery festival in town, and Bubba’s been working on his always-ailing truck.  He finds a note in a box of old Chevy parts that says if the note is found, the writer has been murdered.  The sheriff and Big Joe aren’t sure any murder happened, but Bubba feels a strong need to find out for sure.  Butting in might just get him killed.

  • Bubba and the Ten Little Loonies *****
Fiction.  Eighth in the Bubba cozy series.  Bubba and Willodean are getting ready for their nuptials, and Miz Demetrice has hired a wedding planner from New York to make all the arrangements.  Bubba, as a typical groom-to-be, is having a hard time concentrating on all the details and at first ignores his friend David when he warns that there are have been two murders at the mental hospital on the hill.  When Bubba finally visits David, people start disappearing, and Bubba realizes that David’s fears just might be true.

  • Bubba and the Zigzaggery Zombies ****
Fiction.  Seventh in the Bubba cozy series.  A film crew  is in town filming a zombie movie, and the prevail upon Bubba to play Zombie#14/Farmboy.  He is trying desperately to find a way to ask Willodean to be his wife, but things keep getting in the way.  Mostly zombies.  Usually there are dead bodies before zombies, but in this case, there is a dead body that came after the zombies.  Miz Demetrice, Miz Adelia, and Willodean are busy doing something very mysterious and probably illegal, and it brings DEA agents down on Bubba’s head.

  • The Ransom of Brownie ****
Fiction.  Sixth in the Bubba cozy series.  Brownie is once again staying at Snoddy Mansion.  His mother is about to give birth, and his father thinks it best that Brownie stay away for a few months.  Bubba and Miz Demetrice are about at their wit’s end with Brownie’s capers, but they’re quite surprised when they find a ransom note on their  front porch.  Brownie has been kidnapped, but the kidnappers will soon regret their decision.

Blake, Lilliana & P. Seymour
Single Wide Female Bucket List ****
  • Learn Pole Dancing
  • Start a Blog
  • Learn to Cook
  • Create a Masterpiece
  • Run a Marathon
  • Go Skinny Dipping
  • Start Online Dating
  • Learn Yoga
  • Be a Mentor
  • Crash a Wedding
  • Be a Movie Extra
  • Join a Writing Group
  • Enjoy a Spa Day 
  • Donate Blood
  • Learn Poker 
  • Get a Tattoo
  • Host a Dinner Party
  • Publish a Book
  • Walk Across Hot Coals 
  • Learn to Swim 
  • Learn to Meditate
  • Quit my Job 
  • Learn to Salsa 
  • Fall in Love 
Fiction.  24 novellas about the life of Sammy, an overweight single woman challenging herself to do the items on her bucket list and hopefully find out who she really is.

  • My Valentine’s Day 
  • St. Paddy’s Day Disaster 
  • A Bunny’s Tale
Fiction. More in the life of Sammy, the SWF.

  • Becoming Zara ***
Fiction.  Books written by Sammy of SWF fame.  Zara decides to quit her job to begin working as a life coach.

Brennert, Alan
  • Moloka’i *****
Fiction.  Young Rachel Kalama is taken from her family and sent to the Kaluapapa colony on Moloka’i, where patients with Hansen’s disease are isolated.  Scared and unsure whether she’ll ever see her family again, she tries to fit in with the other girls at the convent compound, where she will live until she reaches adulthood.  Life there is hard, but Rachel manages to create her own ‘ohana, with whom she finds love and kindness that will see her through the hard times.

Charles, Ann
  • Meanwhile, Back in Deadwood ****
Fiction.  Sixth book in the paranormal cozy mystery series set in Deadwood, SD.  Violet Parker is just trying to raise her precocious twins, keep her job at Calamity Jane Realty, and spend time with her boyfriend, Doc.  However, her twins are not speaking to  her, her rotten co-worker at the office keeps trying to block her from making sales, and her past is keeping her from hoping for two much out of her relationship with the man in her life.  Add to that her newly discovered family “gift” of being an Executioner to beings from beyond the earthly plain who are determined to destroy her.

Copeland, Cyrus
  • Off the Radar *****
Non-fiction.  In 1979, 66 hostages were taken when the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was captured by a group of angry Iranian students.  While the world was focussed on the hostage situation and the growing troubles in Iran, an American man was arrested on charges that he was a CIA agent and had been stealing radar parts from the Iranian Air Force and sending them back to the U.S., from where they’d originated.  His story is this story as written by his son, a half-American, half-Iranian boy who grew up during those troubling and turbulent times.

Grafton, Sue
  • X *****
Fiction.  Kinsey Millhone is a PI living Santa Teresa, California.  She is hired by a woman looking for the son she put up for adoption.  He’s just been released from prison, and Kinsey quickly finds him and sends off her report.  Henry, Kinsey’s landlord, introduces her to their elderly new neighbor, Edna, who lives with her wheel chair-bound husband, Joseph. Henry is more than willing to help Edna out with running errands, but Kinsey is reluctant to be drawn into what could be a troublesome relationship, but she is quite surprised to find that the friendly couple aren’t quite who they say they are.

Hockensmith, Steve & Lisa Falco
  • The White Magic Five and Dime ***
Fiction.  First in the Tarot Mystery cozy series.  Alanis doesn’t even know her real name.  Growing up the daughter of a con artist, she’s has many names over the years.  Twenty years after she sent her mother to jail, Alanis is informed by a lawyer that her mother has died and left her The White Magic Five and Dime, a tarot shop where her mother made a living conning people as a tarot reader.  When Alanis arries in town, she learns that her mother didn’t die of natural causes but was murdered.  She promised her mother justice.

Silko, Leslie Marmon
  • Ceremony ***
Fiction.  Mystical story about a Native American WWII vet returning to the reservation with PTSD.  He struggles to rid himself of his demons by taking part in native healing ceremonies.

Ware, Ruth
  • In a Dark, Dark Wood ****

Fiction.  Nora receives an invitation to a hen party weekend to be held at a house in the middle of the woods.  The “hen” in question, is someone she hasn’t spoken to in ten years, and she isn’t sure she wants to accept the invitation, after all, she hasn’t been invited to the actual wedding.  Six people gather to drink and play games, and one night a game goes too far, and a shotgun goes off.