Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Glimpse of Death by Leslie Wolfe

Just finished Glimpse of Death -  Special Agent Tess Winnett #3.

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Here is what it is about.

"When the body of a young woman is found in her own backyard, a week after her disappearance, evidence leads investigators to a chilling conclusion. She is not the first victim of a serial killer no one knew existed. She most definitely is not the last.

FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett joins the local detectives assigned to the case and searches for answers in the intriguing investigation that offers a plethora of forensic evidence, yet no viable leads. When another body is found, the search intensifies, and details about the killer’s unusual signature emerge. He likes to stalk his victims before abducting them. He likes to show them a flash of what’s coming, a foreboding warning of their grim futures."

So. I have read three others of Leslie Wolf's books. Dawn Girl (Tess Winnett #1), Watson Girl (Tess Winnett #2) and The Executive which is Alex Hoffman #1 book.

Obviously I like Leslie's books. They are definitely riveting, page turners, quick reads because you really cannot put them down. Dawn Girl was pretty gritty but I had to finish it. Watson Girl was not as gritty, but was certainly a psychological thriller. The Executive is really good to but more about crooked business deals and people out to do bad things. 

I missed the part about  Glimpse of Death being a " serial killer thriller. It is pretty disturbing to me. Violent. Gritty. But I had to finish it to make sure whoever got caught. There are plenty of opportunities in this book, to shout out loud: "Don't do it! No, don't be so stupid! Hey, you better say something!" etc etc.

But Leslie's writing is so good and her books so gripping, that I will read more...and just skip over some parts.

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries

Wanted to let you know about new Hallmark Mysteries airing this month.

Gourmet Detective: Eat, Drink and Be Buried
October 13, 8 p.m central
(This showed once already so this is the second showing.)

The Gourmet Detective Poster

Hailey Dean Mystery: Dating is Murder
Sunday October 15, 8 p.m. central
(Nancy Grace writes this series and appears in the movie)



Darrow and Darrow
Sunday October 22,  8 p.m. central
This is a new movie series. Not sure it is a mystery, but looks kind of good. Can't get a picture I can post but you will recognize Kimbery Williams Paisley and Wendie Malick.

Here's what it is about.

"Claire Darrow, a lawyer, fights for what’s right, regardless of whether it makes her a dime. Naomi, Claire’s estranged mother and a lawyer as well, would rather make a profit. They clash on nearly everything, even on the best way to raise Claire’s daughter, Louise. Stars Kimberly Williams-Paisely, Tom Cavanagh, Wendie Malick."

I love the Mystery Movies on Hallmark. Their website, not so much.

Enjoy




Friday, September 29, 2017

Spooky books for Halloween

I read three books this month that are good, spooky books for Halloween.

1. Leaving Birds by Virginia King.



About: "Leaving Birds is a collection of creepy folktales with adult themes. It contains a Russian folktale, a modern ghost story re-imagined from an Irish folktale, and the possibly true crime behind a traditional English murder ballad.

If you like to peek behind the scenes of books and how they're written, Leaving Birds is also a companion to Laying Ghosts, the prequel to the Selkie Moon Mystery Series, with insights into how the folktales inspired the prequel."

These short stories are reminiscent of the tales we all heard and told in the dark or around a campfire, as we grew up.

The Woman with Hair of Gold reads like a children's folk tale but it is not for children. Is Gilda a witch? Does she have magical powers? What fate befalls Gilda?

Peig's Place is a good old fashioned ghost story set in modern times. Read it at night, in the dark during a storm and you will be looking over your shoulder.

Polly's Folly - The Possibly True Events Behind the Murder Ballad 'Pretty Polly' is the third story. A tale that has been told since long ago about events that possible took place in the 1700's. Very interesting to read the research that has been done to validate this tale.

I really liked the author's notes after each story, that shows how they played into her book Laying Ghosts and Selkie Moon
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You will have to read the stories to discover the meaning of "Leaving Birds."

I have read Virginia's other books that tie into this ; Laying Ghosts, The Selkie Moon series, and really liked them.

2. Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway series book 2)

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About: "It’s been only a few months since archaeologist Ruth Galloway found herself entangled in a missing persons case, barely escaping with her life. But when construction workers demolishing a large old house in Norwich uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorway—minus its skull—Ruth is once again called upon to investigate. Is it a Roman-era ritual sacrifice, or is the killer closer at hand?

Ruth and Detective Harry Nelson would like to find out—and fast. When they realize the house was once a children’s home, they track down the Catholic priest who served as its operator. Father Hennessey reports that two children did go missing from the home forty years before—a boy and a girl. They were never found. When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is trying very hard to put her off the trail by frightening her, and her unborn child, half to death."


I had read the first in the Ruth Galloway series last year and liked it. (The Crossing Places)
This was a spooky book. Someone is trying to scare Ruth by writing her name in blood, leaving models of babies, hanging around her door in the dark and breathing and worse. The writing is so descriptive, that it is scary.

Besides all that, the books have the underlying story of Ruth, her work as a forensic anthropologist, her friends and all of the relationships that go with it. Ruth is very likeable; independent, not a size 2 or probably not even a size 12 and doesn't care what people think about that, lives alone and is fine with it, but yet has several men vying for her attention. And it looks like she has gotten herself into a predicament. I found myself very worried about her unborn child while she was getting scared, walking around at "digs" in the dark and more.

I really liked this book and wanted to jump right into the next in the series but went on to....

3. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

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About: "West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself."

Creepy, creepy, creepy. We get to go back and forth from Sara's diary from 1908 to present time with Ruthie and Fawn. Lots of shadows slinking around, old creepy women that may or may not be witches, ghosts, a weird ring (that needs to be gotten rid of), other people looking for other people that disappeared, spells, snow, cold and dark. Even the end is creepy. I was surprised at the ending.

Sounds complicated? The story is so well written that it is easy to follow. Besides, you won't be able to put it down, so it's easy to keep up.

I do want to read more of this author's books.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Stranger in a Strange World, On The Spooky Trail, Leaving Birds

Good grief! Where have I been?

August was not a good month for me. No, did not get a direct hit from either hurricane, so I shouldn't complain. We were within 180 miles or so from Harvey so did get some rain. But I knew people from work that were effected by Harvey and have friends and relatives effected by Irma. All o.k. But we were glued to the news.

What else..#1 Had a dental thing that was very bothersome for a couple of weeks. I believe it was directly a result of #2 Dragged unwillingly into an issue with a place I worked over a decade ago. Very stressful. If you know me, I don't like rocking boats. Both are behind me for now, but I keep looking over my shoulder.

I did read some things but haven't read as much as I would have liked. Anyway....

I read:

1.  Stranger in a Strange World: Asperger's: The Outsider (Brier Hospital) by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.

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I had read the first book in the Brier Hospital series last year and liked it and was offered a chance to read this newest book.

"An automobile accident shatters the near-perfect lives of David and Luke Hyatt, identical twins. David survives intact, but Luke nearly dies from his injuries. The residue of Luke’s head injury is an acquired form of Asperger’s. The twins had graduated from medical school and were about to enter an internship at Brier Hospital in Berkeley. Although Luke is gifted with savant-like intelligence, can he continue his career in medicine? Will health professionals, administrators, and patients themselves accept Luke as a physician or succumb to the petty fear of someone different, or is it time for the world to consider the value of an individual beyond his or her label?"

But there is more. It is a "House"/Crime Thriller. Despite Luke's Asperger's due to an accident, he has uncanny abilities to diagnose difficult cases. He is called in to help on the mysterious illness of Colonel Tay Carson. Col. Carson had been contacted by an anonymous caller with information about a government cover up. Now the Colonel is in a coma and no one can figure out why. Others in his circle have become sick or have died. The clock ticks for Luke to find the cause of the illness and the Colonel's best friend, Conrad (Connie) Silver to find out who is behind all of this. Medical drama, cyber hacking, whistleblowing, cover ups...this book has it all. I enjoyed it.
( I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it.)

2. On The Spooky Trail by Virginia King

I have read the 3 books in the Selkie Moon series by Virginia. This is a short story or novella that shows her love of "spooky tales".

