Tuesday, April 23, 2024

ARC Review: Archangel's Lineage by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Lineage

Author:
Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter (Book 16)
Publication: Berkley (April 23, 2024)

Description: New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s dangerous and beautiful world of archangels, vampires, and mortals has never faced a threat this cataclysmic…

Raphael and Elena are experiencing their first ever year of true peace. No war. No horrors of archangelic power. No nightmares given flesh. Until…the earth beneath the Refuge begins to tremble, endangering not only angelkind’s precious and fragile young, but the very place that has held their most innocent safe for eons.

Amid the chaos, Elena’s father suffers a violent heart attack that threatens to extinguish their last chance to heal the bonds between them and make sense of the ruins of their agonizing shared history.

Even as Elena battles grief, Raphael is torn from her side by the sudden disappearance of an archangel. But worse yet is to come. An Ancestor, an angel unlike any other, stirs from his Sleep to warn the Cadre of a darkness so terrible that it causes empires to fall and civilizations to vanish.

This time, even the Cadre itself may not be able to stop a ticking clock that is counting down at frightening speed…

My Thoughts: Raphael and Elena are experiencing their first year of peace after years of horrors. However, the earth beneath the Refuge is starting to suffer from earthquakes and the Mantle which protects if from being seen by humans is fading. 

As the quakes get more pervasive and more world-wide, none of the extensive archives of the angels provide any answers. It takes the awakening of one of the ancients who has been sleeping almost since the start of time to provide a solution.

Meanwhile, Elena is dealing with her father's major heart attack and the fear that she will lose him before they can ever reconcile. As she is going through emotional trials, Raphel is dealing with one of the Cadre going into sleep and leaving his territory unsupervised which is very destabilizing in a world that is already teetering on the edge of collapse.

This story was a very emotional one and very fast-paced. The Cadre are racing to deal with a crisis that could cause the destruction of all living things on Earth while Elena deals with her emotional trauma. 

Fans of the series won't want to miss this one. 

Favorite Quote:
Some wounds didn't ever vanish; they just faded with time, until you could look at them without bleeding and breaking.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

ARC Review: Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies by Catherine Mack

Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies

Author:
Catherine Mack
Series: The Vacation Mysteries (Book 1)
Publication: Minotaur Books (April 30, 2024)

Description: Ten days, eight suspects, six cities, five authors, three bodies . . . one trip to die for.

"Quick, captivating, and oh-so-much-fun! This delicious mystery is as spellbinding as Knives Out."―Elle Cosimano, New York Times bestselling author of the Finlay Donovan series.


All that bestselling author Eleanor Dash wants is to get through her book tour in Italy and kill off her main character, Connor Smith, in the next in her Vacation Mysteries series―is that too much to ask?

Clearly, because when an attempt is made on the real Connor’s life―the handsome but infuriating con man she got mixed up with ten years ago and now can't get out of her life―Eleanor’s enlisted to help solve the case.

Contending with literary competitors, rabid fans, a stalker―and even her ex, Oliver, who turns up unexpectedly―theories are bandied about, and rivalries, rifts, and broken hearts are revealed. But who’s really trying to get away with murder?

Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies is the irresistible and hilarious series debut from Catherine Mack, introducing bestselling fictional author Eleanor Dash on her Italian book tour that turns into a real-life murder mystery, as her life starts to imitate the world in her books.

My Thoughts: EVERY TIME I GO ON VACATION, SOMEONE DIES was an interesting mystery told in a unique way. Eleanor Dash is the author of ten mystery books. She finds herself on an author tour to Italy along with some literary rivals, her sister who is her assistant, and nineteen members of her fan club including one who is her stalker. Also on the tour is Connor Smith who was with her on her first trip to Italy which led to the beginning of her writing career and her first book. He has also become the star of her series and the man who has been blackmailing her for all of those ten years. 

Since she is at the end of her publishing contract, she is determined to kill Connor off - in her books. However, it seems that someone might be trying to kill him off in real life. And maybe they want Eleanor dead too. 

