Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Doom With A View - a Psychic Eye Mystery - by Victoria Laurie

an Obsidian Book published by Penguin

Whether you believe or not doesn't matter, the fun is in the reading. I think this 7th book is my favourite of Victoria Laurie's Abigail Cooper Psychic Eye series. To be honest, I haven't read many but the conflicts and characterizations in Doom With A View are so hilarious, yet serious at the same time. When Abby is teamed up with an FBI hardcore unbeliever as the lead investigator and her so cool PI partner Candice, you just know things are going to get volatile. But with three missing teens, whose parents are politicians, there is no time for personal feelings. This is a fast-paced suspense, especially in regard to the political angle, and the urgency of Abby's psychic feelings. Not to make little of the case, when I say hilarious I am referring to the attitudes of the three main players, not the case itself. Abby is so clued in with her "crew" as she calls it, I felt that when they don't seem to tell her anything she becomes very unsure of herself, but fortunately her personal "live" friends are there to upright her canoe so to speak. This includes her live-in boyfriend who is also an FBI agent, but one who's got her back. I was not expecting the end. I loved this book!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

David Winter Mysteries Book One - Fly Paper Soup by Cleve Sylcox

reviewed from e-book

Seven is supposed to be a lucky number...isn't it? Or is it? How many husbands have to die before you become a black widow? Is this wife unlucky (or her husbands)? Or is there more to it than we think. David Winters is about to find out when an old friend, a fellow Viet Nam vet, asks him to be his aunt's lawyer in a court case. Influenced by a real case in 1940, if this book is any indication of what's to come, this will be the beginning of an exceptional series. This will be a short review because the book is packed with everything a series could deliver. A lawyer (with the attitude of a '40s private eye and an eye to the ladies), an adventurous investigation, murder, mystery, confusing twists, humorous asides, and a surprising ending. If I say more, I may inadvertently spoil the plot. Cleve Sylcox certainly knows how to capture my attention. Trust me, this book kept me reading and is worth the adventure.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Run Girl (Ingrid Skyberg FBI Thrillers Book 1) by Eva Hudson

 by Eva Hudson
 reviewed as e-book

Never underestimate an 18 year old girl
Jayne Whitticker, Secretary of State, is about to board a special plane bound across the Atlantic on a highly sensitive mission. As the minutes tick by an imminent storm is brewing when suddenly she and her driver are stopped from boarding by an unexpected security breach. At the last possible moment, she finds herself with her teenage granddaughter and no time to change her flight plans but to take Rachel with her, possibly risking Jayne's entire career. As in most overwhelming teenage emergencies, there are options to what she is wanting, but time has run out, more than one storm is brewing, weatherwise and personal, and as Secretary of State, Jayne has no option. Talk about emotional blackmail! She must carry on with her mission negotiating a peace deal between three warring African nations  and will have to take the girl with her to Strasbourg and hire a private security guard to chaperone Rachel and keep her out of trouble.This incident could go down badly for Jayne's future if Rachel creates any waves.

Switch now to London where a training session is going on by the FBI's Violent Crimes Against Children program in the New Scotland Yard. Enter Ingrid Skyberg who has become a last minute fill-in. She has just arrived in London for this session. With high profile replacements and heads of departments scattered around Europe any number of things could go wrong, and they do. Partnerships are split up between strangers when there is a missing person search call-out. This is a high-level search that skips across countries. Ingrid and her wild-card partner must overcome differences and work together as FBI Agent and private International Security agent from the UK. The chase is on and it is not an easy one. This missing person always seems to be a few steps ahead. This was a unique book, I found it kept my interest and was both amusing and incredulous. A suspenseful chase full of red herrings. I enjoyed it as an introduction the series.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Forgotten Boxes by Becki Willis

