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Posts Tagged ‘Mystery Recommendations’

Good Sunday morning, and a very happy birthday to my dad, who’s still tearing around like a teenager and loving life. I hope to be exactly like him when I turn…well, let’s just say today’s birthday ends in a zero and leave it at that. 😉

This week’s read was Mission Flats, written by William Landlay, author of Defending Jacob. Benjamin Truman is the main character in this story, who’s the chief of police in Versailles, Maine (fictional small town). So I guess he’s the Maine character. Hardy har har. Anyway…when he discovers the dead body of a Boston district attorney in a rural lakeside cabin, things quickly go topsy turvy in Ben’s sheltered world. He’s forced to head south to Boston to play in the big leagues with some grizzled, hard-core city police. Who want answers NOW. What Ben doesn’t realize is that ghosts of past crimes and shady cops are all tied into this case, and uncovering their secrets could very well lead to his own demise.

This was definitely a good read–a little dark in places–but I guess that’s to be expected in a murder mystery, right? It really makes you think about the blurry line between right and wrong that police face every day when dealing with “unsavory” types. How far is too far? So grab Mission Flats off the shelf, or download it, whatever your preference, and give it a go. ‘Til next Sunday, happy reading! 🙂

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Good Sunday morning! This week’s read was entitled The Queen, by Steven James, #5 in the Patrick Bowers series. Like the ones before it, this one was fast-paced, educational, and also had some personal drama sprinkled in.

Set in the frigid, but lovely, state of Minnesota, this caper finds Patrick trying to thwart terrorists who are planning to launch a nuclear weapon from a submarine by using an abandoned, underground governmental facility as their home base. (!) Technology is an amazing thing. Coupled with that crisis, Patrick is reunited with his brother and sister-in-law, a lady Patrick happened to have a “thing” for five years prior. (Enter the DRAMA). His stepdaughter, Tessa, and girlfriend, Lien-hua, make their usual contributions to the story, and there are a couple of great life-threatening scenes that Patrick escapes as well. It’s nice to be the hero, right?

To sum…it’s good, just like the four books before it. And in many parts of the world, the weather is starting to make for some great “book time” so do yourself a favor on a Sunday and get snuggled up with a good story. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

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Good morning Readers! It’s a rainy and raw October morning in New England; fall is definitely here. I hope this finds you well wherever your locale.

This week’s review is called Dog On It, by Spencer Quinn. In a word, this book was cute. If you’re pining for a light, easy read—and if you’re a dog lover—then this book is for you.

The subheading of this book is called A Chet and Bernie Mystery, and the book is in the first person. The twist is that the “person” talking is Chet, who’s actually a dog. Bernie, his owner, is a down-and-out private investigator who is hired to find a teenage girl who has gone missing. There are a lot of adventures between this bumbling PI and his loyal pooch, and the thing that absolutely makes this book is that it’s from Chet’s perspective. The wonderful little thoughts and observations that he has about human behavior are priceless and delightful. I found myself looking at my own dog several times, and thinking Ah ha, that’s why you look at me like you do

A couple of things that I need to note that made the book “less cute” than it could have been were as follows: #1) Chet finds himself in the company of a couple of bad guys as the plot starts to thicken, and they are trying to “break his spirit” so to speak. The author pushes it just to the point of where I almost closed the book, but then, thankfully, Chet gets away. They don’t beat him; they stop short of that. Just be forewarned. You might want to skip past those few pages and get to the part where Chet bolts.  #2) When Chet is at the groomer, the groomer finds a little lump on him and seems concerned. She writes a note to Bernie to discuss it, the note gets stuck to the refrigerator, subsequently falls, and then it’s never addressed again in the story. (?) Hey Mr. Quinn! The reader wants to know what in the heck that lump is.  😦 So that ticked me off, but I’m assuming that it’s just a little growth and that Chet will be around for many mysteries to come. I’m a glass-half-full type of gal.

So that’s that for this week. I wish you all a wonderful Sunday, and ‘til next time, happy reading! 🙂

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It’s a rainy Sunday morning in Massachusetts ~ a great day for some reading, me thinks. And probably some cookies as well. Cookies go well with rain, right? Cookies go well with anything, though.

I digress.

I finished a book called The Pawn this week, by Steven James. A few posts back, I wrote about the third book in his series, titled The Bishop. Since I liked that one quite a bit, I decided to go back and start at the beginning of the series–novel idea, eh?–and The Pawn didn’t let me down.

This story has main character Patrick Bowers, FBI, chasing another whacked serial killer who’s torturing women and managing to stay just one step ahead of the authorities. The killer enjoys taunting the police and almost pulls off blowing up three of the FBI’s finest. While attempting to stay in one piece, Bowers is also trying to get over the grief of losing his wife and manage his new role as a single step-father to a somewhat surly, yet very bright, teenage girl. In some chapters I wasn’t totally sure if the teenage girl or the serial killer was more of the bad guy…

All in all, I would definitely recommend this book, and if you haven’t read The Bishop yet, then please read this one first. I’m now reading the second book in the series–I’ll probably be writing about that one next week–and will be back on track altogether soon. It’s so much easier to just read them in order, but I’ll learn one of these days, lol.