While it is easy to see why a good many of the people on tour with her want Connor dead, she can't see why anyone would want her dead. But she and her fellow authors are determined to use the skills they've learned as mystery writers to figure out who want Eleanor and Connor dead. 

But then another of the authors dies and there are more questions raised. 

I thought the style of this book, which is told by Eleanor, who claims herself to be an unreliable narrator, and includes a number of footnotes was an interesting way to set up the story. I found her asides to her audience entertaining and informative too. 

Mystery lovers who want a look behind the curtain of mystery writing will especially enjoy this story. 

Favorite Quote:
I should stop trying to play detective. Because-- and I can't believe I'm saying this--I think I'm vad at it. I'm certainly not as subtle as I should be.

And that person who crashes around in books, asking everyone all the questions?

That's the person who ends up as the second victim.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Monday, April 22, 2024

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 22, 2024)

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.

Want to See What I Added to My Stack? links to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Marlene at Reading Reality.

Other Than Reading...

I had a nice week last week. I made it to my dentist's appointment through snow flurries. The snow was melting as it hit the ground and not causing any problems. I also went out to lunch at Big Daddy's - a local hamburger joint - which happens to be next door to my dentist. 

I give my brother a gift certificate for a pizza of the month from our favorite local pizza place for Christmas. We used April's coupon on Saturday. I did fix a salad to go along with the pizza to add a little healthy food to the meal. 

I have only one book left to listen to in my In Death Rereadathon and then it is the long wait until September for the newest release. I may get to it this week, but I may save it for later. I'm trying to listen to the Lady Sherlock series since the newest book will be published June 25. I have a pending request for the ARC at NetGalley and am still hoping for approval to read it. I also want to continue to listen to a series of science fiction books I read earlier. The new one in that series is being released July 2. 

I am reading a book from my TBR mountain right now. I've had it since 2010 and it is a bit of a slow read. I don't read as many paranormal romances as I used to and am having trouble getting back into the genre. I need to finish it or abandon it TODAY.

Next week is free of any sort of appointment. I should have a lot of time for reading and listening -- and watching my Atlanta Braves play baseball.

Read Last Week
  • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Mine) -- Begins a series of contemporary mysteries with geriatric detectives. My review will be posted on April 25.
  • Encore in Death by J. D. Robb (Audiobook Reread) -- In Death Book 56
  • The Phoenix Code by Catherine Asaro (Mine) -- Contemporary science fiction about cybernetics and artificial intelligence with a nice romance too. My review will be posted on April 27.
  • Star Struck by Marjorie McCown (Review; May 7) -- Second contemporary mystery set in Hollywood and starring a movie costumer. My review will be posted on April 30.
  • People in Glass Houses by Jayne Castle (Review; May 7) -- A new mystery/romance set on Harmony. My review will be posted on May 2.
  • Undercity by Catherine Asaro (Audiobook Reread) -- This science fiction mystery is set in the author's Skolian universe. My review will be posted on April 30.
  • Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen (Audiobook) -- First in the Molly Murphy historical mystery series. My review will be posted on May 2.
  • A Lonesome Place for Dying by Nolan Chase (Review; May 7) -- Debut contemporary mystery. My review will be posted on May 1.
  • Payback in Death by J. D. Robb (Audiobook Reread) -- In Death Book 57
Currently
Next Week
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

Review:
Bought:
  • The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Kindle Daily Deal, $1.99) -- Reread
  • When She Dreams by Amanda Quick (Kindle Daily Deal, $4.99) -- Reread
What was your week like?

Saturday, April 20, 2024

ARC Review: Four-Alarm Homicide by Diane Kelly

Four-Alarm Homicide

Author:
Diane Kelly 
Series: A House-Flipper Mystery (Book 6)
Publication: St. Martin's Paperbacks (April 23, 2024)

Description: The sixth in the delightful cozy mystery series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville, TN―where the real estate market is to die for.

Some properties are too hot to handle...


Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck are hot for a historical property that has just come on the market―a fire station in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood that was built nearly a century ago.

