Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In Twenty Years

In Allison Winn Scotch's In Twenty Years, this woman's fiction novel grips you about friendship, love and loss and life itself from the very start. Twenty years ago, six Penn students make a pact to reunite and write their future plans in a time capsule on their graduation day. When their ringleader Bea died 13 years ago, the five friends reunited together on what would've been her fortieth birthday at the house they shared at Penn State. Each of the five friends took their own path. Narrated from the five friends' POV and how they dealt with the issues along the way. The college sweethearts, Catherine and Owen, who are going through marriage problems, when Owen's a stay at home dad and quit his law firm, and Catherine who's a superstar crafty diva like Martha Stewart. There's Annie, who's have her own marriage crisis, Colin, a single doctor, who had eyes for Bea and later for Annie, and Lindy, a Nashville superstar who's bisexual and an expectant mother. In the end, they remember Bea and what secret she took to the grave on her illness.

This was a beautiful woman's fiction that would tug at your heart strings. I cared for the five friends in their own way and how a remembrance for Bea had brought them together. In return, she gave something back. I loved the Pennsylvania scenic locations and the crisp settings that was seen from the five friends. I really felt bad for Bea who had to go through cancer again and later die from it, hiding the terrible secret of the real truth she died. This would grip you real hard and take you on an emotional heart-breaking ride with drama, romance, and plenty of heart-breaking scene with a hint of action.

Will you remember where you are in Twenty Years?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Dark Mirror

In Barry Maitland's Dark Mirror, the 10th installment in the Brock and Kolla mystery series, we'll be introduced to the dark side of the rich and famous in this compelling mystery. For Special Crimes Unit Detective Kathy Kolla, it all started with the mysterious death of Marion Summers. As Kathy and her supervisor, DCI David Brock, they look into her life and the days that lead up to her death from arsenic poisoning. They talked to everyone she knew at the university, including her family life, and lined up a string of suspects. The more disturbing details appeared, the most they were concerned, as they discovered secrets of her private life and her paperwork on the pre-Raphaelite art period. When they dug deeper, they learned more about the truth and who done it and why in the end with a shocking ending you wouldn't believe.

This was a dark and gritty British serial mystery. I instantly liked Kathy and David working as a team at the Mat. I liked the central English locations and the compelling settings of city life in London. I didn't like the Warrenders one bit for one reason or another--the same for Marion's mother and sleazy step-father. I thought Guy and Kathy would make a great couple. This would hook you from the start with this gripping and twisted storyline with drama, suspense, non-stop action and tons of mystery with a hint of art history.

Will you be cautious of the dark mirror tonight?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Killer Plot

In Ellery Adams's A Killer Plot, the first installment in the Books by the Bay Cozy Mystery series, you'll be swept into the picturesque town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina. For Olivia Limoges, a heiress and aspiring author, she's been having a hard time writing her historical novel on the first chapter. But when she met Camden Ford, the leader of the Bay Books Writing Group, she was a bit reluctant to join. But when she did, she made new friends with Harris, Laurel and Millay, when they swapped chapters to read for critique. But things turned dark, when Camden turned up missing for their next meeting and later discovered to be murdered. For Olivia and her three new friends, it was up to her find out who murdered him with a clue of seasonal haiku poems. Then later on, two more people turned out dead from one or the same murderer. With the uproar of the town's plans for the local park abrupt at the city hall meeting, it was up to Olivia and Captain Havilland, her beloved black poodle, to discover the murder lurking in the midst.

This was a great cozy mystery to read and escape into. Every writer can relate to Olivia's writing predicament, when it deals with writing groups and why we need them to succeed in order to be better writers--the same for beta readers and critique partners as well. I did care for Olivia and her new friends, though I didn't like the Talbots at all. I do see a possible love triangle with Olivia/Flynn/Sawyer, too. I loved the Oyster Bay setting for a serene location in the settings.  This would leave you at the edge of your seat for a great read with drama, a spark of romance, intrigue and mystery.

Will you write a killer plot for your novels?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Skeleton in the Family

In Leigh Perry's A Skeleton in the Family, the first installment int he Family Skeleton Cozy Mystery debut. Georgia  Thackery is a single mother of a teenage daughter and lives in her parents home, while they're on sabbatical. While she's also a new adjust English professor at a college, she also lives with a talking skeleton named Sid, who's lived with her as long as she was a little girl. This mystery started on Sid finding someone from his past in a photo. That lead Georgia to go on a discovery search to look for clues into the past, like why Sid was murdered. But with a link of break-ins leads to a murder of Jocasta Kirkland, it made her dig deeper into the connection between her and Sid. The closer she dug deeper, the more she had put herself into peril, with Sid there to rescue her in the end.

