Desert Heat

Good Sunday morning, hope the sun is shining in your neck of the woods!

This week’s read was Desert Heat, by J.A. Jance. This is the first book in the Joanna Brady series, and it’s not a new series, so I’ve got some catching up to do. Which is a good thing.

On the night of their tenth wedding anniversary, Joanna Brady finds herself worried about her husband, Andy, when he’s hours late for their planned celebratory dinner. (Bear in mind, this book was written in 1993. People didn’t just call each other on cell phones back in the “old days” like we do now). When she goes out to look for him, she finds him in a ditch, bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound. Andy is running for sheriff of Cochise County, and Joanna immediately becomes concerned that his opponents had something to do with the shooting. As Andy is fighting for his life in the hospital, Joanna is informed that it was a suicide attempt on his part. She knows that’s preposterous and fights to clear his name against some very dangerous people.

Desert Heat was a really fast read, which I love, and kept me guessing until the end. Love that, too. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series and will keep you posted. ‘Til next time, happy reading! 🙂



Gathering Prey

Good Sunday morning, I hope this finds you well!

This week’s read was John Sandford’s most recent, Gathering Prey. It’s number 25 in the Lucas Davenport series, and I’ve read every single book. As usual, I’m already looking forward to the next one. I wish he could write a book a month!

Anyway, in this story, Davenport’s adopted daughter, Letty, meets a couple of kids out on the west coast called Travelers. In a word, they’re homeless. They’re basically nomads who travel light, do odd jobs for a few bucks here and there, sleep wherever they can find a safe spot, yet they have a pretty amazing network of other Travelers in various cities. Letty is intrigued by them, and also concerned, so she gives the girl Traveler her phone number. When the girl’s companion gets murdered in an extremely gruesome fashion, she calls upon Letty for help, so Letty turns to Lucas. At first he doesn’t take it too seriously, but after agreeing to look into it, a very disturbing pattern emerges, with a trail of bodies in its wake.

While this wasn’t my favorite Davenport story, it was a good, suspenseful read. It seemed like the entire book was Lucas being one step behind the killer and that every chapter involved him being just a little bit too late. So I found myself getting impatient. But, if he caught the killer in the first chapter, it wouldn’t be much of a book, would it? I also liked that Sandford involved Letty in the story to some degree. She’s now of college age, and I suspect we’ll be seeing a whole new series with her at some point in the future. So give Gathering Prey a try, and let me know what you think. ‘Til next time, happy reading! 🙂

Close Case

Good Sunday morning and Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the other moms out there! I apologize that I haven’t blogged for a while–job change and some personal travels–and it’s great to be back with another book recommendation this week.

This week’s read was Close Case by Alafair Burke, the follow-up novel to Missing Justice that was my last recommendation. In this story, attorney Samantha Kincaid is the newest member of Portland, Oregon, Major Crimes Unit. When a prominent reporter is murdered, Samantha is called out to the scene and then becomes entangled in the chase to find the killer. What initially looks like a carjacking gone wrong turns out to be incorrect when it’s discovered that the reporter was on to something big, something that could make a number of important people look really bad. Complicating matters is the fact that Samantha’s now living with one of the lead detectives on the case, and when it looks like there are some shady things going on within the police force, she’s torn between her job and her love life.

In addition to a good mystery, this book does a great job of giving a high-level overview of how the “system” works, from the time a suspect gets booked, to arraignment, to how the police and attorneys are intermingled, to rules-of-the-game, etc. I found it educational and entertaining, and I hope you do as well. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂


Missing Justice

Good Sunday morning, and Happy Easter everyone! I hope this finds you doing well.