The cousins have just begun the interior demolition work at the fire station when Joanna Hartzell, who lives in a townhouse around the corner, comes by with a plea for help. Joanna owns the right half of her building, which she proudly maintains in perfect condition, while the left side falls into disrepair: the seven adult children who inherited it years ago refuse to lift a finger on repairs. Never one to turn down a challenge, Whitney and Buck manage to acquire the rundown townhouse―though it turns out Joanna is only one of the many neighbors interested in buying the property once they’ve worked their magic.

Then Joanna shows up at the fire station confused and rambling, then collapses, never to recover. Alarm bells go off for Whitney: she suspects something―and someone―evil could be the real cause. Can she and Collin put the clues together and smoke out a killer?

My Thoughts: The sixth in the House Flippers series has Whitney and her cousin Beau renovating an old fire station in Germantown, a Nashville suburb. This leads them to a townhouse around the corner from the fire station which is owned by a bunch of feuding siblings. The owner of the attached townhouse - widowed Joanna Hartzell - is afraid that the neglected building is bringing down her property values. 

After some legal manipulations, including quit claim deeds, Whitney and Beau add the townhouse to their slate of renovations. But arson at the fire station, vandalism in the townhouse, and the suspicious death of Joana are delaying their renovations plans. Whitney needs to solve the murder and get the reno done at the fire station because she and her fiancĂ© detective Collin are planning to use it as the venue for their upcoming wedding. 

With a wide variety of suspects including the arguing siblings, the man across the street who wants to buy the newly renovated townhouse, the victim's daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, and the family from across the street who also really want to move into the renovated townhouse, Whitney has plenty of people to investigate. 

This was an entertaining cozy mystery. I enjoyed the chapters told by Sawdust, Whitney's cat. 

Favorite Quote:
"It's already got a stripper pole." Keeping one hand on the pole, Buck hooked a knee around it and swung in a circle, arching his back in a poor imitation of an exotic dancer. "Maybe we should lean in nd turn it into a gentleman's club. It could be called Hooker and Ladder."

I rolled my eyes. "You get a hard no from me on that. But I agree on the leaning in."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Friday Memes: Four-Alarm Homicide by Diane Kelly

 Happy Friday!


Book Beginnings is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader. She asks that the first sentence is posted along with the author and title of the book and the reader's initial thoughts on the sentence, the book, or anything else it inspires. 
Carrie at Reading Is My Superpower.org also provides a linky for sharing first lines and connecting with others. This meme asks that the chosen books be PG or marked as Mature if they are not. 

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice. This meme is currently on hiatus but many of us are still including a sentence from page 56 or from 56% of the ebook. Anne @ Head Full of Books is picking up the slack until Freda is ready to return. I think this link will get you to the correct place

Beginning:
I reached out a hand and clutched the cold metal pole, giving it a firm shake. It felt sturdy enough. Still...
Friday 56:
Gideon stood in front of the door chastising the man. "You expect to just show up here and leave with Joanna's valuables?"
This week I am spotlighting Four-Alarm Homicide by Diane Kelly from my review stack. This one is the sixth in a cozy mystery series. Here is the description from Amazon:
The sixth in the delightful cozy mystery series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville, TN―where the real estate market is to die for.

Some properties are too hot to handle...


Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck are hot for a historical property that has just come on the market―a fire station in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood that was built nearly a century ago.

The cousins have just begun the interior demolition work at the fire station when Joanna Hartzell, who lives in a townhouse around the corner, comes by with a plea for help. Joanna owns the right half of her building, which she proudly maintains in perfect condition, while the left side falls into disrepair: the seven adult children who inherited it years ago refuse to lift a finger on repairs. Never one to turn down a challenge, Whitney and Buck manage to acquire the rundown townhouse―though it turns out Joanna is only one of the many neighbors interested in buying the property once they’ve worked their magic.

Then Joanna shows up at the fire station confused and rambling, then collapses, never to recover. Alarm bells go off for Whitney: she suspects something―and someone―evil could be the real cause. Can she and Collin put the clues together and smoke out a killer?


