Monday, January 27, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan. 27, 2020)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I will be combining my YA and adult reading and purchases on this one weekly roundup.

Other Than Reading...

This was another quiet, gray, gloomy week with off and on snow showers. The County snowplow drivers settled their contract and were back to work on Friday. They only missed a couple of the snow events last week which the substitute drivers handled well - at least on the roads I have to drive.

I did get out on Friday to go to the doctor's office for the blood work I have to have done every three months but otherwise didn't take myself away from home. I made one trip to exercise when my brother went.

I did the usual things around the house. I baked bread, made a new batch of thousand island dressing, and made a big batch of split pea soup. Other than that my week was filled with reading and playing Bejeweled Blitz on my computer.

Read Last Week

If you can't wait until the review shows up on my blog, reviews are posted to LibraryThing and Goodreads as soon as I write them (usually right after I finish reading a book.)

  • Breaking Silence by Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin (Review; Feb. 4) - Entertaining contemporary fantasy. My review will be posted on Feb. 6.
  • Written in Red by Anne Bishop (Mine) - 1st 2020 reread
  • The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson (Mine) - Entertaining and much-anticipated conclusion to the Truly, Devious YA mystery trilogy. My review will be posted on Feb. 8. 



Currently

  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James (Review; Feb. 18) - This is creepy enough that I only want to read it in the daytime!
  • Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop (Mine) - reread

Next Week




Reviews Posted




Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

  • Moontangled by Stephanie Burgis - Kindle gift from author because I support her through Patreon.
  • Where The Dead Lie by C. S. Harris - Kindle daily deal which is late in a series I've only read the first in.
  • The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson - Much anticipated onclusion to the Truly, Devious trilogy.

What was your week like?

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Book Review: Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit by Patricia Marcantonio

Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit
Author: Patricia Marcantonio
Series: Felicity Carrol (Book 1)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)

Description: Amidst the heraldry of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee celebrations, a string of brutal murders rocks Britain's upper crust—and could threaten the realm itself—in the spellbinding debut of Patricia Marcantonio's Felicity Carrol mysteries.

Felicity Carrol is interested in everything—except being a proper young matron of Victorian society. Brilliant and resourceful, Felicity took refuge in science and education after her mother died and her father abandoned her to servants. Now, all he wants is for her to marry into a family of status and money.

Felicity has other ambitions—but her plans shudder to a halt when her mentor is murdered at the British Museum and his priceless manuscript of King Arthur lore is stolen. Tapping into her photographic memory and the latest in the burgeoning field of forensic detection, Felicity launches an investigation. Handsome Scotland Yard Inspector Jackson Davies is also on the case, and finds Felicity as meddlesome as she is intelligent. But when more nobles are murdered and their King Arthur relics stolen, Felicity must journey on her own into the dark underworld of antiquity theft, where she uncovers a motive far more nefarious than simple profit.

As the killer sets his sights on a new victim—a charismatic duke who has captured Felicity’s imagination—the stakes rise to impossible heights. It’s a case that could shake the kingdom in Patricia Marcantonio’s series debut, Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit.

My Thoughts: This story begins with a fire and an explosion when something goes wrong during one of Felicity Carrol's scientific experiments. It is a great introduction to a young woman far more interested in science, history, and medicine than in following the path of most rich, well-bred young women into marriage.

She has no relationship with the father who has ignored her since the death of her mother and older brother when she was a small child and left to the servants to raise. However, she found a new father figure in Earl William Kent who was her mentor when she attended the university. When she learns that Kent has been murdered and a valuable artifact related to his strong interest in King Arthur stolen, Felicity is determined to bring his killer to justice.

Scotland Yard is also on the case in the person of Inspector Jackson Griggs Davies who isn't necessarily eager for Felicity's help. However, her photographic memory and extensive knowledge of history do give him clues he wouldn't otherwise know. When Kent's murder is only the first of a series of murders where the victim is distantly related to royalty and a collector of items related to King Arthur, Felicity needs to increase her knowledge of the new science of forensics which includes taking fingerprints to find the murderer.

