Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cormoran Strike gets hired by Leonora Quine to find her missing husband Owen Quine. He is an author that has a tendency to disappear from time to time. But Strike soon learns that there is more to Quine's disappear when he finds out that he has written a book where he pretty much insults everyone around him.

This book was so much better than the first book. The story in this book; the case was much more interesting and I didn't know in the end was the culprit. The only thing I can think of that bothered me with the book felt a bit long sometimes, not that I was bored by it, but I felt sometimes it could be a bit long-winded and my interest dropped a bit because of all the characters that Strike had to investigate and all the past history between them that Strike needed to figure out. But it could be because I really wanted to know who did it!

Strike and Robin are such a great team and I'm looking forward to reading more books with them. (without Matthew of course)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can't be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family's infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She's the type of girl you don't notice until the second—or third—look, but there's something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she's the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can't quite believe it's all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can't help thinking that he's hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

*********

This book surprised me quite a lot how good it was in the beginning. Most romance books I usually read tend to be not to my liking. But I just loved the humor in the beginning of this book. I was really happy to read a book that started off that great. Then something happened, the humor disappeared and instead the story took a more, “serious” tone, I can’t even say it was especially romantic. Because in my opinion, it’s hard to like a man that tricks you into marriage and then don’t explain the way he did it. That don’t even explain why he can’t consummate the marriage, leaving the bride feeling unwanted and confused because even though they have only known each other for a short time she has feelings for him. He feels guilty about lying, but still he doesn’t say anything g until the last minute and that makes him a real scoundrel I think.

It wasn’t that hard to figure out why he didn’t want to consummate the marriage, I figured it out quite fast, long before Iris got to know why Richard married her and seriously that was the least thought out plane ever! I don’t know how he was thinking, or rather of he even thought about the consequence of his actions. He thought so much about protecting his family (his two younger sisters) that he included an innocent person in his schemes.

In the end, I just want to say that a lying is never good, it was a lie that started this mess and when everyone was honest with each other then they could work out what to do. If Richard and his sister had been honest with each other right from the start, then perhaps they could have worked out something that didn’t involve a rushed marriage. Hell if he had told Iris after the wedding about why he had to get married then they could have had fewer misunderstandings. But then again, then it would have been no drama...

But even though I didn’t like the story were much, in the end, did I like Julia Quinns writing style, the book was easy to read, the humor great and I would very much read another of her books just to see if the story works better for me.

Thank you Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that this book was available at my library translated to Swedish. I really don't have time for library books, but sometimes I have to make an exception.

Flavia de Luce is a wonderful 11-year old girl with a passion for chemistry (nothing we really share, but I love that she loves it) and in this book, she has to clear her father from a murder charge. But what have stamps to do with the murder?

I admit I had some trouble getting into the story, but I think it was because I only read a little of the book every day, I much prefer to just devour a book and not just take a chapter or two every day. So yesterday I just thought "what the heck let's finish this off" and then everything with the book felt a lot better.

This is a great book; I recommended this book to anyone that likes a good mystery book.

When I think about it; Flavia could actually be the child of Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell (See Laurie R. King). She loves chemistry and is an amateur detective...

Also, I love the names of the sisters, Flavia, Daphne, and Ophelia. It's just splendid!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Tracker (Sigma Force #7.5) by by James Rollins

Tracker by James Rollins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From New York Times bestselling author James Rollins comes a stirring story of a soldier and his military war dog who are drawn into a dark mystery tracing back to World War II and a lost treasure tied to the bones of the dead.

Off the blustery streets in the medieval heart of Budapest, Captain Tucker Wayne and his war dog, Kane, rescue a mysterious woman fleeing three armed men. The secret she holds will unlock a terrible treasure, one steeped in blood and treachery, tied to a crime going back to the fall of Nazi Germany and a heritage of suffering and pain that reaches out from the past to wreak havoc today. In a final showdown in the depths of a lost cemetery, truths will be unearthed, treasures exposed, and the fate of all will rest upon the shoulders of one man and a dog whose courage is beyond measure.

