Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Gina Royal is an ordinary suburban wife and mother until the day a truck runs into her garage exposing her husband as a horrific serial killer.  She is accused and acquitted of helping him with his crimes.  However, the internet will not let her forget.  Trolls threaten her and her kids and she has to live on the run with assumed identities.  She and her children have settled in a small town hoping for a respite, but when bodies are found in the lake by her house with the MO of her incarcerated ex-husband, her life is about to implode again and Mama bear has to protect her children at all costs.

This was a page turner and I really loved it.  

Terri

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Fire and Ashes by Elaine Viets

This is the second book in the Angela Richman, Death Investigator series.  When Angela is called to a death scene after a fire in the Forest (a very affluent area), she finds a man killed in the fire while his fiancee' is suspected of his murder.  Because the Victim was wealthy and his much younger (and "Mexican") fiancee', Kendra is automatically convicted in the minds of law enforcement and the community.  It appears that The Forest is very polarized along economic divides and there is a very strong racism embedded in the culture.  Though there had been a series of non-lethal arsons leading up to the murder, Kendra and her father are arrested and accused of all the crimes.  Angela, isn't so sure.  She and her friends want to find the truth behind the racial accusations.  

It is a very well told story with strong characterizations and makes you think a lot about insider/outsiders in communities and the quick blame that is often thrown around at the expense of the truth which I find very timely as well.

I love this series and enjoyed the dramatic finale -- the suspense was palpable.  Oh - and it has horses used as stress therapy too -- an added bonus!

And BTW - Baby loved the book too! LOL



Terri

Monday, August 7, 2017

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

Spirits United!


I apologize for last month’s blog. I was so down in the dumps, I just couldn’t bear to be funny. Losing a best friend and another friend losing her daughter to murder just sort of wiped out the joy in life for a while. For the record, the murderer of my cousin’s daughter has been found and extradited to New Mexico to stand trial. So maybe he’ll be convicted and imprisoned. That’ll be okay, but it won’t bring Anita back, you know? And I doubt there’s any way a mother can ever recover from the loss of a child, especially to murder, so my friend whose daughter was murdered in June (and whose murderer then committed suicide) is pretty much doomed, I guess. As another friend of mine said, if a person decides to commit a murder-suicide, it’s better to commit the suicide first. I think that’s a brilliant solution to a dire problem, but I doubt it’ll catch on, people being what they are.

Anyway, enough of that. I’ll be in touch with the winners of July’s contest via email since I didn’t specify a book to be given away. You get to pick your choice if you’re a wiener. I mean a winner.

SPIRITS UNITED, Daisy’s eleventh adventure (actually, it’s her twelfth, but who’s counting?) was just released, so here’s the cover art and links to it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble:

 


Okey-dokey, a little bit about SPIRITS UNITED. I was afraid the book would be terrible. You see, I had such an emotional investment in BRUISED SPIRITS, I figured the next book would be a flop. However, people seem to be enjoying it! Go figure. I’m happy about that, and I’m working diligently on the next Daisy book. It seems to be coming along nicely. In order to prepare for it, which is titled SPIRITS UNEARTHED, I’ll be taking photographs at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, California, when I’m in California next week for my friend’s memorial service. Feel free to speculate from there.

As for SPIRITS UNITED, it begins at Daisy’s home on Marengo Avenue in Pasadena, but Sam Rotondo (Pasadena police detective and Daisy’s betrothed) comes over just as Daisy is about to visit the library (she hangs out there a lot). Therefore, Sam goes with her on her jaunt to the library since he doesn’t trust her not to stumble over a dead body if she visits there alone. Doesn’t work. A woman is murdered in the biography stacks while Sam is with Daisy at the library. Horrors! Worse, Daisy’s friend, Robert Browning (not the poet), is discovered holding the bloody knife used to murder the poor dead woman. This naturally puts Robert at the top of Sam’s suspect list, although Daisy doesn’t believe for a second he did the dirty deed.

Anyhow, Sam, still recovering from the gunshot he got in BRUISED SPIRITS, and still hurting from it and forced to use a cane, is cranky as heck. Nevertheless, he gets to work.

Daisy gets to work, too, although Sam doesn’t want her to. Eventually the murderer is discovered, thanks to a lot of snooping on everyone’s part. Not only that, but Daisy is thrilled that she’s become a matchmaker. Again. She’s almost as good at matchmaking as she is at sewing and spiritualist-medium-ing.

Oh, and in SPIRITS UNITED, it’s Sam’s Voodoo juju that acts up rather than any of Daisy’s spiritualist paraphernalia. Sam neither believes in nor appreciates its help.

In order to get a feel for the library where SPIRITS UNITED begins, I wanted to see pictures of the Pasadena Public Library as it was in 1924. The present library was opened in 1929. I used to practically live there when I resided in Pasadena, and I worked for quite some time in the children’s room there. Love that library and still visit it when I’m in Pasadena. However, that’s not the library in which Daisy’s latest body was found. Here are photographs (found for me by my lovely niece, Sara Krafft, and a wonderful Facebook buddy, Andie Paysinger) of the old library. It looks like it was a beautiful place:






The only truly awful thing about SPIRITS UNITED is that I murdered a librarian in it. It’s not my fault! Lynne Welch, a valued friend and excellent beta reader, is a librarian, and she told me she’s always wanted to bump off a librarian. So I did it for her. I still feel guilty about doing so, too.

I’ll let folks pick any old book you want from my backlist at the end of August. If you’re name is chosen from my special contest doggie dish by Bam-Bam, my winner-picking wiener dog, I’ll send you the book you select, providing I have a copy.

Oh, and a word about my monthly contests. I love giving my work to people; however, I found out quite by accident a few months ago that sending books to Great Britain, Australia, and other countries outside the United States is beyond my monetary capability. If a resident of a nation other than the United States has an e-reader, I’ll happily supply that person with an e-book. If a person doesn’t have an e-reader and still likes to read book-books, he or she is on his or her own. I’m sorry, but what I laughingly call my writing career hasn’t made me wealthy yet. And it probably won’t, but let’s not get in to that, because it always depresses me. So. That’s that.

If you’d like to enter the contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mail, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.


Thank you!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Blog: A new month

Good Morning Bloggers,
My agenda this month is a very busy one. I still have several books to read and review.
I want to watch several things on Acorn and Netflix. What I have been watching lately is Ozark, Winston Churchill Documentary,  on PBS we are watching "MY Mother and other Strangers."  "George and Author." 
Quilting Seasons on PBS and in August we will be privy to a new season of "Endeavour." I can't wait for this to start as I am a huge fan.

On a personal note, we have a grandson getting married on August 12th so the family will be gathering for that and we will have company.
There is also a full month of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Garage Sale Mysteries are a huge plus.
There are some new books being released in August. A Sue Grafton "Y Is For Yesterday." is one and after coffee, I might think of more.

Okay until next blog,
Pam

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

October Again Wow, another year is all but over. Pretty soon Halloween will be upon us, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 2018! 2018 ??...