This story has an intriguing main character who is brilliant but also vulnerable. Her desire for her father's love and respect made me feel sorry for her. I did like that she wasn't afraid to venture into situations that were unfamiliar to her like visiting thieves and villains. I liked her relationship with Davies.

This was a good start to a historical mystery series with a great setting and interesting characters.

Favorite Quote:
He blinked his eyes in curiosity only for a moment. "Miss Carrol, if you don't leave, I shall pick you up and carry you out."

She smiled. "No one has ever threatened to throw me out of anyplace. It's quite thrilling and frightening at the same time."

"You don't make anything easy do you, Miss Carrol?"

"One of my curses in life, Inspector. But please let me show you what I have found."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Friday Memes: Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit by Patricia Marcantonio

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
"Everyone, please take shelter behind the hedges," Felicity Carrol announced.
Friday 56:
"And now how do you feel about the legend?" Felicity asked.

"Ah, in my older age, I see King Arthur not as myth or a real historical figure but as an allegory for mankind."
This week I am spotlighting Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit by Patricia Marcantonio. It is the first in a new historical mystery series. Here is the description from Amazon:
Amidst the heraldry of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee celebrations, a string of brutal murders rocks Britain's upper crust—and could threaten the realm itself—in the spellbinding debut of Patricia Marcantonio's Felicity Carrol mysteries.

Felicity Carrol is interested in everything—except being a proper young matron of Victorian society. Brilliant and resourceful, Felicity took refuge in science and education after her mother died and her father abandoned her to servants. Now, all he wants is for her to marry into a family of status and money.

Felicity has other ambitions—but her plans shudder to a halt when her mentor is murdered at the British Museum and his priceless manuscript of King Arthur lore is stolen. Tapping into her photographic memory and the latest in the burgeoning field of forensic detection, Felicity launches an investigation. Handsome Scotland Yard Inspector Jackson Davies is also on the case, and finds Felicity as meddlesome as she is intelligent. But when more nobles are murdered and their King Arthur relics stolen, Felicity must journey on her own into the dark underworld of antiquity theft, where she uncovers a motive far more nefarious than simple profit.

As the killer sets his sights on a new victim—a charismatic duke who has captured Felicity’s imagination—the stakes rise to impossible heights. It’s a case that could shake the kingdom in Patricia Marcantonio’s series debut, Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit

Thursday, January 23, 2020

ARC Review: Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara

Cast in Wisdom
Author: Michelle Sagara
Series: The Chronicles of Elantra
Publication: MIRA; Original edition (January 28, 2020)

Description: SOMETHING IS WAKING

The fiefs that exist at the heart of the city of Elantra are home to sentient Towers that guard the world against the incursion of Shadow. But between the fiefs exists the gray world of the border zone. In it, geography changes between one passage across a border and the next. The rules of magic are different there—and yet somehow familiar to Kaylin Neya.

When a Shadow escapes, Kaylin must find out how…and why. If Shadows can breach the barrier erected by the Towers, the whole of Elantra will be devoured. It’s happened on other worlds. Bellusdeo, Kaylin’s Dragon companion, absolutely believes it can happen on theirs.

The border zone holds secrets and ancient histories, and people are gathering there in search of its power. Without even understanding what that power is, or why it exists, Kaylin is in a desperate race against time to find those secrets first. She doesn’t know who her enemies are. She doesn’t know how many she’ll face. But she won’t face them alone.

My Thoughts: When one of the fief lords lets a Barrani carrying Shadow cross into Elantra from his fief, the Hawklord assigns Kaylin and Severn to do a survey of the fiefs to make sure their borders aren't letting other Shadows through.

Bellusdeo, the only female dragon and a survivor of a world Shadow overwhelmed, is Kaylin's friend and decides to go along. As they are exploring the borderlands they discover an ancient sentient building which was once the Academie which was a major center of learning before the towers were built and the war against Shadow began. But the same fief lord who let Shadow through is trying to take over the Academie and add to his store of power.