This week’s read was by an author I’ve recently discovered, Alafair Burke, and the book was Missing Justice. While the author was new to me, the book isn’t recent, having been published over ten years ago. Nonetheless, I really liked it, and of course, I read it out of order. This was the second book in the series, so I’ll be reading the first one next week. I never seem to do these things in sequence…

Anyway, in this story, Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid, finds herself newly promoted and hot on the trail of a missing person’s case, a prominent female judge in the city of Portland, OR. Initially everyone assumed the judge would turn up safe and sound. But when that didn’t happen, authorities started looking at the husband, and then at the lover, and then at a disgruntled letter-writer, and then…well, holy cow. When Samantha finally figures out who was responsible for the judge’s demise, she finds herself the next target on the killer’s list.

Missing Justice had a perfect mix of suspense, humor, and intrigue, and I’m happy to have found another great author. There were a lot of twists and turns in this story, and it had me guessing until the end. So now I’ll have to back up and get started on the first book in the series; I hope I like that one as much. And I hope you do, too! So give Missing Justice a try, and let me know what you think. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

One Step Too Far

Good Sunday morning! “Spring” has arrived in Massachusetts, with a balmy temp of 33 degrees and snowflakes as recent as yesterday. Argh. But the cold allows for blankets, cocoa and a good book, so I’ll make the best of it.

This week’s read was One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis. I’ve never read her before, and it strayed a bit from my typical mystery, but it was good. It’s a book where you don’t quite realize the heaviness of the story until the very end.

In this book, there’s no dead body and there’s no killer to capture. The mystery lies in why a young woman would walk away from her life to start over when outwardly it appears she “has it all”. Set in England, Emily Coleman boards a train one day, leaving her family behind. She has nowhere to go, little money, and no semblance of a plan. All she wants to do is get away. And the reader spends the entire story wondering why, because Emily’s new life turns out to be no walk in the park. Soon enough, though, the past catches up with Emily (now living her life as Cat) and she realizes the one person she can never outrun is herself.

This is not a light-hearted book, but it is a strong mystery that will have you scratching your head throughout. The revelation at the end is like a sucker punch, but then the author does a nice job of at least making a little bit of lemonade out of a pile of lemons. So if you’re in the mood for a good, dramatic read, give One Step Too Far a go. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂


Good Sunday morning! The clocks jumped an hour, and I for one, am very happy. Spring is coming soon, no getting around that. Woot woot!

This week’s read was Unseen by Karin Slaughter, #8 in the Will Trent series. In this story, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Trent is under-cover in Macon, Georgia, and is unwittingly at the scene of a home invasion where two fellow officers reside. One of the officers who’s brutally attacked happens to be the step-son of the woman Will loves, Dr. Sara Linton. The other officer at the residence is Lena Adams, the person Sara blames for her late husband’s death. The ties to Sara are unavoidable, yet Will can’t share his knowledge with her. As he burrows deeper into the ring of thugs, drugs, and cop killers, the assignment takes a great toll on him and changes the landscape of his relationship and of Macon’s law enforcement forever.

This was a super-intense read, with a lot of heavy language and situations, but I really enjoyed it. There were quite a few characters to keep track of, but it was all manageable and tied together at the end. So give it a go and let me know what you think. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

The First Rule of Ten

Good Sunday morning! We had a few more inches of snow last night, and I am so over it. Can’t. Wait. Until. Spring.

So this week’s read was a mystery but a little different from my usual caper. The title is The First Rule of Ten, by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay.

Tibetan monk turned cop turned private detective, Tenzing Norbu, is the main character in this story. Sounds a little far-fetched, I know. Keep reading. While this book doesn’t delve into sci-fi or magic, Ten is different from your normal P.I. in that he’s into meditation and is a bit of a spiritual warrior. He also eats super-healthy, which left me feeling completely inadequate after many a chapter. There’s a line in the book that reads as follows: “Mostly, I eat fresh fruit, vegetables, and legumes, with the occasional cheese, egg, or fish product…” I have to admit—I had to look up legume online. (It’s a dry fruit and didn’t sound too appetizing to me, shocker).