On the Spooky Trail: Travels in Supernatural Wales

" A hag’s pool. A ruined abbey. A house with a skull. Join award-winning mystery author Virginia King on this tale of true travel, when her role as an accompanying delegate at a conference turns into an investigation of some of the spookiest places in Wales."

If you like folk lore and supernatural stories, you will love this. Great short story that will take you to the edge of one spooky tale and on to another.
Fun, quick read. Definitely recommend it especially if you are traveling...This is the kind of tour I would like.

3. Coming up:  Leaving Birds by Virginia King
This will be published 9/15/17 and will share the info then.

Currently reading: The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths.

More to come!


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Onyx Webb Book 10 - The End

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As you may know, I was fortunate to be in the "100 Readers" club for this series. And as you have seen in previous posts, I really enjoyed it.

The final book in the series is out. It is done, all over, the end.

"In Book Ten: The Mulvaneys deal with aftermath of the Solstice Eclipse Ball. Stan Lee and Spider Boy finally meet. Readers finally learn the fate of Onyx Webb."     

I loved every book in this series. And this last one was just as good. Still plenty of twists and turns and surprises. Some "last books" leave you feeling empty, angry, and or dissatisfied. The end of this series actually has a feel good ending. I love how the authors treated all of the characters in the end. There is also some humor and nods. I can't say too much without spoiling it, but I think the authors were able to touch on every character from the series in this last book, and wrap it all up. No easy task. Now we wait and hope for a Netflix, HBO etc. series. It would make a great televised series.

I think the thing to do now, is read the whole series beginning to end. Thanks Richard and Andrea!          

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Indian Bride by Karen Fossum

August Mystery Book Club theme: Dream Vacation Spot

For our MCB meeting this month, we read mysteries set in somewhere we would like to vacation.

I chose to find a mystery set in Norway for two reasons. First, it sounds like it would be cooler than Texas this time of year, lots of mountains and water. Second, two sets of my great grandparents were from Norway and my other hobby is genealogy.

I read The Indian Bride by Karen Fossum. It is #5 in the Inspector Konrad Sejer series, set in Norway.

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"When perpetual bachelor Gunder Jomann goes to India for two weeks and comes home married, the town of Elvestad is stunned. On the day the Indian bride is supposed to arrive, the battered body of a woman is found in a meadow on the outskirts of town. None of the "good people of Elvestad" can believe that anyone among them would be capable of such a brutal murder. But in his quiet, formal way, Inspector Konrad Sejer understands that good people can commit atrocious deeds, and that no one is altogether innocent—including the café owner who knows too much, the girl who wants to be a chief witness, and the bodybuilder with no outlet for his terrible strength.

Another brilliantly conceived, dark novel from one of Europe’s most successful crime writers."


This was a sad story. Gunder is a middle age bachelor and decides he wants a wife. He wants a wife from India. He has a travel book about India and thinks the women are beautiful. He buys a special brooch, which is native to a Norwegian women's bunad or costume representing a region of Norway. He goes to India in search of a bride.

Elvestad is a small town, just over 2000 people. Everyone has lived there their entire lives, it seems. Everyone knows each other, grew up together, went to school together. Several people have seen bits of the crime, possibly. But since they aren't sure and wouldn't want to say anything bad about anyone they know, how could that person possible be involved, they don't say anything...for months. Even Gunder doesn't say anything when his bride doesn't show up as planned. He keeps telling himself, maybe she will be there when he gets home...for several days. Oh and if that isn't bad enough that his bride is probably the victim, he missed getting to the airport to pick her up because his sister was in a car accident, is in coma, and his brother in law is out of the country on business, so it is all on Gunder.

The story goes on with Inspector Sejer trying to solve the murder of course. But the people of the town are not very forthcoming. It is a pretty intense story, fast paced, quick read that once you agree on the murderer, it changes.

I hate to say it but I didn't like the ending. I would probably read another Inspector Sejer book though.