Thursday, April 18, 2024

ARC Review: The Stranger I Wed by Harper St. George

The Stranger I Wed

Author:
Harper St. George
Series: The Doves of New York (Book 1)
Publication: Berkley (April 23, 2024)

Description: New to wealth and to London high society, American heiress Cora Dove discovers that with the right man, marriage might not be such an inconvenience after all. . . .

Cora Dove and her sisters’ questionable legitimacy has been the lifelong subject of New York’s gossipmongers and a continual stain on their father’s reputation. So when the girls each receive a generous, guilt-induced dowry from their dying grandmother, the sly Mr. Hathaway vows to release their funds only if Cora and her sisters can procure suitable husbands—far from New York. For Cora, England is a fresh start. She has no delusions of love, but a husband who will respect her independence? That’s an earl worth fighting for.

Enter: Leopold Brendon, Earl of Devonworth, a no-nonsense member of Parliament whose plan to pass a Public Health bill that would provide clean water to the working class requires the backing of a wealthy wife.  He just never expected to crave Cora’s touch or yearn to hear her thoughts on his campaign—or to discover that his seemingly perfect bride protects so many secrets...

But secrets have a way of bubbling to the surface, and Devonworth has a few of his own. With their pasts laid bare and Cora’s budding passion for women’s rights taking a dangerous turn, they’ll learn the true cost of losing their heart to a stranger—and that love is worth any price.

My Thoughts: THE STRANGER I WED was an engaging historical romance. Cora Dove and her sisters Jenny and Eliza are illegitimate and existing on the edges of society. When their father's mother dies and leaves them generous dowries, Cora thinks things will be better for them. However, her father, who controls the money, has put strings on it. He wants the girls to marry before they can inherit. He also wants them to live far away from New York so as not to embarrass his wife and legitimate children.

Inspired by the many American heiress who have married into the peerage, Cora, her sisters, and mother travel to England to look for husbands. One of the earlier American brides is willing to help them find men who meet the qualifications they have outlined for a husband.

Leopold Brendon, Earl of Devonworth, is on the list. He needs money to repair his home and get his younger brother clear of his gambling deaths before he can go back to what he really loves: serving in the House of Lords and passing a Water Quality Bill. The fact that he is handsome is actually a strike against him on the girls' list. 

After some negotiations, Cora and Devonworth marry expecting a relatively short term marriage in name only. Cora eventually wants some of her inheritance and her freedom. However, she finds herself falling in love and realizes that they have a lot in common including women's rights. He falls for her too despite having had a bad experience with love in a past romance. 

But the two have to face his political rivals and her many secrets before they can have their own 'happily ever after.'

Favorite Quote:
"I agree. Marriage is a very important matter. When will your mother be arriving?"

His eyes widened infinitesimally before the corner of his mouth quirked in that way she was coming to appreciate. "I only meant that the unmarried women of my acquaintance would never attend such a meeting alone."

"Would those young women attend such a meeting at all?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

ARC Review: The Mayfair Dagger by Ava January

The Mayfair Dagger

Author:
Ava January
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (April 23, 2024)

Description: A witty, feminist mystery set in the heart of nineteenth-century London, this daring adventure featuring an intrepid woman detective will thrill fans of Deanna Raybourn and Katharine Schellman.

London, 1894.
Albertine Honeycombe never wanted a husband and certainly not the one with fifteen children that her cousin, Aubrey, is trying to marry her off to. She reinvents herself as Countess Von Dagga, a private detective aiding the upper echelons of women in society. As the Countess, she is a married woman, with a conveniently absent husband who doesn’t exist, which allows her far more freedom than being single.

When Lord Grendel, from whom she has recovered blackmail letters, is murdered, Albertine is suspect number one—having been the last person to see him. And when the Duke of Erleigh comes looking for her utterly fictitious husband, she realizes she has landed herself in hot water, without a tea bag. When Albertine also becomes the prime suspect in her fictional husband’s death, things are looking grim.