This was a fantastic and charming cozy mystery with a hint of a paranormal twist. I cared for Georgia and Madison and thought Sid was a hoot for a talking skeleton. I thought Fletcher was a good catch for Georgia, until he rubbed me the wrong way. I did like the vivid and scenic locations and settings in Massachusetts like the manga convention. This would take you on a wild journey with drama, intrigue, mystery, a dash of paranormal for non-stop action.

Will you be checking out any skeleton in your family closets in a Skeleton in the Family?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Blood of Saints

In Maegan Beaumont's Blood of Saints, the 4th installment in the Sabrina Vaughn thriller series, she delivered us a powerful and most disturbing psychological thriller that would blow your mind. For Sabrina Vaughn, who was formally known as Melissa Walker twenty years ago, when she was tortured, raped and presumably killed by her half-brother Wade, she lived in hiding with her own small family. But when trouble knocked on her doorstep, they needed her to come out and help the FBI stop a serial killer. Posing as a FBI agent as Clare Vance, she needed to rediscover the connect to her past and connect us to the people she used to known. While she heard her brother's voice in her head, she would have to weave through the evidence and find out who's following iin Wade's footsteps. The closer she get to the truth, she would have to fight to save her other life in order to get back home.

This was a wild and twisted psychological thriller that will get under your skin. I cared for Sabrina and how she survived by a miracle by her own half-brother. I also cared for Michael and became curious about Courtney Church as well. I loved the dual locations of Arizona and Montana, which were two different settings with vivid scenes to set the storyline. This would make your skin crawl and break into a cold sweat with drama, suspense, intrigue and non-stop action with a hint of mystery.

Will you stop the blood of saints?

Monday, September 5, 2016

How to Tame a Duke

In Juliana Gray's How to Tame Your Duke, the first installment in the Princess in Hiding historical romance series, she delivered a powerful knockout punch in this novel. For Princess Emilie, she's always looking for adventure. But when danger threatens her family from Germany, she took refuge and went into hiding, disguising herself as a male tutor for the Duke of Ashland's teenage son. As she transformed herself, she came to know about Ashland's family and to know the man herself better. When she was mistaken for a woman of the night at a hotel, she got to know him more intimately. For the Duke himself, a former soldier disfigured and with one hand from the war, he fell in love with Emilie until her true identity exposed herself. Until he can profess his feelings for her, he had to put away the demons from his past in order to have a future for himself and Emilie.

This was a wonderful historical romance novel. I fell in love with Emilie's story about how she had to go undercover and protected her true identity. I cared for Ashland, when he thawed out and became whole again, while he searched for answers in the past. I adored Freddie as well. I loved the London and Yorkshire dual scenes and vivid locations for the settings to put us right there. This had a bit of diversity, since Ashland's scarred, disfigured and missing a hand. This would take you into a heartfelt journey with drama, tons of romance, intrigue and non-stop action.

Will you be taming a duke today?

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Arsenic with Austen

In Katherine Bolger Hyde's Arsenic with Austen, the first installment with the Crime with the Classics  mystery series, you'll sink into this mystery with a twist. When Emily Cavanaugh inherits her great-aunt's property inheritance, she didn't know what she had gotten herself into. She travels to Stony Beach to help take care of her late Aunt Beatrice's affairs. Little did she know, she would deal with a conniving mayor, a real estate agent and a distant cousin. She also came across her high school boyfriend Luke Richards, who's now a sheriff in the small beachy town. Things do go up in smoke, when people target her and the people closest to her to get to the money. She invested herself into her love of books and the classic Jane Austen series to discover who murdered her aunt and wanted her dead with a shocking twist in the end.

This was a charming mystery debut with a classic-themed twist or two. I cared for Emily, a widow, and a college university, who came into this windfall. I also cared for Katie, Marguerite and Luke, too. I liked how Luke and Emily rekindled their love and aired out their past faults and transgressions. I loved the seashore town of Stony Beach in Oregon with its own picturesque neighborhood. Plus, I adored the love for reading, writing and everything Austen. This would get you hooked in no time with drama, suspense, a hint of romance and non-stop action.

Will you try Arsenic with Austen today?