Kaylin and her companions including Bellusdeo, the Cohort, and the Arkon who was once a student at that Academie need to find a way to oust the evil fief lord and restore the Academie to health and utility.

This is an excellent entry into the Chronicles of Elantra series filled with complex situations, danger and adventure. Kaylin is a character to root for. The world building is extensive and intriguing.

Favorite Quote:
"Sedarias says the Emperor is a dragon. He's powerful enough that he gets to make the laws. We're weak enough - for the moment - that we have to follow them when he's looking in our direction. Hawks exist to be the eyes that are looking in all directions when the Emperor can't. They're meant to enforce the more powerful person's will."

"That's not the purpose of the law," Kaylin snapped.

"Then what is it?"

"We're there to enforce the laws so that people without the Emperor's power are safe from people with attitudes like yours."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Book Review: Boundary Haunted by Melissa F. Olson

Boundary Haunted
Author: Melissa F. Olson
Series: Boundary Magic (Book 5)
Publication: 47North (December 3, 2019)

Description: Months after her battles in Wyoming, Allison “Lex” Luther is still struggling with the aftereffects of the psychic attack she suffered—and with the new developments in her own magic.

Then Lex’s boss, the cardinal vampire of Colorado, passes along a strange request from her counterpart in Atlanta. Hundreds of Civil War spirits have abruptly vanished in Beau Calhoun’s territory, and he wants Lex to figure out why. In exchange, Beau can help her understand boundary magic, which runs in his family line as well.

Despite her trepidation, Lex journeys to the Deep South, where she discovers that ghosts are everywhere…and that her host’s intentions are more complicated than he promised. It seems his teenage descendant is being hunted, and both Beau and Lex fear the young woman’s boundary blood may have made her a target.

With Atlanta’s history looming over her every move, Lex will have to face Beau’s ghosts—and her own—to prevent a boundary magic attack she never dreamed possible.

My Thoughts: Lex is still feeling the aftereffects of her previous adventure in the form of nightmares when Maven asks her to go to Atlanta to help cardinal vampire Beau Calhoun who has a ghost problem. Someone is stealing his ghosts. An incentive is the Beau comes from a boundary magic family and might be able to help Lex learn more about her own boundary magic.

Lex has to go alone because Quinn has a daughter in the area that he would be too tempted to visit if he went along. Lex decides to meet his daughter herself so that she can reassure Quinn when she returns and is pleased to meet a stable, confident young woman.

Beau's great niece is another story. Odessa has been raised by Beau since her parents died in a car accident. He has given her the best possible education and encouraged her love of horses. Unfortunately, her desire to go the Olympics with her horse would bring too much publicity to Beau and he forbids it. This leaves Odessa at sort of loose ends.

Lex investigates and finds herself in immediate danger. A sniper who just missed killing her but left her with a broken left wrist means that Maven sends in backup. Tobias who is her werewolf friend comes to help.

But the next near miss is an exploding spirit bottle that kills one of Beau's vampire colleagues, injures Beau, and ruins a mahogany obsidian crystal that was a gift from Quinn and kept ghosts from getting into Lex's head. Now, she's without protection in a city that is absolutely rife with ghosts and facing an enemy who combines human tactics and witch magic.

This was an engaging, fast-paced story with lots of action and excitement. I liked that Lex is learning more about her boundary magic.

Favorite Quote:
Guilt isn't necessarily logical, and it doesn't have a statute of limitations.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Book Review: Arrow's Flight by Mercedes Lackey

Arrow's Flight
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Heralds of Valdemar (Book 2)
Publication: DAW (September 1, 1987)

Description: Follows the adventures of Talia as she travels the land as a Herald of Valdemar in the second book in the classic epic fantasy Arrows trilogy

Talia could scarcely believe that she had finally earned the rank of full Herald. Yet though this seemed like the fulfillment of all her dreams, it also meant she would face trials far greater than those she had previously survived. For now Talia must ride forth to patrol the kingdom of Valdemar, dispensing Herald's justice throughout the land.

But in this realm beset by dangerous unrest, enforcing her rulings would require all the courage and skill Talia could command—for if she misused her own special powers, both she and Valdemar would pay the price!