My Thoughts: Albertine Honeycombe has fled an unwanted marriage along with her maid Joan. They have come to London to follow up on dreams held by Albertine's brother Algie before his death. His goal for the two of them was always to set up a detective agency like that of Sherlock Holmes and Watson.

In order to begin this, Albertine has made up a new name and a new fake husband so that she can claim a place in society and begin working. However, jobs are infrequent and generally the society women who asks for her help doesn't see any reason to pay for it. Her latest job is retrieving some blackmail letters from the safe of an unscrupulous gentleman. She finds the letters but is disturbed by the gentleman and is forced to use a sleeping potion developed by her father in order to get away.

Unfortunately, someone else came upon the sleep aristocrat and strangled him. This murder brings her to the attention of Scotland Yard in the person of Spencer Sweetman who, after a successful career at Scotland Yard, has inherited the title of Duke of Erleigh after the unexpected death of his brother. Spencer had never wanted to be the Duke. He preferred the relative freedom he had without the burdons of the dukedom. 

Spencer finds himself the new public face of Albertine's detective agency as he investigates the possibility that she murdered Lord Grendel and possibly her spouse too. Aiding in throwing suspicion Albertine's way is Lord Wallop, a gambling cheat whose crimes Albertine exposed. 

Neither Spencer nor Albertine were looking for love when they met, but love found them anyway. Before they can live happily ever after, they will have to deal with accusations of murder, false imprisonment, and lies each has told. 

This was an entertaining historical mystery/romance with interesting characters. 

Favorite Quote:
"I run a somewhat...that is...it's a detective agency." She didn't sound too certain. There was a long pause and she met his gaze. "There are times when we require the assistance of a man person."

"A man person," Spencer repeated, schooling his features. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

ARC Review: Next of Kin by Samantha Jayne Allen

Next of Kin

Author:
Samantha Jayne Allen
Series: Annie McIntyre Mysteries (Book 3)
Publication: Minotaur Books (April 23, 2024)

Description: From Tony Hillerman Prize-winning author Samantha Jayne Allen comes Next of Kin, a mesmerizing novel set in a hardscrabble Texas town, where the past is never far away.

At a gathering for her cousin’s wedding party, newly-licensed PI Annie McIntyre gets asked an age-old question: what really makes us who we are, nature or nurture? Clint Marshall, an up-and-coming musician and an adoptee at a personal crossroads, wants to hire Annie to find his biological parents, and that question is on his mind. Annie accepts his case, not knowing then that she, too, must decide if she really believes what she tells him that night―in essence, that people are in charge of their destinies. That people can change.

When Annie discovers her client's father is a bank robber who her granddad, Leroy, arrested back when he was sheriff, reverberations sound between the past and the present, igniting old flames and rivalries. When the brother of her client dies suddenly, his death ruled a suicide, Annie questions whether or not it was in fact homicide―and who in this family of outlaws would rather some secrets stay buried.

As Annie sets out to find who killed the brother―and stays out of sight lest she be next―she finds herself searching abandoned, overgrown fields, scouring pool halls and roadside motels, wondering if she will ever escape the sense that her world in Garnett, TX expands and contracts in off-kilter ways, growing smaller and yet still more confounding. Fearing that in a place where everyone knows everyone, your enemy is always closer than you think.

My Thoughts: The third Annie McIntyre mystery has Annie having her new private investigators license and working with her grandfather Leroy's old partner in their investigations firm. Annie is also involved in her cousin Nikki's wedding. Her next case comes to her when the best man, Sonny's adopted brother, hires Annie to track down his birth parents.

Locating Clint Marshall's mother and siblings doesn't turn out to be hard but opens a real can of worms for both Annie and Clint. It turns out Clint's birth father was a bank robber who is in prison. Annie's grandfather Leroy was instrumental in capturing him and his adoptive mother was one of the bank tellers when the bank was robbed. 

