Monday, February 2, 2015

Books Read - January 2015

Abbott, Victoria
  • The Wolfe Widow ***
Fiction.  Third in the Book Collector cozy mystery series.  Jordan Bingham is shocked to find that she has been fired from her beloved job as book collector to Harrison Falls pariah, Vera Van Alst.  Ousted from the gothic revival mansion she’d been living in, Jordan heads back to the home she shared with her uncles before she was hired by Vera.  A strange woman had appeared at the mansion, and the next day, Jordan found herself out of a job.  When she learns that the strange woman was selling off Vera’s book collection, she becomes suspicious and begins investigating, something that will lead her right into danger.

Allen, Sarah Addison
  • First Frost *****
Fiction.  This story picks up in Bascom, North Carolina where Garden Spells ended.  Ten years have passed, and Bay is now fifteen.  She lives with her mother, Sydney, who owns a hair salon and her father, Henry, the dairy farmer.  Her young cousin, Mariah, lives in the Waverley mansion with her mother, Claire, a confectioner, and her father, Tyler, who teaches at the local college.  Each of the Waverley women have special gifts, and Bay struggles with hers while going through the pangs of first love.  The period before the first frost is always tumultuous, but this year seems to be more stressful than normal.  

Andrews, Sarah
  • In Cold Pursuit ****
Fiction.  Valena Walker is a post-grad student working on her Master’s degree.  She has the opportunity to fulfill one of her dreams by taking a job working with her glaciology professor, Emmett Vanderzee.  But as soon as she arrives in Antarctica, she learns that he has been arrested for the murder of a journalist that occurred the previous year and has been taken back to the U.S.  Desperate to continue her research, she is determined to prove his innocence, so he can return to the ice.  Surrounded by a huge continent of rock and ice, she gets to know the members of the unique group of people who call it home.

Bartlett, Lorraine
  • With Baited Breath
Fiction.  First in the Lotus Bay cozy mystery series set in a small New York town.  Tori came home to Lotus Bay for her grandmother’s funeral and to help her grandfather get his bait and tackle shop and lodge back in order so he can sell it and move off to Florida.  The school Tori was teaching at had a budget problem, and Tori was left without work.  Originally planning to only spend a week at the lake, she realizes the job of getting the business back up and running could take a lot longer, and the job gets more interesting when a body is found in the lodge.

Berry, Steve
  • The Jefferson Key *****
Fiction.  Eighth book in the Cotton Malone mystery series.  Cotton and Cassiopeia arrived in New York for dinner and a show, but before they can enjoy their vacation, they’re pulled into a plot to kill the President of the United States and have to deal with a cadre of pirates known as the Commonwealth who are holding their good friend as a hostage.  A cipher belonging to Andrew Jackson holds the secret they need to unravel in order to set things right.

Blackwell, Juliet
  • Keeper of the Castle *****
Fiction.  Fifth book in the paranormal cozy mystery series set in San Francisco and starring Mel Turner, owner of Turner Construction.  When she is approached by a wealthy motivational speaker to rebuild an ancient monastery that he had shipped over from Scotland, she accepts the job partly because she needs to keep her workers paid, and also because of the unique challenge.  The fact that the monastery is haunted by two ghosts only increases the intrigue, but when the building inspector is found dead on the site, she wonders if she will be able to see the project through to the end.

Blake, Heather
  • The Goodbye Witch *****
Fiction.  Fourth in the paranormal cozy mystery series set in Enchanted Village within the town of Salem.  Darcy Meriweather’s best friend, Starla, is terrified.  She’s just seen her ex-husband, Kyle, in town.  The last time she saw him was when he was arrested for trying to strangle her two years ago, but he’s back again.  Darcy tries to calm her friend, but when Starla sees him again and points him out to Darcy, Darcy sees nothing.  She wonders if Starla is losing her mind or if something magical is taking place in the village.  Something that can only bring harm to her friend. 

- One Potion in the Grave ****
Fiction.  Second book in the paranormal cozy mystery series set in Hitching Post, NC, wedding capital of the South.  Carly Bell Hartwell runs a potions shop in the small town her family has lived in for generations.  Her mother owns one of the best wedding chapels in town and has been hired to host a high-society wedding between a senator’s son and his fiancee.  Along with the wedding party, a long lost friend of Carly’s has resurfaced in town.  Katie Bell grew up in Hitching Post but left years ago to follow her dream of becoming a doctor.  She’s returned with a new name and a strange relationship to the political family in the wedding.  She’s planning on blackmailing the family, and Carly wants to know why.

Camfield, Thomas W. 
  • Port Townsend: An Illustrated History of Shanghaiing, Shipwrecks, Soiled Doves and Sundry Souls (reading)

Charles, Ann
  • An Ex to Grind ****
Fiction.  Fifth book in the paranormal cozy mystery series set in Deadwood, SD.  Violet Parker is trying hard to complete some sales for Calamity Jane’s Realty.  TV producer arrives in town and hires Calamity Jane to show his team around the ghostly buildings in the area, and Violet’s boss assigns her the duties.  Meanwhile, her ex-husband, Rex Conner, has arrived in town hoping to hire her to act as his wife...for selfish reasons, of course.  Violet has her hands full trying to deflect Rex’s attentions, while she worries that the baggage she comes with will scare off Doc Nyce, her boyfriend.  Real danger returns in the guise of a murderous ax-wielding foe, one that reaches from the beyond into Violet’s everyday life.