**********

A good short story, the only drawback? Too short! When it comes to adventure stories, short stories isn't the best thing in my opinion. You never really have time to get into the story before it is over. Often these kinds of stories are a prequel to the next book and I don’t understand why they instead just not put the prequel in the book instead as a chapter. This is just an appetizer …and I want the whole cake!

Extraction by Douglas Preston

Extraction by Douglas Preston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling authors Preston & Child, an all-new short story featuring Agent Pendergast, available only as an ebook and audio download.

In New Orleans' French Quarter, the Tooth Fairy isn't a benevolent sprite who slips money under your pillow at night....he's a mysterious old recluse who must be appeased with teeth--lest he extract retribution. When young Diogenes Pendergast loses a tooth, however, his skeptical older brother Aloysius is determined to put the legend to the test...with dire consequences.


**********

This is a short Pendergast story from when he was a kid. I often find these short stories that seem to be so popular these days lacking any real depth, they are too short, you hardly get into the story before it is over. This is an exception. This is a good story, very eerie. If you like Agent Pendergast, if you like creepy little tales, then you will love this one!

Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves

Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shetland Detective Jimmy Perez knows it will be a difficult homecoming when he returns to Fair Isle to introduce his fiancee, Fran, to his parents. It's a community where everyone knows each other, and strangers, while welcomed, are still viewed with a degree of mistrust. Challenging to live on at the best of times, with the autumn storms raging, the island feels cut off from the rest of the world. Trapped, tension is high and tempers become frayed. Enough to drive someone to murder... 

When a woman's body is discovered at the renowned Fair Isle bird observatory, with feathers threaded through her hair, the islanders react with fear and anger. With no support from the mainland and only Fran to help him - Jimmy has to investigate the old-fashioned way. He soon realizes that this is no crime of passion - but a murder of cold and calculated intention. With no way off the island until the storms abate - Jimmy knows he has to work quickly. 

There's a killer on the island just waiting for the opportunity to strike again...
**********

Poor Jimmy Perez can't even travel home to introduce his fiance to his parents without someone gets murdered and since he is the only cop there, and it's bad weather and no one can get there and no one can get off the island, he has the solve the murder. A bit like Midsomer Murders, on an island, with a lot of suspects. And, of course, with a lot of suspects with motives.

Was I surprised how good this book was? Hell yes, the previous three books can't compare to how intense this book was, or perhaps it all has to do how surprising the ending was. Anyway. I felt that I needed a decent crime novel to read and since I have somehow missed reading this one, I thought, "why not". I didn't think that I would get sucked into the story and spend a good part of Saturday reading it. I like Jimmy Perez, I like that he is a bit old fashioned that he is thoughtful. He gets the job done. But this time, well it's a thought case for him.

It was a really good crime novel and I can't wait to read the next one!

Friday, 23 January 2015

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years.

They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world.

Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed.

A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time.

Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles.

The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can’t…

GET READY FOR ACTION ON A GIGANTIC SCALE.


**********

I love adventure books and movies. I have no problem with over the top storylines and I can even take some flat characters. But even I have a limit and this book, well its story went over that limit. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, partly, the beginning was fast paced and everything and CJ the main character was OK. I liked the fact that she had scars on her face because perfect good looking characters are irritating to read about. Her brother Hamish was also OK. But you could fairly easy figure out who would live to see the end of this story and who would not; there was no surprise death, there were no feelings of "oh no they killed off him/her and now I'm sad".

Matthew Reilly really tried his best to write the deaths quite gruesome, but since no character that died really was someone that I cared about was it just "another bloody death". I mean I found the death of getting your lungs sucked out of you by a bomb more awful that being bitten to death by a dragon.

Two things really bothered me, the nice dragon and the fact that there was a child in the story. I knew that the nice dragon would come in handy later on the story (it was) and that the child would need to be rescued (yes that happened). So the bloody storyline was so frustrating predictable that the story lost all excitements.