Going to talk to Clint's birth mother is difficult as she blames Leroy for lots of the problems in her life. But her son Cody is more receptive to having a brother. Annie also runs afoul of the next-door neighbor whose daughter disappeared at the same time as the bank robbery. She feels that the police didn't do enough to find her missing daughter whose bones were discovered some ten years after her disappearance.

Then Cody dies in an apparent suicide which Annie really doubts and Clint disappears just before the wedding. Annie is kept busy trying to discover who killed Cody and where Clint is and finds herself digging into secrets from her family's past. 

This was quite a twisty mystery with so many connections between all the characters which raised more questions for Annie than providing answers to her inquiries. I liked the setting which was described very well. I thought the characters were well-developed too. 

Favorite Quote:
"You want to be the hero. Then folks deal with you, and you're just this regular old dope. They realize you're less there to save the day than you are to just make sure the day don't get worse. Law and order's not the same as justice--I wish I'd have been able to do more just work.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ARC Review: Murder in Rose Hill by Victoria Thompson

Murder in Rose Hill

Author:
Victoria Thompson
Series: Gaslight Mysteries (Book 27)
Publication: Berkley (April 23, 2024)

Description: Midwife Sarah Malloy and her private detective husband Frank discover that the cure is worse than the disease when they investigate the death of a promising young woman in this atmospheric, riveting mystery from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Murder on Bedford Street.

Sarah Malloy has just helped with the delivery of a bouncing baby girl at her women’s clinic, when she receives a visit from an engaging and determined young woman writing an article for New Century Magazine. Louisa Rodgers explains that she is researching the dangers of patent remedies. Sarah is only too happy to tell Louisa exactly what she thinks of the so-called medicines whose ingredients include heavy doses of alcohol and other addictive drugs, and hurt much more than they help.

A few days later, Sarah receives a visit from a bereft Bernard Rodgers, who explains that his daughter, Louisa, has been found strangled in the lobby of the building where New Century has its offices. The police have decided it was a random attack and have made no attempt to investigate, hinting that Louisa got what she deserved for sticking her nose where it didn’t belong. Sarah wants justice for the bright young woman but as she and Frank delve deeper into Louisa’s life, they find that nothing is quite as it seemed and Louisa is not who she claimed to be. The Malloys must first solve the mystery of Louisa’s life before they can figure out who wanted to see her dead…

My Thoughts: The story begins when Louisa Rodgers comes to the women's clinic where Sarah volunteers to find out what they know about patent medicines. Louisa is a socialite who wants to be a journalist and is hoping to write an article exposing the dangers of patent medicines.

When Bernard Rodgers comes to see Frank a few days later, he wants Malloy to discover who murdered his daughter Louisa. There are plenty of suspects including a delusional stalker who claims he and Louisa were engaged, a fellow boarder at Louisa's boarding house who claims to be Louisa's best friend, and the owner of a company that makes patent medicines. 

As Frank and Sarah investigate, they learn that all was not well in the Rodgers' home. While her father doted on Louisa and disparaged his son Oscar, her mother was just the opposite. 

Then Mr. Rodgers is found dead of an apparent suicide which greatly complicates the case.

I liked the setting and the historical detail as the story takes place the same time McKinlay was shot and later died making Theodore Roosevelt, an acquaintance of the Malloys, president. I liked the information about patent medicines. I liked Sarah's electric car. 

This was an entertaining historical mystery which is the 27th book in the series. 

Favorite Quote:
"At least we're trying to learn," Malloy reminded her. "Not all the parents do."

"I know," Sarah said sadly. "I can't understand how a parent of a deaf child could refuse to learn to sign. How would you communicate with your child? How would the child let the parents know what she needs?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

ARC Review: At the Edge of the Woods by Victoria Houston

At the Edge of the Woods

Author:
Victoria Houston
Series: Lew Ferris (Book 3)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (April 23, 2024)

Description: Someone is murdering pickleball players in Loon Lake and Sheriff Ferris is on the hunt for their killer in Victoria Houston’s third nail-biting Lew Ferris mystery, perfect for fans of Marc Cameron and Nevada Barr.