My Thoughts: Talia has become a full Herald but has one more hurdle to overcome. She needs to spend eighteen months riding circuit in Valdemar to learn more about her role as a Herald. Kris is her mentor and guide and has had his image of her poisoned by his uncle Lord Othallen. Talia has a unique mind Gift; she has a very strong gift for empathy and the ability to manipulate other people's emotions.

She is also dealing with falling shields. Her gift came upon her early and was strange. No one was quite sure how to help her get a handle on it. The Heralds passed her on to the Healers who have similar gifts. Unfortunately, each group thought the other had taught Talia the basics of controlling a mind Gift. Now the stress of dealing with Kris's distrust and the rumors that indicate she's misusing her Gift have set her into a downward spiral to depression and maybe even suicide.

Besides dealing with a plague and an epic snowstorm, she and Kris have to find a way to build the foundations she never had and help her get control of her Gift.

This was an excellent middle book in a trilogy because it focused on Talia's Gift and her gaining control of it and understanding about it. It is a coming of age tale with real growth for Talia during the course of the book.

Favorite Quote:
"Isn't it enough? They say you're young, you're inexperienced - some say too young to be in the position of power that you are, and to be wielding such a strange mind Gift."

"As  if," she replied bitterly, "I have any choice in the matter."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Monday, January 20, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan. 20, 2020)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I will be combining my YA and adult reading and purchases on this one weekly roundup.

Other Than Reading...

This has been a pretty quiet week. It snowed last Monday, Wednesday, Friday and today. It didn't really amount to much except for the six-eight inches we had overnight. The problem is that the St. Louis County snowplow drivers went on strike on Monday. They are in charge of plowing the county highways and so many of the most used roads in Duluth are county highways. The plowing is still being done with a smaller crew of supervisors and other county employees but, with fewer people, it is taking longer.

We didn't get the blizzard conditions that most of the rest of the State was expecting and receiving. Altogether it really didn't have much impact on the City of Duluth or my lifestyle. My brother had most of the week off and likes going out in this kind of stuff. So we got up to the gym for exercise on Wednesday and Friday which was enough for me.

I finished four books this week and DNFd one. All of them were from my review stack. I have a couple more review books to read for February but am also fitting in some of my own books. All of the new ones I bought this week were by favorite authors. And the new review books were also by authors I have read and enjoyed in the past. I am not feeling very adventurous in my reading choices lately.

Read Last Week

If you can't wait until the review shows up on my blog, reviews are posted to LibraryThing and Goodreads as soon as I write them (usually right after I finish reading a book.)

  • Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong (Review; Feb. 4) - This is the fifth in the Rockton series of thrillers and was an entertaining addition to the series. I like the characters quite a bit. My review will be posted on Feb. 5.
  • Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace by Patricia Marcantonio (Review; Feb. 11) - Second in this historical mystery series. It has great historical detail. The only flaw might be a main character who is just too competent. My review will be posted on Feb. 4.

  • A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (Review; Feb. 4) - It was an interesting mystery filled with social media, a crime that impacts the detective, and lots of adventure and danger. My review will be posted on Jan. 29.
  • Golden in Death by J. D. Robb (Review; Feb. 4) - The 50th In Death mystery was a good addition to a long-running series. My review will be posted on Feb. 1.

DNF

  • Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller (Review; Feb. 4) - I wasn't feeling this YA Epic Fantasy with shades of The Prince and the Pauper and the apparently mandatory revolution. It was told from two viewpoints and I didn't care about either character. The worldbuilding was interesting with woman's magic and men's magic but ultimately not enough to keep me reading. 

Currently


Next Week

  • Still Life by Louise Penny (Mine) - First in a mystery series that is currently up to book 15.
  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James (Review; Feb. 18)


  • Belladonna by Anne Bishop (Mine) - second in the Ephemera trilogy
  • Bridge of Dreams by Anne Bishop (Mine) - third in the Ephemera trilogy

Reviews Posted




Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

Bought
Review
What was your week like?