Still I liked the beginning. I would read more books by Matthew Reilly. But I was disappointed by this one for I was really looking forward to reading The Great Zoo of China.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Monday, 19 January 2015

The City of Blood by Frédérique Molay

The City of Blood by Frédérique Molay
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Twenty-seven years after burying the leftovers of a banquet in an art project, the place is excavated, but together with the leftovers, a body is found. Who is the dead person and who killed him?

The hardest thing for me with this book was keeping track on all the people, there were a lot of names and I don't know if it was because they were French or just so many that made my brain go "who was he again?", but at least, in the end, I think I had gotten most of the names under control. The worst thing is reading a crime novel and when the culprit is revealed you just go "who was he again?" That did at least not happened with this book.

The story was quite straightforward, no big surprises, not a lot of red herrings. Someone was dead. Everyone was quite sure of whom it was more people dead and it was quite logical that the body buried 30 years earlier had something to do with present day's murder.

One thing that I found unusual with the book was that everyone was so nice; I mean among the cops, usually, the lead cop is a real bastard, or some other cop is a bastard, someone is usually a bastard. But everyone was genuinely nice. That was quite odd to read. This is the first crime novel I read that takes place in France so I don't know it is typical or if the author just wanted to portray everyone in that way. Anyway, that was a nice change to all the moody cops I usually read about.

Another thing that I thought about while reading the book, was the cops quite relaxed attitude to the gay community. I mean two of the cops went to a gay bar to question witnesses and there were none of the usual attitudes towards homosexuality. I don't know if all the American/British/Swedish crime novels I have read have made me used to more eh harsh attitude towards homosexuals or something. But it was really nice to have cops just so at easy with it.

Anyway. I liked the book, the story wasn't that complex, but I liked the characters. I mean the main character Nico Sirsky, mentioned in the book Star Trek (a milieu looked like a scene from Star Trek), and had a Queen ringtone (Another one Bites the Dust). He cares very much for his mother who had to be taken to the hospital after collapsing and worried about her while hunting a killer. I wish he was for real!

Thank you Le French Book for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood

Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Phryne Fisher has her hands full in this, her second adventure. And just when we think she’s merely a brilliant, daring, sexy woman, Phyrne demonstrates other skills, including flying an airplane and doing her own stunts!

Phryne takes on a fresh case at the pleading of a hysterical woman who fears her hot-headed son is about to murder his equally hot-headed father. Phryne, bold as we love her to be, first upstages the son in his own aeroplane at his Sky-High Flying School, then promptly confronts him about his mother’s alarm. To her dismay, however, the father is soon killed and the son taken off to jail. Then a young girl is kidnapped, and Phryne―who will never leave anyone in danger, let alone a child―goes off to the rescue.

Engaging the help of Bert and Cec, the always cooperative Detective-Inspector Robinson, and her old flying chum Bunji Ross, Phryne comes up with a scheme too clever to be anyone else’s, and in her typical fashion saves the day, with plenty of good food and hot tea all around. Meanwhile, Phryne moves into her new home at 221B, The Esplanade, firmly establishes Dot as her “Watson,” and adds two more of our favourite characters, Mr. and Mrs. Butler, to the cast.

**********

Phryne Fisher is back in Flying to High, the sequel to Cocaine Blues. In this book, she has to help a man accused of murdering his father, rescue a kidnapped child and of course, seduce some men.

I didn't find this book as good as the first one. I like Phryne Fisher, she's a great character, but the story in this book wasn't as captivating as it was in the first book. I found myself doing other things so even though the book wasn't that thick did it take me a while to finish it. Also, all this seducing of men, I find it a little bit boring. Fine she likes sex, but come on, is this what's going to happen in every book? 1-2 cases in every book and some sex scenes, then it's going to be a bit repetitive.