When a local pickleball player is shot in the head while practicing at an abandoned tennis court with his partner-slash-lover, Sheriff Lew Ferris suspects that the bullet was a stray shot from hunters in the area. It’s not until a second player–the first victim’s mistress and pickleball partner–is killed that Sheriff Ferris realizes this is no hunting accident. Someone is hunting people, and it’s up to her to find out who.

With the first victim’s crazed widow breathing down Lew’s neck, there’s no room to breathe, let alone to find time to appreciate the beautiful Loon Lake fall and go fishing. Adding to Sheriff Ferris’ difficulties are three pickleball players convinced someone has targeted them, someone who will do anything, even murder, to frighten them away from the courts where they play – but why?

Who is really at risk? The pickleball players, or Lew and the people close to her?

My Thoughts: This is the third book in the Lew Ferris mystery series. I chose it, despite not having read the first two books, because I was interested in the Northern Wisconsin setting. Lew is the sheriff. She was elected after some years as police chief of Loon Lake. And while being a sheriff is her job, her real love is fly fishing. She is an expert and an excellent teacher.

When a local dentist is shot while playing pickleball at a court he built at on old summer camp, Lew has a mystery to solve. She is of the opinion that the gunshot the killed him was an accident since deer season is coming up and lots of hunters are sighting in their guns and some aren't too concerned with safety. But there are a fair number of people who could have wanted the dentist dead including his wife and daughter. 

Lew begins her investigation with lots of help from the local rumor mill. When the dentist's pickleball partner and the woman he planned to marry after divorcing his wife is also killed, Lew doesn't suspect a second accident. 

I liked all the talk about fishing that was woven into the story. I thought the characters were interesting. I didn't really like the abrupt resolution to the mystery and felt that it was overshadowed by other parts of the plot. 

Fans of the series will enjoy this one as well as fans of Northern Wisconsin. 

Favorite Quote:
"Can I tell you what I like about Lewellyn Ferris besides her fishing?

"Careful," said Bruce with a smile in his voice. "I might be too young to hear this..."

"She listens," said Osborne, emphasizing his last word. "She has a good heart. She's kind and she listens. You can't ask for more."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Monday, April 15, 2024

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 15, 2024)

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.

Want to See What I Added to My Stack? links to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Marlene at Reading Reality.

Other Than Reading...

This was a quiet week filled with melting snow, Braves baseball, a new recipe, and dinner out at Texas Roadhouse. 

I have almost finished my In Death Rereadathon and will begin looking for my next audiobooks. Right now, it looks like a reread of a science fiction series that I read as review copies a few years ago but I may make different choices. 

This coming week will see the housecleaners on Thursday and a dentist's appointment on Friday. There is to be a rainy, windy start to the week and 60% change of snow on Thursday. It doesn't look like we'll be making much solar power from Tuesday through Friday.

I did spend some time this week on my reading calendar and setting up posts on Blogger for part of May. Books are filled in but there are spots for audiobooks that I'll choose based on mood or something. 

Read Last Week
  • Archangel's Lineage by Nalini Singh (Review; April 23) -- In this episode of the Guild Hunter series, a fragile peace is broken when the Refuge is in danger and Elena deals with her estranged father's heart attack. My review will be posted on April 23.
  • An Unfinished Murder by Jude Deveraux (Review; April 30) -- A Medlar Three mystery concerns an old murder in a house Kate remembers from her childhood. My review will be posted on April 24.
  • Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies by Catherine Mack (Review; April 30) -- Interesting cozy mystery complete with footnotes and told by an unreliable narrator. My review will be posted on April 23.
  • Abandoned in Death by J. D. Robb (Audiobook Reread) -- In Death Book 54
  • Governor by David Weber and Richard Fox (Audiobook; Mine since January 16) -- Epic space opera set in the same world as the Honor Harrington books. My review will be posted on April 25.
  • Desperation in Death by J. D. Robb (Audiobook reread) -- In Death Book 55
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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Book Reviews: Kris Longknife Boot Recruit & Kris Longknife's Maid Goes on Strike by Mike Shepherd