So, for a quick summation, Ten’s first rule to live by is “Don’t ignore intuitive tickles lest they reappear as sledgehammers.” After resigning from the police force and becoming a P.I., a stranger briefly comes to Ten’s home looking for the previous owner. When that stranger ends up murdered the next day, Ten can’t help but feel some sort of responsibility and starts looking into the woman’s past. Which leads him smack into the middle of a nearby cult, an insurance scam, and a wonderful new friend.

I really liked this book because it was an atypical P.I. story, and Ten made me think I should stop and smell the roses more often. And maybe eat a legume at some point in my life? ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂


The Unforgivable Fix

Happy snowy Sunday! We’ve received another foot of snow overnight and they’re predicting 50-60 mph winds. Make. It. Stop.

Anyway, on to a happier topic…my recommendation this week is the third and final in the Justice series, called The Unforgivable Fix. In this book, our lovable Mort Grant of the Seattle PD is finally going to retire and move away from the home where he and his late wife raised their two children. While he’s still in touch with his son, his wayward daughter Allie has been the lover of a Russian crime lord for years, and Mort constantly wonders where he went wrong. And just as he’s making some big decisions to get on with his life, his terrified daughter shows up on his doorstep, looking for help and protection.

Enter The Fixer.

Mort knows there’s only one place his daughter will be safe, but the two women aren’t exactly a match made in heaven, one a spoiled princess and the other a troubled assassin. While The Fixer has some issues going on at her “real job”, she finds herself simultaneously stuck babysitting Mort’s pampered daughter and fending off international criminals. All in a day’s work. What she can’t predict is how the final showdown will change her and Mort’s relationship forever.

I was really bummed to see the conclusion of this series because I loved the fast pace and twists and turns. Without giving away the finale, the ending wasn’t wrapped up in a tidy little bow like most of us expect. So give this book–and the entire series–a read and let me know what you think. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

The Red Hot Fix

Good Super Bowl Sunday morning! I hope this finds everyone doing well. I’m so excited to see the game tonight and am rooting hard for my beloved Patriots.

Okay, I’m done with my sports rant. (Go Pats!) Now I’m done.

After gushing about The Fixer last Sunday, this week’s follow-up read was The Red Hot Fix, the second book in the trilogy by T.E. Woods. While The Fixer was fantastic, this one was a little less so, but I’d still recommend it. It was a fine read, and I’ve got to think it was tough for the author to crank out a second book as good as the first.

In this story, the main character has tried to break away from life-as-an-assassin, largely due to the fact that the chief of detectives knows her true identity. (While that sounds counter-intuitive, you need to read the first book in the series to understand why she’s not behind bars). She and the chief are now essentially on the same side, looking for a serial killer whose latest victim appears to be the owner of an NBA team. (But isn’t). As much as Miss-Former-Assassin tries to behave, she can’t escape her former world entirely, and justice once again is served.

Quick, fast-paced, but doesn’t keep you guessing quite as much as the prior book, The Red Hot Fix is another good one by T.E. Woods. Please let me know what you think, and if you’re a football fan, enjoy the game tonight. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

The Fixer

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope this finds you well.

So I am in love…with the book The Fixer. Book #1 in a trilogy by T.E. Woods was absolutely fantastic, probably the best book I’ve read in the last two years.

The Fixer is about a female assassin. Her credo is Never A Doubt. Never A Mistake. Always for Justice. Never For Revenge. This woman has a strict set of criteria that she follows (only one job per country, per year) and she’ll only take a job if she’s convinced that justice can’t be served any other way. She doesn’t take your run of the mill please-kill-my-spouse-for-money gigs, she’s extremely selective. And when she strikes, it nearly always looks like an accident, so most of the cases are written off without a second thought. No muss, no fuss, no cops.

Until that changes…

The Fixer is a fast-paced whodunit that I promise will throw you for a loop more than once. More twists and turns than a corkscrew, with some fantastic characters and an assassin that you’ll somehow find yourself rooting for. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