But the biggest problem I had with the book was there was too darn little Inspector Jack Robinson. Yes I know, he's not the star of the book and I can't compare the book series with the TV-series (but I do it anyway). But he was hardly in this book and that made me not a happy camper.


The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Reconstruction-era America, vampire Henry Sturges is searching for renewed purpose in the wake of his friend Abraham Lincoln's shocking death. It will be an expansive journey that will first send him to England for an unexpected encounter with Jack the Ripper, then to New York City for the birth of a new American century, the dawn of the electric era of Tesla and Edison, and the blazing disaster of the 1937 Hindenburg crash. Along the way, Henry goes on the road in a Kerouac-influenced trip as Seth Grahame-Smith ingeniously weaves vampire history through Russia's October Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and the JFK assassination. Expansive in scope and serious in execution, THE LAST AMERICAN VAMPIRE is sure to appeal to the passionate readers who made Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a runaway success.

**********

The Last American Vampire is the sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, a book that I haven't read (yet). In this book, we follow Henry Sturges through the centuries. He has seen it all he has seen America throughout the centuries becoming the land it is today. He has traveled to his homeland England for the first time since he became a vampire. He has met many quite famous men like; Bram Stocker, James Irving, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla, Teddy Roosevelt, Rasputin, Eliot Ness, FDR, Howard Hughes and Jack Kennedy. He even met Jack the Ripper!

But deep in the shadow is an enemy lurking, someone called A. Grander III, but no matter what Henry does or where he goes he just doesn't seem to be able to find this A. Grander III. This mysterious enemy seems to want to bring chaos into the world.

Yes, there were moments when I thought the book was too long when I read it, it was just so much happening during so many years that I just felt that this could have easily been two books. But in the end, when I was finished and looked back; everything was important, every encounter led in the end to the confrontation between Henry Sturges and A. Grander III. But still it was very much happening and I was left a bit exhausted in the end like one do when a book has had a so strong grip of you that you hardly know what to do when you have finished the book. But what a great read. This review is actually one of the hardest I have had to write because so much happened, but I don't want to give much away and I don't want to write an awful darn long review with me just writing how much I loved this book. I'm sure you all aren't that interested in that...

In the end, I just have to say, I really felt drained after reading this book (pun intended)...

Thank you, Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane

A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro know their home, rough neighborhoods of South Boston. Their first PI job seems simple - find Jenna, a black cleaner, and confidential state documents she stole. Extortion, assassination, and child prostitution extend from the ghetto to the government. The worst atrocities are closest to home, and committed in the name of love.

**********

A Drink Before the War was my first Dennis Lehane book and an excellent start to the Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro series. The only thing I wondered was, why the hell did it take me so long before reading this book?

I liked Patrick and Angie, I didn't like Phil, Angie's husband and wondered how long before she would get rid of him. But there was one person beside the detective duo that I liked; Bubba. I have a bit of fondness for one person armies! The case was interesting and seemed to be a simple one, just retrieve some documents. But as usual when it comes to the duo (as I came to learn reading more books about them) it never is that easy and soon they are up to their ears in trouble...

This is a great first book that I warmly recommend anyone that likes crime books to read!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.


*********

This is the first book (of many I hope) about Owl and a very good first book. I liked Owl from the beginning. She’s a smart mouth thief with a knack for finding trouble and a faithful companion by her side; Captain a vampire hating cat. Owl has been laying low for months now hiding from vampires after a deal gone sour. So an offer from a dragon to get rid of her problem is perfect even though she usually tries to stay the hell away from supernaturals.

Beside Owl and the Captain, we also get to meet Nadya, her best friend, Rynn, bartender and also the guy she’s been shunning since he kissed her. Oricho and Lady Siyu that works for Mr. Kurosawa and are the ones that Owl has to report to.But the guy I liked the most is actually the one that we hardly get to met, Carpe, Owls online gaming partner. Yeah, Owl likes to play an online game called World Quest when she’s not out stealing…eh, I mean retrieving artifacts. Of course, old enemies show up, like Alexander a vampires that really don’t like her.