Kris Longknife Boot Recruit

Author: Mike Shepherd
Publication: Self-Published (June 11, 2021)

Description: Everyone has known since Kris Longknife – Mutineer that Kris ran off to join the Navy after graduating college much to her parents’ dismay. However, the story has never been told of how that came to pass. Worse, how does a scion of the Longknife clan survive that massive drop in social levels, plummeting from the Prime Minister’s brat to a lowly Boot Recruit. Here, at last, is the story in all it’s fuss and feathers still on this rare bird. Enjoy.

Kris Longknife's Maid Goes on Strike

Author:
Mike Shepherd
Publication: KL & MM Books (October 13, 2017)

Description: This collection of 4 short stories under one cover: Maid Goes on Strike, Ruthie Longknife's First Christmas, Among the Kicking Birds and Bad Day.

My Thoughts: These are fill-in pieces to the long-running Kris Longknife series. 

Boot Recruit is a novella and talks about Kris's reasons for joining the Navy after college and things that happened when she attended OCS. Fun story with all sorts of adjustments for both Kris and the Navy. 

Kris Longknife's Maid Goes on Strike contains four short stories. The first is about a problem on Alwa and the way Abby decides to solve it. Ruthie Longstreet's First Christmas is about a visit to Grandfather Al which turns into the second assassination attempt the baby manages to survive. Among the Kicking Birds takes place on Alwa and has Kris negotiating with the ostriches for land for the humans. Bad Day has Kris at Navy Headquarters on Wardhaven during her time as a staff officer and the reason why she asked for another job. 

The stories were all entertaining and filled in some other adventures in the universe. None were really essential, and none would really stand alone without having read the rest of the series. 

Favorite Quote:
"Why didn't your famous computer tell you that was a defective pod?" gunny asked.

"The interface on the pod's computer was so obsolete I could not attach," Nelly answered for herself.

"That was when I realized I had a problem," Kris put in. "I just didn't know how bad it was."
I bought these. You can buy your copies here and here.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Friday Memes: Kris Longknife Boot Recruit & Kris Longknife's Maid Goes on Strike by Mike Shepherd

 Happy Friday!


Book Beginnings is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader. She asks that the first sentence is posted along with the author and title of the book and the reader's initial thoughts on the sentence, the book, or anything else it inspires. 
Carrie at Reading Is My Superpower.org also provides a linky for sharing first lines and connecting with others. This meme asks that the chosen books be PG or marked as Mature if they are not. 

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice. This meme is currently on hiatus but many of us are still including a sentence from page 56 or from 56% of the ebook. Anne @ Head Full of Books is picking up the slack until Freda is ready to return. I think this link will get you to the correct place

Beginning:
With an unwanted nudge from behind, Kris Longknife took the last step up. There were only five people ahead of her before it would be her turn to cross the stage to where the President of the University of Wardhaven handed out diplomas. 
Friday 56:
Kris could help but giggle. The sight of a gun truck with a huge Christmas tree tied to its top had to be one of the strangest sights of the holidays.
This week I am spotlighting two different books in the Kris Longknife series by Mike Shepherd. Kris Longknife Boot Recruit is a novella that tells how Kris comes to join the Navy and Kris Longknife's Maid Goes on Strike contains four vignettes from the series. Here are the descriptions from Amazon:
Kris Longknife's Maid Goes on Strike - This collection of 4 short stories under one cover: Maid Goes on Strike, Ruthie Longknife's First Christmas, Among the Kicking Birds and Bad Day.
Kris Longknife Boot Recruit - Everyone has known since Kris Longknife: Mutineer that Kris ran off to join the Navy after graduating college much to her parents’ dismay. However, the story has never been told of how that came to pass. Worse, how does a scion of the Longknife clan survive that massive drop in social levels, plummeting from the prime minister’s brat to a lowly boot recruit. Here, at last, is the story in all its fuss and feathers still on this rare bird. Enjoy.