"Karin Fossum (née Mathisen) is a Norwegian author of crime fiction,often known there as the "Norwegian queen of crime". She lives in Oslo. Fossum was initially a poet, with her first collection published in 1974 when she was just 20. It won the Tarjei Vesaas' Debutant Prize. She is the author of the internationally successful Inspector Konrad Sejer series of crime novels, which have been translated into over 16 languages. She won the Glass key award for her novel "Don't Look Back", which also won the Riverton Prize, and she was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger in 2005 for "Calling Out For You"."





Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Heirloom by Ed Lynskey

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One of the books I read this summer was Heirloom, the 8th in the Isabel and Alma Trumbo series.

 "For their eighth mystery, Isabel and Alma Trumbo, the retired sister sleuths living in Quiet Anchorage, Virginia, undertake solving yet another murder mystery. Uncle Jimbo who runs the town antique shop discovers the dead body of Angelo Conti, the town EMT and firefighter. Sheriff Roscoe Fox launches his investigation while Isabel and Alma don their sleuth hats. The first suspect is Eloise Starr, a schoolteacher whose fourteen-year-old daughter Bunny drowned in the Coronet River, and Angelo was unable to revive on the scene, angering Eloise. The second suspect is Twyla Coolidge, a wealthy socialite who recently moved to town. Isabel and Alma call on their young helper Sammi Jo Garner and their elderly gentlemen friends known as the Three Musketeers for their able assistance. Meantime, Isabel and Alma give Sammi Jo an old cameo broach, a family heirloom with reputed strange magical powers. Heirloom is a clean read and a traditional whodunit set in a charming small town. Join Isabel and Alma when they set off on solving their latest mystery that is as fun and challenging for them as it is for the reader."

The Isabel and Alma mysteries are always a quick, light cozy to read after a heavier mystery. As I have said before, this series is like Mayberry meets Tuna. If you are from Texas you are probably familiar with the stage play series Greater Tuna. I picture several of those characters, when I read these books. Then "The Three Musketeers" remind me of the busy body men that hung out at  Floyd's barbershop.

Ed Lynskey writes two other cozy mystery series.

  • The Hope Dove Cozy Mystery Series has two books: Nozy Cat 1 and Nozy Cat 2 written under the pseudonym Lyn Key. Nozy Cat is the name of Hope's talking cat. Well to Hope anyway.
  • Robin and Bill Piper Cozy Mystery Series: There are two books so far in this series. Robin and Bill may be your next door neighbors...or you.
He also writes a "hard boiled" series.
  • Private Investigator Frank Johnson Mystery series: There are six books in this series. I have not had the chance to read them yet.
Oh, Ed has also written six stand alones. Pretty busy and creative. He has something for everyone.

From Wiki:

"Ed Lynskey is an American poet, critic, and novelist, mostly of crime fiction. He was born in Washington, D.C. where he still lives and works. He writes four mystery series, including the P.I. Frank Johnson Mystery Series, the Isabel & Alma Trumbo Cozy Mystery Series, the Piper & Bill Robin Cozy Mystery Series, and the Hope Jones (Nozy Cat) Cozy Mystery Series.

His creative work has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, San Diego Union-Tribune, London Free Press, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Lansing State Journal, The Virginian-Pilot, Tucson Citizen, and Nashville City Paper. Lynskey's work has been compared with that of Loren D. Estleman, James Lee Burke, Daniel Woodrell, Bill Pronzini, and Robert Crais.

His essays have been reprinted by Gale Research and Gryphon Books. He has written reviews for New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ronoake Times, Des Moines Register, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), and Columbus Dispatch. His speculative literature has appeared in Strange Horizons, Chizine, and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

His numerous poems have appeared in such venues as The Atlantic Monthly, American Poetry Review, and Chicago Review. He won the 1993 Denny C. Plattner Appalachian Heritage Award in Poetry from Berea College, Kentucky. His work has been anthologized by St. Martin’s Press, University of Virginia Press, and Storyline Press.

His poem was cited in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007: 20th Annual Collection, Ellen Datlow, editor. His stories were cited in Hardcore Hardboiled, Todd Robinson, Otto Penzler, editors, Kensington Publishing Group, 2008 and Sex, Thugs, Rock & Roll, Todd Robinson, editor, Kensington Publishing Group, 2009."