Of course finding the artifact isn’t a piece of cake and soon Owl, Nadya, and Rynn are in deep trouble and they have to fight vampires, Nagas and other creatures along the way.

I liked the book for its adventure, its action, and its humor. It was a fun and a pleasant read and I truly recommend this book to anyone that likes adventure books with a strong female character. Owl is great, she’s not perfect. For instance, she has a tendency to talk when she should keep her mouth shut. I even liked the relationship between Owl and Ryan and I’m extremely picky when it comes to romance.

Now I'm just looking forward to the next book!

Thanks, Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Murder by Sarah Pinborough

Murder by Sarah Pinborough
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dr. Thomas Bond, Police Surgeon, is still recovering from the event of the previous year when Jack the Ripper haunted the streets of London - and a more malign enemy hid in his shadow. Bond and the others who worked on the gruesome case are still stalked by its legacies, both psychological and tangible.

But now the bodies of children are being pulled from the Thames... and Bond is about to become inextricably linked with an uncanny, undying enemy.


*********

I like how Sarah Pinborough uses a combination of fantasy and real events and persons in her books Mayhem and Murder to tell a story. The Upir is an interesting creation and I like that it's like a vampire but still quite different. Vampires have become quite popular in my opinion quite boring to read about.

The story in this book takes place a couple of years after the first book and Dr. Thomas Bond is back, but he is still haunted by the memories of what happened years before when Jack the Ripper and the Torso Killer roamed the city. But now something is stirring in the city, there are dead children being pulled out of the river Themes is the evil back, didn't the priest manage to get rid of the Upir when they took care of the Torso Killer in Mayhem?

It was an interesting book to read, but not totally engrossing for me, I had some trouble getting really invested in the story and the love triangle made it not easier. The rivalry between men over a woman can be interesting, but in this case, the outcome was not that surprising and even though it was a logical part of the story I just didn't care for it so much. The book did manage to make some surprisingly turns even though I did guess the outcome right in the end and it was a perfect ending for a setup for a third book!

Thanks to Random House and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Descent by Tim Johnston

Descent by Tim Johnston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Rocky Mountains have cast their spell over the Courtlands, a young family from the plains taking a last summer vacation before their daughter begins college. For eighteen-year-old Caitlin, the mountains loom as the ultimate test of her runner’s heart, while her parents hope that so much beauty, so much grandeur, will somehow repair a damaged marriage. But when Caitlin and her younger brother, Sean, go out for an early morning run and only Sean returns, the mountains become as terrifying as they are majestic, as suddenly this family find themselves living the kind of nightmare they’ve only read about in headlines or seen on TV.

As their world comes undone, the Courtlands are drawn into a vortex of dread and recrimination. Why weren’t they more careful? What has happened to their daughter? Is she alive? Will they ever know? Caitlin’s disappearance, all the more devastating for its mystery, is the beginning of the family’s harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths until all that continues to bind them together are the questions they can never bring themselves to ask: At what point does a family stop searching? At what point will a girl stop fighting for her life?

Written with a precision that captures every emotion, every moment of fear, as each member of the family searches for answers, Descent is a perfectly crafted thriller that races like an avalanche toward its heart-pounding conclusion, and heralds the arrival of a master storyteller


***********

This book hit me pretty hard. I had it for ages on my Ipad but the time never really came for me to read it until now when I saw that it would be released, then I thought “what the heck, I read it, who knows it could be good”. It was harrowing to read the family’s agonizing search. The father Grant who stayed and search, the mother Angela who in the end returned home but never really could go on living, the son Sean who finally left them and lived in his car and worked for gas money just driving around...

In the end, I just want to say that Tim Johnston has written a marvelous book, very beautiful written about the evil things men do. In many ways this is so much worse than paranormal horror because things like this happen, children disappear, some are found and some are never found. I cared deeply for the family and I even came to care very much for a character that I never really liked until in the very end, then he did something that made me actually get tearful and I seldom cry when I read books.

I recommend this book warmly!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Monday, 5 January 2015

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hard on the heels of the return of her mother’s body from the frozen reaches of the Himalayas, Flavia, for her indiscretions, is banished from her home at Buckshaw and shipped across the ocean to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, her mother’s alma mater, there to be inducted into a mysterious organization known as the Nide.

No sooner does she arrive, however, than a body comes crashing down out of the chimney and into her room, setting off a series of investigations into mysterious disappearances of girls from the school.

**********

This is my first Flavia De Luce book, but not my last. I had no problem getting into the story, but of course, since this is book seven were there bound to be things mentioned in the book that I knew nothing about. Like for instance why she was banished to Canada? Apparently, there happened things in the last book concerning her mother that led to this. But anyway if we disregard that, everything else was not that hard to understand, she mentioned people but often I got an explanation to who she was referring to so that was ok.

I admit that I first thought the books story took place much earlier than 1950’s, around 1920-30’s perhaps. But then television was mentioned and that meant a bit later. Also, I wasn’t sure about Flavia's ages until someone mentioned that she was 12, I thought she would be older. But she was fun; she was like a nosy Nancy Drew, but slightly more morbid. I was a bit weary of Flavia in the beginning, there is a thin line between precocious and obnoxious but she managed to stay on the precocious side throughout the book.

The story was interesting and I liked the school setting. I have always been a bit fascinated by boarding school milieu, and for mystery books are boarding schools a perfect setting. It was a good read and I'm looking forward to reading the previous six books in the series.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Winter at the Door by Sarah Graves

Winter at the Door by Sarah Graves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Homicide cop Lizzie Snow moves from Boston to Bearkill, Maine. She is searching for her niece that disappeared not long after her sister died. And now she has a photo of a little girl that could me Nicki. Sheriff Cody Chevrier is problems of his own. Four ex-cops have died during the last year and only he suspects that it is murder.
**********

Winter at the door was a great book. I liked Lizzie Snow from the moments she was introduced into the book, short black hair, red lipstick and red fingernails. Small but strong, a really tough cop! She has moved from big-city Boston to little Bearkill (great name for a town) with ulterior motives; to find her niece that went missing. But soon she is caught up in the suspicious deaths of the ex-cops and then a child disappears…

I liked the characters; her ex-boyfriend Dylan Hudson who is trying to make amends for how their relationship ended and Trey Washburn the local vet who isn’t her type but still a very nice man and an excellent cook. And of course, Sheriff Cody Chevrier, who reminds me of Sheriff Longmire from Craig Johnson’s books and when I think about it; Lizzie Snow reminds me of Vic Moretti. No wonder I like this book.

The plot was good, it was never boring and Sarah Graves tied everything good together in the end. There are some things still not resolved, but I never expected everything to be fully explained in the end. This is the first book in a series. I’m looking forward to reading the next book!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Friday, 2 January 2015

All That Glitters by Michael Murphy

All That Glitters: A Jake & Laura Mystery by Michael Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


In Michael Murphy’s rollicking new Jake & Laura mystery, the hard-boiled writer and the aspiring movie star head for sun-drenched Los Angeles, where a cold-blooded murderer lurks behind the scenes.

Just arrived from New York, Broadway actress Laura Wilson is slated to star in Hollywood’s newest screwball comedy. At her side, of course, is Jake Donovan, under pressure to write his next mystery novel. But peace and quiet are not to be had when an all-too-real murder plot intrudes: After a glitzy party, the son of a studio honcho is discovered dead from a gunshot wound. And since Jake exchanged words with the hothead just hours before his death, the bestselling author becomes the LAPD’s prime suspect.