based on e-book

This book was a delightful surprise to me. It had all the elements of mystery, murder, suspense, love, questions, darkness and light. There were several thoughts I had about what the mystery could be; at first I was wrong but the light switched on as the story flowed. Though the story unfolds between the past, 1983 to be exact, and the present, it definitely builds the story and is essential to the plot. When Charity Gannon inherits the very small house her Aunt Nell lived in for so many years in a small community in Vermont, she has no idea of the huge changes about to come her way. Why does her aunt have a bullet-riddled and bloody man's outfit hanging in the bedroom? What is the back-story of the presumed suicide of Charity's uncle? Oh, yes, and what about those forgotten boxes in the shed that were never delivered, is it too late to deliver them or would they be a happy surprise to recipients? Charity will soon find out. Who is that huge mountain man she meets in Dan's Market? Becki Willis' writing is very descriptive and brings to life the colours and features of a Vermont autumn. She writes with passion and beauty. Personally, I felt the switches of chapters to the past were fascinating, but I wouldn't have guessed what would come from the events of the past so many years later. Suspense, crime and trickery, sorrow and happiness, suspicion and clarity, and a beautiful romance.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Up Chit Creek - Kira Callaghan Mystery #1 by Catherine Astolfo

published by Imajin Books
A thoroughly enjoyable cozy mystery, fully fledged in a "Qwickie" book. I'm becoming addicted to the short but complete books on the market today. Catherine Astolfo's first Kira Callaghan mystery is no exception. Taking place in a retirement home owned and managed by Kira's sister Ailish, it is really quite heart-warming to see these seniors, many with difficult idiosyncrasies of the mind, enjoying their lives. I could relate. Life carries on at a humorous pace...slow and confused, especially when the Flower Pots get together. I even enjoyed the old-time music which brings out the best in the residents. But wait! Is there a murderer in their midst? Is there a murderer among the families of those dwelling at the home? Could someone on the waiting list be desperate enough to kill for a space at the home? Something is brewing and Kira, a journalist and former war correspondent is determined to get to the bottom of it. Catherine writes with humorous chaos; when Kira takes a break leaving Chittendom Creek (the infamous Chit Creek) for Burlington her description of the Vermont countryside is reviving, even in her haste. I loved this book and the promise of more. I was compelled to read it at one sitting.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Infestation by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

published by Imajin Qwikies

This book will stay with you for a long time. It preys on your fears and phobias while at the same time surprising you with quirky changes of direction. I really enjoyed it, even though I know nightmares will be coming. I feel itchy and crawly as though the storyline reached right out to embrace me. Yet, there is humor as well. The terror builds as the "infestation" escalates. But what I thought was a great touch was the reasoning behind the horror. This book is a quick read and hard to put down so easy to read in one go. This is nightmare brought to life, phobias awakened, the kind of story you love to fear, the kind of writing that Cheryl Kaye Tardif does so well. Definitely pick up this book/ebook if you want a vibrant, living, terrifying story.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

When Blood Lies - a Nicole Charles Mystery

by Linda L. Richards
published by Orca Books Rapid Reads

A bit of a slow start, but I really liked the book. Rookie newspaper reporter Nicole Charles is finding her perfect job to be somewhat boring, for want of a better word. At least she has a place in the large newspaper she is calling home. Through the unexpected yet unquestioned death of the society reporter, she falls into his job. She trained to be a news reporter, what happened to reporting on crimes? What happened to following up leads? For that matter, what happened to working in her own office? The paper is downsizing, as so much media is, and much of the staff now works online from home. Working from home slightly compensates for lack of office space, but Nicole needs a desk to work at. Her best option appears to be an auction, where she finds the "perfect" desk. As bidding starts she is not the only one who wants this desk. Just as she reaches the final limit to bid, police storm in and arrest the other bidder! An extreme but fascinating interruption but fruitful because the auction must begin again. With the only other bidder gone, she gets the desk for a much lower bid.

Looking it over, she notices someone has tried to get into one of the locked drawers. Is the key lost? What could be so important in this drawer? Her brother Kyle joins her to bring the desk home, but once it is installed the search for what secrets it may hold begins. At the same time, their parents' home is broken into. Is there a connection? If so, what could it possibly connect to?

This book has a lot of surprises, a story of love and loss, crime and vintage wine, memories and misguided moments. For readers who know Vancouver, it will bring familiarity, well depicted. Activity escalates throughout Nicole's investigations. I enjoyed the book for all these reasons. I look forward to another Nicole Charles Mystery. I'm left wondering, what happened to the wine?