The Pawn is a quick, easy read, and the different points-of-view within the story keep it moving at a speedy pace. ‘Til next week, happy reading!  🙂

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Good Sunday morning! I hope this finds you doing well.

July was a wonderful month of fun and frivolity, and I’m in the midst of listening to—as well as reading— a book, but I haven’t finished one for this week. So I dug into the archives and found a very obvious choice to recommend. It’s titled Open and Shut, by David Rosenfelt. I blogged about another book of his several months ago, which was titled One Dog Night, so if you liked that book, you’ll love this one.

The main character in this story is Andy Carpenter, a somewhat irreverent and extremely wise*ss attorney. He’s one of those guys who never quite grew up, but you love him anyway. (Part of the reason you can overlook his humorous shortcomings is because of his adoration for his dog, Tara).  Andy’s life-is-fun-and-games attitude gets a jarring reality check one day when his father—Paterson, New Jersey’s ex-district attorney— drops dead in front of him at a Yankees game. The death is shocking enough, but to top that off, Andy learns that he’s inherited $22 million, which he knew zero about. The implications as to where the money came from are nothing that Andy’s prepared to deal with, and he has to unearth some political skeletons to get to the truth about his father. Oh, and of course, while struggling with the above, he’s defending a murder case with tons of national attention and racial overtones. All in a day’s work, right?

This book is great because you’ve got two exciting storylines, and the dual roles give you a lot of insight into the main character. This was Rosenfelt’s first book and was nominated for both the Edgar and Shamus Awards. All total, there are nine or ten books in the Andy Carpenter series, and I’ve read every single one. They’re really quick reads, with a lot of wit and sarcasm, and I promise you’ll be smiling at the end. So what’s better than that? 🙂 ‘Til next week, happy reading!

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Good Sunday morning people! I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying some sunshine wherever you are.

This week’s read was The Bishop by Steven James, a first-time author for me. And I must say, the dude has earned himself a new fan! I’ve already downloaded another book of his and can’t wait to get started.

Anyway, The Bishop is one of those books that has several seemingly unrelated events/murders occurring in each subsequent chapter, and you’ll find yourself wondering “What in the heck does any of this have to do with any of that?” Well, it all has everything to do with everything, but it takes awhile to uncover the gory details.

The main character in the book is FBI Agent Patrick Bowers, whose life has turned into balancing his intense career while raising his smart, beautiful stepdaughter whose mother has recently died. The setting of the book is in and around the D.C. area, which I love, because it’s got so much juicy governmental stuff going on all the time. When a congressman’s daughter is declared dead via gruesome means—and then it turns out to not be his daughter—but then his daughter actually is murdered, let’s just say, it gets some people’s attention. Who would fake her murder but then actually murder her? And why? And since the hotel where she was initially taken was the same hotel as a vice-presidential assassination attempt years earlier, is there some kind of connection? And does the psychopath from Bowers’ past—recently released from prison because of DNA evidence—who has suddenly resurged on the scene have anything to do with all of it? Or is it a different psychopath who’s been presumed dead for several years now? Or is it someone else altogether?…you get the picture. There’s all kinds of good stuff whirling around, and it’s fun to watch the weaving of the web. (Is that even an accurate phrase?)

In the spirit of full disclosure, there are a couple of small parts in the book where things are discussed such as nanotechnology, psychopathology, primate metacognition, and the neurology of violence. Sigh. While interesting stuff, I did roll my eyes a bit, especially when some of the pontificating was coming from the seventeen-year-old stepdaughter. But that’s probably just because my inner seventeen-year-old was feeling inadequate, so don’t worry about it too much. I bring it up because it gets a smidge tedious, but it doesn’t last long, I promise. And the story is so good that I don’t want you to give up on it because of some kind-of-boring-big-words, lol. It’s a super-fast-paced, great story. ‘Til next week, happy reading!  🙂

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Good morning All! I hope this finds you happy and healthy on a sunny Sunday morning.

This past week, I started listening to a great book and also began reading an awesome book, but I didn’t finish either one of them. So, as I’ve promised in the past, I dug into the archives and came up with a really fun read that I think you’ll enjoy.

The title is The Big Dig, and for those of you who live around Boston, you’ll know that’s a play on words for the 14-billion-dollar boondoggle that revamped the city’s infrastructure. (To be fair, it did help immensely, but 14-billion?? Holy shnikkies). For you readers, it’s a fictional story about six-foot-tall, sassy, red-headed Carlotta Carlyle, who has to go undercover at one of the big dig’s construction sites to investigate accusations of fraud, and eventually murder. While trying to “blend” at her undercover gig, she also takes on a missing person’s case which turns out to NOT be a piece of cake, and during the turmoil of both cases, she internally battles herself about her ex-boyfriend who has possible mob ties. Other than that, she doesn’t have a lot going on… 🙂

Linda Barnes has created a great character in Carlyle ~ she’s fearless yet flawed, and that makes her real. It’s a very easy read, and I’d highly recommend it with a nice glass of lemonade outside. Next week, I’ll have at least one of the other books I mentioned finished, and so far, they’re both GREAT. ‘Til then, happy reading everyone!

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