Monday, December 23, 2013

The Fathomless Fire by Thomas Wharton

Published by Doubleday Canada

My only regret is that I never discovered this series, The Perilous Realm sooner so I would have read the first episode earlier. The Fathomless Fire is the second of this trilogy. But for excitement and fascination, we are quickly whisked away into the current realm and all its secrets.

What happens to a story when it never ends, when for some reason the telling of the story is never finished? This is the heart of this trilogy and what makes it so interesting. Though this is the second book of 'The Perilous Realm' trilogy there is enough to connect the reader to the first and in my case, to cause me to want to read the first. I loved this book! Well written, well researched, the reader will find bits and pieces of stories familiar and not so familiar, just enough to follow what is going on.

Thomas Warton has given us an adventure to remember, with all the accoutrements to excite and thrill all ages. Dragons, ogres, dwarves bringing a brief touch of Snow White in a tangled web at one point. Young people leading us on unknown and hidden paths leading to danger or safety, which will it be? Nothing is ever as it seems. Our young human from our world is a hero, a pathfinder in the Shadow Realm. I can see so many bits and pieces of stories immersed, entangled, and disappearing throughout this book, many triggering memories of long ago. This is an action adventure story steeped in magic and fantasy. Reading the middle book first makes me long to read the first and the last; otherwise, I would never know what the beginning and ending would be. An imaginative and clever trip through a very special world.  This is a book I would have completely fallen in love with when I was younger. But wait a minute, here it is decades later and I love the whole concept of the book! It's like a fountain of youth for the mind and soul. Top of my wish list now: Book 1 and 3!

Thirteen Diamonds (Lillian Morgan, #1) by Alan Cook

Reviewed as an e-book

An interesting mystery at a retirement community. Give a senior a mystery to solve and some will surely sink their teeth into it--or it may come back and bite them! When a very popular man collapses and dies in the first hand of a bridge game, all are devastated, especially the women. The death is blamed on anaphylactic shock by a severe allergy to shellfish. Not everyone assumes the death is accidental. Bring on Lillian and her friend Tess, who are determined to prove it was murder.

Alan Cook has done a lot of unusual research to bring us this murder mystery. Mental games, a "perfect" bridge hand, friends and suitors all combine to solve the mystery...or to confuse it. Complicated connections in Lillian's own life adds both to the mystery and to her stress and her peace of mind. Several missteps along the way make the story more enjoyable. This is a quick, easy and entertaining read. I love the puzzle-solving aspect of the book, and I always enjoy learning something new. A touch of romance, a different way of looking at the lives of retirees, this is not a nursing home--this is a vibrant retirement community with individual apartments and individual interests all of which play a part in this quirky yet human book.

Codename: Chimera by J.K. Persy

 Reviewed from e-book

Chimera is usually thought of in terms of a monster from Greek mythology, but the research in this book has brought to light several other definitions. I must say that  this book held my attention right through with its action, mystery, non-traditional twists and turns and a possibly cursed antique--the Bellerophon, a  jewel-encrusted medallion.

When word gets out that the owner of said Bellerophon dies suddenly of shock in a part of town he would not be expected to frequent, we get into the meat of the story. The plot is rife with blindsides. This is a serious murder mystery that is fun to read. J.K. Persy has done a great job of befuddling. There are a few brain teaser puzzle questions thrown in for good measure, but it soon becomes clear that this entire book is a puzzle. When the answer becomes clear it soon proves it is not. Not only the search for the true nature of Morris Peterson's death, but what shows up in the search.

PI Kevin Kris, his assistant Penny, and friend Michael become totally immersed in the case, determined to solve the mystery at hand when Penny discovers a similar death under similar circumstances happened a few years earlier, throwing all the work they have done to the wind. This is a fascinating storyline, and I loved it. Well researched in many different areas from neurotoxin, suicide, to paranoid schizophrenia and mythical creatures of ancient Greece. Well-written, commanding one's attention, and at the same time the camaraderie of the principals is palpable even while the stress of the case is overwhelming.