In 1930s Tinseltown, anything goes. Proving his innocence won’t be easy in a town where sex, seduction, and naked power run rampant. With gossip columnist Louella Parsons dead-set on publicizing the charges against him, Jake has no choice but to do what everyone else does in the City of Angels: act like someone else. Blackie Doyle, the tough-talking, fist-swinging, womanizing hero from Jake’s novels wouldn’t pull any punches until he exposed the real killer—nor will Jake, to keep the role of a lifetime from being his last.


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Laura Wilson, Broadway star arrives in Hollywood to star in a screwball comedy. With her is her boyfriend Jake Donovan, who is under pressure to write his next mystery novel. But they hardly have time to settle down before everything goes wrong. A man is killed at a party they attend the very same night they arrive in LosAngeles and Jake is soon murder suspect number 1...

Everyone that has seen screwball comedies from the 1930s will feel familiarity with this book. It feels really like an homage to old Tinseltown and screwball comedies. There is even cameo appearances by William Powell and Carol Lombard in the story. I really loved that since I'm a huge fan of 1930s movies and love screwball movies. If you haven't seen The Thin Man, then you should see it after you read this book.

Anyway to the story. This was a fast-paced humor filled story with mobsters, movie stars, and murder. Never a dull moment! Jake must do everything in his power (together with Laura of course) to exonerate himself and that before the press prints that he is the prime suspect and his career is over and also clear himself so he doesn't end up in jail for a murder he didn't commit...

This was the first book I read with Jake and Laura, but it won't be the last (especially since I own the first book). I enjoyed reading this book very much and it felt very good to read something lighthearted once in a while. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, perhaps a female aviator will be in it...?

Thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Alibi and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Death Season by Kate Ellis

The Death Season by Kate Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Detective Wesley Peterson investigates another mysterious and deathly case on his 19th adventure in Kate Ellis's captivating crime series

When a middle-aged man is found dead in a hotel room, it seems like a routine matter—until it becomes clear to DI Wesley Peterson that it is a case of cold blooded murder and that the identity the victim has been using isn't his own. Then DCI Gerry Heffeman, frustrated at being given only cold cases during his recovery from being shot in the line of duty, discovers from a DNA review that Wesley's mystery man was responsible for the murder of a child back in 1979. But soon, as Wesley delves in to the events of the past more people die. Meanwhile archeologist Neil Watson is investigating a ruined village that tumbled into the sea during a storm at the time of World War I. Events take a cryptic turn when he encounters a 100-year-old mystery with echoes in the present. As a terrifying truth is revealed, Wesley has to face a great danger, especially if he is to save someone very precious to him.

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DI Wesley Peterson is summoned to investigate a possible murder in a hotel room. It looks like routine matter but then it is revealed that the man used a fake name and the man in question is linked to a cold case; the murder of a child in 1979. Now DCI Gerry Heffeman, recovering from a gunshot in the line of duty, and Wesley must find the killer, because more dead bodies are turning up...

This is the first book I have read by Kate Ellis and I admit that starting with book 19 in a series doesn’t feel like the most perfect start. But I never really had a problem with that because I was so enthralled with the story and the characters that I never had any real problem with not having read the previous books. Sure there is a lot of back history, but instead of being hindered by that I just found myself more curious of reading the precious 18 books.

The plot was really good, there were lots of different things going on at the same time, the cold case murder, the murder at the hotel and an archaeological dig at a ruined village that tumbled in the sea during WW1, but all these happenings had connections to each other and let to a thrilling ending.

I liked Wesley Peterson, he is a good police that knows he is spending too much time working and too little with his family and feeling guilty about it. I’m looking forward to see how it will go for him in the future, especially since he is working with a DS Rachel Tracey who has feelings for him. He seems to be happy married but a close working relationship with a woman attracted to him can be dangerous, especially since his wife seems to be a bit jealous of Rachel…no smoke without fire..

I'm really looking forward to read the previous books in the series since I can’t to know more about his past and how it must have been coming to a little community as a black police after working at the MET. This crime novel was terrific, great story, great characters. Couldn't find anything with it that I didn’t like!
Thank you Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!