  • Look What the Wind Blew In ****
Fiction. First in the Dig Site cozy mystery series set in Mexico. Angelina Garcia is head archaeologist at a temple compound site she is working with her father, Juan, and a crew of local workers. Unknowingly, she reads a glyph setting off a curse that endangers the whole team. Photojournalist, Quint Parker, is there for two reasons; he is writing an article about the dig, but he is also investigating the death of his old mentor, an archaeologist who worked the same site twenty years ago.

Childs, Laura
  • Scorched Eggs ***
Fiction.  Sixth in the Cacklebury Club cozy mystery series.  Suzanne is having her hair done in the Root 66 hair salon, when she suddenly smells smoke.  Hurrying outside, she’s shocked as a blast from the building next door erupts through the window, sending shards of glass out into the street narrowly missing her.  When the fire fighters finally get the blaze under control, the town learns that there is a single tragedy involved, and arson is suspected.  Suzanne and her friends go in search of the murderer.

Dobson, Marissa
  • Tiger Time *
Fiction.  First in her Alaskan Tigers romance series.  Orphaned girl meets were-tiger who claims she is his mate and the new Queen of the Tigers.  An enemy attempts to kill her, so she is taken to Alaska to be with her new clan.  Her death will cause the death of all the were-tiger.  She has special powers and must produce offspring to save the tigers.

Downie, R.S.
  • Medicus ****
Fiction. First in the Medicus mystery series set in Roman Britain AD 117. Medicus Gaius Petreius Ruso is a Roman army doctor newly arrived from Africa. With barely a roof over his head and grave family debts at home in Gaul, he barely has the money needed to purchase an injured slave girl with a broken arm. But purchase her, he does, then keeps her safe from harm as he heals her, only to find that she heals him in return.

Gaiman, Neil
  • Coraline ****
Fiction.  Very strange tale of a young girl who moves into a new flat and finds a door that leads to a brick wall.  One day the wall is gone, and she discovers another world that can destroy everything and everyone she loves.

Galenorn, Yasmine
  • Panther Prowling *****
Fiction. Twenty-sixth book in the Otherworld urban fantasy series.  The girls’ half-cousin, Daniel, is in desperate need of help from the girls. A huge Viking ghost is after him, and he doesn’t know why. The girls suspect he has stolen a magical sword, but he swears that he has no memory of it. A Spell of Compelling has been cast by a necromancer hired to obtain the sword. The girls and their extended family are up for a fight, and Camille gets some life-changing news from the Triple Threat.

Harris, Charlaine
  • Shakespeare’s Counselor ***
Fiction.  Fifth in the Lily Bard cozy mystery series.  Lily finally agrees to try group therapy in order to rid herself of her demons, though she is skeptical of the results. She struggles through the first two sessions, but when she arrives for her third session, the door to the clinic is blocked shut.  She finally gains entry and is followed by her fellow clients down the hall to the therapist’s office, where a horrific sight greets them. Her therapist has secrets of her own and is reluctant to open up to the group, and for good reason.

  • Shakespeare’s Trollop ****
Fiction.  Fourth in the Lily Bard cozy mystery series.  On her way to one of her cleaning jobs, Lily spots something red through the trees on a side road.  Something about it bothers her, so after she’s finished working, she drives back to see what it was.  She spotted a red car, and as she drew closer, she could see there was someone sitting in it.  What she didn’t realize was that it was the body of a young woman who happened to be one of her employers.  Family ties prove treacherous as Lily tries to find the murderer.

Hawkins, Paula
  • The Girl on the Train ****
Fiction.  Rachel travels on the train every weekday.  Back and forth from her home to London, where she wanders around aimlessly.  Along the way, she stares out the window at the houses that line the tracks, at two in particular.  One in which a young couple is often out on their veranda.  They look so much in love.  She doesn’t know them, but she makes up identities and lives for them.  The other house she can’t help seeing is the house where she used to live with her husband.  Her ex-husband.  Who now lives there with his new wife and their baby.  One day Rachel sees something she wasn’t supposed to see, a glimpse into the life of one of the residents that soon spirals them all into horror.

Hoffman, Alice
  • The Red Garden *****
Fiction.  Fascinating tale of a town and the people who lived there in the past 200 years.  Hallie Brady founded the town of Bearsville and kept its inhabitants from dying in those first trying years.  Johnny Appleseed planted the Tree of Life and said that the town would live as long as the tree survived.  The Apparition, a ghost of a young girl who drowned in Eel River can still be seen from time to time.  And in glimpse into the life of the town, the Red Garden bleeds and keeps its secrets.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann 
  • Ghost in the Guacamole ****
Fiction.  Seventh in the paranormal cozy mystery series starring Emma Whitecastle and her ghostly ancestor, Granny Apples.  Emma is asked to help a Mexican restaurant owner communicate with her dead father to see what his wishes are regarding the sale of the restaurant.  She wants to keep it, but her sister wants to sell out.  Emma and Phil meet a PI, Jeremiah, who also happens to talk to ghosts, and they all work together to figure out what is going on with the business.  That all comes to the head when two people are shot, and Emma’s sleuthing prowess kicks into overtime.

Miller, Nancy E.
  • Crystal Unicorns ****

Fiction.  Alexis Tremayne has written a novel that will change her life, though in other ways than she had expected.  She needs to tell this story but has no idea the danger it will put her in.  As she makes the rounds of her book tour, a phantom of her past has murder on his mind.  When she turns to an old love for help, she finds herself caught between the past and the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment