Aug 27, 2017

Sunday Salon: Crime Novels, and Education; Short Reviews

Three lovely books this week:
Glass Houses: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #13
by Louise Penny
Publication: August 29, 2017, courtesy of Minotaur
Genre: mystery, crime novel
The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
Publication September 5, 2017, courtesy of Harper
Genre: suspense, investigation
Publication September 19, 2017, courtesy of Harper
Genre: nonfiction, education

Mini reviews: I finished and enjoyed

The Little French Bistro by Nina George, June 13, 2017, Crown.
Contemporary novel, women's fiction.
This is the story of a woman escaping an abusive marriage and re-inventing herself in a small town in Brittany, France.  Her plans to commit suicide are waylaid by the kindness of the people in the town where she finds herself, by the ocean, and the bistro where she finds employment. 
I got involved with the various personalities in the novel, young and older, and with the descriptions of a seaside village on the Brittany coast, as well as with Breton customs, superstitions, and folklore. I gave this 5 stars for a pleasant read. 

Livia Lone #1 by Barry Eisler, October 25, 2016, Thomas and Mercer.
Thriller, crime novel.

I have enjoyed the John Rain thrillers by Eisler and was interested to see he has started a new series, featuring a judo expert and Seattle cop, Livia Lone. Livia was kidnapped as a child from a hilltribe village in Thailand, brought to the U.S., and adopted by a senator. This is her story of escape from horrific abuse, becoming a judo expert, and later joining law enforcement in order to stop human trafficking.

A revealing and intriguing story, but be prepared for some graphic violence.

I rated this 4.5 stars.
Whispers of Warning: A Change of Fortune Mystery #2 by Jessica Estevao
Publication September 19, 2017, courtesy of Berkley
I will be doing a book tour for the publisher mid September. Watch for a review then.

Our weather has changed a bit and the temps are down. I am missing the warmer sunny days already, but I feel so sorry for those living on the Texas coast.

Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also visit It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date Also visit Mailbox Monday.

Aug 23, 2017

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Visit BermudaOnion's Weblog to join in.

These words came from The Resurrector by Layton Green
1. fynbos - "...fynbos-draped valleys and mythical rock formations..."
  1. noun -a distinctive type of vegetation found only on the southern tip of Africa. It includes a wide range of plant species, particularly small heatherlike trees and shrubs.

2. phenomenology -  "... a renowned professor of religious phenomenology."
the philosophical study of observed unusual people or events as they appear without any further study or explanation. An example of phenomenology is studying the green flash that sometimes happens just after sunset or just before sunrise. (

3. tetrodotoxins - "...tetrodotoxins derived from the puffer fish to sedate their victims."
noun - a potent poison that affects the nervous system. .
Found any unusual words in your reading?

Aug 19, 2017

Sunday Salon: End of Summer Reading

Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also visit It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date. Also visit Mailbox Monday. 

A nice selection of books arrived on my desk last week. I'm getting ready for historical fiction, literary fiction, plus a psychological thriller.

Whispers of Warning by 

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, October 17, 2017, HarperLuxe
Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss, September 12, 2017, Harper
What have you been reading this summer?

Aug 18, 2017

Book Beginning: On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen, August 1, 2017, Berkley Books
Genre: Royal Spyness mystery #11
Description: Royal sleuth, Lady Georgiana Rannoch, juggles secret missions from the Queen, Darcy, and her mother. Set in the Italian lake country. 

Book beginning:
Monday April 8, 1935
Kilhenny Castle 

Darcy has gone. Not sure what to do next.

I should have known it was too good to last. 
I had spent the last two months a Kilhenny Castle, Darcy's ancestral home. I had experienced the merriest Christmas I had ever known, with Darcy, his family, and the eccentric Polish princess Zou Zou Zamanska. ...

Page 56:
I must have drifted into sleep because I was awakened by the smallest of sounds. The click of a door latch. It can't be my door, I thought. I remember locking it....

About the book: An Italian villa, a pregnant friend, the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Simpson, and other intrigues. 

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

Aug 14, 2017

It's Monday: Here's What I'm Reading

Visit It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date. Also visit Mailbox Monday. 

The Resurrector, author Layton Green
Published June 29, 2017
Genre: thriller, fantasy
A Dominic Gray novel, #6
A modern day Dr. Frankenstein, a secret society spawned by the greatest evil the world has ever known, two men racing against the clock to stop the spread of a horrific virus. 

Written in Blood, ARC, author Layton Green
Publication: November 7, 2017, Seventh Street Books
Genre: police procedural, crime fiction
Detective Joe -Preach- Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, tracks a literate killer of a bookstore owner in North Carolina. 
A tale of two kitties by Sofie Kelly
Publication: September 5, 2017, Berkley
Genre: cozy mystery in a series
Two magical cats have powers of detection that prove indispensable to librarian Kathleen Paulson…

I am still reading Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz, 
                            Skeleton God by Eliot Pattison
                            Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
and a borrow from NetGalley, 
                            Walking With Peetey: The Dog Who Saved My Life by Eric O'Grey

What are you reading this week?

Aug 11, 2017

Book Review: Tahoe Payback by Todd Borg

Title: Tahoe Payback, August 1. 2017 by Thriller Press.
Source: author, for review
Objective rating: 5/5
The mystery features Owen McKenna, private investigator, and his harlequin Great Dane, Spot, with Owen's girlfriend, the entomologist Street. 

The novel tell much about the beautiful Lake Tahoe area and also deals with self defense methods, especially for women; search and rescue dogs, scams such as fake charities, and more. Add likeable, interesting personalities and a killer plot to the mix and you have another great Todd Borg thriller - suspenseful and unpredictable.  

Not only does McKenna have to solve an unusual murder or murders, but he has to protect Street from her homicidal father, now out of prison, who blames her for having him incarcerated in the first place.  McKenna and Spot do an admirable job of finding the killer as well as protecting Street. 

Book beginning: 
The person with the gun said,"Get out of the boat." The woman hesitated.
The woman's hands were tied behind her back. She had no way to catch herself if she lost her balance....

Page 56:
"Sergeant Bains calling. I was talking to Santiago at Placer County, and he said you and he have talked about a missing woman. I thought I'd give you a courtesy call."

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

Aug 4, 2017

Review: Betrayal at Iga by Susan Spann

Betrayal at Iga by Susan Spann, July 11, 2017 by Seventh Street Books.
Setting: Kyoto, Japan in the 16th century
Genre: historical mystery
Source: book tour
Rating: 5/5

This is the fifth in the Shinobi mystery series set in 16th century Kyoto, Japan, and featuring the ninja/shinobi Hiro Hattori and the Portuguese Jesuit priest, Father Mateo.

About the book: The mystery novel shows the danger and tension between different samurai clans, their perilous way of life as warriors, and the violence that could erupt between and among them at any time. Hiro has to navigate in this setting and climate, carefully leading his charge, the Portuguese priest, around traps and keeping Fr. Mateo from making life threatening mistakes of protocol in his action or speech.

The plot: In Betrayal at Iga, Hiro takes Fr. Mateo to refuge in Hiro's home village with his clan in the mountains, Iga province. But there is no certain safety here, as a rival clan has arrived for peace talks with Hiro's clan. When the visitor clan's leader is found murdered, tensions and suspicions ratchet up and no one is safe, including Hiro himself, his mother, or even his former lover.

Hiro and Fr. Mateo, through interviews, detection, and observation, are hard pressed to solve the murder or risk the loss of innocent lives.

My review: This is one of the best in the series. The book has a compelling plot, in addition to the intriguing characters and the unusual setting of time and place.

I enjoyed learning about samurai culture, its dangers and its uniqueness in history. The author is able to immerse us in the culture, while giving us a suspenseful murder mystery that keeps us on edge.

Her love of the historical subject is evident in her writing and meticulous research into the time and place. I highly recommend the book, which can be read as a stand-alone novel, as well as the preceding ones, and look forward to the next in the series.
Book beginning: Autumn 1565
Hiro Hattori leaned into the wind that swept down the hill and across his face. He pulled his kimono tighter and glanced at the Portuguese priest beside him. "Remember you must eat everything set before you -."
"- because leaving food on the plate offends the host," Fr. Mateo smiled. " I have attended Japanese feasts before." 

Susan Spann is a transactional publishing attorney and the author of the Shinobi Mysteries, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo. Her debut novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur Books, 2013), was named a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month. 
Susan has a degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University, where she studied Chinese and Japanese language, history, and culture. Her hobbies include cooking, traditional archery, martial arts, and horseback riding. She lives in northern California with her husband, son, two cats, and an aquarium full of seahorses.

Connect with Susan: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the author for a review copy of this novel. For other reviews of the book see the tour schedule

Meme: visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

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